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– Leto Armitage, Quartermaster –
Welcome Aboard the Resilience
I have had people question what a Quartermaster does on a ship. We serve many purposes. The crew is the Captain’s problem, as is the booty, while booties are my problem. And the rum. The second helps with the first. But, I’m getting distracted as I often do. Little known fact, all bears have ADD. We just don’t get called on it since we tend to smack people who annoy us.
Another thing Quartermasters have to do is buy the rainbow flag sails for June. That’s right, it is Pride Month! I know, I know, everyone says “Leto you’re straight, what do you care?” Well, most of my family and friends are somewhere on the three-dimensional scatter plot that sexuality is. Maybe I am? I’ve never been attracted to another man, but maybe there is that one in four billion men out there that would do it for me. I don’t know and, honestly, I don’t really care. I’m fine calling myself Leto-sexual, which is defined as being attracted to people that I’m attracted to. Does anything else really matter?
If the social stigmas related to who people want to bone have done anything, they have given us some great literature, as most bullshit, emotionally repressive, cultural norms have. Yay art? So, since it is my turn for the newsletter, I’d like to celebrate pride month by talking about a few works of my own and fellow crew members, plus a couple of pieces from the wider world of LGBTQ+ writers that are worth reading.
Current Work in Progress
Since the last time I updated folks on my literary labors I’ve put out Catgirl from Saturn, a Yuri non-explicit story that I’m fond of.
Not yet distributed but also in the can is A Taste of Mint – a free short story for my smut sluts and subscribers of our smutty addendum, Holihell Headlines. The story leads into the Neighborly Gestures series which follows Shannon and her ex-brother-in-law Adam’s evolving arrangements. The second book in the series, Rolling 20s is currently in edits.
Speaking of sequels, the sequel to FUCK, entitled Cuddle, is in progress and now we pick up their story from Amy’s point of view five years later. Additionally, an M/M romance, How Sweet It Is is also in progress and will be published in late July or early August.
Meanwhile, I have also started a slightly insane project that is not erotica, but a series of stories featuring ten protagonists in eight origin stories that will intertwine and build a plot between them until they are all gathered together.
The first two, A Candle’s Flame and Settling Accounts are already done (except for editing), and three more, The Fox’s Tale, A Murder of Means and a still-untitled one that takes place in a Renaissance era-like fantasy hospital. Additionally, each adventure will feature a character sheet for the protagonist(s) for the Pathfinder 2nd Edition RPG system.
THE SOCK WARS
Of Socks and Sandals, Part II
The ship rocked gently side to side. Even the galleon is not immune to the waves on this sea. A wind caught the sails, but didn’t make it to the decks where the crew was sweating in the sun.
Fortunately, duties were light today. At our last stop, I had found a goblin market outside a small village and traded five crates of lychees; a mummified big toe from a sixty-seven year old woman who is the reincarnation of Henry the VIII; a poker chip Elvis Presley had gambled and won back at a casino that no longer existed; and a story about twins that were unrelated to fey.
In exchange, we now had three things. First, plenty of smoked meats, and second, feed for the sheep. The sheep had been taken from a ship we assailed, a pitiful vessel of writers who were doing half-baked stories about bat-men with huge cocks. And is that really big, I thought chickens were normally well over 14 inches, though I can understand why her cat continually had trouble eating them. It was a strange ship.
Meanwhile, the flag flew in glorious stripes. The deckhands had oiled the deck and the deck hands were busy.
“Careful with that!” I yelled.
Profanity erupted from the two men as the wooden box almost fell before they caught it. A rectangular box, nearly square, was supported by them as they walked towards the quarters.
“To the dwarf’s quarters men. You’re doing great.”
“What in the hells is this, sir? It keeps shifting like something is, I don’t know, floating in it!”
“No questions, Gruman, the dwarf has need of it. We’re going to clean this ship, that’s all I have to say for now.” Out of the corner of my eye I saw a flash of red. “Cleanse it, we shall.”
Literary Pride Recommendations
Éclair: A Girl’s Love Anthology That Resonates in Your Heart
Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe.
It is Pride Month and I have a duo of graphic literature recommendations. First, Éclair – a series of Yuri anthologies.
Yuri is a difficult genre of Japanese literature to discuss because we have a certain expectation that is inherently romantic and sexual. While it is often romantic it is not always so, and yuri stories can take up unexpected forms. Nor is it a romance in the Western sense where it is given that the characters will connect.
While romance as a component of yuri stories is very common, sexual content is actually rare.
