I picked up Afterparty by Daryl Gregory at a bookshop because I was intrigued by the tagline on the cover: ‘Take a Pill. Get a God.’ Reading the blurb – which spoke of a future in which smart drugs are so advanced that they can even create faith in God – convinced me that I would love this book. It almost seemed tailor-made for me, as someone who enjoys both near-future science-fiction and religious themes. The fact that the book has a female protagonist was an added bonus too. I didn’t think it could get any better.
Some men say an army of horse and some men say an army on foot
and some men say an army of ships is the most beautiful thing
on the black earth. But I say it is
what you love.
When I was in twelfth grade, a boy asked me to prom. I said no; I barely knew his name and I didn’t want to go to prom at all—it would be too many people, too much noise—and prom as a first date, as my first date, didn’t really seem the thing.
I love comics and graphic novels, but I don’t really feel like as a queer woman, I belong. In the last two years I have found that there is a place for me in this wonderful, hopeful and colorful world. Of course, there are too many identities missing, too many stories untold. But there are also many amazing and important graphic novels and comics that deserve all the support.
So here there are my two cents, four sapphic graphic novels that I loved. And please, feel free to leave me your recommendations! Continuar lendo
Second novel syndrome – it’s such a recognised problem that an internet search brings up results from major publications and indie bloggers alike. There’s even an award presented by the Royal Society of Literature called the Encore Award for the best second novel. In short, there’s anxiety and reward. The trouble is, when you’re a self-published author, you tend to get far more of the anxiety.
We have all heard that phrase before. Even those of you who aren’t writers have heard it repeated in films, articles, and English classes.
But we all know that there are stories of magic, dinosaurs, space-battles, pirates, and schoolboy wizards that can’t possibly have been drawn from the writer’s own life (no matter how much we hope that J. K. Rowling is telling the truth about Hogwarts).
So how do we cross the great divide of the fantastic whilst maintaining that fundamental authors’ tenet?
Research it until you know it. Then write it!
When I was discovering my sexuality, and coming out in the early to mid-noughties I felt extremely alone. I grew up in a very religious, Christian community where I went to church multiple times a week, sang in the church youth band, and was a faith-based youth leader and community outreach worker for my church. The first time I tried to test the waters telling someone what I was feeling and realising about myself, I was met with a very typical but nonetheless hurtful, “That’s disgusting and so wrong!”.
Growing up, I had never been any good at making close friends. I always found myself in a large group of friends, I was rarely totally alone, but I still felt disconnected and on the outside. Reading has always been a true love of mine and growing up feeling disconnected from my sometimes-troubled world, I often sought refuge in the books I read. The characters were my friends and family, and their experiences and adventures were mine too.
Nicola Lancaster and Battle Hall Davies.
I don’t speak of these two characters very much or even the book in which I read of them, Empress of the World by Sara Ryan. Which is odd considering the impact they had on me. It was way back when in 2007, I was a sophomore just getting my bearings in high school surrounded by hormones and a critical lack of self-awareness. Nicola, or Nic, and Battle are two teenage girls who meet at a camp for gifted students and begin a summer romance. They were my first encounter reading bisexual characters. With confidence, Nic informed the reader that her romantic attraction to Battle didn’t take away all the romantic feelings she had for boys in the past. She asserts that she still likes boys but she likes girls too, that she’s sure to have feelings for either gender in the future.
At the time, I was aware that I was attracted to men and woman but was hesitant to acknowledge it, even in my own thoughts. So there was something extraordinary about reading that, in print, in a book I took out at the school library. The feelings I had but never spoke of had a legitimacy that I had silently desired. I don’t remember if the word bisexual ever gets used in the book. It would take a couple of years for me to identify myself as bisexual. But Nic’s feelings were my feelings. Battle’s feelings were my feelings.There is something to be said about that emotion one gets when the thoughts you originally thought were unique to you, are mirrored in the characters of a story you’re reading. It’s almost indescribable, that mixture of happiness and relief that I felt in that moment. But boiled down and in the simplest way, I will try to explain. I had received a profound moment of clarification and one of the most hopeful messages I had ever received in my life; that I was not alone.
