I do not write for the girl who lives safely ensconced behind a white picket fence, never once facing a difficult choice or terrifying experience.
I do not write for the girl who is kept from all darkness and ugliness and human truth.
I do not write for the girl who will never face a choice with consequences so serious that no matter what path she takes, she will carry the burden of her decision for the rest of her life.
I do not write for girls who do not exist.
It being a list of names, locations, and symbols of a clearly scandalous nature, found in a hotel at the turn of the century, when the rooms and occupants were emptied out by the police for unholy acts. They sought the owner of the book for questioning, but no one could say who was staying in that particular room. It was believed that they had made a hasty, and successful, exit out the window when the raid occurred.
A curious detective brought the book home, meaning to research the names of the women listed there. Other cases soon caught his attention, and he promptly forgot the book existed at all. It was eventually found in his study by his bookish daughter. Both embarrassed and fascinated by the symbols marked next to each name, for which there was a key at the back of the book which indicated that every symbol represented one of a dozen perverse, unspeakable acts, the rather bold young woman searched the names and locations until she found one within traveling distance of her home. Thus she set out to find the woman listed at that location, and ultimately to find the owner of the little black book.
When she reached the establishment in question, she thought at first that she'd gotten it wrong, for she met there a very old woman who informed the girl that she lived alone. The detective's daughter pulled out the book to double-check the information, finding that she was at the correct address. The old woman's eyes widened at the sight of the book.
"You know it?" the girl asked.
The woman's face grew flush. "I remember it like yesterday."
"You know the owner?" the girl dared.
"You're too young to hear the answer to that," the woman replied.
But it didn't take the stubborn youth long to draw the story out of the old woman, who claimed that she had encountered the owner of the book when she was quite young, barely of the age to be married. The girl did not quite believe her, as she had already decided in her own mind that the book's owner must be quite young and handsome (devilishly so), but she chose to be polite and listen to the story anyway.
Each of the symbols marked next to the old woman's name -- or rather, each of the acts they represented, came into play in the course of the story. By the end of it, the detective's daughter was thoroughly delighted, and properly appalled, by what the old woman claimed to have done in dark alleys and at secret rendezvous in the park the week before her wedding. The man she claimed to have been so dramatically deflowered by was most definitely the handsome rascal type, but the woman's sketchy description of a figure she mostly encountered in the dark left her listener wanting more.
Though the man in the story must have been dead and buried by now, as he was older than the elderly lady who was herself so close to the grave, the young woman persisted in her efforts to find the owner of the little black book. She began to weave an explanation in her head which would allow the owner to be no more than ten years her elder -- perhaps he'd inherited the book from his father and continued to jot notes in it, or if that was too bizarre a thought, perhaps it had been passed down from a playboy uncle to his restless nephew. No matter, he had to be young and that was that.
She could not pursue the next closest location without taking a trip to the nearest city. As she had a birthday coming up, she begged her father to take her to the city for the day as a present so that she could browse bookstores and spend time reading at the library. Her father consented, dropping her off at the first in a row of bookshops and then heading out to spend the day visiting friends of his.
The girl took to the street at once, seeking out the narrow alley with the address in the book. There was only one occupant at that address who bore the name listed by the address; she was a girl of only eleven years old. The determined young lady asked if the little girl's mother had the same name. It turned out that no one else in the family did, and that the family had lived in that place for generations. Not knowing what else to do, she then showed the little girl the book and asked if it seemed familiar. The child's reaction was one of furtive surprise. She glanced round quickly for her mother, and seeing her nowhere near, begged the visitor to bend down so she could whisper in her ear. "Was a man," she said, "come by here to rent a room and ask me, should I like to be in a book and I say no, Mama says I already has a head full of stories. He laughs and says to me, 'Your Mama is correct, and I have firsthand knowledge that someday those stories will make an adventuress out of you. Let nothing your Mama says deter you from such adventures and you shall meet me again, on the day that I last saw you.' He then says in a very un-gentlemanlike voice, 'That day is one of my most delectable memories.' The very next morning, he was off again, but he left me a penny with which to buy any book I wanted. Don't tell Mama as I said so, but..." She blushed. "...if you know him, tell him I been waiting for that day."
