Patron Blog #4: Moving Forward

Shirtless
This post coming to you from Starbucks, because my mom’s WiFi connection is almost nonexistant. There aren’t any tables available for recluses in the corner currently, so I’m at a long table in the center of the room, and be sure to wave at the kid next to me playing games on their phone who keeps periodically looking over my shoulder at what I’m doing. It was entertaining before I started writing, now it’s a bit nerve racking.
On My Relationship To America
Speaking of nerve wracking, Donald Trump won the presidency. I think we’re all stunned and unsure of how to process that. I’ve posted a couple of blog entries recently about the election, one about my response (calling Trump’s bluff), and another about the response of others toward me (in a word: bullying). If you haven’t seen Kate McKinnon on Saturday Night Live playing Hallelujah dressed as Hillary Clinton, you should. It’s a beautiful tribute to mourn the recent death of Cohen, and despite how tempted I am to make a joke about also mourning the death of America, I’m going to try and remain hopeful.
Hopeful that America can eventually grow up and join the rest of the world in accepting all people, and treating all people with equal rights. But the truth is, I’m honestly not interested in sticking around to help it happen. I don’t mean I intend to remain silent, or even that I refuse to be an activist, neither of those things are true. But it does mean that I want to leave. Genuinely.
Everyone has been making jokes about moving to Canada since before the election. It isn’t a joke for me. And it doesn’t have to be Canada. I’ve asked people in the Sloth Group if they might be willing to take me in, and so far I’ve had offers from people in Canada, England, Germany, and China. If I can figure out how the hell to get a passport and actually travel there, I’ll do it. I really will.
America has never been my country. I understand that plenty of Americans love this country and it’s values and want to stick around to help it through dark times. That’s great. But I’ve never felt any affinity toward America, except in the manner of “well, it could be worse,” but that’s what people in abusive relationships say to justify their abuser. The truth is, America has never shown me any promise for my future, only blockaded by future and that of the other non-straight, non-Christian, individuals within this country. I’ve watched as over and over again, America makes a fool of itself, and I’ve never felt anything but embarrassed to live here.
I’m not an American, not at heart. I’m glad to have my citizenship here because I know that if I had to live in certain other countries in the world, I would honestly not be able to handle it, and I would probably choose to die. But truthfully, I find countries like Canada and the UK to be much more appealing to me. I feel at home there, just based on what I’ve experienced through citizens of those countries and through their media. I would love to live in the UK.
I miss Robert and Zack. I don’t want to leave them here in this country and let them fend for themselves. Of course I don’t live with them now, so it’s not like I would be doing anything for them otherwise, but still, I can’t abandon this country when people I care about live here. When I say abandon here, I mean emotionally. I still would be happy to physically leave.
And that’s that. Maybe I can find some way to get out. I don’t know yet.
But for the time being I have to pick up the pieces of /my life.
Moving Forward
I spent a few days moping around after the election, and truthfully I’ve spent about a month now moping around at my mom’s house. No one has put a ton of pressure on me to get a job, but I know I’m running out of the grace period before people start asking questions. And besides, I need to have money to change my license and get my car transferred to South Carolina.
The first step is to find a job. I still haven’t started looking, but I plan to begin tonight. I’m going to set my sights on I.T. jobs or office work. My worst fear is that I’ll end up standing in front of a grill or a cash register at a restaurant or retail store. I’m sick of that, but I have no real experience anywhere else, and no college degree of any kind.
I need to work on getting started with college. But how can I even do that when I don’t know where I’ll be next year? I don’t want to be here, AT ALL. But I need to start somewhere. I don’t know how to begin. I don’t care if I have to go into debt for the rest of my life as long as I can just go to school now. I wish it were possible to live on campus and focus on school without needing to work. I don’t know if that can happen.
I’m going to put a wish out into the universe here: I’m going to keep working to try and be self-sufficient, but what I sincerely wish is that someone would give me a place to live and be safe while I go to college. A place where I could focus all of my energy on school and not need to worry about work. I don’t know if that can happen, but stranger things have happened in the history of the world.
I’ve learned that I’m just not really capable of taking care of myself. And I’m not saying that as an excuse, because I’m going to try and take care of myself for the time being. But the truth is, getting up and going to work everyday, paying my bills, being in charge of my own welfare, it’s just too much for me. I need to have personal autonomy but truthfully, I only know how to function when someone else is footing the bill. Does that make me a user? I feel like it’s to do with my mental health and my anxiety. Maybe one day I CAN be self sufficient, but the pressure is so much. Just getting up and getting through the day is often too much pressure to bear, much less being expected to be relied on to get up and go to work every day without fail, with no potential end.
My goal is to work from my computer, so I can travel wherever I like, and stay wherever I want, and keep writing. A writer is what I want to be. And if possible, a musician too. I just have to keep trying.
