Welcome to October-Ween Book, Blog and Trailer Block Party!!! Presented by #RRBC
Today’s giveaways for a few special visitors (total of three winners):
$10 Gift Card for Amazon
1 paperback copy- “Journey to the Rainbow’s End”
1 paperback copy- “BOUND”
Congrats to the winners for the October 10, 2019 Block Party
(1) $10 Amazon gift card – Wendy Scott
(1) Paperback copy of JOURNEY – D. E. Howard
(1) Paperback copy of BOUND – Gwen Plano
Today’s Presentation: “Where did I get my start?”
I began writing when I was twelve years old after experiencing one of the most depressing times of my life. The summer of 1987, I attempted to end my life. I struggled with a great many things, such as identity and traumatic stress caused by events that occurred in my childhood; however, in the fall of 1987 I was lucky to have an incredible English Teacher by the name of Mrs. Carr. Our school was not the prettiest or the fanciest, but, we were lucky to have fantastic instructors who were truly passionate about teaching.
Mrs. Carr often commented on my writing style and one day during a one-on-one session she asked if I’d ever thought of becoming a writer when I grew up. I fell over in my chair laughing. Although she had a great sense of humor, she made it clear she was being quite sincere. Apparently she saw great potential in my writing style, and with everything I had gone through in my life, she suggested it might be quite therapeutic for me. I told her I would think about it. I was quite resistant to the thought, as we were in the impoverished East San Diego region called “El Barrio Logan.” The school was in the middle of the gang and drug infested ghetto. Anything artistic would be considered “abnormal” in this part of town.
The day after Mrs. Carr and I had our conversation, she decided to spring what she called a “pop writing challenge.” She would present these “challenges” with passion and great hype. The challenge was to write a poem about our past summer vacation and she implored us to make them lyrical. I remember her words to this day, “I want you to tell me a story through your poem… I want to laugh with you, if it was a funny event… I want to cry with you and feel your pain, if it was a sad event.” She liked playing music during these challenges and that day she played “Moonlight Sonata”. I was frozen for the first five minutes. My summer was filled with a rollercoaster of emotions as I stated earlier. I let the music fill me and I was able to write my first poem. The name of that poem was titled “Freeze”.
My teacher liked to showcase our work to the rest of our peers, so the following day Mrs. Carr did her usual, passionate speech on how impressed she was with each of us, but stated a few of us stood out. The poetic works ranged from romantic, or as well as romantic as a 12-year-old could be, to extremely humorous. The last poetic work she read was “Freeze”, however she did not disclose my name to the class. “After I read this poem, I will leave it up to the author on whether or not they want to share their identity,” she explained. She tearfully read my poem as if she was in my soul and was feeling the pain I endured. My peers were in awe, while making comments like “I want to give them a hug whoever they are” and “The poem should be published.” After the tears from my peers – and continued statements – I slowly stood up. This is how this author was born.
Fun Facts with History:
One thing that has come up many times throughout the past year is my gender identity, which has caused confusion for some of my readers. The picture on the cover of my book “Journey to the Rainbow’s End” probably did not help with these perceptions. Yes, I am a semi-retired drag performer and performance artist in the Pacific Northwest.
The art of drag is older then people can imagine. There are various stories of how the term “Drag Queen” came about. Some say it is related to actors during the Shakespearean times wearing oversized dresses, which had to have two-by-four boards attached to them so that their dresses would drag behind the actors appropriately. This was a time when women were not permitted to be in the theater, whether as a worker or a performer.
Another story I learned was from an old theater professor who specialized in Shakespearean Era and Grecian plays who stated it was more directly related to stage directions and scripts. Recently, I was able to find this on google: “A folk etymology is that drag is an acronym of “Dressed Resembling A Girl” in description of male theatrical transvestism.” In the character references there would be a notation next to the characters name for example, Juliet (DRaG): “O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?” etc.
Drag is different than gender identity. Drag is an artform, where most performers are men who are celebrating the art of female impersonation. I identity as a man; I say this because I have received many questions regarding my gender identity since I became published. If you have further questions regarding this artform, please ask in the comment section below.
How did I start in this wonderful world? I grew up in the theater. I was in musical theater from the age of six and began studying opera at the age of nineteen. I was classified as a lyric baritone voice type. I even had the honor of being under the tutelage of voice and linguist coach, Tricia Strauss. I was fortunate enough to have studied music of all types my entire life.
Throughout my life, I had to learn to be accepting of all of my unique and eclectic glory, this included my writing.
Thank you for stopping by today and joining me for the