Gender in Writing

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My son is all boy. He loves to run, ride his bike, play video games and go exploring. Over the New Year break, we went to see a movie. I expected him to throw a fit because it was the new version Annie. There were people between he & I, and what I saw every time I looked was my boy with his feet up on the chair in front of him, a fierce look on his face.

He loved it.

Now, when he takes a hit in daily life he says “It’s a hard knock life, huh, Momma?”

Yesterday, we went to the movies for my (still upcoming) birthday. He wanted to see Home (which isn’t out yet), I wanted to see Cinderella. His beef with Cinderella wasn’t that it was a girls movie (Home has a female protagonist as well), it was that Home was about real life, a real girl, mom! (Never mind the lavender alien and the flying cars). Turns out he loved Cinderella, too.

I don’t think I’ve been entirely fair with my son, at least in terms of movies. He has proven that he sees them as movies– not for girls, not for boys… just movies.

And the same goes for television, btw. He used to watch Sophia the First. He quit not because it was a girl’s show, but because he outgrew it. He will watch Monster High.

Then I started thinking about Legos. Maybe instead of trying to have a line specifically for girls (Except the Disney Princess– keep those!), they should try being more inclusive with in their sets. Adding women/girls isn’t that hard.

So now we get to the beast of the matter. The reason all these thoughts started popping through the percolator is that the story I’m working on, if I write it, will be almost entirely from a male point of view. I know women writers can do it, I’ve read them for crying out loud (Robin Hobb, Mercedes Lackey). But… the question becomes, can I?

In my last point, I talked of writers stretching their voice. Trying new things even if it was scary. I think this is the nextscary for me. Although…. Based on my son’s taste in entertainment, maybe it’s not that scary.

I’ll let you know.

What  are you working on in your writing to stretch yourself? What’s scaring you as a writer about the story?

Changing Voice

Picture this: Your favorite author writes a series that you love. You love his/her work. Then a new book, a new series comes out.

And you hate it.

As a reader I hate it when that happens. Beth Bernobich finished one series, then her next book was actually a collection of interconnected stories. She went from fantasy to steampunk. I like both genres… but I hated the second one. Did not care for it. At. All. The voice was too different from the one I fell in love with.

Sometimes a series can shift and change underneath you. I loved L.E. Modesitt’s Imager series. The last two… not so much. But the very last one… nope. The voice was the same, but the story fell flat. The voice was…stagnant.

As a reader, we can identify these things and bemoan the horrors! But as authors, we need to take careful notes. Some authors can skip through genres, or even different tones in the same genre (fantasy and romance are famous for that) and do it successfully. Others not so much. Some can write in the same tone over and over and still achieve the stretching that keeps writing fresh.

Because as writers, we do have to stretch. We need to reach with our writing, either in scope, genre or voice. Even if they never see the light of day, we need to keep honing our skills. Patrick Rothfuss wrote what ended up being the best non-story story I’ve ever read (The Slow Regard of Silent Things). While set in the world that his series is in, it is completely different. Rothfuss has taken a lot of flack for it, but here’s the thing. I think he probably would have written it regardless of whether or not it was published. Many mocked him for the “apology” that he prefaced his work with. I say this: he merely let rabid fans know that this was not what they were waiting for. It had meaning, but it was substantially different.

So what’s the answer? I don’t have it… but I know this much. The story I’m starting on now might have light and fluffy parts to it. But at it’s core it’s something different than what I’ve been writing lately. If  it’s published, cool. If not, at least I will have strengthened those writing muscles.

Till next time, my lovelies!

Cost of E-Submissions

There used to be an elegance to submitting a story or essay or novel. You printed it out, had your minister of choice bless the manuscript, placed it along with a carefully worded cover letter and/or bribe, and mailed it out to your editor of choice.

Currently everything that I have published I submitted electronincally.

There was a time when I mailed things out. Of course I did. The closest I came with mail in submissions was an honourable mention in the Writer’s Digest Contest.

There’s actually a lot right with email and site submissions. As a writer, you get to get your work into the editor’s hands quicker and with a lot less postage. There’s a great feeling when you hit the send / submit button.

But.

But.

For me at least, there’s 2 immediate consequences. The reason why I am adamant about getting copy back from my beta readers is because I no longer print out my manuscripts. My stories reside in my computer, and it’s not very often that I print them out. Yet I know that I find more typos and problems with a hard copy format than on a computer screen. I think I’m going to print out my last story, see if I can see the bigger picture…..

Then there’s the other thing. Living with the internet has made us greedy for information. Or answers. Or something. I just submitted a short story to F&SF, and even though I’m number 513 in the que, I keep checking! Why? There are 512 people ahead of me and the poor editor is probably asleep right now!!!  (Although obviously not because I’ve gone down to 503—- 10 down and 502 to go!)

Yah, see. I’ll be tracking the submission for a good long time. If I have emailed out the story, I keep checking and checking for a response. Even when it’s only been an hour since I sent it.

Then I check my spam folder.

I think I’m going to have to reign myself in. Take a deep breath and move on. Because, well….

I’ll hear when I hear.

Until then, It’s time to write!

Except for you, my lovelies! Did you know that Mocha Memoirs Press, LLC has an open call for submissions! You can find the submission guidelines here  And yes! It is electronic submissions! Wheee!

First World Problems—When Do We Have a Good Reason to Cry?

wynwords:

Love this blog! Check it out, my lovelies! Parenting while sick… yah, while it’s no joke, she’s hilarious and spot on!

