Spinning in Squircles

#1: Family

Having my grandmother move in before we were expecting her to and her tendency to bulldoze everything into being her way are exhausting. I can’t believe I once thought my anger was hidden away beneath numbness, never to be felt again.

#2: Fannish

That vagueblogged fanfic challenge is over in the sense that authors have been revealed and awards given out. I’ve gone back and forth on splitting the original submission and revised ending into two separate fics, but as of now, it’s just a two chapter fic. Because a private FB group is involved, I anonymized the comments that were posted there instead of on ao3 in this post, and I didn’t reveal admin names in the awards post here.

#3: Writer’s Block

Carnival prompts, AAW, ASAW, AroWriMo, fic drafts and WIPs, etc. I got nothing. I can’t focus. It’s like my tires are stuck in the mud, and I’m just spinning without moving.

#4: Sunna & Solarpunk

Generally, I’ve associated a lot of solarpunk content with Sunna, but I can’t say that some of the Vanir don’t sneak in on certain topics (Frey and gardening, as a major example). After the weird, not fully attached to my body feeling while hearing about the hippogriff shit surrounding the president and him wanting to start a war with Iran, I reevaluated which blogs were inactive and followed some new solarpunk blogs. I can’t guarantee exactly what I can do in my living space and community, but it feels a little less like I’m at the mercy of what life is throwing at me.

#5: RIP Windows 7

My family got me a new laptop because my old one couldn’t handle an upgrade. Honestly, I’m not a real big fan of Windows 10 or this new laptop’s setup, but I’ll adjust eventually. I’m pretty sure I got Cortana to stop talking to me, so that helped. My old one was bought way back in the summer of 2012 before I started undergrad, and all things considered, it’s up there in laptop years. It deserves semi-retirement (Linux Lite 4.8).

Limbos & Murmuring

I’m not sure if I’ve missed the roundup post for November’s CoA prompt or not, but I’m waiting to share the cross-post here on WP, so I don’t have link/pingback confusion on two posts. I’m prodding at December’s prompt, but I got a bit distracted by trying to finish an Xmas challenge that was due by 15 Dec 11:59 pm. (I slid into that deadline like that gif of Simpson turning in his taxes – stuffing crumpled paper into an envelope, running after the mail truck, and throwing the mess at the door where it slides underneath in the nick of time.)

I’ve had various pre-deadline panic and post-submission regret posts over on tumblr, but I’m hoping to get a revised ending worked out because I’m not thrilled with the ending I slapped on there very quickly (mere minutes before the deadline). I’m currently thinking of adding it in Ch 2 with clear notes about being uploaded after the submission deadline, but I have to wait until the reading, commenting, and voting portions of the challenge are over on 31 Dec. {Note: Explicit details and links that may reveal which challenge I’m talking about have been left out so I can vagueblog in peace and not reveal myself early.}

I didn’t really set out to write a piece that revolves so much around X and Y being poor, but I tagged #Poverty because there’s something there that’s too nebulous for other tags (#financial trauma? #the horrors of reality?). The geographic isolation of X not being able to Apparate around Muggles or utilize driving/cars like a Muggle could. Carefully balancing out the box from the food bank with a strict grocery list against the monthly allowance that doesn’t have much wiggle room. X has to write to the account holder and justify asking for more money for an Xmas dinner and (maybe) a gift, except there’s a cold dissection of the request into its financial costs, a partial denial, and admonishment for claiming a higher price item in last month’s allowance. A dancing around of decorating and celebrating, as long as it doesn’t cost too much, and the sense that X is scrounging the holiday together from the scraps of free and cheap ideas. I don’t want it to be pity porn, and I suspect the identities of X and Y provide some insulation against that, but there’s a particular flavor of stress that’s there.

(Food bank note: I tried to find info for that country and local region, but I’m not sure if I wasn’t using the right terms because it didn’t sound like they have a system of charities/orgs providing monthly food parcels for families that qualify like I’m thinking of. There was like 3 days of emergency food from the one charity, but that was it? I must admit that the description in the fic may borrow from the US then.)

{polite swearing}

Do I have any memory of what was in that draft that was published instead of previewed (again)? Nope. I have no idea what was in “To Write”. Hope it wasn’t horrible.

Am I having issues with the CoA posts? Yup. While I would like to finish them and post them at some point, I’m just not seeing it happening in time for the carnivals.

