October 7, 2014 · 1:52 pm
I’ve taken up knitting again recently. People had tried to teach me a few times in the past, and it never stuck beyond the most basic stitch, but this year I’ve decided I want to get good at it. I’ve done my first simple cables. I’m figuring out the concepts behind lace. I need to pick up stitches for the sleeves of my first cardigan.
Partly it’s really exciting to have a visual art that makes me feel competent (I’ve never had the fortitude to train myself to draw tolerably; I have so much respect for people who do), but partly it’s really soothing. It comforts the same part of my brain that likes level grinding in video games: do this process. Keep doing it. Do it some more. Watch the incremental progress happen. The major difference is that when I’m done knitting, I have an actual item to show for it! So THAT’s rewarding.
Well, okay, there’s a second difference, too; video games tend to have more story going for them (though some people manage to put an awful lot of meaning into their lace). But I’m less drawn to the stories video games tell lately. It might be partly the violent backlash of the Angry Straight White Gamer Boy who tries to pee all over the territory hard enough that nobody else can have fun, but that’s not the major issue. The problem is that I’m losing interest in Lone Warrior and/or Ragtag Band of Misfits doing the Save the World gig. I don’t care about shooter guy.
It comes out in the stories I want to write, too, which is tough in spec fic; sci fi and fantasy novels handed a lot of those tropes to video games in the first place, after all. But I don’t want to tackle “saving the world” as a theme. I’m not sure I can suspend my disbelief enough for it at this point, when the real world’s threats are so multivalent and amorphous. Drake and Gabriel don’t save anything but each other. Erik and Jacob probably won’t manage any better. Jennie and Kane? “Each other and a hotrod spaceship,” maybe. Kit and Elias might manage to save a small community.
But mostly I like the smaller scale better, honestly. I want to write stories that happen at the level of individual emotions and destinies; the world doesn’t have to be scoured of all evil for people to find happiness. I want to take that one little thread and follow it as far as it goes.
Sometimes that’s all it takes to make something beautiful.
November 13, 2013 · 10:53 am
Welcome to the Queer Romance Blog Hop, where queer writers and readers of queer romance share their thoughts on the genre, as well as a few recommendations for books to read! Everyone participating in this blog hop identifies as queer and also reads and/or writes (or edits, or reviews!) queer romance. For our purposes, queer romance refers to books with:
1. LGBTQ+ main characters
2. In romantic relationships
3. That have a happy ending. (No Brokeback Mountain here, folks!)
Hi there! I’m Laylah Hunter, and I sort of accidentally sparked this thing. I got on chat with Heidi Belleau and basically said “let me whine at yooouuuu,” and she said “let’s do something constructive and fun instead!” and then she did all the work. I am a writer of queer fiction, usually sf/f/h, usually romantic and/or erotic. I have a variety of short pieces out now and my first novel, Gabriel’s City: A tale of fables and fortunes, will be published by Riptide in 2014.
Also, as you’ll see below, I CAN’T STOP TALKING ONCE YOU GET ME STARTED.
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October 20, 2013 · 1:49 pm
Well, here we are again in the back half of October, with the caffeine-and-wild-eyed-determination-fueled juggernaut of NaNoWriMo bearing down on us. I attempt NaNo every year. I never win. I can’t seem to get my speed up high enough, consistently enough, to stay on pace.
It still helps, though. The first draft of Gabriel’s City got a lot of its words down on paper during two different Novembers. I’ve made good starts at a few other things in other years. And generally I love the atmosphere of it; for all that writing is presented as a solitary pursuit, it’s one of the few social activities I am pretty much always up for. Come November, I’ll have some friends to come with me to the local geeky coffeehouse with their laptops, and we’ll sit there together sipping lattes and attacking our keyboards. It’s nice to have somebody there to pace you for wordcount, to keep typing when you stop so that you feel the need to start again, to listen sympathetically when you just want to be writing anything but the scene you’re currently slogging through. Someone to suggest ninjas at the crucial moment.
So right now I’m sifting through ideas and trying to decide what I want to work on this November. I’ve narrowed it down to two, and I’ll probably bounce back and forth between them — my attention span also doesn’t care for NaNo’s single-project tunnel vision. I have a post-apocalyptic survivors’ society and a pretty young man with an anxiety disorder to throw into it. I also have a dusty, magic-infused wasteland city and a bounty hunter coming to town with her lipstick perfect and her shotgun loaded. I have an assortment of Cool Bits I want to throw in to make them fun and self-indulgent to write (and, hopefully, to read).
I have… about a plot and a half to split between the two stories so far. But it’s only October 20! That’s plenty of time. Right?