Yeah Write #221 entry. Mother Fuckin’ Billy

 

Mother Fuckin’ Billy

by Shannon Barber

The tattoo on the side of her neck reads just “Billy” in floral looking script, there are other tattoos I can see dotting her smooth brown skin.  She has a regal profile, aquiline nose, and a jagged pale beige scar that zigzags from her earlobe up through her eyebrow.

God damn it.

I see her cut her eyes at me, then turn her head. Her eyes narrow and she tilts her head up just slightly and I see a dahlia tattooed on the front of her neck. She runs a hand through her silver brush cut and that’s it.

Fuck me.

I pick up my beer and walk over. I sit and we look at each other for a long minute before she speaks.

“What you want Negra?”

I can tell by her inflection she isn’t being a bitch so I smile.

“Who’s Billy?”

Her scarred eyebrow lifts.

“What?”

Maybe it’s the rye whiskey that makes me think it’s okay, I reach out and stroke the tattoo on her neck with a fingertip.

“Billy. Who’s Billy?”

The way she licks her lips and the corner of her mouth jerks when I touch her makes me smile.

“Billy. Billy is an ex.”

“Like an ex-ex or an ex you still fucks with?”

She leans over, her lips close to my ear.

“The kind that nobody will ever find. He cut me once. Never again.”

I move my body closer to her heat, I turn my face so was almost nose to nose. She holds my gaze while I dip into my cleavage with two fingers and pull out my old pearl handled straight razor. She doesn’t even flinch when I slide it open and touch my lip with it.

“Good. Cause I would cut a mother fucker named Billy. I hate competition.”

The rest of the room is gone. Her breath fogs my blade and her smile flashes a silver tooth at me.

“You wave that around like you’re gonna use it. Don’t make promises your ass can’t cash Negra.”

I turn away and shotgun the last of my drink before I put my blade away.

“Finish your drink and don’t start talking shit. You remember what happened last time.”

Last time was five years ago and she had walked away with the impression of my teeth in the meat of her left butt cheek. We both stand and she grabs my hips and pulls me in tight to her body. She’s softer than I remember,  less hard won muscle and more cushion atop brute strength.

She kisses me so lightly and gently my knees almost give out and she holds me up with her hands cupped under my ass. Five years upstate and she still remembers my body.

“I missed you Negra. Now stop talking shit and take me home.”

I rub my nose against the tattoo.

“Mother fuckin’ Billy.”

She starts to laugh and around us, our old friends hoot and clap while she murmurs in my ear.

“Mother. Fucking. Billy.”

 

###

PS..this week brought to you by the one word prompt “Billy” that I stole from someone else.


Some musings on transgressions.

First thing. Here go read my latest. A tiny spec fic thing.

Now today’s entry is prompted by the fact that I have a cold. And a comment I got on the linked story.

Someone told me (yes they were White) that, my story has “too narrow” of an audience. When I asked for clarification my critic flailed about until I supplied their answer.

That story revolves around Blackness. Not Blackness as pain porn. It is not the neck rolling sassy Black lady story so many White people love to hate. It’s not Blackness through a lens of Whiteness. It is mythos created from a love of Blackness.

Now I had much the same type of critique about my story about Oshun. When I workshopped that story as it appears there, the critique was that it was too difficult to understand. It was suggested that I change the goddess to one “known”.

I’m thinking about these things in the context of my personal love of transgression in my work.

And given that a lot of the critique I get when it comes to anything I write about or related to my own or Blackness in general, there is this pushback that is indicative that I have transgressed.

Elves are White.

Fairies are White.

Mythos must be in a Roman, Greek or other White pantheon to be understood.

Mythos cannot be universal if it is not rooted there.

As I look at the bulk of my work in recent years, all I do is transgress. I trespass. I disregard conventions of genre because I feel like it.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my work and what about it is important to me and this habitual transgression is important to me. As I look over some of my older stuff I’m actually pretty happy.

