Monday, September 18, 2017

SEX in books

Too much in my head. Sometimes I just can't think because the thoughts are too many and they get jumbled up. Has that ever happened to you? It's like I'm overloaded and the synapses are all firing at once or not firing at all. IDK. For years, I've been dealing with the fact I chose a non-popular topic to write about. I guess at first I thought it was all about the taboo subject of homosexuality. In 2010, I was all but accused of "turning" three boys gay. (Because I have the power of God.) It was this, "I can't believe you wrote a book with gay characters" and "what is your involvement with the youth" all in the same breath that had me reeling. I was told to stop writing. I tried. But the words wouldn't stop. The characters kept screaming. So, I wrote When Love is Not Enough. Ove the last seven years I guess, I've gone through changes and personal struggles. For a long time, I WAS Jamie Miller. (WLINE) I lied all the time. Mostly by commission. I just didn't talk. I never spoke about writing. I wrote when no one was around. I kept my feelings to myself. I closed my heart off from everyone. I think people found WLINE powerful because at the time, that book was all I had. I poured my heart into the story and characters. I purged my despair onto the pages. Since then, I've written heavy books and lite books and I have a scale to warn readers. LOL The writing has flowed fairly well over the years even though I've had to skirt around the subject of what I write to most people I know.
2014 brought betrayal. My happy go lucky, carefree attitude got zapped when I trusted the wrong person. I guess what I learned from that experience is that I cannot trust people. But, on the other hand, when I do, I need to be prepared for hatred and resentment. It's sort of the same when anyone reads a book and you are the author. Some love it, some hate it. Well, when those people are people you know in real life and not just random faceless people out in the world somewhere, the pain of rejection is closer to the heart. It feels like betrayal and being stabbed in the gut. Not only do you, or that person, hate my book, they turn against me because the subject matter offends so greatly they have to involve the church leadership. In some ways, this is exactly what happened in 2010, only without accusing me of turning certain boys gay. Now, it's the fact that I'm "promoting a lifestyle contrary to God's word," and promoting impurity and disharmony in the church. I do not believe this is true. I have always tried to bring people together in my church. For YEARS I have said the pastor's sermons are the best I've ever heard. In my books, I try to promote monogamy and safe sex because that is what I believe in. I AM promoting purity. I believe in marriage. I also believe in Jesus. I think Robin McAvoy emerged (character in JOCK 1) because I needed a character to represent my beliefs. I also think I've had a struggle completing book 4 because it's HIS story, and in a sense MY story, and it isn't finished yet. I personally struggle God's Will IN my life and how I should live and what I should write because I think I have something to say that goes against the current grain of the church. I see the church failing humanity, when it should be nurturing it. The church as a whole has lost its ability to love. That is what I see. Apparently, (I was told), the pastor at my church sees this too. He agrees. Great! Then stop killing the souls of those who want to love! He, and others, have crushed my spirit. I feel like giving up. The fight is too difficult. I've been away from church for 2 months. They will not leave me alone. Now I'm requested to have a meeting. I can't run because it involves my family. It is not as easy as you think. I have to stand up, again, and defend myself. From what I understand it all comes down to sex. Always sex. I write sex. It supposedly isn't the sexuality in it, but the blatant sex. I have no problem scaling this back. I don't write erotica anyway. My fear is that if I give an inch, it will become more. It won't end with "you shouldn't write sex." I fear it will morph into, "This is what you should write." And this is what I cannot do. I CANNOT and WILL NOT write what someone SAYS I should write. ONE, that's not how my brain works. TWO, I think I have a calling to write things relevant to culture and the real struggles people are going through. I think sex is a part of that. I think monogamous, safe sex practices are best. That's my agenda. Don't be stupid about your choices. In WLINE, Matt Dixon makes a terrible choice of going off with someone he didn't know. He blindly trusts someone and gets hurt. I hope the message there was clear--DON'T TRUST STRANGERS. Don't let them tie you up. Because you know what, kids are out there, having sex, without thought of condoms or safe sex. They trust the wrong people. And bad things can happen. Sure, I write sexual content. And the church has issue with it. To me, sex is where people relate. We all have sex. The difference is that sex isn't always a good choice. With two men, or two women, pregnancy isn't an issue, so some do not think there are consequences. BUT THERE ARE.
Examples: After sex, some people make an emotional connection. Sex isn't a canal act done in a vacuum! Sex cannot always be done for sex-sake. This is a "consequence." So by writing stories that show this, it might make people think about random hook-ups. IDK. I can tell you I've read stories where the random hook-up turns into love and marriage. Which again, proves my point. People make emotional connections through sex. Even when you think it's merely physical. Another consequence is disease. You can pass on HIV or other STDs when not using condoms. Safe sex practices are best. Did you know there are readers who may have NEVER been taught this? If a gay boy is isolated in whatever city or societal situation he is in, whether it is homeschooling, church, or a tiny town in the mid-west, he may have never been told about gay sex. PORN is not a great educational tool for all things sex. He (or she) is alone and confused and finds a book online about a gay kid. WHAT!?!?! There IS such a thing? Some kids still don't realize there are others out there like them. Some readers are just your average straight person who has NO IDEA that gays are still thrown in jail or murdered just because they love the same sex. Writing informs people, even through fictional stories. My stories. They are important.
Sex can be a powerful thing. It can be raunchy, but it can also be beautiful. Kids, young men, young adults, who have had bad sexual experiences may not know all that is out there. Maybe some have been raped. Maybe some have been tortured. YOU DON'T KNOW. I don't know. But if a traumatized person can read a beautiful love story and realize they too might be able to find this type of love, and intimacy through sex, then SEX can heal. I write sex because it is where people relate. Sex is the most intense connection two people can make. My goal has always been to write meaningful characters who are real, raw, and riveting. I want people to feel every bit of the story. Will I always write sex? Probably not, but I cannot say where I am going with my writing. Right now, it's all stuck in my head. My head that is full of problems. I'm still taking care of my mother's estate. I'm getting a nuclear dye test for my thyroid this week. My church wants to "meet" with me. My husband says I'm embarrassing and he doesn't know how to tell people what I write. .... Well, guess what, most people now know exactly what I write. There aren't too many who don't know so you don't have to worry about telling them. And I haven't written anything significant since January 2016. I try, and things fall apart. I know I can't give up, but I so want to. I'm so tired. Fighting a war is tiring. Why do I keep going? Josh White. He's my friend who died because of hate.

