Musings in the Dark: Feminism & Fanfiction (2)


Feminism & Fanfiction (2)

...continued from Part One.

Writing Sexy Beast took six emotionally charged weeks.  It was written at white-hot speed; I didn’t get much sleep and I barely ate.  My muse was miles and years ahead of me, and I faithfully followed her with nothing more than a torch to feebly light my way.  I wrote every night until my legs were stiff and my back ached and my stomach screamed.  It’s 200 pages, and it won a Spock/Uhura award for one of the best fics of the year.  Noob says it was the best fic of 2010, and that I “pulled a Heath Ledger Joker.”  She is of the belief that the only reason it did not get "Best Fic" was due to all the controversy and women not wanting to own up to their repression.  

Sexy Beast was never intended for glory; it was actually supposed to be a fun, five-chapter romp on the dark side of Star Trek: TOS.  I just wanted to have some fun on the dark side (surprise, right?) This illustrates the difference between what I want and what my muse intends.  I ended up baring my soul and allowed thousands and thousands of people a peek into my intimate thoughts and feelings.  I couldn’t control her and she led me into the deepest recesses of my heart and forced me to face long-buried demons and secrets.  I wrote a good third of the book with tears streaming down my face, and when it was done, I felt a great sense of relief, complete exhaustion, and the beginnings of my own healing process.  

Some women contacted me privately to share their stories about what they were able to do after reading Sexy Beast.  One woman told me that it gave her the courage to end an unhappy relationship.  Another one told me that reading it helped her to get over a bad breakup, and one other lady told me that it helped her understand some things that saved her marriage.  For whatever reason, changed its private messaging format and most of those messages were lost; otherwise, I’d cite them here.  I was moved to tears upon reading some of them.  I had no idea that my fic was causing maelstroms not just inside of me, but everywhere.

A good, good friend of mine experienced one of the shitstorms the story caused from a completely different perspective.  My friend’s name is Nubianamazon, and fans of the Dark know her as Noob.  Noob reached out to me during the later chapters of the story.  I was completely befuddled by her continued attempts to contact me (as it has NEVER happened before), but I could not focus on anything other than closing the book.  When I finished, I responded to her messages and she invited me to join a writer’s community.  The following are her words on what going on prior to my arrival:

“I knew this story was having a powerful impact, both positive and negative, with its audience.  It was in a writer’s community that I had joined in particular.  I saw women who were afraid of the story; they were jealous of the impact it was having.  I saw women who wanted to censor the story and it was shocking because these women were writers, and writers wanted to censor another writer.  There was a lot of phony-ness, backbiting, jealousy, intrigue.  I invited Pink to this comm and I felt like I dropped her in a lion’s den, which infuriated me.  One young writer in particular really wanted to ingratiate herself with Pink, but her motivation was inauthentic.  Long story short, she outed herself, as did all the writers in that community who had a real problem with Pink and her story.  Needless to say, Pink and I (and two other ladies) left the comm.”

“Sexy Beast holds a special place in my heart because I met my dear friend Pink, and it really does speak to the power of storytelling and how it can affect your audience in ways that the author never dreamed of.  I know Pink didn’t write this story to make friends, but she did.  We’ve been good friends for two years now and our lives have been enriched due to the presence of the other.”

“What I loved about Sexy Beast was the dialogue it created.  I enjoyed talking to other women and getting feedback on what each woman thought on the viewpoint of being a feminist.  Being brave enough to share yourself is always admirable, and I know that Pink shared a lot of herself in Sexy Beast.  That is a noble thing.  Sexy Beast is about Uhura taking control of her life and her sexuality for the very first time, and in the broader context, it’s about the audience member.  It makes the audience consider what control is in the course of their lives.”

As a result of this story, I met four amazing ladies: Ankh, Neets, Gerri and Noob.  Ankhesen and I built a publishing house, Noob and Neets became published authors themselves, and Gerri has established herself as one of my most loyal and endearing fans; a woman I have in mind as the audience I write for.  Noob also became the living embodiment and extension of my muse; because of her, an entire science fiction universe is being born.  This is all due to Sexy Beast.  I have absolutely no regrets about writing this story; not one.  It helped me heal and freed me to take charge of my sexuality, and I did it in front of thousands of readers.  Almost two years have passed and the trolls have gone away, but the ripple effects are still going on; spreading wider and wider.  I don’t know how far they’ll go, but it doesn’t matter.  I’m stronger, healthier and happier than I’ve ever been, and it is worth every single tear I shed in the quiet darkness of my house.


  1. From: Rashida

    Sheila's packing!!

    Did I ever send you the link to my interpretation of Sheila from Sexy Beast, the hunt, etc. Here it is! (or again!) I want to know if anyone else thinks this is a good image of her. Does anyone out their have any images of Sheila/K'avir? Would love to see 'em. Luv ya Amaya!...(though you will always be Pink to me, lol) Rashida~

  2. Wow. I never realized. Sexy Beast is one of my favorites.


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