New Webseries!

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Roommates can be difficult to live with – and that’s before you add magic to the mix. My new webseries, “Fantasy Roommates,” uncovers all the drama of living with people in the 21st century. Why don’t they do the dishes? Why is their partner always over? And why is there a unicorn in the living room? Maybe we’ll talk it out, or maybe we’re just going to have to roll initiative.

The first episode, “The Warlock,” is live at the link below! Give it a watch, a like, a comment, and stay tuned for more coming soon!

Vote.

I don’t like to get political on my blog or my social media very often. And by political, I mean weighing specifically on candidates or bills or anything more specific than broad issues and current events. Frankly, I just don’t feel all that qualified to speak on politics. I’m just a registered voter and informed media consumer (at least I like to think so). I’d rather just sit back and listen to and amplify those who know more than me. But sometimes, an issue is just so important that I feel I have to weigh in and add my two cents to the vast ocean of opinions, in the hopes that maybe it’ll be of some value to those who do hear it. Maybe that’s self-serving of me, and I do get a catharsis sometimes, but tonight is one of those nights.

Look, I don’t think it’s controversial to say that this year has sucked. It’s sucked in a lot of different ways for a lot of different people for a lot of different reasons. It’s been a culmination of a whole host of complex issues that have been festering in this country, all coming to a head at once. Healthcare, police brutality, racism, climate change – everything that was real but felt comfortably distant for some sectors of the US suddenly became a lot more pressing for a lot more people. And, they are issues that we’re going to have to continue to address as a society, regardless of who gets elected in November.

I’m going to end this with a call to action, but not the traditional one. I’m going to ask you to look around. Look at your community, your friends, your family, your neighbors. Look at the people who have been hurt this year, who have lost loved ones, who have lost jobs, who have lost opportunities to love and live. Look at the people who have felt scared and angry and despaired over what the next day might bring. I’m one of those people and there’s a decent chance that you might be, too.

Look around at everything and then look at your ballot. And don’t just read for the little R or D next to someone’s name, but look at that ballot and what each person stands for. Then vote for the person who you believe, genuinely believe, in your deepest soul, is going to make things better. And not just better for you, but better for your friends, your neighbors, your community. Vote for the people who are going to make things better.

Things aren’t going to magically switch on Election Night or New Year’s Eve or Inauguration Day and get better. It’s going to be work. Hard work. And, to be honest, it’s not going to be a pretty election, so prepare for that. It’s been hard to hope this year, to find some reason to keep looking forward to the next morning. But we can do better as a nation. I hope, with the strange amount of hope that I seem to still have, that that first step comes this Election Day, and that it is the first of a journey that actually makes this country a place where everyone is equal.

Quarantine & Commissions

Hi friends!

It sure has been a long time since I’ve posted here. As it turns out, graduating college in the middle of a global pandemic is… interesting to say the least. It’s been a difficult road so far and who knows how long it will take for us to get out of it. But, let’s not focus on the negatives, because I have some exciting news!

I’m going to be taking writing commissions! I’m trying to build out my portfolio, keep my writing skills sharp, and also earn a little extra on the side, and I’m really excited about this. I’ll be taking commissions for original work, fanfiction, screenplays, and editing and proofreading over on my newly set-up Ko-fi page. If you’re interested, check it out at http://ko-fi.com/mpinkneywriter. I might even be posting some commissions on this blog, so stay tuned for those!

I also have other projects in various stages that I hope to share with you all soon. I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy in these strange times. Until next time!

Four Lines for Four Years

“Humans need fantasy to be human. To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape.” – Hogfather, Terry Pratchett

During freshmen orientation at Chapman University, the students are asked to write down on a strip of fabric a wish. Something they want to do or see or accomplish in their time there. It’s a way to get these fresh-faced seventeen and eighteen-year-old kids to start thinking about college as more than just a string of classes, parties, and the times in-between. It’s the first time some of them are really putting thought into who they might be on the other side of the next four years.

I don’t know how many people remember what they wrote on their strips. I definitely didn’t remember mine until I found a photo of it the other night. But now, I can assure you that somewhere, tied onto a wooden frame, is a little white ribbon with my name on it and a simple sentiment.

What did I want to accomplish during my time at Chapman? “To find the person I’m happy to be.”

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Dancing in the Rain

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Yes, my friend,

there is Evil in this world as yet unconquered

and when the morning comes

we will have to face it again.

But — Listen!

Hear the rain on the rooftops.

Feel the coolness on your skin.

Watch as everything old and worn and broken and ugly is cleaned away.

Tomorrow, we will have to start anew.

But tonight, come and dance with me in the rain.

February Update

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Happy 2020 everybody!

Folks, it has been way too long since I’ve written here and I apologize for that. I was focusing on working and getting ready for my last semester of school (oh Lord, no please, stop) and just generally trying to figure out how to get back into a routine after the holidays.

Fortunately, I’ve had some success with one of my consistent resolutions: “write every day.” As a writer, the only way I can improve is to keep writing, but that can be difficult to do if I’m unmotivated or between projects. My goal with this resolution is to make writing a habit that I can carry past school and into my working life. It doesn’t matter what gets written or how much, just as long as something does.

This past month, I’ve written almost eight thousand words, which considering I took a week off to the mountains, is nothing shabby. There’s a fair amount that probably will never see the light of day, just therapeutic writing and fan fiction. But, there’s also been a lot of worldbuilding and writing in the world of Birth by Flame and, recently, some research into another project that I’ve wanted to develop for a while and finally feel like I’ve made a breakthrough with.

