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This is Halloween

31 Oct

Gotta watch it at least once today, right? God knows it’s been stuck in my head all day.

Happy Halloween!

The Sinful Soundtrack

25 Apr

Thanks to the wonders of Grooveshark, my obsessive playlist-making can now be conveniently shared with the world!

… I say that like it’s a good thing.

Anyhow! When I was writing Inedible Sins, I was no less obsessive than usual. Since the book is coming on the 28th, I figured I might as well set it up here, in case people are interested. So. Soundtrack!

Here is my TL;DR commentary:

1. “Smash the System”. I don’t belong here in your garden/I should be up there on your throne. Yeah, basically 50% of Jonesy’s personality, right there.
2. “Town Called Malice”. Though decidedly written about a small working-class town in England, it’s safe to say this can apply to DC, especially at this point in time, in many, many ways.
3. “Yourself”. All the self-loathing. All of it.
4. “Sweet and Tender Hooligan”. If we hadn’t been able to decide on Inedible Sins as a title, I really might’ve suggested this…
5. “Gintlemen’s Club”. Again, wrong city, but the posh poser vibe stands.
6. “Get Myself Arrested”. In so very many ways, really.
7. “Broken Boy Soldier”. Did I mention there’s Civil War stuff? There’s Civil War stuff!
8. “The World Was A Mess But His Hair Was Perfect”. If Ashley Evans existed today, this would be his theme song. It would just spontaneously start playing whenever he walked into a room.
9. “My Mistakes Were Made For You”. From Jonesy, to Jude and Emily.
10. “Bad Taste In My Mouth”. Now I’ve got all the things that I wanted/There’s still a bad taste in my mouth. Worse than ever, in fact.
11. “Pace is the Trick”. Jonesy’s issues with the world and himself (and Brother Alfie) in one convenient (and lovely–great song!) package.
12. “Blood Money”. Oh. But blood is so much better than money, by the end.
13. “Evil and a Heathen”. Jonesy and Ashley, for sure.
14. “Handlebars”. The quintessential crash-and-burn delusions-of-grandeur song.
15. “The Butcher”. By the last two chapters, this is basically on repeat in Jonesy’s head. Much to Brother Alfie’s dismay.
16. “Salvation”. For all the irony.
17. “Rebellion (Lies)”. Not just the lyrics, but the music. That keychange punches me in the throat every time, which is precisely the feeling here, yes.
18. “505”. Acedia. As in the final chapter. Over and over.

Inedible Sins

Coming Sunday!

TV Land: Merlin

23 Aug

Well my back actually functions now–for the most part–so it’s back to work for me. While it was all screwed up, I had trouble even holding up a book. That sounds ridiculous, but it’s true; I carry all my tension in my shoulder blades, and I always forget just how much I use those fuckers for everything until they tense up completely. As a result, I spent a great deal of time on the couch with an ice pack watching TV.

It’s amazing what I can learn from watching TV, in terms of writing, but mostly I was too annoyed to be academic about it. So I sat there and mainlined Merlin and Teen Wolf. Here’s the lowdown on the first one:


My parents have been telling me for years to watch this. I don’t know why I haven’t except that I don’t really watch much TV . Generally that’s time I’d rather be using to write, which is my brain’s own way of entertaining itself. (Until it’s time to edit, at which point it’s my brain’s own way of trying to fuck with me.) But as was inevitable–because King Arthur–I caved when the back started to get a bit wonky, and it pretty much saved me there in the end.

Good points:

  • Casting. Pretty much everyone is totally perfect. In particular Arthur (Bradley James) and Merlin (Colin Morgan) have great comedic timing both together and apart, and Morgana (Katie McGrath) owns every scene she’s in. Also, Gwen (Angel Coulby) is fucking gorgeous and I want to eat her up. Anthony Head as Uther? He’ll always be Sir Walter Elliot to me, so yeah. Totally perfect. And awful.
  • Adorability. Pretty much everyone is totally adorable–but in weird and interesting ways rather than being super-perfect. It’s also one of the few shows where I’ve watched gag reels and random interviews because they’re genuinely cute. (Arthurian road trip through Wales with the guys who play Merlin and Arthur–hilariously useless, these two.)
  • Re-imagining. I love what they did with pretty much all of the Arthurian myths they’ve used so far. The dragon under the castle (yes, singular), Excalibur, Mordred, the Round Table, and god, oh my god, the Sword in the Stone–I might have gotten a little choked up over that one. I actually liked most of it better than what the darker, grittier, and clearly more expensive Camelot series on Starz did. Those little moments of I know what that is! fannish glee are wonderful.
  • Characters. They went some weird ass places with the characters, and it’s cool. I never thought I’d see the day where I prefer Lancelot to Arthur–I’m not a paladin kinda girl.  Merlin is extremely awkward and cute, and Gwen is adorable–even if she does need some better stuff to do, because she’s kinda wasted so far. The knights are really fun, in particular Gwaine, who retains a von Eschenbach-ish devil-may-care-can’t-shut-up-ness. And Morgana… she’s the best, and has had the most interesting and believable arc so far.
  • General feeling. It’s a light-hearted, family-friendly show on the surface, but it manages to give you all the feels at the same time. Gotta love that.

