Narratives

Earlier this year, I moved back home to Houston. I took a little vacation then finished out my contract with the Army. I got a job and set myself up for school. I read a lot. And I mean a lot.

As fun as a lot of those books were, though, I wasn’t really getting what I wanted out of traditional fiction. Call me queer, but I’m so damn sick of the young white heteronormative narrative. So I ended up delving back into a world I haven’t breached in a long time.

Fanfiction.

At first, I was really hesitant about it, but I took the nosedive anyway because I was finding in fanfiction what it’s damned near impossible to find in bookstores – variety. All kinds of variety. Prolly in more ways than I can even count. It’s a playground.

But you know what I also found? Some really good writers. Not all, granted, though that is the nature of the beast – published, original, non-fiction, anything. And I don’t mean just like “good for fanfic,” I mean genuinely fucking good – some of it inspiring, even.

So far, nothing so inspiring that it’s ended my months-long writing slump (which I have been mired in since spending all my free time reading and going through my Netflix list), but I’m gonna change that. Soon. I’m close.

Frustration

Frustration!!!I’m weak. And powerless. (And can’t avoid making song references, even if I wanted to.) If there’s one thing that stresses me out like nothing other, it’s frustration.

It seems weird to me that I am who I am and write the things I do. Sure, I’m a total fucking creeper, but I’m usually pretty happy.

I write really dark, weird stuff, though, and people who know me see that and think, “Really? This is the stuff that’s in your head?”

I’m crazy, okay? Leave me alone. :P

But when I get frustrated and stressed out, I get really frazzled. I’m a mess. And it really shouldn’t come as a surprise then that I’m a little off my rocker. I’m fragile, and I can’t take a lot.

You know what’s been causing me the most stress and frustrating the hell out of me lately?

everything

:D

The Army. The Veterans Affairs. The University of Houston. The government. My job (I work at PetCo as a dog trainer, now!). My own writing. The weather!

How? How does this all manage to pile on top of me like this? Haha I kinda give up. But it’s okay. I realize that there are a lot of baby steps that have to happen before I can get fully settled.

Little by little, I am taking care of these insane stressors – and so pardon my absence. I’m still writing, still making videos, still doing my thing, just keeping some of the personal stuff personal.

Send me hugs or something. ;]

S. R. Carrillo

 

Let’s talk about erotic romance.

No, seriously. So, if that title scares you, move along. I brought GIFs to this pondering post. >:3

kiss

Did you think I was joking about the GIFs?

For years, I eschewed any association or affiliation with the dreaded “romance.” Romance was for lonely old wives in books and curious preteens in movies. It was icky, girly, stupid, vapid, etc. It was overrated. If you liked romance, you were instantly barred from ever making my acquaintance.

cuddle

Then I grew the hell up. And realized the story I worked so hard to make about anything else centered around one simple concept: love. I’ve always written love stories, be they happy or sad, series or standalone, fantasy or contemporary.

slow kiss

The characters I’ve written about have pretty much always been in romantic relationships that evolved into sexual relationships – or vice versa. I’m no stranger to asexual and aromantic orientations (nowadays, anyway), but they typically aren’t my protagonists (at least, not so far). There’s always been at least one “sex scene” in the stories I write. They just progress naturally like that.

grind kiss

But, because my nose was usually buried in books that don’t traditionally focus on relationships, I didn’t know it was “okay” to publish that kind of stuff. I assumed Nora Roberts’ books (and the like – generalizing, again) were all pursuit and happily-ever-afters following a final kiss.

caress

As it turns out, though, there’s a whole community of writers who write romance in a more modern sense. Some of this stuff will downright make you blush. Seriously. But, to me, it reads more realistically. The second a story gets dark or sexy or even a little bit queer, a light goes off in my head like, “Hey! Maybe there’s more – stick around and see!” My favorites combine all three with a sprinkling of strangeness. (Mwahaaha.)

tied to bed

The best part? The writers in these communities are shameless! They write blog posts and caption Instagram photos and narrate Snapchat videos and stuff to the tune of “Writing my latest book – sex is hotter than ever!” in addition to regular rants about characters and world, etc. that other writers often do, too. I honestly admire how almost cavalier they can be about it all. Sex and all that stuff’s only natural, after all. Why be ashamed to discuss it? (I’m a big supporter of sex positivity, already, anyway.)

getting started

So why do I bring all this stuff up (and risk making you uncomfortable with all the GIFs hahah)? Because I want a slice of that. I wanna be so comfortable with the stories I write that I don’t have to water the original concept and plot down so much that an emphasis on romantic/sexual relationships is incongruous with the rest of the story line.

getting started2

But not just for the sheer fuck of it. If you know anything about me and my writing, you’ll know I like to push the envelope. I like to turn tropes on their fuckin’ heads. I like to contest the paradigm. And, in my own way, I definitely intend to do the same in the romance genre.

kisses

I have a lot of steps to go until I can get to the place where I can take the notion and the pursuit of it seriously, but I’ve had this in the back of my mind for so long – since I first started writing about sex at all, what? Ten years ago? – that it feels like a natural evolution in the path to my being fully seated, fully comfortable with myself, in the role of being an author.

Thoughts?

