Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I just realized I forgot to update today. That's probably going to be a recurring theme for the next few weeks: we're just putting this issue of Island Writer to bed, with all the attendant organizing of the launch and making sure we get the number of copies we need. I'm also making my own Halloween costume - Batwoman - and I'm horribly behind on that.

Also, as of November 7, I'll be starting an Emergency Medical Responder class, which will be three weeks of what I'm informed will be lots and lots of studying. I'm already reading my textbooks to not get too far behind on that.

Oh, and I'll also still be working weekends.

And attempting the National Novel Writing Month challenge, because I'm apparently insane.

So I'm not going to be posting every Wednesday for the next while: hopefully I'll still be posting some, but I can't guarantee I'll even be at my computer until December 3 at the earliest, that being the day after the launch of Island Writer.

Hope to see you all at the launch!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

And Now For Something Completely Different

I live in Canada, and do not understand local sympathy for the Occupy Wall Street/Occupy Everywhere/We Are The 99% movement. Canada has a shortage of workers (in the oil sands and mines, so they're cold and blue-collar and much less fun than protesting in sunny, gorgeous Victoria), and a dearth of corporate 'fat cats' controlling our economy.

If anyone can explain it to me in a manner that takes me from point A (American economic upset) to point B (global pro- . . . democracy, I think?) without undue rhetoric, I'd be much obliged.

In the meantime, I've been reading lots of comics. DC's relaunched universe, with The New 52, primarily, though also some of Fables. Fables is interesting, as it's award-winning, and has a somewhat-related TV series out this fall, Once Upon A Time. I find I like how much of the storytelling can be done through the purely visual part, and the many threads that can go on at the same time. There's not a heck of a lot of introspection, but it also happily lacks the sort of long descriptive paragraphs that drove me away from Tolkien, substituting gorgeous art.

Writing for comics is very different from writing prose. Warren Ellis and Neil Gaiman both manage both fantastically, though Neil Gaiman can apparently write for any medium he turns his hand to: the novelization of the mini-series he did for BBC, Neverwhere, evokes the same mood and imagery scene by scene. The audience walks away from both with the same feelings, which ought to be the aim of every translation between media (adaptations are tautologically different).

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Gay YA

There's another kerfuffle going on about gay teens in YA - see this for a good jumping-off place on the issue at hand.

It seems like something I hear perennially, but that may just be as someone who graduated from an extremely liberal high school in the past few years and went on to spend time with book-minded liberals and then on the West Coast.

There are gay teens in YA literature. In fact, there's a whole genre of coming-out literature.

Which is why we need more gay teens in mainstream YA. Coming-out fiction is generally awful and formulaic - like Horatio Alger's rags-to-riches stories that proliferated like rabbits in the 1860s. You only need to read one to have the whole genre down. You only need to read two to be a little bored of it. You only need to read three to sincerely believe that gay teens need to be better represented in other genres so that gay teens don't need to read this awful shit to find people whose orientation they can relate to, because at least minor romantic subplot interests most teens.

Coming-out literature is of limited use: most people only need to come out fewer than a handful of times. Fiction in which gay teens are out, and are doing interesting stuff to which being gay is fairly tangential and being awesome is primary? That's always going to be a interesting.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The 99%

I had a conversation with a friend the other day about how revolutionary stories are always a little disappointing to them, because the author builds a world and then starts destroying it immediately, and they like the world-building much better because anarchy is always the same.

And that's what I thought of when I saw Occupy Seattle featured on the Seattle news. It's a brethren-organization to Occupy Wall Street, which is kind of sort of affiliated with We Are The 99 Percent, a photo-journal of stories submitted by discontented people around the US.

There are protests being staged and organized in several cities across the US, some, like the one in New York, culminating in arrests. But the protests don't have clear demands. They are calling for the economy to be better, for the American Dream to deliver as promised or at least not to lie to them.

It's the kind of unrest that demonstrates how a world, a culture work. It's an illustration of unrest without tearing down the world and making everyone start from scratch.

At least at this point. It's getting too cold here in the Northern Hemisphere for properly enraged civil disobedience. We'll see where we are in the spring.