I can see you, force pushing me
I have named you
Put you in a box (with a neat label).
But it’s still happening.
I’m still pushed
it keeps happening
I know why, though (this is comforting somehow)
But I know it won’t end well
Not for me
Not for us, many of us, most of us
Even those that think they aren’t us
Especially not you, you think you’ll be fine (you always are)
But when you push something by a cliff
To the edge, off the edge
Sometimes (not always) you are pulled too (not you)
To the bottom, together, where we all end broken (yes, you too)
And the box is shattered.
It didn’t protect anyone.
I’ve started writing regularly again. I wanted to wait a week or two into it before making some kind of announcement, because I wanted to make sure it would stick this time. It was a rough winter. It has been a rough couple years. I used to sort of laugh when people would say that writing is about perseverance, because I was never out of ideas or enthusiasm to write (even during my most depressed period), but now I know what it is to have neither the energy nor the enthusiasm for it. When just getting by takes all of your energy, there isn’t a lot left over for unnecessary things like creativity.
I’m working on a new thing. A story without an outline or predetermined ending. I’m not usually a discovery writer, but this is a just for fun project, so I’m going to see where it takes me.
I haven’t abandoned the Tattoo Magic project. But this idea just grabbed me, and while normally I’d throw it in my ideas folder and keep working on what I’d been working on, the actual urge and desire to write has been pretty scarce lately. So I grabbed hold if it while it existed, and I’m trucking along, hand-writing a few pages while on lunch at work and putting those into Scrivener when I get home.
In the worst case scenario, one or both of these projects get put in the mental drawer with the other half-finished projects.
For the first time since the election, I dreamed a story that just begs to be told. The characters and the setting will need work, like they always do when it’s a story based on a dream, and dream plots might as well get tossed out entirely and replaced with something coherent.
But I have a story idea, and I’m excited about it. I’d almost forgotten what this feels like.
I’m coming off my writing hiatus to do NaNoWriMo this year. I seriously contemplated skipping the year, since writing anything is hard in this mood and I have no outline or fiction that I want to write. But that’s simply an excuse not to write, and I’ve had enough of those this year.
So I’ll be doing NaNo. Expect regular progress updates, though I don’t think I’ll have standard blog articles in me.
Who knows? Maybe this will be just the push I need to start writing again for real.
I’ve been pretty silent, lately. I had sort of hoped to just fade without explanation, but recently someone reached out with a concerned message.
So here we are. Sorry to make anyone worry, guys. I’m on a writing hiatus. I realized that the writing had stopped being fun at all, and was not only pure work but torturous work, and that I needed to step back and find the joy again. Recharge my batteries. Whatever.
There’s a lot of crap going on in the world right now, some seriously frightening crap, and it’s hard not to be depressed all the time as a queer person living in America with anxiety and depression. The air is toxic and sometimes just breathing feels like too much work.
So I’m off trying to find my joy. I’ll be back at the LATEST for Nanowrimo, my favorite holiday season, hopefully feeling fresh and energetic.
I’ve been struggling all week with the second story in my Patreon project series. The first draft of the story didn’t make much sense so I had to rewrite two of the middle scenes. I outlined a solution, I even wrote out the scenes, but I was very unhappy with it and I didn’t know why. Yesterday morning, I realized what the problem is. The story now makes sense, but it’s yet another story where a queer character (in this case, a young lesbian) gets screwed over by life.
But… but… I wanted this story to have a happy ending.
People who know me know that I tend to gravitate toward horror and gritty realism. I love film noir. I hate the American cliche of happy endings to everything. I don’t think that life is full of happy endings and I don’t want my fiction to be full of happy endings either.
This tends to butt heads with the facts that I write fiction with LGBTQ+ characters and that living as a queer person in this country is hard enough without all of your fiction being a huge bummer. I don’t want my characters to always have happy endings, because that isn’t realistic. But I don’t want my characters to always have tragic endings, because I primarily write LGBTQ+ characters and there is enough tragedy in queer life already. So I struggle, and sometimes I wish I was a straight person writing generic straight fiction who didn’t have to think about all these things.
In good news, in the draft I wrote this morning, I think I’ve finally managed to strike the tone I wanted.
Holiday weekends and holiday weeks are always hard. In good news, I got to spend a lot of time with my family! In bad news, I didn’t get very much writing done.
The first story in the short story series is Done with a capital “D,” though I’ll probably give it one final read before I launch the project. The second story is a bit more problematic. I’ve discovered that it needs quite a bit of work as I’m reading it through, which is kind of discouraging, but I plan on plugging away at that this coming week.
As with everything writing-related, things tend to take longer than I think they will. It’s taken me about two weeks to get one story from drafted to what I consider reader ready. That said: the first of the Tattoo Magic stories is reader ready and off to my proofreader (Jared). I’ve also spent a good amount of time putting work into my Patreon page. It’s not live yet, but I want it to be ready for launch when I need it.
One down, three to go until launch!
This week, I did both macro and micro revisions to what I think will be the first story in the Tattoo Magic Patreon Project. It’s off to my beta reader (Jared, of course) for first impressions and comments. Once I get three or four of these finished I’ll be ready to launch the project.
Finishing this first story is a huge accomplishment. This story gave me no end of trouble. I eventually had to go back and research some really basic things, like the purpose of short stories, to figure out where it was going wrong. I owe a special thanks to my friend Julius for kicking me into gear for finally fixing the myriad of problems in the story. Right now, I’m quite happy with it.
I’m working on cleaning up short stories for my Patreon project. At this point I have one story that is pretty much good to go, and another story that I’m in the macroediting stage of. The one that is finished, I’m not sure where in the story arc I’m going to place it. Right now it’s the first story, but I’m not sure that it really fits in that location, though for continuity reasons it needs to go before some other stories. I think the second story might make a better first story, but that one needs some serious work.
I also launched a writer page on Facebook and did some Patreon research. So far, this getting up early to work on writing thing is really working for me.