I always support friends with their first book. It's just what you do. But I don't always walk away from hearing them read thinking "I need to move that sucker up in the TBR pile." I did last night.
You might, too. Just sayin'.
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A friend of mine posted something about catcalling and street harassment. To the absolute shock of … well, pretty much nobody, the very first comment on her post was a guy explaining why women shouldn’t be afraid of catcalling, and isn’t it funny how the women complaining aren’t the ones experiencing the “privilege” of being catcalled in the first place? Also, women wouldn’t be afraid if they carried guns, and the real threat are guys “in a dark van with no windows parked next to your car in the Walmart parking lot.”
His suggestion? “Now what would happen if a woman who’s the center of the cat call took the power back, walked up to the offending rake and asked for his number and told him to show a little respect and maybe if he was lucky she’d let him earn the opportunity to do some real cat calling?”
This is the point where I facepalmed so hard I gave myself a concussion.
Guys, is it really that hard to shut the hell up and listen instead of immediately trying to tell women why they’re wrong about their own lives and experiences?
It’s pathetically predictable.
Because Dudebro’s discomfort at women complaining about harassment is somehow more important and valid than women’s discomfort about actually being harassed.
The CDC put out a report this year about sexual violence, after completing more than 12,000 interviews. They found that one in five women have been raped in their lifetimes, and 99% of those rapes were committed by men. (The report states that about two percent of men were raped as well, which I strongly suspect is an underestimate. They also found that approximately 80% of those rapes were also committed by men.)
“But I’m not like those other men,” says Dudebro, waving the “Not All Men” flag with righteous pride.
Then stop acting like them.
You seriously want women to believe you’re not an asshole and a potential threat? Start by shutting up for a minute and actually listening to what women are saying.
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
Mindy Klasky brought me into this blog tour with a few rather pointed - and makes-me-think - questions. Like me, she started in fantasy and branched out - most recently with the Diamond Brides series. Check her out!
1) What am I working on?
Two projects, currently. As L.A. Kornetsky, I'm writing the fourth Gin & Tonic mystery (cozy mysteries set in Seattle). As myself, I'm working on a brand new fantasy currently titled Silver on the Road (The Devil's West #1), which will be out from Simon & Schuster in 2015 (but for now you can read a story in that world in DEAD MAN'S HAND)
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
One of the things I'm trying to do with The Devil's West stories is create a modern (for 19th century interpretations of 'modern') American fantasy - one that isn't reliant on Europe for its legends and story arcs, but pulls from American (North and Central - not so much of South America in the first book, at least) people, legends, and history. It could be considered "weird west," but the west I'm writing about isn't the traditional cowboys and gunslingers, but rather the people who went before them, natives and immigrants alike: the adventurers, the settlers, the people who wanted to live outside the box..... and were willing to pay the devil to get it.
3) Why do I write what I do?
As the legacy of immigration (19th century arrivals from Eastern Europe) and as a student of American history, the conflict between old and new, power and vulnerability, tradition and innovation, has always fascinated me. And when I started writing the first story of the Devil's West (Crossroads) my mind asked the question: was it inevitable that the new American States expand into the western half of the continent? What if... there was a power there already? A strange, strong power that - unlike the Spanish and French - was not willing to trade or sell its control over native lands? What would happen to the natives living there, the settlers willing to venture into that unknown, the countries that have to deal with that power? And that idea spread from stories to a novel, to a series of novels.....
Short version: America is made up of many parts, and she has stories to tell all her own. I wanted to delve into that.
4) How does your writing process work?
I'm a very intense, burst-writer, whose brain is most creative in the morning. So I've learned to roll with that. I wake up at 6am and deal with the cats (I have a diabetic eldercat who needs his shot) and go through the morning routine: shower, breakfast, get dressed. I'm not one of those writers who can work in pjs or sweats - although thank god my brain doesn't require a suit and shoes. Jeans and a shirt, a pot of coffee, the cats asleep behind me in the office, and my fellow word-warriors in the virtual room giving me positive peer pressure... a few thousand words between 7am and 1pm, and I spend the rest of the afternoon doing administrative work, research, or editing. Five, sometimes six days a week - seven, when deadlines get crunchy.
And I don't get to do just one draft. Everything is layers: First the basic research, to make sure I've got my starting points down. Then Draft 1, which makes sure I hit all the plot-points, and stake out the pacing, get a feel for the characters and why they do what they do. Then there's Draft 2, where I fix the pacing, and start filling in the holes of Why and Where (more research!), and Draft 3, which lets me do the specific color-work on characters and motivations, and correct anything that might gave gone wrong in Drafts 1-2. Then I get feedback, and fix the things that were pointed out to me. And only then, at Draft 4, do I send the book on to my editor...
