To those not speaking out

I guess I’m going to make this blog post more of an open letter.

I see you. We ALL see you.

The ones who don’t publicly take a stand against the atrocities that are happening in the US right now.

Obviously, there are reasons many people don’t speak out. If they are marginalized and just too damned exhausted anymore. If they’re mentally ill with something like anxiety, depression, etc and to do so would severely affect their mental health. If they legitimately fear for their source of income… or their lives…

Yes, there are reasons. Good, valid reasons to stay silent. This isn’t a message for those people.

No, this message is for those who haven’t said a peep against the entire disaster that is the US since before November. The ones who don’t have any solid reasons other than ‘it’s just politics (hand flap)’ or ‘it doesn’t affect *me* why should I care?’

That’s exactly how Hitler rose in power.

By good people standing by and doing nothing.

Trying to straddle the fence of ‘don’t alienate your readership’ isn’t a good reason. Not Sorry.

If you’re a writer… and you’re active on social media in general, and especially if you’re white… (or you look it) and you DON’T speak up against the hate? Right now? With what is going on in general and in Charlottesville in particular?

I see you. I’m not buying your books. I’m not recommending your books. Not anymore.

There are few ways I can make a difference being an expat. That right there is one of them.

If you can sit quietly by and NOT say a loud NO to what is going on right now?

You don’t get my help, my recommendations and you sure as hell don’t get my cash.

I’ll give it to a marginalized creator or a person who IS loudly protesting what’s going on instead.

This isn’t the time to sit quietly by and do nothing.

If you think it is? You’re on the WRONG side of history. You’ve already fallen off the fence and into the Nazi camp.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

Edmund Burke

 

 

Nuance

Twitter is a very angry place today.

It’s a nuanced issue and I have words. I’ll do my best to lay my very complicated thoughts and emotions out in a reasoned fashion.

Here’s the reason twitter is angry today. Vulture published an article that… was rather skewed in its perception. (It’s the politest way I can say that.) I knew about the person writing the article months ago, they were going around asking for interviews. Thank goodness Nicky provided screenshots so Vulture doesn’t get any more clicks than necessary. (Shared with Nicky’s permission)

I don’t suppose twitter being angry again is anything new, at all.

Over the weekend, I had to block a bunch of angry people who preach the same, sad, angry speech over and over and over again with regards to aroace issues. I’m done listening.

Blogged about it here.

And today, we’re back to (re: race issues, YA book twitter and reviewing) seeing the same people performing the same ridiculous performative activism. No, I ain’t gonna link them. They’re already on my publishing blacklist anyway. You’ll see a lot of them who look/claim to be white shouting that it’s wrong to want ‘old twitter’ back.

Today’s anger is in relation to race, reviews and the above linked article.

Over the weekend it was aroace.

Before that is was neurodiversity, before that it was queerphobia, before that mental illness/psychiatric disorder and I’m seeing inklings that it’s going to be transphobia next.

The problem is so nuanced and multifaceted that I wonder if maybe I’m one of the few seeing it? I mean… I’m so intersectionally diverse it’s almost impossible to believe. I’m plugged into a lot of communities just by virtue of being who I am.

I’m queer as fuck, I’m autistic, I’m mentally ill, I’m chronically ill with a chronic pain condition, and I’m mixed-race. (Mostly First Nations, Spanish/Portuguese and Mixed white European, but I have quite a few black ancestors too.)

The problem with twitter that is ruining ‘book twitter’ and why braver people are saying they miss the old one is this: It’s the anger people.

Not about the subject matter.

It’s about what makes REAL activism, and the ‘performing for ally cookies’ sort of activism.

I ask, in the light of all that’s going down, who are you shouting for? Why are you shouting?

If it’s the YA book twitter group, you’re very likely doing it wrong, cause they’re afraid. More on that later.

Several threads shared on twitter offer VERY salient point.

