Growing Up With Me

I just read a few posts from 2012-the year I started my blog. It’s interesting to see how the site has grown up as I’ve grown up. I already thought I was a Christian when I started blogging. The truth is, I didn’t personally know Jesus yet. I believed he was the God of the universe, and I vaguely knew that he saved the world, but I didn’t yet understand that he had saved my soul because he genuinely cared about me personally and wanted to be my friend. In 2012 I had some pretty funny, some good, and a lot of naive ideas. My posts were also a lot more varied in terms of subject matter back then, which I guess is neither here nor there. My posts these are largely about work and God, though sometimes they’re about stories in general or random life stuff. The blog has also largely turned into a way of procrastination, as well as a space to dig for treasure, and hopefully find some truth, whether I like that truth or not.

In the almost seven years I’ve kept the blog, I’ve learned a lot and I’ve gained just over three hundred followers. I don’t think all those people come here often, but that’s okay. This blog has been a companion in my many journeys that have taken place in the course of such short a time. It has been my companion through college, finals, insomnia, epilepsy, faith, hope, fear, love, and milestones. In a lot of ways, it’s kept me going. It’s been a place where I can share my truth, which sometimes, as ugly as it can be, just needs to be squirted out in muddy water colors. This is where frustration and triumph happens. This is where failures are confessed and victory proclaimed. This is where messes are made with the joy of a child, and I admit, in the grand scheme of things, I am one.

I write this as an encouragement to all my fellow bloggers, journalists, and writers in general. Tell the truth. Tell your truth, but more importantly, tell God’s truth. Fear nothing. Writing takes courage, and honestly, sometimes clicking the “Publish” button can be terrifying. Click it anyway. Sometimes we write something, expecting it to get us tons of attention, and no one gives us a second glance. Keep writing. In every circumstance, keep writing. When the world is falling apart keep writing. When you’re on cloud nine, write about it because sometimes the rest of us need to hear what cloud nine looks like. Sometimes your good day can be a happy five minutes for someone who is having an otherwise crappy day. Stories, especially true ones, teach us empathy, so write them. Keep writing, and don’t stop. Write without a reason. Write because you like to. Write because you know you’re good at it. Write because you think you’re good at it. Write even if you suck at it because it brings you joy. Just don’t stop.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

Follow Through

On Saturday I was having some issues with my epilepsy, which took a little while to fix, and then I went to a writer’s group, specifically for science fiction writer’s. They meet once per month in Newton MA, which is about half an hour from where I live. I was the youngest person there by 20 years, and the oldest person there could have been my grandfather. They seemed like a really cool group of people. The age difference didn’t bother me. I just found it kind of amusing. We met in a little cafe, and it was noisy, so next month we’re potentially going to meet at my house. It was nice to have a good, stimulating conversation about a genre that I enjoy and care so much about. I’ve really missed this because I haven’t been in school since this past spring. It was also kind of intimidating because, being so much older than me, these people have read so much more than me and their heads are full of so much awesome stuff. It was so nice, though, because they’re weren’t condescending at all. I think they’ll be great mentors.

I’ve been talking to a lot of people about my book lately. It just has seemed to come up a lot in conversation. Sometimes I feel awkward telling people that I just graduated and am now writing a science fiction novel because it doesn’t sound like a real job. It’s often difficult to treat it like a job. It’s not always fun, but it’s also very flexible in terms of when I work and for how long, and what I do while I’m working. Sometimes I research technology, sometimes I research politics, sometimes I spend an hour on Google maps just plotting out where specifically things are happening and how those things will affect my story, sometimes I just work on notes, sometimes I work on the timeline of events, sometimes I write a whole chapter in one go.

The more I talk about writing this story, the more interested people seem to be. Sometimes I find it difficult to just sit down and write, but lately I’ve felt more excited, partly because people want me to finish it so they can read it. I know it certainly won’t be for everyone. It’s a science fiction novel, which in the literary world is often disregarded as nothing more than entertainment. I’m trying very hard to make this story important and intellectually stimulating. I want it to matter. It takes place in a post post-apocalyptic society, which means the world has already fallen apart, but now people have started to figure things out, and they’re rebuilding. I’m using this environment to explore a few different ideas. One aspect of my story is essentially a thought experiment about what happens to war when the military becomes automated (i.e. what happens if we have robot, or in this case, super-clone soldiers). Another thing I’m trying to do is expose some stigmas and unfair ideas and policies surrounding people with disabilities. Thirdly, I’m taking a look at what the world might be like in the absence of any religion or sense of a spiritual existence. Obviously I’m a little or a lot bias, but I’m trying to let my characters take the lead, and they’re turning into some very interesting people.

