LGBT genre is a mess

Camp-2017-Participant-Profile-Photo.jpg… and I seriously love this year’s banners with jackalopes :), must be my inner joke going on, because a hare with antlers is seriously down my alley.

Actually, I just wanted to vent, or do a warm up for the writing today, or tomorrow, because I ran out of steam some time by lunch and after doing the day work, I didn’t get it back, so here I go.

What is it with LGBT being a completely separate genre? Aside the social relationship type there is nothing that actually tells about the story – most of the stuff I find from there is urban fantasy, another part fantasy, science fiction, modern romances (and not at all always erotica). Like, take the relationship type out and suddenly it’s another romance, science fiction, fantasy or modern! Romance is often scolded for not being “the actual” genre as it is big part of other genres while not being the main one.

Most readers, who have ever had to search through that mess this genre is, can vouch when I say – it is one of the most pointless genre separation ever created! And what are the sub genres? Gay, lesbian, trans or bi! So if you want to find one that, for a bad example, is a mystery of gay pair running a steampunk airship, it is seriously time consuming. Especially when Amazon only allows limited tag words for the novels for cleaner search. Which, by the way, I do support for it keeps all the 100 tags lists away that mean nothing regarding the stories.

What I often see is that if the author marks their work as LGBT, then the book is solely shut into that specific genre and does not appear on any other genre lists while historical romances for example show up in both romances and historical. But if you mark your work for LGBT, it is immediately classified as erotica and thus treated as grown up literature.

So I have seen great number of young adult books shoved among erotica only because they wrote about two boys falling in love in school scene.  Or clearly science fiction story listed there only because it had lesbian main character when the story is about how they retrieve some kind of chemical from long lost colony on Jupiter’s moon.  Shifter stories with main characters being gay couple – not more sex in the story than in average urban fantasy – seriously rises the question – what the heck is it doing in erotica? Because then you read the comments under those stories and they clearly were expecting an erotica, when the story didn’t support that belief.

And my only question is, why? Isn’t it time to start using LGBT as a tag rather than genre in literature? It is clear that LGBT as genre in ebook business is defined as erotica and thus no matter what you write, if you do not provide shoppers the erotica specific characters and settings, the non-erotica, which try to crack out of it and have for example mystery or historical or harlequin or whatever other genre as their main genre, are treated as if they do not fit the bill. As if lesbies or gays or bis or trans read nothing but erotica or school books. Seriously – where does that notion come from?

I don’t even know if that makes any sense. Lately it just bothers me for I believe they would have better chances if measured by the genres the stories are in, not by what LGBT pushes them in as long as the genre is seen as purely erotic in nature. I think the LGBT genre would win in great deal if the subgenres weren’t just gay, lesbian, bi or trans, but also mystery, history, contemporary, etc. Then writers, who do not write hardcore erotica can actually set their books in those genres and not be beaten up constantly for not fulfilling someone’s wet dream.

Oh, which brings me to my other pet peeves in Amazon romance section –  Multicultural & Interracial, African American and Clean & Wholesome.  In a world, where we try to erase setting people apart by where they are from or who they are born as, racial, religious or any other aspects of their life, it is very disturbing thing to observe that this is still “a thing” in American Amazon literature section. This isn’t about the story being of main character’s courageous journeys in action, mystery or any other story – it declares me I can choose porn based on fantasies like choosing my whore of the day – by hair color, skin type and how she looks like looking up.

Harsh, sorry, but that’s how it feels like lately when searching something new from romance section. I may love that genre to bits, but this shows nothing has changed since I starting browsing online for books. The saddest part, I know half of those books wouldn’t be treated like this if they were marketed through other genres. And they always do have the other genre. It is just written in the description – tiny note on the side, this is a mystery story of a woman facing down a ghost of a pirate ship captain. Whoah! Suddenly the MC’s not wearing short hot red mini, but has trousers on and is half way in muck jumping through a swamp!

Choosing the correct genre changes perspective we hold over a book. If we present it as erotica, then that’s what it is. If we present it as story of a character and say it’s a mystery, then we treat it based on mystery genre checklist, so to say. So why force LGBT couples into solely erotic environment when they are not erotica?

