lenora_rose: (Default)
I'm not pregnant, again.

No miscarriage, unless it's the kind you can't tell from a regular period. Just not pregnant. But I'm more depressed about it than usual.

And yet, it, and some coincidental reading, and some stuff about Joseph, all have me thinking again about the hard world of child raising, and trying to have kids, and choosing not to try to have kids. Then I ran into these (Because I've been reading her Narnia Deconstructions, but a few months behind, and slipped into the Storify one, and linked back to the older one from there...)

And in some ways, even though our situations as regards EVERYTHING (fertility, cause of failed pregnancies, efforts to get pregnant, even feelings about wanting children ahead of time) are different - I felt like I had seen a strong mirror of my own feelings. (Also, some serious WTF??? about the Grown Babies in Heaven from every lost zygote. Like, nuclear explosion degrees of WTF???)

The miscarriages were alive enough to me to have possible names, if only after the fact (Names I would never have applied to an extant child and names that are no-one's business but mine and Colin's), but they were mourned as she says; as potential, not actual children. It was losing a whole attachment of dreams (Dreams that didn't cover half the reality I already face, but she talks about that, too) -- but it was not half of what losing Joseph on the day of his birth, when he was a real and whole and solid BABY, would have been. And it is NOTHING, and I repeat that with huge emphasis, to what losing him now would do.

Potential, not Person

Storify: Infertility and Abortion

I wonder what it is about having faced the consequences of our own reproductive efforts (None of which actually WERE abortion in either my case or Mardoll's) that makes it so very clear why reproductive choice, including abortion, is so very important? Maybe it's because it's us, not some abstract woman, and our zygotes and fetuses and babies, not some abstract "Fetuses are babies" platonic ideal. (I held and touched one of those fetuses, an inch or so long at the time, and I knew exactly hat I was holding, and it was devastating -- but it was not a baby.)
lenora_rose: (Default)
Further to Publishers behaving badly: It seems Random House actually did respond from pressure from SFWA and MWA (mystery) - Possibly also RWA (Romance) though at last hearing they werre still discussing what to do.

VAST improvement. And yet.

Someone likened it to being given a raise that doesn't actually keep up with the rate of inflation. It's no longer vanity-level scuzzy, but it's still less than you'd expect from an imprint from a major publisher, and still has some iffy bits.

Here's the general announcement at Writer Beware: Random House Announces new terms at imprints

Here's Scalzi's commentary on what's offered. (To be fair, he also linked to this commentary by an agent about why the royalty-only part, at least, might not be all bad.)

__________

On a totally other subject, I found this an interesting read. The complete erasure of actual deaths is kind of chilling.

Green Screen: The Lack of Female Road Narratives and Why it Matters
lenora_rose: (Gryphon)
Let's start with the current Random house Brouhaha. Short version for those who don't know - Random House just opened three new imprints. Whose contracts are outright vanity contracts.

John Scalzi has a breakdown of the contracts.

And this is my publisher's response: This is not how it is supposed to work.

As Frank Wu noted (NB: his post is mostly about a side question), there are places which have used contracts where they take this many rights from a writer. It's called work-for-hire. But then they pay them a large sum, where this contract ... doesn't.

One Viable Paradise alumnus has already received an offer from Hydra, and near unanimous response was to turn it down*; if it's good enough to be accepted at Random House, it's good enough to be accepted elsewhere.

______________

Next up. Simon and Schuster. Who are apparently trying to get bloggers popular with self-published and aspiring authors to send people their way. For money. This one is a superb breakdown, but not the only one (Both links via James D. Macdonald at Making Light - aka Yog Sysop, Viable Paradise teacher, and Uncle Jim of Absolute Write's "Learn writing with...")

Yog's Law: Money flows towards the author.

_______________


And for [personal profile] leonacarver, this sort of crap is why I had to pause and double check that your acceptance was from a legit small press. (And why I was so happy.) This sort of thing happening in guise of a small press is ... not as uncommon as it should be.



* Aside from the obvious Captain America jokes...

This.

Sep. 9th, 2010 04:18 pm
lenora_rose: (In the Name)
As ever, the disturbingly wise Jim C. Hines got it in one.
lenora_rose: (Default)
Signal Boosting:

Rachel Manija Brown's "Why didn't you kick him in the balls?"

The other day I had a conversation which reminded me of the enormous differences between the world I live in, and the world most men I know do. In particular, there are several statements which I have heard frequently and which I never want to hear again.

