Tag: Not-An-Essay

Jughead is Aromantic and Asexual. The End.

Posted March 29, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

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Thoughts. The text 'rambling thoughts' underneath a burning lantern. For rambles, thoughts, and not-essays.

CW & TW: Discussions of arophobic and acephobic content.

Note #1: Comments are turned off by default on this post for mental health reasons. I’m really sorry to aromantic readers who wanted to comment. If you want to reach out to me via other means, please do!

Note #2: Im not aromantic asexual, but alloromantic demisexual. While I’ve done my best to ensure I’m not accidentally perpetuating arophobia, I cannot be 100% sure I’ve succeeded. Anything in this post/article that perpetuates arophobia is my fault. I apologise for it in advance. In the interest of full disclosure: an aroace friend read this over for me as a sensitivity reader, but any and all issues in this article exist because I messed up.

Note #3: OMG! I am the worst! So so so so many thanks to my friend for reading it over for me. <3 Again, any and all issues in this article are 100% on me, not them. If you think I messed up, blame me and only me. ‘s My doing. Also, please tell me so I can try to address it asap?

Jughead is Aromantic and Asexual. The End.

Firstly, let me start with this: I am not here to discuss whether it’s okay for Riverdale to write Jughead as an alloromantic allosexual (or an alloromantic asexual). It isn’t and this is not up for debate. Let me explain why as briefly as I can.

Jughead may be a fictional character, but there are real people who are aromantic and/or asexual who deeply identify with the way Jughead has been written. For some, Jughead is the only fictional representation of their experiences that they’ve ever seen. For some, it’s the only positive representation they’ve seen that doesn’t imply that they’re broken or inhuman.

If you look through the Twitter hashtag #AroAceJugheadOrBust, you’ll see many aromantic and asexual people discussing their experiences an what Jughead means to them. You’ll see people discussing how good it felt to have words for their experiences and to have anything at all that doesn’t imply that they’re not broken, are human, are normal just like everyone else.

Those who were aware of the Archie comics were aware that Jughead was written in a way that very strongly suggests he is a touch-averse aromantic asexual and has been since the comics began a good 73 years ago. In 2016, Chip Zdarsky, then the writer of the Jughead comics series, confirmed that Jughead is asexual by explicitly using the label on the page in the comic. There is no such explicit confirmation on-page that he’s aromantic, though there are panels where he declares “I am not a romantic person” in front of the whole school and, with the exception of cross-overs or comic alternate universes, he has always been written as someone who doesn’t like to be touched, who isn’t interested in dating or kisses and who thinks that burgers are better than sex.

So can you argue that Jughead is not aromantic? Sure. You can also argue that water is dry, mind you. Even though the comics don’t use the words (except 2016’s use of ‘asexual’) because the coinage of these terms and our understanding of asexuality and aromanticism is fairly recent, the Archie comics offer us 70+ years of behaviour that very strongly implies that Jughead, if given words for his experiences, would describe himself as a touch-averse aromantic asexual.

We frequently use far less evidence to theorise that a character is, say, gay. (Some examples from recent pop culture: Sherlock, Smallville, Supernatural, Merlin. Just to name a few. And, uh, not to open a can of worms here, but in a post about aro and ace erasure, I can’t mention Sherlock Holmes without pointing out that his inclusion here is problematic since he’s widely read as an asexual character.)

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Anxiety, Using Labels and Yuri!!! On Ice

Posted December 17, 2016 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Rambling / 0 Comments

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Daily Life. The text 'Lynn's Living Life' underneath the cameo silhouette of a woman. Daily life updates.

Yesterday, I attended a job interview. I have anxiety, so a daylong trip that involves going to another country for a short interview is, well, let’s just say I spent most of today balancing needing to keep my sleep rhythm proper and needing to recuperate. I’m really glad that everyone I met was super nice to me because human kindness really helps me out. But even with human kindness the parts where I was travelling on my own were… not great.

I won’t go into all the details, but since it followed so closely on Yuri!!! On Ice episode 11 and because Yuuri’s anxiety has been on my mind a lot, it is something I’ve been thinking about and have been since I watched Yuuri’s flashback to last year’s Grand Prix Final where he failed. It also features VERY MILD spoilers for YOI episode 11.

Content Note: Descriptions of how anxiety manifests for me and related food issues as well as descriptions of how I talk about anxiety.

