Highlights 2018. (19.1.17)

I want to take a second to revel in the small victories. 2018 had several awesome writing moments for me, which was quite affirming. Whether by coincidence or reward, I’ll take it.

Early in the year I was a “slushpile” reader for the WRITE CLUB Contest, and I got to read through all the fantastic 500 word submissions. I was really intrigued to see how the audience interacted with the stories once they were posted. It was a good experience, and a lot of fun.

In April, an excerpt from my 2017 Nanowrimo project was published in the Seattle Erotic Art Festival’s Literary Anthology. I attended the festival and participated in their Wanderlust Poetry tour, where accepted authors were able to see the accepted artwork and write poetry to read during the tour. My poem Confidence Talks, a response to the piece Flauntleroi, was featured on the artist Hooligan Lili’s website.

I made a wholly under-prepared presentation, Talk Sex Positively Now, at Olympic College’s Diversity Conference in June and talked about consent and sex positivity basics. I would love to improve my skills in presentations and preparations, as I enjoyed the opportunity it gave me, but I struggled to pull everything together and make it a worth while conversation.

I participated in the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Contest for the second year. I’ve not made it past the second round, but I’m proud of the stories and ideas I’ve come up with through their prompts. Keep My Memories and Me Too were my 2017 entries.

I attended Willamette Writers Conference in August, did a few pitches, a manuscript critique, and went to as many sessions as I could. As always, it was a wonderful experience. Ijeoma Oluo, Vivek Shraya, and Charlie Jane Anders were amongst the fantastic keynotes, and I was delighted to see more queer authors and diversity topics in the session line ups. I learned a lot from my pitches, and the critique was awesome. I came away with more knowledge and ideas on how to further my writing and my current work in progress.

I got to read Sensational Ailey at Salon of SEAF: Explore Written Erotica. It was a ton of fun visiting their new gallery space and listening to the other author’s readings.

In October, my short story Guard Crow was featured on Not A Pipe Publishing’s website as part of their #TheYearOfPublishingWomen’s short story series. It was an honor to be featured as part of their series, and I encourage you to check out their anthology “Strongly Worded Women: The Best Of the Year Of Publishing Women” which features other’s contributions to the series.

I wrote for NaNoWriMo in November, meeting 50K for the seventh year. (Out of eight but who’s counting 2016?) More on that here.

My year wrapped up with my family buying a house and moving through December, which is unquestionably awesome and lucky.

I’m excited to put more energy toward my writing, and see what I can do in 2019.

Nano 2018. (18.12.3)

NaNoWriMo 2018 ended a week ago, and I’m still tired.

The previous years I’ve written for Nano, I’ve held myself to a very high standard as to how I would count my words. It was all toward one, newly started project, and only words in the manuscript draft itself were counted. All the writing I was doing for school, for other projects, even for the info and notes on the Nano projects weren’t to be included.

This year I was a little more desperate creative with where I counted words.

I didn’t start actually writing until the seventeenth. At that point, I hadn’t even written one full day’s count. Usually when I’m that far behind, I at least had a foundation of words. Not this year.

This year I counted all the words I created in November on my project, one that I’ve now worked on for three years (part of it’s published in This Anthology, which was super exciting!). Notes, editing, internal screaming. Actual drafted materials. The pep talk I wrote myself about making mistakes and giving myself a plan for fixing them later, once the project has actually been created. I counted all those words, all the words I could, and it was still a hellacious slog.

After a few days of catch up, I was overwhelmed and bored and frustrated. I ended up trying to figure out if I could murder a character without drastically changing the actual plot of the project, which did not call for a murder.

It turns out I could figure it out. And that it solved a couple of problems I’d been having with plot holes, motivations, and backstories. I only had to go back fifteen years, invent twelve new characters, take them across the country, and casually change tone from lighthearted danger rebellion to dark, murderous, with extra tasty trauma emotions.

This sideways mutation of my project has been lovingly dubbed Plot Bunny Noir, and made up a majority of the words collected for the month.

I made 50K words on the last day, between all of the pieces related to my project. I took approximately five minutes to feel elated, and then I took a nap while my brain melted.

I’m proud of the writing I did this month. A lot of it will be useful, even and especially some of the plot notes, editing theories, and world building blocks. I ended up solving a lot of issues I’d been having, I managed to survive the word count, and an exhausting time was had by all.

