These are just some of my ravings about the story. Read it or not, depends how bored you're willing to get.

'Andrea and Sarah', as I like to call this story, started as just another little bit of writing. I do this all the time - just write up random scenarios and never make anything of them. Mostly they're to do with me - I'm a very self-centred creature, as all humans are. I do enjoy creating characters, however. I have a whole fictional world of them - Janelle who spends hours talking to her horse Alison (who talks back), Katherine who has numerous members of her family in jail for virtuous acts, and Katie who is an imaginary little sister I can refer dresses to are several of the recurring characters. The other two, for a long time, were Sarah and Andrea.

The name 'Andrea' and I have a history. At the start of this year, I wrote an English story about a girl I like, replacing her real name with one off the top of my head - Andrea. Coincidentally, I then developed a brief little crush on a girl who was actually called Andrea, solidifying my relationship with the name. Andrea then developed over time into a fictional person - one half of a teenage dyke couple. Her eventual partner, in a small piece I wrote several months ago, turned out to be named Sarah. That name and I also have a relationship, as I have found a number of Sarahs attractive. Sarah has always been a very strong, independent and physically attractive character, and Andrea the less confident one. It was always Andrea falling madly for Sarah and the opposite occurring more slowly. In that first Andrea and Sarah incarnation, Andrea skived off a date arranged by her mother to hang around with Sarah. They then have an 'experience', shall we say, and Andrea's mother sees it in her eyes, asks enthusiastically how it was and reveals the fact she had a relationship with Sarah's mother. She wasn't the troubled character Kirby was - it was supposed to be a somewhat humorous piece.

I want to expand on this piece, as I found the two characters and their families intriguing. So here comes the first chapter of 'Normal is a dirty word'. On a whim, I publish it to fictionpress. Very much a 'why not' type of scenario. I write a little more, and soon realise I have fallen in love with these characters - I want to know what happens to them and their lives. Stories need conflict to work, so Andrea's family developed into intolerant bigots.

I think it's a story about a lot of things - most obviously homophobia and triumphing over it. But it's also about what my English teacher says never to call 'appearance vs reality.' She prefers 'seeming vs being'. Either way, Andrea, Tim, Kirby, Sarah are all examples of how taking people by face value is worthless. They're all deeper than they seem. I realise how pathetic attempting to explain the 'thematic concerns' in my own story is, so I think I'll give it up here. I'm sure you're smart enough to tell what my story's about.

At 18,424 words, it's certainly the longest thing I've ever written. 29 pages in word, and a bit of emotional investment that comes with finishing your first big story. Thankfully I type pretty fast so this hasn't used up too much of my life, but it's been a great release for me. I have a really big crush on a girl, she hasn't been here these holidays and this thing has helped keep my mind off her, and off myself for that matter. Yeah, I've enjoyed writing it. I think there'll be further stories. I fear I've rediscovered my enjoyment of writing fiction. Be very afraid.

If you've actually enjoyed reading this, be assured it was my pleasure bringing it to you. There will be more from me, but I am extremely lazy and will be in my last year of school this year and will have to actually do some work for my results if I want to get scholarship blah blah blah. Don't hold your breath, basically.

Luv, j.o