Tag Archives: writing

A Few Thoughts.

I’m really tired and feeling beyond crazy.

My brain is full of fuck and I’ve been unable to work on the self care thing the way I’d like so I’m leaving it alone until I can do it without fucking it up.

Rather than fuck up my thing I did some editing and submitting today.

I was pointed towards a couple of zines and I just, y’all.

I did some research as you do when you are checking out a new venue. The first thing that leapt out at me was I saw the word diversity in the about and faq a lot.

What I did not find in about 8 issues and the editors interview on Duotrope was the diversity.

So honestly if your diversity is made up of a textbook example of the Western Literary Canon excluding the few women, what the real fuck are you even talking about?

Real talk.

Since I have not been submitting, going back to it I just- I am growing this jaded disinterest that makes me so sad.

It is so exhausting to me to be reading magazines and understanding so keenly that my AAVE filled, no White people in sight stories don’t belong.

On the other hand I want to submit just to see if they get it or if I get another maybe if you adjust the language type rejection.

To say I am feeling some type of way about the publishing industry on the whole right now is an understatement.

This post is also brought to you by a situation I found myself in this week.

I don’t want to go into a lot of specifics but suffice to say, again my work was questioned on the basis of it not being about/in the realm of white men and it just makes me really sad and tired.

I’m feeling this way while trying to write uplifting beautiful things that come from my fucking soul and I just…I am so angry.

So yeah.

I will slog on but today, man.

Fuck publishing.

Fuck the literary world and the white dudebros who can’t see past their own dicks.

That’s all.


What I’m tired of reading.

Not too long ago a friend of mine asked me what I’m tired of reading.

Given that I’ve been hacking and slashing what I read online lately it’s a fair question.

First, I’m tired of reading White feminist opinions about any woman of color. Lupita, Chimamanda Ngozi, Beyonce, Beyonce etc. I swear to fluffy bunnies if I read one more hand wringing article about whether or not Beyonce can be a feminist because she wrote songs about enjoying fucking the nasty out of her goddamn husband, I’m going to implode. Enough. Frankly, nobody needs more White opinions about women of color. Nobody. While I am glad a lot of woc are in the spotlight right now, the more White feminist shit I read about them and their work, their bodies and beauty I just want to punch someone.

I don’t want to read any more articles, essays, stories about fatness that are not written by actual fat people. That includes weight loss as redemption stories. Stop. Fuck. Just. Don’t. That includes Thin Nice White Ladies parroting shit that obviously comes from fat acceptance without them really even paying minimal respect to the work done by other people. No more.

I will not read any further words/ideas from White Dude Nerds. Wil Wheaton, John Green, Stephen Colbert and their  ilk. First of all, fuck every White dude who is so tired of bitches talking about sexism or us mean old colored people talking about racism and how racist they are.  How about shutting the entire fuck up, just because White men are no longer necessarily the be all end all authority on every fucking thing, doesn’t mean I need to see them whining about how hard it is that they are no longer the absolute top of the food chain. No. Furthermore, can we finally just give a moment of thought to the fact that saying a lot of fucked up racist shit and then saying, BUT IT’S SATIRE STUPID does not make you right or okay.

I will not read any further “satire” by people who seem to think that spewing liquid shit from betwixt their lips and calling it jokes is funny or effective.

No.

Not one more narrative where a White person or a man puts on the trappings of marginalized people so they can really understand. No. Fucking stop it. It is 20 mother fucking 14. There are so many people writing about ALL of those things, doing brownface or bad drag or fat suits is not necessary.

Things do not have to be experienced by White people in order to be real.

Stop.

No more narratives involving how hard it is to be White and pretty, how hard it is to not be a racist, etc. Nope.

So as you can see this really cuts out a lot of publications.

I frankly just don’t want to hear it anymore.

I have reached bullshit saturation for a while. So I’m sticking to some literary stuff. Reading shit on my kindle.

I feel like I get so exhausted by all of these things, I have to put an embargo on a lot of websites and content because my peace of mind is better served by not even seeing it.  So there you go.

I’m about halfway in with the self care book and chugging right along. I got through the really hard stuff with some great early feedback.

I was sick as fucking dog all last week, so I’m starving to get back on schedule for an end of the month release.

