Plans Of The Writer

For those who aren’t supporting me on Patreon, I’ve announced over there that I’ve started rewrites on my urban fantasy novelette in progress working titled The Daiyu Saga and those chapters will be the new Patron only stuff.

That done, I will likely list a bunch of my source material on Etsy along with some other stuff.

I’ve also been thinking about what to do with The World  (go back to last Sept to read them all) I still have a deep interest in putting them together in a collection of linked stories. I’m thinking I could do that as a kindle book, try it for KDP select and that way a LOT of folks could read them for free/I wouldn’t need to manage the way I do my Etsy stuff.

I’m also working on SCLAB stuff and essays.

My output right now is pretty consistent and I’m pleased with it. I put a new piece up at Medium about marginalized writers and risk.

While I’m very happy with what I’ve been writing lately, what I’m not as happy with is that I’m again finding myself in a pressurized position because economically, not one of these things is really viable for me in a way that helps me life my actual non writing life.

Intellectually I know that even as things are, my partner and I still have our little apartment. He’s got the medication he needs. We have food.

Emotionally speaking, if my non writing life is the toy I am these birds. Inside my brain there are cats, hamsters, puppies a carnival wheel and a class full of first graders hopped up on Mt. Dew all losing their collective shit at top volume pretty much all the time.

My Poverty Brain has kicked in full speed with anxiety kicker.

I will say that unlike previous years, the shit fuckery in my head isn’t causing me to be unable to write so there’s that.

That said, I’m stuck at that point of making some of this shit profitable while battling a whole host of other feelings. Those are feelings I will likely keep to myself and a few friends because reasons.

So that’s what’s going on.

I might schedule up some posts here because I have ANOTHER thing. In a few short days, I’ll make my triumphant return to personal blogging.

Come and check it out, subscribe and hold on to your butt.

auntieheader
Aww YISS!!

Now I’m going to dayjob and work on shit.

Grind grind grind grind.

Try to make them extra coins.

And stay calm.

Yeah Write Entry #263- Down Home

Down Home

by

Shannon Barber

Mama said I’d know when the time was right. She skipped all the magical menses bullshit and woowoo sparkly nonsense. She sat me down and told me straight.

“I can’t tell you one way or the other if you got the gift or not. If The World wants you and you got what it want, it’ll call. Stop worrying about it and go do them dishes.”

I waited until I was thirty goddamn years old. I had accepted it. I would not be like other women in my family that way. I did not have the magic.

Two weeks after I turned thirty I felt it. I saw the Shadows gathered in the corner of my living room and I felt the heartbeat of The World. I felt the pull, I felt the need deep in my belly. Lower than lust, deeper than need, it pulled at the marrow in my bones.

The World did not call me home as I thought it would. Not my real home at any rate. It called me home to a swamp full of dank nightmares and thin places. When the air touched my skin, that is when it all really happened.

“Sss, errr, esss, ood. Mmmmm.”

The first voice came on the first current of hot wet air, the rest joined it in a susurrus of hissy, sibilance that I felt on my arms. I felt the little silky summer dress lifting away from my body, I felt them as silken paws of sensation.

“Stop.”

I signed desperately. The World, may have been speaking, but it did not listen. These were not things of the world and my body wanted them. I wasn’t speaking to them, I was talking to me.

My body opened to the voice of The World as it had never opened to any lover. My skin craved subvocalalizations that thrummed against me as if my skin was nothing more than the thinnest thing between air and something full of liquid and fit to burst. I was broken. Naked and brown in a hot swamp thousands of miles away from my Mother and on my knees.

I heard none of it. I felt it in the waters of my body, I felt fricatives devouring my cunt and the plosives I yearned for exploding against my eyelids and the tender flesh at the nape of my neck.

The World took me more completely than any lover and touched me deeper than any God. It called me to touch me with fingers made of language I will never hear.

I don’t know what it means. This was not my Mother’s calling.