Eclair’s first volume, Éclair: A Girl’s Love Anthology That Resonates in Your Heart does an excellent job of demonstrating some of this variability. From the conflicting emotions of Nio Nakatani’s Happiness in the Shape of a Scar to the sexually charged but very chaste Master for 1/365 by Mekimeki to the confusing and satirical Auri Harao’s My Idol.
I don’t think every story is great, but far more is good than bad and if you enjoy it, there are four more volumes in translation, Éclair: Blanche and Éclaire: Bleue, Éclaire: Rouge and Éclaire: Orange.
Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe has been well reviewed and is on many reading lists, but do not let that deter you. It is a raw and frank memoir from a person whose body did not feel natural to them.
As a cis het male who has always been comfortable being what society sees me as, I find those who are genderqueer difficult to understand, especially once you step out of the binary definitions. But by using a memoir at its best – to share the author’s experience – I think Maia Kobabe has brought me closer than I ever have been to understanding.
Domesticated Is Sexy
Food has four purposes. One, to keep us alive. Two, to enjoy. Three to bind friends and family. And, finally, four, to help you get laid. Sometimes, helping you get laid means a fancy meal with all the trimmings to help the target of your affections feel special. Sometimes, you want something good to eat quickly, so you can get to doing things that would earn you a place on the Swedish national sex team.
I know fried rice doesn’t seem like a sexy thing, but there’s nothing more domestic than showing how to use leftovers to make something tasty and super fast. And in my mind domestic is sexy.
We start with the leftovers, the rice. Have you ever put up leftover rice and a day or two later, in the fridge, you find it hard and nasty so you throw it out? If you have a decent amount that is perfect for fried rice. If you use moist fresh rice it won’t fry up well, so that two-day-old white rice is just what the recipe asked for.
You’ll want eggs. In my pictures here, you will see a thin coating of egg in the skillet. This is because there are teenagers in my house who wait until I’m sleeping to make french toast and don’t make any for me. Not that I’m bitter. Scramble those eggs and put them aside. If you cook them with the rice, they will coat the rice rather than being separate.
Ingredients & Method:
Next, grab a bowl and make some teriyaki sauce. You can use a store-bought teriyaki sauce, but making your own is crazy easy and can taste so much better.
Soy sauce is your base. Next add brown sugar. I like to use a Truvia blend that is a little healthier. Note I don’t say healthy. Then add mirin. Mirin is a rice wine with a very low alcohol content. It’s a little sweet so don’t go crazy on the brown sugar before you add the mirin. Remember you can always add, but not take away.
Finally, garlic and ginger to taste. I prefer fresh but there is nothing wrong with using powdered. Keep adding elements until you have the flavor where you want it.
Now, take some protein, here I’m using stew beef. I’m cutting the pieces up very small so they marinate very quickly and will cook quickly. Meanwhile, I’m heating up a frying pan with some sesame oil tossing the meat and sauce in, and cooking until done all the way through. Finally, once the meat is cooked add a bit of cornstarch to thicken the sauce up. Remove the beef and put it aside.
Now, put more sesame oil in the pan and add the rice. The rice may need to be broken up by hand, but if a big clump makes it in you can break it up with a spoon. Add oil if it seems like it’s too little and toss regularly so that the grains all get coated and cook. Add the meat and eggs back in.
There you have it, a perfectly good quick meal that you can make to impress someone with your domestic skills and show them how well you handle the heat. If you want to go a bit further, caramelise some onions, maybe toss in some cooked carrots or other veggies. Enjoy!
EDITOR’S PRIDE PICKS
Starting With Three of My Own
Love comes in all forms. An author who is fixated on beautiful women. A lesbian who isn’t sure if her best friend can love her the way she needs. A sapio-sexual with a thing for older men. A picky pan-sexual with a high libido. Even a token straight man.
And Three From the Crew
A man who loves another man isn’t a new plot, but when one is a superhero that is trying to keep his domestic life from falling apart? For those of you who enjoy the fantastic, sweet and mundane in one package C.J. York has you covered.
Meanwhile An Afternoon Delight – is she cheating, is there an understanding, just how much flirting will they do before they screw? You have to read to find out.
And finally my friend Sibley has a story for those of you so far off the scatterplot of sexuality that you need a non-Euclidean dimension. And in that space there be tentacles…
Get the Full Leto Experience
Hey you! Yes, you! Put your hand between your legs.
I know, I know they said you’d go blind, but those people were sexually frustrated cretins who also fucked you through the economy.
Next week, our Ship’s Witch, M.W. Marie McLeod is back and she and I are going to have to have a long talk about that damn demon.