Update: Experiencing Social Media Apathy

My last blog post was two months ago and I can’t say there will be another one soon after the one you are currently reading. I fell into a sort of hiatus. The kind where you don’t realize you’re taking it until you begin to notice your lack of posts on every social media outlet you’re apart of. I’m not sure when I’ll crawl back out.

Status posts on Facebook now seem trivial. Instead I share links to thoughtful readings because I myself have nothing interesting to say so why bore the rest of the people in the newsfeed despite the fact that I know they scroll past me without so much as a skim.

Tumblr posts have succumbed to reblogs of art, landscape, poetry, and important things, such as supporting authors by buying their work. I can’t seem to pull together enough motivation to begin posting my own poetry and art again. I’m not sure where I lost it.

Even my Instagram account has suffered. Apparently, I have nothing of interest to post there either. So the pictures have become more intermittent.

Perhaps, I crave more than a simple click of a button and the instant gratification of someone’s like. I’m experiencing a form of social media apathy. I desire to remove the screens and go back to what I’ve always loved even though I’ve never left it: reading, musing, drawing.

My mind goes numb listening to frat boys talk about getting wasted all the time; about stealing someone’s girlfriend; about a professor being an asshole because he yelled at some girls for talking during his lecture. Shallow. Shallow. Shallow.

Why are humans losing their depth? I mourn for the loss. I know that there are people out there who retain it, who remain different from the rest, and they are the hope I cling to.

I hope you are all well. Thank you for reading and listening.

with love and curds,

smalltowncheesehead

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Why is killing a character so damn hard?

Since I stopped working on my novel, well, at least stopped physically working on it, I realized that I’m as soft a writer as I am a person.

For the past how many weeks, I’ve been contemplating, writing in my head how my story should end. I’ve known for a while now that one of the characters must die, but I haven’t been able to bring myself to do it. Instead, I’m torturing the poor soul by keeping him alive, dragging him through my protagonist’s journey as the life literally leaks out of him.

I thought maybe my protagonist wasn’t ready to lose him. In reality, she’ll never be ready. What I didn’t realize was that I wasn’t ready for it either even though I saw it coming from the start.

As a person, I avoid death, pain, and torture. I cannot bring myself to watch horror movies. I can’t even comprehend why people would want to even though psychology tells me people are naturally inclined to watch something horrible so they can vicariously experience it, to live out their fears without the actual danger.

I didn’t know this would ooze into my writing despite the fact that my writing is an actual part of me, so obviously why wouldn’t it? I take no issue in doling out snarky asshole comments through the voices of my characters and yet cringe at the thought of actually having to write out the brutality of death. The reality in which such things happen is so jarring that I struggle with the oncoming obstacle, wondering if it’ll be the biggest hurdle I’ll face.

He must die even though he did nothing to deserve it. I’m not ready. I don’t think I’ll ever be.

I now understand why J.K. Rowling cried writing her last book of Harry Potter. It’s hard to kill the ones you love.

with love and curds,

smalltowncheesehead

In the Quiet of Things

I fell off the grid for this past month.

I started a job at the beginning of November and had to get back into the routine of normal life.

My novel has reached 50,000 words, but now I’m sitting on it because I’m trying to figure out how I want it to end, where the end should be, if my characters are even taking me there.

It’s also the holidays. I went and disappeared into the forest where my dad’s hunting cabin is and had a very nice Thanksgiving. There’s absolutely no service out there, depending upon your carrier. It’s actually quiet nice to not hear your phone buzzing for every little thing. And, I got to wander around in the woods and watch the rain turn into large clumps of snow. In just that instant, the world around me looked so different.

And lastly, there’s the Christmas gift buying, which is incredibly fun, but also time consuming.

Alas, this is all I have for now. Just minor updates and a not very entertaining or thought-provoking post.

Thank you for reading!

with love and curds,

smalltowncheesehead

The Middle of My Novel is like Hump Day

42,000 words into my novel and I’m feeling myself fizzle out until there’s no story left and the story’s not even finished.

