Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Geek Girl Rage: A Call To Arms

More eloquent voices have spoken up in the last twenty-four hours about the vileness thrown Quvenzhané Wallis' way at this year's Oscars ceremony, so what would be one more white girl's opinion in amongst many when the podium belongs to women of colour?

I'm speaking up because I've been called to arms. The louder we speak, the less they can ignore us.

I will not sit by while a nine year old artist has racist and misogynist slurs thrown her way. The fight is for all of us. I will not tolerate a child being called the c-word by a previously progressive social media outlet. Hell, I won't tolerate it from ANYBODY. I will not. You have to go through me first.

I come to the fight at behest of one of my favourite authors, N.K. Jemisin. I would optimistically like to call her one of my peers (we are of the same age and write about many of the same things, though she has many more years of writing success and practise under her belt than I do) though we come to our art from different directions. I will not sit by when somebody I hold in the highest respect wears the barbs and arrows of what our society euphemistically calls "humour". I will not sit by when this "humour" kills  women and girls piece by little piece, taking away their dreams.

In "Fantasy Fans: Where's Your Outrage?", Jemisin lays out the slurs and taunts and pedophilia jokes thrown at Wallis (yes, that's right, we must think about a NINE YEAR OLD ACTRESS in the terms of her sexuality and how that will apply to men, fuck you very much) and asks of us:
But I can’t help thinking that there should be a lot more outrage than I’m seeing. After all, a fantasy film just came very close to winning an Oscar for Best Picture — yet I don’t see the community even embracing this as a fantasy film, let alone leaping to the defense of one of our biggest stars. I wonder about that. Really, I do.

Here’s what I’d like to see: more people talking about this, in social media and other places. I’d like those people to unfollow The Onion, if they’re following it, and un”like” it on Facebook — because social media capital is valuable these days, and doing these small things is the equivalent of a boycott. You can also write the Onion and tell them what you think of this. I know people are looking up lists of their advertisers even as we speak, so when there’s a list of Onion advertisers to write to, I’ll add that to this post.

But aside from that, what I’d like to see is some good old-fashioned geek rage. I mean, seriously, ya’ll. Geek rage is an awesome and beautiful thing when it gets behind a cause of worth. This one’s worthy.
I watched Jemisin unfold a similar tale on Twitter last night, of pain experienced when she was a child as she expressed her own dreams. I won't say our roads are even remotely similar, she experienced different and bigger obstacles than I, but I heard her pain and felt some echo in it. I remember my first feeble attempts at writing, and while I wasn't outright dismissed, the overwhelming disinterest in my dreams and desires and attempts to find my voice was enough. Sometimes silence speaks louder than words. I didn't need vacuous praise, I now know in hindsight, I simply needed the encouragement, someone to say "that's an interesting start, let's help you get BETTER." (and when I did get the encouragement, the maelstrom was so loud it took me years to understand what had been offered me).

So here is my voice. I am angry; if you're not, why? What have we got to gain from taking down a little girl, a black girl, a girl with dreams, other than reinforcing the status quo? That's not good enough. I want better.

I hear you Quvenzhan√© (and Nora). You will not be silenced. I see you tough and cool and strong, and its okay not to be those things too when the world is trying its hardest to bring you down - we'll have your back. To hell with them all, us girls will make our art. And it will be great.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Week Eight Update

Here I am at the end of the eigth week of my year long experiment and I'm still going strong.

This week I steadily did my daily tally to hit the full word count by Sunday afternoon. I finished the first draft of a new SF story entitled "Second Skin", and am now working on an urban fantasy called "Stepford Lost". Yes, I'm quite partial to good story titles.

I've decided that the next week I will forgo writing new words because I have stories that require serious editing, mainly my monster 20K epic "Clockwork Circus".

A couple of rejections this week, but nothing as exciting as a sale. Still got ten months to go to beat my yearly success rate!


Saturday, February 23, 2013

The 365 Project: Stories Read as of 23/2/2013

Stories read this week include Suzanne Church, Marie Croke, Carmen Maria Machado, J.S. Bangs, Genevieve Valentine, and Kelly Rose Pflug-Back.

Friday, February 22, 2013

I R Reading In Public! Part Deux

March is New Zealand Book Month, and there are a variety of events going on all around the country, including SpecFicNZ holding reading events entitled "Words on the Wind" in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch.

Christchurch's "Words on the Wind" event takes place on Sunday March 17th at the Upper Riccarton Library from 1.30pm to 3.30pm. And yes, yours truly will be taking part once more!

