S.A. Garcia's Mutterings, Whimpers and Rants

S.A. Garcia's Mutterings, Whimpers and Rants. World Domination by 2020. Or 2025. Probably never.

Friday, June 22, 2012

It Started with Dōjinshi

I wrote m/m romance long before I even knew that yaoi existed. I understand that yaoi has existed for a long time, but back when I started writing m/m romance, I’d never heard of the term. Looking back, I realize that my initial writings really had a lot in common with traditional yaoi. One character always seemed to play a more subservient role. In 1980 when I was 20 and still discovering myself, this was how I had been raised to the world. But for some reason I was writing gay male romance.

Gay male romance is not something I recently “discovered” and decided to start writing. I started writing gay male romance back when I was in high school, long before I understood how tab A inserted into slot B, well, except through what I read in books. In 1978, a suburban teenager didn’t have a great deal of access to certain sexual information. I crept around the problem by reading authors like Gordon Merrick and John Rechy. I also had a great imagination.

Over the years, my scribbling filled notebooks. I loved writing stories filled with romance, partings, angst, and ultimately true love, well, at least for the stories which found an ending. Many of those early, badly written stories languish unfinished in those notebooks. I feel bad for those poor characters. This nasty bitch has trapped them in limbo. The few characters who escaped are damned happy.

Back in around 2000, dōjinshi works exposed me to the yaoi world, even though the concept of  dōjinshi, or self-published works, had come first. It didn’t matter; I had never heard of either one. This Lord of the Rings freak had made friends with people in Japan and Thailand. One friend lusted after a US magazine that was impossible to find in Thailand. I had a copy, and sold it to her at cost. She sent me something called a “dōjinshi” featuring Legolas and Aragorn. The art blew my mind. Lord of the Rings characters having hot gay male sex? Really? Wow. They were drawn so prettily, all flowing locks, pointed chins and big eyes. The artists even made Gimli look adorable.

My dōjinshi collection grew, thanks to my friends and a few insane eBay battles to feed my addictions. It seemed as the Lord of the Rings phase passed, the art became cruder and the stories less interesting. More rape and abuse entered the storylines. Of course I couldn’t read the stories, but the art was graphic enough to get the point across.

Collecting dōjinshi guided me to fan fiction, which offered me an insane amount of fun. My original fan fiction leaned heavily on the yaoi tradition, with one character usually in distress, but often in a comical manner. The great thing about fan fic was that I controlled the words. Better yet I could read the stories, not just look at them and wonder what did Aragorn say to make everyone blush?

Still, admiring hot male/male dōjinshi set a fire under me. The stories and art told me that many people out there enjoyed reading about male/male romance. At this point in my writing, I come at the male/male romance tradition from a point of both males sharing strengths and weaknesses. Now that I am older, showing any character as nothing but weak and defenseless pisses me off. I view everyone as having strengths and weaknesses, and no one should be put in a position of continuous weakness. That’s awful. Alpha males are boring. The me so big and bad character is a drag unless there’s great comedy involved. Complex characters owning imperfections, unique quirks and unexpected stinging strengths appeal to me. At first a character might seem weaker than others, but watch out, never corner them. They will show their true character and defend themselves.

When people are pushed, they fight back for love. Everyone needs saving at some point in life, even heroes. Romance is two flawed people caring about and protecting each other. Well, at least that is this hardened realist’s version of romance. As an exercise, I need to write the traditional fairy tale romance, where one character is the alpha male hero and the other clings to him as he rides into the sunset. I’ll mark that on my calendar for, hmm, after I deal with all the flawed romantics clamoring for attention. Those romantics fight like hell when other characters try to line jump.

I still confess to admiring the pretty boys with their big eyes and long hair. That detail will never change.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Rainbow Angels

I haven't played in Photoshop for my own gratification in entirely too long. I worked in it during my now defunct freelance position, but the photos I worked with were not inspiring.

I give you Rainbow Angels. These angels watch out for us in loving protection.

