Closeted

•November 27, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I’m twenty years old.  My birthday is in less than three months.  I haven’t lived in the same place all my life but my earliest memories reach back to living here in this city: it’s all I know.  I’ve had a familiar house all my life and parents who love each other and are still together.  They did a wonderful job raising me and my younger brother.  Our values are unconditional love, honesty, forgiveness and generosity and these are the things that I want to instill in my own children one day.

I’m so thankful, so blessed and so joyful to have such a wonderful environment to grow and learn in.  But as I’ve gotten older and come to this point in my life, I realize that there’s a factor in my home that doesn’t fit.

And it’s me.

Or maybe it isn’t.  At the moment, I don’t have the courage to seek out the truth for myself because I’m afraid of what it’s going to do to this wonderful place where I dwell.  But the more days go by, the more I learn about myself, and the more I am feeling discontent with keeping a secret that I didn’t even know I was keeping.

The first time I fell in love with someone who was the same sex as me was when I was in middle school.  It was just an infatuation at first—a crush—but it rapidly evolved.  Long buried in self-denial, it wasn’t until high school, when I began dating a girl in secret, that I had finally accepted that I couldn’t call myself a homophobe anymore.  But I wasn’t gay.  I was just in love with someone who happened to be a girl.

Even after we broke up, I knew I wasn’t gay.  I started calling myself bi because it was a term people easily understood.

It took more years and more understanding and more exploration for me to understand that I’m not actually bisexual, I’m pansexual.  And yeah, there is a difference, and no, it doesn’t mean I’ll sleep with anyone.

Most of my friends and acquaintances are aware of this.  I’m a shameless flirt, particularly with women, since they’re well-known territory for me.

The only people who aren’t aware of my orientation are my family.

I was raised Christian.  I am Christian.  But I stopped going to church several months ago because I had lost all motivation to do so.  And even though I didn’t understand it at the time, I recognized later that it was because I could no longer reconcile my spiritual community to who I had uncovered myself to be.  I wasn’t 100% sure about what that particular church felt as a community on the issues of homosexuality/queer-identity but I had a feeling it wasn’t supportive.

I don’t know for sure.  Like I said, I’ve been too afraid to actually ask.

It’s been really difficult for me to try and understand myself as a person.  A sexual, non-binary person who also has deep spiritual desires to pursue God and His love.  And I’ve been avoiding it.  I’ve been trying my hardest to not sit down and face the fact that I don’t feel like there is a place for the person I’ve become anymore.

For the longest time, I actually believed that I had a porn addiction.  I went to a twelve-step-program and everything.   But there was a day when I was just sitting around and suddenly I realized that I didn’t have an addiction.  I was just at war with myself.  Because I am a sexual person with sexual wants but there was another part of me that wanted to deny that and maintain some archaic and torturous concept of ‘purity’ in all its vague connotations.

Now I can think about it without such inner turmoil, but at the time it was a serious problem for me.  I thought I was ruining myself, carrying around guilt and thinking that I had disappointed my parents.   All of that pain went away when I accepted that it was okay for me to be sexual and it didn’t have to be anyone else’s problem.

God made me to be sexual and embracing that was healthy for my mind; I really can’t describe how instantly liberating it was to come to this realization.  It’s where my rift between myself and my religion began, though.  Because I was taught, raised, and basically embodied the concept that I wasn’t allowed to be sexual unless I was married, like it says in the Bible.

That rift only widened after I really came to grips with the fact that I’m pansexual.  Before, I had my romances with women but then I would—in hindsight—think that in the end, I will always end up with a guy because I want to have kids with my husband.  Pregnancy is indeed a life goal for me, no joke.

But now, I’m actually accepting of myself and my unknown future enough to ponder about the possibility of the person I want to be with forever not being a man, or at least, not a cis-gendered or biologically ‘male’ man.  Because, as a pansexual, that is a real possibility.

I love my parents.  I don’t like hiding things from them.  They’ve left me mostly to myself after I made the decision to stop attending church, even though there’s this supposed house rule that if you’re in the house on Sunday morning, you’re going to church.

But I don’t know how to tell them this truth about me.

One of the worst days of my life was when my mother accidentally caught me and the girl I was secretly dating at the time in bed together.  It wasn’t even really that bad.  We had our clothes on, we were just keeping close.

