Fiction: The Girl and Her Unicorn, Part Three

Banner for Nine Laws: Allosexual Aromantic Fairy Tales. Image features a tree in the foreground, lanterns hanging from its branches, against a background of heavily-overgrown grey stone walls and archways leading into smaller courtyards. Vines and ivy cover the walls, archways and steps; an array of grasses grow around the bases of trees and walls. Text is set in a white, slightly-curving serif type; white curlicues matching the text, set in each corner, form a broken frame around the text.

Ponder Sheafed can’t stop asking questions. Ze isn’t the girl others presume hir to be. Ze won’t become a wife or let a wedding’s absence stopper hir lust. Ze isn’t good, so maintaining hir kinsfolk’s high regard demands a complicated dance of stealth, secrecy and untruth. Ponder does, however, own some ability in deception … so when tragedy befalls hir family, how does ze explain that–despite all appearance to the contrary–ze can’t trade hir life’s service for a unicorn’s magic?

Only virtuous maidens may enter the forest to seek a creature as pure as a unicorn. Returning home empty-handed avoids provoking Father’s rage by confessing unacceptable truths, so what options has ze other than embarking upon a farcical quest for hir family’s salvation … and dreading the failure to come? No unicorn can ever grace an unrepentant liar!

Ponder isn’t good. But neither, ze discovers, is the unicorn.

You may learn, given time, that ‘good’ is but sunlight and seafoam … and all else is sapience.

Continue reading “Fiction: The Girl and Her Unicorn, Part Three”

Fiction: The Girl and Her Unicorn, Part Two

Banner for Nine Laws: Allosexual Aromantic Fairy Tales. Image features a tree in the foreground, lanterns hanging from its branches, against a background of heavily-overgrown grey stone walls and archways leading into smaller courtyards. Vines and ivy cover the walls, archways and steps; an array of grasses grow around the bases of trees and walls. Text is set in a white, slightly-curving serif type; white curlicues matching the text, set in each corner, form a broken frame around the text.

Ponder Sheafed can’t stop asking questions. Ze isn’t the girl others presume hir to be. Ze won’t become a wife or let a wedding’s absence stopper hir lust. Ze isn’t good, so maintaining hir kinsfolk’s high regard demands a complicated dance of stealth, secrecy and untruth. Ponder does, however, own some ability in deception … so when tragedy befalls hir family, how does ze explain that–despite all appearance to the contrary–ze can’t trade hir life’s service for a unicorn’s magic?

Only virtuous maidens may enter the forest to seek a creature as pure as a unicorn. Returning home empty-handed avoids provoking Father’s rage by confessing unacceptable truths, so what options has ze other than embarking upon a farcical quest for hir family’s salvation … and dreading the failure to come? No unicorn can ever grace an unrepentant liar!

Ponder isn’t good. But neither, ze discovers, is the unicorn.

Why must ze learn hir lesson only after ze has been ordained to uselessness?

Continue reading “Fiction: The Girl and Her Unicorn, Part Two”

Fiction: The Girl and Her Unicorn, Part One

Banner for Nine Laws: Allosexual Aromantic Fairy Tales. Image features a tree in the foreground, lanterns hanging from its branches, against a background of heavily-overgrown grey stone walls and archways leading into smaller courtyards. Vines and ivy cover the walls, archways and steps; an array of grasses grow around the bases of trees and walls. Text is set in a white, slightly-curving serif type; white curlicues matching the text, set in each corner, form a broken frame around the text.

Ponder Sheafed can’t stop asking questions. Ze isn’t the girl others presume hir to be. Ze won’t become a wife or let a wedding’s absence stopper hir lust. Ze isn’t good, so maintaining hir kinsfolk’s high regard demands a complicated dance of stealth, secrecy and untruth. Ponder does, however, own some ability in deception … so when tragedy befalls hir family, how does ze explain that–despite all appearance to the contrary–ze can’t trade hir life’s service for a unicorn’s magic?

