I’ve never been a fan of boxes or labels.
I remember taking those tests as a kid—the Meyers-Briggs thing, IQ tests, career tests. I was always at a disadvantage—I questioned my own perception of reality so often, I would frequently mark something that either wasn’t really me or that I thought could be me, or that I assumed other people thought of me, without actually thinking about who I really was.
I mean, I didn’t really know, did I? It could literally change on any given day.
I seriously remember having a conversation with a friend in which I told her I planned to run off and join the circus. I meant it. I could totally see it. I mean, forget that I was all big nose and elbows—if I just trained hard enough I could do that trapeze thing! And forgot my fear of heights. And my pathological fear of being seen anywhere in leotards. And the fact that I couldn’t drive yet even if I did find a circus to join. And seriously, I really only had one skill set—maybe two, and they both included reading and writing.
But I was going to join the circus.
Because I was seventeen, and I knew my future was not locked in stone. Everything was fluid—it was the choices I made with the things I had inside me that would lock my future into place, one decision at a time.
Of course, I really only had enough in me for a flight of fancy in terms of the circus. But things like Physics and Engineering, which I had always proclaimed vociferously that I COULD NOT DO, I actually had test scores to prove that I COULD TOO do them, I just chose not to. Of course, ADHD helps make this choice for you—literally, what does not interest you just skates over the ice glaze on your brain, and back in the 80’s girls didn’t have ADHD anyway—they were just “social”. But part of that was self-perception. I didn’t perceive myself as a science driven kid. If one person had perceived me that way, had looked at me and said, “You’re actually really good at this, maybe you could be a star here,” I may have seen myself that way and done something different with my life.
Or maybe I would have ended up teaching anyway, because one person did tell me I was good at language arts, and she was a teacher, and that mattered.
But the point is, as human beings, especially in our youth, everything about us is fluid.
When I started writing The Little Goddess series, the year was 2001, and what we knew about gender issues and sexuality was… well, not much. Pretty much the spectrum ran from gay to straight with the occasional turn toward trans. Eddie Izzard about blew our minds out our ears when he explained that a transvestite dressed like a girl but fancied girls too. The words “male lesbian” made a lot of us choke on our tongues.
The idea of “gender fluidity” was not anywhere near the mainstream—but that’s what I imagined for Green’s hill.
I couldn’t explain it then—I don’t think the social vocabulary existed, frankly—but I just had this idea that, like our perception of ourselves in general, our perception of our sexuality was fluid and subject to change. That desire and love and touch and arousal could intertwine and separate, depending on the chemistry of the people touching. That what kind of person you were depended more upon how kind you were, how honest, how funny or brave, than who you chose to undress with and have sensual relationships with when the lights went off.
And more than that.
That just as monogamy or sexuality did not define our morality, neither did our conformity.
We could appear differently, believe differently, behave differently than how the world expected us to, and that did not mean we were worse people than those who adhered closely to rigid expectations.
But the world is not always kind to those who are different. And the perceptions of the masses can become the cage we die in.
When I wrote the world of Green’s hill, that started in Vulnerable and evolved through more than a million words, culminating in Quickening, I didn’t have a long list of rules and procedures and secret handshakes and magic spells to create the world of magic and mystery.
I had a few select beliefs that I have, hopefully, used to define myself with every decision I’ve made as an adult.
- Sensual and consensual touch is not a crime
- Being different is not a crime
- We are more than our mistakes
- We are more than the perception and cage of conformity that surrounds us
- Kindness is not weakness
- We define ourselves by the people we help and the good that we do
- Our potential for greatness is subject to change—and definitely able to grow
- There is magic in the smallest of everyday things
These were the tools of my world building. These were the tenets of the society I established on Green’s hill. These were even the rules of magic that I established. (This drove my editors crazy by the way—I saw magic growing organically, but they wanted a list of rules for why things like Green’s telepathy expanded in every book.)
I wanted Green’s hill to be a world with these kinds of rules—not boxes, not labels, not encoded laws.
So that’s what I wrote. Those were the rules of Green’s hill. And it sort of plays into my idea of perception, doesn’t it?
Because in the eyes of most of the world, I’m a big squishy plain soccer mom who barely remembers to wear jeans instead of pajama pants. But in the world of Green’s hill, I’m the benevolent creator who dammit, just wants them all to be happy!
I guess it’s a good thing I never joined the circus—turns out my one, maybe two skill sets were needed to change the world. Or at least build a new one that we all want to visit.
Welcome to Green’s hill!
Little Goddess: Book Five
Cory thought she’d found balance on Green’s hill—sorceress, student, queen of the vampires, wife to three men—she had it down! But establishing her right to risk herself with Green and Bracken had more than one consequence, and now she’s facing the world’s scariest job title: mother.
But getting the news that she’s knocked up takes a backseat when a half-elf hunts them down for help. Her arrival brings news that the werewolf threat, which has been haunting them for over a year, has finally arrived on their doorstep—and it’s bigger and more frightening than they’d ever imagined.
Cory throws herself into this new battle with everything she’s got—and her men let her do it. Because they all know that whether they defeat this enemy now or later, the thing she’s most afraid of is arriving on a set schedule, and not even Cory can avoid it. The trick is getting her to acknowledge she’s pregnant before she gives birth—or kills herself in denial.
Vulnerable DSPP: https://www.dsppublications.com/books/vulnerable-by-amy-lane-73-b
About the Author
Amy Lane has two kids in college, two gradeschoolers in soccer, two cats, and two Chi-who-whats at large. She lives in a crumbling crapmansion with most of the children and a bemused spouse. She also has too damned much yarn, a penchant for action adventure movies, and a need to know that somewhere in all the pain is a story of Wuv, Twu Wuv, which she continues to believe in to this day! She writes fantasy, urban fantasy, and m/m romance–and if you accidentally make eye contact, she’ll bore you to tears with why those three genres go together. She’ll also tell you that sacrifices, large and small, are worth the urge to write.
FB Group: Amy Lane Anonymous