Author: Lynn E. O'Connacht

5 SFF Books that Introduce Aromanticism Well

Posted June 17, 2019 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Ace & Aro Studies / 0 Comments

Tags: , ,

Hi, everyone! I hope your week is off to a fantastic start! I know. I know. No one likes Mondays because the week’s off to a new start. But you know what Mondays also mean? It’s time for Monday Musings! Wherein I ramble about various and sundry depending on my whim or Patreon requests/suggestions. Posts are somewhere below 2,500 words at most and consist of short personal essays and discussions.

Read More

Divider

Week 24 Update

Posted June 14, 2019 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

Tags:

Weekly Accountability

Hi, everyone! It’s that time again! Weekly updates delivered every Friday!

Completed Projects

  • 1/1 polish Sing to Me essay
  • 100% playtest Your Prince Has Drowned
  • Publish Your Prince Has Drowned

Goal Updates

  • 8,627/15,000 words of fiction written
  • 0/1 proper paper introduction
  • 10/12 books read
  • 2/4 discussions of papers in Asexualities

Writing Updates

This Week’s Fiction Wordcount: 2,841

This Week’s Non-Fiction Wordcount: 4,642

DemiPrincess2: Slow progress is slooooow. But, on the bright side, I think the changes I’m making are making the narrative a lot stronger overall and they’re certainly making the story a lot queerer.

Life And Other Such Important Matters

Things are… going apace. I’ve got a couple of things we do not mention for fear of jinxing going on, but they should be really good things if they work out, so… fingers crossed that they will work out and that I’ll be able to share some of it soon. Mostly, though, I’m just really ridiculously happy to have Your Prince Has Drowned out there as a game now. I desperately need to work on my promo announcement skills this month because they’ve been utterly rubbish, but eeeeeee!!!! I published it! 😀

Stand-out Positive Moment

I finished and published a game! Well, more story than game because I am me, but you know. A whole game! That I finished! And put out there! Sure, it’s nothing particularly fancy, but that’s all right. 😀

This Week on Patreon

All the Patreon posts from the past week, collected in neat and tidy lists, divided by tier.

Free

$1+

$5+

How about you? What have you been up to lately? Has anything awesome happened?

Divider

5 SFF Books that Introduce Asexuality Well

Posted June 10, 2019 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Ace & Aro Studies / 0 Comments

Tags: , , ,

Hi, everyone! I hope your week is off to a fantastic start! I know. I know. No one likes Mondays because the week’s off to a new start. But you know what Mondays also mean? It’s time for Monday Musings! Wherein I ramble about various and sundry depending on my whim or Patreon requests/suggestions. Posts are somewhere below 2,500 words at most and consist of short personal essays and discussions.

Read More

Divider

New Releases Times Two!

Posted June 9, 2019 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in News / 0 Comments

Tags:

Due to frantically trying to get everything done, some balls sadly got dropped. One of them was, uh, actually announcing that my newest story is available! So! Without further ado!

The Shimmering Prayer of Sûkiurâq is now available and will be discounted at about $1.99 for the remainder of the month. Get it now while it’s cheap! It’s magical girl meets secondary world, but make it more deliberately queer a la She-Ra and the Princesses of Power.

I love this story so much. I just honestly still don’t know how to express how much I love that story. It just makes my heart happy and I hope it will make other people’s hearts happy too. And yes I have vague sequel plans to work on when I finish several other things on my plate – unless people fall in love with it and it sells so well it’s worth upending my planning to prioritise it. So if you want more sooner, spread the word!

Title card for Your Prince Has Drowned

Secondly! I, uh, released a short interactive fiction Twine… thing. I wrote this story called Your Prince Has Drowned, except it works better if you can actually code a text parser than it works as a short static story, so inspired by RoAnna Sylver’s experiences with writing actual games, I decided to revisit it in the shape of a Twine game. It’s still not entirely how I envision it because see no text parser, but hey for someone who hasn’t coded a thing since they were nine and something that’s intended to be a story with interactive elements rather than a gamegame, I think it’s not too shabby.

Anyway, you can check out Your Prince Has Drowned on itch.io, if you’re so inclined! It’s free-to-play in your browser! But if you want to support me and/or have access to a very basic hint book, that’s also an option!

And that is all my news this month! I RELEASED A GAME THING! I DID IT!

