I am Indigo

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Gemini Horoscope for Week of January 3 – Free Will Astrology

“People wish to learn to swim and at the same time to keep one foot on the ground,” said French novelist Marcel Proust. An attitude like that is always a barrier to growth, of course, but in 2013 it would be especially ill-advised for you Geminis. In order to win full possession of the many blessings that will be offering themselves to you, you will have to give up your solid footing and dive into the depths over and over again. That may sometimes be a bit nerve-racking. But it should also generate the most fun you’ve had in years.

I brought in the 2013 new year with a free consultation with Brooke Warner, former Executive Editor at Seal Press who now runs her own coaching company called Warner Coaching. I am still in the middle of completing draft 2 and am now looking for guidance as I start to think about querying agents who will get behind my work and help propel me into a writing career. I decided to try to enjoy the holidays rather then push myself to fulfill my own Dec 31st deadline which gave me time to think not just about the development of the story but also how I want to present and sell the book to a larger audience. Brooke was fantastic at pin-pointing the largest challenge I am dealing with in the book: riding the line between memoir and fiction.

I’ve had my foot in both genres throughout the writing process and until my conversation with Brooke, I was having a hard time understanding why. At first, I thought fictionalizing my own story would force me to take a step back from my own experience. I’ve met too many writers who protect their memoir’s like a new born baby because their work is so personal to them. It’s scary to think of how readers will receive it because not only are they responding to a book, they are responding directly to my experience.

I believe this is where the fear lies for me as well. This book is my coming out and I think the constant state of vulnerability jostles my nerves. But vulnerability is necessary for growth. In writing Girl with the Unicorn Earrings, I’ve learned to accept that I will be coming out over and over again in a world where I am still learning to navigate.

Indigo’s story is my story and writing it has been the best stepping stone for me to learn how to accept my non-traditional, sex-positive, mega queer dyke self, who I want the world to know as Ashley Young.

 I adapted the pseudonym Indigo when I had one foot in youth education and the other foot in sex positive education. I’m a Gemini after all – what better way to adapt then by splitting right? Not so much. When I finally stepped back from working with youth and stepped fully into writing, I realized that I want to educate others about the complexities of sexuality and race through literature. I want to start conversations with woman, particularly woman of color, about shedding shame when it comes to acts of the body and using sex and relationships as transformative tools in opposition to how we use them for drama and defeat.

I am Indigo. If I pretended to be anyone else I’d be lying. This is a direct reflection of what I’ve been trying to do to myself for a long time: fit into a working life that does not work for me. I was never meant for a nine to five. Lady suits only make me itchy and as much as I have attempted to assimilate, I have to be around my people to feel safe – queers, woman of color and an assortment of fierce, femme role models. Luckily my new boss at Riverdale Ave Books is one of those role models who encourages the completion of my book almost daily.

It took me all of 2012 to discover a career the works for me and my plan for 2013 is to continue to create a space and a book that I am proud to call mine. This year marks one of advise taking and decision making.

I’m writing a memoir, no matter how much I’d love to morph it into fiction, it’s my story, start to finish.

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