Can Mondays actually be good? You bet your ass they can. The week sure as hell is starting out well for this guy.
I felt better this weekend than I have in a long time. Balanced. It dawned on me this morning that I didn’t deal with any anxiety…and I’m still not. Well, sure there’s the situational things in life that worry me here and there, but no out of nowhere major anxiety. No mania. No depression. I even wrapped up my podcast that rolls out tonight rather than scrambling this morning to pull it together. The interview was last Sunday.
It did help that I didn’t have an interview yesterday. As a rule, I do my interviews on Sunday afternoons. Occasionally I have to change if the guest has some scheduling issues or lives in another country, but Sunday afternoon is when it is,.
I didn’t interview anyone yesterday because next week is a holiday week. Some holiday weeks go well and some holiday weeks are slow. I’m never sure. Out of respect to my guests, I try not to release an interview on a holiday week in case it is one of the slower ones. After I’m finished with each interview, I frequently keep the guest on to record a series of rapid fire questions to make a compilation episode. That’s what next week’s episode will be. I guess, in a way, you could say I have multiple guests. That is going to take some effort to edit all those together this week, but I can do a little each night.
I did have a friend text me because she had a bad week. She told me to tell her something positive. Despite how well I felt, I couldn’t come up with anything. It wasn’t because I was depressed but because I was moody. Maurice and I were both feeling claustrophobic and bored. We couldn’t think of much to do. We did consider going to the beach, but chose not to for some reason. So, we did our usual thing. He watched TV shows and surfed YouTube in the living room, while I was in the bedroom watching a couple of shows and surfing the web. Yeah, the shows were about zombies. I’m still catching up on past episodes of Fear The Walking Dead. We did make sure to eat meals together and watch a couple of movies together to enjoy each other’s company.
Speaking of shows, does anyone else out there hate Star Trek Discovery? I was super excited because I heard such good things about it. I watched the first two seasons and waited for the good things and they never came. Now they’re at Season 3 and I’ve watched a few episodes and have given up. Season 3 has a great premise. The starship has been thrown 950 years into the future (The timeline of the show originally took place just before Kirk became captain of the Enterprise) Having got the first 2 seasons out of the way it looked like it was going to be an entirely new show. I guess it is, but not a good one.
A New Way of Thinking
Remember that I mentioned NaNoWriMo a couple of times? It’s the challenge to write 50,000 words in one month. The month is half over and I’m not even in the ballpark. You know what? I’m okay with that. I decided I don’t need that kind of stress. I’ve got new goals and am going in a different direction.
In September I had planned to be in at a writer’s retreat in the southeast. It was scheduled to be an all expenses paid trip. Yep, all expenses. Free airfare, free transportation to the farm, free food, free board. I had the opportunity to spend a week with a small group of other writer’s while working under the direction of some outstanding authors. Well, of course, covid hit. I’ve been assured the retreat is not gone, just a little out of sight, and that’s very cool, but still disappointing.
Lately I’ve chatted with some classic and well respected authors I know. I am lucky enough to have been given a series of tools and directions to further hone my craft. That’s where I’ve changed directions. Each day I’ll begin by writing several hours or write 2,000 words. Whichever comes first. After that I’ll be studying the books and such that have been suggested to me. It’s allowed me to take a huge weight off my shoulders while having some direction. When you have bipolar disorder it helps to have a routine. That’s what I’m working on.
Bears and Bear Events
For those not familiar with bear events, they are get togethers that may last a weekend or a week and they take place all over the world. There are plenty of guys who don’t fit the stereotypical pretty boy, slim and fit, gay man stereotype. At one time many of these men (who are like me) didn’t go to clubs or circuit parties because they were either self-conscious or simply felt out of place. Eventually these guys started finding each other and the first bear contest took place in 1987. It’s kind of offensive to me, but for a lack of a better description, bear contests are like masculine beauty pageants. The first International Mr. Bear took place in San Francisco in 1992. Bearish men, and those that love them, starting finding each other and then lo and behold we got the internet. I’d say that’s when the movement exploded. Bear bars started opening up, there was more bear porn, and the bear events increased.
Here’s a funny and true story. There’s this guy I knew, who wouldn’t be considered bearish at all, and he was confused. He lived in a rural area and all he knew about gay culture were the pretty boys and flamboyant men he’d see in pride parades on TV. The magazines he’d get his hands on showed the traditional buffed out men too. He kept thinking he was gay, but never found any of these men attractive, so he wasn’t sure. He couldn’t figure it out. Then one day he found a bear men website on the internet and WOO HOO! he realized he was gay after all. He’d been looking at the wrong menu. I met him when he moved to LA to be with a man he met online. They only stayed together for a year or two but he’d finally found his place.
There are arguments within the bear community of the definition of a bear. The stereotype is a heavy guy, with a beard, and a hairy body. Throw in a plaid shirt and there you have a bear. That may be what many people picture, but it’s gone beyond that. There are other shaped men who may be called otters, cubs, muscle bears, leather bears, wolves, and then there are chasers. Chasers are the guys who don’t fit the stereotypical body type of a bear but, like the friend I mentioned above, are attracted to bears. One thing I find funny is men in the bear community used to, or still do, have hang ups about labels, yet now that they have come together there are labels everywhere. The good thing is, as a general rule, all are accepted.
There’s a reason I gave this little lesson in beardom. The working title for my next novel is A Body, A Bear, And A Blade. I’ve also toyed with A Body, Some Bears, And A Blade. The title is not important right now, but that’s what I’m working with. The reason for the title is my protagonist Mitch O’Reilly will be investigating a murder that happens at a bear event here in LA.
The challenge is I’m quite a ways into the first draft and had an epiphany. I came up with with a much better beginning to the novel than I had. I’m one of those that’s a firm believer in just churning out the first draft and not looking back until done. Ernest Hemingway is noted as saying The first draft of anything is shit. I tend to agree with this philosophy and want to keep barreling through. But, changing the beginning of the novel will have a major impact on many other scenes in the novel. So, do I follow my normal instincts and keep going while making notes along the way, or do I go back to the beginning and start editing?
I’m leaning toward going back and changing the beginning now so it’s not so hard later but it goes against my grain. I guess whichever I decide I’ll still be writing and making progress. That kind of makes it that there’s no right or wrong answer.
I’ll figure it out, but I need to do it quickly since I’m back to my manuscript immediately after I post this. If any of my writer friends out there have a suggestion, please post in the comments below.
With all that said about writing, I guess it’s time to get cracking. I hope you have a great Monday too!