Why am I feeling such a slump? That uphill climb that feels so difficult like when we reach the middle of the week and it’s like Friday is never gonna get here? Did I take too many days off? Did I not plan my story out enough?

Honestly, I think I let my characters guide me so much that I forgot where the story itself was intended to go. What end did I have in mind? What end do I want? Can my novel get there from where I’ve been? From where my characters have been?

I ask more questions than I can currently answer.

That’s how lost I feel in this Hump Day version of my novel. All I can do to continue forward is remind myself that once I make it to the peak everything else just rolls on down from there.

For now, I’ll be chanting, “I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.”

Carry on.

with love and curds,
smalltowncheesehead

Rough Drafting It

Hello all!

Once again, my absence has been a long one due to life being life. I’m hoping to become more active soon. Granted, I know that’s vague, but I don’t have specifics just yet.

My main task this October is to finish my novel. When October 1st rolled around, my novel was sitting at 22,186 words. Now my novel has been through some shit. I started it back in 2010 and for a year it sat at ten pages long. Yes, only ten pages. I’m unsure of why I dropped it. Perhaps, my first year of college consumed me and I forgot about it. Maybe I lost sight of my story for awhile, unsure of where I was supposed to be going with it. After I met my soul mate in 2011 and trusted him to read what I did have written, he encouraged me to see it to the end. And why shouldn’t I? I’m a writer. It’s what I do. So why did I have such a hard time completing the one thing I’ve always wanted to do? Who knows. But, the fact that my soul mate encouraged me helped. He’s not much for reading. His favorite book is Dante’s Inferno so you can imagine what it meant to me to know that he liked it as much as he did.

I’ve read to never let your lover read your work because it could wind up breaking you up or they may be too biased and not give you feedback. While I can see where this might be true, it isn’t always. In my case, it’s amazing. Writing isn’t his passion, but he supports me and believes in me enough to tell me the truth, even if I don’t like it too much. Yes, we’ve gotten into arguments over my work, but as a couple, our arguments don’t last long and are resolved quickly. He snaps me out of my stupor when I need it most.

After 2011, I worked on my novel intermittently, in between college papers and whenever I actually had free time. Then suddenly I would drop it for months on end with no given reason other than I had nothing to say and had no idea where my story was going next. I’m not the type to outline. I groaned every time I was required to make one for class. How do I write an outline for something I don’t even know I’m sure of yet? How do I write an outline when my work is guaranteed to have changed by the end? Well, I still haven’t truly outlined, but I have plotted a bit, which helps.

writer

Now that it’s 2015 and I’m almost a year out of college and hunting for a job that’s actually related for what I do, I set a goal of finishing this novel because the idea that I might not have it finished in another five years could put me in tears. I’ve been my own obstacle when it comes to finishing my novel.

So when NaNoWriMo posts started popping up for this November, and for those of you who don’t know it’s National Novel Writing Month, I made a choice. A choice to not participate in NaNoWriMo, but to finish my novel. I put aside my natural tendency to edit while I write. I put aside the desire to always have the right words to say. I put aside that I might not always know where my story is going.

And I wrote. I write. And I will write more.

Having put all of those things aside and forcing myself to obtain a word count goal every day has ensured me that I’m making progress. Even if it’s terrible work. Because, after all, that’s what revision is for. Some days I feel relief because my novel is getting there. Some days I hate it, skip it, and make up the word count the next day. Today is October 21st and I have 39,466 words. I am two days behind as that count for today should be 41,386, but I will power through and accomplish it.

By the end of October, I should have just over 50,000 words. If my story still isn’t finished when I reach that number, well, I’ll keep on writing until it is.

If you find yourself struggle bussing through your writing, just know that it’s okay if it sucks. It’s okay if you skip a day. Just remember to sit your ass down and work. It’s better to have shitty work you can revise and edit than a blank page. You can’t revise something that isn’t there.

fortune

All the luck to my fellow writers. It’s a pain, but it’s innate. Just discipline yourself and you’ll accomplish more than you know. 🙂

with love and curds,
smalltowncheesehead

Announcement!

