Puppies, Hugos and Good Lordt.

If you’re not familiar with what I’m referencing here have a look.

Looking at a lot of conversations in blogs etc about this whole shitshow y’all, if I’m going to be honest, it really makes me even more hesitant to enter the arena.

A lot of what I’ve seen said by whatever flavor of puppies is automatically booting work that I do out of hand because “message’ which I generally read to mean about anything but White straight men.

For me a lot of my fiction is escape. My non-fiction tends to draw the uh, day to day version of pupppies of one sort or another. The White men who email me to tell me how “loud” and “terrible SJW” I am because I write about my life and that often includes my Blackness. The same type who, when I was just a little online journal writing type, would first ask to see my tits or to meet up and when I said no would call me a nigger bitch.

These are the same type of dudes who will correct me about any number of dumb things usually ending with, well YOU’RE THE RACIST.

And I’ve been following this since it started.

Thing is, the fact that this is still a fucking problem that I watch a lot of authors I respect both personally and professionally either be very stressed out about this or show their racist ass.

I watch and read all the commentary and links. I read a lot of the books in question.

At this point, all this whole situation does is show me more reasons I don’t even want to fuck with the industry.

It’s not that I wouldn’t love getting paid for my genre work, reaching a wider audience and all that shit. I just don’t want it ruined. I don’t want yet another part of my literary life to be speckled with this flavor of bullshit.

Not too long ago I had a pretty good sized list of mags and whatnot that would help me in getting SFWA membership. I had stories ready to shiny up and fling out into the nerdverse. Now, nah.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve got the same amount of side eye for the horror areas as well. Especially given some professional organization fuckery that occurred right after getting a pretty warm sell on joining up and getting back into the horror genre in a larger fashion.

I keep telling myself things like the following:

Posi Brain: No, it’ll totally be fine. You’re being paranoid not everything is awful.

Non Posi Brain: Bitch whet? You saw that last note, we got right? You’re being a dipshit. Nothing is fine. Everything is awful.

Remix- repeat.

All this said, I don’t think I’m gonna be fuckin with it. I am stressed out enough. I hear enough about ALL the reasons why anything I say ever whether fictional or not are, somehow the end of White men everywhere.

My audience isn’t huge nor are they throwing big dollars but, I feel like we get each other and that feels good.

That’s how I feel about it for the couple of people who’ve asked me. Basically, I see it and I don’t like it so I ain’t fuckin with it.

Now, speaking to my audience, oh hey you.

Rewrites on The Daiyu Saga have begun and if you want to see the second draft of my first urban fantasy novel as it goes along, all it takes is like 2$ a month and BOOM access to every chapter and love letter that goes along with it. Head over here to check it out.

In other news, I will have some new lit in the etsy shop soon and you can still get this bad bitch right here, for a few dollars. Come get all your life.

 

mfcover

Stop Picking on White Dudes.

I have been staring at a message that came via the facebooks and it just says:

Stop bullying White men and trying to ruin their careers.

After that scintillating message there were links to some stuff I wrote in 2015 as evidence of my bullying.

Then another account with strangely the same profile photo sent me a message to let me know that not only do people know about my racist misandry, but it is what is keeping me from being a successful author.

They also were kind enough to let me know that my racist misandrist behavior has been noted, NOTED by someone who spent a lot of time googling me and reading stuff I wrote.

Shortly after I read the messages both accounts have been deleted.

While I am terribly flattered. I mean we all know that I have zero desire to write what I’m passionate about, help people, write some beautiful poems what I really want to do is to become the Overlord High Empress of ALL Literature and in my capacity as High Empress,swoop into EVERY home to remove EVERY single piece of literature ever written by a white man from every home.

It is my intention to become all powerful and let the power do what power does.

Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Lord Acton

 

I have to confess. They caught me. It has never been my intention to bring to light the experiences of one Black Woman author to light. Never have I really wanted to talk about and thus be part of banishing the upholding of White supremacy in literary circles, I don’t want to work in an industry that has some awareness of itself, I don’t want to question the gatekeeping-
No, I just want to ruin White men.

I don’t want to educate White Feminists when I talk about racism as it happens in feminism. Nope. I want to use them as part of my nefarious plan to destroy White men.

Rather than expressing my pain and frustration with how the White Broets of the world (and by extension their Nice White Lady counterpart Poets) fuck up my ability to navigate in the world of poetry with their Conceptual Racism.

Y’all caught me.

I confess.

I’ve spent the last 30 years of my life writing, reading, working, sweating, bleeding and driving myself while not making very much money not because I have a passion for the craft.

Nope.

