Issue No. 5: Bi-hind The Scenes 🍄

A cheeky lil issue to hold you over til Feb.

Hi friends! Happy 2021! This year has already been a decade!

As promised in the last newsletter, this is an interim ~*special edition*~ of The Bi Monthly (that’s a euphemism for “shorter and kinda half-assed”). I’m sending it because I love you, but also because Substack will put me back into your promotion inboxes if I don’t. 🙃 🙃 🙃

You’ll get a real issue on Monday (Feb. 1) featuring your regularly scheduled bisexual musings. This one will include my thoughts on bisexual confusion, Promising Young Woman, and probs some additional commentary on the Game Stop sitch, because I literally can’t help myself).

But today, we have something scrapbooky and dare I say, twee for your consumption: A recap of my writer’s retreat in the mushroom house!

A Shroom of One’s Own 📝

You may have already seen me brag that I spent the first two weeks of this year holed up in a mushroom house in Vermont, finishing the first draft of my book manuscript! I’ve dreamt of a writing retreat like this for so long, and it was everything I’d hoped—terrible and amazing at the same time.

To kick things off, I packed the essentials:

On the drive up, I stopped to print out a hard copy of my manuscript. It was supposed to be an exciting pit stop, but when I parked & checked my phone, I learned about the Capitol raid. Under normal circumstances this would’ve sent me into a spiral, doomscrolling the rest of the week away, desperate to find apropos tweets and make frantic Instagram posts to work through my thoughts.

But these were not normal circumstances, and the White Plains FedEx Print Shop reminded me of my priorities:

These reams of paper pulled me back to reality, giving me permission to step away from the phone. I let myself post one (1) tweet, then disengaged. (Ok, if you want to split hairs, I also shared that tweet to IG. Then looked at a few TikToks. Aaand posted some of them to my story. But I assure you—that was it.)

Unplugging might not seem like a big deal to most people, but at this point, I’ve conditioned myself to use posting and sharing as a coping mechanism—the idea of not doing that was terrifying to me. But you know what? I found another way to cope: by writing about it. 😚

(Also by screenshotting this meme:)

A few hundred miles and a grocery store run later, I finally arrived! The place was beautiful, so I immediately took several selfies with this pained expression:

One more pic because you deserve an interior design shot without me in it:

After that, I spent pretty much every second I was awake working on the book. I expected to have plenty of chic behind-the-scenes moments for you, but this experience was the opposite of chic. If you need evidence for that, just know that over the course of 14 days, I probably showered three times. Glam! 💅🏼

When I did take breaks, I spent the time attempting to use a convection oven. As you can see, this went well:

To avoid a mental health collapse, I also made time for tarot readings every morning (which included googling the meanings of the cards because I’m not a good enough witch yet):

And speaking of tarot, this is also important:

Another highlight of the week was going back through lots of old cringeworthy writing, including a grossly self-indulgent essay about writing itself! Here’s an embarrassing excerpt:

I also found some gems in old notebooks, including this one, that was especially reassuring while working on a memoir:

It was lonely up there, and my biggest source of happiness was this photo my partner sent of our puppy Astro in his new collar:

As for workflow, my ADHD coach helped me organize my tasks for the week, ensuring sure I could get [almost] everything done by my deadline. It was SO satisfying to go from this:

To this:

When Friday rolled around, I emerged from my fugue state and sent the project to my [amazing] editor Melanie before driving home. (Melanie is amazing for so many reasons, but especially because she put up with my hermit self on a few Zoom calls that week, lol.)

En route back to NYC, I had a massive craving for music from my childhood, so I put on The Killers Hot Fuzz—somehow I remembered every single word and shouted them at the top of my lungs.

This experience has been so challenging but SO rewarding—I’ve worked on lots of creative projects, but never anything this personal or this BIG. I’ve learned so much about writing, bisexuality, and myself in the process, and truly can’t wait to share it with you. 🥰

Thanks for reading this special edition of The Bi Monthly! I love you and I’m so grateful you’re here.

Stay tuned for a real newsletter on Monday. If you’d like to prep for its arrival, you can watch Promising Young Woman (though there are several content warnings for this film—sexual assault, violence, and men in a general sense). 💋

Also, at the risk of sounding desperate: One of my goals for 2021 is to get this newsletter list to 20k, and to do that I need your help! Please consider becoming a subscriber today if you’re not one already. Enter your email below or forward this issue to a friend <3