Divider

Week 23 Update

Posted June 7, 2019 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

Tags:

Weekly Accountability

Hi, everyone! It’s that time again! Weekly updates delivered every Friday!

Completed Projects

  • 9/4 print format checks

Goal Updates

  • 5,786/15,000 words of fiction written
  • 0/1 proper paper introduction
  • 0/1 polish Sing to Me essay
  • 2/12 books read
  • 0% playtest YPHD (mostly I just want to check the meta-narrative is the best it can be and tweak as necessary then work on the final things to tidy it up and it’ll be ready to be released! :O It’ll be my first Twine interactive fiction piece!)
  • 1/4 discussions of papers in Asexualities

Writing Updates

This Week’s Fiction Wordcount: 5,876

This Week’s Non-Fiction Wordcount: 2,686

DemiPrincess2: Well, going back to this is certainly taking longer than I thought it would. Gah. I thought these chapters would be nice and quick to rework, but I’m actually making a fair few changes to them. Eep. Still, I will persevere and the book will be better for it. I may need to revise the timeline, though, because I did not anticipate having to make quite so many changes. Ugh. I hate that. One of the things that drew out reworking the chapter I just finished is that I wanted to see if I could queer it up a little more. I’ll have to poke at some more later, but for now it’s as queer as it’ll get and I just want to move on. It’s one thing to backtrack and make changes because you feel you got stuck on something. It’s entirely different to then refuse to move forward to sort out less plot-impactful things.

Life And Other Such Important Matters

I am so incredibly tired. The neighbours have got a newborn baby (well, one that’s a few weeks old now), but we have extremely thin walls and I’m ridiculously sensitive, so white noise or earplugs are both out. So is, apparently, actual, continuous sleep. Yay.

Beyond that all I can do is flop on flat surfaces and pretend I’m awake. Fun times. But! We did go out to get plants today! Not that I’m any good with gardening, but they’re pretty? And also I don’t have to look after them, so it’s unlikely I’ll be the one causing their demise? (The wild rabbits, though? Most likely.)

Stand-out Positive Moment

There was one night recently where I actually and genuinely slept! I know that’s a really tiny and somewhat petty thing, but. I did. [faceplants]

This Week on Patreon

All the Patreon posts from the past week, collected in neat and tidy lists, divided by tier.

Free

$1+

$5+

How about you? What have you been up to lately? Has anything awesome happened?

Divider

May Newsletter

Posted May 31, 2019 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Goals / 0 Comments

Tags:

May Newsletter

Hi, everyone! It’s that time again! Monthly news and accountability!

Before I talk about anything else: The Shimmering Prayer of Sûkiurâq releases tomorrow! Not only that, but it’ll be on sale for $1.99 as a Pride Month special and for slightly less if you buy it via itch.io where I have a month-long special sale on all my queer fiction. You can get all my queer stories for a grand total of $23.00 and normally the set would cost you $35.59, so that’s 35% off. :O

I’ve been terrible at actually announcing it, but there we are.

Life And Other Such Important Matters

Well, wish me luck on life things that will remain unnamed for now! They’re ongoing. Beyond that the month went… surprisingly well. I think. Honestly, it continues the trend of “I know something happened this month, but wow can I not remember what”. Well, that and there were some things I can’t talk about that will hopefully be really good.

Hugo nominee reading goes… more or less apace, I think. I’ll need to step up my game on the novel front, but that’s not too surprising, really. I’ve been trying to get through the novellas and novelettes for the most part. Beyond that I’ve… Well, I’ve mostly been feeling like I’ve been treading water. I don’t think that’s entirely accurate, but that’s how it feels. It took me practically all month to get up some promo posts for next month and, well, you can see how well announcing the sale went.

Overall it’s just this weird mix where I recognise that I’ve been okay and feeling like I’ve not been okay at all. It’s just really weird.

Featured Post

8 Decades of SFF with Low, Intimate Stakes

Books that celebrate smaller, more intimate stakes (and shout-out to Eric Smith for introducing me to the phrasing!) and eschew focusing on the larger stakes, though, can feel like they’re far and few between or like they never existed in the first place, which is a shame because people have always written these types of stories too, even won acclaim with them.

Completed Projects

No big completed projects!

