A true story (maybe a series of them?)

When I was 14, I became Wiccan. I think that’s also the year I became vegetarian. There are a lot of stories that stem from those two turning points in my life, but this is the one I want to tell you now:

Maybe it was my willingness to believe in magick and foresight, or maybe it was something else. But I remember knowing with certainty after I became Wiccan for sure, but maybe even since before then, that I wasn’t going to live past 18.

I knew it deeper than I’ve ever known anything in my life. And I knew how I was going to die, too. A car accident. I didn’t know if I would cause it or if it would be out of my control, I only knew that was what would happen. I felt the vibrations of the violence of it in my dreams at night; not as nightmares but as a dread conviction.

I knew it so completely that I came to simply accept it. I woke up in the morning, I breathed, I knew my time was limited. It became something that was comforting, in a way.

And because I knew I would die by the time I was 18, I knew I had to write at least one of the stories that wouldn’t leave my mind. So I started what is now Incarnations, but back then was called Calling of the Onyx. I started it when I was around 12/13, around there, and wrote about 150 pages before I had to stop and start over because it wasn’t right. It wasn’t right. And this was my only chance, really, to write the right story before I would die.

Time passed, high school continued, my attempts to write my story marched on.

I don’t remember how old I was on that day. I was in high school still, definitely younger than 18. Was I 16? 17? I hadn’t yet had my 18th birthday, I’m sure.

Back then, my older brother drove us to and from school, and he also picked up or dropped off friends of mine along the way when it was convenient. This day would have been like any other day, except it wasn’t.

When school was out, my brother said he’d drop my friend Tara off at her house. The plan was to drop her off and then I’d go home with my brother. But for some reason that day, Tara asked me last minute as she was stepping out of the car if I wanted to come inside and hang out–study for a math test that was coming up the next day.

Was it a surprise test we’d only just learned of that day? I don’t remember.

What I remember is there was a moment where I hesitated, sitting in the passenger seat. I kind of didn’t want to go to her house, because I wanted to go home and watch TV and roleplay online and just chill. And in that hesitation she urged me to come inside, it’d be fun, and I said I wasn’t sure, and she said come on just come in, so I asked my brother if that’d be okay and he said he didn’t care.

I went inside and my brother drove off.

Tara and I spent the next hour half studying, half goofing off. Until her phone rang and she picked it up, and said it was for me. I answered the phone, heard my mom’s voice and figured she was about to ask when I wanted to be picked up, but that wasn’t at all what she was calling to say.

My brother had been in a really bad car accident, she told me. His car was totaled, she said.

Within blocks of Tara’s house, he had gone through an intersection properly but an SUV hadn’t paid attention to the stop sign and had sped through the intersection. It slammed into the passenger side of the car, T-boned it. Destroyed the car.

My brother was okay.

But if I had been in that passenger seat like I was supposed to be, I wouldn’t have been.

I felt that that was the car accident I had felt all these years. That was what had been weighing on me for years, knowing it was coming, thinking I had no choice. But at the same time I thought, surely that can’t be the accident I expected? Because I somehow missed it, by pure luck and Tara’s insistence.

I think that happened around the time I was 16, because I think I remember there being years after that where I still anticipated that vehicular death even as I no longer felt the certainty as I had before that day at Tara’s.

I wondered for a long time after that why I hadn’t died like I’d expected. When I turned 18, and then 19, and then beyond, I didn’t know what to do with this life I’d never expected to have. I didn’t understand why I had been spared something that had been written in stone for so long.

When I got into fanfic writing and saw the community that came from fandoms, when I had to come up with a reason for why I was alive, I thought that a dream for this unexpected time I had on Earth was for there to someday be something I could write that could be meaningful in whatever way possible to even just one other person. I thought that if I could have anything, if I could find meaning in a dream, then my dream was for something I was involved in writing to have a fandom, no matter how small it may be.

Just one fanfic, one fanart, one anything, would be incredible. Anything beyond that would be astounding, and would fulfill that dream I didn’t dare breathe aloud.

ICoS ended up accidentally fulfilling that dream of mine, which left me feeling free to go back to that story I started all those years ago. Back when I thought I’d have only a few years before I was gone. Now I named it Incarnations, and now I’m trying to finish writing it this year.

