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HIATUS: Garland Goes To The Woods

For the next few months I’m going to be living in a place without stable Internet access, so I’ll be on indefinite hiatus from Tiger Beatdown for the foreseeable future. My parents are building a cabin on the family property in East Texas and while my dad works his last year before retirement in the city my mother wants to live in the woods. I’m not certain when I’ll be back; I might be joining the Navy this fall and that would make the hiatus permanent.

I couldn’t possibly explain how much I’ve appreciated this space in the past two years, from the contributors and editors to the wonderful, thoughtful, curated commentariat, I’ve learned a lot from all of you. I’d like to thank Emily, s.e., and Flavia for teaching me so much about what it means to be a good writer and a good person — there’s very little in this world that I would trade for the privilege of having worked with them. I’d like to thank TBD readers for being supportive and calling me on my shit when appropriate, and the trolls for teaching me not to feed them.

I’d also like to thank Sady, who is one of the kindest, wisest people I’ve ever met. I started writing for TBD primarily because I thought she was the coolest and the funniest and I wanted to impress her, and I hope I pulled it off once or twice.

I’m going to spend my days writing fiction, reading, clearing land with chainsaw and rake, and enjoying nature. I’ll leave you with a few recent snaps of the property to give you an idea of how jealous you should be.

A section of forest with a large tree on the right of the frame.

This is where I'm going to build my desk.

A very tall tree with yellow and green vines on it, with pine trees around it.


The bottom of a creek bed with gnarled tree roots and a shaft of light in the background.

This section of the creek always reminds me of the road the horse wouldn't go down in Beauty and the Beast.

A road between a clump of trees and a large shrub.

XOXO - Garland Grey


  1. Kiri wrote:

    You’ll be dearly missed, friend.

    Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Permalink
  2. DK wrote:

    Gorgeous woods!

    Thanks for all you do around here, Garland, your writing will be missed. And I’d be interested to hear more about your reasons and motivations for possibly joining the Navy, if that were something you felt like writing about. Am I wrong to be surprised by that?

    Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Permalink
  3. Afjords wrote:

    I’ve never commented before, but I want to wish you the best and say I’ve very much appreciated your writing (I think you might have been my most-shared writer when Google Buzz was still functional). Cheers!

    Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Permalink
  4. Garland Grey wrote:

    @DK Not really, I think the idea is pretty ridiculous myself. If I have time before I leave I’ll see if I can write a little something about it, I’d love to get the Beatdown’s input.

    Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Permalink
  5. bon chance in your new place! i’ll miss your missives. your writing means a lot to me and i’m glad you’re directing your powers toward more of it. be well and let us know how it’s going.

    sending you all of my support and love,

    Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 7:38 pm | Permalink
  6. Slow Sho wrote:

    Your writing and presence will surely be missed, but I hope this is an enriching and fulfilling experience for you!

    Friday, August 17, 2012 at 12:15 am | Permalink
  7. Dan Solomon wrote:

    I’d love to hear more about this Navy consideration, myself. But mostly I really love the thought that I might be able to read some extended collection of Garland Grey fiction someday. Enjoy your time in the woods. Perhaps someday we will meet again.

    Friday, August 17, 2012 at 1:54 am | Permalink
  8. Grace wrote:

    Good bye and good luck, Garland. I hope I can still read your writings somewhere in the future.

    Friday, August 17, 2012 at 7:09 am | Permalink
  9. Anon wrote:

    so, i dont know you, and i cant remember what youve wrote here. but the woods look nice, and i want to discourage you from joining the navy.

    the navy is part of the machine. your job is to kill or provide direct support for those who kill. you will give up autonomy and such. the armed forces are not the same as the real world. you obey or be shot (or imprisoned) and the orders come much more quicker and faster.
    tiger beatdown represents a fight against the status quo. the navy is the status quo. radicals shouldnt join the offensive forces and that includes the navy.

    why you do it? for the degree. go and research about all the poor young mainly men mainly black who got screwed over by the armed forces. oh they teach you “useful skills”? how often do you have to fix a fucking anti aircraft gun in the real world? how often do you have to jump out of bed at fucking 3 am because some asshole decided to run a fucking drill? basically you cant believe the recruiters. you cant believe the armed forces at all. they are lying to you to get you to join. dont fall far it.


    Friday, August 17, 2012 at 9:08 am | Permalink
  10. I will miss you! I am quite jealous of that property and hope you have an amazing time out there. Watch out for enchanted beasts 🙂 And ticks.

    Friday, August 17, 2012 at 11:07 am | Permalink
  11. GallingGalla wrote:

    I’ll miss you, Garland. You’ve been hitting ’em out of the ball park, especially the Gore Vidal article. Good luck in the woods.

