Lyn Gala

One writer's journal through one version of reality


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It shouldn’t work that way

Normally I’m not a great fan of het romance. Sure, the gender issues drive me nuts and the “little woman” needing rescue is a trope that should be relegated to the trash heap until it’s new and fresh again… which would be in two or three thousand years.

But as I pondered the last het romance that I read and really liked (C.L. Wilson’s The Winter King), I think I realized why I like that couple so much.

Oddly, it’s not the lack of weird gender insults. Yes, they’re equals. Wynter saves his little woman from monsters, but Kham rescues him from an army and a demon trying to take over his soul, so they’re even.

More than that, though, they have every reason to leave each other. Wynter has made things politically uncomfortable in his own castle by bringing home the headstrong Kham. If he let her leave, he would let a few of those raised eyebrows go back to their normal shape.

And Kham’s brother and nurse come for her. She could walk away. More than that, she could walk away and save her country by being part of the force to conquer Wynter instead of chasing any of this alliance stuff.

Logic said they should split apart.

I think that’s why I like them—because something is holding them together despite that, and that’s where I see all the smudgy fingerprints of love. I could never quite put my finger on why Tom and Da’shay from my own Blowback tripped my trigger so hard, but I think that’s it. They SHOULD break up. They don’t make sense together. So when they insist on holding on despite everything, I can see love winning against the odds.

 

So, do you have couples (het or gay) that you love that when you look at them, they should leave each other, but you know they’ll never, EVER make that decision?

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Submissives, fanfic, and an Apology to Jayne

code4Well, I finally updated my webpage, and I have to give up on Firefly.

No, don’t get your panties bunched. I still love the show. I still love the fanfic I have done with the show, but I just don’t write that much fanfic with it, so my fourth slot on my main page switched from Firefly to Stargate.

You see, the only thing I miss in Firefly is a sexual relationship between the characters. I started with Thoughts Colored Ugly where River’s telepathic powers allows her to see Jayne’s submissive nature, but she accidentally drives him away before she can step up and claim her man.

I then did Old War Horses, which I loved. Jim (The Sentinel) had been a Purple Belly government officer who had been turned into a government experiment. While fleeing from arrest, he runs into Mal and the Serenity, who have very strong Browncoat feelings. I loved watching these two try to continue a war when both of them had lost the war so long ago, and it let me play with my favorite dynamic—the strong submissive.

I love kick-ass submissives. I love the idea of someone having power and choosing to lay it at the feet of the person they love. I think you can see that in Liam and Tom and Ferro, and so many of my submissive characters.

Jayne is the ultimate strong submissive. When I see how, in canon, he was willing to accept his death if it came at Mal’s hands, when I saw him follow Mal into certain death with the Reavers when he couldn’t follow any other captain through a simple trade… I knew him. He was my strong submissive.

I thought I would be able to play with Jayne forever.

So I started Big Damn Dog, and I realized I had run out of fuel in the tank.

You see, there’s really nothing else I can change or fix in the series. Once I have my beautiful submissive Jayne settled, I’m happy with Joss’ world. I’m done. I don’t feel the call of any more epic stories—I can just go watch the series and be sated.

But Stargate? Oh, yeah. That’s just a hot mess.

The Not in Kansas series lets me totally stick my fingers in both SG1 (to poke Jack’s all symbiotes are evil button) and in Atlantis (to poke the let’s run this like a base and not the colony it is button). Face it, both ideas are pretty dumb. No species is evil as a whole—there’s just some other definition of right and wrong going on in that alien head. In my universe, the goa’uld are what happens when a perfectly sane symbiote has the bad luck to join with a psychotic/sociopathic ancient race and learn all about power and pain. And when Gibbs and Tony move to Atlantis in not one but two 100K epics, that poor city never saw it coming!

The Magical Cage let me poke at the Wraith/vampire connection by pulling Buffy in. The Shadows Universe let me use The Sentinel and their fear of government as well as La Femme Nikita to point out that the SGC is a scary covert ops world, we just see the friendly face of all the scary. We see that again in Dr. Sandburg Finds a Sentinel.

Dark Still Water gives Teal’c the voice he never got in canon, and lets the SG1 folk torture Jim (The Sentinel) for his most assholish season 4 behavior.  Airman Harris lets me poke at all the psychological damage these people take that rarely gets addressed in canon.

Yep, the Stargate universe feels more flawed. It ignores the very ideas I want to explore. It’s more interesting because it’s more flawed, so Stargate has now officially bumped Firefly off the main page.

I’m sorry, Jayne. I still love you!


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Where’s my bondmate

In the past, I’ve commented that I don’t get mystical bonds or mated pairs or destined pairs or whatever it means when a couple is biologically driven together.

I didn’t get it when I read fanfic and Blair and Jim absolutely had to bond or they would die. Doesn’t that negate their love because they’re forced together instead of choosing each other?

I didn’t get it when Tony and Gibbs were telepaths or vampires or part of the Sentinel universe. If they were forced to stay together, then where is the beauty in them working through problems together? Where is the power of the relationship when biology trumps all?

When people read Long, Lonely Howl, they tried to read a “bond” into the relationship, but there isn’t one. Casey has a crush on Nathan, but he’s gone years without following up on that relationship, and when they choose to be together, they have to figure out how to make it work in a pack where there is a range of compatibility between the members.

But I think I’m coming around.

Right now I am so emotionally exhausted and whiny and alone that all I want is someone who is biologically required to stand by me, because trust me, I’m not safe around anyone else. My life feels so out of control.

