LE Francis is a multiple medium procrastinator living in a sunny spot in a dreary state in the Pacific Northwest. She has issues taking things seriously so humor her as this very professional bio page devolves into a lazy first person wank peppered with gifs.
I’m an old-dude millennial, a non-committal Gemini, internet-verified INFJ, awkward poet, idealistic proletariat, library ghost, and not a fan of Lord Byron.
If you can’t tell by now, I’m so not an academic. I don’t say this derisively. I’m happy for people that thrive in academia and support reforming education to make higher levels of learning accessible to everyone. But I’m also non-competitive, average intellectually and lower class trailer trash. When I talk about things I’m pulling from a cobbled-together experience as a curious dude. If I ask you how to improve a piece or even what is poetry? It’s because I have no formal education and I’m genuinely trying to pick your brain. I’m always thankful to folks who oblige.
I have bipolar II & panic disorder, boom. I self-separate, keeping to the edges, thriving in quiet, rural places. I listen a lot. My neighbors often have disappointing opinions but they are fewer in number than when I was in the city. It was overwhelming to live in a place as noisy outside as I am inside — so disappointment ahoy!
I like to hike forgotten places. Places I can read about, write about. Places that feel wild, detached. I’m a pagan as much as I feel the greatest potential of my humanity when I’m in natural places but my pantheon is all symbolic and I’m no stranger to the crush of existential anguish.
I am a stupid music fan. I don’t like anything ironically, but I also don’t think everything was made to be taken seriously. Sometimes you just need to write a thing that requires Bulletboys’ “THC Groove” or Lynch Mob’s “Jungle of Love.” Rob Halford is an icon. I prefer Dio to Ozzy (suck it). KMFDM & Rollins Band were my peak teenage angst. Unpopular opinion: I like Bruce Dickinson’s solo albums more than most Iron Maiden albums (Seventh Son was my jam though, if you have synth critique go somewhere else). I found my all-time favorite band, Protest the Hero, as unpopular openers for DragonForce which I haven’t kept up with. The Fall of Troy is a problematic fave — I don’t get why they need so many songs calling women whores, but Thomas likes comic books and Andrew is such a nice dude. I loved Chiodos’ Illuminaudio. Ryann Donnelly was my first girlcrush. I like everything A Lot Like Birds do, “Vanity’s Fair” from Conversation Piece is practically my biography.
I hate when bands come to Seattle or Portland and speak derisively about ‘grunge’ like its some goddamn downer monolith. Breaking: Music is supposed to have emotion and not all emotion should be ‘I want to fuck everything that moves.’ Also, it’s overall not cute to roll into a town and insult the local music scene past or present. Truer-than-you “metalheads” that shit on bands like Alice in Chains and Soundgarden — THAT ARE METAL BANDS — because ugh, grunge is so emo are super boring. Don’t like a band because you think they’re derivative or you can’t stand the singer’s voice. Hell, don’t like the band because you only like songs about dicks and dragons. If you are okay with a song about a guy’s dick, but anything remotely resembling emotion is femmy and ‘gay,’ go away. This kind of crap is hard-wired into the metal scene and part of why I only go to certain shows anymore. As I’ve gotten older, my patience with that garbage has zeroed out.
I like to read. A lot. Check out my Goodreads if you want to see what I’ve read recently. I will say that my all-time fave is problematic. I think the first book that really hooked me was Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Mists of Avalon. While I contend that book is a perfect work of genius. After Bradley’s death, fans found out that she not only permitted her partner/husband to sexually abuse her children but did so herself. Nope. I won’t buy any more of her books. I have a copy of The Inheritor on my shelf but only because I FUCKING HATE IT SO HARD and I need to be reminded.
While I’m on problematic faves, I also enjoy the hell out of some Lovecraft. However he was an out-in-the-open racist. Think pieces excusing him for ‘his time’ are flimsy. If that’s the case, we may as well excuse all of our racist relatives in the current sociopolitical climate because it’s a sign of the times. No guys, Lovecraft was a bed-wetting, adverb-loading racist but I can’t quit The Shadow Over Innsmouth or At the Mountains of Madness. Yet, the Cthulhu mythos did not die with him and I get extra excited when it dances into other universes à la Shadows Over Bakers Street. I’m a big fan of cosmic horror, if you write it LET ME KNOW. I will do all the free beta reading for you.
Not all my faves are problematic though. My favorite Star Wars authors — in particular, Chuck Wendig and Delilah Dawson — are good guys that have quality conversations on social media with other writers and fans and I love them for it.
I was a weird kid where literature was concerned. My childhood hero was Jo March which is pretty average. But the same year I was reading Little Women, 3rd grade if I’m remembering right, I was sneaking my mom’s Stephen King, John Saul, and Whitley Streiber paperbacks into school via my Captain Planet lunchbox.
As an adult, Bathsheba Everdene from Thomas Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd, is the most relatable character in literature.
I have a love/hate thing with Mr. Darcy. I would be a regency-era gentleman of some means just to pick a fight with that guy. I can do the love/hate wrestling with a Byronic archetype thing in classic lit, Darcy, Heathcliff, Raskolnikov — but when it crosses into horror genre fiction it ends up as a Crowley trope. Writers, I hate your Crowley proxy characters. The grossest is Simon in The Inheritor, but I’d even argue Lasher in Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches trilogy falls into this magic fuck boi category. He’s not sexy & mysterious, he’s an abusive asshole hiding behind a thin veil of hokey mysticism. These are just nope. Hard nope. Mega nope.
Okay, so let me wrap this up, I like junk and ranting and gifs obviously. But I guess the biggest thing about me is that I’m idealistic and busy. I’m always looking for the next thing to read, to think about. I don’t particularly give a fuck if I’m wrong or right but care a lot that I took the time to think about the why or how of it all. I’m a lot of nerves with all the time in the world to discuss feelings. I’m interested in art as a capsule for my emotions and experiences as a human and I care a lot about growing around that idea and supporting others.
Let me leave you with not one — but two — gifs I have in my folder from Monty Python’s ‘Find the Fish’ sketch. I blame post-modernism.