Am I seriously considering drafting elsewhere to see if I can reduce premature posting here on WP? Yeah. I’m not sure why it’s hitting now after years of not having this issue, but I’m already very tired of this mistake.

A small bouquet of oopsie-daisies

This post is brought to you by the small space between preview and publish.

I’m aware I probably got the attention of the WP bloggers whose pieces were linked in that first draft that was posted too early, and I’m aware that might not have made sense for any followers reading the post in an email where I didn’t have sections finished. (I’ll absolutely put a heading or list somewhere without completely filling in the section, so there were randomly empty fic placeholders, I’m sure.)

Draft 2.0 will hopefully roll out a bit more smoothly. I hadn’t made up my mind before accidentally posting, but I was debating splitting the a-spec adjacent narratives in some of my fanfic plots into an aro (clearly marked for the Carnival) and an ace post. I figured it might be easier on the eyes than one super long post, but I also hadn’t factored in what might need a warning for squicks, triggers, and repulsed/averse readers yet.

Asterisks and Grayness

In which I remember that I try to keep my blogs separated enough that people over here probably didn’t see those Carnival of Aros or Carnival of Aces posts coming. I try to avoid being someone’s first a-spec person (and teaching moment) because 1) I prioritize my Educating Spoons on the gender front, and 2) I don’t consider myself the most ideal example of an a-spec person, who may give allo people an incorrect impression of the ace and aro spectrums.

Does this mean I’m arguably any less a-spec and have somehow become fully and unequivocally allo (whether in the sense of alloromantic, allosexual, or both)? Not necessarily. Some areas of variation just aren’t suitable to 101 discussions, and I really don’t want to have to Educate and then list all of the ways I’m not like the majority of the group I just explained. Some people who use a label just aren’t keen on being the forefront of visibility, awareness, and outreach in that way.

For those who haven’t been struggling to refind the tumblr a-spec community, “allo” isn’t necessarily a label people identify with, but it’s used to refer to people who experience a given flavor of attraction. It’s a bit like how most cis people don’t necessarily identify as cisgender, but there has to be a word to talk about them that isn’t “normal” people. As an all around confusing gray person, the lines between allo/ace and allo/aro can be squiggly, blurry, a bit uncertain if you will.

 

Updates to the about page (accurate as of 10 Sept 2019):

Noteworthy: Gray-ace

My sexual attraction rate / degree / intensity has varied and been influenced by other things over time (ex. body dysphoria), but I’m not going to deny that older posts may use different labels, especially if you poke around on different tumblr blogs. I generally don’t disclose this outside of providing context for interacting with certain ace content because I don’t consider myself the best example for the ace community, and I’d rather avoid becoming a teaching moment where I have to explain how I’m not like most aces to someone.

Noteworthy: Aro spectrum

The best way I can describe it right now – after certain life-changing events, I “lost” the ability to clearly differentiate between when I was feeling something that was romantic or platonic, like damaging an internal sensor. I didn’t lose the sensor, but I can’t read the screen anymore; I suspect wires are now jumbled together, and I’m not sure if “non-normative” romantic expression is setting off unclear results. I would say that I’m greyro (or grayromantic) and quoiromantic in terms of recognized labels.

A-spec intracommunity note: I try to keep aro-spec blogging on one tumblr dash where it’s separate from the ace blogging on another because I don’t connect being aro and being ace. I don’t call myself aroace; when I’m in an ace area, I refer to myself as gray-ace and that’s it, and when I’m in an aro area, I only refer to myself as greyro, quoiromantic, and/or aro-spec. I’d rather opt out of describing my sexuality in the aro community to the extent that I can.

Forewarning

Have I finished backdating fic? Nope.

Have I decided to crosspost and backdate Carnival of Aros posts? Yes.

Have I decided to write for my first Carnival of Aces prompt? Yes, but I can’t put it on the tumblr where I post the aro content*. Or the fandom tumblr that’s more kinky ace flavored where I’m opening myself up to the anti-kink people or (pro/anti/anti anti?) shipping people [fandom related].

(Some a-spec people aren’t comfortable with kink, but it’s a relatively small amount who are overlapping into ‘anti-kink and letting you know’ territory, which in part overlaps with the shipping issues. It’s a bit of a long explanation, tbh, but basically, I really don’t want to draw someone’s attention in case it sets off dogpiling.)

So, there’s going to be a new tag for such content here: carnivals round tables etc.

