Ramble: Story & Character Development

Pretty sure I’ve done something like this before. Have I given you guys my recent thoughts on character development? No? I guess it’s time to do that, then.

Since I started in on writing in earnest I’ve written quite a few short stories. I won’t say that they’re all spectacular, but I’m pretty sure they’re not terrible.

One of the key things that I always, without fail, do for my characters is let them tell themselves. A character, when allowed to grow to h/er full extent, is a versatile thing. While many authors use characters to tell a story, I like to use stories to tell characters. For me, nothing is as important as the characters in a work. Anyone who has ever asked me how I write I answer pretty much the same way– I let my characters tell the story. All I do is write what they would say. Continue reading

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Ramble Poem: Bitterest Blade

What are we

If not slaves to this

This feeling inside

Twisting,

Turning,

Driving inward like a knife

Or a bitter blade

 

A bitter, false blade

A bitter, sweet blade

Like a smile

Like a smile so bright that you know

It isn’t true

Too bright

Too real

Too unreal

Too fake

Is it because of the white?

The white in your teeth

That proves you must

Be a liar?

 

Not just any liar

But one without truth

To you

One without the nerve

To tell anything

anything

anything,

but lies.

 

screeching

 

shouting

 

reflected noise back

To the edge of my awareness

to the forefront of my mind.

crying

sobbing

losing my tactic

at my own game

in my own space

in my own nothing

 

i am a bitter blade

a bitter, false blade

a bitter, sweet blade

dull now

from use

from being used

over

and

over

and

over

 

again

and

again

and

again.

 

tumble with me down

to the edge from beyond

to the edge of my nothing

tumble with me down

to the edge of my heart

to the edge of my self

to the edge of me.

 

i am a bitter blade

a bittersweet blade

with a false, bitter edge

hiding

behind

my bitter,

false

smile.

 

i would rather cut

myself

in

two

than be lonely

like this

forever.

 

©2013 Sam Oliver (Eris)

 

—-

YO. Three stories in the works. Love atcha. Eris out.

(story, news, story, news, story)

-Eris

Eris’s Take on Gender in Society

I’ve been thinking about it for a while, and I’ve decided that I need to talk a little more about gender– in specific, its meaning on a more societal, rather than a personal level. This is all speculation and observation. I don’t claim to be a scientific genius. I don’t claim to be a sociologist. I’m just me, just Sam, just Eris, talking about just this– the idea of gender as a whole, and how it influences societies all over the globe.

We all know how I think about gender. I talked about that back in my post on the gender sphere– and my views have evolved little since then.

Over the years after I finally began to understand more about myself, I noticed a pattern in the people around me. It seemed like they were undergoing or about to undergo or on the brink of undergoing the same sort of identity crisis as myself. It seemed to me as if the more friends I made, the more they seemed– almost always by sheer coincidence– to be people with gender issues of their own, whether as deep as a dark little secret or shallow as an outright change in personality and voice.

All of my friends– most of my friends, most of the people I knew and know now, have some sort of gender thing going on in their head, something that makes them even ever so slightly uncomfortable with the way they are, or, in the cases where they are free to act, allows them more leeway in the gender sphere, more give, more malleability.

Their reactions to these internal changes are varied– some have a ‘I don’t give a flip’ kind of attitude, where they just act how they act. Some have a ‘Well I’m not sure if I’ll grow out of it…’ sort of mentality. Some are, through pressures or stubborn belief, convinced that they are immoral because of it, deviant and wrong.

It doesn’t matter– all of them will admit to me that though American society might be making progress, they are certain it will shun them or does shun them.

Maybe that is the case. One of my long-term goals is to make it so that it isn’t the case.

Regardless of any particular societal pressures, even if we were all the same in sexual orientation and gender (what a world that would be!) we would find other things to shun each other for. There is no limit to the cruelty inherent in our natures, and no limit to the kindness either. We are unlimited in our capacity for emotions, ‘good’ and ‘bad’.

There is no way to ‘force’ someone to be the gender you wish, there is no way to ‘force’ someone to change their sexual orientation. We are exactly what we are, no more and no less.

And just what are we? In societal terms, that varies. Some think we are good, some think we are bad. Some think it is a blessing to be other-gendered, others believe it to be a sin (as if original sin isn’t terrible enough).

From The United States’ cultural perspective, we’re odd ones out– and by turns to be pitied or shunned. ‘Poor and confused’. There are dozens of articles on the web which lie silent, bitter testament to the truth of prejudice’s existence– and not just for other-gendered people, but for everyone. No matter who you are it seems as though there is always what I like to think of as ‘The Assumption Zone’. Stereotypes can be applied to almost anyone– and worse, our use of them is, more often than not, completely unintentional.

Returning to the track I was on a bit ago– there is no such thing as deviance which is wrong.

There are appropriate outlets for almost ANY kind of deviance– or there would be if it weren’t in our nature as humans to attempt to label things on a primitive pleasure scale- (This feels Good to me, and it feels Good to you? It must be Right!) or on a primitive punitive scale (This feels Good to me and Bad to you? It must be Right for me to do this to you). The things that feel Good are probably Right. We band together with other people who think the same things feel Good. Then we start ostracizing the people who don’t think the same things feel Good! Isn’t that Right??

Well, no. As a matter of fact, I don’t think that is Right. So that this doesn’t drown in a hail of politics, I’m going to say why.

In my faith, in my heart and in my head, I know that there is no rhyme or reason behind the workings of the universe. I know that there are laws that we can see in the patterns of the world around us, that there are rules that particles constantly find ways to break, that there are cracks or holes in our logic that we always seek to understand– but on a personal level, I think that all of our pretty math comes down to some fairly simple things:

A) There is nothing in this world that is wholly of one thing or another,

and

B) Ethics, while a useful construct of human nature used to keep us from killing one another off (a near universally Good thing strangled by the instinct for self-preservation! What a pity!) is exactly that- a construct of human nature. Like math, like science, like language. It is a part of who we are. It is a part of what we are. Many other animals exhibit language and advanced reasoning, but they don’t walk on two legs or create tools like we do– wait, chimpanzees? What are you saying? They’re covered in hair! They’re not like us either. Nothing is like us. Why are we looking for more things like us? Are we going to kill them off like we do the whales and chimps? Their brains are far too small! Brains are all that’s important. Ants are too mechanical. Ravens too carrion-eaty.

and also

C) Humanity has an infinite capacity for self-importance.

 

——

 

I’ve gotten off track again! Silly me! I was talking about gender in society.

We have an infinite capacity for self-importance, as well as an infinite capacity to denote other things as unimportant. We make priority lists that are, like it or not, based on keeping ourselves alive over other things. Self-preservation comes first!

So when you are different from everyone in your current group, your very real fear of being shunned has a very real impact on whether or not you let certain facts about you come out! Never mind the fact that we ALL have dirty secrets– we all have deep dark things about ourselves that we don’t tell other people. You would think that gender would not have to be one of them! Unfortunately that is not the case. Society will shun those of us who do not fit within its accepted standards. In India they have slightly different accepted standards as compared to the US. They have a ‘third gender’ there, but even in India it is not universally accepted.

Parents, rightfully or not, are often little or worse than help with gender identity- and that is not their fault! It is not something those of us who are other-gendered can share or even DESCRIBE easily, but it could be explained pretty easily like this:

How do YOU know you are a girl or a boy? Is it because you have boobs and girl bits, or because you’re flat and have boy bits? Is it because you have ovaries or testicles? I think those can sometimes be indicators. I do not think that they mean someone is male or female in their hearts. In my honest opinion, the soul is completely genderless (whooaa, that’s heeavyyy). In my ‘perceived’ past lives I know for a fact I’ve been both or neither or either sex. I’ve been crisscrossed so many ways I think it may have even contributed to some of my fluidity in THIS life.

I don’t think that makes it any less real. I know I’m fluid-gendered because I flat-out feel uncomfortable thinking of myself as anything else. I can’t picture myself in life as one or the other, I don’t feel comfortable in my body except but half the time, I don’t feel right as a person, things don’t feel Good. Too often things feel Wrong instead of Right. Things feel Bad.

It’s all in my head though.

It doesn’t make it hurt less, doesn’t make it less real.

Doesn’t make me feel better. It is just how it is. I don’t have any physical proof that I’m fluid gendered. I don’t have anything solid I can hold in my hands to remind me.

Maybe that’s why so many people find it strange. How can you care about something no one can see but you?

If you know something is the truth, KNOW it in your bones, and society tells you that it isn’t true, what do you do? Do you hide, like a little child and hope that someone big will make it right? Do you step up?