We don’t have people in their own communities (ANY of the diverse communities I’m part of) coming to collect the pretenders and me-too-ists and harmful (possibly well meaning?) people. We also don’t have people in our own communities willing to collect the loud, angry, confrontational, or outright dangerous people.

I tried, with the aroace discussion recently. I ended up having to block people because they were interested only in being angry, not in actually listening or in working for change. They wanted to shout, and flail and have things EXACTLY AS THEY WANTED IT.

They weren’t interested in working for change. They were interested in shouting until *I* backed down. Because I didn’t agree with them.

I got called names, gaslighted, and ganged up on. BY PEOPLE IN (one of) MY OWN COMMUNITIES!

So I ended up blocking.

I’m older, I remember a time when I was young and fired up and thinking the only way to make my voice heard was to shout and demand things.

Change needs to happen. YES. In SO MANY areas of publishing, in book twitter, in life. Change NEEDS to happen. I need it to happen, not just for me, but for my kids. Mixed race, autistic, possibly queer, likely… after the world gets done chewing them up and spitting them out… mentally ill adults they’ll someday be… and for my grandkids too, if I have any. All of the children and grandchildren of those generations. Those are the people *I’m* fighting for. Future generations. Not me, so much as the ones who will come after me.

Seven generations. A bastardized quote, but one worthy of thought in this context.

“In every deliberation, we must consider the impact on the seventh generation… even if it requires having skin as thick as the bark of a pine.”

The seventh generation principle comes, we believe, from The Iroquois Confederacy.

I do know it’s a very important part of my life-path. To think ahead to future generations in all that I do.

Environment, relationships, all of it.

Because THAT is who I’m fighting and educating for.

Not me.

It’s also a principle I try to follow that I need to have peace in my heart and a thick skin, so that I don’t act unwisely.

You may have heard me use the phrase “I need to sit with this”.

That usually means I’m angry, and I need to step back and away, to ‘sit with it’ until I can respond or speak in a way that won’t negatively impact others.

For reading, if you’re so inclined. Do a search for ‘seven’ and read those passages.

The Great Binding Law GAYANASHAGOWA

It’s part of why I stick on twitter, because a lot of people say they learn things from me that they don’t learn from anyone else. I have a patreon, I could confine my education to that area only like some people have done. (If you find any of my blogs or threads helpful/educational, even a dollar a month can help me so much. You’ve no idea how badly I need the help!!)

I’m not going to.

The angry atmosphere on twitter is driving people away. That is fact.

It’s not helping to educate. Shouting angrily, bullying, gaslighting, and being harmful enough to drive people away is not going to cause that badly needed change. No matter WHAT the area you personally need to have change happen in, anger is not going to get you there.

People doing the actual work are. The ones who reach out to someone (again, NO MATTER WHAT THE TOPIC IS) and say the hard thing to them…

IE: That is racist, that is bullying, that is queerphobic, that is harming other aroace people and making us afraid to talk, that is (insert harmful behavior here).

I’ve seen so many white authors dashing off a quick tweet today parroting that it’s wrong to miss old book twitter because it shuts down the conversation. (I’d really love to know if they call-in other white authors when they’re being problematic, or if they just dash off those tweets when the marginalized communities are harmed.)

But you know? It’s not wrong to miss old book twitter. I disagree with everything in me. With anyone saying it’s wrong to miss the old book twitter. That’s… not how this is supposed to work y’all.

I’m marginalized.

And YES. I miss old book twitter.

I only caught the tail end of it, because I didn’t discover twitter until Jan of 2015. I still saw a much more uplifting, educational, and supportive atmosphere then than I do now.

When the atmosphere of twitter drives people TRYING TO DO BETTER away. When it drives the marginalized youth you claim to be fighting for AWAY… Then the atmosphere is the problem. Not ‘missing old book twitter’. Missing old book twitter is not about shutting down conversation and education. It just isn’t. I don’t know why I’m one of the few people who seem to feel that way.

If people can’t make mistakes, and earnestly apologize, try to learn better and do better… what the hell is the point of trying to educate at all?

