Lyn Gala

One writer's journal through one version of reality


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Size Challenged, Size Cheated.

When I was young, I spent a lot of time feeling miserable.  I weighed about 150, and every time I went to the doctor, he kept telling me I needed to lose.  I was twenty pounds overweight.  I was going to get sick.  My hypoglycemia was because I wouldn’t lose weight.

Yes, I wouldn’t.

According to him, it was all my choice.  I starved myself, followed strict diets, worked out until I was sick (and I damaged a knee).  I truly hated myself because he kept saying I should be 120 pounds, maybe 130 on the outside.

He based that on something like this.

Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but the point of medicine is to help us live longer with a better life.  Interestingly enough, look at this.  (the link is: http://www.healthchecksystems.com/heightweightchart.htm )

It turns out that I would have the longest life if I stayed between 137 and 155.  I use the 5′ 5″ chart on that one because they’re assuming women where a one inch heel, and my doctor always makes me take shoes off.

Wait.

I was at my ideal weight for health the whole time?  Before I made myself sick with round after round of diet, my body was actually doing exactly the right thing?  Really?

Doctors suck, because it turns out that the answer is yes.  Obese people put more strain on internal organs, especially the heart, and die from that stress.  However, people who are in that weight chart the doctors have pushed on us for years die of infection.  They get sick and don’t have the internal resources to recover as well.

Insurance companies know that.  They know if we’re twenty pounds “overweight,” that means we’re actually going to live longer.

It makes me wonder what would have happened if I had listened to my own body instead of the doctors.  It’s too late now. I struggle to listen to my body and its needs, and I wonder how different that might have been had I know a little more truth.

Oh well, you know what they say.  If wishes were horses, beggars would eat good horsemeat.  Wait.  That was Jayne Cobb.  I’m pretty sure that Jayne is smarter than the doctor I had back then.

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Finding your Muse

I rarely have writer’s block. I’m more likely to get buried under ideas.  I’ve read all sorts of posts from other writers (usually in professional self-help books) about how to find the muse.

Some advice is amusing; some seems downright dangerous from a writing point of view.

So, what do I do? I follow my muse wherever she wants to go.  Generally that means I go to dialogue first because that is my favorite part of writing.  When I really get going, I can almost hear the voices, and I don’t bother with quote marks or physical action or anything… that’s part of revision.

I think every author should do that.  No, I don’t think everyone should do dialogue first… I think everyone should write what makes them happy.  You should start with the part that you love, and then you create something others can love too.

Take this.  This might never be more than a snippet on my hard drive.  I may come back and write this later.  Who knows. I only know I loved writing it.  If I want to do more with it later, then it becomes work. Right now, this is pure joy as Avery, a die-hard feminist raised by two lesbians tries hard to reconcile her independent nature and her unexpected reaction to Fifty Shades of Grey.  Her husband is just confused.

 

Old Married Kink

Okay, either I’m losing my charm or something’s wrong.

Nothing’s wrong.

Well, that’s actually a little upsetting because the logical conclusion would then be that I’m losing my charm.

Of course you’re not, you giant stud muffin of studliness.

Damn right. Right now, I’m going with the assumption that something’s wrong because my studly powers are at full strength.

You’re a dork

Guilty as charged, and I have the Babylon Five soundtrack to prove it. Now, if you’re through avoiding, maybe you can tell me what’s wrong.

Okay, but you can’t laugh.

Not my first thought. I’m actually starting to worry.

Rachel loaned me a book. A really stupid book, but I can’t get it out of my mind.

A book? Why would I laugh about a book?

Because of what book it is?

What? You read one of those Harlequin romances with that long-haired douchebag on the front? Oh crap. You didn’t, did you? Not that I would judge. Much.

No, I didn’t. They stopped having douchebags on front back in the nineties, anyway. You know, I could make an argument that those covers were at least a salvo in the battle of the sexes. Women have been objectified forever, but for men, Fabio was a new phenomenon. None of us wanted to hear from him. We wanted him to shut up and look pretty. God, that’s actually really pathetic. Instead of trying to change the objectification of human beings, we just spread it.

