CONTEXT: This is a re-post of an earlier rant. It was originally a response to a text-post from someone who mentioned that their YA lit professor called John Green a revolutionary who brought back the YA genre and made it cool again. I…disagree, as you might imagine.
Aw. I am so flattered to see Kami nominated. With every character, I think a writer is trying to do a Different Thing. Kami was my try at writing the heroine I’d most like to be friends with—the lovablest, perhaps, and I love her very much (so I succeeded in making her lovable to one person at least!), and I love to see others loving her.
I want to tell you something I am really thankful about.
Theo and I waited until everything was final to talk about him online, although maybe I mentioned him if you saw me in person. Anyway, I’m happy to announce that the reason I haven’t been around the internet all that much lately is because my husband and I adopted a baby!
Here’s is a picture of me with our son, Sebastian. The picture is from Maureen’s apartment, right after we got back from court.
Isn’t he the best?
Isn’t he a tiny turnip?
What does that even mean?
Isn’t it weird how one addresses babies like they are delicious?
Doesn’t he look delicious?
This is his first Thanksgiving, so I am making him what I hope to be a succulent yam glop. I am making the rest of us a succulent yam glop too, but with more marshmallows and refined sugar.
Here’s hoping you and yours are eating delectable things, no matter where you are or what you’re celebrating, or whether you’re celebrating anything at all.
Aren’t they the most loveliest? This is what I have been most thankful for this year: that two of the greatest people I know have a wonderful baby. And now it is all official in perfect time for your strange American festival of the giving of thanks!
Congratulations on it all being done and dusted, every one of the Black family! I’m so happy for you guys, every one.
Happy first Thanksgiving Sebastian! Love, the Weirdo Lady Who Screeches At You On Skype.
AN INTRODUCTION: So once upon a time a very cool author named Sarah Rees Brennan wrote The Demon’s Lexicon, which I read and loved. And then she wrote sequels, which I read and loved. And then she wrote Unspoken, which I read and loved. And then I was like PERHAPS THIS IS A SIGNIFICANT PATTERN so I proceeded to devour everything she’d ever written, with a single solitary exception. “It’s a serial,” I said. “It’s incomplete,” I said. “I’ll read it after I finally get my hands on Team Human,” I said.
HAHA WELL THE JOKE WAS ON ME, I COULD HAVE BEEN READING THIS FOR THE LAST HALF YEAR!!!!
A NOT AT ALL COMPREHENSIVE LIST OF REASONS YOU SHOULD BE READING THE TURN OF THE STORY, IN THE FORM OF BLOCKQUOTES.
"I will not be lectured on my fashion choices by a pair of fetish gear enthusiasts.”
Species: Human Age: 13-14 Hair: Red Likes: Diplomacy, Serene, the Sex Pistols Dislikes: Luke Sunborn Skills: Gross insubordination, bad luck, being able to antagonize everyone in a hundred meter distance mostly just by breathing Notes: He is probably going to grow up to look like this, I swear, his awkward puberty phase is one year long and then suddenly everyone wants to tap that. Fourteen year old me would have wanted to tap that. Elliot is going to take over the world and he is going to believe it’s because he is really smart, but mostly it’s going to be because his enemies will want to tap that.
“I know it’s natural and everything, but don’t you think it looks weird if a man has hair anywhere but on his head? I mean, can they not be bothered to put in the time and effort to look good?”
Species: Elf Age: 13-14 Hair: Anime Likes: The glorious heat of battle Dislikes: Babies Skills: Misandry Secondary skills: Genius stone cold warrior queen, PERFECTION INCARNATE, could probably solve a sudoku puzzle in ten seconds flat
“You know what would be amazing?” Luke said. “If we were kidnapped, bound and gagged—the gagged bit is really important—and put to death by brigands like right now. Right now. Brigands!”
Species: Human Age: 13-14 Hair: ♥♥♥Sun-kissed gold♥♥♥ Likes: Dubiously masochistic friendships Dislikes: Jeans Skills: Disney princess Misc: Chesra and I once had a message exchange 50% of which mostly just involved us capslocking LUKE SUNBORN!!!!!!!!!! at each other so
Oh Luke, everybody’s baby. ;) Aw, this is so kind! I am so pleased to see people enjoying and I always love to see what quotes people like best. And I have now added a next chapter link to chapter five, thank you for pointing out the need for a fix!
