All I want is a copy of the current standard BCP for the Church of England.

I am discovering that A) I am apparently more hide-bound than I thought I was, B) that I am hide-bound about the weirdest things, C) I am mildly annoyed by something that doesn’t even affect me, and D) that it is really, really difficult to lay hands on a copy of the CoE BCP.

What I really want is nothing more or less than a Coverdale Psalter, but as far as I can tell a single volume of Coverdale’s Psalter (with numbered verses, that’s very important; Lutherans Online has a lovely PDF of a mildly-modernized CP but there are NO VERSE NUMBERS ARGH) does not exist. Coverdale’s Psalms are still in use… in the CoE’s Book of Common Prayer.

So, okay, I’ll buy a copy of the BCP. It can hang out with my ’79 Episcopal BCP and they can be friends. Awesome.

Except that apparently someone somewhere decided that the BCP was, I don’t know, too convenient or something. The CoE has been infested with ‘Common Worship’, which is basically all of the bits of the BCP/Alternative Service Book broken up into separate volumes. Like, six of them. This is where the hide-bound bit comes in: all I can think is that I have enough trouble juggling the BCP and the hymnal and the bulletin, why in the name of all that is seen and unseen does anyone want to ADD another volume (or two) to that? *Grumble* What’s wrong with one book, I ask you? You kids get offa my lawn!

One of the other problems with the Common Worship book(s) is that the Psalter isn’t Coverdale’s–or it is, but modernized. I’m all for modernized-yet-still-poetic versions of the Psalms! I love the adaptation of them that’s found in the Psalter in my EBCP.

Thing is, though, that they are modern and some of them are fairly different from Coverdale’s version.

For instance, our friend Psalm 121. The first line in my EBCP says, “I lift up my eyes to the hills; from where is my help to come?”

Coverdale says, “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.”

That’s not a question, that’s a statement. Unless it’s some kind of punctuation weirdness? Now I have to go find out the history of the question mark. Excuse me. Here I am–while mildly entertaining, it wasn’t terribly helpful. All right, so let’s see what people who’ve read more bibles than I have to say…

(As an aside, I would like to have the non-word “prayerfully” struck (preferably by lightning) from all vocabularies everywhere.)

(…I can’t decide if I want to object to ‘literalness’. On the one hand, I don’t like it. On the other, ‘literality’ isn’t a word. It feels nicer in the mouth, to me–and it’s the quality of being literal, yes?)

(This… This page is written by a person or persons with some good ideas, but I don’t enjoy reading it because I feel like I’m being shouted at while they’re throwing rocks at me. Ugh.)

(On the other hand, Paul Stroble offers an explanation as to why Episcopalians (and, I’m assuming, other members of the Anglican communion) sing ALL the verses: “[…] It is the same with “A Mighty Fortress is Our God”: if we only sing verse one, the devil wins.” Yes, I know, that’s not precisely what he meant but I take my fun where I can get it.)

Okay, I give up on Shouty-Pants over there. The consensus is that there is no consensus. There is one school of thought that says the use of “whence”, meaning “where”, indicates that the sentence is intended to be interrogative and therefore requires a question mark. The other school of thought argues that it’s a statement–These are the hills (the holy hill(s), the hill upon which the temple at Jerusalem is/was located) of God and therefore they are the source of help.

The temptation to put the question mark in parentheses from now on is awful, I tell you what.

I have no idea what I was originally talking about… Oh, right. The difference between Coverdale and the modernized version of Psalms. Here’s another example, this time from Psalm 91 (one oft-quoted by Justinian.) Technically, this is recited by Ezekiel (and now that I think of it I shoooooould probably have him recite the Coverdale version. You’ll see why.)

The (Episcopal) Book of Common Prayer, Ps 91, verses 5 and 6: [5] You shall not be afraid of any terror by night; nor of the arrow that flies by day; [6] Of the plague that stalks in the darkness; nor of the sickness that lays waste at mid-day.

