Praise for “Adaptation”

“Adaptation” is a short Doctor Wholite story I wrote for the one-off characters of Sally Sparrow and Larry Nightingale, as presented in the television series episode “Blink” (Series 3, episode 10).

"When Larry Met Sally"

Nothing like a romantic little one-off, eh?

I fell in love with this pairing almost immediately, and I’ve written about them more than once. “Adaptation” was my attempt at drawing parallels between classic literature and personal relationships.

It’s not often that readers entirely “get” what I’m trying to do with my stories…but, sometimes (occasionally; rarely), a sharp, clever reader will absolutely nail it. The feeling of elation I get when that happens can last me for days.

Reader Rokesmith wrote:

This is my favourite of your Songbirds stories. It says such wonderful things about these two incidental characters and the relationship that sadly we only got a glimpse of. But mainly, I like it for what it says about relationships, Sally’s slow uncovering of Larry’s deep rooted insecurities about how an introverted geek is supposed to maintain a relationship with a bright, beautiful girl with whom he shares very few interests. This is something I imagine a lot of geeks find themselves confronted with in relationships at some stage, which is why the resolution is so touching: Sally’s gentle but inescapable affirmation that no matter what their differences in interests and dreams, they love each other and that’s what’s important. And it’s all brilliantly tied together by a comparison to ‘Sense and Sensibility’ that fits so well with Sally herself. A perfect meeting of Doctor Who, classic literature and compelling romance, which is everything this pair should be.

Of all of my fan fiction outings, I think I love my Songbirds series the best. It’s not nearly the most popular, either for the pairing or in general, but the stories are very simply about two people romantically entwined. There’s no grand adventure they undertake, beyond that of life and love. Though, in some ways, that’s the best adventure of them all.

Excerpt: Fearless, Chapter 6 (draft)

The prelude to a bit of smuffy sex for my hero, in Chapter 6. What would a romance be, without it?

Ross took her hand with a rippling chuckle, pulling himself to his feet with her as anchor. He stood above her then, their hips and chests touching, and he dropped his head, his mouth seeking and finding hers for a kiss that began as just a delicate brush of lips but then, inevitably, became a heated exchange of passions as they wrapped their arms around each other once more. And while they must have made their way back to the shop, and they must have told Neville something when they arrived, and they must have walked up the rear steps to the eaves loft above the showroom, Ross couldn’t have said later how they did any of it. All he knew was Amber: the eager clutch of her slender fingers, the wanting clasp of her supple lips, and the raring flare of his desire as he held her to him.

Many thanks to those of you who have given these excerpts or the posted draft chapters a read (notably zer0-damage, Shade the Raven, fivereflections, thespooneytoaster, and Electric Monk); your support has been thoughtful, inspiring, and engaging, and I couldn’t have made it even this far without it.

Smuff

(An old post from my deviantART, but worth mentioning, here, I think.)

It is no secret that my personal tastes (when it comes to writing, though drawing, too) lean toward the raunchy side. Anyone who has read my more recent work should realise that. And I’ve talked about this before (pardon me for beating the dead horse), but it comes up again and again, like…well, like a zombie version of aforementioned dead horse. And beating it several times in the head just won’t make the darn thing stay down.

My stories deal very intimately with adult relationships, and a large part of adult relationships has to do with sex. That is not to say that two people cannot have a loving, nurturing, give-and-take relationship that has very little or even nothing at all to do with sex – they can! – but that’s not how most of my characters approach their affairs. My main protagonists nearly always tend to be very sexual, very physical beings, who enjoy and even sometimes rely on sex to communicate to their partner what they can’t say in words. This is how I’ve often viewed my own adult relationships. We talk with our bodies in very simple ways – nodding, shrugging, smiling, hugging – but we also talk with them in equally complex ways: kissing, fondling, and – yes! – even screwing.

It was during a recent writing sojourn into another fandom (Doctor Who, for those interested, though it’s not particularly relevant to my point) that I realised that all of my (adult) characters express their affection physically and sexually. But I also realised that the issues that come with sex between one set of characters can be very different from the issues that come between others. And I enjoy examining that.

Is the sex that I write pandering? I don’t think so. But I’m the author, so I would say that.

Rather, I’ve found that I don’t enjoy writing sex so much for the shock value, as I do to explore what’s sometimes going on beneath the surface of two bodies slipping and seething over each other. (1 More Chance!, for example, examined these issues in spades, and nearly every sexual interaction that the main protagonists had was fraught with subtext and subconscious agendas and deeper meaning for the individuals involved, than just “and then they fuck.” Fearless approaches the subject of sex in a slightly different, though no less impactful, way, in that it’s somewhat central to the main external conflict.) So, I’ve come up with a word that I think sums up my position – and what I hope to convey with my raunchier stories – and that is:

smuff.

“Smuff” is a mix of smut and fluff. The smut part is obvious (I did say I get pretty saucy with my work)…but there is also an inarguable amount of fluff in what I write, too. The characters are never raping each other (because rape is not about sex, it’s about power…and I don’t think it’s a healthy part of any loving, nurturing relationship). They might get enthusiastic about sex, but there’s also a layer of tenderness that tends to crop up in nearly every sexual interaction through which I put them. That’s no mistake. I might be a filthy-minded individual…but I’m also an incurable romantic.

So, you’ll likely be seeing the “smuff” categorization popping up with some frequency for my posts. If you don’t mind, I appreciate the support to write what I please.

And if you do mind it, you can just click away quickly. I’ll never know.