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Monday the 15th of March 2004

3:07 AM (3871 days, 18h, 11min ago)

Step One.

  • Mood: Confuzzled
  • Quote: "Hey, Matt Rogers, say hello to John Verraros and Vanessa Olivarez for us." --EW's prediction for this Weds.' AI
  • Movies: "The First Wives Club", "Crossroads" & "Dreamcatcher"
  • Music: Al Green's "Ain't No Sunshine", Celine Dione's "All By Myself", Seal's "Kiss from a Rose"

For the first time since I began this column I am going to admit to one of my fears.  Please don’t tell me that it is a courageous move or that I am making progress.  I don’t need to hear encouragement like that.  What I need are answers.

 

“That’s when you grow the most...when you face your fears.” 

Says Ellen DeGeneres in her opening monologue for her 2000 stand up act “Beginnings”.

 

I can sincerely and honestly say that one of my biggest fears is to be alone.  Not just alone in life, as in not in a relationship, but to be by myself.  There is a huge difference between being alone and being by one’s self.  I have never had this fear until recently.  I don’t know why going to London and then finding the person I want to be with forever all within six months of each other has had this impact on me.

 

 I am losing it.  (“It” being my mind.)  I am slowly starting to recognize that I have a problem.  The truth is, that before my boyfriend came along (and, I can’t believe I am actually writing this) I felt like I was just walking through life – like just existing.  I didn’t always feel like this, just since I’ve been back to the states.  I’ve felt purposeless.  My goals stopped making any sense, my failures were intensified and I basically just gave up.

 

Then, I meet this wonderful person and suddenly I have a purpose and an existence and a reason.  Suddenly, I’ve come alive.  So, why is it that when I’m away from him I put that “living” on pause?  The sad truth is that I don’t know how to live fully when he is not around.  And, I know he knows this and I know it puts pressure on him because he wants me to be happy.  It makes me feel selfish.  Most people would have walked away from the situation by now.  He really loves me.

 

But I digress, I am not going to sit here and tell you that I don’t see a problem with how I view things because I do.  I think that is what frustrates me so much.  I sit up at night thinking all sorts of thoughts I know I shouldn’t have running through my mind.

 

“Why do I feel this way?”

“Why isn’t he feeling this way?”

“What’s wrong with me?”

“Hey, what’s wrong with him?”

“Why do I think there is something wrong with him?”

“Why do I get sad when he is not close?”

“Why doesn’t he feel the same way I do?”

“Does that mean he doesn’t need me as much as I need him?”

“Does that mean I am too needy?”

“Does that mean I am more in love with him than he is with me?”

“Is needing a prerequisite to loving?”

“Why am I feeling this when I have never minded being by myself before?”

“Why do I feel alone when I have friends and family around me all the time?”

“Why is there no sunshine when he’s gone?  Why is it not warm when he’s away?”

 

Now I’m quoting Al Green.  Next thing you know I’ll be quoting Celine Dione… but, I digress.  Before I go any further, let me take you back to…

 

Menopause.

 

The musical.  Not the condition. 

 

I am, of course, referring to “the hilarious celebration of women and The Change” written by Jeanie Linders.  Filled with great music (parodied old school hits) and funny anecdotes about the aging of women, the play is a delightful watch.  Plus, the four actresses (Michelle Mais, Myra McWethy, Rende Rae Norman and Shaelynn Parker) are hilarious and sensational.

 

My boyfriend bought me the tickets for my birthday.  He knows I dig musical theater (gay, remember?).  The tickets were cleverly placed into the box of a cute joke gift, a doll named Mr. Wonderful.  Squeeze the doll’s hand and it says things like “Here you take the remote, as long as I’m with you I don’t care what we watch.”  I didn’t really need the doll since I already have a Mr. Wonderful, but, the thought was clever.

 

We traveled to the quaint Coronet Theater in West Los Angeles.  The retro-style theater was very eighties – very “She Bop”, very Flock of Sea Gulls.  I liked it.  But enough about the atmosphere and the show.  My whole point in bringing up “Menopause” was that, strangely, I saw aspects of my life throughout the play (no I am not a middle aged, black woman). 

 

The musical helped me to understand some aspects of my mother that I had not realized before.  Secretly, though, I saw a lot of myself in those women.  (Scary to think about, frightful to admit.)  I can’t exactly pin point what it is that made me empathize with them, but, I can say that I came out of that theater more enlightened.

 

This brings me back to facing my fears.  Let’s just be blunt:  I have lots of them.  I fear this and I fear that.  Yadda-yadda-yadda.  Point is, it takes a lot for me to say those things out loud and the fact that I am writing about one of them is shocking to me.  Seeing that musical taught me to embrace life & love and to deal with not always having to understand everything.  I can’t sit here and say that I am one hundred percent cured, but it’s a start.

