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Monica Nolan answered my question on GoodReads, and I'm all a-twitter with excitement. I'm a big fan of her books. She's not against the idea of Beverly as the lead of a future novel, which is another thing I'm excited about. :) 

I have no qualms rating Dolly Dingle, Lesbian Landlady the same five stars I gave Mrs Dalloway and The Lord of the Rings.
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The library where I go to write has a book recycling box. I picked up a novel called Ancient Evenings by Norman Mailer, and since the back cover failed to provide a description, I turned to the first page. The first sentence was "Crude thoughts and fierce forces are my state." I put it back down.

The novel won the Pulitzer Price, but I rejected it based on the projections my mind came up with from that first sentence; well, that, and the fact that a person whose state is crude thoughts and fierce forces probably would not be able to construct that sentence. Apart from the latter, the first sentence might have been a hook as well as the turn-off, and that depended on my own tastes and personality, but it does go to show the importance of the first sentence.
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Amazon's "look inside" feature is useful. Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers looks like the kind of American lesbian history I need, but looking inside it has convinced me not to buy it for money.

This is a decision governed by various concerns. In the introduction, the book managed to both put the word transsexual into quotation marks (twice) and to exclude bisexuality from a list of possible non-lesbian expressions of sexuality between women. Before that, the Contents had mentioned chapters called 'Kinder, Kuche and Kirche and the "bisexual" compromise', 'Why Some Lesbians Accepted the Congenital Invert Theory' (I suspect the answer won't be "because it fit"), and 'The Roots of Bisexual Experimentation'.

I wouldn't have condemned the contents on the basis of chapter headings without having had a peek at the text itself, but all taken together it seems the book is likely to tell me I don't exist, at least not on the terms I've accepted for myself. I can put up with that to an extent, because you have to, but I don't intend to pay for the privilege. I'm also disinclined to give money to authors who seem to insist the same of trans men. Note, I myself am bisexual and cis.

I realize conceptions of same-sex affairs and of people who take part in them are subject to change and varied across cultural lines, and that the very idea of a lesbian, bisexual or heterosexual woman, or even "woman", hasn't always been the same. I just prefer books which don't question the legitimacy of identity from a monosexist point of view while pretending scholarly objectivity, and I've grown rather sensitive to the signs.

This is still the best book I've found on my book crawl to deal with fin de siècle/early 20th century lesbian culture in the US, so I'll look it up in the library.

In other news, I may have to rethink some of my NaNoWriMo idea seeds, since several of them seem to have already been collected together in a 1930s book called Strange Brother. I covet that book, because it would have first-hand living descriptions of some of the settings I wanted to use, but it doesn't seem to be very readily available.
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If you're writing a short story about Civil War voodoo priestess, it seems to me it would be more prudent to make her black than to invent a complicated backstory to explain why this particular mambo is white.
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That mix of emotions when the editor calls your story "very interesting"... Someday I will write something that isn't fucked-up. Not that there isn't pride mixed in there, as well.

They pay either $5 or an ebook. I went for the ebook. :) Ghost erotica sounds unpassable.

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she found herself strangely drawn to him
just an ordinary girl
book III
(calls mythical creatures such as vampires, werewolves, ghosts etc. a new made-up name and capitalizes it)

(I may be missing out on some excellent fiction.)