Thursday, June 16, 2016

Coming Soon - Adulting 101

Here it is, at last! The proof that I can write something fluffy! You all thought I was lying, didn't you? But no! Adulting 101 is now available for preorder from Riptide, and comes out on August 15. 

Look, I had a ridiculous amount of fun writing this, and I hope you have fun reading it. And if you check out that link to Riptide, you'll be able to read an excerpt! And who doesn't want to start their day with a blowjob scene in a porta-potty? 

Here's the blurb: 

The struggle is real.
Nick Stahlnecker is eighteen and not ready to grow up yet. He has a summer job, a case of existential panic, and a hopeless crush on the unattainable Jai Hazenbrook. Except how do you know that your coworker’s unattainable unless you ask to blow him in the porta-potty?
That’s probably not what Dad meant when he said Nick should act more like an adult.
Twenty-five-year-old Jai is back in his hometown of Franklin, Ohio, just long enough to earn the money to get the hell out again. His long-term goal of seeing more of the world is worth the short-term pain of living in his mother’s basement, but only barely.
Meeting Nick doesn’t fit in with Jai’s plans at all, but, as Jai soon learns, you don’t have to travel halfway around the world to have the adventure of a lifetime.
This is not a summer romance. This is a summer friendship-with-benefits. It’s got pizza with disgusting toppings, Netflix and chill, and accidental exhibitionism. That’s all. There are no feelings here. None. Shut up. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Seeking Help from Strangers

Tonight I got a message on Tumblr from someone who really likes my fanfics. I sent back a message, and soon we were chatting. And at some point in this conversation, this person who I had never spoken to before disclosed that she was feeling suicidal because of her university workload, her upcoming exams, and the two jobs she's working to pay the bills. 

And this is the thing about the internet. It's very easy to tell strangers things behind the anonymity of a user name and a cartoon avatar. And it's very easy to back away and say, well hey, I'm not responsible for the mental health of a stranger. That's some crazy I didn't sign up for. 

But what if this kid doesn't tell anyone else? What if I'm the only person she's disclosed this to? Or, worse, what if she runs into some asshole online who thinks it's funny to dare her to do it? 

So that inconsequential chat about fanfic tropes turned into me wrangling a promise out of her to call a helpline. It's easy when you're under pressure to feel overwhelmed by everything. Depression sucks, and it's like any other illness: untreated, it can get worse. So she's going to call that helpline, and yes, she's going to check in later with me. 

Sometimes when we write stories, the connections we make with our readers aren't the ones we expected. I hope people like my stories. I hope they have an emotional reaction when they read them. But what I never hope is to get this again: "TBH, your updates are the only good thing in my life at the moment." 

I hate that this girl feels so alone, and I hate that she feels she has nothing in her life that is worth sticking around for. I hate that she's so depressed and stressed, and that she said the only reason she hadn't tried to kill herself was that she was afraid she'd fuck that up too. 

To be honest, I'm not even entirely sure why I'm posting this. Because I was rattled, I think. Because it would have been so easy to brush off with a cheer up, you'll feel better soon. Because too many people think that when someone says they're suicidal, they're attention-seeking. People who really mean it don't tell anyone first, do they? And that's falseIf anyone discloses to you that they want to self harm, please make sure they seek help. Even if they're just a stranger on the internet.