Posts Tagged ‘emo bullshit’

Okay. Silence.

Not a good thing, I suppose.

Noting my recent blogging activity, I can see that there are times where I write every day for a few days, and then leave a silence of about a week. I laugh this away, saying that I’ve been “sporadic” or “random” with my updates, but there’s actually a reason for why I haven’t been writing a lot lately, and it’s kind of personal and kind of painful.

On Axolotl Ceviche, I typically don’t write about personal stuff. Sure, I write about things that happen to me, writing things and that sort of stuff, but I don’t talk about what’s really going on in my head. Partially because I don’t want to bore you guys, but mostly because I’m scared to.


I’m often public about the fact that I have Asperger’s Syndrome, which is an autistic spectrum disorder. Basically, what it means is that I have a lot of the symptoms of autism, just without linguistic impairment. I’m sure you can tell that I can communicate just fine, which isn’t what most people assume of autism, so people just assume that I’m another neurotypical. This isn’t the case.

One thing that comes with the whole “autism package” is anxiety, and to a lesser extent, depression.

I’ve dealt with this all my life. There hasn’t been a time when I haven’t been anxious or depressed. (Note that when I say “anxious”, I don’t mean it like most people say it. I mean I’m in a constant state of nervousness for no discernible reason other than the chemicals in my brain don’t work right.) Every day, I had moments when it felt like the walls of my throat were closing in and my heart was pounding like I was dropping into a fifteen-foot cornice, when I felt trapped in my body and I couldn’t do anything but wait it out. It was a terrible feeling, and it happened all the time. It was only recently that I realized that I was having the symptoms of a panic attack.

These feelings have triggers, of course, but it’s stupid to look at my childhood or crap like that in order to determine why I have them. The reason isn’t psychological, but neurochemical. I don’t have panic attacks because I was abused as a child (which I decidedly was not). I have panic attacks because my brain does not work correctly.

Recently, they’ve been getting worse.

A week or so ago, I tried counting off the number of times that I had a panic attack that day. I lost count at about ten. I’ve been living basically on the ragged edge of collapse for about a month now. Even writing about it now, I’m feeling those symptoms. And it’s terrible.

I feel so out of my comfort zone even talking about this in public, even though nobody reads this blog. Meh. Fuck the comfort zone.

Going in public, riding the bus, knocking on the door to a friend’s house… every time this happens I feel like I’m about to die. Even just sitting at home and thinking about nothing will bring an attack on. A couple months ago, I had my first ever suicidal thoughts. I just wanted to take the easy way out, and not have to worry about anything again.

Do you know how scary that is? To sit in your Syntax class and be afraid to even move, to even blink, because all you can think about is your own goddamn death? I’d never had those thoughts before, and I was terrified. And looking back even further, back to last year, when I was so angry at times that I wanted to punch the wall until my fingers bled… suffice to say that I’ve been feeling like shit for years, and it’s not getting better.

I can see into my future and it seems terrible. I’m worried that I’ll turn into a complete agoraphobe. Even interacting with the world is hard, and I’m so scared of people and change that it’s just going to get harder and harder. And you know what the worst thing is? I can’t even imagine being in a world where I don’t feel like this. The idea of being happy terrifies me even more than the idea of being dead. Because I can’t imagine a world where I’m not constantly anxious. To me, happiness seems as impossible as surviving a head-on collision with a black hole.

I can see the future, and all I can imagine from it is pain.

I’m not writing this to be angry, or get attention, or because I’m worried I’ll kill myself, or anything like that. I just needed a place to express myself, and considering that Axolotl Ceviche is mine and mine alone, it’s as good a place as any. Likely this post probably won’t even be read, the same as all my other posts. But that’s not the point. I need a place to say this. It’s like the story of King Midas’ barber. I’m whispering all this into the reeds, because I need to tell someone that the king has ass’s ears.

That’s all.

Nothing more.

~ Ian

(Thrice, “Stare at the Sun”)


I know that this is a little late (or rather, internet-late, which really means a day after the event), but I thought that I’d give some thoughts on the passing of Neil Armstrong.

I feel that the moon landing is one of the most important things that humans have ever accomplished. Not because of its political significance, or because of the difficulty of the task. These were both important things, but that’s not what the moon landing will be remembered for.

No, the reason why the moon landing will be remembered is because it was a young, fledgling species taking its first steps out of the nest, finally learning how to fly. For a brief moment, we walked on the surface of another world. For a brief moment, we transcended the bonds of gravity and flew. Not as individuals, but as a species.

I feel sorry that we didn’t choose to go further out, establishing bases on the moon and Mars, journeying to the outer planets and setting foot on the cold, frozen moons of Jupiter and Saturn. That instead of reaching for the stars, the United States instead decided to bomb Southeast Asia into a bloodstained pulp. That the moon landings were of their time, instead of being timeless, like they should have been.

With Neil Armstrong gone, the number of people who have walked on the surface of another world decreases. And that’s a sad thing.

Maybe one day, we’ll get our priorities straight, and instead of pouring money into building instruments of destruction, we can use that instead to transcend our planetary bonds. Maybe one day that’ll happen.

It isn’t happening now, though, and that makes me sad.

~ Ian

I got back from lifting incredibly heavy things at Kirkwood today, and came back to my computer, where I found a rejection letter sitting in my inbox.

So that’s awesome.

Now, if I were a certain kind of person, I would rail and rage against the injustices in the universe. I would swear wildly that I was being discriminated against, for whatever reason, and that I would make them rue the day that they rejected me

But I’m not that kind of person.

