Friday, November 25, 2011

Occupy My Bed

It's been a tough couple of days.  My body has apparently decided that sleep is off the menu.  I haven't managed to fall asleep before 4am since Sunday night.  Morning.  Whatever.

Which really isn't so far out there for me.  I'm mostly up all night these days.  The problem has been that I had places to be on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  Tuesday I had a massage appointment, Wednesday my cousin and her 3 kids spent the day with us, and Thursday we drove down to my SIL's parents' house (an hour and a half away) for Thanksgiving.

I don't do well with changes in my routine.  I *really* don't do well with noise and commotion and crowds.  And I *especially* don't deal well with stacking those things together for several days in a row and then asking my body to do it on about 2 hours of sleep a night.  I feel like I was run over by a bus.  And then the bus backed up and ran over me again.  My whole body hurts, and my legs are so weak that I feel wobbly when I try to stagger to the bathroom or, god forbid, across the house to the kitchen.

So the only thing I will be Occupying is my bed.  It's not like I was planning to go out into the mayhem that is Black Friday, anyway.  At three o'clock in the afternoon I'm probably safe from being knocked over in a stampede and trampled to death or crushed into jelly against locked store doors by a deal-maddened crowd. But there are still all those people out there, with all those germs.  No, thank you.

I will lay in bed and eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and read.  Maybe in a little bit I'll watch some TV.  That's about as Black as I can handle.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hello World

The last couple of weeks have been unhappy ones in the m/m (male/male) romance community.  Frankly, I haven't had the stomach, or the heart, to follow it all.  What it boils down to is that a male author was "outed" as being female.  The author then said, "actually, I'm transgendered."  And then it all got dicey.

Some people were livid that this author had been "lying" to them, and didn't feel they could believe the transgender claim.  Other transgendered authors were frightened by the public exposure, and horrified by the demands that other "women" writing in the genre declare themselves.  The charge of lying was particularly hurtful to the trans community, since the identity of a transgendered person hangs on who they know themselves to be, and how they choose to present themselves to others, not necessarily what's between their legs.  The whole thing was complicated by the fact that the author in question most definitely did lie by using a male model friend's picture as his author photo and even sending this friend out once to do a signing as the author.  (And there was some other fishy stuff that I'm not really clear on.)

A hell of a mess, huh?

The ignorance and transphobia revealed by the whole situation has been enlightening, and not in a good way.  The m/m romance community has always seen itself as being a welcoming, accepting place.  Suddenly the transgendered and genderqueer members are feeling attacked, and a lot of other people are offended and confused by the charges of bigotry.  The whole thing makes my heart hurt.

Other than a general dislike of bigotry in all shapes, why is this kerfluffle so upsetting to me?  Because I am genderqueer.

You hear a lot of gay people say, "I've always known I was gay."  For me, this is the same.  I've always known I was genderqueer.  I just never had a name for it until this summer.

Let me back up a minute and explain what this all means.  There are a lot of different ways to define genderqueer.  For me, it means that I don't think of myself as being a woman.  I don't particularly think of myself as a man, either, and I have no desire to have gender reassignment surgery to become one.  I am just... me.  An individual floating somewhere in the middle, taking whatever I want from both traditionally male and traditionally female identities.

I discovered the term this past summer, and had about 5 minutes worth of panic over the whole thing.  Oh, no!  I'm genderqueer!  What am I going to do?  Then I settled down and realized, hello, dumbass.  You're going to keep going just like you always have.  Because while I may suddenly have had a word for what I've always felt, that didn't mean anything was going to change.  I've always interacted with the world as a genderqueer person.  I've never tried to pretend that I was anything other than who I am.  Acknowledging the label doesn't make me any more or less than I've always been.

I know that I'm very lucky in this.  For some people, acknowledging their trans or genderqueer identity means big changes.  Or painful hiding in a public identity that doesn't match their inner reality.  I could go along for the rest of my life and never say a word.  Just "pass" as cisgendered (another nifty word I learned this summer which means that your identity/behavior matches your sex).  Let the world make their assumptions and skate on by.