Katie McGrath as Morgana

Morgana. Bitch be fabulous. (Links to source.)


Frustrating Point

Pretty much the one big one: it’s a monarchist fable in which the monarchy is shit. The ruling family, the Pendragons, are genocidal bastards who hate magic and have literally killed anyone caught practicing it for decades. (There is a reason given, but it’s a bit thin.) Arthur was raised in this tradition–a cool change: he actually grew up in Camelot with King Uther–hence most of his jock-headed douchery.

Bradley James as Arthur Pendragon

Ladies and gentlemen, your prince… (links to source)

But Merlin has to betray his own and keep saving Arthur’s dumb ass to make sure he gets to the throne (while people keep dying in the meantime) because destiny. No, really, that’s the whole reason. Arthur, in the meantime, has no idea Merlin is magic, regularly throws shit at him, and is in general a complete dick–not because he doesn’t love Merlin, because he proves often enough that he does, but he’s not awesome at showing it. He takes every opportunity to be a horrible friend, too. Again, we understand why, but yeah. Dick.

But destiny, so whatever. Merlin is Emrys! (Love that they included that, btw, although they’ve yet to explain it in the show.) He is the magical messiah! He’ll save them…

Eventually. So long as it involves not upsetting the current power structure. Kinda like, you know, endorsing a system of government that chooses its supreme leader by the “strange women lying in ponds distributing swords” method.

… okay, so it’s appropriate. But aggravating as fuck, as people are dying in every episode.

Why doesn’t Merlin just say fuck this and give control over to the magical types–his people, many of whom are still extremely level-headed and peaceful in the face of this disaster? Why, once he finds out Morgana–the king’s ward (and more, as it turns out, but shhh)–is magic, doesn’t he bring her into the loop and ask for her help and support? Um,  because it’s way more fun to let her go insane and turn hateful, I guess?

Colin Morgan as Merlin

I know, Merlin. I know. (Links to source)

Nah, says Merlin, I’m just going to keep screwing over magical people and letting them die left and right because a dragon and a doddering old dude (who is awesome, to be fair) told me I have to protect Arthur. And then I’ll hope he’s not a dick anymore by the time he’s king.

Spoiler: by the time he’s king, he’s still a dick.

And then there was the episode where Sir Elyan was possessed by the spirit of a druid boy whose whole village was murdered mercilessly by one of Arthur’s patrols some years back. Arthur ends up begging forgiveness and swearing it’ll never happen again. And druid-possessed guy is like, “I forgive you for everything.”

Did I mention Sir Elyan the Possessed is the only black guy in the knights of Camelot? Yeah. How did they film that white boy fantasy and not a single person on set stop and think, “Wait. That’s fucked up!”

But to be fair, Merlin does deserve props for including PoC in a relatively prominent way, especially for the genre. And in spite of the issues, I’m itching for S5, so it must be pretty good anyhow. I have to admit that the character growth is pretty awesome in most cases, so I’m kinda hoping they’ll fix Arthur.

But I still say I need a “Morgana was Right” shirt. But part of the whole monarchist fable thing is that all women in this show who do not actively support the current (shit) patriarchy must be evil, so I’m outta luck.

Angel Coulby as Gwen, Bradley James as Arthur

Okay, so Gwen and Arthur do have their adorable moments. (Links to source.)

