Wednesday, January 10, 2018

#WIPpet Wednesday - Goth of Christmas Past - The Goth Thing #amwriting #lgbtqia

The Goth of Christmas Past

WIPpet numbers for 10th January, 2018:
10 sentences from Goth of Christmas Past

Sorry…again…to my fellow WIPpeteers for my tardiness. I had a spider-related mishap last Wednesday, so I’ve been, well, dopey, mostly. Antihistamines…ugh.

WIPpet Context:
I’m still snipping Goth of Christmas Past—this is another snippet of Jay. It falls a little after last week’s snippet, and I realised, while trying to select a suitable excerpt, that this story will need content warnings.

I think people who have read my work before know I don’t write about mental health and illness for shock value. I write about what I know from personal and professional experience, but I try to tell the stories that aren’t usually told.

There’s a kind of amusing anecdote that follows on from that. When I was working as a high school teacher, the headteacher at that time called me to her office and asked if I would be willing to mentor a group of Year Eleven pupils (age 15–16). I agreed without hesitation, even before she said, “They’ve excluded themselves, really, and I thought—” she glanced over my attire of black blazer, t-shirt, bootcut black pants and Doc Martens “—if anyone can connect with them, you can.”

Yep. She wanted me to build bridges with the ‘goths’—not because I was an awesomely cool teacher (which I was ;) ), but because…I was a ‘goth’.

Or a 'goff' as the pupils would have it.
“Miss, are you a goff or an emo?”

Except my gothness began here:

And their gothness leaned more towards emo (but what do the powers-that-be know?) and was somewhere around here:

Anyway, that was the best part of being a teacher—supporting/guiding students who’d already been labelled as trouble or misfits or…emos. *sigh* Whatever the label, the system had no idea what to do with them beyond acknowledging that many of them were facing some major emotional challenges.

The content warning, then, is for reference to self-harm. There are no graphic details. I’ll issue the full set of warnings in the blurb when I release the book.

Here’s the blurb for further context:
Black hair and band hoodies had a lot to answer for.

That day, eleven years ago, when Gothboy mooched into their business studies class for the very first time, Krissi had taken one look at him and thought, What a freak. He’s so cool!

Now in their mid-twenties, Krissi Johansson and Jay Meyer are successful businesspeople and still best friends. But while one of them is moving forward with their life, the other is sliding ever backwards…revisiting the past and wallowing in regret.

Worse still, it’s Christmas—happy joy joy everywhere! Yay. >.<
* * * * *
And here’s the snippet:
It was better than it used to be. He was better. Not fixed—he didn’t think he ever would be—but since he’d opened Black Hole, he’d felt less at odds with the world. His dad, eventually, when they started speaking again, told him he was proud of how Jay had coped, although he hadn’t coped at first, because it was a sh*tload of money. But becoming a millionaire overnight didn’t make him feel any more of a freak than he was already.

‘The goth thing’ wasn’t just a fashion statement for him; it was a state of mind, a way of life, his identity. Like Krissi, a lot of those people who’d mocked him at school had gone through a ‘goth’ phase, which was hilarious and ironic—trendy kids kicking off when their school banned military drummer jackets—the establishment is crushing our right to self-expression. Yeah, not really. They were trying to stop kids cutting themselves because it was ‘cool’. They had no idea.
* * * * *

What is WIPpet Wednesday?
WIPpet Wednesday is a blog hop where authors share from their current works in progress - expertly organised/hosted by Emily Wrayburn - and the excerpt has to relate to the date in some way. For links to other fabulous authors' WIPpets, visit:

Thanks for reading
Deb x


  1. Love this snippet. There's so much I want to say, but I'd be rambling and not a lot of it is really meant for public anyway. I'll leave it at saying I like Jay a lot.

    You might not need a warning if you're not showing anything on-page and it's only mentions that he has a history.

    1. There won't be anything on-page, but if you wouldn't mind casting an eye over (at least) some of the sections I'm thinking might need some kind of warning, that would be fab.

      Feel free to rambled at me in not-public. ;)

  2. Yeah, I was that teacher the goths drifted toward. When I was teaching on the collegiate level, I made no bones about being an aging head-banger and a witch, meaning they thought I got it (which I pretty much did). When I taught middle school (6th-8th grade, a very hard age) I the cutters and goths/emos came to me because I could, at least on some level, understand, often when their parents were freaking out. Part of it comes from simply being me, the rest from being the parent of a severely mentally ill child. (she's grown now, and not part of my life by her own choice) I kinda know my way around that sorta brain, but surely not from a professional perspective. I'll have to share my Youtube writing playlist with you at some point. You'll see a US Southern Appalachian witch, mother, goth-ish woman with a dark sense of humor and an undying love of European Folk Metal and most any song containing a good story.

    1. Oh my word! Yes, you MUST share that YouTube list (please). Thank goodness those students had you to turn to.

  3. I... I don't know if there's anything I can say. Probably too much. And not enough... and definitely not sure I could make it make sense right now. But I really liked this snippet. Relate-able.

  4. I'm a retired teacher and pretty much could relate to nearly all of my students because I was so much an outsider growing up. So, yes, I've worked with students on the edge, but this snippet shows so much insight into the 'goth' culture, I just felt drawn right in, without really understanding all that was going on. Really a fine snippet, and I'm looking forward to reading more.