NYC Pride 2017; Or, Why Pride Is Important

I went to Pride today and came home with a lot of mixed emotions.34694247344_77ce1221f9_z

Pride is always a thing that means a lot to me, but I always have questioned why it means to much to me. I usually hate parades, and Times Square on a normal weekday was enough to give me a panic attack. NYC Pride is like Times Square on New Year’s Eve–jam packed to the point where you can’t really even move. Yet every year I look forward to it and absolutely refuse to miss it. Today while there I came to the conclusion that part of the reason why Pride is so damn important to me is because I’ve been told over and over in my life that being any flavor of LGBTQ is wrong. I tried to come out to my mom when I was about 16 and she told me “not in my house”. I hate to think what would have happened to me if I didn’t just let it drop and go back into the closet (at least where my family was concerned). I’m surrounded now by people who 98% of them are part of the LGBTQ community, so I don’t have to hide that I’m attracted to other girls anymore. But I don’t always feel like I can talk about that part of me, or that I can show it.

As someone in a relationship with someone who presents as (and was born as) the opposite gender I never feel okay being all “YEAH, I’M QUEER!”. It’s hard for me to even talk to anyone about it really. So this part of me that is actually an important part of me and that I spend a lot of time thinking about just gets sectioned off and kept in this nice little box. The only time it really gets to open up is when writing stories…

And at Pride.

35535603415_99a6e2abda_zAt Pride I can just be me. I can wear a million rainbows and I don’t have to worry about getting scoffed at if I look at another lady. I nearly cry every year at Pride because of this. Because it’s one of the few places where I feel like I can really embrace my queerness. At home my desk is surrounded by rainbows, and I wear two (rather inconspicuous) Pride bracelets all the time. Sometimes I add a third, very much more noticeable, Pride bracelet. For those times when I want to be more visible (or really, visible at all). So I’m never really “hiding”. But it’s still really nice to just be Loud and Proud with other members of my community.

The other reason I came away from Pride with mixed emotions is because, while I very much enjoyed myself and all, I didn’t enjoy it this year as much as previous years. I’d chalk it up to just getting older, but the truth is it was largely due to the way NYC had sectioned off ways to get to the parade. Once you’re on the parade route, if you get off of it, it’s damn hard to get back to it. I had to get off the route in order to go to the bathroom, but they only left two, maybe three, walkways up to the parade route and so each one was so incredibly clogged with people that walking anywhere (and then afterwards finding a suitable spot you can see from) was impossible. In years past you could walk up any street and pretty easily find a place to watch from. This year was completely different.

Because of this I wound up missing a lot of the parade itself. Once I was off the parade route I couldn’t deal with trying to get through the mass of people to find a spot again. So I didn’t get to see the Orlando tribute they did, or the Wizards of the Coast dragon, or really anything that happened after the first half hour or so. I actually wound up coming home early because I just didn’t see the point is staying if I couldn’t even see the parade. The probably did this because of the current political climate or something to do with safety, but it did really put a damper on my good time.

The road closings didn’t ruin my time enough that I won’t return next year. I most definitely will. The more I go the more I realize how important the space and time of Pride is to me and to the community as a whole. Especially with what we have in office now.

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On Shelving LGBT Books

I was in Word Bookstores the other day to price the next novel in the series that I’m reading and noticed they had an endcap dedicated completely to LGBT authors and 19228914_1909548795968371_7131675044752654336_nbooks. It brought up the same internal (and sometimes external) debate I’ve had for awhile now.

I’ve thought a lot about how to shelve LGBT books–whether to give them their own section or just integrate them in with all the other books. And I think I’ve finally come to a decision on that.

While I agree that there should be an even 50/50 split of books (gay vs straight) in every book store, I think my final position in this matter is that I prefer LGBT books to have their own section. Just because it makes them easier to find.

