I’m Terrible At Beginnings

Stephanie Pui Mun Law Garden

(Notes from the FUTURE: The numbering system on my blog has been weird forever. I didn’t initially number my blog entries, then at some point I briefly started numbering my poetry posts but then I stopped. When I started a seperate blog that was intended to be more of a journal [and which was ultimately moved here] on Livejournal, I numbered the posts, and I really enjoyed doing that. My plan here was to start a new series of blogs where I numbered each entry, ideally writing every day. It didn’t work out that way. I can’t say what the numbering system looks like now if it does exist anymore, but originally this post was titled “#1: I’m Terrible At Beginnings.” – 4/19/2016)

It applies to every part of my life: I suck at beginnings. When I write, I start in the middle of a scene, almost always in the middle of a story. In a relationship, I’m terrible in the beginning: I overthink things, I scrutinize, I make things harder, I cry, I have anxiety attacks, I panic. Beginnings are difficult for me, and that’s why this post has taken me about five weeks.

Yep, five weeks. Maybe give or take a week or two. It’s a simple idea: write every day. And if you miss a day that’s fine, but number the posts, and then it’s an ongoing project. And you can write about what’s on your mind.

Every day, I want to write about something. I want to write about my day, about what I’m thinking about, what I’m listening to, what I’m reading, what I’m afraid of. So many things. But I never start, because I don’t want to write the FIRST one. The one where I begin, and explain what needs to be explained, and talk about how I’ve had this blog for six years but have hardly really written actual journal entries about my life, my thoughts. It’s because whenever I do, I usually write a really lengthy and well thought out post, and then I hold myself to that standard in the future, and I’m afraid to write something small, because it won’t be as good as the previous post. It won’t be an “article.” It won’t be good enough.

And that’s why I’m taking this time to just start the damn thing. Sometimes my writing is good, sometimes it’s fluid and I use a lot of fun words and it reads well, and I’m proud of it. And sometimes it’s pulled right out of my head from that moment, and I’m still proud of that too. The point is I want to create something. My phone and my notebooks are filled with ideas for blog entries. I want to write about musicians I love, I want to write about discovering music and books and art, I want to write about my opinions, I want to write about things that scare me, I want to write about my own WRITING, the novel I’ve been trying to bring into the world for years. I want to write about my life. About how EVERYTHING has changed.

I want to write about how I came close to suicide. I want to write about how sometimes I still find myself on the ledge. I want to write about mental health, about my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and how it’s affected my life, I want to write about my anxiety. I want to tell my story.

But there’s just SO much to tell. And I never know where to begin. I thought about beginning these journals with entry #2, just so that I don’t ever have to write the first one, and if I want, I can retroactively add in the first one. I’m terrible at STARTING projects. As it happens I’m also not great at finishing them. But in the middle, I’m great at that part! I want to write what’s in my head as it happens. If I write down an idea for a blog post, I’ll come back to it three days later and think “I don’t really want to write about that anymore.”

I have so much to say. The thing about dying that scares me the most is that I’ll leave the world without ever having said all the things I want to say, or playing the songs in my heart, or writing the stories in my head (maybe they should be coming more from my heart than my head, maybe that’s the problem, maybe I’ve made a breakthrough, I don’t know).

I know this reads disjointed, or at least I think it reads that way, I don’t know because I’m not reading it, I’m writing it. I’m feeling a little like Delirium right now (and by extension, maybe a little like Tori Amos? I don’t know, I haven’t met her. I’ve met her in music, though).

I want to talk about everything. I want to say everything. What I want more than anything is to tell the truth.

The beginning of this blog is a little hard to read, if I go back and look at those entries from six years ago, when I was twenty, and when I was terrified, and when I was desperately trying to be positive. It feels so fake now, reading it, but I know that my attempt to be positive helped me then. I ended every entry by blessing the reader, by being positive, even though I was in a very stale, very negative, very terrible place. I was plagued by guilt, and lies, and hatred, and love too. I hated and loved someone very much. And I hated and loved myself very much. Now I’m in a place where I can be honest with myself. I recognize dishonesty in myself when it happens, and usually I do my best to stop it.

