Queer Rep and SuperGirl

No, I’m not tired of talking about this. It’s fucking important and while the cast may wish it would all go away, it won’t. I don’t think we should let it. I don’t think we should forget it when October rolls around…not at all. I am one of the old cynical angry bitches. You’ll know what I’m talking about after you listen to this.

Podcast on Queer Rep/Lez Geek Out

What is this you say? Only the best fucking podcast on the subject! Thanks again to Lise Mactague and Andi Marquette. These ladies hold nothing back and to add some sauce to this burger they both have books out that you don’t wanna miss.

Andi Marquette

Lise Mactague

But first, listen to this damn podcast.

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The Rant I Had to Have on Same Sex Marriage and Why a Plebiscite is Fundamentally Wrong

Sigh…the state of the world.

Dr Fiona Bisshop

If you’ve just awoken from a coma, or perhaps live overseas with absolutely no access to the news, you might not be aware that Australia is in the middle of a giant stand-off over marriage equality, the right of gay couples to be legally married.

Admittedly I have lived most of my adult life not really giving two tosses about marriage – it was a straight gig with religious overtones that wasn’t my thing.  But things have changed.  Now I’m engaged to the woman of my dreams, and I actually do want a wedding – not a civil ceremony or any other substitute, but the real thing – confetti, rings, cake and of course an official certificate.

Successive governments here have dragged their feet over this issue.  We are now the only English-speaking democracy left on earth without marriage equality.  Our current government seems to be under the sway…

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Once and Future Nerd or Back to School Blues

Growing up in the late 70’s and through the 80’s was an experience I’ll never forget, especially in a small town. med

 

 

 

I wasn’t pretty nor was I popular. In fact, the bullies came out full force for me. Sometimes I fought back. Sometimes I turned the other cheek. Sometimes, I had a protector in the form of a cousin or even my little sister.  ThinkstockPhotos-dv1644065

As the chunky smart girl, I had to try extra hard to fit in, which almost never worked. So, I concentrated on doing well in school. Since I got called a nerd and some other choice names I became one.  I was one of those kids who always raised her hands. I almost always knew the answer, and of course a lot of the times I was also teacher’s pet. I worked my ass off, but somehow I was still the awkward lil black girl who stood out in a sea of smart, white, beautiful people. So, I struggled to find my place with them as well. I was inducted into the National Honor Society and was part of various clubs. I won numerous awards. I was never head nerd mind you but I was in the top ten. Keep in mind, this was small town life. I went to grade school with a lot of the same people I attended middle and high school with.

It was a lonely existence, but I suffered through it. Don’t get me wrong. I had friends…best friends who lived literally next door, but they were always more popular, more outgoing, more something than I was. They still hung out with me and at times I was inducted into their cliques where I stuck out like a sore thumb.170x170bb

In the 10th grade, something changed. Well, some things, really. I had my first girl crush on my English teacher, Ms. Burnette, a little feisty woman who didn’t seem afraid to say what she thought. I also discovered I could write. Back then, I considered it a fluke so I just let that fool notion go, but the next couple years with Mrs. Miller and Mrs. Western holy shite man! The fluke was all in my head. During all this, I was still ridiculed by some but the physical aspect had thankfully dissipated.

Regardless, I discovered something special about myself and I used that the last couple years of high school. By then, I had no fucks to give. I had a boyfriend. Yes, I said boyfriend. Rolls eyes. I still had my girl crushes too! I had a full scholarship to school, and I had a love of literature as well as the creative process. As ya’ll can see, I turned out just fine in the end. I’ve never been to a high school reunion and I probably never will. All in all, there were a couple of fellow nerds along with a smattering of real friends I formed ties with and I still talk with them to this day. However, also in existence are shiteload of people I have intentionally forgotten.

What’s the moral to this story? School can suck. People can suck. Even life can suck, but if you can find that one good thing several others sometimes follow. Hold on to all of it. Cultivate, water and nurture because every once in a while, things work out.

Geekdom and Writing Between the Lines

I would like to preface this blog with this statement. I am 44 going on 45 and I am a hopeless, proud, unapologetic geek.

Don’t roll your eyes. When I’m 55, I’ll say the exact same thing.

I own a PS4 and an Xbox One along with a 55 inch HDTV and surround sound system to give it some punch so that I can further immerse myself.

I love games with fairies, dragons, mages and women with swords. This includes the Dragon Age Series, The Witcher 3, and shit like it.

There are also times where I’d rather things be mindless, and I just wanna shoot some NPC (non playable character) in the head for getting in my way, thus, keeping me from blowing the enemy to kingdom come through the guise of Call of Duty or Far Cry games.

