Character and Song #22: Truth

You read that right. Although in this case the Truth isn’t so much here to set you free than to smack you dead in the face. Along with her merry crew…ha ha, ok, let’s be honest since we’re in the presence of the truth; along with her intimidating band of awkwardly named sidekicks, Truth hunts down Bad Guys, Trize, and Lazy Asses to dole out some hardcore veracity on how things really are. Her eyes and hair change color depending on her mood or what she senses from others (sounds a bit like someone else we know). No one’s really sure where she came from or exactly what her task is on Earth. All That Guy knows is that she and he rowdy, eccentric friends make his life way too interesting. You’ll find out more about her adventures sometime next year. In the meantime, enjoy Morgan Freeman dropping some Truth with B.o.B. in Bombs Away, which would make a suiting theme song for her.

10 Reasons You Might Want to Make Some Fucking Art | The Creativity Post

A fabulous read. It captures brilliantly just why I love and have to write. I never enjoy anything so much. It’s as necessary as breathing. And it is so much fun.

10 Reasons You Might Want to Make Some Fucking Art | The Creativity Post.

Aesthetic Attraction

Keizick:

I just want to say, as an allosexual, I have the biggest aesthetic attraction for Tilda Swinton. There are a few others I feel aesthetically attracted to, yet she stands out as far as eliciting the most enduring attraction in me. I often find myself aesthetically attracted to androgynous (and androgynous-appearing) people even though I have aesthetic recognition for all genders. And don’t even get me started on the other kinds of attractions. I’ll save that fun exploration for my books. I’m definitely the odd one out. This will be interesting.

Originally posted on The Thinking Asexual:

So anyone who’s spent any time learning about asexuality from asexuals likely knows that many asexuals experience aesthetic attraction to people, despite our inability to feel sexual attraction. Aesthetic attraction is about the image of a person, the visual: their body, their face, the way they dress, even the way they move (though this is sometimes separated out and identified as kinesthetic attraction). Asexuals can have types, when it comes to physical appearance: certain body types they find especially attractive, hair color they prefer, eye color, style, etc. Basically, if you’re an asexual who experiences aesthetic attraction, it’s the same experience as being a sexual person feeling sexually attracted to someone hot, except there’s no sexual component to finding the other person hot.

It occurred to me that the way a lot of asexuals describe and define aesthetic attraction isn’t actually correct. Asexuals frequently mix up what I call aesthetic…

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Integrated Living Part Five: How Kids’ Shows Made Me a Better Person

 

Until I started watching shows like Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Signing Time,  Sesame Street, and others, I struggled with being a parent. I grew up in a household where yelling and spanking were the norm. It was a punishment-as-discipline mindset. Add that to my general invisibility as a middle child and weirdo and suffering other traumas and health issues, eventually I got to the point where I doubted people were inherently good. I had mostly only bore witness to dysfunctional ways of relating. I always searched for better. I only knew what I didn’t want to be and do yet that is not the same thing as knowing what to replace it with. For this and a few other reasons I never wanted to have children. I didn’t believe I could make a decent or good parent. There’s also the fact that my introversion doesn’t mix well with loud, energetic children. With my health issues, I thought I’d never even have the chance, anyway.

Then, several years ago, shortly after one of my surgeries, the treatment I was given reset my body and I fell pregnant. It was my miracle, my little child, and the only one I’ll likely be able to ever have. I was already a pro with babies; I’d watched and helped my older sibling care for her children. That was the easy part. The part I worried about was after the child started walking and talking. I already knew some things I wanted to teach. I had no idea how to keep the lessons positive, how to discipline without punishing, or even just how to interact in a physically affectionate way as the child aged. I started realizing all these pieces missing out of me that should have been built up in my own childhood.

Fortunately, I started watching kids’ shows again with my child. Not the crazy ones, the educational ones. As I watched them, I felt myself tear up. Here were parents interacting positively, lovingly, and respectfully with their children. Here were creative games that could be played to foster learning. Here was the freedom to let the child grow as they would. All of the things I lacked. I began to consciously monitor my interactions with my own child. I ruminated about the giant hole in myself and ways to fill that with something loving. I began to become a better person on my own, despite the fact that few others had ever helped. I would not become a statistic; I’d already beaten the odds in so many other ways and I would not sink into the generational curses of faulty parenting practices. I’m not perfect, and I never will be, but I owed it to my self and my child to be my best.