I try to tell the truth. That’s important to me. Some people lie until their lie becomes truth. I just tell the truth. Sometimes the truth is horrifying, or… breaking. I can’t say heartbreaking because it’s not just that. It’s not just heartbreaking or mindbreaking, it’s breaking. The truth can break. That sentence can mean a few things. Or maybe just two, I’m not sure, but I know that I’m still very broken. I will probably always be shattered, and that’s fine, I want to be authentically who I am, and if who I am is shattered, then cool.

There’s a lot to say. I’m shattered. My thoughts are in many places and go in many directions. But I want them to live, and to be expressed. I want to get them all out of me, so they can live. I want to give birth to my ideas. I want to create.

So, this is the first one. Unapologetically, the first one.

I’m starting. There aren’t any rules. I don’t have to write every day. I don’t have to stick to a schedule. But I’m writing now, and that’s that.

I made it through the beginning.

Now we can keep going.

smilingannie

Some Random Facts About Me

I am gay. I am attracted to both cisgender and transgender males. As far as I know there isn’t a specific classification for this, because it isn’t pansexual since I’m not attracted to trans females. I think I shall call it Ultimate Level Gay

I identify as non-binary gender with a leaning towards male.

I am a Hufflepuff

I play piano

I’m a Baritone, though I was a Bass 2 in high school chorus

I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Social Anxiety Disorder

As a child I had Deinophobia (fear of dinosaurs), Mysophobia (fear of contamination by dirt or germs), and I was also afraid of words that began the letter “T”

I was raised by Christians but it never took, I went through an incredibly religious Christian phase, then became Pagan, and finally became an “IDGAF Atheist”

I am left handed

The first time I tried to write a novel I was twelve, the villain was a leviathan who could transform into a human and controlled water, and the book was called Horizon Zero. For exactly no reason whatsoever. I was twelve.

As a child my favorite movie was Little Mermaid. I used to put my legs into a pillowcase to be my fin, and sit at the coffee table and pretend I was Ariel singing on the rock in the sea. I even pushed my chest out the way she does.

My all time favorite album is Boys For Pele by Tori Amos

I put so much cream in my coffee that it usually turns cold

My guilty pleasure artist is Nicki Minaj. As an artist I find her reprehensible, but I know every word to Stupid Hoe and Roman’s Revenge.

I can name every Madonna album in chronological order, including the compilations

My favorite classical musician is Mozart, and my two favorite pieces are Lacrimosa and Rondo alla Turca

I hate plain chocolate ice cream

The first five albums I ever received, in order, were: Oops! I Did It Again (Britney Spears), Beware of Dog (Lil Bow Wow), Unleash the Dragon (Sisqo), In The Zone (Britney Spears), and The Very Best of Cher

The first anime I ever watched from beginning to end was Pretear

I want to be a writer, and an English major, even though I failed Creative Writing and English 12 in high school. In fairness, I failed those classes because I was lazy and refused to finish my work, not because I’m bad at those subjects.

Aside from the normal everyday colors you learn in grade school, I learned all of my intermediate colors (like Aquamarine, Teal, Periwinkle, etc.) from Microsoft Works Word Processor

I once tried to write a fanfiction novel based on Kingdom Hearts called Kingdom Spades (I didn’t come up with the name, my best friend at the time insisted upon it). Interestingly, I invented Drive Mode in my story before I saw it in Kingdom Hearts II.

I’m hypersexual. A therapist told me this. That’s how I know it’s true. Also, ask my ex-boyfriends, they will confirm.

My first crush was Nick Carter, followed by Lance Bass, Tom Felton, and Liam Aiken. Clearly I had a thing for twinks when I was a kid.

In a related story, I dyed my hair blonde when I was eleven because of my crush on Draco Malfoy

I once lived with a Presbyterian Minister and his family for two months. I convinced his son (who was the same age as me, by the way) to play “you show me yours I’ll show you mine.” On several different occasions.

My favorite animals are pigs, rats and cows

The first song I ever learned completely to play on piano, through sheet music and without any help, was Hello by Evanescence

My first date was the movie Juno. The movie sucked, but I did get to hold the guy’s hand and make out with him in his car afterward.

