“Hard Times Dope Rhymes” by Francesca Saulson is coming soon

•January 11, 2022 • Leave a Comment
Franchesca and her daughter Elune

My niece Franchesca Saulson is putting together a poetry chapbook. She asked me to edit it. I got Emily Flummox to give me a hand with this process. It really brings back memories. Me and my mother started taking Francesca to open mic poetry when she was really little. By the time she was in third grade, she was stepping to the mic with the rest of us.

Her book, Hard Times Dope Rhymes, is filled with works of urban street poetry. The word she’s put in as an open mic poet since she was 8 or 9 years old has finally come to fruition. She has so many poems going so far back. As a kid, she loves movies like Love & Basketball. She also watched movies like Poetic Justice. All of these things had an early influence on how she thought about writing.

Front: Me and Emily Flummox. Back: my brother Scott, his daughter Franchesca and grand daughter Elune

I am really proud of her the work she’s doing. I am very happy to be a part of it. My mother was a poet, so Franchesca is the third generation poet in this family. Back in the seventies when I was a kid, one of my mother’s poems was on a poster that they used to sell in a bunch of Afrocentric shops, as well as in hippie type head shops where you could purchase bonds. It was on velvet backdrop, which had a picture of a beautiful black queen in profile with a large afro.

My mother Carolyn Saulson and niece Elisabetta Saulson. Me and Greg Hug are off in the distance in the background.

My mom was really proud of that poem, which had been picked up by a publisher, who produced these posters. I was writing poems in third grade, just like Franchesca Saulson. What I wrote was something like the inside of a Hallmark card. I would write these poems and sell them to people for their wedding invitations and things like that. I actually went to a copy shop and made copies of things that have these phones in them. So it was like a little business.

I’m really glad that Franchesca is feeling confident enough to put her work out into the world. I am super proud of her and I love her.

Anne Rice’s Gabrielle de Lioncourt as transmasculine

•January 3, 2022 • Leave a Comment
Anne Rice says she never strongly identified with any gender and finds gender confusing in an interview.

Reflecting on the Anne Rice character Gabrielle, who gave birth to Lestat, and was later turned into a vampire by him. Gabrielle is a transmasculine vampire. Although the writer uses she pronouns for Gabrielle de Lioncourt, it is of note that the narrative is written from the point of view of Lestat.

Therefore, since Lestat is an unreliable narrator, this only means that he used this pronoun for his parent. Regardless of whether or not Gabrielle used she her pronouns, the character consistently wore men’s clothing. In a very vivid scene, Anne Rice describes Gabrielle’s action in cutting their hair very short. The next morning, they are horrified when they awaken to having very long hair.

One might surmise that Gabrielle had gender dysphoria. Additionally, over time, Gabrielle’s once warm and close relationship with their son becomes cold and distant. It is mentioned that Gabrielle never wears women’s clothing except for at the insistence of Lestat. One might surmise that the cool off in their relationship is coming from Lestat’s refusal to accept Gabrielle’s true gender.

It is very clear that Lestat wants Gabrielle to maintain the familiar and comforting role of mother, and Gabrielle, after becoming a vampire and traveling the world with her son, wants to be liberated from that role. Gabrielle was, because of the restrictive times that they lived in, pressure to marry very young and have many children, only three of whom survived.

The text makes it very clear that Gabrielle wants to be free of all that. So, the conflict between Lestat and Gabrielle is over Gabrielle’s tender, and also over Gabrielle’s feeling that they should be able to relinquish the task of parenting their now very much adult and immortal son.

Gabrielle is a very nuanced portrayal of a genderqueer character. Considering that The Vampire Lestat came out in 1985, it is also very progressive. Although Gabrielle is often forgotten, as a relatively minor side character to the very charismatic Lestat, for me, and for a lot of other transgender / non-binary / genderqueer/non-gender conforming fans of this literary work, Gabrielle is a very important and memorable character.

Happiness and Other Disease Cover Reveal

•January 1, 2022 • Leave a Comment

Happy New Years 2022! This is the cover reveal for Happiness and Other Diseases, slated for release on March 25, 2022 on Mocha Memoirs Press. Photographer: Garrett Sohnly Model: Wednesday T. Friday


Flynn Keahi has had a rough year. His nightmares are starting to manifest in reality, but no one believes him. Terrifying creatures are trying to cross out of dreams into the physical realm. Only Flynn can stop them – but doing so might cost him his life. Complicating matters further, one of these creatures cannot help wanting him — in every forbidden way. Will she be able to save him from his fate? Can she even protect him from herself?