I want to take your White male writers right out of your hand.

Now I know I’ve talked about being a marginalized person, but I have to tell y’all it was an elaborate ruse.

There is no such thing as privilege and thus I can’t exist as a marginalized person. Feminism is just a cover up for all of us wimmin who can’t attract every Straight White Cis Man we see.

Racism? White men, I apologize.

All this time I’ve been lying.

Racism has absolutely no impact on anyone ever.

It has all just been a part of my plan.

Yes, it has been my sole goal for all these years to ensure that no White Male Writer ever gets anything ever again.

I am so amazed by your insight and bravery in coming forward. I mean, after everything I’ve said about Kenny G. and his ilk, I’m SURE they are ALL in the poorhouse now.

I have so much power in the literary world, I’ve burrowed underground and been hoarding it like some evil Black Lady Dragon.

You got me.

It is because of me that you will not find a single White Cis Dude author on the shelves right now. Why, suddenly the Western Literary Canon is full of brown people, homos and women.

It is why No Man will EVER produce another bestseller, “classic” or anything else.

FINALLY ALL MY PLANS AND ALL MY NEFARIOUS SOCIAL JUSTICE WARRIOR WORK HAS COME TO FRUITION!!

In my new capacity as Overlord High Empress of ALL Literature, everyone who can read will be forced to burn their books by White Men and read only books by people who are not them.

Forget Fahrenheit 451. This is the mother fucking Literary Apocayplse. This is an extinction event. This is the end of the movie. Game over man Game over.

Face it, my wild social justice warrior agenda has prevailed and now I shall sit back and reap the benefits of what I have sown.

Yours,
Overlord High Empress of ALL Literature and generally evil indie Black Woman Writer-
Shannon.

3998596-dr-evil

On Pandering and a few Other thoughts.

I don’t feel like linking but there’s an essay going around about the lit world and I’ve seen a lot of fist pumping excitement about it.

My initial response was tepid.

Mainly because these are issues I know I’ve written and talked about and as usual, it’s another topic where I see a lot of folks get excited when a nice White lady says it, when I said it for years I got a lot of very shitty responses.

Part of that is because I don’t say it like this:

Let us not make people at the margins into scouts or spies for the mainstream. Let us stop asking people to speak for the entire cacophonic segment of humanity that shares their pigmentation, genitalia, or turn-ons.

Let us spend more time in those uncomfortable moments when our privilege is showing. Let us reflect there, let us linger, rather than recoil into the status quo.

I say things like yo this is racist.

I say, this is sexist.

I am not a nice White lady so when I buck up against the status quo I become a threat and a bully. White writers presume I don’t understand the differences between aesthetics, technically “good” writing, that I am a fascist and pro censorship, that my knee jerk reactions are bad, that my writing sucks, blablabla. All things that have been said to me personally in the comments, via messages on social media etc. A personal favorite from some dude I’ve never heard of via email, “You’re no Roxane Gay.”

No sir, I am not.

I understand why it is that my own work in regard to certain topics in publishing aren’t met with the same AWWW YEAH response that On Pandering was. I get it.

When Marlon James said that authors of color pander to White women I fist pumped.

My reasons for agreeing with that statement by itself, aren’t the same reasons he gave so let’s talk about that shall we?

Being a Black woman author, I’ve spent a lot of my time yes pandering to White women in lit.

In super seekrit supposedly feminist writer spaces where, I experienced some of the worst abuse, gaslighting and racism of my entire fucking life. Pure disrespect and a boot in the neck wearing White Privilege Nikes that I still feel the bruises from. I discovered yet another literary space where, solidarity and support and professional connections were promised so long as I maintained my Nice Negress face. It got to be straight up abuse and I flounced like a mother fucker to the point where I removed ALL links to my work at my own peril because fuck those people.

This was not one group it was most of them.

I spent months biting my tongue, politely educating, sharing my work on how not to be a fucking racist, and got a lot of bullshit in return.

I remember very clearly just prior to me rage quitting the big super seekrit lady group, a White woman writer/publisher/mover shaker sent me a very long private message on facebook detailing ALL the ways she had decided that because of my aggression (I said no to White women), my “unsisterly attitude” (I said no to White women who were demanding my emotional labor for free and with a smile) and the one that hurt me the most “if you weren’t so aggressive I would have read your piece” (after I linked this piece in a long and awful “discussion” about White women and racism) she went on to explain that she has connections in the industry and if my name came up in her circles she’d be sure to caution people about working with me because I did not lay down and get fucked by her and other White women writers Whiteness hard ons.

Since I removed myself from that group and most of the others associated with it, I’ve watched other WOC try so hard to not do what I did.