The first guy I ever had sex with was someone I had met an hour before.

When I was eighteen, I went through a severe depression and identity crisis in which I destroyed everything I’d ever written, including close to two-hundred poems, three novels I was writing, and all journal/blog entries I’d ever written.

The first boy I ever kissed was cheating on his boyfriend with me. I knew this going in but I didn’t care. For the record, it was an amazing kiss, and my heart was broken for months when he chose his boyfriend over me.

The song that makes me happiest is Watchin’ by Freemasons

(EDIT 2/18/16: I’m going to overrule myself here and say that the song that makes me happiest is Walking on Broken Glass by Annie Lennox)

The song that makes me saddest is The Bed Song by Amanda Palmer

(EDIT 2/18/16: Overruling myself again, there are a LOT of songs I could choose but I think Iris by Goo Goo Dolls is the song that makes me saddest)

If I ever get a tattoo, I want it to be lyrics. Most likely the chorus of Iris by Goo Goo Dolls

When I was fifteen I had an online pseudonym of Roku Matsamura

I have a fear of heights with one exception. From the time I was twelve until fifteen I used to play on an old rickety abandoned railroad bridge above a river, complete with loose boards, huge holes in the bridge, and I even did this during winter when the whole thing was slick with ice. I was not afraid.

I once fell in love with a fictional character from a television show. And I mean that I really and genuinely believed we were together.

I had two imaginary friends throughout my teenage years. Their names were Lance and Max. They originated as my “good” and “evil” sides, but it was more like “naughty” and “nice” sides. Lance was the naughty, foul-mouthed one, he was tall with blonde spiky hair, and Max had shoulder-length straight brown hair. Over time, Lance became the only one to usually speak, while Max was constantly somber and emotional. Eventually, I went through a bad breakup and told them to go away. I didn’t see them much after that, but the last time I spoke to them they were in love with one another and were together as a couple.

When I was fourteen, my best friend was a stuffed dog. I talked to it, took it from room to room with me, and slept with it.

I have acid reflux and can burp on command.

I become a complete needy emotional baby when I’m sick. It’s best if I’m in a relationship during these times, and woe betide the poor boy who has to take care of me.

I’m incredibly clingy with friends and especially with boyfriends.

I have a fantasy of a boy whispering sweet nothings into my ear in German.

The first gay-themed movie I ever saw was a German film called Sommersturm

When I see dead animals in the road, I think about coming back with a shovel and burying them in the woods.

The earliest video game I can remember playing in Super Mario Bros, followed by Mega Man 2.

My favorite series of novels as a kid was A Series of Unfortunate Events

Part of my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder was that I used to go through phases of taping sitcoms and watching the episodes over and over and over again. I taped and watched every single episode of Seinfeld ever made, and watched them so many times I knew them word for word. Strangely, I never actually found the show funny.

One of my all-time favorite video games is Breath of Fire III. I’ve played it many times but never actually beaten it. Maybe I don’t want it to end.

My favorite musical is Into the Woods (the original stage version, not the Disney film)

As a kid my favorite television show was Dragonball Z, and I used to read a magazine called Beckett Dragonball Collector

In my opinion, the greatest video game system ever made was the Sega Dreamcast

My favorite fictional witches are, in ascending order of awesomeness: Luna Lovegood, Myrtle Snow, Elphaba Thropp, and The Witch (portrayed by Bernadette Peters in Into the Woods)

 

I attribute my creativity, love of fantasy and adventure, and love of music, to Final Fantasy VII.

On a similar note, the next few facts are going to be all Final Fantasy related. I first learned to play piano so that I could play songs from Final Fantasy VII.

I have never played through Final Fantasy VIII without using Zell Dincht in my party, primarily because I’ve pretty much always had a crush on him.

I have spent something like two-hundred to three-hundred hours playing Final Fantasy XIII, and have never once voluntarily included Snow in my party.

Fran from Final Fantasy XII is one of my all-time favorite Final Fantasy characters, and one of the first songs I ever composed on piano was inspired by Fran’s feelings about leaving the forest.

