The Liebster Award

award

I was nominated by the talented writer/editor at therebemonstershere.com. Thank you so much for considering me and my writing worthy of an award of any kind. Their blog is filled with wonderfully chilling stories that are both unnerving and generally dark, as well as a unique take on these themes. I couldn’t possibly do justice right now with words alone, but rest assured that if you enjoy darker writing, give them a visit and be sure to leave some love on their work! http://therebemonstershere.com They really deserve it. I’ve truly enjoyed what I’ve read of their entries.

I accept the award and I will nominate the following blogs, who may accept if they so choose:

ourouterhaven.com/blogs/

reitannaseishin.wordpress.com

thesecretblind.wordpress.com

ayersvillain.wordpress.com

themanicyears.com

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The Liebster Award is an opportunity for bloggers to recognize and support other bloggers for their achievements. It’s available between January 1 – December 31, 2018. All nominations are voluntary and geared towards blogs with 1000 readers or less. The Rules are below if the nominees choose to accept.

IF YOU HAVE BEEN NOMINATED AND YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT, WRITE A BLOG ABOUT THE LIEBSTER AWARD, IN WHICH YOU:

*Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.

*Display the award on your blog, by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or “gadget.”  (Note that the best way to do this is to save the image to your computer, and then upload it to your blog post.)

*Answer 11 questions about yourself which will be provided by the person who nominated you. Provide eleven random facts about yourself.

*Nominate 5-11 bloggers that you feel deserve the award, and who have less than 1000 followers.  (NOTE: you can always ask the blogger how many followers he or she has, as not all blogs display a widget that lets the readers know this information).

*Create a new list of questions for the blogger to answer.

*List these rules in your post (you can copy and paste from here.) Once you have written and published the blog, you have to:

*Inform the people/blogs that you have nominated for the Liebster Award and provide a link for them to your post, so that they may learn about it.

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The questions given to me:

What was your favourite scary story as a child?

I adored horror as a child and would often read things that scared me too much (I was easily scared), but I practically memorized all three Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books by Alvin Schwartz, illustrated by Stephen Gammell. I found a hardback copy of all three stories at a mall kiosk years later with the original drawings by Stephen, and it is still a favorite.

Who is your favourite book character of all time?

This one is going to be kind of difficult, but in all honestly, Severus Snape stuck out the most to me in the Harry Potter series. I remember thinking as a kid, from the beginning of the series, that he wasn’t the bad guy he was portrayed to be. When the truth came out later in the books, I was really happy and loved him even more. I tend to latch onto anti-heroes or more complicated characters that aren’t exactly all good. I’ve always enjoyed the stories of villains and darker roles much more than heroes because they feel so much more human. Rather they end up being good after all the bad or not, I will always love flawed characters more than the hero of the story.

When did you first begin writing?

As long ago as I can remember. I was the only kid in my first or second-grade class in elementary school scribbling page after page of stories. I remember the paper we used to use with the writing guidelines on it for learning lettering properly – the pink line and the two blues with one being dotted in the middle (I think). I was typing stories on the family computer when Windows 98 came about and when AOL was the first introduction to the World Wide Web that anyone could access. I remember saving my stories on floppy disks, all of which have been lost to time. I wish I still had some of my earliest stories about me and the few friends I managed to make, and the few early stirrings of my love for fanfiction as I wrote stories for the cartoons I watched on Nickelodeon.

Who of your friends have you used as characters in the things you have written?

I haven’t exactly used any friends in my fiction of the mortal sense, although a few characters that I consider fictional have some interesting similarities to people I’ve known in life. In all honestly, and I am quite open about this, the people I write about in my stories are my multiples and spirit guides. There isn’t a lot of information out there about Healthy Multiplicity, but the basic definition is that I’m not the only personality/person inhabiting my body. There are others here that I can switch to voluntarily, or when trauma happens one of them may push to the front to save me the grief. It’s all very consensual and they are like a family to me, so their stories are genuine. (I must note that this is not the same as having imaginary friends or being a creative mind, as has often been suggested. I do not always have control over when they appear or speak to me.) As for answering this question, I suppose I don’t really write about characters, but I write with my multiples’ and guides’ consent and I let them do their own talking. I’m merely the messenger and I do my best to write true to them and their personalities.

Were you a ghost, where and who would you haunt?

I would probably haunt the people in this world who wish to harm the innocent (hate groups and the like). I’d steal their dreams and twist them into nightmares of the karma they should be getting. Every single night.