But I sat out in the dining room in stiff silence and awkward questions for a good half hour, at the very least, until she made me sleep in a different room.  And then the next morning, after church, they made us sit at that table again and my girlfriend cried in fear and shame as my parents said they had no choice but to tell her parents what happened.  And all I could do was watch her from across the table, weeping, and do nothing about it.  More than sad or scared, I was furious.  Why on earth was she suffering like this for something that really wasn’t such a big deal?

Luckily for her, her parents didn’t freak out about it.  But all this was a clear signal to me that I did not have license in my parents’ eyes to pursue anything but a heterosexual romance.

I’m an adult now.  I have a better understanding of who I am and what I want to do with my life. But I just realized that I’m basically still in the closet when it comes to my parents.  For all I know, they just think I was having some strange experimentation phase and are still in denial about the truth.

The thing that hurts the most is the disconnect.  I miss feeling like I  was safe and supported in my church.  I miss the peace of mind knowing that I have nothing to hide from anyone.  I feel like there is no chance for me get these things back.  I really don’t think that my church will accept me for I am.  I think they’d try to ‘fix’ me.  Or they might say that God loves me but tell me my lifestyle is a sin.

Who I love doesn’t separate me from God.  I have never loved God more than I do when I’m in love with someone because then I experience unrivaled joy.

I’m afraid my parents will think the same way as my church might.  That they’ll never look at me the same way again.  I’m afraid that one day I might fall in love with someone wonderful and amazing and fantastic and excellent and that person will end up being a woman or a trans* person.  And when I go to share my joy about this love, my parents frown.

How would I deal with that?  I wouldn’t know what to do.  Just thinking about it is making me cry at my keyboard.

I am not diseased.  There’s nothing wrong with me.  I have been raised with love and taught that God is love and love is wonderful and is what I should live by.

I love outside the hetero-normative standard.

Why should that divide me from the God and the community and the support and the encouragement that I grew up with for my whole life?

I know the answer.  It’s fear.  Fear of rejection on my end.  And fear of the unknown and ‘unacceptable’ on everyone else’s.

I need to speak the truth to my parents soon.  But I don’t know how.  I don’t know if I can.  I don’t know what will happen if I do.

-Bec

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Peter Pan

•November 14, 2012 • Leave a Comment

It’s the name that I gave my Muse.  I have many reasons why but it’ll suffice to say that Peter Pan is just significant to things that I love and his personality fits the nature of my Muse perfectly.

I’ve seen various authors have different types of relationships with their muses.  I have a very good relationship with Peter.  He’s easily tended and me being a very laid-back individual, he is very comfortable around and within me.  The only time he avoids me is when I’m stressed out.  It’s one of those reasons I like to avoid conflict and keep myself from tense situations.  As soon as I start thinking too much, Peter flies away and won’t return until I’ve resolved whatever’s bothering me.

When he is at my side, he’s unfocused and excitable.  I may have a nice, organized list of projects to tend to–a few gift stories there, a chapter fic to work on here, a new epic to start whittling about with–but he’s an unfocused little trickster.  Very generous, though.  I have such an endless supply of ideas to work with that I feel that I’ll never be able to reach the end of them.

This fact has become particularly apparent since I got into the Homestuck fandom.  There are just so many wonderful characters and so many possibilities for them that I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to put down all the stories I come up with.  They just don’t end.

And even if I don’t actually do anything with them, I have plenty of fantasy fuel to go on: just sitting in class, daydreaming about scenarios that will never happen in canon but I can’t help but want to see (like a giant super-sexy choreographed dance number featuring all the Homestuck characters.  Dude, it would be so hot; don’t even try to deny it.)

Peter is fueled simply by artistic inspiration and whimsy but he delightedly snacks on readers’ praise and eagerness to engage in the story.    My one issue is that sometimes he’ll feed me an idea and I like it but I won’t give it time to digest so I forget it quickly and only have this steadily-dissolving flavor stuck to my tongue.  I have learned to just cut my losses and move on in those cases because scrounging for something lost just stresses me out and is therefore counterproductive.

