By Tawa Ranes
Solar Moon Press was recently speaking with a writer’s group about what we are trying to do as a publishing company, and ways for writers to get involved. In that particular moment we were talking about the kinds of voices that Solar Moon Press would like to help to ‘be heard.’ The question came up as to whether Solar Moon Press was open to trans voices. It felt like a very interesting question. Interesting because it made it very apparent that forums, outlets for storytelling, and the avenues by which marginalized voices can find their way to the public, have become increasingly ‘specialized.’ You could also read here; separatist and divided. I learned a new word when trying to define (in my own mind) what I mean by this. The word is fissiparous. An adjective, meaning: inclined to cause or undergo division into separate parts or groups. It appear we are becoming even more fissiparous in contemporary publishing. I don’t ignore the fact that historically we have always been so; yet it seems to have a slightly different flavor in its modern cultural iteration.
It could be that the question came up in response to my very own fear, that I had vocalized in the group, of getting pigeonholed as a publishing company, as a “me too” publisher of only female voices. The fear came up in response to having just released our first book as a publishing company. It is a “me too” piece of literature. One that felt very raw and vulnerable to put into the public domain. One that also felt very necessary, and important to honor, as the first voice we offer to the public. Especially as a publishing cooperative claiming to represent those voices that are still being silenced as a regular cultural practice.
As the author of the book, there was a deep urgency inside of me to tell the stories, that the book includes, in a very public way. I believe this is because of the deep healing that I know to be possible when we expose our tender spots and allow them to be ‘aired out’. So to speak. I also believe that, as an author, it was the first story I needed to tell. Because so much of what I do and how I engage with the world has to do with healing, eventually most of what I want to share with you all will also have to do with healing, and be very solution/ evolution oriented.
The problem with jumping right into all that feel good/ move forward stuff, is that it doesn’t honor the very real, lived and survived, shadows of the human experience. This might very well be why so many attempts to heal, as individuals and as a society, fail. In my experience, you can’t gloss over the shit, the muck, the horror of it all, while at the same time fully understanding what happened, how it affected us, and ultimately healing from it. Exposing it to the light, airing it out, and telling the story are critical steps in the healing process. In fact, they are the steps that draw out the poison that we carry within from experienced trauma. This may seem obvious, but we can’t heal if the poison is still inside of us. That is why, when treating poison wounds, you have to first draw the poison out.
As a writer, I know that drawing the poison out and using it as the ink to write my, and other’s stories, have had miraculous healing benefits. As a publisher, I know that I must bravely stand with those who are engaged in (and maybe engulfed by) the healing process. Those evolutionary pioneers who recognize and honor that we must speak the uncomfortable truth (our uncomfortable truth) if we are to ever move beyond it. Solar Moon Press encourages and supports those who choose to make beautiful, sometimes angry, and always impactful literature, from the festering inkwell within.
If you have words that needs to be heard, want to be healed, and are forward moving (toward revolution, resolution, solution, and evolution), then Solar Moon Press is likely an avenue you will want to walk down, a website you will want to peruse, a vocal stream you will want to dip your feet into. It matters not the lens you look through. We all perceive and receive life through our own lens, and that lens reflects our experiences on planet Earth. Our lens will likely reflect the color of our skin, the gender fluidity or rigidity within, our relationship with our kin, our beliefs around sin, and how those experiences have shaped and molded us. It will also likely tell us whether the experience has been painful or peaceful. We want to hear what you have to say. We can’t wait to see it through your unique lens and hear it in your voice.
As we have said before: “Come to us as you are: sweet, powerful, sensitive, grumpy, sensual, creative, and irate.” We will not put up a gate. We think it’s so important for you to create, and in doing so, clean the slate. But not before allowing yourself to feel irate and express the need to get it straight. No glossing over or gas-lighting, just straight up reality biting. So whether the story you have to tell is “me too,” he too or they too, whether it’s in your face ‘I’m tired of being treated this way because of my race (sex or class),’ or if it feels an urgency to no longer be defined by traditional concepts of gender and sexuality; please share with us your reality. And if you are battling the raging waters of the toxic masculinity within, are tired of being lumped in with that din, yet aren’t being offered a place to begin, to unravel the cultural patterns that hail from our kin; yes, that too is a sin.
Tawa Ranes is a Transformative Release Therapist living in Colorado (USA). She is fascinated with healing and the ways in which healing manifest in the human experience. Deeply enriched by her study-abroad experience in Spain as a teenager, Tawa’s life long love affair with culture and literature naturally led to advanced studies in Contemporary Spanish Literature and Literary Theory. She is in awe of the communicative and connective potential inherent in words and language, and loves to use them as an entryway into deeper understanding and communion with other. She writes in a candid voice with deeply philosophical undertones. Tawa is a leap before you look extraordinaire and the creative founding spirit behind Solar Moon Press.