It’s been months since I’ve really blogged, and honestly, it will probably be months before I do it again. So much of this blog was to help with figuring things out, trying to deal with life, both the good and the bad. Whether I’ve figured out to deal without the daily vomiting on a web page or of I’ve found other coping skills or if I’m simply not dealing, who knows? I think it’s the second one, but maybe not. Possibly, the blog will return as a coping skill at one point, for now, I’ll let it be. That said, I feel the need to rejoice for a moment. Has everything fallen in place and there is no more pain? Nope. If anything, I’ve learned that pain is a constant thing, which I always have know, but I’ve gotten better at finding the joy in the midst of whatever pain it is—for the most part. I know there are days coming when that won’t be as true, but that is life as well. See, even when I’m blogging about rejoicing I get all sour. Sheesh! Somebody slap me. Part of the reason I quit blogging is the lack of time, and it’s the same reason I have to rejoice. The Shattered Door came out in August. Real, Published, Amazing. It’s doing okay, not horrible, not great. About what I expected—it’s a strange book that has a very limited audience. I’m just so thrilled that it’s published and it exists, and has been read all over the world. It’s gotten reviews from Asia, Australia, Germany, etc. Man, that is cool! Love it! I spent every spare moment since that time pounding out Rising Frenzy, the sequel to Submerging Inferno. I finished it the last week of November. (This month is re-editing Submerging and editing Rising.) I just found out that I can submit both of them in January, and the editing process will begin. All three covers should be finished in the next few months—even before the third is finished being written! By doing so, I’m committing to finishing Clashing Tempest, the final book of this trilogy (not the final installment of Men of Myth, but of this particular story line) by June. It will be the first time I’ve had an actual deadline looming as I write, and I’m a little nervous what that will be like. The thought of writing a book in six months while working fulltime, doing massage, and still maintaining family and boyfriend is daunting. And ABSOLUTELY FREAKING WONDERFUL! Book one will come out around September 2013, book two December 2013, and book three March 2014! In a year I will have four books in published circulation (or nearly). Talk about dreams coming true! We will see what’s next. After that fourth book is published, I have no others under contract. Obviously. That said, I have three stand alone novels I’m dying to write, plus more installments of Men of Myth. Maybe one day, I’ll be able to say I only have one job. Writing novels. I’ll pour all my child-loving ways into my nephew. I will only GET massages. Lovely. Even if not, I am living exactly what I hoped for. Getting to write novels that are published and teach and live by my nephew (another uncle/nephew date tonight!!!!), and be in love with my man. Charmed much? Thankful!
Trying a new project: A blog featuring only Drabbles--Stories with exactly 100 words. Thinking about trying to do one to a few a week--or as the mood hits. If successful, I may turn them into a collection in a few years. If you're interested, I would love any feedback or comments. Feel free! Thanks so much!
It really does seem that I’m not able to write until I am in some form of angst. Kinda like prayer (although I pray everyday, ansty or not…).
I’m gonna start with angst and then end with happy. Always best to save the best for last.
Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, I was dreaming right before I woke up to come to work. It was HWMNBN as he was leaving me. There were details here and there that were obviously dream induced, but ninety percent of it was exactly like the day he left. Towards the end of the dream, when he was doing the leaving, he morphed into Smokey. I woke up hollow and sick feeling. I felt horrible—sad, lonely, depressed, blah, blah, blah. It took a bit for me to believe it had just been a dream. Smokey was asleep beside me. Things are good with him. Better than good actually. Maybe the best they’ve ever been. That said it wasn’t hard to figure out the meaning of that dream. A big ker-duh moment. I’m terrified I’ll loose Smokey. No newsflash there. The strangest thing was over an hour or so later. I was writing the date on the board in my classroom… 4.18.12 when it hit me. It was three years to the day that HWMNBN left. I’d thought of it weeks before, that the anniversary was coming up, but it hadn’t entered my mind since. However, somehow, my body or psyche knew and was trying to work some things out. Since that morning, I’ve had this heaviness in my chest that I can’t shake, this fear that won’t silence. Work has been hellish, HELLISH, so that makes it even harder to decipher what is stress related to work and what is stress related to my own fucked-upness-issues. Smokey is being very sweet as his boyfriend is extra, extra needy. Kinda like ordering your bacon extra greasy.
