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Alan Yee
31 December 2029 @ 12:00 pm
Hi! I'm Alan. I'm a college student who writes speculative fiction in his spare time. This is my journal.

I'll set up some ground rules:

I will not tolerate trolling or blatantly bigoted comments on my blog. This includes (but is most certainly NOT limited to) sexist, racist, homophobic, and transphobic comments. In other words, don't be a jerk. This is my home base on the Internet. I have the right to share my thoughts and details of my life with you and invite you into my living room if I choose to do so. However, you don't have the right to piss all over my carpet or throw things at my other guests while you're here. Otherwise, you'll be asked to leave.

Before you friend me, I should probably warn you that this *is* a personal journal (though not exclusively so), so I often end up venting and talking about potentially sensitive personal issues (often related to being gay and an Aspie) under locked posts. Because I've been paranoid lately about potential employers I may have in the future, most of my recent posts (as of late September 2011) are locked. If I don't already know you from elsewhere on the Internet, or if I may know you under a different name, please leave a comment on this post to let me know how I know you or how you found my journal. That's just so I know you're not a robot or some random person who probably has no reason to be reading my locked posts. Some people use their real names here and other usernames elsewhere, and vice-versa, so I may in fact know you without realizing it. Plus I'm just curious about how new people found me, especially since I'm currently an unpublished writer who wouldn't have readers or fans.

Thanks!
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Alan Yee
21 October 2011 @ 09:51 am
So today is my twentieth birthday. Because it is a Friday, my only class isn't until 1:00, so I have the rest of the morning to la-dee-da as much as I want. I won't have very much homework to do this weekend, so my goal is to make as much progress as possible on the Chinese dragon/gay erotica story for Circlet. Hopefully I'll finish it in time for the November 1 deadline. Cecilia Tan and Cosmin Alexander, the editors for this anthology, expressed such enthusiastic interest that I really don't want to disappoint them by flaking out.

Like most birthdays after a certain young age, I don't feel the childish elation of "OMG IT'S MAH BIRFDAY" so much anymore. I am mildly frightened to realize that I am no longer a teenager, that on this same day next year I'll be old enough to start hitting the gay bars, where I most likely will end up drinking nothing alcoholic. Alcohol is strongly NOT recommended if you're taking antidepressants or stimulants. I take both, and I'll probably be on some kind of antidepressant for the rest of my life. The stimulant will depend on whether I'll be able to function without one and whether the withdrawal effects will be bad as they were a few summers ago. (My mom and my psychiatrist tried to have me not take the stimulant during the summer, when I don't need it as much given that I don't usually have summer classes. It... did not work out so well.) Something tells me, though, that I probably won't like alcohol anyway.

This may seem like a weird thing to say, but turning twenty is starting to make me feel a little old. I found the online SF/F writing community shortly before I turned thirteen. I essentially grew up on the Internet with a bunch of writers many years my senior. I shared things with them that I have never shared to most of the people I know in person. I still consider many of them to be among my closest friends, even though I have never met most of them face-to-face. It really doesn't seem like I've known them for five or six years. I can REMEMBER being thirteen/fourteen/fifteen/sixteen/seventeen/eighteen/nineteen. I've come a long way from the boy I was back then, with no self-confidence whatsoever, forever lost in a world that didn't seem to be made for people like him. I had very few people that I considered friends back when I was barely into my teens. Now I have so many friends that, on rare occasions, I have trouble imagining what they saw in me. Not anymore. When I was initially struggling to come to terms with my sexuality, it was two full years before I outed myself to anyone face-to-face. For most of high school, the only people I was out to were my multitudes of online friends. Now I'm out to practically everyone but most of my family, and even that's going to change by Christmas. For most of my high school years, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life besides creative writing. Now I'm on track to be officially admitted into Central Washington University's accounting program in time to start upper-level accounting classes by next fall. There's still a lot of deprogramming of unhealthy thoughts/attitudes I have to do to myself because of my experiences, my natural personality, and the fact that I am an Aspie. I'm not expecting it to happen quickly, but I am making steady and rapid progress to become the happy person I want and deserve to be.

As I've now admitted to most of my closest friends, there was a point where I was afraid I would not survive to make it to college. I have talked about that on my blog in probably more detail than I have ever done since freshman year of high school, which was the darkest time of my life. I have survived, I am working my way to having as much of an independent and fulfilling life as possible, and I am so glad that I'm still here today to talk to all of you.

And now I'm crying again. At least these days I'm crying more from happiness than sadness.
 