Coverdale, Ps 91, I HAVE NO IDEA SORRY: Thou shalt not be afraid for any terror by night, nor
for the arrow that flieth by day; for the pestilence that walketh in darkness, nor for the sickness that destroyeth in the noonday.

“Afraid for” and “Afraid of” are two decidedly different phrases, to me. Is that because I grew up learning 20th-/21st-century American syntax/connotations, or is it something else?

Then there’s the verse about being covered by feathers (Coverdale) or pinions (EBCP) — I had feathers in, once, and my mother said ‘No, that’s supposed to be pinions’. I shrugged and changed it…and then discovered that the version of the Psalm that Ezekiel and Justinian would be most familiar with said feathers. I give up! (But I’m not changing it back. I like pinions.)

So now that we’ve failed to clarify the mystery of the question mark in Ps 121, I’m trying desperately to remember the point of all of this.

…Oh! That’s it. The point is that for whatever reason, there doesn’t seem to be a mildly-modernized version of the Church of England Book of Common Prayer for sale for love or money. EVERY standard edition of the CoE BCP on the Cambridge Press site is marked “unavailable”, and searching Amazon got me bupkis. I just want a physical copy that’s been updated with current spelling and features the Coverdale Psalter with numbered verses.

I went and found a hat…

Just so I could take it off to all the writers out there who have kids and somehow manage to write not only entire bleeding novels but novels with sex scenes in them. Seriously, you’re all freaking AMAZING. If I could give every last one of you a hug and a cookie and a nice long weekend away from everything that sucks up writing time, I so would.

Me? I’m gonna go to sleep in an attempt to get rid of this headache while being pathetically proud of ekeing out a whole 4 paragraphs. Yay.

Negative reviews? Please.

You know who can rip my stuff to shreds and inflict more psychological stress/pain on me than I’m already experiencing?

Me.

You think that review of Going To Pieces was bad? He didn’t even bother to knock the TITLE. What kind of wuss misses an easy dig like that? Pfft. And let’s not even get started about how he stayed away from critiquing the sex, the position(s), the BDSM, the colors of the decor, OR the vocabulary. “repast”? Really? Who uses “repast” in everyday conversation?

Every time I send a story off, I’ve got a serious case of cognitive dissonance going on: “They’re going to LOVE IT!” is followed immediately by “No, no, they will HATE IT. LOATHE IT.” Which is then drowned by “They’re going to ADORE IT!” and so on, until I decide to reread my submission.

The last story I submitted? Has at least one glaring typo. I’m amazed I managed to keep it under the word count–so I’m proud of myself for that–but I’m also half-convinced that in so doing I’ve wrung all the sensuality and hotness and immediacy out of it. I look at it and think “If I just had another 1,000 words! I could make Jackie’s whole look less gimmicky-sounding. Or I could do more with the plant. Or…”

I have yet to see a review of my story in Model Men, which is a Benny and Phil story. Phil’s the POV character… The first-person POV character. There are people out there who are going to declare that I am an absolute wash as a writer, simply because they hate Phil’s voice. There are other people out there who will rightly point out that there’s a minor omission toward the beginning of the story that ideally shooooould have been filled in, now that I think about it. (It doesn’t detract or otherwise substantially change the story itself, though, so I don’t think it really matters all that much.)

People have pointed out the problems with First Flight and Tobias’s Own, though for the latter most people were polite enough to not mention the fact that I smooshed six months of being attracted to one another into a couple of “telling” sentences. There’s more than that, of course, since they’re novellas, but seriously.

And not every negative review I’ve gotten has been bad — one of my favorites was for Gone To Pieces, where the reviewer said she was pretty sure Brice was pudgy, balding, and friendless. The story still wasn’t her cuppa, but we both agreed that Brice was a jerk and a half. I don’t care about that — tell me the story’s not your thing, even tell me why, that’s great. Make me laugh at the same time? That’s even better!

Write a lengthy critique that focuses on things I didn’t do or didn’t do the way you were expecting/wanted me to? Especially when it was a request story and you weren’t the one who requested it? I’ll fume about it, then write something relatively neutral in response.

