Digging up the bones

Only a couple short but full months into my memoir I find that it’s far from as simple as I thought it would be. I knew it wouldn’t be easy by any means, but as I go through my past writing, my past life, I can’t help but be taken back to that time. The words again become my near-reality, and each carries a blade that slices a small part of my heart.

As if I don’t already have enough scar tissue there.

I have been outed, hated and vilified for keeping my HIV & Hep-C status from public knowledge in the highly sex positive community  I was in, my dog & I are a few days away from being homeless, I’m barely surviving, simple things such as eating are a luxury, and I’m terrified – but I still refuse to give up on my dreams, even though I have little idea what they are.

I just went to my first Dresden Dolls show at Cafe du Nord, a tiny basement bar that kept the air of its past, with deep red walls and thick velvet curtains draped opulently around the room. ANd ten foot ceilings, foot high stage. In the prohibition era, they did what they could, where they could – and du Nord kept that…
That was the first time I performed with the Dolls, getting a corset piercing in front of the small stage before they went on.

Whitney is just about to email me, treating me to lunch and telling me about a “proposal”. She also just told me that Amanda has a crush on me, in the shortened time of the memoir.

My life is simultaneously falling apart and coming together, but all I can see is the former. I had little idea what the next few months would hold – a life that had meanst nothing to me or anyone else becoming something I finally wanted to keep living in, a life that made a difference, a life… of value.

I didn’t know that then. I was just trying to find something I loved to do. Something I was good at somehow, something that gave me a reason.
And I did.

The places I decay into while writing this book are no one else’s business, but I’ll try to keep up here, try to write about it. Writing is what I know, deep inside of me, that can bring me peace. The only thing. I’ve been doing it for 33 years – and I’m still, somehow, alive.

It was writing that took my pistol out of my mouth, it was writing that washed away all the other times I decided it was time to end. This is what I do. I just need to remember how – how to keep my mind out of it, listen to the words that blow on the wind through my heart.

I think I do have something to offer… but the challenge is trying to write without worrying about how I’m going to afford to feed my dog and me. Everything was going so well, things were coming together, people were buying ad space on CultureFlux.com – and then my life stopped, was almost gone.

Coming so close to death changes a person. I still feel it, still wear the spiritual and physical scars – but gods, I learned more than I could eve have imagined.

= = = = =

I’m still a couple months from my attempted move to Boston, still a couple months from volunteering at the private refugee camp in Austin, still a few months…
Still a few months from Bean being killed by a train.

I wonder who I am now. I have my past. I have what I’ve been through… but what do I have now?

I frequently think that we live through things just to say “That happened to me.” to me, not someone else. I live in the same world as all of you – I’ve just seen more of it. As I’m certain some of you have, as well.

Sometimes, life can only begin with the understanding of death. Of dying. Sometimes it ends – not physically, but in spirit.
I was told that I was dead when I was 19 years old. A call from a doctor telling me I had the AIDS virus. Back then, over 95% of people who contracted it died miserably, painfully within 18 months.

Think about that.

I lived a good part of my life afraid to try anything that took more than a month to learn, afraid to go back to school and feel like I, again, didn’t finish what I set out to do – and terrified of loving anyone. More terrified of them loving me.

but here I am and how? WHY me?

Here’s a little secret: I felt that the Universe kept me alive so I could finally find my birth-mother. When I was writing my first letter to her, asking if she was – I felt, i KNEW that the moment I met her the one purpose I had been allowed to live for would be achieved, and I would come as close to dying on the spot as possible.
Rational? There is no logic in this, no logic why I am STILL alive. But I am.

And maybe that’s why it so difficult to get this book done.

Somewhere in my life there is that last thing I need to do, and that last thing will take it away.

Now that I think about it – I have had a good life. I am not afraid of death in the least – I’m incredibly intimate with it. We’re buddies.

TIme to get writing this fucking book again.

 

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Stubborn as f*ck.

Hey everybody!

I’d like to thank you all again, while I have you here in such rapt attention, for your support those few short months ago. You guys taught me a lot – or more accurately said, reminded me of something: The book is the most important thing. Getting it written, sharing a story that will be crazy enough for someone else to read and most likely say something akin of “All of the sudden, my life doesn’t doesn’t seem so bad!” or, of course “Okay, screw this miserable life. I’m going to follow my dreams like this guy!”

(I’m going to need to put a legal disclaimer on this book, aren’t I?)

