What a year it’s been

It’s been more than a year since I’ve done any sort of semi-regular posting. I have had difficulty keeping hold of the focus that allowed me to write Yggdrasil and create this blog. I’ve finally come to admit the truth to myself:

I have a problem with boys.

I am desperately afraid of being alone, to the point that I put all of my energy into the search for the next guy. Once I find someone interesting and interested enough, I pour my energy into making that work. My social life slumps, my apartment becomes a cluttered mess, but everything’s okay because I’m positively smitten.

I’ve been single for a few weeks now. It’s pretty scary, actually. There’s this wild mix of emotions and doubts, the very thing I’ve so successfully run from in the past. I’m teaching myself to embrace this chaos and find my voice in the midst of it all. I’m off of meet-up (let’s be honest, hookup) apps, because I know my standard pattern:

“Oh, he’s cute.” We chat a bit. “Ooh, he’s interesting!” We chat some more, perhaps meet up. “Omg, there are stars in my eyes!” And so begins another doomed relationship.

There’s a book I’ve read a couple times called the Velvet Rage by Alan Downs. Both times, I took the same thing from it: I need to do what makes me happy, what makes me feel fulfilled. Writing is that thing for me. Though I’ve made plans, I haven’t come back to writing in any meaningful way.

That changes now. I am vowing to come back here, week after week, and reestablish the rhythm I once had. I have a book to finish, I have ideas for other books, I have a need and a desire to express myself creatively. That’s Goal #1: update this blog weekly, more goals to follow.

As for the boys, I’m telling myself I can’t date until I write another novel. It’s high time I put my personal projects and ambitions ahead of the search for love.

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Let’s get personal

It’s been nearly a month since I’ve posted. In one of my more recent posts, I mentioned that I’m going through a difficult time. I’m separating from my husband of seven years, and I’m having a tough time navigating this reality. There are lots of emotions, there are lots of uncomfortable moments, and I’m doing my best to find my feet and redefine who I am as a single man.

Most of my writing has been restricted to introspection that I pen in my journal. I report arguments and feelings in an effort to sort through my emotions and make sense of the noise in my head. I’ve also been playing guitar, singing others’ emotions in an effort to express my own. I haven’t made time lately for creative writing because the other outlets feel more cathartic at this time.

Perhaps I’m wrong about that, though. Maybe it would be useful for me to play in the lives of my fictional characters, wreak havoc upon them, mistreat them as a way of getting my anger and frustration out. I know that I will return to creative writing, that I will finish my book, and write many others; why not make it part of my healing process? Why not redefine myself with something that I already know to make up a huge part of who I want to be?

Long story short: this is a notice that posts may well be irregular and infrequent for a little while. I haven’t forgotten who I am, I haven’t forgotten my book and my stories. I’ll be around.

A queer thing about characters

As a gay reader, I find that there are disappointingly few examples of surprise gay characters in the fiction I’ve read. What I mean is that I’d love to read about a secondary character who just so happens to fancy the same sex. The story doesn’t revolve around it, but it’s there.

Naturally, I feel like I can write differently. But I want it to be as subtle and as insignificant to the plot as that character’s eye color; a detail and not a defining feature. Not a woman who is introduced as a lover of women, but one we get to know for her other quirks and charms before learning, “Oh, by the way…” Because I want readers to see the person, not the sexuality.

I feel this way about all other aspects of a person that people find sorry excuses to discriminate against: gender, race, socioeconomic background, etc. If one of my characters is disliked, let it be because he’s an asshole, or she beats children. Not because he likes men or she’s a woman.

There are a few characters in my current story who do not identify as heterosexual. It hasn’t come up in the narrative, though I’ve left subtle hints here and there. I may not end up explicitly stating it, but they’re there. As long as it’s not relevant to the plot, there’s no real reason to come out and say it.

As in anything else, I reserve the right to change my mind. It would be fun to write a coming out scene where a character makes a heartfelt declaration and those closest to him respond with, “We know, dear.” I have one in mind who would fit perfectly into such a moment.

To summarize, I want more gay folk in fiction and I’m doing my part to make that happen. These characters will be realistic, well-rounded and flawed. They will be everything a good character should be, plus fabulous.