Fingers crossed.

So tell me what you’re reading around the intertubes.

 


Craft Notes: How I use Free writing.

First have a glance at this.

Now a couple of people have asked so let me give you a sort of blow by blow as to how I utilize the concept of freewrites.

First thing to know is I have a very noisy disordered brain.

One of the problems with my sleeping is in face the crazy carnival (replete with barkers, geeks, music, rides and pink elephants). My brain is a stew of LOUD NOISES.

So I do a few things to help settle myself down enough to write so the LOUD NOISES turn into stories and shit.

One of the things I do is crochet. I make shawls mostly. I keep telling myself I am going to sell them but that is a whole other thing. Crocheting puts a good amount of order in my chaosroachbrain. I do it on the bus usually while I listen to audiobooks and my thoughts turn a bit more linear like my stitches. Rows and rows of orderly thinking.

The other thing I do a lot is free write.

Here is how I do it.

Something, be it a phrase, a concept, a photo, a voice, a word, the sight of a fine fine ass in some tight pants whatever, it gets in my head.

I’m going to use one I did recently as an example.

Open this in another tab. It is the side blog where I just kind of dump words. I was inspired by Dena and Milcah (side note, GODS my friends are some fine mother fuckers, like for serious) and periods.

So there I was with the image of Joseph from Dena’s poem.

And I just started to go.

When I do this, often it is my way of exploring correlations as they happen in my brain.

In this case we have menses, a man, destruction because most tend to associate periods with flowers and the birds and bees and bullshit. It’s not that pretty. I wanted to explore that without getting to the ugly right away.

I am obsessed with sexualized predation (not as in abuser as in an apex predator) from the POV of the woman predator. The ides of conquest as it has been applied to masculine sexuality forever. The beauty in being an apex predator or at least feeling like one.

I called the image of war and battle and victory and claimed the shed blood as victory.

That is where my brain goes.

I go until I can’t anymore and then normally as you can see there, I change something. Sometimes I use this method of freewriting to explore forms, to change the angle that I approach my subject matter.  I’ve found that once I’ve exhausted one means of exploring a subject/theme when I change something (form, formatting etc) that is when my brain really gets to work. That is how I work out the voice I use in a story sometimes. Sometimes it is how I figure out the road to the next thing. Or I figure out that the idea I had won’t work.

The aim when I do this is just to write. Sometimes it sucks. Sometimes it is just fragments. Sometimes it kickstarts a whole new thing.

90% of these freewrites I have no intention of trying to get published. That is why I made that other blog. Occasionally I have had bigger better stories from those freewrites.

This piece I had in Fuck Fiction, started out as a freewrite.  Again, I was exploring that female sexual predator. A self aware predator who cannot help herself.  This one from the Molotov Cocktail started as an experiment with second person narrative. 

One of the other functions of this method is that for me I’ve discovered where my strengths are.

I am good at present tense first person POV.

I really LOVE writing second person narrative.

One of the other things to be gained from freewriting is freeing yourself of taboos.

Essentially if you are new to say writing sex use this exercise.

If words or concepts don’t do it for you here are some other options.

Read this post by Remittance Girl and try her challenge.

Here are some prompts for practicing writing on the body. In other words practice writing the physiological.

For instance. Your narrator has just fallen down some stairs. Write them checking themselves out, are they hurt? Where are they hurt? How do they hurt? Think about bumps and bruises. Try writing the aftermath, maybe your narrator fell two days ago and their body is just starting to yell.

Write a scene of arousal. Your main character here is getting turned on. What is going on in their body? I’m not talking a monologue about the most perfect tits anyone has ever seem but this is the viewer. Are they tingling? Is their skin covered in gooseflesh?

Do you like prompts? Here are some I like.

Personally prompts about meadows and  flowers and shit don’t do it for me. My taste runs to the darker and for that I picked up Michael Arnzen’s book Instigation. The beauty of this type of books that you can write a story, a poem, a scene, a flash piece. Anything. I really seriously recommend it.

I used one of his instigations and got this story published.

Think of this type of work as stretching for your brain. This is an excellent way to step out of your comfort zone. Whether it is style, format, subject matter. You can get yourself kickstarted with some practice.

I will also say that this is how I started to really find my own voice.