Of course, it's not all writing. I do a lot of research, starting before I write the first word, and going all the way through to the final version. Some of that's reading, or talking to people (I am known for giving yelps-for-help on my Twitter feed, and Livejournal) - and some of it's hands-on experience. Since much of this book is set in Kansas, and I've never actually been to Kansas... we're embarking on a road trip to trace the route (more or less from Kansas City to Colorado Springs, CO). I'm a firm believer in as much hands-on research as possible (which includes, in this case, refreshing my memory of guns and knifes, cooking over a campfire, and pack-trail riding...).
Next week (April 21), please visit:
Keith DeCandido - Media-writer, fantasy writer, percussionist, and self-proclaimed long-haired hippie New Yorker
(the third person tagged had to drop out for personal reasons.)
What situation, you ask? This one.
This Saturday I saw the New York Times article Barnes and Noble/Simon & Schuster Dispute Said to Hurt Sales. Later in the day, a high-up Simon & Schuster executive also linked to that post from his Facebook account, saying that yes, this is what's going on.
Another article about it was published in the Wall Street Journal: Barnes & Noble Cuts Back Simon & Schuster Titles.
Both articles are worth reading in full, but in brief: due to the dispute between Simon & Schuster and Barnes & Noble, B&N has cut their orders of S&S books drastically. According to the New York Times, "Industry executives, as well as authors of recently published Simon & Schuster books and their agents, say that Barnes & Noble has reduced book orders greatly, to almost nothing in the case of some lesser-known writers." This policy began in January, apparently.
Needless to say, the people getting hurt most badly by this policy are the S&S writers, especially the lesser-known S&S writers, whose new books...just aren't getting ordered.
As an S&S author myself who will probably be caught in the same net, I'm urging you to read Stephanie's blog, pass the word, and keep an eye out for your favorite writers...
What would they need? I asked, already calculating my available time and brain cells.
Oh, she said casually (too casually), just, maybe a guest post, or a personal ISO ad from your characters, or even a recipe...
Wait. A recipe? I could do that. Maybe a scene of, oh, Bonnie and Venec's first date, and...
And a few weeks, and FOUR THOUSAND WORDS LATER....
I was, indeed, a Fool for Love.
Lambda Literary Foundation's annual Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBT Voices has two genre-friendly faculty this year: Samuel Delany teaching the Fiction workshop and Malinda Lo teaching a joint Genre and YA workshop. (There are also workshops in Nonfiction and Poetry.)
I’ve had an exhausting week, between taking care of my injured wife at home, trying to figure out my new job at work, conferences for the kids, and more. I was planning to come home tonight and crash.
And then I came across a post by Ann Crispin. You might recall me blogging about Ann’s situation earlier this year. She’s fighting cancer, and her only source of income this year would be through her Starbridge novels, which had been republished by Ridan Publishing.
Or at least that was the plan. Only Ridan Publishing apparently hasn’t bothered to pay her, or do to much of anything publishers are supposed to do. From her Facebook update:
Ridan has pretty much stopped communicating with me. My last two certified letters, which included the contract termination letter, were never picked up at the post office. Even though StarBridge came out on December 5, 2011, I have never received a royalty payment from Ridan.
I know some of you were waiting for books 6 and 7 in the StarBridge series. Those books were turned in months ago, edited and ready to go, but they have never been released.
I don’t know if Sullivan is deliberately trying to scam authors, or if (more likely, in my opinion) she’s simply gotten in over her head.
But I do know that Ann Crispin is an author whose work I’ve enjoyed for more than half of my life, an author who has done tireless and invaluable work for other writers. To Crispin’s great credit, she wrote a very reasonable, level-headed post, hoping for a civil resolution to this mess.
I, on the other hand, am feeling rather less than civil. I tend to feel very protective of those I consider friends, even those I’ve only met and talked to online.
So instead of coming home to crash on the couch, and maybe — if I felt ambitious — getting up to put in an episode of Avatar, I sat down to write this.
Dear Robin Sullivan,
Based on what Crispin describes, you have deprived her — an excellent author and an invaluable resource to the SF/F community, who is currently battling cancer — from her sole source of income this year. You have ignored her attempts to communicate with you.
Or I swear to God, I will do everything in my power to drop the entire fucking internet on your head.
Jim C. Hines
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.