Time and space to think

Posted on | September 8, 2008

I have decided that taking a walk without anything to distract me is a bad idea. This afternoon I took a constitutional to a grocery store about a mile from the office. I had to get my refill of protein bars and such for my weekly workouts, and there are only two stores that carry the chocolate mint flavor that I’m partial to. I took my wallet and my phone, but left behind my e-book reader (thank the gods for that) and my iPod.

With nothing to entertain myself but myself, I let my mind wander on the current story I’m writing, a little story set in 1991 deep in the Amazon basin near the Brazil/Peru border, where a team of college graduates is studying canopy entomology several miles upriver from an outpost run by the Brazilian environmental agency (named IBAMA, no really, look it up) doing oilfield development assessment. There’s a catboy loose in the outpost, a rickety construct of four wooden buildings and a T-shaped pier sticking out into the oily-slow Ulicaya tributery, and nobody’s quite sure what he’s doing there. Our hero, Will, is a shy gay man of about 22 who’s full of conflict about being gay, about AIDS (1991 was deep into the worst of the crisis), about being closeted, and worst of all, about being attracted to Nisy, who knows damn well that Will is attracted to him and is trying to do everything he can to get Will’s attention.

Thinking about Nisy and Will’s status in 1991, I came to the realization that the 1990s were horrific years for the Bastet. The brutal African tribal and resource wars of the 1990s would have just devastated the last of the Bastet Indigenous Tribes, and the conflicts over African HIV and AIDS, especially the bizarre and dehumanizing rumors, would have made Bastet– with their immunity to AIDS– targets for all sorts of exploitation, much of it sexual, but some of it gruesome and inhumane.

All sorts of stories spewed out of this line of thought, not all of them nasty. I have a place now for Jake & Jinme’s grandson. It started out as, “Jake Lysander Hull, Bastet Secret Agent,” (you know, kindof a Good Hitler movie, but with catboys) but it morphed into something more mundane and and acceptable with Jake as a field agent for the UN Bastet African Tribe Rescue Program, and all sorts of brief, shallow meditations on refugee status and so forth and so on.  Other stories just kinda popped out, about what Bastet do with body modifications, and if there are any pro or anti-ear modifications, and an angry Bastet who, in the mid-70s, had his ears cut off for daring to date a human girl and how he deals with that, and so forth.  I even had an insight into childhood myths like “If a Bastet’s eyes ever shine on you it’ll make you gay.”

How can that be bad?  Well, I have to ask: When am I actually going to find the time to research and write all this?  Oy!

Comments

2 Responses to “Time and space to think”

  1. draconispax
    September 8th, 2008 @ 9:06 pm

    who and what are the bastet? what stories are they in?

  2. Elf Sternberg
    September 9th, 2008 @ 9:57 pm

    The Bastet series is a collection of alternative history stories I’ve been writing, set in the real world. The stories start with the idea “What if the anime catboy/catgirl idea were taken seriously?” and runs with it. So it has a backstory about where they came from, what makes them different, all sorts of interesting social and political issues that make them fun to write about.

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