This wasn’t supposed to happen for a few weeks, but given that I’ve been putting out as many as four posts a day in the last couple of weeks, it was inevitable that the date was gonna get pushed up.
What am I talking about? This right here. Post number two thousand, five hundred, or 2,500 if you prefer. All in the raw.
Normally I do something special for these posts and I’d actually promised that for this post, but it’s not like I planned anything. Not like when post 1,000 came up almost three and a half years ago at the end of January, 2014. There’s a lot that’s happened since that post came out–some of which I’m about to go over.
For one, I didn’t exist. At least not this way:
As much as I spoke of transitioning–or how little I did at that time, which was more the case–I hadn’t actually, really, truly begun the process to actually become Cassidy. I was working in Harrisburg and was considering walking the walk, but it wasn’t until two months later, 30 March, 2014, that I actually started going out in public. And it wasn’t until almost another two months later, on my birthday, 2014, by that I actually showed what I looked like:
When people say, “You’re changed,” in this case, I have. I’m still somewhat surprised when I see pictures of myself back then and realize just how far I’ve really come.
Also, when I took that last picture, I’d learned only a week or so before that my contract with the state–sorry, Commonwealth–of Pennsylvania had been extended another years, so I’d continue living in Harrisburg at least until the middle of 2015. That was two years ago, and it looks as if I’m here to stay until the “Commonwealth” decides to get ride of me. Which I hope isn’t for a while ’cause I love living in Harrisburg. It took 55 years to get here, but I’m finally sorta living the life I was meant to live.
And then there’s the writing. Anyone remember what I was doing right before post 1,000? That’s easy to check:
(Excerpt from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)
The dining tables and chair were gone, replaced by large, comfortable reading chairs, love seats, sofas, and even—yes, there were even a few huge beds capable of holding a half dozen students easily, as a couple already were. Scattered around the hall were a few large carpets covered in throw pillows that reminded Kerry of the classroom in Memory’s End where they met with Professor Arrakis. The light was down in the hall, but there were small, brighter spots here and there coming from floor lamps set alongside a few of the large chairs and love seats.
As they entered the hall Kerry took in the relaxed but excited environment. With each chair, sofa, or bed there was at least one table where one could set snacks, drinks, and various forms of entertainment. Three girls to his right, sitting on a sofa and an easy chair, were playing cards on a coffee table made of a dark wood. Another boy was sitting in one of the large chairs reading, a drink sitting upon the end table to his right. The bed with the six girls had high, narrow tables at what he guessed was the head and the foot of the bed, and while they talked they were also munching on snacks kept in bowls on both tables.
Something caught Kerry’s eye: a group of five kids, three boys and two girls, sitting on the floor around a low, circular table. One of the boys had his tablet at his right and a cardboard screen in front of them, while the students had sheets of paper and dice laid out before them. “Hey, those guys over there are—”
“Oh, look.” Annie tugged on Kerry’s arm and pulled him along. “There’s the perfect spot.” She dragged towards a sofa located near the center of the hall, one facing the east wall. It wasn’t alone: there was also a table at each end of the sofa, an easy chair facing north and south, and a low coffee table in the middle of it all. Kerry was surprised no one was already sitting there—then again, there were maybe seventy people in the room and it looked as if there were plenty of empty places remaining.
That was the last excerpt I published before I hit post 1,000–it was actually post 998 if you need to know, and you can read it all here. Yeah, it was the end of the first week of school at the Salem Institute of Greater Learning and Education, better known to all students and readers alike as the School of Salem, and a couple of little witches were off to enjoy the school-wide pajama party known as the Midnight Madness. Back then I was about 125,000 words into the first novel and it would be another year before that experience came to an end.
And since then? Well, my kids also made it out of their B Levels and are now about 170,000 words into their C Levels after a little more than ten months of writing. Yes, it’s true: I’m writing a bit slower than I did on the last two novels. At the same time I’ve been busy–
First working on a political campaign:
Then I got into protest:
All that political stuff, meeting and marching, takes up time, and I only have so much of that to spread around in a day. It’s a trend that’s going to continue for a while, no matter what.
As for writing… In the last couple of years I’ve branched out into writing TV recaps as well, because why not? It’s not like I have anything else going on, right? In the last two years I’ve started down that road and it does keep me busy, so much so that sometimes I’m writing more recaps than novel. Sure, it seems like something that is kind of a pain in the butt for people who are following my writing, but it’s something that I enjoy doing and will likely continue doing for a while more. Also, exposure–something that could kill me just like on the south flank of Everest, but what the hey? Gotta take that chance.
Am I ever gonna publish? Who the hell knows? Sometimes I even wonder if I’ll get anywhere, but I keep trying. It never hurts to try and the payoff can be rewarding.
Am I gonna keep blogging? You know, it seems like every few months I feel like I’m about to kick this sucker away and give it up. Biggest reason for that is this feeling that I don’t have much to say anymore. Call it burn out, call it depression, call it for dinner if you like, but that feeling is there. And yet… every time I want to walk away I get pulled right back in, just like a certain mafia Don who wanted to quit the biz. I’m told that I’m doing things that people notice, and while I’m sometimes damned to see what those things are, I’ll trust others to keep me honest. ‘Cause when you’re too close to the action, you often can’t see the whole picture.
Future then? Keep on swimming and keep on writing. Because at this point I don’t know what else to do. If I didn’t put words to computer paper I’d likely become more feeble and ignorant than I am now, and I don’t need that. Most of all I can’t quit because that’s killing a dream, and I’ve already had so many dreams die that I can do that to one more.
That leads here, which is where I usually have a quote from Doctor Who, because I’ve done that the last few “special posts” I’ve put up, and it seems like a good thing to do now. And both quotes go back to what I just said about killing dreams. We need our dreams, even if we know they will never come to fruition, because when you least expect it, they do come true. That happened with my move to Harrisburg and my transition: I never expected the outcome that I live through today, because, as my best friend once told me, how do you know what’s coming tomorrow. So:
“I am and always will be the optimist. The hoper of far-flung hopes and dreamer of improbable dreams. The wheels are in motion. Done.” Doctor Who, The Almost People.
Keep it real, but at the same time never give up that your hopes and dreams are going to fade before you. Always hold close to your heart and mind that tomorrow is the day when it all changes for the better and you finally see that dream come true.
At the same time:
“Be strong. Even if it breaks your heart.” Doctor Who, Dark Water.
Shit is always gonna keep piling up and there are times when it feels like you’re gonna take that leap over the balcony because you can’t take it anymore. By now, I know heartbreak, so this is a no-brainer. It’s not always easy to be strong, but no one else is going to be strong for you, so it falls to each of up to say to hell with it and continue moving on.
Maybe for another thousand blogs posts.
You can never tell.