Living and working under an assumed name is pretty tough, actually

So, it’s no secret among friends and family that I’m not really fond of my legal given name, and over time I’ve been gradually trying to work my chosen name, Lumi, into things.

But there are a couple of problems with this.

First, I live around people who have pretty much known me my entire life. People who also don’t understand my dislike of my name (I just contend the sound of the name doesn’t fit me right for whatever reason).

Second, I live in Alaska, which despite being the largest State in these United States is pretty much “Smalltownsville, USA” all over. This makes transitioning as simply as to a new name very difficult.

Third: while it’s perfectly legal to live almost every aspect of your life under a pseudonym, boy howdy, it ain’t easy. Employers think you’re trying to hide something, strangers who find out you’re using a pseudonym wonder why you choose not to use your legal name (and then they get suspicious), and a whole lot of other scenarios that, yes, all end in people assuming the worst from you because you’re not being “honest” about your name. The one exception to this? Authors. For some reason. Which explains some of my drive, I think.

Well, let’s be honest:

No. I am not running from anything or anyone.

No. I am not a convicted felon.

No. I’m not deliberately trying to decieve you.

No. I am not trying to conceal my real identity.

No. I am not engaged in any shifty activities that even hew vaguely close to illegal or immoral.

Yes. I AM trying to operate under a pseudonym.

Yes. I AM trying to be more honest about my identity.

Yes. I AM following the law.

Yes. I REALLY DO DISLIKE MY BIRTH NAME THAT MUCH.

And yes, I do mind that people keep asking me why.

Now that we’ve cleared that air, stay classy guys.

Lumi, out!

I went to my old DeviantArt account why did I go to my old DeviantArt account

Sometimes I do stupid things. Like, really stupid. Like, going back to a DeviantArt account I first made in 2006 and hadn’t really done anything on since 2011.

All my stuff is still cleaned out. Well, all my art, poetry, and prose. My journal entries, my comments, and my notes that I once exchanged with a host of friends, many of which I’d known personally at the time (an alien concept to me today, where almost all my friends are exclusively online relationships) are all preserved (up to a point in 2006, anyway) in perfect detail.

Unexpectedly, I found myself combing through years of journals and correspondance. DeviantArt, as it turns out, has done double duty, and also now serves as a time capsule of who I used to be, years before an identity crisis that lasted YEARS and led to a number of personas that all interacted with the world in different ways — even my friends at that time had noticed something was SERIOUSLY UP.

After that identity crisis, I was never quite able to piece back together what had broken so severely. I’m almost fundamentally a different person now compared to then. 

Growing up happens — I’m obviously not a teenager anymore. But that’s not all of what happened. What also happened is that I just… I broke, as a person. On every level. It took me 2 years to really become stable, and I never really became functional again *gesticulates wildly at a professional career that hasn’t achieved anything of note since 2008*. I broke, and when I broke, I did it spectacularly.

I bring this up because if I had remembered this account… I don’t think the damage would have been as bad. I at least would have had some sort of record of the person I’d been, going from my teenage years and into my early twenties. I could have looked at that. Analyzed it. Decided what I wanted to do with that information. And maybe, just maybe, I might have been able to put Humpty-Dumpty back together again in a much more cohesive and useful and fuctional fashion.

I regret that I forgot about this time capsule, this treasure trove that has no value to anyone but me.

All the silly-stupid exchanges. All the fanboying. The staying up into the bitter hours of the morning defending Lucrezia’s actions in Final Fantasy VII (yes, this was a thing I did, and yes, I got really into it as only a teenager could) against my friend Duncan’s accusations. (He did not like her. With age comes perspective, and I can really see why now. So Duncan, if you happen to stumble across this blog for some reason, well, you win you trenchcoated motherfucker. You win.)

I miss all of that, and all the art. I miss producing a never ending font of art, being it drawings, poetry, or prose. I still write, but I’ve since stopped drawing  entirely and I regret that deeply. And even when I write, it’s nowhere as often or as deep. Granted, most of my poetry was emo back in the day, but there a rawness that comes with that formula that could have informed me about who I was even better.

Honestly, I don’t even know if I’m going anywhere with this. I may not actually get to a point at all. But I’ll be looking through my old stuff, all those old correspondences, and looking up the people I used to know there, with most of their accounts being similarly inactive and buried like mine was. I wonder if they have kept their notes and comments too, or if they casually deleted them all, not aware of their potential future value? I for one will be meticulously combing these records though, looking for who I was. Because I miss that person, and while I can never go back to being that person, I can, at the very least, incorporate a little more of that into who I am now.

Thanks for putting up with my slightly emo…. what exactly is this anyway? Moaning? Bellyaching? Existential rambling? Thanks for reading, and putting up with my slightly emo whatever-the-hell-this-is.

Keep being cool.

Lumi, out!

Drew Red

I finally drew something. I haven’t drawn anything seriously in like… 7 years. Almost exactly 7 years, actually, now that I think about it

This is a rough sketch of Red, my gynoid protagonist of my in progress short story.

As labeled on the picture, she is partially based on both Michelle Williams and Lyndall Jarvis, with essentially Audrey Hepburn’s figure.

The sketch still doesn’t entirely match my mental image of her, but at least now people can have SOME idea of what she looks like when I talk about her.

Also: I DREW SOMETHING OMFG

image

Keeping your head amongst the Giants

We have an issue in the modern world. Big companies, in their bid for your undying loyalty and dollars, now offer services up the wazoo. They all aim to be your one stop shop for EVERYTHING: books, games, software, social media, email, and often hardware. These giants are companies like Google and Apple, Samsung and Sony, Amazon and Microsoft… The list goes on and on. Buy into one such giant and you will find you have little or no need for the others. It’s convenient and quick. It’s relatively safe.