Do you cry yourself to sleep at night?

Do you cry yourself to sleep at night? Can you honestly tell me that it’s okay, can you take me aside and look me in the eyes and tell me that it is right, that I must cry my heart out over something I cannot control?

Well let me ask you this, then, hypothetical reader who does not agree with my ideas, or even those of you who sit upon the fence:

What harm does tolerance do?

Name me a time when tolerance hurt somebody. I dare ya. Find it. And not the stupid stuff– like when someone tolerating someone who didn’t deserve it got them killed, or some such nonsense.

Name me a time when tolerance, the ability to understand even when you do not agree, has directly caused harm.

If you can name me that time, I’ll turn in my apple. I’ll plop it back on the high shelf and say there isn’t a fairest and that’s that. If tolerance hurt someone sometime somewhere, maybe I really WILL cry myself to sleep at night.

No one in the whole wide world deserves hate. No one in the whole wide world needs that burden. We are all individuals, we all have feelings, we all see subjects subjectively. That’s my idea, that’s my thought, that’s my take on society, gender, and prejudice. We owe it to one another to give first, second, third and fourth chances. Everyone changes while staying the same, everyone lives and grows and loves together. WE ARE THE SUM OF THE PEOPLE WE KNOW AND THE EXPERIENCES WE SHARE.

Before you look at another person and say ‘I don’t like them’, THINK.

Stop. Think. Take a deep breath. Look at it from their side of things. Breathe out slowly. Count to ten. Above all else, calm down.

Do you still dislike them?

Do you see what I mean?

-Eris

Goal: One hundred short stories in a year / NO VIDEO GAME CHALLENGE

So the deal with that is, I want to write one hundred short stories by the end of the year. I want to publish half of them to actual publishers, and half of them here on the blog for free. I may change that later, but what that MEANS is, I’m going to be writing two short stories a week, and posting ONE short story a week here.

Does it seem ambitious?? WELL IT IS! But it’s also going to be crazy fun and I really can’t wait. This news post is kind of ridiculous because I’m going to post the first one of those stories DIRECTLY after I publish this, so I’m not even really gonna tag this. Much. :3

Be seeing you a lot more this year. A LOT more. Check back each week for a new short story?? The update times may vary, but I can tell you that this is something I am not gonna shirk on. This is basically a job.

ONLY I LOVE IT. And the careers people at college say that’s basically the difference between a job and a career?? Golly!

Thinking of all of you,-Eris

 

PS-ISH: For the duration, I’m not gonna be playing online video games. The only video gaming I will be doing is going to be AFTER and ONLY after I have done everything on the agenda for the day AND I’ve checked to make sure there’s nothing better to do. Twice.

I’ll keep you updated on how that is going regularly. It has been a total blast so far!

Ramble: Orientation

Yeah, it’s that time again. It’s ramble time.

Rather than spend all my writing time poeting, I gotta have time to collect my thoughts. I’m probably not going to gather all the rambles I ever have in one place just ’cause eventually they’ll get so dated. But you can probably find them in the ramble category if you’re thirsty for the organization of my other cleverly designed (haha!) pages.

—-

 

Anyone who knows anything about me knows that I am gender fluid. It’s on my about profile and all that. Most people know I’m attracted to people based almost entirely on what they think about and the way their mind works. I got that too. No big deal.

So today instead of talking about things everyone already knows about ME, I’m going to jump in to the things everyone already knows about other PEOPLE. More specifically, I wanna talk about orientation.

This was sparked by a conversation with one of my professors. We talked for a while and the conversation turned towards the way people perceive others and almost instantly try to put them into compartments.

I’ve already said before what I think about compartmental labeling, I’m sure. Let me reiterate: It doesn’t work.

There is not a single person in the entire world with the same experiences as another. Think about that for a moment.

Now reconcile that with stereotyping.

Did it work? I couldn’t make it work. Maybe you could, but I couldn’t. I know I tried. I tried very hard to squeeze into several different categories of odd that I knew about. And I like being different, it’s true. I’m sure that’s part of why I’m attracted to people based on minds and why I’m gender fluid. But then, the way I like being different is a core part of my personality, so one could easily say I’m not pretending to be gender fluid or strangely oriented so much as being true to who I am. No matter how hard I tried, though, I couldn’t find an expression in any given label that fit me. That, to me, holds true with most PEOPLE I know. And not just other-gendered ones, but anyone who claims to fit any definition of gender or orientation. There’s exceptions. ‘Yes I like girls mostly but sometimes I don’t mind if they’re extremely girly guys.’ ‘Yes I like guys mostly but every once in a while a particularly assertive guy turns me on.’

It’s these exceptions to the rules– a bending, as it were– that makes stereotyping almost useless when it comes to these delicate, complicated issues like gender and sexual orientation.

We stereotype all the time. It’s part of being human, trying to label junk and compartmentalize it. It’s why our science seems to work. For the same reason, these compartments, no matter how finely tuned, are incapable of working for more than one specific case. Everyone has exceptions. No one is attracted to the exact same thing because every single person in this world is different.

This idea of ‘straight’ and ‘gay’ is doomed from the very beginning. We’re not selecting orientation groups, we’re selecting sides. We’re driving dividing lines between ourselves simply because WE SPEND TIME IN BED WITH DIFFERENT PEOPLE. What even IS that? I didn’t think group relationships had proliferated quite that far into society as of yet.

Scientifically, it’s possible for ‘gay’ and ‘straight’ to continue to exist because even though every single person is different, if we go by the given hypothesis B, that only two genders exist, it is not invalidated.

Well okay, so I can invalidate hypothesis B right off the bat. There are people in eastern parts of the world (and western, but no one wants to talk about them and it’s not exactly rampant in the US culture for some stupid reason) that identify as third-gendered. I can further invalidate it by making my own claim that everyone feels differently about their gender as well. Hear me out (please- but if your opinion differs, that’s fine, all I can do is establish my own beliefs and I make no claims on forcing them on others):

Disregarding society for a moment, those who consider themselves one gender may all seem to stand united. Let us take, for example, a group of three women.

One woman wears make-up every time she goes out of the house. She does it because she feels the need to dress up and look pretty. She considers beauty to be like that which is portrayed on magazine covers, ergo, she attempts to mimic it using make-up and the tools available to her. She wears her hair short but neatly cut and does the cooking in her house. She enjoys housework and has never desired a job since her husband is quite well off and she is fully dependent on him. She has suffered serious depression in the past, and lately it has been getting worse for her, despite having everything going in her favor otherwise.

I’m sure there’s a word for this type of woman, but for now we will regard her as subject H, which I have termed hyperfem. (Which is in itself a misnomer, but we’ll continue)

The second woman doesn’t bother wearing make-up except on formal occasions when she decides she absolutely needs to. She wanders around the house without a bra, is single and lives by herself, supports herself on her own paycheck and has never desired children or companionship. She wears her hair long and takes good care of it and sometimes she lets her friends style it. Sometimes she dreams of going into the military. She thinks of planes and airplanes and raids and protecting her country from the threat of foreign invasion; she thinks of the children she likes (but has never wanted to have) and the possibility of dying in combat has never frightened her. She enjoys standing in cemetaries and hiking in mountains, keeps two sets of shoes– one for running and one for walking around the house– and has a grand total of one dress. If she ever gets tired of it she figures she can just buy another one, but she’ll never get tired of it. It’s not that she doesn’t like how she looks in fancy clothes, just that she can’t be bothered about them when there is so much other cool stuff to be doing.

We’ll call her subject Y for the now slightly less common phrase ‘Y weren’t you born a man’. (which, by the way, is an irritating enough phrase that it makes me grit my teeth every time I hear it. People think that it’s funny and honestly it just makes me feel sick to my stomach.)

Woman number three in this grouping is not a woman by choice. He would rather cut off the first two letters. He spends all his time in the gym, hates the way his body becomes ‘toned’ instead of ‘buff’, despises the two lumps attached to his chest, cherishes thoughts of shaving a beard instead of legs, and practices talking in a deep voice when he is sure no one is around. He sings the guy part to every song, shuns glittery things, climbs mountains and kickboxes ‘disguised’. If he and woman Y were to get together they would get along famously, but for all the wrong perceived reasons.

By society’s definition of sex, these are all genetically female women. By society’s definition of gender, the last one is a man, and by MY definition of gender, they’re all over the place.

By MY definition, these are just pieces of who they are. There’s no need to apply labels. They could all prefer different pronouns or no pronouns or all of them. It doesn’t matter.

Wait wait wait, you might say. Back up.