 

It brings me back to the fear of being alone.  Or, as Celine Dione said, “Don’t wanna' be, all by myself… anymore.”  I am sure time will give me the answers that I am longing for and in the meantime, I just have to deal.  First step is to admit to the fear.  I’ve done that.  What’s step two?

17 shout outs / say it loud!

Wednesday the 10th of March 2004

6:34 PM (3876 days, 2h, 45min ago)

Clean Slate

  • Mood: Strangely Happy
  • Quote: "Seven dollars. [Pause] That is your total... [Pause] ...seven dollars." --A "musical" concessions attendant
  • Movies: Harry Potter
  • Music: Hoobastank's "The Reason"

Ever have a moment of clarity?

 

A moment where your life all of a sudden makes a new kind of sense?  I’ve had about three moments like that in my life.  Each has set me on a new path and in different directions.  Each time they’ve happened, my eyes seem to open and weight seems to be lifted off of my back in such a bizarre way.  I don’t believe people can instantly change, but, I do believe in the kind of epiphany that leads one’s mind to see what one could not see before.  These are the moments that really count and allow us to be free.  These are the moments that lead us to ask ourselves…

 

“How can I improve my life from the inside out?”

 

Five days ago, I sat in a trendy restaurant (the type that Carrie and the girls would be seen in on an episode of “Sex & the City”) across from the sister I never had.  The food was petite, the ambiance splendid, the prices outrageous and the front desk guy was a Diva (capital “D”).  I’d never really been to a trendy downtown place to eat (well, except for Canter’s Bakery – but we were there for, what, like two seconds).  Ciudad was the type of restaurant where you could go for dessert, cocktails or the whole works and its Ikea-inspired bright colors and Latin flair were right up my alley.  It was the perfect evening between friends.

 

That seems like so long ago – five days. 

 

The next day, I found myself sitting at a round table surrounded by family.  The annual family event, which was basically a Casino Night themed business affair, was, in my opinion, intense.  It was a mixture for disaster.  Everyone sitting at that table happened to be blunt, brutally honest and in tune with all or most of the drama that has been happening lately.  It was only a matter of time before someone started something…

 

That someone was me.

 

Unfortunately, I was not in the best of mind sets that evening (as I have been experiencing some anxiety lately but refuse to admit that I have a “problem”).  I am not going to go into details, but the end result has been a halt in communication between my best friend and myself & my boyfriend and I having had some related and unrelated drama since the event. 

 

I didn’t know what it was that had been making me so emotional and depressed lately.  That brings me to the beginning of my column, where I talk about clarity.  I have tons of it now.  I was faced with reality yesterday – harsh, brutal reality.  But, beyond the bad times, drama and complaints I realized so much more than I have in the past three months.

 

I realized that love, true love, is being able to give to the other what is good for them and what they need & that it takes two to do it.  For once, I have seen how two people can go from “me” to “we”.  It’s not about being selfish or having expectations and it’s not about some grand idea of what love should be; it’s about making the commitment and giving it a chance to grow into something mutually beneficial for both.  It won’t happen over night, but, the main thing is to know and believe that it will eventually happen.  Until then, the key is to focus on the good and the growth.  And, in the meantime, if something doesn’t make sense, be honest and open to trying to make it make sense.  Giving up is not an option, but, giving… is.

 

I am starting my life with a clean slate.  Today is day one.  I don’t know what lies ahead, but I am going to stop trying to figure that out and start concentrating on what I have now and what it can grow into.  I have lots of cleaning up to do with my relationship, family, friends, career, school and life.  Facing all of these things with a clean slate won’t be easy, but it's a start and it gets me out of this vicious spiral I’ve put myself in.

 

I owe it all to the man who stepped out of my dream and into my reality.  And, I hope he stays here forever.

6 shout outs / say it loud!

Friday the 5th of March 2004

12:29 AM (3881 days, 20h, 50min ago)

Guy on the (L)edge

  • Mood: Melancholy
  • Quote: "We are the choices we make." -- from my current screen saver
  • Movies: "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle" & "Jeepers Creepers 2"
  • Music: Daniel Beddinfield's "I Don't Wanna Run Away", Joey Lauren Adams' "Alive", Collective Soul's "Run" & A Perfect Circle's "Three Libras"

Melancholy.

 

That is how I feel right now – very melancholy.  And, I can’t stop thinking about what to do to fix the problems that are in my life.  I have problems growing out of my ears.  When I don’t have the answers to fix those problems, I go crazy.  When I go crazy, I run.  I run, but, I always come back.  Only, this time, I didn’t want to come back.  I just wanted to disappear into the night and make it easy for everyone.  I didn’t run away.  I didn’t disappear.  But, still, deep down inside – I wanted to.

