Interesting Finds

Hi everyone! May has been such a disorganized month I don’t even know what I’m doing anymore. But I have a ton of internet items to share!

This article hits home in a big way. As someone who has dealt with weight and body issues since 4th grade, I feel nothing but pity for someone who’s self-worth is so intricately tied to their size. It’s a hard, vicious battle. And no one should be made to feel that they’re worthless because they don’t hit some sort of stupid ideal. I was disturbed when I saw the first preview of Revenge Body while watching TV and I’m even more disturbed now. https://bitchmedia.org/article/body-kardashian/khlo%C3%A9%E2%80%99s-revenge-body-and-strict-demands-family-business

This might just be the best way to keep track of your reading pile. Bullet journal junkies, this is for you.  http://rivetedlit.com/2017/03/21/bullet-journal-for-books/?cp_type=enpm&rmid=Riveted_Weekly&rrid=6512055

I kind of want to invest in a big stick. And use it. Someone just please end the mansplaining. http://www.teenvogue.com/story/worst-mansplaining-stories-on-twitter

This comic from the Oatmeal really speaks to me. If you were to ask me on a routine basis whether I feel happy, I’d truthfully say no. But I’m not unhappy. http://www.upworthy.com/this-comic-from-the-oatmeal-illustrates-how-were-missing-the-mark-on-happiness?c=ufb2

I love The Handmaid’s Tale, but I don’t know if I can watch the show because the book alone disturbs me on such a visceral level. This article brings up something I never thought of when I read the book, or when I’ve read other dystopic fiction: ensuring diversity and addressing race and prejudice properly and realistically. It’s incredible food for thought. https://theundefeated.com/features/hulu-handmaids-tale/

And just to maintain the terror, here’s one superb take on The Handmaid’s Tale and why it has been reintroduced to audiences at such a good time. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/27/handmaids-tale-timely-terrifying-hulu-series-margaret-atwood?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=The+week+in+patriarchy&utm_term=223717&subid=22649583&CMP=patriarchy

Finally to wrap things up with irony, here’s a fact I bet you didn’t know about a certain species of dragonflies. https://www.newscientist.com/article/2129185-female-dragonflies-fake-sudden-death-to-avoid-male-advances/?utm_campaign=RSS%7CNSNS&utm_source=NSNS&utm_medium=RSS&utm_content=news&campaign_id=RSS%7CNSNS-news&utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=The+week+in+patriarchy&utm_term=223717&subid=22649583&CMP=patriarchy

A Year of Reading Women

I want to start my post today by apologizing for missing the first Tuesday of this month and not writing until now. The shift from April to May caught me a bit off guard and I did not manage my time well. Life got a little bit hectic and I couldn’t seem to get it done.

As I type, I realize we’re already in the 20th week of 2017. Is there a better time to initiate a reading challenge? Probably, but I’m doing it anyway! I would love for people to join me, yet I also want to see if I can personally do it. From my title, you have likely figured out that I want to read books written exclusively by female authors this year.

Honestly, barring book club picks by other members and assigned reading for my courses, I don’t think this will be a difficult challenge. I read stories written mostly by women anyway; looking at my bookshelves it’s an easy 3:1 ratio. However, with recent events around the world concerning women and those who identify as female, I want to make a point of it.

And I won’t be reading just fiction because obviously women write much more than that. I’ll be adding poetry, drama, essays, memoirs, and all the other good stuff out there. Too readily, certain governments and individuals with power are trying to silence the women who don’t agree with them. I might not be anyone important, but this shall be one of my means of resistance.

I was reluctant for all of a minute to take up this challenge. The only reason: one of my favourite authors, Guy Gavriel Kay, will be a guest of honour at When Words Collide this year and I had wanted to read all of his books I currently own. At this point, all I can do is shrug –they’ve sat there for years and a few more months won’t hurt them, or me.

