May 13, 2014
Someday we will title this post what we originally intended it to be called: "Dear Gay Kid." Someday we won't care what the people following us on Twitter who might disagree with this post's content—or, in fact, its premise—think.
Because someday we will be happy. We won't be happy always, but we will be happy more, and that's all we can ask for.
Because we won't care that we're gay. Well, we will care—it's a part of us. But we won't wake up in the morning and go, "Shit, I'm still gay?" We'll wake up in the morning and go, "Shit, it's 7:30? I'm going to be late for my job as an editor at a Big Fancy Publishing House." Then we'll kiss our boyfriend—husband?—and the fact that you were scared to come out will not matter. You will swim in his eyes, and do you really think you'll be worrying about instilled hate in the presence of unfiltered, raw love?
You won't—we won't. Here's a secret: love always wins against hate. Always. Sometimes in a roundabout, almost confusing way, but it wins in the end. Like that Dr. Seuss quote: "Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end."
Someday it won't matter what even your family thinks about your sexual orientation. Your brother won't like it. He'll change his mind. The world is changing rapidly; we change with it or we get left behind. Your mom will cry—tears of relief that you finally told her; tears of trust and unity.
But that hasn't happened yet. Guess what, though? You told your sister. You said, "I hope you don't hate me," and then a thousand other things, and then "I'm gay." She said, "You think I'd hate you for that? I'm a little offended." You remember the exact words. They were through a Facebook message. You remember the sheer, almost crushing terror beforehand. Afterwards everything is a tear-stained blur.
Remember how you were growing up and "f—ot" was the only word you knew to describe yourself? Remember when you'd rock back and forth in the bottom of your shower, crying your eyes out because only the positively torrential streams of water would drown out your wailing? You don't know this yet, but you'll want to die—twice. You'll be within days of doing it before you tell someone.
But people's minds are changing, even now, as you sit there crying. Soon more people will support marriage equality than not. Soon it won't even matter who supports you or not because you will be able to support yourself.
Someday—May 13th, 2014—a presumably straight girl in your Physics class will get all her nearby classmates nodding along when she declares, "Love is fucking beautiful." That day, you will come home, and you will cry. You will cry and you won't know exactly why but you'll deduce later that it's because people with no horse in this race support you. People will be fucking beautiful.
You will be fucking beautiful.
Just stay around to see it.
May 10, 2014
2. Sorry, I'm busy reorganizing the dust particles in my attic.
3. No, I'm recording my debut ska studio album.
4. I would love to, but I'm planning on being abducted tonight. Aliens or kidnappers. Whatever.
5. Nope—too busy reinventing a television set with two copper wires and a cantaloupe.
6. Ugh, sorry, I really can't—I'm starring in a reboot of Seinfeld. I play Jerry Seinfeld. It's a show about nothing! (That was good, right?)
