Writing

Dark Pretty Excerpt 1

Big news to share: I am participating in Nanowrimo this year!

Nanowrimo stands for National Novel Writing Month. 50,000 written words in 30 days, no exceptions. (To find out a bit more, hop over here.)

I’m very excited to share the title of the work, which is Dark Pretty. It’s a memoir of my life as the exceedingly rare (2% of the population!) personality type of INFJ.

You’ll definitely get to know me better by reading, and my hope is that you might get to know yourself better too.

In an effort to keep myself motivated (and give you lots of peeks into the book!), I will be sharing small excerpts of each day’s progress in daily blog posts. All through November. It’s about to get very literary in here! (Heart emoji) I won’t be providing any context to them (it’s waaay too early for that), but they will certainly give you a sense of both my style and the book itself. So without further ado, I give you . . .

today’s excerpt from Chapter One’s “Different”:

But all things escalate. All things deepen (especially for us). At least the best things do. Bram Stoker’s Dracula was so unbelievably gorgeous. Everything about it was a celebration of beauty and I feel like I’ve rarely (if ever) since seen a film so effectively make what is, I suppose in concept, super dark and ghastly so achingly romantic and beautiful.

And so the next tiny seed planted: beauty and pain travel together. Beauty may be even more intense for the violence it hides just below.

I don’t know why this makes so much sense to me. These were things that I loved, that I absolutely didn’t mind being shaped by because they made me feel like a fuller expression of myself. They made me feel seen. Maybe it would be more accurate to say that they made a dark seed I didn’t even know was inside me feel incited to grow, in the same way a florist hovers over her flowers urging, “grow, I love you, I want you to be here,” and the petals burst forth redolently.

And so for the first little while I carried these two aspects of myself in fairly good balance. My family of origin still felt comfortable with the bright, happy (if introverted) girl they were used to, although some of her interests were getting a little strange.

But once certain doors are open, they can never be closed again.

I began writing more. Journaling. Writing to this . . . this idea of a deeper place where those who felt like outsiders, like they were often “too much” ruled the land, where true love meant someone really saw you – at your worst maybe, but your best too, and so they stayed because that’s what love was. Tolerance even if it destroyed you. My writing was, of course, blood-drenched, floral, deeply longing and (what some might – and did -) call sentimental and trite.  Could they not see the truth of the ravishment inside? (No.) The way I saw fucking violence between two people, how brave that was, how confusing, how bold it was to declare that I longed for love anyway, despite this awareness? (No.) I felt all of those things; I felt this honesty and a craving growing in me. Deeply romantic, yes, but genuinely honest and true about it. I didn’t see a lot of people around me able or interested in accessing that kind of truth for themselves.

And then, another curveball.

As a reporter for my school paper, I was assigned to watch and review an Australian film about competitive ballroom dancing called Strictly Ballroom. I mean, first of all, what kind of thing to say is that? Where do moments that lead to sentences like that even come from? It was like a lightning bolt in the middle of a clear blue day, that. I took my vampire-loving best friend with me.

* The End

p.s. If you’d like to cheer me on: thank you. Visit me on Instagram to send any love + adoration you’d like.  Sending me energetic buckets of coffee will also be most welcome. 🙂

All my best, and thank you for reading.

xoxo,

Jennifer

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