 

Three days after my birthday, I sit in front of my sluggish computer and try to think of how to put into words the range of emotions I am going through and have gone through in recent times.  But, I always talk about DRAMA and, so, I am not going to do that this time.  I’m not going the woe-is-me route.  It’ll be therapeutic for me to stop focusing on the bad and start focusing on all the good aspects of my life.  And, maybe, it will make this lump in the pit of my abdomen go away so that I can finally breathe.

 

With that said, I am not going to write about my anxiety attack (well, that is what my boyfriend called it), how my family left me sitting in a restaurant to go off and watch a damn television show, how I was late to my own birthday dinner (I’ll be lucky to get to my funeral on time) and how I wanted to run away and never look back – only I couldn’t leave because I love my man too much and I could never and would never do anything to hurt him.  And, I’m not even going to mention how much I felt like everyone thought I wanted to kill myself.  I would never even entertain the idea.  I love myself – despite how I may perceive myself as “not being good enough”.  

 

So, I won’t go there.  I won’t.  Promise.

 

My birthday, despite the statements I’ve already made, was very memorable.  My boyfriend spent the night at my house and we got up (late, as usual) and went to lunch.  He took me to the same Claim Jumpers that we went to on our first official date.  It was cute & charming.  We even sat in the same booth!  We ordered the same food and then he had some servers bring me some ice-cream mud pie.  After which, they sang me an Oscar Mayer rendition of the “Happy Birthday” song.  I almost cried.  But, what’s new?  I’m a crier – always have been.  Upward and onward.

 

After our wonderful lunch, we made our way to the Getty Center Museum.  To know me, is to know what a fan of culture, art, entertainment & natural beauty I am.  I’ve always wanted to go to the Getty Center; I just never had the chance to.  Up until now, places like museums, conventions & galleries were places I would go to alone.  Not because I have no one to go with, but because I’ve always had a weird sense of taste in the things that I like.  I’m not into the same things as guys my age or people my age, for that matter.  Even when I was abroad, I did a lot of things alone.

 

I guess I’m sort of used to being alone.  I’m used to going to the movies alone and for drives alone.  It’s never bothered me.  I've learned to be solitary and I’ve never expected anything more.  Now, my adorable Greg is taking that extra step to make me feel like I no longer need to be alone.  It’s a scary thought.  It’s also nice to know. 

 

We took in a few of the exhibits and the gardens (because of the short time we had) and both agreed that it was beautiful and that we were going to go back sometime this month.  The only things I did not partake in were the breathtaking views.  They were breathtaking alright, only once they take my breath they don’t give it back so easily.  It’s all because I have this goofy fear of heights and being high up and looking down (another one of my "phobias").  I hyperventilated a little bit, but I am not going to talk about that because this is a positive column and I am not going to concentrate on the negative.  I’m not.  So there.

 

In short, we ended up being an hour late to my birthday dinner – traffic is a bitch in these parts.  I’m just going to skip dinner (although I got some really awesome gifts – i.e. money, a car makeover, a cashmere sweater, a beauty salon gift certificate – I am gay, remember?  Not to mention, my aunt’s a hair stylist.) and move on to… well, the present.  The time period between then and now has been DRAMA.  And, remember, I am not going to talk about DRAMA.  So, I’ll push the fast forward button and skip to now. 

 

Now…

 

I recently bought a novel (it’s Chick Lit, but who cares?) and decided that today was the perfect day to read it.  And, believe me it was definitely a good choice.  It’s called “Girl’s Poker Night – A Novel of High Stakes” by Jill A. Davis.  It's about a woman who just wants to run away and make a new life for herself because somewhere in her old life, she lost herself.  It’s right up my alley.  I’m sixteen pages into it and I can already identify with the main character, only she’s a girl. 

 

I decided, as I was sitting upon the toilet reading the first chapter, that there was not enough Gay Lit out there for a guy like me.  I mean, there’s a lot of experimental stuff, highly sexual stuff, “Queer as Folk” stuff, etc.  But, there’s really no literature out there for a gay guy like myself – someone who is on the edge and the verge all at the same time.  I know I'm a writer of dark pieces and horrific tales, but, I’m thinking I should try to write something that is like Chick Lit but for gay guys.  Maybe this type of literature exists already and I just don’t know about it.  I know some fag hags & gay guys who would read that type of lit.  Research is necessary. 

 

To further my current writing status, I’ve started an online writer’s group where members are dedicated to writing 30 pages in 30 days.  Post one page a day and don’t stop until you have a short story or chapter.  If you stop, you get "the boot"!  We’ve started off with twenty some people and I am hoping that next round it will grow.  This just may be what I need to jump my creative battery; after all, I can’t let myself get cut from the group – I’m the moderator!