Hey guys!
Something exciting is happening. I am finally getting around to adding my blackouts to the “Be Free” blackout page underneath the “Blackout Poetry” page sitting next to the “About.”

As of right now, there are only three pieces, which means there are 95 pieces left to add to that section.

Keep an eye out and check back! I’ll be adding more intermittently.

I hope you enjoy them 😀

Thanks.

with love and curds,
smalltowncheesehead

Every Rabbit Needs a Warren (Memoir Piece)

you snagged me with your words,
tugging at my soul
which weaved with yours
as if it knew
no other home.

The website was called GaiaOnline. You could make your own avatars and earn gold to buy items to dress up how you pleased. It was a sort of blogging/gaming platform. Not a dating website in any respect, but that didn’t stop people from finding each other. I had been playing on Gaia for six years and discovered a forum called Dirty Little Secrets.

Dirty Little Secrets was intended for secrets and confessions, all of the things you couldn’t tell anyone else, a sort of therapeutic outlet. You could post them all in the forum, knowing the other users were reading them, relating and reposting because they knew what you felt. You weren’t allowed to talk to each other in the forum, though, but people found a way around it by rephrasing their words to sound like a secret.

There was one user who attracted attention like no other and the username he had was Clitoral Bleeding.

Doesn’t sound remotely pleasant. I even curled my lip up at the sight of it. What kind of username is that anyway? The user’s avatar was a white cat head with a green squid’s body. It was as if he wasn’t even trying to look decent or make sense. However, it was the signature of the post I was attracted to the most. It was the picture of a boy wearing large Sony headphones with RayBans on. He had thick black hair cut asymmetrical in scene style. A cute, small round nose and lush full lips.

The others fussed over him. Constantly calling him Warren. All I wanted to know was who the hell this guy was and what was so great about him.

I just wanted to know him.

I found myself watching his posts, keeping track of what he said. Blush colored my cheeks the day I saw him post, “I’m crushing on Im Drawing Blanks.”

It was my username. He was crushing on me. But how? We never spoke before. I glanced at my own signature picture. My bright blonde hair and blue eyes peering out through a silver and gold masquerade mask.

And then, I received a notification that would become a symbol of pure joy: a little envelope icon stating I had received a private message.

The first words Warren ever said to me were, “I can’t believe how pretty you are!”

After that, we private messaged during every waking hour on Gaia, hearts beating with excitement when the notification would appear, filling with disappointment if it happened to be from anyone else.

He had me mesmerized with his beautiful poetics, speaking in a language I began to think only I understood, but he understood so perfectly well.

Clitoral Bleeding: “A dreamer’s words is a poet’s sonnet, let the moon shine on the pearls under your nose, lips can only hold on for so long. Keep a golden tongue and a flowing river, everything will turn into a sea of moments!”

Im Drawing Blanks: “I don’t even know what to say to that.”

Clitoral Bleeding: “Then smile on. :] ”

Im Drawing Blanks: “I will. I smile so much that I smile loudly.”

Clitoral Bleeding: “We’ll float along nicely then :] ”

The more we talked the more I needed him, had to have him. It was an indescribable urge to have Warren in my life and to keep him as mine. My core that usually felt so heavy, but somehow empty suddenly yearned for his being, for him to fill the spaces within my soul.

When we exchanged cellphone numbers and began texting, we soon started talking on the phone, allowing the receiver to be our connection. He was one state away. I was in Texas. He was in New Mexico.

So close, but not close enough.

Our voices and our words were all we had to hold onto.

I knew the moment I realized I loved him. I had yet to meet him physically, but I loved him nonetheless. Each night when we would say goodnight, I would almost slip and say those three words. I didn’t have to think about it. They were clinging to the tip of my tongue, ready to be verbalized.

I told him, “There is something I want to tell you, but I can’t say it yet.”

He responded, “I know. I want to say it, too, but we will save that for when we meet.”

For the first time, I was requited in my fervent love. No one had ever felt in the same intense wavelength as I did. I always worried about scaring a guy off because of how serious I became, because of how I wanted the relationship to actually last. Once I had gone to the lengths of pretending I didn’t like a guy in hopes of keeping him around long enough so he would fall for me.