I’m obsessed with the concept of Mages, particularly their color sorting, with differently coloured mages having access to different spells (black mages cast offensive spells, white mages can heal, green mages can affect stats and both positive and negative statuses, etc.) This system was a big part of what inspired the novel I’m currently writing.

My two favorite fictional heroes are Lightning Farron from Final Fantasy XIII and Ellen Ripley from Alien

I wish people had tails, similar to Zidane from Final Fantasy IX and Goku from Dragonball Z. I think they would be useful, fun, and could be an interesting erogenous zone.

My favorite Final Fantasy villain is Kuja.

My favorite Powerpuff Girl is Bubbles

My favorite female name is Bronwen

My favorite male name is Oliver. Or Wolfgang. I’m not sure I have a difficult time making decisions.

I am generally very indecisive. I’ve spent days not beginning video games because I couldn’t decide what to name my characters.

The Best Songs I Discovered This Year

Before we begin, here’s a random picture of Jeremy Sumpter playing Peter Pan in 2003. To this day 
I’ve never seen this live-action film version of the story, but when I first saw him on the movie cover,
my twelve-year-old heart went pitter patter.

Doing year end wrap-up style blogs is fun, but honestly, if I were to do a blog post about “the top songs of 2015,” I’d be pretty sorely disappointed, but frankly, the last few years haven’t been great years for music, particularly popular music. But then again, that’s just my opinion, and it doesn’t even matter anyway because this post is about my favorite songs that I DISCOVERED this year. So songs in this list are not necessarily new (in fact I don’t think a single song in this list is from this year), but they are songs that I discovered this year and spent a lot of time listening to. Frankly, this list was a lot longer because it was originally “the songs I listened to the most this year,” but I decided it was more fun to go with songs I discovered this year. That’s the rule that I mostly stick to, though some of them are songs I discovered before this year but listened to obsessively this year.

Also this rambling introductory paragraph is a good excuse why you shouldn’t listen to really fast Ben Folds music rambling into your ears because it makes it damn difficult to concentrate. One final thing I want to mention is that unlike most of my other fun little lists, these aren’t in any particular order.

Say Something
A Great Big World

I first heard this song around Christmas 2013 when it became a big hit, and the lyrics really hit me like a brick. 2015 has been a year which, for me, has been primarily defined by crushing depression, loneliness, fear, and a desperate struggle to get over a relationship that lasted three years and ended just before Christmas of 2014. My relationship was strained from the beginning, but when I first heard the words, “Say something I’m giving up on you,” it so perfectly described how I felt in my relationship that seemed completely stuck and moving nowhere. In the silence between us was a sadness and a void, and though I wasn’t ready to say it out loud yet, this song said it for me.

I spent considerable time this year curled up in bed crying and listening to this song, much like I did with Kesha’s “The Harold Song” back when I experienced another traumatic breakup a few years ago. I also want to mention that I usually listen to the original version of the song, though I enjoy the version with Christina Aguilera as well (in fact I was shocked to learn that the girl in the song was Christina because she doesn’t over-sing like usual, and manages to be soft and heartfelt; well done Christina).

Bigger On The Inside
Amanda Palmer

Oh god I think my heart is breaking already. I read Amanda’s book The Art of Asking earlier this year, and by read I mean I listened to the audiobook, and it was nice to hear Amanda’s voice telling the story. Not only that, but the audiobook actually featured ten songs from throughout her career, including the original version of Bigger On The Inside, which was talked about near the end of the book and played before the final chapter of the audiobook. The version of the song featured in the audiobook is simply Amanda, vocal and ukulele, and this song is about trying to deal with her best friend and mentor dying of cancer, as well as the communal heartbreak we all feel all the time; she even references a fan who sent her a letter about being raped, who said that they were scared and wanted to know how to keep fighting. You pretty much can’t listen to this song without your heart completely breaking. It’s gorgeous. When I first heard it I was driving with tears in my eyes.

