Gender Theory before Gender Theory: Woolf’s Orlando #52Challenge

OrlandoOrlando by Virginia Woolf
Rating: 4/5 stars
#52Challenge prompt: A novel that is considered classic

Virginia Woolf, where do we start? This is the third Woolf novel I’ve read. I place it in the middle, having adored Mrs. Dalloway and having struggled to read To the Lighthouse. Orlando is funny in ways those other books are not. It also features avenues of fantasy — namely Orlando’s ability to change genders at will and their extraordinary long life — that Woolf’s hyperrealistic other work doesn’t dare venture into.

(Arguably, Woolf wrote this for her girlfriend, Vita Sackville-West, and speculation is that she didn’t mean to have it published to the world. Woolf like realistic books. Orlando is not one.)

For the purpose of this review, if Orlando’s gender is specific, I will use those pronouns, and if unspecific, I will use “they.” Continue reading “Gender Theory before Gender Theory: Woolf’s Orlando #52Challenge”

The Art of Becoming: a Fanfiction Journey

Apparently, we’re having another round of “that’s just fanfiction.” Implying that fanfiction is below prowriting quality standards and should be dismissed, and that if you want to insult a prowriting piece, just call it fanfiction.

Xena and Gabrielle and fanfic
Xena and Gabrielle are a very popular fanfic pairing.
For those that live under rocks, fanfiction or fanfic is a derivative work of another creator, usually created out of love for the original work. More often than not written for fun and just because. Fanfic is largely created by women for women. And fanfic is infamous for its explicitly erotic stories, which do constitute a significant portion, though not all fanfic. Erotic fanfic often falls into Rule 34: if you can think of it, there’s probably erotica/porn on the internet about it.

Works that can fall under fanfiction:

See what I did there. A lot of those are published books! A lot of them are famous and well-written! There are even whole sections of GoodReads devoted to stories declared rewritten fanfiction by readers.

I’d like to admit: I’ve written, read, and recommended a ton of fanfic. Continue reading “The Art of Becoming: a Fanfiction Journey”

Unhappily Beautiful: How Body Shame Burned Me Out

I said nothing as the woman sitting across from me mused that shaving one’s legs in the sink was the ultimate defining moment of womanhood. Whose womanhood? Perhaps only her own, perhaps only the other socio-economically privileged, mostly white women present. Perhaps she thought this expression resonated with all of us or perhaps it was to separate the superior kind of woman she wanted us to be.

Warning: Reflections in this mirror may be distorted by socially constructed ideas of beauty.
Society’s mirror is a false one.
With few exceptions, I try to only dig enough into other people’s own psychodramas to interact with them or make them characters in stories. But I can tell you this barrier she set up affected others; it affected me. It’s never a flaming sword of body hate. No, it’s just tiny little jabs collected over months of similar comments, environments, and messaging that eventually make you bleed, face-down on the ground.

I spent a whole half year unhappy with my wardrobe choices. Staring in a mirror of unhappiness. Nothing looked right, and I didn’t seem to own what I needed. Or it wasn’t clean. My mornings just dragged out longer than necessary. And no amount of shopping or wardrobe purging seemed to fix it.

Finally, my secret became that Jacob, my partner, started picking out my clothes for me. Most days at my behest. Continue reading “Unhappily Beautiful: How Body Shame Burned Me Out”

Sprinkles Around the Web: April 15th Edition

Sprinkles from around the web

I decided to add “equality” given that I do read a lot of articles with intersectionality that cover stopping a lot of -isms, and they are all equally important. As always, these are links that I found interesting and you might too.

Me

Books Nominated for 2013 Hugo Awards!
Woohoo! Chicks Unravel Time & Chicks Dig Comics were nominated for The Hugo Awards. Big congratulations to the editors, all the other writers, and everyone else involved in the production and love of these books. 🙂

Cute Animals

Black and White Friendship Story of a 4-Year-old Girl and Her Cat
Yep, pretty sure I was exactly like this with my cat as a child.

Entrepreneurship

The Skills Most Entrepreneurs Lack
Very interesting.

Equality

Donglegate: Why the Tech Community Hates Feminists
One of the best articles I’ve read about the larger messages and lessons from Donglegate.

How to talk about a woman’s looks
Yep, even President Obama messed this one up.

To my daughter (should I have one)
A lovely thought from my friend Susie. Continue reading “Sprinkles Around the Web: April 15th Edition”

Sprinkles Around the Web: April 8th Edition

Sprinkles from around the web

Things that I found that were interesting around the web. Your mileage may vary.

Me

Erica and Jacob in NYC
Jacob and I in NYC at the castle in Central Park.

4 Lesser-Known Conferences That Deserve Your Attention in 2013
Heck, yes, MozCon got a shout-out! 🙂 Plus, quote by me.

Introducing Moz Reader!
I love working for such an amazing company like SEOmoz. I’ve been so bummed about Google Reader shutting down, but guess what, we stepped up and created the Moz Reader! I’m really thrilled. (If you’re wondering where I was, I was in NYC instead of in the video.)

Cute Animals

Adventure Kitten Gear
Okay, REI wins with the adorable as they have all your adventure kitten gear.

Baby hedgehogs
OMG baby hedgehogs have giant ears!

Entrepreneurship

On Not Mourning Your Failures & Overcoming Burn-Out with Brad Feld
On how to think more about your life for the long-term as an entrepreneur.

Fandom

Anything That Loves: Comics Beyond “Gay” and “Straight”
Definitely an awesome Kickstarter for a comic anthology about romantic love that goes beyond “straight” or “gay.”

Continue reading “Sprinkles Around the Web: April 8th Edition”

Sprinkles Around the Web: Big O’ Link-ing

Sprinkles from around the web

So it’s been a while — too long — since I’ve made one of these posts, which means, I’m going to just do a link dump without my usual explanations so I can hurry things along and get to the new stuff. As always, what I like, you may not like.

Me
by me

quoted / photoed me

Continue reading “Sprinkles Around the Web: Big O’ Link-ing”

Sprinkles Around the Web: Sept 20th Edition

Sprinkles from around the web

Interesting stuff I found around the web.

Me

Chicks Dig GeekGirlCon
A great review of GeekGirlCon ’12 from Sheena, who was on the Chicks Dig Comics panel with me.

Comic Books

Captain Marvel: DeConnick on Carol Danvers and the comics industry
Captain Marvel is beyond awesome.

It’s Barbara Gordon-Meets-Nancy Drew In Adam Watson’s ‘The Batgirl Mysteries’
Full of love for this. Continue reading “Sprinkles Around the Web: Sept 20th Edition”

Sprinkles Around the Web 6/25-7/2/12

It’s back. My collection of random linkage from around the web that I enjoy. YMMV.

Sprinkles from around the web

Me

GeekGirlCon at Pride. Photo by Jonathan Konkol
GeekGirlCon at Pride. Photo by Jonathan Konkol.

GeekGirlCon

Geeks Among Us: GeekGirlCon
Check out this interview with me about GeekGirlCon and our group’s secret origins.

Economy

The Afterlife of Cheap Clothes
Do you know what happens when you donate your old clothing? I didn’t really know either. It’s not what most people think. Continue reading “Sprinkles Around the Web 6/25-7/2/12”