Search This Blog


Thursday, June 4, 2020

I Write LGBTQ+ Stories With Happy Endings And Here's Why

Hello readers, it's been a while. If you're reading my blog for the first time hello nice to meet you I'm' Just Jane. I blog sometimes. In honor of Pride Month, I want to talk about LGBTQ+ fiction and why it is personally important to me to allow happy endings to exist. 

I recently stumbled upon this quote that verbalizes exactly how I feel

"The questioning kid reads novels with LGBTQ+ themes because they want to see the possibility of a fulfilling life on the other side of the closet, not to feel more isolated or ashamed." 

This is exactly how I felt after coming out as bisexual and genderfluid. I wanted to experience a queer version of the hallmark nonsense that I had lived my life surrounded by. I wanted to see cinematic award-winning masterpieces where the love interests were not just two white cis heterosexuals in the rain. But at the time I felt like I had to look really hard just to get a glimpse of any of that. Most of the queer novels at my library that wasn't by David Levithan was primarily focused on the sad stuff. The part where the main character gets yelled at by their parents for not fitting their agenda. The part where the love interest we spent so many pages fawning over says something hurtful and homophobic and walks away. The part where the character questions if happiness for them is even remotely possible in a heteronormative world. The part I could relate to the most because it was the reality I didn't want but had. 

Where was the fairy tale magic of two princes or princesses? Where was the first kiss between someone non-binary and someone out, proud, and loud? Where was the story of a girl who came out and wasn't kicked to the curb by a religious mother? Also, where were the stories where the token queer character wasn't killed off? 

Outside of David Levithan's books, I felt like those stories were nowhere to be found. (Note: this was before I began connecting with writers on social media and had access to online book shopping) Years later I attended a Queer Author's panel at GeekGirlCon and the authors explained that there is so little queer media that "happily ever after" is deemed unrealistic. My thoughts were finally verbalized. 

I read the reviews for Boy Meets Boy, ( the first book to ever make me cry) and half of the reviewers felt that the LGBTQ+ Accepting town didn't feel realistic enough. One person argued that gay teens would feel worse about themselves in real life because they get bullied. Another person was also very much annoyed that the teen characters were dancing in the self-help section of the book store because that's not a place for dancing. But we give the Notebook a pass because it's fiction? We glorify the romance between a vampire and a human without blinking but draw the line at a universe where the homecoming queen is also the star quarterback? It's FICTION.

I wrote a short lesbian film as an assignment for my screenwriting class where the majority were straight men and the feedback was that the characters getting together at the end, felt "too easy". (Note: I had to work within the boundary six pages) My thoughts circled back to what was said at the queer author's panel. For whatever reason, the Gay Happy Ending is not a social norm. But it's not always going to be that way. I'm not saying that queer fiction is legally obligated to have a happy ending. I'm just saying we need to stop talking about it as though we're entitled autobiographical realism and we need to allow room for a rainbow-colored happily ever after. 

So I decided I'm going to write those stories that I didn't get to read growing up. I want the next generation to see that there isn't just one version of happily ever after.

I would also like to point out much has changed since I was a teen and there is more queer fiction out there that includes happily ever after and there are amazing films such as The Half of It that I wish existed earlier. But we need to keep the conversation going. We need to continue telling these stories.
-Just Jane 

"I think maybe she could be my girlfriend. I don't want to be her girlfriend, though. But there's this part of me that totally knows I could be her boyfriend. I don't want her to think of me as a boy, or a boy substitute, though. I want to be a boyfriend who is a girl. I have no idea how to explain that stuff to anyone, let alone a girl I like. I just wish it was already all understood."
-M-E Girard, Girl Mans Up

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Back in Action and My Thoughts on Instagram Removing Likes

Hello readers it's been a while. These past four months I have invested in three different hobbies, worked on five short films, performed stand-up comedy, and purchased yet another bullet journal. Ah, bullet journaling the only consistent hobby. 

Jumping back and forth between hobbies has always been the definition of my life style. Now that I'm older I'm able to understand the meaning of committing to a hobby, understanding the impact on my already suffering bank account and the marketability of the final product. 