If your only point is to sic your followers on an author who didn’t know better… welp, maybe the problem is as much YOU as the author.

If you’re called out for doing something wrong, (gods, I feel like a broken record here) you say “I’m sorry. I didn’t know. I’m listening.” Then you sit the fuck down and you listen!

Then you try to do better with what you hopefully know.

I do notice who says they’re sorry and tries to do better, and who doesn’t. So does everyone else.

There’ve been threads (If you go to my twitter you can see which ones I retweeted, I’m not really a journalist, but considering the flagrant abuse of journalists that spawned these posts, I’m not going to link without permission. Sadly, I’m too afraid to ask for that permission of the two people I’d most like to link.)

I’ve also been bullied and harassed (through DMs, my blog contact form, and my email). I’ve had people lie to me, or subtly threaten to out my legal name and my husband’s and kids names as well if I don’t do what they want me to do. (To be clear, I don’t use my legal name cause it’s my dead name, so having it show up in an email hurt me. I don’t even use it in real life unless it’s on legal paperwork where I have to.) THIS name is my ‘real’ name. This is the real me.

Here is a thread I did for helping people consider if they’re being a bully or no.

Now, that vulture article that stirred up the hurt and rage on twitter today? It’s about the YA book community, and race, and attacking reviewers. I do suggest you read it in full and draw your own conclusions about it.

I’ll say something here I’ve been afraid to say elsewhere: I’m SO GLAD I don’t write YA. It’s not really in my skill set and I’m so grateful for that. I don’t even want to dip a toe in that shark infested lake.

I’ve got a partially finished YA memoir. I’ll never likely finish it because the very idea of swimming in the blood-chummed waters of YA twitter make me never want to consider it.

That has nothing to do with the young adults themselves. It has everything to do with adults and scary, noisy, angry saviors who purport to be defending and protecting the very people they supposedly write for.

Young adults are some of the most awesome people I’m privileged to know. They are much better people, by and large, than I was at their ages. The thing that keeps me from writing YA? (Aside from my lack of skill at it) Is that it’s not the Young Adult Voices who get listened to.

Nope. Not even close. It’s self-appointed ‘saviors’ of young adults (again, doesn’t matter the marginalization, I’ve seen it over and over again through many different diverse communities). They’re ANGRY saviors too.

Thought experiment from sociology classes:

  1. The last time someone yelled in your face, did you *actually* hear the point they were trying to make?
  2. If someone bullied you, did you learn from them? Or did you try to get away?
  3. If someone has bullied or yelled at you more than once, will you EVER actually listen to them or their point?

No? Hunh. Imagine that.

Young Adults by and large (I follow quite a few now,  after a particular dust up where they came out in droves to shout down an angry savior. I’m following teens and young adults because I’M LISTENING TO THEM.) They are afraid to speak up on twitter because of the outraged adults.

The ones doing the harm here, it’s not the young adults. It’s the angry saviors and their hangers-on claiming (again, no matter which marginalized community we’re talking about) to be ‘protecting’ the ‘helpless young adults’.

Now, I don’t know about you? But I HATED to be talked over by adults when I was a young adult.

Seems to me, mourning old twitter isn’t about wanting the conversation to die so much as wanting a safe place for conversations and reviews to be shared. I want people on twitter to sit with it until they know their facts and their emotions well before they take to twitter and rant.

I want it to be a safe place for teens and young adults to share their thoughts and experiences without getting shouted down. I want it to remain a place where people can (if they choose to provide the free education) continue to share educational threads.  Where reviews can be shared. Where a well-thought out call-out can happen and where the one called out thinks and listens about the issue, then apologizes.

That’s what I want from book twitter.

But then, maybe I’m just too old, depressed and sad about seeing something that used to be really good going down the drain because of a few, angry saviors with huge followings.

Don’t, maybe… be that person who sees someone shouting about something (even if they’re shouting for a good cause, a needed change) and become a me-too-ist. There aren’t any ally cookies. There really aren’t.