Mom is recovering, but it’s going to be a long, hard haul. LONG HARD haul. My fiction has been sidelined by the need to become an in-home nurse while doing all the cooking, laundry, cleaning, and tending for someone who physically can’t do for herself. And because she’s a two hundred plus pound woman, it’s hard to manage some of these tasks. Nursing care only comes out every third day, and it’s hard. It’s so hard.

Normally when I’m this stressed, I write. I retreat into a world where I have more control. But I’m too tired and too frustrated. I try to sit down with Ondry and Liam, and I find my eyes closing as I type. And I can’t catch the thread of anything.

And god help me when I see a bad review because I don’t have the emotional reserves to deal with any of it. I look at the lack of interest in Drift (three reviews on Amazon, nothing on Loose Id), and I want to cry. I feel like such a failure, and I know I’m not being emotionally fair with myself, but I can’t catch my balance.

I want a bonded mate.

Right now, I just want someone who is forced to like me, even when I’m being a little (or a lot) unlikeable. About the only thing I am consistently finding time for is The Journey Home by Jilly. It’s over on keiramarcos.com/roughtrade.

So I logged on to see if there’s another chapter and if I get myself ten or twenty minutes of indulging in a fantasy of bonded mates and love that stretched across worlds. It’s NCIS/Sentinel fanfic, and it beats up on Gibbs who can be a bit of an ass, so it scratches all my itches.

But then I get a database error on the Keira Marcos site, and I swear I want to cry. All because I want to read a stupid damn chapter of a stupid damn fanfic that clearly means more than it should right now.

 

I hate life.

 

And Jilly, I love your story, even if I’m calling it stupid because I shouldn’t care so much about Tony’s damn bonded mate.

 


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Strong Women Wanted… Maybe

kimaI have a wide range of male character types I really adore. Women… not so much.

I love early Daniel Jackson (Stargate) in all his geeky glory. When he argues in favor of the power of mythology and gets in Jack’s face, I’m right there with him. Yea! It’s not just myth, Jack! Everyone knows that bad boys with a heart of gold get me every time. Give me Mal and Jayne and Spike and Dean, and I can die a happy fangirl. Yeah, they may act all gruff, but we know what they’re really like.

I see that same variety in my writing. Liam is quiet and efficient. Petroc is a cold killer, who has more morality than he knew. Casey is a disaster in terms of romantic relationships but Stunt is an experience player who can dance between Doms—at least until he meets Alex.

But when it comes to women, I’m not as egalitarian. Human hybrid Da’shay completely takes charge of her man, and even uses him as bait for the bad guys. Paige would never do that, but as an experienced cop, she takes control of her partner, even when he showed up as a vampire. Even my secondary characters like Allie and Carmin are brassy, bold, and perfectly willing to piss off the world.

Why?

I don’t know. Maybe I see so many women making themselves smaller that I feel a need to write them larger and stronger.

I dislike most Disney heroines because they spend their lives trying to live up to a man or find a man or get out from under a man.

I want my fictional women to be like Zoe from Firefly. THAT is a woman. I didn’t like River at first because she cringed in her brother’s shadow, but when she came out into the light and kicked Jayne’s ass, I fell in love. Captain Janeway was a little cold, but B’Elanna from Star Trek: Voyager totally hit the sweet spot for me. Kima Greggs. Oh god. She’s gorgeous, kick-ass, and lesbian. I’ll be in my bunk for a bit…. Okay, back now. Oh wait. I forgot Xena. Gorgeous… check. Kick-ass… check. Lesbian… Oh hell yes. Back to the bunk.

Oh baby.

Right. I clearly need to focus. I had a tougher time with Buffy who could kick ass one minute, but who then seemed unable to function without Giles or Angel another. I actually preferred Faith—at least the one we see in Angel who has gotten her head screwed on straight. She can be Angel’s equal and appreciate how he backed her up without getting lost in her shadow.

Is anyone surprised that my first television crush was Murphy Brown? God how I adored that woman. And I would add to that list Leela (my favorite companion), C.J. on The West Wing, Nikita, Seven of Nine… you see the pattern.

I loved Ziva on NCIS until the writers insisted on giving her personality flaws that seemed to eat the character. I had equally mixed feelings about Dana Scully. I think she kicked ass; I think she had to put up with more than she should have given her partner’s occasionally dumb-ass moves.

And I should get to the point here.

I don’t know what to do. I have an idea nagging me that I am utterly ignoring. I have thoughts for a different sort of relationship.

Ben is Nicve Marine—in fact he’s the marine from Turbulence and Drift. He kicks ass and he takes name. Becca… doesn’t.

She’s young and unsure about her skills. In her world, she was trained as a gunner because of good hand-eye coordination, but she hates the idea of killing. She trained as a tech, but it’s a struggle for her. In many ways she does want to disappear into Ben’s shadow. It feels safe.

She’s exactly the sort of woman I have never cared for, and yet she’s whispering. Then the Ben-Becca relationship is more complex because it includes Copta. She is asexual, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to sleep in a bed with someone and wake up with the warmth of another pressed up against her back.

She is Ben’s equal, willing to go toe to toe with him. She appreciates having a man who respects her for this. She loves Becca’s gentle soul and sees some of her own struggles in the younger woman. Even more, she feels at home because those two are sexually involved so she can love them without fearing that they are sacrificing their own sexual natures by loving her back.

Vortex is possibly the most out of the box piece my muse has ever inspired, and I’m not sure where to go.