Too Fucking Happy?

WoW_Box_Art1I spend a huge amount of time thinking about why I do what I do, why I think what I think, and why I feel the things I feel.  I am on a constant quest to understand and control my own mind.   This has been great in many ways.  I used to have terrible anger issues with violent tendencies, and now I don’t.  I used to have PTSD flashbacks, but I haven’t had one in years.  There was a time when I dealt with my emotions by mutilating myself, and that is very rare now.  I used to pick fights with my loved ones. I used to play video games all day instead of living.  I have been known to have social media rage and be petty and petulant. I have control over all that now.

I almost never cry, my anger never lasts more than a few minutes, and I can work through big emotional issues in a matter of days.  I am supportive to my loved ones instead of antagonistic.  I like myself and would invite me over for tea anytime.  I’m not the most emotionally healthy person ever, as I am still a bit paranoid, have abandonment issues, and don’t trust other people’s motivations sometimes, but I have made progress on those things too.  I deal with a little depression from time to time, but with meds and practice I cope.

I know, right!  It sounds awesome!

I am happy or at least content almost all the time.  I am good at not dwelling on things, not letting toxic people hurt me, and doing things I enjoy.  A little too good.  So much so that I don’t seem to have any drive (yes, there could be many other reasons for this, but I am exploring them one at a time).  I think to myself, “Make money?” but then I look outside and scamper off to garden or pick flowers.  I think ,“How about some writing today?” but I say “Nope!” and play with the animals.

RiverI have goals (remind me to tell you later), and I have made some headway in reaching those, but I tend to avoid everything hard.  I float on a happy, lazy river in the sunlight, being pushed forward only by the current, going no place in particular.  I have a 50 minute timer on, making me keep writing this.  If I didn’t, I would be playing the piano or napping with Mr. Snuggles. In fact, now that I think about it, of all the writing I could be doing this is the easiest, with the smallest readership and the most comfortable topic.

Why do I avoid success?  It’s clearly something I want, or I wouldn’t write out goals and daydream about the future.  I think about being a famous writer, owning a farm, traveling the world, creating great things, but I don’t do the tasks that would make any of that happen.  I would rather be happy, supporting my loved ones and watching cartoons.

Correct Procedure

I noticed an odd block in my writing today.  I don’t feel ready to publish a novel, because I don’t have enough short stories.  Of course there isn’t a prerequisite number of short stories that one must write and have published before one is allowed to write longer works. You can be good at one length of story and bad at another.   People can and do jump right into full length novels, because there are no rules, except the ones we make ourselves.  

I have found that I have made a lot of rules, creating a sort of lock system to writing.  I can write a blog post at anytime, without any sort of permission. I feel as though I should write a blog post before doing anything else, like yelling “timber” before cutting down a tree.  If you are reading this, then I have posted in a public place that I intend to write this week.  Why must the world be informed?  My best guess is it makes me feel legitimate.

Once there is a blog post that is less than two weeks old I am officially a serious professional writer.  I have a website and I am doing the things. I may now write.  But I can’t write just anything, that would be chaos.  Before I can write I must check to see what I am allowed to write.  I talk to publishers that I know,  I check calls on different groups or market posting sites.  I need a theme and a deadline.  I have spend entire days searching for the perfect project.  If I find one, then I can write.

If not, then I must consume the works of others who have succeeded where I have failed.  I read Asimov’s, Fantasy and Science Fiction, Ellery Queen, American Short Fiction, etc. or listen to short fiction podcasts. If I don’t want to do that I can read magazines, books or blogs about how to write.  Once I feel like I have learned something, then and only then can I write whatever I want as long as it is still short fiction.

Every once in awhile I can break out of this pattern.  For example working on a novel is legal in November for NaNoWrMo.  I have finished the first draft of a novel in fact, but I can’t edit it until I have several more short stories done, because I am clearly not experienced enough to edit a novel.  At what point am I really a “writer”? When can I trust myself to write whatever I want? How many stories must I publish before I am enough of an authority that I can give myself permission to write?

The point is, I am writing this blog entry so that I can write.  I now have less than two weeks on the clock.  Time to check the listings.

Book Signing

signingThis is an author landmark.

I did my first-ever book signing last week. Having a physical copy of something I wrote is exciting, signing it even more so.  It was only copies for the other authors featured in “Rise of the Europan,” but it was still a book signing.  There are going to be several people out there who will own a book that I have a published story in, and my name is signed in it.   It’s a strange feeling of connection to my work, to the other writers, and to the readers.

