Monday, March 7, 2016

Elaine-Dance Your Way From Mental Slavery

Know that meme “Dance Like No One’s Watching”? Write like no one’s reading. Which they probably aren’t. I’m talking the indie life here (even though it applies to traditional pubbing too). Unless there’s push behind your work the odds are pretty good that at this very moment you’ve eaten more burgers in your life than your books have sold. There are always the fortunate exceptions to this, and huge ups to those. But generally speaking there’s not enough time in the day or you to go around when it comes to knocking on the doors of a world of potential readers. So dance instead. Mentally dance. When someone starts dancing in the middle of the block there’ll suddenly be a thousand eyes on ‘em. That’s you as you write the next book. That’s you for you. Be your dancer, be your audience, and enjoy the movement of your body. Yes you want your books to sell. Until the economic system changes that’s the model we’re working with. But always keep one in the hopper. An idea, a book, a story – something that excites you. If you don’t, dread sets in. Dread and career ennui. The moment you slow down you’re in thrall to some nasty brain ants. Make yourself a moving target to those sumbitches. The You’re No Good ants; The Why Bother ants; the Ants of Extreme Rancor: Automatic Negative Thoughts. You’ll even get some Aunts in there (automatic unnecessary negative thoughts; these are the ones that go round and round and end up absolutely nowhere). Every detrimental thought passes its message on to the other ants until putting yourself down becomes routine. Screw that ant hill. Dance on it. How? No magic. No secret. Just you. Whether you tell yourself this or not, please know that you are a mofo of steel. On more than one occasion you have made the mountain feel safe atop a wild earthquake. Own, as the pope has been known to say, that shit.

Do it. Write. STOP THINKING ABOUT THE END RESULT OF WHAT YOU’RE WRITING AND JUST WRITE. The other stuff? That’s cleaning up after sex. And you’re not going to sit there and tell me you eschew sex because you don’t wanna shower afterward. Don’t go there. Enjoy the nibblies. Stop thinking about the marketing you’ll have to do, or the tweeting or the blogging. That way lies madness. Don’t worry about the end result; that’s in the future. Be here now. Get naked and wiggle things. And keep wiggling. Dance the dance electric. Vertically or horizontally, a dance is a dance. Doesn’t matter if you look like Elaine from Seinfeld doing it, just do it. You never know who might be watching. And if nobody is watching? It still feels bloody damn good in the head as you’re trying dreams on for bed.

Win win, my friend. Win win.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Moolah Rouge

Patreon. Me. Patreon and me. Me with a Patreon page.

You, perhaps, with, say, lint or change you wouldn't mind flipping into the well.

The life of the artiste. Always in the red. Unless you're Joyce Carol Oates. Fat money there. Phat.  I'll leave you alone to consider.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Contest of Champions!

THE BROTHERS JETSTREAM: LEVIATHAN is like the one that you want, the droids you were looking for, and Lionel Ritchie singing "Hello" to speed metal. So it makes sense to give some of that back. Head over to the writing homestead (clicky HERE) and get ready to flex your own writing muscles!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Briefly Put

The internet is full of cats, and I don’t mean memes. I mean mofos who want to act aloof and call folks names and bury them with doofy shit and scratch if folks try to clean them a bit. Thing is, folks are not about that brand of noise anymore. Folks are about love and light and beauty, all the good shit that makes a person worth someone’s time. If cats want to lick and lick and cough up their own ass hairs, that’s on them. But let such a mofo whine about why he’s not getting kissed and, hand to Gawd, let the smacking of the taste out of a mofo’s mouth begin.

 Do you know such a cat? Talk to that cat about love with humor, respect, and genuine hope for their well-being. Some will listen, others won’t. Doesn’t matter that you don’t get 100% conversion. Just keep talking.


