Pretty much anyone who knows me knows I curse like a sailor. I don't necessarily do it all the time, and I try to control the worst of it when I'm around kids (or certain old people I respect who really don't like it). But yeah, I enjoy a well-turned foul-phrase. This doesn't make me a badass. It doesn't make me anything really, other than a woman who likes to curse.
Actually, scratch that. It's not so much that I like to curse, just that I do. As a general rule, I don't think about swearing, I just do.
Point of fact? A lot of my friends curse a metric fuck-ton too.
So why is it that there is some strange "rule" that characters in fiction shouldn't curse?Read more
I'm trying really hard to find a way to link this back to writing, but it might not happen, so just bear with me and deal. :P
I should start by explaining that cancer runs really strongly in my family. Both my grandmothers died of cancer, a cousin died of pancreatic cancer a couple years ago, and several people in the family have had breast cancer, including one of my sisters. My mom's mom lived with us when I was young and she had to go to the hospital in Detroit for treatment. A lot of my memories of my younger-than-five years (though vague) are of sitting in hospitals and playing war with grandma because she was too sick to do anything more than that.
Cancer became this big shadow that hovered over life, and from a young age I KNEW I would die of cancer. When I hit puberty and the girls proved to be... larger than normal, I figured for sure it would be breast cancer. (I was about ten.) A few years later I started to understand more about cancer and genetics and the breast cancer theory stuck in my head. It became part of me.
Now, you need to understand, this was never a FEAR. It was justRead more
The members of the ELEW talk about rape and rape culture regularly. We don't do this because we like to dredge up some of our worst personal memories or those of our friends and loved ones--we do it because this problem is NOT getting better.
Don't believe me? Take a look at the GOP. Go ahead and google "legitimate rape" and "Akin" and "personhood amendment" and a host of other things. Now, I am not saying the problem is limited to republicans, and I'm not trying to say all republicans believe those things. (And this isn't really a political post, so I'm going to try to keep this part minimal.) What I am trying to establish is that the political field right now is bringing home (again) just how much people do not understand about rape.
Part of the problem for that is legal in nature and part of it is media-enabled (this is going to probably become a new go-to word for me.) If rape is going to be "redefined" by law, it needs to be done in a way that provides more protection for the victims rather than the perpetrators. For this to happen, rape culture and our attitudes about rape need to change.
Hence the media portion. There's been complaints about the amount of rape in fiction--specifically that it happens too often. I'm going to disagree. Statistically "1 in 3 women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime." Think that's scary? Try this one "73% of those forced to have sex fail to recognize their experience as rape." (both statistics from http://www.turningpointservices.org/Sexual%20Assault%20-%20Statistics.htm)
So if a third of women will be victims of sexual assault, that number needs to be reflected in fiction. It needs to be shown time and again what a problem this is. However, it needs to be done with care. We don't need those books about women who fall in love with their attackers. And not everything needs to be on the page. "In her lifetime" means it could happen at any point. Showing the after-effects of rape can be as powerful a message as showing the act (and potentially less traumatizing to victims reading the piece). As authors, specifically as authors whose books don't have to always follow the same course as the real world, we can make a difference and raise awareness. We won't do that by hiding the issue under a rug.
The funny thing is as much as authors are expected to make statements, not everyone appreciates it when we do. Recently, Jim C. Hines cancelled a planned Q&A at reddit after it came out that there was a place there where rapists were coming and talking about their crimes--including people who came and basically told how they got away with it. As an author and a human being, Hines decided he didn't want himself or his work associated with a place that would give rapists that forum. While many applauded his decision, others attacked him saying his request that the offending portion be removed was a violation of free speech.
I'm not going to rip into the specifics of that, but I wanted to point it out to show that even within the SF/F community there are rape apologists. There are people who have no issue with rape culture just the way it is. As a victim, all of this sickens me.
As an author, it reminds me that I have the right to free speech too. I will use that to speak out. I also have the right to my written words, and I will use those to give victims a voice to speak through. Because, stupid as it might seem, some people see fiction much more clearly than they will ever see reality.
