So today is release day for my short Falling into Her Arms (publisher’s website is NSFW), a science-fantasy angel/demon f/f short story. I wrote it in the spring of 2012, and submitted it that June, and then a whole host of other exciting things happened in my writing life, and by now it almost feels like I’m peering back at someone else’s life.
But the impulses that led me to write it are still there; I want there to be more f/f stories that grab the totally self-indulgent, extravagant tropes m/m gets to play with. I want there to be epic love stories against the backdrop of imperial struggles or galactic warfare. I want tempting devils and hard-bitten mercenaries and mysterious drifters. I want them rough and tender and romantic and kinky and adventurous and beautiful. I want them fearless in their desires and certain of who they are. I want casts of women I can fall for. I want to put my word count where my mouth is.
This story barely makes a dent in all the things I want, but it’s a start.
Someone on my route to work put up their Halloween decorations this weekend — something to make me smile as I trudged through the rain to the bus stop at 7:30 on a Monday. I’ve always loved Halloween. A bit of it is the costumes, but a lot of it is the upending of our usual approach to death and monstrousness. It’s the goth in me, or possibly even further back, the morbid little weirdo who decided that being a vampire would be a great life aspiration. There’s something fascinating about all of our stories about how to make death less permanent.
For most of the year, those stories and those monsters are shoved off into a dark genre corner, where most people don’t pay attention to them. They’re a niche interest, for people who wear too much black and think skulls make cool drinking vessels and who probably ought to be avoided on the street. Then October comes, and ghoulishness is everywhere. “Ordinary” people hang paper skeletons in their windows and drape the trees in their front yards with tomb-thick cobwebs. Ghosts and ghouls peddle things in the supermarket. The morbid becomes a source of play, with mock graves for Abby Normal and L.B. Bach planted in neatly mown lawns. For a few short weeks, being fascinated with the dead-but-not-gone isn’t abnormal at all.
So it’s doubly delightful this year that I have a story coming out in October that takes advantage of the opportunity. “Resurrection Man,” my contribution to Bump in the Night, is a story about a man with no fear of the dead — no fear and in one case an absolute (undying?) devotion. There’s horror in Josef’s story, definitely, but there’s delight, too. He’s doing the thing that our Halloween rituals reach for — taming death, making its barrier permeable, besting its last word.
These shivers aren’t from horror. They’re from thrills.
Conference starts in four hours. I am in my pajamas with a cat pinning my good arm, wondering what the hell I’m going to wear. I still need to trim down my reading selection to actually fit the length limit. I haven’t reviewed the notes for the diversity panel nearly as thoroughly as I should. Panic is waiting around for me to get to it.
Tonight, though, I will be reading porn aloud in a room full of inebriated people. This is the best profession.