First, I tried painting squishies. I was inspired by Youtuber Mariah Elizabeth and her series called "Squishy Makeovers". My end goal is to learn to professionally paint them and make enough to sell as a vendor. I've considered opening an Etsy but I will have to conduct more research before going forward with the idea. I also plan on making homemade squishies and painting them accordingly to pride flags for Pride 2020.   
Peachful Squishies Coming Soon
Working with fabric paint for hours on end inspired me to pursue acrylic painting. I stumbled across this tiny canvas at Walmart and said to myself "I should start small". I've always been interested in creating sellable works of art on canvas but never actually quenched my creative thirst for painting until now. My end goal is to work with fluorescent paints on canvas like CriscoArt. Maybe even set up an entire gallery of just tiny paintings. The possibilities are endless. 

The last hobby I tried to pursue was nail art. And by that I mean I attempted a water marble design once again. I don't have any impressive pictures to show for it but I have firm belief that I've improved somewhat. 

Massive support on social media and through family and friends has helped pushed me to continue pursuing art and trying new mediums. By following solely artists and cute animal accounts I have felt surges of inspiration and positivity. There have been times when I've seen phenomenal digital art and felt discouraged because mine is subpar. I have also fallen into the trap of becoming obsessed with monitoring likes but at the end of the day that's just the marketer in me screaming. This brings me to the topic from the title. Instagram has recently hidden the number of likes from the general public. Essentially I can see the number of likes on something I post but the general public can't see said number. 

"We hope this test will remove the pressure of how many likes a post will receive, so you can focus on sharing the things you love," Mia Garlick, Facebook Australia and New Zealand director of policy, said in a statement.

In the article BBC also reported this would not affect business tools. Again, the likes are visible to your own posts so I don't feel this would impact my businesses. The point of Instagram doing this was to stop people from linking validation to a number on a screen. Especially younger teens. 
How do I feel about this? I care enough to tell the world about its benefits but not enough that my personal life has changed in the slightest. I watched Youtuber Atozy react to a video of an "Instagram Model" hysterically flipping out because of this. It was ridiculous but a prime example of how toxic the obsession over likes can be. There is a fine line between monitoring likes for your business and your life revolving around likes. The same principles apply to other social media sites but Instagram has evolved from a collection of meal photos to providing conventionally beautiful people with billions of dollars for posts and setting a beauty standard. 

I could write an entire novel about how the media corrupts female self-esteem. Anyway, my original point was; I think it's great that Instagram is recognizing this issue and taking a step to attempt to fix it. However I firmly believe there is still a long, long, long way to go in order to undo the damage on teen self-esteem inflicted by the media. 


"Your relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have."
-Robert Holden 

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Hello March!

Hello readers I'm back. I've been sick the past few days with what my class calls "the plague". While I was out and under the influence of NyQuil I binge watched the modern version of One Day at a Time and finally saw the Silver Linings Playbook. As usual I cried heavily out of empathy and felt motivated to live my best life for a few days. 

When I found out I was already five days into March I began to panic. I thought by mid-February I would be so much further ahead of my own schedule. I thought I would be 200% ready for my book launch, finished with all my cosplay work for Sakuracon, post videos and vlogs weekly, I expected so much. But alas I forget at the end of the day I'm a single human with the ambition to stretch myself too thin. 

For now I leave you with some advice. Always take care of yourself and find someone that loves you as much as I love friend chicken.


"I am trying to be kind instead of right."
-Matthew Quick, The Silver Linings Playbook 

Saturday, February 23, 2019

On Choosing to be Single

Drew, Ciycay, Cami, and Hugh. To quote Nabokav "It was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever ever sight." But like, I'm so f***'n tired. 

Hello readers, it's me and my deep thoughts once again. I genuinely hope at least one person on this planet benefits from the life lessons ingrained in these posts. A few days ago while I was indulged in the peace of drawing I thought to myself "What if I just intentionally stayed single until 2020?" I slept on the idea, dreamt of Hugh, and put the idea in the back of my mind for a while. Today I spoke the idea into existence and vented to a close friend.

"I spend so much of my time and energy reaching out to a Love interest, anticipating their response, memorizing their favorite things so I can make gifts later, dressing to impress them, doing everything I can to go above and beyond to prove how much I care and that I would take a bullet for them, desperately holding on to the hope that things will somehow magically work out. I could be using that time and energy to further my career, heal myself because I'm clearly not over 1-13, and focus on my friendships that I've been neglecting cuz you know me I disappear into the Jane world and do my hundreds of hobbies." 

