How to Survive a Heartbreak

Don’t worry, readers-mine, it’s a mini heartbreak. Sort of. Not really. But it’s not the great, wallowing, my-life-is-over kind, fear not. It’s more the type of heartbreak that happens when you, I don’t know, spend a half an hour slow dancing with a girl you’ve had a huge crush on since first semester and she tells you that you look pretty and it’s like this weird more-than-friends-but-not-dating thing you’ve had going for months is finally going to sort itself out when a week later she tells you she has to sort out her own emotional things and that a relationship wouldn’t be fair to you so you’re just friends now. Not that that happened to me, or anything. Maybe.

I don’t really have an emergency kit for this situation (even though I should) so really I’m coping off the top of my head. Here are some of the ways I’m handling it:

1. Lie in bed having a Buffy the Vampire Slayer marathon while eating chocolate chips (in lieu of actual chocolate) that you took illicitly from a cupboard in the kitchen.

2. Find ways to be home alone and once you are sing your heart out to sad songs and then angry songs and then breakup songs and then “Let It Go” from Frozen because for some reason it makes you feel empowered and less sucky.

3. Put on lipstick, try on your outfit for Pride, and then tell yourself that there’ll be tons of queer girls your age at Pride and you look mighty fine and you’ll get someone’s number and then you’ll totally hang out and that’ll show your former non-girlfriend how you’ve moved on…

4. Sit on the floor tapping your foot impatiently, waiting until everyone is gone and you have the house to yourself, not even because you want to sing so badly but because right now you need to be as far away as you can get from civilization (even though your next-door neighbors are outside all day long working on a noisy construction project).

5. Get very frustrated with those neighbors for absolutely no reason and scream into your pillow.

6. Maybe it’s because they’re gay and together and happy and you are gay and not together and sad…

7. Spend a solid hour at the library checking through every book you find for promises of queer girl characters and be disappointed that there are none. (I think this is partially why Malinda Lo has become one of my favorite authors–she has characters that are diverse in race and sexuality and it’s not like those books where they throw in a particular character just for the sake of diversity, and they’re well written. I hate it when books try to do diversity and the characters are cardboard cut-outs. Plus I mean Adaptation if you haven’t read it yet you need to.)

8. Go off on tangents about Malinda Lo.

9. Obsessively work on your art because that seems to be the only thing keeping you sane these days.

10. Do your art while watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, at this point only partially because it’s a black hole of obsession that you can’t hope to escape, and mostly because Willow and Tara are adorable and also you need lesbians on TV right now but you have no way of watching Orange is the New Black. And also you’re not allowed to.

11. Eat homemade ice cream while watching Sherlock with your family and then finish off your brother’s serving too.

12. Watch an Irish advertisement against the bullying of LGBTQ+ teens and feel your eyes actually getting misty by the end. Then actually cry at that Always “Like a Girl” advertisement.

13. Get a sinking feeling in your stomach when you realize that you only have two seasons left of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and that sooner or later you’re be finished, and at the rate you’re going it’s looking to be far sooner than later.

14. Spend several hours learning to play “Impossible” on the guitar because it describes your life (in your head, of course, in actuality the tornado you’re feeling is a gust of wind) and also because the chords are easy, yay.

15. And then, for good measure, play “Clever Meals” by Tegan and Sara, which is even easier, and daydream about performing it at the open mic next week even though you have the guitar skills of a one-handed chicken. Or one-taloned. Or something.

16. Develop a crush on Hannah Hart

17. Realize that all the cute girls your age at Pride have cute girlfriends.

18. Bemoan the lack of desserts in your household a bit too harshly, causing your parents to ask troublesome questions.

19. Write a blog post about it, go camping for a week, come back and realize you haven’t finished the blog post and have all of the unpleasant feelings dredged up again.

20. Text The Girl In Question asking if she’s busy this week.

21. Even though you’re still not sure if you’re ready to see her again yet.

22. But also you sort of want to and it’s her birthday and you want to get her a book and also you want to show her that you’re totally fine with the just friends thing, really.

23. Avoid the novel you’re supposed to be writing.

24. Spend hours cut off from all humanity doing nothing but writing that novel.

25. Think that really, you should be a mature and responsible adult by this point. But you’re still having all the feelings and want chocolate.

22 Ways to Ask Someone to Dance With You

The end of year dance is coming up in two weeks today, and that may seem like a long time but I’m already stressing. I’m going with a girl I can barely form coherent sentences around, much less ask to dance. I have the bad habit of being either awkwardly silent or babbling incessantly in her presence, but I don’t want to do that. I want to look cool. So here are 22 cool ways to ask a girl–or anyone–to dance with you:

1. Walk over to her. Look at the ground in a cute, abashed way, and run your palm through your hair backwards, intentionally messing up your hair. According to my Sources this is a primary queer girl flirtation ritual. (My Sources being the LGBTQ+ blogs I read and my real-life nonstraight friends who do this constantly.) I have tried doing this with my hair but it doesn’t quite work because it’s too long. After this, look up and say sheepishly, “So…I was wondering…would you like to dance with me?” You look cute and irresistible and it probably won’t be hard pulling off the embarrassed part.

