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

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