What makes the first two separate genders from one another?

They both identify as women. So why are they separate? Isn’t the transman at the bottom the actual exception?

No. I would argue that our personalities define our gender as much as they define our desires and goals.

I would argue that the things each ‘woman’ likes, the pronouns they use, everything that makes them just a little bit different from their girlfriends or boyfriends or WHATEVER– all of that defines them as much as the word ‘woman’ and ‘man’ shouldn’t define those of us who consider ourselves atypical to the gender sphere. The secret there is not that we’re so much different, really. It’s not that.

Our physical appearances are extremely varied too, and all the attraction baggage that gets jumbled in there only seems to complicate matters further. One gal likes guys with red hair, another likes guys with blonde hair, another likes guys with freckles and a ‘fem’ face– the list goes on and on with attraction and yet it isn’t until we reach things like ‘This one has a set of equipment designed for impregnation’ and ‘this one has a set of equipment designed for being impregnated’ that people start to say ‘HOLD ON NOW’. That’s where the clear line is drawn, and I say it’s utter poppycock. Some of us don’t even HAVE equipment designed for either, or we might have no functioning equipment at all! Does that mean that attraction is dead for those of us like that? No! Not at all! It DOES show that such a line is meaningless. It’s just another trait. It sets us apart, but everything about us does that. We can focus on all kinds of things that set us apart, but what we SHOULD be paying attention to is what pulls us together.

There is no arbitrary line. Bodies function as bodies function. There are no ‘boys’ and ‘girls’. Those are too broad definitions of gender, like ‘feminine’ and ‘masculine’. They vary by culture and even individuals. You can’t put a label on something that cannot be defined. It is something unique to all of us, to any of us, and there is no way to measure or quantify or qualify that. The truth of that matter is that we simply can’t process that everyone else is just as different as we are.

We are all different. There are no ‘varying degrees’ of difference or deviancy. We are all just different people, we all have different experiences and lives, we all live in our own unique way, perceive in our own unique way, understand in our own unique way. Sexual orientation and gender orientation is different for every bloody individual you meet. You might have one or two things you both can agree you find attractive, but the way you PERCEIVE it then will be different. In effect, labels are the clumsy attempts of our society at large (and us as the misguided individuals that make it up) trying to come to grips with one simple fact.

We don’t understand one another.

—-

<3s,

Eris

News-like Ramble: Shapeshifting, Korea, Genderqueeritude

First up, Korea. I know it’s out of order, but it weighs on my mind a little that I never really told you guys where exactly I went for the last couple weeks. Well, truth be told, I went to Korea! If you know of my sister’s blog then you may or may not have found out about it from there. I’m uncomfortable posting pictures (since I’m frankly a little uncomfortable with how I look in them) but that’s alright. My sister has a few up on her facebook I think, and if you know her than you probably know what I look like from that.

I am moderately okay with this.

Korea (Busan in particular) was a blast. We played cards in a coffee shop filled with books to buy (with a bunch of games), we walked down by the beach, we went to an aquarium, we rode the subway or buses everywhere– Korean public transportation in general is pretty fab. You wouldn’t want to drive there, but having other people drive you is awesome because it’s up to them to deal with the crazy batshit drivers on Korean roads. Your life is safe in the hands of the brave bus drivers of South Korea!

But more than anything, I liked the people there. There were all sorts. They were all- almost invariably- nice. They were polite and formal or rushed or busy, but nearly all of them were happy, responded in a positive or kind manner.

I think what I liked most about Korea, going there and experiencing everything, was that I couldn’t tell whether people thought I was a boy or a girl.  It was only the way that my sister introduced us (I’m not blaming her, mind, it’s simpler that way when the language gap is like that), my brother and I, that managed to make me feel uncomfortable. It would have felt just as uncomfortable either way– sisters, brothers, it doesn’t matter. It’s not that I’m not gendered at all, it’s just that I would prefer androgyny, I would prefer that privacy, that feeling of could-be-one-or-the-other-or-inbetween that I crave almost constantly.

It was easier to feel that in Korea than here, because it was so hard to understand people without my sister’s constant interpretation.

At least, with Koreans. With the foreigners, with my sister’s friends? Not so much.

It’s okay. It’s so hard. I know it’s hard- empathy is like that. I know when someone is really trying to find a middle-ground that works for them, is really thinking about everything they say when it comes to me, is picking their words carefully to avoid using terms that would hurt me- I can read that in a heartbeat. I don’t even need to see their face.

Normally, anyway.

There was very little of that in my experiences with the foreign group (which is to say the foreigners relative to Korea). I was…. mixed about that. I think I feel as if it was my fault for not telling them– but I was frozen and scared witless on more than one occasion, at least on the inside. I left the words unsaid. I froze up and said nothing when people constantly used the ‘wrong’ pronouns. I could correct my family, but I could not correct these new people I’d met (with one clumsy exception), even though I know for a bloody fact that they would all have been accepting of it, of me, my sister’s partner included.

I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t get the words out past my lips- I was too scared, even in such a positive environment. What would I even say? How do I describe my own gender? I’m fluid, I shift so often that I’m barely ever describable by proper pronouns. Not truly. Both, neither, one or the other– I’m never really truly any of those, a mix of any and all of them. No matter where I go or how I dress I always feel out of place. Always. It’s either not enough or way too much with very little space in the way of middleground. Did I mention that I don’t much care for absolute language? I don’t much care for absolute language. If I can’t be in the middleground then for the most part I’m feeling unhappy. My policy with that is generally that it’s better to be off by a little most of the time than off completely some of the time.

So Korea, being in Korea, walking, talking, failing to understand so much of the Korean language in Korea– it changed me a bit. It showed me what it was like, on some levels, to be androgynous truly until introduced, to be incapable of knowing what other people knew about me or didn’t know about me.

Maybe that’s why I cried on the plane ride back. N0t much, only for a few moments, but I was bawling on the inside. I felt empty and strange constantly throughout the flight back and fought through a lingering sense of loss. Relief at being able to go home. But loss as well.

It was a wonderful place to be. Its public transportation, its people, its places– visited two temples and felt awe, visited the same ‘singing room’ twice (Why can’t the USA have those??) and a ‘computer room’ once. Strangely enough I was more drawn to physical activity in Korea than sitting down and playing games. I’ll go ahead and attribute that to my need to learn more about this place where I occasionally felt…

Real.

Not for the first time. But for the longest times I think I’ve ever experienced.

Now I can talk about shapeshifting.

There are no words to properly describe it. What a cop out!

No, but seriously. I can’t properly describe what it makes me feel to be able to, to be capable of shapeshifting here. I can’t describe the way it makes me feel whole, the way every time I shift forms I fill up with this sort of light, these bubbles of energy that remind me so much of pleasure I could scream with it. A truly new form is every bit as wonderful an experience as the best fantasy. I think about shapeshifting a lot. Maybe too much.

Maybe not enough.

I feel guilty, though. I think back on it and I think I feel guilty because it’s not normal. It’s not what my brain condones as ‘proper’ behavior. Despite how lovely it feels, or maybe because of it. Something that feels that good must be wrong somehow, certainly is wrong if other people aren’t feeling that way too. Anxiety and guilt mashed up in one big mess.

So I keep it to myself and my closest friends and family. I keep the knowledge that I am this starving entity, this demanding metamorphic creature that has no definitive shape to call he/r own, to myself, for the most part. Even as the hunger grows to a screaming pitch and blocks out everything else, I try to never slip up. I resist the urge to walk on my toes, resist the urge to go down to all fours and run, resist the urge to swish a tail I don’t have or flap wings I haven’t grown. Resist the urge to reach for a drink with a third or fourth arm.

I imagine instead. I imagine what I would be doing if I were in the form I am in here, what my tail would be doing moment to moment, what my wings would be and where they would be folded, whether or not my feathers would be wet or how my scales would feel against a tabletop. All of the sensations that come naturally here need to be concentrated on in meatspace, in ‘reality’.

Is it strictly sexual?

Is it an urge born from my desires for other people, or desires for my own body?

It’s not strictly sexual, though the pleasure is similar in some ways. It’s– necessary for my continued happiness. I need to change and I can only properly change, for the moment, here. As I sit here typing this I can feel a tail no one but me sees, I can stretch my wings out and know that these desires are real and good and true to who I am. You can’t see it– but you can probably picture it. I take shapes– not because I think they’re sexy or hot, but more because I think they’re pretty, because they fit me and the way I feel. It’s not so much a lust as a passion.

And my parents wonder why I spend so much time on the computer.