I am the living secret of The World. I am deaf to the world and my body feels the true voice of The World and I don’t mind. I’m no Mage or Warrior, no Beholder or Scrivener. I am only a Secret.

The World wants me and it will have me.

###

Hustlin’ Hustlin

So.

I am on that hustle because frankly I want to buy some summer clothes that fit my ass and my aesthetic. Also baby got bills to pay.

I also decided to do a digital version of my poetry chapbook The Motherfuckess Manifesta And Other Poems. The print version will be handmade and not the exact same book. I am taking my time with that because I’m terrible at book building.

 

You can go check that out here. I also relisted my Lovecrafty Story Doe Mouse. Deer Mouse. Rabbit and Bunny.  I even added a tiny bonus Crawling Chaos story.

What else?

You can also read more flash by me over at Catapult. 

I think that’s all the news for now. I’ll be starting to deliver some brand new stuff to folks who support me via Patreon. Shit is getting exciting up in there.

What else is happening?

Essentially, I’m struggling to settle into my new/current experience of poverty. Those first couple of months of the increased cost of living haven’t been gentle. I have stress rashes, I’ve had panic attack shits and I’ve choked myself out creatively speaking. Shit is so hard.

BUT, I’m trying really hard not to completely freak out.

I’ve got some freelance paychecks coming in later this month and next month.

I’m sort of on target with writing new stuff ish.

I’m trying.

But shit is fucking hard y’all.

That’s it for now. We may or may not step into The World tomorrow. I have a thing for that, but it’s not quite what I want. I’m on that heavy experimentation tip again so we’ll see if I can pull it off.

 

Yeah Write #261- Starveling

Starveling

By

Shannon Barber

As the bass drops she walks out on stage unsmiling. Her gaze floats as she sweeps her long braids off one elegant brown shoulder. She spots her mark easily, a mousy White boy looking at her bouncing breasts with lust heavy cow eyes. She undulates like a snake to the slow, heavy beat, watching him lick his lips as her breasts drop heavy and full from her loosened bikini top.

She gives him a sly look while the DJ does his thing. Money appears as she turns her back and bends over. The mark offers his meager cash shyly, she crawls to him. Her mouth is glossy carmine invitation, her big black eyes full of promises and the certainty that he is the one.

It works. It always works. As her number ends she watches him skitter to the ATM as she gathers her cash.

She’ll make him wait while she freshens up.

“Lia? Girl there is some White dude out here with his rent waiting on you.”

She blows the house mother a kiss and waits another two minutes.

Of course she’s right, he’s waiting with a fist full of cash. He follows like a puppy when she turns to walk into the dim confines of VIP. She watches his Adam’s apple Bob as he swallows hard.

“So, uh, what’s your real name?”

She smiles and drops her silky chemise on his head.

“Shhh “

She moves against him, letting the ring in her left nipple flicker against his lips. He sighs long and from deep inside, his lips drop open in wait of succor.

Two songs and she’s naked. Glorious and dark in the low light, his fingers telegraph desire as the tap and clutch his thighs. When she takes the last of his cash and lets him rest his flushed face on her belly for a moment, she knows.

“Meet me out back in ten minutes. I’ll be done for the night.”

She disappears again, smiling. Making rent is nothing but eating, yes, eating is always the real reward. Eating is why she left The World. She is no Sidus or other beast gibbering in the darkness. She is different. She is always so hungry.

She learned to drape herself in the sweet flesh that draws her prey. She finds the bars and strip clubs and other dark corners where a man gone missing from the ragged edges of polite society is no worry of the world. It is merely a function of the darkness the world denies.

Twenty minutes later she finds him waiting, trembling and full of the idea that he has at last found the one.

“My name is the thousand names for pain and you will learn them all. I am your death, come love me.”

She waits as he decides and his body leans into her.

As they walk away, she murmurs her thanks to the world and the darkness it denies. Tonight she will eat. She will eat.