Originally posted on Kristen Lamb's Blog:

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We all have those moments when we feel like tapping out, but when should we complain and when are we being self-centered? I would love to say I have all the answers. Just get me talking (or typing) and I sometimes am good enough to fool myself. But I simply do not know.

I struggle with boundaries, with saying I need help or that I am having a rough time. Then what happens is because I didn’t acknowledge the small problems early? They pile up and hit me like an avalanche. *whiiiiinnnne*

Bear with me…

Last week was one of those that seemed to just KEEP COMING. It started out well enough, then sucker-punched me. It took three appointments to get the cat, Odin neutered. I’ve never had a cat I waited so long to neuter, but have learned some valuable lessons.

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Lesson #1 Never name your cat Odin. I…

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Problem. Solved.

I want to preface this post by saying that yes, I understand it would probably never work. And yes, I understand my brain sometimes works in a twisted way.

But honestly folks. This would so work!

I live in California. Our area grows lots of things— grapes. Lots of grapes, but not Napa. Corn, watermelon, Almonds, Walnuts, tomatoes… On and on and on. We’re going into our 4th year of a severe drought, and while driving down our country roads you notice the things that are missing. Crops that weren’t planted. Trees taken down as farmers try to deal with the water shortage.

So. Earlier in the week, or maybe last week, I heard on the news that Boston can’t find a place to put all the snow.

What?

Really?

HEY! I KNOW WHERE YOU CAN SEND IT!

HELLLLOOOOO!

So the thought instantly went to… Why can’t they bucket load it into  train cars made for liquids and bring it to us? It would melt as it went… so we could pick up more in the Dakota’s. Or Colorado. Or anywhere there was too much snow. Cuz, yah. The west coast is that bad off.

I know everyone will always have a reason why it wouldn’t work. Too much money.Blah. Blah. BLAH!

I really wish people would see why it WOULD work. Because eventually…

Our farmers won’t be able to grow that food.

That California wine you love? Might not be able to be made….

Governor Brown. Hey! I solved the problem. Figure out how to make it work!

Writing + Life

Hello my lovelies! How have you been?

I’ve been doing lots of fun stuff!

As you know, I started my author Facebook Page, which you can check out here or search for Wynelda Ann Deaver. It’s fun! But it’s also kind of weird. We are running a contest, if you Like the page, Like the contest Post, Share and leave a comment, you’ll be entered to win a $25 Gift Card (Barnes and Nobles, Amazon, Starbucks, ETC). That is being run here , but you need to like the page anyways! We’ll give away the card at 100 Likes.

Oh hey. I keep saying WE a lot up there, don’t I? Yes, they lovely and talented Leyla is helping me. In addition to having a sharp mind and being an evil thinker like I, she is also my niece. It’s so totally great being able to bounce ideas off of someone who A) knows where I’m going and B) also knows when to reel me in.

Last week, I was also introduced to Nicole Blackwell. She has a great magazine coming up, called City Express, all about highlighting the positive in the area. I’m writing a couple of essays for it, the first one is done and over there. It’s not currently for pay but it does fall into my Greater Good folder.

What’s a Greater Good Folder? It’s things that I write because I believe in the cause. Because I believe enough in the cause to donate my time and or talents. That doesn’t happen often, and believe me I’d really prefer to be paid. But I’m getting something more than just a published clip out of it too.

Broken my lovely paranormal urban fantasy that I LOVE SO MUCH got a rejection last week too. But they also gave me lots of direction on where to go, and I think my lovely writing buddy **waves at Rie** might just help me out. The story isn’t broken, hehe, just bent.

And now finally! We’re running a Facebook Launch Party for Avast, Ye Airships! I’ve never done one before, and I kind of ***ahem*** threw Rie under the bus on this one (sheesh! And she’s such a good friend! I need to be much nicer!) yet again. Of course, I am helping out! Really! I am! You can ask her! It runs on February 28th, from 7pm Eastern to 11pm! You need to drop by, it’ll be loads of fun!

So a little bit of bad, but a whole lot of good going on. Trying to keep the bright, sparkly day’s going. And be a good mom.

I’ll have more soon, my lovelies!

Guest Post: Jeffrey Cook on Building a Story

Welcome another Pirate, Mateys! I love hearing how other writers get their ideas, don’t you? You can catch him at his website, www.authorjeffreycook.com or his Facebook Page  or on twitter at @jeffreycook74.

When approaching new projects, in whatever genre, I tend to start with the characters, and then build the world around them. When writing the Dawn of Steam series, my first venture into Steampunk, I hadn’t specifically intended to write a Steampunk series. Instead, I woke up one morning from a waking dream with two of the characters almost fully fleshed out. I wrote down the ideas before I lost them, and then started to research a world where both of them would fit. 


    A few friends introduced me to the Steampunk genre. The Victorian Age wasn’t quite right for my characters, but had a lot of the right elements. I researched further back in time as my story took shape, its timeline mostly following history, but including a few points where specific events happened that allowed for an Earth that was moving towards a Steampunk reality. Because of the two characters who showed up first, the story became “Emergent Steampunk” — at least one potential story explaining where reality may have shifted to make a lot of common Steampunk tropes “true.” From that focus came the title of the overall series.


   Katherine Perkins and I followed a similar process for some short stories. When we were presented with an anthology looking for stories, looking to reach a wider Steampunk audience in general, we worked together on two characters, Luca and Emily. They fit into a more standard Victorian Steampunk reality. Most of their stories involve a real world event and occasionally real historical figures of the 1880’s and 1890’s. Our Avast submission, “Maiden Voyage,” ended up a little different for lack of real-world airships — but it’s still first and foremost about the characters and how they ended up shaped by and shaping the technology and social mores of their time.