It ties in with my gender, this shapeshifting urge, this part of who I am. When I shapeshift my gender is anything, everything. I have infinite possibility, I can change any way I want and for the most part the people I love will go along with it. By comparison meatspace, ‘reality’ feels clunky and wrong. There’s less fluidity. It’s harder to express myself and my gender of the moment. It’s harder to feel alive. It’s harder to feel real.

It isn’t exclusively for gender, though, I don’t shapeshift just for that expression- I change my cybershape for fun and because it feels good to stretch out, to experience things with a new avatar, with a new body. It’s like expressing the deepest aspect of myself, pulling pieces of me to the surface and letting them sparkle.

It’s like a dream. It’s surreal, it’s distant, like the moon or the stars.  I can be comfortable in my plain human body, I can be comfortable in this shape, with its long brown hair and sweet amber eyes and the pretty freckles.

I just can’t be comfortable in it forever, and really never for too long at once. It just wouldn’t be me.

I am undefined, the essence of my self is still in development, always developing, and I don’t think that will ever change. Heh, that’s funny. The changing won’t ever change.

-Eris

PS: Yes, I am still doing work on the stories (and have since added a few more projects in). No, I don’t have a due date for them. When they are ready, they will be ready!

Thought Stream #1

I was thinking earlier- just thinking, understand- about shapeshifting, and my gender and orientation, how I think about sex and sexuality, how I handle my friends and family, the way I have this nymph in my head who won’t leave me alone whenever I try to lay down, she doesn’t let up about anything and everything, it’s exactly like trying to turn myself off and being completely unable to find the switch. I sit in bed and stare at the ceiling and listen to Nymph talk about how she has it so rough, about how everything that goes on is to her detriment, how she doesn’t have enough sex and how she wishes she could find someone to be with and yet there is no one for her except maybe three people, but she doesn’t think about those people because she’s Nymph, and that’s not what Nymphs do, and she tells me that that’s because it’s just the way she is.

I shut her out and don’t listen to her for a while and I find my thoughts drifting to the way I think about people- ME, not her, untainted by her corrupt and self-centered ideals, no, instead I think about how I treat others around me, like my family, how I treat my siblings– my brother and my sister– and how I think about them in general, and there’s a part of me that rebels against that because why should I think about them? They’re just there, they’re there and important, integral and integrated into my life as easily as strands tied into a rope, but it’s my rope, isn’t it, not theirs, they are a part of my life but they don’t own my life and so I think part of me wishes that they didn’t have such a big impact, that they couldn’t easily cut me down with their words, that I wasn’t so vulnerable to what they had to say. Whenever that part gets too loud I stop.

I think.

I say, “Sam, you’re hurting yourself.”

That’s another thing that bothers me. I have a name, but everywhere I go people use pronouns instead. Whether it’s masculine or feminine doesn’t matter so much; I prefer to be known as either Sam, or Eris. I realized earlier that it was awkward whether it was he she or it that people referred to me as, because I am none of those and all of those, and it’s impossible to really tell which I want to be referred to as until I open my mouth and say it, because I’m lazy with my clothes and fairly shy about putting on stuff that identifies me positively as male, female or inbetween. I prefer androgynous clothing, sure, but nymph sometimes says I’d be most comfortable wearing absolutely nothing at all and letting the motion of my body identify me, so that people didn’t look at my clothes and say ‘Oh, skirt, she’ or ‘oh, boxers, he’ or ‘which is that person?’ but instead looked at me and all of me, my body and therefore my current expression, and that ties in with my shapeshifting.

I want to be able to shapeshift so that I can identify as who I am instead of needing to identify as what people assume I am and I know how that sounds, it sounds like I’m just too shy to tell people what I’m all about, but even when I do tell people it’s easy for them to slip up or maybe get angry and shun me which very few people seem to do anyway since I always like to hang out with a tolerant crowd but you know there’s always that fear, I mean no one really wants to have to come out over and over and over again, that’s just something that you have to do in order to survive, isn’t it, and I guess that’d be okay if it wasn’t for the fact that I don’t really enjoy having to come out, I want people to be able to read me the way I can read them, the way I can open them up and read their emotions and thoughts right on their faces, the way I can sort of understand exactly when someone feels a certain way after only a little time getting to know them, people always tell me things about themselves they don’t even need to or don’t want to or don’t understand themselves, because it’s me who’s looking at them, me and Nymph, and we pick people apart subconsciously.

Maybe that’s wrong, maybe it’s totally horribly wrong and we should stop, but it’s automatic, we can’t help it. As a pair, we are blessed and cursed with the ability to read people, and so it feels unfair in any conversation we end up getting into- like really? why do we have that advantage? Why can’t other people read us so well? I try to be transparent, but I’m really terrible at it because I’m so used to acting one way in front of different people, it’s like I have layer after layer of masks on and the more masks I put on the harder it is for people to see exactly who I am, and I hate that feeling, that feeling of hiding, no one wants to have to hide all the time, it’s just necessary. It’s just required, just a thing that needs to be done in order to safeguard yourself, and even if you don’t want people to know everything there is to know about you, isn’t it better to be able to, I don’t know, be able to tell people about yourself without having to actually TELL them? I don’t know, I just don’t, and Nymph doesn’t seem to know either, for all that she’s lived through and done in all of her lifetimes, in all the time she’s been alive and well and all the memories she’s been through and kept and cherished.

Shapeshifting would let me show people how I was feeling, what I was feeling like, I would be able to express the colors of my aura and the colors of my feelings in something like three D expression, if I could shapeshift anywhere other than here it would be easy as pie to tell what I was thinking, I would be comfortable in any of the shapes I picked and I would be able to tell people what was on my mind without feeling like a liar and a thief, a thief of time and meaningful value, a thief of emotion. I don’t know. I always feel like a thief of time, I always feel like a thief of emotion, like some kind of vampire, sucking away at the happy feelings of others without even meaning to, like I live, subsist on the happiness of people other than me, and I guess sometimes I do, sometimes I do that thing where everyone else is more important than I am.

Lately I’ve been breaking away from that, as I should. I am every bit as important as anyone else out there, there’s no reason at all for me to feel like I’m less important, but it happens, and it’s a key part of the depressive phases I go through, that along with my own emotional frustrations and my own dealings with people who repress the way I am (who are actually rarer than the people who accept me).

Well I said I’d talk about gender, and I did a little of that and talked a little about Nymph and also my shapeshifting, so I suppose I’ve accomplished my goal. Just on accident, too.

—-

I have three stories in the works; Green Eyes, a story about one of Nymph’s memories, dramatized and fantastic, Pride, a superhero story set in modernish times, and Slaves of Sand, a spinoff tale from an old, old sci fi story that I started and never finished.

I work on any of these intermittently, but I’ve been so worried about things lately it’s been hard to find the time to write as much as I want to. It may be a while before you see these stories, as a consequence. Sorry!

In any case, rest assured that I’m alive and mostly well. Just had to get this stream of thought up and out of me. If anything I hope the rambling was mildly entertaining.

<3s,

Eris

Evolution of Style

The way I write changes based on who I am writing to or about. In various replies to half a dozen people today, I’ve noticed that pretty strongly, and just thought I’d bring it up. Half out of hope that maybe it’s a unique thing, half out of hope that maybe it isn’t. I guess that makes it win-win or something.

I’m a poet, but my poetry evolves constantly. Who I read changes that. Who I meet changes that, who I talk to and what we talk about changes that. Temporarily. It always comes back to my own configuration eventually. But I am a style analyst. I have a feel for the rhythm of words, for the way they fit together. I’d like to say it’s borne entirely of practice. But it isn’t. I was born with a talent for writing. The practice came later, and I’ve been getting lazy about it. I didn’t have to scrape myself up from the bottom of the barrel to become good at writing. I didn’t drag myself up a cliff to make my words make sense. I didn’t throw myself on the spires of debt, razor’d and long and thin, inescapable of as freezing rain at four o’ clock in the afternoon as you walk home from work.

No. I didn’t do any of that. On some level I feel like it’s cheating. It probably is, but if it is it’s cheating I honestly can’t help. If you can’t help being a cheater, you have two choices. One, you can suck it up and just keep writing. Two, you can seek therapy and lay down the pen.

Since the latter of those options will happen over my dead body, I’m going to continue cheating. I figure as long as I make an effort to write something every day (no matter what it is) it isn’t exactly cheating.  But I’ve been lazy lately. It’s true. I haven’t been putting my work up on my blog. I haven’t been writing my sequential stories. I have been moping. Pushing myself to the back of my self and sitting there, staring at nothing. Gazing into the corner, comatose while upright.