###

PS,

I’ve missed y’all and The World. If you’re curious the song that inspired this is this Massive Attack cover by Sepultura.

Back on That grind- Back from lala land.

I’m all back from AWP and you can read part one of my series about it here at medium AND over there see video of my full reading from Unchaste.

I’m back at work and back at figuring out what’s next for my writing.

The first thing I got done when I got back was my budget.

Things I absolutely must budget to get done/get:

  • Payback a few lingering AWP expenses
  • A new chair to work in at home. The one I have I can only use it for about 15 minutes at a time before I have back spasms or it comes apart.
  • Fully restock household health stuff.

What else needs to happen?

  • Talk to a dear friend so I can unfuck my chapbook design/layout and get it printed up and signed and in my etsy store.
  • I need to clean up some good vintage Doc martens and other goth shits that don’t fit me anymore to sell.
  • Get together some new stuff to shop around for freelancing.
  • Buckle down on SCLAB stuff.
  • Buckle down on other new sooper seekrit project.

So y’all see that for the next couple of months I really need to up that side hustle cash so I can produce more other stuff. My love stuff.

Now that I’m pretty much used to being back on Mon-Fri at the day job I think I might shoot for one day a week, maybe a Saturday (if I can) to work out of the house. That might take a while because I’m trying to keep some big anxiety down to a dull roar.

Also, my financial situation has taken another downturn. Unfortunately how often I get paid from my dayjob has changed and that working with my rent increase has been really hard. Like super fucking stressful and trying to deal with it has been a challenge.

Sometimes when you’re poor it feels like once you get into the groove of some things, shit just gets yanked out from under you. I’ve felt a deep discomfort my whole life in terms of economic security and now that I’m trying to throw a fucking art in the mix, shit is just hard.

I have to fight myself to not fall into a shame hole that most of my writing doesn’t contribute financially. Or that my crocheting hobby and subsequent yarn stash doesn’t yield extra cash.

I’ve been battling those particular demons really hard. I find myself questioning whether or not I really should have my little coffee ritual at my dayjob.

Whether or not I really needed to buy that beautiful grey paper to print my zines on.

Should I try pitching places I don’t feel good about because they pay?

The shit I’ve done before and KNOW goddamn well isn’t good for me, but I am back in economic trauma feelings and while I’m not drowning, I’m not doing too well. I know that trying to take on something that is equivalent to a part time job as in a freelancing gig will not go well for me so I’m trying not to do that. So yeah. Some shit is going on.

I wasn’t going to mention all that, but I was serious about keeping it 100.

Sooooooooooooooooooo…long story long- I’m changing my grind and trying to up my hustle while being kind of healthy, letting myself sleep and maybe write shit that just brings me joy.

And goddamn it is hard y’all. It’s really fucking hard. This is the artist life and it kind of isn’t awesome.

 

Daydreaming Writer.

Before I get dreamy I am very proud to announce my second ever essay I’ve written about my gender identities. I’m very happy that The Establishment gave me the time and space to write this piece and the time to be scared about it prior to publication. Read that here.

I will talk more about that later on.

So let’s talk about the stuff I daydream about shall we?

When I was a baby writer my daydreams looked like this.

I would travel. I would fuck everyone all the time. I would write, mail things to some patient patron who would then get the publishing together. I’d get drunk in Tunisia and pose nude in Paris, they’d send me a check.

Rinse, repeat, greatness.

I wouldn’t be rich with cash. I’d be rich in lovers, words, experiences and je ne sais quoi. Right?

As a teenager, I imagined myself as a big titty Henry Miller type writing filthy degenerate love letters and having some 30 year affair that people would write about for years to come.

Some lover or other of mine would of course be an artist and would get famous after painting me nude like a Matisse or would photograph me like Frida Kahlo and those would be part of my artistic legacy.

