February 8th, 2014


Asexual Characters

I found a terrific article about writing asexual characters, with attention on how to characterize them as asexual and how that affects their experiences and expression. 

If you've read my QUILTBAG list, you know I write a fair number of asexual and demisexual characters.  These are exactly the techniques I use -- sometimes they say it outright, but more often they just show or state disinterest in things that sexual people find compelling.  A few of my aces self-identify as such, but many don't, and at least one is actively hiding  it.  So it usually comes through via actions or oblique dialog, rather than someone saying, "I'm asexual."  And that's life.  Until you get into an intimate situation with a friend or sweetheart -- or if you're an activist -- most people don't go around announcing their orientation.

Also, there's this cool article about Gandalf as asexual.  While it's never made explicit in canon, it certainly fits.  Gandalf doesn't seem to express interest in romantic or sexual activities.  Also he is one of the Istari -- not quite mortal, not quite immortal, something in-between.  It's common for wizards/shamans to be of alternative sex/gender/orientation.

Unsold Poems from the February 4, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl

The following poems from the February 4, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl are currently available. Poems may be sponsored via PayPal -- there's a permanent donation button on my LiveJournal profile page -- or you can write to me and discuss other methods.

There are still some verses left in the linkback poem, "Spirit of Truth." You can reveal those by linking to this page

"Always Like Itself" -- 44 lines, $20 (Tripping into the Future) SOLD
From a Dreamwidth prompt I got the free-verse poem "Always Like Itself," which belongs to the series Tripping into the Future.  Love is the one thing that not even entropy can touch.

"Aren't You Already There?" -- 59 lines, $20 (An Army of One) SOLD
Your prompt about difficult love inspired the free-verse poem "Aren't You Already There?"  It explores love and long-distance relationships in the Lacuna, and the challenges people face.

"As One of Your Countrymen" -- 113 lines, $56.50 (Clay of Life) SOLD
From the Clay of Life series comes the free-verse poem "As One of Your Countrymen."  It uses Hebrew vocabulary about love and charity to explore the relationship between Yossele the golem and Menachem the blacksmith, along with others they meet while traveling.

Menachem the blacksmith
took the Torah seriously.
He chatted with rabbis when he could,
and loved debating fine points of interpretation.

He recited sections of the Torah from memory,
and told stories from Jewish culture
along with others learned from people
in the countries through which he traveled

"The Children Made Manifest" -- 42 original lines, $20 (Fledgling Grace) SOLD
A Dreamwidth prompt about God expanded into the free-verse poem "The Children Made Manifest."  It weaves together a bunch of Bible verses about love and faith, along with examples from the Fledgling Grace setting.

"Drawing Me Out" -- 81 lines, $40.50 (Polychrome Heroics)
The prompt about Damask inspired the free-verse poem "Drawing Me Out."  It's a single-person perspective (which is new for Damask) that shows Clement interacting with Dace.  Dace is being friendly and a little shy; Clement is being friendly and a LOT shy, leaping to some assumptions without really much evidence one way or another.

A late September rain chases people
into the undergraduate library,
damp students and faculty alike huddling
around the old radiators that clink like armor

"Lawless, Winged, and Unconfined" -- 74 original lines, $37 (Fledgling Grace)
The strangers prompt inspired the poem "Lawless, Winged, and Unconfined."  Scott and the incubus share a connection that isn't a chain, which is new and a bit confusing, but they gradually get used to it.

There was nothing of coercion
in what lay between
Scott and the incubus,
yet there was still a force
that connected their souls

"The Love of Brothers" -- 80 lines, $40 SOLD
A true love prompt inspired the free-verse poem "The Love of Brothers." It uses philia as a base, and it takes place in ancient Greece, featuring a queerplatonic relationship between Ariston and Sophus, two apprentices of Archimedes.  This is set in nether-Earth, but a lot earlier than The Steamsmith series.