To everyone who participated, you accomplished something awesome*. You have all the permission to be proud of yourselves.

To everyone else, wow what a normal month you must have had. I hope it was a good one.

Everyone should be proud they survived another month, words or no words.

I wish you several good sleeps.


Bonus Cool  Shit:

National Novel Writing Month

1,667 Words

*See? Awesome!NaNo-2018-Winner-Badge

Error, Life Space Not Found. (18.6.23)

This week has been incredibly long and tiring. Some awesome things have happened, as well as the simply exhausting things.

Primarily, I attended Olympic College’s 5th Annual Diversity Conference, this year as a presenter myself. It was a great experience, though incredibly nerve wracking and highlighting my incredible skill in procrastination. I promised attendees that I would post slides from my presentation. Yesterday.

So, in keeping with the rest of my current schedule, let’s aim for a nice little reflection and information post next week.

Consider this your teaser post. (I’m considering it hanging onto my weekly post promise to myself a little bit longer.)

Awesome things in the works: (Theoretically, anyway.)

Presentation Reflections,

A few more previously published pieces,

Some awesome short pieces,

and for me, actually working on my novel.


From somewhere under the pile of things, Happy Pride!

Warped and lengthened timelines are fine. We can always celebrate cool things.

SEAF Announcement! (18.4.14)

I will have a piece of writing in this year’s Seattle Erotic Arts Festival Literary Anthology!SeeArt_Facebook

It looks like there’s going to be some really amazing artists featured, I’m honored to be included. I’m also very excited to be able to attend the festival and be a part of this awesome event!

There’s more information about the festival through the link below, and I’ll make sure to make more updates if anything particularly exciting or new comes up!

Literary Artists of 2018

UPDATE 4/16:

Find the link to purchase the Anthology for yourself HERE.

On This Beginning. (17.8.26)

(Original About page, the beginning of my work on this website and on taking my writing seriously as a career. Enjoy the rambling pledge I made to myself!)

I am considering this moment a beginning for my writing career. (And I say career with grand optimism.) Perhaps it is only the beginning of this part of what could become my career. It is likely arbitrary. Mainly it is sitting myself down and telling myself that I will take my writing seriously, that I will pursue it, that I will make it a priority in my time. I’ve taken that pledge before, and I’ll take it again whenever necessary.

This moment for me seems like an opportune time for me to solidify that pledge to myself.

I recently graduated from college. Like many people at this stage, I have been in school of various forms for a very long time. And while I was in high school, while I was in community college, while I went through undergraduate studies, I set aside my own writing. I wrote for my classes, I wrote research papers, seminar discussions, study reflections, and very occasionally I would write a journal entry or a short story or a piece of opinion that was my own. My writing oasis during school became NaNoWriMo, the one crazy chaotic month out of the school year that prioritizing my own writing over schoolwork was totally acceptable and expected. It was the reminder of how much I actually did love writing.

Over the last few months since graduation, I’ve been working to get back into the practice of writing something, something of mine, every day. To bring the prioritization and love of writing from November into the everyday. At some point in the process I attended my second writing conference.

The first time I had attended I considered it practice, first experiences, and getting an idea of what I should expect and plan for. This most recent time was still new experiences, I still was unprepared, I still didn’t have writing that was ready, and I still wasn’t ready to attempt any professional networking. Then when I came back from this conference, I was energized to work on my writing, to work on taking my writing seriously, to work on taking myself seriously, and prepare.

That’s still a process I’m working on. I don’t feel professional, I don’t always manage to sit down and write. I get distracted easily. But, I’ve decided these goals are significant and justified, and that I want to pursue them. I want to pursue them now.

This is my starting point.

I hope you’ll join me.

Cultivating The Badass. (18.1.19)

I created my first writing blog somewhere around the age fourteen, and I used shades of black and shimmering neon blue, and a photo where I dramatically looked into the distance that had been digitally altered to look like a hundred year old newspaper. I kept that blog periodically updated for years, and ended up posting about fifty pieces of my writing, all varying in quality. It was called Lurking Girl and it highlighted the pieces of my personality that watched, listened, and didn’t make me feel particularly visible. Part of it was processing my observations, part of it was having a place to share my writing.