Tell me I suck and I’ll get annoyed; tell me to quit writing and I’ll dig my heels in and keep on. Claim that anyone who has given my stuff bad reviews is a bully and I’ll be really confused. As I said at the beginning, dude. You want someone to point out every last wonky beam and misplaced modifier, I am at your service. I wrote it, I better know damn well just where it sucks and how.

So, y’know. I’m not saying I want negative reviews, or that I embrace them all with a smile on my face–because in all honesty, I’d rather have people love my stuff, warts and all. It’s just that for the most part, people who’re going to give First Flight one star because they had a traumatic run-in with their great-aunt’s hyacinth macaw when they were 12 and now they hate all birds (or whatever) aren’t going to bother to pull it apart the way I can.

No Thief Like Fear

Hop Against Homophobia logoToday, I’m participating in the Hop Against Homophobia. A few housekeeping things before we get started: 1) This is a very long post, so I’ve broken it into two parts. This is the Serious Stuff part; the following post is the Fun Stuff part. Be sure to read both! 2) Comment Policy: I’m pretty relaxed about comments. My biggest rules are the most common: no personal attacks, no personal details (i.e. addresses, shoe sizes, phone numbers, etc.), no spreading of hate.

Without further ado, the post:

I’d like to talk about the phobia part of that word in particular. The title for this post comes from a song of the same name by Jason Gray, from his album A Way To See In The Dark.

Fear and I go way back. I have no idea how it happened, but somewhere along the line (when I was 10/11/12), I started developing odd fears. Like, say, my brother disappearing, or myself becoming irrevocably lost. These fears waxed and waned over the years, subsumed by new and different fears (O hai, high school!). By the time I was 20, I had a mass of anxiety that lived in my stomach to the point that it was actually affecting my health. It also affected my mental health—I spent a fair amount of my early twenties avoiding going out except with family.

Most of my fears are irrational—I don’t know where they came from, or why they developed into the abcesses that they are today. There’s a concept in Buddhism called “Small Mind”, which is the little voice that tells you that your [creative endeavor] sucks and they’re all gonna laugh at you! and the like. Most of the time, I do a decent job of keeping Small Mind locked up in its cave, but occasionally it escapes and runs around the meadow outside the cave, Kermit-flailing and screaming at the top of its lungs about whatever the topic of the day is.

Usually, Small Mind is screaming and flailing because I’m doing something big and scary – submitting a story, or waking up on a release day. That at least is something that I can deal with, because it’s expected. When my fears pop up more or less out of the blue, I have a tougher time with them.

I understand having fears that overshadow the positive stuff in one’s life. I understand letting fear win, too. To my everlasting shame and disappointment-in-myself, I let fear win in a BIG way last fall. I was standing in the Seattle-Tacoma airport, in front of a Delta self-check-in kiosk, holding the page with my confirmation barcode/number on it. I was staring at the “Get Started” and “English” buttons on the screen, and I was paralyzed.

I could not make myself lift my hand and tap on the “Get Started” button. If you asked me what I was afraid of (and the person that I called after ten minutes of dithering certainly did ask), I couldn’t tell you. I still can’t, all these months later. All I know was that there was this fear—more than that, it was FEAR, with fangs and claws and probably wicked-looking weapons—that simply blotted out all of my rationality.

Instead of gritting my teeth, pushing through the FEAR, and getting on a plane to Memphis (and from there to New Orleans), I turned around and dropped $600 on a ticket home.

Fear kept me from seeing two cities I’d never been to before. Fear kept me from meeting new friends, from seeing my dad (I had a ticket to go see him before I headed home), from doing live in-person boots-on-the-actual-battlefield research for a story that I’m now stalled on.

Losing to fear has cost me a lot, over the years, not just those opportunities and the $600. Fear cost me at least two chances to have boyfriends, once in high school and once much later; fear has cost me time and peace of mind. So yeah, I can understand fear and I can even understand letting fear run your life for you.