Ariston and Sophos were apprentices
to the alchemist Archimedes.
Of all the young men in his service,
Ariston was the strongest
and Sophos was the smartest

"Mismatchmakers" -- 30 lines, $15
From your second prompt I got "Mismatchmakers."  There are many goddesses of love, and some of them oversee trouble.  When they get together, it gets even worse.  This poem is written in unrhymed tercets.

"No-Good Lovers" -- 35 lines, $15 SOLD
Based on a backchannel prompt from Anthony Barrette, I got the free-verse poem "No-Good Lovers," which uses the extended metaphor of a toxic relationship to explore how people interact with money.

"A Picnic in the Hills" -- 27 lines, $15 (Fiorenza the Wisewoman) SOLD
The prompt about Fiorenza inspired the poem "A Picnic in the Hills."  Fiorenza and Giacinto go out and have a picnic while watching the local fairies.  This poem is written in unrhymed tercets.

"Pulling Pigtails" -- 83 lines, $41.50 (Polychrome Heroics)
Your supervillain prompts inspired the free-verse poem "Pulling Pigtails."  I also incorporated part of your nomenclature.  There are three sets of love/hate interests spanning junior high, high school, and college ages; and varying orientations.  People show affection in different ways, some more functional than others.

In junior high, hormones run hot and cold,
and there is no shortage of drama.

Bully Boy is husky this year,
not the slender waif he was in gradeschool,
and now he grows even bigger
when he beats up the weaker students

"Pussy Willows and Tiger Lilies" -- 27 lines, $15 (Walking the Beat) SOLD
Your prompt about Dale and Kelly led to "Pussy Willows and Tiger Lilies."  This is a free-verse Valentine's Day poem with a light tone.

"Unexpected Affections" -- 41 lines, $20 (Monster House) SOLD
The prompt about Melinda and the bogeyman led to the free-verse poem "Unexpected Affections."  They're actually two points of a triad, the third being the son of the house.  This poem is about childhood romance and friendship.

"Unfamiliar Feelings" -- 84 lines, $42 (One God's Story of Mid-Life Crisis)
A prompt about Shaeth led to the poem "Unfamiliar Feelings."  He feels love, but he doesn't understand it.  None of it really fits with his previous experiences, and he doesn't know what to do about that.

Shaeth is having heart trouble.
Specifically, it won't shut up
and leave him alone.

He feels something for Trobby,
but it's nothing like what
he once felt for Zargon

Where Canon and Fanfic Meet

 Here's a discussion about canonical fanfic and noncanonical fanfic.  It matches my observations that privileged people often try to keep the limelight for themselves, while underrepresented folks use fanfic as a way to explore stories that interest them but annoy the mainstream.  This is particularly interesting given the rise of mainstream-released material with major fanfic markers such as shifting time period (Sherlock), genderbending and racebending (double-tap in Elementary), and insertion of original characters (The Hobbit Part 2).

Call for Prompts

 [personal profile] aldersprig is hosting a Giraffe Call on the theme of "Villains."  Leave a prompt and get a ficlet.  Donations get you more words and there are collective perks too.  There's a prompt-per-character limit this time so the whole session doesn't focus on the most favorite villains already in play.  Consequently you might want to include some non-character-specific prompts.
monster house

Poem: "Unexpected Affections"

This poem came out of the February 4, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by prompts from rix_scaedu and kelkyag.  It also fills the "childhood romance" square in my 1-31-14 card for the Origfic Bingo fest.  This poem has been sponsored by rix_scaedu.  It belongs to the series Monster House.  It's a sequel to "Not Mine," "Vigil Ante," and "The Girl He Brought Home."

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Call for Prompts

K Orion Fray is hosting a prompt call on the theme of "Magic, Elves, and Faeries." You can leave one prompt and get a ficlet for free; boosting the signal earns you an extra prompt per venue. Donations get more words. This is also intended as a launch for the fantasy serial Quest to Karantiri.  This sounds like fun!