Posts Tagged ‘writing’

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When We Become Weavers: queer female poets on the Midwestern experience

17 July, 2012

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Here is the cover to the anthology I am being published in (as: Jennifer-River). You can find more information on the anthology here: http://www.squaresandrebels.com/2012/07/finally-when-we-become-weavers-among.html?m=1

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Writing Apologetics

4 June, 2012

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I have received several negative responses to the posting of my flash fiction piece, “Trans* Love.” This post has been the most hateful, but it shares a commonality with the other responses, mainly that the piece involves transsexual sexuality. People were not offended by the use of blood and self-harm in the piece and, with only a few exceptions, they were not troubled by the inclusion of sex. Rather, it is the fact it is transsexuals having sex that is the issue. So I have prepared a response in the form of traditional apologetics. Though this is a response specifically to this anonymous poster, much of it will address other issues people had with the post.

The idea of transsexual sexuality is anathema in our society. Too many people either grossly speculate on or actively ignore its existence. Both approaches take transsexuals out of the realm of human being and make them into fetishes or neutered Barbie dolls. One of my blog’s objectives is to look at elements of regenerating (transitioning) that are often ignored, fetishised, or criminalised by society. Sometimes I do this politely functioning on a comfort the afflicted level, but today I am feeling more brash and in the mood to afflict the comfortable.

Sex is a powerful Jungian archetype and so is blood, which is also connected to fertility and female sexuality. In this instance I honestly believe there was no other direction the writing could go without ringing false. The key for making this sequence work, is this is not sexuality for the sake of sexuality. Rather, it serves as a counter weight to the extreme self-loathing she feels. The need to self harm is overwhelming (my personal experience) and it takes an equally powerful act of love and acceptance to counter it (again, my personal experience). As a writer, it was clear to me only his creative, affirming passions could counter her self-destructive passions.

If you are offended, well, perhaps that is good. Art should make people itch, either for the pleasure or from the discomfort. You can’t be a writer/artist AND be a good girl. There’s too much at stake; there’s too much darkness in the world. That was one of the first lessons I learned about writing.

The second lesson I learned is writing is a large mansion and there are rooms in that mansion for everyone. Some rooms (Stephen King, Shakespeare, JK Rowling) have a lot of people in them. Others have very few or just a lone authoress. And that’s all right. The point is not to please everyone, but to write what you feel and to celebrate that diversity.

Not everything is for everyone. You do not have to like what I write and I am not going to try to convince you. I expect a fair number of people do not like it. But as Terry Davis (author of Vision Quest and Mysterious Ways) says, write something they love or hate but make sure it’s so well done that they’d be an asshole to say it is poorly written.

I am expressing my truth as best I can. Maybe I am going to hell for that and maybe I am not, and I hope not to learn that anytime soon. There is enough darkness in the world we do not need to create more through hateful attitudes. And there is enough death without wishing it upon someone else.

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Things to Come

16 October, 2011

I could not sleep right away last night so I watched Things to Come. Or, rather, I watched half of things to come. The screenplay was written by H. G. Wells in 1936 and was rather loosely adapted from his novel The Shape of Things to Come.

This was a vastly different time in regards to storytelling. Scientific Fiction (the genre that would become Science Fiction) was still relatively new and film was really still in its infancy, barely out of the silents and a long way from colorization. The audience was more patient then. In part because film was scarcely out of the silent age and just being in the theater and hearing the sounds and dialogue was a marvel. (Remember, The Jazz Singer—the first flicker with synchronized dialogue, and the horribly black-faced Al Jolson, seriously different times,—had come out just nine years earlier.) But during this time people were not as inundated by so many things demanding their attention. Movies were the modern technology demanding their attention; now, we have to remind people several times before a show to leave the modern distractions of Tweeting, Facebooking, FarmVille-ing, YouTube-ing, texting, IMing, Pinging, iPod-ing, smart phoning, and a slew of others I do not understand in the lobby. We need to be reminded to focus on the movie, you know, that flickering light-image we paid thirty-eight bucks for our significant others and ourselves to see. Without all those distractions people came to the movies expecting a well-paced, enveloping experience that wrapped them in the warm glow of light dancing through celluloid and brought them to a new and wonderful place for the afternoon.

The scripts from this time reflect that expectation. Now we consider them slow and ponderous. But then, the gradual building of plot, the subtle creation of tension in worlds like and utterly unlike our own, was an experience to be cherished, to be stored up in the treasure room of the soul.

Now we want immediacy. If it moves slowly or takes more than ten minutes to cut to the first action sequence our interest wanes. If the movie opens with a rising sun over a horizon wavering in the heat, then it better have an airplane come roaring past and if the plane explodes mid-flight, even better! I am just as guilty of this as everyone else. Things to Come cured my insomnia, I did not even make it half way before I was out cold. I had to finish this morning, and even then I was on the computer looking at several websites simultaneously and only half focusing on the movie.

The film itself was true marvel given when it was made. The special effects were incredibly advanced. The flying machines and space gun were brilliantly conceived and executed. The space gun being a fantastic advance in filming since the one displayed in La Voyage dans le Lune (A Trip to the Moon—1902) based on the work of another early Scientific Fiction writer, Jules Verne, where they launch their rocket into the face of the moon’s eye. It is such a shame that we have reached a point in our technological advancement that classics like this are seen as obscure cult films instead of a link to who we were and a milestone along the path of writing. Given what we have become, would Wells still have his characters stating science and progress are the betterment of man and that technology will give us the marvels of the universe to ponder or would they just turn to their iPhones and fertilize each others’ digitized crops?