I have a lot of love for that blog and obviously some of the themes have carried over onto this website. It was incredibly daunting to start out on this perfectly new platform, with a blank slate. I was leaving a piece of history and built up identity behind, even if it was a very small piece. When I started with this site, I didn’t update for months. One post and then nothing. Maybe another and nothing again. I didn’t have a solid idea of what I wanted it to be, and I felt weirdly guilty for leaving behind another place where I had put in a lot of effort and time. Finally, the decision to actually update this site came with the decision to take writing seriously. I wanted to build up something that has a lot of capacity to expand and is aimed toward setting up the beginnings of my writing career.

The word Badass has been resonating with me over the past months since I made that decision. For me it means a feeling of invincibility, strength, or confidence. There are long stretches when those feelings are few and far between, and I’ve not yet conquered many demons. But I want to work toward having that feeling around more often. I want to remind myself it’s not gone forever, and that it can be cultivated and encouraged.

This day is the second anniversary of this website’s existence, and it’s grown a lot since I started it. I want it keep growing, to refine and improve.

I want this site to be a big part of cultivating the badass in myself, and in anyone else who wants to come along for the adventure.

Willamette Writers Conference Musings. (16.8.11)

The window of my hotel room looks out over a small interior courtyard and a little fountain. It’s very pretty and peaceful. I have my name tag that says I’ll be here until Sunday, that tells me I have an Advanced Manuscript Critique set up. I’ve attended the pre-conference workshop on “conference success basics”, and the Pitch for the Prize event.

I’m at my first writer’s conference, Willamette Writers Conference in Portland Oregon. I registered at the end of May and drove three hours to get here. I fixed up the first fifteen pages or so of my most recently finished novel for the critique.

I’ve spent the last three years writing primarily for my classes, for my school. Not for myself. In the last three years, November with its frenzy of an event called NaNoWriMo has been my only refuge for my own writing as I’ve been evermore distracted with Running Start and Evergreen. And while I love going to college, and while I love what I’m learning about, I’ve been getting further and further away from my identity as a writer.

The novel I finished when I was twelve seems so faraway it’s unreal. The multitudes of others that I’ve started have been left collecting dust in the corners of my computer for years. The short essays I’ve published in an educator’s magazine’s teen writing series don’t reflect my current style, nor the content I want to write about. The local high school writing contest I took 1st Place in is an amazing and surreal memory.

The blog I kept vaguely occasionally sometimes updated was privatized back in January when I switched to a new platform. A new platform that, since January, has acquired all of three tiny stories and an “about” page that’s far more ambitious than I currently feel.

I feel out of touch with my writing, and with the writing I want to grow into writing. I feel out of touch with the ten year old me who could read six books in a week and practically devoured the local library. I went to the library a few days ago and I couldn’t remember how to pick up my holds.

It’s ridiculously daunting to listen to the people here talk about pitching books and ideas. There’s a small part of me that worries I’ve become an interloper in an area that was quite recently the place where I felt most at home, writing.

This last year of my education it seems I’ve mainly succeeded in racking up an extensive list of things I need to learn or relearn before I can properly adult. And there are so many more things that have come up in the last five hours here.

I don’t have a platform. I don’t promote my blog or update it regularly. I have focused on doing well in school, often to the point of neglecting other important parts of myself.

I don’t have credentials (It’s hard to at 19). I have an Associate’s in Arts and I’ve taken some really cool classes that have covered topics that I more and more want to write about. But I am no expert and I don’t know whether the writing I want to do will ever fit into the right places for it to be a career.

I have a body of work in that I have written a lot of stuff. But that stuff isn’t anywhere near being able to show it to anyone. Of course I’m afraid that it never will be; all writers are, aren’t they?

I go back to school in a bit more than a month. My last year of school, I’m on track to get my bachelor’s degree. A general bachelor’s degree in arts. And there is so much more I need to learn. So much specific knowledge I need. I’m ready to be done with school, except I haven’t learned enough yet and I don’t know if I have the discipline and ambition to keep learning at the right pace when I get out of school to cover what I need to be the writer that I want to be.

But maybe, even as I sit through these workshops and panels and feel a little bit like I might not belong, it’ll be the kick that I needed to take it seriously again. Maybe it’ll remind me about the parts that I love about writing and that I can still get better at it. That it’s worth putting in the work to get better.

There are undoubtedly a wealth of resources here. And there are some really cool workshops happening. And I’m very much looking forward to them.

And I’m sitting here writing this instead of sleeping because it’s going to be a priority, dammit. And that’s awesome.

So maybe I do belong here after all.