Just try to tell me any of my writer friends haven’t lived this. I won’t believe you. =)
Chicks N’ Dicks have asked me to do a regularly monthly piece for them, the first of which is posted today. This month’s theme is: Men In Uniform
The Reason We Adore Men in Uniform
And if you missed the first post I did for CND on what I want to see written and be able to read within the M/M genre, here’s the link to it:
Real Stories, Real Romance, Real Soon
The GoodReads M/M Romance group is holding another writing event, and today my new short story is posted for consumption. If you’re part of the group, you can read it here:
I’ll get my stories posted on this site a bit later.
I’m a little nervous about the reception to this one because I like it so much more than the last one. (I like Chasing the Prick, but it felt too flat to me. I’ll re-work it someday.) I’m hoping this one doesn’t feel as flat to others.
I hope you enjoy it, Sue! =)
In the light of the next day, I’m not the mess I was yesterday. I know the cycle pretty well. Even had I not posted this yesterday, I would probably feel somewhat better today because I can only beat myself up for so long before I have to get on with life. And I learned a few years back not to beat myself up too much. (Maybe I’ll share that story another day.)
One thing I’ve realized is that I need to examine the huge sense of guilt I (still) have and understand it. That will help me in the future.
I do know that the guilt stems from the fact that I do actually value the acquaintanceship (if not friendship) of those people that I thought might feel hurt by what I had to say. And I don’t want to lose it.
I don’t consider it pathetic that I put so much value–give so much of myself–to people I’ve never even met in person, either. There are people who believe that the relationships you forge online are not real and you shouldn’t invest yourself in them. While yes, there are those who may burn you for doing so and so a measure of caution is always warranted, I’m just not one of those people who can keep that in reserve.
There are people who will try to say that you should go out and find “IRL” friends instead of “wasting your time online.” Those people don’t understand that for some others, the time they spend online is more of the real them than they can put forth in person. (FWIW, I do not consider myself that way, but I know those people exist. I’ve met them in person too.) Those people don’t understand that it’s not a waste of time to connect to someone via a medium where the emotional is required to come before the physical understanding, attachment, or attraction. Those people don’t understand that “IRL” doesn’t always mean things will work out and “online” doesn’t always mean they won’t just because you’re not in the same physical location.
Having and valuing online friends over or in addition to real ones does not mean someone is pathetic and cannot handle a “real relationship”. It IS a real relationship. It’s just different.
So, I think that’s where the sense of guilt comes from. These people matter to me even though, in truth, I barely know them. Their opinion matters. Hence the need to hear them say “it’s okay. You still matter too.”
Maybe more on this later. I’ve got to get to work.
(Comments are moderated unless I’ve approved you to post a comment already. I won’t be able to approve comments while at work today, so some of them may not show up until later tonight.)
So, I don’t have these days very often, but when I do, they hit me pretty hard. And as hardly anyone reads my blog because I don’t keep up with it regularly, this is as good a place to get it out as any.
I have a VERY deep-seated need to be liked by anyone that knows me and to be reassured of it. It doesn’t come out to play very often anymore because of something else that happened to me several years ago that keeps it at bay most of the time, but this need has been around longer and will never truly go away. I know it stems from being picked on (not bullied, but picked on) in my childhood and from being an only child.
I have memories of the “evil hive mind” of the neighborhood children. I was easy to pick on and cried quickly when they did so, thus it became fun to many. I would be minding my own business, bouncing a ball down the street, and they would say to each other “Do you hear that? Is that thunder?” “Nope, I don’t hear anything.” Ignoring my existence to my face. Or if they did let me play with them, they made me ‘it’ because I couldn’t catch them, and if I did finally catch them (or whine that I never would be able to and I was tired of being ‘it’), they no longer wanted to play, so I rarely ever got a chance to not be ‘it’. I don’t think every time they did it was on purpose, but there were lots of times I knew it was on purpose because they didn’t like me. Even my cousins did it to me (unintentionally, I know now) because I was the youngest.
And I never knew what I did to deserve it. Was it because I sucked my thumb until I was eleven and finally got my braces? Of course I got picked on for that as well. I got picked on because my mother made a lot of my clothes instead of buying them at the store. (Apparently that made us “poor.” We were not poor, and I didn’t understand why they would say that to me.) I got picked on for as much random crap as everyone else in this world. Everyone got picked on in some fashion. I’m not unique.
They were kids being kids. And not wanting to stand up to the hive mind. Most of us come across it at some point of another. Some people wind up IN the hive mind and don’t know how to stand up to it or get out of it; others of us wind up on the outside of it. I tried so desperately to be included and liked that one girl a grade below me in high school actually said to me, “Stop following us around like a lost puppy.” That devastated me at fourteen years old. (And to this day, if I’m walking behind a group of people I’m supposedly with, I don’t always feel like I belong or am truly included in their group… I’m following and just hoping they don’t mind.)
I’m not telling you this to whine about how bad my childhood wasn’t–I know it was very privileged and tame, particularly in comparison to some of the childhoods of my online friends. I’m telling you this to give you an insight into me. If you care.
As a result of the above, I also tend to come across as a know-it-all and sometimes I don’t know when not to take something too far; I don’t know when to stop. I’ve gotten better with some age and experience, and I acknowledge it as a flaw and work to control it. But it’s there; it’s always there. All of it is always a part of me.
I wrote something last night that I knew wouldn’t be popular but I thought was important to say. I knew it could potentially be alienating for me, though I’m aware that’s my irrational, pessimistic self seeking the worst, and that’s probably not actually the case. But no one has said it isn’t the case either.