He’s an endearing and likable guy, Peter is.  Sometimes I feel like I have to apologize to my readers for him and my actions by him because they’re inconstant and unreliable.  But I’d hope that I have a close enough following that they realize by now that I can’t be trusted to produce consistently, only uniquely.

The words will be put down.  They’ll be amazing when they’re finally on paper but, like most little boys who never want to grow up, Peter requires patience to uncover his secret brilliance.  And–by extension–so do I.

-Bec

Bright Copper Kettles

•October 28, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Here is a list of things that I like.

  • Anything involving Peter Pan or Alice in Wonderland
  • Tea; Teacups and Teapots
  • Ink and Pens
  • Body Painting
  • Dollhouses, particularly Tiny Furniture
  • and, by extension, Tiny Food
  • Cakes and Pastries and Candies
  • Rain
  • Blank Notebooks and Journals
  • Cocktails
  • Incense and Scented Candles
  • Gypsy Skirts
  • Watching People Dance
  • Disney World
  • Perfume
  • Butterflies
  • Lace
  • Gardens
  • Vegetable Gardens
  • Empty Houses
  • Graffiti
  • The Sound of Drums
  • Skeletons and Bones
  • The Insides of Humans
  • Teeth
  • Cannibalism
  • Tongues
  • Kisses
  • Lullabies
  • Music Boxes
  • Eeriness
  • Horror Stories
  • Graveyards
  • Cathedrals
  • Wind Chimes
  • Waterfalls, Rivers and Brooks
  • Rococo Architecture
  • Japanese Culture
  • Victorian Houses
  • Castles
  • Palaces
  • Beach Mansions
  • Urban Decay
  • Tree Houses
  • Temples
  • Pregnancy
  • Women Breastfeeding
  • Fertility
  • Sexuality
  • Heterosexuality
  • Homosexuality
  • Fetishes
  • Voyeurism
  • Androgyny
  • Whispers
  • Blushing
  • Hickeys
  • Bite Marks
  • Bruises
  • Scars
  • Tattoos
  • Piercings
  • Blankets
  • Naps
  • Warm Food
  • Dressing Up
  • Presents
  • Surprises

This is list will be added to; I can’t imagine I’ve actually remembered everything at the moment.

-Bec

Parenting

•October 26, 2012 • Leave a Comment

No, I’m not a parent.  It’s a metaphor.  One that I’m going to explain more in-depth so it ends up making sense and doesn’t give you a false impression of me.

I’m an artist.  That’s nothing special; many people are.  I’m a writer.  Again, nothing to brag about since there are so many on this planet.  So the obvious conclusion to make here is that I like to express myself artistically through my writing.  If you weren’t already aware of this, then I’m glad to have filled you in on the obvious.  But that’s just it.  Writing–storytelling, in particular–is a little less about the what is being told and a little more about the how.  People prefer hearing stories from storytellers because they know it’s not just going to be a recitation of occurrences  but it’s going to be an adventure: something exiting and entrancing.  The story is not a thing to own, it is an experience to live.  This has been truth since the beginning of human communication.  It’s a kind of magic that certain people seem to be gifted with.

Now, I have been telling stories since I knew how to talk.  Before I knew how to read and write, I had tales spilling haphazardly out of my tiny mouth.  When I did become English-literate and got to the point of more advanced communication, I began writing down my stories. For essentially the past decade of my life, I’ve been devoting a large portion of my time to putting down words and illustrating the workings of my mind in a mentally digestible form.  I started out awfully, though still notably better than most of my peers, and continued to work, my talents and technique improving over the years.  I hope that I will never reach an endpoint or growth; I never want to stop becoming better.

So that’s the story of me as a writer.  Now, more recently, I’ve discovered something that I’ve found quite interesting and mildly inexplicable.  I’ve only recently started to write fanfiction.  Not that it’s a hobby I’ve never had before, oh no.  I have an entire notebook from my days as a sixth grader that is full of fanfiction of a certain anime I enjoyed with  a ridiculous amount of self-inserted original characters and horrible plotlines that just make me cringe to think about.

My point is that at this point in my life, my writing has never experienced as wide an audience as it does now.  It’s amazing what some good writing experience, a familiar story and well-loved characters, and a slew of social networks will do to boost your audience.  I have hundreds of comments, all full of praise (seriously, I’ve yet to receive any negative response), and know that somewhere out in the wide world, someone has read what I have written and has fallen in love with my story.