Only virtuous maidens may enter the forest to seek a creature as pure as a unicorn. Returning home empty-handed avoids provoking Father’s rage by confessing unacceptable truths, so what options has ze other than embarking upon a farcical quest for hir family’s salvation … and dreading the failure to come? No unicorn can ever grace an unrepentant liar!

Ponder isn’t good. But neither, ze discovers, is the unicorn.

Ponder knows that consequences must someday claim hir. Ze just didn’t expect Mama to have to pay the price.

Continue reading “Fiction: The Girl and Her Unicorn, Part One”

Hallo, Aro: Pillar – K. A. Cook

Banner for Hallo, Aro Allosexual Aro Flash Fiction. Image features dark black handwritten type on a mottled green background. Diagonal rows of arrows with bands, heads and fletching in the colours of the green/light green/white/yellow/gold allo-aro pride flag cross the image above and below the text.

Hallo, Aro is a series of flash fiction stories about allosexual aromantic characters navigating friendship, sexual attraction, aromanticism and the weight of amatonormative expectation.

Contains: A allo-aro woman who doesn’t choose marriage and children … and a society that expects she use her time in service to those who did.

When fog creeps and moon fades, the desperate seek out gods few dare name.

Continue reading “Hallo, Aro: Pillar – K. A. Cook”

Pride Month Patch Patterns: Aro Queer Text

Six digitally-created versions of cross stitch pride patches, arranged in two rows of three, against a background of a textured partially-translucent aromantic pride flag. Text between the two rows reads Aro Pride Patches in black type. Patches include a rectangular patch in aroflux zigzag stripes, an idemromantic heart, an aro flag text patch reading "aro", a square in quoiromantic stripes, an arrow design in allo-aro colours and a second arrow in nebularomantic colours.

If you follow me here or elsewhere, you probably know that I posted a collection including pixel-style “queer” text patterns for three, four and six-stripe pride flags. If you’re really invested in my creative output, you may remember that last year’s Pride Month patch patterns included lower and upper-case pixel-style “queer” patterns for five-stripe flags. On Patreon and Tumblr, meanwhile, I’ve been posting pixel-style “queer” header images in aromantic spectrum pride colours–headers based upon my original patterns.

Given that I also made a-spectrum variants of last year’s “pride” text patterns, I don’t know why I didn’t think to create a-spectrum “queer” text patterns before the end of June. I can and will, however, hurriedly finish Pride Month with patterns celebrating apothi, aego, caed, caligo, demi, jump, spike and vague folks!

Three cross stitch text pieces sitting on a blue microfibre blanket. All pieces show the word "queer" in a pixel-style capitalised lower-case lettering. The topmost piece, a finished patch, shows the word sewn in the colours of the demiromantic flag on a yellow background, outlined with yellow cord and sewn onto a dark green felt. The felt is trimmed with a lighter green blanket stitch. The left-hand piece, also a finished patch, has every letter stitched in a different five-stripe pride flag: aro for q, abro for u, butch for e, trans for e and allo-aro for r. Each leter is set against a different pastel background: green, pink, purple, blue and orange. The patch is trimmed in blanket stitch worked in a cotton-candy-coloured pink/cyan/cream/mint floss. The right hand piece shows the word stitched in the colours of the aromantic flag, outlined in dark green. The cream coloured felt has been trimmed but is otherwise left unfinished.

Some patterns will require fractional stitches to sew as shown. Folks who need help with materials, stitching, finishing or attaching patches should check out my pride text tutorial and my tutorial master page.

Continue reading “Pride Month Patch Patterns: Aro Queer Text”

Pride Month Patch Patterns: More (Not Aro) Queer Text

Text reading "pride patch patterns" against a grey grid background. The words pride and pattern are written in a black handdrawn/script font and outlined with white. The word patch is drawn pixel-style like a cross stitch pattern and filled in with the green/light green/white/grey/black stripes of the aromantic flag.