OK, done. The rant is a result of searching a long lost story which has zero erotica in it, a simple kiss, and I found it in LGBT erotica section when it was a holiday romance through and through and innocent like a lamb. It’s only reason ending up between alphas going after omegas in heat and aliens buying a sex slave was the fact that the story told about gay couple, not a hetero one.

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My grandma read my book…

giphy.gif Continue reading

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Flabbergasted

Ok, so the reason why I’ve been behind with my homepage posts is down to the fact that I’m currently helping a friend set up his new page in WP and helping my sister to get her own project take off the ground and both are demanding tasks. Not really an excuse of not prepping the posts, but it has been a long week in any sort of work related tasks, so.

Not really complaining, as it has been very eye opening experience, because:
a) I discovered I can make a homepage dummy in less than 5 hours.Which is so heartwarming considering how much time I spend here :D. Plus I always love solving such puzzles and my brain has been a bit idle lately.
b) I discovered that there have been a lot of changes during the last 2 years in blogging world.

And that change is also what took me close to screaming and tossing dishes. Because since I started my homepage two years ago, they have made a new version of the theme I use on it. And all that system that I have been trying to keep working manually, using back alleys and whatnot – the new theme has it all offered on a plate! Well, then!

Of course I am planning to go over to the new theme! But, and that isn’t such a small but, I need to change my category system first in order for the system to work like I need it to work. And that isn’t a small task as only a month ago I hit the magical 500 post mark. Can you imagine re-systematizing 500 posts in order to go over to new system? I guess I can, because if I did this, this would reduse my workload by third in the future. Not to mention, opens up close to 30 pages I can use for main pages of stories instead. Currently I have 50 of them in use out of about 80 allowed for free users. Can you imagine the change it would make?

Can you imagine the frustration hitting me tenfold, when I realized I just did a system to my sister in 5 hours that could have spared me about a year’s worth extra work on my own page? I so want to cry right now…

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And the answer is YES, I WILL TAKE THAT WEEK! I WILL REDO THAT DAMN SYSTEM! I WILL SPARE MYSELF FOR THE REST OF THAT SYSTEMATIZING JOB! For I so deserve more time to spend on my stories than maintaining a system that has such a lovely alternative now, in the future of two years. God, thank you, whoever you made that theme! I love you right now so much. Or, rather, I will love you after I have gotten myself into that theme.

 

 

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Message to fellow writers

For young writers, who have their Pinterest filled with quotes and notes under them “I can use that”.

Writing is imperfect act.

The purity of thought is not another quote from somebody else’s mouth. It’s your thoughts. If you write your story using quotes, it’s like writing a literary essay with references to other writers, or people.

We already live in the world of copy-paste, wouldn’t you want to stand out of that? Think for yourself. Write down your own thoughts.  I want to read a story, not an essay.

I pick up your story to read your thoughts. I want to read the classics, I go straight to them.
But I am not. I’m interested in you!

So.

Have confidence. 
Impress me with yourself.

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7 years in WP – hooray!

Well, we did have cake 🙂

I wanted to do a rant post, but it is rather pointless to make one, when I’m not even sure if its out of jealousy or out of self pity. You know, one of those – why they get help while I had to figure it all out on my own? I’m still figuring things out, well, and…

Awh, heck with it.

I’m a bit behind with the stories. Niece came over for week-end and I was stupid enough to actually sit down during our less stressful days, which weren’t many as work has been keeping me busy for over a week, and can’t blame anybody for not doing prep writing for the busy time. Which is why the Friday Flash probably popped from my mind. I’m not happy about it, so I’ll do double post on coming Friday to keep the weeks even. I kinda like them being even.

I tried publishing again. Put the Third Law up for sale on Amazon before I thought I scream to the world that guess what! The joy lasted half an hour until a comment appeared with 1 star rating – “You would sell so much more if you asked 0.99 instead of 3.59”.  Thank you, whoever you were, because it was, AGAIN, a random troll running amok through the wide Amazon. No other comments, no other purchases. And what am I supposed to do with a 1 star rating? Took it down, of course, because who among you all would even look at a book with 1 star rating? I’m being honest here to myself. No point of keeping it up, especially as I know from personal experience that it is impossible to remove those troll “no-purchase confirmed” comments. As no one had bought it, so I took it down before starting the campaign.