Someday, I hope I have enough of a following to do public book signings.  I think this is something I would really enjoy doing.

Prediction and Intention

Tonight is the longest night of the year. It is our tradition to keep vigil all night over an open fire or a candle if rain makes a fire impossible. It’s a night for looking back at the year behind us and forward to the one ahead. Yule is a time for divination.

Every year our friend who practices Norse paganism does rune readings; a 13 rune reading for the community and smaller individual reading for anyone who desires one. In my personal reading he pulled three runes; Uruz, Berkana and Yr.

uruzBerkanaYrMy query or concern doesn’t fit easily into a single question. It was more of a general musing about my character. I use the needs or wants of others as an excuse to not expose myself to failure or leave my comfort zone. I keep detailed lists of all the tasks I should do every day. Some of the tasks are related to the cleaning and upkeep of my home, some are related to the care of my animals or the other people in my life, some are monetary, some deal with my own physical health, some with mental health, others with my creative pursuits, and some are even leisure. I have found that I choose which tasks based on a few criteria. I almost always do things that affect others before those that just affect me and I almost always choose physical tasks over artistic or intellectual ones. Once I get to tasks that are just for me, I choose the ones that don’t require the participation of others to be successful.

I do all the cleaning and animal care before anything else. I would dig in my garden before I would color if I had free time. I would choose to read before I would choose to write. I will do pretty much anything before trying to make money.

Let me clarify something, I am not some great and loving saint that puts the needs of everyone before myself. I’m not an abused, taken-advantage-of martyr. I’m not compelled to do for others. I do it because other people needing me feels good, taking care of people’s emotions is easy, and hanging out and working on projects is fun. It’s not that I don’t have time for myself, it’s that I don’t take the time that I have.

This system has assured that I almost never have to do the things that are hard or scary. I seldom get to either writing or doing telephone companion work. I almost never do what I call “writing business,” which is searching for markets, submitting my work, editing, networking, or blogging. When I am efficient enough in a day to get to the “writing business” part of my list, I drag my feet and I will abandon it if any other activity presents itself.

The runes my friend pulled tell me what I already know, but can’t seem to put into practice. I have to stop running away from things that are hard. Only through strength and focus can I achieve success and bring my dreams into reality. I want to be a successful writer, I want to make money, pay debts, and buy a big piece of land someplace. However, I want these things in a fuzzy future sort of way, whereas I want all the dishes to be washed now. The dishes are all washed and put away everyday. I know I will wash the dishes tomorrow and the next day and the day after that, because I “know” this, it is always true. I want to “know” that I will write everyday. I want to “know” that I will publish a few things a year, that I will network and keep up with my blog. I have to put these tasks on the top of my lists, and I have to make myself do them everyday for weeks, months. I have to remind myself that I can build the habit of writing into a thing I “know” will happen everyday, just like I did for all these other tasks.

The Lane

The Lane of Unusual Traders is a shared world experiment from Tiny Owl Workshop. I happened upon this fascinating project a few days ago.   The idea is that each writer adds detail to the world, building and shaping it.  One beautifully written descriptive piece starts off the collaboration giving minimal detail: a few places, a few hints of history and geography, a few races of beings.  After that, the writers will create something that fits and enhances the world. Unlike many shared worlds, this one is not all planned out and invitation only. I love the chance and adventure that creates.

I’ve read all the stories that have been published so far and I am intrigued.  I want to participate. There are only a few days until the deadline for phase 2, which is not much time, but I hope to manage it.  If not, I will be submitting something for phase 3.

Social Media isn’t my Friend

This is a continuing problem for me, a toxic behavior, maybe even an addiction.  It eats my time, increases my anxiety, and encourages me to censor myself. A while back I did an experiment where I stopped using Facebook for several months.  I missed it horribly for a while, however after a few weeks I found that my life without it was better.  I was able to spend more time doing the things I enjoy and working towards my goals, while also not constantly questioning my value to other people.

UninstallSince then I slowly started using it again. A few days ago I realized I am checking it every few minutes. I am fighting the urge to check it now, while writing this. It is especially hard in the hours after I post something.  I poke the icon on my phone over and over, opening it and closing it, holding my breath in anticipation of likes or comments.  If no one replies, I start questioning the worth of my words and thought, dwelling on isolation, lack of human connection, and my failures.  I wonder what I have done to make my “friends” dislike and ostracize me.

