pantryslut: (Default)
I just found out I have an honorable mention in the Year's Best Science Fiction (25th annual, i.e. for the year 2007) for "Dead. Nude. Girls."

I wouldn't have expected it for the sheer fact that the story isn't science fiction at all; it seems to me to fall squarely in the horror/dark fantasy bin. (In fact, I was mentioned by name but not by story title in that same year's Year's Best Fantasy and Horror.) But...neat! I'm kinda floored, actually.
pantryslut: (she tried to be good)
"I don't know how they get this undergarment off!"
pantryslut: (Default)
So, perhaps more importantly, what would you like the contemporary fabulist girl geek coming of age novel to look like?
pantryslut: (astro girl)
David Levine says that "hard SF and homosexuality don't seem to mix." (Do please read the whole thing for context.)

Hm. Hm. Hm.
pantryslut: (Default)
So, what would the fabulist geek girl coming of age novel look like?

I'm kinda serious here.
pantryslut: (mom tattoo)
I want to write a story in which toddlers and babies realize that our contemporary nuclear family structure is deliberately designed to isolate them in an otherwise all-adult world -- to prevent peer-to-peer relationships and also to inhibit mentoring from older kids. To slowly destroy the accumulated wisdom and cultural practices of generations of children.

So then, of course, they revolt.

This was in no way inspired by the way babies are fascinated with each other. Nope.
pantryslut: (Default)
Sometimes I don't talk much here about the things that are really, actually, preoccupying my head, in part b/c they seem so obvious -- they may be taking up space in my head, but that doesn't mean there's much of anything new to say about it.

Today, waking up in the aftermath of the riot in downtown Oakland last night, is an example. I could say a lot about my thoughts on institutional power and attempts to disguise/flatten its structure and effects; about false equivalentizing; about misplaced anger and justified anger; about private property, even. But I wouldn't be saying anything new or particularly insightful, and I would be opening this space up for pointless fights that don't even change anyone's mind, much less anything else more substantial.

So I am going to say something else oblique about a different, though related, topic.

I think I have decided that, rather than ever utter a word in any discussion of writing and cultural appropriation again, I am just going to buy a stack of copies of John Rechy's memoir, About My Life and the Kept Woman. (An awkward title that makes perfect sense once you get to the end of the book.) I am going to stick a Post-It note to the cover of each book. That note will read:

"If you think as hard about what you're thinking of doing as Rechy did about telling the stories of other people -- people he knew, people he spent a lot of time with, people who were his friends, but people who were not him, were not fictional, and had a different place in the world than he did, but not by much -- then you're probably heading in the right direction. But that's a start, not a finish. The proof is in the pudding and always will be."

This is aside from the rest of the book, which is quite lovely and thought-provoking and recommended.
pantryslut: (tiger)
Last night, my dinner companion revealed that he'd been asked if he was the subject of the story I read at PPO last weekend.

The answer is no. Actually, the answer is, "Aaah! I write fiction, dammit! Fiction!"

I could say some sage words hereabout the very effective use of the first-person voice in erotic writing, but I won't.

I will just say that this issue keeps coming up, and that mostly, I try to take it as a compliment. Obviously, I am very convincing! I must be a good writer :)

But, for the record: I would never serve take-out sushi by candlelight in an attempt to seduce someone on a first date.
pantryslut: (Default)
1. Dreams last night of fresh paint on my clothes, and of people falling into bottomless crevasses. Repeatedly.

2a. One of the reasons I have been thinking a lot about memoir these past few days is that last year, I wrote a grant proposal to the National Queer Arts Festival to curate a show that would have been called "My Butch Body." The NQAF suggested at some point that I develop it as a solo performance instead, and came >this close< to giving me $ and a performance space to do it in. They are still encouraging me to do it for a future year.

The prospect kinda terrifies me. *My* body? And only my body? And no multiplicity of voices to let you all know that, dudes, butch bodies are diverse as fuck?

And what is there to say about *my* body in that context, anyway, that's worth more than, say, ten minutes of your time?

Yeah. Like that. And even though the point has been moot for months, I worry at it like a bad tooth. Attraction/repulsion. I hear good art can come out of that sort of dynamic. And now, as the NQAF starts soliciting grants for next year, the point is no longer moot again, and I have all these fabulous inspiring performances dancing in my head, too. So that's kinda where I am and where I'm coming from.

2b. I think some of my resistance to memoir is also that it's too linear in its Platonic form. When I break out of that and start organizing material thematically (see above), it becomes more interesting and appealing. Still a challenge, still not my preferred mode, but suddenly, possibilities open up and ennui falls away.

3. Meanwhile, I still have another project to finish. I think this week, or next.
pantryslut: (Default)
1. A long, long time ago, one of my writing instructors wrote in an evaluation that I was a very good writer, but not as good at talking *about* my writing. (Which was fine, she said, there were lots of writers for whom that's true.)

2. One of the reasons I like fiction is because I can just present a situation, a scene, and not have to elaborate upon it or explain it. That's nice.

3. I actually actively resist the temptation to shape my experiences into a narrative of any large sort. I think it's important (for me) to recognize patterns, but also not to impose other patterns or expectations. I'm happier and more flexible and durable that way. Also, I deliberately resist self-dramatization. Perhaps it's just a taste thing.

