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In the next couple of weeks, the Everest climbing season will culminate in mass summit bids to the top. Climbers and trekkers from around the world have headed to Nepal to make their pipe dreams a reality. Maybe now is the time to start spilling my guts about my own experience to Everest Base Camp (EBC).

Situated alongside the Khumbu Glacier, Everest Base Camp is the staging area for all summit bids on the South side of Everest. It is by far the more popular side to climb as it’s considered easier climbing than the North and less of a hassle than the Tibetan side (at least that’s my impression). I had always wanted to see the tallest mountain on Earth and experience a tiny bit of the journey to the top of the world.

Let’s back up for a minute.

The impetus for my Everest trip came a year before I embarked on the journey. In October of 2015, a friend’s 18-year-old daughter died in a terrible accident and in the face of such a tragedy, I couldn’t help but think about what my hopes and dreams were when I was 18 years old. The first thing that came to my mind was Everest. I’d read Into Thin Air in 1997 and had been fascinated by the pull of Everest. People know they can die trying to climb this mountain, but they do it anyway.

Although the book might have been enough to make most people shake their heads and go about their business, I was enthralled by Nepal and Everest.  What was the allure of Everest? I wanted to find out. My 18-year-old self resolved to go see Everest one day. As I set in the chapel so many years later, I wondered where that “one day” had gone and I decided right there I’d make this trek happen.

In addition to this, I’d also been reading about the devastating effects of the Nepal earthquake in April 2015. Nepal depends on the tourism industry and tourists weren’t flocking to Nepal. The country was hurting. The rebuilding effort was slow or nonexistent. Months after the earthquake, some places looked as though the earthquake had just happened. It was a good time to go to Nepal.

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But, really, it’s all about me.

For all of that, there’s no denying I went to Nepal for selfish reasons. EBC for me was about setting my sights on attempting a goal that seemed unattainable in so many ways because it’s the right thing to do for my explorer spirit. I long to be challenged in ways I simply can’t be while at home in my own little world. I feel such an immense sense of freedom outdoors when I’m hiking and exploring and I wanted to take that to the nth degree…no matter the result. I was going to go as high as I could go. If that meant I didn’t make it to EBC, so be it. I was at least going to give it my all and try.

And try, I did.

[More to come, y’all.]

A good date is always a bad date for a writer. I get a rush of delight when I realize things have gone horribly awry and I’m stuck in a situation that I will be forced to endure for another 53 minutes. It’s sweet, the taste of the meat of him, the reassuring thought that I own this story now. I can twist and spin and create a reality of terror and delight for myself and, hopefully, my readers.

I had a date yesterday. It was very awkward until we started making out. He had squinty eyes and was a bad kisser. He wore a pimp ring on his finger. I admit to liking it.

I’ve been inspired by many of my fellow bloggers and my precious Bunny-Love (who considers me Mother and Poetic Grin his Other Mother, for he is the logical love child of the unnatural union of Bryan and me) has generously answered my probing questions with grace and good humor.

1. There was a skit on SNL once where Will Farrell was playing Harry Carry and said, “If you were a hotdog and you were stranded on an island, would you eat yourself?” Well, would you?

It depends on the type of hotdog I would be; if I were to be any sort of alternative hotdog–turkey, soy, etc–no. Just no. However; if I happened to become, in my hotdog island isolation, a chilli dog, there would be nothing for rescuers to find. If I were to be transformed into a corndog, that would be ideal, because I can only ever eat about half of one. The taste is great, but I get sick of it easily. And really, that sounds like me.

2. Where you do get your inspiration for writing? (Also, please tell our esteemed readers where your name comes from.)

I get my inspirations from a variety of sources. The major provider is just observations I make while wandering around, watching people or animals or plants or documentaries. The second source would have to be love. Friendly, lustful, insatiable, painful, distraught, miserable, wonderful, joyful, manic, light, and especially dark, love. I get little echoes of writings from my friends, but my best work derived from love comes from relationships. There are a lot of gay themes, and gay romances explored in my writing.

In regards to my name, B.R. Belletryst, I should say that the first part was given to me by someone who will always mean a lot to me. B.R. stands for Bunny Rabbit. The name came about during a particularly verbal sexual scene in which he told me to sit and hop on his cock, and called me his cock-rabbit. It developed into a pet name, Bunny, and has since become a name I regularly associate with. The second part, Belletryst, is my own invention. It is a portmanteau, sort of. A belletrist is a writer who writes centered around aesthetics, which is something I’d like to believe I do. The latter half of this word was changed though, because of my influence from love. A tryst, as defined by The Free Dictionary, is an agreement between lovers, especially in regards to a location to meet at. This word making up so much of who I am, romantically, as well as quite a few of my dreams, seemed a natural alteration to the word belletrist.

