In Honor of NaNo… Have some Fiction!

So, I have been gone for a long time, and I am so very sorry for that. My health got bad again, and it is, in truth, still bad. Because of this, I didn’t do NaNo this year.

However, I did stumble upon some short fiction I wrote a while ago for a contest. It is fanfiction, as the characters are based in WoW. It has had very little editing done, as I wrote it like, a day before the contest closed. I didn’t win, but I hope you enjoy. (Constructive criticism is always welcome.)

I don’t own the characters, but the writing is mine, so don’t be a jerk, ok?

The Rise of Scholomance

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Some Musings About Feminism and Writing

In case you didn’t know, I am a feminist. The shortest possible explanation I can give of what that means is that I believe in equality for women. It doesn’t mean I don’t like men, it doesn’t mean I want to take their rights away. Feminism is so misunderstood, it is kind of sad.

Most feminists will know about the women-in-refrigerators trope. In case you aren’t familiar with it, I will give you a quick rundown. This trope indicates that a woman’s place in a narrative (literature, TV, movies) is for the sole purpose of having horrible things done to her. The other side of this is that a woman is more likely to have horrible things happen to her in a narrative simply because she is a woman. We see this with serial killer stories where the serial killer targets women. We see this with a male main character who falls in love only to have his love brutally raped and murdered, thus giving him the motive he needs to exact revenge, etc.

As I am reading the latest NetGalley selection I requested, I realized something. I am noticing a disturbing trend, especially when it comes to fantasy. If I were to name the trope, I would call it the constructed-patriarchy trope.

When you write, and especially when you write fantasy, you have the right to create whatever world you want. This is part of why I love writing, and a bigger part of why I write fantasy. I love not being constrained by the world as it is now. If you want to dispute that a patriarchy exists in the world today, I suggest you take a look around. Because it is there.

But, when you are writing, and especially when you are writing fantasy, you have the freedom to make your own rules.

So why, then, are writers pitting their female characters against a patriarchy of their own making? What is even more distressing to me, is that since I have registered that this is happening, I have noticed it is a lot of female authors that do it. Now, I am not just going to sit here and point fingers. I recognize there might be a few reasons for this… so I am willing to explore those a little more.

Reason 1: Art imitates life.
This is the simplest reason I can think of. Women are oppressed, and it comes out in their writing. They want to break free of the patriarchy, and writing is the easiest way to do that.

Reason 2: The authors want to inspire feminism.
This kind of ties into reason one. But perhaps authors are looking to inspire readers to fight their own patriarchal oppression through their characters’ actions.

Reason 3: The authors are trying to write strong female characters.
Unfortunately, with what our world looks like today, a strong female must fight against a patriarchy. This isn’t actually true, though. I have read many books where the female main character is awesome, and there is no detectable patriarchy in sight.

Reason 4: The author wants the book to be relate-able.
The author may fully recognize they are creating a patriarchy, and they may be doing it for the sake of relate-ability. There is a patriarchal problem in the world today, therefore having it reflected in literature makes the literature that much more believable.

Those are the four reasons I came up with. And honestly, while they are forgivable, none of them really justifies (in my mind, anyways) the creation of a patriarchy.

So. Is this a trend that you have noticed? Am I late to the party? What do you think about the creation of a patriarchy in fiction?

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge – Day 8

15-Day-Challenge

This awesome challenge is being hosted by April over at Good Books and Good Wine. It seems like a great challenge, so I thought I would check it out! I am going to post one of these every two or three days, interspersed with book reviews. Enjoy, and feel free to join in!

Day 8: Quick! Write 15 bullet points of things that appeal to you on blogs!

  • Updated fairly frequently
  • Clean layout without too much clutter
  • Easy to navigate
  • Pictures of books being reviewed, and links to Goodreads so I can add it to my shelf if it interests me
  • Personable tone… I don’t like being talked down to about anything, least of all books
  • Includes places other than the US when doing a giveaway
  • Isn’t afraid to get personal now and then. I like to know about the bloggers on more than just a literature level
  • Communicates with people who leave comments

That is really all I can think of right now. I am pretty easy to get along with, but I will say that design and clutter are the two big things that tend to drive me away from a lot of book blogs.