I don't know what else to say. I'm just so tired.


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

First Day of School

I've decided, because it is the first day of this new school year, that I should treat it like "New Years Day" and turn over a new leaf. I've had some crappy years lately. I'd say days, weeks, or months, but truly it has been years. Sadly. I remember a time in 2014 when I was happy. Like, REALLY HAPPY. Things were going my way. I was writing, I had publications coming out once a year, I was meeting people like J.P. Barnaby who would make me smile. AND, I was learning about my faith in church without any ridicule or judgment. Life was really good. Then, I trusted the wrong person and things went to hell. The church turned on me and made me question what the heck was happening. I realize I was disillusioned by what I thought the church should be. Is that the right word? My expectations were too high. I expected more from people than I should have and it came back to bite me in the ass.

The SAME thing occurred in 2015 with regard to my son. I think I had unrealistic expectations and expected too much. We adopted him and I thought it would be like having my other children (the ones who grew up with me.) It isn't. It's harder. It's more painful. Loving a child who has never had family, was not what I expected and I brought much of the pain on myself with my unrealistic expectations.

Writing can be seen in that same light in many ways. Writing is hard! I've had a couple, nine, books basically fall out of my head. JOCK 1 I wrote in like two months. Bankers' Hours was written in three. Even NAMES, which took fourteen months to write, felt like the story flowed out of my head as I wrote it. Now, after finishing JOCK 3 in January 2016, writing hasn't fallen out. It feels like a clogged funnel. I have SOOOO many ideas, yet they are crammed in the hole. Nothing gets from my brain, out my fingers anymore. I'm trying, really I am, and I think TODAY is the day to turn over a new leaf and make life happen.

If the stories won't flow out easily, I will PUSH them out until the words come easily again.

This first day of school signifies the beginning of ROUTINE! I am forced to get up at the butt-crack of day to get my kids off to school. I am awake, making lunches, and hugging much earlier than I have all summer. With the school routine, will come the writer routine! I need to blog regularly. Not once a day... unrealistic. Hopefully once a week, or a couple times a month. Newsletters should also come more regularly, once I have something to say writing-related. I NEED to write EVERY day! I may not be able to write thousands of words every day, but I should try to get into the habit of writing something! I did this in June and it had been going well, but life threw another curve ball and I stopped. TODAY I start again!

Current projects include: a rewrite of an earlier book, JOCK 4, JOCK 5, and a book I was trying to write as a Dreamspun Desire before I realized I can't NOT write angst. grrr. Somehow the angst creeps in and it derails me from the Dreamspun outline. Maybe one day! I have about fifteen books in my head. Fingers crossed they come OUT of my head in a timely fashion.

Thank you for hanging around and putting up with me and encouraging me. I've not had the best of years lately, but there are people who've had it worse. I shouldn't complain too much. I'm merely venting on my blog because I need to get it out. I'm seeing my therapist again next week. I had stopped in June because it seemed like we had run out of things to talk about. NOPE! I have a lot more. I briefed her when I saw her last week and she just can't believe how I've been treated. For the most part, I allowed things to happen, but there comes a time when you have to protect yourself. NOW is that time. I am protecting what is left of my heart and my sanity. Part of that is writing. Writing use to bring me such joy. I need to find that again.

I hope you all have a wonderful day!


Wade Kelly