Monthly Archives: January 2014
It’s been a while. I know I’m supposed to be making weekly posts but I haven’t been able to decide on anything worth sharing in the last couple of week. However, the past week has been pretty interesting in terms of news. I’ve collected a few more feathers in my writing cap over the last couple of weeks in the form of query rejections. I haven’t received a lot because I haven’t queried many agents (still researching those who would be a good fit for Dia of the Dead which you read more about here) but with each one I feel more and more like a real writer. Truth be told, it’s an odd feeling–a mix of disappointment and pride. Disappointment in receiving an “eh. pass” but pride in disregarding my cautious nature and taking the leap of faith to put myself and my work out there. It doesn’t exactly soothe the sting of rejection but I stepped outside my comfort zone and that counts.
With all of this going on, I’ve been feeling a little bummed and a bit discouraged lately. I’ve been keeping up with current trends and I know my project’s going to be a hard sell in today’s market but like I’ve said, I only need one “yes.” My friends have been instrumental in keeping me going. They have listened to me complain about how difficult writing is. They have entertained texts and e-mails from me about plot ideas that basically landed in their inboxes like Kramer bursting into Jerry’s apartment on Seinfeld. Most importantly, they have talked me off the ledge when I thought about “Select All + Delete”ing my entire manuscript. I cannot thank you all enough. I really appreciate it and you better believe that I’m going to do whatever I can to return the favor. Here’s a song that may best represents how I feel:
Thinking about my friendships caused me to think about my favorite fictional friendships. So I thought I’d share a few of them. They’re not in any particular order and this list doesn’t feature all of my favorite friends but here it is:
I am a child of the 90s. Many Friday nights growing up consisted of watching TGIF. And while partial to most shows on ABC’s Friday night television line up of yesteryear, Boy Meets World was and remains one of my absolute favorites. If you’re unfamiliar with the show, it’s about the coming-of-age of Cornelius “Cory” Matthews as he transitions from 6th grader into adulthood. One of the integral parts of the show is Cory’s friendship with Shawn Hunter. Cory and Shawn are besties, so close that they’re practically brothers. They have their ups and downs but overall they’re there for each other, always.
The Golden Trio from Harry Potter is another example of great friendships. Ron and Hermione were the definition of “ride or die.” Would your best friends drop out of high school to assist you in preparing for a war against the Dark Lord? Ron and Hermione were constantly risking their life for Harry. Not every friend would do that. Actually, this could really extend beyond Ron and Hermione to Harry’s other classmates at Hogwarts as well. Each of them rallied around Harry and provided the support–risking their lives–to ensure good vanquished evil.
Note: I thought about including The Marauders but honestly, they were teenage assholes. Fans like to gloss over the fact James, Sirius, Remus and Peter were bullies but I can’t. We know they eventually grew up and grew out of being jerks (with the exception of one) but the glimpse the readers received of their time at Hogwarts painted them in an unsavory light.
Troy and Abed are weird. And that’s what makes their friendship so interesting. Troy started his time at Greendale Community College as the popular jock-type who didn’t have to do much of anything to acquire friends. Abed on the other hand had his quirks that made it a bit difficult for him to interact with others. However, the two of them were able to build a friendship and pull out the quirkiness in one another. I think that’s what the best friendships do. We’re all weird and good friends are those who learn how to deal with it and love us for it.
I thought my list was a little dude-centric and that’s a problem. I’ve noticed that most male friendships are portrayed as you know, friendships while female friendships are portrayed as catty passive-aggressive rivalries. That’s not cool. Not every lady friendship is shown as such but they’re way too many for my liking. However, the friendship between Jess and Cece on New Girl is refreshing. The two of them have been friends since elementary school and now in their late-twenties, they remain close. Jess and Cece’s friendship is like a mix of Cory and Shawn’s and Troy and Abed’s. They’ve been friends since childhood and have been there for each other through ups and downs and have learned to accept each other’s weird. The New Girl writers have done an adequate job of establishing Jess and Cece’s friendship but I wish they’d spend a little more time developing it further like they have with the rest of the roommates in the loft.
What is your favorite fictional friendship? I’d really like to hear about it.
Two posts in one week? Wow! While this blog is heavily focused on my Write Life (gotta get that tatted on my stomach like Pac), I thought it couldn’t hurt to share things about me/are important to me. I’ve blogged about my thoughts on feminism in the past and now I’d like to talk about something else that’s been on my mind for a while.
Over the couple of weeks or so, Twitter has been abuzz with talk about body shaming. As a person living on planet earth, I’ve encountered body shaming on a pretty regular basis. Maybe slightly more often since I’m a ~plus-sized~person. I actually laughed aloud typing that. Plus-sized is coded language for fat. I wear a size 16/18. I’m fat, y’all. And guess what? That’s cool.
As you can probably tell, this is going to be a rambly post about body image stuff. Yay!
