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Have you ever seen a bear enter hibernation? It is not a well-understood process. You have to put on about eighty pounds, mostly from roast turkey, barrels of pepperoni and cheap Belarusian caviar, and yet I’m not hibernating. Why? Well, it’s December and warm enough to be planting spring flowers, so I might as well write.
What I’m writing?
Mostly smutty fanfics, under a pen name you will never find, about the ladies of Keeping Up Appearances being members of a secret Cthluhian sex cult. Am I joking? Will you try to find out? I dare you.
I’m told I need some writing I can put under Leto Armitage (my actual name) too, so that means ticking boxes and getting stuff done.
☑️ I’ve finished the first draft of Neighborly Gestures 2: Title Undecided. Since we last left Adam and Shannon the events of the first story spiral in a direction neither of them initially expected And as they actually get to know each other, so do we.
☑️ I have also turned in to Madame Editor the first draft of The Chained Lamp, a sapphic pirate story set in my world of Reuel. It is a fantasy world that will offer multiple media down the road, including a fortune-telling deck (which you can see previewed on our site and on my Tumblr) and a tabletop role-playing game.
☑️ In addition, somehow my word processor also pumped out the first draft of a primal-themed erotica piece with a slow burn called Hunted. That’s right, three first drafts in three weeks. At this rate I will match Brandon Sanderson’s output in… *checks calendar and cries in writer* You know, let’s just not worry about that right now.
Next up for erotica works is Cuddle, a sequel to Fuck. More about that next time.
For the last few years, I have mainly focused on writing erotica, but I do have a universe of stories set in an urban supernatural world as well. One of these, Time is Dying, you get to see serialized in our Ship’s Log starting today. This story features one of my main characters, Jeremiah Jesus, but I will let him introduce himself.
If you want the elevator pitch, imagine Dashiel Hammit married Flannery O’Connor and their child was babysat by Neil Gaiman. There are many more of these in the archives that will follow. I think that’s it for me.
*passing the quill to pet*
Right, so I guess I have another name now. 😏 Kärt barn har många namn (a beloved child has many names) as we say in Scandiland, the idea being that people who love their kids tend to give them a lot of pet names. I’ve always thought that’s kinda stoopid as the same can be said for people who don’t give a rat’s arse about their sprogs. Be that as it may, I am known by many names and titles.
1️⃣ As Madame Editor, or the wench as he also likes to call me when he talks shop, I currently have six of Sir Bear’s stories on my drawing board: The four he mentioned above and two more that we have slotted in for 2024 releases. I also have three stories by two different Resilience writers in circulation at the moment, which means we’re basically playing story dev tennis lobbing the manuscripts back and forth for feedback and edits. One of these is a YA Fantasy, one is a historical romance and one is a children’s book.
2️⃣ As Captain of the Resilience, I am working on behind-the-scenes stuff that we’ll be rolling out next year and all I can say about that right now is that it involves our websites, our Discord server and our shops. I’m really excited about it all.
3️⃣ – 5️⃣ As Linnea, writing on my own as Saga Linnea Söderberg and with Sir Bear as Linn Rhinehart, I spent most of November selfishly working on my own bits. I love NaNoWriMo and try to do both the main event and both camps every year. It is time I set aside where I can allow myself to say no to everything else (well, almost everything) and only wear my writer’s wig for a month.
This time, thanks to my old dictaphone, I managed to record over 80,000 words for four different stories and with that my winter project is ready and waiting. (Let me know if you want to know how I work with recordings to build my stories almost like a jigsaw puzzle.) If some things I very much hope will fall into place this month end up doing so, I’ll start going through the different pieces and see what kind of pictures I can paint with them on the 25th. Or as we say in Scandi: i mellandagarna (in the inbetween days).
6️⃣ In my non-fictional life, where I have more names and titles than I can count, I’ve been flogging my earthly belongings on eBay, fundraising for my Lexit, and packing boxes. I am now in a ridiculous place where I can’t do most of the things I’d like to do – from knitting a pair of hand warmers to drawing book covers on my tablet, crafting julkort = season’s greeting cards, and baking a gingerbread hobbit home. (That last one was our Ship’s Belle’s idea and I love it!) I can’t even enjoy my fairy lights as I have no idea where to find them in the Mountain of Boxes Packed. Oh well, there’s always next year, right?
7️⃣ As humans we need a heart to function – much like a wheel needs a hub – but in my heart of hearts, behind all the roles I’ve played in my life, I’ve always just been pet. For decades, she was my deepest, darkest secret. There are not even ten people alive who have met her, and there are fewer still who can say they know her. Yet she is authentically me. The heart all my other hearts built a ring around to keep her safe and unbroken. Yes, I know it sounds weird and that’s okay.
When life is too hard and everything hurts – you know, the way things have been most of this year – pet is my coping mechanism. There was a time in my life when I had no choice but to be strong and face every obstacle head-on. Now that I do have one, I often choose to disengage and simply refuse to adult or “be human”. Whatever that is.
But why am I telling you this in our WIP report?
Well, I’m learning to be pet, unapologetically, even when I don’t need to disengage. This is a Work In Progress too. Sometimes, when I get some heavy adulting done, I curl up in Sir Bear or his pocket (!) and stay there until I can breathe on my own again. Sometimes, when I need a reminder not to mask, he’ll grab me by the metaphorical scruff of my neck and put me back into pet space. It’s hard work, but it’s freeing and long overdue.
We have come such a long way this year, both personally and professionally, and if the chips fall as we hope they will, you will be seeing more of us in all our roles in the New Year. Watch this space…
Leto & Linn, December 2023
ABOUT LETO ARMITAGE
Leto Armitage was born in America under a set of circumstances that prophesied that he would one day unite the lost tribes and return the Ever Summer. Somewhere around twelve, he realized he had been left unsupervised and binged too many Arthurian movies in his formative years and that he was just another kid who accidentally got an education while reading above his age level.
By the time he turned old enough to get a passport, he started finding excuses to travel determined to find out what culture, food and women there were to experience. After learning to grill in Oaxaca, do kinbaku in Japan, and being banned from several former Soviet block countries, he returned home to settle down and see what damage he could do locally.
After working jobs including being a short order cook, bodyguarding strippers and professionally doing reader’s advisory for erotica he realized the most reasonable path forward was to become a writer. Today he lives with cats, dogs, and humans who seem to like him despite actually knowing him. He prefers to sit on his back deck, listening to the birds and Barry the Bumblebear bee, while he writes cozy, uplit romance and raunchy erotica.
BOOKS BY LETO ARMITAGE
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