In better news, Dreamspinner is supposed to set me up with an editor for The Shattered Door in the next couple weeks, and everything is on track for an early August release date! Can. Not. Wait!
In the best news, the trip to Louisiana was AMAZING! Truly. It was one of the most miraculous things I’ve ever been a part of. It seemed so healing for Smokey and his family. And it brought the two of us even closer together. Can not say how much I love that man. How much I want to travel the world with him. How much I want to walk by his side. How much I want to build my life with him.
Two more weeks until Smokey and I leave for Louisiana. Can. Not. Wait. We’ve been planning a road trip, but I’m not sure now. We may fly. Either way, hurry up! I’ve met the rest of his family; it will be the first time I’ve met his mom and dad. Very nervous and very excited about that. Mostly, just excited to get away with him for eight days! It was so great to get back from Outdoor Lab. I always enjoy that week, but by Wednesday, I’m always ready to get back home. Combine that with missing Smokey, you can imagine how much I was ready to come back. Another happy note? The time changed! I love this time change. Having the sun out later makes me so very, very happy. I just love it. I wish it would stay this wall all year round.
My blogs have really sucked lately. I’m either worrying, stressing, or blabbering about nothing. Which also is how the writing is going on the second book of the fantasy series. I thought getting confirmation on publishing would make it so easy to sit down and write (and it for sure is a great feeling), but I am terrified. Kinda going through writer’s block. Even in my blog. It’s also been two years since I’ve really written anything besides queries and such, so I’m way out of practice. Again, it comes back to everything of any worth is terrifying. Writing. Getting published. Being in a relationship. Giving my heart to someone. Being an uncle. Walking into class everyday. I’m not really sure why fear has to be at the heart of the things that bring the most joy, but it always seems to be there. Smokey says I’m one of the bravest people he knows with all the fear I face, him included. At times, I think he’s right. I see all the fear and I always push forward and/or hold on to hope (which is always the scariest thing of all). However, it often feels like cowardice to me. I think I’m more afraid than almost anyone I’ve ever met. Even as I have hope in the midst of my fear/s, I can’t help but wonder if fear is the opposite of faith… it would be nicer to have less fear, even if it meant I was less ‘brave.’ Even as I type that, however, part of screams out to not have that desire met. What if the absence of fear equates to the absence of joy? Joy, in and of itself, is a risk. And risk breeds fear. Therefore, by choosing joy am I choosing fear---must I choose fear to have joy?
It really is so beautiful up here. I spent the few, very few, minutes I had without the kids yesterday sitting on a dock, my feet dangling over a frozen pond. Peaceful. Lovely. Bigger than I. Some of that time, I simply sat and just let myself be part of that magic. The rest I prayed. Some of thanksgiving, some of grief, and some of fear—tears of supplication and exhalation. Got to talk to Smokey over the landline for about half an hour before bed. Wow, what a difference that made—so wonderful. It’s fun to see the sixth graders, most of whom, by this time in the year are all so grown up. Very worldly. Many having lost their innocence, in many areas. Many way too smart and enlightened to need a teacher, or to believe they don’t have the entire world figured out. Up here, for many, the first away from home, they show their true age. With the wonder as they discover the mysteries of nature, the beauty of our world. With the fear of being away from home. I had a boy last night who was so worked up about missing home that he was vomiting (I wonder what that emotional turmoil feels like…). What helped? Story time with Mr. Witt. (Turns out, I do a great Lorax voice.) That may be my favorite moment so far. Just watching the story soothe, comfort, and ‘hug’ the child back into a state of peace. (I really do love my job.) It’s scary that this may not be here much longer—that it barely was here this year. The amount of pay cuts, the amount of lay-offs, the amount of cut funding for the districts and schools… I’ve never seen such an impactful time for kids in such a manner. I love it as an adult. I can’t even fathom what it could have done for me as a sixth grader.