As someone who identifies as gay - I remember growing up and going to the bookstore, and going to the “Gay and Lesbian” section and thinking to myself, “This is it. This is what we have. This one shelf. That’s it.” And we have some short stories, and we have a lot of… you know, some history, and things like that. But the fiction all centered around BEING gay. Like, it was defined by that.
And so, I think what I hear a lot from the fans - and I share their sentiment - is here is something where being gay is just ONE aspect of a much larger world that we live in. And that world is beautiful, and terrifying, and insane, and funny - and it just fits in there.
And for me, you know, being like a gay artist working on a show like this - I like gay stuff! Gay stuff is cool! But I mean, so many times, I see independent films, and independent books, and they’re writing the - “Oh, this is GAY FICTION.” Well, what does that MEAN? Does that mean you have to be gay to read it? Do you have to be gay to write it? Like - what? I don’t understand!
Like, just one aspect of Cecil is his sexuality. AND, on top of that, in this crazy world of Night Vale, his sexuality and his relationship with another man, is the LEAST WEIRD THING to happen on a daily basis.
So it really, it makes me feel so good to go back and think back where I was when I was like 15-16, and thinking - yes, this is it. We’re making it, we’re expanding it, we’re pushing boundaries out and saying… this isn’t a GAY PODCAST. We’re not gonna check your card at the door. So I love that. That’s one of my favorites.
”—Cecil Baldwin on why people have latched onto the Cecil/Carlos relationship in Welcome to Night Vale. Listen to the whole Night Vale panel at the Nerdist Writers Panel (via buttsinthetardis)
It’s not just that Sarah Rees Brennan is funny and horrible and wrote UNSPOKEN which, if you talk to me at all, you know is currently my favorite book and I recommend to all who care and those who don’t, too
I saw her…
I once saw Sarah Rees Brennan take a pie to the face on stage in front of a couple hundred people.
She did it for us.
She did it for all of us.
That did happen.
I have to admit though…
It was an accident. The pie was meant to miss me, but a cream pie… under hot lights… it wasn’t Melissa de la Cruz (pie wielder, writer and also possessor of a NEW TEEVEE SHOW, Mel is fancy) but that the pie ended up basically being poured all over me.
Yes, I have been covered in cream from head to toe on a stage in front of children. Yes that’s a thing that happened to me.
But a) I do LOVE you guys enough to take a pie in the face voluntarily! and b) I know Holly Black truly loves me, because when the Pie Poured All Over Me, Holly broke character and ran from the crowd of other writers to me, and she brought me a towel and enveloped my head in it and carried me away.
Later Mel sent me fancy bath salts.
So the moral of the story is: my writer friends are cool and… whether by accident or on purpose… I will DO TERRIBLE THINGS if let out in public and told to entertain a crowd.
I have been hugely, massively remiss in not popping up Tuesday to mention that the newest installment of the Bane Chronicles was out in ebook and audio (read by adorable Jordan Gavaris)! I can only beg for forgiveness by saying I’m working 18-hour days on editing CoHF so it will be out on time and my sense of time has turned to porridge.
Magnus had been interested by Clary, the little redheaded scrap who had grown into a—slightly bigger little redheaded scrap, but had not thought he would be terribly interested in the companions she had found for herself. Not the nondescript mundane boy; not golden-eyed Jace Wayland, who reminded Magnus of too much of a past that he would rather forget; and certainly not either of the Lightwood siblings, the dark boy and girl whose parents Magnus had good reason to dislike.
It made no sense that his eyes had been drawn to Alec, over and over again. Alec had hung to the back of their little group, had made no effort to attract the eye. He had striking coloring, the rare combination of black hair and blue eyes that had always been Magnus’s favorite, and Magnus supposed that was why he had looked in Alec’s direction at first. Strange to see the coloringthat had so distinguished Will and his sister, so many miles and years gone by, and on someone with an entirely different last name …
Then Alec had smiled at one of Magnus’s jokes, and the smile had lit a lamp in his solemn face, making his blue eyes brilliant, and briefly taking Magnus’s breath away. And when Magnus’s attention had been held, he’d seen a flicker of returned interest in Alec’s eyes, a mixture of guilt, intrigue, and pleasure at Magnus’s attention. Shadowhunters were old-fashioned about such matters, which was to say bigoted and hidebound, as they were about everything. Magnus had been approached by male Shadowhunters before, of course, but always in a hole-and-corner way, always as if they’d been doing Magnus some huge favor and as if Magnus’s touch, though desired, might sully them. (Magnus had always turned them down.) It had been a shock to see such feelings open and innocent on a beautiful boy’s face.