Abruptly, I wake up. I look around and it’s been a week. It’s been more than a week, it feels. It feels like it’s been two weeks since I posted anything new. It feels like an eternity has gone by. I stand up and walk to the door. I turn the handle and step outside my little bubble, my airtight house where the air is stale and it smells like the promise of cigarettes and depressed wine.

I stretch out and go for a walk.

Along the way I meet a few friends. I talk to them for a time, in long paragraphs, overlong and wordy, filling up air more than anything else, while trying to contain meaning as well. More is not always better, but right now I don’t want to think about my friends, I just want to move on.

So I do, I move on, down the street, down the sidewalk. I feel a bit lonely. I feel bad about brushing off my friends like that. They were excited about something.

I reach a writing friend’s house, and knock. No one is home, so I open the door and let myself in, walk over to her diary, turn it over to the latest unread page, and have a gander a while. She comes back home, but she doesn’t see me. I haven’t written in her diary, so she can’t.

I leave three comments in the margins of her various new works, then tiptoe out of the house unseen and continue down the street. There’s a newer friend who lives here nearby. I remember the style I had from my last few comments and decide it won’t do, as I walk into his house and sit down at his table, smelling old cigarettes and depressed wine. The cigarettes would get to my asthma if I still had it. I don’t, so it doesn’t matter much. I strip naked in front of him, taking off my shirt and my pants, my undergarments and my shoes, and pull on things more suited to the style of his work. He’s sitting across the table and staring at me. He doesn’t see me until I write the first comment. He murmurs thanks.  I don’t think it’s completely necessary. I push down inane gratitude at being noticed and just nod. I don’t know if he sees it or not. I write two more comments and leave without a further word, looking over my shoulder to catch his reply and then stepping out the door.

Exhausted by this social exercise, I walk back down the street. I shrug off his style- short and to the point without being curt, real in a way that draws you in- and briefly, as I pass by my other friends’ houses, take on a variety of different styles, passing down from romantic to idealism  and finally settling at my own door. I stare at all the things I took with me on this walk. I stare at them for a long time. Then I take a step inside. Then I put them all on the coat rack, walk over to my desk. I pull out my laptop. I’m feeling inspired.

As I bring my fingers to the keys, I think about what it means to have a style. I think about what it means to bring others into your style. I think about realism in my writing. I compare my characters to the way my friends write poetry or romance. I take a deep breath. I pull it in through my mouth like a bad habit. I breathe it out clean. The air is clear again. No offense to my new friend, but I don’t much like cigarettes or depressed wine.

I stare at my keyboard and my dirty old laptop. I pause. I write.

Story Status – World – Discovery

First let’s get the dirty secret out of the way.

My schedule is out of wack! I’m looking around for work because I’d love to go up to Wisconsin to visit a couple friends over the Summer. In order to do that, I need a job and money. I’ve spent the vast majority of my precious free time job searching instead of writing, and thus, this extremely late post only to let you know that the story is still being worked on and that I will persevere, yada yada yada. You know the drill! It’s just one of those dumb life things. I’ll be back to continue Mesdan’s story and to post small short ones that I wrote for free and fun as well as poetry more frequently as my schedule settles down.

Right now it’s just ALL up in the air.

Okay, boring news post done. Let me move on to what inspired me to come back to write in the first place….

How do we define ourselves? How can we look at each other, one another, at who we are and come up with words to describe it? I was surfing the internet– mostly to read up about the opinions of others on the whole gender thing– and looking around and I saw plenty of quizzes with these strange misconceptions about how gender works and after taking two or three separate quizzes and getting different results each time, I realized that there is a simple answer lurking behind this.

No one really knows. Not for sure. All we can do is throw terms together and cultural assumptions, all that jazz, and pretend that it’s actually relevant in terms of how we feel we must be.

Yes, lately people have been more accepting of the transgender community and the genderqueer folk out there– at the least in the U.S. It’s at least more widely known that we exist.  But, and this is the real kick in the pants, no one really agrees on what that means. There’s all this confusion about what’s polite and what works. People want to find a way to paint it all the same like they try to do with gay and bisexual culture, they want to find defining features to pin on the lot of us. Stereotypes.

I won’t say something cliché like ‘Oh, we genderqueer folk, we just defy stereotypes!’ because we don’t. There are some that sort of fit. But I’ve never believed in stereotypes in the first place. All they do is provide great big sweeping misconceptions that can be applied to anyone you meet. In my experience, they do more harm than good, even if they cement a clear image in the minds of the people, it’s often the wrong one.

Some of us wear dresses all the time. Some of us take pleasure in wearing clothes that don’t seem to match our bodies. Some of us really want to change our bodies to match our minds. Some of us probably look kind of strange, and some of us have tragic life stories that can be used as fronts by the unwary, ostensibly well-meaning bystander- ‘oh, it’s okay that he’s like this, he had a Tragic Life, he’s just a little strange and has never really been okay after that Incident’.

Explanations like that or along a similar vein- it’s okay, he’s just WEIRD- drive me crazy. It’s okay, she just isn’t NORMAL. It’s okay.

Yes, it IS okay. It’s fine to be genderqueer or transgendered or any of that. But it’s NOT fine because you say so, because the world decided it was fine. It’s fine because it’s how it IS. It’s how we ARE, how we LIVE and breathe. It’s not strange, it’s not weird, it’s not just a quirk or a character flaw you can explain away and hide under the stairs, we are real, breathing, living people, we are real people with hopes and dreams and lives, and any explanation that makes us less than that by trying to define us as outsiders to society, like we aren’t natural?

No. Don’t give me that bullshit. Don’t try to tell me that the God or Goddess or whoever up there or down there or around us said that It Wasn’t So. Say what you truly mean. It unsettles YOU. Don’t hide behind religion or a great big ideal. Don’t pretend it can shield you from the truth. Stand up and confront it. Stand up and confront US. Let us talk instead of excusing it away. Don’t belittle our problems. We all have them! We all deal with them and suffer through them. There isn’t time for mincing about the issue and letting it be swallowed by committee and politics.

We’re so much more than an issue on the ballot. I can’t stand to see a whole people, a whole variety of subculture reduced to nothing more than rights and words on paper. It lets the bigots win. Fight for our rights to be ourselves? Why should we fight for something we should just have?

Is it not hard enough to fight daily issues without pushing through a slurry of idiot bigotry and a blizzard of base moral deceit?

But these complaints and arguments have surely been brought to the fore more than once. The fact that we fight changes nothing. People down the ages have grown to understand that. Fighting changes nothing. Revolution changes nothing- just swings around in a circle. We can stamp and moan and tear our hair as much as we like. If we want to see change, it will be in the calm before and after the storm, not during it. No true tempest brings anything other than outright destruction.

Which brings me to discovery, and the discovery of myself. It’s a small step and one no doubt to be lost in the ocean ahead of us. But I want to share, because knowledge can transcend so much, touching even those it might at first be lost upon. I can only share of myself, unfortunately. I dare not speak for those others who might be like me. I just hope it’s enough.

A while back I wrote on the gender sphere. I’m not going to expound on that so much as I’m going to expound on me. I realize I’m something of a mystery to a bunch of people, and if you like keeping that mystery, maybe you won’t read further. I’ll understand. Spoilers about people you know can be a little strange.

I’m going to make the rather broad and bold assumption that most people know I’m a shapeshifter. I don’t mean that in a literal ‘I can mold my body the way I want it to be’ sense. If I had that sort of power or technology I don’t think I’d be searching for a job. I could just join the circus or sell DNA samples to scientists eager to study how it worked.

I mean my mind shifts shape constantly. It flows like water, freezes into ice, or evaporates into vapor, always moving, always undirected, flowing from thought to thought.

The shapes are interesting. When talking to people on the internet I like to choose an ‘avatar’ for emotes and things, for hugging or waving, et cetera. The avatar changes constantly.

Some days I might be a regular human, with varying shades of hair, skin color, size, shape, eyes, amounts of body hair or associated scent, to say nothing of the clothing I might be wearing at any time.

Other days I’ll mix it up. Perhaps I’ll add bestial or elven features to my appearance. Perhaps I’ll communicate telepathically or choose a shape with an amorphous, jelly-like body. I’ve taken forms made up of air, forms with six arms or tentacle-like appendages, things that’d look like the cuddliest lovecraftian horror ever to angelic or mythical creature mixes. I’ll mix and match features like scales with skin or chromatophores for flavor.

That sort of shapeshifting is freeing. It gives a brief direction for my thoughts, lets me express myself to my fullest. I’m never so happy as when I can let that go, as when I can shift shape freely. I’ve discovered the reason behind it, too.