2021 Year in Review

•December 29, 2021 • 1 Comment

I’ve never done one of those year in review achievement things before, but here goes nothing. I put out an updated Complete Mauskaveli comic book in January (Dooky Zines). I released Within Me, Without Me a book of poetry and prose in October (Dooky Zines). My sweetie Emily Flummox and I created an online course on Kink in Horror Fiction for the Speculative Fiction Academy. I won the Ladies of Horror Fiction grant award.


My poem “Darkest Night of Faerie Bright” was included in the Horror Writers Association Poetry Showcase Vol VIII (edited by Stephanie Wytovich). My essay “Centered and Seen” was accepted into It Came from the Closet: Queer Reflection on Horror Film (edited by Joe Vallese). My poem “With December Comes Elune” was published in Infectious Hope: Poems of Hope & Resilience from the Pandemic (edited by Silvia Cantón Rondoni).


I started volunteering on the Horror Writers Association social media team this spring, and became it’s social media manager this fall. I spent another year as the host of the Erotic Storytelling Hour. My Mauskaveli business did better than ever before, as I sold a lot of kink-themed art covered wooden paddles at Second Saturdays SOMA, Folsom Street Market and Megahood.


I participated in LitQuake and LitCrawl, Clockwork Alchemy, Horror for the Humanities, HorrorAddict’s Tales of Terror, Horror Writers Association San Francisco’s Haunting Halloween, the Speculative Fiction Poets Association’s Halloween series, AfroComicCon, StokerCon, WorldCon, and SiliCon this year, both in person and online, despite this global pandemic.


I started a relationship with my partner Empress in April, and with my partner Wednesday in August. My partner Princess and I celebrated our second collaring anniversary and will be celebrating our third anniversary in less than three weeks. I got to visit with Empress in DC. I got to do a lot of great things with all of my partners, and had a lovely year.

My Worldcon Appearance Schedule

•December 3, 2021 • Leave a Comment

The 79th World
Science Fiction Convention

December 15-19, 2021
Washington, DC at the Omni Shoreham Hotel

Wednesday – December 15, 2021

Wed 5:30 PM 1 Hr Kress 205 Undead Shows: TV and Movies That Won’t Die
Wed 7:00 PM 1 Hr Older 189 Breaking a Story, Hollywood-Style

Thursday – December 16, 2021
Thu 11:30 AM 50 Min Suite 325 Bedroom Room 961 Kaffeeklatsch with Sumiko Saulson
Thu 4:00 PM 50 Min Autographs 2 995 Signing – Sumiko Saulson
Thu 5:30 PM 1 Hr Thomas 535 An Avatar of Your Own—Bodies in Video Games
Thu 7:00 PM 1 Hr Forum Room 638 Plot a More Fantastic Four Movie

Friday – December 17, 2021
Fri 1:00 PM 1 Hr Kress 181 Reverse-Harem Reform School Omegaverse Romance
Fri 4:00 PM 1 Hr Congressional Room (A&B) 215 Taking Care of Volunteers
Fri 5:30 PM 1 Hr Forum Room 197 Keeping White Supremacy Out of Fandom

Saturday- December 18, 2021
Sat 11:30 AM 1 Hr Empire Ballroom 477 The Resurrection of Psychological Horror
Sat 4:00 PM 1 Hr Older 185 Social Dynamics and Superpowers

My Thoughts this Transgender Day of Remembrance

•November 20, 2021 • Leave a Comment

By Sumiko Saulson (Mauskaveli)

As a person who falls under the trans umbrella, when speaking on Trans Lives Matter, which is certainly a subject when speaking on Trans Day of Remembrance, who is also African-American, I am very deeply aware of the fact that every year on trans day of remembrance the vast majority of the names on the list are African-American Transwomen, specifically dark-skinned Black Trans women. This year once African American and Latina Transwomen made up most of the list of more than 400 trans and gender noncomforming people murdered since TDoR 2020.

The 2021 List of Names for TDoR

I feel very sad about what is going on with Dave Chappelle as an African-American. Dave Chappelle punches down on trans people, and that punching down heavily effects African-American trans people because he is a respected figure in the African-American Community who is using his personal power to make a group of people who are in a lot of danger, specifically black Trans women since that is the group of people that he generally directly attacks in his comedy routines, even more at risk than they already are.

Dave Chappelle use the fact that Daphne Dorman, a local trans woman who was a comedian, laugh at his comedy routine, to defend himself and defend that his comments were okay because they didn’t offend all trans people. He put Daphne in and emotionally and psychologically dangerous position in order to defend his own personal privilege. Daphne later committed suicide. He has not apologized, but has actually used this as part of his fodder for his comedy routine. 