S. R. Carrillo

The beginning of a journey

I’m in California right now.

I drove up from south Texas to Oklahoma, tossed and turned instead of sleeping, drove west to New Mexico (stopped in Roswell, slept in Las Cruces – BEAUTIFULLY fucking town omg), passed through Arizona and now I’m in the ever-mountainous San Diego. My sister was kind enough to put me (and my booski, Bobbi) up until we catch our flight tomorrow.

To Hawaii.

Yeah, seriously. (smile + sweat drop emoji)

I’m considering this trip a well-earned gift to myself for surviving 6 years in the Army. And, boy, what a trip it’s been.

Usually, I would write up a recap post once I returned from my trip, but, since I’ll be gone almost all month long, I didn’t want my blog to sit idle for no reason.

I can’t really write – at least, not in earnest – while I’m away. I need a laptop (mine died – I’m writing this on my phone), but I’m also trying to figure out a budget to acquire a microphone for my camera, a light setup for my videos, another camera (because I’m feeling masochistic, apparently) and new clothes that will fit me.

Oh, yeah – I got a job a few weeks ago (which is why there’s no March wrap-up). I’m gonna be a dog trainer with PetCo. Right now, I’m just another sales associate, but, when I return, I’ll begin my training to get certified.

I’m ultra-excited.

I also have another trip planned to Colorado in June, but that’s a little more tentative. And a concert that I haven’t been to in yeeeeaaaars. (Not sure if my body will be able to handle it, but I wanna, at least, try.)

And that’s my life right now.

Fall in Love, Again

fall in love again As a writer, it’s really easy to fall into a pit of angst and despair. It’s kinda required – we spend a lot of time beating up on ourselves because there are always ways to improve. We tell ourselves:

  • That entire scene made me cringe. The whole time. The whooooole time.
  • Why is this character here? Are they necessary? Are any of these characters necessary? What is the meaning of life?
  • Oh, look, another crappy line of dialogue.
  • Snoooore feeeeest. Need to amp up this action by, like, 100.
  • ???
  • PROFIT!!!

It can get tiring. But, like I said, it’s vital that we know our flaws so we can lessen them.

It’s become a sadistic trend that I despise all my rough drafts. They’re terrible. It gets really bad around that Camp NaNo and NaNoWriMo times because – let’s face it – fast drafting has never produced anything publish-ready.

I can’t count how many times I’ve finished a manuscript, blinked at it for a while and promptly wanted to flip my desk because it sucked so much.

However, after I’ve spent some time away, when I come back to re-read or revise, I usually realize it’s not so bad. Surely, it’s ugly, but it’s not irredeemable. In fact, practically without fail, I fall in love with my own writing all over again.

I can still see its flaws, but I can also see through them – to how I can fix them.

I’m going through this right now with my 11,000th revision of In Silence and Energy: Book Three in the Soul series. It’s a long way from finished, but I get a little closer each day.

And I fall in love all over again with every step I take.

What are you currently working on? :D

S. R. Carrillo

February 2016

the-month-februaryYeah, so just ignore January, okay? It’s not worth it. I was busy moving the whole month, anyway. :D

Books

I started the month with Angels’ Blood by Nalini Singh and ended it with The Power of Birthdays, Stars and Numbers by Saffi Crawford and Geraldine Sullivan.

I think my favorite – aside from those two, actually – must be The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts by Gary Chapman. I look forward to more nonfiction reads like this. If you know of any, please leave them below.

I am technically currently reading The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco, but I’m honestly on break from it. Not sure if I will bother to finish. I’m equal parts intrigued by and losing patience with the narrative.

YouTube

I actually got around to posting three videos, somehow! Don’t forget to check them out if you haven’t already. ^_^

I have filmed another review video and am planning to either do a journal tag or general writing journey video next. Lemme know which you’d be interested in more below.

Writing

Here’s where we start waking that sleeping limb – slow and painful though it may be. I didn’t do much in terms of actual writing words that will tell a story, but I have started two co-author projects and spent most of the month plotting and brainstorming.

March is where I’ve started trying to get the ball rolling with the continuation and re-packaging of the Soul series. More to follow.

TV & Movies

I’ve stopped watching Being Human (which none of y’all prolly even knew haha) and was not yet ready to commit to another show. Now I need a really good one to binge for a while. Recommend me some!

I watched Straight Outta Compton, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny, Heavy Metal, Home and Planet Terror. They’re all pretty much great in their own ways.

I also re-watched Chicago, The Mummy, The Mummy Returns, Anacondas: the Hunt for the Blood Orchid and Stupid. Crazy. Love. Multiple times.

Games

I have no idea why, but I have been loving iPhone games lately from Two Dots to Solitaire! I think it helps me to try to sleep at night. I’m kinda stuck on all the ones with levels, but whatever. In March, I discovered more games, anyway.

Music

I’m keeping track of the songs I discover (or re-discover) with Spotify. Hopefully that plug works, and you can listen if you want. If not, here’s the link.

My favorite from the month was likely “Haunting” by Halsey.

Also, remember when I said I was gonna listen to every song in my iTunes until only the good ones were left standing? I’m like 2/3 done with that. :D

Now. How have you been?

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