When Magnus had winked at Alec and told him to call him, it had been a reckless impulse, little more than a whim. He had certainly not expected the Shadowhunter on his doorstep a few days later, asking for a date. Nor had he expected the date to go so spectacularly bizarrely, or expected to like Alec quite so much afterward…
(You’ll be reading all about that date in The Course of True Love and First Dates, but in the meantime, some love and Malec for the holidays. And a tentacle monster. Honestly, Maureen pretending to be the tentacle monster in a pool in France was what gave us the idea for the Bane Chronicles.
I’m sorry Jordan Gavaris, but Maureen will always be the tentacle monster of my heart. I think of her pretending to wave her tentacles and suggesting that scented candles are an amazing birthday gift and it never fails to make me smile.
I rang the literary editors of a few ‘respected’ papers and asked them how much space they were giving to women writers in their ‘review’ sections. Perfectly predictable response. They all said the allocation was fair. One said it was equal, and one prominent editor went so far as to say women are dominating the reviews!
… What happened when I asked who was doing the talking in mixed sex conversations? Well, it was the women of course. And then when you get to measure it you find that women get to talk about 10-20% of the time in conversations with men. A woman who talks about a third of the time is seen to be dominating the talk.
And what happened when I asked teachers who got their attention in class? Well, it was all equal, wasn’t it? No preferences there. And you measure it and find that girls get about 10-20% of the teacher’s attention. Any more, and the boys think it unfair - and go into revolt.
So what do you think I found with the reviews?
I would have predicted about 10-20% of the space went to women’s books. Well, it is less than 6% of the column inches. And the reasonable editor who thinks that women are getting more than their share is one of the worst offenders. Poor boys! It really tells you something when they think only 94% of the review section is not enough, doesn’t it? When 6% for women is too much you get some idea how much men think they are entitled to - as a fair deal.
”—Dale Spender, correspondence, in Dale and Lynne Spender, Scribbling Sisters (Camden Press, 1986), pp. 31-32 (via radtransfem)
Dear internet: I know that I’ve been teasing some news Maureen Johnson, Cassandra Clare and I have (and excellent news it is!) and then we were told we couldn’t release said news until next week and had to cruelly deny you all. I am so sorry about the cruel denial!
But I do still have news. It does not involve the other two fabulous ladies, but I still hope you will LIKE IT.
So, here is the news: I have a NEW BOOK COMING OUT to tell you guys about.
I was on the phone with Anne Hoppe, the lovely editor at Harper Collins who edited mine and Justine Larbalestier’s TEAM HUMAN. She asked me about things I had been writing and thinking about writing.
… Now, when a lovely editor asks you this question, it is MUCH LIKE when a dreamy boy/girl/whoever strikes your fancy asks you if you are single. It is good news. So we chattered idly about all my ideas. Poor Anne, she wasn’t to know that I always have, at a conservative estimate, one million ideas at any time. We went through these one million ideas.
SARAH: And then there’s werewolves. ANNE: I’m kinda tired of werewolves. SARAH: As Plato said, she who is tired of werewolves is tired of life. However… you know how I like to tell stories about books I have read and TV shows I have seen, until said stories take on a LIFE OF THEIR OWN? ANNE: Oooh, do you mean you’d like to do a retelling? SARAH: Yes! You’re like an editor detective.
I was in a pool once (fancy I know!) with Cassie Clare, and we were discussing A TALE OF TWO CITIES, which is both of our favourite Dickens novel. (This is just the kind of nerdery one gets with writer friends. Possibly my favourite day in France, aside from the Kitten Adopting Day, was when Cassie gave a dramatic reading of Captain Wentworth’s letter from PERSUASION.)
This conversation lasted for hours. We went all pruny. Pruny with LOVE FOR LITERATURE. A TALE OF TWO CITIES is a fairly important element in a few of Cassie’s novels, and one of our discussion points, about what got ladies of the time hot beneath the petticoat–I mean, about the changing perception of what is deemed attractive and about book boyfriends and what, shut up, we’re classy ladies–made it into one of her books.
Many other things we discussed, and that I have discussed with others about A TALE OF TWO CITIES since then, kept lingering in my mind.
SARAH: So, A Tale of Two Cities has this scene where one guy is accused of a crime, and then his lawyer’s helper, who is lounging about being drunk and disreputable as usual, whips off his wig and is like ‘We’re coincidental lookalikes! Who can SAY who did the crime? How do you like them lookalike apples!’ ANNE: That scene did… happen, but… I’ve never heard it described that way before. SARAH: The thing is, Anne. I don’t believe in coincidences. SARAH: I have one word for you. DOPPELGANGERS.
