Confessions Of A Not-So-Teenage-Writer
Posted on June 16, 2011
I had the distinction of turning 40 last year around this time and I’ve been doing some reflecting back on it. Picture it, Sicily, 1970… Sorry, wrong series. That and I’m half German, so, you know, huuuuuuuuuuge schnitzel! Anyway, I was–a year ago–waiting for Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell to be released, busy planning the book launch and stressing over it, dealing with a major issue stemming from Ralph’s Hong Kong Grandmother, dealing with my job ending, learning about Alzheimer’s and… Let’s face it. It was a low point and I’d started to believe that people weren’t capable of surprising me anymore. The truth is that I no longer knew if I had it in me to surprise anyone.
The thing is this; I’m a writer. Working with words is the one thing I do with any amount of moderate success and it’s a gift I was given to use in this life. Is it marketable? Not so much. It’s worth about $14 an hour. Am I ever going to be the breadwinner between my guy and I? Not so much again. And if I ever do pick up another trade, it would mean giving up the writing. Probably not the best thing since customer service–or dealing with people in general–isn’t something I’m particularly cut out for. Oh, hell…let’s just say that most people aren’t cut out for dealing with little ol’ moi.
Fortunately, Ralph has come to terms with my role in life and while I may only bring in pocket change, what I contribute to the relationship in other ways more than makes up for it, schnitzel notwithstanding–though it does stand at attention quite frequently. Am just sayin’. That pretty much left the whole dealing with people and who wasn’t surprising anybody anymore.
And that changed.
The book launched happened, people who I hadn’t seen–and a couple I’d never even spoken to–in 22 years attended, Ralph’s brother and his girlfriend came, many faces I’d gotten to know since coming out showed up and that alone made me realize that people weren’t incapable of taking me by surprise anymore. I’d simply stopped making the effort to get them to want to. So I tried that day to share as much of myself as I could and while it went unannounced to those around me, I was finally able to admit to myself that I have something to contribute in life and that it’s worth sharing. It’s not perfect, but it’s what I’ve got.
Ralph and I took a couple of trips late last year to Palm Springs and San Diego. We somehow started to get back to the basics of why we became a couple in the first place and spending that time together went a long to making that happen. I’ve become a bit rigid–in a non-physical way–in my old age and he’s taken a few things for granted. It happens. But a couple of walks along the beach, walking in the ocean, sharing a wonderful meal outside during the sunset and attending a Motels concert while singing along with the group makes you realize the better side of being an important part of someone’s life.
Events since this January have brought us closer together yet. We’ve recently stopped, taken a breath and reassessed what’s important to us, what makes it important, why we shouldn’t forget it and realize just how lucky we are. Proof of this luck can be found in something I saw posted on a friend’s Facebook page. He was going to the funeral of someone he knew. There was a gay couple who met a few years back, fell in love, adopted two children and started a family. Then, a year or so ago, one of the adults found out he had lung cancer and consequently had 6 months to a year to live. They didn’t wallow. Instead, they got married and created something beautiful out of it. The one told his partner “I’ll hold on until I can’t.” I cried when I read it.
This is going to be a good next year. I’ve met fellow authors over the past twelve months who’ve become very near and dear to me. I’ve met people I knew 25 years ago who despite my not having seen them again since the last launch have still become very near and dear to me. I’ve met folks who I’ve only previously chatted with online, they’ve bought books and are now friends for life! I’ve started enjoying taking people by surprise and I’m always amazed in a very good, very positive way when they take me by surprise back.
So there you have it. My sincerest thank you to all the folks who’ve touched my life over the past year–my partner who’s touched me over the past year–and the folks whose lives I’ve been allowed to touch, platonically, mind you, over the past year. It’s Thursday, June 16th and something tells me it’s going to be a good day.
Kristoffer Gair (who formerly wrote under the pseudonym Kage Alan) is the Detroit-based author of Honor Unbound, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To My Sexual Orientation, Andy Stevenson Vs. The Lord Of The Loins, Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell, several short stories featured in anthologies (to be combined in a forthcoming book), the novella Falling Awake, its sequel, Falling Awake II: Revenant and Falling Awake III: Requiem.
7 Responses to “Confessions Of A Not-So-Teenage-Writer”
June 16, 2011 at 8:09 am
Here’s to many more wonderful years and happy writing!
I enjoyed reading this!
June 16, 2011 at 12:15 pm
Thank you, Carol. I hope to keep going doing it. Writing, that is. The other will eventually stop in another 40 years, so…
Dorien Grey says:
June 16, 2011 at 9:07 am
Excellent blog, Kris! I’m once again impressed.
Said it before and wlll say it again: you are a lucky man.
June 16, 2011 at 12:25 pm
In all honesty, D, you’ve been a huge inspiration to me to open up more and dig a little deeper in my postings. I can only hope to one day measure up to the standard you’ve set.
June 16, 2011 at 3:31 pm
I highly enjoyed reading this. Writing is not one of the highest paying profession, but we are doomed in the fact that at times we feel good for nothing else. It’s fantastic though that you have someone to share your life with, hardships and failures, and joys and triumphs.
Phoenix Emrys says:
June 17, 2011 at 9:07 pm
I’m only now just reading this. Your birthday was yesterday? So was my daughter Shannon’s. How cool is that.
Hoping for the best year ever for you and Ralph, and of course, my Shan.
June 17, 2011 at 11:01 pm
It’s actually Sunday. =)