I think that was the Harlequin people, not the feminists.

Probably. Most feminists were running as far from those books as they could get, which is why I considered them prime rebellion material. God, my mothers would have spontaneously given birth to puppies if they’d known I was reading those.

Wait, you’re admitting to reading cheesy romance novels, but you’re still embarrassed about whatever Rachel loaned you? You have now successfully distracted me from sex with my beautiful wife.

Well that’s ironic.

Okay, talk or I’m sending a strip’o’gram to your office.

Rachel would worship you if you did

Rachel is a fruitcake so I would prefer she worship someone else. Now what did she loan you?

Fifty Shades of Grey.

That sex book?

Wait, how do you know about it?

Hell, all the guys at the firm are talking about getting their wives and girlfriends to read it because they want to have kinky sex and they don’t have balls big enough to ask for it straight up. Oh shit. Do you…

I have balls, even if I don’t have balls.

I’m not doubting it. I’ve seen you make accountants cry.

This is stupid.

What this are we talking about?

Do you know how sexuality is turned into a weapon against women?

Did we change the topic?

And now women are just handing over their power because they think it’s sexy. They expect the man who ties them up to magically turn into Prince Charming with his billions and his jet.

I don’t think Prince Charming had—

Christian Grey is an ass. He’s an abusive son of a bitch who uses his privilege like an ax, like an ax he doesn’t even know he has because he’s Christian Gray so of course the world bends itself into a pretzel for him.

Okay.

Ana needs to grow a metaphysical pair. If you ever talked to me the way Christian talks to her, you would be in search of a therapist or a divorce lawyer, depending on my mood. But I wouldn’t go sighing and weeping away.

Note taken

I mean, I love the shit out of you, but I would kick your ass up between your shoulder blades.

Uh-huh.

It’s like the feminist revolution never happened, and I am not talking about the kink. If people want to be kinky, that has no bearing on their actual power.

Really.

Did you know there was a study showing that people involved in kink were actually mentally healthier? They faced the hard psychological work of accepting themselves and didn’t get caught up in defining themselves by how the society defined them.

You researched this?

Of course I did. I research everything. But that’s not what we’re talking about.

Right now, I could really use some bullet lists.

I liked that stupid book, which is stupid.

Stupid, check. Now, when you say you ‘like’ the book…

Women have fought to get their power back, and just handing it over like that feels… wrong.

Power?

The sex in books never even approaches reality. The whole submitting thing is probably just bullshit.

Submitting like tying up?

Why would that make the sex better? Sure, I can imagine that it reduces performance anxiety. You can’t be blamed for something going wrong if you’re tied up, that that is so dishonest. The whole ‘lay back and think of English’ bullshit is part of our history. Of course, if certain people have their way, women are going to be right back there again.

Stop. I’m getting seasick here.

And us. We’ve been married four years. I’m good at sex, so it’s ridiculous to think I need an excuse to… I don’t know, lay there and do nothing.

Seriously, Avery, I’m starting to really get lost here. Are we talking about spicing up the sex life?

Power games are fine for people who need them.

And they’re fine for people who are just playing around.

Really? Would you lie down and let me tie you up and ride you?

Okay, the little head is voting yes. And you sound like you’re trying to use feminism to guilt trip yourself.

Hey, don’t bash feminism.

I’m not. I’m bashing the idea of using feminism to make yourself feel bad. If you want to spice up the bedroom, I am not going to turn you down.

You think we need spicing up?

There is no answer I can give without digging myself a hole to China. However, I will say that I am a man, and as a stereotypical, testosterone-driven male, I will take sex any way I can get it.

Even if it involves rope?

Oh hell yes.

You’re supposed to be making fun of this book with me. I mean, I never thought about this stuff until I read that book, and now I can’t think about anything else.

So, we try something. Either we like it or we don’t.

Or one of us likes it and one doesn’t.

Let me repeat—I’m a man. I like sex. I’m going to be good either way, but when you’re enjoying yourself, I have a lot more fun. So, if you like it, we keep doing it. If you don’t, we don’t.

That’s totally unfair to you.