If you were given the opportunity to live in any era, what and where would it be?

love Victorian England. I know it was a less than desirable time for someone like me, since I am trans, but if I could be reborn as a biological male, then I would have loved to be a writer then. I would love to sit in a large room with friends, just reading books to each other and enjoying good stories while someone plays a piano or harpsichord in the background. It was a time when reading was considered entertainment rather than television or technology in general – the absence of it would be amazing even though I rely on it heavily today. People met face-to-face and put importance on that instead of superficial online profiles and fake, or not fake, selfies. Not to mention letter writing, which would be the sole method of long-distance communication rather than email or instant messenger. More importantly, there would be no Facebook.

What noises can you hear right now?

As always, my neighbors below me playing music and partying as they often do every day in the summer. My apartment is small, so my refrigerator leaves a buzzing in my head while there is too much silence due to its loud motor. My cat is cleaning his fur on top of said refrigerator as well.

If you could make one blog related statement, what would it be?

A statement to summarize my blog, you mean? Or a statement on blogs in general? (Sorry for misunderstanding) As for my own blog: “Flowery words spun around darker subjects that incite emotions not dissimilar to a mild Marquis de Sadean plot.” On blogs in general: “This sort of writing provokes honesty and the best and worst of humankind.”

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My questions to those nominated:

1 – What is your favorite piece of writing you’ve ever done?

2 – Does music inspire your writing? If so, what kind?

3 – What time of day does inspiration usually hit you?

4 – Who is your current favorite author?

5 – If you inherited a fortune tomorrow, what would you do with the money?

6 – What is your opinion on sticking to rules when writing? (Do you write as you please, or is there a set of rules you follow?)

7 – Besides writing or reading, or anything to do with that, what is another hobby you enjoy?

8 – If someone gained access to your private notebooks/journals, on a computer or off, how bad would it be?

9 – If you could choose any fictional character to be in a serious romantic relationship with, who would it be?

10 – When is the last time you performed a random act of kindness?

11 – What is your biggest dream to accomplish in life?

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Thank you so much for offering this to me and including me in this. I hope those who I am passing this on to have as much fun with it as I did. I don’t know a lot of people on WordPress, so I took the opportunity to promote some people I support, as well as a few friends to give them inspiration to start writing again!

Kolton – A character summary (Original Writing)

I was finally able to write something for the first time in about a month tonight. It felt good to have the creativity flowing again, even if it was just a beginning or a summary of sorts for a character I’ve been keeping to myself for a while. I adore him and I could never really figure out how to write his story or his summary, but tonight it finally came to me. I would also like to preface this with the fact that I am not a person of color, so I in no way have any idea what it is like. I can only write and be true to the character that Kolton has become as a black man, a character I love very much. I want him to see his true beauty, but he has certain struggles that I can only hope are not deemed offensive. If any of my readers are of color and see that I have written something wrong or offensively by accident, please let me know so I can correct it. Please know, also, that everyone has their own struggles that may not always be politically correct in their own head. As a trans person, I’ve had my own struggles that I just haven’t said aloud – struggles I’ve since overcome. Nothing written here is meant to be offensive, but an exploration of something deeper for this character. I can’t wait to write more for him.

For now, I hope this beginning and character profile is interesting enough to read as it was for me to write it. I think I love Kolton even more after all of this.

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Kolton sighed, the red blush on his dark skin clearly visible beneath the dancing fountain lights. He hugged his arms around himself, his revealing deep v-neck sweater drooping from his right shoulder as he tried to gain some sort of modesty. It was his own fault he was standing there then, dressed more inappropriately than he’d ever been in his life. He was very aware that his smooth black leather pants left little to the imagination. “What am I doing, Jupiter?” He sat at the edge of the fountain as he spoke to his absent dog who was most likely resting comfortably at home, his deep British tone just barely above a whisper. His black rectangular glasses slipped down his nose as he stared at the ground.

He dared to glance around the city before him, the large wall of water behind him attracting late-night couples to its beauty. What had he been hoping for? Certainly not something he’d truly wanted. Or maybe he really did want the very thing he’d kept from himself in all of his thirty years of existence. He huffed a laugh. He had been the spoiled rich boy who lost everything.

As a child, his father and mother were very well off, although both neglected him more often than not. Parties and expensive luxuries consumed their world, and as far as Kolton was concerned, they’d forgotten they had a son. He was cared for by the butler and their few maids and it was enough for a child like him – a loveless child. He spent all of his free time writing when he wasn’t sleepless from studying for the prestigious private school he attended. The family butler, Grant, was his sole supporter and would often look over the young master’s journals when appropriate, giving praise where it was due. Kolton smiled. Grant was probably his only friend then too, and where the stirrings of his early budding sexuality began.