Because of ICoS, because of the amazing readers for that story, because at least one person found it meaningful, because at least one person made fanfic or fanart or anything else, because of that community, I’ve been able to dare to have another dream.

This one may never happen, and if it doesn’t I’m honestly completely okay with it. The fact that my first dream was met is more than enough for me. I hardly dare hope for more. But if I could have it, it would be this:

I would love, someday, to be able to quit my job and write a book that gets published. I would like to make just enough money to be able to scrape by as a writer (I don’t expect to ever be rich or well-known). But mostly, even if I can’t do those things, what I would really love is to even just change jobs so I could do what I’ve really wanted to do for years:

I would love to be able to meet people in person. I would love to be able to go to a convention. I would feel incredibly lucky if I could ever be on a panel in a convention, or be a main speaker or the only speaker in one of those panels. I would love to be able to do a book signing sometime in my life. I would love to be able to sit in an Artist’s Alley with books and draw little Ais’ Terrible Art cartoons for anyone who is interested and who was kind enough to stop by. And I would love, someday, to be able to somehow incorporate charities into what I do, like somehow make just a bit more than enough money to scrape by so that extra bit could go to one of my favorite charities, so the people who want to donate know it’s going to a good cause.

I would love any and all of these things, but I also know it’s entirely likely none of this will happen. And I know that even if I were lucky enough to be able to go to a convention as Ais, no one would probably know who I am or care. If I were ever on a panel, particularly if I were the only speaker, or if I ever did some book signing, I would worry that no one would care and no one would show up.

I would have to convince some friends to come so I wouldn’t be sitting there alone in silence. But at least with friends we could hang out and talk, so it’d still be great.

But as much as I would love for any or all of that to happen, I also know it doesn’t have to happen because I was lucky enough for one dream to already have been met, and that alone is more than enough. That alone is more than I’d ever hoped to have.

For every person who ever wrote to us about ICoS, who ever cared about the series or a character, who ever drew anything or made an edit or wrote anything or made music or anything else–to each and every one of you, I can never thank you enough because I don’t have the words to explain to you how incredible and important that is to me.

I wondered why it was that day after school Tara was so insistent, and why I went against my nature to unexpectedly stay at her house. I wondered why I lived when I was set to die.

A few years ago I realized, was it so ICoS could happen? That life-changing event that also wasn’t planned, that also happened accidentally, but that also had positive repercussions in my life going forward? Was ICoS important to someone who needed it at that moment in their life, for whatever reason? Was that why I was spared, so that accidental event could happen for them?

I don’t know, really. Maybe I was also spared so I could rescue my dog. Maybe there’s something I don’t know of yet. I don’t believe in fate, exactly, nor do I think everything has to happen for a reason. I think a lot of things just sort of happen and we roll with them and it’s our reactions to them that affects our options in the future.

That’s how I generally feel, but I can’t feel that way about that accident, because that accident was something I felt the repercussions of years before it happened. That accident was something I knew would happen. That accident is something that so very nearly did happen to me. So the fact that it didn’t is what makes me curious the reason why.

And most days, lately, I feel like the existence of ICoS maybe is that reason.

A series?

There are some true stories I’ve considered sharing, or things I struggle with sometimes, in the event they are helpful for anyone else or even just interesting to read.

In particular that’s been on my mind the most has been my struggles over the years with anorexia and ways I’ve dealt with it or tried to get over it, as much as can be done. For example, lately I’ve been struggling with how a person loses weight when they don’t know if they should be losing that weight and are afraid of triggering right back to where they started on anorexia.

Would that be useful and/or of interest for anyone? Let me know if so.

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7 thoughts on “A true story (maybe a series of them?)

