20 Minutes Into The Future – What has changed, and what hasn’t?

Hello World returns February 23rd 2021

20 Minutes Into The Future trope has us looking at technology and what it can hold for our futures.

It’s not super often I get to you write you to in first person about myself. But when it comes to our debut novel I feel as if it’s a most. Hello World was originally released just under four years ago. The original idea for this post was going to be about how futuristic technology that Scott used to run around menacing corporate tech giants in the book was now being sold mass market.

And in some ways that is true. Most notably is Amazon’s Echo Loop. Their design is exactly how I pictured Scott’s ace smart ring. And what is his own AI, Hallie, if not a private non-commercial version of Alexa that helps you do crime?

But the nature of the 20 minutes into the future trope isn’t about catching up. As Mystery Science Theater’s Tom Servo says, “Fifty years from now it’ll be three years from now”. Unlike other types of science fiction that predicted flying cards in the year 2000. Stories set 20 minutes into the future don’t predict. They tell you something that is already happening, or easily could be behind the scenes.

Turns out Hello World is as relevant as ever. A story about the interplay between technology and identity.

Now days, ‘being yourself’ is even more commercialized. You are your brand. If possible a corporations would kill off the idea of anonymous. And more often than not, it’s not some evil company directly enforcing that change. It’s us. It’s our digital interactions, self policing. Behavior adjustments we make in order to get more likes, just so we can be connected with others.

People like to think of that all being run by an algorithm. But it’s all from people in one way, shape, or form. The human element is the very thing that companies are unable to fully remove.

Hello World is a story about the actions of individuals. And together what changes the world.

A recent example of ‘internet culture’ banding together to change global markets is Wall Street Bets reddit’s interest in Game Stop stock. Their power was in the camaraderie within those memes that allowed them to group together. Without the digital connection among individuals outnumbering the normal rules of the game they’d be less hedge funds going bankrupt today.

If anything Hello World is even more important today than it had been yeas ago, because every day our digital shadow grows. Our lexicon of internet culture grows and just becomes culture. Especially during covid times where we are using technology to safety stay part, and safely connect, and hopefully continue to subvert those withholding freedom.

Be sure to preorder the new edition of Hello World in paperback and ebook. There’s new edits, formatting, and if I do say so myself the paperback is much better size. If that wasn’t enough there’s an exclusive preview to book two within it!

Asexual characters in sex scenes – Should You Do It?

This is actually a cross post from the Fuck Yeah Asexual blog, since I always find the subject of asexual characters important and thought it should be shared in a new format here.

It started with an anonymous ask that went like this:

“I have been seeing a lot of smut with asexual characters having sex. I understand that some Asexuals will still have sex. But I don’t get why some Ace people want more Asexuals in smut. Isn’t that like wanting Gay people in heterosexual smut? I just don’t understand the defense of non tagged asexual characters in fanfiction.”

Here’s our answer if asexual character’s should, well, do it:

We can agree content should be tagged appropriately to help people find or avoid it. The anon’s question is wildly dismissive of the aces. People they already fully acknowledged exist. Why should one person get to see their experiences represented but other’s can’t? Why must we deny expectations of a singular ace experience. Since it would deny the lives of so many people in our own community.

More importantly, we should we never insist on a narrative that contributes directly to our own oppression. One that would ensure allos, allies, and aphobes walk away with a tremendous misunderstanding of asexuality. One that encourages a narrow understanding of what asexuality is. We were there for this type of asexual exception before. We worked for YEARS to shut it down, to spare future aces. So know learn it now: this attitude that aces can never engage in sexual things is one of the most violent tools in the aphobe quiver.

The not so cute sleight of hand attempt at equating the very existence of the fictional asexuals in sex scenes as always wrong makes it clear that the anon asker desires a world where aces are a stereotype. You’ll find no support for that here, and we will not cast stones at aces writers who do write sexual content.

There should be discussions on the number of stories that feature ace characters who are sexless and those who aren’t. Concern about the difficulty of finding the content that does exist due to inadequate tagging are also very understandable complaints, and we’re sympathetic to them.

That’s not actually what the anon asked however. They specifically lashed out at their own community–not the fictional representation, but the real, living, human aces who create or ask for or enjoy that content. Their complaint *as worded* is not a gripe about the fiction landscape, it is an attack on real people, and one that directly mirrors specifically oppressive movements among aphobes.

The anon didn’t ask for sympathy in their difficulties with finding the kind of stories they want to read. They asked us to join them in leveling vitriol against “aces who want [the content anon doesn’t like]” and against aces who “defend [portrayals of their own lives].” That is absolutely not a conversation we will participate in. Especially given how closely it echoes aphobic arguments that do things like deny any ace the right to consent, put forward rape apologia, exclude aces from relationships of any kind, and homegenize and dehumanize the entire community. Let alone echoing the very schisms that have haunted this community since it’s inception.