I also dreamed of being somewhat mysterious and reclusive. Maybe seen wading bucky naked in a river, but refusing a lot of press. I’d foment rumours and lies about myself for fun.

Y’all can tell what I was reading at that age.

Fast forward 20 years and while theoretically that dream is one I could hold on to, now my dreams are different.

My artistic daydreams involve things like, what if I could go to one of those writer colony things? What if I could actually afford that without it fucking up my life? What would I even do with 2-6 weeks of time devoted to my art. No commute, no 12 hour work days, just me and my brain and my laptop Petunia.

I’ve thought about it. Friends have sent me some I think I would qualify for. But, per usual my thoughts turn to my actual life. I couldn’t get 2 straight weeks off for AWP/recovery from AWP. Instead of a colony or residency, I wonder if I could get away to a Motel 6 within a 20$ cab ride from my house for a day and night?

I dream of figuring out how to have one day a week for my art. Not house cleaning, grocery/household shopping, working, recovering from the week (at present my health dictates that 1 of my 2 days off a week to be spent mainly in recovery mode) without leaving my partner in the lurch or cutting up our not as much as would be great quality time together?

What else?

I dream about getting an essay into some Big Fancy Ass Publications.

I dream about my work, reaching people who need to hear a voice like mine for whatever reason.

I dream of writing ALL my passion project things while listening to one of my epic playlists in a carefree manner.

I dream of sometimes talking to baby writers.

Maybe a little non academic teaching.

Workshop leading that exists within the framework of stuff I believe about art?

I dream about having the time and energy to get back into photography and taking bus accessible day trips with the Uniballer so we can do that together.

I don’t need that life of leisure and artistic fuckery that I imagined as a kid.

Sometimes I get sad about the artistic life, not lived. The missed events and workshops and colonies and things. Sometimes I get angry and sad. I’ve cried about it. That’s okay.

I let it roll through me. I can’t dwell on the life not lived for too long. I have to go to work, I have to write, I have to get shit done.

Okay I’m going to chill out at the dayjob. Work on some poetry and be that shit.

How it’s going down at AWP

SO okay AWP is next week and here is how it’s going down.

I’m not sure what I’m doing with my hair, I might flat iron it this weekend or just blow dry it and give some fluffy realness.

I will be riding with my REAL FAMILY. If you find me you’ll probably get to meet my Uniballer (my partner), my Wifey (my bestie) and her Husbear.

I’m still slightly undecided about what panels I’m going to but I’ll figure it out.

Now if any of y’all are going and you spot me please feel free to come say hi. I’m fairly sweaty and weird in person and might stare at you bug eyed for a minute but I’ll be fine. Also if you wanna selfie, we shall selfie.

If you want to find me, I’ll be tweeting usually with the hashtag AWP16 or AWP2016.

I’ll be hustling this beauty out of my purse. If you buy one I might even read you something out of it, right out where ever we’re at.

mfesta
The title page of my chapbook/zine titled: The Motherfuckess Manifesta and Other Poems. They are 5$. Hand signed and numbered.

If you’re in or around LA and not coming to AWP, come party and hear me read with some of the most bad ass women writers. Check out the event here.

Let me take a moment to express my love for the Unchaste reading series. Jenny the creator is one of my ride or die type people. If you are in or around Portland, OR, please I encourage you to check out the Unchaste events. Search FB, get on that. Unchaste readings are always amazing and Jenny goes out of her way to curate an actually inclusive line up of readers. So for real, go do the thing.

What else?

I don’t think we’ll have time to do a whole lot of outside AWP things. Due to some vacation time off stuff it is pretty much a hit it and quit it type thing.

Hopefully there will be some video snippets,some action shots. Selfies with other writers. I’m going to try really hard this time not to freak the whole fuck out. I’m ready. I have stuff to sell and know that I belong there as much as any other writer.

I’ll probably schedule some posts and then when I get back I’ll do a big wrap up.

That’s it for today babies.