 

As for life in general, I feel like things are going to be tough – for a while.  I still haven’t figured out what I am going to do.  I hate not having a plan or things not being “set in stone”.  But, for once I feel like maybe things will work out and, maybe, I’ll get that happy ending that I have always thought was reserved for fairies, princesses and men in tights.  Until then, I am forced to ask myself,

 

“When is it time to try to make sense of my life?  When is it time to stop running?”

 

After heavy thought, my answer:

 

Now.

6 shout outs / say it loud!

Sunday the 29th of February 2004

4:40 PM (3886 days, 4h, 39min ago)

Playing Ketchup

  • Mood: Chillen
  • Quote: "Now that you got love, what are you gonna do... ...with it?" --Heavy D & the Boyz (per Bobbie & a darn good question!)
  • Movies: I haven't really been in the "movie" mood lately.
  • Music: Currently dowloading American Idol Season 3 top 32 performances. Latoya London is dope!

With my birthday looming only two days away, I am pretty darn scared that I am going to be twenty-seven years old and have accomplished nothing!  I’ve tried the working-boy gig and hated it.  I’ve tried the starving student/writer gig and (secretly loved it, but…) hated the whole “being poor” part.  I’m throwing myself for a loop and I need to just get on with it already.  (“It”, referring to my life.)

 

On a positive note, my best friend told me that she was recently promoted!!  I really need to give that girl props for this accomplishment.  She’s worked very hard to get to this point and all of it has paid off.  I remember all the crap that she had to go through over the years and how she stuck with it because she had this goal in mind.  Now that it has been realized, she is so happy and deservedly so.

 

Had I been in her shoes, I would have left that job long ago.  Albeit, I am not exactly the poster child for workplace loyalty.  I’ve bounced from one day job to another with no hopes of finding one particular place to retire.  There is a sense of fear that creeps into my mind when I think about working in an office – forever!  This begs me to ask the question…

 

Do good things really come to those who wait?

 

Much like the ketchup commercials show, patience is a virtue that eventually pays off.  Or does it?  I’ve always looked at patience as an inconvenience.  Is that my problem?  Am I too impatient?  At this point, some emotional prodding is needed.

 

After some long, overdue prodding (which I have been doing tons of lately) I have come to the conclusion that I am doing exactly what I’ve always thought I wasn’t.  Bobbie, that’s my best friend’s name, works in a field that she loves, is loyal to, and is proud to be in.  Though times have had their ups and downs, she’s always had her goals and plans in mind.  Technically, I’m doing the same thing with writing.

 

I sat and pondered why I had job jumped so much.  I came to the startling conclusion that it’s because I’ve never done anything that I really enjoyed.  I hate office work.  It doesn’t fulfill any part of me other than paying the bills.  It’s empty.  It’s devoid of creativity, achievement and entrepreneurship.  In short, it’s “Blah!”

 

I’m sure that once I find my niche in writing, I will be totally devoted to it as my career.  And, in the meantime, I’m going through all the pitfalls and perils just waiting for my goals to pan out.  Maybe I’m not as impatient as I think I am.  Maybe, just maybe, I’m focusing too much on writing as something other than a career.

 

I write.  I write everyday.  Does that make me a writer?  I think it does.  But, when people ask me what I do, do I say that I’m a writer?  A struggling writer?  A starving writer?  A student/writer?  An unpublished writer?  Since I haven’t had anything published yet, does that make me any less of a writer?  I’m pretty confident to say, to myself, that I am a writer; that I write, so, I’m a writer and that is my career.  I’m just not too sure if I can say it out loud… yet.  This column is the first therapeutic step.

 

I guess the next step is to delve into writing as a career.  I need to get my act together.  I need to, not only, look for a day job, but, start sending my writing in to publishers, agents, small presses and contests.  I need to stop fearing rejection and understand that it comes with the territory.  Just like my best friend understood that you have to give a little to gain a lot, I have to learn the same discipline.  I’m glad I’ve had her to inadvertently teach me this very lesson.

 

Aside from my over analyzation of the topic, I am extremely proud of Bobbie.  You go girl!  Get your business cards done with both of your titles printed right next to your photo!  Stand on the mountain top and shout it out loud.  Let everyone know because that is what you deserve.  A hearty round of applause is necessary!  In my opinion, being proud of this type of promotion is not at all egotistical or stuck up, in fact, it’s well earned.  Hard work that has paid off is probably the best thing ever – next to sex.  But, sex will always be better!

 

Always!

4 shout outs / say it loud!

