Showing posts from November, 2011

Paranormal Romance: Celebrating the Beauty of the Common

I like the different. I like the weird. I like things that don’t quite fit, that look a bit too large or taste a smidge too bitter. I celebrate ugly and find inspiration in dissonance. If I wanted to be like everyone else, I would have become an accountant. Instead, I write paranormal romance. Like many readers of paranormal romance, I like characters who don’t fit the archetypes. My heroes aren’t all alpha males, my sheroes are sometimes fat and happy about it, my female villains (gasp) don’t always sexually smolder to prove they’re powerful. I wrote my very first published piece of paranormal fiction, Hunted , after pondering, “What would a world look like if women were the warriors and men the healers and thinkers?” My second novel, Hunted Past , grapples with definitions of beauty: Can people with scars – inside and out – be beautiful? Is beauty a noun, an adjective, or a verb? In my third, not-yet-published, novel, Hunted Dreams , my main couple is interracial, interspecies, and

Let's Not Make Nativism an American Tradition

You, like me, may have stumbled several times across the op-ed entitled “ Christmas 2011 – Birth of a New Tradition .” Its chief message?: “Buy American,” a sentiment many of us can support. It’s the writers’ reasoning, as well as their repeated, and disdainful, waving of the phrase “the Chinese” like a nativist, pro-American flag, that knots my granny panties. Below is a response I posted to a listserv of which I’m a member. Enjoy. Hey, all. Thanks for sharing this call to action. I, for one, am a huge fan of not buying people more stuff , since that's the last thing most of us need. My own personal philosophy is to either eschew presents or else buy people experiences, especially dinner with an amazing person like, well, me. :-D  Also, I'm deeply annoyed by our consumerist culture, which thrives on making people feel the answers to all of life's questions can be found in the aisle of a store. It also actively promotes sizeism, looksism, and other inequalities in hopes

The Voices! The Voices!

I’m sure some wise person somewhere at sometime said something to the effect of, “When authors create characters, they are in fact merely articulating pieces of themselves.” The fact is, we write what we know, and, if we’ve been doing things right, we tend to know ourselves pretty well; in this way, at least some aspects of each of our characters end up mirroring our own. That acknowledged, I want to learn to make my characters speak with extremely distinct voices. I just finished writing a book featuring a young, well-educated White woman and a mixed-raced, ex-Army vet. They have distinct personalities and have lived enormously different lives; as such, I don’t want them to sound anything like the other. I found this my single biggest challenge when penning the book. I ended up differentiating them in large and obvious ways: Katana, my shero, refuses to swear and, as a college student, has a pretty decent vocabulary, while Reed, my hero, swears a lot more and uses some slang, as I fi

November is National Adopt-a-Senior-Pet Month!

The cutest things in the world are kittens and puppies, right? Those disproportionately-large heads, those enormous eyes, that boundless energy and clumsiness, the amoral gleam in their eyes: Nothing in the world is cuter. Right?  In spite of the obscene, cuddly cuteness of baby kittens and puplets, I admit I find something else even more adorable: An adult animal, especially a senior, that doesn't pee all over my carpet and expend enough energy to make a meth addict crave a nap.  I LOVE SENIOR ANIMALS. They're awesome. Like me, they're low-key, snuggly, and already know what truly matters in life: snuggles, warmth, and boundless love.  In case I haven't yet totally harshed your kitten/puppy buzz, below are some reasons from Petfinder and me listing why senior animals are a family's best friend : 1. Baby animals, especially puppies, pee a lot. Seniors have already been potty trained. 2. You're in the mood for a nap and some bad TV? Guess what? So i

Introducing the Rainbow Fatniks

My BFF and I winning third place in the talent contest At its 2011 National Convention, NAAFA was foolish enough to host a talent contest. And tell my partner-in-crime and me about it. After conferring with another friend and raiding the shelves of our friend, Paula's, awesome  size-friendly costume shop , we were ready to go. On August 7, 2011, the Rainbow Fatniks were born. Two fat, black-clad, round-spectacled, beret-wearing drama qu-- uh, I mean poets emerged on the scene and, bongos in hand, proudly performed two fat-pride beatnik poems. For those who can't understand the words, I included them below.  And to answer your question, no, I don't know why my particular rendition of a fat beatnik channeled an evangelical Black woman.  Elle's Fatnik Beat Poem Fat, fat, fat Does my open mouth scare you? Does my weight make you feel Like half a person? Does the thunder from my thighs Send you scurrying under the covers at night? Does the wind from my wi

A Response to Torrid's Mass Email Entitled "What's the Skinny?"

Dear Torrid: Me wearing my anti-bully t-shirt from Torrid I have a burning love for your store and so appreciate your willingness to accommodate the awesome girth of women of average size and above (average American woman is a size 14, as I'm sure you know). Given all that, why would you write an email entitled "What's the skinny?" I know what the slang term means and understand you're trying to maintain an image of a hip, youthful company. But since visiting your shop is one of the few pleasurable and non-sizeist experiences we fat girls have, I would really appreciate you not mocking us by employing a term that, as a symbol of all we're not but are told we "should be," has been used in the past to degrade and marginalize us.  In the future, please rethink the thoughtless use of such terms, no matter how hip and cool they make you sound. Oh and while we're talking, expanding your size ranges to include larger ones would be amazing. Fat w