Reflections on Writing and The Past Year

reflection
Standard

* Note: Slightly Rambling Blog Post *

Hello Readers,

I’ve not written a personal blog post in quite some time, but thought I’d write one to share some thoughts I’ve had with writing/publishing/blogging and my other interests.

2014 was the first year I spent more time reading and writing non-fiction. This happened as I continued noticing a gradual (and sometimes, not-so-gradual) decline in eBook sales.

My heart has never been in commercial fiction, and it probably never will be. For that reason, I am unlikely to continue eBooks publishing as a business (because as a business, it’s commercial forces one has to consistently observe and adapt to). I have some other personal reasons for no longer having the drive for writing fiction as I used to several years ago when I first ventured into digital publishing.

Towards the end of last year, I had a very strong need to switch directions entirely in terms of profession. I’ve listed some of the things I’ve been / am involved with on my about.me page. It’s a refreshing change and I’m grateful for the new work experiences. I like doing things that have some level of originality/innovation/analysis, and I felt indie publishing was not the right place for me anymore.

reflection

‘Reflection’ photo by Arthur Davison, used under a CC License.

I should add that I almost gave up my interest in socio-political blogging for the sake of a close friendship/relationship (let’s just say that my views were “very divergent” from the other person’s). Regardless of the topic, my personal belief is that people who respect each other would be able to sort out their differences. At the end of the day, I concur with activist Brooke Axtell, who said during the 2015 Grammys:

“Authentic love does not devalue another human being.”
(– activist Brooke Axtell)

To me, a friendship/relationship isn’t worth it if either person feels no guilt/shame/remorse in belittling or disparaging the other person, because they disagree with the other’s views and sentiments. (Perhaps this is partly due to the “Venus Scorpio” in me that highly values self-respect and mutual respect.)

I guess quitting self-publishing (or “turning my professional attention elsewhere” for the time-being) gave me an additional sense of closure to that whole chapter in my life. It just felt like everything had reached a dead-end and that it was time for me to try something new, on both the personal and professional level.

That being said, I’ll always like writing, so you’ll see some of my copyediting material online this year along with socio-political blogging book reviews when I can get down to it (once my current schedule has settled in a little bit more). Writing socio-political blog posts helped me access an “analytical” side of my mind I hadn’t really accessed before, which is why I’m keen to continue those independent/unsponsored blog posts.

I’m thankful for the readers/customers I’ve had and heard from over the years, particularly the readers of my earlier erotic material. I guess that’s a part of my life I’m leaving behind too, in a way (since my early erotic fiction was largely due to my own sexual neuroses!).

I appreciate others’ appreciation of my writing — somehow it feels like that will be something which will inspire me with future projects I get up to. It gives me a sense of comfort/satisfaction to know that my efforts were not completely wasted on meaningless things, since I like to focus on one thing at a time and give my all to it if I’m passionate about something.

I guess my main website (jessINK) may “morph” over the next few years, to reflect my personal interests and projects I’m involved with along the way. I initially branded myself as an “author/artist/non-conformist,” a label I’ve since updated to “writer/blogger/analyst” (the practical Virgo in me loves anything of an “analytical” nature…).

Side Note: It is also this practical Virgo in me that keeps me from enjoying the label/lifestyle of “starving artist” (a label my artistic Pisces moon doesn’t quite mind)…I guess I have a rough idea re: career path (I do best with something that combines creative and analytical skills).

Have you had a similar experience where you just felt you needed to drop (almost) everything and try/do something new? Send me a note via email! (I’m keeping the comments ‘off’ on this post in the spirit of intimacy/privacy.)

Stay happy and healthy in the meantime.

— Jess.

Advertisements

8th House Scorpio

Standard

I thought I’d write a short blog post on my general interest in dark themes and “the taboo.”

(1) I’ve been an astrology enthusiast since mid-2006, when I first found out I had a Pisces Moon.

8th_house

8th House | Mystic Medusa

In mid-2012, I found out (c/o astro.com and Darkstar) I have Venus conjunct Pluto in Scorpio 8th House (under whole signs — under default system, those two planets are right at the end of my 7th House).

I have been a little hesitant to share certain aspects of my astrological chart in the past in public. However, over the years, I’ve noticed I wouldn’t have realized those aspects of myself had it not been for others who had written about their own planetary placements (whether on their blogs/websites/social media spaces, or during face-to-face conversations).

My Lilith Gemini and Pisces Moon have contacts with that Venus Scorpio of mine, so I suppose it does come out in the form of “writing about taboo subjects.”

As the wise and intuitive Marina from Darkstar mentioned, life is generally smoother when we’re living out our astrological charts naturally.

(2) There’s another thing that’s always on my mind when it comes to the subject of consensual sexual relations between siblings (i.e. consensual incest, which didn’t initially strike me as something EXTREMELY taboo or “forbidden by society” until I got into some trouble with the subject matter).

I don’t have a brother, so I have wondered in the past about my intense interest between the romantic/sexual love that can be shared between a brother and sister.

It might have something to do with the following anecdote (true story). According to my mother and her doctor while she was expecting me, I might have had a twin but the embryo never developed beyond the very earliest stages of embryogenesis. I am convinced the embryo might have been male and that I might very well have “absorbed” the male genes (as a result of “killing off” the other twin).

A vanishing twin, also known as fetal resorption, is a fetus in a multi-gestation pregnancy which dies in utero and is then partially or completely reabsorbed by the twin. (from Wiki)

I mean, that would explain why I am indeed particularly drawn to brother-sister twincest (which, incidentally, is also a subject popular enough to have a #Twincest hashtag on twitter).

