Hermione Granger

Growing up, Harry Potter was a really important part of my life. Yes, I’m part of the Potter Generation and I’m quite proud of that, thank you very much. Those books were such a light in my life and I will always remember that special time I shared with them. Their stories brand new to me and the characters growing up beside me.

Of course, during that growing up, I hit puberty. Oh those horrible years! While all my friends were gushing over Harry naked in the bathtub or staring ate awe whenever Ron was adorable or funny, I was wondering why we weren’t talking about the brainiac girl who spent most of her time in the library. I mean come one, she’s obviously the coolest one of the infamous trio. Looking back on it now, I’m trying to figure out if that’s where it all started for me.

Initially I thought, “Surely this should have told me I liked girls.” But now I’m realizing it was much more than that. You see, I wasn’t odd because I liked girls. I was odd because I didn’t even notice any of them had genders. For me, genders don’t exist. I see people. I try to get to know people. I don’t care to figure out what “gender” they are. That doesn’t matter to me.

I’ve been asked many times whether I hang out with more guys or more girls. And quite honestly, I don’t know how to answer that. I don’t know what you mean by a person’s gender. And I have no idea how to mark those little check boxes about myself.

My gender is Ryn just like the rest of me. I have created myself to be who I am because that’s how I live to my fullest. I simply live to be me. I don’t wish to change that. I am me, and me is the only person I will change for.

I liked Hermione Granger because she was brilliant! She spent all day in the library – um, hello, that’s what I did too. And still do! She was also patient with those other two but sassy when she needed to be. She was amazing and I wanted to be just like her. I loved her mind and her personality. She was someone I just wanted to spend time with.

And really that’s all I’m looking for outside of books too. I just want to spend my time with great minds. And if I end up cuddling with that mind by the end of the night, so be it. If not, well, that’s why I still have stuffed animals.

Minds are amazing. Let’s not restrict them by forcing them into boxes.

Silence No More

For most of my life, I’ve been known as outgoing. Always surrounded by friends or family and almost always talking. But under the surface, I’ve been hiding major parts of me because they didn’t fit with what I was seeing around me. Most of middle school I spent writing in class because it was an escape. I could be anyone on the page and I could create an environment of people in there that loved and supported me despite my oddities. My characters always greeted me with open arms of love and acceptance. It didn’t matter that I had created them and they weren’t in the “real world” as so many people reminded me. These characters were very real to me and their support got me through many difficult times.

I am here today though because I have found people outside of my own head that love and support me. It has taken quite some time to voice what I’ve been hiding and it was terrifying to say it out loud. But I have been greeted with love that I could never have imagined. To be so completely free around these people has been the most amazing feeling in the world.

But it wasn’t around everyone that I could feel this way. Around some people, I was still afraid that they would disapprove or ridicule me so I stayed quiet. I bit my tongue as much as I could. But little by little, I started speaking up a bit more. Little by little, I grew more brave. I found the courage to talk to more people. I found love in some cases and unfortunately others decided they needed to leave. It’s been a hard journey so far and it won’t be over anytime soon.

I present myself to you today as myself. I do not fit into the socially constructed gender roles. I am not a lady, proper and clean with intentions of starting a family because my birth certificate says female. I am not a tomboy wishing to play sports or be active and full of testosterone. I am not confused and I do not need to make a decision of one or the other to fit the society gender binary. Some days I wake up and wear hand me down boys clothing in order to hide a frame that is built small and feminine. Other days I wake up and put on a dress that fits that form. But my favorite days are when I wake up and pull on whatever feels comfortable without worrying how people will perceive me.

Because of this in myself, I disregard gender ideas and normal perceptions when looking at everyone else. Instead of boys and girls, I see kids playing on swing sets and running around. At college, I don’t understand the check boxes that sort people into male and female. I see everyone as a person with completely unique ways that will differ from every other person on the planet because no one else is like them. I strive to always see people like this because it allows me the most open and accepting place to start getting to know a new person from.

