PRIDE

I don’t usually stray away from the format of writing advice and short stories, but I wanted to talk about things a little more long-form than I can on either Facebook or Twitter so, here we are.

That flag up there? That’s the Pride flag. A more inclusive Pride flag. As much as I love the rainbow, we need something like this because our movement, a movement that is supposed to be about liberation for all, keeps forgetting people.

Why do I bring this up now? With all the riots and police brutality happening right now, is a flag really that important? The short answer is; yes it is important. And that’s because it’s all connected.

Does anybody remember this flag? Do you remember when it was released? I do. The absolute vitriol the (mostly white) community had for those little black and brown stripes. The idea that anyone would change the rainbow to center or even just explicitly include black and brown people enraged them. That rage reached a fever-pitch when the flag I posted first was introduced.

Because the truth of it is; that rainbow, which was supposed to represent everybody, really doesn’t. Over the years, it’s come to represent the capital-g Gay community. That is, it represents gay men, and more often than not, specifically white gay men. Sure, those of us who aren’t capital-g Gay men have our own flags but that’s not really united liberation, is it? And Black and brown communities, who spearheaded the LGBT movement for so long, are being pushed out of it. The solution? To explicitly include them, right there on our flag.

So why use the flag I posted first? Why single out the trans community? (trans colors are pink, blue, and white) To answer that, I’ll ask you a question. How many of you who aren’t part of the trans community had heard of trans issues before, say, 2015. For many of you, it was probably 2010 at the earliest. This gives the false impression, even to many within the LGBT+ community, that gender issues are kind of a new thing. They’re not. At the very forefront of the Stonewall riots were Black trans women and those same people have contributed so much to the cause since then. Many of the books burned by the Nazis prior to WWII contained academic transgender research. Despite all of this, they’ve been erased from the struggle, or, at best, been an extreme afterthought until they forced others to recognize them. That’s why we should use that flag. We need to recognize that the story of our struggles is the story of trans struggles, you can’t separate them.

So, I’d like a pledge. Use that flag to represent the community as a whole and designate yourself as anti-exclusionary. That means you will:

  • Explicitly include black and brown people in our struggles and center them often
  • Explicitly include trans people in our struggles and show that we will not “drop the T”
  • Recognize that nonbinary genders are real and respect everybody’s pronouns, yes even the neopronouns
  • Recognize that trans people do not owe us expensive medical procedures or hormones in order to be trans
  • Not insist that bi people prove their sexuality to you, even if they’re in a so-called “straight-passing” relationship
  • Not participate in community infighting that seeks to invalidate another sexuality/gender (ie: pansexuality doesn’t exist, neopronouns are bad, don’t do that)
  • Recognize that asexuals exist and have just as much right to this community as the rest of us

If there is anything I may have forgotten from this list, please let me know.

So, what does this all have to do with writing? As I said above, it really doesn’t have anything to do with it, I just decided to use my space to talk about something I’ve been thinking about. Except for, as writers, we are a voice. That’s our main thing, whether we like it or not. All works are inherently political, no matter how hard you work to keep “politics” out of it. With that in mind, it’s important to actually use our voice. Intentionally. To make sure that we are pushing for something that’s actually good instead of inadvertently advocating something we don’t want to. So, even if you use the flag and advocate loudly, take a look at your stories, what are you advocating? Hopefully what you want.

Dave

Dave was a prepper.

He had 500 gallons of water and enough food to last him for a year.

Dave was a prepper.

His coworkers though he was crazy. they had given him the name “prepper” as an insult, but he wore it with pride. He was a prepper because he was prepared. When society went to shit, which it would, he would survive.

Continue reading “Dave”

FREE BOOK

So, I wanted to do something for everyone stuck inside right now. This isn’t the only thing I’m doing, or even the only thing I’ll be posting here during these… uncertain times, but I felt it would be useful to post something fairly quickly first.

  1. I am here and I am safe, and practicing social distancing as well as I can.
  2. I am giving away my book, ASH via the link below. There are several formats there so most should be able to read it. If you’d like a format I don’t have in there, let me know in the comments.

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1IlkCBoajY39a8iMEg2_7mEz1AfGTZ5xN?usp=sharing

The Harrowing Head-Hop

Awhile ago, I said I’d do both an article and a Twitter thread on what I called pseudo-omniscient perspective, also known as; head-hopping. This is half of that promise fulfilled.

First, let’s define what pseudo-omniscient is, and is not.

Point of View

There are three main points of views, or POVs that everything, including pseudo-omniscient, fall under.

  • First Person: the narrator is a character within the story, typically the protagonist. This provides a sense of immediacy, but limits what you can show since the reader can only see what the character sees.
  • Second Person: the protagonist is you, the reader. If done well, can provide a greater sense of immersion. Great for shorter works, hard to sustain for longer ones.
  • Third Person: most common POV type. The narrator doesn’t exist in the story and the protagonist is a normal character. Can be tailored to be as close or as distant as you want it to be.