A person in a position of privilege who claims to be an ally should be using the fact that any people in that group of marginalized or oppressed people agree with them, in order to protect themselves.  An ally by definition should be protecting the marginalized persons. The ally should not be using the voice of the marginalized to protect himself, if he is trying to be a good ally.

As an African-American, particularly as an African American who is light skinned and biracial. As I have over the course of my life many times had people in my Social Circles try to get me to be their “Black Friend” who tells them that what they’re saying and doing is okay. Not that long ago, I had my friend who is white and wears  dreadlocks try to get me to defend that it was okay for them to wear dreadlocks.

I told them that while I personally was not offended by them wearing dreadlocks, I did not wish for them to use me as their “Black Friend” to defend their decision and to try to argue with other people that are Black about their feelings about it. Nonetheless, my friend did exactly that, which I found personally very hurtful.

If people don’t like it, they don’t like it. Finding one or two people who are a minority who do like it is not going to change the fact that there are a bunch of people who do not like it. I think that it is important to be concerned about the people who don’t like it.That’s my personal feeling. Your mileage might vary.

Local Events for Trans Day of Remembrance

Fluid CO-OP
11/20/21 2pm- 5pm
332 Golden Gate Ave SF
Fluid Cooperative Cafe was formed with a vision, one that recognizes the people who are in the best position to nurture, uplift, and advance transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming communities are the community members themselves. While we are centering the trans community, allies are encouraged to join us in supporting our mission.

TDoRSF – Virtual Event
11/20/21 6pm-7:30pm
Facebook Live
We hope you will join us on November 20th to honor those we have lost, and build momentum to end the violence against trans (transgender) and GNC (Gender Non-Conforming) communities. TDoR specifically addresses the deaths of trans and GNC folks. Despite increased visibility, trans people continue to be murdered in unprecedented numbers, and trans women of color are bearing the brunt of it.

Where to Donate

Transgender Law Center
Transgender Law Center changes law, policy, and attitudes so that all people can live safely, authentically, and free from discrimination regardless of their gender identity or expression.Transgender Law Center (TLC) is the largest national trans-led organization advocating for a world in which all people are free to define themselves and their futures. Grounded in legal expertise and committed to racial justice, TLC employs a variety of community-driven strategies to keep transgender and gender nonconforming people alive, thriving, and fighting for liberation.

Center Link
CenterLink was founded in 1994 as a member-based coalition to support the development of strong, sustainable, LGBTQ community centers. A fundamental goal of CenterLink’s work is to strengthen, support, and connect LGBTQ community centers, and to help build the capacity of these centers to address the social, cultural, health, and political advocacy needs of LGBTQ community members across the country. CenterLink plays a vital role in addressing the challenges centers face by helping them to improve their organizational and service delivery capacity, access public resources, and engage their regional communities in grassroots social justice movements.

Oakland LGBTQ Center
The Oakland LGBTQ Community Center is dedicated to enhancing and sustaining the well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals, our families and allies, by providing educational, social, and health related activities, programs and services.

My partner Emily Flummox(Staci_Everheart)’s thoughts on TDoR

I’ve commemorated prolly >75% of the TDoRs since they were started in 1999, publicly or privately. I remember the story of the youngest name ever on the list ~ a 2-month-old Native American child from the Northeastern US ~ & the year that Transgender Europe improved data collection. That year, what had been 30min of sadness turned into an hour of despair.

The numbers have only grown since. Many commemorations no longer read the stories of the dead, just their names, because the list has gotten too long. 375 names are on the 2021 list, the longest list yet (7% more than last year which was 6% more than the year before). That number may not sound like much to you, but consider that while there may be 8bil people, this represents a number of smaller divisions:

* trans people are about as common as redheads, so that brings the number down immediately *

We don’t have perfect knowledge of all deaths. This year, we have our first records from Greece, Kazakhstan, & Malawi * when people kill us, they tend to not only kill us but to mutilate us so that we cannot be recognized.

And then the police, media, even our families COOPERATE with our murderers by deadnaming us, misgendering us, & refusing to identify us as trans * finally, remember that some of those killed because they were trans may have been so closeted that we simply cannot know that they should be on this list. Those are the ones that break my heart the most.

96% of those murdered globally were trans women or transfeminine

58% were known sex workers

Murders in the USA doubled from last year, with PoC making up 89% of the 53

43% of the European murders were migrants

70% of all the murders registered happened in Central & South America (33% in Brazil)

36% took place on the street & 24% in their own home

Average age of those murdered is 30 years old, the youngest being 13 years old & the oldest 68 years old

The Hydra Reading at LitQuake was lit!

