& the story of a second draft
Here's the honest truth:
I hardly ever write anything I think is worth submitting for publication.
I don't mean worth reading, or enjoying.
But, for the most part my stories are strange cross-genre experiments and would require far too much work to become publishable. This isn't a complaint or a criticism. It just... is. The act of publication is about taking the raw material of a story and turning it into a product. A really good book, a really good story is effortlessly both an honest authentic expression and a generalised consumable product and there is nothing actually effortless about that. I lack follow through. and this is mostly a choice. I want to write, I want to explore the ideas I have. That doesn't mean I want to revisit, edit, polish, refine. So I don't. I don't follow through, I write a new story. in 2020 i wrote maybe 24 short stories and one novella all sitting quite happily in first drafts.
Ecology I wrote this F/F romance in the summer of 2019, and saw a call for submission a few months into the pandemic and thought: fuck it. I wrote a second draft. It was rejected
But every now and then a story will insist on a second draft, a little attempt at flight. Every now and then I write something that feels like a complete unit of an idea that maybe could be a really good story with more work. These are the ones I will submit one for publication. You can find most of that on my bookstore where all my stories, self or other published end up.
Ecology was the most recent. I wrote this F/F romance in the summer of 2019, and saw a call for submission a few months into the pandemic and thought: fuck it. I wrote a second draft.
It was rejected
It was *beautifully* rejected, with many kind words for the writing. So I decided to publish it to my bookstore. My love made a cover for the ebook that was so beautiful it became pretty much impossible not to follow through.
Ecology is possibly one of the most grounded stories I've ever written. It's real, romantic, compassionate, it shows a healthy consent based sexual iteration between two people who care about each other, even though one of them is not okay. It is about healing through small acts of faith and honesty, how we are surviving even if we look like we are running away. How we need support to save the things worth saving, even if the only thing you save is yourself.
The birds and the jungle are real, June and Iris feel like real people to me. The harm done in the story is as real as the healing. The characters are real in the way decent characters are real. Or at least, real enough. But more than its reality, I like what this story says says I like what it says about the world and the people who live in it and the way we can choose to protect and to care.
I had the idea for the story while reading about the song birds of Hawaii. The bird in the story, the Akikiki, is critically endangered due to habitat loss, invasive species and invasive Mosquito-borne diseases such as Avian Malaria. All the conservation knowledge expressed in this story is as accurate as I could make it through research. The Kauai Forest Bird Recovery Project is a real project active today which aims to promote knowledge, appreciation, and conservation of Kauai’s native forest birds.
Discount Code: birdsong for 50% off
100% of the profits from the sale of this book will be donated to their organisation:
They course have no idea that they've inspired an erotic short story, and I see no reason to inform them? but I will happily donate the proceeds from this story to their work and to all the little birds.