Outdoor Lab time again. Day two. Already tired. Excited for coffee!
I’d kinda forgotten how much I actually like being up here. It is exhausting, but peaceful and beautiful. My only real drawback is that I manage to get about fifteen seconds of phone service a day, and I live attached to my phone. Of course, the biggest drawback is missing Smokey. I’m sure it’s good for us. I’m sure the time will fly. Whatever. I don’t like being away. However, it will make it doubly nice when we see each other on Friday. Then, eight straight days on a road trip back to his hometown in Louisiana when spring break arrives. Can’t wait!!! Yesterday, there was a silver fox mere feet from me. His name is Shadow. They call them silver, but he is actually black with a white tip at his tail. He was beautiful. And huge. For a second, I thought it was a small coyote. I love those moments. Moments where you literally can’t think of anything else. For those fifteen seconds, you are enveloped by the beauty around you, the magic of the living things that inhabit our world. Those moments are few and far between for me, when my brain is able to focus on only the present instant in time. It’s such a sigh a relief for my psyche.
Now off to face a horde of children. Good thing they often provide those moments too. Whether it be moments of childlike beauty or the more frequent times of emotional distress—all else fades for the briefest moment in time.
Things seem better, but it’s hard to really know right now. I am completely focused on one minute, then the next (with the exception of looking forward to our vacation and such in a few weeks). Exhausting, but I’m thankful that at least some things are looking up. I am so scared of being thrown away, again. Even more so this time. This was like fate from the very beginning, which is part of why I am able to have faith. What we have is simply too good to not be willing to pay this price of fear and stress in the belief we will move beyond it to a strong and stable place in the future. He is worth the effort. We are worth the effort. Constant prayer. Constant love. Constant.
In my favorite spot in the coffee shop. Might actually get a little writing or planning done today. Maybe. I’m waiting for that wonderful feeling that I often get here, especially when I start writing. That moment that I seem to disappear into the cushions of the bench, no one can see me, I am no longer here, just words, just the universe on the screen, even as I flow onto the pages. That sounds delicious today, to lose myself for a few hours. I’m not sure where things are. I cried so much last night that I feel a bit empty today, but we all know that’s not really true. There’s always more emotion to be expelled. Of all kinds. Smokey got off his overnight and went to meet the hot water man at his house, and then dropped by mine to crawl in bed with me for five minutes before he had to leave for his all day choir practice. I wasn’t expecting that, but what a wonderful surprise. I think we will see each other tonight, but not really sure. I am so very scared and trying so hard to keep faith.
What a wonderful few weeks it has been. Nearly perfect. Would have been perfect if I could subtract where I am right now—which is why I am blogging, of course. Why blog when things are good? (sarcasm) The past few weeks have seen things growing and becoming stronger and more secured between Smokey and I. Truly, stuff that I’ve only dreamed of. Right now, things are up in the air, which I will get to. But, previously, they’ve simply been pretty perfect. He is such a beautiful, sweet, romantic, wonderful man. Last Friday, a week ago, I got a contract for The Shattered Door in my email. Dreamspinner Press is publishing it! (That’s four books under contract—two written, two not.) They will set me up with an editor (thank God, it needs it) in the next two months, and they plan on publishing it by the end of summer/beginning of fall. Either way, if things go according to plan, I should have an actual, edited, truly published book for sale in 2012! Praise God! Truly, praise God!!! Things are hard/confusing/stressful once more with Smokey and I. I’m hoping it’s just part of the pattern that’s been getting better—some amazing weeks, followed by a little freak out. However, this one seems a bit more serious. I really thought he was going to leave me yesterday. Still on pins and needles as I wait for time to pass and hopefully the stress to pass. It’s so hard. It’s so hard on him too. The commitment issues are huge. The overnights at work and how they affect everything are a factor. Attempting to sell the house he and his long-time ex owned is a factor. Questions over the future are a factor. The neediness of his boyfriend is a factor. A perfect storm that will require lots of work, lots of faith, lots of tears, lots of determination, and lots of love. Glad we have the love. The rest comes and goes, but I pray they stay enough to see us through. Faith can be so hard when you’re used to things not working out. However, things are turning around in that sense. The books are finally going where I’ve prayed and worked for for years, I have a man that I love more than I ever dreamed. And again, if I can only have one miracle, I choose him. While the books are amazing, you can’t build a life with them. True, I want it all, but mostly, I want the life that we are building and the love that we share. Please whisper continued prayers for us. Please and thank you! I know you don’t read this, but I love you Smokey, with all of my heart!