He never did. None of them ever really did.

And here was Warren, willing to give me his soul as I was willing to give him mine, somehow knowing he was supposed to be with me and was entirely unafraid.

Grudges I Held (Memoir Piece)

Was it always your face
I peered at, or
was it merely the reflection
you wanted me to see?

In the wake of Amber’s departure, I held a bitterness that stimmed beneath my skin.
Most times I was fine, oblivious to her absence, but then Facebook intervened and brought on a fire I thought I had doused with a bucket of water.
Pictures of her drinking giant margaritas.
Pictures of her dancing in a slinky, black dress in a club.
Doing things she told me she didn’t do.
Doubt close in around my memory of her, prodding my feeling of injustice. Did she become that way after me? Or was she always that way and I just wasn’t worth the truth?
Anger surged in my veins. I didn’t know how to quell it. I had no friends. I had only Warren and as amazing and faithful as he is, it wasn’t the same. Even his interactions with friends would bring on a jealousy I could only feel ashamed of. The shame always brought on tears and Warren would let me soak his t-shirt while I sobbed, shame turning into loneliness.
Grudges held against her were kept in silence, secured in little boxes I hid beneath happier memories. Maybe under the ones of good and true friends that I still had and who just lived far away.
It wasn’t like me to hold a grudge and as time passed and we moved on with our lives, I slowly let it go.
I slowly let her go, knowing I could never speak to her again, not even wanting to as just the thought had the mark she left twinging. She wasn’t even present and I was already wincing, bracing myself for her next exit.

Fix it or Leave it (A Memoir Piece)

As many times as I’ve asked to hang out, Amber always said, “Yeah. I’ll let you know when I’m free,” and never did. She was mad or fed up or something of that nature, but how would I ever know if she wouldn’t tell me? Maybe she forgot how I could tell something was wrong with her even in texts. The way she became short and abrupt, suddenly using periods, which meant the end of the conversation to her.

My mind was cluttered with silent questions as I knew she had removed me from her life without exactly letting me know or evening explaining why.

And yet, I couldn’t figure out what I’d done, what wrong I committed, what I said. When had I been a bad friend?

I don’t know.

All of my efforts were met with a frosted tongue and turned shoulder.

But as the science of pressure goes, everything built up within me until I exploded and asked, “What happened?”

I didn’t need to specify. She knew what I was referring to.

“You got too wrapped up in Warren. You were always texting. It’s like you were here physically and not mentally.”

Heat rose in my cheeks and my chest tightened. If the texting bothered her, she could have said something, asked me to stop. I wouldn’t have minded. I was always mentally engaged, listening to her. The only reason I was “always texting” was because my relationship with Warren was hanging by a thread.

She knew this.

She knew all of it.

Yet she remained silent in some cold resentment, quietly drifting away as if I wouldn’t notice.

I noticed.

The last time I seen her she was with her sister and her sister asked, “Why don’t you two hang out anymore?”

Before I could respond, Amber answered, “That’s my fault,” gazing at me with apologetic eyes, perhaps knowing already she was going to keep our friendship in shambles, leaving me to believe otherwise.

And her absence became louder and tighter until I found myself drawing inward, peering at others with cautious eyes, wondering when they would leave.

Faded Amber

…….The silence began in pauses,
……………….blips of a second without sound
and grew into uncomfortable, shifting glances
that exchanged themselves with a tone full of teeth,
…….biting words in half,
which ended in a barrier between us,
…………..constructed by her retreating feet
…….and veil of long brown hair.
Her tinkling voice fell silent.
My phone stopped ringing;
…..the texts stopped receiving.
Plans were made to fail.
………….Then no plans existed at all.
My fingers reached out to her with my baffled thoughts
……printed upon them, dangling words in the air.
……She ignored their disjointedness, confused by my confusion,
………….disappearing into a wisp,
……………fading faster than smoke,
………not even lingering long enough
……to let me ask
….Why?