There’s a distinct difference between educational threads, shared experiences and the angry saviorism. If you can’t recognize it… maybe think about that.

If you’re NOT doing the work to call-in problematical angry saviors AS WELL AS the problematic people who may be well meaning and who might make mistakes (again, no matter the marginalization) maybe just STFU and leave the work to those of us who do.

Consider this a call out to the angry saviors and the me-too-ists.

You’re not part of the solution. You’re part of the problem.

 

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Selling a book is hair-raising.

Selling a book, or rather… the rights for someone else to publish a book, is a rather hair raising process.

I got the offers late last week. I sat and read/reread the contract of the pub I wanted to go with over and over again, hoping I wasn’t too much of a newb that I’d get tripped by something I shouldn’t sign.

I’ve had to sign plenty of contracts over the course of my 40 years. I had to develop contracts for my own press… But… this was different. I was signing away my brain baby.

I asked questions, I nagged (thank you so much for putting up with me!) my friends who had contracts with pubs/agents etc.

I angsted soooo much. (I’m autistic, obsession is my middle name) I talked to authors with the pub I went with to see if they were happy.

I then put it down and did something else for the weekend.

I signed it this morning after receiving clarification on terms.

I’ve been over the moon happy and overwhelmed since. I can’t say thank you to every single writer friend who has congratulated me. My fingers would fall off in typing.

The ironic thing is?

It was the very last book I’d be querying.

I was done. I almost didn’t send these queries to these presses, and when I got the rejection I did a couple of weeks ago from one I was sure would want this title… well, I almost pulled the rest of the queries.

But. I promised myself I’d finish querying out Bloodbound before I went full indie. Because my hopes have always been to be a hybrid-author, with some series with presses, some indie-self.

So I stuck the course. I wouldn’t ever have queried a book after this one, but it turns out, not pulling those queries was the right choice, because I finally got a yes (more than one).

Rhian, my Demisexual Assassin. Touch Averse, Gray-Aro, kinky, polyamorous assassin and Kai, my hot AF bisexual, kinky, Welsh Vampire (they really had them in folklore, and my goodness the amount of research I had to do to find info!) Are coming to you from NineStar Press May 07, 2018.

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That thing we say about not giving up? I’m rather glad, right now, that I didn’t. I’d completely lost hope, but I hadn’t, yet, given up.

 

 

 

 

Ingrained Elitism and Ableism in Publishing

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I’m pretty much beyond the point of no return with regards to publishing with a big 5, or even being represented by an agent, (lol, unless my very outspokenness nets me one or the other, and yes, I’ve seen that happen, recently) so I think it’s safe enough for me to speak out about what so many of us are thinking and feeling.

There is a fuck ton of elitism and ableism within the glorified walls of traditional publishing and larger small press.

I’m not going to call out any one person (though I do have a few saved tweet threads about it).

Usually, it’s editors or agents (though I’ve seen authors say it too) who say things like:

“Keep trunking novels.”

“Keep working.”

“Write the next thing.”

You get my drift, right? If you’ve been around the publishing industry on twitter for a second you’ll have seen the types of threads and comments I’m talking about.

Authors and writers will talk about it privately (which kinda says something all by itself), but most won’t say boo about the publishing industry in public for fear they’ll lose their shot at publication.

Happened just last night.

Firstly. I say publishing has a problem with elitism, and it so does. It comes from all levels too, it comes from big 5 pub, agents, editors and agented/published authors (not all, of course).

The idea that you can *ONLY* be an author if you’ve pubbed with a big 5, or if you have an agent or if you can bootstrap yourself to write another book while one is out on query or submission. It’s so freaking elitist that I can’t even wrap my head around it.

There’s a helluva lot of elitism going on.

Secondly: It’s ABLEIST to say keep working, keep trying, write the next thing to people, especially marginalized people, many of whom have Mental Illness/Psychiatric Disorder. MANY writers do, so that very concept really needs to die by fire.

