“You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.”—Octavia Butler (via amandaonwriting)
“The thing is, once we have reached a certain mastery of craft, craft is no longer the issue. In order to take our writing to the next level we must embrace our strange, unique, and often embarrassing selves and write about the things that really matter to us. We need to be willing to peel our own layers back until we reach that tender, raw, voiceless place—the place where our crunchiest stories come from. We need to get some skin in the game. It should cost us something emotionally to tell our stories. But many of us who come to writing do so because they were voiceless at some point in their lives, so doing that can be the most terrifying risk of all.”—
“Deciding whether or not to trust a person is like deciding whether or not to climb a tree, because you might get a wonderful view from the highest branch, or you might simply get covered in sap, and for this reason many people choose to spend their time alone and indoors, where it is harder to get a splinter.”—Lemony Snicket (via marxoraneedle)
As some people who follow our blog might know, I work in an ice cream shop. Last night we were very busy and on two occasions, I noticed something happen with customers. In the first exchange, there was a family with two teenaged daughters, a mother and father. One of my coworkers was jotting down their order while I worked on scooping my own. The daughter ordered a cone with, maybe, two scoops? And the father turns to her and declares, “You’d better fit in that five hundred dollar prom gown I bought you.” The girl said nothing, and her sister cut in with, “Dad, she’ll fit!” If that girl went home and made herself throw up, or at least was completely unable to enjoy her dessert, I wouldn’t be surprised. The man the words came from wasn’t much of a trim athlete himself, and she was honestly gorgeous and fit, so… well. Fuck him.
Next there was a couple that I served. I passed out their sundae and cone and the man turned to the wife (who was a few feet away) and called to her, “I think somebody’s going to have to run a few miles tomorrow!” She couldn’t hear him, so he repeats this to her three times before she nods and responds with a half-hearted, “Yeah.”
Where do men (nay, people in general) get off telling women how to live their lives, what to eat, how to eat it, what to wear and how clothes should look on their bodies? It’s a wonder that society seems so puzzled about eating disorders when we have douchebags attached to girls saying things that make them feel beyond insecure. Now, you could argue that in the second case, she could just dump the man (never mind the fact that they might live together, may have been married, etc…)- but in the first instance, that girl presumably lives with her father and has been since birth, and will until she hopefully moves out. So, she’s stuck with this hyper-critical voice of a man who has no idea what power his words carry.
From personal experience, nothing made me feel worse than when my dad would grin, pinch my side and chuckle, “You’re getting a belly there, kiddo.” At the time, I was crushed. Now, I wouldn’t care very much and would call him out— I mean, I love my tummy and my goofy-ass dad. But, for the average girl who is unexposed to fat acceptance, indeed, to the average girl who isn’t even fat and just needs to hear about BODY acceptance, no matter how sweet their father/brother/whoever is, the jokes those men make are serious.
I hope those girls enjoyed their ice cream. I mean, we make some quality shit. And I hope they could get ready for bed, look in the mirror, and see the same beautiful women that I saw. -A
“Isn’t it odd how much fatter a book gets when you’ve read it several times?” Mo had said…”As if something were left between the pages every time you read it. Feelings, thoughts, sounds, smells…and then, when you look at the book again many years later, you find yourself there, too, a slightly younger self, slightly different, as if the book had preserved you like a pressed flower…both strange and familiar.”—Cornelia Funke (via amandaonwriting)
“It may help to understand human affairs to be clear that most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused, not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people.”— Neil Gaiman (via amandaonwriting)
“I want to be magic. I want to touch the heart of the world and make it smile. I want to be a friend of elves and live in a tree. Or under a hill. I want to marry a moonbeam and hear the stars sing. I don’t want to pretend at magic anymore. I want to be magic.”—Charles de Lint (via danseurs)
The problem that needs to be fixed is not kick all the girls out of YA, it’s teach boys that stories featuring female protagonists or written by female authors also apply to them. Boys fall in love. Boys want to be important. Boys have hopes and fears and dreams and ambitions. What boys also have is a sexist society in which they are belittled for “liking girl stuff.” Male is neutral, female is specific.
I heard someone mention that Sarah Rees Brennan’s THE DEMON’S LEXICON would be great for boys, but they’d never read it with that cover. Friends, then the problem is NOT with the book. It’s with the society that’s raising that boy. It’s with the community who inculcated that boy with the idea that he can’t read a book with an attractive guy on the cover.
Here’s how we solve the OMG SO MANY GIRLS IN YA problem: quit treating women like secondary appendages. Quit treating women’s art like it’s a niche, novelty creation only for girls. Quit teaching boys to fear the feminine, quit insisting that it’s a hardship for men to have to relate to anything that doesn’t specifically cater to them.
Because if I can watch Raiders of the Lost Ark and want to grow up to be an archaeologist, there’s no reason at all that a boy shouldn’t be able to read THE DEMON’S LEXICON with its cover on. My friends, sexism doesn’t just hurt women, and our young men’s abysmal rate of attraction to literacy is the proof of it.
(I thought it would be fun to reblog this, since I wrote it in the first place. :D Man, I love tumblr! -SM)
(I was shy about reblogging it since it mentions my book, but what the hey. And of course, I’ll add that Demon’s Lexicon having a boy protagonist did mean that people were like ‘good for boys, yes’ while the next two books having lady protagonists meant people were like ‘oh no, suddenly, girl cooties’ even though there was no diminishing of duels and demons and so forth. SO. Fearing the feminine, all over everywhere.)
“You are not IN the universe, you ARE the universe, an intrinsic part of it. Ultimately you are not a person, but a focal point where the universe is becoming conscious of itself. What an amazing miracle.”—Eckhart Tolle (via weareallstarstuff)