It’s all rather overwhelming for me.  I’m so happy every time I get a new comment or someone favorites or likes one of my stories.  My biggest project to date that I’m currently working on is a chapter fic called “Black Beloved Red,” which I won’t detail here, but will say that it centers around possibly the most beloved characters of the Homestuck fandom and puts them in a conflict that tends to invoke a lot of sadhappy feels.

And I get all these comments that are like, “I love this story so much!” and, “I am crying so hard right now,” and, “Please, if you don’t continue, my heart will break!”  Things of that nature.  The responses are different, depending on the person, but the overwhelming majority has plainly demonstrated to me that I have many readers who are emotionally invested in my narrative.  Which is great and it makes me super happy!

But I have this strange disconnect….  Because, I’m not emotionally invested at all.

Don’t get me wrong; I can be very moved by a story and there are plenty of authors who have the ability to make me sway between moods faster than a six-year-old on a swingset.  But I can never feel that way when reading one of my own stories.  It just doesn’t happen.

Maybe there will be points when I’m writing when suddenly I’ll burst into a huge smile, but it’s not because I’m thinking, “Oh, I love this part!  It gives me so many feels!”  Yeah, no.  It’s because I’m thinking, “My readers are gonna love this!”  So I can get excited for the sake of my readers, sure.  Or, at least, what I think they’ll enjoy.  It’s hard to tell sometimes.

My point being that it’s sorta surreal when people tell me that they’re so invested in my story because there’s a part of me that’s like, “…why?”

This has been true for every one of my stories, to varying degrees.  Maybe ones that I base off my own deeper feelings will resonate but that’s more because I can specifically recall the emotions that led to writing such particular scenarios.  Fact of the matter is that my own writing doesn’t do it for me.  I can barely get excited about my own characters, be they characters I’m borrowing for a fanfiction or original characters of my own.

And though I don’t understand the exact chemistry behind the phenomenon, I have a pretty good explanation for why this is and it has to do with parenting.

The comparison is that I, and the many authors like me, are parents.  Our narratives are our children.  I’m not going to speak for artists and writers as a whole because that would be rather egocentric of me, but I personally acknowledge that I like the ‘children’ of other ‘parents’ a lot more than my own.  They are mysteries to me.  I can see at their surface level their wonderful qualities and enjoy the ways they surprise and delight me, because they are unknown to me.  That, and as just a reader, I accept very minimal responsibility for them but to view and analyze the ways they please and displease me.

It’s a different story with my own children.  And, in another dimension, I am less of a parent and more of a guiding deity.  With my own children, I am already well aware of their many facets.  I know the beginning, I know their every conflict, and I know exactly how they are going to end.  Provided, every now and then there are some unexpected occurrences but even those are largely predictable and fit easily within my scope as an author.

When down on paper, I can see every flaw and imperfection.  There is always a detail begging to be improved and I acknowledge that I will never complete a work that I find 100% satisfactory in every way.  I am fluent in my own style and can manipulate my words with practiced ease; even when I take pleasure in a particular turn of diction or inspired twist of syntax, it couldn’t possibly measure the poetry I encounter in the works of others.

So, when I read my own work, I cannot enjoy it to the extent that I do pieces crafted by others.  In some way, I suppose if I could, it would be a whole new level of narcissism for me.   All this to say that even though this is true, it doesn’t lessen the pleasure of my writing experience at all.  The joy I get from writing is not the same as the joy that comes from reading.  And it is only recently that I’ve realized that I lack motivation to write unless I am also reading just as frequently.  Art begets art.  At a later entry, I intend to expound on this philosophy in particular and also share the artists who inspire my own art, crafters of both word and line.

Until then, I pose to my readers these questions: What are some of the questions you ask yourself when regarding your own work?  When you create, who is it you wish to satisfy?  Is it yourself or do you create for your audience?  Do you have an audience?  What do you think of them and what does their feedback mean to you?  What are ways that you’ve sacrificed your own desires to please others, be it in art or just your life?  Was it worth it?  To those who write original fiction, I want to ask if there is an original character that you’ve created that you are particularly fond of.  What do they mean to you and why do you like them?