As a teen who was questioning her sexuality I would comb the shelves for LGBT books and come away empty handed. That is until I found the LGBT section. Then I had books galore to read (though admittedly a lot of them at the time were porn, which I didn’t really want). Even these days it can be hard to find a book with a lesbian MC in the store unless you know authors to look for. But if you’re looking for a book with a queer character for the first time it can be really daunting and very disheartening. My search when I was a teen led me to believe LGBT books just didn’t exist and that saddened me.

So I think until a time comes that we truly have a 50/50 split of straight and queer literature, it’s better to have a section where LGBT books are prominently displayed. (Note that I say prominently. I don’t mean some dark corner of the bookstore.) As bookstores often stock more than one copy of a book–especially more popular books–it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if they put one of those copies on the shelves with the straight fiction.

What are your thoughts on this issue?

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Begin Again

I’m writing again. Last month I didn’t write a thing–not a word. No poem, no sentence, nothing. (Unless you count a blog post, which in this context I don’t.) I don’t really know what happened. Maybe I was putting too much pressure on myself, trying to get something “right” to be published. Maybe I was just trying to force myself to write something that I didn’t feel that passionate about. I don’t know. Really, I don’t care.

What I care about, is that I’m writing again.

At the start of the month I got a spark, an idea. It was random and totally out of the blue, and it hit when I was driving. But I held onto it and mulled it over as I raced home. I wrote it down when I got there, not knowing where it was going. But I did it. I wrote something. Just a paragraph or two to start with, and I gave myself permission to stop after that. I still had no clue what would come of it.

The next day I went back and added a little bit more. Just whatever came to mind. I didn’t worry about if it made sense, if it made a good story, if I would eventually need to change it or edit it. I just wrote, not caring if it was shit or gold.

I got absorbed in my friend’s wedding after that, and didn’t return to the page for an entire week. But I did. I went back again. I a full page and then some.

I went back again today and wrote two pages. The story is growing, getting longer. I still have no clue where it’s going or what will come of it. And truth be told I don’t care. I’m enjoying the journey. I’m letting my imagination take me wherever it will, regardless of anything else. This doesn’t have to meet anyone else’s eyes. Just mine. I just need to enjoy it. And I am.

Here’s what I do know about it:

–it takes place in a fictional, unnamed (as of yet) seaside town

–there is a Priestess, a witch in it. She’s the magickal kind that can cast spells and is friends with fairies and is learning to open up and trust again

–in writing this story I’m opening up again. I’m letting my imagination run rampant and it feels good. It feels right. I haven’t felt this good in ages. This little story is changing me in the best ways.

–I’ve tried to fit myself into the mold of plotter for awhile. Making myself notes, having a clear idea where the story was going to go. It doesn’t work. I’m too stifled. Though I’ve only written a total of four pages (front and back) this story has already taught me that I’m happiest when I just write and don’t worry about having a map. The entire process feels more natural this way.

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One Year

It’s been one year since Pulse. One year to the day. I have no words to say that can make what happened better. I have no sentiments that will ease the ache of those lost. All I have is memories and condolences for the 49 victims of that Orlando night club and those who lost people there. It was tragic, horrendous, and undoubtedly a hate crime. So many, last year, tried to brush it off as not a hate club. But it was. Forty-nine people were killed at a gay night club during Pride month. To ignore that this was clearly a hate crime is foolish and dangerous.

Over the weekend I went to a wedding and celebrated the love between two good friends. There was much merriment and many laughs. We all had a good time.

Today I am quiet and my thoughts go back to a year ago, to those we lost and I can’t help but quietly weep. How could anyone feel so much hate to kill people they don’t even know? I don’t understand it, and I think I never will.

Even before Pulse I was committed to being “Out and Proud” so to speak, to never hide who I am because it might make some people uncomfortable. No one should have to live in fear of just being who they are. LGBT folk are no different from you. We love our partners and want a good life together without violence and a safe place to keep our (fur)babies well.