He felt emotion well up inside him and took a deep breath, standing at last to head home. He brushed his short black hair to the side where it had fallen in his face. The butler had never made advances toward him or anything like that. The older man actually didn’t have to do anything – his support was enough for poor young Kolton to confuse love with fondness or friendship. Since he hadn’t much experience with any of those things, he’d always just suspected he was broken or emotionless – asexual as he grew into a young adult. Grant had been the only person to ever make him feel somewhat normal.

Then everything came crashing down when he became a man. Instead of partying like everyone else on his twenty-first birthday, his parents had suddenly recognized his existence just long enough to see him off. Kolton had nothing but what fit in the trunk of the family car and the money in his bank account that he’d earned during his short time as an intern at the hospital. He’d been foolish to think that having rich parents meant security. Fortunately for him, he was very good at managing his finances and ended up with a small house in the country and a Borzoi puppy that gave him more joy than any other human on Earth. Jupiter was his everything.

He’d been neglecting the dog lately, but with moving them into a larger home after establishing himself as an author, along with the stress of his attempts to be more social left him with little energy at the end of the day. And then there was that short time in his life in between the mess that destroyed him and everything he’d learned for himself about human interaction – that painful blip in his life that kept gnawing at him any time he felt alone. He’d roomed with three of the most infuriating people he’d ever known, but it had been his only option upon leaving his parents behind.

It was a large home with rooms made into apartments, all of which were occupied once Kolton moved in for a short while. He had only needed a place during the transition while he sought out an affordable house, his life of luxury having spoiled him in the most horrible of ways. He noticed often the way the others stared at the gold and silver jewelry he wore – his rose gold watch one of the only presents his father had ever given him for Christmas one year. The rings were of his own acquisition, but their value alone was enough to have them kept hidden at all times when he wasn’t wearing them. The only housemate out of the three that never really bothered him, and seemed to be at peace with life in general, was the nature-loving blonde Minkz.

Minkz Murdock lived in a world all his own. His hair was equivalent to an 80’s glam metal band fashion disaster and he often wore a ridiculous pair of short cut-off shorts for a man. His heavily tattooed body only added to the clash of style that the man was. Regardless, he was kind and mostly kept to himself when he wasn’t outside fishing behind the house in the large lake. For some reason he’d taken an interest in Kolton, often watching him from afar and eventually striking up small conversation. At the time Kolton was repelled not only by his lazy, nature-loving persona, but by the fact that the man was obviously hitting on him. Repulsive.

Regardless, the two started talking more and more, Minkz inviting Kolton out back to sit with him in nature and Kolton rejecting many times. Eventually, Kolton made his way out to humor the man and found that existing in nature, where the only sounds were the wind and the rushing water, was rather healing and quieted his constantly rushing mind. He’d picked up smoking then for a short while, although he eventually stopped. During that time, Minkz would often share a cigarette with him – not because the man smoked himself, but to have a reason to be closer to the ex-rich boy that intrigued him so much.

“Why are you so fascinated with me?” Kolton put out his cigarette and slipped his hands into his pockets as he watched Minkz’s fishing line follow the stream of water.

“Honestly? I think you’re hot.”

“That’s a bit forward, isn’t it?” Kolton blushed and looked to the ground, suddenly wishing he hadn’t ventured out to the lake that afternoon. It was too damn hot out anyway and he was in one of his black turtlenecks. Minkz shrugged.

“Life’s too short not to be honest, man. Let me guess, you aren’t actually gay, are you?”

“I’m asexual, actually.”

“You can be asexual and have a preference – or no preference like me.”

“How can you not have a preference?!”

“So you do, then? Sorry, man. My gaydar just goes off when I’m around you.” Minkz chuckled as he began to fight a fish tugging at his line. Kolton blushed a dark pink.

“That’s rude. Besides, we’re much too different to even consider such a thing.” Yet, Kolton had actually thought about it. Even if it was just a fleeting thought brought on by the conversation, it hadn’t repulsed him as much as he’d wanted to say out loud. He felt queasy. Minkz had finally brought up the small fish that was now flopping around in the dirt and rocks.

“Different? Money doesn’t have anything to do with it.”

