Can anyone tell me a blockbuster famous novel they have read with a main character that was either gay or lesbian? Don’t worry, I’ll wait whilst you scratch your head to think… still haven’t thought of one? No. Me neither. Anyone else got an issue with that? Because I really do. [Read more…] about Where Are All The LGBT Characters?
I really hate January 1st. It’s the ultimate come down. You partied hard the night before, fuelled by booze, contagious enthusiasm and ever more ridiculous resolution promises. The night seemed alive, 2015 was going to be THE year. It’s your year, your time and your chance.
What a load of shit.
Woke up this morning, feeling more bloated and fatter than ever, with a raging hangover and more resolution promises I will break before the end of month. Stepped on the scales, didn’t I?
WHY, did I do that?
Now ELEVEN pounds heavier than I was in August.
Fuck January. Fuck my life.
January 1st – berroca in the morning 11am hangover starting to disappear, better make an effort – healthy yogurt and bagel for breakfast. By 1:45pm I’d eaten chocolate, hated myself for eating it so ate more to console myself.
F***ing January. I’ll start tomorrow!
Looked at the insanity DVD pile with enough hatred to send me straight back to the chocolate drawer for another round of “stuff my face and hate myself some more” I’ll start insanity tomorrow.
Looked at my beautiful treasured Mac laptop lain unused for the entire Christmas break. Not a word written, not a thought for my assignment nor my much in need of an edit WIP. Looked at it, hated on it. Then hated on myself for slacking. I’ll start tomorrow.
Looked at the calendar, only 3 more days off till I go back to work. And the awful realisation I’ve wasted my entire precious Christmas holiday doing sweet fuck all. Something I can’t abide – waste. Spent most of the first week off being ill with a stupid cold I couldn’t rid myself of for a month. Happy to say the last two days have seen it finally bite the dust. But still. I hated on myself some more for behaving like the thing I hate – a waster – sleep is for the weak!
So where did it go? When did I lose my mojo? It’s been gone at least a month. I have no motivation AT ALL. Not to exercise and lose the weight I need to, and not to pick up my technological pen and write.
How do you get motivated when you and your mojo are lost?
Maybe you should tell me tomorrow?!
Killing off characters…
Whilst I might not be an accomplished published writer… yet and therefore not necessarily have the right to say what I am about to, I am a prolific bibliophile, which does give me the right as I may well read your work one day too! Just as a caveat, this isn’t meant as a slur on anyones work, just a lowly readers opinion.
So, killing off characters….. lots of people do it, in fact most authors kill off a character or two… Sometimes it helps to shimmy your plot along… Great, do it… but what about when you kill off a main character…?
George RR Martin does it all the time you say, well if game of thrones can do it then so can I.
No. No you can’t.
I mean, you could. But word of cautionary warning… don’t just kill off main characters without a irrefutable reason. I will give you an example.
Spoiler alert: Veronica Roth & Divergent
If you intend to read Divergent then skip to another post!
You spend three long books getting to know, investing in and falling in love with her main character Tris. Then she offs her a few chapters from the last book. Fatal mistake. I know I am not alone in thinking this either. Most of my friends who have read her are equally as pissed off. Heres why:
1. She spent three books making us fall in love with her character, ‘feel’ for her character, get to know her inside out, as well as we know ourselves.
2. We were invested in her
3. It came out of the blue – I had to re-read the page in which she killed her off three times before I understood that she had in fact killed her off, at which point I genuinely said out loud “Are you fucking kidding me?”
4. Three books close to a thousand pages of reading about a character and then the last couple of chapters end without her in it.
5. Secretly most people want a happy ending for the characters they love, unless the whole book has lead you to a different ending, which this didn’t.
6. She wrote the first two books from the main characters point of view, in the first person, and then split the last book chapter by chapter to two different characters POV – annoying. Do it the whole way through or not at all.
7. She tricked us, into thinking she was going to have a happy ending with ‘four’ her boyfriend and live happily ever after.
This all adds up to being NOT ok. It’s sloppy writing, in fact it is down right lazy writing. I feel like she couldn’t be bothered to work out an ending so she just offed her main character. Who does that???
