Showing posts from 2017

The Good, the Bad... the Ex


Adulting Writer Awards

About a week ago, I received some grump-inducing news. As is my recent habit, come afternoon, I plunked down before my desktop and slapped my fingers on the keyboard. Writing time! That day, though, I glared accusingly at my computer, which, just hours ago, had delivered some pretty obnoxious information.
But slowly, peck by peck, all the while sighing and muttering angrily, I penned a little over 1000 words. After limping across the finish line, I’ll admit I felt pretty smug. I hated the world that day, and still I managed to write something.
I deserved a medal, or at least a merit badge. An author merit badge.
You know those adulting awards that show up from time to time on social media? I propose we authors have our own adulting award but for, you know, literary stuff. Given this, I have designed some awards. Please feel free to print out, distribute, or tattoo as needed.

Love Without "Love"

A friend of mine recently posted a challenge on Facebook:
Say “I LOVE YOU” without using any of those three words.
Easy-peasy, right? Not as much as you might think. Finding synonyms or metaphors for “love” isn’t a problem. Situating it within the dyad of me-ness and you-ness without using these words? A teensy bit more challenging.
Nonetheless, am I a romance author, or am I a romance author, amiright? I mean, if I can’t say “I love you” without actually saying it, what kind of romance am I writing? So. Rolling up my sleeves (it’s 95 degrees right now, so I actually just pushed my watch up a little bit), I committed to write down the first 20 “I <3 U” alternatives that fluttered like wee turtledoves into my overheated noggin. You’ll notice I decided to use first-person throughout. And yeah, maybe I cheated a little bit (“Thine?” Really?), but being a romance author also means being a tiny god of the literary world I create. (In other words, I can both cheat and absolve myself. Scor…

Short Story on Voting in 1925

I am teaching an online Race and Ethnicity course, and I asked my students to do the following:
Do some research into the history of legalized segregation in the U.S. (Here’s one story that discusses DuBois’ failed attempt in 1905 to stay in a Whites-only hotel while he was – wait for it – forming what would become the NAACP.)

Write a few sentences in the first person as an African American in 1920 or so who lives a racially segregated life. Be realistic.
Certainly because I am a benevolent teacher and not because I simply love writing short stories and making students read them (ahem), I penned a rather lengthy example for them. Because it contained some interesting information about voting rights for Black Americans in the 1920s, I decided to share it with you all. You're welcome. 
Oh and yes, I know it's problematic for a White woman to put voice to Black experiences, but in my defense, I am making this assignment first-person to get my (mostly-White) students to relate to hist…

Feminizing the Sheroes

I’ve written a bunch in the past about alpha males and how I, well, don’t quite gel with them. I mean, they’re great and all. Some of my best friends are alpha males.* But, as I might have made clear in other posts, I’m not a big fan of what sociologist R.W. Connell calls hegemonic masculinity, or the pinnacle of all things manly. As a sociologist who studies social inequalities, I just… can’t.
Contrarily, because I am nothing if not contrary, I maintain a fondness for pretty traditionally feminine women characters. I like femininity, or at least the femininity that I, a White, middle class woman, have access to. As I discussed in a recent conference presentation, I understand my brand of femininity is rooted in Whiteness, in middle classness, and in opposition to non-straight, non-cisgender, and fat and larger persons. So, yeah, the history of femme-y women shouldn’t remain unchallenged. But it’s the air I’ve breathed, the water I’ve drunk, the vocabulary I’ve wielded to express myse…

For two days, Hunted Dreams is FREE!

Picture this: You, lemonade, a lawn chair on the porch. The only thing missing? A good book. Luckily for you, I have the solution to your tragic booklessness. 

For the next two days -- June 11 and 12 -- Hunted Dreams is FREEEEEEEE!
Yep, you read it right. Free, as in no charge. Free, as in "Yay! The best book of all time can be mine with only two clicks!". Free and clear as a politician's conscience, my friends.

That said, should you consume all this literally-priceless yumminess and decide you'd like to share your opinions on it, I would be eternally grateful if you'd write an Amazon and/or Goodreads review. Regardless, though, the book is free for two whole days.

Come 'n get it here!

The Allure of Vamps

Why do we love vampires so much? I’m not gonna lie: I adore them with an undead passion. With few exceptions, these fictional masters of the night embody, literally and symbolically, the epitome of coolness: super strong, super sexy, super rich, super sophisticated, super color coordinated. But with the hand of authorly godliness, I can make anyone all those things. What is it about vampires in particular that fascinates and rivets us?
Obviously, we love the idea that these creatures live forever. I mean, not to be a bummer, but at best, we puny mortals can expect to stick around a max of 100 or so years. This is but an eyeblink in an undead’s life! To folks, especially in Western, youth-worshipping, death-denying cultures, this can seem pretty sexy. And unlike zombies or ghosts, vampires remain not only corporeal but forever young. Heck, not only are they young, but they’re beautiful. This is never more apparent when Bella becomes a vampire in the Twilight Series. She not only remains…