Where I draw the line, however, is letting my fear become a doctrine. I do my damnedest to make sure that my anxiety and my fear basically affect only me. A good number of homophobes, on the other hand, are not only quite happy to embrace the rule of fear but to force it upon others.

Case in point: my city. For the last two years, GLBT-rights people worked hard to get an anti-discrimination initiative on the municipal ballot. They got a sponsor, they got signatures and donations and the April 3rd ballot got Proposition 5.

All Prop 5 would do is add the words “sexual orientation or transgender identity” to the municipal anti-discrimination statute. You know, it’s the bit that’s tacked on at the end of job postings and the like and it says “[Entity] does not discriminate on the basis of age, ethnic background, religion” blah blah blah. It would make it a crime to fire someone, to deny them housing or evict them, simply because they were gay/bi/straight or transgender.

Cue, of course, the hateful and the fearful—and the hateful who prey on the fears of the fearful—crawling out from every snowed-under rock. The opponents of Prop 5 ran commercials that said if Prop 5 passed, then straight people who didn’t like those icky gays would HAVE TO hire them whether they liked it or not! If Prop 5 passed, daycares would HAVE TO hire cross-dressers to work with CHILDREN!

(And, wow: I could NOT find the animated No On 5 ads on YouTube. Not that I really wanted to watch them, but I wanted to link to them for proof that I wasn’t doing much paraphrasing of the opposition’s stance.

Buuuut I did find this particularly hideous gem: a radio ad in which, apparently, ANYONE can become a kindergarten teacher regardless of qualifications if Prop 5 passes! Because if it does, “someone of indeterminate gender” will HAVE TO be hired by the school district or there will be an expensive lawsuit.

And no, pointing out the flawed “logic” of this assertion will not get you anything but a headache, trust me. Neither will pointing out that if that was at all true, all employers would have to hire anyone in a protected class regardless of how many positions were actually available and/or qualifications of said candidates.

Also, if you do choose to visit the “Protect Your Rights” website, all that’s there at the moment is a letter carrying on about how “common sense has prevailed” and that Protect Anchorage wants to “continue to [have] dialogue … in a way that binds, not divides.” Ha ha ha ha wow, I don’t believe that for a femtosecond. And now you know where I live: slightly to the left of Mars!)

I have always wondered precisely what it is that homophobes fear, and there is a question that my mother asks from time to time that I find appropriate at the moment: “What is really going on here?”

Reesa posted a graphic that posits an answer: “Homophobia: the fear that gay men will treat you the way you treat women.”

Is that it? Or is it the fear that being bi/gay will emasculate them? “If I like guys, that must make me a woman!”, or something like that? (And of course being a woman is the worst. thing. ever*.)

Or is it a fear of being vulnerable? “I’m only a man so long as I am strong and mighty and being gay means you talk about feelings and strong men don’t do that.”, maybe?

There was a study released recently (and I hope they didn’t spend much money on it) that suggests some homophobic people are in fact bi/gay themselves. Not really a surprise, that one.

A function of the “lesbians are hot, men are not” trope? I certainly don’t know.

One thing that I find interesting is that the loudest and most obvious homophobes are men. I’m sure there are homophobic women out there, but generally the voices are those of men, and the focus is on gay men—or possibly-gay men. (As I said, I didn’t find the video of the animated ads, but this article from The Huffington Post has a video, a still from the commercial in question, and some “Wow, this is incredibly awful. What is wrong with you people?” text – and it is pretty damn offensive. It’s the “transvestite” ad, which is not only misleading, but it conflates “cross-dressing” with “transgender”, which are two VERY different things. Preaching, choir, I know. Anyway.)

What I do know is that the hateful and the fearful in this city might as well have put on monster costumes and run around yelling BOOGA BOOGA BOOGA! TEH GAYS WILL EAT UR CHILDERN! BOOGA BOOGA BOOGA!

The Yes On 5/One Anchorage campaign had an amazing array of people, from former mayors and governers to faith-community leaders (at least 40 of them!) who all said that it was time to live up to the lip service. Thousands of other people in this city agreed.