I’m not taking the comment personally, as it had nothing to do with the book. It wasn’t bought, the whoever troll didn’t comment the story itself, so I am not touched by it personally aside being dead angry that Amazon allows such comments! I can hit the “Report abuse” link how ever many times I like and explain it has no relation to the product, it will still remain there! Which means I have already two books with 1-3 star ratings which were left by non-buyers, who had no other problem with the story aside to mark out that “IDK” and “asks too much for it”. And lets not forget “I haven’t read the book, but I’m just giving 3 stars”!

I guess that’s where the self pity part comes in. For once I would like a helping hand building my promotion plan up with steps rather than try climbing a clean cut wall with graffiti “straight fall”. A pat on the back without asking for it first.

It didn’t help to read an article in local news stating how every author in the region can apply for “city writer salary”. I thought about it and went to check it out. Who wouldn’t? Turns out I don’t qualify because I’m not living in the city, but in the county.

Which reminds me I have about 2 weeks to prep the homepage for upcoming Nanowrimo time so you still get the updates while I concentrate on new story.

Right now I feel like the squeaking bird, who somehow isn’t a real writer, because she doesn’t live in the county. Who can’t apply for writer status, because she doesn’t know the right people to join the Author’s Society, who can’t apply for state salary, because she doesn’t promote local culture (read – doesn’t use Estonia as background) nor writes in the right language… God, I live in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I’m tired, that’s all. And sad. I want to be cuddled, pampered with knowledge and business strategies that explain things and don’t just come in nice picture form on Pinterest. A real business with plans and stages of strategies and just to be recognized for who I am.

Awh, heck with it all. Ok, so as far as “official” writer’s society goes, I don’t exist. I guess I need to learn business then, it’s not like I can rely on anybody else with this problem.

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**News from LC Aisling** 05/02/2017

I have already skipped the Rare Pearl chapter yesterday, but I fear I am not posting anything I am editing on the go for a week – we are swamped with day work and sitting and working behind PC until we are past the high point is out of the question. Most likely would take a week, but by then I hope I have caught up with the sleep. Some stories were edited earlier, and those I will be posting.

I hope you understand and I will post next chapter as soon as I can.

L.C. Aisling

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Artist purgatory

I have couple of characters I use for RP in different sites and for art trades and such out of pure fun of playing along with other art minded people. So we have a lot of YCH auctions going on, that’s “your character here” image where you pretty much either pay for fixed price or follow through auction rules or raffles to have your original character to be drawn in the pose presented by the seller.

A month ago, I decided to play along with one beginning artist’s auction. He is 18, doesn’t speak English that well, but I speak Russian to some extent, so no problem there. Let’s just call him Artist.

I applied for his auction for an image and as required, paid the money in advance. Common tactics. At that moment I saw he had 20 other auctions going, but I failed to see that no other auction had a finished product shown in the gallery. That’s my mistake. You should always check the artist’s portfolio before you place your bets. I later learned that fact when I became increasingly suspicious of never getting the image after his account was suddenly blocked by admins and I realized I’d been waiting for a month already.

I took a closer look at his works on beginning of February and learned that he had 20 auctions, with 45 different people still waiting for their works. So I decided to issue a refund, but bummer, I forgot to add my username I use in that particular community. I just went back to add it, when I received a message that he had no clue what I was talking about. So when I checked back in the community I saw that he had removed every YCH auctions I had seen earlier. However, as I was already suspicious, before I issued the refund, I backed up all the information about it, the image, the links, the messages – everything I could think of needing for this argument. So I presented him the evidence. Part of it. Still forgot my username.

2 days after my issue, behold, there appeared all 20 of the auction images that nobody had seen for months or longer! All 20! Not in much of quality, but all 20! He never learned, which out of those 45 people waiting in line I actually was. I just couldn’t stop laughing my head off when I saw the times they’d been posted. The guy literally drew 20 pictures of YCH auctions and posted them all in less than 48 hours after I issued my claim!

I laughed so hard, I nearly dropped off my chair. Of course I dropped the issue and let him have the money.  I’m too impressed – what a lesson to learn! You don’t ask, who you are, just claim you don’t know anything and instead of finding out, you go ahead and decide to draw all 20 pictures just in case. Something no professional artist would even consider.

Good luck with your life, beginner Artist 😀 – thank you for humoring me and for that entertainment you have surely earned that buck :D.

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