And that feeling? I began to chase it.
The only mainstream representation of my marriage has been (for the most part) cancelled.
The Netflix series Sense8, featuring a trans-inclusive sapphic relationship between Amanita and Nomi, will no longer be gracing the screens of its viewers. For two seasons people watched these two women, very much in love, face the hardships before them. I know of no other mainstream fictional relationship to replace it.
It felt nice to have something I could point to and say, “Look! That’s us”. Had it been allowed to continue beyond the two-hour finale that will air in 2018, maybe I could have more of those moments.
During my childhood the sizzling of hotdogs and the smell of chili indicated it was Friday night in the Castro household. Get the mustard. Set the table. Feed the dog. Dinner! How was your week? As the youngest of four I couldn’t compete. How could I top a tale as exhilarating as my brother’s detailed account of peeling dried glue off his hand in one single sheet? Or my sister’s account of how she had saved her entire class by raising her hand to tell Mrs. Trumble that Holly had white bugs crawling in her hair. The few times I was able to get a word in edgewise it was taken out of context. “Is this my bike?” I yelled on my way up to see Santa at my dad’s company Christmas party. I carried the three by three inch wrapped gift back to my seat. Surely why not? My dad had tools. “I won a dime in the spelling B…” Congrats! That I promptly threw away, my consolation prize for being the first to tap out. The word was: Truck. T-R-U-K. I won’t bother to tell you about my lisp phase. And so was the plight of this youngest of four. The sauciest of comebacks a dollar too short. A day, make that a week and sometimes several years too late. Like driving down the interstate at seventy miles per hour. It’s raining and it’s loud, but a bridge is ahead then deafening silence as you pass underneath it. That was your moment! Darn it’s too late.
Yet here I am using my voice, it’s a voice in a sea of much more eloquent voices. I’m classically untrained. I took English 101 three times. Third time was the charm that and a tutor. What’s an Oxford comma? How does it differ from a Yorkshire comma? Does Kansas have a comma? I know that’s not a thing. I have no business writing, but I do anyway. I use made up words for my made up worlds. My observations from a life of listening. It may not look pretty or sound that way either. I’ve come to enjoy the looks paid upon me. Pinched brows, nervous laughter and avoidance of eye contact. Maybe it’s my irreverent nature? My jokes about Jesus? Or Nunscects, my upcoming comic book about nuns and insects. Coming soon, no really! I have found my voice and have found my platform through books and art and poetry. Where can I use this? I better write that shit down. Sooner or later it’ll make a ton of sense.
About the Author:
Celeste Castro, @writerceleste, is Mexican, dyslexic and a janitor by trade and a lot of other things too including the author of Homecoming a lesbian romance.
From the time I was a child until I went off to university, I knew exactly who I was: an artist.
Art was my everything; other interests came and went but drawing and painting were always there. Having a creative outlet helped me get through my parents’ divorce and, later, my tumultuous teen years. In fact, right up to the point where I applied for uni, I was convinced my future profession was going to be in the arts. It had to be – it was who I was.
Spoiler alert: I didn’t end up going to art school.
Instead, I spent five years chasing down my B.A. and a certificate in PR before launching myself headlong into my career. I enjoyed it, but my art seriously suffered. By the time I graduated I couldn’t have even told you where to find my once ever-present sketchbooks. All that love and passion had been buried beneath the responsibilities of adulthood and the confusion that came with realizing I didn’t know myself or what I wanted out of life quite as clearly as I had previously thought.
The loss of my creative spark broke my heart, but it was a light I couldn’t seem to summon back. I went a nearly a decade without making anything that wasn’t somehow tied to my career; something just for me.
And then, I came out. Continuar lendo