edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
I spent last night sort of idly spinning ideas for a Daredevil A/B/O fic of the sudden-change-inflicted-on-a-previously-normal-world type (because A/B/O is one of my bingo card squares, and I think one of the best ways to get to grips with a trope is to try writing it) and...

Well. Occasionally it becomes really obvious that I'm asexual, because I drifted off into alien retroviruses transmitted via magic spells, three-caste social pack systems and their awkward overlay on human sexual dimorphism, varying development/exhibition of A/B/O traits based on the presence or absence of a more socially dominant member of one's caste (similar to arrested development of secondary sex characteristics in male orangutans, because that's always struck me as fascinating), and the whole porn aspect got almost completely lost along the way. I had to keep reminding myself that hey, there's supposed to be a sex thing here, right? This is a porn trope, right?

Apparently my hindbrain disagrees!

Possessive behavior, sure. Pheromones, sure. Marking bites, sure. People dealing with bodies gone strange and unfamiliar, sure. I am totally into that stuff. But bluntly, I don't often find sex especially sexy. Power and fangs and stuff like that are way the hell more of a turn-on, as is found family, pack bonding, and people renegotiating social relationships. Meanwhile, sex qua sex can go hang for all I care; I do not need to interrupt my delicious plot and character dynamics with random bedroom grunting. *wry*
edenfalling: golden flaming chalice in a double circle (gold chalice)
magenta peony blossom in a clear glass vase

Flower Communion yesterday! I acquired this lovely magenta peony, and also signed up to do something as yet unspecified for the RE program next year.

(The lack of specification is both because the program as a whole is currently a little unspecified, and because I am thinking of stepping out of my comfort zone -- which is ages 6-8 -- and maybe teaching OWL to kids in middle school. That would be really weird and awkward in some ways, but I am also genuinely curious about that program, which is what replaced AYS, the "and now let's talk about all the stuff surrounding sex that they won't teach you in public school health classes" program I went through back around 1995. And you know, it's valuable for kids to see that adults can and do have wildly differing perspectives on sex and romance and the emotional and ethical issues surrounding them, so... *makes equivocating gesture*)
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December 14: Thoughts on aromanticism and/or asexuality either on a personal level or how it's treated in media? (for jen) [Tumblr crosspost]

To be honest, I don't especially care about how asexuality is treated in media. I mean, I hear it's often made into sort of a joke? Or that people act asexual but then, gasp, True Love overcomes that and they discover the joy of sex? The first is only annoying as long as there aren't also non-mocking portrayals of asexuality out there -- I mean, humans being humans, we mock everyone for everything, and if every other sexuality is fair game... hey. Equal opportunity mocking! The second is only annoying, again, if there are no countervailing portrayals, because that does sometimes happen. People are weird and complicated and sexuality is full of "I am 98% this way, but somehow the 2% that doesn't fit that category ended up being the relevant part, because of reasons" scenarios.

So basically the solution is to have more visible asexuality. Actually, I think this is the solution to most representation issues. Have more people of every type on-page or on-screen so people can be people rather than serving as symbols and mouthpieces for their various categories.

As for my asexuality and aromanticism in real life, again, it's not something I pay lots of attention to. I was very pleased to discover that there was a word and category that made more sense to me than any other sexual orientation category, but I'm not into activism or identity-based groups, so that's largely irrelevant to my everyday life. I'd say my asexuality is most evident as mild annoyance at sex scenes in long, plotty stories, or as difficulty finding the motivation to write a sex scene in one of my own stories, or as wondering if someone was trying to flirt with me, because how does anyone ever recognize flirting anyway? It's like there's a radio station I am not tuned in to receive and I always feel awkward about maybe accidentally giving people the impression I might be interested in anything other than casual acquaintanceship.

I mean, the obvious consequence is that I am not in a romantic or sexual relationship and have no interest in looking for one. But I think that is at least as much attributable to my general introversion and asociality as anything specifically to do with sex and/or romantic love. I just kind of... don't do people, very much? How much of that is down to asexuality would be hard to determine.


December Talking Meme: All Days
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
The trouble with starting to write a porn-centric story at, um, shall we say a certain point in a female hormonal cycle, is that once your body has stopped sending "yes, yes, go sex, much yay, hubba hubba hubba!" signals to your brain, it's kind of hard to work up the necessary motivation to write the second half of the porn in question. Or at least it is if you are my particular brand of asexual.


My life. So hard.


I am definitely past the halfway point of the story, though, and probably past the halfway point of the sex too. I have also made some judicious edits and additions to previous scenes to highlight the theme of this piece, insofar as it has one beyond "wow, sex," and will do another pass-through to that effect once I have typed "the end" or words to that general effect. So yeah. Progress!
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I had a doctor's appointment Wednesday morning -- just a general physical checkup thingy, and also brief gynecological exam. Turns out that I don't need Pap tests because hey, I've never had sex!