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Demisexual Writing Tips

Posted October 28, 2016 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Rambling / 0 Comments

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Last night, I did a short(?) series of tweets discussing tips on how to write demisexual characters in your fiction. Those tweets have been storyfied here. WHOOHOO! The tweets focus on how to write demisexual protagonists, though it’s probably general enough to give you an idea on how to write any kind of demisexual. (That said, less screen space and no pov time makes it really hard to show a character as explicitly demisexual, so my recommendation would be that, if you want to include demi representation in your stories, make it a prominent character, so you have the space needed to explore how demisexuality works.)

And because I tend to write out longer tweet threads/storms like this before I start tweeting, here’s the original too. It’s slightly different at points because I do rephrase a little as I tweet, usually to allow for the character limit, but it’s effectively the same thing.

tl;dr best tip version: Let characters become firm friends first and then slowly layer in your demisexual character’s sexual attraction. Layer it. Also read the linked tumblr posts on how to avoid invalidating other ace spec sexualities and, when you’re looking for sensitivity readers don’t forget about the rest of the spectrum. Everyone will have something valuable to say about how you handle it!

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Book Release: The Princess who Didn’t Eat Cake

Posted August 31, 2016 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in My Work, News / 2 Comments

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The Princess who Didn't Eat Cake

The Princess who Didn’t Eat Cake: a demisexual fairy tale

Available from: Amazon (Ebook), Payhip

Read the story itself on Wattpad

Once upon a time there lived a princess…

When the kingdom discovers that their crown princess doesn’t like cake, chaos ensues. How will the royal line ever continue? Cake is essential to a good marriage! (Not to mention, the rejection of his cake was deeply insulting to the baker-prince who proposed with it.)

…and the stableboy who loved her…

The princess befriends a stableboy. She’s oblivious to the fact that he’s in love with her. The stableboy does his best to explain to the princess what is so wonderful about cake, but it takes an arduous journey to convince her to try a slice.

…in a kingdom that didn’t want to understand…

The Princess who Didn’t Eat Cake is a demisexual fairy tale. It aims to introduce people to the concept of demisexuality and to offer a rough idea of how the world may be experienced by people identifying on the asexual spectrum. It offers both the titular fairy tale, a brief essay explaining what demisexuality is in more detail and a short list of books featuring demisexual characters for anyone who would like to see more representation in fiction.

Content Note! View Spoiler » If this is sensitive material for you, please tread with caution.

Surprise release! Yay! It is out and available! Well, to some retailers, at least. It is still percolating its way to most others, but I couldn’t wait to share it with you all! Call me impatient. (Because I am.) But here it is! A handy-dandy ebook version of The Princess who Didn’t Eat Cake, accompanied by a short essay for additional information and a short list of other books to explore! It’s also a little more polished and doesn’t feature the word ‘cake’ quite as often as it did.

It should be available for free from most large e-retailers within a few days. The exception to this is Amazon, sorry! Amazon won’t let authors release ebooks for free and it’s not all that happy about authors asking them to price-match either. T_T So I’ve set the price there as low as I can for now. I hope it’ll price match for me automatically, but this is actually something where I could use readers’ help! If any readers could contact Amazon to inform them that the booklet is available permafree elsewhere, I would be super grateful. The more people inform them, the more likely it’ll be price-matched and stay that way.

I’ve released the booklet for free on large retailers because I’m hopeful that their reach will allow more readers to discover the story and, through it, raise more awareness of the asexuality spectrum and demisexuality in particular. Payhip includes DRM-free epub and mobi files and is available on a pay-what-you-want basis, in case you like what I and the booklet are trying to achieve and you want to support a queer indie author produce more stories. (But that is totally optional.)

Please do spread the word to anyone you think will enjoy it or find it useful. I am happy to talk to you about the asexual spectrum and demisexuality too if you have any other questions. I admit that non-fiction is not my strong point, but I’d be happy to do my best to answer any questions you have.

This is the story that sparked the longer DemiPrincess project that’s currently on sort-of official hiatus while I piece my heart back together. (I am getting there and I still aim to have a completed first draft before December.) But the DemiPrincess novel isn’t going to be a particularly good educational opportunity. Sure, it’s longer, but that also means it’s going to have a lot more elements to draw attention away from the focus and it can’t use the cake metaphor quite as easily as a short piece like this can.

I think that about covers it. I hope you’ll enjoy it!

*flails and hides*

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A Look at the Covers of 34 Translated Novels

Posted March 4, 2016 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

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As part of the Year of International Reading, I thought it would be a fun exercise to look at the covers for translated novels. Specifically, this post deals with the covers given to books that have been translated into English. I won’t be looking at the imagery, though. I’ll be focusing on the text available on these covers and talking (generally) about those.

