found family

This weekend I only ended up doing one of my Continuum panels, Queering Space, because I was sick. An audience member asked us the question: what do we look for in sci fi stories that isn’t necessarily explicit queer representation, but rather what themes resonate with us as queer people.

I thought about it for a bit because I wanted to say something positive, because I’m finding lately that I am speaking about what is hard about being queer, rather than what is good about it (of course these discussions are important, but I’m trying to shift my focus onto the positives).

I said found family. A lot of us are estranged, or not out, or our blood families just don’t quite get it. But our found families are safe places, we are loved there without any exception to do with our queerness. They see us for everything we are, and we see them, and there is so much love.

(The audience member then said I had to read Becky Chambers’ books and I’m planning on it.)

I feel like the queer community is a kind of family, and I know it has its flaws and is still not a safe place for everyone. But when there is suffering within that community, we see it, we recognise it, because it’s our own suffering, too. And it does bring us together.

And while the stories that do have the kind of found family vibe to them, may not explicitly be queer, there is a recognition there. The group of characters who have found each other, who love and care for each other in the vast emptiness of space, their ship is full of light and air.

 

PS. if you know books about queers in space that fit this theme, please let me know!

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emerging writers festival + continuum con

hey friends, I’m doing some things soon and it’d be real nice if people came. First up is Continuum 13, a fan-run convention for all things nerdy and SFF.

It goes for four days, 9-12 of June. I’ll be there on the 11&12th, on Sunday I’ll be doing a panel about how pronouns other than he and she are used in spec fic. It’s gonna be great. On Monday I’m doing two panels, one on ZINES and another on queers in space. I mean. My favourite things. I’m super thrilled??!??!

For Emerging Writers fest I am doing a couple of things. The first is part of the YA Masterclass on the 15th. Look!!! at!!! my!!! company!!!!! I’m doing a session in the morning about the ~hows and whys~ of YA fiction. (The why is because it’s fucken GREAT)

And on the 17th, it’s school formal time babey!!!! (Again, look @ my company????!) We’re all going to read out some letters to our teenage selves and it’s going to be really embarassing and fun. Pls come and dance with us!

wolfskin

Wolfskin is a short story I started writing while travelling, then finished at home. It’s about a girl who has no heart who finds a girl who is also a wolf in the middle of Fitzroy.

Below are the first 4 pages, if you like them you can get a PDF of the whole thing for whatever price you want (even free! neat!!!) over at gumroad, or get a physical copy in my etsy shop.

(Pls note there is a tiny bit of nsfw content!)

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updates: interviews, zines and a new book coming

EXCITING TIMES, FRIENDS

  • a while back I was interviewed in Wordly magazine about LM+M, you can read it on issuu
  • Concrete Queers, the super fun queer zine I am co-editor of now has a funky fresh facebook page
  • I also opened an etsy shop for all your queer, navel-gazey zine needs
  • AND I signed a contract for We Go Forward with LT3 Press. Their Solitary Travellers collection is a bunch of rad stories about asexual and/or aromantic characters. We Go Forward is about a girl called Christie who meets a girl called Roslyn in Berlin while they’re both travelling. Set in Berlin, Prague, Munich and Salzberg, this one’s pretty neat and it’s about my favourite topic: cities. LT3 are a romance press but for this call specifically the romance factor was waived, so this ain’t a romance. BUT IT’S FAB, trust.

Productivity and exciting things

I love editing. I really love editing. I would like to take editing out for dinner and then raise two beautiful children with editing. For me, it’s just a really nice feeling to be able to print out something, get out a red pen and then scribble all over the page, cackling ‘AHAHA, PAST ALISON, YOU ARE A FOOL AND I CAN WRITE BETTER THAN YOU NOW’. Or, if I can’t write better than my past self, I can at least fix some of her mistakes.

For NaNoWriMo last year, I completed the third draft of my novel that I started in 2011. It started off as a fifteen minute short film script that I’d written for a uni assessment and now it’s more of a novella than a novel. I don’t really know what the point of this post is, but I guess it’s just funny how things change. My MC is a lot happier than she was in the first draft, she has a different name and a different mother. She’s more lost in her life than she was, but that’s okay. Her story is about the unknown, I guess, and it fits that she can’t find her direction. When she’s confronted by other versions of herself (parallel universes and science fiction ahoy!), they sort of become the antagonists and it does scare me a little bit. These doppelgangers weren’t as scary in the first version of the draft (they weren’t even in the film script) and I think the worst thing is that they’re just different versions of my main character. They’re all biologically the same, just my MC has made different choices in her life and, as she makes those choices, she creates the doppelgangers. She’d made them this way and she doesn’t even realise it.

Anyway, not sure if that made sense without any more context and that would be a bit too complicated to shove into one blog post, so I am sorry for my ramblings.

So, onto the exciting things!

1. In my last post, I talked about how I was in a competition. And guess who won it! For the prize, I get an illustration to go with my story, and it will also be published in the journal. I do believe it comes out in February, and I will probably spam a link at some point.

2. I have this friend who is super amazing at drawing (amongst other things) and next year we are going to attempt to create a graphic novel. I’ve no idea what it’s going to be about, but it’s going to be awesome because we are awesome. I’ve never really done anything creative with anyone else before. Writing for me is a super-private thing and so I’m not sure how this is going to go, but, onwards!

NaNoWriMo

So NaNo is almost here again! How exciting.

This year I completed Camp NaNo in August and wrote 70k (plus 58 words!) and had a ball. I didn’t plan it at all, which is something I now realise I should never ever do because everything goes to shit and I’m left scrambling about for any kind of direction. It was terribly fun, but not something I want to repeat any time soon.

For November’s NaNo I’m going to redraft last year’s NaNo. Which is kind of cheating but I am super hardcore like that, yo.

My story features parallel universes and lesbians! It’s pretty fun to write but there are some spooky things in there. When I write at night time I get too scared to go to the toilet because I will clearly be eaten by DEMONS.

Here’s my profile. We should probably be friends!

I also took the liberty of making a super-terrific cover for this year’s novel. I was thinking maybe desktop publishing could be my back-up career.