Saturday, February 13, 2021

I Can’t Write

(An Essay about Writing)

by Jarla Tangh

I am a Pantser. Pantser means writing to enjoy the journey and getting messy and seeing where the journey takes us. I am in a writing group with a Plotter.

When I put my latest Pantsing effort in for critique, I learn over and over again that I do not have a story. I don’t have the means to transport my reader into my world and have them want to stay there.

Sometimes, I do.

But it’s not often enough for a Plotter. If the story works, it turns out to be hit-or-miss in the Plotter’s opinion. I am fine with not knowing. For me, part of the delight comes in discovering: what am I trying to say? I take in the feedback from someone else who read it and they tell me where they didn't get it.

If I knew what I wanted to say, the impetus for writing it out becomes null and void. It makes me wonder if the other Pantsers have brains like mine. I do not live by goals, or beats, or structures. I begin with a character in a situation and follow her/him to wherever they end up. I also have a hard time with writing short stories. Did I mention that?

I prefer writing longer. It takes me time to wind up and I have to have a good ramble through a lot of sentences with adjectives, gerunds, and fragments before I have something.

If I am lucky, I really enjoy polishing my story when I am writing it, after it sits, and then polishing my story again. I suppose at that point is when I should share it with a Plotter.

Perhaps not.

I will have to write for me. I am who started me on this writing business. I wrote because I wanted to see something I wasn’t seeing. Because I’ve never seen it before may be part of the reason I don’t have the next steps for it or the escalating progression of cause and effect.

This is not an apology for being a Pantser. It’s simply my reality.

‘Nuff said.

—Her Tangh-i-ness

Monday, November 9, 2020

Book Review: Ring Shout by P. Djèlí Clark

Ring Shout by P. Djèlí Clark

'Lo People,

This more than a Her Tangh-i-ness Approved read. This book is about Representation of the rich lore that belongs specifically to the African Descended who ended up in Northern Turtle Island. Her Tangh-i-ness, at 13 years old, read A Wrinkle in Time and finished the book and said to herself. That was all about saving Megan's dad and Charles Wallace. Why isn't the book about Megan really doing something for herself?

2020 the year most of us can't wait to be over, Enter Maryse Boudreaux. She actually lost her entire family, unlike Megan from a Wrinkle in Time, and had to live with it.

I wish I had Ring Shout to read back when I was thirteen. This is one of those books that made me think I seriously need to step up my game. I am all about the Maryse Boudreaux. I love me some sword. Maryse has a spirit sword, P. Dèjí Clark says. Her Tangh-i-ness is like Oooooooooooh!

P. Dèjí Clark says, Maryse gotta a crew with a lesbian incendiary device-maker, a wisemouth high-yaller sista, a Native American scientist, and a Gullah root woman. Her Tangh-i-ness is nodding in approval, them's her kind of peeples.

P. Dèjí Clark says, Imma tell part of de story inna Atlantic Black Creole called Gullah. Her Tangh-i-ness, who appreciates fine code-switching, is all ears.

P. Dèjí Clark says, Maryse getting herself into kinds of Fantastical Good Troubles Her Tangh-i-ness is flipping pages.

P. Dèjí Clark says, Here's Lovecraftian Horror done right. Lookit Butcher Clyde wif all dem mouths and this Grand Cyclops wormy-thing. Her Tangh-i-ness is eyes locked to the page and savoring every word.

P. Dèjí Clark says, Maryse's gotta fine Black man who understands how to properly worship da kitten. Even if there is an ellipsis immediately after that line. Her Tangh-i-ness is all about keeping hold of a well-trained brother.

P. Dèjí Clark says, Remember that piece of crap reel—Birth of a Nation? Lemme show ya how Maryse do.... Her Tangh-i-ness trusts the rest of ya'll to read for yourselves to see how that played out. Her Tangh-i-ness is STILL chuckling to she-self.

Peace out

Note: Ring Shout by P. Djèlí Clark was a self-purchased digital title. Her Tangh-i-ness usually reviews on a for-the-love basis. No lucre has been involved.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Book Review: Ofo Ase 365 Daily Affirmations to Awaken the Afrikan Warrior Within by Balogun Ojetade

Ofo Ase 365 Daily Affirmations to Awaken the Afrikan Warrior Within by Balogun Ojetade

'Lo People,

This is a Her Tangh-i-ness Approved read. I needed this book right now to remember no matter how much the media and the nonBlack culture wants to denigrate people who look like me, I am free to absorb another message. Let us see what Babalorisha Balogun Ojetade has to tell us about using the power of words.

Affirmation "6. I am a great protector of my family, community and people."

Ofo Ase 365 Daily Affirmations to Awaken the Afrikan Warrior Within is a book about the practice of using Affirmations with an Afrikan mindset. Etymologically speaking, Ofo Ase can mean sorcery ọfọ, aṣẹ decree or command, and it can also contain àṣẹ order.

Affirmation "37. I am granted a warrior's strength by the Universe around me."

The Fluidity that Ofo Ase speaks of is a critical skill to cultivate. All those Believers in Ifa and Orisha who are ruled by water will nod in agreement at this. This book is valuable for pointing out that even warriors should not, and need not war all the time. Fluidity is resilience.