I’m never comfortable in one shape. Never. None of them fit me. None of them express who I am properly, none of them get more than a glimmer of me in them. No shape I take will truly show who I am. Some are close.

Some are dangerously distant.

I shift shape so often in mind and in spirit here, because I’m searching, almost desperately, for one which I can say fits who I am with some form of permanency. That’s why it feels so good to change. That’s why I have such a low tolerance for bigotry or slurs. I think I know, more than anything else, am SURE of this one thing. I don’t belong no matter what shape I’m in. The only thing that gives me greater joy than searching for a form I feel right in is making damn certain that no one else needs to suffer through that disjointed feeling, that ‘I don’t belong here’ feeling, that awful, wrenching, empty space in your heart. In my heart.

No one should need to suffer through it. If I had my way, no one would.

Thanks, as always, for listening. I hope sharing this helped a little for those of you who know me and even those of you who don’t. I can’t speak for all the shapeshifters out there, (and really, judging by how rare we are I’m not sure if I actually expect one to post back to say ‘Wait a second, that’s not right!’) but I sure as heck can speak for me. So I have, and there you have it!

On a more positive note, I’m going to be eating soon! Yay!

<3s,

-Eris

Thinking about Novels

I haven’t said much about these except in my serial novel Demimind earlier. You know, like, years earlier.

It hasn’t quite been a year since I finished Demimind. It feels like it has, but it hasn’t. Having written a grand total of one novel, I can tell you that it is altogether a different beast from writing, say, one short story. For one thing, short stories are shorter. I’ve said that before.

 

A novel has time. It can grow. The characters don’t need to make sense right away. The plot can unravel before your eyes like an old, worn scroll. Sometimes it unravels quickly, sometimes it unravels slowly, but always, ALWAYS it unravels. Even if you reach the end and realize the scroll will keep going, it unravels. Without plot, the novel cannot be driven. How do you drive it forward?

 

Patience is key. The first impulse is to get done with everything, is to write down all this exposition about everything that has ever happened ever. You’re excited, you want to tell everyone that your character is secretly in love with Rosaline and is scared to death of rats and never has liked the color pink- well you can do all that, but I like to sprinkle it in. I like to stretch the development of my characters out a little. If you put everything there is to know about each character out there instantly- what do you have left? What more is there to say?

Characters are the plot. They drive the plot, they live the plot and breathe it. Not all of them, but the main characters? They are both slaves and masters of it. You cannot have characters without plot. They need it to survive. Everyone- even super villains!- should have a little backstory even if it’s something like ‘This monster was just waiting in the trees for the party to pass’. It can be as complex as ‘The goblin Larry was adopted by an orc and an elf when his parents were killed in a forestfire. Though horribly scarred, he grew up as quite a nice person and was vegetarian all the way through high school until one time between classes his friend snuck some meat into his afternoon lunch and since then he has loved meat.’

If you ever put that much exposition in all at once it probably won’t be that great to look at. You can space it out more and give tidbits of history at a time. Now, I can only speak for me, but one thing I love to do is have characters exposit trivia. Not out of nowhere, not because a character ‘magically does not know anything about the town he spent three years living in’, but because there is an honest need- or compulsion- for the trivia to be mentioned. I don’t like walls of exposition- it tends to break story immersion for me, so it’s not something I like to include in my novels. If it’s necessary or something the character just does as a character trait or even a general whim, that’s fine. In the actual meat of the text, it can be disorientating and can even pop me right out of the story again. Exposition can be the most boringest thing.

So now you know one secret- exposition! In moderation, in time. That’s how I like to do it. I can’t remember now if I did that for Demimind- see how I am??- but it’s how I like to write now.

Next on the long list of things I need to relate… While plot is essential, characters are even more so. And characters twist the plot. It could start going one way and twist the other. If you have plot twisting the characters, it’s probably from the machinations of another character. Characters mess with characters, then, not plot. One common theme seems to be something like inevitability.

I don’t like that. To some, perhaps in my book Demimind it seems inevitable that one of the Seasons needs to die.

In fact, I think while talking about it, I was wondering who I needed to kill off. Uh uh. Not anymore.

In my books, I prefer to leave inevitability out of it. So-called Fate means little in most of my stories. If a character’s actions and personality lead it to do something and no one tries to stop it, I think to myself ‘Huh, that’s interesting.’

The characters’ actions should be what MAKE the plot, not vice versa. At the least that’s how I roll with my stories. When reading I don’t want to know exactly what will happen next usually. If I know exactly what will happen and how each character will react, what’s the point of reading on further? Without that element of unknown, without, say, prophecy or Fate, I feel like it’s a lot easier to push the characters further. I think that may be part of the reason so many prophecies in stories are so open-ended. That may just be wishful thinking though. When J.K. Rowling did her Harry Potter series (which I love as a kid and am jealous of as an adult), one of the things I noticed was that her prophecy kept us guessing.

WHICH ONE LIVES AT THE END???? IT IS A MYSTERY!!! 😕

Though of course, we all guessed that it was that Harry guy. Unless you had your bets on the almighty Voldemort in which case you seriously know nothing about the way stories work!! 😦

Everyone knows the good guys win every single time. Seriously!

 

That’s all I have for now, guys, gals and others.

<3s,

-Eris

Emotional Sensitivity, Backlash and troubles with Empathy

Now, I’m sure I’ve said it somewhere on the internet, but I can’t remember if that somewhere was here- and the memory problem is, of course, something that I’ll talk about in another post ONE of these days.

I’ve always been an extremely sensitive person. I get emotional impressions from people or general atmospheres. Predominantly I suppose I’m best at guessing it in the emotionally repressed society of America, but it works without any real range limit. If I’ve had contact with someone before and time to get used to them, I can generally get pretty good at telling how they’re feeling or what’s got them down or happy, et cetera et cetera ad infinitum. If it’s an emotion, I can feel it, taste it, sense it, hold it– whatever it means, whatever THAT means.

I’m good at reading people. I’m not bragging or anything. It’s just a thing. I don’t think it makes me any more or less special than anyone. Everyone is special and fascinating.

The point is quite simply, I feel it when someone else is hurting. I always have and I always will. If I know the person, I can tap into the impressions I get from them and I guess infer things. not always with incredible accuracy, not always understanding what I see, but it’s just how it’s worked. It’s intuition to some extent, annd… and story experience to another. The world likes to run in certain patterns– the human psyche has some of those patterns run in ruts. Tyrants being ‘overthrown’ and taken over by other, different (if not necessarily more brutal) regimes. Girls being kidnapped at a young age and made to live horrible lives.

It’s a vast, vast, VAST story, and we’re all characters, and… from time to time, I’m allowed to cheat a little and read up on the other characters.

As part of the price and reward, I get what I like to call ‘backlash’.

I suppose it’s like being kicked in the gut. Only I guess more like being hit all over sometimes, or being tossed, to use an overdone analogous, on a raging sea. Smashed against the rocks– no, maybe more than that. It feels as if my mind IS the sea, near empty normally, shallow with a few seashells at the bottom. Being tugged out by waves or knocked onto the shore- literally stunned- is the worst and best thing that can possibly happen to me. And there’s part of it.

I like it, in some ways. I feel like a channel, and the good feels good and the bad feels bad. It’s two extremes I suppose, and by any other definition it’d be bipolar disorder, I suspect. My control over these feelings varies from day to day. Sometimes I can keep them from flaring, others they put words in my mouth and I say things I honestly did not mean at all. Sometimes it’s barely noticeable, sometimes it…

It hits hard and fast and if I’m not feeling that great or if I’m already hurting a little, it can send me into an immediate breakdown. Parties can be the worst– not the parties themselves so much as being sick with eleven different friends’ anticipation issues and my own self-esteem problem. In fact, breakdowns just before going to parties are pretty common. I rarely feel like I want to go, especially if anyone else in the family or friends area is feeling sick or doesn’t want to go either. If everyone wants to go and I don’t, the conflicting emotions might make me decide to follow along even if my own original vote was a nay.

In arguments, I spend as much time as possible trying to create an equilibrium between two irritated parties. If there’s one thing that’ll make me upset in a hurry, it’s two people (regardless of if I’m friends with one of them or both of them or neither of them) who aren’t getting along.

I suppose I like arguing so much at least in part because of my brother, and at least in part because, if it’s in good fun, I’m perfectly happy arguing a case that HAS no case, just for the feeling of in-syncness it can provide.

