Category: Miscellaneous

December 2018 Goals

Posted December 2, 2018 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

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This Month's Goals

  • Get ready for 2019
  • Livereact to Lost Song
  • Livereact to Regal Academy
I Want to Read:
  • 2 books
I Want to Write
  • At least 1 chapter of DemiPrincess per week and keep the momentum going

Look! December goals. I don’t really have anything much to say about them. It’s December. December is always the month in which everything wraps up, so that’s my main focus. Wrap up the things I’ve promised to do in this year and keep up the momentum I had going with some other things. And that’s it!

Some December-specific notes: Because it IS now December and we’re ramping up to the end of the year, I’ve got more sporadic posts than I usually do to wrap the year up. Like the newsletters and weekly round-ups, I’m revamping how I tackle these completely, so I expect to take some time to sort that out. Point in case: We were gifted a paper 2019 calendar and I promptly assigned it “Keep my posting schedule sorted out” duty. And wow do I want to make changes.
That means December is going to be quite busy with regular posts. I aim to watch 4 episodes of Lost Song every Monday evening and a whopping 8 of Regal Academy every Wednesday. That way I can wrap up this year’s livereacts before the Christmas holidays arrive. On top of that, the Thief Let’s Play will continue in its Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday slots until it concludes and then… Either we’ll have more clarity on Article 13 and how the EU proposes to undo its ridiculously stringent copyright laws that basically do unspeakable things to creativity in the EU and I… won’t be able to do more LPs – which is a shame, I enjoy sharing how horrible I am at games – or I need to drastically revamp the schedule to make it work better. (I’m thinking 1.5-2 hour recordings on Saturday as that lets me keep the speed of going through the game.)
And beyond that… Well, I’m still working on that. Just as December is “Let’s reflect on the past year” month, January is “Let’s look forward to this year” month and you can look forward to some January-specific posts. The new posting schedule won’t properly start until around February or mid-March, depending on whether you want to count the start as being when the Let’s Play concludes or earlier.
I’ll chat more about the plans for 2019 when it’s nearer the end of the month, though. These are mainly the ones that affect posting in December specifically.
Alas, that life remains much the same. I got news on the essay on aces in fiction that I sold! As I’m writing this there is, sadly, a good chance it won’t appear until 2019. Which is sad and disappointing, but everyone working on it is committed to making it the best essay it can be, so I promise it will be worth the wait.
Although if between now and then so much happens that the conclusions are now fundamentally skewed (not happening unless we get dropped into a version of earth where asexuality was known and celebrated since medieval times without noticing), I will be over the moon.
Beyond that life continues apace. The big BIG thing that happened is that I’ve finally officially set up shop as a freelance editor and sensitivity reader. :O (This is terrifying. The only thing I genuinely like about freelancing is the flexibility, but the hunt for office hours that pay me enough to, idk, live continues. Well, and the work itself. I love the work itself.)
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November 2018 Round-up

Posted December 1, 2018 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

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Goals

News

Patreon

Posts marked with an * are publicly available at this time.

Culture Consumption

Misc Posts

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Books with Asexual Characters Available RIGHT NOW

Posted November 25, 2018 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

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So… earlier this month, I did a Twitter thread about books with asexual characters that are out RIGHT NOW. Also I read the vast majority of them and can vouch for the rep being at least decent in my opinion as someone who a) is acespec, b) has read around 100 of them, c) devotes at least some of her time to analysing how ace rep is handled in books in general, d) writes acespec characters herself. You can take as many grains of salt as you like, but I figured why not go all out with the credentials. If nothing else, it gives you context to see where I’m coming from, after all.

Anyway! It was fairly long thread. It’s not the first I’ve made and it won’t be the last. But I did want to collect it all in one place so I have at least one list that’s easily linkable if I need it (or if anyone else wants it).

Below, then, is the original list as I posted it to Twitter. The only thing I didn’t do was embed the image to show you what my tabs were like partway through. Everything else is exactly as-is.