 

(*) Basically, I don’t describe myself as aroace and combine content. I talk about aro (sexual orientation undisclosed) stuff with the aro community, and I talk about ace (romantic orientation undisclosed) stuff with the ace community. I know this seems a bit odd to keep this so separate, but personally, it works because I don’t consider them to be connected.

Angrboda Devotional – Call For Submissions

Ironwood Witch

Working Title: Mother of Wolves, Mother of Monsters: Devotions for Angrboda, Hag of the Ironwood

Edited by Úlfdís

The giantess old | in Ironwood sat,
In the east, and bore | the brood of Fenrir;
Among these one | in monster’s guise
Was soon to steal | the sun from the sky.
Voluspo Stz 40, Bellows

Angrboda: Her name translates as “Bearer of Woe”, “She Who Brings Sorrow” and most ominously, “Foreboding.” Known in the primary sources as Loki’s wife and mother of their three terrifying children, Hel, Fenris and The Serpent, and believed by many to be the Seeress Odin raised from her mound, she is also one of the Mothers in the Rokkr pantheon (having literally given birth to many of them), a völva , and a mighty Chieftain. Feared by some, misunderstood by many, and deeply loved by those who know themselves to be Hers, Angrboda is…

View original post 196 more words

Haircut as Platonic Service

A half-assed post about the pros and cons of approaching giving a partner a haircut as a platonic example of body service with a bit about approaching from a Dominant and submissive pov. I wrote it more as a personal thought piece and reminder after getting a haircut in March (local Great Clips had a sale), but the sccwriting club found it, reblogged it, and people responded (most favorably).

Titled on tumblr: This post brought to you by a local sale on haircuts.

Consider: Cutting someone’s hair as platonic service.

I have no idea if I’d want to do it all the time, but I’m just curious enough to want to let a Dominant cut my hair once. Right now, I don’t feel comfortable with letting someone else decide what my hair should look like, though.

While I have zero current knowledge of hair cutting, I’m awfully tempted to learn just enough to be able to do something for a sub. Obviously, it’s not something I’d try to force, and I don’t feel like I should be the one deciding on what the haircut should be, but I have this feeling that this could be a really nice intimate activity in the right situation.

Potential Pros:

  • Like playing with someone’s hair, but with a purpose.
  • Hair washing optional, but also really nice.
  • Clear task with immediate results. There’s no multitasking, complicated decision making, do x and maybe see y weeks later progress.
  • A practical task that serves a purpose beyond “I said so” or “I think it’s sexy”. Might help your partner save money.
  • Can be intimate in a close setting outside of a noisy business or salon.

Potential Cons:

  • Knowledge.
    • Some elements aren’t terribly difficult, or a determined toddler with a pair of scissors wouldn’t give out ‘haircuts’, but it’s not quite that easy, especially if you’re doing something you’ve never done to your own hair before to hair that isn’t like yours.
  • Nerves.
    • I can totally understand why some people would want to stick with easier body service like brushing or washing hair. There’s a difference between trimming hair and breaking out the clippers and dye for a wild mohawk.
  • Tools.
    • I mean, it kind of depends on what exactly you’ve learned how to do and what you’re expecting you’ll do. I’m not trying to get anyone to do full cosmetology training and spend a lot of money on everything you might need when you might just be trimming the back of someone’s neck or something.
  • Other service is easier and/or within your partner’s limits. It’s possible I may not run into someone who’d trust me enough to cut their hair, but they might trust me to help style it, for example.

Disclaimer: I don’t have a cultural or historically weighted racial association with someone else touching my hair. I do have some personal hangups with how social gendering of hair has intersected with my family’s thick hair in females, but that’s a little more complicated than this warrants (rain check on that post).

Lent (viii)

LGBT Stations of the Cross shows struggle for equality [Link]

Original date of this post: March 9, 2013

Context: It was during the time of oral arguments for United States v Windsor, which lead to a June 26, 2013 ruling that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) restriction of marriage/spouse to heterosexual marriages was unconstitutional.

“Stations of the Cross: The Struggle for LGBT Equality” is a new set of 14 paintings that link the crucifixion of Jesus with the history of LGBT people.

“In the sacrifices of martyrs of the LGBT movement, we can come to a new understanding of the cross, and of what it means to be part of the body of Christ,” explains Tennessee artist Mary Button in her official artist statement.

Button painted the LGBT Stations series for Believe Out Loud, an online network empowering Christians to work for LGBT equality. They invite churches and faith groups to download and use the images for free.

