Kelly Haworth

Author of Queer Speculative Romance

Thrown Towels and a Book Review


Sometimes you gotta know when to throw in the towel, and for Book-in-a-year, this is it. I’m officially stopping it after 5 months, because I’m too unsure what the future of my writing career holds, and I didn’t work on it at all in the month of June. I think it’s a great book that I WILL finish when the time properly comes to write it, but I just don’t think now is that time.

Right now, I need to focus on going back to my day job in just a little over a week, and what changes that will bring to my family and my life.

Right now, I need to help my son, who’s been having a hard time adjusting to the new baby.

Right now, I need to reevaluate my writing career and what the best next steps will be. I have lots of ideas, but no sense of direction. If I don’t commit, I’m going to sit here stagnating.

Or, you know, raising my family and working the day job. And that’s the crux of it. Since this writing stuff is still a “hobby”, it’s all too easy to put it on the back-burner and keep going with the rest of my life. Not that I WANT to do that, but, you know. And is that a bad thing? No. But every day that goes by where I don’t write or read one creative word feels like a failure. A step back. A wiggling in the quicksand of time that is slowly sucking me under into the mundane 8-to-5 and two-point-five-kids and white-picket-fence.

Sure, it’s the American dream. But god damn it I need to wake up or I’m going to blink my eyes and wonder where my life went.

Did I mention I’m turning 30 this year? A little early for a midlife crisis, don’t you think?


In other news, I recently finished reading the memoir She’s Not There, and want to talk about it a bit. She’s Not There is about the life and transition of Jennifer Boylan, an author and college professor. Boylan is an incredible writer, with wit for days and the unparalleled ability to pull at one’s heartstrings, and I bet it’s doubly strong for a person like me, who has dealt with trans feelings and talked long and hard about how said feelings affect my family.

This book both frustrated me and gave me hope.

Throughout most of my reading, I felt hopeless and useless as Boylan’s life unfolded. If only being trans was more accepted, she wouldn’t have had to hide her true self. If only her wife’s view on gender was more open, she wouldn’t have had to have so much anxiety. These thoughts and similar showed themselves to be pretty naive.

This book ripped off the rose-and-baby-blue-colored glasses, so to speak, as my belief in a world of trans acceptance is a fantasy for most people.

However, the 10-year-edition afterward shed hope that Boylan and her wife actually did remain together and found a happiness that worked for them. And their children appeared to be well adjusted and normal and no worse for the wear. Good. Very good.

I really do have hope that times are changing. Especially as each bigoted thing brought to light online and in the news brings more of us out of the woodworks to stand up for not just equality but some goddamn human decency.

I want my children to grow up in a world where the admittance of someone’s gender or orientation is as easygoing and accepted as mentioning food preferences or your favorite band.

“Cool!” now let’s get on with life.

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