Tag Archives: writing

I Wouldn’t Do This if I didn’t Have to.

I’m settling into a routine and at least three days a week I’m working 15 hour days.

Noon leave for the day job, walk back in the door about midnight give or take.

Get home, go pee, put jammies on and fire up the laptop and get to work.

I try to limit myself to working only until 2 AM so I can bathe and eat my dinner.

Last night I worked til 3. My neck hurts, I’m so tired. I had a difficult time getting out of bed because I haven’t bought a laptop desk yet.

But I got shit done.

Today I have been working on the Writer Finances.

My budget (here I’m talking money from writing related stuff not my household budget) is pretty much on lock. I’ve pared things down and currently my monthly expenses are:
Ginger- $6.40
Spotify- $11.00
Smarty Pig- $15
Flex spending- $20

That is most of my Patreon money as it sits right now and anything else I tuck away into savings.

The big problem I’m having right now is that I need to save up for AWP. I doubt I will go to DC or Florida for the next two.

So my decision is mostly made but the cost. Flying, accommodations for my partner and I, food, money for books and swag, money to do a couple of entertaining things. Between now and then we’re (partner and I) are facing:

  • Rent increase
  • His medication costs increasing
  • Electricity bill increase
  • We both need some new winter clothes
  • I need new glasses

Things are dire, but it’s going to be tight. More so if I am in fact gonna go to AWP.

My choices feel a bit limited. I could not write during the week and try to get a part time job. I don’t think my health would permit it for long.

And the other option is some more crowd funding.

I do have book sales trickling in, and the occasional etsy sale. I’ll be adding some more stuff back into the Etsy shop soon keep your eye out. But youknow, that stuff isn’t the fastest thing.

Now the crowd funding I would want to:

  • Defray the costs out of my household budget.
  • Print some promotional materials for my work.
  • Print some limited edition zines/individual things to sell. I’m 99% sure I can find someone who’d give me space at a table.

I’m looking at about 2K all in.

Two thousand dollars.

I just pooped a little. That would cover pretty much everything along without causing a whole lot of hardship on the household budget.

The things that bother me are:

  • Internalized class shame that I have to ask for that level of help from people who don’t know me.
  • Doing enough promotion so that reaching my goal is possible.
  • Not falling into a further shame hole because am I really that important to be going to this event?

So yeah.

I’m trying to work it out. I will likely do a fundraiser because if I don’t going will fuck up my family life and I can’t have that.

Now coming up, I have a beta test of a thing that I hope y’all will love. I’ll be putting the second part of the Daiyu saga on etsy.

If you’re a patron tonight you’ll get new Daiyu.

Tomorrow, Yeah, Write.

I might talk about what I’m doing with Yeah, Write this time around.

So yeah, lots o exciting stuff y’all.

Stay tuned.

OH how the writer worries.

First Patreon folks.

I’ve done research and long as you change your passwords and whatnots your info should be safe. That said, as I said over there if anybody doesn’t feel safe and needs to bounce I am totally okay with that.

What else?

I did an amazing reading last night. I read from the Self Care Like A Boss blog and a new piece about how the current lit world makes me feel.

I posted a little clip my partner took from the part where I was reading from SCLAB. The volume is a bit low because my phone is not super fancy but you get the gist. I’ll post more tidbits and soon, SO SOON I’m going to do some readings and post them on my Youtube channel as a bit of a warm up to me doing regular videos over there.

What else?

So post Patreon problem I’m having thoughts.

Mainly that come December my finances are going to take a turn for the worse because of a rent increase. My partner and I will make it, but things will be pretty tight.

This brings me to the expensive ass thing. AWP.

We were talking about it and he really -really- wants me to get to go. Especially since I’ll have more books to hawk and have SO many writers there who are going and who just live in the area that I’ve been friends with and need to meet.

I know AWP doesn’t give a shit about me as a paying member. That notwithstanding, I feel in my gut that it’s important to show up. Because I ain’t skurred and fuck some of those people.

BUT y’all. This is giving me real serious Poor Kid Anxiety. I had nightmares about going and coming home to find out we got evicted last night.

I am budgeting it up, but the idea of spending that much to go to an event that I don’t really specifically need to freaks my shit right out.

The other day I read something my homie Daniel Jose Older wrote and this has been stuck with me for days:

For me, writing always begins with self-forgiveness.

Shit yo. Right in the fucking feelings.