My partner grew up in a home that was happy (for him at least). I know many people who’ve grown up in broken homes but I also know others that came from happy homes. My partner tells me all the time how much of his privilege he’d taken for granted until he knew me. We’re both better able to appreciate where we came from and better able to forge new paths forward. I found healthier ways to deal my anger, pain, loss, and loneliness. I was able to open up more about myself and my needs. And most of it was thanks to some imaginary characters. I think that’s pretty powerful.

No such thing as “normal”

Keizick:

This is why I write. It’s why I started writing. Nowhere in the media was a reflection of someone like me. Not in film, no depictions in the pages I flipped of books, no whispers in the notes of songs. Throughout my meanderings between different schools and jobs I found “almost” people. People who only had one or two things in common with me. By my very nature, my existence serves to automatically make others uncomfortable. I was too complex, too varied, too immense; a dragon. Thus I ended up burning or crushing those I only wanted to share with, not on purpose but by the design of our very society. I always felt like I matched more people than could ever match me. Add to that the sad fact that greater misfortune falls upon me just because of the attributes I have intersecting in the way that they do and my gaping loneliness makes some kind of sense. It’s not entirely intentional; the universe isn’t conspiring against me. It’s just that this culture, this world is set up to benefit certain kinds of people and I am one of the furthest ones from that.

Until recently I had not learned to view my own voice as one that mattered. Yet I’m glad I did write. I wrote about people like me. I wrote about people I was curious about but never got to see anywhere in art or media. I still write about people who are anything but normal. I’m only just now beginning to be truly comfortable with and dance with my weirdness. Or rather, I’ve learned it’s ok not to let others’ opinions dictate how I feel about myself. I’ll never make everyone happy-hell, I don’t even think I’ll make anyone happy. But I can at least leave a reminder that I existed. I know I’m here and that’s what counts. If other weirdoes can find and read my stories and know that at least one other weirdo exists, well, that’d be fantastic. I could never write for normal people. I’ve never had normal experiences. If that means I’m forever on the margins that’s not my problem. I can only live my life. And cherish every strange moment.

And now my favorite part of this post:
“I will never be anyone’s idea of normal. No sandstone institution will elevate my opinions to the status of truth. No industry will ever deem me their ideal: not of beauty, not of personality, not of anything. But I do not care about this, because I know that normal is a lie so I refuse to chase it. I refuse to change a single thing about myself in order to meet a standard that was never set with me in mind. I refuse to think or speak or act in a way that would make me more acceptable to the kinds of people society considers normal because I know what they do not: that the pedestal on which they are perched is a precarious one. Because the other thing about normal, you see, is that it is ever-changing, and the higher one climbs on the backs of the marginalised and dispossessed, the farther one has to fall when the goalposts shift.”

Originally posted on days like crazy paving:

Let me tell you something about normality.

Normal is a construct invented by the privileged to pathologise non-conformity. Normal is a reason to keep you out of a space because you’re too brown, too female, too queer, too trans, not binary enough, not able-bodied enough, not rich enough, not connected enough for the dominant class’ tastes. Normal is why women earn less, why non-whites are relegated to poorer neighbourhoods, why queer and trans people are targets of violent crime, why disabled people are stigmatised and looked down on and shunned, why sex workers aren’t allowed the agency to run their own lives.

Most of all, normal is a lie.