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Not everyone is as open as I am about their mental illness… for stated reasons. They’re afraid they won’t get picked for publication/mentorship if it’s perceived that they can’t do the work due to mental illness. This fear is so common it’s mindboggling.

I did a thread about this last night, so I won’t repeat myself.

There have been panels and discussions at cons about why there is STILL so little diversity in fiction.

The answer has always been that the people who buy/produce/market books don’t resonate with diverse voices.

I hope to see change in the near future, so that new authors (or even, hell, salty old curmudgeonly authors like me) don’t have to fear not being picked because we speak out about problems we see or things we experience.

I won’t be holding my breath, though.

There’re are very valid reasons so many marginalized writers are self-pubbing or going with boutique presses.

It’s the only way we can get our stories out.

Another thread that may be of use to any of my marginalized readers.

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Wondering

I really wonder why agents act like they’re the be all and end all of publishing? Of course, it’s not ALL agents.

I just closed out a bunch of queries after they hit the 90 day mark. Sure, I might still hear back on some of them, but at that point it’s unlikely.

I happened to read the note one of the agencies had (that I copied into my query tracker private comments section) and it said something along the lines of, don’t send multiple queries, it can take years and we might contact you later when markets shift… basically a don’t call us, we’ll call you sort of thing.

Years.

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Are they that out of touch with how much easier it is for an author to go with indie small-press or with indie self-pub?

This isn’t the same market as it was 29 years ago when I started writing.

It’s not even the same market it was 10 years ago.

I’m the one with the product here (and a good one, based on my stats and reviews) so, what gives?

Seriously. I’m asking the question, because some of my friends are agents, and they’ve been very supportive of the indie market and my choice to go indie.

So obviously it’s not ‘all’ agents.

Another thing I wonder… do the ones who do the whole ‘no response means no‘ thing realize that in any other industry that’d be a firing offense? Not to mention they’d be a laughing stock in any other professional field with that kind of policy.

Why is it de rigeur in publishing and other creative fields like acting?

That makes no sense to me, at all. I really do NOT understand how it’s even remotely okay.

Just ’cause they’re busy?

Yeahhhhnope. That doesn’t work for me. *I’m* incredibly busy between running the press and writing.

Everyone gets a response, and usually a reason if it’s a rejection or revise/resubmit. Even if it’s just an… I’m sorry, it’s subjective and I didn’t love it enough… people get something. It’s basic politeness as far as I’m concerned.

So why is it okay? Why do writers… the ones with the product, the ones who pay the agents in the end of things… why do we put up with it?

Especially when indie is so much easier in a lot of ways, especially if you’re marginalized.

I think this is one of those questions I’ll never get an answer to.

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TRIGGERED by Christian apologists.

CW/TW Christian abuse of queer kids. Childhood abuse.

I probably should’ve written a blog post about this a while ago. Honestly? It’s not a place I like to go, it’s in the past and by all that I hold precious I wish it would stay there.

But SINCE I’m already there, and it’s Monday, I’ll talk about it.

First. A definition for anyone who needs it.

To be triggered is not to be made uncomfortable.

Here are a couple of places to look for further info… these are not, each, by themselves complete, because a trigger can be ANYTHING.

Wikipedia

Psych Central

I had to run away from my social media just now with my skin covered in sweat, my heart rocketing a mile a minute and feeling like I’m about to scream or curl up into a self protective ball until the memories fade back to the slime covered pit of my subconscious.

I can taste the dust of the Sunday school room. I can feel the way the pews felt. The nap of the carpet as it dug into my knees in the hours they made me kneel… all of it. It’s with me again in ways that I haven’t experienced in a while.

What caused it? What caused me to be triggered (out of the fucking blue this time, I didn’t expect it, didn’t even KNOW it was a trigger).

An apology.

A person apologized for the wounds their faith had done to me. A stranger in my mentions on Twitter. I get it, it’s not all Christians. I’m trying. It’s all I can offer, that I’m listening and trying.