Friday the 27th of February 2004

2:58 AM (3888 days, 18h, 21min ago)

The Scenic Route

  • Mood: Dreamy.
  • Quote: "The fire in your belly burns hotter than the fuel in your bank account and the time in your schedule. But you can't stop...Upcoming demands are different from what you've dealt with before." --Today's Pices horrorscope
  • Movies: "Freddy vs. Jason"
  • Music: Robbie Williams' "Rock DJ"

With the Project Green Light deadline only one day away, I am forcing myself to ask the question:

 

When is it okay to put a dream on hold in order to balance the rest of your life out?

 

For the past year and a half I have worked so hard at reaching the goals I set for myself (transfer to a four year university, BA in English, MFA in Screenwriting, become an English professor, write the best selling novel , win the Academy Award in screenwriting… etc.).  I even went half way across the world to cement the idea in myself and everyone in my life who saw me make drastic changes in order to reach for the stars, so to speak. 

 

I’ve always been one to stick to my principles (no matter what) and to speak out when I feel that my life is changing courses (especially in a direction other than what I had planned).  That is what my life is doing right this second.  So, why don’t I feel threatened?  Why am I so comfortable with straying from the path?  I’ve never been this comfortable with (Dare I say it?) “settling”.

 

I guess it’s because I don’t feel like I am settling.  In fact, I feel like I am growing.  But growing into what?  I’m not so sure.  What I do know is that my dreams are a little different than when I first started out.  I still have the vision and the drive, I just feel like now I want to take a different road to get there.  I started out on the highway and now I’m taking the scenic route.  Sure, it’s longer, but there is so much more to see, learn and experience on the way.

 

Ever since I came back from my study abroad time in London, I have been different.  Everyone in my life has noticed the change.  The second I stepped off the plane people were commenting on how I “looked different”, “seemed different” and “acted different”.  And, this one’s my favorite:  “You’re so unlike yourself.”

 

I have been different.  I came back a different person.  I’m not saying that I had a life-altering experience, but, I think my time there made me crave independence, culture and companionship more so than anything ever had.  My eyes were opened in London and now I can’t go back to the same way of thinking as before.

 

There is so much more to say for living a dream. London felt like a dream.  I didn’t want to wake up.  But, I did.  I came home.  I went back to my life.  I sabotaged my life, once again.  I lost meaning and relevance.  I began the same spiral as I always do when I feel my life has no grounding.  Then…

 

…I found my grounding.

 

His name is Greg.  He’s taught me so much about myself.  I feel comfortable facing my fears, worries, woes, desires, wishes, dreams, accomplishments and stresses when he is near.  I’d like to start a life with him.  I’d like to get a nine-to-five job, find an apartment and start something that I thought I would never have.  Then, I see my dream dangling above my head. 

 

My dream.

The dream.

 

I still have the time and resources to make it a reality.  I don’t have to stop and re-direct a bit.  But, something inside of me could care less about the dream if I don’t have him there to share it with me.  Now, the accomplishment and recognition that have always been so much more important to me than money ever has seem to not be as much a priority as before.  I still long for those things, but I am now willing to wait a bit longer to attain them. 

 

Is that foolish of me?  Or, maybe, selfish of me?  I can’t be too sure.  What I do know, is that my life is about to embark on a whole new crusade.  Am I up for the challenge? 

 

We’ll see…

 

Until then, I simply tell myself that Project Green Light was the perfect opportunity, but, it just wasn’t my time.  I’m sure I will be watching the show this year and think about how much better my script could have been than the one that "made it".  I will definitely be saying my “shoulda’, woulda’, coulda’s” while I jealously snarl at whoever actually won the competition. 

 

But, then, I will hold Greg's hand and everything will come into focus.  Everything will eventually come clear.

10 shout outs / say it loud!

Saturday the 21st of February 2004

11:50 PM (3893 days, 21h, 29min ago)

His Words

  • Mood: Happy. Very, Very Happy.
  • Quote: "Work like you don't need the money. Love like you've never been hurt. And, dance like no one's watching." --Anonymous (Received via an e-mail forward from a good friend.)
  • Movies: Kill Bill
  • Music: Son By Four's "Purest of Pain"

He gave me flowers that were wrapped in a two page letter entitled “My Words”. 

 

His words. 

Beautiful words. 

Words like no other has ever told to me.

 

I don’t know what it is about this guy that makes me want to be with him forever (and ever).  Deep down he is kind, giving and an all around beautiful person – no matter what his idiosyncrasies are.  I guess I’ve never held anything against him and he has done the same for me and that is what makes walking away so not an option for us.  We’ve come to accept certain things about the other person and we’ve also come to accept that within ourselves there are things that we both want to improve upon.

 

His words were beautiful, if not poignant.  But, I’d heard his words before.  I had this little voice in the back of my head (and maybe still do) that says, “We’ll see.” 

