The First Taste Chapter 2

The second chapter of my awful gay vampire young adult novel.

Enjoy.

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The First Taste

Just for fun and because I rarely ever post anything on this blog, every other Thursday I will post a chapter from this horrendous novel I wrote when I was in eleventh grade. For an eleventh grader it’s pretty good though.

Here is chapter one.

Continue reading

Necessary Fiction

My story The Day Would be Black, The Sun Blotted Out has been selected to appear on weekly short fiction website, Necessary Fiction. 

This piece was an experimental work that came from a writing prompt I gave myself. It involved writing author, Amy Hempel, into a dystopian piece of short fiction. Amy Hempel is not in the final draft, but I love the story nonetheless. 

When the story is up I’ll post it here!

Exciting News

My short story “The Geese That Stayed North” will be appearing in Issue 13 of Midwestern Gothic!

This is exactly where I wanted this story to find its home. Midwestern Gothic, for those who may not know, is a literary journal based out of Ann Arbor, Michigan. They make it a goal to publish a wide variety of writers from the Midwest. My first creative writing teacher, Tanya Eby, was just featured in their Creative Nonfiction issue. So I’m kind of stoked.

This story has been looking for a home for a while. Originally titled “The Valentine” I sent it out for about a year before realizing the story wasn’t all that it could be. With a lot of help from my mentor (yeah, I’m just gonna call her my mentor) Caitlin Horrocks I refined the story and set it in my hometown of St. Louis, MI.

As far as content, this was a story I knew I had to write. A friend of mine, Vincent Panozzo, died in 2012. It was the first real death I’d ever experienced. Everyone was writing on his Facebook wall and that felt cheesy to me, so I wrote him a short story. The inspiration for the first draft came from the experience of finding a valentine he’d made me in a drawer in my dresser.I love this story, and I’m very proud to have it accepted at Midwestern Gothic.

BATMAN!!!

I’m in a class right now in college and we are reading graphic novels all semester.

That’s right, I read comic books for homework. Jealous?

I’ve loved comics since I was a boy. More or less I was infatuated with superheroes. The mythos, the outfits, the outsider-ishness of it all. I connected with the stories of Peter Parker (duh I was a nerd), the X-Men. As I got older I read things like Gerard Way’s The Umbrella Academy, and uh…Ultimate X-men (ok I’ll admit it, I’m not an avid comic book reader, but people believe me when I say I am). I’m not going anywhere, really, with this blog post that anyone else hasn’t gone. We love super-heroes because we see something in them that we see in ourselves.

OK.

Now, for some reason I’ve been hooked on Batman in recent weeks. We had to read Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns for class, and that made me want to watch the movies and then I remembered I have Batman Arkham Asylum on my computer and it’s been kind of an overload.

Batman is cool.

I pretended to hate him for a while because all of the nasty, smelly nerds I went to high school with loved Batman. Or they wore a different Batman shirt every day because that’s what their mother bought them from Wal-Mart. I pretended to hate him because he didn’t have any super-powers, because he refused to really be vulnerable (even to the reader).

In college I started to hate him for different reasons. He was privileged, white, heterosexual, and upper class. Billionaire Bruce Wayne. He was the kind of privilege that I fight against, because people with privilege are generally unwilling to give it up. Hate. 

Seeing hatred.

But, I just can’t hate him enough. The angsty middle schooler in me still loves how dark his character is, and how evil the villains are. Middle school me eats that shit up.

I try to analyze him to death and it isn’t working, maybe that’s his super-power.

I have been trying to write a literary super-hero story for about two years now. I have felt underrepresented as a gay man in the super-hero realm. Sure, there’s Northstar and Mystique, and Green Lantern? I can’t keep track of all the superheroes DC and Marvel are turning gay to make new age readers happy.

I WANT A GAY CHARACTER WHO STARTED THAT WAY. Not to appease some quota, not to be sexualized (as seems to be the case with Batwoman).

I want a gay superhero who is here because he was some gay kid’s idea of a coping mechanism. Maybe it starts with me. I really only know how to write fiction, and so that’s my medium.

Where was I going with this?

Oh yeah, I love Batman. Sorry.

Looking, a boring show on HBO

My boyfriend and I have been watching Looking, the new show on HBO about a bunch of gay friends living in San Francisco. Maybe it was wrong of me to assume that this show would be anything like the show Girls, but after much research (ahem-this article here on Gawker) I see that other people are drawing comparisons, so eh.

What I was expecting; wit, drama, stereotypes, sex, titillation.

Looking does not deliver.

The article in I linked above, from Gawker, basically says it best.

A dialog with my boyfriend revealed that we both really wanted to like the show, but it was so close to our real lives, so painfully boring (yeah, that’s right, I called my life painfully boring) that we just didn’t really care to watch.

We had to, because we’re gay, and we want to be able to be involved with the dialog about our representation in the media. We had to, because of other reasons too (we watched the first episode and we wanted to know if he got with the Latin guy).

I’ve learned from writing fiction that sometimes, our first instinct is to write something personal and very close to our own experience. While this is natural and seems fitting it can sometimes be too close to the truth. I think maybe that’s what is wrong with Looking. We know that some gays use Grindr, and most of them talk about being cliches, and whatever and whatever. I wanted so badly for this show to do a lot of things. Mostly I wanted it to not be a show that further heternormalizes us. I did not want a show that says to straight people, Hey, c’mon, we’re just like you. We have boring lives and shitty jobs and bad sex and good sex too! 

My boyfriend and I have been trying to make an honest effort to hate gay people less.

Because for some reason, gay people really hate each other.

I don’t know what it is, I cannot figure it out. It’s like something inside me says, OK, find one gay person you really love (your boyfriend) and then hate every other gay person.

I know it’s not something inside me saying that. I know that it’s society pitting us against each other so we can’t really get anything worthwhile done, I know that!

I didn’t want to not like this show, but I do.

In fact, I wish I had some better reasons to not like this show. I just don’t feel represented on it, and I could get past that if I connected with any of the characters like I do with the characters on Girls. I’m like 60% Hannah, 20% Shoshanna, 15% Marnie, and 5% Jessa (I wish I was all Jessa because I love her and she’s my favorite but I’m nothing remotely like her-also I really hope to any deity that that all adds up to 100%)

Best,

Jacob