Sincerity: It won’t kill you!

I just spent a lovely 45 minutes listening to this podcast episode:

579. Punk Rock Writing with Chuck Tingle | Smart Bitches, Trashy Books (

…while a) working on my Halloween costume, the first I’ve done since 2016 and something that has been making me happy lately*; and b) making a stack of crazy quilt squares that I don’t know what to do with yet. And c) drinking some hot beverages.

I don’t write erotica, not because I have anything against it, but because I’m not any good at it. (Same goes for horror!) But I have found Chuck Tingle incredibly inspiring for years. I’ve had a screenshot of a particular tweet saved on my phone for ages, meaning to literally embroider it and hang it on my wall by my writing desk. I am not kidding. (Part of it goes “put love at [the] center of what you make and it will bloom.” I love it so much. Sorry I corrected the typo. My brain won’t let me not do it.)

Anyway, I don’t write erotica, but I am terminally sincere. I cannot turn it off. I grew up in an age of ironic detachment (and spaghetti strap sheath dresses), trying to play along and failing miserably. And now that we’re in another age of ironic detachment, I refuse to engage. (you go ahead and spend your life worrying about being labeled “cringe” on social media; I’ll just do whatever the hell I want, thanks)

So what Dr. Tingle talks about in relation to art and sincerity and love really speaks to me. Hell, and the stuff about privacy. I get it. In short, I don’t enjoy it ironically. I don’t really do irony. Camp Damascus was heartbreaking and affirming and had so much heart.

Terminal sincerity is, to a lot of people, a character flaw. A lot of people don’t like being around it, and that’s their right. But it’s how I am. So every now and then, it’s nice to celebrate it for a change.

* Halloween costume: It’s a local in-joke specific to this year (CW: photos of insects). It’s been fun to try. We’ll see how it turns out. Do I have anywhere to wear this damn thing? No, of course not. Not the point! Doing it anyway! Because it’s fun!