Rachel is smart, and interesting, and has been through a significant number of interesting situations in her life, ranging from the plain funny ("And suddenly juice fell from the sky!") to the kind which prompt posts like this one. In short, she's wise.

I grant you, I have a relatively relaxed threat assessment compared to many of the women I hear from on these topics. The only assaults, catcalls, and such situations I've met have been minor to the extreme, which may be the reason I am relaxed. But I'd still not want to hear these comments or judgments.

The thing is, she's right that there's a difference; when I told Colin about the third time I'd had someone scream "Bitch" or "Whore" at me when I waited for the late bus at the university (within the span of two terms), he seemed genuinely flabbergasted that things like that happened. Period.

Whereas I was mostly aware of why this behaviour *didn't* worry me; it was a stop where drive-bys would not be likely to be followed by the car coming around again (Well lit, frequently used road even at those hours, low on spots to pull over - the buses regularly stopped traffic - and the university's exceedingly convoluted layout would have actually made "circling back" considerably trickier than just turning around a block, which would dissuade anyone merely opportunistic. And yes, this is LOW-level threat assessment.)

Often the people saying these things are trying to do one of two things; prove it would be different if it was them (It would; we all react differently. But not in the way they mean; they wouldn't be guaranteed to be tougher, better, more violent, or more in charge. Especially not more in charge.) or they're trying to show solidarity and doing it WRONG. I don't think Rachel says this latter, or doesn't say it clearly; I've been in situations where I've appreciated that a friend was trying to be supportive of me or, often, another person with comments like these, and I *could* appreciate their intent even as I squicked at the method. And I've probably said some such clueless things in my own time, and I know I've had awkward thanks for at least meaning well. But. Meaning well doesn't stop the other part; the Yur Doin It Wrong.

There are also suggestions how to support your friend in the post and comments. Learn.
lenora_rose: (Default)
Signal Boosting:

Rachel Manija Brown's "Why didn't you kick him in the balls?"

The other day I had a conversation which reminded me of the enormous differences between the world I live in, and the world most men I know do. In particular, there are several statements which I have heard frequently and which I never want to hear again.

Rachel is smart, and interesting, and has been through a significant number of interesting situations in her life, ranging from the plain funny ("And suddenly juice fell from the sky!") to the kind which prompt posts like this one. In short, she's wise.

I grant you, I have a relatively relaxed threat assessment compared to many of the women I hear from on these topics. The only assaults, catcalls, and such situations I've met have been minor to the extreme, which may be the reason I am relaxed. But I'd still not want to hear these comments or judgments.

The thing is, she's right that there's a difference; when I told Colin about the third time I'd had someone scream "Bitch" or "Whore" at me when I waited for the late bus at the university (within the span of two terms), he seemed genuinely flabbergasted that things like that happened. Period.

Whereas I was mostly aware of why this behaviour *didn't* worry me; it was a stop where drive-bys would not be likely to be followed by the car coming around again (Well lit, frequently used road even at those hours, low on spots to pull over - the buses regularly stopped traffic - and the university's exceedingly convoluted layout would have actually made "circling back" considerably trickier than just turning around a block, which would dissuade anyone merely opportunistic. And yes, this is LOW-level threat assessment.)

Often the people saying these things are trying to do one of two things; prove it would be different if it was them (It would; we all react differently. But not in the way they mean; they wouldn't be guaranteed to be tougher, better, more violent, or more in charge. Especially not more in charge.) or they're trying to show solidarity and doing it WRONG. I don't think Rachel says this latter, or doesn't say it clearly; I've been in situations where I've appreciated that a friend was trying to be supportive of me or, often, another person with comments like these, and I *could* appreciate their intent even as I squicked at the method. And I've probably said some such clueless things in my own time, and I know I've had awkward thanks for at least meaning well. But. Meaning well doesn't stop the other part; the Yur Doin It Wrong.

There are also suggestions how to support your friend in the post and comments. Learn.
lenora_rose: (Default)
Seeing the previews for Where the Wild Things Are, I thought it looked pretty, and maybe even interesting, but I also had to wonder How the Hell they were making a feature film from a book with about ten sentences.

So, many doubts.

But I think Bear's review (and some of the subsequent discussion) hath convinced me it's right up my alley.
lenora_rose: (Default)
Seeing the previews for Where the Wild Things Are, I thought it looked pretty, and maybe even interesting, but I also had to wonder How the Hell they were making a feature film from a book with about ten sentences.

So, many doubts.

But I think Bear's review (and some of the subsequent discussion) hath convinced me it's right up my alley.
lenora_rose: (Default)
I just had to link this. It's funny - and I suspect it's even safe for people with milder triggers on this subject.

