Dear Reader

Hello, hello!

There’s not a lot of easy confessions for me to make on my absent nature with this project, and continued absent-ness even after I intended to turn things around. I have done wrong by everyone who likes my work. I want to provide some context. 

After the separation in 2022, there were a lot of things that I did not manage to process. I continued to work on Camp Here & There’s season 2 script on my own, but the work felt hollow and my love for the project tainted with an abundance of hurt. I speak only kindly of Belov and any of his future endeavors. Though there was immense grief and heartbreak in our separation, on my part, that colored my personal relationship with the project at large. I still have dreams about this time of my life, even today, and that’s heavily affected me. 

I receded into myself and told myself to keep working, but it was challenging to keep myself mentally sound when writing. I’d start sobbing when trying to get through new passages and reliving my initial connection to Belov through this work, and it was all something of a distaste for both myself and my reaction to my own work, and how much I let down the people supporting what I made by not working as diligently or as productively as I had hoped I could. 

We were highschool sweethearts, and creating the show with him had previously been the most fun I’d ever had in my life, and that felt impossible to move on from. I know it’s overdone and dramatic to think all of this over a separation, and I agree. I’ve been very dramatic, and I need to quit it. 

I felt gross. I told no one in my life that this was happening. I hated how I had let people down. I hated how I was feeling about my own work, and I hated that I couldn’t get over any of it; that I was letting so much time slip away to begin with. I wanted to wake up and have it all be over and for me to be able to work again without feeling like this. I wanted to scrap everything and just start over with something new, but I also would rather die than do that. So I stayed frozen. 

I’m not here to wallow in self-pity, but I want to explain why I receded. 

When people asked me if I was working, I’d give cagey responses. Yes, I was. Was I making headway? No, not really, and that was hard to admit. I’d agonize over my own scripts and then agonize over my worth and merit as a writer. Who was I as an artist.. if I couldn’t make something that was good on its own? I’m a novelist at heart and first person script-writing—especially that with quips and humor and quirky quick-wit—has always been outside of my comfort zone. I’ve never found myself “funny” the way I felt Belov was. 

People said it was good, but it didn’t feel correct to me. And that haunted me. I let it haunt me, which was a PROFOUNDLY immature and insecure way to think of myself. Even now, I cringe talking about it. 

And if you had asked me if I felt this way, I would always say no, and I would have believed it. I like to think I have it all under control, and I think I repressed a lot of baggage that I’m only now coming to terms with. What I had written off to myself as “silly nighttime BPD episodes” must have been a very serious depression that I couldn’t accept that I was going through. I reasoned that I was “better” than that. 

But after my first cross-country move in 2022, I had some time to rest. I started to feel a little better about my relationship to CHNT. I was getting productive again. I felt like things could look up as we neared 2023. 

But then I was robbed of near everything I owned on my birthday, which is morbidly very funny in hindsight. Like, incredibly funny. It’s a comical amount of tragedy that still doesn’t feel real, considering the separation was beginning come my previous birthday. But after that, I spiraled. I talked to basically nobody, and while I was immensely grateful for the love and support I was getting (seriously, that Gofundme by Emerald made it so I could still pay rent, buy clothes and furniture, and basically still live with many of the necessities I lost. That wasn’t lost on me how much care and humanity I experienced), I could not bring myself to face people. 

Camp Here & There suddenly became this ticking time bomb to me where everything about it and its production was mired in tragedy, anxiety, and loss. I lost much of my nostalgic and cherished possessions to the point of emotional wreckage (the details even now are heartbreaking), including some loving hand-crafted memorabilia from fans (cassette tapes, clay statues, yarn-sewn dolls, hand-drawn posters, etc.), and suddenly I was back to square one in a way I could barely admit to even myself. My entire life was in that moving truck, and just like that it was all gone. With it, much of my good will. 

That took more healing than I like to admit. I poured myself into other work day in and day out to avoid everything I was feeling. I felt all of it, but I really liked to pretend that I didn’t. Fake it til you make it. y’know? That was my philosophy. I thought telling anyone I’d felt this way would be burdensome, and I closed off from even my closest friends. 

But I’ve done such a great disservice and wrong to the people who love my work. I’ve let down a great many of you, and let my anxieties color my vision in a way that was hurtful. 

I am truly sorry. These last few months, I attempted to really examine my relationship to the project and what I’ve let down. I believe I’ve finally truly come to terms with both the separation and the “losing everything” moment. 

What has never felt like mine has started to actually feel mine. I have started to develop something healthy and positive with my work, instead of giving myself imposter’s syndrome over every stinking word. I’ve obligated myself and have requested people in my life continue to push me, only to my benefit. 

My sorry isn’t enough to turn back time. You all have been so supportive and patient with me in a way I couldn’t have asked for, and it really pushes me to continue even if I didn’t have my own obligations to do so. 

I’ve had to do quite a bit of coming to terms, and I do not like posting something so personal and whiny. I could sit here and journal out every single sad sack thought from start to finish, but it feels disrespectful to self aggrandize in such a way to an audience of people who just want you to finish a goddamn script. 

And rightfully so. I so brazenly wrote CHNT off to myself as “just a stupid vent piece” but it’s more than that, and you my supporters have proven time after time that it’s more than that. I owe it to you all to have confidence and ownership in my work, lest I’m doing you a disservice for holding out for it or praising it. 

I’ve been moaning and complaining an awful lot, and even now I cringe at it.  

The TLDR is: 

I’ve been through the wringer enough that CHNT was feeling like a curse more than a blessing, and working on it made me feel awful. I wasn’t being a responsible creator, and I’ve hurt people this way. I’ve done some real confrontation of this fact, and my writing this out for you all is part of my confrontation with myself, and my formal apology. 

I want to continue. I don’t just want to make Camp Here & There, it wants to be made. It needs to be made. There are things in it that must be said even if I’m being a little cretin about it. 

I cannot promise a release date yet, because I don’t want to repeat my mistake. But I can promise more updates, a consistent delivery of some content to Patreon even if small. I can promise not to up and disappear like this again, and you can hold me to it. 

In a way, there is some positivity. With all this self confrontation and time between personal growth, I am a far better writer than I was before. 

My scripts do look better than they would and did. I am pleased with what I’ve written and I do think it reads better. I think the project will be of a higher quality now. 

In truth, this should be a dream come true for me. Like, a life-long childhood dream come true; the fact that so many people not only like my work, but create art, feel inspired, and eagerly want it to continue. I used to walk down my street (before I lost the ability to) and imagine AMVs of Elijah spying on Syndey to “An Unhealthy Obsession,” “Bernadette,” “Start Wearing Purple,” etc etc. And it was just a silly pipe dream to think of this reality where everything in my head was put into the world and cherished to such an extent. The thing is, I was texting Belov the whole time, or walking next to him, while we’d talk about our big dreams and creations. I have had to truly reclaim this for myself. It’s my project. It’s my story now. 

To this day, when I see other characters inspired by Sydney, I feel myself tear up. I’m going to slap myself into feeling this and only this: gratitude. 

Thank you all for being so kind. 

With Love,