Writing • Fiction
Yuri!!! on Ice came careening into my life during the dark days at the end of 2016. I was doing my usual November-December writing drought, and in the face of Trump getting elected, we had these amazing gay boys falling in love and becoming the most popular anime of the year. Right around the time I started writing, I had my first major rheumatoid arthritis flare. In the 6 weeks that followed, I wrote tens of thousands of words of fanfic, using it as an escape from my hurting hands. By October, my posted word count on Archive of Our Own, just for YOI fanfic, was over 200,000 words.
Translations on Ice is a series of short and medium-length stories about Yuuri and Victor after season one finishes. It has been called "The season two we desperately want to happen." My take on the YOI world is a little different from canon, as in my version of the universe, they have to deal with a less idealized political situation, the media, and a rapidly growing teenager. Fortunately, they step into the public view at exactly the right time to pick up new sponsors.
I was in the middle of writing in the Merlin fandom when someone in a chat recommended the Check, Please webcomic. I read through it in a couple of hours, blinked, reread it, and was completely hooked. Check, Please completely changed how I view storytelling. It changed my priorities and it raised the bar so high that I've barely watched mainstream television since.
I spent about a month solid reading fanfic on Archive of Our Own, and then realized that I might have a different perspective, as both a queer mom and a parent of a child who came out to me about different things on about three separate occasions. So I wrote a story from Bitty's mother's perspective, and the next thing I knew I'd spent half the year writing more than 150,000 words in the fandom.
The most recent thing I've written was not in that particular universe. It was a charity auction prompt, that sent a $50 donation to Puerto Rico, and one of the funniest things I've written. It's Just Guys, Baking Pies.
Complementarity, Entanglement and the Uncertainty of Destiny —or— A Feminist Mage in King Arthur's Court sprang out of my deep, deep loathing for the direction the Merlin TV show went in the last three seasons. I literally grit my teeth and watched it because I knew the fanfic would be good, but I didn't realize how solidly I'd get bit by the bug to fix the damn thing.
For as much anger as I felt toward the show, this is honestly one of my own favorite things I've ever read. It's exactly the story I wanted to tell, the way I wanted to tell it, and even though I wrote it, I still go back and reread it now and then for fun. If you ever wanted a universe where it could be justified to have the main character wave his hands and make everything better, well, this is probably the story for you.I think we all wanted to see Merlin romp through fixing things with Arthur agape at the depth of his magic. And I itched for the marvelously strong and good female characters of the first season. The amazing art was done by Procoffeinating. I was so blessed. Here's the summary, which really formed my jumping-off-place for the storytelling. Merlin was once told that Arthur would rise again at the hour of Camelot's greatest need. But a thousand years pass, with no Arthur. When the last war comes, and the world dies, and Arthur still doesn't return, Merlin suddenly realises that the hour of Camelot's greatest need… was a thousand years ago. Sometimes he's a bit slow on the uptake. Fortunately, he's figured out how to go back. What would YOU do if you had 2000 years of experience in the body of a 17 year old, and absolutely nothing left to lose?
The Klein series is a series of shorts about what might have happened to Our Heroes after they got stranded in Egypt, at the end of season 8, (twice.)
I post a fair number of little shorts in a variety of fandoms on Archive of Our Own, and I sometimes post my husband's filk, with permission, under the Admiral Naismith pseud.
My YouTube channel is a bit of a mixed bag of stuff, but by far the most content comes from my husband's awesome concerts. He's an amazing lyricist, who has been nominated multiple times for Pegasus awards. Click through to YouTube and check out our other videos.
Writing Activism • Gender and Sexuality Resources for Parents, Young People, and more
Much of my fiction writing is wrapped up in characters who are LGBTQUIA. I have been part of the queer community since the early 1990s myself, have come out to family and friends, and on the parenting side of thing, experienced my child and other young people coming out to me on multiple occasions. In 2014, I started examining my preconceptions about gender, and realized that a nonbinary identity made a lot more sense to me than the gender binary.
As part of this process, and springing out of the overwhelming response to my Check Please fanfics about changing school policies to be more protective of marginalized kids, I wrote a series of articles on teaching kids and adults about gender and sexuality.
Understanding Gender, A Guide for Kids, is aimed at elementary-age children and young teens, and is written in simple, clear language at about a fifth grade level. It explains the concept that gender is something that people feel, rather than how they look. This is specifically designed to help kids accept trans peers more readily, and to introduce children to the idea that gender is both culturally determined and not necessarily binary.
The article outlines new guidelines for good manners around gender and sexuality, with simple, clear rules of behavior. This is specifically intended to help frame conversations among kids and between kids and adults to reduce bullying and microaggressions. There is a strong emphasis in the writing on self-determination and bodily autonomy, and a sharp discouragement from focusing on other people's genitals.
Includes links to a Google Doc template that can be copied and adapted for schools, with a place for local resources to be added.
Where "Understanding Gender" was aimed at kids, Creating a Safe and Welcoming School Environment For All Students, Including Trans and Nonbinary Kids is aimed at adults and older teens, especially school administrators, teachers, counselors and anyone who works with kids in a professional or policymaking capacity. Longer and more technical, this is a good companion piece to the child-friendly version, providing more in-depth discussion of specific issues.
Creating a Safe and Welcoming School Environment For All Students, Including Trans and Nonbinary Kids not only goes into transgender issues, but addresses the underlying problems of sexism and toxic masculinity. It also covers nonbinary pronouns.