I take a lot of risks. I risk my own chances of publication by being outspoken about racism. I risk things like rape and death threats. Doxxing. Not getting published. Dealing with White tears and racist remarks.

These are risks I’m willing to take.

While yes I would love to be raking in the easy cash being a Nice Helpful Negress, I want to be who I am more.

This is mostly brought to you by my own thinky thoughts and my nervousness about everything ever.

Soon I have some new book reviews, an interview with an amazing poet and some other goodies.

Meanwhile, go watch this conversation with one of my favorite writers.


Some Erotica and a raw look at what inspires me.

If you’ve been here for a while, you know that one of my dear friends, muses and a writer I admire deeply is Remittance Girl. Her story Heat Sink is hands down my pants one of the hottest things I’ve ever read.

We know I’m not really hetero but there is something in the tone of this piece that just gets me.

That being what it is and the fact that I was feeling uninspired to finish writing something else I decided to write a piece inspired by her piece. So first go read or listen to her piece. I highly suggest listening to it because she has a fantastic reading voice and having smut, read to you is super fucking hot.

No, seriously it’s pretty short read it. Or mine won’t make sense.

Okay, here’s what her piece sparked in my brainmeat.

OH wait before I do that. This is directly from my brain and completely unedited. If you’ve been curious as to where stories start with me, this is a good example.

I might polish it up I might not.  I will come back tomorrow and talk about some erotic things that are on my mind. This is about 20 minutes of work or so after listening to the story and reading it to pick up a few key things.

Enjoy.

AND thank you my dear friend for being my muse so often. I adore you.

Untitled-raw.

My girlfriend already told me to stop staring once tonight. I can’t help it, they are so beautiful together. I know she thinks no one else knows, that at least a few of us can’t tell.

“Stop staring.”

My girlfriend’s voice is hot against my ear and I shrug her off.

“Look at them. Look at his jaw.”

A muscle jumps near his jaw, I know that calm. I wonder if his wife felt it when they first met or if she had to learn. I am pretty sure she had to learn. She has that look, the same look I know I have. It’s something in the eyes, that glitter of fear tingling in her spine while she flirts and smiles.

My girlfriend is amused, she pats my ass before leaving me to my fantasizing while I watch them. I watch her lean toward the lawyer, her cleavage jiggling, her fingers worrying a necklace.

I want to watch them.

I watch his long fingers roll the wine glass in his hand slowly, his eyes are hooded until someone else speaks to him and he smiles. He’s not pretty and I like that. I can’t stand a pretty man when I can stand men at all.

Does he spank her?

Tie her up?

I have heard his voice tight with tension. At another of these stupid adult boring parties. I watched some drunk asshole paw at his lusty friendly wife, I sidled near to listen to the susurrus of his anger, low and even. The tightness of his grip on the other man’s arm, the way his eyes went cold.

My cunt throbbed. I was certain if I tried to sit anywhere I’d leave a wet spot a mile wide.

I’m brought out of my reverie by her voice, his wife speaking low in my ear.

“Hi, he’s beautiful, isn’t he?”

Lily, yes, that’s her name it is Lily- has a voice like wine and cigarettes and sex.

I tip my head a little to look at her, the red lipstick has worn off of her lips and she is just a little drunk. I want to fuck her. I want to fuck her while he watches and judges.

I lick my lips, my girlfriend and I do not have an understanding about this sort of thing so I swallow my come on.

“You’re both gorgeous, but you know that, don’t you?”

Her chuckle is warm and redolent of wine. I look back up and her husband is watching us, that little muscle in his jaw tightening into a marble under his skin. I feel her smile, she’s showing off. Her face is next to mine and she murmurs too low for anyone else to hear.

“When we get home, he’s going to spank me and then fuck me. He likes his women whorish. He’d love you. He’d make you cry.”

My cunt feels like it is going to turn inside out.

I swallow and can’t hide the catch in my voice. I can’t hide my desire.

“Lily, you are such a cunt.”

