A weekly post updated every Saturday discussing my current writing projects and where I stand with them. This will include any and all work(s) in progress (WIP) be they creative writing, essays/analyses, or reviews of any type.
Title: The Broken Rose
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Fanfiction (FFVII) Novel
Previous Word Count: 266,383
Current Word Count: 271,708
Words Written This Week: 5325
White slipper shoes with bows on the toes are a major staple of Aeris’s wardrobe in this future she sees as surreal Shoes of this type are very popular with weddings, but I think they’re quite adorable and more than fitting for an innocent flower girl to wear.
Content Warning: Discussions of rape/sexual assault to follow.
Even though The Broken Rose is a fanfiction that only a small fraction of people will read, the majority off them being not only fans of FFVII, but also the specific Aeriseph pairing, this week has made it more relevant to me, because this story has pulled rape to the forefront. I linked to the survivor’s letter because she is the person whose words most need to be heard.
I’ve mentioned jokingly that I only planned for this to be a 10k word sort of writing exercise to see if I could handle something so horrible and so extreme as practice for an original story. As more words poured out, I made the comment to friends that I clearly had a lot to say about the subject of rape, but 271,708 words are not enough. 300k words are not enough. 500k words are not enough. A billion words are not enough if shit like this KEEPS FUCKING HAPPENING. What makes me angriest is that it took a blatant conviction and a bullshit sentence to spark off a national dialogue when survivors have been saying the same thing for years.
The woman who wrote this letter had the “perfect” situation, though it sickens me to call it that even in quotes. Her rapist was caught in the act by two passerby who are rightfully hailed as heroes. He was tried and convicted, and yet his privilege protected him from any true criminal consequences. While I’m happy that now people are starting to see how unjust our system is, I can’t help but think of all of the other victims who only had their own words to go on and who were vilified worse than their rapists. I suppose I should take some comfort in the fact that the issue is now forefront, but given the outcome, it is no consolation to the survivor, nor does it break the silence on the millions of voices shushed and shunned due to the same injustices.
I’ve thought about posting an #amwriting status on Facebook in the wake of this and still might, but for many reasons, this is the far better platform for it. The last four stories I’ve written (including this) all have one thing in common: at least one rapist is impaled. I try not to prescribe to violence, but when the world constantly denies victims their due, poetic justice is the only weapon I have. There is something gravely wrong when a story is fantasy not by its title or genre, but because it actually penalizes sexual assault.
Content Warning: Quote contains mentions of rape.
Quote: “Aeris, my flower, I know you’re afraid, but will you look at me.”
Fragile fingers squeezed his shoulders leaving no dent in fabric black. With a shuddering sigh the Cetra obeyed, and he was still just as perfect. With head bowed low and eyes half shut so emerald lit dark fringed seam. He lifted that gaze directly toward her, a stare that could chill mortal hearts, but Aeris could find no malice in cold and laid her hand to the warmth of his cheek.
“No one has the right to ‘take you,’ my Aeris, no matter where you are.”
“B-But it was his house and I was there. If he’d raped me, it would be my fault.”
“No,” Sephiroth said with such vehemence Aeris let out a high gasp. The rage made the slivers in emerald like knives to cut through the light without mercy. “The only fault in rape, little flower, lies with the one who does the deed. No one has the right to use you so.”
“N-Not even in their own house?”
Sephiroth covered her hand with his and gently enfolded her fingers. “No, my Aeris. Your rights are inalienable. It doesn’t matter where you are, what you’re wearing, or what you’re doing. No one has claim on your flesh.”
Summer green darted amongst burning emerald as the Cetra tried to comprehend. She knew she was safe always with him, and Heaven’s Gate was also her haven. B-But rights supersede in another man’s house? That was hard to comprehend.
“Master…I-I mean general.” Her eyes widened. “I…I’m trying to understand. B-Before-”
“Before was more than wrong, Aeris.” He kissed her on the brow. “And don’t be frightened if you slip and call me that false name. I’m not angry at that, my little flower. The worst I can be is sad.”
“I don’t want you to be sad, dear general,” she whispered.
“Don’t worry yourself about that. Grief is the oldest thing I have known, but that doesn’t matter right now. What matters is that you know you’re safe no matter where you go.”
Project: Book Review
Title: Dreamsongs Volume II
Author: George R R Martin
No progress on this this week. I was hoping to work on it today (Saturday), but it’s a rough day for my chronic fatigue, and TBR is my main focus. I’ll see what I can do. I’d love to get this knocked out today, but I only have a few hours of useful consciousness to utilize.
For you worriers I am going back to an endocrinologist in September (the earliest appointment) and taking yet another test *rolls eyes* since the prior one came back with elevated cortisol and apparently, they need to verify that that’s the true case without a fluke. I’m obviously not a doctor and can only rely on the Google, but I have nearly all of the symptoms of elevated cortisol, but what the hell do women know about their bodies? Sorry I’m wearing the bitter pants today. Current events and chronic fatigue are foul fellows.
What are you currently working on? Is it a creative writing project, essay, review, or something else? Have you just started something new or are you wrapping up a long term project? Have any of your works past or present reflected or spoken to a major issue of our error?