The 8th house is about sex, death and the occult, and in the modern world, everything associated with the 8th house is taboo (tribe.net). That second link also notes that:

The 8th House is VERY important, because it reminds us that “the health of the visible depends upon the health of the invisible force field that surrounds it.” (Caroline Casey)

So I guess a lot of my writing is very 8th house influenced :P

There’s always something about sex/love/death/murders/power/money/mystery…that kind of thing.

siblings incest

Project #2 of 2013 that I worked on was Bro Sis Diaries (of the “erotic love” genre — a collection of short stories featuring “consenting siblings indulging in the sexual love they share and desire”).

wilde

Project #3 of 2013 is The Wilde Trilogy, a psychological thriller about evil twins (a brother sister serial killing team) — my current work-in-progress.

(3) Some rambles: I decided to try working in the psych thriller genre since it is more mainstream than “taboo contemporary fiction with erotic elements.” I do have a goal to attract a wider readership and I thought this might be a good way to go about things (so I need not feel like I’m totally “selling out” to be “more commercial” — I like having a balance between art and commerce/business). I also like the twists and turns that the genre allows for, along with the psychological dimension.

I’m taking a rather non-explicit route with The Wilde Trilogy. There’ll still be “sexual tension” between the siblings, and this is part of the story in terms of their growing propensity for murder/criminal activity in the books.

I’m about 10,000 words into the first book. Have an outline which I’m following. Later on, I’ll be doing the Survival Trilogy (which features a female serial killer and the #RomanceKills murder project). I have the draft covers on jessINK and will upload the summary and synopses relatively soon. I have the plot roughly structured in my mind, though the third book for that series needs a bit of work (not too sure about that one’s plot yet).

So that’s my blog post about 8th house astrology, and my interest in sex/love/taboo themes/death/murders/suicide/homicide/psychology/obsession/power/money/mystery/intrigue/intensity/intimacy/etc.

P.S. I’d love to hear from you if these topics interest you too, or if you’re a fellow 8th house person :)

Karma

Standard

karma

–> Image from Karma Nirvana

I’m about halfway through with completing my Fall 2010 assignments (yessssss) — was just thinking about the concept of Karma today.

Whether it’s online or offline, I can’t help but notice how terribly rude, manner-less, crude, crass, offensive (and the list of adjectives goes on), some people can be (not necessarily to me personally / just in general). I’ve also noticed some things which may or may not be ‘coincidences’.

I’ve observed, for instance,  that a rather disrespectful/aggressive person on Goodreads had a $75,000 student loan debt (she was defending herself on a one-star review she left on a book which I was checking out, but have not read yet). Along the way (in the posts after her review), she mentioned something about how she felt that writing that review was a personal justification of the $75,000 debt she had accumulated, with regards to getting a degree in English Literature.

Another openly mean-spirited character, who has showcased “bad behavior” and/or “less than desirable character traits,” has a slew of health problems (quite a long list for someone in their mid-20’s). She justifies her princessy, Miss Bitch ways by stating on her online/Facebook profile that “if [she] isn’t nice to you, it’s only because you’re not cool enough.”

I’m not saying that everyone with student loan debts and health problems “deserves” “what they got.” Only in some cases. Like when a detached retina occurs from elevated high pressure, after losing your cool at someone (another real-life example).

As for people who like to moan, groan (makes me wonder if it’s because they’re not doing it right in bed / not getting enough quality action?), criticize, complain, whine, and bitch about others — about absolutely anything/everything in all areas of life — I like to think of the following quote, to keep things in perspective:

“I criticize by creation, not by finding fault.” ~ [Marcus Tullius Cicero (Ancient Roman Lawyer, Writer, Scholar, Orator and Statesman, 106 BC-43 BC)]

* some other nice quotes are available on my Writing Quotes page

I always aim to be polite/courteous/respectful towards people, even if they aren’t to me (though I have my limits too). When I say “thank you,” I mean it genuinely. I’ve even sent thank-you emails to McCormick, Redken, Astrodienst, Stash Tea, Twinings Tea, and Amazon’s customer service teams in the past, for the quality of their products and/or services (and a representative from each of these fine companies actually replied back, thanking me for my “kind feedback,” lol! Always nice to be appreciated…).

I’m not nice because I want to “score more Karma points,” though I did use to think of that notion long, long ago (early teens), when I first knew what Karma was. I just naturally am put off by rude/mean attitudes and behavior (it says very little about the person parading words/thoughts/actions, of that nature), and enjoy doing a little bit everyday (whatever/whenever/however I can), to counter the world’s negativity and hostility.

In the realm of love/sex (more Venus Scorpio intensity/drama, LOL), I’ve also believed that what you get = what you give. So the last time I really blew up and kicked (metaphorically) someone out of my life for good, it was because of an imbalance in dynamics. And I’d rather be single but sane/happy, than be stuck in the rut of a second(or third)-rate (to me) relationship.

Tim Gunn mentions “Karma” in his latest book too (Gunn’s Golden Rules — have a copy — love it!). Wise words from a wise man (the quintessential gentleman).

tim_gunn

–> Tim Gunn / “Make It Work!”

* End Note: Speaking of debt…for some reason, I picked up a financial book for kids, very early on in life  (I wish to high heaven that I could remember the author’s name / book’s title!). A message from the book was that having any kind of debt was bad, bad, bad. I can’t remember much else of the book’s contents (I was around 10 years old), but I do remember taking away that golden nugget of information from the book. It made a big impression, somehow,  and consequently got etched into my memory.