But fear apparently won**. Fear and ugliness were preached, fostered, coddled, gift-wrapped, and given a place at the table. There are those among NoP5’s proponents that claim this is a “tolerant city”, which is easily debunked—all you have to do is ask.

Fear has stolen a lot from me, over the years, and now those for whom fear is a lifestyle*** are forcing us to allow their fear to steal from those of us who have a decidedly different worldview.

There is indeed no thief like fear. Fear steals peace, love, joy, creativity. Fear steals reason, logic, rationality. Fear costs money, time, energy; fear costs relationships, jobs, confidence, and in extreme cases, lives. Fear keeps the fearful chained down, out of the sunlight, away from the green growing things of life. I know this, know it intimately, know it as certainly as I know how to breathe.

So I will make you a deal, if you’re willing: the next time we have the opportunity to make a stand against someone else’s fear, let us do so. Even and especially if it means that I have to stand against my own fear in the process.

* Total sarcasm, I promise. I basically view people as, well, people, whatever their preferred personal pronoun.

** The election on the 3rd was, to put it politely, an incredible mess. I put together a really quick timeline-ish collection of the best reporting on it, but the TL;DR version? Ballot shortages, people being turned away, veteran poll workers finding things hinky, deliberate misinformation distributed (but it’s doubtful said misinformation was responsible for the mess), and last but not least an election commissioner who believes the Diebold machines are not only completely accurate but… “Those are amazing machines – utterly amazing. You… they print out everything. It is impossible for them to go haywire.”

*** It’s fun to use their own rhetoric.

It doesn’t hurt to use a search engine, I promise.

Come over here. Yes, you. Sit down right here beside me–we need to talk.

Look, I know you’re excited about writing a story set in a place you love, but have never been to. I understand, I do. Now, sweetness, it’s really really important to remember that there are people who live in the place you’ve chosen for your story’s setting, and that, particularly in the US, it’s likely they’ll have a chance to read it.

You see where I’m going with this, don’t you? Sh, no, just let me have my say, please. When you pick a particular location, you need to look up some fundamental basics. Check out the weather patterns, for instance, and look at the average temperatures for various times of the year. I’ve never been to New Orleans (argh argh argh), but I know that they don’t get hurricanes year-round. Kansas is not all corn fields and tornadoes 24/7/365. There are more cities in North Dakota than Pierre and Minot. Not everyone in Minnesota is decended from Scandanavian stock, eats hotdish, or is Lutheran (or all three at once).

If you can’t go to your chosen location for whatever reason–financial, familial, etc–then for the love of all that is seen and unseen GO TO THE LIBRARY. Use Google or whatever your search engine of choice is. Check out guidebooks, check out blogs from people living in the area (even if you do have to wade through the unpredictable results of machine translation), ask the people you know if they know anyone in [Wherever]. I personally know a guy who knows people in Finland, plus I know there’s a Finn on one of my mailing lists. If I want the lowdown on living on a farm just below the Arctic circle, I can ask them if they either know anything about it or know someone who does.

Please. It doesn’t take all that long — and if you’re like me and tend to get sidetracked, set aside a couple of hours one weekend and just get lost. Make notes and bookmarks, or copies, or whatever! It doesn’t matter if you ever use all of the information, but at least do your readers the courtesy of actually making the attempt.

Thanks for listening,

love,

A fan of Street View for finding neat-looking places

Because I’m Super-Avoider, Author Who Won’t Write! today…

I read the latest post over at Michelle and Reesa’s blog, then re-read Reesa’s post about the people out there who don’t like your (whoever you may be) story.

I second most of what she said, but I just want to add that I’ve recently encountered two readers whose reactions were… Well, startling. The first one complained because she got the plot outlined in the blurb. Yeah, that was my reaction, too: since when is it a problem to get the story the blurb promises? Maybe on Bizarro Earth, but in this reality?

The second one is a bit more problematic, because the guy makes valid (rudely stated, but valid) points about the story. Only thing is, he’s whining because I wrote the story that was asked for, and it wasn’t what he wanted — however, he wasn’t the one who requested the story.

