All right, I think it's about time I sat down and gave everyone the full rundown of what happened.
Over the past two and a half weeks I have lived a romance novel as deep and epic as anything I've ever written. I wouldn't have believed it if it hadn't happened to me, yet here I am, and oh what a story it is.
It begins three years ago, before I found myself back in writing again. I was twenty-five, almost twenty-six, and trying to figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I'd occasionally spend my time reading stories on several sites which host LGBT romances, because it at least ignited some form of passion in me.
And then I started reading a story which had only posted a few chapters, but it sounded intriguing. The story was titled "Lives In Periphery", and was hosted at AwesomeDude. I was enthralled by the time I'd made it a page into the story. The characters spoke to me, the dialogue felt real, and I remember reading it and thinking 'This is the kind of thing I want to do. I want to tell stories like this. I want to write'.
I emailed the author, and as a joke I included the subject line 'I think I've fallen in love', then in the body of the email I wrote 'with your writing'. The irony of that statement now is not lost on me, but we'll move ahead on this lovely story. I told the author, C. (Protecting his name because of his profession), that his story had inspired me to get back into writing. He responded with a rather trained and automatic response at the time, thanking me for my email and wishing me well. I didn't think much of it, I was just psyched to get into the game again.
So I wrote a couple of short stories and both ended up on AwesomeDude, and I set to work on my first novel, "Rumors of War" during NaNoWriMo. I received an email from C. halfway through November 2013, congratulating me on my short stories. Despite the formulaic nature of his first reply to me, he'd been watching for my stories and read them when he'd noticed they were posting. We talked briefly, during November and then time moved on.
In December I was struggling to finish my novel, and I again reached out to other stories for inspiration. I discovered C.'s other stories, most notably "Laika"(Although I like everything he's written) and read them all in December 2013. When I finished Laika, however, I emailed C. and told him how much I loved it, and how it had impacted me. It is still my favorite story on the internet to this day, and the one which has probably shaped me the most as a writer. I was inspired enough by reading it that I became bound and determined to finish "Rumors of War" no matter what.
In my emails to C. regarding "Laika", I started to notice a bit of chemistry. I'd already developed a small crush on him just from reading his work, but the emails were quickly solidifying that crush. I told him I thought we'd make great friends, he accepted, and then . . .
He disappeared off the face of the Earth for three years.
There was a point, probably four to six months after he disappeared, where I decided I was probably never going to talk to him again, since he was gone and didn't appear to be coming back. I didn't know what had happened or why he disappeared (I do now), but I had to let him go, and so I did.
And I moved on with my writing. I wrote and I wrote and I wrote, and occasionally my mind would drift just briefly to thoughts of "Laika" and a friendship that would never be (An incredibly poetic thing if you're familiar with the story). It helped me keep going through some rough patches, because I was determined to write something that would be as meaningful to someone else as "Laika" was to me. I don't know if I've ever succeeded in that, but it's still the goal.
2016 was a shitty year for me. I don't know if I was burned out or emotionally drained, but this year I've found writing difficult. It was a struggle to write 100,000 words over the course of this year, which, if you know how much I've written in years previous, this is an incredibly small amount. I say it 'was' a shitty year because it isn't anymore.
In October (2016 in case anyone reads this significantly later than when I wrote it), I made a commitment to myself that I would be writing full-time when I was thirty, even if I had to struggle financially to do it. I made plans to expand my Patreon and redouble my efforts at getting published traditionally. I was determined that this would be the last year I'd let my dreams wallow unrealized. I made this commitment around the middle of the month, and I was going to mark the beginning of my new year at Samhain, October 31st-November 1st.
Samhain is a New Year's celebration in many ways, but specifically I like to focus on the aspects of giving up the old to make way for the new. I was so filled with dedication to my goals as I approached Samhain, I was going to give up something particularly big in order to show my dedication to my writing. I'd already lived several years with short-term oaths of celibacy, but I was ready to commit to a lifetime of it if it meant I could focus exclusively on writing.
And so, as night approached on October 31st, I started to prepare myself mentally for what I was going to give up. I planned on making it a matter of ritual, and so I intended to go and get a candle to meditate on the flame. Before I left for the store, I checked my email.
There, in my inbox, was an email I never expected to see. C. had emailed me after nearly three years of silence. I was so stunned I stared at it for ten minutes before I finally opened it. This was the first paragraph:
"So, I've kind of ghosted from the internet fiction scene for the last
two or three years or so, but the other day I was in the mood for a
story (maybe because NaNoWriMo is approaching?), and I ended up
reading through all of Fearless in one sitting. It kept me up waaaay
too late for a Sunday night and I ended up spending the day at work
looking like a zombie...but it was Halloween, so I guess it was
The author of my favorite story on the internet, as well as the unfinished story which inspired me to get into writing, had just emailed me. Not only had he done so, but he'd told me he'd enjoyed my work enough to read it all in one sitting. After a year of absolute hell with my writing, it was exactly the validation I needed. I was so excited my entire demeanor changed for the night, and I forgot all about Samhain and giving up anything. I couldn't concentrate on anything other than the incredible experience of my favorite author liking, no, loving my work.
I emailed him back and said, "Please tell me you're going to keep talking to me?" I said more, but that was the way I started everything. I wanted to put it out there that I desperately wanted to have this conversation. My crush wasn't back yet, but my desire for friendship with the guy who'd started me down my writing path, THAT was back in full force.
And so we talked. Oh, have we talked! We emailed back and forth over the next few days, sometimes multiple times a day. We exchanged phone numbers on Thursday-Friday, and we started talking even more. Friday going into Saturday there was a question of mutual romantic interest hanging in the air, and by Saturday afternoon it was confirmed.
We texted back and forth after I left work on Saturday, and I knew how I felt. I'd known since our text conversation on Friday, but on Saturday I had a bit more courage. I told him I 'really really liked him' (you know, that phrase you say when you're testing the waters and don't want to risk the other 'L' word?) and he responded immediately by saying it back to me.
And so I went for it. I knew what it was, what I felt for this beautiful soul who made me happy with every single word he sent me. I told him I thought I'd fallen in love with him, and, to my wonderment he responded in kind.
I know it sounds crazy that five days after we started talking that I would feel that way, but I do. It's also crazy that he'd feel the same way. But he does.
Since then, we've emailed, texted, called, written and sent letters by hand, had dates watching Netflix while talking on the phone and planning what happens next. It's been beautiful and crazy and maddening and everything love should be; it's been scary at times and a bit daunting as we try and figure out and understand what we're feeling, wondering if we're crazy for going so fast, especially when we haven't met in person.
But not a bit of those doubts has made me feel any different about him, and in fact we've only grown closer as we've worked our way through them. He's everything I've ever needed, except for being 1600 miles away, but that's an obstacle we'll overcome sooner rather than later.
It's made me crazy, it's taken up all my time, but I wouldn't change a moment of it. It's, unfortunately, dropped my productivity to nil, but that's the Honeymoon stage of love for you. I know in the long run my writing will improve by this, I just need to get back to the point where I can control myself a bit more. Hopefully I'll at least be able to focus enough to finish the next and final chapter of Weightless soon.
So that's the story. Feel free to ask me questions. I love talking about him, so how could I possibly feel bad about answering questions?