Monday, AM #4 – ON / OFF

So, this is probably the last Monday, AM.

The series just isn’t doing well, which is fine–I’ll take another day to post whatever I want (currently just Friday), but this weekday posting gig requires me to make new series all the time, so I’ll have a few Monday standards figured out before long.

In the meantime, let’s get to it.


For the first time in forever, the future actually seems pleasant.

It’s a strange feeling.

I usually tamp down on my neurosis here, but whatever; I’m used to the future always being bleak. That’s possibly because I have a hard time imagining it. At few years ago, when I was in much worse shape emotionally, a friend who I absolutely love suggested I start with the small things. I did, but I never went beyond that; my modus operandi in life had become taking care of the countless small problems without ever looking ahead. Maybe it’s bleaker than that–maybe I just hate my day-to-day so much that I prefer to not imagine the future, where I’ll see more of it.

Whatever the case, I usually convince myself something will go wrong.

So, it’s strange to be in a position where . . . everything’s just going right. Writing is working, I had a vacation that was amazing, my debts are in order.

And with all of these things, there are completely normal switches that are being flipped on again–parts of my brain that I’d shut off without realizing at some point.

Making friends–ON.

Having faith in my abilities as a professional–ON.

Actually accepting the idea that I might be a smart, funny dude after all–ON.

Just countless switches for completely normal things that the average person takes for granted.

I realize that I need to start planning for the future. Because the idea that I might actually have one has suddenly been turned on.

Maybe that sounds incredibly strange coming from a man who’s been writing short stories and novels. But, among all of those switches, there’s the realization that I’ve been writing for other people the entire time (and that those people like what I’m writing the same way I like it).

I don’t know if this will ever get to someone who’s been in a similar place. But, just in case it does, I understand why you turned all of these things off. I’m not going to say “Try and be happy,” or, “Stop being sad,” because I know how incredibly frustrating all of that shit is.

But I will say . . . find the thing that will turn everything back on.

I can’t tell you what it is, but I know that it isn’t a person. Not a friend, not a lover. It also isn’t a physical possession. It’s something about who you are . . . that you need to work on.

Figure out how to work on it. Not for anyone else–fuck everyone else. Figure out how to work on it . . . to make you happy.

For me, it meant keeping away from people who wanted to help without understanding what I was going through (a formula for bad times). It also meant forcing myself to be social, starting with posting on here more often, ending with pushing myself to spend time with new people–finding those I could trust to help me as much, or as little, as they wanted.

But that’s just me. You’re different. I wish I knew how, but I don’t. I can’t tell you how to work things out, but I hope that you find a way to make your life better.

Because I know how terribly easy it can be to just leave everything OFF.

The Hand and the Tempest Progress

I took such a break for PAX.

Still on chapter 5, but I’ll be done with it by tomorrow. Unfortunately, that chapter suffered from a little scene shuffling, where I lifted a few pages to use later in the novel, but the chapter itself is still fine. I have to gussy it up a little, for sure . . .

But that’s what tomorrow will be, since I have the day off for what’s supposed to be a really insane blizzard.

Do not let me down, Accuweather. I am not kidding.


For the record, this post did not go how I expected. I guess if I had to use this last Monday, AM to send any message, though, it was that one.

If you’re a regular, thanks for stopping by. This week, I’ll be posting a new Let’s Make, a series I’ve been eager to return to since Let’s Make: A Fantasy Beast did so well.

If you’re new, my name is Louis Santiago, and I’m a fantasy writer based in the Bronx. My short story, “Aixa the Hexcaster,” was recently published in Mirror Dance Fantasy. However, I’m still very much learning about the writing process–still trying to figure it out. Part of that means posting on here every weekday, even though I make absolutely no money from it. So, if you like what you read here and feel up to getting an email every weekday–a new post from me delivered right to your inbox–then please hit the Follow button at the bottom of this page. Because, even though all I get from this site is emotional support, that support means the world to me.

Either way, thank you just for dropping by, and, as always, write well.