TMI? probably TMI )

Anyway, I am basically healthy. Consensus between me and Doctor S is that I need a new and more ergonomic computer chair, which should solve most of my lower back pain issues -- they are entirely posture/tension related, since they're the sort that easily drain away after a few minutes of lying down on a hard, flat surface. I also personally would like to lose ten-ish pounds, which I'd suspected I should work on for a while but I don't tend to weigh myself so whatever. That shouldn't be too hard. I just need to quit my occasional midnight snack habit, drink more water, and probably do some situps and/or take random walks a couple times a week. That usually works, over six to eight months. (Then I gain the weight back over two or three years, because hello, I am lazy. *sigh*)
edenfalling: colored line-art drawing of a three-scoop ice cream sundae (ice cream sundae)
As seen in various places:

Pick up the nearest book to you. Turn to page 45. The first full sentence describes your sex life in 2012.

With the caveat that I am aromantic asexual, and therefore said sex life A) is deeply, deeply boring and low-key, and B) involves only me and my imagination and ain't nobody else invited...

From Siddhartha Mukherjee's The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer: "With the introduction of modern refrigeration (and possibly changes in public hygiene that have diminished the rate of endemic infection), the stomach cancer epidemic seems to have abated."

Um. All right then!
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Over on [community profile] asexual_fandom, [personal profile] chibifukurou has proposed an asexual big bang, including both fanfiction and original fiction -- the idea is to have at least one asexual character whose asexuality affects their view of the world, actions, relationships, etc. It doesn't have to be about asexuality, thank goodness. (More details here and here.)

I am tentatively interested, more because I think it's an interesting idea than because I have a story I am dying to write, or because I think I can reliably produce 10,000-15,000 words on command in a three month period.

...Or at least I didn't have a story idea until the morning after I said I might be interested. Then one attacked me *headdesk*

I am currently doing background world-building, character creation, and plot outline sketches for what wants to be a YA adventure story involving three teenagers with a magical mental link (due to a failed government experiment their parents participated in) who... okay, look, have you read Stephen King's Firestarter? Like that, only with three "psychic" kids, less gratuitous property damage, and no lengthy period in capitivity. Also a lot more family members thrown into the mix, because I like families. Also also, one of the kids (Gretchen Randazo) is asexual and mildly biromantic, a second (Marguerida Blake) is making noises about being genderqueer and won't decide on a sexual orientation, and the third (Arthur Cohen) is heterosexual.

They have informed me that of course they are all in a poly relationship with each other, though they've only met in person once before the story starts and both Blake and Arthur have had boyfriends and/or girlfriends before.

I am not sure how they think that's going to work in practice, but whatever. Their choice!


I am pretty sure I will run out of interest in this long before I get anything written, but for now the world and characters are a lot of fun to play around with. *wanders off to figure out details about witches and familiars*

(I freely admit that you do not have to look too hard to realize this idea started as a crack AU for Inception, but... I have a Thing about mucking around too far with canon. I like to start from as close to the base story as I can get away with, and have any changes flow organically from a few carefully chosen alternate turns. (This is a writing preference much more than a reading preference, mind you. I can read and love lots of ideas I would have immense trouble buying at the level I need to write.)

In this case, I needed my main characters to be almost exactly the same age, to have parents who could logically have participated in a government-funded study in NYC, and to still live close enough together to arrange a meeting while teenagers. I couldn't make those requirements happen in fanfiction -- it would have taken too many changes of the kind I hate writing -- so I started filing serial numbers off, discarding pseudo-science in favor of magic (I am almost always in favor of magic rather than pseudo-science, as magic doesn't put my back up the same way), changing genders and ethnicities, and generally building a proper world of my own instead of trying to distort someone else's. So there you are.)
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
I am writing this post because of A History of Handcrafts (Because a Sweater Equals Love), also known as my unexpected remix.

My story is based on Spock's Sweater, a lovely drabble by MelayneSeahawk, which I am going to copy-paste here for analysis purposes. (If you like it, please follow the preceding link and tell her so!)


Spock's Sweater, by MelayneSeahawk )


Here is the information that accompanied the story:

1. That it was written in response to the following prompt: "Spock's Grey Lumpen ManSweater of Dubious Fit"

2. This header line: "Spock's Sweater | G | 100 words | complete"

That header line is also the only information provided for the story in MelayneSeahawk's master list of her Star Trek: AOS fanfiction.

So far, so good.