So there are your craft notes of the day. If you write something and post it somewhere come back and post a link so I can check it out.


Let me Explain you a thing.

I was talking to a friend recently about comic books and graphic novels and super hero movies and I finally figured out why so many of them make me nerd rage so hard.

Beyond the Whiteness of so many of them it is the women.

Okay.

I’m gonna get nerdy.

I am a woman, I have big boobs, sometimes I have long hair. I have been in a fight or two in my time.

Here’s the thing  that just shatters my suspension of disbelief as a consumer of the thing.

If you have big ole perky titties that seemingly are impervious to gravity, maybe you can really kick some ass without said titties flopping around or in my case hitting you in the face.

But it just irritates the shit out of me.

Let’s assume if you are kicking the ever loving shit out of your foe, one thing we don’t want is hair sticking to our (of course) glossed lips or getting in our eyes. Blind spots gets you hit in the face in a fight. If you look at photos of women MMA fighters for example, we see a lot of cornrows, low ponytails, braids or short hair.  That is for a reason.

You know when there is that ONE thing that just ruins a thing for you?

For me it’s the entirely tactically absurd women in so many of these genres.

See also costumes that have tightly laced corsets. I have also tight laced and doing a lot of ass kicking would probably make the heroine or evil doer pass out.

From a writing perspective my tendency towards nerd rage meltdowns has actually helped my writing quite a bit. At times when I’ve found myself about to write something that common sense tells me is wrong, I think about chicks in ring mail bikinis, with torpedo tits and apparently no worries about metal wedgies, fighting and I check myself.

Personally if I were a bad ass villainess, I would be covering up my tits, wearing a cup (yes those can be helpful even if you don’t have testicles) and getting my hair did before kicking ass. My hair would be up, my jewelry off and I’d be ready to buck.

This is where I also mention how if I got my hands on more of those visuals at an earlier age I might have gotten more into comic books.

I might have been a bigger fan of super hero movies in general.

I dunno.

As I get older I find my tolerance for a host of things has just withered in my old age.

And this is where I mention how much I love so much fan art I’ve seen on tumblr for instance.

A hijab wearing Black Widow, I have seen fancast stuff that blew my mind.

Naturally the ugly side of that is the absolute outrage of racist White fans. It gets ugly.

That is why I don’t fuck with fandom or a large part of nerd culture because I have no tolerance and I’m not trying to have racists fuck my squee up because X CHARACTER HAS TO BE WHITE FOREVER AND EVER.

Speaking of nerdy, while I pound away at the self care book I’ve been poking at a story about two little tween queer girl werewolves getting their wolfyness (I’m playing with the full wolf at puberty trope), one of them figuring out their gender and the two of them navigating first love.   Now what’s interesting to me as I write it is that Ikeep thinking of the people who freak out about OMG diversity.

Obviously someone can’t be a person of color, queer AND gender variant.

But, those people do exist in you know actual life.

What kind of lives do anti diversity fan types live that they have never seen anyone who is more than one identity at a time?

Gay Mexican AND disabled?

OH SHIT NO WAY. CANNOT HAPPEN.

I mean, really where do the people come from who cannot fathom that there are people who are not white and able bodied?

It’s weird.

I told a writer acquaintance about this little story and his reaction was not about the plot or my wolfy ideas but how I was “shoe horning” the POC, queerness etc in.

How can characters written as entire people, with complex identities be shoe horned?

Suffice to say I a.) set him straight and b.) won’t be talking to him about my work again.

And I’m off.

Brain unclogged.

Before I go I release a new essay on etsy about why feminism as it is done these days is not for me. With a bonus of a full chapter of the self care book. Get it here.

 


Stuff I just want to Whine about.

I’m tired and forgot to take some of my medications so I just want to whine a little.

  • I do not have enough money to buy everything I have been published in so I can have hard copies.
  • I also do not have the loose cash to buy my friends books, the new books I want to read and stuff.
  • I do not have the money to support my fellow POC in their endeavours when they ask me to and I feel some type of way about it.
  • On the flip side of that most of the people who ask me directly to help fund stuff know me and know I’m poor. So I also feel some type of way about that.
  • Wow I am super cranky.
  • I also feel some type of way about the many artists/writers/other creative types I know who will ask me for 99 different kinds of support but if I ask a favor or talk to them on a beyond marketing level, fuckin crickets.

