Recently I've been reading a broader range of online lit zines in my pursuit to become a FAMOUS WRITER* and I've noticed something lately.
Now some of my stories yes have fat people in them, some don't some are unspecified bodied people, I've noticed lately that some of my favorite lit zines publish a lot of stories with the same fat assholes.
Fat Asshole Tropes according to me are the assholes in the story who are designed to make you kind of hate them. Their inner narratives are full of the kind of self loathing that is intended not to get pity out of the reader but disgust.
These are the kind of Fat Assholes who engender your (the reader and the people in the story) loathing because they are the literary equivalent of the Headless Fatty.
Now frankly I don't care if there are fat people in a story or not but I do care when that is the only narrative being presented.
I find this turn towards the same kind of health moralism that one finds everywhere, really unfortunate.
Another example. I was reading a "professional" writers newsletter thing where one entire issue was taken up with the idea that in order to be a good professional writer one must also be this one idea of healthy.
I'm not really sure what to do about these things.
The first thing I've done is that I no longer reader a fairly longish list of zines. I'm not naming names so don't ask. Suffice it to say that I just don't give them the clicks. I won't buy their shit. I won't submit I won't anything.
I'm also finding myself being a little more mindful of my stories and whether or not the culture of a magazine would tolerate them.
That is kind of an upsetting thing.
Lately for stories I have that have very distinct race oriented undertones, I am taking pause and wondering if a mag will get it or if they won't. It's a weird thing to feel and think about.
It feels uncomfortable to me. I don't want to be thinking about these things. I really just want to write my shit and if people like it they like it and if they don't oh well.
And yet, I keep thinking about these things. I'm reading for both pleasure and to see if X publication could tolerate a story with a fat person in it who is not a Fat Asshole*. Or where yes the character is fat but it's not a big deal, it's not any kind of deal the person is just fat and other things are going on.
Unfortunately I have to read a lot in order to learn my markets. Being that I kinda don't see myself getting the next big book deal out of thin air, and that I am a short fiction kinda author just now I have to do these things. I would really like to learn how to filter out the bullshit without getting so bogged down in it.
Because right now, I'm bogged down. I'm distracted. I'm self censoring to a degree and that has to stop. I will say that because deliberately including racial/fat issues in my fiction stories is a relatively new thing for me I'll probably get over this at some point.
So that is where I am at currently. I'm also in the midst of a swirl of rejections. Some positive rejections and I'm still kind of kicking around the idea of putting together and self publishing a book of essays.
That said, I may need to hold a little fundraiser so I can pay to have it edited because I'm not the most awesome editor and if I'm going to do a little book I want to DO THE DAMN thing you know?
And I leave you with a question. Are those help me fund X project things too um...well is it dickish? I'm really torn but I don't know if I could afford to get a good sized book thing edited and published by myself.
Y'all are ALWAYS awesome at setting me straight.
Also thank you for the shoe recs. I'm thinking Danskos will win unless I find something more awesome. More on that next week.
PS..Don't forget Shannon loves you k?