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bear by san

March 2017



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shotgun sf torchwood cap'n jack

i wish i were special. so very special.

Tyop: maidenly green like the first hesitant uncurling feathery bugs of April.

485 words of "Your Collar," the !Victorian minotaur story, last night, which made me happy. I'm enjoying this little story a lot. I think it's in the same world as "Orm the Beautiful," but set about a hundred years earlier.

It has the same kind of voice. Which is appropriate, I guess, because it's also an elisem-inspired piece. I've been writing it while staring at "The Oracle In Springtime," and that seems to be working out.

via hominysnark, so how does subliminal advertising work, anyway?


The subconscious is a fascinating thing.

Some of writing well, for me, is getting conscious access to that process. Because one thing that happens is that when you become aware of the cliches and patterns of narrative, you can manipulate them. You can use the expectations to your advantage, either by playing to them or undermining.

It's how archetype works, and zeitgeist, and all those varied things. And it's also why taking a shower or going for a walk or engaging in repetitive housework can unlock the creative process.

Also, that's how writers can "just know" how the story goes. Because there's a whole lot of brain in there that the "I" doesn't have conscious access to--but it's down there shooting out smoke signals and making pictures and telling you things you can't get into words, because words are (mostly) a tool of the left-brain.

Some reviews!

guaroth rather liked A Companion to Wolves.

We got the gay all over drelmo's companion animal fantasy, however.

vatine, who, um, appears to read a lot, liked Hammered:

Persephone Reads votes yes on New Amsterdam:

Whatta Fiasco votes yes on Whiskey & Water:

And ASIF! Podcast reviews New Amsterdam at length, with discussion and spoilers. I found this super charming:


"Apparently some commentators have wondered why women weren't allowed to be companions. Ms Bear aka matociquala pointed out with great restraint that the women were needed on the home front. Also, without contraception they would be either pregnant or nursing - and not able to be warriors. When I read the complaint I was incandescent. The very question: 'why can't women be warriors?' is so disparaging of women and their work! Waving a sword about and killing monsters is not, not, not more important or more speshul than raising children, growing food, in fact supporting the warriors."

All that last part aside, good point, and not to sound like G. Gordon Assbutt, but menstruation might be contra indicated for hunters, on a scent basis. Do i know that prey animals or oppo predators might be able to smell menstruating women farther than men?

Nope, but i do know that hunters even to this day have rituals to remove or change their scents, such rituals sometimes involving smoke of selected herbs or urine of the prey animal.
You can buy deer urine in gun stores.
I am really, really glad somebody noticed the women's work bit, because we went to great lengths to point out the sort of "women's work" that goes into supporting a society--and a military operation.

I wonder at how many people apparently don't understand that top and bottom are not necessarily exclusive roles, in institutional homosexuality or otherwise. Not all homosexuality (institutional or otherwise) is exploitative, for one thing, despite popular myth.

And you know, every one of those guys on top, in the wolfheall, knows perfectly well that next year, he could be the guy on the bottom.

Trellwolf society isn't *all* that different from earth-wolf society. Among Canis lupus, the dominant female is the only one that generally breeds. Trellwolves have larger packs that Canis lupus; they hunt bigger and more savage game. They compensate for this and maintain genetic diversity without overloading the local ecosystem with many litters of puppies by having fewer females overall, all of whom breed, and breeding those females to more males.

It's a pretty sweet system, really.
It took me a good five or six readings to get the error in your tyop. I'm not sure what it says about me that 'hesitant uncurling feathery bugs' seemed like a perfectly reasonable image.

I am a big dork.

Yesterday I spotted a copy (well, two copies) of Dust in the wild.

Today I bought one.

Because, you know, I can't read the other one. It might hurt it.

My store still doesn't have it in. On order, but not in yet. grrr...

Re: I am a big dork.


You are very silly, you know.

Re: I am a big dork.

I know. I've given up on trying not to be. Instead I am embracing the silliness.

It's good for me.