Seriously, Avery. Stop overthinking it. In my mind it goes sex equals good.  Any sex. So tell me one thing you’re thinking about. Just one. Please.

 

 


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Blame

The blame game.  Or the credit game.  In the field of publishing, the issue of blame and credit gets so fuzzy as to be almost impossible for the average reader to navigate it.

I know that because as a reader (before I started doing profic), I had a really skewed understanding of publishing.  When I “published” fanfiction, a process that largely involved posting chapters on LiveJournal, I was responsible for everything.

I decided if a story had enough Stargate in it to interest Stargate users and whether to put up a link on the Stargate communities.  I created the cover art and tried to make sure that the picture matched the “tone” of the story. I wrote, and edited (or failed to edit) the chapters.  I decided on the publishing schedule.  Would I do an “every-other-day” thing or post once a week?  Maybe I would let people hang as I posted whenever I felt like.

I had phenomenal cosmic power!!  Bwhahahahaha

Yeah, okay, maybe not.  However, I had power over my work.

Now, I read reviews, and I think… um, y’all know that wasn’t me, right?  Two people were talking about my Long, Lonely Howl cover.  One loved it, the other wondered what was wrong with me.

First, I’m just saying that I adore this cover, so if you don’t like it, we’ll agree to disagree.  I’ll also point out that most people are on my side with that one.  Now my first Blowback cover???? Oh lord… rip away, honey.  Rip. Away.  Luckily the paperback got a shiny new cover that doesn’t inspire barfing.

However, I’m off topic here.  My point is that I’m not responsible for that cover. I’m not a professional artist, and Paul Richmond created the Long, Lonely Howl cover.  I adore it, and I love that it shows all four men because the sex includes all four men. But he also managed to show that Casey and Nathan are the emotional center of the novel.  But, I don’t get the credit for any of that. That’s Paul’s brilliance.  I do get credit for the Shepherd, Slave, and Vow cover though.  I’m damn proud of that.

But guess what?  I didn’t make the cover for Claimings, Tails and Other Alien Artifacts.  Do not complain that Ondry is a human with a tail and use the cover for evidence.  Ondry is a creature with many traits in common with a reptile.  He doesn’t have a belly button. He has a fora—a spot on his neck where the lining of the egg once connected to his body.  His tail certainly does not have barbs because if it did, the tail sex would have an entirely different sort of ending, and it wouldn’t be pretty.

I am also not responsible for release schedules (trust me, having a book released two days before the publishing house put out thirty-some Christmas stories so that I had a grand total of forty-eight hours on the “new release” page was NOT my idea.

I have no control over formatting, so if you don’t like the fonts, I don’t know what to tell you.

I don’t control editing and whether my book uses the Oxford comma or puts internal thoughts in italics.

I don’t control who gets free copies.

I don’t control how flashbacks are signaled in the text.

I don’t control the PR… or which outlets you can use to buy my books.

No, I don’t know if something will be released in paperback.

No, I didn’t write the “tags” for the story.  Sorry.

You know, that’s a lot of “no,” and for the most part, I think that’s good.  Sometimes I get so wrapped up in my story that I don’t have a readers’ eye for it anymore. I don’t see the way someone else is going to experience my world because I have the entire universe in my head.  Seriously… if you ask me a question about the future of any of my guys, I can tell you.

I know how a former officer’s wife is going to drag Charleston into the world of being a private investigator.  I know why Miguel can “donate” energy to Nikolai. I know what will happen with the bat’l war.  I know who Miss Dolphinia will end up with, and exactly how Vin is going to nearly destroy his relationship with Dylan.  I know what will happen with Shan’s brother Naite, and why he is such a closed off bastard and who is going to bring him out of that shell, and I know why Lysias is so damn good with the animals.

And knowing all that sometimes makes me the WORST reader of my books.  I know too much, so I don’t see the holes because I know how every damn one is going to be eventually filled if we keep following the characters.

So publishers and editors step in and save me from myself. Or rather, they save readers from me.

However, that doesn’t mean that I get the blame or the credit for advertising… or product placement… or cover art… or editing… or layout design… or… or… or…

You get my point.