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

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.

 

 

On Lovecraft, horror, holy shit racism and writin thangs.

I first read a Lovecraft story more than twenty years ago as a young teenager. I cut my reading novels teeth on horror and discovering Lovecraft was like finding a new home.

Except, I couldn’t really be home because Lovecraft was racist as fuck.

Like holy fuckballs even when I was a “colorblind” young teen in a  super white environment and friends told me it was racist, holy fuck he was SO FUCKING RACIST…ahem.

At that age I was way better at compartmentalizing the racism and just kind of hunching my shoulders and getting through it because I fell in pure love with the mythos Lovecraft created. Elder Gods? Squiddy nightmares? All those words he used to denote the madnesses and things?

Fuck to the yeah.

So fast foward a bit.

In my 20s I wrote some Lovecraft influenced fiction with some friends. We used Lovecraft’s mythos as a bit of a blueprint and went wild. We created new races of monster, we played with noir and vampire horror and things.

Move ahead to the last couple of years. I have had this deep desire to write Lovecraftian type fiction with my own flavor. So that means a lot of POC, a lot of genderbending, the gay, lots of things.

My problem has been as it has been with returning to writing horror at all was how to get my shit in there, without feeling gross.

If you’ve been here for a while you already know I am a horror fanatic. I am a horror nerd of epic proportions. From basic fan squee to gettin real nerdy about the psychology of horror and shit once I get going it’s hard to get me to stop.

Horror from the industry side, so much racism, sexism and grossness when I dipped my toes in and lurked a lot of the industry side message boards and things I just got sickened and gave it all up.

Evidence of this can be found in my bucketload of novella drafts, notes and ideas.

Part of how I function as a writer means that I can’t always write through everything. And for years I could not write things that were horror or related because all I could think of was all the bullshit.

Also, at that time I was still really into the idea that mainstream publication was the way to legitimacy as a creator.

Fuck that.

Now that my position on legitimacy and industry bullshit has changed I am walking back into writing horror.

Going back to my Lovecraft story I have been nursing this idea of the Nyarlathotep.

Uh, it’s gonna get real nerdy from here on out. Fair warning.

So Nyarlathotep is canonically a “dark” Egyptian man, a salesman type. Showboaty.  This bit from Wikipedia is pretty relevant to the vision I am playing with:

Nyarlathotep, however, is active and frequently walks the Earth in the guise of a human being, usually a tall, slim, joyous man. He has “a thousand” other forms, most of these reputed to be maddeningly horrific. Most of the Outer Gods have their own cults serving them; Nyarlathotep seems to serve these cults and take care of the deities’ affairs in their absence. Most of the gods use strange alien languages, but Nyarlathotep uses human languages and can be mistaken for a human being.

Okay so in my vision Nyarlathotep is reborn into the modern world and has come to fuck shit up. She in my head looks something like this man but a woman:

egyptian

So you know not Hollywood’s EVERYONE EVER WAS WHITE version.

Incidentally, I frequently use google image search so I can have a picture in my head for a character or setting etc. We’ll discuss it another time.

There is my Nyarlathotep.

Being that she’s Egyptian dealing with (in that story) an American, I mention she speaks slowly. I use that not only to give the reader a downlow clue to slow down but because every Egyptian I’ve ever known speaks very quickly.

When I got the idea my Nyarlathotep was more fast talking greasy type but the slowed down type I find scarier.

Now the language. Lovecraft was very wordy. Not that I can’t be a windbag on occasion but, I wanted to cut it down.  Chill it out a little and modernize it without losing some of the great language he used.

A fine line to walk.

Lovecraft has a very particular vocabulary. See this list for reference.

I worked really hard to put in some of that Lovecraft vocabulary so that my fellow lovers of the Elder Gods would be like, oh I see what you did there. And other folks would just get the creeps. See here from the above link:

The best-known R’lyehian fragment comes from HPL’s story, “The Call of Cthulhu:”

ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn

HPL translates this as, “In his house at R’lyeh dead Cthulhu lies dreaming.” Using this dictionary, however, a more literal translation is, “Dead, yet dreaming, Cthulhu waits in his palace in R’lyeh.”

My goal with this piece was to take a very small box *parameters of Yeah, Write*, a concept *Nyarlathotep*, remove the racism, add in my flavor and see if I could keep it sexy and creepy. Mainly because I like sexy and creepy.

I feel like I succeeded in my goals.

This is also why Clive Barker is such a huge influence on me. I really love when there is the sensual terror and erotic body horror in scary stories.

Now my Nylarthotep is not scary but I got some creep in there.

