This is a status update! (because fuck Facebook)

Because what is this personal blog for, right? I hardly use this damn thing but here goes:

I took a really long vacation  – well, more like an adventure –  in India. For all of  February.  I learned quite a few things about myself (more remembering and reflecting than anything – yeah, depression’s a bitch like that) so I know I will be processing the experience for months to come. It was a kick in the gut. No, really. One night, after 48 hours of being sick and unable to hold down water or food, I had a fever dream of such crisp details.

So I returned to the States determined to be a master of my fate, in a way that I couldn’t be if say, I was born in India.

  • I started blogging for VICE’s tech blog Motherboard (a place I like much better than Slate for many reasons) after a piece I wrote about this group of online “trolls and hackers” known as the Rustle League. I think VICE is a good home for my contrarian and weird Internet stuff, and we’ll see what happens there. 
  • A piece I wrote about labiaplasty was published on Thought Catalog, and it made both my mate and my mother mad. They didn’t understand the value of the piece at first, objecting to its personal nature. I ended up telling my mom I don’t want to live in a world where you can’t talk freely about your body as a woman (aka, an abstinence only education nightmare where women all get plastic surgery) and that convinced her. I had originally written it for VICE which was why there is all those curse words in it. (Ha! ) I need more non-tech venues for my writing. I’ve been tech-exclusive for about 2 and a half years now (half of my writing career!), and the stay-at-home lifestyle sometimes exacerbates my mental health issues.  
  • My third piece for the Guardian’s op-ed section Comment Is Free should be up any time today. Yes, also very exciting. My first piece went up in January. I want to be an Evgeny Morozov/Nick Carr type (I think my blog subhead of multiple years communicates that desire, but maybe not), but we will see what happens there too.    
  • I am still at ReadWrite despite it being a constant sea of changes.  Now an old boss was recently hired there, so, I am feeling more comfortable there now than when I first returned from my trip.    
  • Last week I started writing for a content start-up focused on the business aspects of web video, Video Ink. I am excited about this for a few reasons, even if it is a pretty boring job and feels like a job more than any of the other places I am writing for, because 1) it takes the digital space seriously and understands just how disruptive it is 2) out of a core team of 4 people, only one is male.  

Now for some  (potentially) bad news!

I am 28 now and I have yet to finish any of my books. AHHHHHHH. The one I wanted to finish first was a bit memoir-like:  former Soviet Satellite refugee version of Amy Tan mixed with Obama’s Dreams of my Father done in the Collected Works of Billy the Kid style.  It touches on having a single teen for a mom,  among other darker themes. It’s heavy, but I know I can make it funny. My mother, however, broke down while we were preparing Easter dinner: if I publish what I want to about being a child of domestic violence, it would bring shame to her and her name. She is embarrassed. I should have known, as her and I only began having open discussions of what kind of man my birth father really was, just a few years ago. After he died, actually. But … I think that is also part of the problem – the lack of conversation. She didn’t even tell her second husband, or her last boyfriend.

I don’t know what to do here, as I feel like writing about my experiences is within my right as it was also my trauma – it is part of my coping process – and I actually think my book would make the world a better place. On the other hand, it is very much her life too. Maybe I can suck it up and finish my science fiction novel, but I am very inspired to work on this particular project. RIGHT NOW. But I can’t finish it if she won’t talk to me any more about it, can I?


2 Comments on “This is a status update! (because fuck Facebook)”

  1. DivilOnYourShoulder says:

    It would appear that the easiest thing to do is to finish writing the book first – no? Figuring out if you need to use pseudo’s for the writer or the characters would seem trivial at this point. Or do you still need permission from your mommy when you are a strong woman of 29?

    • Thanks for your comment. Finishing the book is easier said than done. I can’t follow people around, as a journalist, and ask them to tell me stories and answer my questions without disclosing I am a journalist. That would make me a bad, unethical journalist, especially if the piece is not investigative in nature. It is the same thing with the book. I can’t take and publish someone else’s pain like that without their permission, or force them to face traumas they’ve kept buried for decades. My mom is fine with it now though, so thanks for asking…


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