I went to a funeral of the father of a co-worker. It’s been awhile since I was at a funeral. It brought up many issues, as funerals do. Most of those brought on tears, many in good/hopeful ways. Some in sadness with my own issues of familial loss and God complex questions. What hit me the most was the slide show of his life. A small child in the 30’s. A very handsome man in the Navy for WWII. 50’s-like photos with his wife. Photos of their family as their children grew up. Their grandchildren. Their great-grandchildren. His wife died a year ago, almost to the day. He slept with his wife’s pajamas every night this past year. He is now buried with them. They were married for over sixty years. Built a life together. Raised a family. Survived old age together. Basically, died together. (And, with my beliefs/hopes, are together now.) I was filled with hope, filled with love for the family, filled with a nice sort of jealousy. (Yes, reader who anonymously left the ever so helpful narcissistic link, it is all about me!) I want that! I want a life like that. I want a life like that with Smokey. I believe that we are meant to have that life. I don’t believe that is how it has to be, I/he/we could sadly choose or do differently. I want to see faces grow old together over the years. See photos of the life we build together. The other lives we touch. It’s more than wealth. It’s more than writing or getting published. It’s more than the house. More than anything. This family didn’t have much money or means, but they did have each other, and devotion to each other. What more could you ask for? What more could you want? Beautiful.
Granted, I have never been a football fan. This year has made that fact a thousand times more true. Reason? One word: Tebow. You would think a handsome man like Tebow would at the very least make my mind wander to images of him in the locker room. Not so much. A little of my distain is for Tebow, but in actuality, the vast majority of it is directed at all his disciples. Today, on the car in front of me, was a bumper sticker of the purplish blue Rocky Mountains in front of an orange sky. In big white letters splashed over the mountain-scape: HOLY TEBOW. Vomit. I respect that Tebow has the right to his religion and his beliefs. Of course, I’m talking about his views on homosexuality and his reported support of Focus on the Family. However, to make it such a public proclamation, and be made into a near Messiah-like figure disgusts me. Even at the rodeo (maybe especially at the rodeo) we went to last week (that will be another blog…), there were these huge posters of him with John 3:16 painted like war-paint under his eyes. It’s not the Bible verse that irritates me, it’s that once again, the ‘hero’ of the Christian world is someone that actively works to deny my rights and equality, and sees me as damned. It also disgusts me that once again a sports figure it turned into a hero. No, he’s not. He plays a damn game and gets a shit-load of money for it. Not the definition of a hero. (However, I’ll admit, I’d be saying something different if he were a gay man willing to stand in the face of the world while at the top of his football career and speak his truth—so I can see my own bigotry). Maybe my strong reaction is also brought on by my family who has never given a moment’s thought to football or any sport. We were never that family. Ever. What did I see in my folk’s house last week? Tebow’s book. Really? Really… They are even talking about how excited they are to have such a role model Christian be in the spotlight and being such an example. They shouldn’t even really know who Tebow is. They’ve always been oblivious to sports before. My brother’s reaction to this made me laugh though. After all the talk, he simply said, ‘Yeah, till they find out he’s molesting children.’ Now, I know he isn’t (well, I don’t know, but I’d bet more money than I have that he isn’t), however, the point being, those skeletons always come out of the Christian heroes (not that they don’t of very human). Poor Tebow, I’m sure he is a very nice man, very kind and blah, blah, blah. I wish him health and love with his family. However, as long as he keeps supporting those who hate my gay and lesbian family, I won’t be able to help smiling every time I hear of a football fumble. (Nice to rant about something besides my own insanity)