 

Still, I believe him and in him.  If that makes me stupid in other people’s eyes, then that is what I am.  In my own eyes, I am doing what my heart, mind, soul, body and instinct tell me to do. 

 

I just want to wrap him in my arms and love him… and love him some more.

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

Two days (and some drama) later…

 

I’m sitting in the office while he is in the kitchen cooking for us.  I feel so different now.  For the first time, I feel balance.  I feel it in us and with my family.  And, for the first time I feel that I can breathe. 

 

Writing this column started out as an inspirational muse that I had hopes would get me back into the groove of writing.  I started it in order to write about “writing and literature”.  Somehow, the piece always returned to real life and what was going on in my normal everyday life.  I feel like I have gone astray.  But, really, what I have done is found my voice within this column and what it should be.  I don’t regret what this has become and will continue to go with my gut instinct.  This column isn’t about my life, per say, (like most writers’ journals are).  Instead, it is me relating my world to the wonderful world of writing and literature.  It can only continue to get better. 

 

We’ve found balance with “the force” (which is cheesy to say, but I'm a Star Wars geek). 

 

Now everything can begin.

We’re ready to let it.

 

More to come…

4 shout outs / say it loud!

Friday the 20th of February 2004

8:43 PM (3895 days, 0h, 35min ago)

Nervous Breakdown

  • Mood: Depressed...Alone...Can't Breathe...
  • Quote: "You have to love someone for who they are, not what they will become." --I forgot which one of my friends told me this, but it echos through my head.
  • Movies: Deep Impact
  • Music: I am not in a music listening mood.

I feel like I am having a nervous breakdown!  I won’t even tell you some of the thoughts running through my mind!!  I feel so utterly alone and pathetic – it isn’t funny.  What’s worse is that it consumes my life.  I can’t think of what to do to fix it. 

 

Of course, I’m talking about a relationship.  I’m not going to go into specifics because that would be inappropriate and “bad-wrong”.  We are just going through this emotional spiral/rollercoaster that we don’t know how to pull ourselves out of.  I can’t walk away from him – that’s not an option for me.  Everyone tells me to; that I don’t need this kind of complication in my life and that there are “more fish in the sea”.  That is not an option for me, if it were I would have walked away at the first signs of trouble.

 

In a way, I feel selfish for wanting to be treated right.  I feel selfish for wanting compassion, respect, romance & affection.  I feel like a bad guy for always demanding those things.

 

That is who I am.  The bad guy.

 

I’ve never been enough for anyone & I’ve never had someone who thought I was worth giving me those things.  I thought this guy was different.  He told me he was.  He tells me a lot of things.  I believe him.

 

I know.  I am stupid.

 

And, not only does my mental and emotional stability suffer for this, but so does my everyday life.  I can’t write anything else but this.  There are several contests (especially Project Greenlight) that I should be seriously focusing on, but I can’t focus.  I should be trying to get a day job so that I can move out and take care of my responsibilities – but I can’t.  It’s like I can’t do anything or think about anything else until this aspect of my life is fixed.

 

I met up with two of my friends from my old writer’s group.  It was a great reunion and we are planning to do it again next Tuesday.  I thought it would help me out of this funk that I am in and motivate me to write something other that this journal.  But, I am dead inside to everything.  Meeting up with my friends was good for me and I have missed them dearly.  But, the whole time all I could think about was what has been on my mind for the last two weeks… and this it my crumbling world due to my chaotic relationship.

 

The conclusion:  I AM DRAMA!  I am too much drama -- even for this guy to handle!

 

A rocking chair and 50 cats seem more plausible now than ever…

3 shout outs / say it loud!

Tuesday the 17th of February 2004

8:49 AM (3898 days, 12h, 29min ago)

Just some deadlines that I thought I would post...

  • Mood: Creative Monkey
  • Quote: "...because it's Oprah and Oprah's black. And, it's black history month." --my brother Mike (in response to my mom's question "Why are all the people who won Oprah's Pop Star Challenge black?")
  • Movies: "Boat Trip" & "Def Poetry Jam"
  • Music: Queen Latifah's "When You're Good to Mama", Diana Degarmo's "I Got the Music in Me" & Joss Stone's "Fell in Love With a Boy"

Since this column is about writing/literature, I figured that a brisk listing of some up coming contest deadlines wouldn’t hurt much.  I don’t want to become the contest info. Guru, but these sounded interesting enough for me to mention.  In fact, I may enter some (if not all) of them.  So, put your thinking and editing caps on my sweetie pies!  Polish those pieces and send them out.

 

(Note:  The dates indicated below mark the final deadline for that particular contest.  Click on the link to find more info on each contest.  Thanks!)