I've come to the realization that relationships thus far and the way I've gone about them have been a double edged sword. On one end Love inspires me in every way imaginable. My art becomes more vibrant and feels alive, my singing voice is louder and I have someone to serenade and write melodies for, and I go to bed highly anticipating the next day. But on the other end of the sword I have this god awful habit of having expectations and when they're not met I'm prone to spiraling into a depressive state. I don't take rejection well and it's not healthy. I settle for far less than I deserve and cling to the past and I get over relationships by starting new ones. In the end I find myself experiencing varying degrees of sadness. At the end of the day what I really need is a dog, a therapist, and to learn to give to myself before I can go beyond plus ultra to woo someone else. 

I have shifted my thinking. Instead of looking at a cool place or planning a cool date idea and making a note to take a significant other there I'll make a note to take friends on that adventure or get the band together instead. Instead of hoping to experience cinematic romance I will hope to spark new friendships and live out memorable moments that I won't associate with an S.O. My world doesn't need to revolve around Love anymore. I'm sick and tired of being the girl that always has someone. That always chases someone. I'm starting to hate how much I relate to Janie from Their Eyes Were Watching God. 2019 will not be about my love life. I will not set #relationshipgoals. I'm going to finally heal from it all, marry my work, and overall be happier. When I do meet my next S.O. I will be financially stable, emotionally stable, have put myself out there, and my skin will be in significantly better condition. Good god. I will be a much healthier version of Just Jane. 

Morale of the story; Love yourself first.


"The capacity to be alone is the capacity to love. It may look paradoxical to you, but it's not. It is an existential truth: only those people who are capable of being alone are capable of love, of sharing, of going into the deepest core of another person-without possessing the other, without becoming dependent on the other, without reducing the other to a thing, and without becoming addicted to the other. They allow the other absolute freedom, because they know that if the other leaves, they will be as happy as they are now. Their happiness cannot be taken by the other because it is not given by the other."

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

How The Growth Mindset Has Changed My Life For The Better

Hello again readers. As per usual it's been a while. Several weeks ago I was introduced to the idea of the growth mindset. A guest speaker came to my school, he had previously worked for Microsoft and during his long shpeal he mentioned the growth mindset. What I gathered from my quickly scribble for notes a few days later was

 Fail and fail until you succeed. Mistakes are our teachers. The faster I fail the faster I succeed.

The biggest reason this resonated with me was because my fear of failure has held me back for as long as I can remember. At the same time when I was a child I wasn't nearly as afraid to fail and I was so much happier and my horizons were exponentially expanding.

The past week I finally figured out how to apply this mindset to my everyday life. I've been working on cosplay day in and day out and have made more mistakes than I can count. I saw each mistake as a teaching moment and bare in mind that at any given time I can always remake an entire cosplay and by the time I remake it I'll have more experience, knowledge of better materials, or a more polished pattern. I made every possible mistake one could make on my basic sailor Pluto cosplay. Choosing material that's too slippery to work with, cutting the skirt wrong, making the 2nd attempt at the skirt way too short and uneven with an ugly hemline, cutting the V too deep, making the collar uneven and too short, butchering the sleeve holes, messing up the bow 4 different times, it was an absolute mess and I enjoyed almost every minute of it because it was a practice round and after I stock up on paychecks the next attempt at a sailor Pluto cosplay will looks stellar!

When you eliminate the fear of failure it's much easier to move forward and do what you love. I feel more motivated and discouragement is far from my mind. This has made it much easier to get back to my works in progress and put more of my art out there. Once in a blue moon I take a moment to reflect on how far I've come and anticipate how much further I can go. 


"Great works are performed, not by strength, but by perseverance."
-Samuel Johnson 

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Hello Yet Another Rocky Start

Hello readers, as usual it's been a while. In an ideal world I would've written a post wrapping up January, reflected on the first month into the new year, and set my goals for February. Instead I was swept away but a rushing current and thrust through a whirlwind of wtf is my life moments. These past few weeks I collaborated with professional actors on a short film project for school, got laid off, spent four days with cats, got tricked on camera, and seized the opportunity to perform standup comedy. Also, bulletjournaling has been wonderful. I still highly recommend it. 

