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May. 28th, 2014


[sticky post] Hey there.

It's about time I updated this greeting. So! Here's the deal.

Daifuku Hoyako: my pseud for bb_shousetsu and the reason I have an lj that sits largely idle for years at a time.

Joyce Sully :: Why Not Wonder: my professional writing site. I've got free fiction, including a novel about cats that turn into humans, and a shop for selling my books. (Okay, book, singular, at the moment, but give me time.) Sometimes I talk about research, old books, and making crochet versions of my characters.

Joyce on Tumblr: where I have fits about superheroes and strange architecture and odd bits of history. Feel free to invade my inbox here.

freshbakedlady on AO3: gods forgive me, I've started writing fanfic. I blame the MCU and all those attractive, emotionally scarred people and their excessively devoted teammates. I've been compromised; send help.

Come have fun with me! (Just somewhere other than here.)

--Joyce Sully

Jan. 1st, 2013


Welcome! Now go away.

Which is to say, please direct your attention to Joyce Sully :: Why Not Wonder, my official site. The freshbakedlady blog is home to the short stories I write for bb_shousetsu under the name Daifuku Hoyako. Over at the main site, you can find: updates on my WIP; articles on body politics, creative living, and anything else that strikes my fancy; and free fiction. Please also check out my book blog, Booking It, where I'm trying to wade through an astonishing backlog of books.

I hope you enjoy what I have to offer.

Writing in three places at once,

Joyce Sully

ETA: Booking It was lost in a Goodreads server error of some sort and is now defunct. I am, however, still a member and my page, including any publications I appear in, can be seen here.

Aug. 23rd, 2011


Unorthodox Offerings

It's been over a year since I put anything out with bb_shousetsu. I would have given the current issue, Hot for Teacher, a miss as well, as teacher-student has long been one of those themes I just can't get into. Except. Oh, except. A friend decided to write something for it, her first submission (check it out--"The Makeover, or, How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love Comic-Con"), and wanted a writing buddy. I'm not sure which one of us suggested detectives, but that was all it took for my muse to run amok. My story is "Incognito" and it's a little unorthodox.

I've been looking for an excuse to do a story in which the sex scenes are viewed by a third party over some sort of surveillance system. WHY I wanted to do this is unclear, as writing sex scenes is still something that gives me hives. I generally try to avoid thinking about the process of writing them, even while actively engaged in said process. (I-I am getting better, I think?) Still, this was the perfect opportunity. I happen to like the blend of horribly uncomfortable and hot that I think I achieved with the scenes. This is maybe not the ideal feeling combination to evoke with one's erotica, but there you have it.

I've also been looking for an excuse to cast a woman as the main character and narrator in a story for SSBB. (Obviously, not for one of the female special issues, because that would be easy. And sensible.) This required the above-mentioned methods for depicting sex scenes, so I figured this would be my one chance to do both. In my last story for them, ApocalyptiCon, the female main character seemed to go over well and I certainly enjoyed her. I wanted to see just how far I could take a female lead in gay romance. Pretty far, as it turns out.

As far as the plot of the story goes, I blame romance publishers. I'm always poking around in listings of publishers, largely in search of interesting anthologies to submit to or to steal theme ideas from. So I've read submission guidelines from a lot of publishers. Romance publishers have a...fondness for beefcake. Which, okay, fine, who doesn't? But some of them state that they want to see women of many body types, but only beefcake for their men. I will point no fingers and name no names. This is not really out of fear of offending possible publishing venues, though I suppose that is a good reason. It's just that I don't need to point out any one publisher when so many seem to subscribe to this policy.

The idea is that women of varied body types are a) easier to identify with and b) desirable in spite of or because of looking like something other than models and beauty queens. Because all of us women reading romance want to be told that what we look like is good, is desirable, is worthy of being pursued by gorgeous men. But when it comes to men, the story goes, every woman wants the captain of the football team and his washboard abs. Cover art illustrates this nicely. Mr. Tall, Dark and Handsome is alive and well. His endowments are as substantial as ever. Flaxen-haired, size 0 princesses are all so last century, but Prince Charming seems to be stuck. Maybe we're afraid he won't fit in his shining armor if we let him put on some weight or stand a little less tall.

I take issue with this.

I would just like to go on the record saying, as a woman with interest in both attractive people and creative fiction, that this is boring. I am only too happy to see men who are more than gym poster boys. I'm not talking about treating "unconventional" bodies as exotic, weird, and sexy only for being deviant. I'm talking about honoring the erotic potential of all sorts of bodies. I'm talking about recognizing how context and emotion can make the "plain" into the "perfect for me."

So in the spirit of putting my pen where my mouth is, I made one of my boys not at all pretty or beefcake-y. I made him actively engaged in challenging conventions of appearance. I wrote about beauty and ugliness and desire and identity. I threw in some class and wealth distinctions for added discontent. Then I put it all into a setting where science lets parents construct perfect children if they have the money. I certainly had fun with the story and I think others will, even if I am suffering from a shortage of beefcake.