There’s a lot of history behind this question.

We’re more than happy to encourage conversations like the one this anon wanted to have. Or about how best to accommodate those experiences and where things might be falling short. But that will not happen at the expense of our own community members.

We can have good faith with each other even after comments like this which can read as harsh. Here’s proof of that as the original anon came back and added the following:

“Hey! I was the Anon about Aces in smut. I’m really sorry if I hurt you in any way. I am trying to learn more about Asexuality after one of my friends came out to me recently and was talking about that subject specifically. I am a pretty young lesbian and am trying to learn more about the entire LGBT+ community. Thank you for responding, I appreciate your time! Again I apologize for any hurt I caused, that was by no means my intention. I hope you have a good day!”

Dew adds, Hey thanks! I really appreciate the follow up on this. I know I came out swinging on that ask, but you unintentionally hit on some very tender points. In some really specific ways that unfortunately mirrored attitudes that have historically been very dangerous for the ace community.

But I’m really glad to hear that the underlying motive for that anon ask was ignorance and not malice. Please know that ignorance is not a character flaw; it’s the natural state of humans and easily changed. It sounds like your heart is in the right place and you’re eager to learn more so that you can be a better ally to your friends. That’s awesome, and if you want some more resources on how to approach this topic with a better understanding of ace community history and respect for the diversity of ace experiences.

Others brought up that they actually trust aces writing this more than others. Dew went on to say: There’s definitely a wide range of the quality of depictions of asexual characters of all sorts of experiences. It can be easier to trust ace-spec writers to be coming from an informed and respectful place.

I would of course caution that this doesn’t fall perfectly across clean lines based on the identity of the writers. Nor dismiss the efforts of allies who also approach the subject respectfully. (Recall that the broader aspec community does include allo members!) Nor discount that aces can also externalize their own possible struggles with internalized aphobia.

However, it can be particularly cruel to dismiss the efforts of ace writers. There are valuable discussions to be had about the differences in writing asexual characters from and internal vs. an external perspective. Especially considering how plentiful misinformation and erasure are.

When people suggest that only aces should write asexual characters we have disagree with that blanket statement.

Fuck Yeah Asexual doesn’t stand for stark divisions across identity lines. We can and should talk about what constitutes a respectful portrayal, where the common pitfalls are, and what damage can be done from irresponsible or misinformed understandings of ace experiences without this level of insularity. Not every ace will magically produce a great ace character, and not every allo will magically produce a terrible one.

If only reading works by other aces is a boundary you want to set in your own life, please do so! As I addressed in the previous ask, there are patterns in play that make that an understandable choice.

We won’t, however, support extrapolating that boundary out until it cuts off anyone who isn’t asexual (and this effort nearly always wants to exclude the wrong “”kind”” of asexual. People must be free to write about aces in ways that don’t push way questioning folks or all the allies-in-the-making who won’t ever learn what their mistakes are because we’ve isolated ourselves from them. Nothing good or productive comes from broadly applying that kind of us vs. them approach to entire communities. – Dew

There is absolutely room to talk about the behavior of allosexuals in regard to their fandom treatment of canon asexual characters. There’s also absolutely room to talk about some publishers making a fetish-like “Demisexual For You” trope. Which is a perversion of the biphobic “Gay for You” trope.

But honestly the media we’ve gotten from a main stream source has been from allosexuals inspired by aces, ace works, and ace activism. It’s more of a conversational story feedback loop. That’s the nature of all media.

If you wish you view the asks in their original context you can via that day’s archive. https://fuckyeahasexual.tumblr.com/day/2020/11/20.

LGBTQ Mircolabels – The Address of Your Soul

LGBTQ Mircolabels are much talked about. In this short article, I’ll explain how looking at identity labels as addresses is a really good way methodology. And how we can’t forget that LGBTQ mircolabel’s focus on intersectionality is not only normal, but actually a healthy thing.

I’ve always loved the term intersectionality. I think it’s a brilliant word that gives you a visual right off the bat. It was coined black feminist scholar Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw in 1989.

“Stay in your lane” also fits this instantly understandable visual. While to me it sounds like AAVE, the earliest date for the metaphor from 1972 and largely something football players would hear from coaches to remind them to focus on their own task on the field. In recent years, it means to stick to your area of expertise.

Sports metaphors and black feminist theory don’t often overlap. But we can take these visuals metaphor further to explain a large number of problems I see daily in the queer community.