I am not good at forgiving myself anything. Not my natural assholeness, not my tenderness of heart, not my sensitivity, not that sometimes things like trees or whales make me want to cry, not that I can’t produce REAMS of things that I get paid for, not that I find freelancing so fucking hard and limiting-nothing. I have the hardest time forgiving myself for being human and having desires that cost money.

I’ve literally been staring at that paragraph for two minutes because being vulnerable this way still rubs my fur the wrong way. I am not an android and I hate that.

Okay, yeah. So I’ve got some extra income hustles planned out, but they aren’t fast money and might not turn out to be a lot of money.

I’ve got my budget pretty well pared down to writing business essentials (software, computer upkeep, etc.) and a few pleasure things, but I’m terrified it won’t turn out to be enough and the trip could fuck up my family finances for a long time.

I’m worried about it. I don’t foresee being able to take a part time job because I already have 12 hour dayjob days and then at least two or three days a week work on writing for another 2-3 at home.

So I might do a fundraiser. A kickstater or whatever so I can keep my Patreon money for writing related expenses. I’ve decided to work it out.

First thing is I’m going to budget out my writing related expenses from now through March.

Second thing budget up tickets, a spot to sleep and whatnot.

Third calmly work out a savings plan and whether or not to do a fundraiser.

Number three will be a mother fucker but I think I can do it.

That’s about it for now. Time to grind.

Later taters.

Stuff I like

So hey my homies.

I’m coming down from an epic migraine and I wanna show y’all some stuff I like. Tomorrow I’ll post some craft nerd stuff about my Billy Remixes and ways to use a small prompt to explore some things.

The first thing I’m super into. The Mongrel Coalition Against Gringpo. They are just..fuck they are everything I love about solidarity and some bad assness. Check out their website, follow them on tweeter and decolonize your mind.

Next up, my friend Anna March is doing some awesome mixtape things at The Rumpus. The first one “FOR WHITE FOLKS WHO THINK THEY AREN’T RACIST” is pretty damn good.

And Daniel José Older on Prose and Music at Electric Lit is well just go read it.

While we’re checking out men of color I like a lot, Mensah DeMary has this piece on Catapult and I love it. Read it.

If you can afford it and can get there, Lidia Yuknovitch is doing some workshops that I’ve heard good things about. Go check it out.

One of my favorite online used bookstores is having a great coupon. Go to Thriftbooks and enter LITFIC for This coupon is good for 15% off books in our Literature & Fiction category (except Thrift Deals.) This is an awesome deal. They have great prices AND free US shipping over 10$.

Look what I got from them just last week:


Wanna read some fiction? Head over here and check out Laura Lucas. No for real if you want to check out how Yeah, Write Microfiction is done, go to the blog tab and behold. Awesome.

Who else am I super into? Dark Matter Poetry. I just..y’all I can’t. I have the worst of literary crushes on them and can’t stop. Go check them out and love them like I do.

Want to see more Yeah, Write? Check out my friend Rowan. GO tell Rowan I sent you.

While I’m talking about folks I love terribly. Motherblazing has a brand spankin new and shiny website. My publisher made something really good looking, so go here and check it out. AND while you’re there sign up for our mailings lists. We won’t spam you but will send some love letters and stuff.

Next, go read this by my friend Wagatwe Wanjuki over at Upworthy. No for real real go forth and read it.

Read this article on gender. Yes, please read it.

Over at Buzzfeed a favorite artist of mine, Mykki Blanco talks about hip hop, coming out and all sorts of goodness.

This poem How To Make Love to a Trans Person  has not left my head lately. Enjoy it here.

Follow my homie Ki Russell over on the amazons. I know it seems weird, but liking author pages is totally a thing. So do it.

Wanna read some kickass writing about women in butchery? Content warning for cut up pigs. This is a great piece by my friend Sarah Grey .

Just read this poem by Dana Koster. Just..ugh yes.

More Yeah, Write homies and some generally good writing follow Seraphina Maria.

AND go follow my homie Sara Habein. Say hi Shannon sent you.

Um nerds…fantasy LOTR type nerds. Hold on to your drawers and check this cookbook out by my friend Chris-Rachael Oseland. An Unexpected Cookbook: The Unofficial Book of Hobbit Cookery. UM FUCK TO THE YES. No I’m serious holy shit that’s fucking awesome. Elvenses anyone? Second breakfast? FOOL OF A TOOK…ahem. Sorry. Nerded kinda hard.

A few more. It’s been too long since I’ve shared my reading with y’all that wasn’t books or a book review.