[Note about sharing the series on the Jesus in Love Blog. The overview can be found at the bottom of the page of this post.] The original paintings will be displayed in Washington DC during Holy Week, which coincides with Supreme Court oral arguments on same-sex marriage.

Button matches each traditional Station of the Cross with a milestone from the past 100 years of LGBT history, including Nazi persecution of homosexuals, the Stonewall Rebellion, the assassination of gay politician Harvey Milk, the AIDS pandemic, ex-gay conversion therapy, the murder of transgender Rita Hester, the ban on same-sex marriage, and LGBT teen suicides.

The Stations of the Cross are a set of artistic images traditionally used for meditation on the Passion of Christ. They tell the story of his crucifixion from his sentencing until his body is laid in the tomb.

After Easter Button plans to paint Station 15 showing the resurrection. “I’m hopeful that the Supreme Court will rule DOMA unconstitutional and I’ll be able to create a Resurrection piece about the ruling!” she told the Jesus in Love Blog.

Update:Station 15: The Resurrection Of Christ” was completed soon after the Supreme Court’s June 26 ruling for marriage equality.

Lent (vii)

There was some absolute chatting with my QT dead during the summer of 2016 [and Tantrum Theatre] outside of our scheduled chats, especially after the Pulse shooting in Orlando, Florida. They wanted me to donate a pint of blood on their behalf in the memory of the victims and in solidarity with other QT people donating afterwards (even if we were located far enough away that our blood wasn’t guaranteed to be used in Florida). The following are from “T 2016” with minimal editing.

Prep – 6.28.16: Prayer to Flaquita

Hail Flaquita, Lady of the Streets, and the halfway home, and the homeless shelter, and the hotel, and the couch of a friend’s apartment. Hail the Lady of Uncertainty, and not knowing if your family will let you stay, or use your pronouns, or deadname you, or ignore you, or force you to live a lie. Hail to my Lady who knows what happens to the liminal ones, the ones who fall between the cracks, and the ones who slide under the radar. May your bony hand be a reassurance among this uncertainty and a comfort no matter where I live. Hail Flaquita.

Prep – 6.29.16: Logistics

In the wake of the Pulse shooting in Orlando, there was a need for blood in that immediate area. I saw it suggested in online places for other QT people – who can give – in other places to do so as a way to help out. There was a better timed drive last week, but the decision to give was spur of the moment and I couldn’t get there with [redacted]’s shuttle service like I had planned (they want 24 hours notice). It’s my first donation after my debt was eaten up by my previous six donations (part of the Burning negotiations), and I’m hoping that things go well. I feel like it’s the least I can try to do when I’m not automatically turned away for being a gay man / ‘MSM’ – something brought up in the aftermath when young queer men wanted to give.

Prep – 6.30.16: A prayer for Flaquita

Hail Lady of Blood, of bruises and welts and injuries for existing, of the birth blood in the immediacy of our new lives, of the courage and desperation in our veins. Hail Lady of the bullied, troubled, abused, victimized, and killed. May our brothers, sisters, and kin find a peace with you that they may not have been able to find in life. May their spent blood be replenished by the donations of their consenting living kin; may their spilled blood be the fuel for vengeance against the bullies, abusers, rapists, killers, the oppressors. Hail Flaquita.

7.3.16: Feedback

I don’t know if it’s because I was relieved that I wasn’t deferred, relieved that despite our meal break being rescheduled [cutting it very close to affecting the donation time I signed up for during the initial meal break] I still had enough time, or the actual removal of blood, but I felt better emotionally after giving.

A part of me knows that it’s kind of not good to look forward to a pint of blood and some extra for testing to be removed from my body. On an energetic level, it’s not good to imbue the donation with ‘taking bad shit from me’ vibes because then that’s unnecessary shit for the donation receiver to deal with. Nidhogg handles this, as a cleansing, and neutralizes everything before the blood is used, though, because it’s “too much of an opportune time to not cleanse”.

I’ve never really been an energy feeler, so I haven’t been as aware of this aspect, but there’s something about the primal quality and the coping aspect. It’s a sterilized, more modern, and safer alternative to bloodletting and just bleeding out. When the brainweasels get too chatty, I can get rid of the pint because I don’t need it and this can actually be beneficial to someone else.

While I didn’t publicize that I was doing this with the Pulse shooting in mind, I could kind of feel that my dead were supporting me. Regardless of my reception / discernment, they were supportive of this being used in memory of the victims and in practical support of the need for blood for the survivors. My queer dead are quieter than my trans dead, but they’re happy that I did this.