NaNoWriMo 2016

30 11 2016

nanowrimo_2016_webbanner_winner

30 days, 50,000 words. That’s the challenge. I took it. Again. I’ve done it seven or eight times before with six “wins” under my belt. For me, it’s always exciting doing NaNoWriMo, but until this year I’ve never really ended with a good feeling about the stories I’ve written. They’ve all just ended up in the digital drawer where they gather dust.

This year, I changed it up a bit. I decided to write short stories instead of a full novel. I started out wanting to write a collection of short stories against a background of climate change, but at some point the main focus changed to centre around LGTBQ characters, which I’m really quite happy with, because they are awesome characters.

I ended with six (more or less) finished stories and there are a few of them that I will definitely want to pick up and work on further:

Whiteout has 5,956 words and is a story of a woman getting stuck in her car in a blizzard and through flashbacks tells a story of her relationship with her first girlfriend and her struggle to come out to her parents.

Spindrift is a 4,345 word story, half of which is pure M/M smut. Enough said.

Wildfire is the short story that turned into a novella that wants to be a novel (standing at 20,470 words currently). A twisted tale of a young addict getting kidnapped and ending up falling in love with his captor who has a secret. This is one of those stories I’ll probably work further on.

Sirocco (Ghibli) ended up with 4,595 words and features a bisexual doctor, trying to do her best when there’s an outbreak of a super-flu in the refugee camp where she has volunteered.

Dust Devils is another short story that turned into a novella that wants to be a novel (at 13,814 words). Set on Mars, the main character is a trans/ace man, trying to sort out his feelings while at the same time being part of the first crew to spend any significant time on the Red Planet. This one I’ll also likely try to work more on.

Squall is the shortest of the lot at only 2,524 words with the same MC as in Wildfire, six years after the events in that story. So this one might be merged with Wildfire when I rewrite that.

So that’s my experience with NaNoWriMo 2016. It was good and it taught me that I may need to pull in the reins when writing short stories, but that in writing them it keeps my momentum going.

And it taught me that while I’m most certainly a pantser, it’s not a bad thing to have a few prompts lying around before starting out.

In the end, I’m satisfied, and happy that I’ve finished with 51,704 words in total. But now I’m going to take a short break from writing (maybe just for the weekend before I get back to my RPGs) and reward myself with binging Westworld, which I still haven’t managed to watch a single episode of.

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(Inter)National Coming Out Day

11 10 2016

 

aalborgpride

Since I’m in Denmark, calling it National Coming Out Day doesn’t really fit, so you get (Inter)National Coming Out Day from me.

So, where to start? What label do I put on myself in these times of so many different labels when it comes to sexuality (or lack thereof)?

As a child (way back in the late 70s/early-mid 80s), I never gave sex or sexuality much thought even though sex-ed is something that is (was?) taught in school starting in the 5th or 6th grade when I was eleven or twelve years old.

About the time I hit puberty, I guess. But still, sex wasn’t something I thought about in the sense that I wanted to try it myself. Well, not entirely true that. There was a rather infamous television channel here called Kanal København (Channel Copenhagen), that aired unscrambled hardcore porn after midnight. I watched that. And experimented with masturbation. I liked that. Still do.

But actual sex, with an actual different person. No. As the years went by that lust never appeared. Not at sixteen (which from some quick and dirty research is the average sexual debut here in Denmark), not at eighteen or twenty or twenty-five. Now, at forty, I still don’t feel that need for sex with another person.

For a long time I thought it was just me being insecure, feeling unattractive, being shy or an introvert. All those things that could easily explain the reasons why I had no desire to jump into bed with someone. Back then, there was no Internet to answer those questions and me being me, I never tried to find the answers by asking others.

I was probably in my mid-twenties before I knew there was a thing called asexuality. Even then, I wasn’t sure it was a label that fit me. Because, let’s face it, I had crushes, I fell in love with people and I could definitely see what was attractive in certain people. So for a while, I identified as bisexual. But still never felt the need for sex or even to have the company of another human being in my life (that’s possibly a whole different story, though it might be connected and intertwined with everything else, but it would need a post for itself, I think).

So here I am, trying to find a label for myself on Coming Out Day. The closest I’ve come so far is BiRomantic Ace and Genderfluid. But that’s a hell of a mouthful and too much to explain to most people IRL, so usually I just go with Ace, or better yet, Queer and really only when people ask.

So. Happy Coming Out Day, everyone!