Pseudo-omniscient falls squarely within the Third Person category.

Most books written in third person fall in one of two categories: close-third and omniscient. Think of pseudo-omniscient as being between those two. At the risk of veering off-topic, I’d like to talk about both of those types so we can see what pseudo-omniscient really is.

Continue reading “The Harrowing Head-Hop”

The Thursday Chronicles

Thursday, November 6th 1958

“You really this this will work?” asked Steve.

“Of course it will,” replied the doctor. “We’ve worked so long for this. Soon, we will accomplish the dream of time travel! Now, flip the switch.”

Steve did as he was told and flipped the switch, sending massive amounts of power straight from the grid to the machine. Lights dimmed all around them, the machine hummed, loud enough to vibrate his teeth then… nothing.

“It didn’t work, did it?” the doctor asked, his face falling. It was third attempt and the doctor’s confidence was not infinite.

“It did not,” Steve replied.

“Ah, well. We’ll get it next time.”


Thursday, June 17th 1971

“Honey, there’s somebody at the door for you,” Steve’s wife called from the front room

Steve trundled up to the front room. He didn’t know what he expected when he got there, but the doctor wasn’t it.

It had been thirteen years since he saw him last. While things had changed dramatically for Steve, the wife and kids were big ones, but he had also filled out and had some gray on his temples now, the doctor looked exactly like the last day they saw each other.

“Steve!’ the doctor shouted, throwing his hands wide. “I found you!”

“You did.” Steve avoided the hug. “Why were you looking for me?” He thought he had made it pretty clear he was done with all of the doctor’s mad scientist stuff.

The doctor grabbed him by the shoulders before he could dodge. “It worked!” he said with a wild look in his eyes.

Steve squinted at him. “What worked?” he asked, knowing full well he didn’t want the answer.

“The experiment!” the doctor shouted in his face. “Our last one.”

“No it didn’t,” Steve said, gesturing around. “See?”

“But it did!” Steve was afraid the doctor’s eyes would pop out of his head.

“Goodbye.” Steve pushed him out the door. “Get some help.” The doctor was still babbling about the experiment behind the closed door as he made his way back to the kitchen.


Thursday, November 6th 2008

Steve lay on the bed in the nursing home. His wife had passed two years previous, and his kids didn’t visit anymore. He couldn’t blame them. He probably wouldn’t visit him either, if he had the choice. They thought he was crazy. Probably he was. A function of old age.

He sensed something at the foot of his bed and saw something large and dark standing there.

He had heard of this happening in a person’s final moments. He welcomed the Reaper gladly.

“Are you death?” he asked the figure.

“No,” the figure replied. It leaned in, revealing a face Steve knew well. The doctor. “I am life.”


Thursday, November 6th 1958

“Get ready! We’re really going to do this!”

Steve was jolted awake from his daydream, uncertain why he had tears streaming down his cheeks.

Behind the Door Released

It’s out everyone!

I’m flexing my claws with this one. Scarier than ASH with some of my best short horror. Check out the all-new Room 142 or revisit old favorites like The Garden, reworked and better than ever!

You can buy it for Kindle or read for free right now on Kindle Unlimited. Click here to see.

Land of Wishes

landofwishesWelcome to the land of Aramond, the land of fantastical, mythical beasts and creatures.

Join our own Jordan Nicole Smith as she takes you on a serialized adventure like no other through a land where all the mythical creatures live.

Subscribe to her story here on Channillo.

 

Announcing: Behind the Door

Hey friends. I know I haven’t been on here in awhile, and I do have another story for here soon, but I’d like to announce a new horror anthology; Behind the Door.

behindthedoor

This terrifying anthology contains stories from this very site, polished until they glistened. It also contains new stories, like Room 142, which I am very proud of and I think it’ll make you not want to be alone for awhile.

You’ll be able to get it via Kindle and Kindle Unlimited by April 5th. Unfortunately, I can’t do pre-orders, but I will make an announcement, here and on my other social media pages when it’s available.

Thank you, now back to your regularly scheduled day.

Antique Train Ticket

I was handed an antique train ticket. 1902. I don’t know who gave it to me, or why. One minute, I was walking, and the next, I had a ticket and a whisper; “go there”. Continue reading “Antique Train Ticket”

The Road to Self Publishing- The Cover

coverdesign

Ah, the cover. Easily one of the most important things if you actually want to sell your book. Covers are one of those things that are far more complex than it seems on the surface, so I’m going to break this up into several sections.

  • Why the cover is important
  • Should you hire?
  • Types of covers you’ll need
  • Tools of the trade
  • Cover Designers

If you’re not ready for all that, you can check out the other Road to Self Publishing posts.

Ready? Let’s get started. Continue reading “The Road to Self Publishing- The Cover”