Bonus material — fandom:

There is of course a large and active fandom surrounding Merlin, of which I have only scraped the surface. There seems to be a good deal Arthur/Merlin shipping, which makes no sense to me, but to each their own. (Have I mentioned what a dick Arthur is? He’s a dick. And Merlin is super adorbs.) Then again, I feel similarly about Arthur/Gwen. You know that one really nice friend you have who’s dating that guy you don’t really like? And she makes him a better man, and you know she loves him all right, but you also know she’d get so much more out of the partnership if it was with someone else? Yeah, they’re that couple. But I guess considering the current Lancelot situation, she’s bound to agree to take one for Camelot.

The most sexual tension in the show so far has been between Morgana and Morgause, which is super fucked up no matter how you look at it. But a fact.

NOTE: I am not a huge shipper, if you can believe it. Like even in the one fandom where I’m vaguely active (Marvel), I don’t give a shit. But fandom is half the fun (when it’s not being absurd).

Family Film Night — Recs Needed!

6 Jul

No, not my family, but my little vampire family. Oh, they’ll grow and grow as time goes by, but for now I refer specifically to the lovely fellows I’ve introduced in the past month, Liam and Gianni. Some of you who’ve been long tortured by this blog may recall their Vampire Awareness Month movie commentaries from two years past. I’ve decided that since I’m in a vampirey mood I’m going to watch a bunch of vampy films and have my own little Vampire Awareness Month.

And who better to do the commentary than my dudes, Liam and G?

Okay, so that’s misleading. The truth is that I am incapable of watching a vampire movie without these two going off in my brain on loudspeaker. Might as well blog about it, since their time has finally begun. (About time they were useful. Hmph.)

So I’m asking for recs. I’ve already decided to do Thirstwhich I watched recently, Mark of the Vampire, which is the best Lugosi vampire flick ever, and maybe some stuff about Being Human and True Blood just to change things up with a little TV in the mix, but I need some other good movies I haven’t seen before–or haven’t seen in a long time. If you have any ideas, please leave a comment for me! I want somewhere between 4-8 I guess, so loads of room for stuff. Here are the ones they already did:

  • Part 5: 30 Days of Night, Let the Right One In, Twilight
  • Part 4: Cronos, Interview with the Vampire, Shadow of the Vampire
  • Part 3: The Night Stalker, Vampire Hunter D, The Lost Boys, Near Dark
  • Part 2: Martin, Dracula (1979), The Hunger
  • Part 1: Nosferatu, Dracula (1931), Brides of Dracula

If you have anything else for them, please let me know.


Random genderthought moment

28 Mar

Okay so! That was a wild ass week, but I survived it, and had a good fucking time while I was at it.

I also slept for like 20 hours when it was over. I regret nothing. And I have a long and rambly thoughtpost for you, now I’m back.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I have been keeping up with things in my own magpie way, which mostly involves twitter and tumblr, since I can do them on the fly while I’m actually doing work. (Not so much editing, occasionally writing, but promoing is a definite twitter and tumblr friendly activity, I find.) An interesting but unsurprising pattern began forming last week when I saw Ro Smith’s comments on the Stardust movie via tumblr:

I really like Stardust, I just want to see the film where there’s a really pretty guy who’s enslaved by the lead character and whose one strength lies in emoting reallyhard, who is only valuable to others when in love and happy, and who falls in love with the woman who started their relationship by an act of domination…

Which is something I’ve always thought about Stardust. I actually do like the book and the movie (very, very different animals), but the fact is that it feeds into something that makes me desperately uncomfortable about lit in general at times. As she says: even though it’s otherwise very entertaining, and in a world where it wasn’t echoing a history of vast gender bias along exactly these lines it wouldn’t be problematic at all. Yvane is smart and capable and Tristan is sweet and kind – I want to be swept up in their love story, but at the back of my mind, there is always this.

And that’s my problem exactly. I think that was the day Jodi emailed me to let me know Scripped had been recommended to the Tiptree panel (not a nomination or a shortlist or anything — just, they’ll read it, which is super cool) so it was kind of extra weird, because Scripped is what it is for that exact reason. But I’ll come back to that.

Today I saw an NK Jemisin post, There’s no such thing as a good stereotype, linked via Corinne Duyvis’s twitter, and it brought it back to the forefront. That one is talking about the “strong female character” type–which for the record makes me stabby. I will never forget back in like 2005 when I first queried a much, much longer, terrible version of Liam, and was told, “People want kick-ass heroines, not literary-minded boy-vampires!” I threw up in my mouth a little, thinking of what “kick-ass heroine” usually means, and that post precisely nails my reasons why.