I am not normal. I am too brown and too female (and femme) and too mentally ill and too queer to be normal. Most of the people I know aren’t normal. And every time one of us tries – usually so that we…

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Link

westernThe first two books in the Allison Dutch series and The Black Tree series are still free. Now every other book in each series is half off. “What a savings,” as the guy from Galaxy Quest once said. Anyway, it’s a good opportunity to catch up on each series so far. The last few Black Tree series books will be published within the year. Then new adventures shall begin. Like with Dune, the story is far from over.

http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/mneal

Character and Song #21: Queen Aeryn


The queen of all vampires. The first logmin vampire. A vindictive bitch. With long black hair, piercing brown eyes, and caramel skin linking her to ancient Egypt, Queen Aeryn has appetites bigger than Earth. A good bit of her character is based on the lover I lost to death a few weeks ago. One of her favorite pastimes is murdering Mark Ashton’s incarnations. Her latest reincarnation has granted her the powers of all races of vampire. She doesn’t care much for politics yet is extremely manipulative. She has a magnetic nature that often results in strangers trying to kiss her. There is nothing she hates more than lies yet she must do so to save the lives of those she loves. She has a fairly bad temper but she also loves deeply. As she grows up she seeks to correct her mistakes while protecting her kingdom. As evil as anyone may think she is, she’s also the only one who stands a chance of defeating the elf that wants to destroy the universe. Because she needs no words to express her sensuality and aggression, *electric 5 cube electric 2 inferno (see above) by James Neal fits her as well as her Shroud. Follow her adventures through the Allison Dutch series and the Aftermath series.

*copyright James Neal. Seriously Mark Ashton will kill you if you steal it.

Tempered Schism

Whilst suffering mild anxiety and weariness from my PCOS last night, I had something click for me. I was out at a poly meetup and despite how odd and disconnected I was feeling, I loved being there. The people were wonderful and kind, my partner was thoughtful and caring, and that magical creativity burst forth in conversation. I am an introvert, but I noticed a couple of nuances that make mine just that much stranger. I managed to still make a few friends, found a couple new ideas to add to my stories, and just had generally awesome discussions all night (when I wasn’t fleeing outside to smoke when the sound of all those voices started to feel as if it were moving through me, that is). Yet as those present began sharing stories it suddenly clicked for me. I understood why it was so hard for me to talk about myself with anyone. I knew what made it more difficult for me to forge friendships and why those I did form were more intense than traditional ones.

I could rarely ever have normal friends or friendships. Most of my conversations with people revolve around information, creativity, or philosophy. This is in part due to my addiction to these things. It is also due in part to the fact that I have very few happy or silly stories to share. The majority of my tales are either me helping someone in need or others taking advantage of or hurting me. The memories others so nonchalantly share hold no commonalities for me due to the fact that I literally have no applicable likenesses in mine. I feel like an alien because in a big sense I am. My experiences are heavy, complex, and intertwined. I do not often speak of them because the average person can not handle them, should not be introduced to them so early on, or would want to hear them for the wrong reasons.

I choose my friends carefully. For me, being introverted means choosing my interactions intentionally. The weight of my memories transforms every interaction into a possible investment, and the chance of loss is always greater than the chance for gain. I have long thought that the majority of people simply hate my guts but the real issue is something else entirely. What I have to offer and share is so far removed from most shared narratives. I am often overlooked. Only the rare person can begin to make sense of me. This means I am often more lonely than alone, but with the precious few I’ve found I can build happier memories. Together we’ve found new ways of relating and created our own narratives. I may never be normal. I may never understand all of the things people take for granted every day. I may never be able to make instant friends with others. But understanding how my life and experiences have altered the ways I can interact with others is an opportunity to better know myself, my boundaries, my abilities, and to seek what I truly need. I am the odd man out and that’s ok. I think I’m moving towards accepting that.

Link

The Black Tree Series Volume 5, Book Ten and Eleven: Caught in the Crossfire and The Three Talismans


Caught in the Crossfire-Saje has decided to be put to sleep in order to save the life of the person who was murdered. The two strangers who changed everyone’s lives continue to run amok and the strange animals they brought with them suddenly turn renegade and attack the gang. Meanwhile, Mikassa sneaks around and collects three very special necklaces.

The Three Talismans-Remember those necklaces Mikassa took? Yeah, it turns out they could be combined to form a special key that opened the prison of one of the scariest gods to ever exist: Mardock, god of gods. Mikassa leads the way to the Sun Kingdom, torturing the crew the whole way, and decides to release said god. When the god takes over his body, the gang rightly runs the hell away.

 

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