C E Hoffman

May I Live On In Love and Literature

Category: Writing

My Brain in 30 Secs {Stuff About Mood Swings}

Happy happy sunstroke 

high on sunlight brain explodes 

Happy happy drunk poet 

I’ll be famous when you’re all dead!!!!!!

(flashes, 

my sweet head.) 

-Liquid Moments Pt. 1 from Blood, Booze and Other Things in Nature (Buy it now!)

So, I have mood swings. 

Mood cycles, more accurately, which I experience as altered states. There are extreme highs and bitter lows, changes in energy level, cognitive function, lucidity and irritability, which, though often helpful to my creativity, are also detrimental to my enjoyment of and participation with life.

I crave consistency. Steady income, permanent address, a relationship I know will last. Perhaps I strive for such an even keel because I lack one internally. I am learning to ride my waves, but that doesn’t make them less exhausting. 

I’ve had mental health struggles for most of my life. As early as six I was plagued with extreme anxiety and bouts of insomnia. At thirteen I was compulsively self-harming, struggling with an eating disorder, and tried to end my life, resulting in psychiatric hospitalization.

Currently, the closest I have to a diagnosis is an assessment of probable Bipolar-2 with C-PTSD and BPD tendencies. (Quite a mouthful of alphabet soup.) It would take years working with a psychiatrist to be properly diagnosed. For now, I have to cope. 

Art is my antidote.

Jonathan Larson once said something like, 

“It’s not that I don’t share my emotions. I just tell them through songs.” 

My internal world often feels too intense to share with a family member, partner, or friend one-on-one.

Within Art, I feel safe to be myself.

Everywhere else, I turn my volume low.

Nobody wants a roller coaster in their living room. 

I did my best to compress my moods in a 30-second reel. You could almost call it a book trailer for Blood, Booze, and Other Things in Nature, which explores highs, lows, sexual misadventures, drunken escapades, and above all, my determination to act better than what I feel.

Doctors used to tell me, “Make it to twenty-one, and you’ll be okay.” 

I’m almost thirty.

It hasn’t gone away. 

And I’m done hoping that it will.

I will not let it stop me from doing all I’m meant to do. I truly believe our curses can become superpowers, and if you’re struggling too, please know that I believe in you.

There’s a reason we’re still here. 

Maybe I can’t get off this roller coaster. Maybe the peaks and valleys will never level out. Whether they do or not, I am already coping so much better than I ever thought I could. And, if you think about it, I bet you are too. 

Stay Creative. 

It’ll safe your life. 

C

PS Buy Blood, Booze, and Other Things in Nature here.

Dear Danuta Gleed {Stuff About Success}

We get obsessed with struggle- especially artists. Struggle feels like part of our identity. We struggle to create- our art, and a living. 

When did we equate struggle with effort? 

There’s an effort that is joyful, exuberant, easy. Like darling Lesley says in Ted Lasso, 

“When you’re with the right person, even the hard times are easy.” 

For me, that “person” is my purpose, my passion, my vision for my life, my art, and my world. 

I believe I am worthy of a life beyond struggle. But that doesn’t mean all the struggle will disappear.

We get obsessed with success- especially on social media. Success is a peak, but according to algorithms, it’s the only thing worth writing about. 

When did we lose reverence for the valleys? 

The Danuta Gleed Literary Award exists thanks to a generous donation from the late Danuta’s husband. It was one of the few awards Sluts and Whores was eligible for, and the only one whose deadline I didn’t miss. 

An award like this can launch a career. 

I didn’t even make the shortlist. 

What do we do when our dreams fail us? Or when we feel rejected by a world we so long to be a part of? 

We have two choices: give up, or keep going. 

Not too long ago, I fell in love with a man, and he helped me fall in love with country music. 

This doesn’t embarrass me. (For an explanation, see my other music loves, including but not limited to emo and musicals. My Spotify is a cringe fest!)

I love country because it has a song for every moment: the goods, the bads, the highs, the lows, the maybes, the nos. 

The country song for this moment: Doin’ This by Luke Combs

For those who refuse to click the link (fair enough), I’ll elaborate: 

In the song, an interviewer asks the singer, 

“What would you be doing if you weren’t doing this?” 

His response: 

“I’d still be doing this.”- with or without success.

He goes on to describe a life “feeling on fire on a stage”, no matter its size. 

“It ain’t about the fame.
It ain’t about the fortune.”

It’s about following the call of your soul. 

Full disclosure: I wrote most of this post well before knowing the results for the Danuta Gleed shortlist. Up til this morning, I was still hoping for that glorious email that said, “Yes.”

As much as this hurts, it doesn’t make a difference. It doesn’t change what I’m here to do. 

I’m doing what I love. 

That’s the only worthwhile reason to do anything. 

If you lead with love, you’ll make mistakes, but do no wrong. You’ll fail, but you’ll thrive. Material success will be revealed for what it is: a bonus. 

I do not mean to diminish the financial struggle artists face. I have explored and sometimes suffered some of the “lowest” jobs you could think of. I have literally shovelled shit. I have disinfected menus and toilets. I’ve broken down from a glance at my bank account, panicked at credit card statements, and, as it seems, will continue to do so. 

My closest experience to financial stability was via sex work, which both increased and crushed my confidence. Why was that service my sole financial validation? Why didn’t my art hold the same value? 