I was telling my dad about all of this earlier today and he told me that I just need to follow through, and that I often seem to have trouble with that. I start a project and then when things get too complicated I chicken out. I don’t feel like that’s entirely fair. He was referring to my musical endeavors, which have, at least for the time being, been put on hold. I’ve thought it through and a successful musical career doesn’t seem manageable. It’s not like I haven’t tried, but for one thing, it’s a colossal investment, which is something I presently can’t afford. Secondly, I can’t get gigs. I’ve tried. I really have. I’m just tired of being ignored in that department, so for the time being, I give up. Thirdly, I don’t think I can reasonably do it, physically. Say, theoretically, I became successful enough to go on tour. Right now I get tired after playing for an hour, so if I were to play longer shows, I would have to physically prepare for that, but beyond that, I can’t be having epilepsy symptoms in the middle of a song. It has occasionally happened at open mics, and it sucks. That kind of stuff would be way more manageable at book signings or what have you, assuming my book does well enough. Fourth, I already have connections in the literary world that I don’t have in the musical world, and I know more about publishing, etc. Lastly, I don’t want music to be work. I love it too much, I know I’m good at it, and I just want to share it; I don’t care if I get paid. I don’t want to treat it like a business because I want it to stay pure, kind of like this blog.

I will follow through with my story. I have thought it through and in so many ways it seems like a much more reasonable option, and it seems like I have a much better chance at getting noticed. I have until the end of next summer to finish it, which should be plenty of time. I know, at least basically, how the rest of the story is going to play out, and the later parts are going to be a lot of fun to write. I even have ideas for possible sequels. Even if this doesn’t do great in terms of payoff, it cost me nothing to make, and I will still consider it a success because this will be the best thing I’ve ever written when I’m done with it. It will need a lot of revision because I’m a perfectionist, but that just means it’s going to be great.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

The Other Leftie

Last Sunday we went up to Maine and crowded into my great aunt Lucy’s kitchen to hang out with my mom’s cousins and their kids. The rest of the kids (most of them much younger than me) and my brother and I played Minecraft while the old people chatted and then we all went out to dinner. There were 20 of us in total, so it took quite a while to get our food.

At dinner I ended up sitting next to my six year old cousin Alyssa. She and her brother, Andrew together are gremlins, but on her own, Alyssa is actually pretty mellow. While we were waiting for food, she and I ended up playing games on the kids’ menu, and I noticed that she was left handed, like myself. I think she and I are the only cousins on my mom’s side who are left handed. We’re also the only girls on my mom’s side who are close (my extended family includes over 100 cousins, and Alyssa and I are actually second cousins once removed).

I remember when I was 15 and Alyssa was a baby. I told her that it was up to her and me to keep all these boys in line. She does a pretty good job with her brother at least. Last summer we played a boys vs girls game of Capture the Flag, which ended up being big kids vs little kids by dint of the fact that all the boys in our family happen to be a lot younger, and somehow we lost. It was embarrassing and depressing.

It’s weird to think about, but Alyssa will be 15 when I am 30. Are we going to have anything to talk about? My cousin Nicholas (Dinkens) and I are very close and have things in common, and he’s 9 years younger than me. I’ve never been very girly, though, and he and I have video games and nerdy card games in common. Will Alyssa be into cheer leading? Will she be gushing over boys? What kind of music will she like? I don’t see her nearly enough to ensure that she’ll be nerdy cool. It seems weird to be almost a generation older than her and not be. I’m going to be ancient by the time she has kids. Then again, I’ll probably be ancient by the time my brother has kids.