Social media has made me confused about the entire concept of “friends”.  The majority of the people I interact with on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are not my friends.  They are people I met at burns or cons. They are people who know people that I know.  I only interact with a few people in real life, and those seldom, aside from the one who lives with me.

Yet I want these near strangers to like me.  I want them to be interested in what I’m doing, to reply, to ask questions, to debate the issues of the day with me.  I want them to be proud of me, to encourage me.  I want them to interact with me in ways that I don’t often get in real life and I’m not sure I would like if I did.  I want them to be the television version of family and friends.  I somehow want the people on the other end of the tubes to give structure and purpose to my life.

Without social media, when I am by myself, I am alone. Which is not a bad thing at all; I do my best work alone.  I have spent the vast majority of my hours alone and I like it that way.  With social media I’m lonely.  Reading other people’s posts, seeing their pictures, reminds me that humans are supposed to be social animals and that I am therefore failing at that aspect of being human.

Recent articles and studies criticizing Facebook and other social media let me know I’m not alone. Other people are feeling the same way, having their lives and self esteem sucked into the always hungry maw of social media.

Today I am deleting Facebook from my phone. This will not stop me from checking it.  . I will still be able to check it on my desktop to look for background acting jobs and keep up with my friends. I am mostly home all day. What it will do is stop me from checking it in bed, while I am taking a bath, while I am out having dinner with real life people or when I am outside in my garden.  This is a step in the right direction.

Food Guy goes to American Foods and Beverage

My friend, we will call him “Food Guy,” loves food. He loves it in a spiritual, ecstatic way.  Great restaurants are his church.   He wants to experience all the exceptional foods Atlanta has to offer, trying everything from hole-in-the-wall burger joints to the fancy foodie Buckhead bistros.

His girlfriend is a vegetarian, and six days a week so is he.  On either Saturday or Sunday of each week he has what he calls an “invisible” day.  It is invisible in that his girlfriend does not see him eat meat. Of course she knows he does it, but she doesn’t go with him on these food adventures. He can’t go to a restaurant alone of course — he would look a bit crazy ordering all the things he wants to try, which is how I got the job of food buddy.  I go with him, as an extra body across the table, a blow up doll so you can use the carpool lane.  I don’t order my own food; sometimes I don’t even look at the menu.  I am just there to try all the foods he buys.

This works well for me, because as a struggling writer I don’t have the funds to go to all these places on my own. As such, I realized I might as well write about all the places we go.  That makes it more like a real job.

Sunday we went to “American Foods and Beverage” at 250 Buckhead Ave.  First of all, I want to talk about the name.  Ok, it is descriptive, kudos. They are a place that provides American foods and beverages. So do half of the restaurants in Atlanta.   I feel like they should have tried a bit harder with the name.  This is the second location of this restaurant, the original being in Fort Worth, Texas.  Maybe the name is cute there with all the Mexican and Tex-Mex places, I don’t know. However, it is not a cute name here.

The location is overly fancy.  When Food Guy said we were going to a place with house-cured bacon and sandwiches I had an image in my mind.  This was not it.  I felt underdressed. I felt really underdressed when the server informed us that they had “complimentary water service, flat or sparkling,” like that was a big deal.  I have Atlanta tap water at my house and a SodaStream – you are not doing me any favors here.  This is not the first place I have been to that has done this, but they were the most proud of it.   Dear restaurant owners, pointing out complimentary water is dumb, please stop.  If someone is so wealthy that they are eating in Buckhead then odds are if you charged something for water they might not even notice.  But telling them “Ohh, free water” seems to imply that this should make a difference.  If the cost of water was the financial tipping point of eating there, then a person could go someplace else, like maybe Waffle House, which by the way has a complimentary water service and cherry syrup for their Coke.

We only had one beverage. Food Guy’s friend, L, got the Bloody Maria. It’s a bloody Mary except with tequila instead of vodka.  I am not a fan of Bloody Marys in general, but this was pretty good.  I would share one, but not want one of my own.

