Linkspam Friday: October 19

Last week, I had four medical appointments at the end of the week and nowhere near the organisational skills required to get a post organised before then–a feat not helped by a dire lack of content to post about.

This week, I still don’t have a lot of @aroworlds content. I’ve been working on the long-awaited post collecting allosexual aromantic media and hammering out a last-minute first draft for a vaguely-Halloween-ish short story about a necromancer’s summoning her outspoken great-aunt’s ghost to talk about her struggles with cute girls and romantic attraction. It results in a whole horde of local ghosts coming out as various shades of aro-spec and a terrible overuse of the word “bosom”. I would have appreciated the idea coming to mind sooner than Tuesday night, but, on the positive side, I have a complete 7k first draft written in three days despite more pain than I like (because I am not recovered from Kit March, of course). I think that’s the fastest I’ve ever, without stopping, written a complete story like that; more often, I write, get distracted by something else in the middle and finish the story days, weeks or months later.

I want to publish it properly, because it works wonderfully as a prequel for Love is the Reckoning, but I’ll post it here sometime before Halloween regardless of its polishing. I think having a friend, the fabulous @crimsonsquare, encourage me on its progress has helped me be able to sit and work to get it done. It’s easier to write when I feel like someone not me is interested in the story…

Header text: Aro Worlds: Connecting aro creatives and aro audiences. Header is in antique black type above an ornate divider.

Review – The Book of Night with Moon, Diane Duane: In which I review said book as an extremely low-romance aro-friendly quest fantasy. The writing is unfashionably burdened by technical terms and the plot is unfashionably slow and drawn-out, but for me these things are a feature, not a drawback. It isn’t a perfect read, but it was honestly a delight for me to read something with a little depth to the worldbuilding and mythology after the Catalysts of Chaos series.

Post – Please Stop Titling A-Spec Content as Ace: In which I riff on a tired theme of seeing content that relates to both asexuals and aromantics labelled as though it is asexual content alone. I’ll admit that I’m increasingly feeling no need to identify as asexual over abrosexual alone (in that asexuality, amongst grey-asexuality, pansexuality and an attraction toward the broad category of femininity, are the shapes my sexual orientation can take) so I find this frustrating: my experiences more closely align with allosexual aromantics than aro-aces. Even when I am asexual or grey-asexual, I don’t feel it encompasses my aromanticism, so I find it erasing to see so much asexual-and-aromantic content with a header that says “asexual” instead of “aromantic and asexual” or “a-spec”. How hard can it be to add “aromantic” to the header, anyway…?

I also have over a thousand followers on this blog, which is pretty awesome given how small the aromantic (Tumblr) community was at the beginning of this year!

Header text reads "Stim Toy Box" in white text on a colourful, stripedfractal background. Two small bear images stand on either side of the text, one holding a fish and wearing a fishing hat, the other holding a pot and wearing a spinner cap. The edges of the banner mimic torn paper.

Reblog – Pain Medication and Medical Ableism: In which I add on to a slightly-joking-but-serious post about seeking pain medication to explain to my followers that this is exactly what happens. I’ve had this response to me even with tramadol (one of the weakest opiods used in pain management) even though I can’t take higher tramadol doses on a one-off basis due to the sedation rendering me useless. There’s two words in 2018 that are certain to generate a rage response from me: opioid crisis. This post, in part, is why.

Reblog – Giving Disabled People Permission to Refuse: In which I highlight a tiny section of someone else’s important post and talk about the importance of respectfully, kindly giving disabled people the right to say no to educating the abled. I also think it’s important to make sure that the disabled person is open to such questions before asking, as it’s a basic respect few people ever afford to me. It’d be nice to have my ability to answer placed ahead of someone else’s need to understand or learn.

(I lost a lot of followers for this post; if that doesn’t say something about ableism, I don’t know what does.)

Review – K-Mart Glitter Pen: In which I review a glitter-filled pen given to me as a birthday present. (I’m still not done with all these!) It’s more subtle than the versions made for children, but I prefer the size and glitter flow of the ones from the kids’ stationery section best. These pens are just too narrow for someone with my hand disabilities to comfortably use.

Review – Pineapple Squishy: Another birthday present. I think this is the first squishy with an artificial smell that I actually like. At first it was chemically and awful, but now it smells really good to me. I can’t use it for long periods of time because it’s still a migraine trigger, but I do like squishing and smelling it.

Review – The Reject Shop Cat Toys: I like reviewing things that don’t look like stim toys, because not everyone has online access. While we’re currently in a world where fidget toys have become normalised enough that they’re easy to find in dollar and department stores, I don’t expect this to last forever–and these foam balls are so super soft.

