Rainbow Snippets – 5/6/17 – Trustfall

Hello friends! I’m still plugging away at this draft. It is so difficult. I love the characters but I feel like I have no idea where I’m going. I think I’m trying to fit too much into one book. And you know what that means? I MIGHT HAVE TO WRITE A SEQUEL. But I’m not even done with the first draft of the first book! Gah!!! (I certainly love these boys enough to write a sequel with them, though. They’re a lot of fun)

Anyway, picking up where we left off last week (well I skipped like one line for the sake of keeping this at 6… or 7).  Saul and Alex have just met, they’ve realized Saul’s sister Hannah has been talking both of them up to each other, and… here we are.

“Can you grab me a pen and paper?” I asked. If nothing else, he was cute, and it had been a long, long time since I’d been alone with a cute guy. Hannah was certain he was single, and I was reasonably certain he was gay. He stepped away, back to the desk, and grabbed a pen and a sheet of blank paper from the printer. “Write this down,” I said, when he offered them to me. I dictated my phone number and home address. “Tomorrow night at 6, if you’re free.”

Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!). Visit the group for links to more snippets from LGBT works! While you’re over there, shoot me a friend request!

Writing #OwnVoices – You Are Enough

I’m asexual. I wrote about this just a couple months ago when I realized it for the first time in my 10+ years of adulthood. Since then, I have joined the #ownvoices movement by starting to write a novel with an asexual gay man as a main character.

Let me tell you: It is hard. It is really, really difficult for me, despite being asexual myself. The temptation to put these guys into a regular old sexual relationship is strong. It’d be a lot easier to write. Despite not being sexually motivated or driven myself, writing sex is natural because it is everywhere, and I know it is expected, and a lot of readers live for the sex scenes.

Writing anything is hard. Writing gay men as a straight[ish] female[ish…person] is hard. Writing romance with a character who is not driven by sexual desire is a hard. Put all this together and add a heaping dose of crippling self-doubt on top, and it’s a miracle I’ve put a single word on the page.

“Self doubt?” you say. “Why are you drowning in self doubt? This should be easy. You’re asexual. You’re writing an asexual character. That’s like being a writer and writing about a writer. Right?”

Except I only realized I’m asexual like two months ago, and only decided to apply/embrace the label several weeks later. All in all, I’ve considered myself a part of the asexual community for like, maybe 5 weeks now. So who the fuck am I to write an asexual character? I have no idea what I’m talking about. Right? What if I accidentally write bad rep? Even though I am ace, and I have been ace forever, I could easily write something that offends someone else. I could write it wrong. The internet is a terrifying place. There are a lot of outspoken, aggressive people on every side of every issue (especially on Twitter, where I spend most of my time). What if I write this asexual character based on my own personal feelings and experiences, and someone comes along and says “He’s not asexual.”

But he’s based on me! And I am! Does that mean I’m not?!

What if I write this #ownvoices book and someone comes along and shits on me for it because I’m not repping enough? I’m not outspoken enough? I’m not… I don’t know what, but what if I’m doing it wrong?


Somebody save me.

Do you see my issue?

And then, while I was musing over this hang-up I’m struggling with, here came Ana Mardoll with a miraculously well-time tweet thread:

If you could just pardon me for a moment, I’ll be in the corner, sobbing.

misha crying

Okay. Better now.

So this is what it boils down to, kids: You are enough, and the world needs your voice. No one is more enough-y than you. No one can write a marginalized character better than a marginalized person, and no one can tell you that your feelings and experiences disqualify you for the group you feel you belong to. There has been a lot of hate flying around lately–transphobia and biphobia, erasure of all sorts. There is no better time than now for writing #ownvoices, and there is no better person than you.

So I’m going to go on writing my asexual gay man, and if he wants to have sex, he will. And if he doesn’t, he won’t. He’ll find his boyfriend attractive, he will be infatuated and in love and make flirty comments and sexual jokes, and if anyone reads about him someday and says that his relationship is unrealistic, I’ll give them a great big middle finger, because I am an asexual person, and I have sex, get crushes, flirt, and make a hell of a lot of sexual jokes. Those things do not disqualify me from the a-spec. I am asexual enough to write an asexual character, even if I just realized it a few weeks ago. It’s my identity and no one will take it away from me.

(If you want snippets and lines from Alex and his asexual D/s adventures, you can follow me on Twitter. I post quite frequently.)

Rainbow Snippets – 3/4/17 – Jigs and Reels

Good morning, snippet friends, and happy March! Spring is on its way~! I’m starting to clean up my flower beds and get ready to sow seeds towards the end of the month. Right now all my story ideas are based around music, because that’s my current obsession, but as we start to move into spring and summer I’ll likely find myself writing about men who love flowers and keep gardens. There is a distinct lack of flower-loving men in the books I read, so I think I need to write some. I was doing a bit of cleanup a couple weeks ago during a freakish warm spell and got a scene in my head that won’t go away, which involves raking leaves shirtless (and perhaps a nosy neighbor), but I don’t really know where it goes. It’ll have to gestate for a while.

Anyhoo, a few more lines from Jigs and Reels. After agreeing to fill in with the band for the festival weekend, Eli has to go back to work the next day. This is glimpse of his day job and his boss, MaryAnn, talking to his cubicle neighbor Ellen. I went over six lines, I know, but they’re mostly short lines.

MaryAnn waltzed out of her office. She looked like the kind of woman who could be knocked over in a strong wind—“waifish” is the word, I think. Tall, toothpick-thin, with an expression like she’d just popped a handful of extreme sour Warheads into her mouth.