 
Current Mood: happyhappy
 
 
Alan Yee
07 October 2011 @ 11:10 pm
Prior to my teen years, my only exposure to the SF/F writing community was through the Critters online workshop (after participating for part of middle school, I was inactive for several years and before finally officially quitting earlier this year) and the Night Shade Books discussion boards (before they were taken over by spam). After that, I became fascinated by the Atlanta Nights frenzy, which led me to Teresa and Patrick Nielsen Hayden's blog, Making Light, which eventually led me to the Absolute Write Water Cooler (where I practically grew up) and Writer Beware.

Writer Beware, for those who don't know, is a watchdog group devoted to promoting awareness about literary scams and disreputable practices by both established publishers/editors/agents and the many shady "publishers"/"editors"/"agents" out there. It was founded by authors A.C. (Ann) Crispin and Victoria Strauss in 1998 and now also includes Richard C. White. Though it originated in the SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America), Writer Beware also receives sponsorship from the Mystery Writers of America.

I owe a lot to Writer Beware. All the knowledge I acquired from Making Light, the AW Water Cooler, and Writer Beware helped give me a more realistic idea about the publishing industry when I was still young. Because I'm primarily a short story writer who has completed only one (trunked) novel, most of the pitfalls for aspiring writers don't quite apply to me. Nonetheless, it prepared me so that I learned how things worked before it was too late. I do want to publish a novel eventually. Back before the Atlanta Nights story was splashed everywhere, PublishAmerica was not as widely known and ridiculed for what it was. Several friends on AW originally ended up there after losing their first novels to what they thought was a legitimate publisher. Could that have happened to me? I would think I would have been smart enough to do my homework if I were trying to sell a novel. But there was not nearly as much information out there about PA before 2005 as there is now. Now there is so much information out there about PA that you should be able to find it if you attempt to do even a minimal amount of research.

As expected, the clueless/amateur fee-charging outfits as well as the outright scammers have not been happy with Writer Beware's efforts to reduce the number of clueless writers who fall prey to them. Most of the time they focused their anti-anti-scammer smear campaigns against Victoria, Ann, Richard, Dave Kuzminski of Preditors & Editors, and James D. (Jim) Macdonald. But a certain outfit calling themselves The Write Agenda has taken things to a whole new level, creating a painfully flashy website with laughably paranoid screeds and blatantly false accusations against these people. They've also taken to slamming people who have no association with Writer Beware and even created an Author Boycott list. You can read more about this here. (I'm not providing direct links to the TWA . Don't really want to give them anymore Googlejuice than they're already getting.)

Yes, friends, an Author Boycott list! And they have a book-burning page! Naturally, a bunch of writers were pretty pissed that they hadn't made the boycott list. Please click that link, but make sure not to consume any beverages while you're reading and make sure there's nothing you could choke on while laughing your ass off. These writers invited authors, both published and unpublished, to give reasons why they should be boycotted. Not surprisingly, the results are hilarious. I called for my own boycott in this comment:

"Alan Yee should be boycotted before he ever manages to publish a book-length work. His youthful innocence was destroyed by those big evil meany Writer Beware and Absolute Write people when he was thirteen. They taught him such evil things as Yog's Law and about what legitimate agents, publishers, and editors do, which would no doubt help him sometime later in life. He is now two weeks shy of his twentieth birthday, and he doesn't even care that he was brainwashed as an innocent little tyke! No regrets whatsoever. He should be boycotted for his lack of remorse for not attempting to de-program himself.

Never mind that he has not yet published anything purchasable, he should be on this list in preparation for when it finally happens. He writes short stories and occasionally novels that often star icky gay people who have lives, use varying levels of profanity, hold hands, kiss, and even have sex during the course of the story. He mostly writes fantasy of some kind or another. You know, fantasy--that despicable genre made up of escapist, meaningless literature. Boycott him for that, too."

When I first read about them, I was pretty pissed because of an anonymous comment made by a TWAer in the Writer Beware post about them. They were slamming a good friend of mine (who I am not identifying yet because I'm not sure she wants this to be talked about), who ended up having to take down her hilarious presentation from her university's website after a certain literary scammer threatened to sue. When people start talking smack about my friends, I tend to get defensive on their behalf. But now I'm laughing way too much to care.
 
 
Alan Yee
05 October 2011 @ 10:11 pm
I haven't dressed up for Halloween since I was probably twelve or thirteen. It's been so long that I'm not sure. Last year I was still unaccustomed to college enough to not want to go out and find a cool costume for Halloween. Yes, people, college folks still do the Halloween thing. Mostly it's for shits and giggles and throwing parties, but it's very entertaining to see what people end up wearing.

