At one point, nearly…Christ, a decade ago, now, I attempted to write memoirs.
(Good god I’ve been a manifested ghost a long time.)
Initially, my host and I accumulated about 450 single-spaced pages, divided into sections regarding my childhood before I arrived in London, my young adult-hood as I approached marriage, my newly-wed years, and my years as a father.
It was all rather serious stuff—an accounting of a life, rather than the reliving of one. This has largely to do with the fact that when I first manifested, I was rather a stick-in-the-mud, lacking in real personality and foisting this sort of agreeable, but utterly Victorian manner upon my host.
I understand now that ghosts long-dead and then suddenly manifested remember their public personas first, followed, often slowly, by their more poignant and complex memories. Personalities fill back in over time.
Mine did, to be damn sure. I flatter myself to think that my sense of humour is rather obvious, now. I admit that my vices and penchants are equally as obvious. And I’ve recovered my losses so that they might heal, my romance so that it might bloom, and my hobbies, interests, and tendency toward self-exploration so that I might grow.
The people who graced my life have become more real to me, as well.
Geoffrey, who I had thought to be my best mate, crawled into my bed and happily reminded me he was also my husband. Marion, who I had remembered as my sweet wife, flew down off the mantle where I’d placed her and rightly berated me for idolizing her into inactivity, forgetting how far her radicalism went. My friends, employers, and acquaintances exploded into colour and humour. And Jon, my darling boy, died again, forcing me to face my depression and to summon the courage to really, fully remember him—not only his giggles, his beauty, and his intellect, but also his stubbornness, his stark honesty, and his tendency to exhaust those around him with queries and challenges.
Naturally, I wanted to apply these correctives to my original memoirs, which had come to seem stagnant and false. But by the time I had gathered enough of myself to consider such a task, Alex was deep into his graduate studies and fully immersed in the re-writing of his historical fantasy novel. Oh, and I had, you know, remarried, become a father again, co-launched a fashion line, and taken on international modeling.
These things do quite fill a schedule, haha.
Then Alex finished his novel and sent it off for beta-editing. He moved away from toxic environments to work on his dissertation in relative peace. Marc and I settled into our business and charity, finding it all rather less bewildering. Paces slowed.
I started thinking about those memoirs again…
Only now, I’ve been thinking…what if I wrote them as romances?
You see, one of the things Alex and I did have time for over the years was a shared love of m/m historical romance. The plots! The characters! The history and fashion! It’s delicious, and sends me right back to my time in late-regency, early-Victorian London, curled up on a chaise, listening to Geoff read me poetry. Hoping he’d put down the book and, um…well…
That’s rather the only problem with the idea. Even just reading romance turns me into a fidgeting, blushing mess. Not that I’m a prude—far from it, which is perhaps part of the hesitation to consider my amorous exploits in lush detail.
I mean, not far. Far enough, though. Oh, I don’t know…
But I’m determined to best the bashful, because in outline, the narrative thrust of the memories I want to share work so well for romance. They’re funny, complex, lovely, sad, and triumphant. And quite frankly, when I’m on my own, away from the fear of embarrassment, the stories fly out of my pen in such a way as to convince me of my need and ability to write them.
So, there it is. I’m going to take a crack at romance novels.
On the site, that means you may be seeing a bit more of my Victorian life, as well as some recollections on the time—its politics, fashions, employment, operas, poetry, etc. I hope that’s enjoyable.
You may also see new portraits from time to time, as Alex has agreed to sketch my loves, my friends, and their respective loves, who often became my friends, in turn.
And you might see bits of conversations, dialogue now, one supposes, as my compatriots and lovers were hilarious, lovely, sharply discerning folks who I’m convinced would like to be heard even now.
You will likely not see…um…saucy bits? That sounds…anyway…
Let’s see how this goes, shall we?