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Sep 24

A few thoughts about slash

Posted on Thursday, September 24, 2015 in Writing

Maybe this is something very common among slash writers, but I usually feel that there are people I don’t want to read my stories, at all. It may be old-fashioned, immature or even unnecessary or it could be completely understandable – I don’t know that many slash writers personally.

Anyway, here goes:

I don’t want guys to read my stories. There. I’ve said it. A few actually have, and I haven’t had any negative reaction so far, but also not a very positive one. Tactful is probably the word. They were curious, they were allowed to read a story. They probably didn’t like it, but knew they’d asked for it and were polite. Fair enough. It just doesn’t encourage me to show them any more stories.

One guy I know would probably like to read everything I’ve written eventually. He’s nice. I like him. He is a graduate of gender studies. That probably means he has an interest beyond that of most ‘ordinary’ straight guys. I still don’t want him to read them all, because you know, that would show him a pattern. Me writing slash stories more than 50 % of the time. It would feel a bit embarrassing. But as Janet Evanovich says about writing sex stories and letting someone know you read them: “Yes, it is embarrassing, get over it.”

In fact, I try not to tell any guys I write slash stories, because you know – they usually wouldn’t be interested. I had a gay friend who was slightly interested – he was mainly interested in his own business – not mine – but slash stories were at least mildly interesting to him, even written by a straight female. I suspect most gay guys wouldn’t be, because we write slash ‘by women for women’ and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. With a close friend who’s gay, I’d like to expect an understanding. “Sure, it’s cool that you write those stories, for other women. Great idea, but it’s not for me.” You know, that sort of thing. More than that, just wouldn’t be fair to expect.

This one may be so natural that everyone agrees with it: I don’t want my mom to read any of my more ‘adult’ stories. Not that she’s the least bit curious. If I’ve written a ‘serious’ story (that is, not adult) I will have to ask her nicely if she wants to read it, and then she usually does. That is, if she’s not afraid it might be too upsetting, which of course is possible, even with a ‘non-adult’ story.

This reminds me of someone I got to know online, in fan fiction/slash circles. She worked as a web designer, that is made web pages for clients. That meant some clients wanted to see her own personal page (this was a long time ago). Also, her husband was very proud of her and told everyone he knew about his clever wife and her wonderful web pages and entusiastically handed out her URL to all his friends, without having read the stories on the page himself… So I told her we have another ‘big’ home page (the vegan one, but back then there was also a lot about many other things, that were totally unrelated). She thought that was a good idea, so maybe she made another web page, one that she could show to anyone, without being embarrassed. Not that anyone ever asks to see my homepages these days.

Of course, deep down, I’m not ashamed or really embarrassed. I don’t see anything wrong with writing (good) stories about slash and/or straight sex. It’s just like everything else – if you’re interested in it and you do it reasonably well, why not? (Because you know, writing anything really badly, would be embarrassing in itself). But superficially, it does tend to get embarrassing when you run into people who don’t understand at all.

If you write slash stories and/or ‘het adult’ stories, how do you feel about this? Would you show your stories to anyone who’s interested? Or do you have a preference?

Sep 16

Ramblings about slash and male and female in writing

Posted on Wednesday, September 16, 2015 in Writing

Slash was, apparently, though I had no idea at the time that that was what it was, a relatively early interest for me. I remember thinking up ‘slash’ stories (that were never written) when I was in my early teens. In fact, I had a dream (real night time dream) about two ‘brothers’ in a tv series and at the time, I didn’t even have any idea of what exactly those two had been up to, but it seemed very interesting to me. That continued for a while, until I learned more about gay relations etc. I didn’t know anyone who wrote either slash stories or for that matter fan fiction. Maybe it’s because I’m from a rather ‘provincial’ country or that I’m pretty old by now (I hope my readers are now saying no, you’re not!) but I remember people talking about gay relations as being somehow wrong or sick. Another example: I have a second cousin, who’s quite nice, but maybe a bit simple. Some pop stars came up in conversation (this guy loves pop music) and I mentioned that they were gay, and he said: no way, they seem so well behaved (as in well brought up or civilized, I guess). I didn’t get his meaning – well, in a way I did, but it seemed so totally irrelevant. So clearly in his family (not very surprising, because you really should know a few things about his mother), it’s the way they think about gay people.

From about the same time I began to get my slash ideas, I tried to write (extremely bad) romantic stories about straight couples, but they tended to bore me in the end. Traditional couples don’t interest me. I always like something different, like f/m or the woman being older etc. Not that I even like ‘pure’ romances or will write them. It’s also extremely difficult to write a good straight pairing in fan fiction, because precious few female characters are any good, to be brutally honest. That leaves you to invent an original character, which isn’t very popular, but I have done it in the past (no Mary Sue, more like an anonymous, independent watcher from outside the group the writing is about) or to improve the female character so that I like her, which may not be very popular either, because everyone has a different view of what is a ‘good’ female character.

