New Year’s Resolution Solution

Hello, and Happy 2021!

This is a new year with (hopefully) positive changes. Lots of great things are in store for you all! I have plans to keep growing my author platform that everybody will enjoy, not just LGBTQIA+. If you have any ideas or comments on what you would like to see, please reach out to me or comment on my posts, and I will take them to heart. I am working hard to reach out to an all-inclusive audience and merge horror with gay issues. With that being said, let us dive into this week’s topic.

New years resolutions have been something that everybody can relate to. It’s something that we all are guilty of trying at the beginning of the year and something that we all admittedly failed at doing in some way or another. Whether you want to be more active and lose a certain amount of weight after scarfing down holiday treats, quitting a habit such as smoking or drinking, or even saving money to make a huge purchase. Now, I’m not saying that these goals are not obtainable. I know plenty of people who are successful with committing to their resolutions and can bask in the glory of their successes from their hard work and dedication. I don’t want to discredit those individuals. Congratulations on sticking to your plan!

For most people, when they pick a resolution, they choose something incredibly challenging that would cause them to quit at a certain point. As important as it is to challenge yourself to become better by committing to a task, the reality of the situation is simply this: adulting sucks! Most people have the same monotonous life where it can, at times, become hectic. It isn’t easy to lose a high amount of weight to commit to going to the gym to work out every day when you have a family to take care of. Your workday might’ve been very tough, and you may feel like you want to go home and watch your favorite movie and eat your favorite snack to unwind. You may have an emergency that would cause you to spend that hard saved money to get out of your rut, resulting in impeding your goal to make that big purchase.

My message to you is a few things:

  1. Set small goals. Treat your end goal as if you are climbing the giant mountain of your life. It is hard to explain this analogy without pictures, so bear with me. Climbers go up a section of the mountain, and once they reach a certain point of the day, they must go back down to allow their bodies to acclimate to the pressure. They camp out for a period of time before resuming. This is something they commit to until they eventually reach their end goal of the top. Think of that while you are trying to accomplish your goal. Don’t set an unobtainable goal that seems unrealistic. You are setting yourself up for failure right off the bat. This is one of the biggest reasons why New Year’s resolutions are more than likely not seen through to the end. Make small goals, and then celebrate those small victories (this part is a must!) before moving on to the next goal. Reward yourself with accomplishing the goals. When your potty training a dog, you give them a treat when they do the right thing by not soiling themselves on your lovely and expensive flooring, and you’re acknowledging their commitment to trying to do the correct task.
  2. Acknowledge the fact that you may fail. We live in a society where if you don’t accomplish your goal, you are a failure, and that you should give up. This is not the case! Remember that the city of Rome wasn’t built in a day. If you make a goal to quit smoking and you are doing very well at giving up this addictive habit. Suddenly, you cave and have one after a tough day or if you were socializing with your friends. Don’t just throw your hands in the air and say, “Screw it.” Recognize that you may have had a slip and tell yourself that it’s okay. Also, give yourself the discipline to say to yourself that you may have fallen off that horse, but you will need to get back on it at some point. Hold some sort of accountability that you will need to get back on track. Otherwise, complacency will kick in, which is another common reason why resolutions are not accomplished. The other part of this point that I want to mention is that you need to recognize that you will be outside your comfort zone. It is daunting to change something about your day-to-day lifestyle and charge forward wholly. There will be doubts. When I challenge myself, especially when I was writing my novel, there were times that I struggled with doubts. I won’t go into details about those specifically. I use a quote whenever I tackle something outside my comfort zone, and I use it as a daily practice. “Fear Conquered Nothing!” It is a mantra that I use to push myself even though I may or may not succeed; it’s about trying your hardest.
  3. Find a support system and reach out to them if you’re struggling. I know that this may be hard to believe since we are all guilty of being too much in our heads and relishing our problems (sometimes too often), but you are not the only one who is having it rough. You are not alone. Everybody has tough days, struggles with adulting, or is dealing with mental issues. They may not be committing to the same goals or resolutions as you are, but you can relate to how bad a day you are having. Sometimes, venting to somebody is all you need before you can brush off the dirt and move on. Also, reach out to your close friends and family. They are essential in your life for a reason. You can’t accomplish any goals alone! Sometimes, you need that particular person to tell you that you are good enough and that you can do it…so use them!