You can’t really argue with that kind of thing. Well, you can, but you’ll end up a depressed monotreme. I’ve written a couple different responses to the second guy, and am about to draft a third. I have another post to write, first, however.

At least one of my senators Doesn’t Get It.

So I wrote to my congress people, and I got a nicely vague, waffley letter back from one of them. I know he’s just trying to keep everyone happy, but I don’t WANT vague and waffley, I want him to tell me he’s going to vote against the damn bill. Otherwise, it feels entirely too much like he’s just trying to keep me soothed and placated while he’s planning on voting FOR it.

Dude. I don’t want the internet to become TV. I don’t want to live in fear that some fuckwit griefer is gonna come across my site and decide to use SOPA/PIPA to fuck with me, just because they fucking CAN. Given what I write, it’s waaaaaay too likely that someone will use SOPA/PIPA to keep my stories offline.

I don’t want to see hundreds of thousands of forums, of stories, of creative and brilliant people to just disappear. Believe it or not, but someone has pirated First Flight — it turned up on ebookr.com, and I was both somewhat excited (someone thought it was worth stealing!) and annoyed (hey, someone stole First Flight! and the blurb, straight off Dreamspinner’s site…). I sent off a DMCA notice, and they, to their credit, responded appropriately. (In fact, they responded so quickly and politely that I’m seriously considering uploading a couple of my free reads.)

Do I spend hours of my day, trolling pirate sites, looking for anything of mine? No. If someone posts about a pirate site to one of the many mailing lists I’m on, I’ll go take a look, but until ebookr, I’d never found anything of mine. It’s not like it matters to people who pirate stuff — they’re gonna do it no matter what the law says. I’ll poke at pirates if I find them, but in general it’s not like it matters in the grand scheme of my writing life. Hell, at least they’re NOT trying to scrub my presence from the web — pretty much the opposite.

SOPA/PIPA are the antithesis of pirate sites in that regard. It wouldn’t affect the pirates at all, but it could–would–affect ME in a big way. Yeah, it would be nice if we could keep people from stealing stuff, but that’s just not going to happen. The internet is the best thing to happen to my life: it has brought me friends, it has expanded my horizons, it has allowed me to learn things I never would have even known I WANTED to learn. I want my internet to stay pretty much exactly the way it is, full of the sparkling dizzying array of wonder that is humanity. With SOPA/PIPA in place, the internet will likely become TV: catering to the lowest common denominator; run by people who think Jersey Shore and Desperate Housewives and I don’t even know what insipid sitcoms are on these days are what *I* want. I come to the internet to get AWAY from that crap, because no one asks me what *I* want — and it sure as hell isn’t THAT.

Punctuation! Not For The Faint Of Heart.

Or something like that, anyway.

Reading–or trying to read–a story where someone has gone through and stripped out all of the ellipses and replaced them with a single period is almost enough to make me tear out my hair. They didn’t bother replacing them with em-dashes, or evaluating each ellipse on a case-by-case basis to see if they actually needed it to stay, they just removed them wholesale. (Or maybe they were never there in the first place, I don’t know.)

“I.” isn’t a sentence. It should not have a full stop at the end. “I…” or “I–” conveys a sense of being uncertain and interrupted, respectively, if that’s what you’re intending. If you want your reader to take a little break, you can start with “I,” add some narrative, then go back to dialogue.

Seriously, there’s a really good reason that style manuals are intended for everything except dialogue: people never ever speak exactly like a style manual was the only book in the house during their formative years. Not even the most rigidly proper speaker of a language does. Not even people who are paid professional editors.

I love it. You’d think it would be easy.

This applies to two different things that I’m trying to write. The first is the Hot July Days story; the second is a review of The Slipstream Con.

Seriously, I love TSC to pieces and I can’t articulate WHY? At least not in the context of an Amazon review, apparently. Tal and Vanya’s honor! Kellen’s funny (and a jerk, but mostly wonderful)! The whole plot-that-goes-places thing! Heston! The painting and other art! The ending! The ship’s name! (The fact that it could be the ‘ship’s name!)