Another point to note is POV. Veronica Roth writes in the first person. *SLAPS FOREHEAD* you simply can’t write three books in the first person and then kill your character off. I mean obviously thats why she split the last book to write from two characters view points, but still wrote in the first person. It was tough going and annoying. But explains why she was able to kill off her main character.
She made me invest in a character and then tricked her readers (me) out of the ending we had been expecting and wanting. It’s not ok to do that. Whilst Veronica Roth wrote an outstanding first book, which has clearly made her millions, and an ok second book, she utterly massacred the last one, with an ending thats pissed off every reader I know. It has certainly put me off reading any of her future work. What it does show, is that she can certainly make her audience talk about her work, and feel emotional about her work, I mean, if angry counts? Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t meant as a character assassination on Veronica Roth or the Divergent series. I am just trying to show you how not to really irritate your readers.
DON’T CHEAT US OUT OF AN ENDING YOU LED US TO.
Obviously, if you have led us down the road of knowing the main character is going to die, then fine. But if you haven’t, then please be careful, think about what your readers would want and expect, and hope for, for your characters ending.
The one thing I do have to thank her for, is she inspired me to get off my arse, and write a better story, with a better ending. I’m not saying I am a better writer than her, I’m clearly an unpublished nobody. But, she made me want to write a story with a better ending. I was that annoyed! and here I am in the midst of NaNoWriMo, several thousand words deep in my book…. 🙂
Ahhhh, the dreaded clock change that happens twice yearly…. that sacred extra hour you usually get in bed…pre parenthood.
WORST WEEK OF MY LIFE PEOPLE!!!
Babies apparently don’t appreciate this annual gift we are given of extra sleep, in fact, not only do they reject the gift, they completely ignore it, choosing instead to get up at the usual time (now an hour early) the joyous hour of 5am. Fuck the worm, I have never been a morning person. I choose to be a late bird, why oh why did my son not inherit this precious piece of me?!
This was genuinely me trying to get out of bed at 5am to get the boy this morning.
The thing is, he is doesn’t just affect the morning its also affecting the evening. Instead of going to be at 7, like normal we get to half past 6, and he goes all
Its horrendous. We have tried everything from distraction, to TV, to extra milk, and out and out bribery! nothing is working. So tomorrow we have asked friends to come round to try and distract him between half six and 7, in the vague hope ‘new faces’ might be exciting! sigh. My caffeine intake this week is actually offensive!
Anyone else suffering with Daylight Savings Time?
As I promised, this would be a blog of two halves, partly about my life as a mum, writer, and worker bee, and partly about writing, and my quest to get published.
So, this is a motherhood post.
Everybody knows about the terrible twos, how truly awful they are with screaming tantrums and public paddies.
Hideously embarrassing and the phase I suspect most parents dread in young children. BUT SERIOUSLY…. why did no one tell me about the horrific change that happens at ten months? My son is now ten and a half approaching eleven months, and it was like an alien literally took over his body and possessed his previously calm temperament.
Nappy changing is simply an impossibility without an army of spare hands, arms and legs to pin your gremlin of a child in place while you change them. Ok, so distraction occasionally works too, but not as well as it used to! He now likes to pitch an absolute bitch of a screaming fit, when I get him dressed, try and do his teeth, or anything that even remotely changes his current situation.
In spite of the fact I’ve read a million mum blogs, help sites read books and compared notes with a hundred friends, it kind of doesn’t matter what they say or suggest because baby black, is just going to make life difficult his own way! When I find a solution I’ll report back!
There are some fundamental things about motherhood that just don’t change. You will change umpteen nappies, and as a result you will get baby poop and other bodily liquids over most of your limbs at one point or another. Generally speaking however you obtain a child (no, not theft, I’m talking adoption, fertility treatment or in a plethora of other ways) it’s come from the same place – a womb. There will be a time – if you have a newborn or very young baby – where you don’t sleep, you will feel like the walking dead and you won’t know who you are; one day you will find you self sat on the sofa in yesterday’s underwear, bloodshot eyes with bags the size of houses, unbrushed teeth that still look clean because you can’t remember the last time you ate, smeared with poop, a few bubbles of sick down one arm, and some crusty snot thrown in for good measure. That happens. To everyone who’s a parent believe me. There’s other things, like the fact that once your a parent there really is no going back – particularly for those that have carried and birthed a child, once you have that baby your life will never be the same again. It takes time to go back to feeling like yourself, but that self is very much a different self. Whoever you were before you had a child is gone, held captive by your long forgotten and never to return youth. Whoever you were is most definitely not returning. But that’s ok. This new you is a better you anyway!