What To Expect From Me Soon
And on that note. I haven’t posted much on this Patreon account since I created it. It’s because I haven’t written much new stuff, or when I have decided to write it’s just been to write these Patron blogs. So far just about everything I’ve posted has been blog entries, and that’s fine, I love sharing those, but I do want to show some of the other things I’m capable of.
And in that spirit, I’m going to try setting up some scheduled posts. I think this week I may set something up to post every day. A lot of it will be pulled from my past writing, stuff that’s already available on my blog. But now that I’m working “monthly” through Patreon, rather than “via each post,” I don’t mind sharing so much stuff. I want to be able to create a broad picture of who I am as a writer, and share some of the stuff I’ve written in the past with you that I’m most proud of.
Except to see some essays, some past blog entries, and maybe some philosophical musings in the coming week.
I’ve also been working on music a bit since my mother’s house has a piano. The piano is unfortunately out of tune, so it’s sound suffers a lot because of that, but I have been playing it a lot nontheless. For years I’ve been making prospective track lists for an album or an EP, but currently I have about 11-12 songs that I need to work on, and get ready for recording, whenever I find a way to properly record some things. Stay posted for updates on that. I’ve been working on a new song recently, and reworking two older songs.
I’ve also been vlogging a bit more lately. I created a vlog (which I sometimes refer to as a “V Blog,” because that’s the way Imogen Heap did it and I was consciously emulating her) on my Youtube channel a year ago and it went almost entirely untouched while I lived in Delaware, but I’ve found now that I have more of a need to vlog and keep my thoughts in order. Currently I haven’t had a good enough WiFi connection to upload anything without it being corrupted during the upload, but I recorded two vlogs recently, one of which is very personal, in which I was crying and talking about how hopeless I felt. I’ll probably share that one on here for anyone who wants to see but keep it unlisted on Youtube. I also recorded another, much more optimistic vlog, in which I gave a tour of my mom’s house and the scenery surrounding it.
Speaking of which!
You may notice that my Patreon page has gotten a bit of a makeover. Previously I used a header image of my face pressed against glass in the style of Tori Amos’ From the Choirgirl Hotel album photos. I made those back in 2011 or so, and they’ve served me well, but I’ve needed some kind of new header image for a while. Right now I’m using a photo of my mother’s backyard, which is beautiful. I took a photo with my phone a week or two ago but the quality wasn’t good enough to be a header photo, and then I remembered that my sister happens to have a professional camera, so I used it to take some shots.
I also got a few of myself, but the bright blue sports shirt I was wearing looked very out of place so I took it off and most of the pictures I took were shirtless. So if you’re wondering why I’m standing around half naked on my mother’s back porch, that’s the reason.
Not that I wouldn’t love to frolic naked in the woods in any other circumstance.
I was also finally happy enough with a photo of myself to ask my friend Cherie for a personalized sketch , she does these from time to time within the group. Check her out on Facebook, and as a favor for me, if you’d like to ask her for a sketch, throw her a couple dollars as a gesture. If the $8 I received for my first month on Patreon is any indication, artists LOVE receiving pay for their work, it certainly gave me a feeling of legitimacy. It also helped me to believe that one day, if I keep working at it, I might be able to truly make a job out of writing. $8 is the starting point. If I apply myself, I can attract more readers and make a career out of being an artist. I may as well try, nothing else will make me truly happy, so why not?
And maybe one day I can live my dream of going around the country in a tour bus.
I’ve also gone through and labeled each post in the title with the type of post it will be, for instance blogs being with (Blog), and in the future you’ll see posts labeled with (Poetry), (Essay), (Review), (Chapter), (Video), (Music), etc.
Concerning My Novel
I can feel that it’s going to be time soon to finally begin writing my novel in earnest, and I want you guys to be a part of it. So far the Prologue and possibly the first chapter have been written, but I’ve decided to upload it all to a Google Doc, for a couple of reasons. The first is that it’s very difficult to accidentally lose progress in Google Docs due to the file constantly saving it’s changes, and the second is that I no longer have a working copy of Microsoft Word. My plan is to share this Google Doc with you guys so that you can check in on the story or see it being written / revised live, if you so choose, though I will be posting updates here on Patreon. I’ll keep you posted with that.
So Basically
Stay tuned for a lot of exciting stuff coming from me in the near future, and particularly in this coming week, where I’m going to schedule some posts in advance. I’m also going to ask you guys as a personal favor to please comment on anything that you take the time to read, if you took the time to read it you actually kind of owe it to yourself to make your feelings known. Did that work? I read something similar once and it worked on me, but at any rate, regardless of what you choose to do, please know that comments mean a lot to me, and are very validating! I know that I haven’t been commenting much on the posts of those who support me, but I plan to change that soon and start leaving more comments.
Thank you so much for reading, and keep creating!
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Patron Blog #2: On Things