Read this piece on MFA’s and POC over at The Offing. It’s just it’s important. Read it.

Tomorrow starting at 7 PM MDT to celebrate the first issue of WITCH CRAFT MAG they are doing this awesome internet reading event thing. I’m stoked AND you can see my fave Milcah read too. Check it out on facebooks.

GO read and/or listen to this story on Lightspeed it’s fucking amazing. Also it is hosted this time by Mur Lafferty whom I find delightful.

Now how about a lil self promo?

Free stuff first okay?

Join my email list. It is Self Care Like A Boss related and full of love. My love for y’all.  I promise zero spams.

If you are in Seattle come see me read on Saturday. Imma be spitting some fire. Because I am pissed off and poetry is my current method of not punching people. Gallery 1412 18th Ave, Seattle, WA at 7 PM Oct 3.

AND you can head over to the side bar and buy SCLAB, or you can check out the few things I have up at Etsy right now. Or if you are a commitment type, come check me out on Patreon.

Now there is a good number of you and I invite you if you have stuff to promote, drop links in the comments. SHARE WITH THE CLASS.

Tomorrow, something new for Yeah, Write since I’m done with Billy remixes….for now.

Now go forth and read some awesome stuff.

Things I Dug Out of My Own Saltmine

I have been busy migrating documents from cloud storages, a little folder at work, emails etc. I could not sleep to save my life so I read some of what I’ve been writing in the past year or so.

Before I get to the meaty part, I want to say that it’s long been deeply important to me to know myself and my heart. Whether or not I share that with anyone is a whole other beast. I lived with so much shame, the type of shame that seems to come from your DNA I’ve made it part of my business as a human being to see myself for what and who I am regardless and deal with it good or bad.

One thing I keep seeing is that there are some things that I have come to (laughingly mind you) accept about myself as a creator and artist.

I try really fucking hard to be lighthearted sometimes. Lighthearted does not come naturally to me at all. I’m a goofy but very serious person. It is super difficult for me to do light. It is also super hard for me to be funny on purpose.

It’s not hard in the way that say, writing about racism in lit is hard for me. It is a whole other level of difficulty.

Part of it is that every piece I write whether it comes through or not, is about survival for me. It is how I live through ALL of the other bullshit and at this age, I have an agenda and I want to get that shit done. My writing time is precious and finite and I have shit to say.

There is that layer.

Then there’s the layer of well, okay. To put it in a different context. I do not have good hand eye coordination. My vision is very poor, like I’m pretty helpless without correction and can do nothing but lay around making sloth noises. In spite of that, I LOVE playing video games. I like violent, bloody, scary video games. I’m awful at them. Like, I bought Lord of the Rings Return of the King at Game Stop the night it came out (which I NEVER DO, baby do not pay retail) and took it home and real talk it took me four months to get to 15 minutes of saved game time.

I rage quit that bitch so hard I not only uninstalled it while cursing and naked, I made Uniballer my partner legit get rid of the whole shebang.

Now doing lighthearted work is not that kind of difficult for me. It’s more like it taking me four tries and copious notes to finish Silent Hill 1. I love it, I try really hard I’m just not good at it.

I felt some angst about that for a bit. I mean, everyone loves people who are delightful and funny. Sometimes I am delightful and funny (I AM DELIGHTFUL -imagine me bug eyed and screaming at the void-) however, it’s not really my jamz. I have come to the realization that it’s okay. While I do have the ambition of being a can do everything type writer, I’m just not.

And that’s okay.

It’s not just okay, it’s pretty fucking fantastic.

It is fantastic because that is one less layer of stress and pressure for me to put myself under. I have just freed myself of this weird uh, choke hold. Sometimes I strangle myself with these out of control beliefs that if I think I can do something I should be able to regardless. I did the same thing with art. I love art. I grew up mesmerized and comforted by Bob Ross. That said, I cannot draw. I failed one of those everyone can learn to draw a pony classes and the instuctor felt so guilty because I was so sad he gave me my money back out of pocket. I got very disciplined and made myself practice a skill that only served to stress me out and give me another reason to be shitty to myself.

Now rather than writing stuff that I have worked to death and lost all love or hope for I’m not going to force it.

I ain’t wid it.

What I am for, is honing my voice and what’s important to me to write about. I’m about embracing the serious little fucker I am, and running with it into the wild.

I am a savage.

I will continue to go for the throat.

I won’t make myself feel bad for not being more entertaining.