How about you? What do you like in a blog, and what is a one way ticket out of there for you?

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge – Day 4

15-Day-Challenge

This awesome challenge is being hosted by April over at Good Books and Good Wine. It seems like a great challenge, so I thought I would check it out! I am going to post one of these every two or three days, interspersed with book reviews. Enjoy, and feel free to join in!

Day 4: What’s the last book you flung across the room?

I don’t think I have ever actually flung a book across the room. I love and respect books too much. But the last book I WANTED to fling across the room?

Zombie FalloutAshfall

There are two. Zombie Fallout by Mark Tufo gets a spot because of misogyny and the phrase “…with precise precision.” Really? And then Ashfall by Mike Mullin was just bad on a lot of levels, from bad writing to plot holes.

How about you? Do you actually physically throw books around? What was the last one that frustrated you to that level?

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge – Day 2

15-Day-Challenge

This awesome challenge is being hosted by April over at Good Books and Good Wine. It seems like a great challenge, so I thought I would check it out! I am going to post one of these every two or three days, interspersed with book reviews. Enjoy, and feel free to join in!

Day 2: What is your bedtime reading ritual?

Generally speaking, around 10pm I will curl up on the couch with my book, a snack, and something to drink (tea in the winter, water or iced tea in the summer). If I am super tired I skip the snack and crawl right into bed with my book. Because if I am super tired, I am more likely to fall asleep, and then that means if I am on the couch, my husband has to wake me up to go to bed when he goes to bed. He hates doing it, and it generally means my insomnia kicks in. So I try to read the signals and go to bed if appropriate.

I will read until I fall asleep. If I am reading a paper book, I tend to turn off the light sooner, since it can disturb my husband’s sleep. But my e-reader has a case with a built-in light that is a little less disruptive. Some nights, reading until I fall asleep means five minutes. Others it means three hours. It varies.

Do you have a bedtime reading ritual? Or do you save reading for another time of day?

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge – Day 1

15-Day-ChallengeThis awesome challenge is being hosted by April over at Good Books and Good Wine. It seems like a great challenge, so I thought I would check it out! I am going to post one of these every two or three days, interspersed with book reviews. Enjoy, and feel free to join in!

Day 1: Make 15 book-related confessions.

  1. I judge books by their covers. All the time.
  2. A lot of the time, I want to own books just to own them more than to read them.
  3. Sometimes I re-read books just to see how the characters are doing.
  4. I think I am legitimately addicted to reading. If I was told tomorrow I couldn’t read anymore, I would probably have a mental breakdown.
  5. I absolutely refuse to read books out of order. I am very OCD about this.
  6. My home will not be complete until it has a library in it.
  7. The thought of giving away any of my books, even the ones I don’t particularly love, makes me feel kind of sick.
  8. I know I am in a really bad state of sickness when I am too sick to even read. It happens from time to time, and it is rare, but it is the big red flag that something is super wrong.
  9. My husband is the single most important person in my life, and I love him to the end of the world and back again. I wouldn’t trade him for anything or anyone. But I wish he was more into reading.
  10. I worry about people judging me based on what I am reading.
  11. In some ways (though not all) I am a horrible book snob.
  12. I started reading full length books before I started kindergarten. By the fourth grade, I had a reading comprehension level equivalent to someone in the twelfth grade.
  13. Recommending a book to someone is a high anxiety activity for me. It isn’t so much that I worry they won’t like it… that is their own call. I more worry about what they will think of me based on the book.
  14. It makes me so very sad when people say they don’t enjoy reading. It makes me rage when they make fun of people who do.
  15. I collect perfume oils, and some of my favorites are the ones that smell like old books. That smell is intoxicating.

So there we have it. Now you know a little bit more about me. Do you have any book related confessions to make?