So, as I look above my laptop screen at my calendar called “Women Reading,” I shall admire the artwork then shove my nose in a few more books. I hope you join me!

Interesting Finds

I have been all over the internet this month, so there’s a lot to share. Enjoy!

Have you ever wondered what those schoolyard bullies turn into? I’ve had to deal with a Regina type. Funny when she left how everyone at my job started getting along a lot better.  https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/bullies-youll-meet-business-sarah-w-browne

It’s hokey but true: a picture is worth a thousand words. What words come to your mind when you see all these male authored books flipped backwards? https://heatst.com/culture-wars/ohio-bookstore-flips-male-authored-books-displaying-them-backwards/

If you’re a language nerd, like me, check out these 10 things about the Englihs language. http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2015/08/ten-things-you-might-not-have-known-about-the-english-language/?utm_source=March21-17&utm_campaign=od-newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=10thingsaboutenglish-list-toppanel

I am a naturally negative person. I simply have trouble seeing the bright side of things. But I’m willing to try a few of these 10 things to make my life better. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/10-habits-that-will-dramatically-improve-your-life_us_58cae67ae4b0e0d348b3416b

This infuriates me. Good thing Angela Merkel has a better hold on her temper than me.  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/mar/21/trump-did-to-merkel-what-men-do-to-women-all-the-time

If you don’t know the horrifying events happening in Chechnya right now, this is an important read. It makes me sick to my stomach. http://feminist.org/blog/index.php/2017/04/12/persecution-of-gay-men-in-chechnya-escalates/

And if that got a fire burning under you, here are 8 calls to action so you can help.

http://www.dazeddigital.com/artsandculture/article/35576/1/help-stop-the-torture-of-gay-men-in-chechnya?utm_source=change_org&utm_medium=petition

I’m finding this world a difficult place to exist in right now. It’s hard to believe what humans do to each other. All any of us can do is stay positive, stay informed, and help in any way we can.

Interesting Finds

Since March is a woman-focused month, what with International Women’s Day happening on the 8th, I decided this was a great excuse to be women- and feminist-focused myself. Please enjoy these great reads.

This professor took her students to see the inimitable Roxanne Gay in person. If you haven’t read anything by Gay, you need to remedy that. I loved Bad Feminist, and I’ll be reading Difficult Women very soon. http://msmagazine.com/blog/2017/02/23/watching-personal-meet-political/

I really really like Roxanne Gay. And Simon and Schuster not so much right now. http://nymag.com/thecut/2017/02/roxane-gay-calls-out-book-publisher-simon-and-schuster.html?mid=facebook_nymag

I genuinely detest any person who thinks they get to have a say over another’s body, so I won’t get started on certain laws in certain places. I hope this particular Viagra law goes far so that the unenlightened members of society understand how intrusive those certain laws are. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/law-proposed-kentucky-restrict-access-viagra-married-men-permission-from-wives-abortion-mary-lou-a7589026.html

Feminists have boobs?! In all seriousness, though, this is ridiculous about Emma Watson. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/emma-watsons-boobs-prove-why-we-still-need-feminism_us_58b8bd55e4b02b8b584df9f4?

And before we place Watson on a pedestal, here are two posts you should read. This http://wearyourvoicemag.com/more/fashion/emma-watson-white-feminist and this http://www.cosmopolitan.com/entertainment/celebs/a9101840/emma-watson-beyonce-feminism/.

This list about the emotional labour people expect of women –even other women– really hit home with me. http://everydayfeminism.com/2016/08/women-femmes-emotional-labor/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=expect%20constant%20emotional%20labor&utm_campaign=What%20Just%20Happened%20-%20A%20Day%20Without%20A%20Woman

And lastly, this article on white feminism and the movie Get Out underscores why all feminists need to be intersectional. https://bitchmedia.org/article/get-out-movie-white-feminism?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=%C2%A0insists%20they%E2%80%99re%20not&utm_campaign=The%20Weekly%20Reader%3A%20February%2026-March%204%2C%202017

 

*Please note that this post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and decide to purchase an item I’ve mentioned I will receive a small commission from the seller at no extra cost to you. All funds are put back into E.V. Writes. Thank you in advance for your support.

