I’m Still Trying

Caesar

I’ve wanted to write again for over a month. That seems to always be the pattern: I want to write, then I don’t, then I’m mad because I missed all these observations and thoughts I could have chronicled, and then when I do write I’m apologizing to myself for not writing. But I’m going to keep trying, even if it’s hard. I want to get what it’s my head down.

I started a journal once before online (actually many times before online, but this is one in particular), on LiveJournal. I wanted to try something new, but I ended up only writing six entries. Since this numbered series is supposed to be similar to that, and I’ve already cross-posted my LiveJournal entries over to this blog, I considered making the previous entry number seven and this one number eight.Maybe I will do that. I don’t know.

I realize that’s a boring thing to start this off with. I have a thing about numbers, and organization. I have literally spent most of my free time in the past six years organizing and maintaining my iTunes library: keeping the B-Sides and Demos in proper order with uniform cover art, keeping everything numbered properly, having things in correct chronological order, organizing and re-organizing and re-organizing bonus tracks and B-Sides. It’s labor intensive but it gives my mind something to focus on.

I honestly want to go back to the beginning of this entry and just erase everything I’ve just written because even I think it’s boring.

But that is not the point!

The point is to get it out of my head and into here. The point is to have a living record (what does that actually mean, anyway? I’m totally bullshitting on using that term properly) of my life and my thoughts.

So here’s what I did today.

It’s Saturday. Blessed, sweet Saturday. The Thursday two days previous marked three months that I began working a full-time job, at a desk, in front of a computer, for eight hours a day with an hour lunch break. When I first started, I was deliriously satisfied at having landed full-time work, much less in my dream environment of an OFFICE. I couldn’t believe it.

But as time went on, it slowly starting dawning on me that this wasn’t an office. This was a retailer I worked for, and I was in their office space, and yes there were desks and computers and cushy chairs, and a coffee machine and conference rooms, but there were also things MISSING. Windows, for instance. Our office is actually just two huge warehouses that are somewhat insulated and the walls are strewn with huge ceiling to floor curtains. There are no windows, there is no sunlight, there is something that almost passes for a skylight above but really doesn’t because it’s just one dirty covered window that lets in some small amount of light. Two weeks ago the power went out for a while and we were on various backup lighting systems and it was like it was the dead of night in there. It gets incredibly hot when it’s hot outside, and freezes when it’s cold outside.

It seems to be devoid not just of light, but of hope. I’m reminded of the lyrics to that one Radiohead song that I’ve never heard the original of before, just the Regina Spektor and Amanda Palmer covers: “A job that slowly kills you, bruises that won’t heal.”

After my life was saved by two friends who allowed me to move away from the Carolinas and from my dysfunctional family and incredibly abusive mother, I spent the first month or so having crying breakdowns every night. I was like a dog that had just been adopted from the pound, and I was still so scarred by my past that I couldn’t accept that I might have a home, or safety, or love. But over time that fear went away and this became my new home.

I lasted about a month at the new job before I started to realize that I not only hated the job itself, but the whole concept of full time work. I always thought working full time with weekends off would give my life some kind of structure, but it turns out it just fills my life with forty-five hours a week spent in a muggy dark building away from the sun, and away from my actual LIFE. I hate being hidden away like that. I get two days off but I feel like I need much more than that. I honestly am beginning to doubt whether or not I can work AT ALL.

What would a happy work-week look like for me? I have no idea. Unless I were doing something that I love, and I don’t really know if I can paid to play piano, write books, and play video games. I want to go to college but how? I’m twenty-five now, I don’t have as many resources available to me as would have been when I was eighteen and just graduating. Even if I go to school I need to work a full-time job at the same time and how do I do that? What would I even go to school for? I say English, music, or literature, but what would I do with that? Would I teach? Could I handle the stress of teaching? I’ve been warned against teaching by everyone and I’ve never been particularly interested in it. If I were a teacher I’d have to hide who I am too.

I’d like to live in a hippy commune, rolling around naked in the flowers every afternoon, fucking boys and maybe sometimes girls throughout the day, reading at night, and falling asleep in the arms of friends. I’d like to wake up to the smell of nature and the wet dew and the rising sun, and yet I don’t want to live out in the woods. Maybe a cabin somewhere? I mean I’m genuinely trying to picture what my perfect life might look like. I guess in my dreams for the future I’m always rich and successful, and I’m either at home writing novels or out on the road touring as a musician, playing piano and singing to adoring friends every night.