Sexual assault prevention tips GUARANTEED TO WORK
lenora_rose: (Default)
I just had to link this. It's funny - and I suspect it's even safe for people with milder triggers on this subject.

Sexual assault prevention tips GUARANTEED TO WORK
lenora_rose: (Default)
I think I solved the problem about the protagonist of the new idea so she can be a she. For the most part, anyhow. And meantime made her life even more complicated, in the way that generates more plot and more difficulties for the average protagonist.

This story was kinky enough to make me want to blush before the last solution. This... complicates that, too.
_______________

On an entirely different note, I missed most of International Blog Against Racism Week by being out of town or too busy prepping to be out of town to actually get online.

Which is unfortunate for one reason above all. I recently ended up in a discussion (Started as a shouting argument, but ended much more civilly) with a friend who is beyond allergic to the idea of being Politically Correct. And who seems neither to have heard or understood the terms white privilege or male privilege; or perhaps, he doesn't believe they happen. Being on the receiving end of one and the not-receiving end of the other, I have a glimpse - not a real ken, but at least an idea - how the other works.

Still. Links. Beneath each I'll include a short excerpt (Italicized) or comments, or both, but try and read at least some of the whole things. I especially endorse Nojojojo, Justine Larbalestier, Rawles' lighter post, and Sartorias' second, very short post:

Activism and Anger

Carl Brandon Society Open letter

The use of racial slurs in public discourse is utterly unacceptable, whether as an insult, a provocation, or an attempt at humor. This includes both explicit use of slurs and referencing them via acronyms.

Nojojojo: the cost of anger

Probably the single most linked piece in my circle of acquaintances. Partly because the single most common accusation levelled at ANY activist is that they're too angry (Alternate words: Emotional. Shrill. Rude.) and the second most common is that they stir up things because they like stirring up the masses. The third most common, as far as I can see, is to claim that any time more than two people-of-colour (POC, the term chosen most often in RaceFail1) point out a problem, that they're mobbing, or sockpuppets.

But because many of the things that make me angry are topics that have a direct bearing on my ability to have a successful writing career, it's hard to tune it all out. This is my livelihood we're talking about, after all.


Karnythia: We Have Feelings Too or The Cost OF Being A POC in Race Discussions

Because if they cared about the feelings of POC they wouldn't use racial slurs, they wouldn't insist that we have no right to dictate the treatment of our cultural icons, they wouldn't say that we were too angry (By the way, who stays calm and patient when someone is shitting on their shoe?) to discuss things "rationally", they wouldn't insist that being called out on their bigoted statements is more painful than being the target of bigotry.

(Also, from the comments: It's been shown time and time again that in matters of racism, white folk will listen to other white folk before they will listen to a black person. Frustrating, but true.)

Jim C. Hines:Anger

A smart (white) guy's take on why anger isn't a bad thing.

Anger isn't something to be fixed. It's okay to feel it, and it's okay to be on the receiving end. It's there for a reason, and trying to shut it down is only going to shut down the conversation (and most of the time piss the other person off even more).

Whitewashing. Still.

Justine Larbalestier: Ain't That a Shame

Liar is a book about a compulsive (possibly pathological) liar who is determined to stop lying but finds it much harder than she supposed. I worked very hard to make sure that the fundamentals of who Micah is were believable: that she’s a girl, that she’s a teenager, that she’s black, that she’s USian. One of the most upsetting impacts of the cover is that it’s led readers to question everything about Micah: If she doesn’t look anything like the girl on the cover maybe nothing she says is true. At which point the entire book, and all my hard work, crumbles.

And she links to examples of just such responses. And why this isn't isolated.

Sartorias: Cover Cowardice

More on book covers. In this case, I have to quote a comment, not the text; the whole thread is pretty good.

From one eneit:
Now given these kids are from a rural area, in a little town, a little removed from huge amounts of cultural diversity, you'd think the chances would be high that these kids would be looking for familiar faces that they would relate to.

Not so. I asked thirty sixteen year olds, male and female, and every single one have more issues over a cover showing something that's not in the book, than the idea of a cover showing the main character, whatever race they happened to be.


Sartorias: the power of image

No actual link to text from the post itself. It's too short. Take a look for sure, though; the picture is striking. (There's a long thread in the comments started by whswhs which gives more original series context. If you can take a certain amount of frustration, it's worthwhile dialogue)

Other Aspects

A striking poll.

There Are No Words.