Time to tell you about the food.  My friend ordered for both him and me.  L ordered as well.  Between us we had:

  • House made bacon BLT: Thick cut, in-house smoked and cured bacon, with a runny egg, lettuce and tomato. This was good.  The bacon was a little thick for my tastes, but Food Guy and L loved it.  I think the egg was a nice addition. I would eat this again.  This came with fries, which were average thick-cut fries.  The bacon is their “thing,” the reason we were there in the first place.  I was not disappointed.
  • Corned Short Rib Reuben: This sandwich wins. Corned short rib has all the delicious flavor of corned beef, but it is so much better.  Corned beef is often chewy and fatty, but short rib is a much better cut. It was perfectly cooked with perfect texture.  Also instead of sauerkraut they used shredded braised Brussels sprouts, and the sauce was very good.  I could eat this sandwich every day.   It was served with fresh made potato chips, which were meh.  Not enough salt for me and a little too greasy.
  • Scotch eggs: The gimmick here was they were made with chorizo instead of sausage. The great thing about them was they were nicely soft-boiled.  Other than that, they were just like you would expect scotch eggs to be, but a little spicier.  Not bad, but not special.
  • Steak tartar: Not the best I have ever had (I say all fucking fancy, like this is not the third time I have had it in my life), but not bad.  The meat was not great enough to be the star of the show, and the other players were boring.  Better beef and less presentation would be good.
  • Fried chicken, with rosemary biscuits: Sorry guys, you are seriously going to have to up your game on this one. You are in Georgia; we know what good fried chicken tastes like. This was not it.  It was OK, I ate it.  But I wouldn’t take it to a family reunion, if you know what I’m saying.  I would feel ashamed taking this fried chicken to your house after your grandma died.  The portion was too small to make it at all worth the price.  The biscuits and apple butter were very good, however, perhaps they can be ordered by themselves.
  • A side of the special bacon: This was thinner cut and longer-cooked than that in the sandwich. It was my kind of bacon.  I have nothing bad to say about this bacon.  Good job, person who made the bacon.
  • Devil’s Food Cake: Good cake, maybe better than average, but not the best. Then again my mother was an award-winning southern baker, so maybe I just can’t be impressed by a slice of cake. The ice cream that came with it was quite good.

The deal that gets me wonderful free food is that Food Guy orders it all.  Had I been ordering myself, I would have tried the rigatoni with cheddar or ricotta pancakes, or was it French toast?  I would check the menu, but it seems that they must have spent too much money on the location and fanciness, because the only website I can find is for the location in Texas. But here is their Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/AmericanFoodBevAtlanta

Speaking of fancy, all the food was a little on the messy, drippy, or greasy side, which is great, but fuck you for making me feel underdressedwith your fancy tables, water service and Buckheadness.  If I had dressed up I might have ruined some nice clothes.  I guess rich people can just get their clothes all greasy and go buy more clothes.  Average people like me don’t do that. They should either make an effort to be a bit more casual or a bit less moist.

I would eat here again and try other things if Food Guy or anyone else was paying.  I would only pay my own money for the Short Rib Reuben or a side of biscuits and crispy bacon.

Society

“We are definitely not living in a post-racial society and I can imagine there are a lot of people out there wondering how much of a society we’re living in at all.”
-John Stewart

Society
noun \sə-ˈsī-ə-tē\: people in general thought of as living together in organized communities with shared laws, traditions, and values

In light of recent events, mainly cops literally getting away with murder, I find myself thinking about society.  The society I live in, if it is in fact a society.  In the above definition we see that a society has shared laws, traditions, and values.  However acquittal of murdering cops shows that we clearly don’t all have to follow the same laws.  The fact that the vast majority of grand jury indictments find that a trial is necessary, except in the case of cops, who are almost never indicted, shows that our traditions are questionable.  People feeling the need to criticize those who say “Black lives matter,” defending the actions of dirty cops, and trying to play blame the victim in every situation, including the murder of a 12 year old boy, highlights that we do not have shared values.

What we actually have are two or more separate societies, each one having their own rules, traditions and values.  Some people, like myself, have privilege that allows them to pick or move between societies to a degree.  I have decided that black lives matter. I have decided that it is probably not alright to kill people for being black. Aside from the lives of people I actually know and care about, I have decided to value all lives equally.

However, I can’t opt out of some of my privilege. I get to live by a different set of rules because I am white.  I am still female, and not wealthy or important, so I don’t get the special fancy platinum level privilege. I’m not a cop, working hard to make sure that each separate society follows their own set of rules, so I can’t, for example, choke someone to death anytime I want.

