Girl Power

Sometimes being a feminist (or, you know, as close to being a feminist as I can get, not being a very serious person,) one of the problems I have is that sometimes, in my writing, I have this “Oh my god! This would be a great thing to happen in my story!” idea, and I feel like I can’t write it, because if I do, all of my feminist friends are going to be like “oh my god, I can’t believe you just did that.” Sorry, guys, but sometimes you’re a bit overboard, with your Female Power position.

Take, for example, the quandary that I’m in now – In my story, I want my male protagonist to Rescue The Girl. Well, see, I know that that is a pretty typical trope to do, but, anymore, in this “enlightened” age that we’re in, having the girl get rescued is going to piss off all of the feminists.

And, when I say “all of the feminists,” I don’t mean all of them. There are a few who are, you know, rational. And, those people are going to be able to go “okay, this is a story, so I’m just going to roll with it.”

But, there are those others who (and, I know that I can be one of them, at times) are going to be all like “oh my god! You just had the protagonist rescue the girl! This is totally against Girl Power! Oh my god, you’re evil!” And, I just want to say to people “you know, this is a story, it worked this way because the main character deserves a love interest that’s going to be jiving with him, and the way she’s going to jive with him is by being rescued, instead of being her own rescuer.”

You know, I’m totally all about Girl Power. I really am. But, sometimes, I just want the guy to rescue that girl. Is that really too much to be asking for?



I’m writing this now, today, even though I don’t plan on actually posting it for Quite Awhile. Why? Because I’m completely excited! In the immortal words of Danny Kaye “at last I can start suffering and write that symphony.” Only, in my case, it’s “that short story.” Only I’ve already been writing. Yeah, it’s exactly like that – only different.

What on earth am I talking about (because, you obviously haven’t read the title of my post?) I’m GETTING PUBLISHED!! That’s right. This little kittengirl is ON HER WAY! Recently, I submitted a short story that I had written several years back, to a project that’s being published by Bibliotheca Alexandrina – an anthology on sacred journeys. It was a story that had a voice very different than what I normally post – a (for me) very ethnic piece, that pays homage to my New Mexican upbringing. I’d written it as a response to a writing challenge, and never really thought about it since then, but as I felt that it fit the new project, I figured “what the heck – might as well try.” Apparently, they thought that it fit the project as well, as they accepted it.

My first thought, upon seeing the acceptance letter was that the project was probably a skeezy thing (self confidence? I have none.) My second thought was “do I need to get an agent now?” My third thought was “okay, so how do all of these rights things work? Obviously, I’m not going to be getting paid for this go around, but what if I wanted to get paid in the future – how does that work?” Which led right back in to the “do I need to get an agent now?” deal. My last thought was “okay, so, I’ve met my goal of getting published – do I want to continue to pursue this?”

And, that’s the question, isn’t it? I’ve always wanted to be published. Well, I’m getting published. So, technically, that means that I’ve met my goal, doesn’t it? Is it time to re-visit my life’s ambition? Is it time to make a new goal? Or… should I stop now? Going on is much scarier. It means not possible, but certain rejection. If I stop now, I don’t have to worry about that. I’ve made it. I’ve gotten published.

….but, this publication just means that someone thought that my words are worth reading. And, my friends and family – the same people who have told me over and over again that I have the talent to do this – they’re rooting me on. They think that I can do this. That I’m worth reading. So, stopping now… it somewhat feels like a betrayal to everyone who’s supported me. Someone thinks that I’m worth publishing. People think that I’m worth reading. That validates my feeling that I should be writing and should be pursuing this. So, I’m not going to go with goals, now. I’m just going to go after more.

Show Me My Darlings (or, how I feel about editing)

One of the things I’d read in books about conventions was the main characters being annoyed by the questions con goers would ask, like “How do you come up with your ideas?” I thought that that was a pretty silly situation, and couldn’t possibly be true to life. Until I went to my first panel, and one of the girls in the audience asked “how do you make your characters do what you want them to do?” I was flabbergasted. I felt like asking her “seriously? Did you HONESTLY just ask someone how to write? You just do it.” Of course, I didn’t say that, because that would have been incredibly bitchy of me, and I generally try to be a nice person, but I had that moment of wtf that many authors write about.

The author in question replied with “you learn how to kill your darlings.” And, that got me thinking. Now, maybe it’s because of the way I write – it’s mostly first drafts (as I need to find a crit group that will give me ways in which I revise,) and, for the most part, it’s very free form. I “simply” step out of the way of myself, and let my fingers do the work. That’s how I do it, anyway. And, maybe, because of this, I don’t really feel like I’m doing the writing. I’m half convinced that there’s some muse who’s working my fingers and keyboard and saying what I’m putting down. (Not really – I’m a fantasy writer. I get to be creative. Unless, it really is true, in which case, I owe her about ten tons of burned incense.)

In any case, while I might be incredibly proud of something I’ve written (’cause, damn, my muse can create some wonderful things,) nothing that I write, to me, is indelible. Nothing is sacred. Let it all burn! ….well, some of it. Maybe. If there’s a good reason for it. And I was presented with the┬áchanges in a gentle fashion. And if I get chocolate.

Really, I don’t think that any writer actually enjoys revising their work and editing. If they did, they’d be editors, instead of writers. (Although, as I’ve learned, many are both, and quite good at both.) But, for me, it’s the creative spark that makes me want to do what I do. It’s creating something out of the ether. I don’t want to revisit things I’ve already done, and changing them – I’ve already told that story. Let me move on to something new! But, as they say, writing is really 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration. I’m ready to start with the work outs of revision. Show me my darlings, and I’ll show you some corpses.

Marketing Myself

This past weekend, I went to a convention called MarsCon, which was held in Williamsburg, VA. If you haven’t gone to a con before, and are wanting to start going, I highly recommend this one, if you live on the East Coast. It was awesome. And, it also had a lot to offer for a wanna be author like me.

There were several instances in the various panels where they talked about marketing, and marketing strategies. Apparently, having a content filled blog is one of the best marketing strategies (other than keep writing new material) that other authors have. Which means that I’m halfway there – I already have a blog, I just need to put content in it.

So, because I was up at four this morning, I’ve had time to play WORK on my writing blog. As I had started it as just a regular blog, it contain/ed personal posts that didn’t have anything to do with writing. It STILL contains these things, but now, they’re under “private” view (that way, I can keep any back patting “likes” or comments that were originally placed by viewers like you.) I’ve also started another blog specifically for those kinds of posts and re-posted the non-writing posts to this new blog, so people who want to read non-writing things of mine can go there.

Currently, my intention is to post here three times a week – Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays – with various content – story prompts (which I call kernels, as they’re the kernels – starts/ideas – of stories,) blog posts specific to writing and chasing the author brass ring, book reviews, and first drafts of flash fiction.

So. Welcome to my writing blog. Hope you have fun with it (and maybe find it useful.)