Love Me Or Leave Me
Kerli

Okay, so I’m suddenly noticing that the majority of the songs I’ve listened to this year are sad, but hey, it’s been an upsetting year. This one I haven’t listened to nearly as much as the others, but I got into a relationship this year that unfortunately only lasted a few months, but early on, he showed me this song, and I loved it both because it reminded me of being with him and because it’s so beautiful. I first heard it while watching Kerli’s performance of various songs from Utopia in Estonia.

Nothing Really Matters
Madonna

I had a BIG Madonna phase this year. There were a few months where I listened to just about nothing but Madonna. I could have chosen quite a few songs here (Angel, Ray of Light, Falling Free, Easy Ride, Erotica, Deeper and Deeper, Vogue, Survival, Runaway Lover, Secret Garden, Human Nature, Music Inferno…. the list goes on and on), but ironically I chose the one Madonna song I discovered AFTER my two-month Madonna binge was completed. I was trying to show off Madonna’s flexibility and the huge amount of ground she’s covered in career to a boyfriend (mentioned earlier) and I remember that the Nothing Really Matters video had seemed kind of cool and creepy, and I found that I accidentally really loved both the video and the song, so I spent a while binge-listening.

Spinning Around
Kylie Minogue

I accidentally found this song a while back when listening to Kylie’s Aphrodite tour, because it was done right after Get Outta My Way, and I can see why because the songs have very similar choruses, so earlier this year I went through a short Kylie phase, and I started exploring some of her older music, and discovered that I really like Spinning Around. I listened to the live version from the Aphrodite tour, and found myself insatiably hungry for the studio version, and once I heard it I pretty much didn’t listen to much else for days on end.

Swallow
Emilie Autumn

I was only vaguely aware of Emilie Autumn before this year, and Fight Like A Girl is actually the only song of hers that I’d ever heard, but only once, when a friend shared the music video upon it’s release. My short-term boyfriend from earlier this year is a huge Emilie Autumn fan, and successfully converted me over to Emilie’s team by showing me her music, her poetry, her writing, and her story of mental illness and her struggle with it. I was very impressed with Emilie upon listening to her Opheliac Companion (which was about eight hours plus), where she talks about how she’s dealt with mental illness, rape, abuse, and expresses her creativity. It was very inspiring. Though Fight Like A Girl remains one of my favorite Emilie songs (it’s a freaking earworm, and it’s a fantastic battle anthem), the song that really one me over was Swallow, which is a six-minute long journey through something that might be underwater and might be floating through the air, and describes the struggle of taking antidepressants and accepting all that comes along with it, because it’s the only way to survive when you’re about to drown.

By the way, I had a very difficult time choosing one Emilie Autumn song because there have been three that I’ve listened to absolutely obsessively: Swallow, Fight Like A Girl, and Opheliac. I highly recommend all three of these, especially Opheliac since I didn’t talk much about it here.

Tusk
Fleetwood Mac

I went through a Fleetwood Mac / Stevie Nicks phase earlier in the year, also influenced by the aforementioned short-term boyfriend, whose favorite music is Stevie. I discovered a lot of songs I didn’t know, or songs I’d heard before but hadn’t given much time to, but I’d absolutely never heard Tusk before and I was shocked that I hadn’t, because it’s such a great uptempo rock song, with something of the feeling of dancing around a campfire mixed with marching band brass. I was pretty surprised that I’d never actually listened to a song that is apparently one of Fleetwood Mac’s hits, but then, they have so many hits that it’s difficult to know when you’ve heard them all.

Lost
Amanda Palmer & The Grand Theft Orchestra

I’ve had Amanda’s album Theatre Is Evil for a while, and even binge-listened to a few of the songs in the past few years, but I had never actually listened to Lost until I heard it on the audiobook of The Art of Asking. Funnily enough I actually didn’t finish listening to it when I heard it on the audiobook, but I came back to it later and found that it reduced me to a blubbering mess in the midst of all my heartbreak. “No one’s ever lost forever, they are caught inside your heart, if you garden them and water them they make you what you are.” I found myself driving down the road in the middle of the night and crying loudly just listening to this song on repeat (along with Want It Back, another song that’s happy, but heartbreaking).

