Monday, January 29, 2007

So what does happen now?

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?
—Langston Hughes, "A Dream Deferred"

I was so excited about the writing contest I mentioned in my previous entry. I've been busy writing, editing, rewriting and formulating my ideas, in addition to going to the gym, eating right, keeping up (to some degree, at least) with my apartment blah blah blah. I've enlisted the help of a few people to review my work and offer me suggestions. All in all, I've been pretty psyched about finally writing and at the possibility of catching the eye of a publisher in the contest.

Unfortunately, the manuscript I've been working on is a complete rewrite of a fantasy adventure book two friends and I wrote back in eighth grade. When I told one friend of my plan, he was like "Sure. Whatever. I think this will be a good thing for you." When I told the other person about it, she was like "Well, I don't know..."

Before you think I'm trying to usurp someone else's hard work, keep in mind that (1) The manuscript I'm writing bears very little resemblence to the original, except in the most basic story (2) I'm the only one who's kept this story idea alive for the past twenty plus years (3) And the finished product is going to reflect 85-90% the sweat of my brow. I don't mind sharing the credit. In fact, I want to share the credit. And I certainly don't mind sharing any monetary profit. The reason I brought this up to my erstwhile collaborators was to make an arrangement for the share of any future monies in advance.

My concern is that no contest or book publisher would take a chance on an unpublished, untested author if there were even a hint of intellectual property dispute. I've told a few friends about this recent development. But so far none of them understand the real problem. This contest was a rare opportunity for me. All I've ever wanted to do in my life is write. And this was a way for me to bypass the endless slush piles of agents and publishers. Now as I march ever steadily towards forty, I see that chance slipping away from me.

As you might guess, I'm thoroughly disgusted by the entire affair. I swear, just being a drunk took a lot less effort. It's not as if I seem to be getting anywhere, anyway. Bollucks to the money, too. I haven't touched a drop in over four weeks, and I'm still dead broke, overdrawn on my checking account and conniving as to how I can scrape together a few bucks to put gas in my car.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


I’m discouraged. I've been writing feverishly for the past several days, but tonight it all seems so hopeless.

I went to the Border's at Sunset & Vine to see an appearance by Maggie Gyllenhaal signing her DVD release. I went on my way to the gym, mostly because Jake Gyllenhaal is my starfucking impossible dream of late. (See below.) Oddly enough, I never saw Brokeback Mountain, for reasons that are kind of complicated to explain, though I have nothing against the film and hail it as a landmark piece of iconic cinematography. Anyway, my other reason for going to Border's was to peruse the Writer's Market for a place to submit a story I've been working on. And that just killed my night.

First of all, there isn't a single mainstream gay magazine that publishes fiction. That's depressing enough in itself. If I were some brainless, barechested Adonis in my early- to mid-twenties, I might be able to get ink in one of these rags. Maybe if I set fire to myself in the lobby of one of their offices, I might be able to get a blurb: "Unattractive, unfashionable troll litters magazine."

So I'm looking at the magazines that do publish gay fiction, and I didn't see the point in submitting myself to some vanity dog and pony show in an effort to get selected in a magazine no one but my immediate friends and family is going to read. I could just publish my stories on this blog for a lot less trouble and aggravation.

And that, by the way, brings me to this blog. I can count on my fingers the number of people who read it. When I began it, at the urging of a friend who can no longer be bothered to read it, I had high hopes that I might be able to generate some kind of buzz. If I worked really hard at it, maybe people would e-mail links to my blog 'cuz they thought it was interesting, and eventually someone I'd never met before would be recommending me. Yet with the exception of one cool chick in Idaho, my readership is actually less now than when I started. In spite of appearances, I'm a pragmatist at heart. And I don't see the point of writing if no one reads it. Ars gratia artis makes no sense to me. Art only has life and power and vibrancy in the consciousness of others. I can babble to myself and not be heard.

Not to put too fine a point on the whole thing, I believe that I have talent. And I believe that I have something to say. My dreams are the only thing that has sustained me. But as the years pass, I see them wither and die the closer I get to the autumn of my life. There were so many wasted years! All because my biochemical glitch nailed one foot down. And I was always running, always moving, but never going anywhere. Spiraling into endless circles of futility.

My hope for success is the only thing I have to fill my life. It's not as if I have a whole lot else going on. I've got great, terrific, amazing friends, yet I don't have a circle of friends to speak of. And I spend practically every Friday and Saturday night on my own. I certainly don't have any romance in my life, not even good sex. I haven't had a boyfriend in over fifteen years. I have a job, a place to live and a couple of cats. Of course, that’s a start. And it’s a helluva lot more than a lot of people have.

