Superfly

Good morning, everyone, and welcome to Thursday.

I slept rather well last night, which was lovely, and today is one of my short days, which is equally lovely. I made some terrific progress yesterday on Major Project, not so much on the WIP but it’s okay. I’ve made peace with the fact I can’t work as hard in as short a period of time as I used to, and I feel confident that once Major Project is out of the way, I can make some more progress on everything else I need to get done.

I still have short stories I need to write, as well as an essay, and am hopeful that between today and tomorrow and this weekend–plus the long birthday weekend i am treating myself to next week–will give me the time to get all the things done that I want to get done. I haven’t had time to do much reading this week, but I need to get moving on S. A. Cosby’s My Darkest Prayer so I can dive into Laura Lippman’s new Lady in the Lake, which is getting raves everywhere. Again, hopefully, that will come to pass this weekend, and what a lovely birthday gift for myself to spend my birthday long weekend curled up with the new Lippman?

Life rarely gets better than that, seriously.

We finished watching Years and Years last night, and it remained interesting all the way until the end–even if the death of my favorite character kind of cost me some of my emotional investment in the show. I was quite critical of this character death yesterday, yet still held out some hope that the death wasn’t really exploitative and would make sense in the over-all story, once it was finished; you know, the sense that it wasn’t done simply to advance the story and motivate characters to the actions that would move the story to its inevitable end. I think it could have gotten to that inevitable end without this character’s death, frankly, and so it remains another sad example of show business’ favorite gay trope, bury your gays.

Overall, despite this disappointment, I did enjoy the show…although not as much as I did before bury your gays reared its ugly head.

But I am now in the short part of my work week, the two half-days that help me ease my way into my weekend. When I get home from the office late this afternoon, I can do some straightening and cleaning and I can also get back to work on Major Project, or the WIP. Tomorrow I also get off relatively early–one in the afternoon–and it has occurred to me that I could just run to make groceries then and get the mail, negating the need to leave the house over the weekend (running those errands always seems to throw me off every weekend but I need to be more disciplined anyway; soon enough Saturdays will be all about college football and Sunday will be Saints games, so my weekend productivity is about to go into a severe decline (I often read and/or edit while I am watching football games that are neither LSU nor the Saints, so there’s that), so it’s crucial that I start getting things done throughout the rest of this month. I’d like to get all these little things done this month so I can focus in September more clearly on JUST ONE THING for a change.

I’ve slowly been coming to a conclusion about my career, and I actually said it out loud to my friend Laura at lunch on Tuesday, which made it more real, and having said it out loud, it resonated inside my head and the more I think about it, the more sense it makes. Simply put, I don’t think I’m going to write much more young adult fiction, or novels that could be classified that way. Watching y/a Twitter has been horrifying, and that entire world just–yeah, no thank you. I had always wanted to write books for teenagers, going back to discovering Christopher Pike and R. L. Stine and Jay Bennett back in the early 1990’s (Jay Bennett was amazing, absolutely amazing), and it was never about trying to make a lot of money or anything (despite being accused of that any number of times), but simply stories about teens that I wanted to tell. Currently, I have three novels in some sort of progress centering teenagers; I am going to get them finished and then I am going to leave y/a behind (I still have two good ideas for y/a books; I may eventually write them, or I may not).

I’ve been reassessing my career a lot lately–I wish I had a dollar for every time someone told me I should write something more mainstream, so I could make more money….because I would then have so much money I wouldn’t need to write anything at all. There are stories I want to tell–I have ideas coming to me all the time–but I am never going to stop writing stories centering gay men. I’m just not wired that way. I may write things that are more mainstream–a lot of my short fiction isn’t about gay men–but i am never going to stop writing gay stories. I’m just not going to, nor should I have to, and while I understand the good intentions behind people telling me to write something more commercial, I can’t help but wonder if people say that to other minority writers?

I kind of doubt it.

But now I need to get ready to face my day, so it’s off to the spice mines with me. Have an absolutely lovely day, Constant Reader, and I’ll chat with you again tomorrow.

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Stay

We did finish watching Castle Rock last week. I’m not really sure what to think of it, but I probably should watch the finale one more time just to be sure. I was playing with my phone–getting text messages–and I may have missed something key.

Either that, or the finale simply made no sense.

Which is, I suppose, a possibility.

I did write yesterday, not nearly as much as I wanted to or would have liked to, but despite all of my best efforts the words simply weren’t coming as quickly or as easily as I would like. I can remember, years ago, putting Madonna or Stevie Nicks or Fleetwood Mac CD’s in the stereo and hitting shuffle, sitting down at the computer and then several hours and thousands of words later realizing there was no music playing anymore and the afternoon was gone. Now, I feel like I am always scrabbling to get some work done between interruptions and distractions. It’s okay–the work is getting done, if at a slower pace than I would prefer–but I do miss those blissful afternoons writing away like a madman.

I’ve been mulling over my y/a about rape culture. As I said yesterday, I had thought (oh, innocence) that in the years that had passed since Steubenville that it wasn’t timely anymore. Yeah, that. It is amazing that at age fifty-seven I can still be so fucking naive about the world in which I live. I read a terrific essay the other day on Vox about how one of the greatest teen rom-coms of the 1980’s, Sixteen Candles, is actually deeply problematic (I’d already recognized its racism years ago), which also sent me into a deep think about other movies aimed at the youth market in the 1980’s and how problematic they are: Revenge of the Nerds, Risky Business, Weird Science, The Breakfast Club, Fast Times at Ridgemont High (less so than the others), Valley Girl, and The Last American Virgin, among many others–and we can’t forget (no matter how hard we try) Porky’s and it slew of even worse sequels. I also started reading Dead Girls by Alice Bolan; which is well written and very interesting. (Every so often I think I would like to write creative non-fiction; I would love to write a critique of the bury your gays trope which would also deal with how gay men are depicted in crime fiction, as well as piece on Gothic romantic suspense novels from the 1950’s through the 1980’s, posited on the premise that these books were noir for women; but then I read something like this book and think, not educated or well read or smart enough.)  I also think there’s a book in a critical reexamination of teen films/books/television programs and how they handled gender roles and sexual assault in the 1980’s.

I am also seriously considering learning how to speak Italian…although French would probably be better for research purposes.

And the Saints won!

And now back to the spice mines.

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