The strength of Blood Into Ink is the writers who gather here. Each member is fierce, talented and incredibly respectful and supportive of others living with a history of trauma. We believe that their stories will move and inspire you.
Where do you live? What do you love about it?
In my head mostly. Somewhere between ambitious desires, the blood on my teeth that comes from biting down too hard when I think too much, and then all the days that got cast away by gods who were too ashamed to take blame for creation.
But physically, I live in Mississippi. I love the nature here. I have mountains to the north of me and oceans to the south. And everywhere around me is filled with beautiful things just waiting to be found. Rivers, streams, trees, flowers, clouds, fields, caves, animals, and amazing places for stargazing.
I have several friends from larger cities who have taken to calling me nature boy, but that isn’t really an accurate description. I’m a symbiotic parasite. Nature gives me a sense of wonder and beauty and a place for a calm mind when I need it; and I feed the animals. I pick up trash from the river banks. I plant flowers and trees. Attempt to be symbiotic.
Tell us about yourself
Let’s start from the beginning then. My mother was a tree and my father was an exhaust manifold. So naturally I was born with a bit of an ill mind. I suffer from bipolar disorder, PTSD, mild schizophrenia, anxiety, and overwhelmingly lovely synesthesia. I could tell you what any of that is like but it wouldn’t really do justice. The thing you really need to know about my ill, aberrant mind is that I own it. Claim it as mine and find a way to use all the goddamn pain that comes along with it. From art to music to poetry to using it to think and consciously decide on the type of person I want to be. And even how I want to impact the world around me.
Let’s not say all my ways of coping have always been healthy though. I’ve suffered through more abuse and loss and trauma then some people will in their entire lives, and I’m only 22 years old. And in the worst of times, I fell right on my face. I’ve given into depression, lost jobs and quit college because of it. I developed a severe drinking problem at one point in my life. I still drink now, but with much more moderation. I’ve been prone to very self destructive behavior and even when I wasn’t self destructive, I’ve at times had the tendency to be absolutely reckless. I have scars all over my body to prove it. 29 in all, as of this moment. Having said all that, I know the dark places and how hard the bottom is when you finally hit. So I dedicate as much of myself as possible to making sure people I meet don’t fall like I did. And if they already have, then to helping them get back up again.
As far as the present, I’m immersed in learning everything I can, playing music, writing, and painting. I study something every day. It might be different languages or mathematics or forms of science or music or martial arts or different cultures or politics or engineering or history or just learning how to make deductions like Sherlock Holmes. I try to learn as much as possible, not only because I have a passion for learning, but because I feel like the source of much hate and evil and bitterness in the world stems from a lack of understanding and a lack of empathy. If I ever want to make a change, I need to understand all I can.
As I said above, music is a fierce passion of mine. I play 12 instruments. The piano, harmonica, bass, keyboard, guitar, violin, flute, trumpet, drums, cornet, synth machine, ukulele, and I make some weird attempt at singing sometimes. My synesthesia makes any music a form of magic and beauty. If a song is created with heart and passion, I always feel every bit of it. Take it into the marrow of my bones.
Tell us about your blog
My blog is called Mist of Melancholia.
When did you begin your blog/website?
Like 2 days ago. How undramatic.
What motivated you to start your blog?
I wanted to create a place not so much to put my art and writing on display, but to put it out there so that maybe someone would see it and know that if they need to reach out to someone, I’m here.
What keeps you blogging at Mist of Melancholia?
Given that I’ve only had it a few days, that question is a bit unanswerable. But what will keep me going with it is the same as the reason I started it. To be one more link in an attempt to connect the world through art.
Why did you get involved with Blood Into ink?
It is a powerful entity. It has the same goals that I do in many ways. It’s a place to share pain and find comfort in each other. To connect to others and not be alone. Why do people want to see the world? Why does the moonlight make everything magic? Why is there so much wonder in gazing at the stars? It’s beautiful. It’s a sense of being part of something much larger. But, in that moment, knowing that despite seeming small and insignificant, we’re seeing so much wonder and purity and beauty. And as long as we can see those things in the world, we can bring change.
What does it mean to be a “Warrior Voice of Survival”?
It means weaving the grit of my blood into a blanket for the cold. It means baring all my wounds and scars for anyone to see and saying, “I’m still here.” Not because I’m so proud of myself for making it through, but because everyone, at times, needs to know that they’re not the only one who is hurting or trying to heal. It means I’ll never turn my back on anyone or turn a blind eye to someone in need. It means strength in all our greatest weaknesses.
Tell us about your writing goals
To change the world. Even in some small way. To open people’s eyes to pain, not for them to suffer or to feel guilt or pity; but for them to learn compassion and empathy. My goals are to help anyone who has suffered like I have. And to make sure people understand that maybe anyone around them could be suffering in that same way, so they should always offer everyone they can all the kindness and love that is in their heart.
What is your writing process and routine?
A mind unleashed from its body. A single ethereal thought existing somewhere between gas, plasma, and antimatter. It may come or go or exist or become non-existent. And the only thing it ever really carries with it is heart and passion. When I write or make music or paint, I become both man and entity. And that’s the best I can tell you of any organized process or routine.
Has your writing appeared in print? How did that happen?
I self published a book when I was 14. And when I was in high school I won a writing competition with some shit poem. In college I had a couple pieces printed here and there, but mostly within the college’s different groups.
What is your advice for new writers and bloggers?
Never leave your heart at home and never let your soul fall through the hole in your pocket. Always be you. The real you. If you can do that, there’s nothing more incredible you could be. And never be scared to bare yourself or be vulnerable. There could be someone out there who reads what you say and it’s exactly what they need. And it might just change everything.
Talk to us about what you like to read
Pretty much every single thing under the sun. And if I could find some outside the sun’s light I’d read those too. Like I said, a passion for learning. A passion for experience. I want to feel every single thing I ever possibly can.
Tell us about three of your favorite blogs to follow
Sudden Denouement – It’s full of great writers and it’s really geared toward helping them move forward with their goals.
Blood Into Ink – For the reasons above about what a powerful place it is for support, healing, and reaching out.
Writings of Aakriti Kuntal – Aakriti is an absolutely amazing writer and every piece that she writes is full of power and emotion. It’s a real and true experiencing reading anything that she ever writes.
Tell us which pieces of your own writing are your favorites
Um…. geez. Never really thought about if I liked any of my writing I guess. I just kinda do it and that’s all there is to it. I suppose it’s a part of me so it would be like asking what my favorite things about myself are.
Note: The Curators of Blood Into Ink LOVE Nathan’s writing and recommend:
Any final thoughts for the Blood Into Ink readers?
I’m thankful for everyone that is part of Blood Into Ink. Thank you for having the heart to share your pain. I know that it reaches hearts, minds, and souls. It’s so powerful and has so much potential to bring about great change, whether for the world or just for a single person.
Sorry if I wasn’t really any good at this interview. I tried my best but I generally don’t just talk about myself. Ask Christine about the first bio she ever read from me if you don’t believe me. I suppose this is the most I’ve ever told anyone about myself just outright. Other than my best friend. So thank you guys for reading.
And one last note, I’m always here if anyone ever wants to talk or write or anything at all. My email is email@example.com.
And one more time, thank you all so much for all that you do and all that you are.
Note: Christine would like to point out that Nathan’s biography is her very favorite of all the writer biographies she ever received (not an insignificant number) and can be found in its entirety at the end of Conflagration