In folklore, a doppelganger is the double of a living person, who represents evil, misfortune… sometimes the person’s coming death. This is, undeniably, cool.
Also in A Tale of Two Cities, the heroine Lucie spends a lot of time reacting to exciting stuff happening to her–Surprise! Your father has been released from prison! Surprise! The French Revolution!–and I thought it would be fun to write a girl who has a very active hand in what is going on.
So, in 2014, I will be publishing a modern retelling of A Tale of Two Cities, with magic. The working title for this book is TELL THE WIND AND FIRE.
It is taken from a quote from A Tale of Two Cities, which goes like this.
‘Tell the wind and fire where to stop… but don’t tell me.’
Unstoppable ladies and evil doubles coming your way in 2014, is what I’m saying. I hope you guys are even a hundredth as excited as I am!
OH MY GOD. I’ve been meaning to reblog this basically since it was posted but didn’t have time because of all the THOUGHTS I had to include in my reaction. OH MY GOD I’M SO HAPPY.
1. I love A Tale of Two Cities. Like a lot. My crush on Sydney Carton, let me show you it. My first really novel-length thing I ever wrote was a time-travel crossover story where Sydney Carton was saved from the guillotine by the Scarlet Pimpernel and brought to the present time with Beatrix Esmond (from Thackeray’s A History of Henry Esmond) were brought to the present by a time-machine-owning matchmaker and went to college and fell in love. I was 12. It was terrible but I still kind of love it. It’s on my computer somewhere.
2. I love Madame Defarge. Like, also a LOT. I once tried to learn to knit so I could be her for Halloween, then cried in a hopeless tangle of yarn and gave up. Knowing SRB loves Emily from Revenge and looking at the title of the book, which is from something Mme Defarge says in the book, I have high hopes for where this retelling is going.
3. One of my other feelings about A Tale of Two Cities when I first read it at 11 or 12 was that Sydney Carton should not have sacrificed himself for Charles Darnay, rather, he should have gone to AA, and then he would have been in an EXCELLENT position to get Lucie on the rebound since he looks just like her dead husband! I can’t decide if this was creepy or pragmatic or both.
4. Lucie Manette has always represented for me the traditional ideal of womanhood that I could not live up to, the way “The Angel in the House" did for Virginia Woolf. I realize AToTC was written like about a century and a half before I was born and even that Dickens wrote extra-sappy heroines even for the Victorian age but sadly PLUS CA CHANGE, PLUS C’EST LA MEME CHOSE. Ugh. Remember when her husband said, “What is the magic secret, my darling, of your being everything to all of us, as if there were only one of us, yet never seeming to be hurried, or to have too much to do?” Ugh THAT POOR GIRL YOU ALL NEED TO LEAVE HER ALONE WITH YOUR NEEDINESS AND YOUR EXPECTATIONS AND LET HER FREAKING BREATHE. I always think of her when I hear that Everclear song “Everything to Everyone” and there’s that line “You are blind to the fact that the hand you hold is the hand that holds you DOWN!”
Also, I HOPE THAT SECRET IS DOPPELGANGERS. Really, I can’t WAIT to see what SRB does with her character, or if she merges her and Mme Defarge, or what. POSSIBLE AWESOMENESS IN EVERY DIRECTION.
5. I am still mad they tried to shoehorn A Tale of Two Cities into Wrath of Khan as some kind of motif or something. THERE IS NO THEMATIC CONNECTION OTHER THAN SOMEONE SACRIFICING THEIR LIFE AT THE END. NONE. AT ALL. Like the part where Kirk is reading it and he says, “I understand something Spock was trying to tell me”? AUGH IT’S SO RIDICULOUS. Spock probably just bought that book at random because it had a nice binding and Kirk likes antiques. Or he likes revenge or stories about justified revolutions going horribly wrong, I don’t know. BUT HE WASN’T TRYING TO SEND KIRK SOME KIND OF SECRET MESSAGE. There MUST have been a better choice for a book.
I reblog myself in order to show y’all Rose Lerner’s very cool commentary, with her Angel in the House link, a quote from Tale of Two Cities which also infuriated me. ‘What is the magic secret you have of doing all this stuff and making it look easy?’ ‘Well I don’t know, you ass, but I imagine it’s the magic secret of having to get it done graaaacefully actually being TWICE as HARD, thanks for reinforcing that steel trap.’