In closing, I also want to say one more opinion regarding resolutions. I have mad respect for those who choose to do it and either succeed or not. Change only should happen when the person is ready to embrace the change. If you are not prepared to challenge yourself, then don’t fall into the pressures of New Year’s traditions. Be ready to set those goals when you are prepared to. If your mind is only halfway into the challenge, then you may have already set yourself up for a loss.

Well, that is all I have for you today. Stay safe and keep challenging yourself to be better!

Please reach out to me in the ‘Contact’ section if you have any other topics you would like for me to talk about or anything you would like to see more of with this author platform.

New Year. New Me!

I am taking a bit of a break for the holidays, so I will keep this post short and sweet.
The end of 2020 is almost here. It has been a long and tumultuous road for all of us. Among the personal challenges that I will not disclose to respect everybody’s opinions and viewpoints, I can highlight the main challenge that we all have faced was COVID-19. Maintaining social distancing and integrating aggressive hygenic habits to keep safe and healthy has been challenging. There is always a blessing in any troubling situation that you are faced with. It may be tough to look past the hardships to find any sort of blessings or silver linings. For me, the best gift was to sit back and reflect on my life. I tackled a bucket list item for me to write a book.
Before I went into fashion, I always wanted to be a writer. As a teenager, I would write many stories in hopes that they would become something bigger. I quickly gave up on that dream because I didn’t see myself as successful or developing any sort of a career out of it. I also had anxieties about finishing a story that people would like or appreciate. Over the summer, when I was typing the first draft of my manuscript, I faced those voices in my head with those same doubts. I kept questioning myself if this is something I should do or if people would take my writing seriously. The one thing I did for the first time in my life was believing in myself and this book’s vision. That voice counterbalancing the negative voices in my head was the reason I did this novel in the first place. I always wanted to show the people who look up to me that you can accomplish anything in your life if you believe in yourself. I know that it sounds a little Disney or fairy tale-esque, but it is a more challenging practice than they make it out in the movies. My commitment to this project brought out a more creative and resilient side of me that I never knew existed.
I am proud of myself for that lesson I’ve taught myself for 2020. I am thankful for the love and support I have received from the writing community, horror community, LGBTQIA community, and my close family and friends. I will never forget the love and support I have received through the emails since I started my journey. This is a commitment that I will be sticking to: by writing inspiring stories to hopefully influence a brighter tomorrow for the gay and weird kids that don’t feel like they have a place in this world.
Let’s put 2020 behind us, and feel proud of our accomplishments, and commit to allowing 2021 to better ourselves.

On a lighter note, stay tuned for updates on my debut novel, “Cardinal Rules.”

Also, please reach out to me if you have any topics you would like for me to discuss to allow this blog to elevate to the next level. I have other ideas on what I will add to my website, additionally from my weekly posts.

Thank you all for the love!

Chosen Family

Hello everybody!
It is Christmas time! That means gift shopping, hectic meal prepping and cleaning, cheesy holiday movies on television, and most importantly,…family time.
On the topic of family, some people, regardless of who they identify as, don’t have close contact with their blood relatives. That could either be by choice of the individual or the family member. They could’ve had a disagreement about an opinion or just who that person is in general. In other cases, it could be the unfortunate circumstance that the family member is no longer alive, and they have passed on. Regardless of the status, I’m going to touch lightly today on the importance of family values.
Now, I was blessed to have most of my family embrace me for who I am at the minimum level of respect. I will admit that some of my family don’t see eye to eye with me due to other personal issues that I will not disclose on this blog (that is for me and them to settle on our terms). I find it difficult for these people to see where I’m coming from as a person, aside from being LGBTQIA+. It’s a tough pill to swallow that the disagreements that we do have are not empathized from my perspective because these family members are straight. I don’t fault them…it’s just the reality of the situation.
RuPaul once said in an episode of Drag Race:
“We as gay people, we get to choose our families.”
That quote has a massive amount of accuracy.
Ever since I’ve been an adult, I have encountered friends and colleagues that embrace my unique self and look past any flaws. They also take the time to understand where I’m coming from as an LGBTQIA+ person. I have been very fortunate to surround myself with all of the love and positivity that, at times, my blood relatives are unable to fulfill. For those who know me personally, I am a very loyal friend. I have the backs until the very end with those who have mine. We hang out; we laugh, sometimes cry…you get the picture. I wouldn’t be here today without the support of those special people in my life. And if you are one of those people reading this passage, I want to say that I can’t thank you enough!
Suppose you are somebody who has been disowned by your family. I know there are individuals out there that are unfortunate. My heart breaks for you. I genuinely hope that you have at least that one friend or colleague out there that unconditionally loves and cares for you. And I hope that there will be one day where your family notices the authentically fantastic person you have become and feels sorry for the successes you have accomplished without their support. You are loved! If you know somebody who is dealing with these struggles, reach out to them. Tell them that they are cared for and that their existence is valued. You never know that the person you work with may be struggling with their personal life, especially in these dark times.
Happy holidays from my writing corner! Be safe! Be merry! And most importantly,…be loving!
I want to underscore what I said before…I’m not saying my blood family is horrible. I’m just saying that I’m lucky to have the chosen family that I have to help assist when the blood family cannot be there for me in my times of need.
Also, I want to apologize for my short post this week. I have been putting the finishing touches on the manuscript for my debut novel. I am 99% done! Details will be released in the coming weeks with title, plot summary, release date, cover, etc.
Very exciting things are coming up!