Rather Be
Clean Bandit

I fell in love with this song the moment I first heard it on the radio back in 2014. Clean Bandit is one of those bands like Freemasons that just gets House music right, and I have a real love for House music. I can’t tell you why exactly, I just love how it seems to have this kind of depth, if that makes sense, and I’m talking about the way it sounds, it sounds deep. Like, physically deep. I know, describing music is something that doesn’t really make sense but there you have it. Anyhow, earlier this year I found myself listening to Rather Be on an infinite loop, and screaming with joy when I heard it. It’s one of the happiest songs I’ve ever heard, and it’s difficult to wear this one out (though I’ve moved on to some other Clean Bandit songs now, I recommend Stronger).

I Just Wanna Dance
Alison Jiear

Now, this song has apparently been kind of a gay party anthem for a few years, thanks to a dance remix, but even though I really enjoy the dance remix, it’s the original version of the song from Jerry Springer: The Opera that I adore. It’s funny, because Jerry Springer: The Opera is as silly and tongue-in-cheek as it sounds, but this song manages to be so incredibly expressive and beautiful, and what begins as the story of a white-trash poledancer turns into a gorgeous song about longing, the desire to cast aside all worry and a deep need to experience life. I found myself crying to this song more than once, and it was my go-to song right after my breakup.


Bernadette
IAMX

This one is a recent find. I’ve known about IAMX for a while, and always enjoyed the song Spit It Out (particularly it’s re-released single version and Imogen Heap’s remix), but I hadn’t really listened to his music in a while, because even though I liked a few of Chris Corner’s songs, and bought Kingdom of Welcome Addiction, nothing really stuck with me much. Earlier this year I decided to watch How To Get Away With Murder, and I was amazed at how great of a show it was, and at the end of the first episode I could hear a song called I Come With Knives, and though I’d never heard the song I immediately recognized Chris’ voice, and it turns out that IAMX is featured in almost every episode of the show, which adds an incredible depth to both the show and the music, because I find certain IAMX songs a lot more meaningful, having memories of the show attached to them.

Bernadette, however, is not featured in How To Get Away With Murder, and I think I must have found it just by seeing it in a related links bar on Youtube while watching other IAMX songs, and the moment I heard it I was addicted. Interestingly, I’ve gotten my little sister addicted to the song too. It’s this carnival cabaret song with toy pianos and strings and a theremin, and falls somewhere between Pink Floyd’s The Trial and some kind of creepy carnival dance. It’s entrancing.

~

There were a lot more than eleven, but I decided to narrow the list a bit. I didn’t include any of Ben Folds’ music, because I went through a phase earlier this year listening to his album Way To Normal, and also had a huge Dresden Dolls bender as well, but these are pretty much the big highlights of the songs that kept me company this year.

And now, here’s another sexy picture of Dylan O’Brien. I may need to make this a regular feature of blog posts.

There Are Three Sexy Pictures In This Post

Before we begin, check out this sexy picture of Pan I found on Google Image Search. Yowza.

Fairy Tale. It’s the name of the novel that’s been brewing inside me for about three years now, the novel that I attempted to start last year, gave up on 50,000 words in to try and redesign the plot, and which I’ve spent months and months outlining, outlining again, and picking apart. I’ve added completely new characters and taken them out before they even had a chance to be written down, I’ve changed the setting, the character’s names, I’ve tried to merge Fairy Tale with another story, then decided not to, then tried to do it again, all without writing very much of it down. I find myself with probably half a novel’s worth of concept material and unfinished scenes, but very little in the way of a serious book. I’m not even ready to look over the 21 chapters I wrote for the first draft of the novel, because I know that the “action” scenes are terribly written, the plot is confusing and ill-explained, and there’s a serious lack of direction.

In fact, that’s the main issue with Fairy Tale, there’s never been any direction. Even the title is vague. I thought it was clever before, but I’ve also considered going with The Fairy’s Awakening or something else; I decided to call it Fairy Tale before I even added a fairy to the story, and then I was upset because my plot resembled Final Fantasy and Bravely Default too much. In fact, every time I get inspired and add something new to this story, I feel like a fraud, pulling too much material from someone else. At heart I’m kind of a fanfiction writer, I love having my own characters, but it’s so much easier to put them in someone else’s setting, someone else’s world. And Fairy Tale even has it’s own word, vague and somewhat shapeless though it is, but I’m not good at describing it.