Uncertain of what to make of the child's strange tale—possibly nothing more than mere fancy—the detective's daughter turned to the next address in the book, which was on the other side of the city. She took a fine cab, spending half the money she'd saved for her birthday on the trip. When she disembarked, she found herself in an extravagant neighborhood with gated houses and beautiful lawns. She made her way to a large estate barred by an impressively tall iron gate. A boy was playing on the other side of it. She called him to her and asked if anyone by the name in her book lived there.
"My sister," he replied.
The detective's daughter sighed, thinking she was about to run into another child, a thought that greatly disturbed her. "How old is your sister?"
"Twenty," the boy replied, and then returned to the game he'd been playing. "Mother says she's an old maid because no one wants to marry her."
With a tremendous sense of relief, the young woman sat down under the shade of a tree and waited for a woman of twenty to either enter or leave the stately home. Not ten minutes later, a carriage pulled up with just such a young woman in it. The girl ran up to the window and waved the book. "Please excuse me," she said politely, "but I'm looking for the owner of this book, which was...let's say it was left in my father's care."
The woman's eyes widened. She invited the girl into the carriage and then instructed her driver to take them to a discreet cafe for tea. Once they were properly settled in a corner where no one would overhear or notice them, the young woman said wistfully, "This is where he met me every day."
Her companion begged for a description of the man.
And so the woman gave her a description, and much more besides, at first shy and hesitant about sharing her story, but eventually becoming so eager to relive the passionate embraces she had experienced that she began to go into minute detail. Her audience of one listened with rapt attention.
When she finished, she set down her tea cup and gathered her wrap.
"But what happened to him?" the detective's daughter asked, feeling as if there had been no proper end -- only an abrupt disappearance -- to their romance.
The woman shook her head. "I only wish I knew." Her shoulders became heavier, her head a little bent and the girl walked her out to the carriage. When they arrived at the house, the woman kindly offered, "If there is somewhere my driver can take you, he shall do so. Thank you for listening to the foolish memories of someone no one cares to notice anymore."
And thus they parted, the girl letting the sadness of a lonely woman's life weigh on her as the carriage whisked her back to the bookstore.
By the end of the day, she had spent the rest of her money on high adventures and a chapbook about the next town she intended to visit; she had decided to skip to the end of the mysterious little book of names, to the last entry on the list. This one was a bit peculiar, as there was a location with quite a few symbols next to it, but no lady's name. Only the single word, "Denouement."
It was a bit of a chore getting there. The journey would take three days on horseback and she had no excuse to make it, not even a neglected relative to visit in that direction. She discovered in the course of her research a girl's school of reasonable repute a half day's trip from where she wished to go and begged her father to send her there in the fall. Being a widower who had ceased to understand his daughter years ago, the father decided that since the school was reasonably priced, this would be his chance to get some peace and quiet for part of the year, and so he agreed to board her there on the condition that they first take a brief trip to inspect the premises. Off they went, with the girl arranging it so that they would arrive in the town nearest the school—and very near the place she truly wished to go—at dark, forcing them to take lodgings there for the night. The next day being Sunday, there was no means of travel available to take them the last leg of the journey until Monday. The girl's father settled down at the local pub, and the girl set out to explore her surroundings.
The final address in the little book took her to a small cottage with smoke rising from the chimney. She knocked on the door. There was no answer. She threw propriety to the wind and walked in.
A man sat by the front window, staring at the little garden just outside.
It had to be him, she was sure of it the moment their eyes met, as all the requirements for dashing, reckless, handsome, and even devilish were met in his appearance, which was, she guessed, a reasonable fifteen years beyond her own age.
The book was hidden behind her back. She felt no need to draw it out immediately, for there was the possibility that once she presented it, he would merely thank her and send her on her way.
However, without the book as a subject for conversation, she didn't know exactly what to say.
The man smiled at her, inclining his head in a slight nod. "Good morning."
"Good morning," she replied, shifting from foot to foot. She noticed a pile of papers scattered on the desk before him, and a quill in one hand. "What are you doing?"
"Someone suggested to me that I might write the story of my life," he replied, "though it is of questionable value to anyone except myself."
"I should like to read a life's story," the girl said cheerfully, "if it is not too short. You seem too young to fill many pages!" It was a test; she wanted to know for sure that he was not one of those elderly fellows who looked deceptively dapper under the right lighting conditions.