Looking forward to February, it will be a challenge to keep up with schoolwork and writing. Fortunately, I’m also going to be finishing up and developing a script this semester, so I have that to look forward to with everything else.

A huge shout out to Evie Drae (@EvieDrae on Twitter) for starting the DailyWriteLGBTQ hashtag and helping keep me and other writers accountable to our goals. I’m excited to see what we all come up with this year!

Hopefully it won’t be another two months before I write here again, but until then!

Letter to an Eleven-Year-Old

Dear eleven-year-old Matthew,

I hope you’re enjoying your winter break. God, it’s almost Christmas again. It’s amazing how time flies. Speaking of time, this is you at twenty-one writing. Hi! Another decade is approaching and I wanted to take some time to reflect. Whenever I write, I imagine the audience I want to write for. Then I imagine who I was at that time and what I wanted to see or, more importantly, needed to see. So, here are a few things that might be good advice for you going forward in your next decade.

Cherish those close to you. The friends you make from now through the rest of school are going to be some of the best friends you’ll make. Some of them you’ll keep in touch with all the way from now until you graduate. Some of them you won’t, and that’s okay. Sometimes people are only supposed to be in our lives for a little while. Thank them and let them go. Remember them, but don’t worry about them. Same goes for family. I know Mom and Dad and Tia and Cassie are going to get on your nerves at time, but family will always have your back. They won’t always be here, so love them and hold them tight while you still can.

Learn how to actually communicate. Life gets so much easier when you tell people what you actually feel. That’s not an easy thing to do. You do make yourself vulnerable by doing that. I’m not going to lie, you will get hurt more than a few times in the next decade. You’ll have your hopes dashed, your heart broken, your fears realized. But, if you can be honest with your emotions and tell people what you want and what you need from them, you’ll at least be on the same page and be able to grow from that.

Listen when people give you advice. You’re so bad at this. You’re still not great at it, ten years later. Sometimes people give you advice even when you’re not asking for it, and that sucks. But, when you do ask for advice, just lay it all out there and be willing to hear feedback. Don’t just fight every impulse that comes your way. I know you don’t believe it, but sometimes adults actually know what they’re talking about. And sometimes, they don’t and your friends know better. And sometimes, only you know what’s right to do. But you’ll never know if you don’t listen.

Go to therapy. This is my piece of practical advice for you. Go to therapy much sooner than I did. Going to therapy doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. What it means is that you are a person with a brain and you want help figuring out how to make your brain work for you. Having a space where you can talk about your feelings, free from judgment and prejudice, and work through those emotions? It’s amazing. Seriously, go to therapy, probably some time in high school, freshman year college at the latest.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to be yourself. You are the only one who knows what is right for you. You’re going to learn a lot of things about yourself that are big and scary. You’re going to make mistakes and that’s okay. You’ve got a lot of growing up to do in the next ten years. And we’ve still got a lot of growing up to do in the next ten. Just keep holding tight to what you think is right for you to be doing and go forward.

People always call you smart, but I don’t know if that’s the best thing to say to kids, so I’ll say this instead. Matthew, you are kind. You are caring. You are creative and curious and always willing to lend a hand to a friend in need. You have a way about you that always knows how to cheer people up and you are there for those who need it most. Your love is strong and your mind is vast. More than being smart, this is who you are. This is the core of your being that’s going to stay strong over the next ten years. And hopefully, it’ll stay strong over the ten after that.

I’m not quite old enough to know if that’s the case. But hey, that means we get to find out together.

Love,

Twenty-one-year-old Matthew

 

A Poem for Trans & Non-Binary Folx

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I’d like to offer up a prayer, if you like,

to those whom *god has given

the most literal challenge of self-invention.

*insert your preferred deity, supreme force, or inspiration icon here

 

I ask for strength in your darkest hour.

I ask for courage in your deepest sorrows,

to stand and face the new dawn with tear-stained cheeks.

I ask for solidarity in your hardest fights

(and offer my own without a second thought).

I ask for safety, for space,

for friends who will pick up your burdens and carry you forward

when the pain of fighting is too much for you right now.

 

But most of all,

I ask for love.

I ask for joy.

I ask that, on that glorious morn

when you rise, Venus-like, from the depths of the noisy sea

on a clamshell of your own creation,

the angels and spirits that flock to you don’t bring cloth to hide you in decency.

I ask that they lift you up above their heads

to help you proclaim to the world that “this is me,

I am here and strong and proud in spite of all who would silence me.”

And, when you are set down on bare earth,

and take your first tentative steps as your whole self,

I ask that you know peace.

Back-to-School Thoughts

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Tomorrow is the start of my senior year of college. My schedule looks great, I’m excited for my classes, I have some great opportunities and projects I’m finalizing, so this year is going to be great.

And I am honestly terrified for tomorrow.

This summer has also been amazing. I stayed down in SoCal, so I was able to have a ton of fun and do some incredible things with people I’ve grown incredibly close with. We just got back from a road trip up to the Bay Area and it was one of the best experiences of my life, hands down. I’m really happy with where I am right now and there’s a lot I want to do with the people I’m with, but there’s only so much time left in the year before everything changes.

If starting college was like jumping off a diving board, leaving it is going to be like cliff jumping. I can prepare for as long as I can, but eventually, my feet are gonna leave that cliff and I’m gonna splash into that water and have to swim. I guess I just hope the people I really care about don’t drift too far away when we all splash down.