In fact, I have to admit, that my reaction was a bit of a resounding meh. I’m disappointed, of course. I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t be. But the story that I wrote (which was “The Girl in the Junkyard”), while it represented my best work at the time that I wrote it (July 2011), probably isn’t my best work now. Since last year I’ve been writing a LOT. And not just for my blog– I’ve been working on fiction, poetry, small humor articles, and all sorts of weird crap since I submitted TGitJ to this place. If I had to estimate how much I’ve written since I submitted it, I’d have to guess about 75,000. That’s a significant amount. That’s a novel’s length worth of writing right there.

So I’ve been practicing. I’ve gotten better. (A lot, in fact– I think that “Cassandra” is a valence level up from TGitJ in the same way that TGitJ was a valence level up from the dumb sword-and-sorcery bullshit that I wrote in high school.)

And even if it weren’t the case that I hadn’t been writing, the market I submitted this story to is pretty prestigious. It’s one of the higher-paying short story markets in the SFF world, and I’m a complete unknown. And while I think I’m a good writer (or at least a competent one), I’m not great. I’m getting there, but I haven’t reached that level yet.

So, yeah. I was expecting this, of course– you don’t ever hit the bulls-eye with your first throw unless you’re some kind of superhuman writing god. And since I didn’t have delusions of grandeur, I knew that TGitJ was probably going to be rejected. There’s really nothing for it– I need to keep writing, and keep sending stuff out there.

Maybe TGitJ will find a home at some point. Even if that home is here, on my lame blog, it’ll be a place for it.

I guess that’s really what I’m feeling right now. Slight disappointment, but also relief, and a feeling of hope.

Mingled with a slight desire for sushi.

Is there any way I can get sushi delivered at 11 PM in Santa Cruz?

~ Ian

One thing that I’m continually surprised at when I’m writing is how much I put myself into the story.

It’s kind of scary, actually. Let me give you an example:

In the story, “Cassandra”, there is a character called Cassandra*. Now, Cassandra shows up several times in the story, in various guises. And the main character is in love with her (it’s not exactly a love story, but romantic relationships play an important role in the story). Now, when I’m writing about Cassandra from the perspective of the main character, I’m in love with her. Totally. Passionately. I’ve been in love before; I know what it feels like. So when I’m writing about Cassandra, from the main character’s perspective, I can feel that exact same rush of chemicals in my brain that cause the sensation that makes falling in love so damn good. It isn’t like empathy at all: I am in love with Cassandra, and the main character is the puppet through which I give my love to her.

When I’m not writing, though? It’s kind of scary. I think about Cassandra and I don’t feel anything. I mean, she’s fictional. She’s not even committed to paper. I haven’t printed out “Cassandra”, so until then she just exists as characters in a .pages file.


But when I’m writing “Cassandra”, and at the same time writing Cassandra, I go into the main character’s brain. I become the main character. And the main character is in love with Cassandra. So, logically, I’m in love with her too.

cannot emphasize how batshit gorram loco this is.

But it’s what happens.

Take heed, novice writers: You don’t control the story. All you can do is hang on.

~ Ian

*The character Cassandra is not why the story is called “Cassandra”. The reason why the story and the character are both called Cassandra is the same reason, though.

I’ll be honest with you: this installment of Creative Writing Wednesday is a little dark.

I have bad days. A lot of the time. I realize that I’ve been putting a certain kind of face forward on my blog, and hey, that’s okay: I use my blog as a creative outlet, and it’s the most public side of my personality. For one thing, looking at the site stats on the blog lets me know that I’ve had hits from all over: every inhabited continent, except for Africa. Many of these people– hell, most of these people– don’t know me. And while, yes, many of my hits come from the fact that people are searching for “ceviche” (which this blog is decidedly not about, by the way), I have a feeling that there are some people who read and enjoy my lame blog.

Still. I have rules about posting on Axolotl Ceviche. I try to avoid politics, religion, and personal information. And in many ways, my poetry is pretty personal. I mean, every writer shows a little bit of herself in her work. That’s unavoidable.

In any case, I wrote this poem a few weeks back, on a day when I was having the worst possible day imaginable. I’m not going to get into details about it, because going into details is a bit too personal for… well… everyone in the entire world to read. But this poem was one I wrote to help me rationalize the feelings that I was having that day. It’s really a thing I used to work out my anger without breaking things or people, which at one point I was seriously worried that I was going to do.

A note: I have to touch on religion here, violating my second rule above. I don’t believe in a god. In fact, I stopped believing in gods about the same time that I stopped believing in Santa Claus. So I need to make the disclaimer that I don’t pray, and this was not an entreaty to some celestial being to come and help me.

But if I did believe in a god, then this is probably what I would pray.

~ Ian


The Nihilist’s Prayer


God, please give me the strength

to get up in the morning,

to face the day with a smile on my face

while inside me all is chaos and anger,

and I want nothing more

than to curl up in a ball and weep.


God, give me the strength

to refrain from destroying the world,

to keep my feelings inside myself,

my face impassive like a jade mask,

to keep myself from burning down the universe,

to sing the song that ends the world

with a requiem of ashes and fire.


God, please give me the courage

that will allow me to seem human

because if I ever doubt myself, I will be destroyed,

and like a cartoon coyote

plummet thousands of feet to the canyon floor.

Help me to walk this tightrope

between ecstasy and despair,

and convince me to keep my balance

when all I want to do is fall.


God, please help me to see humanity in others,

to believe that every person has a person inside her,

and she is not just a sack of bones and meat

trying to convince herself that she has free will,

trying to convince herself that she can think for herself,

a side of beef screaming her existence to the unfeeling skies.


God, please help me to forget

that the world will end someday,

and all the hopes and dreams and sorrows,

fighters and lovers and saints and sinners,

will one day be gone,

this speck of dust we live on

transmuted into the heart of a black hole,

and then evaporated into nothing,

radiation echoing forever in eternal darkness.


If you exist, God,

then please give me this strength.

Nobody else will.