Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Batik on Blossombones

blossombones is a literary e-zine that prides itself in featuring work that in some way deals with the female experience.
And, if you've been following my writing--I tend to show up more often than not in publications like this. It's not that I ever try or consider myself to be a "women's writer." But I've noticed my stories are sometimes polarizing--often by gender. The theme for Blossombones' Summer '09 is "Marked."

The narrator of Batik is a woman with hands so beautiful she must hide them in gloves. This is one way in which she is marked. I don't think I mention that she is a woman--it's one of my lesbian stories. And it's not really important that she's a woman--or a man--I'm just attracted to characters who have one uncommon and exceptional feature that stands out. And lesbians have this thing about hands. The story is about an encounter she has on the ferry crossing the Channel. She's the sort of woman I would fall hard for. Courtly and aloof.

The title of the story always draws attention. When I wrote it, the title just jumped into my head. It refers to the technique of dying cloth using wax to protect areas between dyes. The wax protects the fabric from dye, much like the woman's gloves protect her. And there is other marking going on here involving a batik design rendered in an unusual fashion.


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