2. Grin at her, hold out a hand, and say, “I don’t really know how to dance, but wanna give it a shot?”

3. Optionally, do the same thing as in #2, only say, “I’ve been practicing my moves for weeks. Care to help me test them out?”

4. Or you could get even cheesier with “Come and get your groove on with me, baby!”

5. Or you could say “Screw this I know how to dance” and grab her hand and pull her onto the floor with you.

6. Casually drop not-so-subtle hints during conversation to get her to do the asking. “I really like this song. It’s good music to dance to.” “So I learned how to waltz the other day.” “Yeah, I was trying to practice slow dancing in contemporary women playwrights yesterday, but it wasn’t really the same without a partner *wink wink nudge nudge*”

7. Write her a song, ask if you can perform it, go up there and own it, and then afterwards when the crowd is going wild over your musical genius, sweep over to her and say “Dance with me?” in a cute, flirtatious way.

8. Or just, you know, ask her flirtatiously to dance. I’d provide an example but my knowledge of the subject is limited to Captain Jack Harkness and I don’t think I can really pull off the same charismatic appeal.

9. Write DANCE WITH ME? on the front steps with sidewalk chalk.(Because of that one time, when she was like “Do you have sidewalk chalk?” and you were like “Yeah I have sidewalk chalk!” only you couldn’t find it and were so upset you resorted to overusage of the word “like.”)

10. Look her squarely in the eye and ask her if she would like to dance with you. (But come on, who does this? Eye contact? Pfff…)

11. “Hypothetically speaking, if someone in your immediate presence were to ask you to dance with them, would you, hypothetically, say yes?”

12. Go up to her and twirl her around, then when she’s laughing pull her out onto the dance floor. Works best for faster songs.

13. You know you’re going to be awkward with her. I mean, come on, you’ve stared at the moon together, alone on a balcony on a rainy night, but never even so much as hugged because you’re too afraid. So own your awkwardness. Stutter. Blush. Stare at the ground. Trust me, it’s cute. As long as you get across the general impression of “Would you like to dance with me?” you’re good to go.

14. Start quoting song lyrics at her. “We spun around a thousand stars / I dreamed a dance with you / I know the night is dying, dear / I know the day will dawn / the dancers may disappear / still the dance goes on.”
‚ĶMaybe those exact lyrics don’t really work, but I never pass up an opportunity to quote Next to Normal.

15. Optionally, quote poetry at her. As my Shakespeare teacher once told me (and as they say in Dead Poets Society), poetry was invented to woo the girl of your affections. And also possibly to lyrically state universal truths and metaphysical concepts while working for social change. Possibly. But also for wooing. I know poetry by no means makes everyone swoon, but I can assure you that if a girl were to quote some Emily Dickinson or T.S. Elliot at me I would probably faint conveniently into her arms. I have many many favorite poems, but right now I adore “To a Stranger” by Walt Whitman and “somewhere i have never traveled,gladly beyond” by e.e. cummings. My favorite lines from that last one are “i do not know what it is about you that closes / and opens,only something in me understands / the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses / nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands”

16. You could get even more specific with that and take a leaf from the Bard. “If I profane with my unworthiest hand / This holy shrine, the gentle sin is this:/ My lips, two blushing pilgrims ready stand / To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.” (Romeo, you flirtatious person you.)

17. Draw her a picture explaining your proposition.

18. Just become Daenerys Targaryen (circa the beginning of book 3, since I’ve not read farther and who knows where her character arch could end up).

19. Get your friend to do it.

20. …just kidding, don’t do that or you’ll look like an idiot. Get your house elf to do it for you, since no one can resist adorable fictional creatures and also they have magic. Just be sure to pay them in socks.

21. Frost it onto partially-burnt loaves of bread and toss them to her unsuspiciously.

22. Find the Doctor, hop into the TARDIS, and pop off and have some adventures, which will make you courageous and bold. Then time travel to the dance, ask her while you still have the confidence, and then when you go back to your own time to wait for the dance, once it happens you’ll have already asked her and there will be nothing to worry about. (Don’t ask me how my logic works on this. I’m not even sure myself. Wibbley-wobbley timey-wimey.)

Okay, if I even had the courage to try any of the slightly more reasonable ideas from my list, I couldn’t pull it off. I have resigned myself to awkwardly sitting at a table in the corner and making puppy eyes at the back of her head. I’m sure she’ll be thrilled. Any additions to the list you may have (silly or otherwise) greatly appreciated. Genuine advice even more greatly appreciated.

Plans for NaNoWriMo 2013

As I have previously mentioned, for the past two years I have participated in National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. This year I also participated in Camp NaNoWriMo in April and July. Well, it is that time of year again, where the month of November quickly approaches and I frantically make last minute preparations of characters, plots, settings, and stock up on junk food (how convenient that NaNo begins the day after Halloween). I thought I’d post my plans for this year’s NaNo on my blog.

