why this book came to be
Each copy of A/TYPICAL LESBIAN LOVE STORY: Surviving a Pandemic + Middle-Child Shit comes signed, hand-numbered, and includes an artwork sticker from book.
The chapbook also comes with a letter to readers explaining my reasons for writing the book, which is copied and pasted below.
If my coming out helps even one person to live authentically, then any heartbreak I've experienced along this journey will have been worth it.
Writing and collage-making have been my salvation. For as long as I can remember, I’d disappear into pages: a diary with a glossy, creaky cover and twee lock and skeleton key, a composition notebook, a Moleskin, or anything I could find. And cutting, tearing, and assembling paper against paint, ink, and other mediums have given me relief—the tactile nature of working with these materials soothing me into meditative presence. These are the tools I use to cope. Writing and collage-making help me to make sense of the matters that burden my soul; they help me to release or reshape the pain of trauma, even if only temporarily.
Words on paper. Paper scraps arranged, adhered, and mixed: apparent trash, remixed. And when the paint and paste dry, images are left: some hideous enough to frighten an intruder away, a now-former friend once said; others unnervingly raw and spirit-rattling (a family member once said); certain ones beautiful or intriguing enough to adorn living room walls; and one crafted specifically for a book cover.
It is words on paper and scraps arranged that helped me survive the colliding events of 2020: the pandemic and being sick with the coronavirus, income loss due to the stoppage of sports, familial estrangement. Running parallel to the myriad layers of strife chiseling into deeper traumas was meeting my soulmate because of my writing, falling in love, and starting a new life together. I love us and the love and beauty we create and share every day. And while being accepted by her bloodline has been the most healing gift, the failure of mine to acknowledge, let alone embrace us, has been an expected sadness. It is a grief I tried to prevent by bludgeoning myself, lifelong, into a pulp that would fit the box they had picked out for me: a box I call a coffin.
A/typical Lesbian Love Story: Surviving a Pandemic + Middle-Child Shit is the product of a year of grappling with love in the time of pandemic, job loss, family estrangement, and a lifelong battle to belong.
by weathered layers beneath,
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A blog from Tamryn Spruill