“My hormones don’t rage. Oh,sure, they get mad sometimes, but then they just stop speaking to each other.”—Daria Morgendorffer, in episode 12 season 5 of Daria, My Night at Daria’s. Anonymous submission. (via asexyquotes)
There’s been a recentdiscussion about the cover of a potential asexual romance anthology, The Heart of Aces. Everything has already been said, but it reminded me of something else that I wanted to do. So here’s an analysis of the imagery that the media considers appropriate to accompany articles about asexuality, because they seem to fall into a few camps, and maybe I can learn something from this. I’ll link the articles, but this isn’t a critique of what they wrote; I’m interested in the types of visuals they use. And after each category I’m going to make a comment on what I think I learned about asexuality from the image and (for the asexually-uninformed) why I feel it does or doesn’t work, in the unlikely event that there are people are madly Googling right now to try to find inspiration for the kind of photos to accompany their asexuality media piece.
For those of you who are more visually inclined, I have made an easy to use rating system on how these visual representations make this individual ace feel, because otherwise someone confused is going to come along and miss the bloody point:
When they’re in crisis, you can’t go and see them in person. You can’t let them spend the night at your house. You can’t cook them dinner. You can’t go with them to a job interview. You can’t take them out for coffee. You can’t hold their hand or hug them. You can’t let them use your shower. You can’t be a physical contrast to the abusive people in their physical lives.
(I was convinced I was a great writer when I was in my late teens, and even wrote some stories. When I was in my forties I found the binder I had written them in, and read them, expecting to be blown away by my youthful brilliance, and instead found myself reading things that, if the author had handed them to me and said “Do I have a career in writing waiting for me?” I probably would have said “Er, probably not. DO you have any other skills?”
Fortunately, I had no other skills, and I was convinced I could be good, and being a journalist and writing for my living, day in and day out, taught me enough that, when I returned to fiction, I was a lot better. Or perhaps I’d just got the bad writing out of my system.)
I tell aspiring writers that they should write. It’s the only real advice I have. If you think you have talent, then write. You’ll find out if you’re any good. And you’ll also find out that it takes a lot more than just talent to be a writer. You have to be willing to write on the days you don’t feel like writing, for a start. And you have to learn to finish things, and to start the next thing.
And if you’re going to be a writer, don’t ask someone else if you have talent, or if something’s any good. What do they know?
(Another anecdote: I buried a story for 20 years because the two people I showed it to, when I’d just finished it and was proud as Punch of this clever thing I’d made, didn’t like it. They were both professional editors and people whose opinions I respected. So I simply put it in a drawer. Didn’t even show it to anyone, or send it out. When, twenty years after it was written, I pulled it out and dusted it off, it won the LOCUS award for Best Short Story of the year. And I felt a bit silly for having listened to two people twenty years earlier who simply didn’t like it, or get it, or like that sort of thing.)