Feminism & Writing

So the “f-word” is getting a lot of chatter this week, as Emma Watson spoke to the UN on Monday about feminism. Of course some people immediately threatened a nude photo leak (or manufacture, since apparently no one has legit nude photos of Watson) to bully her into being quiet. [see update below]

Way to prove Watson’s point exactly, people.

There are two fundamental problems here, and I can personally contribute to fixing only one of them. But I’ll explain them both. (And yes, this is still about stories!) Continue reading

How We Learned To Stop Worrying and Love Self-Publishing

Image found on a book published by "Samua...

Image found on a book published by “Samual Bagster and Sons” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fair warning: Today’s post is less art and more business. I’m going to very briefly touch on why I self-publish.

I didn’t start out as a proponenet of self-publishing. When I first knew I wanted to grow up to be a writer, it was simply “vanity publishing,” and to be honest that’s still out there. Vanity publishing was expensive and mostly low-quality material that couldn’t get a second look from “real” publishers. Those who used a vanity press rarely made money and were not taken very seriously.

That’s changed now, and there are a lot of reasons why self-publishing is now “legit.” And I’m not even talking about admitted outliers like Hugh Howey making $150,000/month and walking away from seven-figure offers. Sure, those success stories are awesome and I applaud! but there are other benefits to self-publishing as well. Continue reading

Charities and Giving – Want to Join Me?

So I’ve been meaning to work on my charity donations for a while now, and I’m only just getting around to it, because sometimes I’m easily-distracted.

But really, this stuff is important. And normally, this isn’t the kind of thing I’d publicize. We don’t do good for the praise of others, and that’s even Biblical (“Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them,” Matthew 6:1). So I wasn’t sure I should share this at all. But it occurred to me that if I did, others might be inspired to donate too, or even just become aware of some issues and needs that they weren’t previously aware of. So please read this post in that light. Continue reading

Vintage Books Are Art

A page from the mysterious Voynich manuscript,...

A page from the mysterious Voynich manuscript, which is undeciphered to this day. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I respect books. I hate to see books damaged, even — especially — in the name of decor. At a decorators’ show house recently, my sister, mother, and I looked in horror at shelf art made of cut up books. “Oh, thank goodness,” my sister soon identified, “they’re just Reader’s Digest Condensed Books.”

Walking through a decorating fair using vintage books and paper as disposable materials makes my blood run dark. The current trend of tearing up old books to get aged or interesting paper is infuriating and wholly unnecessary. My mother has decorated her bathroom with delightful antique book illustrations, everything from Sinbad to Sherlock Holmes, all color-copied from the originals for a neat aesthetic with no damage. Continue reading

Frozen: What Went Wrong

Okay, I’m gonna pull some hate for this one, I know. But.

Disney’s Frozen could have been amazing, but its script got in the way and made it, not a glittering glorious castle of ice, but that splashy muddy sludge left after snow melts. It had good moments, but given its individual parts, the sum should have been much better.

Vilhelm Pedersen illustration.

Gerda in The Snow Queen, Vilhelm Pedersen illustration. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m not even talking about the internet rage at the de-feminizing of The Snow Queen, a fairy tale which featured a nearly entirely female cast and a girl actually rescuing a boy. I’m talking purely internal plot problems. And yeah, there’s gonna be lots of spoilers ahead, so be warned. Continue reading

Alpha Males & Fiction

English: Samson, alpha male (leader) gorilla i...

Samson, alpha male gorilla in Givskud Zoo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I had an interesting Twitter conversation a while back when World Weaver Press tweeted a link to an article about hot alpha males (“dangerous,” “possessive,” “dominating,” etc.) in paranormal romance. Being a total behavior nerd, I replied that most of these “alpha males” were actually displaying lower-ranking behavior – real alphas don’t posture, act aggressive or defensive, etc. — and we chatted briefly about the implications for fiction and PNR in particular.

Don’t confuse the “alpha male” and the “bad boy.” They’re different things. It’s a common myth, the posturing alpha male, but it’s a myth. Simply put, if you’ve got it, you don’t have to flaunt it. Only those worried about their position waste time, energy, and other resources in reminding others of their position. Continue reading

Speedy Chocolate!

Endangered Species - Coexist All-Natural Dark Chocolate Covered Hazelnut Toffee 72% Cocoa

Endangered Species – Coexist All-Natural Dark Chocolate Covered Hazelnut Toffee 72% Cocoa

This post will have to go live a few days later, since I ordered some gifts I don’t want to telegraph, but here’s the deal: I ordered from Endangered Species Chocolate and found my order at my driveway about 24 hours later.

Let us count the ways this went right: Continue reading

Stakes on a Plane — Men, Women, and Entitlement

Today’s post features a rude game of airplane footsie and some sociological pronouncements. Continue reading

I Ran for Freedom. And I Didn’t Collapse.

So this morning was the 5K run to benefit International Justice Mission, combating modern slavery. (Yes, real slavery still exists today. In higher numbers than ever, in fact, but thankfully also as a smaller percentage than ever.)

International Justice Mission charity run

Yes, that’s a six-year-old. Ahead of me. Shuddup.

What you have to know is that I don’t run. Really. So this was a really good cause for me to even sign up. I had planned to do at least a bit of training beforehand, but a rotated pelvis nixed that. And that’s my best excuse for why I was able to take a photo of a six-year-old in front of me in the pack. Continue reading

Thoughts on the Boston Marathon Disaster

I didn’t hear about the explosions at the Boston Marathon right away. It wasn’t until my sister and I were on our way home from a library, where we’d been running a simple jewelry workshop for kids, that she checked Twitter and asked, “What happened at the Boston Marathon? Why would they need blood drives?”

And she read back, and she told me. And my first words were, “Why? What is WRONG with people?!?!” Continue reading