However I can get away with a lot of things.  I would like to draw your attention to #crimingwhilewhite.

https://twitter.com/hashtag/crimingwhilewhite

I will give one of my own personal examples here.  I was once in a diner, something like a Waffle House.  I swung on my boyfriend’s coat, forgetting that there was a bag of weed and a glass pipe in the pocket.  Both flew out of the pocket, and the pipe shattered on the floor.  Everyone in the restaurant turned to look, including a cop sitting at the counter.  He watched me snatch up the bag of weed; he looked at the remains of what was clearly a pipe.  He chuckled and returned to his breakfast.  A waitress brought a broom and we cleaned up the mess.  That’s the whole story.

It was that day I actually realized that laws don’t apply to everyone the same way.  It was then and is now illegal to use or possess marijuana in Georgia.  But as far as that cop and everyone else in that diner was concerned, it was not illegal for me.

I have broken into private pools at night to swim.  I have shoplifted, engaged in underage drinking, used drugs, been rude to cops, loitered, walked in the middle of the street, played in public fountains, peed in public, committed vandalism, and snuck into movies. Those are just the crimes off the top of my head; I am sure there are more.  Yet I don’t feel like I have done anything for which I deserve to be shot or choked to death.  Maybe some community service is in order?  A fine?

Killing me is probably illegal, even if you are a cop.  But somehow our larger society has decided that black men are worthless, and that they don’t matter.  The young man who lives next door to me could be killed if he engaged in any of my crimes. He has to prove himself every day, prove why he deserves life.  When I have gone to protests over police brutality, I get sick to my stomach every time a black man or woman starts listing out why they deserve to live.  I have never, ever had to do that.  I am deemed worthy just by the shade of my skin.  It is appalling to me that the society they are forced into requires that of them.

I want you to really think about this.  Think about the victim-blaming that the media has engaged in with all these cases.  When you are black, one strike against you is all it takes for any punishment, including death, to be justified.  Even if the cop who killed you didn’t know about the law you broke.  Mike Brown had marijuana in his system — STRIKE! — his death was OK.  Eric Garner was selling tax free cigarettes, and he was back-talking a white cop — STRIKE! — not a person.  Here is the best one, Tamir Rice, well ummm…he had a gun, but it was a toy, no rule broken, hummm… he was threatening to the cops… no, that can’t be it, as he was shot immediately upon the arrival of the cops… Ohhh! I got it, his father, his father is a thug and he had had domestic violence charges before, and we all know that thugness is hereditary, so he would most likely have grown up to be violent, yeah, that’s it.  He was going to be a horrible, horrible monster, so let’s say — FUTURE STRIKE — probably not a person.

A society values certain behaviors, and certain virtues.  We are a Protestant, Puritan sort of people, so we think the perfect person should be:

Smart
Educated
Clean
Well-spoken
Polite
Frugal
Responsible
Hard-working

For white people, just hit a few and you will be ok.  I am smart, educated, sometimes clean, and well-spoken. The fact that I am sometimes rude, lazy, and irresponsible are not really problems. In fact my flaws make me somehow more likeable.

But if you are black you have to have them all, and you have to show them all, all of the time. Being deficient in any of these areas makes you unworthy of such basic things as life, food, medical attention, and respect.  We even have special words for black people who don’t exemplify these virtues, like thug and welfare queen. Food for thought, I have personally heard the word “nigger” used as an antonym for all of these words.  It can mean stupid, uneducated, dirty, incomprehensible, rude, wasteful, irresponsible and lazy.  What a weird coincidence….

In America today some people’s lives are worth more than others.  Some groups of people can kill with impunity.  Laws and social rules don’t apply to all of us equally.  I am going to have to conclude that we have a caste system, not a fair, equitable society. We might not acknowledge it, we might pretend that everyone is free to make their own choices and move up the social ladder, but it is a lie.  Decades of statistics prove that you don’t get to move up in the caste system; if you start poor you generally die poor.  If you start black there is very little you can do to change the social stigma that you are born with.

All the underdog stories, where the kid from the wrong side of the tracks makes it big due to hard work and perseverance are mostly fairy tales, in that such a tiny number of people manage it.  They exist to keep up hoping, striving, working, and blaming people who don’t pull themselves up for being deficient.

