Now & Forever ABCs (Zoë)

Zoë Aini Constellino née Ayishah

15 September 1972
Jehovah‘s Lawyer

Zoë grew up with wealth, as her parents had a fair income between writing and inheritance by the time she was born.  Still, she never liked high society, nor flaunting wealth — instead her love mirrored that of her parents:  travel, and experiencing the world from the level of the natives.  She loved living in little Chilean villages and eating local home cooked foods to the versions found in the fancy restaurants of the big cities of the world.

She has many friends, dear and diligently kept in touch with, literally around the world — including one person who has recently taken up residence at a science station in Antarctica.  She can speak many languages, and insists she’s uncertain just how many, and can read and write in nearly all of them, and knows anything from a few swear words to enough broken phrases to get along if stranded somewhere in easily several dozen more.

Zoë is French by birth and overall culture, as her family frequently returned to Reims, France where they maintained a large house; she was also educated, primarily, in French schools, though she spent part of high school in Germany.  Though few realise her heritage given that her English is often closer to Public School British English than anything else, and her physical appearance takes heavily from her father’s Haryanvi family, she still favours French foods, and her first and preferred languages is French — reverting to it if she’s stressed enough to forget herself.

She gained a deep fondness for horses as a little girl when her family stayed with a family of Gauchos in Argentina for a summer, but due to her parents’ wanderlust she was unable to ever have a horse of her own — though she rode those of friends every chance she got, and even gained some proficiency in some of the events of equestrianism.  Though for the first of their wedding anniversaries in Colorado, Lucas took her to a ranch whose horses she’d repeatedly remarked on the beauty and grace of so that she might choose one of her own.  She’d, in her own turn, got him one of his favourite models of Camaro — though both would admit that her method of presentation was far more creative than his.

Now & Forever ABCs (Jake)

Well, it would seem I have my first letter that needs skipping, I.

But that’s okay, because historically there is no such thing as a J; all words like Juno, Julius, Jupiter, etc were Iuno, Iulius, and Iupiter in Latin.  Therefore I’m not skipping I, I’m merely putting a funny little tail on it.  QED.

I’m not sure I actually have as many Js as I’d though I did.  But I will be stretching them between today and — depending if I take another break tomorrow and Tuesday — Tomorrow or Wednesday.

Enjoy ye now the mysterious Jacob (the older one) revealed to you now in surprising detail and clarity never before seen by the eyes of Man (and, perhaps, I’ve made my tea a little strong this morning.)

Jacob Sebastian Adamczyk

16 July 1995

Jacob is a very small, pale, effeminate young man and Allison’s boyfriend.

The couple met in third grade and started dating, officially, in eighth grade.  They argue a lot, about nearly everything, but this seems to work for them; they never fight for long, and always work out compromises so they rarely argue about the same things twice — unless one counts such things as Jake’s insistence that Allison’s taste in music is suspect and her feelings that he is a complete lunatic for some of the painters he admires.

Jacob is an enigma to most people who meet him for the first time.  They often expect him to be gay, at best, or transgender at worst.  He’s neither.  He simply has very soft features, a very slight frame, a quiet voice, is a whopping five foot two and a quarter inches (a full inch and some centimetres shorter than his girlfriend), shoulder length hair, and has a voice that his church’s choir director only called a tenor because he’s disqualified from castrato on technical grounds.  It isn’t helped that he does have rather feminine mannerisms and tastes, but it’s simply a mix of his nature and the fact that he gets on better with women.  Still, he has no interest in men and, while not seeing himself as an exemplary specimen, can think of no reason not to call himself one.

He spoils Allison, especially, but is generous and sweet to all his friends.  Jacob does dream of having a singing career, though it’s mostly dreams — he has never once performed in any capacity but his church choir and has never tried for any solos.  His plans for life usually amount to:  Not get Allison so angry she actually does kill him; get married eventually, possibly to Allison; not get struck by a meteor; learn to hang glide; flip a coin when it’s time to pick a college to decide if he’ll go into ornithology or oenology — or something else starting with ‘o’; and, possibly, run away with a circus.

A curious detail about the boy is the shelf in his room that is about three feet wide and packed end to end with little leather bound journals of various ages and designs.  Supposedly, every one of them are filled — cover to cover — with poetry, but he’s only ever let Allison read them after she threatened to show up at their next date together nude; he made her solemnly swear to never tell anyone what she’d read.  True to her word Allison has only ever confirmed that they are, indeed poems, that some of them are pretty good, and has been seen reading one in particular sometimes and always either with tears in her eyes or laughing.  No one presses the issue given that it’s the single artistic endeavour of his that Allison doesn’t try to talk him into taking up at all professionally, despite clearly enjoying them; it’s assumed this means they’re all intensely personal, whatever they are.

Before anyone asks, no, as a matter of fact he wears neither skirts nor kilts.  He has tried both and, while finding them comfortable, decided he did not care for the look, and thus sticks to shorts, jeans, and trousers.

Damn this language

We need more third person gendered pronouns in English.

Well, yes, I also mean in terms of ones for folks less than perfectly binary gender identity – that’s not what I’m talking about.

One does not need to be writing a homosexual romance to encounter a situation wherein one needs more than one person of the same sex interacting and then try to, smoothly and readably, describe this interaction.  There’re only so many permutations of she, her, herself, and so forth that can be arranged — with the help of the characters’ names — to get the point across; and some sentences just get worse if you substitute the name for the pronoun, sometimes you just have to say he/she.

There.  I feel better.

I apologise in advance for any confusion that arrises from the paragraph that prompted this post, and for the handful of others that simply were as clear as English permitted them to be.

Reader Request Week 2013 #9: Women and Geekdom

What more is there to say except, possibly: Ahmen, Mr Scalzi


In e-mail, Brian asks:

Women in Geekdom. Why is this all exploding now? Where is it going?

I am assuming Brian means women in geek-related fields taking a stand against the both latent and overt sexism in those fields and having to deal with outsized, histrionic freakouts some geek dudes are having about it in response.

What’s happening? To explain, let me go to one of my favorite little bits in the film The American President, which I think these days is best known as writer Aaron Sorkin’s rough draft of The West Wing. The scene has President Andrew Shepherd navigating his way through a Christmas party at the White House and coming across a florid, very concerned man in a green jacket:

INT. RESIDENCE - NIGHT An informal Christmas party is underway with maybe 20 GUESTS, some of them familiar faces. SHEPHERD and a GREEN-BLAZERED MAN GREEN…

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