Jul. 2nd, 2010


Part of me is already in San Diego

The 25th issue of bb_shousetsu is out. The theme was 25 Rooms and I chose a modular housing unit. This factors into the story only a bit, I'm afraid, but I was pleased that I could at least work it in some, as this was the story that I swore I would go off-theme to write if I had to.

The story is ApocalyptiCon, or It's Not The End of The World, and I really love how it turned out. Admittedly, I originally envisioned a funny convention romp and what I got instead is a by turns snarky and hopeful convention romp. I'm learning that I cannot write comedy plots. I think I don't believe in funny things happening; I only believe in funny responses to unfunny things.

For the previous issue, historical stories, I had planned to do something about the Japanese internment during WWII, but my mind rebelled at the no-fantasy rule for the issue and I just never quite came up with anything. But I had been doing research in preparation for that since the beginning of the year. Some of the outrage brought up by that definitely leaked into this story. A mishmash of current immigration arguments did as well. I will be the first to admit that I am not particularly well-informed on the political front, but there are, I believe, some things that a person should just know are not right. Some things are born only out of the ugly parts of humanity. Some things must not be acceptable ever. /soapbox

But in there with the anger is also a lot of love for pop culture conventions and the good memories I have from them. I've been attending Anime Expo for seven years (though not this year, which makes me cry) and went to San Diego Comic-Con for the first time last year. I love fandom and I love being in a room full of people just fanning all over the place. I love the undignified passion and the weirdness and the disregard for normal behavior. I love to see a hall full to the point of bursting with people who care THAT MUCH about, let us remember, FICTION. Fake stuff. Lies. Stories. I think convention attendance should be mandatory for all professional tellers of stories. Because until you understand conventions, I don't think you really understand your audience. Not, at least, the people who will be dedicated enough to make your career for you out of their dedication. But I digress.

ApoC came from all this. I am, as I said, really happy with it. I hope everyone enjoys it.

Mar. 12th, 2010


Because I promised baked goods

And finally delivered. bb_shousetsu no. 23 is up and my story, Delivery Available, is the first course. I hope everyone enjoys it.

Writing it was more fun than I expected. I didn't even hate writing the sex scenes, which normally reduce me to staring at the screen with glazed eyes and the uncomfortable feeling that I should go vacuum the house or something, anything, else. I was flying solo this time, as well, because a bout of possibly-swine flu knocked me down in February, leaving me with too little time to write the story AND get it to a beta reader. But I'm a big girl and I can manage to tie my shoes and wipe my nose, as it were, and since the editor did not ask for any corrections, I guess I did well enough. Which is always a comfort.

The idea of the floating islands and riding the air currents was inspired by the Studio Ghibli film, Whisper of the Heart, which has always felt like a message of encouragement made just for me. I had tried once before to use the idea, but the project remains unconsummated. This, however, turned out better than I could have hoped. I still get a breathless kick of adrenalin whenever I read the first scene as Dwin dives for the current. I can't ask for anything better than that.

Jan. 3rd, 2009


They're letting anyone in these days.

Yep, that's right. I've got a story in Shousetsu Bang*Bang again. This time is the holiday free-for-all and my story is Push/Pull.

The consensus is that I have a whole lot of background and only offered a glimpse-- is this good or bad? you tell me-- but the truth is that I have no idea where their world came from. The first version of the opening scene was a snippet I wrote late at night in March. I have no memory of writing it. I can't remember what my original intentions, if any, might have been. I worked out scene lines for the first half of the story and started writing, which then caused me to:

1. Change everything
2. Double the length
3. Fitfully try to figure out what they were looking for
4. Club myself over the head until I could bear to write a sex scene
5. Worry again about what they were looking for
6. Stay up too late at night
7. Figure out what they were looking for
8. Find an unexpected twist buried in an earlier section
9. And finally let them find that damn thing.

Then I let my beta see it.

During this joyous sharing experience, I learned:

1. The way I have formed paragraphs and dealt with dialog for forever is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG
2. Shaolin monks can break iron bars over their heads
3. Humiliation is not a terminal condition, I just wish it was
4. I am willing to wander through life in a haze of confusion
5. But my readers are not.

Yay? Oh, beloved beta, why are you so cruel? You have shown me the error of my ways, complemented by liberal doses of Brie and orange juice, and so I must live in shame. But don't, you know, don't stop or anything. :D

Nov. 2nd, 2008


Fiction, ho!

I'm published! Well, sort of. I have my first public story in Shousetsu Bang*Bang's Halloween-themed yuri special. The title is A Life in Six Payments and it contains the closest thing to zombies that my poor mind can cope with.