4. I am fond occasionally of the first-person voice because a) it lets the reader know where the narrator is coming from (no hiding behind a curtain of omniscience), and b) it allows the expression of, shall we say, flawed but interesting viewpoints.

5. Fundamentally, I already understand my own viewpoint. Exploring it is boring. Other people's viewpoints -- even if I made those people up in my head -- and how those viewpoints impact their actions, that's a lot more interesting to me.
pantryslut: (vanilla)
I think, the next time I read that particular story that I read on Saturday night, I am going to include a disclaimer: "This is fiction, yo. You think it's true b/c I am a good writer and very convincing, and maybe also because I lifted a few details here and there from real life, but mostly the former (good writer, very convincing) and not the latter, 'K?"

FWIW, I have written exactly two pieces of sexual memoir, as far as I can recall. The first is in Best Bisexual Erotica. The second is in the forthcoming Fucking Daphne. (Heh. You'll see.)
pantryslut: (tungbite)
"IMPORTANT RULES TO FOLLOW:

Do not kill your good guy or gal Vampire in the story.
Do not make your good guy or gal Vampire A killer.
Do not send us A story with vampires that turn into bats.
Your story has to be believable."


No further comment.
pantryslut: (reading is fun)
Many of my Spec Fic friends have gotten all excited about Anthology Builder.

It's a neat concept, to be sure. And I might have one story to sell to them.

One. Exactly one.

I think the rest might fall under the "stories with excessive violence or sexuality" rubric, alas.

Still, I will try to get off my ass and send them something this weekend.
pantryslut: (work)
Someday, I am going to write a long essay on the trope of the vibrating egg in BDSM fiction. (That would be the egg-shaped insertable vibrator, remote-control-wise). They sure do make the women go weak-kneed in the stories I read. And all that without any direct clitoral stimulation at all!
pantryslut: (tiger)
I have encountered a certain sentiment lately, that goes along the lines of this:

"Writers should step away from the online blogginess thing and do more real writing, plz, kthkbye."

This sentiment annoys me, a lot, for one very precise reason.

I hate, hate, hate being treated as a public writing utility rather than a person. As a faucet for words.

What I do with my time is my own damn business, and if I decide to spend it all writing here. bloggishly, instead of working on my Next Big Thing, that's my problem. Not yours. (That's the generic you, of course.) If it pleases me, then I will do it, and you have no say. So stop telling me what to do.

Not that anybody has ever said this to me directly, but dang.

Besides, everybody knows that I actually waste my writing time playing online Scrabble. I waste my work time posting here :)
pantryslut: (Default)
I have a small crank left over from the weekend about authenticity, realness, memoir, and fiction, but I am having a hard time articulating it. I think it boils down to: don't ever fool yourself into thinking memoir is real and fiction is not. They're different flavors of real. Also, all writing takes craft, whether is sounds breathless and accessible or mannered and airy.

I think some of us may crave memoir these days because we're so oversaturated with advertising and political manipulation (the same thing, in many cases), so it seems like a breath of fresh air. But only if it's good. What you want to say when you are praising it is, "that was really good," or, "that was really moving," or, "I really connected with that."
pantryslut: (Default)
In the middle of rewriting a story yesterday, I was totally frustrated. Every word I wrote stank on ice. My prose was just not coming together. I let out a stream of not-very-creative curses that startled both my sweeties.

Then I sat back down and kept writing.

It got better. A lot better, in fact. I went to bed reasonably sure that it was a good story, that it was doing what I wanted it to do.

I'm noting this here because I feel the same way, on a less acute and more chronic level, with the project thingy I am working on. So if I can remember that it gets better if I keep writing and working on it, that, like dough, it will eventually come together even if it looks like an incoherent mess right now...

Also, in the middle, I reminded myself that what I was doing was *hard*. I'd chosen a tricky thing to try. It takes extra attention and care. And that's OK.

Yes, folks, this is what living with a temperamental writer is like! Us artists, we're such a gas.

*

The rest of my night: I ate yummy food from the Israeli place. There were many pregnant women there. Steven encourages me to think it is causative. I wonder if it's merely correlative, as pregnant women are known to have cravings, and btw the pickles at this place are really yummy and they put them in their sandwiches so there you go. Maybe when I am pregnant, I will be compelled to come to this place regularly. Not such a bad fate.
pantryslut: (Default)
1. Suddenly I have an urge to write a whole slew of zombie stories, enough for an entire collection, to surround "Dead. Nude. Girls." (Which could be out soon! Or not! We'll see!) I blame Fela Kuti and Kelly Link.

2. Every time I review my finished, submitted, published ouvre, I feel like an underachiever. I'm not sure what to do about this, except write more. Ah, there's the rub.

3. But there are some stories I am proud of. DNG is one of them. "The Call Girl Detective" is another (hello again, Kelly Link). "The Robber Girl," a third. And, of course, "Test Driving the Celebrity Cock."

4. "Sex and the Married Dyke" grows on me over time, too.

5. And then there's those poems that I should be circulating.

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