Recognizing Hungers

Finally have the ol’ YouTube channel sorted. I don’t know how long I’m going to keep up Tea with Lili–it does cut into my writing time twice a week–but at least the old teas have a place to live now when they drop off the Twitch stream. I have also been experimenting with Streamlabs, which is much better than Twitch Studio and doesn’t cause my desktop to crash, hallelujah. So maybe I’ll stream some gaming or something too, we’ll see.

My agent tells me I’m witty and personable, so this is a good marketing thing. I am not sure–one of the reasons why I write is the solitude. On the other hand, maybe nobody will watch the damn vids, so there’s at least that. And though writing is a lonely, solitary task, bringing a book to publication requires a lot of cooperation, so the writer’s life is a lot less lonely than one might think. At least, now in the age of the internet it is.

How the world has changed. Reading Anaïs Nin’s diaries and thinking about how long it took a letter to get to its recipient in those days fills me with a strange sensation. On the one hand, I wonder what Henry Miller’s emails to her would have been like; on the other, he probably would have sent unsolicited dick pics and she might’ve blocked him. (Good riddance, too.) It’s fun to think about her and Antonin Artaud’s text messages though. Artaud was apparently an experience–no less than Nin herself, I fancy.

I recognize some of my own hungers in her diaries. I am profoundly uncomfortable with small talk–I want to speak about the real, sooner rather than later, and social pleasantries are akin to being slowly peeled. The household I grew up in was aggressively, violently shallow and superficial; that way, the adults could retain control, and they relentlessly mocked and belittled anything to do with art, culture, deep or real feelings. Maybe it was a mercy, since showing any true emotion or letting the adults know what one thought was a recipe for further abuse, beatings, and just general disaster.

I learned to hide, but I never liked it. Being able to play the game–and play it well–even with narcissists is a useful skill, one I can wish it wasn’t so damn necessary.

Anyway. We need groceries. I did run out and get milk over the weekend, but it’s about time for another trip to get, well, everything else. Not looking forward to it–there were far too many naked faces breathing disease while I made the milk run. Each time I see someone unmasked in a public building I feel disgust, nausea, and great sadness. The utter selfishness is stunning, but then again, what did I expect in ‘Murica? The sense of being chained to a seat on a train merrily heading for a cliff-edge is overwhelming, and no matter how I struggle to free myself and others, I can’t halt so many tons of moving metallic catastrophe.

All I can do is mask up myself, encourage others to do so, and keep writing. It doesn’t feel like enough. It probably never will.

And yet…several of you have sent me suggestions for office chairs I can sit cross-legged in. Thank you! Every time I start feeling too down, someone passes along a kindness and I am reminded there’s good in the world, too. We somehow muddle along, one way or another. I’m trying to focus on that rather than the firehose of bad news. Of course the bad news isn’t like it was during 2016-2020, but the successive retraumatizing doesn’t help. A body-and-soul can only absorb so much.

I suppose I’m in a bit of a mood today. A run should set me right–yesterday’s was lovely, between the rain and my body suddenly deciding to slip back into the groove after injury and bad weather dropped my mileage to a pittance. The road back is always thorny, but also always reaches a point where the body decides oh, okay, I remember this and suddenly things become a great deal easier. I was hoping it would happen soon-ish, and it appears yesterday was the day, thank the gods.

There’s a release next week (the third and final Hostage to Empire book) and I’m already feeling the nerves. Submerging into a cave to ignore them and keep writing is the best possible course, and I should get right on that…

…as soon as I walk the dogs, get a run in, and dodge the murderously selfish unmasked in order to get us supplies for another few weeks. There’s a storm in Hell’s Acre and I need to write a certain character’s arrival before going through and braiding in a formerly written scene, and I positively have to get the monster hunters in Sons of Ymre #2 caught. That last has been hanging fire for at least a week, because there’s something the heroine needs to realize before it happens, but I don’t know what. I’m waiting for her to speak.

Sometimes one has to settle outside a character’s mousehole with a bit of lemon candy and wait. There’s nothing for it, especially early in the book when whatever they say will have knock-on effects all the way down the line.

And with that, I’m off. Happy Tuesday, my beloveds. Stay safe out there.