It’s Valentine’s Day, and since my husband-to-be and I are still some 1600 miles apart and both generally loathe the holiday anyways, I figured I’d play around with some of my other loves–such as my love of books, both writing them and reading them.
Because, honestly, who wants a box of chocolate when you can be given a book?
I was talking before class on Thursday about Valentine’s Day, and a classmate said she didn’t care for chocolates either, but wine and flowers are nice. And I was like, if you need a special holiday to give me wine and flowers, how much do you really love me?
Anyways, I digress. Valentine’s Day is only one disgusting element of capitalism, and besides, today I’m treating myself to books.
Writing was always my first love, and it’s strange because people ask why math, and I go on all these tangents about fantastic professors and where to find them, but they don’t ask about my poetry, or my fiction, or my blogging–and these, these are the things I love even more than math. Yes, I enjoy the metaphor of algebra, the meter of metrics, and the equivalence of rhymes–but they’re only tools for telling stories, not the stories themselves, and if I Brené Brown can be a researcher/storyteller, than I can be a mathematician/teacher/storyteller, but so often that second slash is ignored.
I think I first began writing when I was ten, and then sporadically until I began typing around twelve or thirteen, but it wasn’t really until I was sixteen or so when things took off: I found a writers’ community to belong to, to build my craft with, and I discovered (read: was told about) NaNoWriMo, which has been a staple in my life ever since.
I was also fortunate enough to have some great teachers in my journey to write–I took a writers’ workshop before I started college, and then in college I pursued a minor in creative writing, my classes split almost evenly between prose and poetry.
In my first full class on short stories, I recall one classmate who wrote the most enthralling horror stories. He has the honor of being the first of my writing friends to publish a book, and if you enjoy horror and speculative fiction, I encourage you to read The Corrupted Kingdom by Jesse Galena (I was not paid by the author to say this).
Meanwhile, many of my writing friends have fallen off the page (it’s a terrible addiction to break, and life’s better when not sober in this sense), but others I know are now in MFA programs, teaching English classes, or keeping up with their own blogs.
I often imagine the books I’d like to someday write–collections of poetry I’ve already named, such as Gross Politic, or the Mathematics of Longing, or this really engaging one on education whose title I should’ve written down because it was amazing, but now I’ve forgotten it. Lately I’ve also been toying with the idea of a collection I could start compiling with the poems I’ve already written. I’d like to call it Names and Other Lies We Live By, but it’s a little long, I think, so it’s just a working title.
(But if you saw Names and Other Lies We Live By sitting on the shelf, its cover a black-and-white image of a man painted with slurs and other words, would you buy it?)
((Seriously, let me know–maybe I’m onto something.))
All the while I’m tumbling around stories, imagining imaginings, and longing for the days I might put the pixels to paper and print these tales–perhaps, I imagine, another collection of stories, maybe Rheveworld in its revised state (waiting for illustrations from my hubby-to-be, once work allows him any time to draw), or its yet-to-be revised sequel Ex Vocare, or the final chapter of its story, still to be written, called Unbound.
I’ve had that opening scene in my mind for over three years–fire and ashes blowing in the wind, the Scion standing before the Mistress, a pause amid the ascending chaos.
But that’s another story for another day.
If I were to move forward with any of these options, I’d have to decide to publish or self-publish, which means I’d have to start with research and queries and possibly (if accepted) unlikable editors, or I could do it myself, possibly unleash an unfinished or incomplete collection, riddled with typos or places where a few extra sets of well-tuned eyes could’ve helped me make it better, with the task or promoting it all on my own.
Sometimes I’d rather keep the stories on my hard drive and just indulge in them on Sunday afternoons like this one when all I feel like doing is procrastinating.
Hell, at least other dates buy you dinner: mine just sweeps me away into other lands until I forget to eat. But don’t books always listen better anyways?