I watch them and we talk, and they cry and we all burn because unlike me a lot of the WOC writers I am connected have oceans more patience than I do.

The fact is, many White women are in fact gatekeepers. They might not be the gatekeepers of big house publishing, but as publishing in the trenches goes, they are. They are editors and in other positions where many WOC have to choose between pandering, indulging, pleasing those White women or staying true to their vision.

I’ve seen it happen time and again. WOC writers having to fight against “aesthetics” that prevent them from capitalizing or specifying Black, having editors change their work to the degree that it strips racial identity from it, being in a position where they don’t have enough power to really be demanding because let’s face it, if you are not a name authors it is an extra hill to climb to be able to get your work out AND be defiant.

I’ve watched WOC be pushed out of groups intended to be resources and sources of support and opportunity because they got too uppity and refused to be silent when bullshit was bullshit.

It’s happened to me.

I’m sure it’s happened to a lot of us.

So yes, YES many of us have to pander.

We have to learn how to navigate places where Whiteness is wielded like a weapon and it is our opportunities to be published being held hostage. It is fucking up our livelihoods.

So, while we’re all fist pumping about “pigmentation differences” remember that a lot of us who are not name authors, we’re not midlist, you’ve probably never heard of us are already in the trenches. Maybe start with paying attention to what the fuck we’ve been saying for years.

Then fist pump.

Or you know, do something.

Against Diversity.

Given the further ramping up of racism in the lit world, I have to confess something.

In recent weeks I’ve watched digital yellowface, more White lady authors defending each other from us savage Brown, Black, Queer, Disabled and countless others, I have seen White people do intellectual 10.0 tumbling routines in order to make sure everyone knows that it’s never their fault, they aren’t racists, they are just trying to get what we others have.

I have witnessed male poets sexually harass, objectify and gaslight women.

I haven’t commented on every single thing because I was busy putting out a book.

Here is something I’ve come to understand.

When they say they aren’t against, diversity they just are against censorship and racial nepotism they want us others around but quiet.

Yes, it’s reassuring to know that we Wise Old Negresses exists, but naturally only a precious few of us should be visible or audible at any one time.

If more than one of us speaks at one time, it’s just PCness taking over and tantamount to murderous terrorism and censorship on the level of book burnings and religious extremism.

Right.

I see exactly what’s happening.

Solidarity amongst us others is threatening to Whiteness because we have our own voices, and will not only have our own spaces but will be heard in those spaces as well.

I see the patterns in this behavior.

The fear based posturing. The apparently righteous cause of freedom of speech. The White Flight. The victim pose, oh poor picked on White people being held accountable for their words and actions. All of it.

And it is exhausting.

I endure the micro aggressions. I quietly unfollow, unfriend, put literary magazines on my verboten list. I note who I will and won’t EVER work with at my own peril.

And yet, YET I am still right here.

I wrote an amazing book that is vital and important and yes, it is fucking expensive. 

I’ve stood up for my work because god damn it, this is years of my life, deep life changing work for both my publisher and I. And yes, it is that valuable.

I do this work in the face of the wall of White tears, White outrage, Silencing, Othering, and cowpie dodging that is the publishing industry.

I do this work because it is what I am meant to do.

I don’t do it in order to lead White folks and publishers by the hand into the land of milk, honey & diversity.

I do it because I have things to say. Because my voice, the voice that I have struggled to find and learn how to wield like a machete and like a lover’s hand is important.

So yes, YES, by all means keep tumbling and cartwheeling to justify why I should remain silent.

I will not name you all.

But I see you.

I see you.

 

 

Trouble Mind, Aching heart.

Amid the excitement of me getting a new computer, (I DID IT. I almost cried because I was afraid some financial catastrophe would happen, but I did it), releasing Self Care Like a Boss with Milcah, doing two amazing readings with other QTPOC (Queer Trans People of Color), getting PAID for one reading. Meeting and connecting with some WOC locally, having people walk up to me after my reading to tell me thank you for doing what I do and using my big fat mouth, life has been pretty overwhelming and beautiful.

I’ve been sharing inspiration and solidarity with other writers. Tears and angst and nerves.

It has been everything and draining and dreamy.

The dark side of this rainbow is having to come back to the reality of the literary world I live in.

An organization I pay money to belong to continually show it’s ass. From relegating the very real concerns of people of color to “controversy” and rather than engaging us nasty ole brown folks who pay to be a member of that community, we were brushed aside and at least I personally was called a bully, a racist, among other things. That led me to write this piece at Medium about the new coded language of racism in the lit world. That was in May. Just recently a woman decided to satirize the idea of someone in a position of power hunting indigenous people (because genocide IS SO FUCKING FUNNY) in order to “stand up” for AWP against all us bullies. This was in response to calls for AWP to be more transparent and have better disability/access policies.

