From The Writing Desk: Lesbian Haberdashery

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As promised in my New Year’s Eve post, I have begun to post some works of the previous two years to the Writing Desk.

Every now and then, I get the impulse to go off the grid as a writer and start from zero in a place I don’t know, and where no one knows me – to try something new, to try something different, to try and see whether I can tell stories in a different setting or a different way, and to see whether those stories will yet again find people who enjoy reading them.

This happened with Monique Bartok, and it happened again with Nordica (both aliases I later uncovered). It is the same now with Daphne.

About a year ago, my time got reorganized in a way that only allowed for smaller writing projects, if I wanted to complete anything at all. This led to my trying out a few stylistically new things – story ideas that were more dramatic or over the top than my usual fare, different historical settings, takes on shorter phrase structure, or musical phrases, on different time narration concepts.

I also wanted to explore the Bering & Wells (Warehouse 13) dynamic some more, but away from the sci-fi/fantasy setting of the show, and most of all its deplorable canon decisions on Season 4 (Season 5, as far as I am concerened, does not exist).

In the end, I started writing lesbian haberdashery of sorts – stories that are shorter and more experimental that my usual style. Some are dark in tone, some lighter, some bittersweet. What they all have in common is women falling in love. With each other.

To read the stories, you neither need to know about Warehouse 13 (though really, Bering & Wells are a thing of beauty) nor about any other crossreferences contexts.

All of these stories (four I have posted for now, four more will follow) have previously been posted either on Tumblr, and/or on AO3, and can also be assessed over there (I recommend AO3 if you would like to download anything for a reading device, or if you prefer reading black-on-white in general).

There is Horizons on Fire, a WWI setting with war pilots, pristine English lawn and a greenhouse. I am not quite sure how this idea appeared, but I know that it was a sunny winter morning where I was taking a walk through the country side up on the Northern Coast of Spain.

Crossroads is a companion piece of sorts in a WWII setting, very condensed, set in an underground flight scenario.

She Walked Up To The Castle is very lyrical in tone. Think of it as Pre-Raphaelite or symbolist. It is heavily inspired by a Maeterlinck poem and its Zemlinsky song setting, which was – in the interpretation of Anne Sofie von Otter – an important part of the sound mosaic surrounding my own coming out (way back then) and it has never really left me alone.

Officially, the poem in question is about Death (in female form) appearing at a castle and taking the Queen away with her, while the King is unable to prevent it, although I always read it as a woman (may she be real, mythical or Death herself) in love with the Queen, and the Queen loving her in return and going away with her.

There is a link to the poem given with the story; the story, short as it is, may not make much sense without reading the poem first.

Finally, there is Warehouse Story, which is basically a retelling of West Side Story, but with Bering & Wells as the romantic leads. It is not necessary to know either, though.

West Side Story is another import text of my formative years (quite literally. I typed the entire libretto into an MS-DOS computer at age 13, just to breathe the text) and while I am not sure where the idea came from, it is a logical thought space for me, so I took a few iconic scenes and reworte them with female leads. In this instance, I even reworked the iconic production poster.

Finally, a word on story classifications: Back when I started writing fanfiction, about fifteen years ago, using known characters in a completely different setting was called “Über Fiction” (or Uber Fiction, if there were no German umlauts at your disposal). A lot of it was derived from Xena, and from the Über episodes the show loved to do. It spawned the whole (often published) genre of Über Fiction where you basically used a character’s essence, generally also the looks, but renamed them and placed them into a different context.

On Tumblr these days, the kids are calling that “AU” (which back then used to be tied to DS9 and its Alternative Universe episodes and meant the canon setting, but turned upside down), and they don’t change the names of the protagonists. I tried to adjust to that, for the most part – when in Rome…

The next quarted of stories – some of them significantly longer than the ones presented here – should follow within the next week or two. When I have finished uploading them all, I will do another introductory post.

10 thoughts on “From The Writing Desk: Lesbian Haberdashery”

  1. Read it, but I don’t know if fully comprehended it. For us, Latin American – Spanish readers, this stuff is not as easy as for english speaking readers. So, I’ll give you a full answer by tomorrow. You know I love your writing work so I’m very much interested in reading your stories Anik. Thanks!

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    1. If anything’s unclear, let me know, and I’ll try to explain better! (part of the blame may go to my only being able to write and post late at night, when sometimes reason and clarity have already gone to sleep…)

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  2. I love how productive you are even when you write you don’t have much time 🙂 and how much perseverance you show with the stories. I’m always really good at having loads of ideas, but bad at seeing them through in written form.

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  3. It’s been far too long since I have read your stories/writings. I have been well to put it simply, lost in my life. So much has changed and yet nothing at all.
    Anyway, seeing that it has been a while I really don’t remember how to go about reading your stories. I don’t remember where to find them. I am going to be home-bound for a while to take care of my girls and as long as my little one sleeps I would like to read again and to kind of escape from my thoughts from time to time. I always looked forward to reading you stories and hope to do so again.

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    1. Cerise! Then first, congratulations. And second: it is so nice to see you around here again!
      The latest novellas, I posted directly here to the blog (some with, some without a password), but these imported short stories, I put up right away at the Writing Desk (just follow the link and scroll down through the Fan Fiction section).

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      1. Thank you Anik for the information. I am going to try and read the Warehouse stories. I can’t seem to remember if I read them yet. Seeing I don’t get much sleep, less now more than before, I should be able to sit here and read if my daughter doesn’t fuss. Time has kind of flew by on me lately. My oldest daughter is 8 and my baby is going to be 3 months next Tuesday. This coming Wednesday I’m going to be 28. I really hope I can make this year a good year and just take care of my girls. Reading will help me to relax so that I can focus afterwards on what needs to be done.

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        1. best wishes for a wonderful year to you then! And again, congratulations on your new baby girl!
          three months, you’re still so close to that magical marvel of new life!! (my youngest is turning 11 months now and not really a baby any longer.)
          I hope you will get some time to relax, perhaps to read, and most of all, with your family!

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          1. Thank you, I do look forward to your stories. I love spending time with both my girls for sure. I split time with them too, not so easy but it’s nice. 11 months is still young for such learning experiences and the things they can come up with though. She’s already up and ready for me, so I have to run.

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