Thats the stuff that’s the same. Seems like everything, right? Wrong. The differences are invariably cultural. Its always cultural. It’s those little things that make our lives that bit harder. The worst bit, is it starts before your child’s even born.
Take your antenatal classes – a class full of straight couples. Where does the non birth mother sit? For the sake of this and any ongoing blogs I post (and my word count!) the non birth mother will be referred to as ‘mama’ and birth mother (mum). Where should the mama sit? It’s not really with the mums – they are all discussing the trials and tribulations of pregnancy and their fears of labour. But it’s also not really with the dads who are more concerned with discussing where the closest dominoes pizza place is to the hospital.
Throughout pregnancy I felt sorry for my wife – she would tell people she’s having a child and within about three seconds a haze of confusion would melt over their face as their eyes would unsubtly drop to her stomach and back to her face a few times. It’s still not ‘normal’ enough for people to just accept that two women can have a baby.
Even after pregnancy and labour it continues – but the problem is – the differences are between your friends and you. I am sure that to a certain extent straight couples who have kids young experience similar things. The friends who begin to slip away because they ‘just don’t get it’. They are incapable of compromising or being understanding to the fact that organising a night out is the equivalent to party planning for the royals. It takes serious time and effort, you can’t just go out at the drop of a hat. And, lets be honest, most of the time you don’t want too either, not because you’re a bore, but because if you do go out – the consequences will reach further than just a saturday morning hangover. You’re going to be tired long into thursday – especially when your child decides to start teething again – at that very moment you went out and let your hair down – commence a week or two of exhaustion. That bit – is probably the same.
But for the LGBT circle, the current generation of young’uns (17-35) we seem to be taking life in the slow lane. The majority of people who are having children in this gayby boom are 35 plus in the LGBT world – obviously I’m not saying everyone, there are also pockets of exceptions – but in my world – most if not all the LGBT parents I have met are 35 plus – in fact thats kind of mimicked with the hetero-parents I’ve met too. The difference this makes is – most of my friends are still in the culture of being concerned with where the next night out is coming from and who’s round is next. most still live at home with mum and dad, and few have careers sorted or any kind of concept of where they want to be when they grow up. Indeed any kind of mention of commitment and you got yourself a full on epi pen needing allergic reaction. Why is our generation of young LGBT so frightened of commitment? few if any of my friends have had relationships longer than a couple of years. It makes me feel like a freakshow – not only am I LGBT and therefore in a minority group as it is – but I’m a minority within a minority – a young LGBT person with a child, who actually had the child in a lesbian relationship and whats more, gave birth.
Other major differences include the ‘questioning’ when you come across a straight couple with a newborn – usual questions include: Oh how adorable – how much did they weigh? How was the birth? Do they sleep?
Now – we tend to get one or two of those normal questions and then you get hit with the- ‘I’m going to look really awkward and shift from foot to foot because I know what I’m about to ask is rude, but I’m going to do it anyway!’ – face and then the barrage of “oh so, er, how did you do it then?” most of the time I feel like responding with an equally stupid answer “do what? get my hair styled this way?, do what look this good on no sleep?” etc etc. Other stupid questions include “do you know the donor?” “are you both called mum”
Seriously, next time a straight couple asks me how I ‘did it’ I’m going to ask them how they got pregnant too, see how they like them apples!
I’m ranting – but I have a point, we face regular interrogations from joe public, and even from our parents. My own dad commented that he wasn’t really sure how it would ‘be’ raising a male child with two mums. “Where’s the balance” I remember him saying. He ate his own words though when he visited because he then said “I don’t think I’ve met a happier child.”
There are probably a million other differences I could name, but my rant just ran out of steam! For any of you LGBT mummies out there – anyone else able to add irritations to the list?