Because obviously, if people who aren’t White Cis Able bodied people with money, they are just pushing around a huge organization that they pay to be members of.

Asking for transparency and to be listened to and treated like human beings is bullying now.

I come back from the daylight into the darkness of well intentioned White magazine editors publishing blatantly joyously Islamaphobic rants disguised as poetry, and their response is we didn’t mean it that way.

I come back to said same poet, traumatizing a friend with his hateful poetry. White men coming out of the woodwork to cry about censorship and how mean and evil every woman or other person is for objecting to their shitty pants art.

I come back to having to add yet more publishers and magazines to my growing list of places I will never submit to because when they fuck up, the answer is always I didn’t mean it that way, I am committed to diversity, our intentions were good.

I come back to online literary communities where, you can be that guy who is colorblind and it’s fine.

I have so many questions that I know will go unanswered.

I come back to the certain knowledge that the honest, I really need to know the questions I have, don’t get answered because I have the audacity to ask them and thus I become the aggressive enemy and the artists, editors and organizations must be shielded from my prying eyes.

It doesn’t matter how I ask. If I say please, if I say fuck you. They never take full honest responsibility.

Here are some of my questions.

Why exactly is it satirical to imagine someone in a position of power hunting human beings?

What exactly was the line that said, hey, this poem is going to be our statement on ISIS?

At what point, if any, does someone- fuck ANYONE an editor someone say, hey, maybe this subject doesn’t need another White man to be the face and voice of it?

Why don’t people of color submit to us?

I sit with these questions constantly. Sometimes I ask them of the appropriate people and have yet to get an honest thoughtful reply.

The thing I’ve said over and over again is this. You have to be honest. You have to sit in your discomfort and understand that you can shout out of one side of your mouth about how much you love diversity and representation and how welcome all of us others are welcome at your magazine or press, but understand that when the people in positions of power demonstrate both by word and deed how few fucks they give about all us others, we see it.

If you want to be an ally, you can’t just say oops, my bad a la Clueless and think it’s all okay. You have to be uncomfortable and be honest and be responsible for what you’ve done or said.

Contrary to the cries of shitmouth artists everywhere, when we say this is a racist thing that you printed, wrote or otherwise supported it is not the knee jerk reactions of silly brown people who can’t think critically. It is not the cry of unpublishable others, it is not a cry for censorship.

It is a demand for accountability.

It is not that it’s popular for POC or the countless others to stick our necks out and risk our careers just to “accuse” someone of bias or racism.

The situation is that many of us are tired of this shit.

We are tired of being colonized.

We are tired of our stories, our lives, our histories and current struggles being relegated to “controversy”.

We are tired of being silenced unless we are nice.

We are tired of this shit.

I am tired of this shit.

I don’t want to vet my submissions because I don’t want to be associated with publishers or magazines that are actively participating in my oppression.

I don’t want to come down from my literary dream dates and land face first in racism and shit fuckery.

There’s an extra layer to this involving publishing my book, but we’ll get to that another day.

That’s all for right now I have art to make.

Another day, more racism.

Earlier this morning I read yet another spectacularly racist piece of literature. Published by a magazine I’ve read on occasion. I have read how the editors responded and frankly, maybe I’m just too jaded, but I have so many questions.

The editors have said on tweeter that they had no intention of causing harm.

However.

I have questions.

At some point, there was editorial discretion. There was intent. This is not magical. I want to know what part of the editorial process made it so that this could happen yet again?

Why is it gringpo constantly thinks that the White voice is always the right voice? Want to show the horrors of racism or extremism? Ask White people.

If the intent is to in this instance put a spotlight on the horrors of ISIS, why use what boils down to an Islamaphobic rant? Why not ask you know an actual Muslim person?

Don’t answer, I know why.

The White Voice is the Right Voice.

Is this magic? Where does editorial discretion come in? At what point can some editor, any editor rather than apologize and state their intent, say, well I read this line and thought hot damn this is exactly what we want to say. And take responsibility beyond trying to mop up afterward?

I ask these questions knowing the answers already.

Whiteness is always given the benefit of the doubt.

We meant no harm…

We’re trying…

I’m not racist…

Always.

Regardless of how deep the fuck up or offense, those of us outside of Whiteness who are harmed by it at most and at the least benefit from it, we know.

I know.