Re: I am a big dork.

(but thank you)
I have seen feathery green bugs, but it was in June.
Ja, sure, in the sauna.
Yeah. They invented the sauna, after all.

He seems to have missed all the discussion of mud and beard lice, also. But, you know, you push somebody's buttons and they react strongly in the negative. Such is life.

pretty lame review.. I wonder what book he read, with whose eyes. I have some quibbles with the book, but not the gay stuff. And nothing important. I mean, i had my stuff sorted out about gay men a long damn time ago.

People have all kinds of sex in all kinds of conditions for all sorts of reasons; being telepathically linked to a another male through wolves seems better than most reasons ;-)

Many military cultures have instituted sex between brother soldiers. Damn little choice unless you want to complicate your logistical tail (no pun intended) unnecessarily.
I think only Christians get upset about such simple matters.

Mythical Norsers are not Christians. QED.
Some of writing well, for me, is getting conscious access to that process.

Thank you for summing up - in one sentence - my main writing goal for 2008.

My own writing process in the past has been a mere step above automatic writing. I take dictation essentially. I've been trying in recent months to force the issue, to get the muse to write what I want when I want it, to get visuals of the story I am working on (I've never been a visual writer) and to begin the shift from mindless typing to mindful story planning and execution.

Oddly, I've been attempting to inject *more* subconscious process into my writing partner's habits. Her MO is to spend too much time thinking about stories, so I'm hoping to introduce her to flow by making the process less about work or discipline and more about lyrical play.

So this is a topic of great interest to both of us and I hope to see it pop up again in your blog in the near future.

So long and thanks for all the fish Radiohead. ;-)
You're welcome!

Glad to be of service, really.

Stating the obvious, with regards to Companion:

Of course, had there been no use of lube in the story, there would just be another review somewhere else talking about how clearly women know nothing of this subject due to that lack.

You know, if I were to assume that this was actually what bothered the review writer.

Re: Stating the obvious, with regards to Companion:

If you're doing it regularly, even women are smart enough to figure out that spit is inadequately padded for regular anal intercourse. (After all, we have anuses too!)

Apparently Pond's Cold Cream was the gold standard for many decades. Before, you know, modern innovations in lube technology, and the need for latex. (Vaseline is rather hard on the sheets.)

You can also use schmaltz (rendered chicken fat) or, you know, bear grease. These also have a history of use as vaginal lubricants, FWIW, though it's a bit more medically problematic. Your intestines are *designed* to have fat in them. Your vagina, not so very much.

One way we did cheat was by deciding that our closed and isolated population didn't have much in the way of serious STDs. Which was a conscious decision, yes, and when the Iskryne equivalent of syphilis reaches the Northlands, there, it's gonna be a world of hurting.

(I should remark that it's a fair cop that the heterosexual encounters get passed by pretty fast. So do all of the homosexual encounters that don't actually involve any tension or conflict, (boys helping each other, etc.) because we're not writing erotica. It's just not relevant to the story what Isolfr and his lady friends, or Isolfr and his shield-mates, do under the covers.)
Ehehehe! I think that was your feminist unconscious saying, "Blah, blah, budding, blah, blah, delicate, blah, blah, pastel colors blah, blah. Maidenhood: it ain't for wimps. We're not talking June bugs here. Were talking cracking through the Madagascar hissing cockroach-sized exoskeleton and awkwardly awaiting the drying of the massively ungainly under-layer." Or maybe my youth was just freaky. Could be. ;-P
Just read "Your Collar" on Subterranean. Predictably, I liked it. It's a very charming tale and doesn't end in tears (which, to be fair, is something I rather like - except when I don't). Also, I'm so glad I wasn't imagining the "Orm The Beautiful" connection; there was a definite similarity of tone.
Thank you!

I think I didn't even know the new issue was up. *g*
Now tell me I wasn't imagining the King Kong echoes too :)
King Kong is not my thing. Sorry.
Ah. Convergent evolution then. As you were.