•October 17, 2021 • Leave a Comment

Thanks to Audrey T. Williams for taking all of these awesome photos of HYDRA at LitQuake yesterday! Thank you Trey Keeve for putting it all together! Wonderful readings by Duane Horton, Alan Saint Clark, Elwin Michael Cotman and the marvelous Ms Williams.

Check out my poetry on Soundcloud!

•October 10, 2021 • Leave a Comment

If you can’t make it out to one of my many in person and online events in October to hear me read, or pick up a copy of my new book “Within Me, Without Me” you can listen to me reading horror poetry from the book on Soundcloud!

https://soundcloud.com/sumiko-saulson/crematorium-of-the-undead?si=f6d9bf9db2864afeb9d1f87b25f5952e
https://soundcloud.com/sumiko-saulson/under-the-water?si=0548362a1b8b40059f457626c8474ea2
https://soundcloud.com/sumiko-saulson/his-flesh-became-haunted?si=893cbddcebff4b339fb5b17c8af75cad
https://soundcloud.com/sumiko-saulson/shades-of-domesticity?si=a3960406207e49ddb93c7f09e6b2e409
https://soundcloud.com/sumiko-saulson/flesh-wounds?si=377aab12ab854d828a008fa097e625be

October Book Readings!

•October 1, 2021 • Leave a Comment

In Person Readings:

Tuesday, October 12
5 pm to 7 pm PDT
Tales of Horror
San Mateo Public Library
55 W. Third Avenue, San Mateo, CA 94402

Saturday, October 16
1:15 pm to 2:15 pm PDT
Hydra Reading for LitQuake
Yerba Buena Gardens Esplanade
750 Howard St, San Francisco, CA 94103

Saturday, October 23
5 pm to 6 pm PDT
LitCrawl
Martuni’s
4 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94103

Online Readings:

Saturday, October 16
Noon to 3:30 pm PDT
Horror Panel for Pikes Peak Writers
Special Event Coming in October: Horror Authors Panel – Pikes Peak Writers
http://Saturday, October 16 Noon to 3:30 pm PDT Horror Panel for Pikes Peak Writers Special Event Coming in October: Horror Authors Panel – Pikes Peak Writers https://pikespeakwriters.com/ppw-events/special-event-coming-in-october-horror-authors-panel/

AfroComicCon

Panel Discussion on Afrocentric/Black-centering Anthologies and Collections with Penelope Flynn, Linda Addison and Nicole Givens Kurtz. https://www.afrocomiccon.org/ The event is Oct 23 and 24 – the day and time of our panel is TBH.

Thursday, October 28

4 pm to 7 pm PDT

Horror of the Humanities

https://las.depaul.edu/centers-and-institutes/depaul-humanities-center/events/horror-of-the-humanities/Pages/default.aspx

The Moon Cried Blood Blog Tour

•September 10, 2021 • Leave a Comment

Are you a book blogger or a book reviewer? Or just somebody who has a blog who wants to do me a solid and be a part of a bookstore involving my books? Maia Gomez at Silver Dagger Book Tours setup a blog tour for my young adult series “The Moon Cried Blood.”

If you are a blogger who wants to participate in the blog tour, sign up here:

https://www.silverdaggertours.com/tour-sign-ups/the-moon-cried-blood-series-tour-sign-ups


The book takes place in Los Angeles in 1975. It’s heroine, Leticia Gordon, is a 13 year old African American and Mexican American Los Angelino who has just discovered that she is a witch and has magic powers that are associated with the phases of the Moon. Evil forces have amassed to try to stop the Teen Witch from achieving her destiny. Deadly forces oh, that are hunting her down through the streets of LA. This series could also be considered Dark Fantasy or Urban Fantasy.


It is a series of 8 short horror novellas, the ebooks sell for $0.99 each. They are arguably appropriate for older midgrade readers as well, although there are intense situations in the book that might make it more appropriate for more mature readers, such as dealing with subjects like mental illness, death and drug addiction.
I am looking for people who would be interested in posting a Blog about the series. You can get review copies from Maia or if you prefer you can get a pre-written blog or two, written by me, and this post that up is content. There will be giveaways as part of this blog series.

So excited for this blog tour!


This could be great for horror blogs or blogs that do not specifically focus on horror that are looking for something spooky for Halloween or the month of October. This will be a October 5th to November 5th blog tour.