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Comparison is the Thief of Joy—Or the Trick? It's to Trick Ourselves

Ray Bradbury wrote more magically than I ever will. Benedict Cumberbatch and Domhnall Gleeson have achieved more in their young years than I can hope to emulate. At my most muscular my thighs were chubbier than women I thought looked absolutely right. There. That's my starter pack of comparisons that bring me absolutely no damned joy whatsoever. I can go on. I have. I probably will in future. The problem with my list, your list, everyone's list about how they fail in comparison to someone else is that usually the comparisons don't make us better, they rob us of our...

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How to Murder Your Plot Bunnies

We all know that 'where do writers get their ideas' isn't a real question. All of us who write know the real one is this: How do we make them stop? Most of us have plot bunnies under our bed, fic ear worms burrowing into our brains, and…and ode whales demanding 50K epics. So the real question for most of us is how do we stop the idea inundation long enough to focus on just one? Because the curse of abundance is real. Given too much choice, choice becomes hard for humans to make. It's why we'll stand in front...

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I <3 Atlin Merrick

I didn’t want to write under a pseudonym. Before I began writing Sherlock stories, I’d published in magazines and anthologies a dozen porn stories under my actual name. So, when I was set to publish my first Sherlock fic I was just going to continue being Wendy C Fries. Oh sweet summer child. This was in 2010, the halcyon days of a fandom mere months old, and back then everyone seemed sure the BBC was going to sue all Sherlock fic writers into pencils and paper poverty. So I grumpily boarded the panic bandwagon and picked an alias. I wanted...

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Who Wins When You're Kink Shamed?

It took a long time to get the most recent issue of Spark out. I asked people to share their kinks via anon, Twitter, to my personal email, by carrier pigeon if necessary. Yet, unlike other Spark issues, a surprising number contacted me personally not with articles, but to say: 'I can't write about kinks for the newsletter. I feel ashamed.' These weren't messages saying 'I'm a teacher and so can't write this sort of stuff,' these were people going on to say they felt that having kinky desires and voicing them was wrong. I just…who made you feel like...

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The Pendulum Swings (Or 3 Important Things)

We often seem to go from you can’t to you must. Unions become as oppressive as the oppression they were formed to prevent. Women tell other women they have to work outside the home. A browbeaten religious group in America works hard to roll back marriage equality. The oppressed sometimes become oppressors. The pendulum swings but you know what? We don’t have to swing with it, and I bring this up because, though this is about writing sex into stories, the thing I hope you know about that is you never have to. You can love reading about the sweat...

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