Capitalism is far from a meritocracy. There are too many struggling who supply indescribable value to world- whether through their art, or their presence as human beings. People have to ride the luck of the market to subsist. Artists shouldn’t rely on grants and awards, as grateful as I am for their existence. 

Art is not a product. People are not brands. Life cannot be reduced to Likes and trends. 

I am proud supporter of UBI, and hope to see it arrive as soon as possible. I’d love to receive universal basic income now, but would be just as happy to see UBI enacted after I’ve achieved financial independence. 

For some, $10 000 is a boost; for others, a shopping spree. 

For me (and most artists), it would be life-changing. 

True happiness is having the power to love life no matter what happens. 

To give, no matter what you have. 

I promise I will keep giving, because it is all I can do. The world gives us so much: inspiration, beauty, struggle, surrender. 

I am overwhelmed with gratitude. For all I have, all I receive, and all I can give. 

I only want to receive so that I can live well, and give more.

Keep an eye out for exciting changes soon. 

Stay Creative! 

PS Right now, 25% of Sluts and Whores ebook and paperback sales will go to Doctors Without Borders to provide humanitarian aid to the Ukraine. Buy it now

Chapbook Release: Blood, Booze, and Other Things in Nature

What’s it like being the only guy in your pre-natal yoga class?

What do you do when your wedding toast becomes spoken word?

Which alcohol mixes best with C-PTSD?

Now, you can find out.

Buy from Amazon here.

(Available from Lulu soon!)

And, in case you missed it, check out the cover reveal:

Stay Creative!

C💕

Sluts and Whores Fundraiser Sale

Super excited about this!

For a limited time, 25% of Sluts and Whores sales profits (through any retailer, except used book stores) will go to Doctors Without Borders to support humanitarian aid in the Ukraine!

Show your support!

Buy on Amazon.

Buy on Indigo.

Buy from Barnes & Noble.

Buy from my publisher’s website.

Long live Ukraine!

C💕

Cover Reveal: Blood, Booze, and Other Things in Nature

It’s here!

Been waiting to find out what the new cover looks like?

Wait no longer!

Watch below.

And remember to Subscribe!

Keep an eye out for Blood, Booze, and Other Things in Nature May 15!

Stay Creative!

C💕

Podcast: The Writing Sparrow

Had a lovely time with the amazing Sarina Langer on her delightful podcast The Writing Sparrow.

We discuss #OwnVoices, Jungian theory, and enough abstractions to make my heart sing!

Listen below, on Spotify, or anywhere else you get your podcast fix!

Worldbuilding with Bekah Berge The Writing Sparrow

Sparrows, we're finally discussing one of my favourite subjects this week! Bekah Berge stopped by to talk about *drumroll* worldbuilding! We specifically discuss things like maps in fantasy novels (how much do you need to include?), magic systems, the flora and fauna of your world, worldbuilding in epic fantasy and in urban fantasy genres, series bibles, and all that fun stuff.Prepare a notebook and a pen and get ready to take notes, because we had a blast talking about this!***Come join The Writing Sparrow on its very own Facebook fan page or its very own Instagram account!To find out more about Bekah, check out her Instagram and her website.Find out more about Sarina and her books on her website, and find her on Instagram and on Facebook.Support the show
  1. Worldbuilding with Bekah Berge
  2. How to Market Your Book with Chloe Hodge
  3. How to Write About Sensitive Subjects with C E Hoffman
  4. Writing Routines: Kirsten McNeill
  5. Holding One Another Accountable – Sarina's April-June 2022 Goals

Stay Creative!

C💕

Chapbook Announcement: Blood, Booze, and Other Things in Nature

I’m delighted to announce that Alien Buddha Press has offered to publish my poetry chapbook Blood, Booze, and Other Things in Nature.

Inspired by slam poetry, punk, and The Beats, this collection tenderly and irreverently explores mental illness, sexuality, the nights we’ll always remember, and the ones we wish we could forget. 

Release date: May 15 2022.

Stay tuned for a cover reveal!


As always, Stay Creative.

C💕

Interview: To Tony Productions

Thank you to Daniel Hess for this great interview in his Better Know An Author Series!

“Writing is as natural a reflex as breathing- and equally enjoyable.”

Read the full interview here, and follow Daniel on Twitter!


Stay Creative!


C💕

GTFO: Film Festival Updates

Creating GTFO was an incredible journey, and submitting to film festivals has been equally enriching!

To date, GTFO has been officially selected for 5 film festivals:

Symbiotic Film Festival

Lift-Off Global Network First-Time Filmmaker Sessions

Iconic Images Film Festival

Multi Dimension Independent Film Festival

Cult Movies International Film Festival

GTFO was selected as Semi-Finalist, a Finalist, and has now WON an award for Best Short First Time Filmmaker from Cult Movies International Film Festival!!!!

What a ride it’s been:

FilmFreeway has alleviated all the stress of this process; I’d recommend it to any budding filmmaker!

Thanks so much to the Cult Movies International Film Festival and all others for lifting up this #OwnVoices short film. You are proving that sex workers deserve a space in this world where they are validated and humanized. Thank you.

Stay creative!

C💕

Publication: Moonburn in Filth Magazine

Delighted to have my latest work published in Filth Magazine!

“I lick galaxies off my lips.”

Read Moonburn now!

Stay Creative!

C 💕