I completely love who I am when I’m being free and honest with myself. I love being able to share that with other people. Hiding myself has never been in my nature. It makes me literally sick to my stomach when I feel like I cannot be myself around a person or group of people. I’ve had many dark days struggling with this issue. Not because I am unsure of myself but because of how I expect people to act when I say things or just present myself to them.

So here I am. I will be as honest with myself as I can be and I will do my best to always present that to others. I love myself and nothing can take that away from me. I hope you will continue in my journey with me. They say it gets better from here and I believe them. Life is beautiful and full of wonder and I never want to stop exploring it all.

Welcome to Baker Street

If you’ve talked to me in the past six months, you’ll know that I am extremely interested in the mind that is Sherlock Holmes. In any form he takes starting with the original Arthur Conan Doyle stories and going through to the popular BBC series.

I absolutely love the mind of Sherlock Holmes and strive to match and surpass his abilities. Now that I’m bored, I’ve decided to turn a corner of my blog into a Sherlock Holmes style game. Work out clues from either the Facebook page or working out a clue in a blog. Have fun with those minds and see if you can crack my codes.

Don’t forget to comment on the pages you unlock. I wanna know which ones of you are brilliant enough to match me.

Reflections

I look back on the last year as most others do around the new year. Some big changes were made in my life and they took quite a bit of adjustment to accommodate. People walked out of my life because our shared journey wasn’t compatible with their necessary path through this life. I’ve finally made peace with this fact but I would not have gotten here without some help from my friends – and a crap ton of Beatles songs.

I have shared my true self with more people this year and instead of feeling shut down and hurt, I feel more free. More people are accepting the true me simply because I took the time to show them. Some of them are still coming to understand everything and it will be learning process. But overall, I found love in 2014 and not in the traditional Hallmark movie sense but in the vast respect and joy of being myself.

My goals for the new year are quite simple. I want to remain happy. Remain in this place of happiness that I have found in myself. I will surround myself with people who love me and enjoy my company and distance myself from anything toxic which tries to take my happiness away.

And of course, as always, my goals for writing are the same: write often. I have a book in the works that I hope to get through editing this year so I’ll have to keep you updated on how that goes.

Whatever goals you set for yourself this year and whatever you go after, let it be for your own happiness. Don’t let yourself get caught up with what everyone else thinks you should be doing or what they think is right for you. Only you know exactly what you need and desire in this life. Stay true to that and everything else will follow.

Cheers to you.

Script

I wish I could narrate my life
like a script with asides and footnotes.
I’d be able to add inflection to the basic typography of the words on paper.

Script is how we write out the universe.
Why, then, should our lives not be words back to the universe?
Stories.

In the end, that’s what it comes down to for me.
Words cross time no matter how many times the type changes.
We learn to write no matter what our language.
I wonder, Why are we the only species to do this?

Life’s Answers

Each of us holds the true power over our own lives. From the very start, we dictate what we need, when, how much, and sometimes even go as far as to figure out why. Then society kicks in and starts writing rules. They say it’s for our protection. That we might hurt each other if rules aren’t laid out, but I think that’s bullshit. I think the first desire to break rules only came after rules were made.
Before rules, we all just kind of existed. We did what we needed to and went about living. Now there are so many rules and they do way more restricting than protecting. What if we got rid of rules again? Would we default back to that original state or not?
How would we ever be able to tell what that original state was anyway?

That power we each hold over our own life: imagine if it was allowed to be completely free. Unchained by restrictions, unbiased towards a belief system, and unashamed by public scrutiny. We would finally be free to live how our core desired to live.
That power we all hold, too many people stop fighting to keep that control. People are so willing to hand it over to a romantic interest in hopes that we won’t be alone. Others surrender it to the laws and politics of a government. And many give it over to organized beliefs and religions just because they claim to have the answers we are all so desperate for them.
But what if there aren’t any answers?
What if life is the answer? Life could be the answer to “why are we here?” and we might never know if we don’t live freely. We are our own answer. We are it. I am here to live and maybe nothing more than that, but I get to decide that.
I get to decide.

They call me a faerie.
And I’m here to set people free.