June Goals

  • 0/15,000 words of fiction written
  • 0/1 proper paper introduction
  • 0/1 polish Sing to Me essay
  • 0/12 books read
  • 0% playtest YPHD (mostly I just want to check the meta-narrative is the best it can be and tweak as necessary then work on the final things to tidy it up and it’ll be ready to be released! :O It’ll be my first Twine interactive fiction piece!)
  • 0/4 discussions of papers in Asexualities
  • 0/4 print format checks

As you can see I’m sticking to the 15,000 words because I’m still reworking DemiPrincess2 chapters. It should be a piece of cake to get all of it done. I also want to continue working on the paper and finish polishing up the essay on Sing to Me, so it’s ready for everyone to read. It looks very likely that it’ll be available to everyone, so I’m incredibly excited! I hope it’ll be well-received because it tackles several aspects of asexuality and aromanticism that I haven’t really touched on yet.

The print formats are, I hasten to point out with a dejected heart, not because I’m at a point where making print editions is financially sensible for me again. No, I’m making/considering them because a friend pointed out that audiobook software can’t read ebooks but can read pdfs. I’ve resisted making pdfs of books available because I thought they would be and pdfs just do not read comfortably on ereaders in my experience, but if audiobook readers require pdfs to read them this goes well beyond my personal dislike and becomes an accessibility issue. That is something I can address, to some extent, so it’s something I want to address. This month I’m hoping to start by checking over and tidying up the PDFs that I’ve already got.

And yes that means that Patrons can likely expect me to record videos about book design again in the relatively near future!

May Goals

  • 21,627/15,000 words of fiction written
  • 1/1 proper essay outline
  • 1/1 completed draft of the essay on Sing to Me
  • 18/12 books read
  • 5/5 discussions of papers in Asexualities

Somehow, I made them all. What even.

Writing Updates

This Month’s Fiction Wordcount: 21,627

This Month’s Non-Fiction Wordcount: 16,171

DemiPrincess2: [flails helplessly] I DO NOT KNOW. I should’ve had this in the bag, but apparently I’ve been flailing around trying to get everything done and… things got done, but goodness only knows what because I do not remember. I feel like I could have done so much more and somehow… didn’t. T_T

Stand-out Positive Moment

I’ve managed to listen to at least one episode of all of the fancast nominees for the Hugo Awards! VICTORY!

This Month on Patreon

Free

$1+

$5+

How about you? What have you been up to lately? Has anything awesome happened?

Divider

No Clever Titles

Posted May 27, 2019 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

Tags:

Hi, everyone! I hope your week is off to a fantastic start! I know. I know. No one likes Mondays because the week’s off to a new start. But you know what Mondays also mean? It’s time for Monday Musings! Wherein I ramble about various and sundry depending on my whim or Patreon requests/suggestions. Posts are somewhere below 2,500 words at most and consist of short personal essays and discussions.

Read More

Divider

Week 21 Update

Posted May 24, 2019 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Goals, News / 0 Comments

Tags:

Weekly Accountability

Hi, everyone! It’s that time again! Weekly updates delivered every Friday! Before we get to anything else, I have an announcement to make. We’ve reached one of the Patreon milestones and goals! Thank you all so much for your support. It means the world.

The goal we’ve reached is the one that makes the sporadic(ish) longer essay drafts about asexual and aromantic representation available to *all* patrons! That means that, if we’ve still reached this goal the next time Patreon collects (that is, like, 2 weeks from now eep), I’ll start unlocking the older essays one a month and the finished draft of Sing to Me will be posted for all patrons to enjoy! WHOOHOO!

Thank you all so much! I’m just floored and flabbergasted and humbled. You are fantastic people. <3

Completed Projects

  • 21,627/15,000 words of fiction written
  • 1/1 proper essay outline
  • 1/1 completed draft of the essay on Sing to Me
  • 12/12 books read

Goal Updates

  • 4/5 discussions of papers in Asexualities

Look at me go! The writing numbers are a bit of a mess this month because it’s a combination of not recalling when I edited what and rewriting – which yes means I rewrote every word and every sentence even if I didn’t change a thing – but that’s… honestly why I upped the word count this month to begin with. I edit much, much faster than my rough first drafts, so I can up the word count.