And so with the poem “in which he wakes,” B.R. Belletryst was born. I had been operating my website before that, but it was really with that poem, and that series of events that inspired it that I became the person and poet that my dear friend MedicatedLady is interviewing today.

3. Can you tell me why I’m so obsessed with my dog poo-ing?

No; but I can offer you this–cat poop is the worst thing in the world. The worst thing in the world. Ever.

4. How did you know writing was going to be a major part of your life?

I never know that it will be. It’s just part of me. I can’t explain to you why I write, why I write what I write, and I can’t tell you, or others, to write, or how enriching it is, if it is. To give you an example of what I’m talking about, I just recently started work outside of writing, and haven’t written anything since September 28th, journaling aside. Writing is a biological function to me, natural. It is a bodily excretion, as someone once said to me. It oozes. It flows. It is important, and it is nothing. Writing is drool, is shit, is cum, is piss, is blood, is menstrual blood, is bile, is tears, is snot, is earwax. It’s slow, it’s explosive, it’s orgasmic, it’s release, it’s scary, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth, it is salty, it is gross, and it is beautiful and delicious. Writing is alchemy; primordial fluids coming together.

I don’t control when I’ll write, what I’ll write, or if I will feel like it at all. My idea about writing is that writers are and constantly become. Every day you write something, you become a writer, or tap into it, and it takes something from you, and gives you something else.

5. Ohio seems like a nice enough place. Can you give me the high points and low points of life there? Also, do people from Ohio support cows?

Ohio. There are decent theme parks and some kind of history involved, but it’s very boring. I live in Lancaster, Ohio–a small city that gets its kicks out of preserving American Civil War history. I’ve heard so much about General Sherman (even went to the middle school!) that I’ve lost a bit of respect for history. I’ve been in all the historical buildings, seen all those meticulously preserved outfits, rooms, and cannons, and the only thing I have to say about it is that it’s like keeping your dead grandfather’s toenails; creepy, unnecessary, and obsessive. But that’s just my opinion. I fully acknowledge that the Civil War and all involved were important to history, and the development of our country, but the extent to which my city revolves around it is ridiculous. In all honesty, my favorite part about Ohio is the people, and getting out of my city to go to Columbus. There’s a bit more culture, the people are more exciting, and there is always something to do.

That was a bit of a rant. Oh well, I’m planning on immigrating to Canada in years to come.

Cows, cows, cows. Nope. No support for cows whatsoever. I think that’s sort of an American thing. Or a human thing, considering Kobe Beef and cows everywhere else in the world, excluding India.

All around me, carnivorous people ripping them apart, screaming, chanting “BEEF! STEAK! JERKY! PRIME RIB! BURGER! RIBS! BARBECUE! TONGUE!”
And I hear their teeth, just gnashing,
gnashing, and holy fuck, it’s like trains
crashing, brains just like potatoes mashing,
something disturbing, but can’t look away,
teeth sinking in, tongue chewed on,
trying not to betray my senses
as I fight off winces, hunger growing,
growing, thoughts start slowing,
racing to realization, serenity or actualization
–Beef. Beef. It’s what I want. Juicy, rip it apart, consume, consume, oh gods it has consumed me, that fucking cow head, that fucking taste, give me more! MORE! I demand it!
MORE! Suddenly, meal finished,
I’m back, I abhor;
I can’t believe it was me, those actions, those … poor cows. Thoughts of meat hooks, slaughter houses, mooing, mooing, chopping, sawing, hooves flying and butchers laughing… Am I repulsed? Am I horrified? I’ll have chicken tomorrow. Or maybe… beef.

Visit Bunny’s website at http://brbelletryst.wordpress.com/

In my continuing James Lipton-channeling interviews with fellow bloggers, I’ve had the pleasure of picking 1writegirl’s mind in typical ML seriousness/silliness. Be prepared to laugh and think, dear reader. Enjoy…and I know you will.

1. I’ve heard people say that they can’t write because they haven’t had anything terrible happen to them…or at least nothing interesting in comparison to what others deal with. (For example, someone might say that it’s silly to write a poem about split ends when there are people who could recount their death camp survival stories.) Do you find yourself needing to justify or validate the importance of your writing?