Why I Get Sad When NaNo Ends

On December first, the NANoWriMo community rejoices in their victories or simply that NaNo is over. We party to celebrate calling them the “thank goodness it’s over” parties – or now that we don’t need all those extra words we shorten it to TGIO party. But on December first, I sit around being sad. I’ve won the last three years now so what’s there to be sad about?

November is my most successful month. I write daily and spend time with the characters I’ve been creating since mid summer and finally get to see all that world building trampled upon in the quest for whatever I set my characters after.

What’s better is the NaNo community that thrives in November. Sure the forums stay open and some writing groups stay active throughout the year. But NaNo is more than just writers doing what they do. NaNo has over 400,000 people working toward the same crazy goal! We are all trying to achieve the same thing and fight those same urges to just give up. We support each other even in our little competitions to be the best. One minute we’re giving someone a hard time for being at the halfway mark extra early on in the month and the next we’re celebrating with her for crossing it and tossing her candy. (Yes, this actually happened at one of my write ins this year.)

But the community is great! There’s even a traveling shovel of death that unites all the stories that hear of it! (Read it, if you dare!) But seriously, the NaNo community cannot be beat. We have the support of bookstores, libraries, and coffee shops who open their doors to those of us insane enough to take on this challenge.

And we have to be insane to do this. Our family and responsibilities get neglected throughout November because we’re so focused on this major project. But when we come together at write ins or on the forums and see everyone else adding little bits to their progress bar, it’s infectious! How can we not keep at this challenge when so many others are doing this writing thing with us.

The rest of the year, we may have cheerleaders and even some writing friends that work with us. But only during NANo do we have so many writers, in so many places going after the same goal. NaNo reminds me that I’m not the only crazy one out there giving my heart to people that I’ve created. NaNo reminds me that people do actually write for a living and make their passion into their career. But mostly, NaNo reminds me that I can accomplish something that I set my heart and mind to.

So yeah, as December sets in, I’m sad. NaNo is over and I’ll definitely be counting the days until the frenzy begins again. But hey, I can at least occupy that time with editing this mess I wrote in November. I never said the first draft had to be any good.

Different

I am a creative being spilling over my brim with insights and ideas. I watch when I’m silent instead of speaking words that are just forming on my tongue. I wait for the right moment when a pause comes between their prearranged words. They don’t even notice. Under the surface I’m raging. A storm built up after years of storing the rain waters of my subconscious. I sit quietly, waiting my turn.

They tell me I’m not a match for them. I don’t fit their needs. My schedule doesn’t match or my views are all wrong. They tell me I don’t have enough experience, education, or energy.

But I do.

I’m just different than they are.

Inside we aren’t all the same, as the old saying goes. If we were life would be a breeze. We’d all be fine and dandy and stop to smell the roses, in sync with everyone else.

But different is what we all are and I’m not ashamed of it anymore. You see my differences show me who’s hurting and how I might try to help even though I’ll probably come up short every time. My differences help me create worlds that could inspire the imaginations and encourage everyone no matter where they are in life. But I don’t show them to many.

Because different is something we’re afraid of. “Is it normal” starts too many questions from my old friend’s lips wondering if this thing she loves about herself might cost her some friends along the way. “Is it weird” starts the worry of my friend who thinks she may need a psychiatrist because her views of this world are some she’s never heard from anyone else and she thinks she’s going crazy.

No, I tell them both. No! What you see is magnificent and who you are is beautiful because there is no one else in the world like you and you should be proud of that fact. No, I say, you shouldn’t have to hide the fact that you still love jamming out to High School Musical because it reminds you of the time where they broke free of the status quo and started that spark in you that you could do it to.

No, I tell myself. You are different too and you should be proud of that even though it’s causing you to lose people. No, I try to say, you shouldn’t compromise who you are to be with someone who isn’t going to accept all of that, no matter how many times you need to rediscover yourself. No, I say, wishing I could wrap my arms around myself the way my best friend can, it isn’t you who need to change but everyone else who has ever told you that you needed to be anyone other than who you know yourself to be.

