Monday, December 19

Kickstarting Self-Empowerment with Microcosm Publishing

This month, I've been promoted to Publicity Director over at Microcosm Publishing. I love it, and am super frickin excited. For my first post-promotion blog post I'm glad our newest kickstarter project just began, because it's a great way to get introduced to Microcosm and what we do.

Microcosm Publishing is an independent press based out of Portland. We publish and distribute books that we feel are empowering or useful in some way, with the mission to give people the tools they may need to improve their lives, selves, or just have their voices heard. I've really lucked out to work here, and did I mention I'm super fricking excited about my new position here? Because I am. 🙌

From the Kickstarter:
"From fermentation to empowering queer youth, sewing to reporting on racial justice, bicycling to punk rock mysteries—these six colorful little books pack a serious punch. Back this project and help us bring these—and many future books—to life!"

So check out the video below, made specially for the project, and check it out at

Also, I don't think I've mentioned it, but I'll have a story in the upcoming feminist bicycle science fiction collection (yeah, you read that right) BikeTopia. More excite!!! [and check out that badass cover!]

Monday, October 31

Penny Dreadful project: The Beginning!

I've kind of fallen in love with classic, victorian Penny Dreadfuls. Like horror zines for Victorian England, these hand-printed and bound pamphlets were the beginning of the horror entertainment genre as we know and love it today.
Many of the classics we love were serialized either in zine form or as part of anthology magazines. The Picture of Dorian Grey, Dracula, Carmilla. This meant plucky heroes and long format stories that seemed to resemble modern television series' a bit more than your everyday novel.

So, I'm bringing them back.

The Dollar Dreadfuls series will have three lines: The Penny Blood Classics {aka Pennies}, The Penny Dreadful Tales {aka Dreadfuls}, and Moderns Fear, an anthology. All content will be as diverse, inclusive, and fem-positive as possible.

The Pennies will be the classic victorian penny dreadfuls, reprinted from public domain and with (hopefully) original illustrations.
The Dreadfuls will be serialized original horror stories, with short original pieces of literature and art. Something like a series of television show episodes.
And Modern Fear will be a horror anthology with original and classic works combined, along with any awesome genre stuff I can get my hands on.

The first Penny will be Carmilla -- the story of a young woman whose new friend is hiding something dangerous. Volume 1, Issue 1 is available now.

Sunday, July 31

I don't know where I lost the will to write.

Writing is work. Even if that work is just sitting in front of a keyboard -- I still have to keep my fingers moving and sometimes, for a long time now, that's hard.

I was never great at being consistent. I never wrote daily or blogged regularly. But it got worse a year or two back. Then somewhere along the lines I had the incredible opportunity to interview Francesca Lia Block, but I wasn't in one of my blogging-success patterns and I really, really didn't give it my all. This was one of my dreams, people, and I didn't give it my all!
Thanks depression and dysphoria, so glad you could join the party...

After that I was caught up in the whirlwind of moving across the country and trying to find work and succeed at all in another place where the odds are stacked against us. Against everyone, really. I lucked out like crazy with an internship to get me through the doors and part-time job(s) to pay the bills, but lost essentially all of my creative energy and motivation.

Over time, this started to create a fuzzy little noise in the back of my mind, like a tumor reminding me that I've given up my creative and artistic goals and never accomplished anything. Then came poverty.

I love this city, but everyone knows it's kicking us out. My rent is literally double anything I've ever paid for housing before. My car is constantly one step away from repossession [I've since sold it --read; paid a lot of money to not have to pay for it any more]. We haven't bought groceries in over a month. Every time we've thought we were almost caught up, something else happened and we were at the bottom of the money hole again.

It's like all of my energy and motivation and hope has drained away in the last year, maybe it's just been too long struggling to make things work here, fighting possible homelessness over the last few months, going hungry for the first time in my adult life. I worked three jobs (one unpaid) over the summer and two after that fo
r months. When I lost one (the one I hated, luckily), I spiraled. I'd spent so long working 40+ hour weeks that I exploited my new-found free time. I'd go to work and I'd come home and I'd watch tv. Over and over. For months I overcompensated for a year of overworking. Getting to work on time became a small win. Doing the dishes; a big win. Working for more than 5 hours a day; huge.