LGBTQ Mircolabels vs Umbrella terms

Often times people feel they have to choose between the two and if they pick an umbrella term it’s either a lie or holding something back. But we‘d all be much better served by looking at these two things as part of the same address.

Some people very much identify with their state. New Yorkers for example. In this case, New York refers to both the city and the state. For many, that’s enough. It’s all people need to know, but others may use a micro-label as a stamped letter that uses a street address or a zipcode to be even more precise.

Which parts of your ‘address’ you tell someone greatly depends on the situation. The info you share on with someone out of the country will differ from the info you share with people in your apartment building. One doesn’t supersede the other.

While you might know where you are, other people are lost in a big city and need the exact words right down to the GPS coordinates in order to find themselves, each other, or call for specific help. This sort of location pinpointing saves lives. As valuable as that information is, plenty of people will never need to get that specific in their daily lives. Those details still exist even if they aren’t known, mentioned, or are grouped as one.

A lie I often hear is that LGBTQ microlabels prohibit change, hide your “real” identity, or other assimilation type lies. I have people come to me all the time worrying about labeling wrong. They want a label, they knew what feels like them, they even recite the definition of the word, but… what if…

And my answer is always, “and what if?” If it feels like home then that’s where you should be right now. And if for any reason it stops feeling like home, there shouldn’t be shame in “moving” to a new address. It doesn’t make your first address fake. You lived there for a time, and even if it wasn’t fully “your address” it was enough of a safe place for you to grow. Some people move often. Others don’t. There shouldn’t be any stigma in it.

In order for a soul to be free, it must have the ability to move or stay put as it desires. Be able to build a nest as intricate or as simple as they want. Labeling is no different. Even if it takes years or micro-labels to get everything just right.

When we are limited to “gay or straight” that is not freedom. LGBTQ mircolabels says these are all the intersections I cross. It makes assimilation harder because it’s a reminder that no identity is just one thing. Society just ignores labels that are in power.

Our truths will never be nurtured if we refuse to admit a forest is made out of individual trees. On average there are around 3,700 trees in an acre, each a little different than the one next to it. In that same group, there are nearly 70 different species of trees. Why would humans be any less diverse?

Do you need to learn every about tree or address in the phone book to be a decent person? Absolutely not. But it‘s dangerous, to others, to run out in the middle of the street bemoaning that certain words exist because you refused to stay in your lane when pulling up to an intersection.

Need more queer theory in your life? Check out our asexual activism tag!

My New Book Deal:

I’m still excited from Suicide By Ghost’s release a few months ago, but I got more news today! It’s honestly the news I hoped people knew were coming every since Creative Aces Publishing signed Jonathan Lopez. Our newest, PRESS START is such a cute story about having fun while healing. I think it’s going to feel like a breath of fresh air for everyone.

Here’s a transcript of the publishing announcement:

PRESS START from Rose Sinclair and Jonathan Lopez, a lighthearted novel pitched as Yuri On Ice meets Pokemon Go, in which Loren, a queer teen with a pension for creative problem solving when it comes to a new augmented reality gamed called Holo Heroes, is set for publication Summer 2020 by us at Creative Aces Publishing.

Creative Aces Publishing Is Live!

Publishing news isn’t rare, but making an announcement yourself is, and I’m so thrilled to say I have some news today!

Creative Aces Publishing was a brainchild I first had in 2015, and thanks to other aces over the years we published two community projects: What You See, an art book featuring two dozen aces, and Unburied Fables, an LGBTQ charity anthology benefiting The Trevor Project.

If you heard of us before, here’s how we’ve changed since then. Unlike other indie publishers, we seek to build from a community standpoint. Not only saying we put authors first, but also paying them a highly competitive rate unheard of for a group so small. Offering upwards of 50% royalty, and sometimes even an author advance.

As a full-service publisher, authors can also expect a professional looking cover design, comprehensive editing, a personalized marketing plan, training and support as an author from signing and beyond at no cost.

All made possible by a slow and steady mentality that makes sure you don’t get lost in a sea of other authors. Because of this, we aren’t currently open for submissions, but already have signed authors and will be making more announcements soon.

If you have any questions please contact us at info@creativeacespublishing.com.

Here’s what this means for anyone who knows me personally, I’ve been dealt a hand of cards that allows me to take the project to a level I always wanted and make it a full-fledged publisher.

I’ve been working for various publishers since 2015, and love helping authors. But I also see areas where many barely even get a chance because of factors around their disability or identity. As the company’s co-founder and creative director, I can’t fix the industry as a whole, but I can set a standard I believe in. One who’s core goal takes pride in creating art and supporting those artists.