That’s quite a lot of questions and got kinda deep at one point, but you’ll have to bear with me because this entire post was built on sleep-deprivation and a single cup of coffee.  And I don’t even like coffee.

-Bec

Dear Ones

•August 30, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Since it’s been summer and all I do in the summer is nothing, I’ve had a lot of time to relax and enjoy some of my favorite media.  Books, video games, webcomics, tv shows….  Like anyone anywhere, I have my own favorite characters that I really prize above others and I think it’s high time I actually make a list of them and extol why I like them so much.

It’s what I love to do, talking about things I love.

I’m going to start with my favorite video game character: Sora from the Kingdom Hearts series.

I have been in love with this character since I was ten.  I’m twenty now, if that gives you any scope.  I have not run out of affection for him.  Confession time: when the first Kingdom Hearts game was released, I received it and the strategy guide for the game as a Christmas present.  I used to sleep with the guide under my pillow and kiss the picture of Sora’s face in the back cover every night before I went to sleep. Yeah.  I did that for a long while, too.

Sora is still one of my favorite fictional characters of all time.  More than anything, though, I love him because of his innocence.  And I’m not talking about a twisted shotacon fetish type love of innocence but a real enthusiasm for the persistence of a pure heart.  Sora is full of extraordinary joy, the kind of happiness that surpasses circumstances and is deep rooted in hope.  He has a neverending faith in the future, that things will always get better, that he will always succeed and if he tries hard enough, he can be with the people he loves.  Even when faced with the taunts and doubts of others, they just roll right off him and his goofy smile.

Sora has love for everyone who seeks the light.  His faith in people is never dampened by a single bad impression and he feels that even his enemies deserve a second chance.  To me, Sora embodies all the qualities that I wish to see in myself and the same traits that I prize in my friends and loved ones.  Selflessness, bravery, loyalty, kindness, perseverance and honesty.  I’ve never seen him bitter about anything.  When he fails, when he’s confused or has doubts, even when he’s been wronged, Sora has never caved once to the dark things that plague everyone.  And for that reason, he will always be my hero.

Plus he’s super cute.  I mean, come on, who wouldn’t want to hug him?

My favorite TV show character is Raharu “Haruko” Haruhara from the six episode OVA Fooly Cooly.

Since we’re only given six episodes to grasp Haruko’s character, it’s a bit difficult to give her an in-depth evaluation but the one thing that really stands out to me is the fact that she’s really unlike any other female anime character I’ve ever seen.  Japan has this really awful sexism that hangs above it that’s practically programmed into their minds at this point.  Even female mangaka seem to keep falling into this pattern of having their heroines be essentially the same girl over and over again, with a few exceptions.

But Haruko is one of a kind.  She’s not interested in any kind of romantic relationship, she’s not at all passive and she doesn’t have any ‘poor me’ moments.  No, she’s an intrusive, life-disrupting force of nature who doesn’t apologize and doesn’t mince words: a complete break from the Yamato Nadeshiko stereotype of the female character from Japan.  For that, I admire her.

I really like how she’s like this troubling, unpredictable power house because that means in her quiet moments, there’s something special.  I’m a huge fan of the big-sister-little-brother relationship dynamic that she shares with Naota.  It’s sweet and it means something because she doesn’t show that kind of tenderness to anyone else.

Her confidence is an inspiration to me.  She’s also a crazy nutter but that’s a plus for me.

Anyone who’s spoken to me within the last eight months knows that my number one fandom at the moment is Homestuck.  Homestuck is a treasure trove of wonderful, diverse and well-developed characters but my favorite is Gamzee.

I remember before I even started reading Homestuck, I would see fanart of it everywhere.  And Gamzee was one of the more recognizable trolls.  I’d see him and be like, ‘Wow, that thing is weird and kinda ugly-lookin.’  But now that I’ve actually read the webcomic, I think differently.  He embodies and dichotomy of personalities, both of which I have absolute affection for: the free-lover and the artful psychopath.

Spoiler alert, by the way.