Obviously, I love women who kick ass–both metaphorically and physically. But yeah. When a character is wholly defined by qualities that all fall into the “stereotype” category, a writer has officially stopped trying.

Related side note: for this reason, I was really annoyed with the Starz TV show Spartacus: Blood and Sand, which a bunch of friends convinced me to finally watch two weeks ago and to which I am now addicted. The women who were “strong female characters” were backstabbing and hateful toward each other, while the “strong male characters” often formed bonds between them as friends, brothers, even lovers, that were achingly awesome. There was all kinds of meaningless orgiastic girl-on-girl, zero orgiastic guy-on-guy (hey, I’m all for exhibition sex, especially when it’s so historically relevant, but dude, treat it right). The message, though unintentional, was still encoded: women are back-biting snakes who exist to compete for the affections of men. Men, on the other hand, though oftentimes complete dicks, can also be capable of such depth and bonds of emotion that they will die for another man (or a woman, but yeah, we’re talking same sex here), in the right circumstances.

Goddamn, it’s like reading Sir Thomas Malory’s woman-hating Lancelot all over again. Or, wait, half of the shit from antiquity. Nevermind, that’s another blog post.

So yeah, there were some kick ass–and not in the physical way–women, but… they were stereotypes, for all that. And the men, who so often exhibited stereotypical qualities themselves, at least had moments where they got to break those molds.

Even Lucy Lawless naked couldn’t distract me. Guys, this is bad. And only one of the issues with that show, but whatever, it’s effectively softcore and arterial spray and I love it for all that. Um, as Liam will prove, I am the last to judge badly on the basis of softcore and arterial spray.

Season two, Spartacus: Vengeance, blows that out of the water–it’s been much better about it, with the women characters operating on much more than jealousy, lust, and betrayal and being genuinely strong as opposed to catty and mean more often than not. (I haven’t seen the prequel season they did in between, Gods of the Arena, so I can’t judge there.) Cheers to the excellent writing team for stepping up their game hardcore. My point, however, is that though there are many, many other issues there, that one bugged the shit out of me with the first season because it is everywhere in our culture. Everywhere to the point that there are people of all gender identities who actually take it for granted. Many little girls grow up thinking that boys will make better friends because girls are hateful and backstabby because this is what they are fed from childhood.

Um. No. Nonononono. (Also, this is why My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, is the best thing ever. I’m not even joking. It’s brilliant. Thanks again, Corinne <3)

Now, as both Ro’s and NK’s posts suggest, there is nothing wrong with having a hateful backstabby woman character or an emotionally powerful but ultimately submissive girl-hero. Especially when they’re not utterly defined by these things, as Yvaine, just as an example, is not, or when those things are explained as the nuanced and strong characteristics they truly are, as a submissive or supportive (not the same thing!) personality really is. I love many, many novels with these types in the spotlight, because that is not all there is to these characters, and other types are presented alongside them.

I don’t generally have my heart set on a gender identity, be it binary or not, when I first think of a character. But this all made me think, as I say, of Jonah from Scripped. (Me me me–sorry, told you it’d come back to this.) I guess if you’re familiar with him, it won’t shock you to hear that I actually plotted the thing with him as a young woman. The reasons he ended up a man will be kind of obvious after the above rambling, but I’ll lay them out and try to go light on spoilers:

1. I had it in my mind that the female fairy, Sela, must be the kidnapper/captor/torturer. (Yes, I like her best, it’s true.)

2. I had no problem with a woman capturing a woman, and said woman experiencing what amounts to Fairy Stockholm Syndrome–pretty much the whole point of the book–as a result of coming to understand and eventually love her captor.

3. I did have a slight problem with said woman-captive regaining her freedom (that needs air quotes, see also: you can never go home) and self as a result of an independently thinking man’s interference and help.

4. I also had a huge problem with said woman obsessing over… well, with how it ends, which I’d rather not say because that defeats the purpose, but let’s just say there’s a lot of lack of agency going on with Jonah at one point.

I sincerely couldn’t bring myself to write a woman in that situation. There wouldn’t have been anything wrong with it, and I’m sure she would’ve been just as interesting and infuriating as characters go. But that’s all I ever saw, growing up, and I didn’t want to do it over again. It didn’t make a single bit of difference to the plot itself, to the story, to the end result, whether that character was a man, woman, or genderqueered.

