But first: my high school crush on young Ernest Hemingway.
That was one of my first blog posts at the now dead as f*ck Lit Connection and the rest, as they say, was history.
Actually, no one read that post. Thank God.
Do you really want to hear about young Ernest’s adorable newsie trousers?
But the years passed and I cracked on, blogging about my literary crushes and favorite books. Somehow I gained a small but dedicated readership of like minded bookworms who swooned over Mr. Darcy, Nat Eaton, and Jamie Fraser.
Speaking of Jamie Fraser, I wrote gems like this:
I know. I know. Portfolio worthy clips.
Words never came to me so easily as when I’m thinking deviant thoughts.
Imagine rolling a Roman soldier on your tongue like a Jolly Rancher!
Good thing I don’t have political aspirations because that shit will come back to haunt me.
Despite my scandalous imagery (or maybe because of it?) and my non-stop pining over Nat Eaton and his sexy Puritan drawers, people actually read my blog. I made friends and found my tribe of bookish deviants.
Having found a slice of happiness in my little corner of the internet, what did I do?
Killed the blog.
The slow death of The Lit Connection began when I got serious about publishing.
I was elbow deep in writing my first novel (Black Heart, Red Ruby), which turned into an unhealthy obsession that sucked up all of my creative mojo.
Ironically, Black Heart, Red Ruby is about one girl’s unhealthy obsession over an evil death ruby…Art imitating life? Autobiography? At least I never stabbed a rat in my quest to be published.
However, if my dream literary agent had a rat she wanted me to stab and handed me a knife…
But I digress.
My creative energy is finite.
It’s a single serving of milkshake at a penny-pinching diner. No refills. One glass minimum.
In 2012, Black Heart, Red Ruby drank The Lit Connection’s milkshake. I used up all my deviant energy on this book and left the blog bone dry.
There was also the touchy topic of book reviews.
I didn’t write a ton of book reviews, but the reviews I did write were honest.
Maybe too honest.
Do you recall The Horrible Dare Challenge? Man, did I suffer through some horrible books.
Wouldn’t it be awkward if I queried the same agent of that paranormal YA angel book I eviscerated on my blog?
Wouldn’t it be even more awkward if I met the author of said paranormal YA angel book at Book Expo?
Slandered author: “Oh hey, aren’t you the blogger who said my book made her want to gouge her eyes out with a hot poker?”
Slandered author: “What book did you write again? Love in a Time of Monsters, eh?” Scrutinizes cover. “What’s it about? Tentacle porn?”
Me: “More like mermaid porn.”
Like Larry David, I always have to have the last word, which is why I must always have three pairs of eye glasses on hand in the likely event that someone punches me in the face.
So The Lit Connection died a slow, agonizing death because I blew my creative writing wad on Black Heart, Red Ruby.
And I just wanted to play nice for a change.
Fast forward to the present day.
Feeling strangely nostalgic, I signed into The Lit Connection for the first time in seven years.
I discovered a pingback…
Which led me to a blog…
Which led me to this mention from a past Lit Connection reader:
Her comment gutted me!
My eyes misted over.
I hung my head in shame.
She’s stopped posting, having become an author…-former Lit Connection reader
That line haunted me for days.
I became an author???
Meaning I’m too good to blog anymore.
Meaning I’ve got novels to write and am now above penning such lines as “I want to give Jaimie Fraser my flower and he will make it blossom.”
I furled my hands into fists.
Slammed my fists on my desk.
Injured my fists. My desk was fine.
I’m still T.Y. (okay, maybe I should stop referring to myself in the 3rd person in a post about how I overcame my ego ). Fun fact: I never intended to call myself T.Y. I was too lazy to type in my full name in the WordPress author section.
I never became an author.
I just wrote three books, which were pretty much a collection of things I thought were cool at the time (British uncles, Victorian costumes, leg injuries, etc…).
I’m still a blogger!
When was the last time I blogged?
When was the last time I said anything funny, witty, or remotely interesting?
Even my Instagram captions circa 2016-present have been dull. “Look! Pizza! Nom Nom.”
Ever since I became an author I have not been myself. In fact, I have transformed into a watered down version of myself.
In Black Heart, Red Ruby, Ava is on a single-minded pursuit of a ruby she believes will be the answer to all her problems.
The ruby was a false promise. It didn’t solve her problems. It created more problems.
The ‘rise and fall’ story arc is a tale as old as time. Not that I put much thought into story arcs at the time.
Back in 2012, it was just some heavy shit I threw in because it felt deep and sounded cool.
Now I’m living it.
I never appreciated my stint as a blogger.
I had my heart set on becoming a real writer.
I never took blogging seriously. How could I take it seriously? I made vomiting unicorn graphics.
I never stopped and smelled the roses and reveled in all the fun I had making vomiting unicorn graphics.
Now that I’m a writer (of sorts), I miss those carefree blogging days when I was at liberty to dream and literary crush and be my swoony, deviant self.
That comment broke me.
It shattered my pretensions about what a serious writer should be.
It opened my eyes to what I truly value: my tribe of deviant bookworms, most of which are scattered to the wind.
So here we are.
Back to the beginning.
Back in 2007 I blogged about my high school crush on young Ernest Hemingway. I wrote about his adorable passport photo and his sexy newsie trousers.
No one read that post.
Just as I assume no one is reading this post.
Is blogging dead?
The Lit Connection sure is.
No, I can’t revive her.
She’s resting in her online crypt, her free WordPress domain overgrown with Google Ads and littered with broken photo links.
I’m no longer the doe-eyed twenty-two year old who began The Lit Connection, but I think I can recapture some of her spirit in my new sandbox.
I’ve learned a thing or two about writing over the years.
Never be serious.
Get dirty. Make mistakes. Make typos.
Have some fucking fun.
With a fresh start and no readers, I finally have the creative freedom to say…
Whatever. I. Want.
What do you say my fellow deviant bookworms?
Come play in my sandbox?