Pirayo: Strawman Misogynist?

So the other day I was reading about Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness because I always wanted to read it. I heard that even misogynists loved it because the main character was a sexist shithead (which goes to show that they aren’t smart enough to understand what Le Guin was doing there). I haven’t read the book, but the description leaves me of the impression that Genly is not a hero but an anti-hero, so his sexism is not to be applauded — dumbasses.

Lots of people assert that Genly is not a Strawman Misogynist simply because he is written as a sympathetic, flawed person who we can feel something besides hate for. It left me wondering if Pirayo, my villain from The Thieves of Nottica, is just a strawman.

For those who don’t know, a Strawman Misogynist is a character who exists to prove that misogyny is wrong. Pirayo wasn’t invented for this reason, but I can see how he would be viewed that way. I didn’t set out to “prove” anything with Pirayo, though.

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Self-Publishing: Just Another Prejudice

I’ve always kinda felt like any morbidly curious person who wanted to understand how it felt to face daily prejudice and discrimination should just self-publish a book and watch as they were wilted down into an incompetent, worthless, inferior by the rest of the publishing world.

Watch as the condescending headpats come in. “Oh sure, you’re a real author. Sure.”

Watch as every book blogger, contest, and community suddenly wants nothing to do with you.

Watch as every person you tell your book about gets a fixed smile as they pretend to encourage you.

Watch as the world openly points and laughs at you, belittles you, and writes entire dissertations about how you are inferior and disgusting and a blight on the publishing world.

It’s not the full experience of living with oppression, of course. It doesn’t extend into the workplace, where you’re lucky to get hired at all, where you’re often the first person let go. It doesn’t extend to your family or your community or your ability to walk down the fucking street, shop in a store without being deemed “suspicious.” It doesn’t extend to comedians dressing up like you and mocking and shaming your body. It doesn’t extend to casual slurs hurled at you with the expectation that you will quietly, docilely take them. It doesn’t extend into the courtroom, where your rapist will be patted on the head because now his life is ruined, not yours, even though everyone is writing disgusting articles detailing your rape and blaming you for getting separated from your friends.

For me, a marginalized person, self-publishing is just the cream on the already-sour cake. It’s one more thing holding me back from achieving my goals. You could argue that self-publishing is a choice and that being born gay, for instance, is not. But . . . sometimes I don’t feel as if the traditional publishing world left me any choice. For me, self-publishing was the only way to be heard.

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How Words of Hate become Hands of Hate

There is actually a chapter in Dreamweaver called “Hands of Hate.”

I was trying to keep my blog down to one post a day, but now this is on my mind, so I have to write about it, and then I’m going back to my life.

I think the real reason I gave up writing Dreamweaver — my story about a transgender woman with magical powers — is because I just don’t feel like dealing with all the shit that will probably come with being a cisgender woman and daring to write a story about a transgender woman. I just . .  . don’t feel like being attacked, trolled, and harassed all because I created a wonderful transwoman warrior one day and decided to share her with the world while at the same time not being transgender myself.

One day, I was writing the story, and I kept thinking how if I didn’t do it right . . . I don’t know.  I still intend to try finishing the story, but I don’t look forward to people’s responses. It’s something I’ll just have to face. If you want to tell a story, you have to face the consequences of telling a story. I swear writers are the only creatives who have to be punished for what they do, perhaps because there is so much power in words.

Which brings me to my point.

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Why I use the word “queer,” and, no, I’m not transgender (sorry?)

(Quick sidenote, I schedule posts for almost everyday. I imagine this is going to be a very active blog — at least for a while — so if you don’t want email spam, you probably shouldn’t follow this blog. I can live without a mailing list.)

I am what transpeople would refer to as “cisgender.”

For people who are scratching their heads, a cisgender woman is someone whose gender is the same both biologically and mentally. So, a cisgender woman has the body of a woman and the brain of a woman.

It basically means “not transgender.”

I felt the burning need to announce this because I don’t want to accidentally take someone else’s voice. I don’t want people mistaking me for someone else or thinking that I’m pretending to be someone else. I’m not. I wear a dragon mask to protect myself from various forms of prejudice but facing discrimination as a non-binary person is not my experience.

Sorry to disappoint you, I’m just a lowly cisgender woman. My gender is female, my sex is female. I write about non-binary people simply because I want to. There’s no agenda behind it. They’re people too, so I write about them. And because I write lots of aliens, I imagine a lot of aliens would be viewed as non-binary by humans simply because they are so biologically and culturally different. I.e. Morganith from The Thieves of Nottica: her entire race is intersex but I doubt she sees herself as “non-binary.”

As I mentioned in an interview, the zonbiri (amphibious aliens) from The Prince of Qorlec have women who all have penises because they’re like seahorses. And yet, because zonbiri women have penises and still claim to be female (neither sex has breasts because — amphibious), humans would view them as non-binary — when on their planet, women having penises is considered binary. See what I did there?

isee

(If you’re on goodreads or amazon, you’re missing the meme here)

I enjoy exploring culture and gender, sexuality and perception because I’ve always been fascinated by people. I even majored in anthropology for a while in college and I enjoyed studying culture for a few years . . . until my college courses kept forcing me into the company of racist, elitist professors.

The point is, I’m not trans or intersex. I call myself “queer” because stating you’re anything beyond gay or lesbian means opening yourself up to prejudice from both straight people and gay people, who are always so quick to invalidate your feelings or tell you your sexuality doesn’t even exist. I enjoy using “queer” to just let people know I’m not straight so I can get the fuck on with my life.

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Jump on my Blog Tour and Get a Free eCopy of The Thieves of Nottica (sorry, that’s all I got)

Haha. The banner looks bad because I ripped it from a document, but I couldn’t help myself. It was so purdy. I wanted it . . .

I’m going on a blog tour with Ultimate Fantasy Book Tours next week, and I’m offering a free ecopy of The Thieves of Nottica.

I wish I could give something better than that, but this blog tour caught me unawares (I did not know I would be picked out of the hat) so I don’t currently have a paperback edition in my hand to give away or a free bookmark or anything (though I did make some swag on Zazzle, I don’t currently have it in my hand to ship to people).

I wish I did. I’ve yet to buy a proof copy of Thieves to be honest. I need to buy a copy to make sure the chapter dividers don’t get blurred when the book is printed. Also, I was thinking of changing the chapter dividers (again) because the current “key” themed dividers look dumb.

If I do a giveaway this year, it will be a signed copy of The Thieves of  Nottica and I doubt I’ll be able to give away more than a few because I’m poor dammit. And do you know how much shipping books costs? I understand the importance of doing giveaways, but I have to eat first.

If I do a signed copy giveaway this year, all the money I made off my books will fund it. So whenever you buy a copy from me, you’re contributing to my giveaway funds.

Additionally, let me apologize for Wicked Witch Boy. I went back and revised the second chapter last night. It leaves me with the feeling that I should never have published something so old that I wrote so long ago when I was typing with green thumbs, but I have nostalgia for the story, there are worse things in print (traditionally), and I figured it would entertain someone, somewhere. I will continue to revise it when I have the time. Again, forgive me.