Whoa, before you say anything, no, I am not some lonely soul living with my mother in a little room in the back. I grew out of that phase by the time I was in my early twenties thank you. I’d rather not give you the exact age, even if you ask. Anyhow, I digress, I am a married woman with children (a pug and a cat).

Shhhh! I try to play when she’s sleeping which can be up to Noon on some days. Yay! God, please don’t tell her I said that. She can be scary. There’s this vein that throbs on her forehead. I’m already not allowed to hang my posters. I have some really cool Justice League ones…

Uh, don’t tell her I said that either.

You as readers of my work should also know that I’m not a one trick pony…geek. I do TV and movies too. I reserve my butch squee for the superhero shows such as: The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Agents of Shield, and when they get it right, Supergirl. This extends to all things Marvel and some DC. Wonder Woman anybody? Cuz the rest of those movies stunk up the joint.

I screamed at my TV during GOT at the Red Wedding and cheered at the Purple one. I was a Warehouse 13 and Lost Girl fan.  I am currently addicted to Wynonna Earp, KillJoys, etc, and I am thinking about extending my Universe to include Dark Matter and a few more.

Thank God for DVR.

Damn it. I even do the gimmick T-shirts. No, I am not a man child. I am not a man!

I channeled all this and more to create the character of Haley Jordan in my latest book, Between the Lines. She is introduced in the book with a bang and a whimper via her discovery of the ending of Mass Effect 3.

Cries.

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Sorry, I needed a minute.

In fact, her last name is the name of my FemShep I used to play the Mass Effect Trilogy. Puffs out chest. Jordan Shephard was renegade all the way baby. Total badass. The badassiest. Haley is passionate, laid back, values friendship, loyalty and she’s sensitive as well as in touch with her feelings. She holds nothing back.

Perfect. Amirite?

Frowns.

Amirite?

Okay, there you are.

Well, she’s only perfect on the surface. My girl has a self righteous hero complex that gets her in trouble. I mean, no one can save everyone especially from themselves. She learns some huge lessons by the end of the book. All the while, wearing her gimmick T-shirts, playing her Xbox and so on.

I truly enjoyed her journey, and I am grateful that I got to meet her, in a sense. I picture her standing right next to Kelli McCabe. Kelli’s scowling and swatting at her as Haley elbows her and laughs.

It does my heart good.

Now, I’m on to new characters. I can’t wait to see where they stand.

Pearly, purple, blue furry fucks and GCLS

Hello again. It’s me, KD.

Given my most recent blog, I think all of you understand that I am passionate about letting writers write what the hell they want to write. I also think it is a fact that Andi Marquette is my partner in fucking crime.

Yet again, we were having a discussion about swearing in lesfic and GCLS came up. There is panel on profanity. It is entitled, Profanity, Vulgarities and Obscenities, Oh My!

Initially, this was the description of the panel.

A discussion of the growing and often unnecessary use of profanity in lesbian fiction. Do readers deserve a more intelligent vocabulary? How can non-objectionable words and phrases work to an author’s advantage? How much is too much? Is the shock value muted when swearing is over used? When is a carefully placed obscenity absolutely necessary?

I’ll give you a second to read and digest.

Okay, at first it reads as if the panel is condemning swearing in lesfic and really denigrating those who use it. This interpretation led to a post of Facebook via Andi Marquette’s FB page as well as on The Lesbian Talk Show Chatgroup. Feel free to browse and add your own commentary.

Anyway, some people did get pissy because of the response to the post and that’s fine. Shit happens. Then, a lot of writers in lesfic joined in to lend their voices and it was GLORIOUS!

The description of the panel has been changed to reflect its real intent which is to debate about the use of profanity in lesfic regarding those for and against, including a discussion about the possible need of warnings on books for potentially triggering content, excessive language, explicit sex, etc. The entire discussion brought up some very interesting points.

There was one that stood out to me the most.

In the LGBTQ community we have spent a lifetime being censored, downtrodden, ridiculed and degraded. We have been told that we shouldn’t love the people we love. We’ve been told we couldn’t fuck the people we wanted to fuck. We’ve been told we couldn’t adopt children. We’ve been told we shouldn’t engage in public displays of affection. We’ve been told we’re promiscuous. We’ve been told that lesfic was just porn.

You get my drift.

We’ve been told to do and not do a lot of fucking things.

Haven’t we been policed enough?

Here is the problem. As a part of the queer community why would you try to censor or police others of the same community? Better yet, why would women want to censor other women?

I’m not making any of this up. As I stipulated in my last blog, the reviews I’ve gotten on the Cops and Docs series contain complaints and questions about the language. I got a lot of… this would have been a great book if Kelli didn’t curse so much.

I don’t understand how this book is a best seller with all the cursing.

This would have been a good book if the author had used more refined language.

This was a good book and I can tell you’re black because you used so many curse words.