This year, because I'm used to college now and finally got over the New Year Blues, I decided I wanted to wear a costume. Only problem: I had no idea what I wanted  to be. The two awesome friends I was talking about yesterday discussed this with me for a while, bouncing off ideas and explaining the various movie characters if I didn't know who they were. Sadly, we couldn't come to a consensus.

When we were leading one of them to the parking lot for her mother to pick her up, the most wonderful, geekiest idea occurred to one of them: "OMG YOU SHOULD BE INIGO MONTOYA!!!!" (from The Princess Bride)

To which I gave my enthusiastic approval. In the next few weeks they're going to be taking me shopping for materials for the costume and getting my shaggy hair and monstrous eyebrows taken care of.

"Hello! My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die!"

I think I could actually look pretty hot as Inigo Montoya.
 
 
Current Mood: sillygoofy
 
 
Alan Yee
04 October 2011 @ 11:39 pm
If I were capable of blushing, I would be blushing right about now. Turns out that one of my friends from my college's queer/allies group, who is also an Aspie, has been attempting to do some matchmaking for me. With the help of one of her gay friends and the grapevine, she's helping scope out the college and the surrounding area for available queer guys. I'm not keeping my hopes up because I don't want to be crushed by disappointment, but I am touched to know she thinks highly enough of me to reach out and try to help me meet more queer guys. Today was the first time I'd talked to her in person since June. She told me, "You're handsome, you're smart, you have a big heart, you're funny, you deserve to be with someone who'll be good to you and treat you right."

Happily, I'm slowly starting to believe all of that. The Permanent Negative Voice in my head is still squawking at the "handsome" part, but enough other people whose opinions I trust have said I am handsome. SO I WILL MAKE MYSELF BELIEVE THAT I'M HANDSOME DAMMIT!!!!!!

(My other good college friend, who is genderqueer and pansexual, has been enormously supportive and encouraging. S/he (they go by either) is the one  who is only a few doors down the hallway from me. I have other good queer friends here at college, too. I don't want to minimize their important in my life. But my straight Aspie ally friend is the one who made me want to cry with happiness.)

And what do you know. Cold is still not completely gone, but I'm a lot better. I also feel so much better mentally. I already have all the required homework done and I'm no longer slipping behind, so I am actually going to bed right now. I'm going to bed BEFORE MIDNIGHT, you guys. Yes, it's only about twenty minutes away, but that's a lot earlier than I've been going to bed for the past several weeks.
 
 
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
 
 
 
Alan Yee
30 September 2011 @ 04:01 pm
A full Proper Post might follow later tonight or tomorrow, but right now I just wanted to SQUEE because my mom told me via phone that I got something in the mail from a J. Wick. "J. Wick" would be Jessica Wick (mer_moon), who is half of the editing team for the poetry zine Goblin Fruit, the other half being Amal El-Mohtar (tithenai). During the summer my name was one of the names drawn in Goblin Fruit's 5th Anniversary Contest. You had to make donations or subscribe to magazines that publish speculative poetry, review Goblin Fruit, and/or boost the signal for the contest in order qualify for a chance at the Goblin Queens' bag of swag. Whoever's name was drawn first got first pick of the prizes, then the second name drawn gets to choose, and so on. I was the eleventh name out of twelve drawn, so most of the prizes I wanted were already claimed, but I did end up with a locket that contains John William Waterhouse's famous Lady of Shalott painting (which is shown here). You can see a tiny picture of the locket with all the other swag on the contest page, but once I get the chance to visit home I'll take a picture of the locket to show off to all of you. That most likely won't be until November.

This makes me feel a little better after a week of busybusybusy with not enough sleep while trying to catch up on coursework after a beginning-of-the-year depression. Plus I have a really bad cold right now, which isn't helping with either the "catching up on coursework" or the "getting enough sleep. This is one of the most miserable colds I've ever had. I'll probably need to start doing sinus rinses again soon if I want to avoid another sinus infection after this cold blows over.

More later, possibly. There's an open house/party for the university's Diversity Education Center that I want to attend, which is starting right about now.
 
 
Current Mood: sickhas a cold
 
 
Alan Yee
23 September 2011 @ 12:23 am
Okay, time for the semi-monthly Alan Rant. If you think I rant/vent too much, please skip this for your own sake. It's very long:

You know all the writers who keep telling college students like me, "If you're not able to write much now, it's only going to be a lot harder later"? This is wrong in my case.In which Alan goes all Ranty McRantyPants... I warned you, it's long.Collapse )

#

For those who think I sound abnormally whiny and cynical today, I am sorry. I just needed to vent. I was going to post the original (and much shorter) version of this rant on a writing forum to a group of sympathetic friends. However, I decided I didn't want random forum members dropping by to argue with me about how lazy I must be since I don't magically have the time/energy/motivation to write fiction as often as I would like. This is my space, so it's my rules, and I can post what I want.