So I'm discouraged. I want a drink. And some smokes. And some pills. As it is, I’m making love to a box of Booberry. I blew off the gym. But tomorrow I will wake up again, fight the good fight and reaffirm my faith that it's all worthwhile.

Can you blame me?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Online Writing Contest

I want to catch up with what's been going on the last month or so, but I've decided to enter an online writing contest. The entrants are voted on by the internet community with a sort of "electoral college" committee of the sponsors of the contest. Initially, only the first chapter of a book is submitted for review. But in order to enter the contest, you have to submit an entire manuscript. I have an almost-completed, young adult fantasy adventure, which I am now going to desperately try to polish up before the deadline of March 15th. So I don't know how often I'll be able to post to my blog.

Wish me luck! (And vote for me when I post the details!!!)

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Lovely Little Chemicals

Sometimes I feel a bit strange when I write about alcohol and drugs. Obviously they're a part of my life. And I think they always will be. I don't think I was designed for nonstop sobriety, even if I really wanted it in my heart of hearts. The problem arises out of the fact that I don't want to be seen as an advocate, but I'm not going to be a hypocrite either. I try to relate my experiences without bias, neither preaching for or against.

Most people don't aspire to an AbFab existence, but I honestly think I have the ability to go on my benders and then pull myself back. I know I can with cigarettes. I can smoke for a day or two (usually while I'm drinking or doing something else) and then go without for weeks on end without looking back. However, in spite of all of this, I can't deny that drugs and alcohol are a trap. They suck you in, lulled into a false sense of security. I can take some narcotics and have the will to get things done. I'll catch up on my work or clean things long overdue in my apartment. But after awhile, it becomes all about the pills as I sit in idleness, waiting only for the next spike. It's the same with alcohol. I can slam down a six pack with my smokes and make quite a grand evening of it. But then I find that I'm doing it every evening, and I get an anxiety attack at the thought of not drinking the next night. So maybe I can indulge my vices and still maintain. Or maybe I’m just fooling myself. I suppose only time
will tell.

"Time and again I tell myself
I'll stay clean tonight"
—David Bowie, "Ashes to Ashes"
December was quite a banner month for my intake. I was under a lot of pressure, both at work and at home. (More on that later...) And I managed to squeeze in some speed, some pain pills and lots and lots of alcohol. I even took overdoses of Lomotil, an anti-diarrheal medication and distant cousin to narcotics, for a bit of hard-earned high. (I apparently have a high tolerance for the atropine they put in there to discourage junkies like me from abusing it.) Now I’ve been teetotaling since New Year’s Day. (I know…How clichéd!) But frankly, it seems as if I’ve been white-knuckling it all the way, which is very odd considering how amazingly well things have been going for me. My goal is three months clean and sober. Just to show my bad habits who's boss. Like I said before, I'll just have to see how things go.

Forty Days and Forty Nights

My last effort to clean up my habits lasted exactly forty days and forty nights. (That wasn't a calculated thing, but it turned out kind of nifty.) It was good while it lasted, but I really don't care for "mechanical" systems or processes. Anyway, eventually I broke down and reverted true to form.

One last thing I would like to mention about drugs. I don't think I should ever do coke, or even marijuana again. (Pot makes me twitchy and anxious anyway.) I read about these areas, neighborhoods and lives torn apart by drug violence. I think it would be unforgivably immoral to support such a system.

Raison d'être

Last night I started writing some fiction again. Actually, I did some heavy revision to a short story I wrote about fifteen years ago. But it's the first creative thing I've done in years, and I'm very excited about it.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

A New Leaf

"Turned over a new leaf
Then tore right through it."
—Pet Shop Boys, "It's a Sin"
Well, I'm not dead. I thought I would check in briefly. A friend of mine who actually reads this blog suggested that thoughts on suicide probably wasn't the best way to leave things. I've decided to make a change in the tone of my blog. I'm tired (and so, I'm sure are those brave few who read this) of doing nothing but whinging all of the time. I have so much more to offer than rehashing my emotional problems again and again. After reading over my archives, particularly the more recent one, I've decided that I've grown stale and tiresome and boring. Granted the combination of my biochemical quagmire and psychosocial matrix has resulted in a lot of unhappiness for me. And if I were to be brutally honest, I doubt I there has been or ever will be a time in my life when I just wouldn't rather have not to been born at all. But saying the same thing over and over certainly isn't saying something new. I'd like to share my thoughts and feelings and insights on a myriad of topics, instead of wallowing in self-pity. (Not that that won't be a theme every now and then. *smile*)