 

February

February 20th :  Writer’s Journal – Write To Win Contest

                       (The phone was still dead…)

February 25th :  Writer’s Digest 

                       Online Chronicle Competition (Personal essays on writing)

February 28th :  Project Greenlight – Horror/Thriller Screenwriting Contest

 

March

March 10th :  Writer’s Digest  Your Assignment #170 (Can you Haiku?)

March 30th :  Writer’s Journal – Horror/Ghost Story Contest

March 31st :  L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Contest

                  SciFi/Fantasy/Mystery/Thriller/Horror

April

April 20th :  Writer’s Journal – Write To Win Contest (The game was over, and…)

April 30th :  Writer’s Journal – Poetry Contest

 

May

May 15th :  Writer’s Digest  73rd Annual Writing Competition

May 30th :  Writer’s Journal – Short Story Contest

May 30th :  Writer’s Journal – Photo Contest

 

You can also go to Writer’s-World and search their database of contests (they have hundreds listed)!

 

If you know of any other reputable contests that should be added to the list, please tag the board or drop me an e-mail.  Thanks!

4 shout outs / say it loud!

Monday the 16th of February 2004

8:04 AM (3899 days, 13h, 15min ago)

Block vs. Funk

  • Mood: Horny - ahahaha! funny, but true!
  • Quote: "steal these words, rob them from my soul / give me something that will make me whole." --Charity
  • Movies: "The Latin Kings of Comedy" & "Urban Legends: Final Cut"
  • Music: Kelis' "Milk Shake", Joy Enriquez's "How Can I Not Love You", Brian McKnight's "One Last Cry", R Kelly's "Step in the Name of Love" & Sade's "By Your Side"

I’m not sure what’s in the air or water, but it feels as though a writer’s funk is in bloom.  I was chatting with my friend Charity last night and we both discovered that neither of us could get our mind on our stories!  I wouldn’t call it “writer’s block” as much as I would call it “writer’s funk”.  There is a huge difference between the two.  For one, I don’t personally believe in writer’s block.  For me, writer’s block is like an urban legend – you think it may exist or may have existed at some point in time, but it is so widely talked about that you just dismiss it as mass delusion.  Writer’s funk, on the other hand, is something that I fully believe in.  It definitely exists and I am going through it right now! 

 

Dictionary.com defines writer’s block as:

 

A usually temporary psychological inability to begin or continue work on a piece of writing.

 

This is why I don’t believe in the concept.  If writer’s block is a “psychological inability”, then why am I able to write this column entry?  I think writer’s block is more of a loss of muse.  Of course, I don’t believe that one can lose their muse.  I say this, because, as a writer, one should be able to simply look at an object or read a newspaper article or listen to a song (or do any of the other one million and a half writer’s prompts available) and get an idea for whatever they are writing (or at least an idea that is a starting point).  To say that one has writer’s block is to say that one can not sit down and think of anything to write about.  At least, in my opinion that is what it means.

 

Now, being in a writer’s funk is something totally different.  There is no classic definition of “writer’s funk” per say.  It is a term that I just throw around from time to time to describe the feeling I get when my mind can not stay focused on a certain topic.  While I can sit here and write this journal, I find it extremely taxing to pick up one of my horror stories and edit it.  What is even more difficult is the premise of starting a whole brand new story.  Not that I don’t have ideas.  My mind is swarming with ideas!  I am just too lazy, depressed, wigged out, static, etc. to even think about putting those ideas on paper.  It aches my head to even think about putting those ideas into story form!

 

I can sit here and write this and spit out one poem after another about love and depression… and… blah!  But all I really want is chocolate!  I want chocolate, ice cream and a diet coke (or coffee)!!  I’d rather…

 

BE RIGHT BACK…

CHOCOLATE BREAK.

 

Okay, I’m back.  I just experienced a Nutty Professor moment.  After eating a chocolate Jell-O pudding, half a bag of Dove Milk Chocolates, and some Oreos, I am ready to finish this column.

 

Maybe it is just that I have been going through such an emotional roller coaster the past few months that I have not been able to focus.  For me, this is not a form of writer’s block.  It’s a form of writer’s funk – when your mind cannot entertain the idea of or focus on certain topics due to the fact that those topics are too much for your mind to handle at that given time. 

 

Some will claim that this fits in with the idea of “psychological inability” and thus is writer’s block.  Well, I will admit that there is some psychological aspect which is not allowing me to concentrate, but, there are physical, emotional and financial aspects as well.  My mind is more focused on other areas of my life.  I am allowing myself to write this column because it helps me to cope with these other various aspects.  My poetry does the same thing.  The rest of my writing is suffering because I just can’t get out of this funk!  I don’t believe… err…

 

BE RIGHT BACK...!

Uh, hehe.