What A Joke

I’m going to talk about strong writing today, but first, I have a joke for you. So a white comedian walks into a bar. He steps on the stage and says: Racism! The racists and white allys™ laugh, no one else does. In the news that night, the white comedian is applauded for his progressiveness.

I first heard of this idea when watching a documentary. I forget what it was, but it stated that if a comedian tells a racist joke that everyone in the audience laughs. Those who aren’t racist, understand the context and that it was “just a joke”. But the racist in the room hears everyone is laughing and believes everyone thinks the same as them. And why not? Everyone is having fun right now. Right??

A lesson from my favorite editor is that words have a weight on the page. I don’t mean socially, I mean for readability. If you can say something in fewer words and still convey your meaning you’ve done your job. You actually don’t need much more advice because that one suggestion covers a lot of it.

Which brings me to my point today. To have strong and diverse writing you can’t just say haha racism! And leave it as that, because the people experiencing it don’t find it funny. Nor do LGBT+ people when they are included, but killed off or made the joke. Nor do rape victims when they have to explain to you why something is bad, because haha rape sucks, obviously? Oh, that didn’t come off on screen that way? Oh well, there’s no more time! 

Mirroring a trope is not changing the trope. It is not calling out the trope. And we as writers, cannot assume we are better or greater than every writer who has done it before. If you are going to have homophobia, or racism, or sexism, etc in your narrative you need to not only spend the time and words on that, but also the time to draw a huge circle around it with shining lights that flash bad, bad, bad.

I see so many TV shows lately getting applauded, and congratulated for “facilitating the discussion” when in reality the show didn’t do anything. These “discussions” have been happening for centuries. And while I can’t stop TV studios from doing these things, I can tell you that strong writing comes from the puzzle you assembled. Not the pieces laid out so your readers can collectively put together.

Nor as consumers, should we agree that they are doing anything remarkable either. That’s a lie we tell ourselves to make enjoying something that would otherwise hurt our conscience.

And as writers, let’s do this soon, because the people hurting the most aren’t laughing.

#WattpadBooksAreRealBooksToo

#WattpadBooksAreRealBooksToo started with a misplaced and insulting internet comment, as many hashtag movements do these days. If you didn’t know, my co-author and I write a science fiction series on the free to read site. It’s a video game inspired novel called Bone Diggers. Since I have one foot in the publishing world, and another in the Wattpad camp I feel like I’m qualified to weigh in on the subject. But, I’m not here to talk about Bone Diggers today, at least not directly.

There are obviously many differences between the two paths, just like how a serialized newspaper story in the old days was different than a novel. But these differences don’t matter. Writers put in as much heart and soul into their Wattpad stories as any other writer does. All writing is an act of creation, and that creation has value no matter where you end up posting it.

I’m thrilled to announce that Bone Diggers has recently been handpicked to be featured on the site, but that doesn’t mean it was any less real before this. Just like how a any well written novel that isn’t widely known isn’t less meaningful. Wattpad specifically has given me countless things that my publishing deal can’t. It’s a trial run in ways, and very real in many others.

Last year, I posted a chapter of Bone Diggers every single week. It wasn’t as spotless or query tested as Hello World which is going to be published with Pandamoon, but I was given something I never thought. Each week I felt progress, I felt that I was building to something great. Bad weeks had a beacon of hope at the end of them thanks to Wattpad.

We all quickly learn that the traditional route is slow. It can take years to get a book deal, and while Wattpad books might not be traditional, they have as much hope and longing from the writer to share and connect with people as any other piece does. Wattpad books are as real as the writers creating them, and can sometimes give a momentum like nothing else can.

What do you think? Does the platform where something is posted dictate value, or does writing always speak for itself no matter where it is found? And remember you can check out all of Bone Diggers over on Wattpad!

2015: 50% Complete

Today rings in the half way mark of the year, which also makes this Friday the 6 month anniversary of Bone Diggers being available on Wattpad! I’m so excited to see the ever growing following this story has. It’s been something hugely important to Andy and I for years, and it’s really amazing to be able to share that with everyone. To see the tweets, comments, even worry over the characters is really what every writer wishes for.

So on this anniversary of sorts, I have a few announcements today. The first, welcome to this brand new site! You’ll still be able to follow along with us on social media, but now we can connect in a new way too. Another new feature is that freelance services are also for the first time being offically offered. You can check out more infomation about that under “Design Services.” The last announcement today to celebrate the 6 month mark is to show our appreciation with a giveaway another video game book and some extra goodies from me!

 

Giveaway Includes:

  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
  • Three Chapter Critique
  • Space Invader Stickers

    Stay tuned for more giveaways in the feature!