Guest Blog: Neesha Meminger

On why representing women and minorities in fiction matters so much to people. This is nothing like the first such entry I've seen. This is probably not even only the tenth.

Rawles: now that we've got that clear, and you know that i'm not here...

On a lighter note (But still food for thought):

OMG.

A black girl is fucking Spock.



Color Blind or Just Plain Blind?

And lastly, a dry but actual essay on how racism hasn't left us with the advent of civil rights; it's gone either underground, or subconscious.
lenora_rose: (Default)
I think I solved the problem about the protagonist of the new idea so she can be a she. For the most part, anyhow. And meantime made her life even more complicated, in the way that generates more plot and more difficulties for the average protagonist.

This story was kinky enough to make me want to blush before the last solution. This... complicates that, too.
_______________

On an entirely different note, I missed most of International Blog Against Racism Week by being out of town or too busy prepping to be out of town to actually get online.

Which is unfortunate for one reason above all. I recently ended up in a discussion (Started as a shouting argument, but ended much more civilly) with a friend who is beyond allergic to the idea of being Politically Correct. And who seems neither to have heard or understood the terms white privilege or male privilege; or perhaps, he doesn't believe they happen. Being on the receiving end of one and the not-receiving end of the other, I have a glimpse - not a real ken, but at least an idea - how the other works.

Still. Links. Beneath each I'll include a short excerpt (Italicized) or comments, or both, but try and read at least some of the whole things. I especially endorse Nojojojo, Justine Larbalestier, Rawles' lighter post, and Sartorias' second, very short post:

Activism and Anger

Carl Brandon Society Open letter

The use of racial slurs in public discourse is utterly unacceptable, whether as an insult, a provocation, or an attempt at humor. This includes both explicit use of slurs and referencing them via acronyms.

Nojojojo: the cost of anger

Probably the single most linked piece in my circle of acquaintances. Partly because the single most common accusation levelled at ANY activist is that they're too angry (Alternate words: Emotional. Shrill. Rude.) and the second most common is that they stir up things because they like stirring up the masses. The third most common, as far as I can see, is to claim that any time more than two people-of-colour (POC, the term chosen most often in RaceFail1) point out a problem, that they're mobbing, or sockpuppets.

But because many of the things that make me angry are topics that have a direct bearing on my ability to have a successful writing career, it's hard to tune it all out. This is my livelihood we're talking about, after all.


Karnythia: We Have Feelings Too or The Cost OF Being A POC in Race Discussions

Because if they cared about the feelings of POC they wouldn't use racial slurs, they wouldn't insist that we have no right to dictate the treatment of our cultural icons, they wouldn't say that we were too angry (By the way, who stays calm and patient when someone is shitting on their shoe?) to discuss things "rationally", they wouldn't insist that being called out on their bigoted statements is more painful than being the target of bigotry.

(Also, from the comments: It's been shown time and time again that in matters of racism, white folk will listen to other white folk before they will listen to a black person. Frustrating, but true.)

Jim C. Hines:Anger

A smart (white) guy's take on why anger isn't a bad thing.

Anger isn't something to be fixed. It's okay to feel it, and it's okay to be on the receiving end. It's there for a reason, and trying to shut it down is only going to shut down the conversation (and most of the time piss the other person off even more).

Whitewashing. Still.

Justine Larbalestier: Ain't That a Shame

Liar is a book about a compulsive (possibly pathological) liar who is determined to stop lying but finds it much harder than she supposed. I worked very hard to make sure that the fundamentals of who Micah is were believable: that she’s a girl, that she’s a teenager, that she’s black, that she’s USian. One of the most upsetting impacts of the cover is that it’s led readers to question everything about Micah: If she doesn’t look anything like the girl on the cover maybe nothing she says is true. At which point the entire book, and all my hard work, crumbles.

And she links to examples of just such responses. And why this isn't isolated.

Sartorias: Cover Cowardice

More on book covers. In this case, I have to quote a comment, not the text; the whole thread is pretty good.

From one eneit:
Now given these kids are from a rural area, in a little town, a little removed from huge amounts of cultural diversity, you'd think the chances would be high that these kids would be looking for familiar faces that they would relate to.

Not so. I asked thirty sixteen year olds, male and female, and every single one have more issues over a cover showing something that's not in the book, than the idea of a cover showing the main character, whatever race they happened to be.


Sartorias: the power of image

No actual link to text from the post itself. It's too short. Take a look for sure, though; the picture is striking. (There's a long thread in the comments started by whswhs which gives more original series context. If you can take a certain amount of frustration, it's worthwhile dialogue)

Other Aspects

A striking poll.

