Ashe Elton Parker

A Writer of LGBTQ+ Characters in Speculative Fiction

Tag: this site

More Thoughts About AEP

I’m once again rethinking AEP. This usually happens at some point every year, to be honest. Sometimes more than once.

Why?

Mainly because my bipolar is so random that I can’t keep to a set schedule. I try again and again to stick to a schedule, then I lose interest because I just don’t care. This isn’t the only state of mind I suffer over my site. Other times I want to post nearly every day. Sometimes more than one post a day even. There’s just no way to predict what mood will strike, though I can control the urge to post all the time.

But I think I’ve reached the point when I don’t care about the impression I’ll be giving if I post more frequently. My main concern with this has been what I’ll post. Mostly longer commentary on the minutiae of my life, to be honest, then what I can post on Twitter. It’ll be trivia, to be honest. Specifically, the kind of trivia I can’t imagine anybody else being interested in because I’m not interested in that kind of trivia. It’s just what I feel like rambling about at length.

No matter my efforts to make my blog and my site more “professional”—I just can’t seem to keep up with it. Rather like my writing, that. I have so many ideals in my mind about my writing that it’ll never meet. I’m trying to learn to accept the fact I’ll always fall short of my writing ideals. Why not throw my blog in with that? I want a professional sight that’s updated regularly.

It’s apparently not going to happen on a schedule.

And, I think, that’s part of what stresses me out to the point of developing a serious case of indifference to whether or not I post anything on my blog at all. Unfortunately (for me), I have a lot of nonsense crap to say, and I happen to enjoy posting it for public consumption. While I do have limits, they more align with what I will and won’t post, not necessarily when or how much info about them I’ll share.

So, maybe expect an uptick in posts here.

A Slight Shift in Things Here

Well, I fully intended to reserve this site only for writing topics on Tuesdays, but I didn’t honestly believe I’d run out of them so soon. My last scheduled post, RIP Ferodoxis, went up last week, and I was already frantically trying to find a writing topic for this week—just this week at the time. I have not come up with anything.

As a result, I’ve been considering what I might do. I’ve been looking at the sites and blogs of writers I know and follow, and realized they pretty frequently have personal posts, such as I used to post here. Some are more political than others, some focus more on writing than others. But they all include personal posts. I’ve not wanted to share my political views here (though they’re probably at least somewhat obvious, considering the subtitle of my site), but I have kind of missed posting about my real life here. So, with those things considered and realized, I’ve decided to go back to posting about my real life on this site. These posts, if they show up, will come on Tuesdays, so readers will either see a writing-related post, or something about my real life.

I will not be posting about real-world politics here. There may be a rare comment or retweet about politics on Twitter, though I’m not often there these days—and, in fact, personal stuff I’m gearing up to write about may well appear on Twitter first, depending on how willing I am to risk catching a glimpse of unhappy news there, but I likely won’t linger long, so follow @AsheEltonParker there; I’ve also added my Twitter feed to my sidebar, just scroll down a bit.

(Part of) Reorienting AEP, Pt. 3

I’ve done quite a bit of work of reorganizing the site since the 7th. Since I’m in the middle of a writing downswing, and I wanted something creative do, and the mood struck, I’ve been fiddling with the site. I’ve reorganized my “Published” section and moved my Cancer Posts to a new place there. I may reorganize things there again later, but that largely depends on whether or not I ever get to a point where I can pay publish my writing. One thing you will notice under the “Publish” section is a Wattpad submenu. That’s going to be important here later on. Any series of at least 3 books I’ll be posting only the first book of here on AEP. Latter books will go up on Wattpad. If I’m able to pay pub my books in the future, I’ll more than likely take all but the first off of Wattpad, but for now, I’ll be posting any other series books, standalones, and duologies on Wattpad.

One thing I figured out how to do was add a “Home” link to the top menu as well. It was a pretty simple matter.

I noticed my contact form died in the move from WordPress, so I replaced the coding text with a new actual contact form. Still learning the ins and outs of the contact form, so all fields are required. Just haven’t felt like experimenting with it yet. I’ll explore its different qualities and aspects later on.

Another thing I’m doing is considering a new posting schedule. I do know story stuff will go up fairly regularly as long as I have something to post. I plan on having that on a specific day of the week, possibly Tuesday or Friday. Getting back into posting writing news and such here regularly feels like a good idea right now too, so I’m going to assign either Tuesday or Friday (whichever day I’m not posting story stuff) to such posts, so there will be at least one regular post going up each week regardless of whether or not there’s a bit of story to be posted.