Affirmation "87. I fight to bring the power of good into the world."

However, warriors are vigilant. Warriors must know when to flow away and when to engage.

Affirmation "90. I am ever victorious because I expect to win."

It is no surprise really that when Ogun, the West African deity of Iron, War and Creativity shut himself up in the forest, it was the sweet water that brought him back. Therefore I giggled when 2/3rds into the book we come to...

Affirmation "272. I attract love and romance."

It's no secret Her Tangh-i-ness loves books on Manifesting and the laws of Attraction. Most of the time Her Tangh-i-ness is mellow so people assume she's a lover not a fighter. I got news for ya'll. My daddy is an Ogun. Really. No kidding.

Note: Ofo Ase 365 Daily Affirmations to Awaken the Afrikan Warrior Within was a self-purchased digital title. Her Tangh-i-ness usually reviews on a for-the-love basis. No lucre has been involved.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Book Review: Using Einstein’s’ Formula to Manifest (Barkle #4): Applying The Theory of Everything to Desire Fullfillment Kindle Edition

'Lo People,

Her Tangh-i-ness has known about Manifesting and the Law of Attraction intuitively, but what has been delightful was to come accross those who could express some of the occurrences that were happening kind of haphazardly.

This is not the first Susan James book on Manifesting that Her Tangh-i-ness has ever talked about and won't be the last. What I like about Susan James' approach to LOA is that it is grounded in a quite Vulcan (Sorry I'm an Old School Trekkie) sensibility. Her books use down-to-earth examples with humor but there is a rigorous logic to them.

Using Einstein’s’ Formula to Manifest (Barkle #4): Applying The Theory of Everything to Desire Fullfillment Kindle Edition

This is a Her Tangh-i-ness Approved read. When you accept that we live in a friendly Universe,Using Einstein’s’ Formula to Easily Manifest just makes sense. It is a level of empowerment to the Infinite Power. I appreciate the reminder to decide and watch for what I want to have in life. This being a short book is just a means for the concept to be presented without fluff and filler. If one really thinks about what is said here, one can start deciding and manifesting like mad!

Note: Using Einstein’s’ Formula to Manifest (Barkle #4): Applying The Theory of Everything to Desire Fullfillment Kindle Edition was a self-purchased digital title. Her Tangh-i-ness usually reviews on a for-the-love basis. No lucre has been involved.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Book Review: Under His Everything: Hybrid Heat Book Seven

Under His Everything: Hybrid Heat Book Seven

This is a Her Tangh-i-ness Approved read. I’ve read this book from beginning to end twice. I’d been reading Kiki Burrelli for awhile. I am also a Black FemDom, so Sibelius is the kind of character I felt represented me as an ethical Dom.

Yes, Ken and Karen, there are such things. Anyhoo, this is about the lovestory at the center of a M/M Mpreg Alpha/Omegaverse where I first started reading Kiki’s Wolf’s Mate, then the Den Series, then Hybrid Heat, and fell deeper and deeper into her story worlds.

First off, I appreciate Kiki for writing Sibelius, a Black man as a MC who didn’t make me want to throw a book across a room. Positive Black MC characters are an exception still, not the norm, in too many genres. Sibelius has control issues. What Dom…ahem…human doesn’t?

I appreciate Sibelius’s nonBlack mate, Griffith, for being a reflection of a real struggle that submissive males have. Yes, Ken and Karen, Griffith likes giving it up to Sibelius. He has wanted nothing more than to do so, but the problem is Sibelius thinks he knows what’s best for the both of them.

One can argue this is a classic case of Topping from Below, but I think it’s more a case of how ethical Doms and subs are like magnetic poles that learn to harmonize with each other. These two love each other and for those of us who are kinky and think men should get pregnant on a regular basis, all we really want is some angst, a few action set pieces, plenty of NSFW Perv moments on their way to the knotting that leads to a healthy, happy little offspring.

Her Tangh-i-ness definitely thinks Sibelius and Griffith should return in a series of their own. Hint. Hint. Kiki are you listening?

Note: This Under His Everything: Hybrid Heat Book Seven was a self-purchased digital title. Her Tangh-i-ness usually reviews on a for-the-love basis. No lucre has been involved.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Jarla Tangh's first Pro sale is now available as a reprint via Nightmare magazine

Nightmare May 2020 (Issue 92) is live!

Jarla Tangh's first Pro Speculative Fiction-Dark Fantasy sale the short story "The Skinned" is now available as a reprint via Nightmare magazine.

Thanks to the Nightmare Magazine team

Monday, May 1, 2017

Book Review: From Here to Timbuktu by Milton Davis

'Lo People,

I'm gonna school ya on why this book is important.
From Here to Timbuktu had me when I turned the page to the map of an alternate US where the original 13 colonies, NY, PA,part of VA,OH,IN,IL,MI and WI are all that's left of the United States. The southern belt with the exception of Florida and Louisiana has been amassed into a territory called Freedonia bordered another large territory called New Haiti. Texas and California and Florida have all remained in Spanish hands.
I'm saying to myself what's the story here?