Hate…worse than any masked killer.

In horror movies, numerous motives influence a damaged person to put on a mask and slaughter people. They could’ve been abused, traumatized, or even woke up on the wrong side of the bed. In the real world in today’s society, murder is boiled down to one primary motive that scares many minorities.
Hate.
Hate is such a strong word, and personally, I try not to use it when I talk about somebody I may not agree with or like. Hatred towards the LGBTAQ+ community has gone back to decades of killings and crimes. If we go back to 1998, Matthew Shepard was picked up at a bar in Wyoming and was taken to the middle of nowhere to be beaten and left for dead. In 1978, Harvey Milk was assassinated by somebody who wasn’t comfortable with his direction in politics. In 1993, Brandon Teena was raped and murdered for trying to live life as his authentic self as an openly transgender male. Let’s not forget the more recent events of the Pulse nightclub shooting and the continuous murders of our transgender brothers and sisters. In 2018, it was reported that out of the 7,120 attacks on file, roughly 1 in 5 of those were due to hate crime towards somebody based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
People live, and people die…I get it. It’s the cycle of life, and we all have our expiration date. But we should let natural causes determine that, not the disagreeing opinions of somebody who may disagree with the lives that we live. And though people may have opposing views on the LGBTQA+ community, there are other ways to express it. When in doubt, don’t talk about it.
Audiences get entertained by the gore and killings of over the top characters in slasher movies. The reality of the situation is that these killings happen regularly and do not involve the “jock” or the “stoner.” These people are somebody’s spouse, child, sibling, or even a role model/leader. When they take these innocent people’s lives away, they are also damaging everybody in their lives that they value and love deeply.
Hate also doesn’t mean to kill. It could also mean saying a slur such as ‘faggot’ or ‘dyke’. It could also mean defacing a same-sex couple’s property or an establishment, such as burning a rainbow pride flag or keying a car. Over the past five years, ever since gay marriage became legal in the United States, discrimination and negative opposing opinions have increased towards the community. Somehow, the equality of something as simple as marriage has struck a nerve with individuals and makes people feel uncomfortable.
Some individuals use religion as an excuse to treat LGBTQIA+ members with disrespect. In Christianity, there may be verses that may be against the community. However, those people should let God be the judge of that. And, in most cases, those Christians are violating other parts of the bible, being hypocritical or “praying for forgiveness.” I grew up in the church and read the bible thoroughly…Most of those people do not follow the word of God 100%. In all religions, the foundation of their beliefs is to love everybody equally and treat your neighbor with respect…What happened to following that?
I have also had conversations with people who may be “in the middle” of this issue. They would say something along the lines of, “I don’t have any problems with gay people, just don’t throw it in my face.”
Yes…me holding my husband’s hand is shoving it in your face, but the trashy couple in the corner has a man with his hand down his girlfriend’s pants, fondling her butt! The gay couple at the clubs are having a slow, romantic dance. The straight couples are grinding their bodies all over each other…practically dry humping.
Sounds fair….right?
I understand to a certain extent that individuals have opposing opinions on multiple issues, and it is damn near possible for them to change. This country has flourished throughout history based on people having different viewpoints and opinions.
Do I think it’s fair? No. But it’s the reality of the situation.
However, I will conclude this statement. People may believe in their opposition for everyday people like me, who choose to live authentically and proud. But your belief is just that…a belief. My existence and every person within my community…their existence is a reality. If you oppose the rights of the LGBTQA+ community or even any community in general, think about the hurt you are causing to these people. Think outside of your backyard and take a walk in their shoes and feel their pain, suffering, and anguish. And if you cannot see eye-to-eye with the groups you disagree with and still don’t believe in the equal rights and dignity you have, then maybe you should place the Ghostface or Michael Myers mask on your face to cover the hate.

