A Certain Type of Decisive

United States

Just your unfriendly neighborhood disaster, bringing you bi-weekly updates from the bottom of my own shoe!

Message to Readers

I'm not done writing and I'm not starting either-- this is a bookmark. It's also my 100th piece! 100 pieces is a little more significant to me than 100 followers. Not that the people who like my work aren't important, just that it's something I can control. It's a goal I can make progress towards. Thanks to everyone who's helped me, liked my pieces, given me reviews, and led me to become the writer I am today.
A special thanks to AbiJoy (https://writetheworld.com/profiles/27611/feed) a good friend, an even better sister, and a stunning writer who I'm always writing to impress.

What's Up, Nerds? (A Dust Jacket aka Bookmark)

October 3, 2020

PROMPT: Dust Jacket

    Have you ever picked up a book so fast that you were half-way through the book before you even read the title? Or started writing a story in the middle of the night only to find that you never named the main character? I read obsessively and write haphazardly-- a train wreck of partial plots and adverbs, but people are kinda into that sort of thing. Sometimes, you don't read the dust jacket on a book until you're in a dentist's waiting room and forgot a bookmark, and you're already invested. That's okay, it wasn't important at first, but it might change your mind about how you think it'll end.
    So... hi! What's up, you nerds? I'm A Certain Type of Decisive, but I don't mind if you call me ACToD or Gecko-- which is my pseudonym on another popular writing that will remain unnamed. I started writing here almost two years ago, in the fall of 2018. I didn't start on this account for a couple months, because I had a rough start with some uninspired first pieces. I never intended this account to reach it's hundredth piece-- a monument to lie I didn't intend to live. 
    It started as a test for myself-- could I make my sister love my writing if she didn't know it was me? Could a faceless purple crone command her attention if it didn't bear my name?
     Well-- not at first. At first I was the new kid on the block-- talented, but lacking skill. I published a poem and it got more likes than I got on all the pieces on my old account put together. My sister liked my pieces, but I wasn't sure if it was just out of encouragement. You like the first piece by someone just to tell them that you see they joined, that they matter. 
    Everything changed when I published "Chillax." It was my first short story-- a woman on her way to the grocery store who tries her best not to become a main character in a high fantasy fever dream. She wrote a peer review-- and then told me to come read it. She explained the plot to our parents and younger siblings-- being sure to mention my "Welcome to Night Vale" themed profile picture.
    And maybe I should've told her then, but I didn't. I kept it secret for a couple months until she put it together-- I knew she would eventually. But I didn't delete the account. It had served it's purpose, but in the process, had gained dozens of followers. Listen-- it doesn't matter how much they might be irrelevant to writing ability, everyone loves having followers. Unless you're in the zombie apocalypse. Or a spy. Or super embarrassed and shy. But I'm none of those things! 
    The anonymity of the account stayed for everyone else, however. I don't have a list of information about myself in my bio-- I'm still the same faceless purple crone. But I don't have to be, I don't want to be anymore. So here's the spark notes:

Why do you write?
The big question, huh? Is it too cliche to say "spite?" The eight year old inside me is still angry that I was never asked to guest star on Doctor Who, despite obviously being the best candidate. I couldn't related to anyone I really saw in media. Sure they looked like me-- I'm a blonde white girl, they all looked like me. But I only have a minimal concept of myself as something to be looked at, so the only thing I could relate to was personalities. The fist story of my writing career was self-insert Doctor Who fan-fiction written in the notes section of a state-wide grade school standardized test. I got interested in more things and got more vague-- no one know's it's Scooby-Doo fan-fiction if you change the names and personalities of every single character and have a plot that is completely different than any episode ever aired. I didn't like the poems I read in school, so I wrote my own. I didn't like the movies I watches, so I made them better. I knew they were kinda dumb, but it was always for myself. 

Weirdest habit?
Sometimes, I just like to scroll through Pinterest, looking at pictures of empty hallways and abandoned grocery stores. I don't know why I do it-- it's not like I like it, I'm just so curious?? I can't stop looking them, imagining that I've been there before. I'm worried someday I'll see them in real life and have to rely on what I've learned to escape. They scare me, but I kinda like it.

Unusual fears?
Well, I'm scared of long hallways, but that one was self-inflicted (we all go through puberty in different ways, some of us condition ourselves just to see if we could, please don't judge) and it's kind of a really long and embarrassing story, so instead I'll talk about my two-pronged fear of people on my roof. Number one is Spider-man on the ceiling of my bathroom, hiding there from bad guys and I would be so embarrassed?? So I always look at the roof of the bathroom, just in case. Number two is hearing footsteps on the roof just makes me freak out because there was this serial killer in the seventies that would walk on the roofs of people he would kill in the middle of the night. 

Favorite book? Suggestions?
Everybody who says they can't choose is weak and indecisive. Listen up folks: it's right there in the name, I'm decisive! Alice Isn't Dead by Joseph Fink is my favorite book. Maybe I forgot a really good book and it shouldn't be, but too bad!! (If you get scared easily or don't read books with cursing, try for The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer, with those history points as a bonus.) Everyone should try my American Gothic Horror Romance Adventure Fantasy novel and/or associated podcast. Joseph Fink (and Jeffrey Cranor) wrote all kinds of great books and podcasts, so check those out if you like strange occurrences, creepy small towns, and good representation in everything from LGBT+ romance to glowing clouds that drop dead animals and manage the PTA. I drew a lot of inspiration for my aesthetic from them.

What's your writing process? (for stories)
I find a story I like, take out all the stuff I don't like, and add better stuff! It's a little confusing, so I'll use an example. "Radio Broadcasting" is the previously mentioned Scooby Doo fan-fiction. I just took out Shaggy and Scooby, turned Velma and Daphne into lesbian girl friends, and Fred into a nervous, forgetful medium. Then I added a fun gay ghost main character with a tragic back-story and let them all run wild like the feral children they are.