YAY! Lynn is actually including pictures in something! The books are taken from a variety of genres to help showcase that the way English publishers handle translated covers tends to be similar. You’ll see similar trends in books translated from English into other languages. I’m focusing on English covers because that’s the language sphere I’m most familiar with, is the most accessible across the world and where I’m seeing conversations about diversity and translated works happening. These trends are, to the best of my knowledge, present and common within the Western cultural areas, but I can’t speak for other areas in the world.

Below the cut lie 117 covers divided over 39 mostly large images. People browsing on phones or browsing with bandwidth restrictions may want to exert caution.

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Internet Identity Defaults

Posted February 6, 2016 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Rambling / 4 Comments

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Thoughts. The text 'rambling thoughts' underneath a burning lantern. For rambles, thoughts, and not-essays.

Hi and welcome to my (sporadic) year long posting on international reading! Today’s post starts off pretty generally and was intended to be a starting point for pretty much all posts regarding international reading I might make this year. Then stuff happened and now it’s actually the second post! This particular post deals with internet identity defaults, or, put in something a little clearer, some of the assumptions people make about other people on the internet. Because those assumptions are… going to come up a lot and everyone makes them at some point or another.

Disclaimer note: This post will pertain largely to a Western cultural sphere. While there likely is some overlap with the experiences non-Western cultures I cannot (and do not) speak for them. This post thus covers a Western perspective on default assumptions on the internet.

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Workshops and Non-American Writers

Posted January 16, 2016 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Rambling / 0 Comments

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Thoughts. The text 'rambling thoughts' underneath a burning lantern. For rambles, thoughts, and not-essays.

I never thought that one of the first non-fiction posts I would make this year would be one on workshops. But here we are. Apparently that’s what I’m doing. Yesterday, I dove head-first into work and emerged to find that my Twitter timeline had exploded. It took me a while to catch up on what, exactly, had happened.

Briefly: Neil Gaiman made a promotional tweet for the Clarion workshop and a lot of people were hurt by his phrasing. He’s since clarified that it was hyperbole, but to a lot people it was yet another case of (micro)aggression and people spoke out. If you want to see an eloquent and thoughtful discussion on why people were upset, I recommend India Valentin’s response on Tumblr.

In the discussion that ensued on Twitter (and elsewhere, I’m sure, but I saw it solely on Twitter), I saw a handful of people mentioning the existence of a non-American perspective, but I saw very little discussion of what that perspective might actually look like. I know some of my readers might be interested in hearing my thoughts, so… I’ve done my best to sort them out into something at least somewhat coherent. (tl;dr version: if you’ve been following the discussions, I think it’s pretty similar to what other people have been saying but with a slightly different angle.)

Below the cut, then, lie those thoughts. Bear in mind that I’m coming at this discussion from the perspective of a white non-American who has never yet set foot in the US. I have never attended any prestigious workshops and will likely never be able to afford the prestigious ones anyway.

As said, they may be rambly and a smidge incoherent, but I hope not.

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Writing with Fatigue Issues

Posted December 5, 2015 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Rambling / 0 Comments

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Writing With Fatigue Issues

As my friends well know (because I somehow cannot seem to stop complaining about mentioning it), I have fatigue issues. We suspect CFS/ME, but, well, you try and get a doctor to diagnose it. We’ll go and ignore the fact where it’s not anything else, the symptoms fit and I’ve been dealing with it for a number of years. It used to be a lot worse than it is now, too, so hey progress!

But! This is not going to be a pity post! Well, not much. ^-~ This is going to be a post on my experiences in being a writer (or an author) dealing with fatigue issues as well as how those issues affect the writing advice that’s available online.

In recent months, I’ve seen a lot of posts from established authors discussing their problems with depression (or other often invisible health issues) quite frankly and I’ve been deeply gratified to see many of these authors acknowledge the effects that depression can have. Maybe it’s the articles I read before then, but so many of the ones I read before those particular discussions told people to just ‘get over’ their depression and keep writing anyway and… Well, generally ignored the impact of what depression actually is.

In this post, as I’ve said, I’d like to focus on how to write with fatigue issues. Or, more specifically, how I write with them. You may find that what works for me doesn’t work for you. And that’s okay! You are not me. Obviously, I hope that you’ll find my post useful (or at least informative), but it’s okay if your experience is different from mine.

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5 Tidbits on the Process of Writing

Posted October 3, 2015 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Rambling / 0 Comments

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5 Tidbits on the Process of Writing

Yep, just five tidbits on the process of writing. Specifically, my process of writing. Because it’s fun. These are not guaranteed to work for you, but hopefully you’ll find them at least entertaining. One of the things that you need to do as a writer is to learn to listen to what your body and your brain are telling you. You don’t have to understand how you know what they’re saying, so long as you know.

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