So I have 40 stories done! When they’re all craneified, this will be my first of 25 strings of 40 cranes. Right now I’ve got 12 on a string and the sheer physical scale of this project is dawning on me. I’m going to have to wallpaper my bedroom with strings of cranes.
In other news, I’ve managed to get behind again. I think I just need to accept that I feel safer when I’m slightly behind because it’s less ‘grown up’.
I realised today that thanks to some very confused conclusions I drew when I was four, I unconsciously think that to do anything ‘grown up’ or anything that smacks of growth or self-nurture is to face death. Not metaphorical ‘I won’t be me any more’ death, but literal ‘my heart will stop beating, worms will eat me’ death. And I’m not facing death as a grown woman, with all the resources a grown woman might bring to it, but as a four-year-old child.
Hence, my default position of ‘inexplicably paralysed with terror and rage’ is TOTALLY LEGIT. Facing death here! Consciously, I know I’m not really, but unconsciously – yeah. And I think this is also why I devour stories about brave heroes risking their lives for a noble cause. I’m trying to osmose courage from them.
Anyway, back to the topic in hand… further to my post on worrying gender trends in my writing, I actually wrote an honest-to-God love story between two women. Except it was just a dream. And one of them was dead before the story even started. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME.
After being too depressed to write anything for three days earlier this week, I’ve managed to make up almost the whole shortfall in the past three days by dint of writing lots and lots of short, random stories. WOOHOO. I’ve now written 33 stories – one-thirtieth of my total! (OK, one-thirtieth would be 33.3 recurring, but I do actually have another story part-finished.)
I’m actually starting to think that I can do this. And I think my imagination is already improving as a result of all this writing, or at least being forced to go to places that it normally wouldn’t.
There is, however, one element that I haven’t even touched on yet. Craneification. I now have 33 stories waiting to be turned into paper cranes. The housemate is hopefully going to print these off for me later tonight so I can get started. My goal for the coming week (and it’s an ambitious one) is to end the week bang on target at 57 stories AND having made those 33 cranes.
It occurred to me that I should track the genders of couples in the stories I write for this project.
So far I have one male/female couple, two male/male, and no female or genderqueer couples. (Though Aemilia and Fortunata is arguably an all-female love story – Aemilia’s love for her slavegirl and the goddess Diana is intended as chaste presexual girlpassion, but could also be read as queerer than a blue duck.)
However, if you look at what I’ve DONE with these couples, we observe some worrying trends.
Male/female couple: Happy ever after
Male/male couple 1: Lots of sensual yearning but no touch
Male/male couple 2: Died. Literally died as soon as they touched.
And in ‘Aemilia and Fortunata’ female/female love is a chaste passion to be outgrown before moving on to the grown-up world of sex with men.
GACK! And I thought I was right-on! Must do better…