He chuckled. "I have thirty chapters already."
The young lady's eyes widened. There were thirty-one names in the little black book. She'd counted them a hundred times, just in case the information would be useful to her.
"Is it done?" she asked tentatively.
His eyes sparkled as he assessed her in a way that a man would be slapped for in public. "All that's left is my denouement."
There was a clatter as the little black book slipped from the fingers of the detective's daughter. She scooped it off the floor, but it was too late to hide it, so she held it tightly to her chest as his gaze rested on it. Or on her chest, she wasn't sure which.
"By any chance," she said, finding her voice raspy as she struggled to breath adequately, "is this yours?"
He abandoned his chair for a closer look. When he was close enough to see the freckles on her collar bone, he stopped. "What does it say?"
She opened to the first page and began to read the names. The symbols, of course, could not be read aloud as they were not words, and the words they did stand for were too offensive to tender ears be read aloud.
"It sounds familiar," he said softly, his words close to her ear. "How does it end?"
She turned to the last page and read three names. Then she came to the last, at which point it was all she could do to whisper, "Denouement."
He shut the book as he took it from her hands, slipping it into the pocket of the coat he wore. He glanced down at her still-blossoming figure, which retained some of the soft edges of childhood. "I seem to be a little early."
"I don't think so," she replied.
"Then it hardly matters if we meet to-day," he said, his breath now hot against her neck, "or two years from now. Either way, you were meant to stop by this cottage on your journey home from school--"
"Journey to school," she corrected.
He laughed. "And I was meant to be here waiting for you." His lips pressed against the curve of her jaw, at which point her breathing stopped entirely, her mind rapidly sorting through the symbols that had been drawn next to that final entry, their order and meaning taking on a new and thrilling light in the present circumstances.
"Then we'd better begin," she said, turning her lips to his, "writing the finish to your story, for I am dying to read it."
And thus it was that the detective's daughter solved the mystery of the little black book, and became the most fondly remembered entry within it.
I’m building a list of Young Adult novels that fall into the Urban Fantasy and Paranormal categories. Suggestions welcome – you can post them here on my blog, on Twitter (AudryT) or on Facebook, if you’re connected to me there. For this list, there’s only one requirement: The protagonist (lead), antagonist, and/or love interest must be of a NON-Caucasian (white) skin tone or ethnic background (mixed is O.K.). If you make suggestions, please include both the title and the author. Thanks!
*Also features a male lead.
**Also features GBLT.
List so far (updated when I have time):
VAMPIRE ACADEMY series by Richelle Mead
HOUSE OF NIGHT series by P.C. Cast
MAGIC OR MADNESS series by Justine Larbalestier (along w/other books & stories by this author)
PEMBA’S SONG by Marilyn Nelson & Tonya C. Hegamin
BLEEDING VIOLET by Dia Reeves
THE NIGHT WANDERER by Drew Hayden Taylor
THE YOUNG WIZARDS series by Diane Duane
UN LUN DUN by China Mieville
STORMWITCH by Susan Vaught
ETERNAL by Cynthia Leitich Smith (and to a degree, TANTALIZE)
THE SHADOW SPEAKER by Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu
DEVIL’S KISS by Sarwat Chadda
THE HUNGER GAMES (ethnic backgrounds are not specified but most of the population is dark-skinned)
ANIMORPHS by K.A. Applegate*
ROGELIA’S HOUSE OF MAGIC by Jamie Martinez Wood
INVISIBLE TOUCH by Kelly Parra
CITY OF THE BEASTS by Isabel Allende
THE MARVELOUS EFFECT (MARVELOUS WORLD) by Troy Cle*
(I want to include GUARDIAN OF THE DEAD, but I get the impression that in spite of being about Maori mythology, all of the primary characters are white.)
Tell me that, at the very least, I am missing dozens of titles. I would prefer to be missing hundreds, but that’s unlikely. I can’t help but note that if this were a list of YA UF’s with Caucasian leads, etc., it would have hundreds or thousands of entries on it.
Generation Y is terrifying its elders, just like every generation does. But instead of being degenerates who play their music too loud, this generation is being accused of being too ambitious, too confident, too optimistic about the future. Where is their lack of self-esteem? Their sense of hopelessness in the face of a recession? Why don’t they hate themselves when they’re out of work like the older generation does, dammit?