Part of my problem is that elaborating on why I love those things generally means I’ll be spoiling the book for everyone, and I reeeeeally don’t want that. The other part of it is that I’m really inclined to just post “Seriously, I want MORE AWESOME STORY. Buy this and you can help make that happen. Plus you get MAS, too, so really it’s a win/win all the way around.” Needless to say, that’s not going to get rated “helpful” by anyone outside of the authors. *Grin*

I have also learned two things, in the course of trying to write this review and one for The Balance of Silence:

1) I do not understand why people recap the plot that’s in the blurb. I don’t know about anyone else, but I read the blurb to find out what’s going on (if at all possible; some blurbs aren’t helpful in that regard) and if I want to read the story. Recapping what I’ve already read annoys me — I want NEW information, not something I can scroll up and re-read on my own.

2) I don’t really get/like the whole alpha/beta/omega/waffle/protozoan thing. Those are great designations for cultures/groups of creatures with a rigid social hierarchy, but on an individual level, humanity tends to be more fluid. I don’t care if Tal’s an “alpha male”–in fact, I’d argue that the term has been so corrupted by romance writers and readers using it as shorthand for “asshole” that it doesn’t apply at all. There’s no way Vanya is anyone’s beta ANYthing. Well, okay, maybe to the Empire/Empress. When it comes to working with–and being married to–Tal, she’s every bit his equal.

Ugh. It doesn’t help that I didn’t sleep well, either.

I try to keep things cheerful around here.

But today, I’m going to talk about something that’s more important that maintaining a near-Stepfordian level of happiness.

The thing is, hiding stuff is nothing new for me. It’s nothing new to most people, though it might take some digging for some of them to find something they’ve kept to themselves.

I haven’t told my father–or most of my family, actually–what I write. My father has been poisoning himself with AM talk radio for years, and goes to a fundamentalist-type non-denominational church. (Peri-Christmas services with those people were both incredibly frustrating and deeply annoying, but that’s another rant and a half so moving on.)

My father himself, though, is an incredibly generous man, with a good heart. He loves little kids and thinks they’re just the greatest. He loves his job, which is driving the bus that picks up and drops off special-needs elementary students. If my brother and I needed anything–money, his presence, a plane ticket, whatever–he would move heaven and earth to help us out.

I still have no idea how he’d react to finding out that I’m the author of Awydd. Of Totally Choice. Of some of the other stuff on my hard drive. (And while I’m not precisely out to him in the traditional sense, I don’t make a point of being anyone other than myself around him. Being bi is a blessing, in this case.)

That uncertainty feeds on itself, and I keep what I write to myself. He knows what my pen name is, but fortunately it only turns up Terminator 4 fanfics when you drop it into Google (add ‘smut’ to my name and this page turns up, though).

The rest of my uninformed family are… It’s less that I’m afraid that they’ll disown me and more that I worry that they’ll be disappointed in me. That they’ll shake their heads and say “This is what you use your creativity on?”. I’m a little bit uncomfortable with the idea of my grandparents reading the sex scenes, but that’s more of the above mixed with the fact that my grandparents read out loud to one another, and I reeeeeeally can’t/don’t want to imagine my grandmother saying some of the stuff I’ve written.

On a less-squicky note, I think that Tobias’s Own Adventure is actually a good point to start with in that regard. It doesn’t have any hard-core words in it (I don’t think I even used any of the milder aversions for them, either, come to think of it), and the most that happens on-screen is some kissing.

Anyway, my whole point is that it doesn’t matter who you are, there are things that you keep back because that’s how humanity works, and because there are far too many narrow-minded fools in the world who would just as soon scorn you as shake your hand for things that in no way affect them. And that I think I’m going to suck it up and come out to my family about my writing when Tobias’s Own comes out, just so that no one can ever try to use that against me*.

* Not that it would work very well. I have this terrible habit of digging in my heels and demanding to know WHY I should do what other people want me to, and then disregarding the reasons if they don’t make sense/aren’t good enough for me.