But it also comes with risks. Offend the Giant that benefits you, and watch as your hard bought investment in those products and services dry up and crumble in short order. Yes, there are supposedly rules to protect you, but I regard the giants with a level of trust that extends about as far as I can throw them, and I do so from a position of caution.

So, what to do? Buying into the Giants is very hard to avoid. Even when I decide to support all my local businesses, I will still wind up at a Safeway or Wal-Mart before long, because the selection works in my favor. Prices are low. I know them and they know me. But rather than put my money and faith solely in the hands of one Giant, I now try to divide between them.

I will always shop at Amazon, but my Kindle will go away, to be replaced by a Barnes and Noble Nook. Maybe a Kobo Aura. I use an Android phone, and so it makes reasonable sense to buy my music from Google Play as I distance myself from Apple and iTunes. My movies come from the Sony Entertainment Network, and my games too.

In this way, the wrath of one Giant will not so affect me as to cripple my existence. I pity those who have lost almost all of their online lives because they depended entirely on a company like Google for everything and then had their accounts hacked or locked. Even the best companies are so very far from perfect, and I am among those who question the inherent “goodness” of such companies, even at the best of times.

Still, by dividing up the money between giants, it helps keep them from becoming big enough to take everything. It won’t keep me (or you) immune, it will soften potential blows greatly.

It’s more work, and if you are already ingrained with a single Giant, the switch may be more difficult. Ultimately, the choice is up to you.

That said, I have seen few worthy actions that were ever easy.

Those Friday Mornings

I wake up on a Friday Morning

More liberating than a Thursday Boring

So many things still to do

So many friends with which to screw

Not that I mean to screw in my bed

But rather I mean to screw with their heads.

There are many parties for me to have

So much fun this weekend to be had

On those Friday mornings

My brain is lost in a think

What will I eat and what will I drink?

A good Rum and Coke might do for me

One or two, and I get pretty friendly

I just need to keep it easy

No one should spend Saturday Mornings queasy!

Reading Pretentiously

HIPSTERS!
Yeah. You know the type. A step removed from Bohemians, like us only more… ironic.
You know the stereotypes. They like things far removed from the mainstream, dress halfway in this decade and halfway in another, and they consume the souls of baby Pugs for sustenance (THE POOR PUPPIES!). Okay, I made that last one up.
What’s the difference between hipsters and bohemians? Well, I like my mainstream shit, and Bohemians tend towards the ARTISTICALLY and IDEOLOGICALLY pretentious, rather than just wholesale pretention. For an excellent summary of my brand of Bohemianism, watch RENT sometime.
I read books most others would flat out ignore, either for being long-winded and/or confusing, old, or because they are overtly classical, with no real thought given to whether I ever actually enjoy the reading or not. It’s something to do, so I do it. I am currently slogging my way through Plato’s “Republic”, HG Wells’ “The Invisible Man’, and H. Rider Haggard’s “King Solomon’s Mines”. I read Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” a few weeks ago, mostly for something to do.
I read pretentiously. But here’s where I use “irony” correctly.
Despite not planning on nor attempting to enjoy Dracula, reading it out of pure boredom, I ended up enjoying it much more than I would have otherwise. It actually was ironic, because when I tried to read it before with the aim of appreciating it as a classic, I made it about a third of the way through and then hurled it onto my bed in a tired disgust. Only when I read it, not really caring about the content, just that it was old, long, and a time sink, did I come to be gripped by the book and the story it presented.
So obviously I snapped up more old public domain works and continued reading along.
And I have a HUGE list to get through.
Read on. Read ironically, read pretentiously, and be ready to be surprised!

Bohemians, rejoice! NaNoWriMo is finally here!

So people in my class are talking about “no-shave November”. Ha. I laugh at your feeble attempts to be cool, you crazy wannabe bohemians.

The essence of being a TRUE bohemian is ART.

And what better way to be artistic than to join in the festiveness that is NaNoWriMo?

That’s National Novel Writing Month, for the uninitiated, by the way, and the goal is simple yet exceedingly difficult.

You get your 30 days to write a novel, with a minimum of 50,000 words.

Write fast, banish that inner editor, and if you can dream it, then pray tell why are you not writing it? Don’t worry about consistency! THAT’S FOR EDITING!

No, write fast, write creatively, and when you’re in a rut, have NINJAS BURST THROUGH THE DOOR!

My current project is a deviation from the norm: a book of poetry. Haikus, free verse, sonnets, etc. All my favorites will be represented.

And here’s the deal behind it. NaNo is all about having fun and being creative. It’s the ULTIMATE BOHEMIAN HOLIDAY, and it’s all November long!

Banish all pretentious thoughts, obscure bands and TV shows, horn rimmed glasses and your ironically chosen can of Pabst Blue Ribbon: join your fellow bohemians in a race to the finish line of creating something awesome, crazy, and totally you!

I’m not committing a novel to this race, because I’m pretty far along on drafting for a novel I hope to publish, and since it’s already past 70k, that would be bloody cheating now wouldn’t it? But at the same time, I can’t afford to devote my brain stuff thing resources to a separate novel (much as I’d like to; Livane will be an awesome project one day), but I must write something for NaNo or I’d never let myself hear the end of it, so poetry it is!

So, to kick off my first formal day of writing, I present a witty Haiku!

Earth sleeps under clouds


The snows not yet borne to ground


The Poet puts quill to page