I think being in sync with people to that point, synchronizing my emotions with theirs, mimicking, no, complementing their own emotions with my own is a habit of mine. Something I do almost subconsciously. And… I think it’s a form of shield.

I think to some extent I never come out of my shell. I never let myself grow or do anything I really, honestly want to. I think I sit here and let the emotions batter against a mirror, bounce back, reflect what I feel from others. I feel like people who are nice to me should expect nothing but kindness in return. And that they should get it.

I feel like I’m repressing myself. And I’m not exactly sure what buttons I need to stop pressing to open myself up again. But I do know that I would like to find out.

And to stop.

 

<3s,

Eris

It’s an award! (Very Inspiring Blogger Award)

In lieu of a picture to paste denoting the importance of this lovely award, I will instead give you a piece of advice that I’ve found inspiring for a long time. Not as pretty as pictures? Of course it isn’t! But that’s okay. ❤

Whenever I feel like I’m falling to the bottom, whenever I start beating myself up to the point where I feel like I simply can’t get up again, there are two very important things I can realize that have helped me in the past:

One- people I know think the world of me. They love me and will comfort me when I’m feeling down. Relatives and friends and all sorts of inspiring, beautiful people. Wonderful, different people. Beating myself up is not simply a betrayal of self, but a betrayal of them. Using this, I can pull myself up again.

Two- the world is vast. Things aren’t fun right now, maybe. But they will be. The world is enormous, the universe is unfathomably large. I want to explore that, I can pull myself ahead by sheer knowledgethirst! I love learning new things, and when I’m in a slump it hinders that! I should never let myself fall that low when I know there’s so much more to learn and discover! The wonderful vastness of the universe is inspiring!

Just a little insight into what keeps me inspired. ❤

 

Apparently this is a thing that happens. I’ve been nominated by Sirenia of My Own Avalon. Her poetry and the pictures that go with it are inspiring and hauntingly beautiful themselves, so is it really any surprise she was nominated? I think not! Check her out! Poetry is awesome, and some of the pictures are so wonderful they give me goosebumps. ❤

Anyway, the rules say that I have to give you all (as a collective) seven random facts about myself and nominate seven other bloggers for the award. It’s sort of like a chain letter, only actually fun. Of course, I don’t think I even really know- not well, anyway- seven other bloggers to nominate, but I’ll do my best for sure. It’s part of the cycle of giving!

So here are some facts you may or may not already know.

One: I am not only a fan of writing, prose or poetry, but I also adore music both classical and rockin’.

Two: I appreciate people best in oneses and twoses, big parties make me very uncomfortable.

Three: I always sleep with the light on! I’m deathly afraid of the dark and have been since I was very young.

Four: I don’t write everything all at once. It comes in short little spurts of inspiration and in general short stories can take anywhere from a week to several months.

Five: My favored color is green of any shade.

Six: I like to read books from the middle to the end and then go back and read the beginning.

Seven: I’ve struggled a lot of my life with low self-esteem, and it’s only been lately that I’ve been able to pull myself up out of it with any kind of consistency.

Well that’s all you get for now! I suppose it’s time to nominate some inspiring bloggers of my own, isn’t it? Well I’m a little new to the bloggosphere, but let’s see what I can do as far as that goes:

I nominate, by the power vested in me through this award-

bipolarmuse – of the blog of the same name! Oh, how I enjoy her poetry. I am inspired by the quotes she pulls up and I admire her courage in her battle against a disorder storm. ❤ Very inspiring indeed, give her a look! Read her poetry and about her life! It’s fascinating~

transparentguy- of The Adventures of Transman! Wit and inspiring stories, insight into the mind of one who battles prejudice and stupidity– though I’m told it isn’t quite so serious as that. Transman is awesome, let it be known I said that and I meant and mean it. Give Transman’s work a likewise awesome look if you like learning new things about gender- or just reading Transman’s stories about life and other things. He says he isn’t serious, but I can take Transman seriously. I can and do.

bribees- of Big Red Comfy Couch! Poetry that I love, she’s a dear friend to me. Very prolific, and she would just love for people to take a look at her work. I’m inspired by her every day we have classes together, and I love her general life philosophy as well. Give her a look if you like poetry and stories. She can tell a good yarn I enjoy her poetry very much. ❤

Finally, and really, how could I leave her out:

Priyanka- of pinkatenchanted. Oh, she is overflowing with exuberance. How I love reading her poems- about everything, really! I always read her prose and poems with a smile, and I love following her life through her blog- she may not post super often, but I do enjoy the time I spend reading what she does. Oh, give her a look! You won’t regret it.

 

 

Well, that’s it, I suppose. Whew! Awards are hard work! I may not believe in awards all that much, but I do believe in people! So I hope the people I’ve nominated realize just how much they mean to me, whether they choose to accept it or not. ❤

I guess I have to go and tell them that I nominated them, too!

Not at all subtle but <3s anyway,

-Eris

 

 

Fluid Gender – No, Not the Kind you Drink

Well, since this sort of thing- anything about gender, really- interests me waaayyy more than is probably healthy, I figured I could spare a post or two on it. I was right, so here it is!

First off, I’m going to give a bit of a definition of the undefinable.

Gender- what the heck is it? It’s a little voice in your head that tells you what’s ‘proper’ for you. Generally speaking, if you’ve got ovaries and breasts and girl bits between your legs you’re thought of by the public as a girl, right? And if you’ve got boy bits and are relatively flat without the ability to breastfeed, you’re thought of as a boy?

Okay, we’re square there, right? That seems pretty easy.  If you’re really sheltered (don’t feel bad if you are, I’m trying to inform, not to alienate), maybe you haven’t heard of this next bit, so bear with me a moment and try to understand and not judge!

Sometimes, and we’re getting a better idea of why this happens, a boy (which we already defined) will be born and, to introduce another element to it, his mind will not accept that his body is male.

Why is that important?

Well, the mind is incredibly important! If the boy grows up in a social environment filled with boys who all like their bodies and he hates his on the inside, that could have disastrous effects on his self-esteem! Since schools can be cruel in the United States (I can’t speak for elsewhere), he could be alienated for any expression of what he feels to be his true self!

He might be convinced that the only way out is suicide, and he might never truly understand what exactly is wrong until he’s already dead.

Just for fun, I’m going to avoid using scientific terms here and call this not-boy exactly what I feel he is.

He’s a person. It doesn’t even really matter what he wants his body to look like, except to him and the people who want him to be happy. If he decides he wants breasts and ovaries and goes to have surgery, hey! Good for him! I believe in living your own dream. If your dream is to change your body type entirely, that’s wonderful. It’s hard! It’s not an easy path. But it’s strange, isn’t it? Isn’t it amazing all the different types of people there are on the world? Alienating them will do nothing! We should stand up for the hurt, and help those who have big dreams and so little support!

But that’s a tangent. People will use all different kinds of weird terms to describe otherly-gendered folk. Some people refer to a gender ‘line’ and blurring it. I think of it as an immense sphere. Everyone fits in there somewhere. I don’t think it really matters where so long as you just remember that there is a place there for EVERYONE. Not between boy or girl or male or female or any of that silliness- it’s a sphere! What lines? Where you identify is just down to you, your mind, your culture, and your heart. Above all, follow your heart. If it means so much to you, no one can take that away.

I’m fluid gendered, for instance. I don’t just stay in one place in the great big sphere of gender. I bounce around. I’d like to be whatever I feel at the moment. It’d be pretty neat if I had some way to shapeshift like that out here in the meatspace world, but I’m content with being able to express myself through the clothes I wear, the people I meet and the things that I do, at least for now.

I might feel boyish one moment and completely feminine the next. There’s no serious stability with me and you know, some people might find that really scary! As much as I love free expression, not everyone might agree with me!

If I’m not careful, I could get beat up for not matching others’ expectations, for being wildly different. (hee. It’s funny because everyone is different and everyone is in a sliiightly different place in the gender sphere) Sometimes people are killed just for being themselves! Isn’t that crazy?

But I’m not worried about that. I’ll live every moment I have to its fullest and be myself as plain as can be. I can only hope other people follow my example and come to accept that even though we all fit in a different place, we all share hopes, dreams and thoughts, there’s something in common that you can find with just about anyone if you try hard enough, and so there’s really no reason to get into arguments at all-

Unless you just like tossin’ discord around and messing with people. That’s fine too. There’s a place on Earth for everyone, and even if there wasn’t I’m sure there’re other planets where they’ll be able to fit in eventually. ❤

I suppose the entirely of what I want to say is that-

To everyone their own.

Ah, a further note.