I’ve always been rather partial in my writing to the genre of fantasy. The four novels (as well as a couple on the side) I have previously written have all been fantasy, and this year’s novel is no different. However, my novel this year takes a bit of a different shape than in years previous.

In every fairy tale I’ve ever heard, the main character is always insurpassably lovely, “the fairest maiden of them all”. Even in most of the books I’m currently reading, and certainly in nearly every YA book I’ve ever read, there is always something beautiful about the main character or love interest. But what if there wasn’t?

Meet Cinder, a teenage girl who isn’t beautiful, pretty, lovely, exquisite, graceful, poised, charming, or in any way possessed with the graces of a fairy tale princess. Her mother died when she was a baby, her father not long after he remarried, and now she lives with her arrogant stepmother and vane stepsisters. And they are beautiful.

So, if you can’t tell, the main plottline of the story is based off of the story Cinderella; I’m actually planning on titling my book Cinderugly. But I’ve changed up the traditional tale and added in quite a bit, including a corrupt government system, a prince she loathes but somehow still keeps having to save his life, Death as a characters, mysterious black envelopes appearing in many kingdoms leading people on various missions, subplots that are really other famous fairy tales, LGBTQA+ relationships, and a team-up of princesses, princes, commoners, and age-old characters that may just have to save the world.

I’m really excited about my idea and have already started prep work for it. I hope to draw up a map of all the kingdoms, and if I do, I’ll try to post a picture here. In addition to Cinderella, I’m also using plots based on Hansel and Gretel, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, and The Twelve Dancing Princesses. I’m also referencing countless other stories in the book.

And that is my plan for NaNoWrimo 2013. I’m a bit apprehensive this year because I’ll probably be in rehearsals in November, and it’s my first time trying to write 50,000 words, which I’ve never even come close to before. And I’m writing by hand. So that’ll be scary.

What about you? Have you ever tried or wanted to try NaNoWriMo, or even just written a novel before? Got any survival tips for this third-timer so she won’t keel over with exhaustion halfway through the month?

On Living to the Fullest Potential

Tink: “How ’bout you go and do something with your own life so that we’d be remotely interested in snooping in your business!!
Codex: “If I could do that it would be on the agenda, believe me!”

-The Guild, season 5

I have a confession to make. I can be rather lazy at times. Rather than go out and have my own adventures, I much prefer to read about them in books, and I seldom leave the house on weekends or during the summer when given the option to. Instead read and procrastinate (I’m very good at that) and go online to read about all the amazing things everyone else is doing while I sit at home in my pajamas and wish I was out doing wonderful things too. My parents have started (jokingly) asking me how many times I’ve left my room on a given day.

The truth is, I often dream of going off on adventures (or journeys to friends’ houses), but when the time actually comes I can’t be bothered to leave my room. And then I read more, and wish my days were busy with a million ordinary tasks.

Perhaps this is just me being melancholy because my ninth grade year has been much less busy than my eighth grade. By the spring of 2012 I had a lot on my plate. I had choir rehearsals as well as confirmation classes each once a week, was performing in two shows, one of which I was the lead in, and doing my schoolwork and trying to choose a high school in addition. I had no time to sit around the house and busy myself with procrastination. And I was happy.

So then, my problem is not that I dislike “living a little”, so the phrase goes, but rather have trouble getting my butt off the ground in order to do so. I enjoy being busy. I’m happier when I have a lot on my plate. I just lack the motivation to take the initiative to, as Tink puts it in the quote at the beginning of this post, to “go and do something with my life”.

While my procrastination habits may soar during the summertime, this is also a good time of year to get started on doing meaningful or interesting things with my life. When I was in Puerto Rico I did just that, but now that I’m home and have little to fill the empty hours with, it’s time for me to stop lazing around. I need to take the initiative to do something with my life, otherwise I’ll end up becoming bored and malcontent. When I’m busy, I may be malcontent sometimes, but I never have the time to be bored.

Anyway, what I’m getting at is that I am going to post a bucket list of all the things I want to do over the summer and during the upcoming school year. I’ll probably add to that list as the months go by, and I’ll post here if I’ve reached one of my goals. Hopefully I’ll reach all of them. I’ll expect you, readers, to be strict and hold me to my list, okay? Here it is:
1. Learn to play the guitar competently, if not perfectly.
2. Find the perfect audition song
3. Convince parents to let me take voice lessons and dance class
4. Be in at least two shows (not including J-Term) during my tenth grade year.
5. Get entirely caught up on Doctor Who, and maybe start a few other TV shows my friends are interested in. (Well, the second part is optional. I don’t need even more things to get me to procrastinate, after all.)
6. Win NaNoWriMo in November (maybe try a higher wordcount goal?) and if Camp NaNoWriMo is attempted, won that as well.
7. Finish and win current Camp NaNoWriMo
8. Take more writing classes
9. Learn something new every day
10. Try something new such as fencing or Tai Chi
11. Learn Useful Life Skills so that I won’t be a complete imbecile when I go off to college in a few years.
12. Exercise more
13. Maintain this blog.

I probably will end up adding to that. For now, though, I think I’ll leave it be. I’m behind on my wordcount goal, and I need to write.