Writing Updates

This Week’s Fiction Wordcount: 7,015

This Week’s Non-Fiction Wordcount: 5,919

DemiPrincess2: Progress is go! I think I mentioned that I hit a point where I knew I needed to go back to revise? If not, I did! And… I finally got that revision sorted out, so I’m making headway getting back to where I left off. So far it’s already resulted in a vastly different opening scene. It took a lot of anxiety and a lot longer than I thought, but I think it’s much stronger now.

Life And Other Such Important Matters

You know when an opportunity arrives that is basically everything you wanted and it seems too good to be true and you’re praying will all your heart and soul that a) it is as good as it sounds, b) the opportunity won’t pass you by? That is my life right now and I’m not saying anything else in case I jinx it.

Also a bunch of geese have decided to live in the vicinity and they alternate between giving me joy and filling with an intense hatred of all things goose-related because when they make noise, they make a lot of noise. Like a lot.

Stand-out Positive Moment

[points up to the top] You all are AMAZING! Thank you so much!

This Week on Patreon

All the Patreon posts from the past week, collected in neat and tidy lists, divided by tier.

Free

$1+

$5+

How about you? What have you been up to lately? Has anything awesome happened?

Divider

Queer Frameworks of Language: or, why vocabulary is so important to marginalised groups seen through a distinctly asexual and aromantic lens

Posted May 20, 2019 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Ace & Aro Studies / 0 Comments

Tags: , ,

Hi, everyone! I hope your week is off to a fantastic start! I know. I know. No one likes Mondays because the week’s off to a new start. But you know what Mondays also mean? It’s time for Monday Musings! Wherein I ramble about various and sundry depending on my whim or Patreon requests/suggestions. Posts are somewhere below 2,500 words at most and consist of short personal essays and discussions.

CN: Discusses queermisic phrasing (specifically how language works to make what may sound like a perfectly acceptable sentence to one person something offensive to another)

Queer Frameworks of Language: or, why vocabulary is so important to marginalised groups seen through a distinctly asexual and aromantic lens

Language is power. In a way. Language allows us to consider the world, to communicate, to share and build knowledge. When we invent something new like, say, the automobile, we name it. If we run into a feeling that we want to describe, we name it. And sometimes we nick it from other languages because we didn’t realise it was a useful feeling to name until we realised we could.

I could give a dozen examples. In English, Shakespeare was exceptionally good at it, insofar as we can be sure that Shakespeare genuinely coined the words and isn’t just the oldest record we have of it being used.

Language has power. We can see it in the way people use slurs and insults to keep others down and the way these others reclaim them. ‘Queer’ is certainly the most obvious example for me to use here. We can also see it occur in reverse, in the way TERFs now reject the label they came up with because trans people and allies keep calling them out on their transmisic and harmful rhetoric. To them, TERF has become a slur. It’s not, of course. It’s just a shortened version of what they called themselves because using the full term repeatedly is exhausting and people like communicating as much information as possible in the shortest amount of time.

Language allows us to know ourselves. But what if we don’t have words that fit? If we don’t have words that fit, we make do with what we have and eventually, maybe, someone somewhere will come up with a word to describe us. That may be for a positive reason and it may be for a negative one. The key here is that if people go to the lengths of coining new terms, there was a need for that word for at least that person.

There has been a need for the word ‘asexuality’ for as long as sexology has been a field. We know this because sexologists of the era discuss something very similar to asexuality (and why it’s a problem) under different terms. It wasn’t until about 2001, with the creation of AVEN, that a single, concrete term for “someone who experiences no or little sexual attraction/desire” gained traction. Sometimes it takes about a century (or two) for people to find the words they want.

And once that first step is taken, more steps can be taken. Much academic research into asexuality from 2013/2014, for example, remarks on and utilises the split attraction model, but very little of it does so consciously or with the realisation that this far more nuanced model of how human attraction works is a radically different idea and approach to what has come before. Which is also why, in truth, a lot of people resist it. It forces them to re-evaluate themselves and their concepts of how the world works, and people generally don’t like radical shifts in a paradigm[1].

That is what concepts of asexuality and aromanticism represent, though, and they’re not the only queer identities to do so: the very existence of transgender and nonbinary people also forces Western societies to shift their ideas on what gender and identity are. These are paradigm shifts that fundamentally alter how we think about ourselves as individuals, as families, as societies, as groups. It’s also why listening to ethnically and racially marginalised people talking about their cultures’ worldviews are so important. It’s also part of why white people co-opting terms specific to these cultures is appropriation. These are words that belong to a specific worldview or, if you will, a specific paradigm. One can’t simply transpose them.