The truth is, I believe I’m a good writer, but I’m not good enough yet. I’ll know when I’m good enough. But when I put down the first draft of Fairy Tale, I decided to step back from it, take some time, think some more about where I wanted to go. What I ended up doing was coming up with practically an entirely new plot, and now at this point I don’t even know which version of the story (of which there are about seven to ten completely different outlines) to start with. But I realized something: I’ve written a lot of conceptual material for this novel, and probably more concept scenes than the actual first draft itself. I’d even decided to just let the first draft go, start all over, and rewrite what needed to be rewritten. But that’s just… not fulfilling to me. In fact, a few days ago I felt sure that I was ready to finally start on this story again, from scratch, and then the next day I woke up and suddenly my desire to write this story was gone. There was just too much. I’d thrown in so many ideas that the entire story was just as vague and devoid of true meaning as it had been when I’d first imagined it.

Ultimately, I wanted to tell an adventure story about magic. Magic was always the central focus. There were a lot of themes and messages I wanted to get across: Lucas has a terrible relationship with his father, Chancellor Elliot Varner, and I based that relationship on how I feel about my own father, who is abusive and distant. Bronwen appeared in my story and I didn’t even realize that she was transgender at first. Imogen and her adopted mother appeared in the story when I was still Pagan, before I became an atheist, or at least something close to an atheist. Lucas is in love with his straight best friend, an experience that I believe is probably very common for young gay people. Drosselmeyer is the leader of a corrupt religious organization that mimics the Catholic Church and worships a deity called the Unknown God (a phrase borrowed from Gregory Maguire’s ‘Unnamed God’ from Wicked). A character called Dexter who’s been a part of the story for a long time but has rarely ever shown up in any scene I’ve written was raised in an aristocratic family but hated wealth and power, fell in love with his adopted brother who he didn’t yet realize was a transgender female.

These are all great places to explore themes about love, about boundaries and whether they’re appropriate, about the power people exert over others, and about being honest with yourself about who you are. I don’t think there are nearly enough gay characters, much less gay heroes, in all of fiction, much less written fiction, and even less in fantasy, which is still mostly dominated by a straight-male perspective, despite it’s penchant for outlandish geekery and misfit-acceptance. But there isn’t REALLY a central story. It’s just an adventure. I’ve been asked over and over again what this book is about, and the truth is I don’t know. If so many elements of this story are so easy for me to pick up, throw out, and replace with something new, then maybe there isn’t really a glue holding all of this together. I’ve managed to throw in every single idea for a story I’ve had, and what I’ve gotten is a stew that’s made up of too many ingredients and I just don’t know where to go, this story has no direction at all.

So I’m at a weird place. Part of me wants to just drop Fairy Tale and start on something completely new, then come back to Fairy Tale when I’m a better writer and I can find some sense of direction for this book. Maybe I’ll do that. Another part of me thinks that it’s better to have a crappy draft that is FINISHED than a brilliant scene that is unfinished, and that I should just pick up where I left off on the first draft, and worry about rewriting and changing things later. I may do that too. All I know is that I’ve got to choose SOME course of action, because now even I’ve lost my direction.