Don’t apologize to me for the wounds your faith has done. FIX YOUR FAITH. Clean it up so other kids like I used to be aren’t wounded by it. (I guaran-damned-tee you someone is being hurt by your faith right now, probably in your own church.)

Don’t apologize. Saying you’re sorry to someone like me doesn’t help. It only hurts.

I haven’t yet (screamed) but I might… still. As I often do, I turn to writing as a method to self-soothe and expunge these memories and emotions.

An apology triggered me. Even if it was meant in good faith (and I believe it was) it triggered me.

You read me right.

A bit of background, since I’m already sitting in OMFG memories I didn’t need to revisit today-ville.

I was raised very poor, and very religious in the Adirondack mountains of upstate NY.

The Adirondacks, when they were stolen from the Kanien’kehá:ka, Mahican  & Abenaki, (and others) were settled mostly by Scots, English, and Irish settlers coming up from the south and later, escaped slaves (which is why even though a lot of people look white in upstate NY? They really aren’t.) It’s also why many people born and raised to the area have southern accents. They’ve stuck through the generations.

The settlers and escaped slaves brought their faith with them. Christianity.

It’s an odd sort of Christianity, for sure, because a LOT of the people I was raised with would now be considered ‘Christian witches’ even though I had it rammed into my head that horrible phrase about witches that I can’t even make myself write (and is a mistranslation by the way).

So 30 some odd years ago, I lived in a small town (tiny, we’re talking less that 300 people and that spread out over the mountains) the ONLY social centers were church and the local bars.

Lol, there were as many bars as churches, if that tells you anything.

There wasn’t any such thing as internet and the library was almost an hours drive away.

My mom was uber-religious. Like… I don’t even know how to find words to express that. She’d probably argue the fact, but she really was. (Still is, considering she completely rejected me after the Frumilstiltskin election because I wouldn’t shut up and she wouldn’t accept she’d done anything wrong, her faith and clinging to her perceived rightness ended up being more important than her eldest child.)

We went to church on Sundays and Wednesdays, (not for, like an hour, for the whole evening on W and the whole damned day on S) I’d been baptized three times by the time I was 11 (and from everything I know, I think it’s only supposed to need to be done once??)

I grew up, absolutely convinced I was going to hell because I’d been born a girl.

My mother’s friends were all, arguably, more religious than she was, because she doesn’t quite pass as far as the whole ‘looks white’ thing goes. (She wasn’t ever accepted because Jesus was WHITE you know. Eyerolls.)

So when my first sexual experience was with the minister’s daughter, you can damned well bet we didn’t tell anyone. 

Odd to think I didn’t actually KNOW it was possible to live a free and open life as who you are, all of who you are until I was in my early 20’s in University and I met my first openly gay couple.

When I had my first real crush on someone, it wasn’t on a guy. No, I never told anyone that either, because even though I didn’t ‘know’ what would happen to me… well. I knew how strictly my church stuck to scripture.

The Christian cross is a trigger for me. You try being beaten with a belt in front of it and see what kind of effect it has on your psychological health.

Try being in a Sunday school room and taunted, yelled at, screamed at and in other ways psychologically traumatized because you asked why Adam and Eve had belly buttons and why, if Jesus existed, he wasn’t black because people from the area he supposedly lived in very likely would have been. Why… if Christ was born in December, why isn’t there much if any reference of cold/snow on the ground in the bible? (It does, rarely, snow in Jerusalem in December.)

Remember I’ve mentioned that I’d read the entire Encyclopedia Brittanica by the time I was nine. I wasn’t joking. I loved maps too, and thinking about things.

I think I was 10 when I asked that question. Hunh… lol, maybe that’s why they baptized me so much, I kept asking questions? It was the old fashioned kinda baptism too, creepy white dress, bent over backwards in a gods fucking cold mountain stream.

Enough of that though.