Honestly, I received enough negative feedback from the last blog that I’ve been hesitant to write again. Then, I remembered, which I really do forget sometimes, I do this blog for me. Not for affirmation. Not for attention. Simply to get out some of my crazy. Just putting it out there makes things a bit better, a bit more manageable. Like letting steam out of a pressure cooker. Ideally, blogging helps me figure something out, but most often, it simply is to get some relief from the crazy inside my head and chest. So, yes, I am fully aware that the last blog highlighted my neediness, clinginess, emotional vampirism, and showed me being someone pathetically gross. Whelp… truth hurts. Be glad you’re not in my head. It’s exhausting. Hence, the blog. Mentally, it’s been an emotionally up and down weak. Ninety-nine percent not at all due to Smokey (one percent yes), but all due to my own sickness. If I cut out that sickness, things are really, really great between us. He expends so much time/effort to make sure I know how much he loves me and that he is fighting for us. We have so much fun together. I really don’t know how I could love him any more. Even as I say that, fear spikes through me for all I could loose. (See? Exhausting! Ridiculous!) I am starting to realize my own insanity more and more in that area. I’m hoping that awareness will come with actualized change. For my sanity and for his. He is a patient, patient man at times with me. What? Another entire blog about being needy and letting fear overtake the joy in your life? Yep. Looks like it!
Turns out, I like to torture myself. I know, we already knew that, but it is frustrating and exhausting, nevertheless. Things between Smokey and I have been nearly perfect for about a week, which is saying something considering how the past several weeks before them had been. He’d been really affectionate, going out of his way to show me how proud he is of the work I’ve done in order to get published, making sure I know how much he loves me and wants me. I’ve been working on suppressing my neediness and using logic and breathing and praying and eating and working out and whatever it takes to work through it. We have an awesome, long weekend at Valley View this weekend, and I couldn’t be more excited. So, what do I do last night when I go to dinner with two of my best friends? When one of them says he’s been studying palmistry, both of us stick out our hands. Even as I did so, part of me said, ‘Don’t do it! You don’t even believe in it, but you’ll believe it enough to fuck you up.” It sucks to be so smart that I could see the future and so stupid that I didn’t stop the moment in order to change it. My friends hand was read: long life, something jobbish, a short but deep romance and then the love of his life, and he could never cheat. The problem? He already has cheated, something was off with that reading. Then it was my turn. Looking at the mid line across my hand. Gonna have health problems around forty, then again around fifty, then die around sixty. “Wait a minute? Wasn’t that line the career line on [other friend’s] hand?” “Oh, yeah. Opps.” Looks like you’re gonna have a couple career changes and retire early.” Yay! Life line (the right one this time): Gonna live somewhere between mid-eighties and one hundred. I guess that’s good. And wrinkly. Love/relationship line: I love extremely deep. Impossible for me to cheat. Gonna have a few different loves, all who I love deeply, all who are brief and leave, continuing late into my life. There it was, worst fear spelled out in the palm of my left hand. My heart sank, I nearly started to cry. It’s been a heavy weight ever since. When it took longer for Smokey to contact me after his overnight (even after he texted last night to let me know his phone died), I nearly hyperventilated until I heard from him. Ridiculous!!! Exhausting!!! Pathetic!!! All because of a palm reading by a friend who says he really doesn’t know what he’s doing, who messed up on our friend’s past cheating, who mistook my career line for my life line and killed me a couple decades early. True, I come by this worry naturally, but things that seem to confirm it, well….. I drive myself crazy. I just want to rest in what is so very wonderful. Want to do the work when I have to or need to. Then rest in it once more. Say some prayers for Smokey: he needs to have strength, patience, and a lotta love to deal with this nutcase. On a side note, I have an email to a preferred therapist that may be out of my insurances’ district. Please hurry up, better mental health!