Um, these are complaints? That’s hilarious. (You can read about said complaints in this article, if you want a sense of what I’m responding to before you continue.)
I’ve also heard they’re difficult employees, because they have high expectations and think they’re qualified to do all sorts of things and don’t know how to take direction. Well, let me tell you something. I live in Los Angeles. Every other person I meet is a narcissist. Kids with theoretically overconfident attitudes can’t hold a candle to hardcore narcissism – and even narcissists can be handled by a boss, if the boss knows how to deal with them.
I don’t fear this generation. I kind of like them, especially when they’re sitting next to a slacker. There’s a whopping difference between someone who moves in with their parents while they pursue a better job than 7-11, and someone who moves in with their parents because they don’t want to work at all, not even at 7-11.
Let’s say I’ve run a company. Let’s say I had many employees, both full-time and freelance, who I had to give direction to and depended on for the success of the company. Let’s say I had one of the Gen Y types and also a less confident, slightly older, Gen Slacker type. Gen Y got their work done on time – sometimes early. They kept asking what they could do to get promoted – as in, what *work* they could do to *earn* a promotion. They came into work every single day. Meanwhile, Gen Slacker was usually several months behind on their work. When they didn’t finish something, they were full of excuses. They tended to want to go home early. Even when they were excited about something and confident that they could do it . . . they couldn’t turn in competent work by the deadline. This deflated their confidence and made them retreat to the corner where they sulked instead of working, which led to their being even further behind.
Oh, gee. Let me think which generation I’d rather work with as a boss.
One last thought: The truth is, it’s ridiculous to lump everyone in a single generation into one category. Gen Y has its slackers, and us old fogies have our confident, ambitious types who are ridiculously stubborn and don’t let anything stop them. Not that I would know anything about that, or about having an overconfident ego. ;-)
The next time you are in a public place like a restaurant or a busy street corner, look around. Ask yourself these questions: How many skin tones do you see? How many accents do you hear? Do you see more than one gender? Do the people around you appear to have diverse sexual orientations? How many different forms of dress are people wearing? How diverse do you think their personalities, cultural backgrounds, and religious beliefs are? This is a slice of the real world, and there are much bigger, even more diverse slices of it all over the place.
So why, when you contribute to the development of a video game, movie, book, comic or other form of entertainment that purports to simulate real life, do you create a false life populated only by you?
I don’t, some of you are thinking. I create worlds or towns or cultures as diverse as anything in the real world.
Do a breakdown before you feel so sure of that. Take your current project – or more boldly, all the projects you’ve created or contributed characters to. Make a list of all your major and minor characters. Now do the math. Be hard on yourself: Be honest. Write the answers to the following questions down:
How many skins tones do characters in your world/story have?
How many characters have each skin tone?
How many accents would the characters speak in, if they spoke out loud?
How many characters have each kind of accent?
Do your characters wear forms of dress that are influenced by their cultural backgrounds or religious beliefs?
How many of your characters dress like you or your close friends and family?
How many countries are your characters from?
How many characters are from each of those countries?
Are the countries a cluster? Do they span more than one continent?
How many characters come from your country?
How many characters practice your religion—or lack one, if you do?
How many characters have your skin tone? Your accent? Your cultural background?
How many characters have your sexual orientation? Are a reflection of your own opinions about what relationships should be (for example, they define marriage the same way you do)?
Now for the hard part. Take the list of questions above, and apply them to a list of ONLY protagonists (lead characters). After that, apply the questions to a list of ONLY antagonists (or villains, if that’s all you have). Look at your answers.
Are your protagonists as diverse as your minor characters?
Are your antagonists more diverse than your protagonists? (Do, for example, blacks or gays tend to turn up as thugs in your stories, while straight, white teenage girls turn up as your innocent protagonists?)
What role does gender play in the roles you assign to your characters?
What role does sexual orientation play in the roles you assign your characters?
If you went out in public again and asked all these questions about the real people around you, would the characters in your worlds and stories come out as diverse as those in the real world?
Or are the “real” worlds you build entirely fake?