Point of View: N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season Will Change Your Reading Life

There are so many things in N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season that will change your life as a reader and a writer and a human that I can’t touch on them all. I just don’t have the time and space. So I’ve decided to touch on the story’s point of view.

I’ve shared my opinions on point of view extensively on both blogs. I have strong opinions, mainly that different points of view should not be mixed in the same story. It’s a major pet peeve of mine both as a reader and a writer. As far as I’m concerned, when it comes to your book, novella, or short story you stick with the narrative style, tense, and point of view you started with. There are no takebacks.

Writers who mix things up always make me feel like they’re simply trying to get unstuck, which doesn’t make for compelling or convincing reading.

I’ve read books where one character is in first person and then another character is thrown in and their view point is written in third person. Usually this is done because the story needed extra information that the main character couldn’t provide with her limited point of view and the writer couldn’t think of a different solution.

I’ve read books in series where all of sudden in the third and/or final book, the author realizes they’re stuck, the story arc can’t go further the way they started, so they have to throw in a new narrator. Yeah, Allegiant, I’m talking to you. No, Veronica Roth is not the only guilty author out there, but I was particularly upset with Allegiant, so it has to feel my wrath.

The Fifth Season swung out unexpectedly and toppled me off my Perch of Judgement.

The story is written from three different points of view: Essun’s, Syenite’s, and Damaya’s. There’s a purpose to each choice because they show different aspects of the complex world Jemisin has created. Essun, in her 40s, shows us the dangers and consequences of hiding what you are in a world that hates your kind. Syenite, in her early 20s, shows us what it means to follow the rules and dictates of an order that will control everything about you and destroy you if it can’t. Then Damaya, only 8, shows us what it means to be discovered as the other and the painful lessons the world will use to break your spirit.

That doesn’t sound too different from your average coming of age story despite the separate narrators, right? Well, Essun’s story is written in second person. Syenite’s is in close third person. Damaya’s is also in close third person, though I feel there is greater distance with her narration. Perhaps because I’m closer to Syenite’s age.

At first I was a bit shaken as a reader. I haven’t read much, if anything, written in second person. And I’ve never been exposed to second person point of view for such a long piece. Mixed with the third person parts, I should have been outraged as a reader.

I waited to be. And I waited. And then I was hooked.

Jemisin’s skill as a writer so pulled me in to each character’s story that I couldn’t help but be enthralled. I was too excited to pick up different threads and try to figure out where all of them lead. I was floored and I was schooled. I have never encountered a writer with enough skill to leave me satisfied with mixed points of view.

One of the keys was her consistency. Each point of view was given nearly equal time to the end. And the second person narration didn’t change into anything else. Plus, the story starts out in second person, in the prologue, and I think that was a genius choice. That the narrative jarring didn’t happen after a third person narrator started things off was important because I don’t know that a lot of readers have been exposed to second person point of view. So moving to the strange from the familiar would have been a bad choice.

Besides, Jemisin can write. She just can. Her words are magic.

If you haven’t read or heard of The Fifth Season, you should remedy that. Before the third book in the trilogy comes out this summer.

I still have strong opinions about point of view and I don’t think it should be messed with lightly. But if you know what your aim is, and it reflects not only the structure of your story but your characters and world perfectly too, do it. I will be much more willing to fiddle with my points of view in the future now that I’ve seen it done effectively. And I will give stories more of a chance when point of view is altered –but the author needs to sell it, and not do it simply because they’ve backed themselves into a corner.

Forethought. Forethought and purpose are everything.

 

*Please note that this post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and decide to purchase an item I’ve mentioned I will receive a small commission from the seller at no extra cost to you. All funds are put back into E.V. Writes. Thank you in advance for your support.