Before I start doing that, though, I need to finish filling in my sidebar. I need to recreate my links menus and do a few other things. Still trying to decide what sorts of things I want to put in my links menus. Also going to figure out where to put my tags and such, and what style I want them to be in (cloud or list).

(Part of) Reorienting AEP

I’ve been doing a lot more thinking about this site and what I should do with it. To be honest, some things are probably going to remain up in the air for quite some time to come; I’m just undecided on a lot of things about it. One thing I’m certain of, though, is that I need to move away from placing personal posts on here. The results of November’s election made me aware that I have too much to say that I don’t want to adversely affect people’s reaction to my writing, especially since I have plans on putting it out there.

So I’m not posting any more personal stuff up here. No more health reports, no more mentions of goals outside of writing, no posts about what I’m doing in my daily life. I’m moving all that to a blog on another site. Someday, I may connect the two—that blog and this site—from there, but I don’t think I’ll be providing links here to that site. There’s too much stuff that will upset future readers for me to do that.

From now on, this blog here will mostly concern writing. My writing, topics about writing I have an opinion on, et cetera. If you have a deep need to see my personal posts, use my contact form to provide me your email address, and I’ll give you the link to my journal/blog thing. But don’t do this on a whim. If you are not liberal in your social and political views, if you have any issues with people who have mental health problems, if you’re in some way fundamentally religious and have no room in your mind and heart for an alternate view (even one you don’t happen to agree with), or if you merely have a history of getting all riled up from the opinions expressed by a writer whose works you enjoy, please don’t ask for the link to my blog. In my mind, it would be far better for you to continue in your life with your idealized version of me in your mind than for you to be in any way disillusioned by the real me.

If you’d like a peek at the real me without going full-force, follow me on Twitter. I’m not there much right now, but I am on occasionally, and may come on more frequently in future; take a look at my previous posts. On Twitter, I’m a little more real. It should give any who are curious about my social/political and religious leanings a good idea what I’m like and where my feelings on certain aspects of life and the world lie. My Twitter handle is at the right.

I’m Still Alive

Sorry I haven’t been very active on my site or Twitter over the past few months. The whole presidential race took it out of me, and I’m really only now starting to come out of my little mental self-protective ball. I’m not making any promises I’ll be back in any way permanently on Twitter until after January 20th, and I’m not willing to give a specific date. My bipolar is doing its thing, making me not care about crap to the point where it’s taken quite a bit of effort to type this message up. I have some goals for the year, and I’ll get around to posting them once I’ve managed to organize them enough to do so.

I think, for the site, I’m going to be pretty random with posts for a while; I’ll try to get something up at least once a week, but there’s just no way I’m mentally capable of keeping to a schedule at this time. Still not sure just what I’m going to do about the site, though I intend to make some decisions about it this year and do some sort of overhaul on it. Last year was just not a good year for anything, really, except my writing, and I’m hoping that this year will improve shortly.

2016 started off with a bang on the writing front, but so far 2017 has proven to be very lackluster on that front. I’ve managed to write maybe one or two scenes and done some editing of one of my complete stories since the 1st, but not much else. It hasn’t been a completely uncreative writing downswing, though, so I’m not feeling depressed quite yet. I’m hoping my Creative Mind will wake up pretty soon though. I’d love to write some more.

So that’s where I stand.

Pondering Something

Sorry there haven’t been any posts for the past few weeks. Two of the past few weeks, I just didn’t care about the site at all. Bipolar getting in the way again. The other week (the one between), I was down with a pretty severe cold. I wrote during the cold, and I don’t know how, and the fiction’s strong, but I couldn’t think of any decent topics for my blog during any of those weeks. Well, at least not something that would have ended up being maudlin or gripey. And I mean gripey. If I’m going to gripe about something, I prefer it to have a point. None of these gripey posts would have had a point besides bemoaning the fact of my depression and physical illness.

So.

Over the past several weeks since my Decisions About the Site post, I’ve been debating one major change. Major for me, that is. A time or two, I’ve mentioned in passing that I also write gay romances under another pen name. I created a pen name for my romance writing years ago, with some help. It was much more along the lines of “If I ever go back into writing romances, I’ll use this as my pen name for them” and nothing so organized as me sitting down and brainstroming pen names. I took my name from Spanish classes through high school, with my last name’s initial, and the random surname a Central American exchange student in one of my other classes wrote after it and voila! I had my romance story pen name, which, when I started writing gay romances (the name was originally intended as the nom de plume of het romances) I promptly attached to those stories.