Working with professional actors for an overnight shoot has been nothing short of magnificent and I can't thank my crew enough for the work that was put in. The night before the shoot I was going over the storyboard with my bro Michal. I gasped, turned to him, and said "Ohmygod. I wrote this script."

He was confused as to why I was surprised and said "Yeah, you did. And now it's coming to life. Right before our very eyes." 

The next day we were about a quarter mile away from the campsite and I gasped and said "Ohmygod. This is actually happening." And Michal was in an equal state of disbelief. The actors asked me what my inspiration was for the story and I replied with raw and unfiltered honesty about how much I genuinely didn't think my script would get picked and it was just a first attempt at writing horror and stepping out of my comfort zone. All in all I'm happy with the results thus far and will post the final edit on my website and youtube channel soon. 

Weeks later I helped Michal with a short film project. He originally pitched the idea that he would take me to a store that was pink, fluffy, cute, and full of stuffed animals. He also asked my opinion on pink dogs which lead me to believe there would somehow be a cute dog somewhere in the video. Plot twist Michal remade the red/blue pill scene from the matrix but replaced the pills with vibrators. Once I figured out what they were I found this to be absolutely hilarious but for the next two weeks I reminded him on a regular basis how disappointed I was that there was no cute dog. Fortunately I spent four days with a nearly full grown newfoundland dog and several fluffy cats so that made up for it. 

Just when I thought this was the peak of my best life I got laid off and to be completely honest I don't know how to process it. I seldom ever get angry but the moment it happened I was more livid than I had ever been in my life. *Insert Adam Sandler's Somebody Kill Me Please song here* However because of this I am now well versed in understanding contracts, motivated to invest time and effort into a Patreon account, and free to pursue a career that I'm more passionate about. 

In the first paragraph I mentioned the opportunity to pursue standup comedy. There was some miscommunication and one of my friends thought I meant standup comedy when I said I did comic art. He gave me the opportunity to perform live standup at his cafĂ©. Instead of correcting him and saying "oh, no I've never done standup because I have stage fright, I meant I draw comic art." I said "Yeah, I could put something together. Sign me up!" I've been wanting to give standup comedy a try since 2018 so I figured let's see what happens. 


"Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently."
-Henry Ford 

Monday, January 21, 2019

Art, Writing, and Overall Mental Health Update

Hello readers it's been a while. A long while to be exact. If you're closely following me on social media you'll notice I won't post anything for a few weeks on end and then all of a sudden post a bunch of content all at once. It happens and I'll work to have a consistent schedule. Anyway these last few days I have been pursuing my passions in waves and becoming aware that art and productivity are an escape for me. Kind of like how drugs are a form of escapism. It's funny I say that as I slowly become more and more addicted to alcohol markers. 

What I mean by waves is I'll focus on one out of three different kinds of WIPs and vigorously work on it for days on end. A few weeks ago I was vigorously writing the J. and S. Adventures and then the past few days I've done absolutely nothing but draw concepts for my graphic novel project Momoka: The Pink Ninja. In the beginning of January I spent days doing nothing but practicing sewing and designing cosplays. My productivity comes and goes. 

Bulletjournaling has helped me realize the rapid fluctuations of my physical health. When I'm focused on a WIP and dive head first into escapism I eat two meals as opposed to three and the meals I do eat are either strange or just the same meal twice. This afternoon I had nachos and green tea. I've also skipped working out for several weeks. I'm struggling to balance maintaining my physical health with WIP productivity but I'm significantly happier. When my physical health was perfectly in check I was still weighed down by sadness.I stopped doing the annual happy jar because my 2018 jar was filled with memories of Ciycay and the romantic era with Hugh. I'm at a point where being reminded of the rose-colored romantic times still physically hurts and that's made drawing and writing romance excruciatingly difficult. Today however I was finally able to draw romantic scenes and write infatuation without being overwhelmed by numbness. 

Comic art, for me at least, is the ultimate escape from it all and I think that's why past Jane created so many self-inserts. Art has been both a coping mechanism and a passion all these years. In a way it's a form of healing. Same with writing. 

On the topic of writing I can proudly announce that I will indeed be releasing chapters of my manga Momoka: The Pink Ninja this year. Most likely in the summer. I've never formatted a comic for Webtoon before so that will be a new experience.


"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up."
-Pablo Picasso