What's your writing process? (for poems)
Mostly I just regurgitate nonsense that I think of before I fall asleep, trying to understand what it means while I write. It could be deep, but it's wicked not, you guys. There's loads of symbolism, but it's the symbolism of a half-conscious brain who thinks pigeons are a metaphor for bread.

What are you like in real life?
Well,,,, I'm tall... So I've got a lot of room for love :) I try to be super kind and gentle with people, but it makes people uncomfortable so sometimes I pretend to be mean and people think that's funny. I can't remember faces and usually run out of words to say and just stare at people that I love hoping they understand. I'm not good at thinking of puns, but I'll laugh at any of them that are told to me. I look really beautiful, but no one's ever had a crush on me because I give off a  "strong-silent-intimidating" vibe and I guess that's not attractive for people who look feminine... Idk fuck them I think I'm pretty. I've got the proportions of like,, a textbook woman, just scaled up a bunch. My family all says I look exactly like Adora from the She-Ra reboot. Plus freckles :)

What are your pronouns?
Okay so the first time someone asked me this was at my freshman orientation and she was really pretty so I got nervous and she caught me off guard and I said no. And she was like lol what. And so I had to play it cool like I said no on purpose and I said I didn't have pronouns because I don't care what people refer to me as-- he, she they-- it doesn't matter. She was like oh so you're like non-binary? Genderfluid? And I was like no, I'm a girl, I just don't care what other people refer to me as. Art is open to interpretation haha please like me. And she laughed and walked away and later she got kicked out of the color guard for starting too much drama. I've only corrected someone once and that was because I was in marching band uniform and carrying a tuba and this mom said to her son that he's got to "eat veggies so you can grow up big and strong to carry a tuba like that boy over there." So I took off my hat and flexed and said "girls can be buff, too" or something and she didn't notice, but her son did and that's cool. I never put my gender on this website until super recently I talked about "gaining my womanhood." I thought about it for a long time and I think I'm cool with anything still, but I was born a girl and I look super feminine, but it means nothing to me. Like idk how to explain it but I don't care. And that's privilege I guess, but I don't know how to exist any other way than I already do, how would I know if another body would suit me better? I don't mean to slam any trans folks or nb folks, I trust that you're doing what's best for you and I support you, I just couldn't apply it to myself. And that's okay?? I don't have a problem with it and I don't think anyone else should.

Thoughts on ghosts? Aliens? Bigfoot? Mothman? Loch Ness Monster?
Ghosts aren't real, we're just lonely, social animals. Aliens are real, but they're too far away to do any damage. Bigfoot isn't real, unless you're talking about a yeti, then maybe. Mothman wasn't real, but some guy got hypnotized into thinking he was the Mothman and now the Mothman's real. The Loch Ness Monster isn't real, but the shit at the bottom of the ocean? That's real.

What's your situation? (family, location, school life, etc)
I live in a desert-- the seasons are hot, double hot, hot within reason, and nice. As you've probably figured, I have an older sister, along with two sets of twins for younger siblings (not old enough for this site quite yet). I'm a big ol' nerd in everything from math to science to history to, you guessed it folks, writing. I've had one straight A's for my entire life, but it's not like I have good work ethic or anything, I've just got it down to a science of when to do the bare minimum and when to shine. 

Advice for new writers?
First of all: welcome! I'm so glad you're here and that you've decided to try out some writing. Second: you aren't very good at it. It sounds pretentious and cliche. You use too many words and take it too seriously. But that's okay, no one's good at writing to start! That's not the point-- just keep writing, keep experimenting! Stay humble, but love your work as if it was your child. Read, write, mimic, read again, write again, edit, tell jokes, listen in English class, try a foreign language-- you'll get better eventually. Don't write stories that you "think you should," just write what you want to. Followers and likes are cool, but they aren't what's important. Don't change who you are just to get more of them. Don't plagiarize, don't spread hate, don't write something that could belong to anyone-- make it personal. Use dumb metaphors and don't forget indents! Love your work and keep going-- I believe in you and can't wait to see what you'll create.

I can feel it-- you're going to be incredible.
These questions aren't attributed to anyone and therefore don't violate any guidelines. It's an imaginary dialogue, one of whom just happens to be the author, my dear editors. It's a cohesive essay, I swear! (It's my hundreth piece, just let me have it)


See History

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  • TwentyOneTimelords

    Hi! Just letting you know that chapter two is out :)

    about 2 months ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    Re: Haha thanks. Maybe someday lol, but I'm still mostly a poet.

    about 2 months ago
  • TwentyOneTimelords

    Replying: Thank you so much for your comment! Your questions helped me realize some stuff that needed to be changed (I actually published a slightly different draft of the chapter than hopefully will clear some stuff up!). Funny story, the little brother didn't have a name because I wasn't sure what I was going to call him yet...so I put "LB" in place of the name and then forgot and published it lol. So that's fixed now! If you like, I can let you know when I post the next chapter! If not, that's totally fine too :)

    about 2 months ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    ACToD (I love Gecko but have a terrible memory), this is great. I really enjoyed getting to know you better. Now you're less of the cool but incorporeal mentor figure and a bit more of the wise but wild cousin who lives on the other side of the world (yes I actually have one of those irl). Well, kinda both tbh. I've been imagining you with a black pixie cut, so now I gotta fix that. The Adora person helped, so even though now you're animated, I've got the right hair color for you. I just had a slight realization that you seem a heck of a lot like an old friend of mine's sister (in looks and actually personality too), so now you're synonymous with her in my mind. Anyway (jeez do I just pick a word to overuse every day or something??), you're awesome, you know that, byeee.

    about 2 months ago