I Will Face My Fear

ReadingInBetween_Dune Litany Against Fear

In a little over 48 hours, I’ll be at a book launch with about 40 other local speculative fiction writers. I’ll be reading a 1-minute excerpt of my short story and ohgod just thinking about it makes me want to throw up from nerves.

But I’m going to do it. I’m going to do it because I wanted to be published, and sometimes being published means being the girl standing in front of an audience asking them to love her writing. I’m going to do it because I want to prove that actually love my writing enough to send it out into the wild.

For the longest time, I’ve been afraid to do this because I think I might not be good enough or interesting enough or entertaining enough. I hesitate because fiction is too fanciful “and doesn’t really help people” the way non-fiction does.

But then I realized: fiction is where I found the Litany Against Fear, written by Frank Herbert in “Dune”, which has helped me through some terrible times. It’s through fiction that I learned courage and kindness and nobility and empathy. It’s through fiction that I met ALL of my best friends, whether the fiction in question involved books or games or television shows.

ReadingInBetween_Dune Litany Against Fear

Fiction is safe and dangerous and comforting and uncomfortable and complex—much like real life. Isn’t it worth facing fears for?

On Saturday I’ll be reading an excerpt of my short story “Shake-Ups” (you can read it in the Incredible Truths bundle, which I’m giving away 3 copies of) in front of a room full of strangers.

Next month, I’ll start publishing chapters of my new short story, which is set in the same universe as “Shake-Ups” on Wattpad.

I’m thinking of publishing a permafree book involving the “Shake-Ups” characters next year.

Basically, I’m going to be brave as fuck for the next few months or so because I’ve been a coward for way too long and I’m hoping that a silent reader out there finds this post and realizes that they can do this too.

Maybe this will help you find that little nugget of courage it takes to press “publish”. Maybe this will help you get up the nerve to promote your awesome art more. Or maybe this will just help you wake up in the morning.

Whichever way it goes, I hope whatever it is I’m doing right now helps you.

I will face my fear, until only I will remain. And if I’m lucky, I can help you do the same.

What are you afraid of doing right now?

Stand – A Poem

ReadinginBetween_Stand

Call off your righteous gods; I

did not blaspheme.

You have carved a 12-foot nemesis

from a pebble an inch across; you

are smelling brimstone of your own delusion.

It is real, but not here; you see

the fire the next town over.

Here, your toes

feel quicksand as concrete and

hear a symphony as slaughter.

You.

YOU

stand on slights imagined,

step on simple Samaritans,

press on buttons YOU have drawn, you

hypocrite of the hippocratical.

Stand the FUCK down.

Not Quite – A Poem

ReadinginBetween_NotQuite

You,

with your gibbous form

not quite pulling at lakes,

rest at the edge of sunsets

to nibble on crisp tan leaves crinkled

at the base of trees.

You,

with your quarter-eclipse

not quite pushing at shadows,

stir at the hearts of sunrises

to sip on mud puddles pooled

in metropolitan potholes.

You

will not move me to hook

my fingers through the loops

of your not-quite thoughts.

I

am not quite interested

in “almost”

Something to Think About

Image shared by officemate Digi. Thanks, Deej!

 

In light of gloomtastic post yesterday…this should give me some perspective.

Because, you know, giving up your dreams so other people can live theirs might not be the best thing to do right now. Not on the year I turn 30, when the world expects me to be more mature than ever. Yeah, like that’s gonna happen. *stubbornly plays Pokemon*

A Sea of Public/Relationship/Political Issues

A little over a month ago (sometime in July, actually) a co-worker who is as much into geek stuff as I am and who appreciates my interest in all things geek sent me a link to John Scalzi’s post on who gets to be a geek (answer:  ANYONE can be a geek).  I found the post and its comments thread so fascinating and empowering – as a geek who’s had to deal with being part of a geeky minority, I appreciated the sentiment – that I started to follow the blog.

Issue 1:  Unabashed Sexism

Not long after that “manifesto” of sorts was posted, Scalzi addressed the ReaderCon incident in which a woman was harassed at a convention and the resulting measures (for a while, at least) were unsatisfying.