Have fun exploring books! 😀

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This Week on Patreon (Week 47)

Posted November 23, 2018 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

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My Patreon tends to be a fairly quiet place, but I wanted to share links to the posts that go up every week. In this case, I’m counting weeks from Saturday to Friday so anyone who wants to explore things during the weekend can do so.

Most of the posts are locked to patrons, though you’ll find at least one public post each month. Enjoy!

Public Posts

All-Patron Posts

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This Week on Patreon (Week 46)

Posted November 16, 2018 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

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My Patreon tends to be a fairly quiet place, but I wanted to share links to the posts that go up every week. In this case, I’m counting weeks from Saturday to Friday so anyone who wants to explore things during the weekend can do so.

Most of the posts are locked to patrons, though you’ll find at least one public post each month. Enjoy!

Public Posts

All-Patron Posts

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This Week on Patreon (Week 45)

Posted November 9, 2018 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

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My Patreon tends to be a fairly quiet place, but I wanted to share links to the posts that go up every week. In this case, I’m counting weeks from Saturday to Friday so anyone who wants to explore things during the weekend can do so.

Most of the posts are locked to patrons, though you’ll find at least one public post each month. Enjoy!

All-Patron Posts

5+ Patron Posts

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October 2018 Round-up

Posted November 1, 2018 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

Tags:

Goals

News

Patreon

Posts marked with an * are publicly available at this time.

Culture Consumption

Misc Posts

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The Ice Princess’s Fair Illusion (un)FAQ

Posted October 31, 2018 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

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With the release of The Ice Princess’s Fair Illusion being so close (less than a week now!), I figured it’d be nice if I did a short FAQ-style post for questions I can imagine coming up. So! Here I am, answering not-so-frequently asked questions in the hopes that the answers will be helpful to you!

Some questions may contain mild spoilers.

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This Week on Patreon (Week 43)

Posted October 26, 2018 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

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My Patreon tends to be a fairly quiet place, but I wanted to share links to the posts that go up every week. In this case, I’m counting weeks from Saturday to Friday so anyone who wants to explore things during the weekend can do so.

Most of the posts are locked to patrons, though you’ll find at least one public post each month. Enjoy!

Public Posts

All-Patron Posts

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Whose Words Matter Anyway? On using identity labels in The Ice Princess’s Fair Illusion

Posted October 19, 2018 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

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The Ice Princess's Fair Illusion Coming November 6th. "Aromantic, we call it. You know that, my sweet. Aromantic and asexual, in fact. If you're going to tell it, tell it loud. Tell it proud. That's why I agreed to do this. I want to hear no more of people like yourself who needed words they never learned because no one believed they were needed." Preorder now: https://www.books2read.com/thrushbeard
Oh, look! It’s time for another sporadic not-a-guest-post personal essay about The Ice Princess’s Fair Illusion. This time about some of the less nice influenced on the story. You can read the Patreon version (and leave comments) here!

Whose Words Matter Anyway? On using identity labels in The Ice Princess’s Fair Illusion

A few years ago, I started reading romance novels with demisexual characters in them. Either they’re protagonists or they’re love interests. That sounds great, right? Asexuality, as a spectrum, is gaining visibility and there’s enough visibility now that ‘demisexual romance’ is a term you can actually successfully look for. I’ve got a whole list of them!

Sadly, the ones I’ve read largely stick to presenting demisexuality in the same, erroneous way. They feel more interested in using demisexuality as a shield against criticism than anything else and the way they portray demisexuality generally goes something like this:

The demisexual character has never heard of asexuality or demisexuality and is told this by an allosexual close to them (either their love interest or a close friend). The demisexual character loudly complains about there being too many labels or “why does it need a label anyway?” and demisexuality never comes up again. Meanwhile, the demisexual character is, predominantly, homoromantic and closeted and spend the rest of the story learning to embrace their identity as a queer person.