I smile at her husband and he nods, she kisses my cheek and then she’s gone. Back to flirting with the lawyer while I stand there frozen.

My girlfriend appears at my side and puts her arm around my waist.

“Come help me with my face.”

In the bathroom. she leans me against the counter and pulls up my skirt. I am so wet she slides three fingers inside me without preamble or sweetness. Her other hand creeps around my throat and she stares at my face in the mirror.

She knows me so well, she knows my secrets and when she starts fucking me hard enough to make me squeal, she covers my mouth.

“Straight couples now? Really bitch? Really?”

Under her hands, I’m grinning and coming, my thighs give out and I lay across the cold marble counter barely able to breath.

My girlfriend pulls out before I’m done and starts to wash her hands.

“Get your shit together before you come out.”

Her clipped tone is hot around the edges with need. I sit on the toilet when she leaves, laughing and making a note on my phone to send Lily and her husband a gift basket.

###


Yeah Write #219 entry- Waste Not

 

Waste Not

By

Shannon Barber

The scream cut off after too many seconds.

L stands naked in the middle of the tiled room, hands on her wide hips, her mouth pulled down at the corners.

“Shit, didn’t know he was gonna be a screamer.”

B the other naked woman is frowning too, her bloody arms crossed over her breasts.

“I swear to all our Gods you have got the worst taste in sacrifice. Did you even fuck him first?”

L’s shoulders hunch up around her ears and she prods the head of the sacrifice.

“Well, I sat on his face for an hour that counts right?”

B rolls her eyes mightily and goes to wash her hands and pick up her phone. She scrolls through documents until she finds the one she wants.

“Okay, all is not lost. How about we talk to  Nekhbet? She’s a vulture so carrion should be good. And it’s been a while since we raised an oracle to talk to. Start stacking the body parts and should we include some other meat in case she’s not in the mood for white dude?”

L smiles and starts to arrange the parts.

“Naw I think it’ll be good. You get the altar ready. Oh boo you got bloody parts in your butt crack.”

B shrugs.

“Eh, it could be worse.”

She pauses to admire the jiggling brown backside of her wife, unable to help herself, she stops what she’s doing and stares.

“Bae?”

L looks over her shoulder.

“Yeah?”

“We fuckin’ later or nah?”

L slowly wiggles her butt, letting the jiggle travel from butt cheeks down her thighs.

“You nasty and yeah. Now get to work so we can finish up and head out.”

B turns back to her work carefully writing the start of the incantation in the dead man’s blood.

Father of Fathers, Mother of Mothers, who hath existed from the Beginning, and is Creatrix of this World.

##

PS…

Meet Nekhbet here.


Words and things and whatnots.

Okay, I have some new stuff for y’all to read.

First this. I am over at the Yeah, Write Blog. Sweet!

Next up I busted out a wee essay about reaching racial pain threshold and used one of my infamous  metaphors. My Cardigan Has No Pockets.

Later this week new flash fiction by me too.

Wow.

So okay.

Someone asked me not long ago if I’m salty about the success of E.L James is it? That fifty shades chick.

Look, here’s the deal.

I’m pretty well aware of my audience and frankly her super fans prolly wouldn’t like my freaky ass. That’s fine.

Fuck yeah, she wrote some filthy shit and made more money than I can even imagine.

Whatever.

Honestly, I’m more upset that my financial plans were derailed by an unexpected 50$ expense for the month.

Frankly, she’s not paying me. She’s not fucking me. I don’t care for her books so I really don’t have the energy to give too much of a shit.

What else?

I’m having feels about formatting again. I think I’m just not going to submit to a lot of places that have to have that. I’ve noticed that due to the style I tend to write in, visually manuscript format just looks fucked up and like I got it wrong. I don’t know why I have such a thing about that. I really just hate to see an ugly story and I feel like on first look, it makes my submission just look sloppy.

What else?