These articles were created with the input of a large number of people, including trans and nonbinary people. The consistent message throughout is a basic message of good manners and kind behavior. "We don’t treat people that way. We don’t allow others to be treated that way. We don’t allow our friends to treat people that way. We know better. We can do better. We can be heroes."
It also has a Google Doc template available for copying.
Reconciling Christianity with Having an LGBT Child is for any parent who thinks that being Christian makes it acceptable or necessary to ostracize or reject a LGBTQUIA child.
Jesus wore a dress, probably had long hair, and refused to fight, even to save his own life. He was a Middle Eastern Jew. He never married that we know of. He broke social rules right and left and I strongly suspect that if he was alive now, he’d be even more liberal than I am, and that’s saying something.
What I’m saying is that gender is not important enough to lose a child over. You let that kid go to a doctor, and you do what you can to ease the next few years. This is not the easy path. This child would not walk this path if it was not true.
In my world, rule number one is “Mama loves you.” Not, “Mama loves you if you go to college and marry a nice person of the opposite sex and dress like people expect you to and get a job that is socially approved with sufficient status.” Not, “Mama loves you if you go to the right church and wait until marriage to have sex.”
Just, “Mama loves you.”
I've got an entire tag set aside for Gender and Sexuality. You can also check out other categories in the sidebar with the pulldown menu.
Writing Food • Cooking Basics, Allergy-friendly Recipes, and more!
Several years ago, a friend of mine said she didn't know how to cook and wanted to learn. So I started writing recipes for her, and it became a cooking group on Facebook. While it isn't very active now, the notes section has a plethora of recipes, meal plans and in-depth instructions for cooking that don't require prior knowledge. Request to join the group on Facebook!
I don't actually make sweets a lot anymore, but when I do, they're allergy-friendly, delicious and surprisingly easy.
I'm not vegan, but this fudge recipe doesn't need animal products to be absolutely fantastic. It takes less than five minutes to put together, sets up in an hour or two, and could easily substitute for a truffle filling, it's so creamy. Easy Vegan, Allergy-friendly Chocolate Fudge requires chocolate chips, sweetened condensed coconut milk, and something to grease the pan. That's it! Click through for the recipe.
I first made marshmallows probably nine years ago, taking recipes from Martha Stewart and better advice for sugar handling from other websites, and my own understanding of flavorings, and spent a while working to perfect my method and flavorings. This recipe, as written, produces a rich, mellow vanilla mint marshmallow that will blow your mind. The flavoring possibilities are endless. You really need a stand mixer, and you must have a candy thermometer, but once you've got those things, you can go from nothing to fluff in 20 minutes. They take a while after that to really set up, but the actual work doesn't take that long. These are NOT vegan or vegetarian, as they contain gelatin. (Most marshmallows do.) What they don't contain is a lot of nonsense. They use regular (not high fructose) corn syrup, and unprocessed sugar, and gelatin, and whatever you want for flavor. No soy, no weird chemicals. And the taste is so far above a commercial marshmallow you might never go back. Find the recipe here.
Good Intentions Microwave Cake/muffin A tasty, better-for you quick treat.
Cheap Cooking Basics: Chicken Dinner This is more than a recipe, it's a home ec lesson that assumes no prior cooking experience.
Chicken Dinner for Meal Trains Same concept, shorter presentation, written specifically on how to set up a chicken to roast for a family that is in crisis. I have often taken a chicken over to a family with a new baby or someone in the hospital, put it in the oven, and set a timer. When that timer goes off, they're going to have a hot meal with next to no work and next to no clean-up.
Gluten-free and Allergy-friendly Thanksgiving Dinner Menu Thanksgiving is one of the easiest meals to adapt to allergies, and it takes very few compromises to do a perfect meal that no one would suspect was completely devoid of gluten and mostly free from egg, soy and dairy. This is what we had in 2017.
Low allergen, mostly-AIP totally Paleo Turkey Dinner This version of a turkey dinner is not only gluten-free, but grain-free as well. I have rheumatoid arthritis, and sometimes doing an anti-inflammatory diet can help.
Feel-better Chai Pudding This spicy chocolate "pudding" may be a hippy extreme, but it actually can help you feel better when you're sick.
Cocoa water and cherry juice for coughs I was telling so many people about this that I turned it into a blog post out of sheer self defense so I wouldn't have to keep typing it out. Look, there's so many reasons why cocoa and cherry are a better solution for most upper respiratory infections than any other cough suppressant on the market. But the biggest reason? They actually work without compromising your body's basic functions. Theobromine works directly to stop spasmodic "reflex" coughs, and cherry is a powerful antiinflammatory that can be felt to work almost immediately. For more on coughs, read this.
So, when my kid turned 21, I wanted to share with them information on responsible drinking. We're not teetotalers, but we are careful, and most of the problems with alcohol can be avoided with measured consumption and self-imposed limits. Kids need to understand how alcohol works, why it's a bad idea to binge drink, and how to handle alcohol responsibly. This article explains all that in a loving way.
Oregon gets ice storms now and then, which can take out power lines. If the temp is below freezing, there's no reason to lose food in a power outage. Even if it's not icy out, you can still save your food if you take prompt action.
Baby food purees are a racket. Jenrose’s guide to babies and eating.
Baby food was designed for babies we now know are too young to be eating anything like solid foods. But baby food companies still want to sell their products to parents, and as a result, people expect that babies need pureed food. Thus, health-minded parents will spend a lot of time making homemade purees.
Don't bother. Read the article to find out how you can avoid baby food entirely, and why you probably should.