On a much lighter note, the week before classes started, a call for submissions was posted on a certain popular erotic SF/F e-publisher's website. This was for a themed anthology, the theme of which made something click for me. I responded to the call with a pondering comment along the lines of "Hmmmm, now I suddenly want to write about [more specific]..." Both editors responded surprisingly enthusiastically and really wanted me to write it... so the next day I ended up writing 500 words. This may not seem like a lot to most writers, but it is to me, especially since I probably wrote less than 500 words of fiction during my entire freshman year of college. I haven't written that much fiction in a single day since I was in high school.

Sadly, I haven't repeated that yet because I'm re-adjusting to college life once again. I went to my second day of classes today, having moved back to Ellensburg/CWU on Sunday into a big-ass single room with plentiful storage places and plenty of space to walk and even do floor exercises. Classes this quarter are Accounting II, Introduction to Business Statistics, and Theatre 101 (Appreciation of Theatre)--a three-four class where you watch a movie or play once a week, take super easy comprehension quizzes about them afterward, and then come back on one other day for a one hour lab. (No idea how there's going to be a lab for such an easy class that garners you four credits. Discussion about the movie or play? Last year there was no lab section. This quarter seems to be the first time it's been added.) I've officially declared my intention to be an accounting major. After talking with two advisors from the College of Business, I learned that I am on track to officially enter the accounting program by next fall. Yay! I thought I might not be able to graduate within four years. After all, the four-year degree is slowly starting to become obsolute. Many people end up going a few more quarters or an extra year. Or more. But hey! Why stay in school longer than necessary if you don't want to?

I suspect the anxiety level will be much lower this year since I now know what to expect during college. Less anxiety means less brain-drain, which means... more writing! You know, a set deadline and two editors who squeed about wanting to read the completed story is a good enough motivator to sit my ass down in the chair and finish the story. It helps that I have most of the actual plot in my head; it's mainly a matter of figuring out the exact sequence and all the dialogue, description, etc., in between. The deadline is a month away, and in fact I know enough of the story that I can realistically finish it in time. Honestly, even in the very likely event of the story being rejected, I'll be ecstatic to know that I am capable of writing a complete piece of fiction with a set deadline.

Also, just wanted to post this here for posterity: After gaining the "Freshman Fifteen" last year, I've lost 25 pounds since April. I do feel healthier and feel better about my own body. I'm also much more conscious about how much food is going into my body and what's in it so that I can keep portions appropriate. All fine and dandy, except now I have to do some more intense cardio and add in some body-toning to get rid of the loose skin around my stomach (an unfortunate result of siginifcant weight loss). I'll slowly be working my way up to some jogging in the hope that my asthma won't be quite as bad when I'm in better shape. I haven't run for a considerable duration since eighth grade P.E., mainly because of the asthma. Continuing the speedwalking and stationary biking is unlikely to help with the flabby skin. I guess I'll be doing more stretches and sit-ups and eventually see if I can survive taking a Yoga for Beginners class in the university's gym. No, heavy weight-lifting is not an option for me. I don't like lifting weights, and you don't want to trust clumsy ol' me with a heavy piece of solid metal.
 
 
Current Mood: sleepybedtime
 
 
Alan Yee
29 August 2011 @ 07:36 pm
This post is going to be quick, because EEK! deadline (for my short non-fiction/review piece) approaching quickly!

The 2011 Strange Horizons Fund Drive has started today. Strange Horizons, for those who don't know, is a nifty, well-respected, online speculative fiction magazine that has somehow managed to pay pro rates for fiction and publish a new issue every Monday (with the exception of one day off during the December holidays) for the last yen years, all while having a completely volunteer staff that either has to shell out their own money and/or rely on donations. Naturally, given the number of stories published per year, some stories are better than others and cater to different sensibilities, but the overall quality is very high. They've published a decent number of stories with queer characters and/or characters of color, in addition to a large number of stories by female writers and/or featuring female characters. They also currently publish speculative poetry and reviews and articles relevant to speculative literature.

If you can afford to throw a few dollars their way and feel inclined to make a donation, you can do so right here. I've already made a (small) donation. If you really can't afford to donate, signal-boosting is always helpful. For those who can afford it but aren't sure if they want to donate to this particular venue: There. Are. Prizes! Everyone who donates will be put in a drawing for the prizes. There are apparently more prizes to come... but the one that's catching my idea at the moment is the limited edition hardcover of the Machine of Death anthology.