But people can engage with them, provided that they have a strong and intimate understanding of both cultures and worldviews. It is why marginalised people engaging in scientific research is so incredibly important, and again why there is so much pushback against them when they do.

This brief essay, however, is not about the general state of marginalised researchers in scientific or academic fields. Others can talk about it far more eloquently than I. This post is about asexuality and aromanticism and the power of language.

You see, there is one thing which people aiming to discredit asexuality or demisexuality as an orientation tend to do, and that is: misinterpret what these terms actually mean. They will, invariably, cast asexuality as a choice and, being a choice, an intensity of something natural and innate.

Some of that wilful misinterpretation of asexuality is, I suspect, down to attempts to describe asexuality when someone does not have access to the more nuanced vocabulary used by asexuals and aromanticism today. Since asexuals receive more visual pushback – aromantics are generally largely erased – I will be using ‘asexuals’ throughout this section, but many of the same arguments will be made regarding aromanticism.

Asexuality is still largely invisible[2] to the general public, though its visibility has grown exponentially in English-language circles since I discovered asexuality in about 2010/2011. There are still many people who have never heard of it and who may never stumble across it. That means that there are still a substantial number of people out there who flounder trying to find words to describe their experiences. It also means that there are still many discussions that rely on an overly simplified and often inaccurate definition of asexuality. They were common when I started to explore asexuality.

These are descriptions like “An asexual person is someone who doesn’t want to have sex”. This statement, you’ll notice, implies that asexuality is a choice about someone’s behaviour, not a description of who someone is attracted to. It’s a quick and easy way to explain to someone that having sex is off the table, but it conflates orientation with behaviour. We can also use this structure to colloquially try to describe other orientations. For example “A homosexual person is someone who only wants to have sex with someone of the same gender”. Notice how that description, while technically accurate, is significantly more uncomfortable to read than when I mentioned asexuality[3]?

That’s because language has power and one of the things centuries and decades of fighting for gay rights has accomplished is the idea that being gay is not a choice, but this phrasing implies that being gay is a choice, and if being gay is a choice… Well, then there might be something to gay conversion therapy. Obviously there isn’t, but if we use language that couches sexual orientations as a choice, there will be people who take it to this extreme and that harms everyone.

For another example, I could say “A bisexual person is someone who wants to have sex with one or more genders”. Now, here, the visceral reaction is partially down to the way that the sentence structure implies that bisexuals are into a specific kind of sex, notably any number of sexual partners larger than two. That, in turn, implies that bisexuals are sluts, and just like that we’ve got a bimisic argument that I didn’t in the least intend to make and made anyway.

But still, if we don’t understand asexuality and if we don’t have better words, we may fall back on using them and, still, amisic people will insist on using this definition where they almost certainly wouldn’t for any other orientation because, well, what I mentioned above happens. It happens with asexuality and aromanticism too; it’s just that the people using it don’t particularly care.

And because not everyone who discusses (their) asexuality or aromanticism knows asexuality and aromanticism exist and that there are better ways to describe their own experiences, orientation and behaviour, people keep using terminology like this out of ignorance, and amisic people can use that ignorance as a shield if they want to.

The only solution to this is, of course, better education about and more research into asexuality and aromanticism as a whole. But language has power and we can see that nowhere better than in the way marginalised communities try to use it themselves.

We reclaim words that were used to hurt us. Transform the pain – and our survival of that pain – into a badge of honour, into a shield, something to be proud of.

We come up with new words, offering us better ways to express ourselves, to expand our worldview and our sense of self.

We build on the foundations of those who went before us because similarity has power. Using Greek words to form new ones adds a level of ‘authenticity’ that plain English language doesn’t have. Following existing patterns makes words more acceptable. It’s why ‘ze’, ‘sie’ and ‘zie’ are the most popular neopronouns[4] and why ones like ‘peh’ or ‘hou’ don’t really seem to have caught on.

We try to strip them of their power, such as when TERFs complain that calling them what they are is a slur (it’s still not, sorrynotsorry TERFs), when amisic people complain that ‘allo’ or ‘allosexual’ is a slur (it’s not, it’s simply a description that offers more accuracy and nuance than ‘sexual’ as a contrast to ‘asexual’) or when amisic people insist that asexuality is about choosing not to have sex or when people see a seeming contradiction (such as a nonbinary woman or a gay asexual) because their worldview, their paradigm, does not allow for these terms to be used in conjunction.

