Novel Things

I made my goals for Camp Nanowrimo! I have about 51,000 words up on my fiction writing blog. Unfortunately, I didn’t quite manage to finish the story, but I’m close.  I might have it done pretty soon, and you’ll be able to read it there when I do.

Caveats:  The sections it’s broken into now are arbitrary, not sensible chapter breaks.  It’s a first draft and I’m open to critique.  And the thing I put at the start of every post there: My main character is a Filipina trans woman and I am not, so if you want to complain about that or have any advice on how to write it better, let me know.

Thoughts on writing a character who is not me:  I’m tired of seeing cishet white people as the main characters of everything in the world, and while the ideal is to get more non-cishet non-white people writing, does that mean I’m not allowed to write?

In a sense, yes.  If there was someone in a good position to take my place, I’m down with some affirmative action.  On the other hand, no, I want to write.  This isn’t about who’s getting book deals because no one is ever going to publish me.  I’m not taking a resource from anyone else by writing and I deserve a creative outlet, as a human with needs.  If you have a choice between my book and one by an actual Filipina trans woman, buy hers.  Your choice.

Anyway, as a white writer, I’m in that position to make some odd calls.  I’m a white pansexual genderqueer masc-ish dude-esque person, and I’ve written a gay black cis male character, and now a Filipina pansexual trans lady.

Writing the black cis gay character was done in third person, and it helped.  I thought of the character as more different from who I am, so he became more of a character than an experience for me.  I like to think he was pretty charming.  I hope to get that one edited and self-published later this year, maybe the current thing as well?

I’ve written the newer character in first person.  I chose her ethnicity based on people I was familiar with who seemed most similar to the white people I know, so the perspective wouldn’t be too far off.  I’m sure there are some big differences in their experience of life, but Filipino Americans seem culturally pretty similar to poor-to-middle class white people.  I asked a coworker from the Philippines what he thought American cousins were like, and to him they seemed fully American in values and personality.

That’s not to say they’re totally the same.  That would be absurd.  Just a little easier for me, as a writer to bridge the gap in my head.  I could take my voice and try to imagine the differences from there, understanding more these days than I used to about the effects of transmisogyny, objectification, fetishization of Asian women, and the way dark skinned Asians get that combined with worse classist and colonialist mentality.  Starting with a middle class AMAB character meant starting with a voice I was more familiar with, then I’d pull in other elements as needed.

Writing a trans woman felt pretty easy to me because I’ve had a lot of experience seeing gender dysphoria in other people around me, and because in a different world, 5% this way or that, it could be me.  The only reason I don’t present more trans now is because I don’t have dysphoria pushing me to have no other choice, and if a person has the luxury of staying in the closet on this planet of motherfuckers, it’s a safer place to be.

Most important:  I don’t claim to have done this perfectly.  I don’t know all the facts and more importantly don’t have all the experiences that inform a character like the one I chose.  Wide open to criticism.  Say what you like.  Of course, as with my usual moderation, people acting in bad faith or revealing regressive values will get mothafuckin’ nuked.  Not a problem for most of you.

In Honor of Down with Cis Day

I like to have some fun art or good foolery on here for International Down with Cis Day, but I am lost in the woods of Camp Nanowrimo.  It’s a shame, because lately the cis have been at it again.  They deserve a good downing.

A few weeks ago I saw a young trans lady in my place of work.  I feel safe in assuming her preferred pronouns as her entire presentation was femme, hair and makeup laser precise.  She came up to the counter with her mother to buy some goods.  I make chit-chatty conversation and before I know it, her mother had misgendered her three times.

Come the fuck on, cis mom.  The girl was super sweet and maybe overly friendly through it all, like she wasn’t used to customer service people being nice to her or something.  To your mom, I say this:  Your child isn’t being validated by you and that makes her highly vulnerable to abusers and exploiters.  Support your trans babies, or get run over.  The Down with Cis bus is on the move.

And more recently, on the Transgender Day of Visibility, this big tall guy came in with an androgynous teen or young adult child of his.  They were cleanly buzzed on sides and back, wearing nothing at all feminine, and got female-gendered by dad a few times.  Well, who knows?  Maybe he doesn’t know from this trans stuff, maybe the child isn’t even trans.  Or maybe, he misgendered them to a total stranger for no fucking reason on a transgender awareness day.  Fuck that shit.

Anyhow, down with cis, goddammit.

Legal Advice on a Novel

I’m trying NaNoWriMo again, for what that’s worth. My concept involves the events of Revelations and some real life politicians. Question: To what extent is it kosher for me include public figures in a work of fiction? Could they sue for defamation, when the intent is clearly absurd parody?

It may not be as simple as the “fair use” a lot of youtube heads hang onto. Different forms of media have different laws governing them. Any lawyers know off the tops of your heads collective?


Signal Boost: Fuck Marvel Nazis

Via someone who calls herself “drachentöter” on tumblr, regarding the recent “nazis were meant to win WWII” reveal in some recent shit-ass Marvel comics by shit-ass nazi fetishist / “civility advocate” Nick Spencer:

it’s exhausting to keep seeing people talk about marvel’s hydra problem as an issue of them just being tone-deaf or obtuse or clueless, this “boys will be boys” mild eyeroll attitude to the entire conversation that so vastly downplays just how fucking evil these people are

do you honestly think that the CEO of marvel who is an outspoken trump supporter and pumped millions of money into the trump campaign doesn’t know what he’s doing by pushing the nazi faction into the limelight of his comics?

turning captain america, the literal symbol for american nationalism and patriotism, into a supporter of hydra and therefore a nazi, is not a writing accident. it is deliberate.

their latest little ~fuck up~ of asking comic stores to re-brand their stores and work uniforms with hydra logos, is not just a PR gaffe. it’s deliberate.

their continuous campaign to make nazis into a faction readers are supposed to find exciting, supposed to align themselves with, supposed to wear on their shirts like a uniform, is not an accident in the kind of political climate we’re in right now. it’s deliberate.

i don’t care that hydra is fictional, this isn’t like the empire in star wars or w/e where it’s just about some sort of vague fascism aesthetic. hydra were always explicitly n a z i s, since their very conception, have always been called nazis by marvel, have always stood for nazi values. and now marvel is trying to make them cool again. and it’s not a fucking accident.

stop giving them the benefit of the doubt. stop talking about this like it’s something that can be fixed with civil conversation and a stern finger wagging.

nazis and anyone who defends them don’t deserve that much consideration from anybody. just, yknow, a friendly psa from your neighbourhood romani jew.

Oh, did I spoil that plot for anyone here? Sorry. Guess you’ll just have to not spend money on the shit-ass comics now, or just enjoy your nazi wank a little less. Shucks.


A Resurrection Story

This story was partially written by one of my least sucky groups of players ever, in a D&D game. I changed the characters substantially to work better for an audience unfamiliar with that situation, so nothing should be too confusing here. It is a short story about a resurrection, to fit the day in an irreligious way.

The Virile had a rough morning. This sort of thing wasn’t supposed to happen in the city. You go to a magic demonstration and yawn while the party’s arcanist rubs their chin. You don’t go to see your priest’s head explode. There would be a reckoning over this slight because The Virile had a reputation to maintain – the manliest band of heroes in town – but for now the agenda was resurrection.
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