We tell these stories of success and worth for the same reason we blame Trayvon, Mike, Eric and Tamir for their own murders.  We have to believe in achievable standards and rules, with reasonable rewards and punishments.  We have to believe in choice and free will. We have to pretend the cops are good guys and black people, immigrants, and poor people are bad guys.  Because if we stopped believing in these things we would have to realize that aside from a few wealthy, powerful people, we are all pretty much powerless. As long as you can convince yourself that you are a good person, worthy, playing by the rules, then you can ignore the murder, imprisonment, and slavery of others.  At least for a little while longer.

Why Kitty is Creepy and Can’t Date

I have gone out maybe twice in the last few years with someone other than my husband on something that could maybe be considered a date.  I count these events as dates anyway, though the other person clearly either didn’t, or did and never wanted to do it again.  I gave subtle signs of interest such as laughing at jokes, trying to make eye contact, and asking ze about themselves (zeselves??).   I didn’t make a physical move beyond a good night hug, because I don’t feel touching someone without their permission is ok.  I have some issues that make me unable to read certain social cues, so I can’t figure out when people are giving me permission with body language.  That means I always wait for ze to make a move, which seldom happens.

Both of these people were part of the large Atlanta polyamorus community.  They have known me for years, know that I am poly, and have been around me when I am flirty (read creepy) and when I am not.  Since they asked me out, I did not feel like I should be flirty, since they clearly know I like them or I would not have said yes.

I would like to date more, but there are some real problems with this.  I assume anyone who has known me for a while would ask me out if they wanted to, so I don’t pursue those people.  I have tried OkCupid, which sounds great on paper.  Here is a place where I can give all my stats and read other people. I can figure out if we have common interests and beliefs before meeting.  Yet I have only had one OkCupid date that went well, until the guy was a jerk over text a few days later.

So that leaves dating people I meet in real life, which I have realized is too complicated for me.

Are you available? 

I don’t know how to ask someone if they are poly or are interested in dating without expressing that I am interested in them or being creepy.

If people flirt with me in a subtle way, I am missing it totally. People also flirt who are not actually available, just because they like flirting, or like myself, they use it as conversation fuel.  I don’t want to make a move on someone who is not even on the field and end up having to explain myself to a pissed off mono-mate.  People should wear signs. There were some kink community events I used to go to where everyone wore colored beads expressing their sexual preferences.  I loved those beads so much; it stopped a lot of awkward situations and made me much more comfortable interacting with people.

There are places and events I go to where I know people I am interested in will be: local social gatherings, annual conventions, parties.  I have one coming up soon, where I think some of the people I am interested in are poly. I will only be around these people for a few days, so the logical thing to do would be to ask, “Are you poly and am I in-line with your sexual preferences?”

There are a few problems with this approach:

-When I say blunt honest things like that, people think I am crazy.

– If the person is not poly, then I come across as a scary freak or a sex fiend who wants to make ze have an affair.  I can have a perfectly lovely relationship with someone who is never going to be romantically inclined towards me, so I don’t want to alienate people who could be my friends.

-If ze is poly, and ze is interested, then I have ruined the beginning of the relationship/encounter.   My favorite thing about a new person is the tense time before the first kiss, the surprise.  If I come right out and say I want to date then the first kiss loses something; that lovely tension is gone.

I loved being a teenager for this reason. When I hung out with a boy alone there was an unspoken expectation that they might or might not kiss me, and I might or might not kiss them.  It was not very complex.  I kissed or was kissed by more than twice as many people in the years from 13-17 than in the 17 years since then. I am not happy about this. If we have met, you have good oral hygiene and are not mean to me, I probably want to kiss you.  This does not mean I want to date you or have sex with you.  I just really, really like first kisses.

Do you like me?

I can’t tell if someone might be interested in me sexual or romantically unless they make a physical move or tell me in explicit terms; for example “Hey, I think you are cute, would you like to date?”  But as we have already established, that is a social no-no.  I don’t think it should be weird, but it is.  it is weird and off-putting. I know this because I have tried it, and have been told I am creepy and too aggressive.  So sadly expecting straightforward verbal initiation from other people is unrealistic.

I sometimes feel like I should print up cards that say. “Do you like me?” with a yes and no box for ze to check.  But I am sure that would break some social etiquette rule.

How do I tell you I like you?

Let’s say I know ze is poly. I know ze is available. And I think ze might like me. What am I supposed to do with this information?

