Mini-novel Monday: I’m off Camping! Well, sort of.

So far, 2023 has been a whirlwind of drama from all dimensions. I’ve been on antibiotics for five out of twelve weeks (hopefully, it’s all over now), I yeeted Twitter into the stratosphere, I set even more boundaries on social media, I did several virtual panels and a reading, and I’ve been working on the cover design illustration for Sesaon One: Iris and the Crew Tear Through Space!

Time for a rest, right?

Well, I have decided to go camping. Camp NaNoWriMo style, that is!

I have been benevolently threatening to write a romance novel for years now. While I add romantic elements in all of my novels, I’m not really a romance author. And guess what? I’m still not! As if that’s gonna stop me from trying a thing this month!

My project is a 40K-ish novel titled Hot Wings and Sauciness. It’s the awkward space opera romance nobody asked for! Whoo! I’m going back to my roots of silliness but adding some spice too—a romance through the filter of my autistic brain. In fact, the protagonist, Colleen O’Donnell, is a snarky and saucy space station technician in her 50s who is autistic and disabled. Perfect leading lady, imo.


Anyway, she hasn’t been in a relationship in years but isn’t bothered about that at all. Yet, one day on the job as she’s heading to service an air filtration unit for a melodramatic dowager countess, her friend ’Brina messages her to be on the alert for “Captain Hot Wings.” ’Brina even calls him a potential match for Colleen. Of course, Colleen dismisses the idea of this Adonis right away, but her brain keeps nudging her to be curious.

But there’s not much time to think of this guy. ’Brina and Sharon have invited a bunch of their friends, including Colleen, out for a hen party to celebrate their upcoming nuptials. And no better place to go than the Coq of the Walk, which features exotic male dancers and the best chicken wings in the solar system. Colleen would rather shave her eyelids than head there, but she’ll go along to support her friend.

Little does she know their group will all be at this hen party… dressed as hens.

Colleen then discovers an entire spectrum of being unimpressed while a stranger behind her cannot help but be amused at the expression on her face.

So, yeah, it’s absurdist and ridiculous, and a much-needed project. I have been so hard at work during this pandemic with the Nothing Without Us Too anthology and Iris and the Crew, it’s time to go back to my roots of playful and absurd humour. It’s also nice to have a protagonist who shares my neurotype, age, and disability. I can just put my foot on the gas and vrrrm!

I have about 3K written so far and will write more this afternoon!

A camping I will go!

(I love NaNoWriMo for motivation. Have you had good experiences? Let me know in the comments!)

A greyscale close-up of me, standing in front of a blank background. I am a white woman with short silver hair cropped closely on the sides. I am wearing dark metallic rimmed glasses with rhinestones on the side. I’m wearing silver hook earrings with flat beads and a plaid shirt.

Cait Gordon is an autistic, disabled, and queer Canadian writer of speculative fiction that celebrates diversity. She is the author of Life in the ’CosmThe Stealth Lovers, and the forthcoming Iris and the Crew Tear Through Space (2023). Cait also founded the Spoonie Authors Network and joined Talia C. Johnson to co-edit the multi-genre disability fiction anthologies Nothing Without Us and Nothing Without Us Too. 

Featured photo is a screen grab of my Camp NaNoWriMo dashboard

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