Sunday, April 17, 2022

Idea Garage Sale: Off My Meds

I've read a lot of portal fantasy in my time, but one thing I haven't seen is, someone who needs modern medicine stepping into a world where modern medicine is not available. The effect on the story would vary with the condition, and with conditions. A kid who needs Ritalin to sit still in class may find that coping mechanisms will still allow him to manage all right in a typical pseudo-European Medieval setting full of outdoor activities and alternating tranquility/crisis. A teen with severe body dysmorphia will suffer a lot without hormones, but may find some relief in an alien society's gender norms and expectations. An AIDS patient, a diabetic, or a chemical depressive without regular access to their meds, though, could feel a literal deadline approaching, distracting them from whatever heroism they're being called on to perform and providing a vector of temptation the Forces of Evil could exploit. Such a story taking the "meds are unnecessary" tack would be obnoxious; but it could be brilliant coming from someone with the condition and intimately familiar with all the advantages and disadvantages of the relevant medical treatments. The Ritalin kid may be delighted to find themself thriving in the new environment without the hassle of pilltaking, but the ADHD would be recontextualized, not conquered, and will kick in at various points in the plot, for both good and ill. A non-binary teen may find a differently-gendered society is all they need to relieve their discomfort, but will a transman in a society with no concept of gender feel any more at home in his body just because nobody else around him sees a discrepancy between it and how he presents himself? A twenty-something with a chronic condition who has been taking the same pill since they were five may feel only relief from the routine of keeping track of it until half-forgotten symptoms rear their ugly heads at crucial moments, while a diabetic without access to insulin feels that their body is a ticking time bomb with no visible clock, constantly obsessing over their diet and focusing on finding ways to get home to the detriment of whatever mission they're supposed to be on. Conversely, someone portaling from a less medically advanced world to a a more, or from a mundane world to someplace where magical treatments are available, may be caught in a serious conflict between wanting their natural environment back, and living in an otherwise uncongenial world where they can expect their body to function a great deal better and for their lifetime to be much extended. Nobody ever seems to be allergic to their new environments, either, though it's possible I have seen that happen and it wasn't done memorably enough to stick. Similarly, the core idea here may have been done without my noticing it (it's a natural storyline for Seanan Macguire's Home for Wayward Children series); but if it has, I'm positive it can be done again. There's lots of medical conditions out there, after all.

Monday, July 19, 2021


This morning I made a list of seven things to do. I just finished the last one. This hasn't happened in five years, folks! It doesn't necessarily mean I'm getting better (I could wake up migrainey tomorrow and do none of the five things I've listed to do tomorrow) but that's a problem for tomorrow. Health crap sucks but I'm still here and sometimes I can still beat it!

Friday, July 16, 2021

As much as I read you'd think I could comp better, but I just don't think in that way. Catergories are hard for me anyway because I'm a splitter rather than a lumper, as they say in the sciences, although I also follow the Fortean principle that everything blends into everything else around the edges. Categories are imaginary; individuals are real. Female-centric historical is so overwhelmingly heteronormatively Romantic and I hate that; I don't want comps like that (and a lot of it annoys me because they didn't research to my standards; I'm such a history snob). My favorite queer books are contemporary - most YA is contemporary. (Is Len really YA, though? The question I only recently though to ask) Conventional wisdom at the moment seems to be that young people don't like historical except there's always exceptions, aren't there?

So yeah, I'm agonizing on this because I wasn't prepared and had to enter excuses on a query form. When in doubt, check books out. I probably need to go buy/check out a bunch of recent queer, historical, western-themed, female-centric books and read them critically to see if I can find the commonalities. A project which, though worthwhile, also sounds like a great way to procrastinate and also to frustrate myself. Life is rough.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Rethinking. Reinventing? Who knows?

Hey, look, I'm still alive. In the interest of getting back in the saddle, I spent today rereading the lesbian western. Damn. It's good. Hard to believe I haven't been able to get representation with it. But historical fiction can be a hard sell in the YA market, and I've only shopped it to YA agents, and, reading it over - maybe it isn't YA? Maybe I accidentally wrote a grownup book? It's a new angle to try, anyhow. If I want to sell in the market I should probably stop calling them grownup books, though...

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Reason Notwithstanding...

I'm still alive, though I'm sometimes dubious on the prospect. And I just sent out a query for Len, more or less on impulse. Wish me luck.

I have got to get out there and figure out what might serve for comps. Back when I was actively selling comps weren't really a thing, so it's a new trick for me; one I honestly can't take that seriously. I try, and then I get this vision of how the real estate appraisers I used to work for did comparable sales - adjust -5% because the Work is Historical and the Comp is Contemporary, adjust 15% because the Work depicts strong lesbian/horse bonds and Comp doesn't, etc. But does the camel adjust the value up or down? And pretty soon I've collapsed into a fit of giggles.

But hunting for comps ought to be fun, because it primarily involves rounding up and reading a bunch of books. You'd think I could do that much, health crap or no.

Friday, March 16, 2018

A Haiku for March

Banksia, blooming;
Warblers courting in its leaves;
Yet I am so tired.