I’m having kind of a day at work. My blood sugar is low. And I have work to do.

Speaking of work I’ve started rewriting my self care guide. I am very excited about the new structure and content.

I’m not as excited about some folks Iknow insisting I shop it when I just don’t feel that would be right for this.  I will put it out on Etsy and if there is a call I might put it up via createspace or something for a print version. The serious business fact is that I need to keep it accessible and it’s more important to me to get it out within the next month than it is to have it picked up by some publisher.

Blasphemy I know. I’m punk as fuck.

There are important to me reasons behind my methods.

The other part of my crabbiness is that I feel somewhat bombarded by morons. Mean, ugly spirited people saying mean ugly spirited things and I keep not seeig a lot of critical or any kind of thinking. So much down low and blatant racism and trans mysoginy from people I used to like/respect. It just wears me down. It makes me feel like I should be toughening up my hide but even at almost 37 years old I just cannot deal with it on such a daily basis.

It comes from everywhere, no where is safe. There is no place for me to go. Nothing I can read. No lols I don’t have shit.

No shelter.

That in mind I am going to finally get some fucking food, do some Kindle Cloud reading (someone please remind me to talk about how obsessed with kindle books I am right now), and do some more writing.

OH also I am hopefully going to recode my author site here soonish. After my birthday for sure. Stay tuned.


Writing and Reading While Black. Lessons learned.

I spotted this article on tumblr a week or so ago and have been ruminating about it. No seriously go read it.

I also highly recommend watching the attached video but you can do that when you’re done here.

Now let me tell you a story about being an early and immediately voracious reader.

As a very young kid I went from reading Dick and Jane to reading novels. Almost as soon as I grasped the how of reading I was off to the races. The first novel I read was Charlotte’s Web. I read it first at home in the summer before Kindergarten and then once the school found out I could really read I spent my lunches that year reading the book out loud to my principal. Who as I remember was the first Black woman I ever saw in what I thought was a big deal position but that’s another story.

That book started something that nagged at me for years. Every book I read until I was about 9 years old was all White people or occasionally there were stereotypical Black cooning characters.

People think children are color blind. The correct notion is that often White children are colorblind because they see and have their reflections asserted in positive ways everywhere. They are the norm and I as a Black child was the aberration.

Understand that as young as 6 years old I may not have had the language but I knew that I as a little Black child had no business in books, in fantasy, in movies, in cartoons etc. I was just like one of these children in the doll test. I strongly suggest anyone who even thinks that color blindedness is good or that children don’t see color, also parents especially white parents watch this in full. Don’t flinch it will hurt.

I wrote my first story when I was 7. I remember it because it was Spring and I was sick from school. I laid in bed with a crayon and my giant penmanship tablet and wrote a story about a Mouse who was in love with a goose.

One of the features of writing for me up until I was about 20 was that I told no one. Because so much of the literature that meant something to me was exclusionary of people of color and some of those authors I knew were racist, I felt that I should not be writing. Being that I was not Maya Angelou or one of her peers or foremothers writing and the literary world was not for me.

I didn’t write stories about Black people. I knew that if I ever wanted to be the best selling lady version of Stephen King (my ambition at the time was to become an absolute horror goddess) I could not include a vision of myself, my family or anyone not the Average American, read as White people.

I was always very careful that I did not use any type of AAVE, I did not reference Black culture save in a very oblique manner through trying to emulate The Beats. When I wrote my first erotic stories at 17 years old, everyone in them was White and thin and beautiful. They went to nice schools, they were not like me except they were queer and kinky but even that I tried very hard to make heterosexual male friendly.

It is taking me forever to write this because thinking of it is painful. Remembering the deep desire to create art that reflected my world and the world as I might like to see it but having the clear understanding from years of being a reader that, in the literary world there was no place for me.

The thing I loved and wanted most in the world did not want me as I was. I spent a lot of time writing and as much time destroying what I wrote not because I hated it but because I did not believe that there was any room for my expression.

That was the reality of my situation and frankly it drove me to some really destructive thought patterns and a belief somewhere inside that I was just inferior because of my Blackness and my want to explore and talk about Blackness.

