Looking through my blog posts, I realized I write through both gender perspectives often. I've a crusader story first told from a ship captain's perspective then through a young tanner, both male. The BLT fiasco affected a girl and her twin sister headed home from college for summer break. Thaddeus dumped tea in Boston Harbor and Deliverance cursed an unfaithful lover. Jack Sutter is a US Marshal and Ivy Tanner is a reporter.
Last week I tried a story starring a puppy, crossing the species barrier.
Writing cross genders doesn't make me nervous. Perhaps it was growing up as "just one of the guys" with my brother, doing the hunting, fishing, hiking, manly things men do. I had a cousin tell me once that I was the only tomboy he ever met that couldn't throw a football. I still did the pajama party things with the Girl Scouts and Job's Daughters, gossiping over the telephone for hours on end and shopping in the mall for the perfect outfit until the place closed up at night.
What I seem to do extremely little of is write creatively from a first-person point of view. I've done it, but I tend to shy away from that because it's too easy for me to get lost in emotion and forget to move a plot along, as this diatribe can attest to. It's more difficult for me to "block a scene" using me, myself, and I.
So I've challenged myself to make a gender neutral story told from a first-person POV. I'll let you, the reader, decide the gender.
I offer the following in response: Victor or Victoria
I woke before the sun, dressing in the dark just as the grey of the approaching dawn seeped into the eastern horizon. Coffee, a purchased necessity, brewed at the programmed command of the coffee-maker and soon filled the chilly house with an amazing aroma. There was nothing more magical than the scent of brewed coffee, except perhaps that of griddled bacon. Bacon was always the first cut of pork to be exhausted after a hog went for slaughter. We were making do with sausage now. Although delicious in its own right, sausage was hardly an adequate substitute for a room freshener.
Of course, biscuits weren’t biscuits without gravy, and that required sausage.
Breakfast was still a ways off. The cows needed milking and the eggs needed collecting before thoughts could be wholly devoted to the day’s most important meal. I filled my travel mug with coffee, chose an apple from the fruit bowl to tide me over, and shuffled into the mudroom for my jacket. The door screamed on aging hinges and slammed shut behind me, as if to say forget about me one more time and I swear I’ll never let you back in this house. I promised to check the shed for some lubricant on the way back, the same promise I’d made a thousand times over the past year.
The fowl were noisy, demanding the golden rain of corn to pelt their coups. I obliged them, scooping feed from the bin twice for the chickens and ducks, once for the squab. I clucked, quacked, and cooed a good morning at each before I started the trek down to the barn.
Where the path curved, I paused, drinking some coffee, and watched the sun peek over the distant mountains. Nature donned her morning splendor. The cows could wait.