There Are No Words.

Guest Blog: Neesha Meminger

On why representing women and minorities in fiction matters so much to people. This is nothing like the first such entry I've seen. This is probably not even only the tenth.

Rawles: now that we've got that clear, and you know that i'm not here...

On a lighter note (But still food for thought):

OMG.

A black girl is fucking Spock.



Color Blind or Just Plain Blind?

And lastly, a dry but actual essay on how racism hasn't left us with the advent of civil rights; it's gone either underground, or subconscious.
lenora_rose: (Labyrinth)
(... unless I'm attacked by a wild muse.)


The poems scribed are gifts not meant for me
Most likely I am well beyond the ken
Of artisans who shape with fear or glee
The image sly as fox or shy as wren

Though all seems lost, a pyrrhic war is won
In each creative work grown to a peak
As fairy-ships flee an exploded sun
As scribes in despair, doubt, and anger speak

But unobserved, still moved I come to be
However modest they have deemed their worth
And soon my gifts awake and speak to me
Demanding me to match their doubt and mirth

And pen the answer, broken though it's proved
I owe to those who fear their words unloved
lenora_rose: (Labyrinth)
(... unless I'm attacked by a wild muse.)


The poems scribed are gifts not meant for me
Most likely I am well beyond the ken
Of artisans who shape with fear or glee
The image sly as fox or shy as wren

Though all seems lost, a pyrrhic war is won
In each creative work grown to a peak
As fairy-ships flee an exploded sun
As scribes in despair, doubt, and anger speak

But unobserved, still moved I come to be
However modest they have deemed their worth
And soon my gifts awake and speak to me
Demanding me to match their doubt and mirth

And pen the answer, broken though it's proved
I owe to those who fear their words unloved
lenora_rose: (Default)
First things first: For those not following *their* journals (Which due to pottery marathon, has been including me until this was mentioned elsewhere), bighairyviking has this to say about himself and backpacker_feet:

"Before we turned in for the night, Athena and I took a break to look up at the stars. Without any lights around, there were more stars out than I'd ever seen before. At nine at night, out in the middle of the desert, I babbled something that I hoped was romantic but can no longer remember, and I asked her to marry me."

Little brother, you rock. So does she. Congrats!

_________________________

Sooo.

Marathon pottery stuff. Five out of nine plates done, one worked on, three to go. Almost gone throat/sinus issues deciding to make what I hope is their last gasp by leaking out my EYE (ew. Also, ow.) More marathon pottery stuff. having my MP3 player run out of battery at about 6 PM, meaning I was subjected to a bad hard rock station then a worse dance one instead. (I like some hard rock. I like some pop. But I don't like the radio very often, because the commercials are more repetitive than the worst dance song, and hard rock djs are, in this town anyhow, mostly dreadful. Though a "history of vinyl" went by that wasn't.) Four-thirty AM taxi, call in sick at five.

Life's like that. right now.

Marathon will continue an as-yet undisclosed number of extra days. But more intermittently and less "I have nothing in my life but clay".

This week:

Tonight: make pretty designs on plates. Possibly go to archery, if Colin is done helping Vilashna and her Chris with a horrible basement issue. Then resume making pretty designs on plates.

Tomorrow: Dental appointment, then to school. Throw chili bowls until Colin picks me up and drags me to dinner with Armonn, Iulianna, and possibly Tomaas.

Wednesday: Trim chili bowls and mix glazes until dance practice. After dance practice, go home, make pretty designs on plates.

Thursday: Trim chili bowls and mix glaze. Go home. Make pretty designs on plates. I'd like this to be the last gasp, as they do need to be dry very soon after, as the glazing is also baroque and involves painting colours.

Friday: Work. Go to university, drop off last plates. Load kiln with glaze tiles. Candle (IE, low warm-up). Home and more plates. Alternately, last glaze mixing, then load kiln. At least, I think that's the plan. If I have to fire the kiln overnight instead, I'll do it, but if so, I strongly suspect the lenten coffee ban is going to fail (although... it survived last night and the night before. not sure how).

Saturday: Up at the crack of dawn to actually fire kiln through the day. With luck, should be off by evening, late enough for me to be starving, early enough to game (Though probably game late). Alternately, sleep. then up for archery and game and celebration of temporary lease from potteryness.

Sunday: ... unload kiln. If it's cooled enough. Or maybe When. Oddly, I think that will be it unless some of the plates are out of bisque already. I may have to, gasp, write. (And catch up more on internetness.)

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