But it definitely changes the way it affects the person reading it, which is the most important half of the equation. I chose male because it didn’t rub my sensibilities the wrong way–and because the character was amenable, admittedly. (The bisexuality was non-negotiable, but hey, no complaints.) And though that might seem totally arbitrary, it’s the thing I’m happiest about with that book. And, to bring it full circle, what made me happiest about someone recommending it to Tiptree, because I was like, “Holy shit, they totally felt me, there!” Which is what every writer secretly wants more than anything ever, so yay.

So okay, now I finally come to the point: do you all ever catch yourself thinking about this stuff when you write? I love it; I mean, I feel like the whole point of writing is to question these societal constructs, subvert and challenge them by playing with expectations through fiction. I love this kind of shit, and I know I’m not the only one.

But I know some people will be annoyed by the idea, say it shouldn’t matter, or something to that effect, all of which is cool. I’m just interested in the opinions of the people who actually check out this blog because, well, that means I check out theirs, and I know y’all are smart. So hit me.

If you like.

Oh, and just for the record, I know I don’t get this shit right all the time. But I’m having a good time trying.


16 Mar

Man my head needs rewired this week. I’m doing that NEW BOOK PANIC! thing and I cannot concentrate to save my fucking life. Instead of stringing actual paragraphs together and trying to make sense, I’ll just link things that may be of interest (or not) and, um, see if any of it works.

Thing 1:

This month’s Niteblade is free now! That means, yes, “The Silver Quarter”, the story for which I brazenly displayed my nerdery in mapmaking last week, is free to read. Teenage swordfighter badass (but not as badass as he thinks)! Young genius behind bars in a brothel! Adventure! Excitement! Hookahs!

Exclamation points!11!!one!!!1!

Thing 2:

Oh hey, new book! Nobody’s Hero! So I’m doing this massively fun giveaway over at Superpowered Love, in which you can win romance by the good me (as opposed to the evil me — this one), plus comics and paddy rock and stuff. It’s a pretty cute book though. Well, cute and hot. Lots of sex. As usual. And alcoholic whipped cream!

Thing 3:

Related — an interview/giveaway with me at the fabulous Joyfully Jay. Some of you darklings have expressed a genuine or morbid curiousity about the sunshinier side of my writing, so there we go — and I talk about evil me there too. Fun times. Free book. Etc. Ohhhh and Jay did a wonderful and thoughtful review of the book the day before, so check that out too.

Thing 4:

Also related — if you follow me on twitter or tumblr, there’s gonna be good old fashioned paddy rock tomorrow for St. Patrick’s. You can hit up the DJ Kellan tag or just… you know. Twitter.

I mean, when you’ve got these guys as characters, this sort of thing is inescapable, right? So even if you don’t want the romance, I must recommend the music, because Kelly knows his shit. Even when he’s been at the Powers…

Jamie and Kellan by Astro

(Jamie and Kellan by Astro)

Announcement: The Chaos Will Continue

21 Dec

So, looking back, I’ve pretty much spent the entirety of 2011 thinking, “Right, things will calm down next month.” No, I’m not trying to say I wasted time actually repeating that thought, I just mean that I had this attitude, and then when time slipped away, I was all “OMG however did that happen?!” Which sounds ironic, but no, sincerely, I was confused.

Incredibly daft of me, in retrospect. For one, this is the first year I ever had a novel hit the shelves, virtual or otherwise. Scripped has been an amazing process, and I’m kind of shocked to find that I still love it, after all that time with it… but I do. That’s pretty rad.

I invented Katey Hawthorne, who has officially signed three contracts this calendar year — two of which already dropped. (More on that later!)

KV Taylor signed another one, too. THE ONE. Also, that whole Scripped thing. Jaysus!

In other words, shit just got real. Of course I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off. That’s awesome — it’s beyond awesome and into the überawesome zone. Officially. And me, sitting over here for years and years just pecking away — hell, I had no idea what that would entail, from a legwork perspective. What it’d be like to produce, edit, promote, and flog the hell out of my own books. Let alone that many. At once. It was kind of like I’d been paddling around happily and suddenly realized there were sharks under me. Like, lots of ‘em. And they kind of wanted to be my friends, but only if I did things right. Things I had never even known existed.

Shit got real! (Yay for editors who rock!)