In original fiction, I’ve been told it’s not really popular to write about female characters (at least in children’s books) because apparently, girls can be expected to read all books, whereas boys can only be expected to read about other boys. Relatively recently (a year or two ago), I remember reading about how critics were lamenting the loss of the most popular children’s books series (due to age I suppose – the writers are no longer up to making up new stories), because they were more or less the last ones who write about boys. Now, I’m not that picky – I also never pay attention to what colour or ethnic background the main character has. All I care about is whether it’s a ‘good’ character (as in one I like).

In fact, I don’t really worry too much about the age of the main character (though I’m getting more than a little tired of what is in Swedish referred to as the ‘middle-aged male mystique’, meaning how you get to dwell in detail on how these men don’t brush their teeth, how they prefer to have a drink instead of eating a proper meal, how they don’t bother to shower, don’t obey their superiors and yet, despite all these drawbacks, are irresistible to significantly younger females.

Sep 3

Slash in ‘conventional’ book publishing

Posted on Thursday, September 3, 2015 in Writing

Speaking of adult stories as I did in my last blog post, it occurred to me that all these years of fan fiction/slash really has had a result on ‘conventional’ book publishing.

When I was a teenager, I found myself inventing slash stories, even though I didn’t know anyone else who did (or read anything like that). Where I lived, in a small town, gay issues weren’t discussed. I’m sure gay people suffered discrimination. I do know that being different, albeit straight, was tough here, but then I suspect this is one of the worst towns in the world. I’m not exaggerating. Anyway, for years I didn’t write my stories down, and if I discussed them with anyone, it was my sister who tends to feel about the same as I do about most things.

Then a little later (early 20’s and so on) I decided that I would write my stories. It was fun but a bit embarrassing, because I couldn’t let anyone read them except my sister. Of course, my first stories were awful (and so was my poetry). Still, I don’t regret doing all this writing, because eventually I did get better (at least I hope so).

One day in the late 1990’s I was chatting on the Star Trek chat room (on about.com – I think the site still exists, but the best before date has long since expired). Someone said ‘if you’re a writer, then you’ll be writing fan fiction too, right’? I was puzzled, because I’d never heard of fan fiction. It struck me as ridiculous and I couldn’t see why people would do it. Then, only a few weeks later, I remembered hey, those kinky stories I dreamed up when I was about 13, those were fan fiction (and slash even!) so why not? After that I spent more than ten years writing, writing, writing. Some original fiction, but mainly fan fiction. Even today, when things are extremely different, I sometimes look at one of my old stories and I’m amazed I wrote such good stories so long ago (sadly, I often encounter a different kind of story that I wiill occasionally delete).

What I was going to get to, eventually, by the time I’ve stopped cheering myself up by reminiscing about my good old fan fiction days, is that all those years when so many other people got used to reading and writing slash stories, eventually resulted in people writing such stories for publication.

Which is so much fun. In the past, especially in older books that I’d had handed down to me, anything gay was almost never mentioned, and if anything was, it was usually as an example of something related to mental illness. That’s why it’s so great to find all kinds of different books, not only romance stories that deal with gay (male) couples.

On the other hand, when gay gets more accepted, you tend to lose the plot device that deals with ‘the shameful secret’. I kind of miss that, even if real life is different and I think it’s great that people no longer have to hide.

Aug 16

The Only Gold by Tamara Allen

Posted on Saturday, August 16, 2014 in Books, Historic, Reviews

The Only Gold by Tamara Allen was a Kindle freebie that I downloaded last year (I think). It’s not free anymore, but it’s still only 3.74 (US dollars). I have so many books on my TBR list that I had forgotten what sort of book this was. The way it looks once I’ve started reading it, I can’t find the title or the author’s name. It took me a rather long while to figure out what this book was about. In other words, there was a bit of a slow start, but once I got into the book, I found it interesting and well written.

It’s the late 19th century. Jonah Woolner works at a bank in New York. He is content with his life until he’s passed over for a long-awaited promotion. Reid Hylliard shows up out of the blue and annoys Jonah with his charm. Eventually, Reid begins to win him over (as he’s done with everyone else at the bank). Then trouble strikes the bank and Jonah’s relationship with Reid is put under severe strain. Both their lives (and those of others) are threatened, not only the bank.

The fact that it is a slash story and a historic one as well, was a big plus for me. I don’t normally read pure romances – but in combination with historic and/or fantasy it usually works for me.

There’s quite a bit of action (and I mean action, not sex) in this story, but also, to be honest, gay sex, so if you don’t like that, don’t read. Otherwise, I can really recommend this book.

Jun 21

Bonds of Fire

Posted on Saturday, June 21, 2014 in Books, Fantasy, Reviews

The novella Bonds of Fire by Sophie Duncan, is yet another of my recently read ebooks, that I really liked. First a warning: this is a slash story. If you don’t like m/m romance, don’t read it.

This is still a free download on Amazon and Smashwords so if it sounds like fun, go ahead and get it.