So there you have it. I write PG-13 fantasy and science fantasy, and explicit gay romance. I do not go into graphic detail of sex scenes in my fantasy and science fantasy, and most of my gay romances cannot in any way be termed “sweet” (a designation in het romances which indicates there’s maybe kissing, and, if that much, it’s simple and sweet). I’ve even written quite a few squick factor stories, even though I have lines there I will not cross at all.

Which I think makes it understandable why I’ve wanted keep these genres separated in every way possible.

This, however, has gotten much more difficult since my Creative Mind has decided to pretty swiftly and smoothly swing between the PG-13 stuff and the gay romances. I cannot predict, from one day to the next, what I’ll be working on in any given creative period. This makes it difficult to keep up with a separate site for my gay romances, which I created when in the midst of writing them exclusively and have not been able to keep up with since the fantasy stuff swung back in. Oh, I can return to that site for an occasional post and some site-updating and whatnot, but for the most part that site is ignored.

Now, my history with the gay romances is not all sunshine and roses. I started writing the contemporary gay romances early in 2009, and wrote them pretty much exclusively through 2012. But 2012 was Writing Hell Year for me. I did not want to be writing gay romances exclusively any more, and those were the only ideas I’d consistently gotten for the three years leading up to 2012. This meant that by 2012, I was pretty much spiritually debilitated by the genre I was writing. I spent most of 2012 in a writing downswing because I did not want to be writing the gay romances and could not get any fantasy ideas. There was a bit of a bright spot in August or September, when I wrote a fantasy short, but besides that, I was in despair of ever writing fantasy again. So, at the end of November, when I managed to scrape up just over 50k words of a gay romance for Nano, I shelved all my writing. I simply could not write any more if all that I was going to be able to write was gay romances.

And, by this time, I knew that gay romances could be rather lucrative if I published them. I had no interest in doing so. I hated writing that genre by the end of 2012, and wanted nothing more to do with it at all. Feh.

So I shelved my writing. I existed for about two weeks in a kind of relieved haze. Then, suddenly, in the middle of December, I conceived the initial notion for TPOM1. I saw a blond youth standing in front of his bedridden ailing father, being told he was being sent to the Priests because he hadn’t decided on a career to pursue and his parents were fed up with his indecisiveness and his father wanted to atone for not following any of the gods. That was Géta there, and I was so happy to have a fantasy idea that looked like not just one novel, but a whole bloody trilogy, I leapt back into writing without hesitation.

For most of 2013, I focused on fantasy and science fantasy. Whenever gay romances reared up, I tried to fight them off, but ended up writing on them just to get them to shut up, then promptly swung back into the fantasy stuff. 2013 and 2014, I wanted nothing to do with the gay romances. I detested them. So much so that I couldn’t bear to look at those I’d already written and left abandoned unless absolutely forced to by my Creative Mind. 2015 was a little better, but I spent a fair amount of it in mostly non-creative writing downswings. I think now, that’s because I was resisting my Creative Mind on the gay romances.

This year, it’s been easier. I’m not fighting the gay romances. I’ve gained confidence that my mind won’t focus on them exclusively. I’ve seen a “pattern” develop. No, it’s not regular; my bipolar won’t let it be. But I’ve noticed how I’ll spend some days writing gay romances, and more time with the fantasy stuff.

But that means the blog I created for the gay romances gets neglected. I’ve also got a Twitter account under my gay romance pseudonym.

I think I’ve finally come to terms with the gay romances. I’m able to read them. I can write on them without feeling like I’m tearing myself in half. I’ve reached a point where I’m just as happy to get a gay romance idea as I’ve always been to get a fantasy idea.

So now I’m deciding what I should do with my neglected gay romance blog. I’m not sure merging it with this site would be a good idea, bu it’s impossible to keep such things secret and separate forever. People will find out eventually, especially if I am ever able to publish any of my writing from both genres.

So I am seriously considering merging the two together. I want to decide this before I do any major overhaul of this site, so that I can plan what I’ll do for the gay romance side of my writing. Keep the blogs separate, but link the two? Bring the gay romance stuff over to this blog and wipe out the old gay romance blog completely? If I merge them on this site, do I demote both pen names to sections on the site while using a different name for the overall site?

Decisions, decisions.

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