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by Beth (bookish_beth)
at November 2nd, 2006 (02:32 am)

current location: The Manor
current mood: accomplished
current song: "Yellow" by Coldplay

Huzzah! My first writing blitz is completed. Now I can post it!

But first-- a few things.

My only rule here at the Adore community is that you don't criticize. This is a NaNoWriMo novel for Pete's sake, not a masterpiece! It's all about quantity over quality and that is a concept I am really really having trouble with. Because the thing is-- I'm not a writer. I'm an editor. So trying to get rid of my inner-editor is extra difficult to begin with. I cannot have other people bringing me down as well.

Also, I feel I should mention the plot of Adore. It's really your basic love story: Girl meets Boy. Boy is a budding, charismatic cult leader. Drama ensues. Yes, there will be swearing. Yes, there will be some violence. Yes, there will eventually be sex. All kinds of fun adult content. If you are sensitive to such things DO NOT READ. Furthermore, alternative forms of spirituality will be discussed at length. Wicca and Satanism will definitely be making their appearances, and here's the thing: They're not all that bad. (I only use the world "cult" in summaries because eventually the public within the novel... ah, well, you'll see once I write it!) If you do not have an open mind to alternative spiritualities I again advise you strongly DO NOT READ.

That out of the way, I can begin talking about the format. It's pretty simple actually. Adore is the diary of my main character, protagonist, and narrator, April Callahan as she enters her freshman year of college. The diary will be "published" after April is much older than the narrating diary-April. Older-April will be providing commentary and analysis throughout the book, particularly after very important entries, but I don't think I'll be writing the Older-April bits during NaNoWriMo. Now is the time strictly for diary-April. (This makes it easier on us both the writer and the reader. TRUST ME.)

So, without further ado, I give you


August 15th, 2006

My name is April Callahan. This is my first journal ever. And sometimes I am absolutely sure that I am emotionally retarded or something. I mean, I understand all the whys and hows and sometimes it does not even bother me. Sometimes I think it saves me a whole lot of effort. And then other times-- well, those other times when I feel bad about it only really happen when Virgil is being obnoxious and catty and mean on purpose. And I can ignore that. In the fifteen years or so that I have known Virgil Kent I have learned to ignore him better than anyone. I also listen to him better than anyone. It is the talent of the true best friend, I suppose.

Anyway about this journal and me being emotionally retarded and what not-- the thing is, this journal thing was not my idea. It was my psychologist's. Doctor Clary became my psychologist when I was ten years old. I barely remember the time when I did not want her or trust her. That time probably only lasted about two sessions at most, but Doctor Clary insists that I was a stubborn little brat about her. (Only she says it in much nicer words, of course, what with her being a shrink and all and educated in the finer details of telling people how much they suck very, very nicely.) Now, of course, it is completely different. I depend on her opinion for practically every decision I make, and I trust her judgement soundly. I do not always agree with her and I do not always take her advice. But even still, I trust her judgement. When I disagree I just sort of think to myself 'Ah ha! So that is how a normal person would behave! Good to know!' and then proceed to behave in whatever bizarre, dysfunctional, bratty, crazy way I so choose. Doctor Clary is a bit like my mother in that she wants to be a well adjusted, mentally stable, and for all intents and purposes "normal" teenage girl. Still, like my mother Doctor Clary is forced to sometimes accept that I just am not and never will be. And I like to think that my choosing the weird and winding path does not ever cause her to judge me. But then again, she is a shrink. I will never know what she is thinking.

My general rule of thumb for deciding whether or not I follow Doctor Clary's advice is this: If she is not choosing to acknowledge that I am different, broken, and/or damaged on some hard to see level but rather supplying me with advice on how I could socialize better, make new friends, or otherwise impress other folks I tend to ignore it. If she is admitting that I (myself, as I exist on the purely personal level alone) could use some fixing up and suggesting ways to do so, I tend to give it a try.

This journal is one the times when I know I have to suck it up and follow her advice. I am starting college in a matter of weeks and that is crazy no matter what, nevermind that I, myself, am crazy to begin with. Scratch that. Not crazy. It astounds people sometimes how not crazy I am. I am just emotionally retarded. And that is okay. Except, of course, in a time of extremely heightened stress and emotions for everyone in my own little universe. Then, of course, being emotionally retarded just sucks.