The disconnect between someone’s born sex and their mind is called many things depending on what the so-called symptoms are- it happens to people with girl bits or boy bits or something inbetween (which we are so not getting into just yet), and it happens all the time. If you’re curious about it, you can look up such terms as:

Transgender

Gender dysphoria

bigender

If you’re REALLLY curious about it and no one is giving you the answers you want, you can toss me an email or comment.

I’ll get back to it eventually and if I don’t know the answer, I’ll look it up for you to the best of my ability!

Of course, my opinion is biased. But so is pretty much everyone’s, so don’t worry so much about that. I’m not gonna judge or anything. (what kind of hypocrite would that even make me I don’t)

Anyway. That’s all I have for now.

Love out to those that need it (Which, by the way, includes all of my friends, family and others in or out of the blogosphere),

-Eris

Candy, Serendipity, and Fractured Fairytales

So there is basically nothing better than getting done with class and immediately going out to the snack machine because you’ve got two dollars to burn and you’re starving.

No, wait. It’s realizing that even though two dollars can’t cover it, you’ve got an extra fifty cents in coins serendipitously placed in your wallet and then nabbing both a pack of starbursts and some Sprite. That is the best.

…What? :c

I can write about things other than writing and poetry!

For instance, right now I’m in college. No, seriously, just sitting outside of my next class waiting for my Professor and snackin’ on starbursts and Sprite. Enjoying the knowledge that I’ve got nothin’ to do but write over the weekend. Oh, and celebrate. But you know, celebratin’ is all part of the ritual of the end of the week.

I’m sore from Taekwondo a yesterday. Every muscle is burning. But you know what? I feel fantastic anyway. It’s been a good week. I’ve been sick and sore and miserable but I’m in the best of spirits. I feel like I’ve climbed a previously insurmountable wall and that, on reaching the other side, I’ve found a vast library of knowledge waiting for me, like the whole rest of my life might be just one new exciting thing after another. And honestly? I’m not sure I can wait.

In other news related to writing, woohoo! I’m working on a fractured fairytale! It’s based on the classic story– but not too classic because ew– of Sleeping Beauty. This was for my creative writing club. Is, I mean. I’m not done with it just yet. I plan to spit it out over the weekend.

In working on it, it’s also given me an idea for my next big project! Which I know, I say a lot. I’m thinking of two main prospects right now. One, titled Twins, will be a sci fi story I’m gonna rewrite– because the first time around the idea was sound but I didn’t really much like the way that it was going.

The other, which I haven’t even chosen a name for yet, will be a serial likewise, but probably more fantasy based. I’m not sure which one I want to stick with yet. I’ll decide that this weekend too. That’s all I gotta say for now! Hopefully if I can get alllll of these stories done or started or whatever by the weekend, I can post ’em up here for you! I’ll keep you updated!

-Eris

Write from the Heart

Write from the heart. Write from your soul, write from your mind, write from the very core of what makes you- you. How can you plagiarize if you do that? How could you possibly take something from someone else and compare it with something that defines your very essence?

Well, long story short, you bloody well can’t. Everyone’s essence is different, despite surface similarities. What you do, who you meet, who you are- your writing will reflect all of this if it’s yours. Even if you take another person’s work and just copy/paste it- IT’S YOURS. The difference is that in the reflection, you show yourself to be lazy. As a reflection that’s not bad or good- at least not from my perspective. You might get in trouble with the police or law, but that’s their prerogative.

Stealing my work changes the portion of my work from mine to yours- but the reflection is different. Whereas I worked and poured sweat into the creation that you now feast your eyes on, the portion of stolen work may shine in a different light when viewed alongside someone elses’ name. You do no one but yourself harm when you decide to steal- the original author knows that it’s their work, and, if they’re like me, they’ll feel that it doesn’t matter.

The work itself doesn’t know exactly what it is, who it belongs to. And to me, someone who draws from a calm center, from an unknown place, from the heart, to recognize that no work is truly my own is something fundamental to writing it in the first place.

Where do I draw inspiration? Can a work really be mine if it contains so much of another person’s heart and soul? Ah, but who works it? Who creates, who finishes the product of that mind and that heart? Is it me? Yes.

Is it, then, that my work is a product of the hearts, souls, and minds of those I meet, of the essences of everyone, forged and brought to fiery life in myself, in my own– in part, a work of magic. A work of magecraft that no story character can match alone.

I make my stories, and they are pieces of me, but they are not truly mine. Credit for them goes to everyone I meet, to the unknown people I dream of, to the people I talk to and listen to and hope one day to be. My work is a collaboration on a grand scale, and I think in part, to be a writer is to be a weaver. To be a writer is to be one who forges tales and fashions fantasy from fact, then ties the two together to create something more. But the credit is not our own.

Who are we without material, without inspiration? We are nothing but ourselves.

I suppose in a roundabout way, this is a thank you. I love my readers. I really do. I love that I can pop on here everyday and see that people have been reading– if not necessarily appreciating– my work. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that someone reads that which I craft. As much as I enjoy writing it, I enjoy having it read even more, terrifying as it is.

So thank you, everyone. If you write, write from your heart.

If you read, find yourself in part.

We are the whole of everyone we see, hear, touch, feel and meet. The characters we write are an expression of that.

Expression is life.

-Eris

Laptop Trouble II: THE REVENGE OF THE FLASHPLAYER

Long story made extremely short:

Laptop broke.

 

 

 

 

Okay, so I totally wasn’t going to just post a sentence or two and call it quits. Oh no. I’m a word weaver. So I am, right now, going to endeavor to deliver words that will do this atrocity justice.

This is- amazing. Without my laptop, I’m incapable of writing! My reliance on technology is complete. I am currently writing from a desktop computer, and it is not mine. I feel as though a light has gone from my world.  I’ve been forced to reformat the thing, and that, while time consuming, isn’t so bad. No, what’s bad is the disc I need to reinstall the system is currently missing. While I don’t imagine it will be gone for too long….

I had a breakdown yesterday anyway. A loud and then quiet meltdown. So overcome with anger was I, that I was incapable of voicing it coherently, and the stream of profanity was nearly unintelligible.

It didn’t last. I sank into a slow depression.

“BUT ERIS!” I hear.

“Why not write using your notebook?”

The answer for you is simple: I DON’T KNOW!

I rely on computers far too much. I grew  up with the darn things. I write on simple text edit programs and play simple games and enjoy myself immensely. I watch videos and- HAHA.

Youtube, oh, Youtube. Hours of my life are now gone, and but for your constantly ‘updated’ format and amazingly cluttered interface, I could have them back. The answer to my problem, my friends, is Flashplayer.

Yes, this devious device, in its latest incarnation, is capable of stripping the dignity from any browser I put in contact with it, and later, as the faults grow in size- almost imperceptibly at first, but gradually building momentum- I am assailed by slowdown to the point of making the laptop unusable. Then, when I attempt a restart, it dies for the final time, the system coughing its last.

Through the clever use of Firewire and elbow grease, I have been able to save the stories and projects I had on it- and you know, I might just start coming home and posting from my desktop, despite the fact that it’s inferior in some respects [read, all of them]. I’m no more tech savvy than the next person, as should be extremely obvious. I make no judgements on flashplayer or Youtube or anything like that. But I certainly won’t be using my laptop to access it- the thing is obviously too ancient. Once the reformat is complete and the CDs found, I’ll likely be doing nothing but posting on the site and writing my main projects from that thing.

Anyway, yeah, no problem. I should be back on schedule soon. Sorry for the lack of prose. Those of you who can laugh at my plight, feel free to post a ‘HAHAHA’ here. Those who are sympathetic can post ‘D’awwww…’ and those who are indifferent feel free to instead discuss the impact Green energy might have on the economy as a whole.

Back to the salt mines.

-Eris

The Essence of Poetry

The expression of feeling, the completion of an idea, the creation of art. A rhythm undivided by needless lines, a form of feeling, raw, unfiltered….

Or subtle and sly, like a slick, cold shadow, flitting from word to word without intervening meaning, only showing flickers of the poet’s heart.

It doesn’t make a difference- whether subtle or blunt, beautiful or ugly, poetry is poetry. Without expression, how can we really understand one another? It seems to me that the very idea of living without expression is laughable, as a species that communicates entirely with symbols- and symbols that are, in the end, used almost solely to communicate feelings or ideas! With ideas themselves composed almost entirely of symbols as well, we ARE what we express.

Poetry provides a raw outlet for that, something which I am a wholehearted supporter. I’ll see if I can’t get another poem out today, right now it’s just the break between classes and I don’t trust myself to be able to express what I’ve been feeling in that time.