As of a few weeks ago I am officially a generation older than one of my cousins. He’s actually my half second cousin. My family is complicated. His mom (my half cousin) is around my age (20). It seems weird to think about even the idea of kids at this point in my life, partly because I don’t want my own, but partly because I have so much going on and so much I want to do. The idea of “settling down” in any way just sounds downright repulsive to me. This is not to say that I blame my cousin in any way. She really wanted a kid, and I’m happy for her.

All these little kids make me kind of crazy sometimes, but I really do love them. I also love that I don’t have to deal with them 24/7. I have a hard time with little kid culture because I’m a snooty intellectual type, but I also remember being a little kid and how insane and awesome it was. Between the ages of 5 and 6 or so, I literally thought I was a dragon. I also had a plethora if imaginary friends, including a black cat, a dragonfly and a pink alien. In middle school my friends and I created an imaginary world that we would explore and hang out in every Friday night. Admittedly, as a junior in college I still do this kind of thing in my head. The whole growing up thing never really appealed to me entirely.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

Gremlins (not the movie)!

This is sort of terrible, but I needed to vent. I apologize in advance.

I have these two cousins; we’ll call them Thing 1 and Thing 2, who are 7 and 5. The 5 year old is actually pretty mellow– unless she’s with her brother. Thing 1 on the other hand is an insufferable little boy. He doesn’t follow rules, he lies and he asks too many stupid and annoying questions. We made the horrible mistake of letting him onto our Minecraft server where he proceeded to blow up my portal, thus stranding me in the middle of nowhere for 4 Minecraft days. I know I shouldn’t get all testy about something like that, but he’s just been so annoying the past couple days. I kicked him out of the pool last night for not listening and picking on his sister. It was kind of gratifying. I know I’m supposed to be nice to him because he’s my cousin, but it’s getting harder and harder.

I’m used to doing things at a relatively laid back pace. I like peace and quiet and I’m mostly interested in mature, intellectual things. I think a lot of kids’ TV shows, stories and movies are pointless and idiotic and I don’t have a whole ton of patience for children in general. They wanted to watch me play Journey last night, which happens to be my favorite video game for the art, animation, open ended story and amazing music. I agreed because I thought it would keep them quiet. It turns out nothing can shut these kids up. I owe my sanity to my mom and brother because they ended up taking the gremlins to Pet Co while I played. I ended up playing with a very entertaining person too.

We watched Monsters Inc last night, which I’ll admit is one of the better kids’ movies I’ve seen. After that, Thing 1 asked me what time I was going to get up the next morning “8 or 9?” I told him 10:30 and slept until 11:30 or so. I could never be a mother. Maybe it’s selfishness, but I just can’t cater to the wants and needs of bratty kids. I have a couple other cousins who are 11 and 13. There isn’t as much of an age difference, but I don’t remember either of them being bratty when they were 7 or 5. In fact, they’re both mature for their age, caring and best of all, quiet. We’re even interested in a lot of the same things.

I have some work to do this afternoon and the rest of the week, so hopefully the little monsters will stay out of my room, though i kind of doubt it. If I’m not already crazy, I will be by the time they leave on Wednesday.

Anyway, sorry for the rant. Love y’all! 🙂

My Old Man

Well guys, “Replace My Empty Spaces” just became a family project! I was talking to my mom in the car a couple days ago about how the album is coming along because I’m going to need to bring in some backup for “Nostalgia.” My friend, Nate played Piano on “You Answered” for me, but now I need someone to play strings. As much as I hate spending money, whether it’s my own or my parents’, I’m going to have to hire one of the other guys from the studio.

I also mentioned that I would like to have a male harmony singer on “Nostalgia,” so my mom started going through the list of people we know. We don’t know too many singers. Nate is away at college, and Nick has a weird voice; great for choir music, not so much for Folk-Rock. Then she started going through the list of family members who would be willing to learn to sing. The only person we could think of was my dad. I’m setting him up with a few lessons with the guy who taught me.

It’s so perfect because “Nostalgia” is about growing up and feeling old. I call my dad “Old One” too his face and he’s totally cool with it. My dad and I are like two peas in a pod, as lame as that expression is. Neither of us have any intention of actually growing up. It might mean holding off on finishing the song for a little while, but It would be really cool to have my dad sing on my record.


Apparently this is my 100th post! 🙂