7. I was thinking about reading, but I decided I'd prefer trying to develop several superpowers.
8. Nah, I'm busy willing SpongeBob SquarePants into existence.
9. I would, but I just found a Slinky, so I'm booked for three weeks at least.
10. I...um, well, I was actually going to reenact the entirety of Britney's "Oops! I Did It Again" tonight.
11. I'm going to be perfecting the one-handed clap today, so I really can't in good conscience.
12. I've actually contracted smallpox. Sorry!
13. I was planning on crying over missing the Mean Girls tenth anniversary tonight.
14. Actually I was going to build a life-sized diorama of the sun.
15. I would, but I'm going hot air-ballooning.
16. Maybe tomorrow? I wanted to try becoming a tree.
17. Sorry, man—I'm actually going to be in outer space.
18. Rain check? Blink-182 released a studio album ten years ago.
19. No, I've had these plans to be cryogenically frozen for, like, a month.
20. But I wanted to snort coupons today.
21. The universe is unfathomable, so I'm taking the day off.
22. Dude, you know I'm trying to train that peregrine falcon.
23. Nah, I have to think of a solution to the riddle "What gets wetter as it dries?"
24. I would, but I DVRed Lion King like five years ago and still haven't gotten around to watching it.
25. No. Learning Mandarin Chinese.
26. But I was gonna brainstorm names for my new chair!
27. These petunias aren't going to water themselves! So what if they're not my petunias?
28. Switch with me? I have to star in a home shopping commercial today, and ughhh.
29. Totally! Riiiight after I singlehandedly construct this man-made ocean.
30. Um, no...sorry, it's just that watermelons seem particularly fascinating right now.
31. I was considering being hit by a winged bicycle.
32. Sorry, dude—I'm on the brink of discovering the mythical pegasus. I knew you'd understand.
33. Do you really think I'll have time to read after marathoning every episode of Jersey Shore?
34. No, I was gonna time travel back to before the printing press was invented.
35. Sure! Wait, you said "breed?"
36. I was actually going to exterminate cockroaches once and for all.
37. But...this documentary on the splendors of paint is just so interesting...
38. I was actually just going to tell you; I was planning on aging five years in the next two days, so can it wait?
39. Well...I was actually gonna consider the physics of doorjambs...
40. Ugh, don't hate me, but I totally wanted to try the vampire thing today.
41. No. I have to find out who exactly that person on the other side of the mirror is. They seem sinister.
42. Lemons sound more fun, though!
43. Nah, don't you just wanna go nightclubbing in Uzbekistan?
44. I was going to trace the history of the Venetian blind, though!
45. Sometimes you just have to construct a thousand paper airplanes. This is one of those times.
46. Lame. Wouldn't you rather try to shrink our body sizes to four times smaller than they are currently?
47. Naaaah. Going tubing in the Arctic.
48. I would love to, but I've had these cardboard-eating plans for quite a while.
49. No. It's not that I don't have time to—I actually don't want to. I don't like stories. I don't like having the power to control how people look, smell, act. I don't have the imagination required to build worlds, to destroy them. I stopped dreaming long ago.
50. Nope—Game of Thrones is on in twenty minutes, dude.
May 4, 2014
This post will probably get very pretentious very quickly, but I really hope you'll stick it out. It's worth it.
This isn't a review blog. I have a review blog already (markmyreviews.com), and I'm not a double-dipper.
But. My critique partner wrote this book. My first critique partner, actually, not to mention a close friend of mine.
So: I'm going to review her book now, in three parts. This is a weird, unique experience, and I'm 1000% sure I'm going to start crying at some point, but hey.
FALLING INTO PLACE used to be called something else that I'm not sure I'm allowed to disclose, so I won't. Amy sent me the first page (literally a picture of one handwritten page) in an email that looked CONSPICUOUSLY LIKE THIS:
Then I gave her notes, the majority of which were "I'm going to cry during this book, aren't I?"
She wrote it in 2012. I got it in installments—a chapter here, fifty pages there, and eventually I had a book in my inbox. Amy sent me an email titled "For Your Aerial Perusal" with the full manuscript attached because I was going to read it on a plane (I was going to Texas), but I actually didn't read it until after I got off the plane. Relatedly: I'm stupid.
I gave her notes on the book. Honestly, this was the second complete book I'd critiqued ever—the first was also by Amy—and so I basically did line edits for her instead of big picture ones. I cried four times; I remember that for some reason I can't articulate.
I don't want to say "I knew this was special" or whatever because it's so cliche you wouldn't believe me if I said it. As Amy puts it, "We erode words," and I don't want to erode them further. But this book...I don't know. It was different. It had some quality to it I couldn't identify, but one I knew made it unique.
I loved it. And it made me fall in further (wonderfully platonic) love with Amy.
Amy edited her book like holy hell—although honestly, it was the best first draft I'd ever read. She sent it to her agent (tangentially: her agent is amazing), who put it on submission, yadda yadda yadda, stuff I'm not sure I could say if I wanted to—
Greenwillow wanted to buy it. Greenwillow/HarperCollins. The publisher, in fact, of Greenwillow/HarperCollins wanted to buy it.
Amy sent me a text I no longer have—boo, stupid phone—that basically said "YOU NEED TO CALL ME IMMEDIATELY." I was at school with my phone turned off, though, so I didn't see it until mid-afternoon.
When I got out, I turned my phone on, read her text, and walked home shaking. Physically shaking because I was so excited, and I didn't know what was going on but it didn't matter because Amy was excited and therefore so was I.
I got home. She'd emailed our critique group forty-five minutes earlier, saying that Greenwillow had offered on her book.
FALLING INTO PLACE is about Liz Emerson. It is about her actions and her reactions, and the actions and reactions of those around her. It is about physics, and it is about math and science and empirical things.
It is about disastrous love. It is about hate, shame, humiliation, lies. It is about pretending the world is younger, about imagination and friends and mothers and perfection. It is about crying and silly things and how sometimes the world fails you.
It is about love that binds you, love that fills you up until you've forgotten you were empty; love that tries to kill you.
It is about yes.
And I can't wait for you to read it.