This is a narrative that explicitly presents demisexuality, and by extension the asexual spectrum as a whole, as dismissable and disposable. It explicitly and deliberately devalues asexual identities because “why does it need a label anyway?” and is, frankly, one of the most hurtful and harmful narratives about asexuality that I’ve encountered in fiction.

But, truthfully, this narrative doesn’t exist only in fiction. It’s a very common tactic among anti-ace rhetoric to cast the asexual spectrum as a ‘degree’ of allosexuality rather than an identity in its own right and to discredit asexuality in general because “it doesn’t exist as a separate thing” or whatever the argument of the month is. This fictitious demisexual narrative feeds directly into the idea that demisexuals are ‘special snowflakes’ who are just making terms up.

You may be wondering why I’m focusing on demisexual romances when I’m here to discuss a book featuring a queerplatonic relationship at its heart, and that’s because the way those romances end up presenting demisexuality and, by extension, the asexual spectrum as a whole had a major impact on how The Ice Princess’s Fair Illusion approaches the fact that Marian only learns about asexuality when she’s about seventeen.

When I wrote about Marian discovering asexuality, I wanted to engage with that narrative to at least some extent. Due to the structure of the novel, the discovery is represented at a remove and Marian has since settled into what she’s comfortable with, but it was important to show that a homoromantic asexual character could learn about asexuality and not dismiss it as unimportant. The Ice Princess’s Fair Illusion is, I hasten to add, not the first story to ever do that[1], but it was something that I actively wanted to address.

What I wanted to do in The Ice Princess’s Fair Illusion was, firstly, to show that it is possible for someone to use both labels, true, but more than that I wanted to explore that for some people, like Marian, if push comes to shove it’s the label asexual that matters to her most because, in her view, it is being asexual that has shaped her life and experiences the most.

In that way, it offered me the opportunity to explore some of the ways in which anti-ace rhetoric, which I spent the last two years wading through around Pride Month, has affected and hurt me. It was important to me that Marian and Edel use asexual and aromantic terminology to describe their experiences because, so often, we end up getting told that our vocabulary is useless nonsense (or worse), that it is oh so difficult to learn new terms, that the words we’ve created to describe our experiences because the words didn’t exist until we made them aren’t valid, that our experiences aren’t valid.

I don’t think I covered all of the words that I’d wanted to and I expect that some readers will find that I was too heavy on using them. (If that’s you, I hear you! I often feel similar! And I explicitly included a discussion between Marian and Edel covering exactly that!) When I wrote The Ice Princess’s Fair Illusion and figured out what kind of characters Marian and Edel were, I knew that I would end up covering aspects of asexual representation and the way asexuality gets dismissed as ‘made up’ by segments of (Western) society today, in the year 2018, and I couldn’t do that without attempting to partially invert ideas and narrative approaches that are being used, right now, to invalidate aces and aros.

So, to answer the question in the title, whose words matter anyway? Our words matter. Language is finicky and dependent, at least in part, on our understanding of the world around us. We create new words for existing things all the time, just as we create new words for new things all the time. Our words matter. The terms we come up with, the way we use them to self-identify, the way we use them to deny or acknowledge our existence matter.

And, honestly, I hope that readers will be able to see that, along with everything else that verse novel is to me, The Ice Princess’s Fair Illusion is also a celebration of language, a feast of identity-affirming words, an ode to the complexity and variety of (human) identity…

This is a book that I wrote for asexual and aromantic readers, for people who wanted to see their words, the words that matter to them, honoured and revelled in. Everyone else, I hope you’ll come along for the ride and pick up a thing or two about why these words matter so!

[1] Another example would be Calista Lynne’s We Awaken which is an asexual f/f romance where the main character also learns about asexuality and how it relates to them through the course of the story. Asexuality is never dismissed in favour of an allosexual identity in that book either.

The Ice Princess’s Fair Illusion releases November 6th, 2018! Preorder this queerplatonic, sapphic retelling of King Thrushbeard today! Get your gleefully and proudly asexual and aromantic verse novel with an f/f pairing while it’s still available at a preorder price of $1.99 or equivalent!

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