Monday, September 28, 2015

10 Brief & Polite Directives for Most Writers

Not everyone will "get" your work. Move the hell on.
Not everyone will like your work. Move the hell on.
Some will love your work. Move the hell on.
Most will not care about your work, as most will never see your work. Move the hell on.
Eighteen million other people are having the same idea you are having right now. Write the damn thing and move the hell on.
Readers don't give the least interested damn whether you were inspired to write or not. Put the pinafore and petticoat down and move the hell on.
If given the chance to write or have sex, write. This will give the appearance of aloofness, leading to even better reclamation sex. We're kidding. Take your clothes off and stop burning daylight.
If a thousand copies of your book sell in a day, praise all the gods most high. If a single copy of your book sells in a day, praise all the gods most high.
Vacuums are for floors. A book is not a message in a bottle floating aimlessly. A book is a rock loaded in a slingshot; get your target practice in.
Respect words. They have power. If you are not going to respect words, move the hell on.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Energy = Mic-dropped Squared

Knowledge Lateef... 

is watching the watchers.

The City. Alive. Teeming. Whirling through the unknown cosmos carrying the descendants of heroes, villains, poets, and revolutionaries. Carrying us. A diaspora spread across species, tech forms, and a living, sentient world. This is a special project on many levels. It’s the largest MMO “game” black speculative fiction has seen yet, taking 18 visions and making it one world. Fiction, artwork, music, energy, blended as surely as Parliament merged universal fabrics into funk. 

Welcome to the Future. CyberFunk.

This is a project I was proud to join. This isn’t bubblegum dystopia, these stories are riffs on Earth’s current major chords. Overpopulation. Love. Systemic corruption. Exploration. Hope. Resilience and truth. Identity when the gene pool is a constant swirl of wonder. The City represents stories that actually want to say something to the world in the way that good science fiction should demand it be said: with an eye toward a better life under truthful skies.

But if your first thought is “Blacks as a major presence in space?” – maybe this isn’t the bus you’re looking for. This is The City, not The Burb. Still here? Cool. There’s work to be done. Livin’ just enough for The City won’t do. Knowledge Lateef can’t do it all.

You've got 18 warriors spitting words at you. My contribution is entitled Move, for as we know, funk not only moves it can remove.

Energy equals mic-dropped, squared. 


The City anthology will be available as an e-book via Amazon, Barnes and Noble (Nook) and Kobo on September 25th and as a paperback at MVmedia and wherever books are sold by October 15th.  

Ready to wander the streets of The City? Lose your Tell at

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Reading Rainbows

Not to sound as if this is a bluster, but for me this is a very big deal. I don’t read as much as I used to, which was damn near incessantly. I give a writer the first few sentences and if I can see where said writer is going and exactly how said writer plans to get there, I don’t bother. I’m already a writer; I don’t wanna write somebody else’s book for them, particularly not when I’m trying to sell my own damn stuff. Being this selective, there are very few writers whose name alone guarantees me separating from coin. Let me talk about some folks who are widening that list. I hope to intrigue you. Click every link here and buy something.

Marguerite Reed. Ms. Reed doesn’t write for our better angels. She writes to tell the demons to get their shit together and make sure life, for each one, is worth living. Her debut novel, released this year, is humanist science fiction minus any glittery trappings. If you read sci fi to glean something about us in the here and now—and salud to you if that’s the case—ARCHANGEL is necessary. Not only is it beautifully constructed, intelligently written, and researched to authentication perfection, but it’s emotionally moving as all hell too. It takes themes of pain and healing and transforms them into a grand take on colonialism, militarization of the spirit, ecology (both emotional and environmental), and what it truly means as a human being to be a steward of the wonders we wander. I fell in love with the honesty of this book.

When it comes to the brass tacks of prose itself, all you need to assess is this, then I’ll move on to the next writer, Ms. Patty Templeton.

How to describe one’s first experience of open air, of limitless light? If I say that everything appeared gray, the shuttle, our skin, our clothes, that gives no true impression. This was not the gray of weariness, of defeat. This was the dreaming gray of dawn, the color of the silence before the beloved speaks, the color of the water-filled glass offered to parch long thirst...

