Refreshed Perspective

So I got to sleep at about 3am last night, and woke up just after 5am. I spent the next 2 hours refreshing my laptop to try and resolve some of the problems that had been going on with it since the past forever, and another 2 hours after that re-installing all my things (at least the load-up time seems to have gotten better). Then I went back to bed for 5 hours, spent most of that in a not-quite-asleep daze, slept for about an hour and woke up at 2:20pm.

If you gathered from this that I did not get a lot of writing done during this time, you would be correct.

I’ve already sworn off looking to my writing as the source of all happiness in my life, because it just hasn’t worked, and at the ripe old age of almost-28 it seems fairly apparent as to why it hasn’t worked: it’s just writing. Anyone can do it if they have the time or inclination, and many, many people do. It’s not a cure for anything that was making me unhappy and seeking sources of happiness to begin with, and it never will be. But having said that, I do actually want to write, and just because I don’t want to be writing all the time doesn’t mean I have to let it slide completely.

I guess I’ve changed my tune from the start of the year: I do want to be more on top of my writing, and just be on top of it comfortable in the knowledge that it is also not the be-all and end-all of my existence. I want to get on top of it and stay there so that I don’t have to worry about it either way.

Hence, in my refreshened state of erratic sleeping patterns and a clean-slated laptop upon which to work, and for some reason feeling more awake and motivated than I have in quite some time, I have decided to try a few things:

  • The new exercise routine I started needs a cardio element, and my bike needs riding, so I can make two omelettes with one egg there
  • I need to keep trying to wake up in the mornings
  • I’m going to write something I don’t feel comfortable writing because I don’t feel comfortable writing it, and because I feel like it

It seems kind of counter-productive to have a writing blog where I don’t actually talk about what I’m writing, just how I’m feeling in and around the process of it. If anything this blog has become my “anything but writing” blog over the past … year? It’s been a slow change, but noticeable. When things started out I was all Tallulah this and Tallulah that and it was great, because I was actually writing Tallulah. Now I’m not, and while I do want to put my lessons in allowing myself to use formulaic ideas as building-blocks to get where I want to go into practice and use them to hopefully improve the Tallulah situation, I also want to write other things. I do think that deciding to take a break from Tallulah had the effect of making me far less excited about getting started on my other projects once I was done with Tallulah, and I still feel that my writing has to be a different priority to what it was even four months ago because, to be frank, I ain’t getting paid to do it. But I still think taking a break was the right decision, and that continuing that break – at least for today – is also the right decision.

So. This thing I’m going to write today is an idea that I’ve had for … wow, 12 years. I had not realised I’d had this idea for so long. It’s evolved over time to be less problematic, as the youths are so fond of saying nowadays, but at its core it is still pretty contentious. I’m okay with that.

Basically it’s High Fantasy Erotica, using one to critique and parody the other. The High Fantasy that I’ve come across feels very insular and self-important; with the exception of God Stalk by P.C. Hodgell and the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett, it’s just very … dry. Which includes the sex, and I can only assume that the words “dry” and “sex” are not words that get used together in ideal situations. Then there’s Erotica; I am far less well-read in that genre, but Richelle Mead has her Succubus Blues series that has a pretty hilarious sex scene involving the lead character’s shape-shifting powers. This is more Urban Fantasy than Erotica honestly; the book I read, Succubus Shadows, is about twice the length of The Boss and yet has about 1/10th of the smut. But it was still used effectively for the most part, and is about the closest I’ve gotten to finding an example of what I want to try with this project of mine.

My idea for this story came from a conversation I had with my sister wherein she complained that, while she liked LoTR, there wasn’t enough sex in it. I had never thought about it that way prior to this conversation, but the idea stuck, and quickly turned into the story I titled Melronicles, named after its main character, Melron Norlem, a young half-elf nobleman who gets into interesting situations and compromising positions on a regular basis.

That’s the idea, anyway. I like the world-building aspect of High Fantasy, but I am far less of a fan of how overbearing and serious it so easily becomes, not to mention the deeply ingrained misogyny, racism, homophobia, transphobia and ableism that so many of its conventions and tropes are predicated on. Hence Erotica, which I’m sure has many of the same problems but is, as far as I’m concerned, also a potentially fantastic tool for dismantling the air of elitist piety that High Fantasy tends to conduct itself with. My reasoning is that sex in fiction is so often used as a tool of cheap drama/titillation, and combining this common usage with the common severity of High Fantasy would lead to hilarious and thought-provoking outcomes. Only time will tell, obviously, but that’s my thesis statement and I’m interested to see where I end up with it.

And having written all of that, I’d better go and actually write some of this before I lose my nerve and whatever vital energies have germinated within me today. I’m feeling productive. I’d better go make something of it.

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