Will I ever get the chance to do these things? When I was twenty-one it seemed like there was still all the time in the world to figure these things out. Now I’m twenty-five, almost twenty-six, and it seems like while there may still be time, there doesn’t seem to be any MEANS to make these things happen. And what do I need to do, keep on slogging through work full time, having unfulfilling Grindr hookups that leave me grossed out and ashamed when I have a few moments of free time, spending the weekend sitting still and trying to recuperate as I recover from the withdrawals symptoms of leaving one antidepressant behind to start myself on another?

It seems like I’ve gained so much of what I thought I wanted: a safe home where I live with friends, a stable job, good income, the ability to get food when I need it, a place to put my books and my music. And I do still want all those things, but I didn’t know I would still be suicidal once I got them. I didn’t know I would still struggle against the debilitating tears, fear, and loneliness, pushing down on my chest every day. I didn’t know I would still reach over to the other side of the bed at night and wish Nathan was there to hold.

It’s been over a year now and he’s still on my mind all the time. I feel lost without him. I think of things that I want to say to him, I see things around me and I want to show him, but he isn’t here, he’s back home, in Georgia, and he just isn’t going to be a part of my life no matter how much I miss him. And it isn’t that I want him to be in my life, or that I want to get back together, but I do miss him. Even though I don’t regret my decision to step out of our relationship, I still spend a lot of time thinking about him, missing him

I want to find a new person, but last year I was with a new person for three months and I genuinely forget that he ever existed in my life. I had a new relationship with not one but TWO guys, in a polyamorous relationship, they were both Pagan, and I even ended up homeless and they gave me a place to stay. Then there was upset, an actual physical fight, lots of screaming and wailing and at one point I even tried to cut myself (unsuccesfully, as I grabbed a butter knife), then ended up being made to leave. And I forget about those things ever having happened all the time, I forget that I had a relationship with those two guys, I talk about Nathan and say he was my last boyfriend but I forget that there were two in-between then and now. Why do I forget them so easily? I had thought I was happy. It turns out I was just as unfulfilled as before.

But doesn’t having a rebound relationship mean it helps you to get over the old one? Well, yes and no. It was nice, but still unfulfilling.

And I spent so much time last year being an atheist, and now I feel like I’m going back down the path to being Pagan. Which is great, I like it, but I always feel insincere. I’m not brave enough to be an atheist, and I don’t have enough faith to truly believe in the Divine. I want real life witchcraft and magic to influence the magic in my book, but where is my book going? It’s changed so much in my head. Characters that used to be the most important have left entirely, and I don’t know what’s happening anymore. I finally started over in first person and I love it so far but I haven’t written anything more after the first chapter, which I need to revise.

I’m feeling so lost. Why, after gaining so much, do I still find myself faced with the same problems?

Today I walked dogs at the animal shelter. Zack drove us there, I was going to go by myself but I’m glad he came. First I walked a pitbull named Caesar who pee’d on everything and then kept trying once he ran out, and cuddled with him a bit before we swapped him out for another pitbull named Gunnar, who was a bit more distant but really interested in walking around and exploring. I got a lot of good exercise from it, even though I was literally so exhausted from walking down to a culdesac and back twice that I ended up taking a three-hour nap when I got home. How can I ever start working out regularly or running / walking / jogging, if I can’t even handle taking a dog for a walk?

I don’t mean to be negative, if I am being negative. I spent a lot of time when I first started this blog trying as hard as I could to be positive because I needed positive energy in my life. Now I’m not even sure what a word like “positive energy” means. I don’t like faith in God, and I don’t really care enough about science to truly seek the answers. Maybe I don’t like what I know I’ll find: that the universe is vast and my existence in it has little meaning either way. That’s what atheism has brought to me, a feeling of knowledge and even of boastful, arrogant pride that I’m now trying to unlearn, and also a fear of oblivion. I don’t want to stop existing. Can it be so easy to just stop existing? Can it be so easy to believe in an alternative?

I’m filled with questions. I’m tired. I’m always tired nowadays.

I have to get away from this job before it kills me. I have to keep trying. I have to keep doing good things in my life.

I ordered two books on Wicca. I jogged last week and walked today. I’ve stopped drinking soda from the machine at work and almost entirely switched to drinking Powerade when I’m working. I bought tea and chai. I’m trying.

I need to stop staring at my phone all day. I need to get online for a good purpose, to write or to do something productive. I have to stop wasting so much time.

I want my body to be better. I want my heart to be better. I want my life to be better.

I’m trying.

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Naked

1034

“My heart is a chamber of darkness
My voice echoes in fear
I have lost all hope but still I call you
Hear me and grant me reprieve
Summon me from the night
Give me life.”

Chapter 1

He was naked.

His hair was a bright auburn that tinged itself with blonde, his eyes were a milky swirl of silver and blue. His body was lean and unintimidating, dusted with fine blonde hair across his belly and his legs and between them in a concentration above his groin. His face was something like handsome, though there was an emptiness behind his eyes. He stared forward but he didn’t seem to exist at all.