I found myself horrified.  And for a month after that, I found myself immersed in a tidal wave of blog posts and articles discussing the pervasive sexism of our times.  I read about creepers, gaslighting, rape culture, and having a rapey friend that people refuse to call out.  It didn’t help that some dipshit American politician inspired talk of “legitimate rape” over the course of that period.  And that stories like this one about a woman’s ordeal on a train comes to my attention on a fairly regular basis.

Sexism is alive and well
Because women apparently aren’t people and cannot vote so no one has to pander to them.

Mind you, this didn’t make me hate men.  I have a wonderful boyfriend, a brother whose respect for women makes me proud, and great male friends.  There are men like Scalzi who are thoroughly disturbed by the persistent belief that people are OWED interest (it goes both ways, of course, but the lack of respect is often directed at the women).  There are men like Ernest Adams who are disgusted by the dearth of decent men.  There are men who recognize the need for their contribution to reform female-unfriendly attitudes.  And I am grateful to them.

But that doesn’t make me any less angry.  So I try to focus on something else, but it backfired because…

Issue 2:  Friendship Woes

Allow me to make something clear – I have great friends.  They are awesome.  I love them and I will kill for them like the spork-wielding ninja that I am.  But the problem is that I will kill for them like the spork-wielding ninja that I am.  I’m depressingly inclined to be hyper-involved when it comes to the crises of other people.  And given some of the issues that some of my friends had to deal with lately, I’m finding it hard to avoid being angry (on top of being angry about the sexist background radiation we all have to deal with – most of my friends are female) enough to gouge some people’s eyes out.

How I see my friends
Can you blame me when this is how I feel about me and my friends?

I do try to not be so involved unless specifically asked, of course.  Especially since one of the “issues” involve a person at whom I threw an African Violet of Broken Friendship.  Rationally, I know I shouldn’t be engaging in talk about her, but it’s so deliciously cathartic.  Even the great Captain Awkward and the Awkwardeers, whose advice on everything I find helpful, couldn’t stop me from using bad words and feeling righteous indignation over the actions of an ex-friend (I don’t have many of those, by the way) who inflicts her issues on nice people as she had once inflicted them on me.

I’m far from perfect, I know.  But I also know when shit is effed up, and I simply can’t resist at least lending my moral support.  And this takes me to…

Issue 3:  Stupid Politics

I’m talking about politics in the Philippines here, although American politics worry me too because we tend to copy the Americans.  Literally.  Our senate is okay with plagiarism.  I guess the assertion wouldn’t have been so bad if they didn’t self-righteously condemn piracy as well (which I know is different, but is in my opinion within the same general spectrum – I want to cry “HYPOCRISY”).  And it doesn’t help that almost every big issue here is turned into a major circus that basically bamboozles the public into thinking that they have all the facts, when they do not.  Then nothing gets done right.

Angel vs. Silence
Much like how I always imagined this fight, politics here generally get us nowhere.  Watch Dr. Who to understand.

One of the biggest debates going on in the Philippine Senate right now involves the Reproductive Health Bill – the plagiarism issues mentioned above may be eclipsing it for now, but it’s somewhat related in that it was a Senator the Anti-RH camp that was proven to have copied (and in some cases directly translated from Filipino to English) entire chunks of text from various bloggers and great elocutionists for his speeches.  Lack of even the most basic form of originality aside, I am seriously bothered by the way the discussion of the Bill was approached.  Its supporters and opposition alike tend to resort to self-righteous grandstanding and sometimes sniping.  The local Catholic Church is trying to influence legislation by threatening Catholics who support RH with excommunication and general guilt-tripping.  The local secularists use this an excuse to call religion stupid.

It’s all stupid.  I’m so angry I don’t even know what to say anymore.  Even discounting my own stand with regards to this issue, I still find the situation infuriating.

I’m hoping that at some point I’ll stop getting angry over all this.  But I understand that this will take its sweet bloody time because I apparently find uncontrollable rage empowering.  I’m like The Hulk, except I look less like Mark Ruffalo and more like Amanda Bynes.  Or so my mother says.  Not that she knows who Mark Ruffalo or Amanda Bynes are.  She just sees them on TV and says “S/he looks exactly/nothing like you.”  My mother’s a very visual person.

Where was I?  Oh yes.  I need to get out of this angry phase soon.  Do you guys have advice?