Readers are informed that by their very nature, trolls are a ruthless, violent race.  Those who can’t defend themselves are killed and those who are gentle are ridiculed.  Gamzee is your textbook stoner kid.  Happy, laid back, not making a damn lick of sense, and very go-with-the-flow when it comes to everything, even if it doesn’t make much sense to him.  Stupid?  Well, maybe.  But more than that, he’s kind.  Generous in every sense.

The great thing about Gamzee is that he has this duality, because even though he’s this sweetie, he doesn’t stay that way.  A variety of factors end up cracking him to this point of violent madness which–every single follower of Homestuck will assure you–makes Gamzee a nightmare come to life.  He embodies a pure form of terror.  I love the psychology of horror because fear is something that sticks with people.  You might forget something that made you happy but you will never forget something that kept you up at night, jumping at the tiniest sounds.

The way he just snaps and goes completely haywire throws everyone for a loop.  How he sneaks in and out of rooms, decapitating corpses as he goes and leaving bloody messages on the walls.  And the honking.  Dear God, it’s just perfect.  Way to terrify the entire everybody.

As much as I like happy-go-lucky sweethearts, I also love creepy psychopaths.  Both is just perfect.

I have never been so instantly allied to a character as I was to Lisbeth Salander, my favorite book character.

Mind you, I saw the movie (the American one) before I read the books but seeing it made me want to read the books even more.  Yes, the book is better than the movie; there are a lot of details left out that make the story extra cool.  But, anyway, Rooney Mara’s performance as Lisbeth Salander solidified my adoration of this character and I could go on forever about it, but I think I’ll save that for a separate post because that would lead us a little off topic.

Lisbeth is not nice.  Not at all.  Not to anyone.  If I ever met her in real life, I could not be friends with her because I know that there are just so many things about her that would make me uncomfortable.  But Lisbeth is a cyberpunk androgyne with a mission to break heads of anyone who has been cruel or violent towards women.  Sora may be my personal hero, but Lisbeth is my secret champion.

I’ve never had so much sympathy for a character as I’ve had for her.  I’ve never wanted anyone to win so badly.  She’s more than a skinny girl with a bad attitude. She’s a force.  A force of vengeance, which I personally don’t practice, but had zero problem supporting as I watched her journey.

Now, after reading the trilogy, I am desperately hoping that I will see Rooney Mara in a repeat performance in a cinematic version of The Girl Who Played With Fire.  Because I would pay all my dollars to see her act in that last scene.  No spoilers, but I will say that it blew my mind and reduced me to a babbling mess of fanfeels.

So, them’s my favorite fictional characters.  And how.  TL;DR, I like cuddly boys and badass chicks.  Yeah, expect to see me do a more in-depth examination of Lisbeth in the future because I have a lot more to say about her. I’d love to hear your thoughts too.

Questions to my readers:  Who are your favorite fictional characters and why?  What do you think about the ones I listed here?  Never heard of any of them?  Let me know, I can hook you up with some links so you can get to know them better if you’re curious.  Leave a comment! :)

Until next time, who knows when I’ll be back.

-Bec

Reset

•August 18, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I like starting over.  I like new things.  I like fresh ideas and the beginnings of projects and the excitement from that initial enthusiasm.  I seem to operate in cycles of interest, never really stationary in what I do.  If I become complacent in one course of action for too long, I find myself irritated by the day-to-day and that’s not good for anyone.

So I’m starting over.  I deleted everything I’ve posted here before with the intention of beginning anew.  I’m usually very keen on saving everything I write down because I never know when there’s something I’ll regret throwing away.  But I think now is a good time to start over and repurpose myself.  It’s good for me.

It was only very recently that I decided to make a decision to change the plan for my life.  And that came after a lot of introspection and wondering about things I’d never wondered about before.  Now I’m glad to say that I’ve arrived at the beginning of something new and different.  For my own sake, I’m going to keep this blog because if I’m lucky, it might actually turn out to be something important one day.

I aspire for greatness and at the same time, I want to share that with others.  There isn’t much more that brings me joy.

So this blog is for journal entries.  It’s for times when I need to vent.  It’s for expressing enthusiasm.  It’s for whatever the hell I want it to be. It will change faces and names and become different.  Full and simultaneously desolate.  For friends and fans and whoever may find it.  God only knows how long I’ll be able to keep this up but hopefully it’ll be a worthwhile endeavor.

-Bec