Welcome to 20 goddamn 19. I typed 20 goddamn 49 at first and almost left it, so, yanno.
So what’s good 2019?
So far, I’ve been doing a lot of heavy emotional lifting for myself and my work. I made some decisions. I’ve been writing like a mother fucker.
I’ve decided to embark on a really difficult and scary thing that I’m not ready to formally announce. It has to do with a lot of the statistical data and whatnot I’ve been talking about for the last few months. If you subscribe to my loveletter you’ll see this bit later but this is really important:
Medium- I made $45.56 for the year of 2018. I generally had/have 10-15 pieces available. My least popular piece there was this one (free read link, clap if you want) The How to Learn to Write Non fiction piece.
My most profitable pieces with an average of about 300 or so claps were the ones where I bled on the page about racism. I don’t really know what to say about that. It isn’t new but it is, disheartening if I’m going to be real with y’all.
The last piece where I bled on the page was this one, here is a bit of it.
Last night, I was reminded again of the ways in which I am not allowed to be human. The things I risk when I have the audacity to not be silent and invisible. I know what could have happened.
I’ve looked at long term stats on my work in various venues. OVer the last let’s say about 5 years or so, the more something hurts me to write, the more exposure it gets. For a long time I thought this would lead to the big $$ but, it doesn’t. Not for me. What I’ve experienced is often privately, editors and other folks with the keys to the cash, love me. They tell me how much they’ve learned from my work, they tell me how strong and powerful I am.
The people I know (mostly white let’s be real) with the connections and power to open those doors for me, don’t. There are always reasons. An editor not long ago asked me privately to pitch her something timely in response to the Magahat Babyracist Jr debacle. I worked up a short thing, real fast. And it was another instance of yes that but not like that.
I’m tired of that y’alls.
This is why freelancing burnt me so badly. I get it. I do. Most of these folks readership are not ready for this particular negro. Understanding it makes it no less exhausting.
I have also learned through these years of anal…err analysis that my audience, my ride or die folks *insert fourth wall break within a fourth wall break here* want what I got.
I’m working on it. I’m adjusting my focus so I can empower myself to write what the fuck i want to write, and dispense it how I wanna.
One of the things I’ve learned from my beloved Milcah is that my audience, y’all don’t like my work because I give it 40% you know? The people who are into it, are into it because I am who I am. I forget that a lot.
Those months of ghosted pitches and weird rejections really got in my head. It called up years of shitty criticisms and bullshit.
SO what am I doing that I can tell y’all about?
Right now, I am working on my biggest and most enjoyable sensitivity read job to date. I am loving the job so much and it is legit. And huge. And fuck y’all I feel DEEPLY honored to be trusted with this work. That said, I won’t be accepting another one until at least April.
Patreon is humming along. We’re getting really close to closing out Cycle 2 and debuting cycle 3. Here is a taste of Cycle 2:
Nanita came back and sat down, wiggling in her chair and doing a little dance. He chuckled, she’d done that since she was a fat baby wiggling in her high chair and crooning to her mashed potatoes.
“Oh, I was thinking about eating this. I’m so glad you’re home. Do you want to go to the swamp with me tomorrow night?”
“Sure. What are we gonna do?”
She sprinkled hot sauce in her rice and thought about it while she stirred.
“Um, I don’t really know yet. I just got a feeling to go. I dunno, it’s like I can hear it. I asked Mama about it but she didn’t really know what I was talking about. Well, she kinda did but you know the swamp makes her nervous. She acts like it doesn’t but if it’s nighttime, she kind of hates it.”
“I know. I’ll be home a while. We got things to do.”
“What kinda things Daddy?”
He dropped his voice to a raspy bass.
She giggled and tried to copy him.
“Man things, fo sho.”
They ate and giggled together. The moon rose outside and they both looked up through the window at it. Their eyes glazed, the moon tickled their blood and spoke to their bones. Through Tinny’s blood there was a link to moon magic. Not the usual menstrual, fertility magic that runs through many bloodlines. This tie was a line to something other, the magic was almost like something alien.
Both of them sat, stupefied with their fingers and toes tingling. Their eyes fixed and in the light turning a burnished silver. Anyone watching would have seen the light flash between them, a circuit completed. Nanita would not remember. As with so many of her gifts, as she came of age many were asserting themselves in her but, her body and brain were not ready to fully see them. Tinny would remember. It had only happened one time before with his beloved Maman Aprille.
I’ve been writing some other fiction. Not much because it is hard to do with no computer
On the computer front, I’ve got a Dell 5000 series picked out and a corporate discount ready to use. I’m super close to being able to pay for it so I should be up and running by February.
Given that my personal life has been a shit sandwhich of late, I’m getting my shit together piece by piece.
AND to end, a new/old poem. I performed this at Margin Shift’s litcrawl event last October. Enjoy.