Sometimes, we strip the words, accidentally or not, of their power, such as the way amisic accounts rendered the term ‘cishet’ harmful to asexuals. Cishet is a term that originally comes from the transgender and nonbinary communities and is, effectively, just a description of someone who is cisgender (i.e. someone whose gender identity matches that which they were assigned at birth) and heterosexual. It soon became ‘cisgender, heteroromantic and heterosexual’ to account for the split attraction model – which, I should note, appears to have been coined by amisic people and promptly co-opted and reclaimed by aromantic people because it was useful – that separates, among others, romantic and sexual attraction. The term was already established, though, and there was no real need to make it something like ‘cishethet’ when most who know the term would automatically include both heteroromantic and heterosexual because the two are seen as intrinsically linked in our societies as a whole. Amisic people, however, quickly adopted the term ‘cishet’ to exclude asexuals and aromantics, relying on the confusion created by two conflicting paradigms, one of which isn’t yet well-understood for their arguments. They exclude either ‘heteroromantic’ or ‘heterosexual’ depending on the group they’re discussing. They rely on their paradigm’s contradiction between terms like ‘gay asexual’ or ‘asexual lesbian’ to claim that ‘heterosexual asexuals’ are a thing that can exist.

Let’s take a step back, though, to examine that. In the paradigm that believes romantic attraction and sexual attraction are the same thing and that everyone experiences both to some degree, the idea of a ‘gay asexual’ is, indeed, a contradiction. In this model, gay is, after all, synonymous with homosexual and you cannot be both “attracted to someone of the same sex” and “attracted to no one at all” at the same time.

That is emphatically not how the split attraction model works. In this model, gay and homosexual (and bi and bisexual, etc) are not, in fact, 100% identical terms. They still function as synonyms a lot of the time, true, but they are not the exact same. In the split attraction model, terms like gay and bi refer to either romantic or sexual attraction (or both!), whereas homosexual and bisexual refer, predictably, solely to sexual attraction. In such a model, a gay asexual would refer to a homoromantic asexual, or to “someone who is romantically attracted to people of the same gender but sexually attracted to no gender”[5]. Since gay and other terms like it can stand for ‘only romantic attraction’, ‘only sexual attraction’ or ‘both romantic and sexual attraction’ in this model, there is no inherent contradiction in saying ‘gay asexual’[6].

Because both paradigms currently exist simultaneously, it is easy for people who mean harm to a marginalised group to exploit and use the clash and, perhaps more importantly, the importance of social media and the way disinformation has the power to spread in an anonymised way, to muddle the arguments further and discourage people from understanding that this ‘discourse’ is based on a group of people wilfully and deliberately obfuscating that these are two different frameworks clashing.

And, indeed, if you look at the arguments amisic people often present, it’s clear that the issue is that their worldview does not allow for asexuality to exist as its own thing. Their paradigm has as its base assumption that everyone experiences sexual attraction to a gender, and that one’s willingness to engage with (certain) sexual acts is what determines if someone counts as LGBT or not. People who don’t – but especially those who only experience it rarely, like demisexuals – in this framework are supposed to have an on-off switch. It’s why heteroromantic demisexuals especially get chucked out of LGBT spaces by them, even though they too fall under the original definition of queer as they deviate from expected social ideals about sexuality and heteronormativity. Once they’re in a relationship that allows even the remotest chance at becoming sexually active, they’re deemed heterosexual[7]. You can see it in the rhetoric that they consider gay asexuals ‘LGBT’ because they’re gay, but not[8] because they’re asexual. The underlying assumption, knowingly or not, is that gay asexuals count because ‘gay’ implies that they’re willing to be sexually active in a specific way and it’s why someone who is asexual, and thus presumed unwilling to be sexually active, doesn’t.

Language matters because the way we use it creates avenues to gain or lose power. The way we use it creates paths to knowledge or deliberately attempts to close them off permanently. Examining our worldview, the foundations of what our societies value (especially our dominant, white, Western alloheteronormative patriarchal societies value), isn’t easy and it isn’t comfortable.