Last year, I expanded my library of pride patch patterns to encompass non-aromantic identities. This year, I thought to continue this adventure in queered cross-stitch! Alas, this still isn’t a fully-inclusive collection … but I’ve now expanded my range of gender-related identities plus a few more variants for many-flag identities like “gay” and “lesbian”.

Nine cross stitch text patches sitting on a blue microfibre blanket. From top to bottom: "apl" in aplatonic colours on a blue-purple background; "Q" in rainbow colours on a black background; "trans" in trans colours with a light blue felt backing; "queer" in rainbow colours on a black background; "pride" in trans colours on a black-navy background; "aromantic" in aromantic colours on a yellow background; "quoi" in quoiromantic colours on a teal background; "pan" in pansexual colours on a black packground; and "pride" in nebularomantic colours on a mint background. Words are a mix of capitals in a blockish style of text with rounded corners or lower-case letters in a pixel-style text. Each is outlined in backstitch. Most patches are finished with a buttonhole stitch edging in colours similar to (lighter or darker than) their background colour, with exceptions being the pride patch in trans colours (mottled pink, white and blue) and the queer patch (mottled maroon and mahogany).

Additional ace, agender, aplatonic, bi, butch, pride, queer and trans text patch patterns are available at my patch pattern gallery. Folks wishing custom text patches for flags with three, four, five, six, ten or twelve horizontal stripes can use my five/ten-stripe block letter, five/ten-stripe pixel letter and three/four/six-stripe pixel letter alphabets to create their own patterns. I also have a wide range of aromantic spectrum text patterns which may be combined and adapted for many more a-spectrum flags.

Folks who need help with materials, stitching, finishing or attaching patches should check out my pride text tutorial and my tutorial master page.

Continue reading “Pride Month Patch Patterns: More (Not Aro) Queer Text”

Pride Patch Tutorial: Aromantic Alphabet, Part Three

Six digitally-created versions of cross stitch pride patches, arranged in two rows of three, against a background of a textured partially-translucent aromantic pride flag. Text between the two rows reads Aro Pride Patches in black type. Patches include a rectangular patch in aroflux zigzag stripes, an idemromantic heart, an aro flag text patch reading "aro", a square in quoiromantic stripes, an arrow design in allo-aro colours and a second arrow in nebularomantic colours.

Are you an aromantic or otherwise queer person wanting more text patch designs for five or ten-stripe pride flags? Do you crave patches depicting longer words like “aromantic asexual”? I now have a complete alphabet, with narrow letters ideal for stitching non-abbreviated terms, to accompany my many five-stripe block text patterns. Plus patterns for the words “aromantic”, “allosexual”, “asexual”, “non sam aro” and “arospec” … and adaptations for my 8 x 10 block A is for Aro letter frame designs!

Seven cross stitch text patches sitting on a blue microfibre blanket. From top to bottom: "aroace" in angled aro-ace colours on an olive background; "aro" in aromantic colours on a pink background; "aromantic" in aromantic colours on a yellow background; "pride" in allo-aro colours on a purple-grey background; "allosexual" in allo-aro colours on a pink background; "pride" in apothiromantic colours on a gold-tan background; and "flux" in aroflux colours on a light purple background. All letters are capitals in a blockish style of text with rounded corners. Each letter is outlined in backstitch. Every patch is finished with a buttonhole stitch edging in colours similar to (lighter or darker than) their background colour.

You’ll need familiarity with cross stitch (full crosses and fractional stitches) and backstitch to make unedged patches, along with buttonhole stitch to make the edged patches shown above. The first instalment of this patch tutorial series demonstrates cross and blanket/buttonhole stitch, while the second covers backstitch. While these patterns use fractional stitches to round off most letters, they can be omitted for a more pixellated look.

Folks after patterns suitable for three, four, six and twelve-stripe pride flags should check out my 10 x 12 Aro Alphabet and Letter Patch tutorials.

Continue reading “Pride Patch Tutorial: Aromantic Alphabet, Part Three”