Wednesdays are swiftly becoming book writing days, huh? It's mostly unintentional, but maybe i should make it official. We'll see.
Anyway. This is a brief post, just to say this: four years after penning what i thought was the final installment in my series of fairy tales, i am contemplating a new one. As i read back through the old stories, i realized something important. While i have worked hard to both preserve and break the classic structures, my fairy tales are still not as feminist-empowering, equal-rights, civil-liberties, freedom-and-justice-for-all as i would like them to be. I'm remedying that now, rewriting descriptions of some characters to make them non-White races, tweaking characters to make them more independent and powerful, giving my queens and princesses just as much power, authority, and freedom as my kings and princes. But it's still not enough.
So i'm crossing the final frontier and attempting to write a same-sex fairy tale where one princess rescues another, so that they can live happily ever after.
I'm nervous about this for two reasons, one way more noble than the other.
The first, more noble reason, is that i'm not gay. I'm not even bi-curious. I'm about as straight as it is possible to be. I'm not sure how to write from the perspective of a lesbian princess. I don't want to get anything wrong. I don't want anyone to be hurt, or confused, or offended, by what i write. If i'm going to get angry letters, i want them to be from Christian fundamentalists who are condemning me for contributing to the decline of morality in our nation, not from angry lesbians who insist that i stop trying to represent something i know nothing about. I understand that it can be a really tricky area. I've read things written by well-meaning men in strong support of women and women's rights and feminism and so forth that still set my teeth on edge. I don't want to be "that guy".
The second reason is that i know damn well that including a lesbian romance in my story will make it harder to find a publisher. Publishers don't want to get angry letters from anyone, whether Christian fundamentalists or lesbians. Publishers don't want bookstores to refuse to buy their stock. Bookstores don't want to be boycotted or to have to pull stock that isn't moving or is causing controversy. I don't want to lose money because i'm trying to write a fair story.
But at the end of the day, i'm going to say "fuck it". Because my concerns assume that someone somewhere will want to publish my book, and that if they decide not to, it will be out of fear of retribution and lost money, and that's pretty arrogant of me. Because i'm not doing this to make money or to be famous, but because when i try to sleep at night my head buzzes with the stories i haven't told. Because i'd rather write well than sell well. Because my need to be honest is greater than my need to succeed. Because the world needs more positive models of feminine strength and healthy relationships, even if those models are both women. Because this is one more story that has buzzed its way into my brain and heart, and i know i won't be able to move on until i've told it.
I may post excerpts here as i work on it. Or i may not. We'll see.