Category: Miscellaneous

This Week on Patreon (Week 14 and 15)

Posted April 13, 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 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.

While most of my posts are locked to patrons, a lot of them will release to the public and get cross-posted to this website after a month as well. Those’ll be indicated with a little asterisk (*) behind them. It may not always be exactly a month because, for the sake of my poor brain, I’m counting a month as “that same number in the next month, except the 31st gets moved to the 30th”. Sometimes posts may also be posted simultaneously for everyone to read and sometimes posts may go up earlier because reasons that will be explained in that post.

I strive to find a balance between offering up a good amount of content to everyone for free, which Patrons get to experience a month before everyone else, and interesting extra content exclusive to Patrons. I hope you’ll find something interesting among the posts this week! Enjoy!

Please note! Due to important commitments, I was unable to post a weekly summary for week 14, so those are included here.

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Asexuality in R.J. Anderson’s Quicksilver

Posted April 1, 2018 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Miscellaneous, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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4,469 words of moar literary essayage, including quotes, end notes and works cited. I should probably stop calling them not-essays at some point.

Asexuality in R.J. Anderson’s Quicksilver

In 2013, shortly after I discovered asexuality, one book jumped out at me: Quicksilver by R.J. Anderson. Anderson spoke frequently and prominently about the asexual representation in the narrative during interviews and blog posts. At the time, though it stood out to me, I never picked it up because the first book, Ultraviolet, didn’t appeal to me at all and, in time, I forgot it existed.

Until recently when I decided to look more closely at asexual representation in traditionally published books. This brief essay will look at the way that Anderson included asexual representation in the narrative of Quicksilver and discuss the ways in which Anderson avoids or attempts to avoid certain common pitfalls when writers, especially those who are allosexual[1], include asexual representation.

First, a brief note: I highly, highly recommend readers interested in reading Quicksilver start with Ultraviolet. The narrative frequently alludes to events in Ultraviolet so it can be read as a standalone, but it takes about 3/4ths of the book before those events are truly clear to readers who haven’t read Ultraviolet.

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This Week on Patreon (Week 13)

Posted March 30, 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 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.

While most of my posts are locked to patrons, a lot of them will release to the public and get cross-posted to this website after a month as well. Those’ll be indicated with a little asterisk (*) behind them. It may not always be exactly a month because, for the sake of my poor brain, I’m counting a month as “that same number in the next month, except the 31st gets moved to the 30th”. Sometimes posts may also be posted simultaneously for everyone to read and sometimes posts may go up earlier because reasons that will be explained in that post.

I strive to find a balance between offering up a good amount of content to everyone for free, which Patrons get to experience a month before everyone else, and interesting extra content exclusive to Patrons. I hope you’ll find something interesting among the posts this week! Enjoy!

Public Posts

All-Patron Posts

5+ Patron Posts

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This Week on Patreon (Week 12)

Posted March 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 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.

While most of my posts are locked to patrons, a lot of them will release to the public and get cross-posted to this website after a month as well. Those’ll be indicated with a little asterisk (*) behind them. It may not always be exactly a month because, for the sake of my poor brain, I’m counting a month as “that same number in the next month, except the 31st gets moved to the 30th”. Sometimes posts may also be posted simultaneously for everyone to read and sometimes posts may go up earlier because reasons that will be explained in that post.

I strive to find a balance between offering up a good amount of content to everyone for free, which Patrons get to experience a month before everyone else, and interesting extra content exclusive to Patrons. I hope you’ll find something interesting among the posts this week! Enjoy!

Public Posts

All-Patron Posts

5+ Patron Posts

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Guess the [Noun]!

Posted March 21, 2018 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

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So… I teach English conversation to adults at the moment and… Well, I needed a party game to play for variation and fun diversionary tactics. Certain party games easily lead to a lot of chatter between participants and others… really don’t. 20 Questions, for example, isn’t great if you want to practice vocabulary. One of the participants can only answer yes or no.

But, also, these are adults and, I’ll be honest, a lot of conversation-based games aren’t designed with teaching adults in mind and they either focus on the wrong topics or the level isn’t right or they’re just not enjoyable for them for other reasons. You’d think you could just pick any game and go, but it’s not quite that simple in my (admittedly limited) experience.

Also the really well-documented games all require things that I don’t have, can’t easily reproduce quickly, or don’t offer the level of chattiness that I and my students want.

So I made up my own! And I thought “Why not share it with you all?” because some people may find it fun or useful. I’m sure other people have had this exact idea or had a similar one with (slightly) different rules, but this version I came up with.

Also, it’s the day I celebrate my birthday today, so surprise! I present to you a gift! I can’t gift you any actual cake or anything, so this is the next best thing. 😀 Happy another-year-older, me! 😀 May you all have a lovely year!

Onto the game! (Also, um, I’ve never tried to explain a game before, so I hope it’s all clear.)

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This Week on Patreon (Week 11)

Posted March 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 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.

While most of my posts are locked to patrons, a lot of them will release to the public and get cross-posted to this website after a month as well. Those’ll be indicated with a little asterisk (*) behind them. It may not always be exactly a month because, for the sake of my poor brain, I’m counting a month as “that same number in the next month, except the 31st gets moved to the 30th”. Sometimes posts may also be posted simultaneously for everyone to read and sometimes posts may go up earlier because reasons that will be explained in that post.

I strive to find a balance between offering up a good amount of content to everyone for free, which Patrons get to experience a month before everyone else, and interesting extra content exclusive to Patrons. I hope you’ll find something interesting among the posts this week! Enjoy!

Public Posts

All-Patron Posts

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This Week on Patreon (Week 10)

Posted March 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 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.