Not really. I mean I compare my work to that of other writers, I can’t help doing so, but everyone has their own story to tell, and not everyone can be a death camp survivor (Alas? Fortunately?). Granted, if all you ever wrote about was split ends, people would quickly tire of reading your stuff, but the trick is to take whatever you have to say and say it in such a way that other people find it intriguing. I think it’s true that much of the great writing in the world comes from either great despair or great joy, these are the times we are most inspired to write and as a result, produce deeper and more reflective pieces. But it can be done at any time, it just takes a bit more digging and more imagination when you aren’t being bombarded with some catastrophe or ecstasy. Look at Jane Austen. She wrote detailed novel after novel about complicated and intricate relationships between men and women, while in reality, she never experienced anything like that. Ditto with the Bronté sisters. It was strictly their imaginations that created those works that, amazingly enough, at least half the world could relate to, generation after generation. The other thing that keeps me from feeling a strong need to justify my writing is that I write first and foremost for myself, and secondarily, for others to read. Most writers I think are like this, at least those of us who don’t make a living from our writing – compelled to write, not sitting at a computer generating words because that’s our livelihood. We find time to write in spite of all else that’s going on in our lives, so naturally, what we write about is going to be important (to us, anyway.)

2. Let’s just say you are on a deserted island and there is little hope of rescue. There is, however, a broken CD player that constantly plays one song over and over and over again. Let’s also say you cannot access the CD player. It is in a tree and being guarded by a tropical raven-hawk beast, but you can choose the song. What would it be?

Ha! Okay, well, I guess I could rack my brain to come up with a song that I wouldn’t mind hearing over and over again for the rest of my life, but truth be told, there probably isn’t one. So I think I’d pick Beethoven’s Für Elise, that way I’d know the tune by heart but wouldn’t have the lyrics scrambling around in my brain interfering with all the great writing I’d be doing while stranded on this desert island.

3. How do you think blogging has influenced (your) writing?
First and foremost, it’s encouraged me to be more disciplined, writing almost daily. And secondly, it’s allowed me to experiment with other genres (like poetry) besides creative non-fiction and lengthy fiction, which is where the majority of my energies went previously. Prior to starting my blog, I wrote very little poetry. In addition, having an audience, one that gives you feedback, is conducive to improving qualities like clarity and subtle meaning you want the work to reflect. It’s harder to get these things when your work doesn’t see the light of day.

4. If you were sitting in a bar with your brain and you had a conversation, what would it be like?

Me: So, I’ve noticed you light up every time you’re in the presence of this guy, or even just thinking about him. Are you crazy-in-love with him, or what?
Brain: Most people would refer to it as being crazy-in-love. Apparently, however, I’m chemically addicted to him.
Me: I see. Is he chemically addicted to you?
Brain: I think so, but to a lesser degree.
Me: What will you do now?
Brain: I could really go for a cappuccino. Or, I could go jogging, and then get a cappuccino… I made it all the way down to Orcutt Street yesterday without stopping.
Me: Very funny. You know what I mean.
Brain: Damn, I just can’t fool you, can I? Okay, what will I do… just accept my feelings; accept his feelings. Stay unlocked (that’s brain slang for “keep an open mind.”)
Me: What’s your latest unexpected and/or random thought?
Brain: Hmmm…Well, I’ve been toying with the idea lately of joining a convent. Patience is a virtue, you know. I hear the nuns are all over it.
Me: I thought you didn’t believe in God?
Brain: Is that going to be a problem?
Me: Besides, what would you do with your son?
Brain: What, Catholics don’t like kids? That’s not what I’ve heard. But maybe you’re right. Maybe the convent isn’t the best place for someone like me. I mean, do they even serve cappuccino? And what if I want a smoke with my cappuccino? No, probably not a good fit…
Me: So, what are your plans?
Brain: What is it with plans, anyway? Does there always have to be a plan? Okay, okay…For now, work, make money… Learn to play the guitar. Learn to speak Spanish.
Me: What about long term?
Brain: Write. Travel when I can. Find joy in little pockets here and there. Live simply. And try to grasp some sort of comprehension, if possible, with regard to our existence, or lack thereof, in this universe. Then, of course, the grand finale: Die.

5. Seriously, what is your stance on black being neutral and “going with everything”?

ML, you’ll never catch me saying that black is over-rated, though neutral probably isn’t a word I’d use to describe it. Going with everything? Come now, a white cotton strappy sundress with clunky black heels? A navy blue suit with black pumps? I think not. I do love it, however; it’s the predominant color in my wardrobe. Not everyone looks good in black either. I happen to wear it well because it contrasts nicely with my blonde hair and fair skin. Or so I’ve been told. And I choose to believe it. Please don’t burst my bubble.

Check out 1writegirl’s blog at http://1writegirl.wordpress.com/.

SOB with me

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