I started writing this story in early 2016, posted it, then took it down again and entirely changed it. The characters have been through one or two incarnations (ahem…) but I can honestly say that the two people this story is centred around I am very, very fond of indeed. It’s probably wrong to fall in love with your own characters, but honestly, these two. Such idiots in love.
So what’s it about? Well, essentially, and initially I suppose, this was supposed to be a little rant to the world about the environment. Having studied environmental science I’ve become a bit of an armchair activist, those annoying ones who Tweet occasionally and get into indignant debates with their nearest and dearest and then do little else to help. This story might not help much either, but hey, it’s a start.
We have Jack, who started out as an impassioned kid who wanted to take what his father had taught him about the importance of the environment and build himself a life out of it whilst doing good things for the planet. We also have Dylan, whose own career path as a teen was to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a lawyer, something he felt he had to do rather than really wanted for himself.
The story starts with both of these characters as adults, and we hear their story through a series of flashbacks for several chapters, until we are as caught up on their lives as they are. And here we reach a conundrum, because along the way, Jack’s fallen into a career he despises, and Dylan is the one now fighting for the environment, and these two definitely have some issues with one another.
The undercurrent of this story, beyond the environmental side of things and the complexities of ending up in a career you never intended, is romance. Two people who meet, meet, and meet again, and somewhere along the way have both loved and lost each other.
In case it isn’t blatantly obvious, the couple in question happens to be a gay couple, and as couples outside some parts of the asexual spectrum are want to do, they have sex. Which is described in various levels of, um, detail. So if vague insinuations of, or erotic depictions of sex aren’t your thing, or gay relationships aren’t ones you want to hear about, don’t read this. If it’s just not your thing, hey, that’s fine, each to their own, no one says you have to read anything that makes you uncomfortable. But if you’re pulling a squick face at the screen and that squick is because of bigotry, please leave my blog, now, as quick as you can, please: bigotry and in fact discrimination or prejudice of any kind isn’t welcome here. This is very much a you are what you are place in terms of sexuality, gender, religion and racial heritage, and many other things I’ve neglected to mention here.
Stepping down from my soapbox, there are a couple of other things to mention. Whilst sex happens in this story, it is between two consenting adults at all times. And there are a couple moments where the characters are treated poorly because of their sexuality, but I can assure you it is mild. In no way acceptable, but mild nonetheless.
In terms of the environmental aspect, the very beginning of the story occurs following an oil spill on a beach, something that happens again later in the story as well. There is also a discussion about fracking, which in case there’s any doubt, I am against. I have arguments if you want to hear them, but I can’t promise I won’t get flustered with overexcitement talking about them and come across as incoherent. I do that.
That’s essentially everything: if you’d like to read it for yourself then please take a look at Tainted By Our Choices.