Let’s go back to one of those dates I have had with people I know are poly.  Check mark there.  I was pretty sure I meet ze’s general sexual preference criteria. Check.  But nothing came of it. Maybe because I could not figure out a good way to express interest.

When I actually like someone, I get shy and nervous. I get excited and tongue-tied.  I wanted to let the person know that I liked ze.  I tried subtlety, but when I try to flirt like that, people clearly miss it.

I have tried to make joking sexual advances towards people.  I am a short, chunky, cartoon-cute sort of woman.  I think people should think my sad come-ons are funny.  Sometime they do, and sometimes they don’t.  I have been accused of everything from being creepy and needy to sexual harassment.  I have pulled back on this behavior a lot, and interest in me has decreased from low to nothing.  If I come across as easy or desperate it sometimes works at least.  I got kissed by a guy I had a crush on for years by wearing him down. It was amazing; granted, I think he only did it because he was moving all the way across the country. And while that hurt my feeling a little, I am glad he kissed me.

However I don’t want to be a creepy jerk. I don’t want to make people feel icky. I don’t want to harass anyone.  I have been harassed plenty. Last week a man on the train asked if he could lick my freckles. I have been pushed into sexual situations I did not want.  I have been taken advantage of when I was too young to make sexual decision or when I was under the influence.  I am not going to get into these heavy sounding topics.   Don’t worry about it, please; I am not looking to talk about that right now, except to say that know how bad it feels to be pressured into things like that.  I don’t want anyone to ever feel like I pushed them or forced them into sexual situations.

That high pressure, aggressive behavior is what I first experienced, it is what I know. It is the only play in my playbook.

Peaked too soon?

I am poly because I own my body and I can do anything with it I want.  I am poly because I like new experiences and getting to know people on a physical and emotional level that is not appropriate in our culture for “friends”.   I am poly because I  want to play spin the bottle or go into a closet for seven minutes with someone I just met, but people in their 30s don’t seem interested in that.    I fear that my first kiss days are far behind me, fading away into fuzzy teenaged memories.

Dragon Con 2014

We went to Dragon Con again this year. It was fun, even more than last year. There were still a lot of people, but it was not as overwhelming for me. I didn’t try to be there all the time; when I was tired I went home. I also did a much better job of scheduling my time, making sure to go to the sessions that were most important to me.

I went to several professional development sessions in the writers’ track and listened to some of my favorite writers talk about the creative and business side of being an author. This was the first time I have gone out of my way to talk to other writers one-on-one and get their advice. I realize networking is important to my career and it is something I need to get better at. However, walking up and talking to someone has never been my strong suit; in fact I find it quite rude and aggressive. I feel like I am assaulting people with my words and presence when I come up without permission. I mostly practiced it on writers who said it was something you have to do in the sessions, because I took that as them clearly giving permission. I ordered great business cards since then, so that will help in the future.

I also did real cosplay this year, as opposed to last year with general anime and general goth. I dressed up as the Flame Princess from Adventure Time and helped Puck be Simon and Lori be Marcelline. I loved being recognized. Several people even took my picture. Cosplay is something I definitely want to do again. I would like to do the Evil Queen from Once Upon a Time next year, but that will be pretty difficult. Maybe something from Avatar. I should decide soon and get to work.

Dragon Con 2014 - 2SimonLoriThis was the first year I have gone to the Walk of Fame and talked to a few celebrities this year. I was nervous and I babbled a bit. Sandeep is one of the cutest people, and one of my few celebrity crushes. I think I might have made him uncomfortable as I make all people I think are cute uncomfortable. He seemed to like Puck, who is for some reason way less creepy than I am. (Future post about how creepy other people find me and dating forthcoming).Sandeep

Richard Howland from “Lost Girl” reminded me of my paw-paw.Talking to people I have seen on TV is weird, it is like they are people and not people at the same time.

I’d like to start going to a few other conventions once I get a job or start making a bit of writing income. I enjoy being around people with common interests in a structured environment.

Trick

Oddly, Dragon Con might become something like New Years to me. I have felt so inspired to work since then. In the last few weeks I have worked harder at my writing than I have in months. This blog post is proof of that. I have also written and submitted a dieselpunk story. This week I am going to try to find five markets to submit to, write 600 words a day, and at least try to edit my novel. This weekend I plan to attend the Georgia Romance Writers’ monthly meeting. I hope I can keep this ball rolling; being around other people who are in the same business will help

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