I was tagged on Facebook to list five things about my work in progress. I am on vacation from my novella and working instead on rewriting a short story. So here goes with facts about the short story:
1. The protagonist is a feral child (though, he’s not really a child), literally raised by wolves.
2. I have mentally cast Oscar Isaac in the role of the secondary protagonist, who develops a relationship with the protagonist. Isaac would be perfect for the role, you can’t convince me otherwise.
3. I think of “Wolves” by Selena Gomez as the current theme song for the project.
4. The secondary protagonist plays folk music on a guitar as a hobby. He loves Cat Stevens especially.
5. My protagonist likes to play with tin cans. They are shiny.
The project I’ve spent the last six months on, The Weight of the Impossible, deals with a fifteen year old protagonist, Zach, who is a junior level competitive figure skater. As all teens do, he has a very particular lexicon. I found a graphic (on Twitter, I believe) which lists Generation Z terminology and jokingly posted it to my Facebook, saying: “Lo, the language of my protagonist. Though he says ‘fuck’ a lot more.” I decided to go through that graphic and write the Zach version. For the lolz, as Millennials might say.
While I have been neglectful of updating my site or submitting my fiction to magazines, it’s been a long damn year:
- I broke my ankle in three places last June, in an attempt to learn how to ice skate. I was still recovering well into December of last year.
- I totaled my car in a moment of carelessness. (That’s what you get for becoming too wrapped up in an audio book, kids.)
- I fell into a deep depression last December, and it lasted nearly six months. During this time, I wrote very little.
- I broke my wrist in the spring.
- Relationship woes in the summer, which I will not detail except to say there were woes.
So it’s been one hell of a year. I am feeling better, stronger, and more positive in my outlook. But the result of all of the above meant I didn’t submit to short story markets, and I didn’t do much in terms of writing except for the second half of the year. Hence the radio silence over here.
I will write more about what I’ve been working on. But later. I have to go make dinner. 🙂
Nothing much to report, except that I have a little earworm which has been tunneling it’s way through my brain over the last few days. I listen to it on repeat when I write, when I go to the store, when I take breaks . . . you get the idea. The song is “GOOD” by Erin McCarley, and you can listen to it here:
What sorts of earworms have you had? Tell me in the comments.
Yesterday marked the publication of His Aura: A Collection of Transmasculine Erotica, which features, among many awesome pieces, two of my short stories, “Maddeningly Wonderful” and “A Honeycomb of Nerves”.
You can read more about the stories and their background in this blog post.
While there is an excerpt on the book’s page of my story “Maddeningly Wonderful”, I thought I’d offer another excerpt from that same story. This excerpt is right from the beginning. I hope you enjoy it. Also, please consider buying a copy of the anthology if well written erotica and trans men is your jam.
Lately, I’ve become dissatisfied with sex scenes in fiction. More specifically, the types featured in romance novels and fanfiction. I have to say there is nothing wrong with the sex scenes in these stories. They have a purpose and fulfill that particular purpose. I have just found the sex scenes in some of these stories to be so graphic and over the top they turned me off. One scene in particular was so graphic that it was gross to me.
I write a lot of sex scenes myself. One of my novellas is very explicit because it details a man’s particular sexual journey. I write sex scenes because it is very much a part of the characters and the story. But along the way, I’ve found myself being overly graphic. I think it’s easy to fall into that trap. I’m going to work on improving my approach to sex scenes and be more impressionistic, rather than overly realist and graphic and writing in every last detail.
To that end, I rewrote a sex scene in my current novella to be a little less graphic. In the process, I found myself writing more about the characters, which, I think, lends a nice human touch which further keeps this from being gross or overly graphic.
I have a long way to go to be where I want to be with this particular aspect of my writing, but it’s a start.
I’ve decided to share the drafts of both scenes so you can compare and contrast the original and the rewritten scene. Below the cut, you can find both of those.
Some context: this story is about a May-December romance. Ren is nineteen and Paul is forty-two. In this segment, Ren has told Paul he loves him. Paul is very ambivalent about this. He doesn’t think Ren is old enough/mature enough to really understand what that means.
Apparently I have sold two other stories. The ink has maybe kind of dried on the contract, so I’ll just babble about them.
I originally wrote the two stories for a colleague. He wanted to start some kind of electronic zine, and I said I’d write some stories for him. I wrote the pieces but he never got around to making his zine. So I said “screw it” and submitted the stories elsewhere. (For the record, those stories sat on the back burner for TWO YEARS. So it’s not like I waited, like, three months before deciding to move on.)
I’d also had a string of rejections. I was feeling particularly low and a little bitter. While I didn’t think anything would come of my submission (market I usually didn’t submit to, the stories being exceedingly short for the genre) I said “screw it” and submitted anyways.
The two stories in question are also erotica. Yup. But they’re trans erotica, written about trans men, for trans men (primarily), by a trans man. There is just not a lot of erotica (none? approaching that?) for and about trans men. There’s not a lot of erotica for trans people period. At least, not the type which doesn’t fetishize us.
So. There is that. I also like to think that erotica is not incompatible with literary fiction. Well written, enjoyable, hot sex has its place in fiction just as much as crap sex (which is what I see far too much of). And I much prefer reading and writing the former.
Even if it’s just smut for the sake of smut, that in itself can be powerful and moving, and just plain fun. And there is nothing wrong with writing sexy sex for the sake of fun.
So yes. A little smut. And welcome additions to my publication list.