But after seeing all the hurt and anger of the last few weeks, I felt like I needed to say something.  Maybe if people know someone who is different, they won't be so quick to judge.  Maybe they won't be so quick to fear or hate, because there's already one perfectly ordinary genderqueer person in their life, even if it's only their online/blogging life.  So here it is:

I'm genderqueer.  I'm not lying.  I'm exactly who I've always been-- I just never before had the courage or felt the need to throw that label out there.  I'm perfectly normal.  And my transgendered and genderqueer brothers, sisters, and others are just as deserving of respect as our cisgendered brethren.  We're all just folks. So let's approach each other with a little more love, OK?

Thursday, November 03, 2011

In Which Our Heroine Forgets to Read Her Own Blog Post

I made a little bit of progress on the NaNo story today.  85 words.  Which is really only about two paragraphs.  So it's minimal progress.  But I'll take what I can get.

Last night I went to bed with two characters in my head-- Ethan and Harry.  I don't really know anything about these guys yet, but I figure if I stick with it I'll get to know them this month.  And then I woke up this morning with two paragraphs in my head about Mark and his bowel habits.  Who Mark is, what his relationship to Ethan and Harry is, and why he (or I) think anyone cares about his bowel habits is completely beyond me.  But I'm going with it.  hur.

I think, and I could be totally wrong here but it seems about right, that Mark is a bit of a Sheldonesque character.  (From The Big Bang Theory)  And I think that Ethan and Harry come in and disrupt his life in ways large and small.  In fact, I think Ethan and Harry are sort of modern day Gandalfs, and Mark is Bilbo, and the story is going to end up being a riff on The Hobbit.  Ethan and Harry drag Mark along with them on a Big Gay Adventure.

Hmm.  Ideas are churning.  This is good.  I'm supposed to be getting ready for my mom's Mary Kay Holiday Open House that starts on Friday (I have a few hand knit things that I'm putting out), but I may spend the day putting together a collage and soundtrack instead.  If I'm lucky I may even add another 85 words to my story.  At this rate I should hit the 50,000 word mark on June 13, 2013.

In goofy news, I was very proud of a new In Which statement that I came up with this morning, and I mentioned it in a comment on the last post.  And then I went back and re-read the post and discovered that I'd put it in the body of the post when I wrote it yesterday, and then promptly forgot it.  Because that is how my brain works.  (Julie's smooth brain has nothin' on me.)

So that's my progress so far.  And now, I think my sleeping pill is finally kicking in, so I'm going to post this and then go to bed.

'Night All!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

In Which a Plan Is Born

Just in case you've been living under a rock (or, you know, you don't run in the same writerly circles I do), it's NaNo time again.  In honor of this annual event, I've changed my blog theme again.  Isn't it nice?  Much less shocking than the fall foliage.

So, we're over 24 hours into the grand event.  How many words have I written?  Nothing, nada, el zippo.  Despite spending the last two months in Lani's writing classes, preparing for this moment, there is nothing in my head.  (Totally not Lani's fault.  The lack of firing synopses in my brain is my problem alone.)  It's echoing in there like the inside of an empty 55 gallon drum.

But I did get an idea a few minutes ago.  In fact, I shamelessly stole it from Deanna Raybourn and her blog.  Every post starts with, "In Which".  Examples from the last week are: "In which we were just talking about Nora", "In which this is just BIZARRE", "In which I am out and about", and "In which I'm leaving on the proverbial jet plane".

So, this is what I'm going to do.  I'm going to start every section with an "In Which".  The first one will be, "In Which Our Two Heroes Meet".  I have not the slightest idea who these fellows are or what they're going to do.  But I like this "In Which" idea, so I'm going to run with it.  Or, more realistically, waddle with it.

Next challenge: come up with enough "In Which" statements to keep me moving for the rest of the month.  I have a few more off the top of my head:

In Which a Good Time Is Had By All
In Which Our Heroes Encounter a Problem
In Which Our Heroes Are In For a Bit of a Surprise

But I need a bunch more than that.  If you've got any ideas for "In Which" statements, please share them in the comments.  I'm hoping to have one for every day of writing, and that they'll help steer the story along, because right now I don't have a flipping clue.

Lip Balm of the Day: Shamrock Shake