All month long I’ve been gearing up for one of my favorite times of year–NYC Pride. I adore it and love it. The atmosphere there is amazing. I’ve gone every year since moving here~ Last year they had a few sections of the parade dedicated to the Pulse shooting, to the victims. They did a great job. ❤

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Each person represents one of the 49 victims

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We will never forget ❤

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Happy Pride!! <3

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Book Review: BEFORE I FALL by Lauren Oliver

So, you might have noticed me missing from most of the internet for about a week. At least from any blogging site or Youtube. That’s because I’ve been working so damn much that I have hit burn out in just about every area of my life. I haven’t had brain power to do much of anything. I certainly haven’t had it to do any writing.

Full disclosure: Working this much has led to me developing a bit of anxiety that take form in panic attacks. So when I’m not working I am frequently trying to keep myself calm. My life has come to revolve entirely around my dayjob and that is what gives me anxiety. The fact that so much of my time is not mine, and I can’t even spend time with my partner anymore. I am working 12 hour days frequently, and it’s zapping all of the spoons I have.

So, needless to say, I haven’t done any writing these past few weeks. I hate it. Absolutely hate it. The fact that I don’t have brain power to even write a poem (let alone any kind of prose) is driving me absolutely crazy. I’m not me if I’m not writing something. I don’t even feel like myself if I’m not working on some kind of writing project. I need to be able to get back to having some writing time. At least a little. Since starting to work this much I’ve been craving a day where all I do is drown in words. I spend from sun up to sun down doing nothing but writing.

Obviously I’m completely overwhelmed and don’t feel like I have time for anything anymore. This needs to change. I need to stop working this much or I’m going to wind up breaking completely down.

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I have managed to read a book in it’s entirety. I stayed up nearly all night the other night because I was so absorbed in BEFORE I FALL by Lauren Oliver. It was a good book, though it took me awhile to get into it. I didn’t understand that Samantha was in a time loop, so when the entire chapter was nothing but detailing her day with stuff that seemed meaningless it struck me as not really having a plot. Then I realized she was in a loop and it clicked that “oh. This information is all relevant.”

I take off points though because there was no real reason for the loop to even begin. It was triggered by one of the characters dying, and time reset when that girl was saved. But it was never explained WHY her living and not dying was significant or caused some kind of loop to begin. This girl is just another girl in the story. She’s no more or less important than Samantha (the main character) herself. So why did a loop start when this girl died and not when Sam died? Or when Elody died? Nothing in the book gave any kind of explanation. The story was good, but without a reason it felt incomplete. It felt very lacking.

BEFORE I FALL gets 3 1/2 stars from me. A full star off for not giving a reason, and a star for slightly homophobic wording (Oliver used the word f*gg*t, and one of the characters made the comment “lesboing out?” when Sam kissed her cheek, both of which struck me as Wrong) and for the line “…teeth so white they looked like bone.” Um, teeth are bones? How did that line even make it through several editing passes?!

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Sign Up For My Newsletter!

Hey there guys! I have decided to start my very own Newsetter. I liked the idea of a slightly more personal way to keep in contact with my lovely readers, and the fact that it’s a way to communicate with you all that isn’t just a blog post.

I’ve decided to go with a monthly newsletter for now as I get started. If I see that I have the time and capabilities for more often then I may increase it, but for right now I just plan to send out a newsletter once a month on each Full Moon. So I guess it’s technically a moonthly newsletter XD Oh I crack myself up. #NotReally #NoActuallyIDo #ILovePuns

There should be a sign up for that pops up when you view each post page individually, but for ease I’ve also included a form below! What can you expect to find in my newsletter? Life updates, project status and updates, potentially a few excerpts from my current WIP’s, any appearances I plan to make, etc. Oh and there will likely be a cute cat pic included. Because, let’s be honest, I’m a crazy cat lady. (Note that I didn’t say they would just be pics of Luna! I work with a cat rescue and at a vet’s office so I have access to a MYRIAD of cute cats, kittens, puppies, and other small animals!) If you’d like all this and more, sign up below!

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