On July 30, author Maeve Binchy passed away. August 3 was the date of her funeral, and also the date a journalist chose, not to celebrate her life and work, but to ask if she would have been a better writer if she'd been a mother.
Asshole in the corner, say what?
First off, this is a woman whose battle with infertility was well-known. She *wanted* to have children but couldn't. How dare anyone, on any day, throw out such a callous, horrible question? And on the day of her funeral? I personally wanted to rant to the heavens that day, I was so angry.Read more
Like many women, I went to see Magic Mike last week. Also, like many women, I was very much looking forward to a comedy about male strippers. Because that's what all of the previews made it look like.
There were, in fact, male strippers, so that portion of the previews was entirely accurate. And I quite enjoyed the stripping scenes (Channing Tatum might not be the best actor, but that boy can dance like whoa.) Unfortunately, for me the rest of the movie failed. It was
*not* a comedy. Instead it had a bromance subplot, a romance subplot, drugs, sex, and a "trying to get out" subplot. And none of them were heavy on the funny.
Did I hate the movie? No. Like I said, the stripping was pretty. However, other than that aspect, it completely failed to live up to the expectations created by the preview. I won't get into why it seemed like it failed for what it was as that would be an entire blog post on its own, but I'm left wondering if all the things that bothered me while watching would have bothered me if I'd gone in expecting it to be a serious movie. (Well, except the math issue. That would have bothered me either way. Seriously, dude? You saved about $41.67 a month when you're pulling down over a grand a week in tips? And you have more than the one job? You're not an entrepreneur, you're an unmotivated loser.)
Anyway, it got me thinking about query letters and cover copy and cover artRead more
I give good crit. It's not quite the same as giving good head, but for a writer who is looking to have their manuscript torn up, I'm a handy person to have around.
The thing is I will tear it up. I point out anything and everything I see because I'm firmly of the opinion that it is then the writer's responsibility to take all of that, figure out what works for them and what doesn't. It's notRead more
(This isn't a repeat exactly, but it is very similar to a post I wrote when I first joined the ELEW. Hope you don't mind too much.)
Every job has things about it that suck. Teachers might love teaching but hate grading papers or dealing with school politics. People who flip burgers don't have the hardest job in the world, but the pay sucks and then eternally smell like fry grease. So, I understand when people periodically bitch about aspects of their jobs. Everyone needs to vent sometimes. I get it.
What I still can't understand is people who eternally bitch about everything to do with their job as an author.Read more
I've spent a fair amount of time talking to a couple people (Skyla being one of them) about planetary retrogrades this year. For myself, I've always been a weird sort of Mulder-Scully cross when it comes to this sort of thing. (And if you don't get the Mulder-Scully reference, shame on you.) I want to believe, but I question pretty much everything. I mean, astrology? I've read my horoscope since I was a little girl, but I haven't expected it to come true since I was about six.
This year, though, I really started to pay attention and the parallels in what I saw in others' lives (and my own) started to make me a believer...Read more
First, just to clear up (again) a misconception the general public has about authors... we aren't all rolling in money from our books. Those people? They are the like... 0.1% of authors who top the bestseller lists and get movie/TV deals. Then there's a nice chunk of authors who make a living with their writing. Some make a very good living, and others make a very modest living. There's a chunk below that who work other full-time jobs and write on top of it because they don't make enough yet to quit that day job. And then there is another chunk who don't make much at all.
That is reality. It also means that of the authors who go to conventions and pimp their books (especially the larger and more expensive conventions), a fair number of them pay more than they made the previous year to attend.Read more
I just got back from the Romantic Times Booklovers' Convention on Sunday, and I'm still in recovery mode. In other words, 1) It was a hell of a party and 2) Please bear with me for the potentially rambling nature of this post.
A while back, a well-meaning person told me I needed to clean up my behavior and act more professional. As a general rule, this is not bad advice...if your behavior is affecting your work.Read more