The main character, Drekken, is a dragon warrior. He’s bonded to his dragon, Miri. Unfortunately, after a battle, Drekken is separated from his squadron and Miri and is forced to babysit a group of baby dragons. He’s also faced with a growing attraction for one of the two young men who are in charge of the dragon babies. What complicates things is that the two young guys are already in love with each other.

As I said above, I really enjoyed this story. Especially the dragons. And the slash. ūüėČ I also liked the way Drekken felt torn between wanting to rejoin his squadron and Miri, and on the other hand, his responsibility to keep the babies safe. The baby dragons are unbelievably cute and the two young guys are unbelievably hot (and so, apparently, is Drekken).

What’s not to like?

 

Aug 4

Gay Sherlock Holmes could backfire for Guy Ritchie?

Posted on Tuesday, August 4, 2009 in Fandom, Other

At least according to this article.

Why? What’s not to like about that? Ok, to be honest, I’m rather picky and I could wish for some other actors (other than Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law), but slash is always nice. It can brighten a dark day.

Feb 3

Guilty secrets

Posted on Tuesday, February 3, 2009 in Writing

Most people probably have some guilty secrets. I know I do. Most of my readers and friends know that I write fan fiction and slash. At times, when I’m really depressed and need cheering up, I also write (shame on me) real people slash! Of course, I’d never in a million years post anything in public. At least not about anyone who hasn’t been dead for a couple of hundred years.

(I also fall pathetically, ridiculously and meaninglessly in love with hot celebrity guys. Sh. Don’t tell anyone, please. LOL)

So, what about you guys? Share your guilty secrets with me! I dare you!

Sep 15

Weird slash

Posted on Monday, September 15, 2008 in Fandom, Writing

For some reason I got it into my head to wonder what’s the strangest slash (not grossest), but most unusual slash you’ve read. In my case, I think it’s a piece of original fiction by Selma Lagerlof (famous Swedish Nobel prize winning author). She would most likely have been astonished to hear her story described as slash, and she’d probably need an explanation of the term, but I get definite slash vibes from this one. A bit of BDSM too…

Her story is about two rivers who compete as they rush towards the sea, but eventually one submits to the other and they become one. LOL. Sounds a bit slashy, right?

I’m sure this isn’t the weirdest slash story that’s out there, but it’s what springs to mind right now (late, late at night, or very early in the morning, whichever way you’d like to see it).

Jan 23

The day I almost became a criminal

Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2008 in Other

I have always been a very calm, quiet and well-behaved girl. Too well-behaved at times, you might say.

One day I found out that the principal of the school where my mother was working had brought a school bag covered in vomit and shown it to my mom. He was convinced that it had been one of the children with learning disabilities who was responsible for the soiled bag. He made my mom clean it up. The day after, everyone found out that it had been one of the so called ‘normal’ students who had vomited on the bag.

That made me come extremely close to committing a crime. I was seized by an almost irreisstible urge to slash the tires of the principal’s car. But unfortunately, my upbringing and my natural shyness prevented me from doing it. Unfortunately, yeah.

If I’d been able to release that anger back then, I might not have felt so impotent now. It sucks big time being this nice and timid. But I guess it’s just something I have to accept.

Oh, and by the way, if my dear, sorely missed dad had taken the call from the police, I’m pretty sure he would have replied: Slashed some tires? Not my daughter. She was watching tv with me all evening.

Dad was good at that kind of thing. He saved me once, when I’d neglected to go to one of those pointless sports days in high school. I hadn’t even asked him or prepared him for the possibility that my teacher might call. Nice one. Thanks, dad!

Dec 21

What do the words slash and yaoi mean?

Posted on Friday, December 21, 2007 in Writing

What does yaoi really mean? I’ve never really thought about it before, but recently I read an article about it, and I realized that it’s a sort of acronym. It means (translated from Japanese to English) ‘no climax, no punchline, no meaning’. That means the same as a PWP story – plot? what plot? – in other words, it’s all just a sketch of two hot guys having sex with each other). Apparently, there’s also a more humorous interpretation, which means – in translation – Stop! My butt hurts!. Whoever made that up clearly hasn’t read too much slash… Pain is never a reason to stop…

I just realized that the word slash might not have been explained clearly. Slash is a / which stands for pairing. For some reason, slash just means a male/male pairing, though you can always use a / to indicate which pairing you’re writing about, even if it’s a het adult story. Femslash has been formed from the original slash. An early example of slash is what fans call K/S that is Kirk/Spock. They’re from Star Trek TOS (The Original Series) in case you’ve never heard of the two gentlemen. You’d never refer to a Kirk/Uhura or a Spock/Chapel story as slash. I have no idea why.

Besides, it’s also being said – though I don’t believe it – that slash usually is a sexually explicit story. There are all kinds of slash, including some which doesn’t even contain a kiss. The point is simply that two men (or boys) love each other. They don’t have to do anything about it, just feel that way. I even think unrequited love falls under the same heading.

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