Why I Write What I Write

You probably noticed that this blog has not been active recently. Lots of new stuff has been thrown onto me lately. New car. New job. New home. New friends.

So, between moving into a different place, working full time, and adjusting to life all on my own, it’s been tough to make myself stick to my writing and not put it off too much.

When I finally had a day off today and enough time to write, I found it difficult to enter back in the swing of things with so much else on my mind. I could be worrying about budget, my car running low on gas, keeping up with social connections, picking up prescriptions, or a bunch of other things. It’s so hard to focus sometimes.

But I also found that it’s not enough just to want to write a good story. Not enough to want to finish this project just because I started it.

In order to keep at it, I have to remember the why. Why am I writing this book? Why does it mean so much to me? Why have I put so much of my time and energy into a story that’s still far from done?

And when I go back to answering that question, I find the Muse sitting down next to me and draining the lead from my fingers. I guess for me the satisfaction of finishing a project or the possible success of a project can’t motivate me.

And most of all, if I can’t honestly answer why I’m writing what I’m writing, maybe I should not be writing it at all.

For me that “Why” answer has varied from “Dammit I had a bad week and I can indulge in a self-insert fanfic all I fucking please” to “I really need to write this in order to process my past.” As long as there is a why in the first place.

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One little thing I really love – and I don’t know why, I just do, and I always have – are buildings that are currently being used for a purpose they were not designed for.

Not far from my house there is an insurance company housed in a former gas station. And an old stone house that is currently a dentist’s office. I don’t know why but seeing things like that appeals to some level of artist in me. Maybe it’s just the aesthetic appeal which I’m a…major slut for. If you ever see a building like that I’d love to send a picture of it!

So naturally, in my book, I have two settings like this and perhaps in the second draft I’ll add a third. One is a library that used to be a hotel. The other is a pagan shop that used to be a gas station. Probably my favorite settings I’ve used in the book so far.

Will make a new post introducing one of my book’s main characters soon. Stay tuned!

“TALES FROM THE LAST GREAT LAKE” : Where the Book Is Set

My book ib7a06883433f52cb8038a0ab19aa2330s set in a fictional retelling of the small towns I have grown up in all my life.

The town’s name is Good Badger and would be little more than a place in the middle of nowhere…were it not for one special factor.  In fact, Good Badger is quite a tourist trap for a very special reason.  There is some ‘thing’ in it that drives people to visit it.

You’ll find out what that is later.

f196a5ac3c802a892ea010101503181cAnd because of this thing, the town’s economy depends on tourism.  Businesses are able to avoid closing and people don’t have to move away.  As long as Good Badger can keep tourists coming, it can stay alive in a nation that is transitioning away from small town life.  So they keep dressing up Main Street every summer.  They keep waiting for the families to come up from the Twin Cities for a summer adventure.  It’s how life in Good Badger, Minnesota is.
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A note to readers: be wary whenever the word ‘good’ is used in the book.

 

Pre-T No More

For any readers who are not aware, I am a transgender guy. I came out in September 2015 and long story short it has been a rocky road since then. In some places I received nothing short of complete support and acceptance (and if one of them is reading this blog entry right now, I hope they know they literally saved my life). In others I was rejected and not treated so good.

But as of yesterday, that is all behind me. I finally received my first prescription of Testosterone!

The nurse at the clinic who showed me how to do injections was very bubbly and sweet. She seemed very happy for me and we got to talk a little bit about how long I have been looking forward to this. I was shaking with excitement the whole time. It was a complete 180 after my Valentine Blues the other day, which I lamented about plenty on this blog too…I do more than just professional entries on here, apparently! Sue me, I need an outlet for this shit.

When I woke up this morning the first thing I looked at was my bottle containing my T as well as the needle kit. It felt so surreal. Partly because for a long time I felt convinced I would be dead by suicide before I got to start hormones. This time last year I felt trapped in a place where the thought of a physical transition seemed so far away and out of reach. And yet today here I am, taking the first of many steps to helping my body become who I really am.

It’s also really nice to be riding this emotional high/life milestone because I can feel it making my shoulders stronger to carry my loved ones when they’re going through a rough time. It always seems to be a pattern of who is going to help the other get through the day (the real interesting days is when both of you are having a breakdown at the same time. Defining friendship moments right there). But now that I’ve made it a big step, I can be strong again. A burden has been lifted off my shoulders and I can carry others who have a lot weighing them down.

(Footnote. If you follow this blog for updates about writing and such and not my personal entries, this is where I would apologize if I thought I had to. But this blog is  a mix of professional and personal. A glimpse into my mind which sadly doesn’t just carry fictional characters and plot points. But of course it is entirely up to you if you want to read this or not.)

Anyway, Elian Lisette is Pre-T no more and a very happy boy! Now I’ll be off working on my book and listening to “I’ll Make A Man Out Of You” on repeat…

Am I Legit Depressed or Just Being a Self-Obsessed Emo Faker? a novel by me

Well, not really. I’m writing a different book right now.

Although that does sound like a good title for a memoir come to think of it. Has a catchy ring to it.

If my major depression feels like something that constantly nags in the back of my mind, like a wedgie or an itch I can’t reach, that’s a good day for me. Those are the days I can distract myself just enough to forget all the negativity. I can function, feel like me. I can hold onto ideas and thoughts.

Today was not a good day. Valentine’s Day is never a good day for me. I spent the last one watching TV Land in a hotel room, shaking with the flu.

This is where I start to wonder if I’m just being one of Those Guys. The ones who moan and groan about being “forever alone” and are so self-observed they don’t see all the apparent flaws that make them horrible date material. Maybe I really am that loathsome. Maybe I’m so obsessed with getting through the day that I don’t realize I’m doing a bunch of nasty things, and then I have the gall to wonder why I’m alone. But that’s the thing…I’m not alone? I have family. I have friends. How hard is that for me to realize? I. Am. Not. Alone.

But I feel alone. I feel like I’m the card in a euchre deck you feel stuck with and hate having to use. I feel like the dirt left on a welcome mat. I feel like people whisper behind my back, “Ugh, why does he follow me around? I wish he’d just leave me alone. I can’t wait to get rid of him.”

And all the Valentine’s decorations remind me of that. All the heart shapes just say “See that? No one even wants to give you their heart, much less hold yours.” All the candies and flowers say “Look at all those nice things you don’t deserve.” Again, here I go sounding emo and self-observed again…what a surprise.

I hate that my depression makes being happy for others an impossible feat. I can’t look at someone with their significant other/fulfilling day/lucky things without a deep, ugly sense of jealousy which soon translates into self-loathing. I really wish I could genuinely be happy because other people are happy. But depression blocks me from it. All I can see when I look at their happiness is my own unhappiness reflecting back, reminding me of everything I don’t have. I know I have a lot of good things going for me, but I still feel empty. My brain and my heart send mixed signals, and it ends up forming a murky cloud around me.

Depression makes my head physically ache. It makes my whole body hurt. It pins me down and makes it hard to move. Which is probably a good thing, because I’m afraid that if I was able to move I might do something I regret, like hurt myself. So I sit here and type out this gruesomely personal blog entry and wonder if I have it in me to force out another chapter in my book.

I don’t know why I’m like this. All I know is I got those signals when I was a kid, from other kids around me. And to this day, no matter how hard I try, I still hear those signals all over the place even when they are not there. I am repeating the same bad day from almost eleven years ago over and over.

Like the movie Groundhog Day, I am in an endless cycle of the same words being said to me. Once by others, now by my mental illness. I don’t know how to break free. I wish I knew how.