I'm told it's from the sub-genre Steamfunk (Afro steampunk). What the hell is that, you say? It means there's no rayguns or automatic weapons. People still ride horses. Lots of airships are spanning continents. Long story short, this book takes place after the American Civil War and probably a decade before the 1920s. There are poisonings, bullets flying, killer mechanical cats, and ancient alien technology. By the way, all the sex happens between scenes in the minds of the readers who were looking for smut on the actual pages. (Yes, Her Tangh-i-ness was gonna go there.)

When I was a teen, I read Robert E. Howard, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and H. Rider Haggard in hopes of reading about characters who looked like me doing cool stuff. If I could have gotten away with shoving Milton Davis into a wayback machine and hitting the button, I would. This. This is the stuff I should have been reading as a youngster. I was starving for it. The idea that Harriet Tubman or Fredrick Douglass could have ended up a president. The idea that ancient Black people had books at all might come as a shock to some. The idea that African peoples have had alien contact doesn't seem bandied about much either.

Best of all, as a woman, I soooo enjoy seeing women being just as badass as their male counterparts. Menna needs her own book. I figure the spirited sort of man could convince her to harness that formidable will of hers into more constructive uses. Just sayin'. Hint. Hint.

*Spoiler Alert*

Her Tangh-i-ness greatly appreciates pithy plot summaries. However, for those who must have a virgin reading experience, read no further, and eyeball elsewhere.

*Spoiler Alert End*

Remember these names:

Wagadu- a lost ancient city, a site of first contact
Famara Keita- a horro, an elite warrior
Zeke Culpepper- a church deacon, gunslinger, and bounty-hunter
Annette Bijoux- a machete-wielding singer from New Haiti
Menna- female Ihaggaren assassin, sister and rival of El Tellak for the leadership of the kel
El Tellak- the leader of the Ihaggaren Tuareg
Dolph Ericksson- Prussian Field Marshall and closet academic
Claus Reuters- the Prussian General determined to prove Dolph's obsession is a waste
Pierre LaRue- New Haitian expatriate and socialite

This novel could have been subtitled the book of the double-cross. Famara Keita has to pluck two highly coveted tomes from a Tuareg warlord and transplanted New Haitian socialite. Menna wants to wrestle the leadership of the kel from her brother El Tellak. Claus Reuters wants to prove that Dolph's obsession with the books is a waste of Prussian resources. The only character who engages in relatively little two-timing is Zeke Culpepper.

As an inveterate book hoarder, I totally get why having a plot revolve about missing ancient African books ought to be a Bestseller. Gimme my good reads!

Famara Keita strides onto the page deep in the Sahara to knife El Tellak and steal the book that El Tellak meant to turn over to Dolph Ericksson. The scene ends with Keita single-handedly taking down a Prussian airship with only a bullet to the shoulder to slow him. Calling all auteurs. Calling all auteurs. Can someone please shoot that opening action sequence like yesterday? I need t see it on a big screen. Zeke Culpepper enters next moving from passing the collection plate, to being enlisted by a Sheriff and Deputy to take down a wanted gang. Apparently, Keita and Culpepper's paths are meant to cross.

Field Marshall Dolph Ericksson fumes at the loss of the first book that the horro, Famara Keita, has stolen and plots to take the second book which had ended up in Zeke Culpepper's Freedonia. El Tellak recovers from his near death experience at Famara Keita's hands. These two men, and Menna, form the triumvirate of problems facing Famara Keita and Zeke Culpepper. Dolph Ericksson had already put the arcane knowledge found in the stolen books to work and he longs to complete the technological advantage their secrets have given. Already a scientist under his direction used the information to create clockwork cat sentries that hold a town in terror.

The second book in Freedonia brings Famara Keita in search of it. His mission is to bring it back to Timbuktu and to the oversight of the elders. Zeke Culpepper takes down his latest bounty unaware how much his own life will be changing. Menna travels Famara Keita's homeland in search of him and kiling as she goes. El Tellak concentrates on saving face amongst his own people and managing his murderous sister. Pierre LaRue hosts the bonne soirée that intended to celebrate his ownership of the Fredonian tome but nearly ends his wife's life and his own when Famara makes off with the book with Dolph and his Prussian agents hot on his heels. Zeke Culpepper answers an urgent summons from LaRue. Culpepper finds himself hired to go after the book. He's been promised a substantial for his efforts. So Zeke Culpepper joins the chase that will lead Famara Keita, Menna, Dolph Ericksson to Lorraine, France and Annette Bijoux, and then to Bavaria, and finally to Timbutku in Africa itself. Thirty gold pieces exchanged between Famara Keita and Zeke Culpepper outstrips the bounty Pierre LaRue offered. After all, LaRue made promises while Keita actually delivers solid evidence of Culpepper's best financial interest. In retrieving the Freedonian book and returning it to the African Elders, Zeke Culpepper faces a deeper calling. Somehow, I suppose we haven't seen the last of the gun-slinging church deacon.

Note: This copy of From Here to Timbuktu was an Amazon ebook purchased by the reviewer. Her Tangh-i-ness usually reviews on a for-the-love basis. No lucre has been involved.