It wasn’t me.

This person was not the embodiment of the voice in my mind, this person was not my soul personified. But it was my body. And it stared back at me from a reflection in glass, like a stranger meeting my gaze. I didn’t entirely believe the reflection, I was sure that I’d still never seen my own eyes.

Dim light at the edges of my vision swirled about behind the figure in the mirror. Fire was moving through the air. I could feel it prickling the inside my head, I could feel it breathing. Fire, individual flames moving through the air in a rhythmic dance, slowly, breathing, breathing, breathing.

I closed my eyes. I almost imagined there were lights dancing in the darkness of my eyelids. I could feel the light from each flame as it danced along the air in a current that swirled around my body. I reached out with some kind of limb I didn’t understand and snatched the flames from candles that were placed in a circle on the floor around me. Come up, join the others. I pulled the flames from the wicks and they kept burning. They kept breathing. The little flames joined the larger ones in the silent song the fire sang, and they grew, breathing, hotter, and hotter.

Footsteps clicked in the hallway.

The flames whisped out, not one by one, not unanimously, some dying faster, but they all fell into sparks and died in the air.

The door to my bedroom was opened.

“Good afternoon, Lord,” said a friendly and companionable voice. Trust him not to knock before he enters. “I’d advise against standing about in the darkness without any clothes on, it’s unbecoming of royalty.”

The young man to whom the voice belonged strolled easily past me and pulled open two huge, thick velvet drapes, and sunlight burst hungrily across the floor and onto every surface of my room, and flooded my eyes, so that I saw a glimpse of the boy of with the light brown hair illuminated so brightly he seemed to change, and just as my eyes closed I could almost swear I saw someone else in his place, but I couldn’t place it, and my eyes were stinging, and the thought was lost.

“Honestly, you’d think you might remember you have a schedule,” said the young man impatiently, ruffling the drapes and smoothing them before turning and marching across the room to shut my door behind himself. “I leave you alone for one morning and you start having séances in the middle of the afternoon.”

I sighed and shook my head, “Eric, you know I can’t handle doing anything royal without you,” I said.

“That’s all very well,” he replied in a tone of trained annoyance that bordered between that of a disrespectful child and an overbearing mother, while strolling over to the drapes and unlocking the window latch, “But I’ve been your attache for two years and you’ve still to learn a thing about acting like an adult.” He whipped the window open and a chill that was not the breath of winter but not quite the sigh of spring whistled in and caught my bare legs, causing me to shiver and cross my arms in something like embarrassment.

Eric was already flinging open my wardrobe and grabbing undergarments, tossing them lazily on the bed behind him, though they landed in perfect order. I glanced below myself at the ring of burned out candles. The wicks weren’t black, still white. The fire had barely touched them. I wondered for a moment what Eric thought I was doing, he was too smart not to guess something.

But then, you don’t often guess that your master can wield fire with his mind. And if you do guess it, you probably don’t ask questions.

I sauntered over to my bed, which Eric suddenly noticed was completely unmade and almost rolled his eyes as he went to tuck the duvet back into the corners of the mattress. “One day you will learn to be something like self-sufficient,” he said in that same parental tone.

I realized that I was chuckling softly, standing there naked and looking like a fool, while Eric ran around behind me cleaning up my messes. He’d already managed to lay out my day’s attire on the bed and swept behind me to grab the candles from the floor. “But I can always rely on you, can’t I?” I asked.

“For a time,” said Eric, setting the candles down quickly and in neat order on a dressing table in the corner that I scarcely used for anything, “But you’re nineteen years old and you may be royalty, but you should still learn to take care of yourself. What will you do when I’m not around?”

“You’ll always be around,” I said defensively, grabbing a pair of short cotton briefs and slipping them up my legs.

“I wasn’t around until a couple of years ago,” he replied, “When the Chancellor appointed you a much smaller contingent of factotums,” Eric was already pulling a silk shirt over my head while he spoke, and I abliged him like a child who resented the act of being dressed, “Now I need you to try and act something near stately today, and tonight when we’re done with business you can pull off your dress clothes and roll around on the floor like a stubborn child.”

I giggled. I enjoyed Eric’s admonishment, because it was playful. He was incredibly skilled at his duty, he was loyal and trustworthy, and life had been a little easier to understand since he’s come into my life. His fingers worked at the buttons of a jacket he’d pulled onto me, and he clipped a green silk scarf onto the neck to trail behind me. “Do you have to add the scarf?” I asked.

“The accouterments of rank, lord,” he said kindly, “You’ll learn to live with it, one way or another.”

