Issue 04: June 2021
We're late this month for reasons I'll talk more about in next month's newsletter lmao. But we're here! And I have a new system of remembering what I should put in these newsletters!
By the by: would yous prefer the quarterly newsletter to be through Wix's email campaigns (how I have it planned now) and the issues are accessible only to people who are subscribed at the time they're sent out? Or would you prefer them to be available to members on BmAC where they'll be archived?
Discord Server & BMaC Changes
After some consideration, I deleted my Discord server. I wasn't getting enough engagement to justify keeping it and trying to maintain yet another thing. It put pressure on me to provide content, even when I've been burnt out and struggling to write. For the same reason, I removed all but the three public chapters of BCB on BMaC.
That's another reason why I'm leaning towards quarterly newsletters on BMaC instead of on Wix, aside from not needing to wait for people to subscribe. But I'm trying to make things easier on me as a mentally ill bear while finding a balance for content that my supporters will want. Without feedback re: what youse would like to see, I'm kind of in the dark. So! The server didn't serve the purpose I made it for & it wasn't worth it mentally to maintain. Maybe down the road I'll try again, but I don't have any plans for it as of now.
I'll still be posting art, playlists, moodboards, and excerpts I like on BMaC.
Good Bones Short
I made a new cover for my short story Good Bones that's been for sale for $3 on Buy Me a Coffee.
Pride 2021 Shorts
In celebration or whatever of #pride, I published two shorts to Buy Me a Coffee.
Skeletons [in the closet] is about how trauma can follow you around even when you think you're over it, how healing isn't a straight line, and how finding someone who understands trauma can be so important to your healing.
The Longevity of an Acorn is a sapphic retelling of Wilde's The Nightingale & The Rose, but make the gay pining explicit. It's about a relationship with a man that could have killed me and a relationship with a (nby) woman that brought me back to life. That's healing, baybee!
These both have a special price for members ($5 reg/$3 member, $7 reg/$5 member respectively)!
BMaC Post Roundup
Silver Bullets BTS (members only)
Hand In Your Punch Card 2.0
Jumping off the Bi Women Boston post & in the comment of that post, I included the link to the personal essay I wrote approaching pride month. I wrote a second take of the essay on my personal pillowfort, so this is technically the third version of Punch Card. But it's the second public version, so it's 2.0 for all intents and purposes lmao.
Appropriate Subjects in YA
I touched on this already in last month's newsletter, but this came up again while I was compiling topics for this one, so! This is a very debatable topic, but here's some of my tweets on the subject:
In other words, sometimes teenagers are able to handle darker content in their books because their lives are full of darker content. They have adult themes in their lives, and they need to be able to relate to their books as much as teenagers who aren't traumatized. And it feels a little...hmmm if you can't label those books as young adult because of the content, because it's just one more reminder that those teenagers who are mentally ill, who are traumatized, whose lives have been fucking difficult for one reason or another, are Other, that their childhood is null and void, and like. Usually not because of anything they did; it's usually because of something that was done to them.
So I understand that it's difficult; you want to be able to protect kids and teenagers and young adults from content that can be harmful while also allowing for readers who are already exposed to adult responsibilities or experiences. I'm not writing YA anymore because I can't keep up with trends and I can't write quickly enough to stay relevant in the market. But when I was growing up, I read books that weren't "age appropriate" because my life wasn't age appropriate. I was mentally ill and was living with trauma I didn't even recognize until I was a grown adult in college when I was a child in elementary school.
YA should have a space for those readers, but there should be more nuanced conversation about those books to make sure readers aren't exposed to traumatizing content, if that makes sense? If you're already traumatized, you need books for you. But for teenagers who aren't, those books might not necessarily be for them. They might be inappropriate. (Books like The Black Witch and The Continent etc are excluded because those are just racist at their core; they don't explore and challenge racism as much as they just uphold it. That's a different conversation.)
Not all young adults can relate to the stakes in a lot of YA romance and contemporary; that's part of the reason why I was so drawn to horror and fantasy. The stakes are more global or at least larger than personal. School didn't matter because I felt like dying every day; my world was crumbling, so reading about dragons and wizards and impending apocalypses and murders felt more appropriate or relatable to me.
The point of this: my books are adult, for sure; I don't want kids who aren't able to handle the themes in my work to be reading it because they shouldn't be exposed to something before they're able to handle it. However, for the kids who need it because they've already been exposed to trauma and hurt and need help handling and processing it? They're fully welcome to read my books as long as they help them.