I wrote “The Dream” when I was eighteen. I was in therapy at the time and trying to be honest about my feelings in my writing. This was meant to be a stream of consciousness piece.
If you’ve never been sexually repressed by an uptight religion, this is what it’s like.
The woman closes her eyes. There is only darkness. She sees herself as drop-dead gorgeous, done up like a model in the most stylish of magazines. Her curves are modeling curves, her legs long and smooth. She sits in the darkness, on a simple box, staring at herself in a simple, full-length mirror. This isn't her, but rather an alteration; and yet she knows it's her reflection.
The blonde stretches forth her fingers and touches the part of the reflection that is her face. "I'm not supposed to be like this," she says. Then she touches herself, feeling the softness of her breasts, seeing the paleness of her skin. She's naked. This scares her as she becomes aware of it. She tries to cover herself, as if her own reflection were a man gawking at her. No, as if it were either a man or a woman. She begins to feel the heat of a relentless stare, burning her skin as painfully as the sun. The reflection is alive. It stretches a hand towards her, emerging from the mirror as both man and woman, but not really either.
She curls up tightly, not daring to look at it, though she knows its every move. She feel its hands on her shoulders. A white warmth surges from its fingertips and through her body, as welcome as walking into a heated home in the dead of winter. In her chest, the warmth centers around her heart, getting warmer, warmer, hotter, fiercer, awful. Now there's a fire inside her, inside the center of her soul. It's burning her. It hurts as much as scalding water.
"This is sex," the reflection whispers. It is inside now. It is her and she is it. The mirror and the box are gone; there is only the dark. "You are sex," it says.
Am I sex? She struggle with this.
"I want you so badly," it says. "And others want you."
"But I'm not what they want!" She cowers in a corner, chained to a wall. Her master, once only her reflection, stands over her with a whip in hand.
"You will always be slave to us, no matter what you say or do."
She believes it. "All I wanted was to be human!" She starts crying. "To be normal."
"You are not normal. No one will ever see you as that. You are just a body which they can posses."
"I don't want to be that!"
"You don't get to choose. We made you this way and we will keep you here."
"You can't. I can't handle it. I can't!" The woman yanks fiercely on her chains, wrenching them so hard they shatter.
She is free and it stands near her and she hold a knife and she stands next to a wooden table. She spreads her arms wide. She's angry and it shows. "This is me! This is my body. It is my body and you made it into a sex symbol. You made me fear my own body so much that I can't look in a mirror without flinching!" She slams the knife point deep into the table. "Because of you, I can't live with myself," she sobs. "I can't accept my own breasts. I can't be normal." She yanks out the knife and stabs it again into the wood, to the handle. She pulls it from the wood again; it comes out smoothly. She raises it, gripped in both hands, above her head. She faces the thing from the mirror, the thing that is her hate. "You're ruining my life! You monster, you're destroying me!" She thrusts herself at her enemy.
Up down. Up down. Up down. In, out, in, out, in, out, rhythmically. That which is born in sex dies in sex.
There is no blood on the knife. There is no knife. There is only a shattered mirror and the naked girl standing over the pieces. She wraps her arms around herself and slowly walks away, fading into the darkness.
I'd rather go to Hell for treating a homosexual like a normal human being than go to a Heaven filled with righteous pricks.
I've been tagged by Jaime Reed over on her savvy blog (of which I happen to be a fan). The rules of being tagged are simple: finish each sentence, then tag three people to do the same on their blogs. The original sentences are on Rebecca Knight's blog, but I like the favorites-style format that Jaime came up with, so that's what I'm going with.
Favorite color: Navy
Favorite action scene in a movie: I'm waiting to see Hit-Girl in action before I answer that one.
Favorite breakfast cereal: Cheerios
Favorite toy as a kid: My Little Pony
Favorite 80’s group: Listened to classical music in the 80's.
Favorite 90’s group: Can't I pick someone from the 60's?
Craziest dream you can remember: Making out with a stoned Brad Pitt inside a Mormon temple.
Biggest fear/phobia: Me and the black widows, we have a silent war.
Left-handed or right-handed: Leftie
What’s odd about you: What isn't? I've been strange from birth. The bat signal is a birthmark on the back of my left hand (I ain't kiddin'). My name has no "e" (Audry). I'm a skinny blonde who was never asked out on a date in high school (we don't always get everything we want). I know how to program in BASIC. My adult career has consisted mostly of inventing the jobs I want and then living off of them.