And yes, I do still love you no matter how many times that mirror tells you otherwise. I won’t abandon you because you’re different. I will embrace you and encourage that because that is why I love you.

Reflections Beyond the Masks

I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting this Halloween season. Halloween isn’t a typical time for reflecting but I do it every year. Halloween used to be my favorite time of year as a child – better than my birthday or even Christmas.

Every year, I’d plan out my costume well enough ahead of time and work on building my costume. (Though for my younger years, the credit goes to my mom.) But the best part of the year was when Grandpa came to get me for our trick-or-treat excursions in a complementary costume. Prince Charming when I was Cinderella, a baby bottle when I was a preteen baby, a long-haired hippie when I went through my cool stage, and my favorite year, a blue M&M to compliment my red M&M.

You can't top this awesomeness!
You can’t top this awesomeness!

Sure my sisters and my dad went along but everyone knew what Grandpa and I had was special. You couldn’t fake this level of style. We had it and we knew it.

My grandpa was many things to me over the years but overall, he was my best friend. He inspired me to be different and be creative but more than anything, he taught me to be proud of that. Grandpa is the reason I smile when people call me weird. Halloween is the time for masks and costumes but by using those things, Grandpa ended up teaching me how to better express myself without needing to hide behind those things. A costume is great but you can’t wear it all the time. I sure tried but it got me into some trouble. I’d like to think that with every passing day, I show the world more of me. I’d like to think that but I know there are days I still try to hide myself from the critics and naysayers.

You can be anyone you want to be on Halloween but the biggest challenge of them all is to be who you really are.

NaNo Addiction

NaNo is barreling towards me as if it hasn’t seen me in forever and is coming to greet me with hugs and smooches and all sorts of embarrassing affection that I secretly love. I look forward to its visits every year knowing the excitement and energy it brings will always outweigh the annoyances. It brings parties and crazy ideas only found when you’ve had way too much caffeine (something it always demands so much of) and plenty of other writers doing the same crazy thing I’m doing.

I mean seriously, NaNites are crazy! Who carves out time in their day to write in a fictional word, tormenting themselves with a word goal that is sky-high, and trying to do this on top of classes, extra jobs, and everyday life. And the annoyances! Who can even stand it having so many characters to keep up with as they run through the brain creating plot holes and love triangles or just plain messes. It’s maddening!

So why do I do it?
addiction to writing
Because I have an addiction to writing. It’s my drug of choice. I love the exhilaration of watching my creations run around and react to the crap I throw at them. There’s a high in creating worlds much different from what I live in. And who doesn’t love having the power to have the final say in how something goes? Writing is amazing.

And I love a challenge. A novel in a month. Fifty thousand words in thirty days. Beginning, middle, and end – though not necessarily in that order. New people to get to know and new places to explore. It makes me wonder how anyone can say that writing isn’t their thing. But I know it’s mine so I shall drink it whole and take it all in.

NaNoWriMo is my new favorite time of the year. Christmas may still be my favorite time for family and food (with Thanksgiving close behind) with plenty of memories and traditions to keep close to my heart, but NaNo is a time for people like me. I plug myself fully into my writing and prove to myself that this is what I’m supposed to be doing. Above all else, this is what I want to do with my life. And with each victory, with each completed novel, is a reassurance that not only do I want to do this but that I can. I can do this.

If you ever considered doing this writing thing or have ever said of yourself “I am a writer,” give it a shot. During this time, there are no rules and no restrictions but a lot to gain for yourself. So what if you don’t finish or you have to quit because whatever, you tried something crazy and have something to show for yourself. But if there is any part of you that is curious or excited by the idea, do it. Sign yourself up on the main site, plug into the region nearest you to meet other crazy writers, and just go at it.

No fear can stop you if you just want to have fun and try something new. No doubt has any power over the person who says so what? And if anyone dares to make fun of you for writing, ask them what they are doing with their time – ten bucks they say Netflix. Try something strange and see where it takes you. The worst that could happen is that you get addicted to writing or decide it wasn’t your thing. And let me tell you, that writing addiction is extremely helpful in solving many other problems in your life.

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