“I didn’t mean money…” Kolton suddenly felt self-conscious. It’s not that he wasn’t attracted to people of lighter skin colors, but that someone with skin so beautiful and pale like Minkz would even find his extremely dark skin attractive. He had always been self-conscious about it due to being teased in school for being one of the only kids with skin so dark in his class. Racism wasn’t something he was a stranger to.

Kolton was caught off guard when Minkz stood before him, lifting his chin to better see his pale gray eyes. The man’s voice was warm and gruff. “Kolton, you’re an attractive man regardless of anything so superficial. I think your skin is beautiful. You should be more confident in yourself.” It was the first time Kolton had ever been kissed or even considered kissing anyone, let alone a man dressed like some Woodstock hobo. Regardless, he’d fallen into it like a love-starved teenager, his whole body screaming at him to push Minkz away and never see him again. Once the rush in his stomach had turned to nausea he found the will to push the man away, backing up to gain some distance and wiping his mouth as if he’d tasted something foul. He’d been without affection his whole life in any physical manner and the very idea of it made him shake with anxiety. Minkz watched after him as he left angrily to return to the house, the blonde man returning to his fishing while deep in thought.

“Jupiter, there you are!” Kolton flipped on the light as he entered his home, his best friend coming to greet him with a wet kiss that was full of slobber. The man chuckled and kneeled down to hug the cream and tan colored Borzoi, rubbing the dog’s sides before ushering Jupiter into the kitchen. “Would you like a biscuit? Have you been a good boy?” The dog barked excitedly and Kolton tossed him a treat, then proceeded to make something for himself. It was much too late and he had gone without eating for most of the day. His stomach was still in knots.

Ever since Minkz had ruined him he’d discovered something within himself that he’d always tried to keep away. He had spent so much time fearing and detesting all forms of physical affection – love or friendship-wise – that he’d lived a celibate life up until then. Until Minkz had crept into his room and showed him just what physical affection could feel like and what he’d been missing for so many years. Kolton felt his cheeks grow warm and his stomach flipped in that familiar way that told him he was going to need a cold shower. It still disgusted him – that feeling that people often likened to ‘butterflies’ – but it seemed that once awakened it was a switch that he couldn’t turn off again. He hadn’t even seen Minkz since he’d moved out of there and he hadn’t been with anyone since they’d experimented that one night. Not until more recently when he’d decided that he couldn’t take it anymore and he had to explore those feelings again. He had to confront the fact that he’d been a closeted gay man for much too long, and rather it was Minkz’s fault or not, it was a beast that was slowly clawing at the closet door in a demand to be let free. He had himself to satisfy his embarrassing urges, but apparently that wasn’t enough.

So he’d gone out for the first time in search of… something. He’d purposely dressed provocative – revealing more of his dark skin that he tried so hard to cover up. It was progress at least, if he could even count it as anything positive. He was still confused and he still didn’t know anything about anything. He’d made it far enough to enter the nightclub, be hit on by a rather douchey looking guy, and then leave before the guy could even turn back around to hand Kolton a drink. The music had been too loud and there were too many people – too much noise. So he’d ended up in the city square, sitting by a fountain with dancing lights and suddenly so self-conscious he could have crawled into a hole. He’d felt naked even though he wasn’t.

Kolton managed a few bites of his sandwich before putting the rest in the fridge. It was going on ten at night and his office seemed a comforting getaway to all of his problems. Flipping on the dim light that illuminated the red wallpaper, Kolton sat down at his computer to start a new poem. He’d been writing a lot of poetry since he’d began exploring himself and who he truly was inside. He couldn’t admit it out loud or even truly to himself, but in reality, he was thinking about Minkz. Every time he sat down to write a poem the man’s glam rock blonde hair slid into his thoughts, remaining there until Kolton felt the need to pour bleach into his ears to cleanse the memories. The man had made him into an insatiable depravity.

Jupiter was at his feet, curling around his cold toes as he typed away. Giving into the words that wanted to remain hidden was at least a bit of a catharsis for his exhausted mind. Although it would probably never see the light of day, the series of poems that flowed from his fingers brought about a quiet that would lull him into sleep, Kolton once again realizing he’d almost fallen asleep at his desk. With his computer on standby and the house dark, Kolton drug himself up the steps with Jupiter at his heels to disrobe in his bedroom and then sink into the gray-blue silk sheets on his king size bed. His dreams were full of heartache and closeted monsters.

©2018 Shane Blackheart

TS4_x64 2018-01-17 21-28-59-733
Kolton