What’s cool about you: Nothing, but I wear cool sunglasses.
Red pill or blue pill: I answered this question in real life. That's why I'm an ex-Mormon.
Cats or dogs: Horses.
What do you envy about boys: That they get to hang out with other boys . . . naked in the locker room.
What do you envy about girls: Most of them have actual social skills in public, unlike me.
What your favorite sound: Can't mention it in public.
Least favorite sound: "You're in publishing? I have this idea for a story about dentistry..."
Dream car: The Batmobile. Every version.
Dream vacation: It probably involves a dank, eerie castle with hidden passageways.
What are you reading now: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Favorite mythical creature/ monster: TEAM UNICORN!
What turns you on: The switch in front.
What turns you off: The switch in back.
Favorite curse word: Puro fuckiando.
Favorite word: "The" – it starts things.
Least favorite word: The long, fancy one you looked up in the dictionary and then used incorrectly just to sound impressive.
Best invention in history: The printing press.
Dream occupation: It's not a dream. It's what I am. I tell stories. Anything else is just passing time until Death knocks on the door to collect my final manuscript.
If you could go back in time and tell the 10 year-old you one thing, what would it be?: Keep asking questions, kid.
Now, as the rules dictate I have to tag 3 people (which I will do with Twitter names), so here goes:
Y'all are it! So tell me some stuff I don't know about you!
I was not bullied in school. I was not a bully, either. Or at least, I didn't believe I was.
But when you stand aside and let others behave cruelly, does that make you any better than the bullies? And just because I was passive and quiet, did that mean I was a "nice girl" like I thought I was?
What about that night in Junior High when I ran through a field with my friends, one of the girls lagging behind the rest, begging us to stop and wait for her, and finally collapsing on the ground because physical problems wouldn't allow her to keep up with us? Someone else said we should leave her there, so we did. Alone. But it wasn't my idea, and I felt bad for her, so it wasn't my fault . . . right?
What about that stomach-clenching day in High School when one of my closest friends pulled me aside to say, "If you sit with that girl at lunch again today, you are going to sit alone with her. We are moving to another table. Come with us." I said I couldn't. I sat with the girl nobody else would sit with and listened to her talk about the sequel she dreamed of writing for her favorite movie (dreamed of me writing it for her) and all I could think about was how much I missed my friends. I had no common ground with her, nothing to talk about, and I was too self-involved to care about her interests, but I was the "nice girl" and so I did the "nice thing" and continued to sit with her. My friends didn't hate me or ostracize me for doing it, though they did insist that I not hang out with her while I was hanging out with them during the rest of the school day. I lost nothing more than an hour of my time on weekdays by eating with her. But when the semester ended, I went out of my way to make sure my classes did not sync with hers, and that we did not share the same lunch hour anymore. I ignored her in the hallway. I ignored her everywhere. I did not even have the courage to say I no longer wanted to be her friend; I cut her off cold the first day of the new semester. But that didn't make me cruel . . . did it?
And what about the note I slipped into another girl's locker -- back in seventh grade when I was so desperately alone and so terribly envious of the close friendship of two girls I admired -- the note that told a girl (one I secretly wanted to be friends with) in no uncertain terms that she was a horrible sinner destined for Hell? I happened to come down the hall later when she was standing at her locker, note crumpled in her trembling hand, sobbing against her best friend's shoulder. Her best friend accused me of writing it; I stared at her blankly and denied it. They never spoke to me again. But they had barely spoken to me to begin with, and deep down, I felt like I was the one who had been wronged, even though I knew, consciously, that I was the one who had wronged them.
I was never popular, never important in the hierarchy of any of the schools I attended, which were many. I thought of myself as the outsider, who could stand safely on the sidelines and watch as others fought for their positions on the food chain. I thought that my standing by and doing nothing didn't have much impact on the lives of others.
