I’m not brave. I mean, it’s pretty obvious. I was that weird, quiet girl hiding behind a book growing up and I’m still that weird, quiet woman. Nothing has really changed. Maybe I’m better at hiding my inner weirdo, but she’s still totally there.
Anyway, there’s this popular little bit of self-help/stoic advice. What’s the worst that could happen and how bad could it really be? For a lot of men, the answer is, I lose my business and things are hard and weird for a while. But for women, the answer is: some man kills me or stalks me or sends me rape and death threats.
And it’s not like this is clear out of left field. It’s not like this is something that hasn’t happened. Women are killed and raped by men all the time.
And the last thing I’d like to do is bring this sort of craziness down on my family.
I know this is very unlikely. But this is one more stumbling block in my way. I can’t not think about this. But I can think about it and work through it and have some contingency plans.
Anyway, this is the thought I’ve been playing with lately. I’m working through my feelings about it and how to deal with it. And I think once I’ve either decided the risk is low enough, I’ll move forward.
I wonder how many of these stumbling blocks are of my own creation? I suppose I’ll find out as I cross them off.
Well, I’ve finally accepted I’m not going to write 60k words this month. Which is way sucky because that means my word goal for October is going to be nearly 71k.
We fly out Thursday morning. That’s ohmygodohmygodohmygod less than 36 hours. I signed up for a plotting workshop. And a writing contest. You guys wanna read a hella depressing story? Here you go. And then that moment where you look at what you entered into a contest and go, “Wow, that’s really quite rubbish.” Anyway. Impostor Syndrome? Or just cold stark reality going, WTF YOU THOUGHT THIS WAS GOOD ENOUGH TO ENTER INTO A CONTEST?!
My friend told me I had to let one thing slide. Well, I’m letting my word goal slide. I printed out my Defiant Canary manuscript. Of all my mss, I think Defiant Canary is going to be the easiest to edit and revise and get out there. Maybe that’s me just being lazy. But, maybe it’s just the nudge I need to get things rolling again. If I can get another book out and under my belt, then all the rest of the things that need finishing (I hear you manuscript pile! stfu!) can get finished too. Here’s the first chapter to The Defiant Canary. It’s… a weird story. I definitely write for myself. It’s paranormal romance with a touch of Lovecraft horror. Anyway. It’s rad and fun and sexy and has some fun characters doing some rad stuff. 😀
So, I have a little dose of failure-itis, not going to hit my goal, but… I still have October and I have November. And I have a rad book lined up for NaNoWriMo this year. I hit 85k last NaNoWriMo and I should be able to do that again.
Oh, one last discovery. I don’t value revision as highly as I value writing. A piece of me is delving into invisible work territory. Just like women’s work is undervalued because it’s invisible, maybe revision does the same? I have a blog post banging around about invisible work in my head that has been meaning to come out and I just haven’t done it yet. Anyway. I need a way to quantify my revision work. Or at least to see that it’s making a difference. Or… something.
This is probably my last post from US shores. And I’m not sure how much I’ll be posting from Okinawa. I’ll definitely be on Insta, so follow along there for sure.
And, I’ll be looking for test readers for the Defiant Canary when I get home in October. So, if you’re interested in that, email me at tremblingtrimble at gmail . com with BETA in the subject line and how you’d like your version, either pdf or for Kindle.
A mighty, mighty migraine hit Thursday morning with zero warning. I am finally eating and not barfing again, but my brain likes to go on little adventures when I’m not quite using it.
This morning, as I was laying in bed, trying to let my brain calm down and trying to recover from an arduous nail appointment (usually one of my most favorite me time adventures in the world), I started thinking about Persistent Men.
He follows her to work. He badgers her into spending time with him and in the end, she goes with him. Although, the other guy, Henri, had a weird power imbalance with her too. Taking her in during the war when she was still “a child” then falling in love with her? Hrm.
Anyway. This idea that if a man is persistent enough, he will wear her down just creeps me out so much. In An American in Paris, he wins her over through his persistence. Offhand, I can’t think of more (migraine brain, did I mention?) but I know I’ve seen it.
And regardless of what the woman says. Regardless how she initially feels, if she just gives him a fair shake, she’ll discover that he’s actually a nice guy. The man of her dreams in fact!
Where is her agency? She tries to maintain her boundaries, she tries to do what she can to keep herself safe, but instead, it’s all, “Oh, well, she never really knew her mind to begin with, so once he was able to talk some sense into her, she went with him.”
Yuck. Just yuck.
I mean, sure, romance, ripped bodices, whatever. I can understand the appeal, I suppose, of being wanted so much. To be washed away on the tides of pleasure and have it not be ~your fault~. To be able to maintain virginal purity while still being able to explore passion. But this goes right back into the discussion about consent. And it also assumes that rape isn’t about maintaining power structures.
But, back to the Persistent Man. Suppose she does finally go out with him. How many times does she have to go out with him before she can say, “Ok, that’s enough?” Now does she “owe him” for him magnanimity of taking her out to dinner? Does she owe him kisses? Sex? Blow jobs? What? And if she says no, then she becomes a cocktease and led him on. And then the cry, “Well, if she didn’t want to go out with him, she should have just said so!”
In any case, this idea of the Persistent Man started playing around in my head and I wanted to explore it a little. I’m sure I’ll expand on it at a later time. My poor brain is so tired from just starting to plot this all out. And I’ll start keeping track of the Persistent Man now as I find them in media.
Because when's the last time you trembled from delight?