I really do try though. I understand what everyone around me is feeling. (Namely: worried as hell!) I even understand all the reasons why they're worried. It is just that I do not have the slightest idea how to soothe their worries. I try with logic. I have been telling my mother every day for the past month that I will be fine. That I will call her three times every day like we agreed. That I will continue taking self defense classes. That I will not leave campus unaccompanied ever. That my campus is a safe one. I constantly remind her that she approved of the security herself on our visit! But none of that seems to work. I always have to go into phase two and remind her that I have to go to college. That I have to grow up. That I have to learn how to be on my own. And most importantly of all: that she needs to let me. Sometimes she will accept that with only a few tears and a hug. Sometimes hearing that will make her start yelling at me and we will end up in an awful, messy fight. And the trouble is, I have no way of knowing which reaction I will get from her. It is a part of my emotional retardation, I suppose. I can never tell what anyone else means or feels until they say it. Or until they say it in such a way that what they mean or feel is obvious no matter what it is that they are saying.

It is not as though I am entirely selfish or oblivious. I am interested in people in my own way. And I do notice a lot that others miss completely. I am simply very bad at engaging others. Maybe it is because of my deep rooted issues that make me oh so very messed up. Maybe it is simply because I usually have no desire to engage others. We might never know for sure.

Of course, Virgil likes to think he does. He is of the "no desire" camp and usually tries to prod me into engaging others, claiming that if I only just tried-- He never seems to end that thought, though. And every time I have tried without the real desire, it always ends in tragedy. Well, perhaps not tragedy. But it never ends very well either.

The thing is, when I try to socialize and it fails miserably, I never feel like it is actually my fault. And that can sometimes give me this vaguely sick feeling. Because if it is not my fault, I feel like I might be blaming it on the past. And that is just weak. I mean, sure, I will grant that I am different, bizzarre, dysfunctional, and more than a little emotionally retarded and I will even grant that what happened to me is why I (myself, as I exist on the purely personal level alone) am all those messed up things. But how could I have let it affect the way I am with others? Am I a bad or weak person for letting it affect others?

It's that sort of thing that made me give this journal thing a shot. I need to figure out how to keep from putting my baggage onto others. I mean, of course, it is not as if I tell people or anything, but maybe it is my negativity that pushes people away. And if it is, I need to fix that. Because even if I do not want to engage others or be particularly social, I should at least-- do something. I really have absolutely no idea what it is I am supposed to be doing or why or what it should accomplish. But I feel like if my aversion to socialization is all because of what happened to me then I should do whatever I can to fix that. I know I need to fix everything from all of that mess the best I can.

Once, a psychic told me the reason I had so much trouble getting on with other people is actually because in all of my past lives I have been an animal. He said I have been a horse, a raccoon, and a fish of some kind. He said he had the vision of the fish but was no good at identifying kinds of fish and even though he described it, I do not think I am much better at fish identification. He said I had an old soul and had lived many other cycles, but he had trouble connecting with them. I would like to believe what he said. That I have been so many animals and for a long time. It sounds so nice, safe, and sure. I often tend to love animals more than people in general, certainly. And the psychic-- he did not even seem all that fake. He knew who I was the minute I came in, of course, but he acknowledged that. He said, "I know you are April Callahan from the news, not from the gift." He wanted me to know that. He never tried to con me.

But if there is even the slightest chance that I am affecting other people because of my own trauma, I have to fix it. Not just for karmic destiny, but because it is only fair. It is only healthy. It is good for me. While my parents both take up the public Cause to try and make things right again, I have always preferred to work on myself.

Doctor Clary says that writing everything down will help. "Maybe not at first," she said. "But once you get into the habit, writing it all down will help you clear up a few things." That would sure be nice. "And clarity will be especially important at a time like this. So when your mother asks you how you are feeling on any given day, you can answer and honestly." Doctor Clary says I do not have to show my mother the journal or read it to her or even tell her about it if I do not want to. I am pretty sure that I never will. It is not as if I do not trust my mother. I do. She would never read anything private as an act of betrayal, but if she were worried, and she very often is-- It is almost silly really. It is not as if I do anything wild or crazy or secret like some teenagers. I simply-- I do not think it would make mother worry any less, reading what I think or write. That is why I usually write poetry. In poetry, I can hide things in the language and images that people might never ever see unless I want them to. Prose, especially journal prose, is just so bare... But Doctor Clary said that might help even more.

It really might. ***

Check back soon for more! And HAPPY NANOWRIMO ALL!!!!!