“You really do dote on me,” I said.

“And you dance upon my nerves, little princeling,” he said, “But I am older than you and you know to listen to your elders.”

“You are exactly seven years older than me, and as I see it you’re barely an adult yourself,” I replied.

He leaned in close to me and raised his eyebrows. “I set out my own undergarments in the morning, my lord,” he whispered, and he winked.

As breeches were hoisted upon my waist and a pair of stately black shining boots buckled and strapped at my feet, I stared back out the wide window that opened almost from floor to the grand tall ceiling of this vast chamber where I lived most of my time. I thought for a moment I could almost see something out there in the vast cloudless sky, like a small bird or maybe a large fairy tale pixie, but whatever I thought must have swam into the light of the sun because my eyes were stinging again and I looked away.

“Do try and behave yourself, Lord,” said Eric in a tone that sounded nervous, “And remember to rise when they say your full name and title.”

I rolled my eyes and announced it in a mock ceremonial voice, “Noble Heir to the Throne of Alexandria, fourteenth in the line of royalty since His Eminence King Hamlet, prince Lucas Ballanehim.”

“You’re the FIFTEENTH of the line since King Hamlet, Lord,” corrected Eric.

“Well I never met my father,” I said with an arrogant swivel of my head.

“And neither did I,” replied Eric, adjusting the belt about my waist and buckling it, “But I still know to stand when my name is called, and keep my mouth shut when appropriate. Learn from me.”

“Are you afraid I’ll get myself in trouble?” I asked

“I’m afraid you’ll get us all in trouble,” Eric said, and he almost yanked me forward and toward the door, “The conclave begins in less than an hour, so please, for me, practice being quiet while there’s still time.”

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.

Bout Of Books August 2014: Goals

Bout of Books 11

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 18th and runs through Sunday, August 24th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 11 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

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So, I will be partcipating for the first time in the Bout of Books this year! My friend Jenn over at Booksessed has been participating in this forever and she finally roped me into doing it! It’s a really neat idea, because there’s no pressure involved and it’s completely for fun. You set your own goals as to how many books you’d like to read, how many pages, absolutely whatever, and you can adjust your goals as necessary. It’s entirely for the purpose of having fun and networking with other readers and book bloggers. I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a “book blogger” per se, but I do blog about books, so maybe I fit some form of the definition, even if it isn’t the main intention of my blog.

As such! These are the goals that I intend to meet by the end of the week, and I will be posting updates as the week goes along.

My Goals

1. Read at least 2 books this week.

2. The books that I read have to be beginning to end, so that the experience will be new for me, and not just finishing stuff I wasn’t that interested in in the first place.

3. Spend at least an hour a day reading.

4. Write update posts on how the book is going, what I think, etc.

The Books I’m Planning To Read

So, I’m not entirely sure what books I’m going to be reading, but I have an idea. As both of the books I’m planning on reading are eBooks, I can’t really post a picture of my “book stack,” but I will show off the cover art for both.

I’m a big fan of Christopher Rice and Eric Shaw Quinn’s internet radio show, The Dinner Party Show. I’ve been following the show since it first premiered, and have an organized list of all their podcasts in my music library. One of my favorite things to do is listen to podcasts while doing other things, like cleaning my room, washing dishes, playing  video games, working out, etc. I especially like long shows that are an hour or longer, because I don’t have to stop what I’m doing to change things (that’s part of why I don’t like listening to music while I’m doing other things, I get bored too easily and have to keep stopping and changing). The Dinner Party Show is hilarious and great fun, and I’m a huge fan of both the co-hosts (although psst! I secretly like Eric the most, but don’t tell Christopher, he’d get jealous if he knew).

Say UncleA Density Of Souls

However! Even though I have followed both of these guys’ careers and web presence, as I’ve not only been mentioned on their show about five or so times now (hearing your name pass through the lips of a New York Times bestselling author never stops being exciting) but actually had legitimate conversations with them about writing, life, and what have you, I’ve actually never read any of their books! I do, however, own both of their first novels, Eric’s novel Say Uncle and Christopher’s novel A Density of Souls respectively. One is a witty look at the life of a gay man who gains custody of his nephew and his fight to keep him, and the other is a suspenseful thriller about a group of young people from New Orleans.

As modern equality struggles and thrillers are both genres that I haven’t had much experience in, I think these two books would be a great way to spend the week, if I can manage to get myself to read them, because I am such a pokey reader. However, no matter what, if I have fun and enjoy reading, then I’m really a winner! So I encourage anyone reading to participate in the Bout of Books, and if you’d like updates from me, stay tuned to the blog, as I’ll do update posts throughout the week. Happy reading!