But I still wonder, so many years later, what would have happened if I'd stood up for the girl they gossiped about, who was physically harassed by some guys on the back stairs for her weight, even if I was a nobody who assumed nobody would listen to her? What would have happened if I'd said "Hi!" to the guy I thought was cute, who I passed by in the hall without a word because he had a thick accent and dark skin and was an outsider himself and, above all else, didn't go to my church? What would have resulted if I had started that petition after all, the one I told my friends about, in which I accused one of our teachers of speaking to, looking at, and touching female students inappropriately, after he did so to one of my friends? The one which that very friend talked me out of starting, because she was afraid of how she would be treated by others, if others knew? Did I set it down because she asked me, or because suddenly I was afraid of how I might be treated as the one who stood up against a teacher in the first place?
The bullies who lead the clique aren't the only issue, and aren't the only kind of bully. There are also the follower bullies who join in, those who deny their own behavior because it feels justified, those who are hiding inside skins of authority or adulthood, and those who stand by, watching in silence as someone else's life is ruined simply because they are not the ones being persecuted. In the course of your life, which kind of bully have you been?
(Inspired by Young Adult Authors Against Bullying.)
I'm not allowed to do any more work on the "Golden Vampires" manuscript until my "built-in editor" (David) finishes critiquing it. To keep myself from going crazy from the desperate need to write, I finished this completely pointless YA WIP MEME:
YA WIP MEME
(Young Adult "Work in Progress" Meme)
Instruction: Use code names for all of the characters to help convey a little bit of their personality.
Number of shirtless scenes:
Number of no pants scenes:
Strangest quote out of context:
"The undead have never gotten into your crypt before."
Most embarrassing thing a character says:
"Don't flatter yourself that he'll even look your way," Mama chided. "You're too young for a grown-up."
List of taboos broken and/or sins committed:
Lewd thoughts in a church; teenager making a pass at a guy hundreds of years older than her; zombie smut; sexist bastard who seduces teenage girls; murder; rape; drinking; smoking; buff nekkidness; violent battle in which someone is shot; abduction; telepathic rape; slavery; one teddy bear with its eye ripped off.
"I'm so, so sorry." (Doctor Who reference.)
Weirdest creature, location or character:
A teenage boy who keeps acting like a cat.
States you think your book will be banned in:
All of them. (Except for TX, where it will be used as target practice.)
Amount of profanity, on a scale of 1 to Yikes!:
Yikes -- in three languages.
Character most likely to throw themselves tragically off a cliff (or for attention):
I Am Not a Goth Girl
Character most likely to be Prom Queen at your old/current high school:
A girl named Amber. This surprises no one.
Character least likely to become President:
Character you sekritly have the hots for:
Character most likely to take over the world:
Character most likely to get arrested:
Character most likely to buy a dead parrot:
Number of tragically dead or conveniently missing parental figures:
Number of Evil Cheerleaders, Evil Blondes, and/or Evil Queen Bees:
Pairing you most want to see fanfic written about (even if you swear you don't read fanfic):
Badass/Tortured Soul or Badass/I Am Not a Goth Girl. Frankly, Badass/Anyone.
Describe your dream cover (in one paragraph):
Two BFFs clinging to each other as a supernatural bad boy tries to come between them. Either that, or two bad boys in threatening poses staking claim on the shy girl torn between them.
Outfit or character you most want to see cosplayed (worn as a costume by a fan):
There's an all-boy rock band in the story. They wear tight, black leather torn into strips. Oh, baby.
Outfit or character you LEAST want to see cosplayed (and why):
Neko Boy naked in a bathtub while wearing a girl's wig. No. Just...no.
Car model your main character would drive, if they could drive:
MC 1: The most expensive, black convertible she could find. If only she had the money.
MC 2: Baby blue Miata.
List all the races, nationalities, and species of your book's core characters:
An abundance of W.A.S.P.s
If your antagonist or primary villain invited you over for dinner, what would they serve?
Bad, Bad Boy would serve his rival's head on a platter, just to freak me out.
Character you think will have the most obsessive fan girls or fan boys (and why):
Male Character: Tortured Soul. Because he's tortured. And shirtless.
Female Character: I Am Not a Goth Girl. Chi-chi. Oh, and heart.
Quote one sentence only from a cliffhanger in your manuscript (a chapter ending, for example):
As he leaned in to answer my question with his hot, open mouth, a distant scream tore through my perfect moment, ripping from my grasp the only hope I had of tasting the kiss of a lifetime.