The Evolving Narcissa Deville

At the start of my blog almost a decade ago now, I wrote about anything and everything. Though political themes seemed to run through every post, writing seemed to be one of the major themes that stuck, and helped to grow my brand. But as I’ve grown as a blogger I’ve wanted to branch out to other types of topics, there’s more to me than just writing, and so I’ve worked to evolve my brand to include pop culture, LGBT issues (particularly trans issues) political, beauty, technology and of course writing.

All with questionable results.

I’ve noticed a theme for a while now. Posts specifically about writing will get likes, maybe even a comment or two. (Less so now than in the past) but posts about anything not writing related, seem to go unseen. I get the impression, and perhaps this is incorrect, that those who follow me want to see me stick to writing only, rather than branching out as a creative person. I’ve never been one to stick to just one idea of anything and I certainly won’t start now. I’m trying to balance the wants of those who would actually read/watch what I do, and what I actually want to do. Ultimately no I’m not blogging for likes, but knowing people read something you wrote is something every writer wants isn’t it?

Passing Privilege and the Need to Be Out

days2 copyEarly in my transition I had the opportunity that I had never had when I simply thought of myself as a gay man. Because I have passing privilege (which is to say I look like a cisgender woman) I had the option of being able to be closeted about my gender identity. Nobody had to know that I was trans, because I didn’t ‘look’ what everyone seemed to decide trans people looked like. I have never been masculine in my appearance which is perhaps part of the reason that in being a ‘gay man’ I was pretty out as soon as I was old enough to have any inclination about my own sexuality. The idea that I could possibly not be gay was never something that occurred to people mostly because I was so effeminate. This is, I should add, not a particularly fair way to judge anyone’s sexuality, but it was a fact of my life. Because of this overt femininity, I don’t really think it came as much of a surprise to most who knew me when I finally announced that I was in fact transgender, not simply a gay man. My coming out to close friends and family was fairly easy because they already saw me as more female than male anyway.

But in the beginning, I was scared. I didn’t know how people would take it, and I knew what was at stake if the wrong person discovered that I was trans. I could possibly lose my job or not get hired in the first place at that time, I could lose friends, I had heard the horror stories often, and I knew exactly what was on the table for me. So, I kept quiet about it for a long time, mostly because as I told myself often, it was nobodies business what I was doing. I wasn’t dating at the time, and I certainly wasn’t in any kind of other romantic type situation so in that respect I was fine. But I wasn’t really happy being silent. It wasn’t the freedom of coming out that I had felt in the early stages. I was transitioning sure, but I was trapped in others perceptions of me, and my fear that I could never really reveal certain facts about myself. Talking about your childhood is significantly more difficult when you must be careful not to talk about ever having been, not who you are at this very moment.

It’s exhausting and frankly, after a year and a half of it, I was fed up.

One thing I’ve come to realize during my transition, is that being able to pass isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. It’s unfair to force any person to fit a certain standard of cisgender beauty, less they be ostracized, but the truth is, even when you fit that standard, now you have a different set of problems. I decided that it was an important enough issue that I would blog openly about it, and if people who knew me should find my blog they would know I was transgender. But I also decided to set parameters on who I would tell and in what circumstances. There were certain people who didn’t need to know, friends however, new ones in particular, as well as any possible love interest, were in my opinion people who absolutely needed to know. Everyone else would be on a case by case basis, depending on if it came up at some point.

It’s not that I’m being secretive about it anymore, obviously anyone in the world can see this blog, but it also isn’t something I’m just going to actively share with every person I meet. It would be a little awkward to say ‘I’m trans’ if someone’s question was simply, how’s it going today?

About Last Month

days copyHi all! I’m officially back! Well, I mean, I wasn’t technically gone, but this is the first post I’ve written since my autopilot started at the end of January, early February and I have to say while part of me was sort of sad to see at 11 pm on a Friday that my queue of posts had run out, I’m kind of excited to be back to blogging again. A lot’s sort of changed for me personally, and a lot has changed for the book too, which is obviously always a good thing as far as I’m concerned, even if it does mean, I’m a little behind where I wanted to be on edits. I wish that I could say I was on track for April, but we all know that isn’t the case. I don’t have an excuse, I won’t attempt to offer one either. I’ve made a few changes to the layout of the book, which has necessitated the writing of several new chapters. I’ve also taken kind of sick the last week or so.

I say kind of because while I cough occasionally, and my nose can’t decide if it’s coming or going, that’s been kind of the worst of it. It’s not quite a cold, but it’s been debating it for the better part of two weeks and honestly it’s become exhausting. I’m taking cough medicine as a sort of preventative measure, and taking as much vitamin C as I can possibly handle, along with water of course, rest, and cough drops as often as possible, and yet still the sniffling, sneezing, runny nose, and occasional cough persist. This is, of course little reason not to be working.