I am not pressed for time. I am just trying to learn things all at once, which takes a little more brainpower, is all. Still, if I have a resolution, it’s going to be to stop standing here like a dumbass going, “Oh god, where did the time go…?”

It went into the  überawesome zone. Where happy time always goes.

Two fun things worth checking out that happened at the same time and forced me to finally realize this:

1. New edition of The Red Penny Papers. It is shiny. Very, very shiny. Also, free.

2. New romance novel incoming. Yeah, I know, I didn’t put any release info — actually I didn’t even list the publisher, but there are sensitive timing issues at hand, here. Contract is sent and safe and all.

Oh, also, Sherlock Holmes is worth the money and all, but not as good as the first one. Still, fun.

Pick-me-up Purple

20 Oct

Thanks for the commiseration on that last post, y’all. It’s sort of my habit not to post negative stuff until I’ve had time to process it, but I do think it’s as important to post that stuff as it is to post the squeeing. I just happen to do a lot more squeeing than anything else. I think that’s why strangers always talk to me on elevators. I just naturally look like I’m about to squee, apparently.

Which is also part of why I fucking hate elevators, and have been known to take the stairs 15 flights instead of getting into a full one. I don’t know you! Don’t talk to me! Holy shit!

Ahem. Anyhow, I’m a little better now. Partly because of what Milo suggested — thinking of the stuff I’m thankful for. Which is a lot. My life is pretty rad, and I don’t ever want to be ungrateful. I have also been doing a lot of stuff. I find that doing stuff makes everything better. “Stuff” has consisted thus far of:

1. An unexpected 3k on a romance novel. This is awesome because I started writing those things to cheer myself up during a rocky patch last year. It’s nice that they continue to work for me.

Oddly enough, though, it was a really, really emo bit that I’ve been putting off writing. I was finally feeling dismal enough to get down to it, I guess. So that’s good, I also channeled my funk into poor little Jody. Go me. Or something.

2. Finishing the script/outline for another one. Which is more of a novella, part of a new project I’m working on, but again, glad the romance is there to pick me up.

3. Sorting out a character for one of my Nano horror projects. The one that was a short story.

4. Mainlining Interpol. Which is actually very depressing, if only because Paul Banks sounds like he’s going to cry most of the time. But whatever. (Admittedly, paulbanksdaily has also been a great help. Pretty boy and occasionally the supermodel girl in a bikini. Yes, please.)

5. Avoiding most human contact.

6. A bottle of Black Bush. My husband read my last entry, called me from work, and said, “You’re having a rough week. Go get yourself a bottle.” At first I said no, but he somehow managed to convince me. Because, you know, that was real fuckin hard.

I do not think that I rock, but I never do — I think I’m just about back to myself, though. So thanks. <3

Aaaaand today is Spirit Day, as GLAAD has been reminding me every five minutes via twitter. Okay, wearing purple isn’t going to end bullying. It’s not going to fix the fucked up world. But it’s nice to see people coming together with good intent, and visibility is key to erasing the idea of Otherness. So here we go.

I look silly in purple, what can I say. I only own that one because Tara gave it to me — she didn’t like the way it fit her. Yeah, it’s a Foo Fighters shirt. Whatever, they like the man muffins. (LINK NSFW, contains faux-trucker Grohl ass. In case anyone in the world hasn’t seen it yet.) And openly taunt Westboro Baptist with it. Sooooo it totally counts.

And I love my lavender nail polish. It’s my favorite.

*fist pump*

Now playing: Interpol – Always Malaise (The Man I Am)
via FoxyTunes

Oh, The Horror(s)

30 Sep

Part 2 of RP friendly postage will come… I dunno, this weekend. Cuz I haven’t talked enough about what a nerd I am. Speaking of, Comic Book Rant over at Mostly stuff that’s been said all week/month long, but with links to Hot Art. As in, Dick Grayson posing for the camera ala Starfire. Mmm, gimme.

Oh, also, Hawthorne-me’s RIOT BOY has its blurb up, if you missed it. And I’ve seen the line art for the cover. And guys, it’s gonna rock.

Ugh, that was a bad unintentional pun. Geddit, cuz the one guy is a bass player in a punk band? (Willoughby Spit Rulez!) Sorry >.<

Right, but no more of that today. Today is the first day in a week where I’ve felt at all myself. Yesterday was awesome (FISH ToC ready to go, RPP catchup went well) in spite of a skull-splitter of a headache, but today… oh today, I am giddy with the joy of feeling NORMAL.