Now we hit the problem area -- namely, I read the story as gen. Because I read it as gen, I wrote a remix that included Spock/Uhura as a background romantic pairing, used Kirk/Gaila as a background sexual pairing, and only had Kirk and Spock interacting as friends. The thing is, MelayneSeahawk wrote the story as shipfic -- I know this because she commented that I had changed the pairing, which cannot happen unless there was a pairing to start with.

How did that miscommunication happen?

There is nothing in the header information to tell me the story is not gen... )


In brief, this is why summaries and detailed header information are good and useful things: they will help give people the contextual information to read stories the way you intended them, instead of completely missing what you consider the main point.

Also, gen friendship is awesome and in no way inferior to shipfic, but that is a different argument for another day.

(This post has been edited for clarity since I first posted it, but the gist of the explanation remains the same.)
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
I was reading a post on [community profile] asexual_fandom about writing asexuals in sexual situations and whether this was too prevalent in fandom (or not prevalent enough?) and in any case, was it often badly handled and so on and so forth, which had the interesting effect of making me go and write several hundred words of "The Body Politic," my Astrin-Ymris-is-asexual Riddle-Master fic. Said words are mostly a very long riddle about a woman who gets raped and is terrified her husband will blame her, rather than anything actually related to asexuality or, you know, the damn plot, but whatever. I needed to get the riddle out of the way at some point.

I think it is helpful to be slightly tipsy when writing McKillip-style riddles. At least, it's helpful for me. I don't think in riddles naturally, so I need to be able to bend my mind into someone else's thought patterns, and sleep deprivation or alcohol are the cheap and easy ways to do that. *wry*


I do have an actual plot for that story now. I'd always known where it was heading -- well, okay, once I'd decided which outline sketch to use, I knew where it was heading -- but I had only the vaguest idea how to get there. Now I have the middle to go with the beginning and the end.


In other news, Diana Wynne Jones did indeed stick the landing on the Dalemark Quartet. I may write a more detailed (and spoiler-filled) post about that later. I have read all the Yuletide Dalemark fic there is, and would really like to know if any more exists, because that series has so many wonderful characters and countless potential stories.

Also, and unrelatedly, I watched Inception a couple weeks ago and have been having far too much fun reading through all the fic I can get my hands on. I love stories about competent people being awesome. :-)
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Three unconnected thoughts:

1. Today at work, around 5:30pm after BW had left for the day and I was alone in the store, I went out to the back room for some reason or other and happened to glance at the windows.

Which were crawling with black flies. Literally. 40 or 50 of them.

I managed to kill at least 80% of them over the next few hours (whenever I had no customers in the store and stole a couple minutes to go back and smash things with a flyswatter and a handful of paper towel, rinse fly corpses off the flyswatter in the bathroom sink, and go back to kill more) but several were marginally brighter than the others and zoomed away into other areas, including the front of the store.

I mentioned the infestation to a customer while I was swatting a persistent little fly that had been circling my cash register, and she said something similar had happened to her once -- dozens of flies in her basement in the middle of winter. Apparently an animal had died in the walls of her house, a fly had laid maggots, and they had all finished their metamorphosis around the same time.

I left a note for PM and JM in case more flies appear tomorrow.


2. I have tried, off and on for several years now, to read the DCU fanfiction of [livejournal.com profile] thete1, and I have failed every time. In theory, I should like her work -- she writes about characters I like, she has AU ideas I find fascinating, and she writes long stories, long enough to drown in. The trouble is that, without fail (so far as I can tell), her stories use those ideas as window dressing for sex scenes that bore me to tears and/or would squick me if I had the slightest emotional investment in the reality of the characters as she portrays them, and for relentlessly sex-centric character interpretations that refuse to map intelligibly onto my reading of canon and my gut-level understanding of human nature and society.

Yet her stories obviously work like gangbusters for a lot of people.

I wish I could find a headspace that would let me get through [livejournal.com profile] thete1's work. Alternatively, I wish someone would take her basic ideas and rewrite them as gen epics with no sex whatsoever -- because I get the feeling she links absolutely all human connections and obsessions to sex (unless a character is damaged and/or socipathic, and even then the damage will often be addressed via a sexual lens), and god damn it, sex (kinky or vanilla or what-the-fuck-ever) is not the be-all and end-all of human relationships!

This rant brought on by yet another attempt to read one of her stories which I saw recced by a person whose opinion I trust -- said attempt failed miserably something like 10,000 words in, which figures. *sigh* I really should know better by now.


3. I went back to the library and found a different general history of India -- not the impossible French one, which made me want to ask the author if he would, around chapter 3, start proclaiming the pyramids were really built by aliens. Anyway, this one is proving much more readable. So far I have reached the 500-year confused era between the Maurya empire and the Gupta dynasty. Since the time period I am using for "Debts" is right around the rise of the Guptas, this is very relevant background information. :-)


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Elizabeth Culmer

September 2017

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