I thought I’d show off my space lesbians from In Bloom. 🙂
One day, though probably not super soon, I will wrap up Kamber and Joanne’s story.
Guess what? I’m doing NaNoWriMo again.
Yeah, the writing program I once used to talk about never doing, but consented to try in 2018, and now am doing again in 2019.
I decided to continue 2018’s book! Because of course I’m a blathery weirdo and I’m sure I can get another 50,000 words out of this thing.
Wish me luck with another installment of working on In Bloom!
I’m doing a live YouTube event (my first time!) to celebrate Asexual Awareness Week. I’ll just be sitting down to an evening with my webcam and I’ll start by sharing some discussions of how media handles asexuality, good or bad.
Subscribers and interested parties can chime in live in the attached chat, and if appropriate, I will address whatever they’d like to talk about. It’s a chance to talk to a pretty seasoned ace activist about subjects that might not be covered all that commonly, but it’s also fine if the talks devolve a little into other things. I’ll try to keep it mostly on topic but there’s no telling what will happen.
You can sign up for a reminder and tune in 8 PM Eastern on Friday, October 25. The finished video will appear here when the event is over.
The Invisible Orientation is now available in a Japanese translation.
This is a translation of the original material and is still a Western conception of the culture and concepts of asexuality. Its content has not been localized.
But it is available in bookstores and through its Japanese Amazon page.
My sister, whose husband is from Japan and has relatives there, recently found the book in a bookstore and bought a copy. Here it is in the wild, with photos from her Instagram. 🙂
I was asked to give a talk about Pitch Wars and approaching traditional publication at the University of South Florida as part of one of their camps for young writers. I spoke to a group of 16- to 25-year-olds for about an hour in an informal presentation about the whys, hows, and whethers of agents and publishing. This was in association with the youth writing workshop WIND.
The group was small and attentive and someone brought their cat. 🙂
There weren’t too many questions and I didn’t get into any real dialogues with them or anything, but I felt like the presentation was probably useful for some of them. (I saw a few taking some notes.) I mostly went over how to make choices regarding traditional versus self-publishing, small publishers versus big ones, agents versus no agents, and then some nuts and bolts about how and why to write a query letter and approach agents, with some other info on what happens next and what to expect. It was fun to talk about this stuff again as I’ve not been involved in Pitch Wars for some time and my own writing-related stuff has really gotten buried under other life stuff.
I was able to go out to dinner afterwards with the organizer, Eric, and we had some nice Thai food and great conversation about short stories, publishing, science fiction, and being authors. Great time, I’d do it again.
I was honored to be one of the guest authors (and the only author appearing by Skype!) at this spring’s “Unthinking Sex, Imagining Asexuality” book celebration at Little Sister’s Book and Art Emporium.
Unfortunately my Skype connection was one of the worst I’ve had and I could not hear the other authors reliably. I couldn’t tell what they were saying enough of the time to really feel involved in the conversation, but sometimes I did get to hear a string of discussion that didn’t get interrupted, and it was a blast. I really wish I had been there in person, but I guess that’s what I get for trying to “appear” in another country an entire continent away, huh? My appearance ended abruptly when my connection shattered for good.
It is SO wonderful to know that asexuality and aromanticism are subjects of enough interest that we have MULTIPLE authors writing from MULTIPLE perspectives about MULTIPLE experiences of our orientations, and even more people out there wanting our words. It is so mind-blowing to remember that ten years ago the idea of an asexual or aromantic authors’ panel would have been a fantasy.
Now it’s a reality.
For anyone who might be interested, I’ll be appearing through Skype at an event called “Unthinking Sex, Imagining Asexuality” as one member of a book panel at Little Sister’s Book and Art Emporium, April 27, 2019, 7:30 PM Pacific Standard Time. This is in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
It was not practical for me to make the trip this year, so I’ll only be there virtually, discussing my book in the distinguished company of other asexuality authors Ela Przybylo, Lauren Jankowski, and Angel Chen.
My book will be available for purchase during and after the event.
I’m used to being interviewed about asexuality, but this time someone who became aware of my work through The Invisible Orientation ended up reaching out to me for an interview regarding my webcomics. It was a nice change to discuss something other than asexuality.