I firmly believe in the statement on this graphic that features slight variations of one particular body type (sorry I couldn’t find a better one). Every body is beautiful but it seems as though society doesn’t want us to believe it.
Personal story time!
I’ve mentioned in passing that I was bullied growing up. While in elementary school, most of it centered around me being considered “smart” and being the teacher’s pet by my peers However, the bullying I experienced in middle school was a totally different beast. Starting in 6th grade, I was bullied about my weight. Looking back on the situation, I wondered why I was targeted since I honestly didn’t look too much different from my other classmates. But without asking the perpetrators why, I’ll probably never know. So it has become a “thing that happened for whatever reason” like how I’ve somehow become a vault for life stories that people should probably take to their grave instead of sharing with another leaving soul. The things I went through at school along with food policing and comments made by relatives that weren’t my parents at home tanked my self-esteem. Once again, in retrospect, I know those family members probably mean well but a lot of the comments made and telling me what I could and couldn’t eat were largely unnecessary. Especially when my cousins ate the same things + tons of junk food. But they weren’t chubby and I was :/. It’s a million years later and those comments pop up in my head during big family dinners and I still feel uncomfortable eating in the presence of those relatives. Overall middle school was
While it was pretty bad, my experiences during that time became a testament to my resilience. The summer between eighth and ninth grade was my “Started From The Bottom” period. I worked extremely hard building my self-esteem from the ground up on my own. I had many Stuart Smalley moments, staring at my reflection in the mirror stating self-affirmations, reminding myself that I matter and basking in my own awesomeness. It was a slow-going process but it worked. I began to see myself differently. I saw my value and everything else fell into place. As a result, I’ve become a twenty-something teetering on the edge of becoming the next Narcissus.
While I’m happy with myself, that doesn’t stop people from insisting that I shouldn’t be. A fat girl with high self-esteem who openly refers to herself as “fat” is almost superhuman. It blows people’s minds to say the word in reference to yourself because it seems to make people uneasy. Even if the statement is both actual and factual. The looks you get when you call yourself fat are hilarious to be honest. They don’t know how to react and it’s like:
To me, “fat” is not a synonym for “ugly.” When I say “I’m fat” it doesn’t mean “I feel ugly.” I don’t need anyone to try placate me or make me feel better by insisting that I’m not fat but [insert another word that’s a nice way to spin “fat” here]. I don’t feel bad about myself when I say I’m fat because fat isn’t a bad thing to me. Though some people may believe that fatties should spend all day feeling bad about themselves for being fat, I have better things to do than stew in poor self-esteem. Like, ya know live my life. I don’t need dieting tips (unless you’ve got some good vegetarian recipes for my veggie lifetstyle). I don’t need to know how to dress for my body (I got dis). And I don’t need workout routines–well, I should probably exercise but that would be toward achieving my goal of living a thousand years rather than losing weight. In short, mind ya own business, son.
As women, the standards of beauty for us are vastly different than they are for men. We’re always chasing after an ideal that’s a moving target. Once–or if–we achieve it, we’re hit with another goal to strive for that’s completely different. We’re constantly being inundated with messages that whatever body you’re in, it’s wrong. If you’re too thin, you’re constantly questioned about your eating habits and being told that you need to put on weight. If you’re too large, you’re constantly being questioned about your eating habits and being told you need to lose weight. Take it away, MJ….
Regardless of what you do, you can’t win. You’re not going to be able to appease everyone in terms of your appearance so you know what you should do? You. You gotta do you, boo. Learning to be comfortable in your own skin takes work but once you reach that place, it’s amazing.
I hope you had an awesome holiday and brought in the new year on a high note. I’m back here with some of the goals I hope to accomplish during the year. Since we’re five days into 2014, I’ll share a bit about how things have been going so far.
1. Stop falling for Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s and Michael B. Jordan’s thirst traps.
This is actually going pretty well. Don’t know how long it’ll last though. We’ll see.
2. Set a daily word count. (500 words)
I’ve been struggling to meet my word count goal. I got an idea for a new story that ended up snowballing into a BIG IDEA that requires research and planning. While I haven’t been writing, I’ve been actively planning this novel the last couple of days. I really like this idea and am excited about working on it.
3. Meet the daily word count.
4. Write for at least 30 minutes every day.
Taking notes for my new project counts, right?
5. Complete at least three manuscripts.
This is a year-end goal. Let’s see how this goes.
6. Learn how to make edible vegetarian meals (smothered tofu, son).
I made vegetarian spaghetti yesterday and it was pretty good.
7. Learn how to write a screenplay.
My screenplay ideas are on the back-burner. I’m caught up in BIG IDEA.
8. Write a screenplay
9. Update your writing blog weekly.
I have a couple of posts lined up. I might be able to do this.
So those are my goals for the year. Let’s see how well I do.