If anyone wants a larger version, let me know! The original  is 7 x 10 at 300dpi.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Carmilla Deserves A Comeback

Poor Carmilla. How does a lesbian vampire receive her proper respect?

Everyone does know about Carmilla, correct? If not, here’s a little history. Carmilla is the bite-happy vampire in author Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s 1872 novella Carmilla. The bewitching vampire predates Dracula by 25 years, so suck on that fact, Count!

 Why is the horror world more impacted by Dracula than Carmilla? After all, Bram Stoker and Dracula owe a great debt to Carmilla. Hmm, can we say that Carmilla’s taste for a woman’s neck makes her a tad shocking in the horror realm? I am not a scholar, I’m a horror fan, but I can cobble together enough facts and figures to amuse myself.

Nosferatu, F. W. Murnau’s 1922 vampire film adapted from the Dracula story, had no problem showing Count Orlok putting the bite on young women. In 1931’s Dracula, the classic featuring Bela Lugosi, the Count sank his fangs into more than one female victim’s pale neck.

When Danish director Carl Dreyer released the 1932 film Vampyr, the story was based on Camilla, but any references to lesbian sexuality were staked. The atmospheric film is excellent, as is most anything by Dreyer, but he opted to shunt aside the real subject matter.

This leads me to believe that back in the early twentieth century people didn’t object to graphic neck biting, no, people objected to the female performing the biting on another female. Granted female vampires can put the bite on males, no problem there; think of Dracula’s brides and other female vampires fluttering about in the supernatural ether. Does supernatural ravishment by a powerful woman turn on some men? Sorry, my team of analysts, namely my muse Diva Faboo, provides me nothing solid on the subject. The men must enjoy it or it wouldn’t show up in horror films.

It appears that female vampires can bite men, but biting women is taboo. I mean what the hell, even in the world of the supernatural lesbians can’t gain any respect.

I did a rough check of Dracula films. I found 70 listed. Plenty of these are silly; Billy the Kid vs. Dracula, anyone, but still, 70 films. On a side note, the film Dracula’s Daughter also owes a rough debt to the Carmilla story line. Universal Studies even admitted that they toyed with the lesbian angle but only in a brief sideswipe.

Including Dreyer’s Vampyr, Carmilla has around seven films directly linked to her. Is this a case of supernatural discrimination? Of these films, Hammer’s 1970’s film The Vampire Lovers is surprisingly good. The usual over the top silliness that plagues many Hammer films is largely absent. Although the movie lover would not know it by viewing the garish promo poster, the movie is elegant and restrained. 1971’s Lust For a Vampire and Twins of Evil, the second and third films in Hammer’s Karnstein Trilogy, aren’t anywhere as stylish or logical. In fact, they represent a waste of film.

Here it is 2012 and although our lady of the fangs Carmilla is referenced in pop culture such as True Blood, Doctor Who, and in music, it has been too long since she’s been properly celebrated in film. If I had my way, well hell, I’d cast either Angelina Jolie or Kate Beckinsale in the toothy role. Too bad Michele Pfeiffer is a little too long in the tooth to play the mysterious vampire. I’d let her bite my neck any old day of the week.

Facebook: Sandra Ann Garcia

Twitter: @SAGarcia_Writer

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Fabion's Supermodel Blog Strut June 5

Fabion's Supermodel Blog Strut continued with part two of his interview. Fabion is as  sassy as ever.

Edward Kendrick's World

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Fabion's Supermodel Blog Strut June 3rd

This a special treat. Fabion agreed to give an interview. You can read it here:

For some reason there are two posts today, but Fabion's is pretty obvious. His sexy picture is on the post.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Friday, June 1, 2012

Fabion's Supermodel Blog Strut is at Double Speed

There's a lot going on today. Fabion is at double Strut Speed.

If you are curious as to why I write gay male romance, all is revealed at Victoria Blisse's blog.

Also my Boxer Falls chapter is up at the M/M Romance group.