I bought into White supremacy because there was no one to tell me differently. In the world I grew up in there were no real reason to believe otherwise. It extended from inside out. I hate my skin (see here and here where I talk about bleaching my skin as a kid), I hated myself. I was ashamed because I did not want to believe in the White supremecist position and yet every time I spoke up or tried to shed that, whiteness smacked me down.

Now let’s fast forward to the last five years or so.

After having lost writing jobs because I had the audacity to outside of Whiteness and refse to have it put into some Box o Blackness, because I have objected to changing a Goddess to one White people would know. because I have objected to using artwork depicting white people when the story was not about white people I feel like I am coming full circle.

That isn’t to say that sometimes I write things that I honestly think White editors do not understad. One rejection I got last year “gently” suggested I remove the AAVE so “people” (White) would understand it put things back into sharp and painful focus for me.

The Literary World at large still doesn’t want me.

Unlike weeping traumatized me at 6, 16 and 26 I am defiant at 37.

I realized that I don’t care.

I don’t care about traditional big box publishing. I don’t care that most likely I will never be an internet darling author because I am not a nice white lady and that’s fine with me.

I won’t say it still doesn’t hurt sometimes. It does.

Sometimes as I am writing something I know that 90% of publishers won’t take it.

And that hurts.

It’s not okay but I gotta do what I gotta do.

So let me end with this.

  • I don’t always trust White publishers.
  • I try to get published anyway.
  • I try not to let the bullshit hurt too bad.
  • I write the stories I write because only I can tell them and they are the stories I want to read.

And a special message to my fellow marginalized authors.

Don’t run away from your roots. You don’t have to write to please Whiteness. Write to please yourself.


Refuse, Resist. And shit.

The first half of the title is in reference to a Sepultura song. If metal freaks you out don’t listen to that.

I have been busy. Working, writing shit.

I got one of my top ten rejections of all time and I squealed about it to my best friend for about a half hour. Honestly a great rejection like that can be a huge deal to me. In fact my second (I think) ever piece of published non fiction was about a rejection I got from Tony DuShane a long time ago and how it kept me writing and learning to be serious.

I have started what I think might be my first serious novella. I want to weave in certain things, make it a very distinct narrative. I don’t know. Mainly it is about hustling, taking care of your chosen family, sex work, drugs and survival.

Writing a serious business novella makes me very nervous so I’ve been yelling at myself in my head. My inner drill sergeant screaming every time I open my word processing goes as follows:

DS: GO GO GO GO STOP THAT BITCH ASSNESS AND WRITE THAT SHIT YOU MAJESTIC PIECE OF SHIT!

Ahem.

We can assume I’m kind of an odd person, this is comforting.

So I get my playlist going and write.

I’ll probably share said playlist with y’all when it is big enough.

Now how about some stuff to read?

Via my darling Dena, go read her most recent Monomania post with Intisar Abioto and her project photographing Black People in Portland. Also doesn’t she have the most lovely name?

At ADP you can not only buy Kat Dixon’s coming book (I REALLY fucking want it) but you can check out some of their free PDFS. I am very into those. As of today I have all of the.

Over at The Rumpus Jerry Stahl has a new OG Dad up. These are pretty great. He’s great, I love him in a creepy way, y’all know.

If you’ve ever been curious about people of color in Medieval times, you need to check out this website. Learn some shit. Also there have been Black and Brown people everywhere forever.

In case you didn’t see Fuck Fiction is back with some good shit.

Go read this column in LitReactor. I’ll talk about it later but it did give me some ideas.

I think that’s all for right now.

OH wait no.

So I put a new story in my Etsy shop.  A little tale of sex work, lesbian love and sometimes what it’s like to love an addict. And a bonus little bit of feederism. Click here to check it out. Per usual even if you can’t buy, please feel free to share it on your social media and stuff. I really appreciate it.

Later taters. Time to work.


Holy wow stuff is happening.

Okay so already 2014 is turning out to be both awesome and overwhelming.

So the first thing was that Dena interviewed me for Luna Luna magazine.

Then I got a poetry acceptance at The Camel Saloon. I’ll let y’all know when it’s live. Also read that spot it’s good.

AND today I found out my essay from Literary Orphans is going into their anthology.