Review – The Reject Shop Squeeze Me Squishies: In which I show off two of my mini alicorn/unicorn squishies. These are, despite the small size, my favourite squishies to use. So soft to touch, decently slow-rising and very cute, even if I don’t quite understand the weird black bear-style noses. My white one is now close to losing its head from tearing because I keep being too distracted to pull out my fabric glue, but I recommend these if you like soft squishies.

Review – K-Mart Mermaid Sequin Purse: In which I gush at length over this bag, but damn do I like this in terms of size, interior pockets and multi-use potential, plus the clearance sale price of $3 AUD is brilliant. If you want a mermaid sequin bag, this one.

Review – K-Mart Pizza Erasers: In which I show off a set of six mini puzzle erasers. They’re nothing particularly special, but on clearance for a $1 AUD they’re a small, super-affordable textured fidget.

Header image comprising layer of two pieces of clear tape stuck in a row. Grey pencil text reading "writing and fiction" has been drawn over the tape, with a rainbow underline in crayon beneath the text.

A Sorcerous Compendium of Postmortem Query: In which Esher Hill’s necromancer sister, Mara Hill, on the instruction of a book that is not Ein’s folio, goes to summon a few ghosts, ask a few questions and get a whole lot more than she reckoned on with regards to aromantic acceptance from the dead. We’ve got an outspoken bisexual aromantic aunt who really likes girls, background information on the demon/angel pair Saluria and Sillemon, a blunt autistic schoolmarm, many ghosts coming out as aro-spec and a fairly heavy suggestion that storytelling may save the world. Plus the best “coming out” line I have ever written, and I wish I were in a situation to use something like it in real life.

Love in the House of the Ravens: This is a working title because I haven’t yet figured out what to call it. I started writing a prequel to One Strange Man, so that I’ve now got a trilogy of stories showing Darius’s learning about aromanticism, Darius’s accepting that he’s aromantic and then, in The Adventurer King, Darius’s coming out as aromantic. In this story, Darius returns to Rajad after a horrible job on the Kara, one made worse by one of the few mercenaries he trusts, an alloromantic asexual, making him a serious offer of beginning a romantic relationship–and he doesn’t have a clue why this idea of dating a woman he likes fills him with existential terror. (I’ve been there.) It’s a good thing he has friends over the road who’ll talk him through it, the eponymous Ravens, because the belt has quite a bit to say on human sexuality and none of it covers aromanticism. Ila and Akash, though, know the right questions to ask, even if Darius isn’t completely convinced by the conclusion, and I’m having fun getting to explore Darius’s abrosexuality in addition to his aromanticism.

(I have a theme of aromantics mentoring aromantics in both these stories. It makes my green aro heart happy.)

The Semantics of Punching and Pot-Throwing: Also a working title! This is set in Laiphu, right after Darius and Efe’s dethroning of Hamide Golzar. This came about in response to a book I read, where a disabled protagonist’s ableist tormentor became himself disabled and the ableism then directed at the antagonist was treated as karmic justice by the protagonist and all the “good” characters. Since I believe no ableism is deserved and felt this story to be typical of the abled’s failing to understand both disability and ableism, I wanted to write a story where a disabled man steps in to reject, voraciously, the ableism directed at his former bully because ableism directed at the people who hurt us still hurts us. Since Darius had been bullied on account of his autism by his fellow students in Rajad, his worst bully Reid ends up in the Siyan army and Darius is now so fêted by the Siyans that they’re desperate to demonstrate their belated acceptance of him, well.

At the same time, while having to defend a man he despises, Darius is struggling to allow Efe to see (never mind support) more of his limitations, since Darius has spent a good decade in the East trying to hide his disabilities. There’s a bit of Darius’s being prickly about doctors, proving that his thing with Amelia isn’t new, and Efe’s using that most terrifying of words, love. It’s more a character study on ableism than a story in its own right, with a whole heap of author on board, but I’ll finish it just because the book that inspired it annoyed me so much. There’s so much about living disabled, something that has nothing to do with limitations or specific diagnoses, that most abled writers don’t understand, and sometimes this ignorance just breaks me.

Yes, I have worked on three brand-new stories this last fortnight. Yes, I have other stories that need final proofing and publishing. I know. I’m hoping to have Love and the House of the Ravens (whatever it ends up being called) and One Strange Man readable in some format for November. I suspect this is an overly ambitious goal, mind, but I’m trying.

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