Once I send in my piece, I'll post a little more about SH, why I think they're pretty awesome, and list a few of my favorite SH stories.
 
 
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
 
 
Alan Yee
20 May 2011 @ 07:35 pm
No, I'm not dead. I've just been busy, tired, and basically not up to writing anything comprehensible to anyone but me. Until now.

I have two more weeks of classes and two days of one final each until I am done with my first year of college. I honestly didn't think I would make it this long without breaking down from stress and homesickness. Which isn't to say that stress and homesickness never happened. On the contrary, Mr. Stress makes regular visits, but luckily I'm in control of the whips enough to keep him back long enough to get shit done. Mr. Homesickness tends to visit for the first couple weeks of every quarter, during which time I lie around not doing anything, not wanting to leave my dorm room, feeling depressed for no particular reason, and calling my mom three or more times a day telling her I want to go home.

Spring quarter, though, I started taking over my life again.In which I talk about my weight, diet, and exerciseCollapse )

*

Early this morning (meaning 1 a.m.) I finally finished reading Treason's Shore, the fourth and final volume of Sherwood Smith's (sartorias ) Inda series. It took me almost five months to read from start to finish, but that's a little misleading. Because of the realities of being in college, I often was only to read for a few days at a time followed by one to three weeks of not wanting or not being able to read. According to my reading log, in which I recorded which pages I read on which days, there were only forty days where I was actually reading the book.

I read the first three books during my senior year last year and had to wait for the paperback of Treason's Shore to come out before I could read it. It was definitely worth the wait. Inda's Asperger characteristics become a lot clearer to me in this book, especially when Fareas-Iofre talks to Signi about him growing up. Though it had been almost a year since I had last visited these characters, I was quickly able to remember how fascinated I was with them, how much I missed reading about them, how real they seemed to me. Some of the characters didn't end up doing what I wanted them to do (I wanted particular characters to marry and/or get together, wished certain characters hadn't died), but that's life. It's not my story, after all. Because the Inda series is one story divided into four books, I would most definitely recommend reading all these books in order.

Next book on my to-read list is Vintage by Steve Berman (mroctober ).

*

Because of the quarter starting up, writing took a back seat again. But today (so far) I added 300 new words to "Male Order." This story was originally started three summers ago, but this year I started working on it again. It's about a woman named Darla from an ancient magical shape-shifting race whose primary form is that of the black widow. Darla lived for thousands of years as a human after her mother banished her to permanent human form. Eventually she decides she might not live forever and that she needs to have children before she dies, so she gets a masochistic male-order husband, a bisexual (but leaning more toward the gay side) man named Simon Wang. What happens next? Erm, I'm sort of working on that. :) Once I finish this story and get it revised, this is essentially the first short story of mine that I will submit. I've made veeeeery occasional submissions before, but not in a long time, and never to more than a couple places. This is my first story that will really make the rounds.
 
 
Current Mood: hothot
 
 
Alan Yee
14 March 2011 @ 11:24 pm
Today I received my grade for my final essay in English 102: 91/100! I was very relieved, because in the usual Alan-worrywart-perfectionist fashion, I thought the paper wasn't very good and that it would probably get a B. Apparently it was still good enough to warrant a high grade. This just goes to show how I am the worst judge of myself and my work. I tend to undervalue my accomplishments and overrate my failures. I know this not conducive to a healthy mind, but I can't seem to shake off the perfectionistic self-deprecation.

In other news, this week is finals week for the winter quarter. This year I have two exams: an accounting final on Tuesday morning, and then a math final on Wednesday morning. I'm pretty sure I'll do well on both of them, considering how well I've been doing in those classes.

On Wednesday night I'm watching The Times of Harvey Milk with some people from the GLBTQ Coffee Hour. The person who hosted the coffee hour insisted that I needed to watch it, so I agreed to do so. He ran it for the last two quarters, but he's also a grad student who will be finishing his thesis in June and will be super-busy all next quarter. Since I have attended almost all of the coffee hours, he asked me if I was willing to take over it. I was hesitant at first because I wasn't sure I could run it by myself, but it turns out  there are three other people who are willing to help out. All this means is that from now on it will be run by committee, in which we would all switch off hosting the coffee hour. This is much easier to manage, since it means I'll only be required to host the coffee hour once a month. Hopefully we can think of ways to maximize attendance.

After all that, I'll be packing my things and heading home for spring break! The wonderful thing about spring break in college is that there is no homework, so I'll have an entire week-plus to read Treason's Shore (currently I'm at about the 300-page mark) and finish writing the short story which I failed to finish in time for Alpha. Who knows? I might actually start writing something new instead of working on something I started months or years ago.
 
 
Current Mood: tiredtired