Sometimes a song plants the seed of a story in my mind. My earliest example is a songfic (in the “lyrics interspersed with prose” style of the early 2000s) for The Matrix set to When Tomorrow Comes by The Eurythmics. It’s lost to a dead hard drive from before I thought to back up my writing. My most recent song-inspired plotbunny (which I may never write) is a character study of Victor of Yuri!!! On Ice experiencing depersonalization, based on Billie Eilish’s disturbing Bury a Friend.
World Behind and Home Ahead, my contribution to Queer Sci Fi’s Migration anthology, is not a story born from a song. But several songs came to mind when I was editing and trying to decide on a title. Story titles that are excerpts from lyrics are something I’d seen a lot of recently and I liked the idea, especially because I find coming up with original title ideas difficult.
At first I tried to find something suitable from Christina Perri’s A Thousand Years. But though the song is lovely, it didn’t really make me think of my lady gays beyond a few concepts (being brave in part for someone else’s sake, undying devotion). And I didn’t like any of the lyrics for a title (One Step Closer was the closest and I didn’t feel it fit well enough).
A song that felt more thematically in line with the story was One Foot by Walk the Moon. I could envision my lady gays embodying the song’s characters, and my narrator being the song’s narrator, when I heard it a few days into edits (I took many more days editing than writing partly because I had many betas, partly because I needed a title and was indecisive). The song felt like it fit my characters fairly literally, even with the song’s characters being implied as a M/F couple, with the singer being male and referring to himself being king and his love being queen. My narrator is the kind of lady who cares little for traditional gender roles, so I doubt she’d mind being referred to as a king or queen! This song became a sort of anthem for the story, and I listened to it many times when finishing up edits and beyond.
But though the concepts (“us against the world” mentality, having each other’s backs, hearts/love protecting from loneliness/wilderness, one step at a time) fit the story I was telling, none stood out to me as a title.
I don’t recall what made me think of the line “home behind and world ahead” from a Tolkien poem/song (probably thinking of my bestie Grace Duncan sometimes using song lyrics as titles and being a major LoTR fan), but I remember having a eureka moment and looking it up to see if the opposite direction of travel was also in the song. It was. And as my narrator is traveling through the unwelcoming world to her new home with her lady love, “world behind and home ahead” became the title. Amusingly enough though, I haven’t listened to the song version of the poem since writing the story!
I hope you enjoyed this behind the scenes peek at the songs behind my lady gays!
Here’s more info about the anthology this story appears in, and where you can get a copy:
1) Seasonal movement of animals from one region to another.
2) Movement of people to a new area or country in order to find work or better living conditions.
3) Movement from one part of something to another.
Three definitions to inspire writers around the world and an unlimited number of possible stories to tell. Here are 120 of our favorites.
Migration feaures 300 word speculative flash fiction stories from across the rainbow spectrum,
About Queer Sci Fi Flash Fiction:
Every year, Queer Sci Fi solicits stories around a one-word theme. We receive hundreds of entries with almost as many possible interpretations, and we choose some of the best for this annual anthology. Migration is book five in this anthology series.
Where to find Migration:
Amazon Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07TX2WMXQ
Amazon Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1732307563
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/migration-j-scott-coatsworth/1132393683;jsessionid=E570B49A0E713D6F306BCAB9F9760EB4.prodny_store01-atgap10
QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/book/migration/
Hello, folks! It’s been so long since I’ve posted – a year and nine months. If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you may have seen an earlier version of this announcement in April. Hectic life stuff has delayed me, but I’m determined to post this before this weekend, when I’ll be attending Balticon. It’s a great convention for motivating me to work on projects old and new, thanks to helpful panels and spending time with awesome creative friends. My panel schedule is here and I’m also volunteering at the LGBT+ Tea Social.
So. The announcement. I plan to blog again, and with a somewhat different scope than my original intentions for this site. I started jotting down notes for posts on a work break back in February, and have since added to them and fleshed out details for some of the essays. Posting this intention is another step forward!.
I’ve been following so many blogs (mostly sex blogs, but some others too) for so long while letting my own lapse. I didn’t have much to say about my fiction writing or voice acting (my blog’s original intended topics) at the time. I thought I should work on my unfinished original fiction projects, and felt guilty for wanting to shift focus.
But I keep being reminded, by different people and things, that I should write what I’m inspired to, and that it’s better to write something than nothing. Right now, what I’m inspired to write are essays/blog posts and fanfiction (a totally separate thing I’ve started again, which is exciting to me).
I’ve previously blogged here about sex positivity and kink, and have many more ideas for posts on topics that often intersect and are important to me: polyamory/ethical nonmonogamy, relationship health, mental illness/health, kink, sex, sex toys, and my work in sex/kink education in a retail setting.
And I’m going to give myself the freedom to post about what I want to, even if it doesn’t fit into those themes. I care more about getting my ideas out there than I do about a coherent brand… that may change over time, but for now, I like keeping everything in one place. I plan to tag posts diligently so that people only interested in certain topics won’t have to wade through too much other stuff.
I don’t know yet when I’ll start blogging again in earnest, but thanks to two fabulous humans, my best friend and her husband, my new website is in the works over at http://saratestarossa.com/ (nothing to see there as of the time I’m posting this, as we’re working behind the curtain). I’ll leave this WordPress site up for the foreseeable future, so I don’t break any links, and so people can see I’ve moved. All the content on this site will be on the new one. I still have to figure out what to tweak on the site, as I’m shifting focus. I joke that my “brand” is a hot mess because I wear so many hats, but it’s true that it’s hard to encompass what I am passionate about, and what the site is about, in a quick tagline.
So, that’s my news! I’m not promising to post with any specific frequency or anything, but I plan to get back to putting out content when I’m able.
Current bloggers and any about to start: rock on! I’ll be joining you.
(TL;DR version: I’m planning to start blogging again, at http://saratestarossa.com. My current intention is to shift from this site’s original theme of being about my fiction writing and voice acting. I plan to focus my writing more on themes like polyamory/ethical nonmonogamy, relationship health, mental illness/health, kink, sex, sex toys, and my work in sex/kink education in a retail setting.)
Wow, I didn’t mean to let so many months pass without posting. Shortly after my last Free Fiction Friday post, I put maintaining a blog on the back burner because of life stuff and just took a long time to get willing to post again. I’ve been on Twitter and Facebook again, just not here. I just wanted people to know that I’m alive and well. I’d like to get back to posting something, at least free fiction and maybe other types of posts.
I’ve got a few projects in the works but nothing is very far along in terms of development or wordcount. I’m thinking about using Camp NaNoWriMo to help me get back into writing.
That’s all for now. Stay tuned for more posts!