Black American Privilege: A Poem

Black American privilege looks like

Being barked at in the elevator at your Miami university,

hours after weeping with your friends

in the English department,

following Trump’s election.

It looks like being told that you’re

“pretty for a Black girl”

Over and fucking over.

It looks like having people touch your hair

Everywhere.

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Updates for Upcoming Writing

One problem with grad school is that there’s only so much I can do to get my academic and nerdy interests to collide. As a full-time grad student and a freelance, my output here has plummeted because I’m busy trying to get my assignments in and not mess up at work.

But I am always thinking of things I can write for you all and so right now, there are some things that are definitely on the menu for upcoming months.


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More thoughts on freelance writing and “writing for exposure”

Earlier yesterday, I wrote a series of tweets about why online journalism’s push for writers to work “for exposure” is terrible and the reality of what life is like for someone who does it. (Thread starts here.)

Here are some more  (bitter) thoughts.


There’s something so very upsetting about the idea of online journalists (amateurs, newbies, and professionals alike) working “for exposure” as a rite of passage with no token payment or help with getting further along in their writing career.

Writing for exposure means that you get to spend hours, days, and even weeks of your time working to put out an article or essay that you aren’t getting paid for. This work comes on top of your day job or your education and can in fact take time away from things that bring you the money that you need to live off of.

And I think it’s wrong that journalism as an industry has conflated “earning your due” with “working for free”. Now it seems that freelancers that don’t want to or can’t write for free are “lazy”. They’re seen as trying to get over the established idea of building your brand and then building your bank account.

But here’s the thing:

When you work for exposure, the companies you’re writing for or that you want to write for aren’t seeing that you deserve to be paid for your writing. They’re not. What they’re seeing is someone that they don’t have to pay to create content for them and they won’t pay you unless they absolutely have to.Read More »

[Snippet] My Favorite Kind of Night

Over on Twitter I’ve been talking about some erotic fantasy that I’ve been writing for the past week and change. I’ve decided to provide a relatively safe for work snippet of the story so far as motivation for myself and to see if it sounds interesting to readers.

When this is done, it’ll be a sexy story about a mage who works in retail and the two pretty preternaturals that wander into her job one rainy night. One’s a big cat shifter and the other is a genderqueer sex demon (a concubus). I’m hopefully going to be able to get this published somewhere (or self published) but we’ll see.

Anyway, here’s a brief (safe for work) snippet from “My Favorite Kind of Night”:Read More »

Patreon – Past, Present, and Future

Patreon

Hello folks!

It’s January 1st and 2016 is stretching in front of us, full of possibilities and endless hope. I know that I’m excited to see what the year brings me. Right now, I’m rethinking what I put out for Patreon subscribers and how I’ll be managing my time and content output especially with graduate school starting in less than two weeks.Read More »

Update 12/17/2015

I just put the finishing touches on my own Grayson post’s first draft and am working on commission work for the rest of the night but I have a few things that y’all can look forward to coming up in the next week or so:

  • A Wizardverse Yule story (if you don’t know what my Wizardverse is, I’d be happy to explain and share links to the stories)
  • A wintery temptation valley story because lesbian westerns are the best kind
  • A “Year of the Spy” post with the top things I learned/had reaffirmed about the spy genre in 2015 (goes up on Patreon tonight and everywhere else on the 31st)
  • The second fandom & race essay
  • The Grayson post (currently 7000 words of snark, frustration, and cussing, this is not a scholarly post)
  • Problematic Fave – Orson Welles. Because I love him.

There’s other stuff of course, but I wrote this list on the fly while not looking at my actual to-do list so prepare to be pleasantly surprised over the next two weeks!

On edging away from fanfiction to original works

I’m writing less and less fan fiction lately.

Obviously. I mean, I went from writing dozens of pieces of fan fiction a year (I went from writing 400k words a year to less than 70k) to less than twenty in 2015.

Something’s changed.

