March 24, 2013 § Leave a comment
New Mexico PBS is hosting a free public screening of Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines, Wednesday, 3/27, 7:00pm-9:00pm at the KiMo Theatre in downtown Albuquerque. This Independent Lens feature traces the fascinating birth, evolution, and legacy of Wonder Woman.
I am super excited to go to this. I LOVED the TV series with Lynda Carter. I was the lonely only child always looking for someone in the neighborhood to play with me. But if one of the neighbor kids came by and asked me to come out and play during an airing of Wonder Woman, forget about it. Catch y’all later, I’d say.
As a teenager, watching Wonder Woman/Diana Prince and her pure, strong femininity made me feel like it was okay to wear flattering tops and necklaces and colorful dresses. With all the conflicting societal messages I felt bombarded with as a girl, it was a relief to be able to embrace and flaunt my femaleness instead of fear and hide it.
The Wonder Women! screening at the Kimo Theater will be followed by an interactive discussion, and costumes are encouraged. Why don’t I have my Wonder Woman costume together yet?!
What is your favorite Wonder Woman incarnation: the 1970’s TV show, the 2009 animated feature, the Wonder Woman: Odyssey graphic novel, the recent DC comics reboot? Will anybody ever be able to follow in Lynda Carter’s footsteps??
March 18, 2013 § Leave a comment
Green shirts, green beads, and green pens. That’s right, this Sunday was the St. Patrick’s Day Reading Party.
“Why don’t you people understand my character’s motivations?”
I’m being a tad dramatic. Just a tad.
In all seriousness, there was a fork in the road moment in chapter 2 where my critique partners said they wanted to see my character go the other way “because it will be fun.” Fun, maybe, but not the point of the story, nor the lesson she needs to learn. Nor something my character would actually do. This discussion did alert me to the fact that I need to more clearly illustrate why my character didn’t take that path. So it’s all good.
“You sure had us laughing.”
SCORE! The two scenes that had Dia and Vic laughing the hardest were the scenes where my protagonist is dealing with her opposition. Making my “villains” fun to read is part of my mission in life.
“So, Dia, when J. said ‘crazy’ did he mean like, the fun crazy?”
“No. When he said ‘crazy’ he meant like, cray-cray.”
Lots of stuff happened in chapters 2 and 3 that had my audience going “what are you throwing at us next?” I spent a week and a half just reworking these chapters and combining scenes so that they weren’t too long, and sometimes I felt like I was going to be stuck in the “Refusal of the Call” stage of the hero’s journey forever. I was starting to get sick of these chapters, but after reading them out loud, my audience declared that they were not too long at all.
The work was well worth it.
March 12, 2013 § Leave a comment
I had my first manuscript reading party last month. I was equal parts nervous and excited drank red wine and read my first chapter and part of my second chapter out loud to my willing well-fed audience.
Dia is a filmmaker and movie buff and Vic is an avid reader and movie buff so they make for great critique partners.
I received good feedback on my opening: “It definitely grabs your attention, but needs to be smoother.”
They let me know when something wasn’t clear:
“Who’s T? Was he the—” “No, no, he’s the—”
Yeah, that means my “subtle” introduction of T’s character was just obscure and needs some work.
The good news is that they liked and cared about my main character, flaws and all. They spent a good chunk of time after the reading trying to figure out what’s going to happen next. Dia said my humor reminds her of a cross between Tina Fey and Sgt. Wu from Grimm. I’ll take it!
It’s scary putting your baby out there for others to peer and prod at, but it is worth it to get real world feedback on what works and what doesn’t. And it means you have to keep writing, because your friends will hound you mercilessly for the next installment.
The morning after the reading, Dia texted me. She wanted me to spill the beans to her about what happens next. “I won’t tell Vic. :)”
My response: “You’ll just have to come back for the next reading!”
March 3, 2013 § 8 Comments
“Cassie Robichaud’s life is filled with regret and loneliness after the sudden death of her husband. She waits tables at the rundown Café Rose in New Orleans, and every night she heads home to her solitary one-bedroom apartment. But when she discovers a notebook left behind by a mysterious woman at the café, Cassie’s world is forever changed. The notebook’s stunningly explicit confessions shock and fascinate Cassie, and eventually lead her to S∙E∙C∙R∙E∙T, an underground society dedicated to helping women realize their wildest, most intimate sexual fantasies. Cassie soon immerses herself in an electrifying journey through a series of ten rapturous fantasies with gorgeous men who awaken and satisfy her like never before. As she is set free from her inhibitions, she discovers a new confidence that transforms her, giving her the courage to live passionately. Equal parts enticing, liberating and emotionally powerful, S∙E∙C∙R∙E∙T is a world where fantasy becomes reality.”
I had a personal revelation followed by an impulse to check out the latest issue of Shelf Awareness, and I saw this review on S.E.C.R.E.T.: “a promising new erotic series with a far more feminist bent than many of its genre peers.” Now that’s what I’m talking about. I downloaded this to my Nook as soon as I got home. Here is a line from S.E.C.R.E.T. that pretty much states the theme and what this story meant to me:
“liberation through complete submission to your sexual fantasies.”
S.E.C.R.E.T. is well written, funny, refreshing, and makes you re-think what is possible in female (and male) sexuality.
Cassie Robichaud’s plight resonated for me:
“I often thought of this accidental celibacy like it was a skinny old dog, left with no choice but to follow me.”
I really appreciated reading about a character who just shuts down after a romantic trauma, because I can relate to that. It was exhilarating to watch her shake things up by making a bold move, daring to break free from the societal mores. Here, women help women, and the woman chooses her experiences and her men. That was exciting, making me feel like some doors are about to swing wide open.
I loved the descriptions of New Orleans, the perfect setting for a story about exploring and crossing sexual boundaries.
The only flaw I found while reading the book is that the sex scenes, while descriptive, were not as evocative as I like. The reader is forced to use her own imagination to “get there.” Now that I’ve finished the book, however, I think that very quality makes the scenes linger in my memory. And makes them more empowering.
Four out of five stars
What do you think about the idea of a woman exploring her sexual self to achieve liberation?