Yeah, somebody actually said that.

She really, really did.

For me, it all goes back to one thing, socialization. As women, it has been hammered in our heads for fucking centuries that we are supposed to act a certain way and speak a certain way. Unfortunately, some women actually believe it. Now, there is nothing wrong with any of that. Let everybody be I say, but when you try to push that belief off on others and tell them they are less than because of it.

No ma’am. That’s too far.

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There is no fucking spoon!

And lesbians doing it to other lesbians? It’s tantamount to shooting yourself in the foot, especially in this political climate. When it comes down to it, we are stronger as a community when we’re not ripping into each other. Let’s be empowered by the freedoms we do have while we have them. Every single one, even the small things.

What I’m saying may seem inconsequential or trite to some.

Yet, it all boils down to this: sanitized lesbian romance and lesbian fiction is okay.

Guess what? So is everything else.

 

The F word…

Even though it’s been well over a year since Blurred Lines and Crossing Lines were released, I still get reviews. Just like the previous ones, some love the series, some hate it, and some are in the middle.

I am so very cool with that. I feel that any strong reaction to the characters I created or the words I wrote is a good thing. Whether they were good or bad,  a majority of the reviews/readers asked why Kelli cursed so much.

Some were greatly offended by the prevalent use of the word fuck. There were also creative uses of other commonly used curse words. I remember one reader/reviewer stated that I was trying to make Kelli seem tough by making her talk like a man.

I’ve spoken to a few writer friends about this the past year, especially Andi Marquette. She even gave me the link to her own blog about the subject. It seems she was asked the same question for one of her books.

I read her blog and loved it. I’m actually going to quote some of it. The blog itself can be found HERE. The name of it is I Swear.

Andi writes: “Swear words (which are found in pretty much every human language) are typically considered “power” words (maybe “scary” words), and have historically been most associated with men. Women who curse have historically (and still) been viewed as “unladylike,” “dangerous,” “uncouth,” “ugly,” “trashy,” “harlots,” and [fill in epithets here; the list does go on]. Buzzfeed has a nice GIF-ridden list that addresses the double standard that women face when they curse.”

I highly recommend that Buzzfeed article because it is fuckin’ hilarious and so true to life.

Anyway, to me all this is powerful stuff. If swear words are considered to be power words why isn’t it seen as women claiming their power instead of trying to be like a man? If you ask me, a character who swears is more real because well shit, most of us curse too. It’s one of those things that makes a character fly off the page IMO.

Andi also goes on to quote Robin Lakoff, a Professor of linguistics who did a study on language and gender. She uses a passage from Lakoff’s book, Language and a Woman’s Place, to further illuminate the issue.

“Allowing men stronger means of expression than are open to women further reinforces men’s position of strength in the real world: for surely we listen with more attention the more strongly and forcefully someone expresses opinions, and a speaker — unable for whatever reason — to be forceful in stating his views is much less likely to be taken seriously. Ability to use strong particles like “shit” and “hell” is, of course, only incidental to the inequity that exists rather than its cause. But once again, apparently accidental linguistic usage suggests that women are denied equality partially for linguistic reasons, and that an examination of language points up precisely an area in which inequity exists. Further, if someone is allowed to show emotions, and consequently does, others may well be able to view him as a real individual in his own right, as they could not if he never showed emotions. Here again, then, the behavior a woman learns as “correct” prevents her from being taken seriously as an individual, and further considered “correct” and necessary for a woman precisely because society does not consider her seriously as an individual.”

Like whoa that’s some shit right there! It’s certainly something to think about. I use swear words on a daily basis so does my wife, and so do my friends. It doesn’t make us any less intelligent. Between us are quite a few degrees both Bachelor and Master’s level. Nor are we manly…a little butch but not manly.

I don’t swear because I’m black and grew up in an impoverished neighborhood.

I didn’t.

I do it because I express myself in various ways including with language. Hell, I even make words up sometimes. Swearing is just an extension of that. I had a free moment so I went back to check the number of times the word fuck appears in Blurred Lines. I typed that word 154 times. There are almost 100,000 words in that book and 154 of them was fuck.

In Crossing Lines, I really went crazy and used it 161 times. In Between the Lines,  I used it 113 times. In Pink, the word appears 118 times. I guess Haley and Shawn were no Kelli McCabe, but then who is? I have to ask the same question that Andi does. If these were books written by a man would his readers have asked that question?

Shrugs.

Who the fuck knows?

Pink and Chris Cornell

On the one hand, I have great news. Last night I wrote, the end on Pink. Well, not literally but you get my drift.

On the other hand, my wife who decided it was good for her to get up at 5am informed me that Chris Cornell was dead. Ugh, I loved Soundgarden and Audioslave even more. This is sad, sad news.