    Friday, August 17, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Permalink
  12. yazikus wrote:

    Hi Garland,
    I’m not a regular commenter over here but I’ve much enjoyed all that you have contributed to TBD. Also, I know you were part of the team that put together Flyover Feminism which is an awesome space already. Best of luck out in the woods. And as far as the Navy, well, my dad was career military and he loved it and is enjoying ample retirement. I have a brother who is a marine (hes been in for 10ish years and is about 30) and just received a full ride scholarship to a good school in NY and will be released as well. I have a sister who faked pregnancy to get out of the air force (her husband admitted to being bisexual in a humorous letter to his commanders), so, in conclusion I think it is like everything else in life. Maybe good, maybe bad, maybe awesome. I’ll be sending happy thoughts your way whatever your decision.

    Friday, August 17, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Permalink
  13. samanthab wrote:

    Oh! I’ll be missing you. Your writing is both lovely and insightful. My sense is that you *have* grown here, which is not to put you down but to say that there is power to serious inquiry. Not everyone’s willing to do the work, sadly; given that, it’s been inspiring to have witnessed you dedicate yourself so fully to rigorous interrogation. Godspeed!

    Saturday, August 18, 2012 at 11:43 am | Permalink
  14. Angie unduplicated wrote:

    Totally jealous of those woods. Go have a great life, whatever you want to do. Good writers owe that to themselves.

    Saturday, August 18, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Permalink
  15. Kires wrote:

    I’ve learned a lot from reading your blog, and I hope you pick it up again. It is a thing worth doing, your message is a needed one, and the world is a better place for having these things said. Than-q.

    Saturday, August 18, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Permalink
  16. MikeV wrote:

    I have been enjoying your writing for (zomg!) over two years now. Thank you for your humor and your tutelage and your uncompromising integrity. It has served as an example to me and I’m sure to many others.

    I share your feels towards the other writers, especially toward Sady, and I hope that when I grow up I’ll find similarly lovely people to write and grow with.

    The Navy thing caught me totally off guard, and I would be lying to feign approval (as if you require a random commenter’s approval!), but I wish you all the best.

    Keep on writing!

    Saturday, August 18, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Permalink
  17. GGeek wrote:

    Beautiful woods! Jealous!

    Seconded about watching out for ticks and thinking really hard about what going into the military means, but apart from that, enjoy yourself.

    I’ve appreciated every word you’ve contributed to this space and beyond, and I wish you all the best as you figure out your next steps.

    Come visit us here at the Beatdown when you can!

    Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Permalink
  18. hel wrote:

    Enjoy the nature. I’ll miss your words, and hope you’ll be writing again, but if that’s not to be, then I wish you bliss on whatever path you choose to take.

    My world’s a bit better for your contributions. Thank you.

    Monday, August 20, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Permalink
  19. Fede wrote:

    OK, other commenters have been doing the mature response thing already so I don’t have to. Here goes my spontaneous reaction to the news:

    NOOOOO!! Don’t go, don’t go, don’t go! Won’t somebody think of me??

    Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at 10:53 am | Permalink
  20. rileyess wrote:

    Regular reader, irregular commenter, just throwing in my best wishes on your journey. You’re a wonderful writer and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed your contributions to the beatdown and linked friends to your pieces countless times.

    I’m curious about the navy–as someone said earlier, the military is the status quo, but you don’t need shit from random internet folk, so if you join, they’ll be lucky to have you.

    Bon voyage!

    Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at 11:34 pm | Permalink
  21. gogo wrote:

    Garland! You tutored me on how to work the twitter! You write fabulous articles! You will be missed!

    I believe you can work out some internet access and stay in touch (w/TBD, not me personally)! Please try!

    Also, terror gripped me heart when I read “joining the Navy.” Oh, please reconsider joining any military faction.

    Thursday, August 23, 2012 at 9:34 am | Permalink
  22. Laura wrote:

    Hi. Please don’t join the Navy unless you really must. When you are part of the armed forces, it means you will have to be prepared to kill another human being if they order you to do so.

    This is not a small decision. This is a radically different outlook on life, and on the life of our fellow human beings. Especially taking into account the role the US plays as imperial superpower in international relations.

    I love your writing and I wish you every happiness. But please think about joining very carefully. All the best.

    Saturday, August 25, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Permalink
  23. Your going on hiatus is a major loss! Your going on permanent hiatus would be a bigger loss! Your joining the Navy? Another commenter wisely noted that you don’t need our approval or disapproval, so instead, I’ll share this:

    I asked my Black nationalist professor about joining the Army, which he himself had done. He – a radical anti-capitalist, anti-Imperial antiracist professor – unequivocally advised me to do so! He LOVED *being in* the army, while also being diametrically opposed to everything it stands for. He often talked about how he’d been born to crackhead parents, joined the Army to get out, and wound up an assistant professor spreading revolutionary ideals (under the watchful eye of the Digital Surveillance State, he also noted).

    The skills taught by the military are nothing to trifle with! Fighting abilities are NOT useless to the radical. Surviving that abhorrent environment as a radical might be a daunting task; it might also be one that builds magnificent strength within you. So good luck and Godspeed, Garland! You will be missed either temporarily or permanently!

    P.S. – nice pics!

    Sunday, September 2, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Permalink