That’s all for now friends.


PLS come sign up for my self-care newsletter. I am SO excited about doing it because I like writing love letters to folks and these are loveletters. For srs. Come on. It’s free bruh.

Yeah Write # 197 entry- Bottom Bitch


Bottom Bitch

By Shannon

Someplace in the dark that girl is crying. I understand, of course. The dark is thick, hot and holds evil in it.

“Please don’t cry.”

My voice is softer than it usually is. In the dark I can be gentle and sweet.

“I’m sorry Mama. I’m sorry.”

In the day I might snap and make her cry harder. In the dark I can reach across the space between us and pull her close. Her skin smells like the kind of terror only a junkie going cold turkey knows. She curls into me, her soft body quivering from down deep, close to the bone.

“It hurts Mama. It hurts so bad.”

While I rock her, her sobs slow down. I know she’s past the shitting and puking. The pain in her guts and joints burns low, her tears are mostly insensate need. She sleeps with her sweating face between my breasts.

When Daddy brought her in she was a mess. Lips peeling, wall eyed and reeking to high heaven. I got her in the tub and listened to her wail and squeal like a wet cat. Junkies and water- man I’d rather wrestle a gator.

All cleaned up, she’s pretty if too skinny. Few months off of the junk and those pretty little tits will fill and stand right back up, get her hair fixed up and a good manicure and I know she’ll work out just fine. Daddy always said I’ve got an eye.

I know that when the dawn comes creeping her shaking hand will slip between my thighs. Her need will eventually take whatever it can find. When she bathes her face in my come for a few hours she’ll know a little peace.

In a few days Daddy will come home with new shoes and clothes. He’ll take us out for dinner, show her how proud he is that she kicked like a big girl. We’ll go home and he’ll test her out before he puts her to work.

Her first thousand dollar night Daddy will come in and kiss me sweetly.

“You did good baby. You did good.”




Thoughts on Transgressive writing.

I’m reading the (affiliate link ahead) Burnt Tongues. This is the love child from Chuckpalahniuk.net.

The anthology is okay. Even if I didn’t know it was Palahniuk related I’d know inside two stories. If you are a fan of that style you’ll like it.

I don’t really feel too strongly about the actual work in the anthology. Most of the stories so far rely fairly heavily on the gross out mode of transgression, I’m halfway in and so far vomit, obsession, some kind of mental deficiency. The sort of things that are SHOCKING OMG GROSS OH NO.

Overall none of the stories are particularly memorable for me. The gross factor is a bit tired to me.

Which brings me to my thoughts on transgression.

If you’ve read me for a minute you know I am very into transgression and exploring that in my work. I think my issue with the stories in the anthology aren’t really the stories, they are very obviously workshopped in that fan base really hard. Some of them have some nice moments. But the transgression as rooted in the gross factor doesn’t really do it for me.

I do enjoy that CP (Chuck P) style of that tight first person, present tense.

But as I read more of his work and that anthology I find it lacking in a certain kind of depth.

Or not depth, maybe a certain adventurousness.

I don’t really feel a sense of danger in the gross out mode of transgression or the something fucked up happened but everyone is pretty, or scars etc.  It feels safe. It feels both as a reader and writer that the only real risk involved is in maybe turning someone off or making them feel a bit icky in the guts.

That doesn’t turn my crank generally speaking.

I really want transgression that takes nose dives into dangerous territory.

But what’s dangerous?

The most powerful transgressive writing to my taste comes from a place of otherness or if not otherness than a place that is not comfortable for normative cultural tropes. The challenge in my eyes is the most powerful when it makes the world being written, not a comfortable place.

One of my favorite modes of exploring transgression is female desire and sexuality.

Not just on terms of erotica but consider female desire in terms of how it is generally written about in literature. Safe is demure, occasionally “bold” (as in making the first move), numerous romantic tropes, but there is so much more.

When women are written as not adhering to cultural expectations of how they experience desire or lust or have sex, there is space to explore transgression. For instance, writing female desire that is outside of and ignores heterosexual cis white dudes. Lesbians or Queer women written by and for their like.

It’s not transgressive to write those women because they are queer but because they exist and live outside of the norm which in the case of literature is White Cis Men.

Essentially I want my transgression to work harder. Go deeper.

Part of this is that gross outs just really don’t move me at all. I have worked with/been around babies and animals so there’s not enough poop or vomit in the world lovingly described chunk by chunk that will make me remember a thing or a story in particular.