Everything fueled this depression trying to creep over me, but I smoked lots of weed and curled up on the couch to watched tv. First I stopped writing. Then I stopped reading. Then I stopped being social. Then I stopped doing pretty much everything. It wasn't like my past depression -- curled up under piles of blankets with a black hole inside of my chest -- this was... almost functional. I assume, perhaps logically, that this difference is due to my being medicated now versus then, but who knows.

And we got through it pretty decently. We started to take walks more often, just to get off the couch. We found local resources for free food. We found ways to make a few extra dollars -- selling plasma, selling furniture, etc.. We played with our dogs more and we cuddled more and we keep our heads up and kept moving.
Mood-wise, we were okay: it was like doing yoga next to a crumbling cliffside-- sure, you're keeping your cool, but any minute now that wall of rock is going to collapse on top of you and kill you, and you know it's coming. This was my feeling pretty much all of the time. And every time I thought about something I could do to help myself -- write, read, be social, clean -- I just... didn't. I didn't have even the slightest bit of willpower to get my ass up and do anything.

Now is a little bit different.
Now I'm the sales manager where I was interning, a rad [i say rad, now, cause i'm a west coast grl.] publishing house that is getting bigger and bigger every year, and I'm excited to help them grow and succeed. They've been incredibly patient with me and my situations over the last year, and it is an amazing opportunity. I work with books all day and, basically, am doing exactly what I came here to do. If I work a full forty hour week (which I'm still working up to and it's slow-going) I have almost enough to pay my rent and car payment, and hopefully the electric bill (not our other bills though, of which there are many).
We're not even close to paying any of our bills, our taxes (holy shit it's a lot), our loans, my car payment, or being able to buy groceries any time soon. But we still have an apartment and we're constantly looking for somewhere cheaper. I have a reliable, grown-up sized paycheck coming in.
For the first time in months, there's this underlying feeling of possibility.

We're not okay, but every week it's more and more likely that we're going to be. There's something inherently freeing in that possibility.

Friday, May 27

Paper Girls

First: I didn't read the description of Paper Girls before I started reading. As a steady fan of Saga and others like it, I just trusted Brian K. Vaughan and Image Comics to intrigue me.
The result?
They did.

I don't know what I expected -- a realistic drama about paper delivery girls on some adventure. For some reason, I wasn't expecting science fiction, some creep-tastic moments, violence, and a fight for survival. And while all of those things are kind of minimal, they're handled with a realism and emotional gravity that each situation deserves.

I loved it.
I was able to get a digital galley of the book just before release, and while I waffled at first, the colors on that cover just nagged at me every time I saw it, and I finally sat still long enough to read it. After the first few pages I was drawn in and blazed through it.

I'll edit this post more later when I have more time, but for now I'll just say: read this! If this is an ongoing series, I look forward to what they do next.

Wednesday, January 27

if i wrote a letter to my self

i would remind myself that i need to practice kindness more. and patience. and that i might be smoking too much, and what if it's messing with my health? is it making my life simpler or making me dumber? that i should walk my dogs more and spend more quality time with my husband. i should worry less about my libido and just try to feel more. to love more. maybe i should read more. i should probably stop making choice that i know aren't great just because it's easy or i'm lazy or it's just what i want. i can't be a better person without trying and i can't have the life i want without working for it. i can and should wake up earlier and keep my home cleaner. i should live and experience more through my own eyes, not from a distance and not with the little thoughts that always make me feel encroached and incapable of actually being myself. i should let myself see through my own eyes instead of processing my experiences and actions through a lens of my past self. maybe i should look into the definition of arrested development. but on top of the things i do to make good choices, there are things i shouldn't do, too. don't hold a grudge. not against myself and not against others. don't lie. don't go to work when i'm sick. don' pretend to be sick to get out of work. if i really want to skip work, maybe it's time to ask why. don't hesitate to cry when i actually need it, especially since the zoloft makes it hard to cry and i should take advantage of any time it seems like it could happen. don't watch tv when i could read. or write. don't forget the most important things: i'm loved and i'll be okay.

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