Because I’m autistic and because I’m queer… (that ended up coming out, of course…)

I have HUGE TRAUMA RELATED ISSUES REGARDING CHRISTIANITY. I’m not going into the rest of it.

I refused to go near the church anymore after around the age of sixteen or so? So I did get out. It didn’t change living with a Christian parent, in a very Christian town.

It didn’t change what had already happened.

Christian holidays and their ever-present being shoved down my throat is also a trigger for me. I do my best to avoid it, just like I avoid the cross as best as I can. (I live in North America… it’s REALLY HARD to avoid.)

Knowing they are triggers helps me, because I know how much I can take, how I’m likely to react and I know when I need to find a safe escape route IRL. I know when I have to ask people to stop talking about it or when I need to stop taking part in a discussion online.

I do not want or expect people to stop showing their faith. (I mean, hell, it’d be nice if Christmas weren’t shoved down my throat from July to January, but I can deal/self-care, I’ve been through therapy.)

I know which times of year I need to stop being so active on social media (guess when?!)

I know which people of Christian faith are safe for me to follow on social media, and I know which ones aren’t. Because I do, in my heart, KNOW it’s Not All Christians. Here’s a clue for you, if it says in your bio you’re Christian, a Warrior for Christ or a Jesus-lover? I’m extremely unlikely to follow you back until you’ve proven you’re safe because I DON’T KNOW IF YOU’RE ONE OF THE SAFE ONES.

If every one of your posts on social media includes prayer, or pray or a reference to a verse (with my eidetic memory, I probably remember more than you do anyway, unless you’re also so blessed/cursed.) You’ve got an unfollow coming up fast.

The unsafe ones have already caused me enough damage thank you very much.

Look, I get it. I’m happy you have a faith, I have one too. But faith is a lot like having a penis, don’t shove it down my throat without asking me first, hunh?

Knowing all of that doesn’t change my damage, or my triggers.

It doesn’t change how very blind-sided I feel by this one. 

Just be aware, please, that unless you HAVE triggers (regardless of what they are) you probably don’t understand how badly they can affect people. That your words have power that you may have no idea about.

Especially if the person you’re talking to is Queer, North American and you’re talking about Christianity.

Please.

Oh, and fun fact to blow your minds. The Christian church used to openly and joyfully marry queer folks, right up until the middle ages. 

Stick that in your craw and smoke it, then go fix your faith so no other kids are hurt like I was.

Boswell: Same sex unions in Premodern Europe

Freke/Gandy: The Jesus Mysteries

 

 

 

 

Recovery

The first step to recovering from a slide into depression, or so my therapy has told me over time…

Is to change behavior, if you can.

I can’t do anything about the loss of our home, that’s just a wound I have to bear.

I CAN do something about how badly querying is affecting me.

I stopped.

I’m done sending queries. I can feel myself lifting up with the realization that IF I ever write another query letter, it’ll be because I’ve written another book and pitched it during a contest.

IF I choose to do that.

My spirits are lifting, because I’ve removed that burden from myself.

It also hurts like a motherfucker and makes me feel like I’m giving up.

That… because I CAN’T do something, I’m weak, broken, ruined.

There’s no doubt left in me that I can keep querying. I can’t do it, it wrecks my mental health so badly that I stopped writing.

I haven’t written anything new in months, I can say that now. I can point at the fact that querying is what caused it, or maybe the rejections from querying.

I can feel the itch, the niggle, to begin writing again growing in me. This is good. It’s so good.

It really hurts to see people I’ve been slogging through the query trenches with announcing they have an agent, or even… in some cases, a second agent, a replacement one.

It hurts, like a stab to my heart because I know that I won’t ever be able to make that announcement for myself.

Because I had to give up to preserve my mental health.

I’m so happy for my friends who’ve managed to find the kind of success I was also looking for. I wish them the best of luck and bright careers and many sales.

It doesn’t change how much it hurts me to see them getting what I’ve tried for so long to achieve.

That I’ll likely never have.