But it is necessary if we want to build our understanding of the world and if we want to create a better place for everyone. This is, frankly, just one aspect of why.

End Notes

[1] For an example of quite how uncomfortable it can make people, I suggest looking at the way the Christian Church responded to the findings of a certain Galileo Galilei. Asexual and aromantic discussions about attraction and orientation are unlikely to impact the whole of modern science quite to that extent, but they do question the central nature ‘sex’ (more accurately the conflation between sex and romance) plays in Western societies and they offer up numerous research avenues for scientific branches that were unavailable with less nuanced language.

[2] Aromanticism is even less visible. 2019 will see only the second traditionally published book with an explicit aromantic character that I’m aware of, whereas I can no longer count the traditionally published books with explicitly asexual characters on two hands.

[3] Your mileage, as they say, will vary. Personally I find it incredibly uncomfortable, but many people will get a far more visceral reaction to the way I defined homosexuality than asexuality.

[4] Although in that nominative case form they’re all feminine pronouns in other languages spoken today.

[5] Other variations may be more commonly used, depending on one’s definition of ‘asexual’ in context, but I think this conveys the gist of what I mean clearest here.

[6] A similar argument could be made for ‘nonbinary woman’, which is likewise a seeming contradiction unless one changes the framework of gender one works with.

[7] If, that is, the argument isn’t that demisexuality is ‘normal’. This is another common argument also based on stuffing terms from one framework into one where they cannot fit without distorting their meaning to the point of uselessness.

[8] Emphatically not, in many cases.

Divider

Week 20 Update

Posted May 17, 2019 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Goals, News / 0 Comments

Tags:

Weekly Accountability

Hi, everyone! It’s that time again! Weekly updates delivered every Friday!

As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve got a new story coming out on June 1st. You can read all about that here, but I wanted to let everyone know that the preorder links for it are live. If you missed the announcement, you can read all about it here, but I wanted to add an advance note that I’ll be having a sale of all my queer books – including this one – on itch.io during Pride Month, so if you want it at the best deal for you that’s where to go. I’ll have a proper announcement on that nearer to June, but it’s all set up, so I’m giving advance heads-up.

Completed Projects

  • The Shimmering Prayer of Sûkiurâq is up for preorder!

Goal Updates

  • 14,612/15,000 words of fiction written
  • 0/1 proper essay outline
  • 0/1 completed draft of the essay on Sing to Me
  • 3/12 books read
  • 3/5 discussions of papers in Asexualities

Writing Updates

This Week’s Fiction Wordcount: 11,252 (ish)

This Week’s Non-Fiction Wordcount: 4,917

Your Prince Has Drowned (Twine Edition): I, er, forgot to record these words in the past month or so entirely, so I’ve lumped them all into this month. TO BE FAIR, I did a very big chunk of it this week, so it’s not unwarranted to count them this week.

DemiPrincess2: Got momentarily superceded by YPHD and prepping Shimmering for publication. We’re still in Oh God I Need To Revise From The Start Again territory.

Shimmering: Got the final round of edits for it done and set about getting it ready for publication.

Life And Other Such Important Matters

Well, this past week has been nothing but busy. I bit the bullet and pulled a story I’d had on sub for a variety of reasons, I ran around doing all the things, I edited and prepped a novella for release, we did a chunk of gardening. In my case that involved a lot of precariously perching on things to cut and pull down ivy before it strangled a whole tree. New Dog spent the afternoon chasing rabbits. In a hole. Under a shed. Giving us heart palpitations because what if he got himself stuck. (He did not get stuck. Sadly the rabbit he was after was not so lucky.)

And, um, that’s it, I think? Life goes on and we muddle on through. I generally flail around thinking of all the things I could/should/would/ought to/want to/wish I could/etc do and then sit back and look at things and go “Actually, that isn’t little” and the issue is just that I’m a depressed perfectionist and overachiever struggling to balance depression-view with perfectionist tendencies.

Soonish I will have some really lovely news for you from a new writer acquaintance that I’m very excited about sharing. 😀

Stand-out Positive Moment

I got some really lovely feedback on an editing project. I’m so happy they’re happy! 😀

This Week on Patreon

All the Patreon posts from the past week, collected in neat and tidy lists, divided by tier.

Free

$1+

$5+

How about you? What have you been up to lately? Has anything awesome happened?

Divider