If you’d like some insight into my webcomics, my process, my thoughts on non-traditional media, my techniques, and my philosophy regarding art, I am linking the interview with Alex Dueben below.
Wow! I knew I would be able to do 50,000 words in 30 days because typically I write faster than that, but this was a really great experience keeping me writing every day and keeping the pace consistent. I’m pleased to say my NaNo novel, In Bloom, hit 50,615 words on the last day of the event.
And I am a winner!
Yes I bought a shirt.
The book is not done of course–it’s not even close to being drafted, much less edited–but this was a great experience and I’d do it again.
Continuing to plug away at National Novel Writing Month with great success!
Yesterday, November 15, is the halfway point of the event, and therefore of course we writers are supposed to have hit our halfway point to 50,000 words on that date.
It’s weird. On the one hand, it’s sorta reassuring; I can still write at the drop of a hat whenever I want to, and if I do it every day, a novel starts to take shape. It’s not particularly sloppy for a first draft, it’s doing some pretty cool things that are surprising me, and I think the third person storytelling is helping me avoid the tendency to get super cerebral or engage in unnecessary navel gazing.
One small issue I am having is that the romance in the story is front and center, and I’m not sure about the balance I should strike. Obviously as an asexual and aromantic author who does not engage in these kinds of relationships, I’m sorta faking it, though that’s not a hard thing to do really with the media the way it is. I’ve grown up with stories that tell me how people experience this and how they write about it. It doesn’t seem mysterious to me at all beyond the fact that I have never personally been through it, and since I’m also writing about humans and aliens living on another planet and I have never done that either, it’s about the same level of guesswork.
But I want it to feel authentic enough to NOT sound like it’s written by someone who’s guessing, and for that you need detail. So the issue then becomes, well, I’m writing about fifteen-year-olds getting interested in each other, and I’m a forty-year-old woman who doesn’t want to sound filthy if I get into too much detail about teenagers experimenting with, er, amorous relations.
So I’m aiming for sweet and a little hot sometimes, like it is for many people when they go through it. I’m focusing a lot on how it’s new or how it affects the characters as young members of families and communities, and on the unrealistic and very big thoughts they have that are nevertheless fully felt and legitimate despite lacking perspective.
I am definitely continuing to let some lessons I’ve learned from cartoons help me with my pacing. I’m still dealing with a little bit of “oh I thought of this thing, better dump it on the page now so I don’t forget,” but this is a first draft, so that’s to be expected. One thing I’ve learned from being such a Steven Universe fangirl is how satisfying a slow burn backstory reveal can be. I don’t have anything huge to dump to be honest, but I’ve learned that it’s still intriguing to do partial dumps of info that hint at more to come, and it will make people curious without irritating them too much when they don’t know.
It’s interesting how much of the main character’s daily life is actually super weird by our standards but I’m making it pretty everyday and only finding it important to mention when someone else finds it super weird. Because I don’t do much plotting and I make a lot of stuff up on the fly, I’m kinda discovering these things along with the characters, and I also seem to be planting things that I don’t actually know where they’ll go. I’m sure I can smooth things out later to make them look like they were intentionally moving in that direction, but for now there are a couple mysteries I’m considering actually just not solving, unless maybe the story does it for me without me trying.
There’s also the matter of a broken love triangle. In short, my protagonist’s race has a lot of beliefs that make outsiders view them as essentially a fertility cult, so their expectation that every girl will meet a boy and have babies is more than just a societal expectation; it’s a religion and a way of life. The protagonist believes she may be the first gay member of their species ever because there’s just no way to talk about it inside of her culture. But humans are also in the picture and they are known to have homosexuality in their species, so the protagonist does have some context–especially when she meets a cute human girl.
But of course, her culture is pushing her to start being interested in boys, and there is a specific boy entering the picture now. I figured when I conceived of him that he would exist, story-wise, to represent tradition and that he’d probably be pretty angry and feel slighted when the truth came out and she likes a girl. But after I actually met him in the story, it kinda seems like he’s confused about just about everything too and he doesn’t seem the type to be possessive about her. Now I’m starting to think a boy like him would be a good ally for her. And now I’m starting to think that when the time comes, he will say or do something essential for the story.
It’s weird how these things work.