One of my friends says this should be my author photo. Honestly I needed an excuse to wear this shirt because it just looked so cute that I had to buy it

One of my friends says this should be my author photo. Honestly I needed an excuse to wear this shirt because it just looked so cute that I had to buy it

Hello everyone! The first thing I want to say is THANK YOU so much to those of you who are giving to the Patreon. It means more to me than you can imagine. I appreciate every single one of you. Currently we are at seven patrons, and $8 per thing with a goal of $20 per thing. Like I said before, I’m new to this, so I’m just trying all of this out to see how it works and to see if I can really be successful at creating art in exchange for money.

I haven’t said much since I made the Patreon last week, mostly because I felt that I didn’t really have enough content yet to actually go advertising my page. After all, plenty of other Patreons are loaded with art, webcomics, and short stories. What I wanted to do was to start writing my novel, and to make the first couple of chapters a “thing,” and release it to patrons.

But a funny thing happened. Firstly, even though I’ve felt inspired enough to write (and I’ve been reading Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time, which is regarded as one of the great master works of modern fantasy), I actually haven’t sat down and written anything. This isn’t really anything new, I think every writer probably struggles with the discipline of making themselves sit down and get the writing done.

But today something really unexpected happened when I sat down to write on my blog. My intent was to write about how I came to live in Delaware, in an attempt to help myself sort out my feelings and come up with a plan for how to proceed next with life. I decided that a good place to start was with my breakup from my boyfriend two years ago, as that is when things started to change in my life. But I accidentally started writing about our entire relationship, from the beginning, and what was intended as a quick aside to set the scene for how we got together and then broke up, became an incredibly details account of our whole relationship together.

It’s not like our relationship was anything so unique that it’s a better story than anyone else’s relationship stories. But I kept writing, because I just wanted to get it all out, I wanted to explain my side of things, and (knowing that my ex-boyfriend is friends with me currently and might want to read what I wrote), I wanted to share my side with him and really apologize for all that I did wrong. I’ve had so much time to grow from the experience, and reflecting on it, I see a lot more mistakes than I realized I’d made before.

I wrote this really just for myself, but I just couldn’t stop writing, and after a couple of hours it was to 7,000 words, and then to nearly 10,000 words. I thought to myself, “Now if I can just write something fictional that’s that length and I can release it on Patreon.”

But then I thought wait. I really put my heart and soul into writing this, I think it’s an interesting story, and in examining myself and the relationships, I managed to talk about a lot of things that are important to me: anxiety, panic attacks, obsessive compulsive disorder, death, parents, relationships, polyamory and monogamy, physical and emotional abuse. I decided that maybe I SHOULD share this with you guys, as the very first “thing.”

It isn’t a novel and it isn’t music, but it is something I wrote from the heart. It’s autobiographical, and it’s substantive enough in length that I feel it constitutes it’s own piece of work. If my patrons were a group of mostly anonymous strangers who were only following my page because they wanted to read a fantasy novel, I would think twice about posting this as the first “thing,” but since all of you who are currently following me are my friends, who not only care about my life and my experiences but also enjoy discussing life experiences, and who are invested enough to care about the story, I’ve decided to share this with you all.

I promise I haven’t forgotten about the novel. I intend to start soon. I think I already know what’s going to happen next. But for the moment, this will be Thing number one. It’s an autobiographical account of my relationship with my ex-boyfriend, beginning when I was twenty years old and moving forward to when I was twenty-three. Like I said before there are descriptions of abuse, anxiety, death, and other possibly triggering subjects, so be prepared for that if you do decide to read.

I’m going to post the story as a patron-only post right after this one, it may take a few minutes to get the images in and have everything formatted properly.

Thank you for supporting me. Thank you for listening. Thank you for caring.