The child in me really needs reassurance today that friends actually still like me, even though I said what I said, as unpopular as it likely was. It’s one of those days where I want to feel like I belong, that I do actually have online friends, even though I’m not the person that ANY of you goes to first to talk to about anything; I’m not the person any of you are closest to.
I’ll be fine in a day or so. These bouts don’t usually last long, and my self-confidence and understanding of my own self-worth returns. But on the days those desert me, I’m a depressed mess.
So that’s me today.
So, I’ve got a whole lot of books in my already-owned to-read list. Because of that, unless I REALLY want the book, I don’t join too many contests right now, because it’ll be a while before I get through my pile, and I don’t feel right taking so long to get to the freebies I win. (I know, it’s all in my own mind, but it feels wrong to me to hoard.)
But this contest is so worth it in my opinion, so I’m mentioning it here. I love the Babes In Boyland blog, and they’re having a contest. All you have to do to enter to win one of 22 free stories is post your name and email address on their contest post, and then wait for Valentine’s day for them to start contacting winners. There are some awesome prizes available, so what are you waiting for?
Yep, I’m still fairly bad at posting regularly. But then again, I don’t have a lot to say right now because most of my time is taken up by work or my family. With two little girls under the age of two, it’s going to be a while before I have large swaths of time to myself to write (unless I stay up until 2 or 3 in the morning). Then again, I might have more time if I stopped reading and hanging out on Twitter or GoodReads, or following Riptide Publishing’s Grand Opening Blog Tour. (Damn their excellent marketing!) ;)
Christmas was very nice. We got my oldest daughter a beanbag, which she absolutely adores. The youngest is still too small to understand what Christmas means. (She’ll get her own beanbag next year.) I got some anime and manga that I’ve been collecting. I bought myself more books than I should have. (There’s around $1000, all told, from Christmas purchases on my credit card right now.)
It’s been a rough year financially, and I thank God for my parents each and every day, because we wouldn’t have made it through this year without them. My in-laws have no idea how bad off we are financially and that my parents are helping us as much as they are. My parents are essentially paying for my husband to go back to college. (They never expected to have to pay for a second person to go to college since I’m an only child. In my father’s words, it’s an investment in their grandchildren, because either he gets a better job to help us, or if for some reason we wind up divorced–*knocks on wood*–then it’ll help him pay more alimony. *laugh* My father’s words, not mine.)
I won a tarot reading from Heidi Cullinan earlier this year, and the question I asked her to focus on was about my husband going back to school and us paying for it and is it the right decision. The result was that yes, in the long run, it was the right decision. And that has proven to be true. My husband got his first 4.0 of his life this past semester, and he was so proud of himself. Now we’re looking into grants and scholarships to help pay for it. (Now that his grades have evened out just below a 3.0 from the few credits he could transfer from the last time he attempted college, which saved him a semester.)
And then there was the TV dying earlier this year, right before our second daughter was born. She was sort of a surprise. I had trouble conceiving the first daughter, so I didn’t expect to conceive the second so soon after the first. It was an active choice not to use a condom that night though. I believe I said the words “The hell with it. We’ll deal with it if it happens.” Well, surprise! It did. So, the girls are a bit closer together in age than I’d originally thought about having them, but they’re precious and I adore them so much. They are, however, expensive little creatures. My parents have helped there as well. (Mostly diapers and formula.) And I don’t even want to think about how to help them pay for college at the same time. (Actually, they both already have 529 plans that I put $100/month into. If I can keep that up, that’s around $21k each by age 18.)
Personally, it’s been a fabulous year, just not financially. I’ve met some wonderful people online, not the least of which is my new bestie, writer Vicktor Alexander. And I’ve met many other writers in the LGBT community. I’m looking forward to going to Gay Rom Lit 2012, if I can swing it financially. Of course, I want to be at Vic and Daniel’s collaring ceremony as much as I’d just like to meet everyone. I think my husband is agreeable as long as he gets to go to BlizzCon next year (which is also October, erk! Wallet says “OUCH!”)
And I wrote my first stories for public consumption since I was in school. I used to write when I was in my teens, but it was always an “at the moment” hobby. I stuck with it for a little while until something else grabbed my attention. I always liked writing. I just liked other things more.
I credit coming back to writing to fan-fiction. Specifically, the author of The Vampire Diaries, L. Jane Smith, said on her website that she was thinking of holding a fan-fiction contest for the release of the final book in one of her other series, Night World. She’s still working on that book, so whether or not she holds the contest when it’s done is debatable, but I wanted to get a jump start in case she ever did, so around the fall of 2010 I wrote two fan-fiction stories in her Night World universe.
That’s what got me back to it. I haven’t written much since, but I have written 2 very short stories (6k or less), and I have grand plans for a full novel, possibly a series. The story is itching to get out of my head, but finding time to write with two very young daughters has been difficult. I have a very thorough outline written down, plus a few bits of dialogue and some alternate universe notes, but I’m still tweaking all of that as I think up new things that fit the story, characters, and universe. I’ve been thinking about this universe and story pretty constantly for the last 3 months. I still have research to do and notes to transcribe from where I’ve recorded them in the car on my way to and from work. (It’s the most time I have to think about it during the day.)
So, I want to get started on this story in 2012. There’s plenty still to research before I can actually get started. But once the kidlets go to bed, I can play.
Of course, the husband wants me to play with him too. My work is never done. =)
Here’s to a great 2012, y’all.
Love and such, –Adara.