Technically being that I work from 7-330 during the day I have from 330- whenever I decide to go to bed plus the weekends to be working harder than ever to meet my April 1st deadline to at least have the book finished. I can still technically make it, but it does mean I’m going to have to work a lot faster than I have been.

Either way I’m excited to be back.

What I Know For Sure: The Past and the Future Edition

days5 copyThroughout all of this the one thing that has always remained constant in every part of my life has been my writing. Writing requires a certain amount of introspection at times, and during the early days of my transition this introspection was critical in helping me figure out who I was. It was writing that helped me realize that I could say I was trans and be okay with that no matter how scared I was. It’s writing that has helped me get through the darker moments of my life and even though it felt impossible to do during my depression (when I actually wanted to or could), writing was still there in the back of my mind as something I was trying to keep doing. Keep writing, keep working. Never stop. Because writing and books are the reason I am who I am today. It’s the one constant in my life I’ve always been able to count on.

I still can’t predict the future, whatever else my Pagan-ness might suggest, future reading is not my strong suit. Which is just as well, there’s a good reason we don’t know the future, it’s sort of terrifying to think of what we would do to change it if we did, and how we might screw something up that we didn’t see. We are who we are because of events that occurred in our lives, and these events will also make us who we are in the future.

The truth is, there’s not a great deal I can say I know for sure, not in absolute certainty, but I do know that I love to create stories, universes, and characters. I love writing, I love being able to tell a story. And I’d love to do it forever, and that I know for sure.

Under the Wire

PostGrphx

Happy New Year! 2016 may have snuck up on me, but I managed to get a bit of work done right under the wire.

I’ve missed a lot of deadlines this year. Not necessarily for a lack of trying, but as far as my writing is concerned, 2015 was something of a difficult year. So for this New Year’s Eve my only real goal for the night was to finish this blasted novel. I only had a chapter left, I didn’t think that seemed like much work after all. I was almost halfway finished when at 10:30, an hour and a half before my self imposed deadline, I was stuck. I might have cried, were I capable of it. As my fingers hovered over the keys trying to formulate the words, I was struck with the feeling that I may not be able to finish it after all. In an effort to purge my mind and get a tactile feel for my ideas I decided to break out the notebook that I’d written the better part of the last half of the book in thus far. I was determined to get things finished.
By 11:30, I’d handwritten the last ten pages, and the final line. I couldn’t believe it. I had made it. Just under the wire for 2016. My book was finished. I immediately started typing up the ten pages I’d written, and by 12:30, I was completely finished. I compiled the manuscript in Scrivener, saved the PDF, and went to bed.

2015 was a great year in many ways. It was the year of my name change, and gender marker change, it was the year I started hormones and even the year I got a boyfriend, but for writing, 2015 could have been a lot better. So here’s to 2016, to more writing, more reading, more blogging and more transitioning.

Stay Devilish.
Magically Yours,
-Narcissa

New Beginnings

In just a few short weeks it will be 2015, and in just a few short weeks I will be retiring the Cult of Racewood brand. I’ve thought long and hard about this decision. I’ve spent the better part of 2014 debating whether or not I should start an entirely new blog or simply repurpose this one or… I really didn’t know. Back in October during my Looking Ahead to 2015 post I explained that there were a few things I needed to consider about the direction my blog was going in, and whether or not to retire the Cult of Racewood brand and how to describe my thoughts and intentions with this has been a large part of that decision making progress. Ultimately however, I realized that I needed to make the change for myself. And while I’ve enjoyed the Cult of Racewood brand, and I have enjoyed the many readers I’ve been fortunate enough to find myself with over the last few years, I feel that I need to take myself in a different direction.

Coming in January I will be launching a brand new blog for my new brand called Devillicious by Narcissa Deville. This blog will feature everything from book reviews, to beauty box reviews, and of course posts about writing and life updates. In addition to short stories and a possible serial (I know I’ve been promising that for years but I really mean it this time). For now and through 2016, I will be running both narcissadeville.com and cultofracewood.com as I own the CultofRacewood domain through May of 2016, at which time I will discontinue the blog and likely the domain as well. I hope that some of the readers I’ve been fortunate enough to amass over these last few years on WordPress will join me at my new blog and hopefully you will enjoy the changes coming in the future. I have a lot of big plans, none of which I intend to announce at this moment but I will announce in the future.

In an effort to keep the brand as seamless as possible on both sites, CultofRacewood.com will receive a brand update that matches the brand identity I’ve created for Devillicious by Narcissa Deville. In an effort for similar cohesion I will be changing my Twitter handle and my Facebook Page in the near future to my updated brand and name. Thank you to everyone who has followed me on this adventure thus far and thank you to everyone who intends to follow me in the future. I could not have done this without any of you.

-xoxo

Narcissa Deville

(formerly A.J.Race)