And now for an abrupt change of topic. Check out sexy Bolin!
I need to blog more, because I’ve spent literally YEARS wanting to talk about what’s going on in my life here on my blog and just not doing it. So I’m going to talk about what’s going on in my life right now, and I may even keep peppering in random pictures of sexy men.
First of all, I started doing video blogs, and so far there are two. It’s about time for a third. In the first, I discuss the fact that I may not actually really feel all that male after all, and I certainly don’t feel like “man” is a pronoun I would ever want used to describe me. It’s possible that I’m closer to agender than anything, but I still feel a bit male. That’s why I’ve always liked the term “boy,” and why I don’t feel odd wearing gender nonconforming clothes and why I loathe gender roles. In the second video blog, I sob about how upsetting it is to live with depression.
I’ve had anxiety and depression for years now, and I’m currently switching to a new antidepressant (or should I say, my DOCTOR is putting me on a new antidepressant). So far I’m hopeful. However, on the one hand, the new antidepressant is helping me feel a little more positive (despite constant mood swings, feelings of hopelessness, dread and uselessness), but I remember that a couple of months ago I tried quitting my antidepressants cold turkey and I was amazed at how much I FELT everything. I hadn’t realized how numb I’d been for so long. Now that I’m on my meds again, I feel numb again. I can still feel things, but in general the thing I really feel most of all in a need for love, and an overwhleming loneliness.
I’m making changes in my life. I’ve started walking. That seems small, but it isn’t. I’ve done a bad job for the past week at sticking to my new walking plan, but I got back on it today. Whenever I feel bored, or I want to to do something, usually I pick up a video game, or get online, but I’m trying to go for a walk whenever I feel that way. It isn’t always a brisk semi-jog, sometimes it’s just a walk. But it’s something, and today I walked a mile and a half and I’m proud of myself for it. I’ve also quit soda. Now, I’ve slipped up the past few days because I’ve drank soda a few times, but it was usually because there just wasn’t much else to drink, and I didn’t even really enjoy it that much. In general, I’ve quit soda, and I think that alone has caused me to lose weight.
And I have lost weight. I weighed 250 pounds give-or-take for about a year, and I’m down to 237 pounds if I remember correctly from the scale at the doctor’s office (which, oddly, weighed me lower than all of the household scales I’ve stepped on at different houses, but since it’s at the doctor’s office, I’m giving this one credence, nevermind the fact that it has the lowest weight). I am beginning to FEEL healthier. I’ve gone through all of my clothes and boxed up the ones I’m too big for. I’m not going to keep staring at clothes I can’t fit into, or suffer the indignity of putting on a shirt only to see that it clings so tightly to my body that it’ll never fit, and then whipping it off in a rage as shirt after shirt do exactly the same thing. I’m also trying to eat better things. Though I’ve been pretty bad this past week, I’m avoiding fast food in general, and trying to eat things like fruit and nuts, and maybe not so much bread, which I was surprised to learn isn’t really good for you. I’m drinking water or juice, and having tea at night. Hot tea, with a teabag, not sweet iced-tea which is what “tea” is generally shorthand for in the south.
I’m trying to avoid getting online. I’ve gone a day or two without really looking at my computer. That’s a huge step for me. I even put my computer in the office area so that I can only use it when I have a need to, and not waste time with it. I’ve been more productive about cleaning around the house. And most importantly I made a resume and I’ve submitted a couple of job applications. The first place I applied to is something that I believe is akin to a call center, and I think I would enjoy working in an office, sitting at a desk in front of a computer, rather than standing all day in retail or, god forbid, working in food service. I have a phone interview with the company in a few days, I’m hoping it goes well. I’m going to try getting a job or two, and I’m also going to finish applying for college.
There have been some other circumstances as well. I live with my family and my mother may be involved in a deal that will include my sister and I each receiving some money to help us go to school, and a really nice camper for me to stay in that my mom assures me will be HER property and not her husbands, so he won’t have the authority to kick me out of his house anymore. Interesting for her to say that, because it’s always been HER whose told me that I have to go, but whatever, it sounds like a good deal for the moment, and my goal is to get myself a small apartment, to work, to go to school, and to continue bettering myself. Read more, write more, exercise more, use my brain more. Things that used to entertain me like inanely grinding for levels in an RPG for hours and hours don’t do it for me anymore, I’d prefer to listen to a podcast or an audiobook, have my brain working. I don’t enjoy comedy on some shows like Family Guy or American Dad as much as I used to because I’ve become used to things that make me think.
I think, in a general sense, I’m getting better. I feel like I’ve made a real change in how I approach things. I need to get bed soon because I’m going to be up early tomorrow to go clean a couple of houses, which has been my job for a year or more now. I’m glad to have finally gotten some of this down. Let me go find another sexy picture to round out this post with.

I was very torn about which sexy Dylan O’Brien picture or GIF to end with, but this one shows off his eyes, so we’ll go with that.