Part of it can be that fandom, the ones I write for at least, has changed. Many of the people who read the stuff I write aren’t there anymore because they’ve moved on to other fandoms or they’re just too busy. The new folks maybe aren’t interested in what I write or they don’t feel up to communicating as much, so if they’re there, I don’t know it.

Maybe it’s because my ships, tropes, or kinks aren’t super popular anymore and people just aren’t reading the type of content that I’m putting out so I’m putting out less content in response.

Either way, I’ve noticed that I don’t really even think about writing fan fiction lately outside of commissions and the rare burst of creativity.Read More »

Snippet – Mastermind

This is an older project I’m picking at after a few months on the side. Mastermind is  a science fiction and (eventual) romance story that focuses on a nonbinary telepath (or Mastermind) named Jare, zir detective partner Lucien, and Thalia, a gorgeous heiress in need of their help.

I really need to work on this some more because there’s so much potential to it so hopefully I can find what makes this click. If you have thoughts on this snippet, feel free to share them!


 

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Update – 11/18/2015

For the past few days, I haven’t been sleeping for very long. I think that I got 4 hours of sleep the day before yesterday and three the night before. Something out there just really wants me to be wide awake in the wee hours of the morning and it’s been hitting me something fierce.

One thing being awake endlessly is very good for, is working on new things to write. I’ve been busy jotting down story ideas and new article ideas at night so when I’m here rolling around during the day, I’m also actually working. Sure, I’m still a bit hazy since sleep deprivation works against me during the day, but no matter what, I’m reading. I’m planning. And of course, I’m writing.

What’s great is that right now I have a pretty good idea of what I’m getting up to for the rest of the month. So I’m going to force myself keep writing and checking off things on my checklist. Read More »

Snippet – Saw Palmetto Sacrifice Chapter 1

With all the Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance I read, I think it makes sense for me to tackle the genre and try to put my own spin on it. Saw Palmetto Sacrifice is what happens when I look at what I don’t like about the two genres (ceaseless heteronormativity, skimpy representation of characters of color, and cultural appropriation as the main offenders) and try to subvert the genres’ most frustrating tropes and themes.

It’s kind of on a break for now as the Gothic Romance project and my freelance writing take the front seat, but I’m so very fond of it. So this snippet comes from the first chapter and gets us into Alex’s head.

Enjoy!


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Frozen in Fear of Failure

I haven’t managed to submit another story since I sent in “The Accidental Spider-Queen” to Fireside Fiction back in April.

At first, it was because I hadn’t been writing. My former day-job (the part time one I quit in a fit of pique after rightfully feeling unappreciated) drained me to the point where all I’d do was come home, crawl into bed, and go do sleep. But I haven’t been working for almost two weeks.

So why haven’t I been submitting things?Read More »

[Snippet]: Four Flights

This snippet is from another original story, one set in a universe similar to our own except for a few minor history changes and the fact that there are beings called EXOs running around. This story is (hopefully) going to be for my submission to The Book Smugglers’ Open Call for short stories ,The theme is ‘Superheroes’ and this story, about an EXO struggling to find her freedom is pretty darn super.

I’m looking forward to finishing it and seeing where it goes.

Enjoy the snippets, folks!


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In Defense of Fanfiction Writers

startup-593327_1280The first thing that I want to do whenever I finish a series is to start writing fanfiction for it.

The series could be perfect, full of perfect plot twists and characters that I want to curl up with, but I’ll still feel like cracking open a Word doc and penning a little something for it.

That’s just how my mind works. For me, the best way to show off that I read and enjoyed a series is to write about it. I don’t have that many followers on my little blog where I do the occasional review, but plenty of people read my fanfiction.Read More »

[Snippet]: Breaking And Entering

I’m really pleased with how much progress I’ve made on this story. I thought that it’d be stuck in my WIP folder forever but something just clicked into place for it this past weekend and I wrote about four thousand words for it. I like the way that it’s turned out so far and I’m so pleased with this goopy and fluffy story that I’m going to just put my all into it and try and finish it as soon as possible!

This is a story about a lonely snake demon, a grouchy god with a sweet center, and the sentient temple that thinks that they’d be perfect together.

Enjoy!


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