I’m laboring on another urban fantasy story. This one was inspired by a post on Tumblr and is about a Black fairy who lives just outside Seattle, her cat shape shifter girlfriend, her Djinn heritage and a fucking dragon egg she and her girlfriend are now proud Mama’s of.

It started out just about the egg and the Djinn family heritage.

Now it’s about family dynamics, relationship changes, dragons and how does one exactly lug around a dragon egg in the modern world without breaking the rules or tricking people into thinking you’re pregnant.

Also work on SCLAB is going like hell. Come over here to check up on what we’re up to.

I’m writing a lot. Stress or no, I am feeling very good about what I’m putting down. I’m working on some other new nonfiction that is a bit of a departure for me. I’m still not super sure about it and some of it gives me the worst bubble guts but, we know that is my cue to go the fuck in.

Tomorrow I’ll post a tiny Yeah, Write story.

The rest of the week I’ll be absent because HOLY SHIT I GET TO SEE MY BEST FRIEND AND WIFEY.

Ahem.

I’m super stoked.

Okay, that’s all for now y’all. I got work to do.

 


Building a World Next to The World

I’m having a really awful day so I’m going to talk more about this project I’m doing.

I’ve embarked on a serious effort to write this Urban Fantasy novella (?) I’ve had on my mind since 2004.

Over on Patreon as I’ve mentioned, I was giving those folks first peeks and then I will be releasing things a month behind. So in July everyone gets a crack at the part I sent out to Patrons in June.

Yesterday I put up a free post, get it here where I wrote a letter about how this started, what I’m doing and how I’m doing it. Here’s a taste:

I debated about doing this and in the end, I want to stay true to my ideals about providing some transparency in my experiences. One of the things that is important to me in my work is that I can provide some bit of lasting information that a young or otherwise hesitant or shy writer might want to see.

So many authors talk about how ashamed, they are of previous works, first novels, the mythical terrible first draft. I have never felt that way. It is deeply meaningful to me to be able to show not only my long time readers but new readers how I have progressed. I am proud of how much I’ve changed and learned. I’m proud of finding my voice and looking back at things I wrote ten or fifteen years ago and saying, look where I was.

I believe there is deep value in not standing in the tradition of the uh, solitary writer who occasionally reveals that they hand wrote a shitty draft of their novel but won’t share what it was like in the trenches.

Naturally, there is the chance someone will steal it. I am willing to risk it.

Get your paws on the whole letter here.

This is not a thing I have seen other folks do so I am winging it.

Here I want to talk about something I just realized while I was talking to my bestie.

This character and story has been brewing for a decade.

First, I want to talk about my motivations for giving people access to what is basically the roughest of drafts of this thing that might or might not become a book.

When I was a kidlet writer, one of the things I could never wrap my head around was the real talk process of writing a novel or longer work. Yeah, there is ass in chair and take notes/outlines, write it long form etc type advice, but what my brain needs a lot of the time is a visual.

I need to see the thing so I can study it.

Another aspect to this is a vulnerability. It’s a very serious feeling of being naked and showing my soft little creator heart to people. More so because this is my first try at something like this and my little baby nerd heart is so all in.

Doing things this way is showing my tender underbelly, showing you (my voyeurs if you wanna be fancy) the magic behind the stories. I want to share how I arrived at decisions, what I am not doing. I want to take folks on the ride with me because riding roller coasters alone sucks.

Writing is such a solitary thing. And at the same time it is a team effort.

By team effort I mean I ask my friends questions. Sometimes not to get an answer, but just to say it out loud and answer it myself.

The other thing that guided me to this particular place is that I am terrified of this kind of vulnerability. It is really difficult for me to be completely open when something is so incredibly important to me. This story and the creation of it is my real, actual bleeding heart and I am not hiding it under a bell jar I’m showing it to people. I’m letting folks touch it and look at it and that scares the actual fuck out of me.

Things that make me feel like this, mean I am doing the right thing for me.

If it gives me bubble guts, I’m on to something.

One of the other parts of this is that I am learning to pull my world together.