Holy shit.

I am to put things in internet parlance full of feelings I don’t know what to do with.

Glee. Fear. Nervousness. Expectation.

I’m having a hard time rebalancing work days with time to write. I’ve been tired. I get frustrated and ragey and full of feelings.

I am also frankly panicky.

So I’m trying to deal with myself.

AND you can buy a brand spanking new story in my Etsy.


Something happened, and another thing.

This year has started off pretty fucking good outside of insomnia to the point of hallucination (YAY ME) and I’ve already fallen down once.

First up my friend Dena interviewed me for Luna Luna Magazine and you can get it here.

Also I got my first poetry acceptance in forever. I am pretty stoked about that.

I am three rejections deep into the new year. One stung like a son of a bitch and two were super complimentary.

The shit balances out.

Uh other than that nothing super new is going down.

I have been writing some flash. I tried some noirish gangster flash. It’s not particularly a story-story but I like it.

I need to get to going with submissions and shit. I feel like I need to rearrange my writing time. Do I want to wait until I get home where I want to just go the fuck to bed or do I bring Bloop (my computer) with me and write somewhere for an hour at night and thus make my day outside of home go up to 14 hours?

Probably the former. My partner got me an adorable lap desk and I will get myself one of those bed recliner pillow things.

I will be updating my website here soon and please don’t forget. Women writers, if you know wo


Well…uh

Austa commented on my last post:

I love this post!!
Can I ask how you managed to get to where you are? With regards to getting your writing out there, and being invited to readings and stuff like that?

Okay Austa and everybody else, I have a confession to make.

I have no idea how the being invited to stuff even happened.

Basically, an author I friended on facebook said she liked me and invited me down to Portland to read at her gig Unchaste Readers and I read and okay.

Another confession. I almost shat myself, I hugged strangers too hard and was blown away that people I have never met in my life liked my story. I was a little drunk because I was nervous as fuck. People said I sounded like a TV actress, someone asked where my books were and then I hugged my friends who came to see me read, I touched Milcah’s butt and then my partner and I went back to our little hotel room and watched a fuckload of cable TV then we went out for Thai food and I got to eat the most delicious crickets.

As for getting my writing out there, I have on huge secret are you ready Austa?

  1. Write like a mother fucker.
  2. Rewrite.
  3. Submit.
  4. Get rejected.
  5. Submit again.
  6. Get accepted sometimes.

And there you have my secret.

Basically, a few years ago I started doing a few things differently. Instead of writing what I thought would get published I started writing basically whatever the fuck I want to. Sometimes nobody wants to publish my things and that’s okay. What’s important to me is the work. I also started looking at writing as my work. This is what I do. It is what I am supposed to be doing.

The fact that I work a job that stresses my shit out is secondary. It keeps my partner and I housed, in meds and socks and food. Sometimes if we do stuff right we can do something nice.

But this, this here these stories, the poems, the essays that make me vomit before sending them along is what I am supposed to be doing. Everything else is bullshit and necessity.

And invest in yourself. If you have a cache of stuff, save up the 50$ or spend 5$ for a month and get a Duotrope subscription and submit. Or set aside two weeks to read every lit mag you can find on the internet and work up a list of where you want to submit.

Submit often.

Everywhere.

Sometimes you’re going to feel weird or uncomfortable. Some of the rejections will feel like someone turned you down for a date and it’s okay. Just keep going.

This shit is hard as hell but to me it is worth it.

If you feel like you need workshopping or support you have the internet and the vast numbers of spots you can find to do that if you need it.

Get pumped up.

I personally have this need to get mean. I hunker down and bare my teeth, grow;, grumble and shove myself at doing what I feel like I need to do. I have this uh, war like mentality and everybody is on my shitlist. Not in a personal way but in a get the fuck out of my way I have to shit to say and do. It works for me. While I am getting mean and shit, I aso let myself do what I need to do.

Sometimes I write stuff because I have hurt feelings, because I’m angry, because I want to cry and I hate to cry so I write.

Basically what’s gotten me here right now is having support (my bestie and partner and other friends), figuring out how I work and working, and working and making myself submit even when I’m scared.

And now here we are.

Was that even a good answer? I’m not sure. I hope so?


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