Why horror?

In case if you were wondering why I chose horror as my genre to write about, here it is:

Horror is a complex dichotomy of entertainment. It plays with the mind and is relatable to the most common emotion in humankind: Fear. Fear is a very intriguing emotion. It could prevent you from doing something or could motivate or propel you to accomplish a goal. Horror taps into many different subgenres that appeal to most people in one way or another. There is gothic horror, in which ghosts and their backstories could scare you, or the protagonist can have qualities that viewers can empathize with. It could involve a scary location, like a haunted house or an abandoned warehouse. There is a suspense thriller, where the reader is kept on the edge of their seat. They have all of their senses heightened as the book describes the protagonist’s journey in detail as if they were the in the main character’s point of view or right next to them for the bumpy ride. You analyze all of the presented clues throughout the chapters and place the pieces together with them as they try to uncover the culprit. These are just a few subgenres of this magnificent genre that has many more to list!

For me, I’m attracted to one subgenre more than any other. One that I can personally relate to on numerous levels.

Slasher!

The slasher genre contains many characteristics that appeal very profoundly to me. I am going to list some of these in detail and why they are so great to me. There are more than what I’m going to list, and this is strictly my opinion. I’m using my examples from film, which can easily be translated into writing. After all…movies start out as scripts. Scripts were written!

1.Damaged protagonist/final girl: The main character in horror movies that, in most cases, make it to the end as the sole survivor has one thing in common. They had a damaging past. You look at Sidney Prescott in ‘Scream,’ who lost her mother to murder by the serial killer. In ‘Friday the 13th: Part VII,’ Tina Shepard has telekinetic powers that accidentally killed her abusive father, causing her to grow up with deep remorse before Jason Voorhees goes on a murderous rampage. In ‘Child’s Play,’ Karen Barcley is a single mother struggling to provide for her child before being tormented by a killing doll. These people and many others have had to struggle in one way or another, which ends up with a disconnect from them and that rest of the cast where most of them get killed off. Their priorities are not solely based on the rest of the cast’s alternative goals, such as partying, drug usage, or an occasional hookup. Their backstories are mostly relatable to the audience, where they can empathize with them. When they finally get stalked by the killer in the major chase scene, where they put aside their trauma and act in a ‘fight or flight’ situation. They make smarter choices to either live or die, doing whatever it takes with every ounce of courage to take down the murderer and survive. In the LGBTQA+ community, there is a lot of adversity we face. Some have been abused, bullied, and ostracized at the least. When faced with difficulties, we dig deep within ourselves to accomplish a goal or to overcome troubles.

2.Character archetypes: Most slasher movies have a group of people that has different types of characters. These people are either promiscuous, funny, a particular minority, athletic, rebellious, or even a straight-up jerk. These people make foolish choices that eventually get them killed(i.e., hooking up, running up the stairs instead of a back door, going off alone, etc.). I find it very funny when the same people get in the same predicament that eventually gets them killed. I understand that this is a cliché, but hey…I am entertained! I will also add that I want books and movies to feature minorities that make it further than the first or second kill. I would be even more enthused if they were the final girl!