This world is part of Seattle and part of many other worlds. I’m learning that I don’t have to put in ALL the shit I love. It’s not my one shot at doing something like this.

This feeling that when I write things that are so close to my heart is is my only chance to get them out has been something I’ve dealt with for years. A lot of that is poverty related. For so many years I was so busy just trying to survive, I had no time or safety to sit and write my heart out. I wrote what I thought would get published and sometimes it did.

That was gratifying. It kept me going for a long time.

Through working with MilcahMilcah, and Motherblazing Books, I’m getting there.

Through Patreon and finding that I do actually have an audience outside of my immediate loved ones and chosen family, I’m getting there.

Through reading other authors of color I love I’m getting there.

And I want to share it.

It might be a terrible idea.

This story might turn out to be trash.

I’m good.

So here is a chunk from one of the nanowrimo things that I’m using as source material. This is a whole other story from what I’m doing now and this bit will probably not be in my Daiyu thing.

I’m also considering doing a raffle to name it.

Read more under the cut.

Thanks for coming along for the ride.

###

Continue reading


Standing in my Own Way.

I finally got some sleep and am feeling a bit saner overall.

I was thinking yesterday while I was half asleep and feeling dreamy about the many ways I stand in my own way.

What I was thinking about most of the day was (of course) trying harder to keep my writing life sustainable and I started down the anxiety making path of trying to figure out a.) what the fuck I mean by that and b.) why the fuck am I torturing myself about it like some asshole boss?

Over the past few years I’ve done a lot of things that made me feel uncomfortable and scared. I wrote for pay and learned how to deal with being hate read and generally made fun of because of various reasons. That was the first time anyone asked me to write about something I’m pretty passionate about for money. It was fucking terrifying and I did it. I even will call it an overall success because I saw people do wonderful things, help each other and generally be awesome in what could have been a cesspool.

I’ve learned (sorta) how to pitch. I pitched this piece and well it wasn’t awful. I have had a few pitches rejected and some ignored. But I sorta figured it out.

I’ve been trying (completely unsuccessfully) to break into SF/F and I’ve sort of had enough of that. I’ll talk about that more next week.

I am putting out a book on indie press. A new and improved version of my Self Care Like a Boss book.

I’ve made difficult decisions.

The most difficult has been to not do more freelance. So I started the Patreon thing.

And okay real talk.

I still feel some type of way about doing Patreon.

I had some very specific goals in mind when I started doing Patreon and more actively looking for donations. I have to constantly remind myself that it’s okay to ask for support and to get paid for my work even if it means it’s not stuff getting published by mainstream lit.

I’ve written things that even maybe five years ago I wouldn’t have dared to for fear that I would indeed be ruining my little bit of a career. I wrote something that reached out to people and that felt pretty good.

I’ve been working on a piece about trying to get over Poverty Brain.

And here I am stuck in that place.

Rationally I realize that counting my commute, dayjob and any writing work I do on my phone at home I’m doing 14 hour days. I am dealing with my chronic insomnia as well as I can. I’m being the breadwinner at home and sort of doing okay at it.

But, I’m running around looking for some kind of freelance thing I can do, I’m doing my get paid to click shit, pushing some referral type things because I need some things and given how rocky finances have been this year, being shit scared to take that money out of my household budget because what if shit happens?

I know that I find it difficult to write when I am in this frame of mind. I’m trying to calm my shit down but it’s hard.

I caught myself on Friday looking for a part time job. I know damn well that I can’t do that. My health wouldn’t tolerate it. And frankly unless it was pretty high paying, it wouldn’t be financially worth the extra trouble. I was able to make myself stop and think about how terrible of an idea it was.

That’s progress for me.

I’m mostly saying this for myself. I keep falling down this I’m not doing enough to support my whole patreon/things problem and I want to not.

I have shit to write.

I should get out of my own way.

Next week I’m doing another big ole nerdy book review. I’ll talk about some plans I have and stuff.

Okay that’s all back to that grind.


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