Mostly. Enough.

Just in time, too, as I would’ve been right pissed off to miss the Horrors at the Black Cat tonight. It’s a great little venue, kind of like a bar — or two — in a giant room with a little stage at the front. Very intimate, wonderful sound. I like to go and sit at the bar and sip gently on overpriced Jameson (all liquor is overpriced — this is DC) and watch and grin. Hell, I’ll even have company this time, as my dear friend and fellow nerd Hayley has agreed to come with me.

Who are these weirdos? Well, their song “She Is the New Thing” (AWESOME video, btw) served as soundtrack to “The Peacock and the Raven” when I was writing it — god, that was a while ago, wasn’t it? And from their latest, I had “Still Life” on repeat when I did that 25k novella last month. That one’s tentatively called Water right now, just because there’s a whole elemental project I’m working on. But yes. Here, it’s all mellow and cool and very 80s, actually:

And just in time, since it’s been a while since I went to Interpol and we decided to slam Jameson chased by beers through the entire show.

Yes, I am a giant 14 year old, I know. But when I get stupid, I do it responsibly!

Distraction Part 3: The Violence (sort of)

21 Jul

So I thought, “Hey, one more of those posts and I’d have one of my favorite Stereophonics albums! Guess Violence doesn’t count though…” (Language. Sex. Violence. Other? Right. Sorry. You know I can’t help myself.)

Violence doesn’t count as much as language and sex, though. In fact, it’s cool in most situations if violence is the story. Yeah, you get the odd complaint about children playing Rock Star Games like GTA (which, uh, this is a parenting issue, I’m thinking). But we all know it’s not the same, and it’s funny. Not funny “ha-ha” but funny sad. I’ve had this conversation with my brother repeatedly, but it can apply to so much stuff I’ve read. [ETA: A Book of Tongues for one. No one’s complaining about Chess randomly shooting people for looking at him sideways, I notice.] For all the violence, emotional and physical, in Scripped, you know what we both* warn certain interested parties** to beware if they pick it up when the time comes?

The sex. Like I say, it’s far from graphic. While there are awkward moments, the main relationship is the only (almost) bright spot in the story. Yet we know goddamn well it’s more likely to make people scream at my unsuspecting parents than the maiming and torture. Admittedly, part of that is the bisexual aspect, but the horse died yesterday, so yeah, even leaving that to one side, it says something.

I know this is not a new point. Hundreds, probably thousands have made it better than I could. but I think about it a lot, how it’s all over the media, ideals, biases, just in terms of the overarching western human culture that–while it varies from place to place–ties many of us together.

Mutilated corpses on prime time network television are a-okay. Yay, violent, willful destruction of human life!

But the f-bomb? OMG! Think of the children! (No one’s suggesting Sponge Bob should start swearing, man. For real.) Two consenting adults expressing their hormonal compulsion–er, I mean, love? Blasphemy! (Okay, some people aren’t comfy with physical intimacy on display. Perhaps they should avoid such shows. Just an idea.)

Really good comment that touches on that on the whole “sex as shame” issue here. I had a heart-breaking experience talking to some teenagers about slut-shaming recently, and… man. We wonder why kids are so screwed up.

I have no problem with fictional violence, clearly. I’m just saying. Priorities.

Thanks to everyone who’s dropped by with opinions, thoughts, and stories so far. As @Rhube also pointed out today, this is stuff that can really get people in a twist. The handful I usually get to talk with here aren’t like that. Everyone’s intelligent, and even more importantly, respectful of the intelligence of others–cuz you can’t have a conversation without having respect for someone else’s ability to form rational opinions of their own. But feel free to chime in anywhere along the line if you’ve got more to add, because this is still really good!


*My brother’s my greatest advocate. It’s not even his genre. Don’t let him fool you, he’s not as cynical and world-weary as he seems–he’s the nicest guy ever.

**Obviously we don’t warn everyone of this, just our parents’ friends, as a courtesy to Mom and Dad. The book isn’t for everyone–it isn’t even for most everyone, but screw anyone else who has a problem with it on those grounds. We just don’t want our parents, who worked their asses off for years to get to their current happily retired state of being, to deal with everyone bothering them to bring me to church and save me every Sunday for the rest of their lives.

Believe me, they tried. Didn’t take.