3.Masked killers with justifiable and unjustifiable motives: Billy Loomis, as Ghostface in ‘Scream,’ started killing because Sidney Prescott’s mother had an affair with his father, causing his family to break apart. Adam Carr, as Cupid in ‘Valentine,’ got revenge on the girls that rejected his nerdy self in middle school, causing him to be tortured at the school dance. Now, I’m not saying that situations like these are perfect grounds for killing people. However, since this is film entertainment…I get it. However, I saw a movie once where the killer invited all of his friends before graduating high school. They get killed one by one until it is revealed that he was the killer for the sole reason that he was number four on the waitlist to Harvard, and all of his friends were coincidentally numbers one thru three on the waitlist. He only killed to get into Harvard. Now that is a stupid reason to kill people if you ask me! In most cases in film, the killer is identified pretty quickly just by their demeanor or their lack of appearance throughout the film. As annoyed as my friends are when we watch these movies together, I am entertained by them being shocked by the reveal when they didn’t believe me initially.

“I told you so!”

4.The “adults are useless” cliché: Most movies involving a protagonist that who a teenager or young adult usually involves parents who don’t believe them. They even involve police officers that either show up late to the scene or prematurely misjudge a character. The parents in ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ didn’t believe in Nancy when she kept saying that a man with a burnt face and knives for fingers was stalking her and her friends in her dreams. They didn’t believe it was Freddy Krueger, even though they killed him themselves. I find it entertaining when both the police and parents play stupid to the shenanigans…like the main character would do this to themselves!

*shows a slash mark on his arm*

5.Sassy Satire: I know that I use ‘Scream’ as an example in many of my explanations…it is one of my favorite movies! Sorry, not sorry! But the sassy and meta-humor behind certain characters make me laugh, even in the midst of tragedy. ‘Scream 3’ included the real Gail Weathers and the movie version of her, just at each other’s throats at times. When Freddy Kruger kills off certain characters, he has witty one-liners before slashing them. It lightens the mood in times of terror. It would soften the blow for the squeamish viewers to add a little humor to the horror.

There you have it…only some of the reasons that I love the slasher genre! There are many more reasons why I love and respect it so much. I just wanted to give you all a taste of my…taste in horror. I could go all day with discussing more qualities that I enjoy. But I know you all have a life to live.

What do you like about the horror genre?

“What’s your favorite scary movie?”

Comment below!

Why did I choose to become a writer?

This question has resonated in my mind since I started writing my novel in July. What began as a “bucket list” task has turned into a transformation of my long-term goal. Ever since I was into horror movies, it was unbelievably rare to find a character that I could identify with. Slasher movies and books rarely include people from the LGBTQ+ community. If it did, they were showcased minimally or as a stereotype. Due to that, I could only identify with the final girl. What started as one idea for a novel has transformed into an idea for a series. My books will include issues within the community and everyday society that I, as an openly gay man, have experienced/witnessed that needs to be brought into the light. Some of these issues may make my readers feel uncomfortable, but in order for conversations to happen and change to occur, some eggs need to be cracked. Disruption is the key to change. My goal is to take the entertainment of cheesy 1980s and 1990s horror movies and mix it with LGBTQ+ issues to make it relatable for everyone. I may not make the money I hope for with my work or develop the success I’ve dreamed of, but what is important is to leave behind a legacy—a legacy of experiences that I want to share with the world that currently is hurting. My dream is to give hope to the kids that may not feel loved or welcome or appreciated and help them identify with the characters I create on the page as I write. Since I started my writing transition, I have received a vast amount of love and support from the writing and LGBTQA+ community. It is humbling and surreal to have this journey become so fulfilling!

On a lighter note, I also believe that gay people deserve to be killed off by a masked serial killer too! I’m an equal opportunity murder writer! 😂😂

Introduction

Hello!

My name is Brady Phoenix, and I am soon to become a self-published author! What began as a bucket list project back in the summer has sparked a passion for telling stories from my point of view. I started writing my debut novel in July 2020 and soon after came a dedication to publish my creative mind. As somebody who identifies as LGBTQA+, I have witnessed/experienced a heap of issues that most community members face. Taking those experiences and molding it with my love of classic horror movies, I intend on redefining the horror genre with characters within the community(I mean, everybody deserves to be chased down by a masked serial killer…right?). With this blog, I will share posts, including my writing journey and my deep love for the horror genre in writing and television. I also want to educate people who identify as both straight and LGBTQA+ with issues that we face daily.

I am excited to build a new family of supporters and readers that share the same passions as I do! Let’s put the gore back in gorgeous! Let’s sprinkle some glitter on a puddle of blood! And most importantly, let’s splash some pride into death!