So yeah, the book. That’s what I’ve come to talk to you about. Dig this:
In 5 days, on November 1st, I begin an incredibly optimistic endeavor. Y’see, I’ve joined a thing called NaNoWriMo, which is short-ish for National Novel Writing Month. Yeah, it’s a thing.
While “they” encourage you to write 50,000 words in 30 days, I did the math and that’s, like – 126 pages, or something. Half a novel.

SO, me being who I am (which is somewhere between a damned fool and a very ambitious dreamer) I’ve decided to shoot for 120,000 words in 30 days. Because maybe I work better with an impossible challenge. Or maybe I’m a godsdamned genius. Or maybe I’m a friggin’ moron.  I still haven’t figured that one out.

But what will I do with an entire novel, an earth-shattering, life changing, epic opus of literature sitting around on my computer? What good is THAT?  No good at all, that’s what good it is.

So this is the plan: Somewhere around the 13th of November (if I’m not catatonic from trying to write 4000 words/day) I’m going to launch an IndieGoGo campaign. It’s like Kickstarter, except you get to keep the pledges of support – which is a fancy way of saying “the cash”. This time, instead of reaching for the stars, I’m only going for the moon. Enough for good editing, publishing, promotion & marketing, and paying the artist who helped me in the original campaign. Not in that order, The artists time comes first. Maybe some so I don’t have to eat my shoes or dog. (This “starving artist” thing is SO not as cool as it sounds.)

Yeah. 120,000 words in 30 days without going completely insane, just mostly. Then edit the crap out of it, and get the book published. And as an afterthought, not die.

Wish me luck! And hey – if by some strange chance you want to support my eating AND getting the book out to the world, you can feed me through Paypal! Not actually food as it’s not one of those rat-maze reward trigger things (which is the official scientific name), but a way to get some. Gods, I love this modern world. Sometimes. My Paypal address is Casey@kseaflux.com. That’s also my email address. Cool, huh? TECHNOLOGY! (Accepting food help starting now. See “Starving Artist” reference above.)

NOW, I need to go prepare more for this insanity. Currently I’m hiding sharp things and padding the walls & my laptop (which might or might not get thrown across the room). And giving anything that could be considered poison to the nice family in the apartment next door to hold. And figuring out chapter titles to kind-of keep me on track so the book doesn’t explode.

I’ll be talking to you all again soon, and again – thank you! (If you DON’T hear from me, please send help. Coffee or whiskey. Or new fingertips. )

LOVE YOU ALL!
~ Casey

Waking Dreams / NaNoWriMo

A few days ago I looked backwards at my life, saw the roads I had taken. There were those that I joined most everyone on, all of us working as hard as we could to stay in one spot. That is what I was taught. Hard work & no dreams. They tried to take them away from me at an early age, my dreams – but even though I might have forgotten them, my dreams were still there, deep inside, dormant but alive. The story begins when I broke trail, headed off the road into the trees and hoped I survived. I was dying anyway.

I tried to look forwards to see if I could divine anything. I could, but I can’t be sure it was honest. We all see where we want to be, few see how to get there or are willing to do the work. I’m speaking of dreams. Waking dreams, of who we wish to be.

Who we know we are, somewhere inside.

The most difficult part is believing. In ourselves, in what we truly are capable of. I am reminded of a quote I’ve always loved from Marianne Williamson ~
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

My own shine has grown harder to see & remember over the recent past years. If you know this blog you know why. I’m not making excuses. The pain made me lazy. The morphine made me unreliable. Maybe I am making excuses.

It’s time to SHINE again.

It’s time to live, to do what I need, to do the things that remind me of who I am. It’s time to remind myself that no dream is unattainable. It’s time to challenge myself again.

So I’m doing NaNoWriMo this year. For those who don’t know what it is. It stands for National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. 1,667 words a day, and construct something like a gorgeous vagabond – unrefined, dirty, maybe even angry – but beautiful.
Many people try. Many more fail. It’s not easy – but then again, what good thing is?

The thing is – that’s not enough. Not enough for my book, Not going Gently, about a man who gave up everything to follow his dreams, and through incredible adventures and near death, found himself. The thing is – mine is true to the letter – or at least memory. Edited very well, I suspect it will be more along the lines of 120,000 words.

So that’s what  am shooting for. 120,000 words in 30 days? Fuck me… but I can do it.

At the recommendation of a few trusted friends, I have decided to set up an IndieGoGO thing to help me through it all, and hopefully through that be able to afford editing, publishing, & coffee. LOTS OF COFFEE. You’ll be alerted to that soon.

If I don’t make it financially, at least my book will be written.

You’ll just never see it.

So wish me luck, and… in 11 days, THIS SHIT IS ON!!!

Love you all.
Make good dreams, and keep reaching for them.