 

Back… again.  I guess all that chocolate went right through me!  Now, where was I?  Ah, yes…

 

I don’t believe that the funk will last forever.  I am going to be meeting up with some of my old writing buddies later this week (more on that in future columns) and I think that should get my juices and drive going again – hopefully!  They have always been inspirations to me and it helps to be around them.  We shall see.  I’ll let you know what happens.

 

Until then, I will keep on going with this column and my poetry until my mind can focus on my other work.  This is my writer’s funk and I am sure other people are going through it as well.  I think it is a normal part of every writer’s life and should be expected every now and then.  It’s all about how we deal with and overcome it.

 

What are your thoughts on the issue of writer’s funk?  Post your comments below by clicking on “say it loud!”  Thanks!

11 shout outs / say it loud!

Friday the 13th of February 2004

6:43 AM (3902 days, 14h, 36min ago)

Gay Side Story

  • Mood: Out of Ideas
  • Quote: "My lips are big, but my talent is bigger!" --Fantasia Barrino (American Idol, Season 3)
  • Movies: "The Lion King 1 1/2" & "My Best Friend's Wedding"
  • Music: Desiree's "Kissing You", Britney's "Toxic" & Betty Wright's "Make Me a Woman"
One goal of this column is to relate life experience, the media, everyday life and inspiration to the wonderful world of writing and/or literature.  If there is any inspiration for would-be writers out there – life is it.  When a writer says that they are blocked or out of ideas, there is really no need for tough brainstorming.  Instead, a writer should look to life, the media and the past as muses that could get their juices flowing.

When I start having issues with life I gain inspiration from them.  While I don’t write much gay fiction, I am thinking of writing a short story about the topic.  As I sit contemplating my options I am reminded of how many stories out there cover discrimination, equal rights, sexism, etc.  You can take most any of those stories and substitute “gay” for whatever topic the story was about and write a modern version of that tale.  It’s just an idea. 

For example, I have been having some problems due to the fact that I have recently come out of the closet.  I’ve never been ashamed or afraid to be who I am; I just never felt the need to tell anyone.  Things are different now.  I have found a really great guy who is very important to me and, because of that, I decided to not be secretive about my life any longer.  It has felt like a great weight has been lifted off of my shoulders and it has made me happier with who I am and what my beliefs are.

However, I have been facing the issue of double standards.  I don’t understand why I can’t have all of the things a straight person would have in their relationship.  I mean, I love this guy and care about him and it is not something that I take lightly.  So, I strive for everything a straight couple would have in their relationship.  Granted, it is going to be easier with some things than others.  My desire is to never be ashamed, afraid or compromise who I am and what I represent.  In this day and age, society is much more accepting of homosexuality (Oh my!!  I said the “H” word!!!) than ever before in history.  I am not your typical gay guy, but being gay is a big part of who I am and I won’t allow myself to be forced to change that for anyone.

It reminds me of Romeo & Juliet, Shakespeare’s tragedy about two young lovers whose families literally drove them to suicide.  All they wanted was to be in love.  Is that so much to ask for?  So what if their families were mortal enemies, they were in love!  The only two people in that entire play who were actually smart were the Friar and the Nurse.  They both understood the concept of bringing two sides together.  Plus, they were both really liberal.  (The Friar was basically into narcotics and the Nurse was always going on “jounces”.)  They were the only two characters who “got it”.  They knew these kids were in love and they didn’t let petty differences stand in the way.  Of course, they were “the help”, so their opinions mattered less than any other character’s in the story.  Yet, they were the most opinionated characters throughout the play.  (Wasn’t Willie Shakespeare a genius at that stuff?)

Both the Montagues and Capulets were blinded by what they deemed to be socially acceptable.  The same case can be made for Tony and Maria of West Side Story, which is basically a modern day, musical version of Shakespeare’s tragedy.  In my own case, my story reads more like Peter Brady coming out and saying he has a boyfriend (you know he was gay!).  Gasp!  I really don’t live in a world where going against the grain is deemed socially unacceptable.  Rather it is deemed acceptable as long as it isn’t talked about and kept behind closed doors.  What I did was to open those doors and talk about it.

Hopefully society will just get over it and I will be able to someday walk through the mall holding my boyfriend’s hand without getting stares or grimaces.  I have no problem with people gawking at me, but, when they do, they are not affording me the same rights as they would to a guy holding a girl’s hand.  We are people.  It doesn’t matter what color, creed, origin, sexual preference, etc. we are.  All that matters is that we lead a life that makes us happy and fulfills us as much as possible.  That, I think, was the point of Shakespeare’s classic tale.  Only in death were Romeo and Juliet actually able to truly be together.  Which is such a sad commentary on society and what is even sadder is how slow things have been to change since Shakespeare’s time.  Willie would be sorely disappointed in us.
22 shout outs / say it loud!