  1. Darwi_Odrade July 4, 2016 / 3:36 am

    Beauty, thanks for sharing. ICOS was great, I read it and at the end felt kinda void, but I would love to read more of your writing, even if it have nothing to do, a complete different topic, whatever you need to write. Those are dreams worth having, and writing is the first step. I can’t promise I’d be at any con you were, because I’m pretty sure we live in different continents, but srsly, there would be so MANY people if that happened!!! I’m sure of that XD

    I’ll be waiting for incarnations, as long as it may need be 😀

    ❤ ❤ ❤
    Darwi_Odrade

    • Ais July 4, 2016 / 2:10 pm

      Thank you, lovely! I’m hoping I can start to be faster with Incarnations lol I’m so slow! But I’m genuinely excited for when I can share it with others so hopefully you will enjoy even a second of it when you get the chance to see it 🙂 Even if you don’t like it overall, if there’s anything at all of interest in it for you that would be awesome 🙂 As for the rest, if I’m ever at a con, I’ll just imagine you’re there in spirit 🙂

  2. sunny hills July 4, 2016 / 12:33 pm

    I just read this and omg i’ve got chills rn, that car accident story and your sensing it years before it even happened are terrific. I always get the feeling from the things you share that you must be very inspiring as a person and that you’ve got so many things to tell people about you but also about the world in general, it’s so beautiful to read your posts 🙂

    Also i strongly believe everything in life happens for a reason and right now i’m glad what happened to you (or better, and luckily, NOT happened; a propos i hope you brother wasn’t hurt too much) led you to ICoS and eventually ICoS led you back to Incarnations. As i’ve already said many times they’re both such amazing series and while very different for obvious reasons they’re the same in the feelings rollercoaster and enthralling plot + characters department for sure. Anw since we’re in topic and i’m not sure i’ve ever told you [confession time] tbh Incarnations is actually a bit more in tuned with my tastes in books and reading material in general than ICoS is so in a way there’s like this tiny part of me who’s loving your fantasy story (maybe) a bit more than ICoS, which i know is so hasty to say because a.) Incarnations is only at book #1 so very far from any kind of definitive development for me to be sure i’ll love how the story ends as i’m loving how it started and b.) I ADORE ICOS TO NO END don’t ever doubt that ;;; [end of confession time]

    oh and i just remembered, happy 4th July!

    • Ais July 4, 2016 / 2:23 pm

      Hey! Speaking of, I totally need to be rereading it today XD I’m finally up through the forest part with Besin, so I’m getting close to being caught up and theoretically at that point I can start writing more. The absolute silly thing about this all is that I’m probably not THAAAAAT far from the end of the first book. I mean I am but I’m not; I’m definitely closer to the end than the beginning at this point. And yet somehow I keep stalling.

      My brother was basically completely fine, surprisingly. All of the impact went through the vehicle itself and he was about as relatively untouched as you could be with that sort of accident. It was pretty crazy, though. My mom was calling to tell me they wouldn’t be able to get me for a while because of everything that had to be done as a result of that accident.

      Now that I think about it, my family has a weird connection to really terrible car accidents that they live through. My aunt and uncle who are in their late 80’s have been in multiple horrendous car accidents and are almost completely fine. My parents were in a really horrible car accident months ago and are basically totally fine except my dad’s back has some pain sometimes. So maybe I would’ve had that same weird luck gene and been totally fine, or maybe my weird luck gene for car accidents knew I wouldn’t have been fine and so got me out of there. Who knows.

      But it’s one of those weird things I’ve always remembered from my Wiccan days.

      Anyway don’t worry I didn’t think you were saying anything against ICoS! That’s really cool that Incarnations is so far more your vibe, though! It’s more my vibe too, actually, just in terms of what I naturally tend to write. Also it’s fun to be completely in charge so I can fuck up everyone’s shit all I like and no one can tell me to chill out and maybe not make that person be QUITE so psycho XD It’ll be really interesting to see how you feel about it when the book is finished and then knowing where the next books will be going. I’m hoping you guys will like what I have planned. That’s another reason I need to get my ass in gear writing ugggh… But anyway you hadn’t mentioned that yet but I appreciate it! Because I know people really like ICoS so I was worried Incarnations would seem like it sucks in comparison. So I’ve been really relieved that you guys so far haven’t hated it, and knowing you (so far) like it as much (or possibly could be a bit more, depending) than ICoS means a lot 🙂

      Ok now you got me inspired! I’m gonna go reread!

  3. Marwa September 16, 2017 / 3:45 pm

    Thank you for sharing this. I love your writing and I would love to read more of it, whther it is more books or blog posts like this. 💙

    • Ais September 18, 2017 / 7:30 pm

      Thank you! You just made me realize I forgot to tell people here on the blog that I started Patreon at patreon.com/ais… I’ll go do a post about that right now 🙂

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