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Is anybody still out there?

I have to admit that I’m feeling a bit dizzy. This WordPress dashboard is incredibly familiar, but I haven’t seen it in about eight months. Talk about a déjà vu experience.

This poor blog has been sitting in hopeless neglect, gathering dust, as I’ve gone off on my own merry way, a life trajectory completely different from that which I envisioned for myself at the zenith of my blogging here. And yet here I am, back to a somewhat hauntingly familiar place. In the past hour or so, I have finished reading Andrew Shaffer’s fascinating biographical work Literary Rogues, turned in a miniature research paper on the traditional art of the Haida people, and scrolled through pages and pages of this blog. Just in case anyone is still paying attention, I felt the need to say “Yes, hello? I am still alive, in case I was worrying anybody.”

The last time most–or probably, all–of you heard from me, I was tackling my first ever NaNoWriMo. As far as records show, I dropped off the face of the Internet early on in the month. I never did finish that novel, and I don’t plan to. Frankly, I stopped writing.

What have I been doing with myself, then? I’ve been dabbling in other art forms. I’ve been consuming and analyzing media. I’ve maintained straight A-plus-es in school and something that I suppose one could dub a social life. I decided I wasn’t a writer after all and that I was going to devote my life to the classics. Or medicine, or law. Or archaeology. Linguistics? No, nuclear physics. All right, I admit freely that I don’t know what I want to do with my life. Turning sixteen didn’t bring any clarity to the situation. What it did do was make me start writing poetry predominantly instead of prose. It made me reconsider myself, my beliefs, my preferences, my very identity. I’m nowhere closer to figuring myself out than I’ve ever been, but at least I’m on the path.

Now, at this moment, my interest in writing both prose and poetry is growing stronger. It’s less of a zealous desire to be the next Christopher Paolini as a need to see words produced on paper or screen that I can truly call my own. Five-paragraph essays and structured research papers don’t count. I’ve been maintaining my nightly journal on a four-year streak now, I’ve been trying to write at least one poem per week, and I’m even starting to toy with the idea of–oh, horror of horrors–trying for another novel this summer. I’ll be working a 25-hour week, but I’m pretty sure that if I want to write a novel in my free time, I can.

Reading through my own old posts has brought some truly cringe-worthy moments. Second-hand embarrassment is even worse when your past self is the outside party in question. On the other hand, this foray through my past public writings has made me remember just how fun blogging in this form can be. (I specify “this form” because I have in no way abandoned my beloved microblogging during this unintentional hiatus.) Maybe I’ll get back to it. It’s unlikely that I’d be on this blog specifically, or writing about the same things, but rest assured that I am seriously considering giving my presence here a second chance, after an intense makeover.

That’s more than enough about me, though. Are any of my old friends still in the loop? How have you been, and what major events have I missed? I’m hoping that nothing WWIII-esque has transpired in my absence, but if so, I’ll just have to dig through some archives and get with the times.

To The Unborn Children of Homophobic Tweeters

Raising My Rainbow

Dear unborn children of the 100 homophobes who tweeted that they would murder you if you are gay,*

I’m sorry.

I’m sorry that you got shitty parents.  Unfortunately it happens sometimes, though in a perfect world it wouldn’t.

I’m worried about you and so are a lot of other people.  While your future parents are thinking about killing you, we’re thinking about loving you.  Please always remember that.  You deserve to be loved, no matter what, no questions asked, unconditionally, whole-heartedly, not dependent on anything else.

I’m especially worried about the two to four percent of you who, statistically speaking, are homosexual.  I can’t sugarcoat it, you’re in for one hell of a ride.  Hold on tight and keep yourself safe.

Your parents are stupid enough to believe that sexuality is a choice and don’t know the difference between “your” and “you’re.”  Never let them help you with your homework.

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Weekly Geeks 2009-44

It’s time for another Weekly Geeks post! This week, the team asks us some questions about our reading habits and reading process. Here is my general answer, all mushed together…

Most of the books I read come from the little local library, which is close enough to easily walk to in fair weather. Once I get settled in the tiny young adult section, my reading decisions are largely based on the little synopsis most books provide on the back or in the front jacket flap. I used to be an all-fantasy-all-the-time girl, but I’ve broadened my horizons considerably. If I’m in the mood to write a review for this blog, I’ll choose something fairly recently published.

Once I’ve brought the books safely home, I’ll set them aside until I find time to read. I don’t do anything special during reading. But after I’ve finished, I’ll think about the story for a few minutes, then, to remind myself to write a review (if I’m going to, for that book), I’ll hop on the computer, title the review and start it, then save a draft until I’m fully ready to write.

Other than writing a book review, there might be a few things I do before I declare my reading  experience officially through, but it depends. I kinda-sorta keep a “reading journal” where I write the titles of books I’ve read and record my thoughts on them, but it’s use is on and off. About 50% of the time I’ll ignore the dismal little composition book sitting on my desk. I briefly used GoodReads to keep track of my reading and connect with other bookworms, but that account went to ruin. It’s been sitting, unused, since about June. Book blogging has been sufficient for me. However, I’m looking into taking up that account again, or perhaps re-joining altogether. Start with a clean slate. I’ll think about it.

After I’ve finished all of those aforementioned gyrations, the book is ready to go back to the library. Occasionally the book will go into my bookshelf, if I’ve bought it, but  for the sake of saving money, I like to get books from the library system. The only time I buy books is when I have a bookstore gift card, which is usually around the holidays, as they are popular gifts for me. What to get for the girl who loves reading, but likes picking her own books? There you go. 🙂