I've been struggling with putting this post together, do I write a poem, the writing for which I'd like to be known? Do I write a reflective essay because 100 and one year and the changing of my vocal plus status are massive adjustments for me? Do I express my true, full thoughts on a year and one hundred stories on this platform? Am I putting too much pressure on myself for a perceived milestone that doesn't really mean much? Yes the answer to that last one is a resounding yes.
On Tuesday I had the honor of meeting Christopher Paolini at the release for Murtagh, and it was a very full circle moment for me. I was able to thank him for jump starting my writing again, for I, like many joined this platform because of my love of his work. I wrote a shit entry that amounted to bad fan-fiction, but it got me writing again. It brought me this community.
Last Thursday I did my first live reading at an open mic and I got really incredible feedback. It was electrifying, and terrifying, and it really made me think about creating in spaces where you can feed off the physical energy of the other people in the room. I got excellent reactions, people laughed when they were supposed to and hung on my words. It felt good. Right. To be in a room with people, a room, I imagine that would be extra rich if it also featured this community.
What I've ultimately learned over the past year is I am so much more interesting when my life is boring. That is, I like most human beings, thrive when my needs are being met. I think a year of writing that led to the start of two books and my ability to perform in front of people is no small thing. Going from making a few pieces every month to writing something once a week is a big deal. That only happened because I was allowed to recover from burnout. I was allowed to do the bare minimum because I have the privilege of a supportive family. The community here has helped me build up my confidence in a way that would be unrecognizable to me a year ago. My kid self wouldn't be surprised though.
This community told me I could. So I guess a piece of this is going to be a love letter, because of this community I've connected to a group in a way that I have not since I studied art in school. I've been challenged intellectually and sometimes my patience is challenged, but I typically stay out of things.
I think it was Kayleigh Fraser who posted the get to know me challenge, which I attempted but could never get off the ground. So here's the River's radical honesty challenge (not really but I guess if you wanna do it go for it) but I figured since this is my 100th post I'll tell you some things I want you to have gleaned from my writing.
1. I try very hard to see things from above before making my decision. However once I make my decision on any issue it is going to be very hard to change my mind. I will obsessively research and my bar for source material is really high. Sure I'll reference a tic tok video, but I will also get you something peer reviewed.
2. Honesty and vulnerability will get you more respect from me than anything else. That does not look the same for everyone, for some people vulnerability is sharing every part of their lives for others it is writing powerful fiction that lets you see into their soul.
3. My political leanings are people shouldn't die for reasons that are easily preventable, and no one should be forced to do anything with their bodies that they do not want to do. Listen to The Women's War by Robert Evans that's about where I hover. You might come back a little shocked.
4. I'm a deep thinker, enough that I'm unable to do any of that thinking when I'm overstimulated.
5. Vocal helped me realize I didn't ever totally stop creating, I just stopped creating consistently.
6. It did in fact sting to lose the V+ sign next to my photo. It's a little bit of shame for both being poor reasons and also for losing my tips and subscribers they were few and far between but they were a nice boost. (I'm going to include my buy me a coffee link here, there will be exclusive content and perks there and also a lot of the same content)
7. I'm guessing the buy me a coffee link is going to make this not a top story.
8. I've got some criticism of vocal in me, but I can't bring myself to do it in this post. I'm feeling very grateful for it right now. (and I know I've been saying it but I'm just not ready for the energy it's going to take)
9. I never included it in the post but I did an interview on a cool podcast by Jazzy, go check her and the podcast out.
10. It took me almost two days to recover from performing. It took me a full day to recover from seeing Christopher Paolini. That is why I need routine.
11. Most of my writing happens while I walk the dog in the morning. She's a delight usually. I wrote my last three poems while I was walking.
12. I read my poems on tic tok
13. My favorite piece I've written is Paul
14. My favorite poem I've written is Meditation.
15. I've worked as a daycare worker, a dental filing clerk, a lifeguard, a TA and lab assistant, a mall photographer, a greeting card company sales person, a printer, a salesperson at a camera store, a framer for a big box craft store we call "Mitchell's" here, and now for a large liquor store.
16. One of those jobs I enjoyed, one of them I loved, one of them I loved but it was an abusive relationship. Bet you can probably bet which ones. My current job takes no brain cells other than "is that person of the age to card". It's a blessing for making things and having the ability to participate in my life.
17. I never did the Twitter thing, I did join Bluesky though and that's been pretty fun.
18. It's a small miracle I survived my twenties. Now I want nothing more than to watch the sunrise with my dogs and go to bed early while listening to one of the inheritance cycle books.
19. My special interests include, the labor movement, The Inheritance Cycle, Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series and his imposters series in the same world, new Doctor Who, The Good Place, Got Talent America's and otherwise, social justice, Parks and Rec, Vampire Diaries, tardigrades, deadly bodies of water, there's a few more but I'm done with this list.
20. I love listening to people talk about things that make them excited. I think the world is a better place when we enthusiastically (and always critically) learn from each other.
21. I'm an admin on the Vocal+Assist Facebook group you should join! I'm also an admin on the discord group! Come join us, we have critique channels, and chat! You're so welcome we'd love to have you!
That's what I have for you. This is my 100th post, I was going to add my word count but I truly don't have the energy to look at all of them. Anyway. I'm grateful to have all of you in my life. Reading your work has enriched me in a way that was both unexpected and delightful. Getting to know you in other spaces has been an honor.
Someone anonymously paid for my vocal plus memebership. Or tried to anonymously pay for my vocal plus memembership. More on that in a different article. I am back and grateful.
Here's to 100 more.
Buy Me a Coffee
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