I realized I need to gently get back into the scary.

Next time I do a Lovecraft thing, I might take a new direction. Maybe some straight up erotica that isn’t necessarily tentacle porn.

SO yeah.

See I told y’all I nerd real hard. This is not even the tip of the iceberg with my nerding.

But I’ll stop now.

 

Dear Former Fan.

I’ve mentioned before that I occasionally get long missives about my work and awfulness.

Over the weekend I got one that is very long and from a lot of the “critique” this person is at least superficially aware of my work and they are now as they put it, a former fan.

Put your goggles on I’m going in. I’m not quoting the whole thing because it was hurtful and I rage deleted it but some key phrases have stuck with me.

Consider this an open letter to Former Fan and anyone else who believes that if I’d just be a good Negress I’d succeed.

Dear Former Fan,

First of all, I appreciate you having some knowledge of the body of my work. If as you said you’ve been a supporter since my first ventures in getting published online, most of those being erotica thanks. I do appreciate the ride or die type.

However.

Your objection to the changing of my voice and the tone of my work is fucking bullshit.

Given that you went to some lengths to conceal your identity and used a fake no longer functional email address. I’m going to assume you are sitting back reading my blogs through an anonymizer and that’s fine. So listen because I’m talking to you.

How dare you put your racist feelings on me. How. Dare. You.

You took the time to quote me some passages of my own work as examples of how “brain washed, ” I’ve become in terms of how I talk about race, racism etc. You quoted this piece as the penultimate example of just how far I’ve fallen into what I can only assume is a type of Blackness and Black expression that makes you uncomfortable.

One of the things that I have learned about the nonfiction I write is that when people are the most uncomfortable or buck the hardest are probably the people I’m talking about. You are the people I am talking about.

If the only way you can find value in my work is if I am expressing a type of racialized pain, or erotica that is just queer or non white related enough to seem exotic to you-you are a fucking racist.

Let me explain you a thing.

As I have mentioned in this very blog previously if you cannot look beyond your own Whiteness (and don’t front like you didn’t lead with “I”m White and I think”) to understand that Whiteness is just not ever going to fit me or my expression and that is okay it is natural and real; I am not for you.

If you “agree with other commenters on XOJane” that my writing is terrible and harmful, it is not for you.

If I am not the kind of fat bitch you fucks with, don’t fuck with me.

Don’t contact me again.

If you are really serious about making sure that folks know that my work is “against White People” as you put it, go ahead and leave me the fuck out of it.

If your goal is to somehow shame or hurt me into silence. Nice try. You tried but that is just not going to work.

Let me confess something here. I have a terrible need to accept people at face value for what they have said. Including when people don’t like my writing. In the case of some of the commentary on my XOJane series I have taken the time to talk out some of the points that folks have had because I couldn’t see it and find a lot of the constant cherry picking and nit picking disheartening and hurtful.

I had a few very important realizations after talking to others about it. In spite of how invested in being of service especially in terms of that particular subject matter, I can feel about the useless commentary the way I feel about it in my real life.

I don’t have to explain things that are pretty clear to a lot of other people.

I don’t have to sit and be hurt because I feel like regardless of what I do or don’t say, the same three points are going to be made over and over again.

Also as this article says about trolling:

“Both trolls and sadists feel sadistic glee at the distress of others. Sadists just want to have fun and the Internet is their playground!”

This applies to you Former Fan.

You seem to be deeply concerned for my well being but only if I behave and write in ways that make you feel good about how racist and shitty your behavior is.

Wrong. Negro.

As I have gotten older, I am exploring being more vulnerable in my writing. It’s fucking hard. It hurts. And knowing that there are “fans” who wait for me to be vulnerable and then use that vulnerability to attack is fucking awful.

You are fucking awful.

So 800 some odd words later it boils down to this.

I will say again.

Don’t buy my shit.

Don’t read my shit.

Don’t fucking contact me again.

Don’t contact my friends/peers.

Don’t come here proffering your hurt fucking feelings couched in, I was just trying to help.

Understand that I do not ever want to be in a position where my “success” is defined by my proximity to and acceptance of Whiteness as rightness.

Not. Fucking. Ever.

If you want to hold that against me, tell potential publishers on me or follow me around so you can have proof of my malfeasance come the fuck on.

I’m fucking tired of you and your ilk.

Find a new hobby or just don’t talk to me about your shit cause ain’t nobody got time for that.

And no, lastly I will not cease code switching in both my speech and writing.

You have fucking google.

Okay that’s all.

There is your response Former Fan. I hope it hurt your fucking feelings.