I'll be reading alongside Jane Higgins, author of the YA novel "The Bridge", Diane Berry, part of the KD Berry writing team behind "Dragon's Away" and "Growing Disenchantments", Beaulah Pragg, author of "The Silver Hawk", and Cat Langford.

If you're in Christchurch, I would love to see you there!

Christchurch "Words on the Wind" SpecFicNZ and  New Zealand Book Month event.
Sunday March 17th, Upper Riccarton Library, 1.30pm to 3.30pm

Monday, February 18, 2013

The 365 Project: Stories read as of 16/2/2013

This week's stories read are from Sandra MacDonald, Andy Duncan, N.K. Jemisin, Barbara Krasnoff, Ken Liu, and Angeli Primlani.

Week Seven Update: Now With Extra Added Sale!

An excellent week!

I obtained my full word tally by Wednesday evening, thanks to a superb Writer Tuesday which saw me write a solid 3000 words in one day, even with power cuts and disturbances by tradies!

I was pleased to get my full word count out of the way before I was away for the weekend, because I couldn't lug my laptop around with me this time.

Even with a few days of not writing anything, I ended the week on a high note: I made a sale!

"The Origami Tree" has been accepted for inclusion in Random Static's "Regeneration: New Zealand Speculative Fiction 2", which will be released at Au Contraire in July. From it's title, I'm sure you can imagine its theme, and the theme I was able to draw upon.

I'm very pleased, and circumspect at the same time. Origami is a story I tried very hard not to write because I didn't feel up to the challenge of using disaster motifs in my writing. But submission calls and inspiration have a funny way of changing things.

Thanks to Amanda C. Davis who helped me bring the piece up to scratch.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Week Six Update

I was definitely back on the bicycle last week, with steady attention on my word count each night.

I crashed through the weekly total by Saturday, and just for good measure hit 6300 words for the week by Sunday evening. Noice one, Stewie.

I'm still working on "Clockwork Circus", which has taken on a huge life of its own. I know I said I was going to work harder at planning stories out, but this story had so many places it wanted to go, I let it run.

And run it did. I'm closing in on novelette status, and I'm expecting to hit around 20K words. Un. Be. Lei.Vable. It's currently the longest thing I've ever written, completely surpassing the tentative fleshing out (arh arh) of Katewin's world I attempted (and currently have sitting motionless) to world build/further ideas of "The Ten Thousand Steps".

I'm also super jazzed at the thought that by the end I will have written 20K words in just under four weeks, all on the same story ie: the idea of a novel is not so scary! Well, OK, yeah, it is.

I'm itchy to try some more ideas, so hopefully I can wrap up "Circus" very soon.

Bring me a tricycle...I must get to the circus

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The 365 Project: Stories Read as of 9/2/2013

Stories read include Catherine Krahe, Ruth Nestvold, Sunny Moraine, Eketarina Sedia, An Owomoyela, Susan Palwick, and James Tiptree, Jr.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Places You Can Purchase "Menial"

Here's a Link Salad of places you can purchase "Menial: Skilled Labor in Science Fiction", including my story "Diamond in the Rough":


Lolcat book marks now available, fur elebenty cheezburgers

Monday, February 4, 2013

Week Five Update

Not a great week for Teh Wurdz turning over, what with unpacking and getting the house in order. Exhaustion abounds! However, by the end of the week my new office was coming right and is FANDABULOUS to have my very own space to write in and store All The Books.

I scraped in under the half way mark by the end of Sunday, with 2485 new words written. Also struggling to find the end of "Clockwork Circus" - I'm at that point of frustration with it that if I don't persist I'll walk away. Really only have the final confrontation scene to do, perhaps a couple thousand words until the end.

This week should be heaps better because I'll be almost fully back into my routine - no Writer Tuesday, though I can't imagine getting 700 words a night done would be a problem.

Anywho, here's a grainy atmospheric night shot of my new office. Loki, Lights, Book Love, and Freddie to watch over me!

Mah Orifice at Teh Minustree of Teh Wurdz.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The 365 Project: Stories Read as of 2/2/2013

It's been another busy week with unpacking and I've fallen behind again with my reading, but here are the four stories I've read this week.

Friday, February 1, 2013

"Menial: Skilled Labor in Science Fiction": Five Questions With AJ Fitzwater

You might recall the Five Questions my Third Person Website Administrator did when "Fat Girl" was released this time last year. PT has been released from their cage once more, and has formulated (ie: pulled from their arse) five more questions about my latest release. And so ensues Five Questions about my story "Diamond in the Rough" from the recently released Crossed Genres anthology "Menial: Skilled Labor in Science Fiction".