I have the same problem with some of the contemporary horror I’ve read.

From the writing end, this is one of the things that moves my work regardless of what I’m writing. It is in the back of my mind. I work to hold onto the thread of what I desire out of transgressive writing and make it.

Okay yeah that.

Now that I’ve got my brain functioning, (I have had a hellacious cold) I’m going to go write some things.

So there.

On Being hate read, processing and engagement.

So y’all know I’ve been doing a series of self care articles over at XOjane. You can read the most recent one here.

One of the things that has surprised me is how much pushback there’s been. Among the reasons:

  • My tips about make up don’t count as self care for anybody ever.
  • My budget / strategic spending tips are telling everyone to blow their rent money.
  • My mention of smart budget friendly shopping is consumerist.
  • I “stole” the idea from DBT (to tell y’all the truth I didn’t even know what that was until yesterday) therapy.
  • I’ve been told that my responses to criticism (we’ll get to that) is passive aggressive.
  • I should grow a thicker skin.
  • ALL my articles are just not full of ALL the information and therefor anything I have to say is invalid.


Something I’m having a hard time with is the idea that because I’m not writing the articles in the broadest manner possible nor am I tackling ALL the issues about poorness and self care, that I’m doing it wrong, I find that tack to be exhausting.

I wonder how or if those people do that in other spheres of life? Do they comment on advice columns that don’t cover every scenerio?

Admittedly given that the same things get said on every article so far it gave me pause.

I was thinking maybe I shouldn’t talk about my poor skills, or that I should make every article involve the nitty gritty of being poor and doing self care.

Two things were pointed out to me by a friend.

First that some of these things are because people are hate reading me. They hate my writing, they hate the subject matter because I’m writing what I know/like in this case. I think when people go to hyperbole (literally saying that I’m encouraging people to buy everything and skipping the parts where I mention that these things are suggestions/stragegy) I don’t really need to listen.

Second thing is, who cares? Because really, I don’t know these people nor do they have any ream impact on me/my life.

As a writer and as I am doing this series I have made the effort to look at responses and what people ask about (unoriginal according to one commenter) and I did need to take these criticisms and think about them.

I’ve come to the conclusion that some of these folks are hate reading. I tried to engage but I realize that there’s no point because I just don’t understand that behavior. I don’t understand why if some advice isn’t for you, you’d go out of your way to be sure EVERYONE knows how much you disapprove?

As a reader I don’t get that at all.

Sure there are a lot of writers I don’t like out there. I think where I’ve had trouble is the idea of it being criticism or critique to just follow someone’s work to tell them how much you don’t like it.

It is just beyond me why that’s fun.


It’s one thing to me to say, so so’s writing is a problem for x reasons. I’m not reading it anymore.

Maybe I’m off about this.

I did feel the need to think about it though. Being that XoJane is my first regular column and the subject matter is near and dear to my heart, and shit I actually know about I took some time to really think about what I might be doing wrong.

The format has been I have a subject related to self care for poor folks and write about it.

I feel like that leaves a lot of room for everything from budgeting to buy a thing, to thinking about finding resources for things or as I’ve got coming up feeling like you deserve the thing regardless of how people treat you.

We all know I’m a thinky process queen and I realized earlier today that, well I don’t -have- to deal with that type of criticism if I don’t see the value in it. I think part of the process of writing a regular thing has been figuring out managing the line between what people ask me for and what I wanna do.

Whoa right?

I mean after 20 years and publishing things that have garnered me death threats, rape threats, cavalcades of die nigger messages being hate read is not all that bad.

I’ve come to the conclusion that for my purposes there, I can stick to my ethos that if you don’t want/need/like it, it’s just not for you and be okay.

I also think part of my worries about how much some folks hate the series and my work in general was due in large part to my ideas about harm. I have very strong feelings about being mindful if I am doing things that are harmful in certain ways and a lot of the negative commentary has pinged that button. It’s probably not on purpose but, it has been difficult to work through so I can write.

I like to hope it’s not personal even though it really feels like it.

The series will continue until either Xojane gets tired of me or I can’t write it anymore.

In other news I’ve joined the poets at Ink Node and put my first poem up today. Find that here. I have some feelings about it but I’ll save that for another time.

Okay later this week I’m doing a big ole link round up of stuff y’all should see and I’ll have a review of the book I’m reading about Aileen Wuornos as well.

Later taters.

PS I have some new non fiction coming out soon and it is a doozy.


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