I just finished reading One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest for the second time. It’s an amazing book and an amazing story about the machine that defines normal. Well, at least that’s what the story meant to me.
We’ve all experienced how that machinery works. I’ve struggled with normal all my life: what normal means, how to be it, and of course, the larger struggle, why do I have to be normal or any preconceived idea of anything really?
That brings me to my current struggle. Completely contradicting myself when I said I probably never would, I’ve started writing a new novella. I know, but when you feel a story, you feel a story, and this is something that has been percolating in my grey parts for about two years now. It was just sitting in there collecting dust until I got into an argument about vanilla versus not vanilla sex with another feminist. To tell you the truth, I’m so sick of sex. Not in the act of but in our obsession with. I mean, you can’t go anywhere without being bombarded with the idea of sex. Religion. Politics. Advertising. Art. Literature. Journalism. Seriously. This is normal. That’s not. This is sin. That’s not. It’s abuse. It’s kink. It’s sexy. It’s gross.
Head spinning yet? Mine fucking is.
I’m no stranger to writing sex. Most of my novellas have at least one sex scene. I hate writing them. Hate it. Hate it. So I try to stay away from body-horror (yes, I said body-horror). Sometimes my sex scenes are poetic and soft, but most of the time, the sex scenes I write are catalysts and are pretty raw in their intent even thought I do not write graphic sex. I also write about women in my longer fictions. Women who are struggling to define themselves. Women who are struggling to find a place where they can feel like they fit. My women are often tormented characters, internally and externally, but they are never weak. They persevere. They work through their shit, and they win. In the end, they win. Sometimes men help, and sometimes they just get in the way, but ultimately, love and truth are the coveted things.
This story won’t be any different in that respect, though I am putting my poetic voice aside for the time being. Why? It’s a comedy. An anti-sex sex comedy, written from an anti-sex militant Girl point of view. I can relate, but even so, this is uncharted territory for me. My writing is usually dark and very serious, and while this is serious subject matter, I want to try a markedly lighter tone. Sex is uncomfortable enough as it is, and in some of my novellas, I’ve flung myself off the uncomfortable bridge into the horrific. I’d like to get away from that for a bit. I’ve never written a comedy before, and stretching myself is something I like to do.
Stay tuned. This will be a long process. A 30-40k novella usually takes me a year to write and edit.