I'd call it a FAQ, but they're not really terribly frequent.

Q & A

What does "Sitnah" mean?

"Sitnah" is Hebrew for "opposition," "accusation," or "strife." To tell the truth, it wasn't my first choice for a handle, but after trying about seven or eight different ones and finding them all already taken, I turned to Genesis for ideas.

And Isaac's servants digged in the valley, and found there a well of springing water. And the herdmen of Gerar did strive with Isaac's herdmen, saying, the water is ours: and he called the name of the well Esek; because they strove with him. And they digged another well, and strove for that also: and he called the name of it Sitnah. And he removed from thence, and digged another well; and for that they strove not: and he called the name of it Rehoboth; and he said, For now the LORD hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land. (Genesis 26:21)

Ironically, I tried Rehoboth first, but found that taken as well. So I tried Sitnah, and here I am. It's growing on me; I'm partial to well imagery.

Are you really a Christian lesbian m/m slash writer?

Yes.

What's with all the drabbles and short-shorts?

Short stories, long answer.

Fanfic in general, and slash in particular, are my back door into writing, my way of getting around various rules I used to have, which all wound up working out to: you can't do this. When I discovered fanfic, things eased up some. Fanfic is all kind of off the map anyway; you do it anonymously (well, I do), and because of the copyright issue you couldn't submit it to a publisher even if you wanted to. On the other hand, you can "publish" informally on the web in a matter of minutes. Also, since you're writing about someone else's characters, part of the responsibility for the final product is off your shoulders. And slash as a genre means you're expected to break some rules, go against some of the standard ideas about what's going on.

I was still kind of intimidated, though, by my internalized expectations of what a slash story had to be like, especially in terms of length. How much material makes a complete story, acceptable for archiving? I saw some sites with short-shorts listed, and that helped, but often they were shunted off somewhere, a sidebar or coda to the real stories. Learning of the existence of the drabble was wildly liberating for me, as you can tell if you look at the sequence of dates on my stories. Hey, look, it's supposed to be that short! -- and before I knew it, they came pouring out. It's not a sideline; these are my real stories. I try not to force them; some ideas feel like drabbles, some feel like two or three or five k. I'm playing with possibilities, trying out new stuff. Sometimes I can't wait to get home from work and write. Sometimes I get an idea right before bedtime and stay up late to write. Sometimes I take a printout of a piece I've just finished to work with me so I can read it again during the day. (Clearly, I wrote this bit before the Puppy Era, which has spawned a whole new descent into scribbling on the backs of printer separator sheets at work.) When was it ever like this before?

So now I've got some new rules, and they go something like this: Yes, you can put that goofy idea down in writing. Yes, you can finish a story that quickly. Yes, you can put sex in. Yes, you can leave sex out. Yes, you can post it now. Yes.

What's with the RPS? Didn't you say that it's not nice to play games with real live people?

Yeah, I did. And you know, I still kind of think that. I guess I'm now trying to make a distinction between the people themselves and their public personas. And if you'll grant me that, then I'll say I'm playing games with the latter rather than the former. I mean, people use baseball players' public characters in fantasy leagues all the time, pretending that their favorites play for stop me, please the same team ah, fuck, and nobody minds that. It's just another application of the product they're selling us. I still wouldn't slash baseball players, though (however sorely tempted), because their sexuality is, by and large, not part of what they're selling. However, as numerous other people have pointed out, sexuality is part of how pop boybands sell themselves. And I'm buying.

If you won't grant me the distinction, then, well, I guess I'm just not nice to know.

What changed your mind?

Well, first I had religion. Then I had a vision. I could not turn from their revel in derision. Then I saw the Congo, creeping through the black, cutting through the forest with a golden track... *

So I read for a while, and then I started scribbling things down, and then I said, "Fuck it!" and got myself a brand spankin' new pseudonym and posted them.

A new name? Doesn't that make you lameass chickenshit?

Yep. (Um, only me, though. This has nothing to do with anyone out there who might have switched names for, like, an actual reason.) Anyway, I'm coming clean now. Forgive me?

What does "Lesa Soja" mean?

Nothing. I got assigned "lesasoja" as a random password and thought, "hey, that sounds like a name!" That's all.

Are you ever going to write X-Files, or due South, or anything except this freakin' boyband shit, ever again?

I dunno. What comes is acceptable,** baby.

Are you Lesa F.?

No. I'm Lesa Soja (Lesa Zeugma Rahab Jane Soja, if you really wanna know), and I live in California, so anything you may hear about cool and exciting goings-on in Florida is a pretty safe bet of Not Me. More's the pity! I can tell you, though, that it's quite a trip to open up your inbox and see To: Lesa, From: Lesa. Hi, Lesa!

What should I order at the Westward Ho?

The fruit plate. It is fresh and good.

Why did you get a LiveJournal?

Hey, which way did those lemmings go?

Do JC and Chris have sex in Breakfast?

Yes.

Do JC and Chris have sex in Lift?

Yes.

Do JC and Chris have sex in Consolation?

Yes.

Do JC and Chris have sex?

I don't know, man. Ask them.
 

Want to know more? We Get IDEAS! asked me a bunch of questions too, and I did my best to answer.
 

* Vachael Lindsay, The Congo
** Ursula LeGuin, The Lathe of Heaven

sitnah@ix.netcom.com / lesasoja@yahoo.com