Like a Favourite Old Sweater

That’s how it seems some people are with certain of my posts. I have two or three old posts that regularly get a few hits, whether I post anything new or not. I guess that’s a good thing, though the numbers are so small that I refuse to let it go to me head.

Which I suppose means that, if I ever get regular hits in the hundreds or thousands, it will go to my head, or something like that. Heh. I shall not hold my breath waiting.

Anyway, I’m home alone, listening to Riverside, a peculiar progressive metal band, and writing Passage To Bujah: Departure. I’m thinking I need to feed myself, but despite the amount of food we now have in the fridge, I can’t decide what I want. I just know I don’t want to cook, but I don’t want a sandwich. *sigh*

So, I was having difficulty getting back into the book, but I appear to be over that, which is nice. Now I just have to decide what is supposed to be happening in this chapter. I mean, I have a basic idea, but I have another 3700 words to add to the 800 or thereabouts I already have, and I really only have a vague notion of what is supposed to happen. I’m starting to list some skeletal structure for the chapter, to give me signposts, but as of this moment, I only know it’s a graduation ceremony, and I have to use it to finish setting up the dynamic between the two sisters, while being told from the younger twin’s point of view.

The chapter also has to start setting up the peculiar sexual politics of this world, which aren’t quite as predictable as one normally has for YA, even in SciFi, but I’m determined that I have the right ideas in play. YA should examine identity, and sexual identity is a part of that, particularly these days. I’m not planning on writing graphic kink or anything like that, but I do want to ask the question of where gender and sex will be in the 24th Century, given the current trends in reimagined sexuality and family dynamics. I’ve got a few interesting ideas about that, which I explore through the plot device of the future of sexual reassignment. That sounds scarier than I intend for it to be treated, but it’s really just a mirror of what’s already happening, and as such, I think it’s highly relevant to the discussion.

The problem I’m having is, I’m trying to introduce it gradually, which is playing merry havoc with the depiction of the characters, two of which have been portrayed as sisters, even though they haven’t been gender/sex-assigned as of yet. That’s a tricky row to hoe, let me tell you. I’m still trying to wrap my head around it myself, and I’m not sure I’ve landed fully on top of the solution yet. I want to suggest that, despite outward signs of masculine or feminine traits, that nevertheless, they may very well be a different sexual AND gender orientation than they appear.

As well, I’m trying to suggest a society that has no hangups about sexuality or gender switching, but that, somehow, they have been divided into a minimum of four separate but equal ‘designated’ roles, and that at least half of them are a sort of masculine and the other half a sort of feminine role. What has to happen is, I have to make it clear that, thanks to in vitro genetic manipulation, each conceived child has the potential to be any one of several sexes, and yet comfortably exhibit traits and behaviour that a YA audience can connect with and even–dare I say it–aspire to.

The magic comes in when they realize their identity fully, and what it means for their future career and procreative potential. There are more than the four ‘normative’ roles, and the others aren’t so much proscribed as dismissed from the gene pool. There is a process for dealing with outcast sexuality, even in the future, but that it’s a different problem with different complications and social dynamics. As well, there has to be tension and controversy, even there, because one of the main characters is of course going to wind up being designated as an outcast sex, which will again force the question of what it means to be accepted by society for becoming who you really are inside.

I’m confident that I can pull it off, but I haven’t got it all completely ironed out, and that is at least partially by design. I don’t want to nail down too many things, or I won’t want to write my way to the solution properly. I can try to rationalize it all out ahead of time, but so far, the answers aren’t elegant enough. There’s a solution, but I’m only going to find it by accidentally placing three or four words together and getting the truth. that’s the real reason for writing that part of the story.

The rest is so I can explore the dynamics of a completely mobilized society. There’s something potent in that concept that I think needs to be explored, to demonstrate where we are and where we’re going.

Anyway, enough chatter. I should get a snack and get back to work. That accidental truth isn’t going to present itself until I find the right four words and type them out.

Thanks for reading, and if you have any questions or suggestions, don’t be afraid to comment below.


Don't be shy. Tell me what you really think, now.


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