“This note is for you.”

Five years ago, I started writing a story. I called it space lesbians. It was not a very good story. Four years ago, I wrote the final line I would ever write about that world. I had finished my story a few months before. I tried, over and over, to write more— more chapters, more stories, more expansions, but nothing came. There is an unfinished draft for a gritty, dark, murderous and suicidal sequel about Alice. There is an unfinished draft for a mythical tale about Schell’s origins. There is a lot of awful fanfiction that I inserted the characters of my world into. Try as I might, nothing ever stuck. I had to leave them behind.

The thing about writing is that, no matter how small or silly or inconsequential a piece is, there’s a little bit of you in there. Every time someone reads the words I’ve written, from bitter teenage poetry to cringe-worthy fanfiction to old diaries, there I am. Here I am. Hi.

So, with that said, this final commentary isn’t actually about this story. It’s about the first one I ever wrote.

No, not the first draft of this one. Further, further, back into my 2016 notes app on my dirty little iPad. We’re going to read this one together, in all of its unedited glory.

Burning mind: the diary of Lily Rein, Chapter 1: it's happening again

yes, that really is the title.

September 15, 2000.

Dear diary,

It's happening again. He had brown hair, blue eyes, light skin. But then... I forget again. The doctors are no good. They all say the same thing: "I'm sorry, but if your not able to pay, I cannot treat Lily." But that's just not fair.

I usually remember when I'm dreaming, like the dream about the burning house. My dreams are always bad. But... there's always one man in them. He is the one I remember most. I think I know his name this time.. it starts with a t, i think.

Oh, miss Lavender is taking me to the therapist now. I have to go.


Lily sat on her bed. She didn't feel like getting up and going to see a therapist, but she had to. Although she would not admit it, going to therapy did help.

Lily began day dreaming about what her old home might've been like when she heard a knock at the door. "Lily!" She heard dr. Lavender say. Dr. Lavender was quite a poor woman, but she did know a few things about physiology. Of course she was not a doctor, and all of the doctors in the town would not help Lily with her memory for free.

Dr. Lavender called her name again, and she opened the door. "Hello Miss." Lily said, brushing the hair off of her face. "Sweetie, it's just lavender! I'm your friend! Now come on, or we'll be late." Dr. Lavender said as she walked down the stairs to put on her coat and shoes. Sometimes Lily would be annoyed with Dr. Lavender and all of the therapy and tests, but she knew it was what is best for her, so she never complained. Lily was in a fire as a 10 year old, and was traumatized by it. All of her family members died, and she lost quite a bit of her memory.

After Lily put on her shoes, they were on they're way. The therapist was far away, and they had no car, so they either walked or took a taxi. Now, Dr. Lavender was a little while from being payed, so to save money they walked. While they walked, Lily told Dr. Lavender about her dream.

In her dream, Lily was in her old home. It was a beautiful house, Filled with paintings and decorations that a wealthy family would own. Lily was having a family reunion, it seemed. Lily's mother asked her to go outside and give the dog his food, and while she was outside, one of her uncles set fire to the house. Lily ran inside, and looked for her family. The last thing she saw before she woke up was her mothers corpse.

"Oh my.." whispered Dr. Lavender, who was very surprised by Lily's dream. But then, Dr. Lavender realized something. "your uncle set fire to the house, correct?" Dr. Lavender asked curiously. "Yes." Lily said, completely oblivious to why Dr. Lavender wanted to know this. "Lily..." dr. Lavender said. "Your remembering!"

I wrote four more chapters of Burning Mind, one of which is long gone. They live in my notes app. That’s where they belong. They are all equally as bad, if not worse. In chapter three, Lily starts taking medication and goes murder crazy. In four, she runs away with her ‘brown haired, blue eyed, light skinned’ uncle. In chapter five some crazy old guy tries to dissect her. What I’m trying to say is that burning mind was horrid, and I was a bad writer.

Truthfully, I’m still not a great writer. I’m terrible with dialogue tags, I have trouble melding action and speaking sections, and I’m also seventeen. You’re not supposed to be good at seventeen. You’re still figuring everything out. I know that now, but ten year old me did not. So;


You suck at so many things. Most things. Who fucking cares? That’s how being ten works, and also how the rest of life works too. Chill out. You’re transgender. I love you.


The moral of this story is to keep making things. Please. Even if they’re burning minds or space lesbians or terrible terrible fanfictions. Someday you’ll start making juice terminals and slightly better fanfictions, and even further than that you’ll probably get even better. How would I know? I’m not there yet.