There Is No Lovely End. Isn’t that life? Isn’t that what we run from day after day, that one truth, that one refutation of all our fairy tales? There are times a body needs to cuss. Uttering “Holy fuck” during communion at certain beauties shouldn’t raise an eyebrow. I ran into Ms.Templeton of THERE IS NO LOVELY END by chance. We were on the same panel at a con. I wanted to buy her book because that’s what I do: I support writers who come out from behind their thoughts to say hi. I can’t financially support everybody but when I feel that spark I act on it. Ms. Templeton had that gleeful cool spark. Bio. Read this bio.

Patty Templeton is roughly 25 apples tall and 11,000 cups of coffee into her life. She wears red sequins and stomping boots while writing, then hits up back-alley dance bars and honky tonks. Her stories are full of ghosts, freaks, fools, underdogs, blue collar heroes, and never giving up, even when life is giving you shit. She won the first-ever Naked Girls Reading Literary Honors Award and has been a runner –up for the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award. There Is No Lovely End is her first novel.

This is where I cuss.  Sweet fuck in the rock. This book is sharp. It is smart. It is macabre, and damned if it ain’t wise. Not a character in the book walks a straight path, and not a situation or word is misplaced or wasted. I didn’t know hide nor hair of Patty Templeton before that con. Now, anything she writes, I’m there. She respects the word. She knows the word is a tool not a brick. And by damn you can tell she enjoys what she’s doing. That’s so key. Every artist in the world who puts their joy in what they’re gifting us shines with a particular light.

I will not gush overmuch on her but will instead share with you this snippet of her book whilst highly, highly, recommending you get some.

After a lengthy time, wherein the sun abandoned the sky and the moon strolled out, Graham decided to kill himself in front of Hester Garlan. He was not guaranteed to haunt her, but from what the Uncommon History said, he had a generous chance, so long as his last moments were of fervid yearning arrowed at existing by her side.

On the sixth day, Graham Johnson knocked on Hester’s door.

Hester had decided to kill Graham Johnson when next she saw him...


Mr. DaVaun Sanders. It’s hard to talk about Mr. Sanders’ work without giving away spoilers. The stories are intricate, full of characters who cross and re-cross paths, and ever expansive. I’ll have to be brief, but in no way diminishing. There’s joy (of which he has) and then there’s fun, and my gods does this man like to have fun. A good adventure has to take place in an interesting world. It needs sympathetic characters. It needs heart. And it needs to be daring enough to take chances. THE SEEDBEARING PRINCE (parts one through three) world-builds like you wouldn’t believe, and the surety of voice grows with each book. These adventures flip race, flip gender, and upend expectations, especially for younger readers. I’m saving my copies for my Wee Nephew for when he’s older because the way this world is going he’ll need some coolness. This book is full of monsters, escapes, and enough jumping to make Spider-Man tired. Sanders presents his world-building without showing you the bricks; lays out the hero’s journey without retreading thousands of previous steps; imparts enough of a sense of community that the sense of danger seems all the more real.

To wit:

“Hello, Brother Blayle. I won’t be surprised when ridgecats sneak into Evensong, as good as it smells here.” Dayn’s mouth watered so freely he thought his cheeks might start to sweat. The butcher took a good look at him, then sliced a liberal chunk from a roasting goat and skewered it. He slathered it with his family’s sauce, known throughout the district, and offered the morsel to Dayn.

“Oh, the ridgecats are here,” Blayle said. “They just put dresses on over their fur. Good Evensong to you, lad.”

I like that his books aren’t trying to re-invent the wheel. I love that his books, with their brown-skinned protagonists and thorough knowledge of sci fi fantasy conventions, are spinning the wheel on a new axis.

Three authors you may or may not be familiar with; three, if not, you might want to show some love. The brain needs. Reading feeds.

As to neurons, stay lit, my friends.