While most of my posts are locked to patrons, a lot of them will release to the public and get cross-posted to this website after a month as well. Those’ll be indicated with a little asterisk (*) behind them. It may not always be exactly a month because, for the sake of my poor brain, I’m counting a month as “that same number in the next month, except the 31st gets moved to the 30th”. Sometimes posts may also be posted simultaneously for everyone to read and sometimes posts may go up earlier because reasons that will be explained in that post.

I strive to find a balance between offering up a good amount of content to everyone for free, which Patrons get to experience a month before everyone else, and interesting extra content exclusive to Patrons. I hope you’ll find something interesting among the posts this week! Enjoy!

Note: This first week is a few days longer than usual due to including posts from March 1st until today. It’s the first post like this, so I figured I’d include that one extra day as well. And don’t worry! The monthly round-ups aren’t going anywhere. 😀

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February 2018 Round-up

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

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Goals

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Culture Consumption

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Ace Recs: 4 of My Favourite Books with Asexual Characters

Posted February 4, 2018 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

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Ace Recs: 4 of My Favourite Books with Asexual Characters

As is undoubtedly no surprise to anyone who’s heard of me, I really really love giving recommendations for books featuring asexual characters. As a reader and writer on the asexual spectrum, this is a topic near and dear to my heart. I’ve seen plenty of recommendations lists that are about asexual characters or that include asexual characters that repeat the same books over and over. Indeed, I’ve seen recommendations lists that explicitly stated that the handful of books the writer managed to find was all the asexual fiction out there. Considering it was missing several easy-to-find well-known and traditionally published books by respected authors… I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.

But it is true that, for many readers, books with asexual characters in them are difficult to find. Many aren’t readily available in bookstores even when they’re pretty popular and well-respected. When I was in Cambridge, I saw displays of several books nominated for the Hugo Awards because they were nominated for the Hugo Awards, but Every Heart a Doorway? Couldn’t find a single copy anywhere. Not on display and not on the shelves. They didn’t stock it. And I wish I could say it was just one bookstore, but it was every major chain I visited. Likewise, in libraries you’ll have more luck finding books featuring asexual characters if you already know the titles before you enter. In both cases, you’ll probably have to ask the staff to order a copy specifically, so venturing into bookshops or libraries and hoping to find books featuring asexual characters just isn’t likely to happen.

Especially in combination with the way recommendation lists for books with asexual representation are usually styled, this difficulty to find books if you don’t already know they exist feeds into a negative spiral where recommendations lists repeat the same books over and over with the same note that this is all there is or this is all the writer could find. Yet there is so much more available to readers…

This is a series that aims to present small lists of books featuring asexual characters with some brief personal commentary on the books. Each list consists of 3 books centred around a single, relatively broad theme. While, sadly, I have had to restrict my recommendations lists to 3 books instead of the more usual 5 found in recommendations lists, each list does consist of 3 unique books. There are no repeats of titles in this series of recommendation posts. This series consists of 10 posts for a total of 30 books featuring asexual characters in various roles.

Unless otherwise noted, assume that books mentioned either seem to assume all asexuals are aromantic or that they’ll erase aromanticism altogether.

I hope you’ll find something terrific to read in these lists! Most all categories have more than three books I could put there, but as I mentioned I only had space for a handful of books or stories. If you’d like to see even more of then, check out Claudie Arseneault’s database of aromantic and asexual (speculative) fiction, which features many more books starring asexual characters!

This week’s theme is…

4 of My Favourite Books with Asexual Characters

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In Stillness: The Perception of Asexuality in Seanan McGuire’s “Every Heart a Doorway”

Posted February 1, 2018 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Miscellaneous, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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It’s here! I’ve finally polished up the draft version of my In Stillness essay and am officially sharing it with the world. :O Prepare yourself because this is 4,970 words long minus quotations, end notes and works cited list. With, it’s about 5,837.

In Stillness:

The Perception of Asexuality in Seanan McGuire’s “Every Heart a Doorway”

Before August 2016, I had never read a story with a character who explicitly identified as asexual. It is tempting to say that, before that time, I had never read any character like me before. This is not true. I’d read several stories with asexually-coded (ace-coded) characters before then[1], but August 2016 marked the month when I first read a story featuring a character who explicitly used the label to describe herself.

That character was Nancy from Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire and until I read that novella I did not truly understand why I too needed labels in fiction, why I too needed to see such blunt visibility and recognition. Every Heart a Doorway was published on May 10th, 2016 and has gone on to be nominated for (and sometimes winning) several major awards. To date, it has won the 2016 Nebulas, the 2017 Locus Awards, and the 2016 Hugo Awards, and it was one of the books named on the Tiptree Honors list in part for its portrayal of Nancy’s asexuality.

Being published by a respected traditional publisher, written by a well-known and popular queer SFF author and explicitly including a discussion of the definition of asexuality has seen Every Heart a Doorway rise to prominence as one of the major books included on recommendations lists featuring asexual characters. Arguably, it has gone on to become the poster recommendation for asexual representation within fiction.

As a reader on the asexual spectrum, I was initially delighted by the narrative that McGuire wrote. I was dazzled by the fact that here, for the first time that I could recall, there was a character written specifically and deliberately to mirror my experiences. It wasn’t a complete match, but it was close enough to hit home. It also, deliberately, called out some of the most harmful stereotypes regarding asexuality that I have seen and experienced. That, more than anything, is what I fell in love with the first time I read it.

When I reread it for the Hugo Award nominations in the spring of 2017, however, my experience was markedly different and I found the amisia[2] in the central premise almost unbearable. Nancy’s personal storyline revolves around her desire to return to the Halls of the Dead, the portal world that she visited, loved and wants to return to with all her heart. While the narrative is aware of its amisia on a surface level, this essay will show that once one looks below that surface the story actually perpetuates the very ideas that it so strongly attempts to deny.

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