“Ellen, you were six minutes late today. You know the acceptable cut-off is five minutes, right?”

“Yeah, I know,” Ellen sighed. “There was an accident. I had to go around.”

“Oh, that’s fine. Life happens.” MaryAnn smiled brightly. “Just don’t let it happen too much!” And she returned to her office.

“Yeah,” Ellen muttered. “Heaven forbid we let life happen outside this hell hole.”

Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!). Visit the group for links to more snippets from LGBT works! While you’re over there, shoot me a friend request!

Falling on the A-Spec

This past week (Feb 19-25) was Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week. Before last week I did not know there was such a thing as a arospec awareness week, but there it was. Twitter seemed to lump aro in with asexual for a sort of aro/ace spec awareness week, and as most of the people I follow are in some way associated with the LGBTQIA community, I saw a large number of posts flooding my Twitter feed related to this topic.

As such, before I even got out of bed on the morning of Sunday, February 19, I had encountered something alarming/exciting. Lying in bed browsing Twitter, I happened across a thread wherein a person described what being aromantic/asexual means to her.

And holy shit.

It was me.

It was exactly how I’ve felt for years.

Dear God, can’t I even get out of bed before having life-altering self-revelations on a Sunday morning?!

This post is gonna get a bit personal, but hey, what else is new? I’ve been spilling my guts here every week for months. I believe in a policy of openness, because there are countless things in the world that many people experience, but few people talk about. I have found great solace from those few people willing to talk about these things, so I’m going to be one, in hopes that my gut-spilling and openness can help someone else someday.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand.

I must admit, I spent most of Sunday, uh, “in a state,” as they say (“they” here being people in the 1800s). I’ve never thought of myself as asexual or aromantic, but then, I never really knew what ace/aro was. I knew what it meant, but I never knew what it feels like. It’s easy to regurgitate a dictionary definition: “Aromantic – a person who experiences little or no romantic attraction.” Well… I’m married, so at some point I was romantically attracted to someone, so I’m not aromantic… Right? “Asexuality – a lack of sexual feelings or desire.” Well, I have sex, I enjoy sex, so I’m not asexual. Right?


Turns out no, not really.

Ace/aro identity is a very nuanced thing. I’m vaguely afraid to write anything about it here, because I literally just learned about most of it a week ago and it’s all still very uncertain, so I’m not willing to make my own statements about it as a whole. I’m just going to express how I feel, and compare it to what I’ve read about how other people–people identifying as ace/aro–feel.

I’ve always just considered myself as having a low sex drive. I can go weeks without sex and not even notice. In fact, I usually do go weeks without sex. I have to make a pointed effort to remember to occasionally have sex with my husband, because it doesn’t matter to me either way if we do or don’t. I’ve been with the same guy for nearly ten years, though, so that’s natural, right? All those jokes about married couples never having sex, hardy har har, that’s all it is, right? He’s the only guy I’ve ever had a relationship with–I never did any dating or sleeping around or playing the field or any of that nonsense in high school or college. I never really had the opportunity… but, in retrospect, I also never really had the desire. One-night stands, casual sex, the mere idea of all that kind of horrified me. But I also have anxiety and hate to deal with strangers, so that’s probably all that is, right? I like to look at shirtless guys. I get ridiculous crushes on celebrities and silly crushes on random people I see on the bus or in the hall at work. I have sex with my husband and I enjoy it. I’m not devoid of sexual attraction… so I’m not asexual. Right?  (I’m not trying to give the impression I’m in denial or that I don’t want to be ace/aro, I just don’t want to wrongfully claim a label)

Then I read this post, and Rachel Sharp’s explanation was exactly how I’ve felt all my life. How I still feel. She wrote: “I do feel romantic attraction. I do get crushes (a lot). But for me, a crush isn’t about sex. It’s a cuddle-crush. I want someone I like to like me back and be affectionate. If sex is involved, okay, that can be fun. But so are roller coasters, and swimming in the ocean, and playing video games together. I feel approximately the same emotional investment and drive for all of these activities.




I get crushes on random people and I want to talk to them about life, or books, or movies, or dogs! I want to go for walks, or plant a garden! I don’t care if we so much as kiss. I have no desire to “jump their bones” or “do naughty things to them,” even if I find them super physically appealing. I’ve always felt it odd that people talk about fantasizing about sex with celebrities or so on. Sure, they’re hot, but I don’t think about having sex with them. When I get crushes on people, I literally just want to talk to them. Even with my husband, I am just as content with cuddling or sitting on the couch together as I am with sex (maybe even more so).

So hey, it seems I fall on the a-spectrum somewhere.Who knew?!

I’m not willing to affix a label to myself yet. There are a lot of labels (ace, aro, gray-aro, demisexual, etc) and I find it very intimidating to try to put myself under one heading. There’s also a degree of feeling like an intruder–I’m headed towards my 30’s. Can I just suddenly affix a new label to my sexuality at this point? I’ve been unwilling to refer to myself as “straight” for years, but the question of what I should call myself has never really come up. It hasn’t really mattered. I’m married to a man and our relationship works regardless of what I call myself. For now, I feel like it’s enough to say I fall on the a-spec somewhere. And it’s kind of nice to realize that I don’t have some medical condition or that my lack of sex drive is not related to my husband or my marriage in any way. This is how I’ve felt all my life and there’s a word for it! There’s a community!

I’m not a weirdo! (at least not in this respect)