On Chosen, Writing, and Doing What I Please

Kaine’s kickass mother Hema, pictured here instead of Kaine because she’s far easier to draw in doodle form. :P

Long-time visitors will recall that I’ve been working on an LGBTQ+ fantasy novel called Chosen for approximately the last 17,000 years. Its main character, Kaine Ikarra, is a fifteen-year-old transgender boy who is struggling with magic, identity, and the fact that most of the people around town want very much to kill him. It’s tough being fifteen, man.

As I’ve mentioned before, this story started out during my teen years as a cookie-cutter White Dudes Doing Cool Stuff In A Fantasy Setting book, but it’s since evolved into a series that features mostly LGBT people of color doing even cooler stuff in a fantasy setting. Since this is a fantasy world entirely of my imagining, I can do what I want with it, such as making the dominant religion a pantheon of gods and goddesses, many of whom are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, etc., and this thus makes LGBT folks entirely normal and unstigmatized in this world. Likewise, the inclusion of a female chief goddess (and various other awesome females in the pantheon) encourages more gender equality, which means that gender roles in this society are far more equal, and that gives me the opportunity to have kickass ladies all over the place and not have that be at all weird.

The latest I Can Do What I Want aspect of the story has involved my going through the book and subtly altering what everyone is eating so they subscribe to a more plant-based diet. It’s not something you see often in fantasy books, I’m willing to bet, but given my own commitment to avoiding meat and animal products, I figured…why not? WHY NOT HAVE THEM ALL BE VEGAN. MUWAHAHAHAHA I’m drunk with godly writing power.

So. Chosen now features a transgender, pansexual, vegan person-of-color as its main character, and I am quite pleased about that. :D

Which concerns my LGBT fantasy epic

I thought I’d mosey on over to the blogosphere with some updates, as I find myself with a startling surplus of both time and brain cells this morning. I’m sure this is a condition too beautiful to last, so let’s get right to the updates before I return to my usual state of Morning Pudding-Brain.

doctor-thumbs-up

First off, my thrilling revamp of Book I of Chosen continues, and is actually going surprisingly well. There’s still a vast gap of nothingness where three or four vital middle chapters should go, but I’m very much enjoying adding in setting and culture details and doing everything I can to diversify and gay-ify the Chosen world. Continue reading

Which is full of writing talk and piss-poor doodles

So, aside from working, sleeping, eating, binge-watching The Graham Norton Show, and falling head-over-heels in love with Thomas Brodie-Sangster lookalike girls on trains, I’ve also been doing a great deal of writing as of late.

kermit-typing

Just like this, but less green.

Some of that writing has been strictly for my own amusement (such as the twelve-page tale I wrote about a trip my friends and I took to a Japanese barbecue restaurant, which I for some reason felt the need to transform into a Dragonlance/Dungeons and Dragons-style adventure), but the rest of it has been me working on my LGBT fantasy epic, Chosen. Continue reading

Chosen: Book II dream cast is shiny and pretty and shiny

Greetings, my eager readers! After another lengthy period of blog neglect, I have returned!

tumbleweed01

Okay, fair enough.

Anyway, I’ve been hard at work on Chosen: Book II, and have written (and subsequently deleted) many new and interesting scenes! I’ve also used time when I should’ve been writing to do the all-important hunt for a Book II dream cast, and I’m pleased to announce that said cast has now officially been assembled. Behold!

chosen_book2_cast_final

A run-down of the characters, for those who might’ve missed the other 17,000 posts here regarding Chosen: Continue reading

Nervous breakdown, now with gifs

Greetings, friends. As I’m sure you’ve all been desperately wondering what I’ve been up to as of late, I’ve come here today to alleviate your suffering via a gif-filled blog post. Hurrah!

To summarize the past month in the most succinct way possible:

parksrec_nervous-breakdown

It’s been, to put it lightly, a bit of a crazy month, with financial troubles, medical madness, random altercations with crazy people on public transportation, sleep deprivation due to summer heat and a very loud and bored feline roommate, and, of course, the requisite entropy-fueled destruction of my personal belongings. Continue reading

In which I am a crotchety old lady

A few bits of news:

1. The site header has finally been redone!

friends_phoebe_jump-happy

The new header features: (a) a more up-to-date photo of The Author (as well as The Author’s Hair), (b) pictures that are actually lined up properly, and (c) some of The Author’s bad art (and one piece of good art by someone who is not The Author). Hooray!

tjbaer-com_header_screenshot

For those unfamiliar with the subjects of the drawings seen here, they’re all characters from Chosen. Left-to-right, we see Mr. Defrin, Kaine, Nicholas, Darek, and (suspiciously well-drawn) Hema.

2. Speaking of Chosen, for anyone who didn’t get the chance to read the sneak peak of the first few chapters, you can still do so here:

https://tjbaer.com/2015/06/12/a-sneak-peak-at-chosen-book-i/

For the uninitiated, Chosen is the first volume of my upcoming LGBT fantasy series, which I mention on this blog approximately every .25 seconds. I’ve actually made some changes to the first few chapters over the last few days, as well as adding in some new material to the “sneak peak” post above, so even if you’ve already had a look at it, now might be a good time to go have one more. Ya know. If you want to.

merlin-colin-haha

3. For those who are unaware, the Chicago Blackhawks recently won the Stanley Cup, which is apparently kind of a big deal. To celebrate, they had a parade, a huge stadium event, and a general all-day avalanche of merrymaking downtown today.

As one of the few people in Chicago who doesn’t give any damns at all about professional sports, I found myself surrounded for much of the day by happy, chattering masses of people in Blackhawks jerseys, who got progressively happier, louder, and drunker as the day went on.

theyre_everywhere

Artist’s rendering. Strange how so many Blackhawks fans seem to be tiny and bald.

I’m thrilled that so many people were so very happy today, but as I’m a crotchety old lady who dislikes crowds, noise, youngins, and  especially crowds of noisy youngins, today was something of an exercise in self-control. And, I’m pleased to say, I managed to get through the entire day without once waving my cane over my head and shouting for everyone to keep it down / keep off my lawn, so I consider it a victory.

Incidentally, I seem to have a unique combination of traits that make me the absolute antithesis of other Chicagoans: I don’t care about sports, I prefer thin-crust pizza, and I always, always put ketchup on hot dogs (an offense punishable by death within the Chicago city limits).

What can I say? I’m just a rebel. A crotchety old lady rebel.

gg_sophia_sunglasses

Seen above: Me.


 

Edit: Apparently, this marks my 100th post on this blog! Wow and hooray and woot!

barney-confetti

I suggest we celebrate by having everyone immediately go and mail me one hundred $1 bills. Or, because I am exceptionally kindhearted, I will also accept $100 in any denomination of your choice. <3