And y’all, right now I’m just so tired. I’m tired of feeling the need to investigate beyond aesthetics anywhere I submit. I’m tired of watching editors say really racist shit under their own names then “openly” call for minority submissions.

I’m tired of saying, not yelling or begging, of just saying, hey, this is pretty fucked up and watching people just like me get called names and attacked on the basis of our bodies, of work (well you’re not getting published because maybe you aren’t good enough) to how we choose to speak (maybe if you were nice about it..) and then FINALLY someone White says, hey them mean ass Brown folks really mean “can you pretty please listen to use Mista, we just wants a chance to shine” and suddenly, everything makes sense.

I’m tired.

I’m tired of professional organizations showing their Anti Blackness.

I’m tired of literary magazines that are full of The Right Voice.

Gringpo, I’m tired of you.

I don’t even literally talk to these publications or these editors. I’m too tired. I’m exhausted.

I just want…shit I don’t even know at this point.

The only thing I can say for sure is I don’t want to keep up my guard against this sort of thing. I don’t want to keep adding publications to my do not submit list because I don’t want to deal with their anti Blackness, their Whiteness etc.

I don’t want to see more writers I’ve liked and supported suddenly lose respect because POC spoke up.

This is not the literary world, I want to live in.

But it is the one I live in and I have to deal with that.

So I’ll be tired. I’ll write more. I’ll watch. I’ll add to my verboten list.

And I guess that’s really all I can do.

 

 

Dragons, Wights, Giants, White Walkers yes! Brown people Not so Much.

First read this where George R.R Martin sort of addresses his franchises race problem.

This jumped out at me:

In June, a fan asked Martin: “There are a white race, a black race in the world of A Song of Ice and Fire, and many other races. Why there is no Asian race (Chinese-like, Japanese-like) in the Game of Thrones show and ASOIAF books?”

Martin replied:

Well, Westeros is the fantasy analogue of the British Isles in its world, so it is a long long way from the Asia analogue. There weren’t a lot of Asians in Yorkish England either.

That is not to suggest that such places don’t exist, however. You will want to get THE WORLD OF ICE AND FIRE when it comes out in October. In the “Other Places” section you will find a lot of material about Yi Ti, the island of Leng, and the plains of the Jogos Nhai, which you may find of interest,

Wait..hold up.

So in a fantasy realm that is an analogue of the British Isles…that if you do non racist research you’ll learn is not the fantasy bastion of pure whiteness. We have:

  • Dragons
  • White Walkers
  • Giants
  • Gigantic Wolves
  • Children of the Forest
  • Krakens

ETC

That totally works because well, what is fantasy without fantastical creatures.

But it is so hard to not erase the POC or to use them in deeply racist and problematic ways in the books?

Thinly veiled Latina (hot spicy slutty) stereotypes, people coded as Black referred to as “mongrels” by one of the Whitest White Savioring (Mother) slave lover/dehumanizer, rape rapity rape rape RAPE…all that is completely perfect for an Analogue of some time period in the British Isles that doesn’t fucking exist and that’s all okay BUT it is not okay to put Asian or Black folks in the story?

…………really?

Yes really. It is something I have heard from White fantasy readers since I first wanted to talk about fantasy with other fans when I was a kid.

POC make the story unbelievable.

Even if the people (problematic or not) in the story are described as Black or Asian or Latina they are read as White or if the thing is moved to a visual medium they are magically white or as we found out when the Hunger Games came out, people are disappointed that a character is of color.

Look White authors, white readers this is why POC fans can’t trust you and why we are pissed off.

Look.

If you are going to rely on stereotypes that are harmful to actual readers because you can’t look at POC as full humans or you just won’t, don’t bother.

Stop.

A lot of White authors wring their hands about how “hard” it is to write POC. Look it’s not really that fucking hard if you look at people of color as fully functional human beings. If you don’t actually do that and seriously honest with yourself, I question your motives and everything else.

One of the fundamental ideas about character is that they are in essence fully made beings and if you are a pretty good author you write them with depth.

If you write every other character (even to the non human) with depth and feeling and reduce your token POC to bed warmers, tongueless slaves, slaves or other two dimensional characters I don’t trust you.

As readers if you can legit believe in the perils of White Walkers and that winter is fucking coming and having non white fully formed characters in a story ruins it, well as they say you might be a racist.

Being both a fan and a creator let me show you how I feel about this in a nutshell:

OFFTOFUCK

God damn it.

We live in the fucking future.

It is 20 mother fucking 14 and White people still often act like POC are aliens and there’s no way to actually hear us speak or learn about us without colonizing or assimilating.

Come on now.

Try the fuck harder.

That’s all.