Today’s installment will probably sound like complaining, and it really isn’t. It’s just free therapy time. I really find anyway to drive myself crazy. Number one culprit? My needy, co-dependent, clingy disposition. Smokey is out with his friends tonight, and probably will end up staying with them or at his house. This is a good thing for him. He needs space, and it’s healthy to have a little time apart, I know it’s all good. However, I sit here and feel rejected, worried he won’t return, wondering why I wasn’t good enough to be with this evening. Fucking ridiculous. Truly. It’s none of those things. I know he loves me. He shows me so very much, all the time, I also know he’ll return—whether it’s tonight or tomorrow. I also know my weaknesses and how I tend to think and feel about things. Even so, knowing all I know, having done so much therapy, it still is all I can do not let it overwhelming me. I think its fear that begins to consume. Just expecting things to either be ripped away or run away on their own. It’s my tendency to hold on tight enough to asphyxiate a python. It’s so frustrating to feel like I’m a pretty smart guy, especially around relational issues and such and still allow myself to play this mind fuck game. So frustrating that I allow it into the relationship that means that most to me! I do know this, I’ve got to start getting this under control. For both Smokey and myself. No pressure! But really. I have all I’ve been dreaming of right now, why can’t I just let my spirit rest in that? Argh!
Good lord, where to start, where to start!?! Two wonderful updates…
January 5, 2012, I signed a contract with Dreamspinner Press to publish Submerging Inferno, AND the following two installments! I never dreamed someone would buy all three, especially with two yet unwritten! None of them will be published until all three are written, so it is still a couple years away, but still! They are now looking at The Shattered Door. Since it is a stand alone, if they like it, it could be published ASAP. I have my hopes up, but we will see. I am thrilled, THRILLED, with the contract with them I have. I have lots, lots, lots to do. However, what a different experience it will be to sit down and write when not only has someone said they will publish what I’ve already written, but what I’m writing now! Wow! Totally thrilling! Such a long, long road, so many years. I can’t believe how amazing it really is now that it’s here!
The other news is that Smokey and I doing great, this past week really made a difference. Those three weeks were really rough, really scary, really hard. We both know there will be plenty more of those, but it’s amazing to be by his side and walk this journey together. The wonderfully fun parts, and hard, painful parts. So in love with him.
My folk’s response to my publishing deal wasn’t the best—tears and pain, nothing bad said, just they feel I’m not using my talent in a good way writing these kinds of books. Even when you know it’s coming, it’s hard to hear. Smokey, however, made the great situation even better. He’s nearly as excited as I am, and beyond proud and supportive. I’ve been dreaming of coming home and telling him, ‘Guess what?....’ Well, it was even better than I dreamed.
I’m doing my best to simply be happy. I scares me to feel like I have it all right now, finally what I’ve always dreamed about—the two things that mean more to me than anything. The man I love more than my own life, and a publishing deal! Really? Talk about amazing.
Father, thank you so much. The love you are lavishing is overwhelming. After so many years in darkness of soul and spirit, after so much hurt and doubt, to now be enveloped in love of the man I hope and plan to spend my life with, and in validation of my writing, well, it feels miraculous. Thank you. Please give me the strength to trust in it, to be able to rest in it, to have faith that you won’t rip the rug out from underneath. To trust that, like my favorite scenes from Job, you are blessing what was once withered and dark. I’ve given you so much anger and wrath in those years, along with the trust I could muster, I now give you thanks and praise and all glory for what you have given! I rest and trust in you, help me make that ever more true.