On Skinny Characters

Bit of a tangential post today, but I’ve recently gone jean shopping (in other words: everybody run) and have been mulling over this topic a lot recently and finally think I have my thoughts organized into a sort of sense.

To put it bluntly, I am sick and tired of skinny characters in MG and YA novels.  Flashback to me as a bespectacled, nerdy, pudgy and enthusiastic wee young sprite: I was reading constantly, and books had an immeasurable impact on how I viewed the world and myself.  It was the predominate form of media I consumed, and, since I was in my highly formative years, everything left an impression.  The lack of certain things made an impression.  (Hem hem.)  I loved being able to relate to characters–while breaking boards at Taekwon-do class, I would pretend to be a favorite heroine because that made everything easier, and the characters I read were kind of my best friends.  Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t isolated or bullied (which was magical–I think I must have gone to a really good elementary school) and I had a few friends in the realm of reality as well, but, you know, they weren’t as portable.

So.  Skinny characters.  They’re like white characters, and straight characters, in that when the character’s weight/race/sexual orientation doesn’t have any bearing on the plot, it’s the default.  It’s not a thing you tend to notice if you’re not consciously scanning books for it, but to me it seems like a disturbing trend.  Excuse me while I go through the archives of my favorite MG books growing up as well as some popular YA books:

confetti girl

Confetti Girl (one of my favorites in late elementary/early middle school)?  “The tallest girl in my class, all legs.  Too tall and skinny for my jeans no matter what size I buy.” I have the exact opposite problem, Lina.  “Everything is high water.  That’s why I’m a sockio-phile.  I need something to hide my knobby ankles.”

divergent

Divergent?  Here we have Tris, our strong and fearless narrator, who is always described as small and fragile-looking (even if she isn’t emotionally).

the hunger games

The Hunger Games gets a pass because most people are starving to death.  So, like, that’s legit.  (The Fault in Our Stars gets the same pass.  *produces pass from pocket, shines it on shirt and hands it to John Green and Suzanne Collins*)

Wait wait wait, John Green isn’t entirely scot-free either…

LookingForAlaska

Here we have a MC who’s so scrawny he’s ironically referred to as “Pudge”.

hp7

Harry Potter?  Harry’s all right, he’s pretty normal weight, though this isn’t really fleshed out (no pun intended) in the books; Ron, however, is described as gangly and scrawny.  The weights of the female characters aren’t elaborated upon (except for perhaps Cho Chang, whom I think was called tiny and fragile? but I could just be making that up), but they are all played by skinny actresses in the movies.   (Though I can’t mistake movie casting for author’s intent, and hereby apologize to JK if Hermione was actually supposed to be bammin’ slammin’ bootylicious.)  They even changed the actress for Lavender Brown from the original casting after they found out she was going to be a love interest for Ron.

lavender brown

This was the biggest WTH??!! moment of the series for me.

Matched?  matched

As I was looking for these examples, I came across more and more and more…and it got me thinking.  Hey, you know, the YA book I’m working on now also has–you guessed it–a lanky, scrawny white teenage boy as the main character.  So why, as authors, do we do this?

Well, naturally, we can’t make our characters average weight.  I mean, they’re our darling little muffin misfits, and their appearance has to match somewhat.  Especially if they’re a girl, in a culture where women’s weights are closely scrutinized, we need to have them feel the tiniest bit self-conscious about it, even if it’s not really relevant to the story arc.  And I get that–it’s great to have characters that break the standard mold and that “misfits” in your reading audience can relate to.  But…why am I grasping at straws here to come up with examples of “misfit weights” from the other end of the scale?

Honestly, I think it comes down to the fact that in our culture, awful as it may be, being overweight or obese or even slightly chubby is seen as a weakness.  It just…is.  Yeah, we’ve got all these beautiful plus-sized models and most people would agree that bigger girls can be gorgeous too, but only if they go the extra mile and doll themselves up with posh clothes and heavy makeup, right?  Only if they rock that Rebel Wilson vibe and base their whole personality around the fact that they’re fat and they don’t care, right?  The simple truth is that as much as we may pretend, there’s not nearly as much skinny-shaming in the world as fat shaming.  Carved into one of the science lab benches today I read “[name withheld] is a fat ugly bitch.”  (Fat was underlined, yes.)  It’s an insult.

The same day I ducked into the bathroom and overheard an agonizingly stereotypical teenage girl conversation issuing from over by the sinks.  You can probably predict how it went–“OMG you’re sooooo skinny!” “OMG what are you talking about I’m like so fat today I don’t even know how anyone looks at me oh my god” “but OMG no you always look so skinny and perfect”…I wish I could say that was hyperbole.  “Skinny”, in our culture, is praise.  I probably don’t have to tell you to walk into any clothing store at the mall and look on the walls–you’ll see posters of emaciated girls with the golden sun streaming through their hair and a huge smile on their faces as some anonymous sexy-time guy friend holds their waist.  Ugh.  We’ve perpetuated this idea that skinny equals glamorous, skinny equals powerful and “in control”, skinny equals lovable and commendable.  “Fat”, on the other hand–when it should just be a physical description like anything else with no negative connotation–is what noncreative people use for insults, a word like a dagger to be drawn out at sleepovers and in locker rooms.  And I feel like these connotations have wormed their way into our books.  We don’t want our readers to view our characters as weak or ugly, even if the characters themselves feel this way, and so we align their physical appearance to match.

So.  Chop chop, society.  More fat characters, less fat shaming, less skinny-praising, less weight-judging.  More POC and sexually diverse protagonists would not go amiss either, but I digress.

Just my 2 cents on the matter.  What are your thoughts?  Has anyone else noticed this, or am I seeing things?

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Surveys Are Like Sock Drawers.

So I really hope I’m not making this up, but I’m puh-retty sure I heard this one saying one time about how you can tell a lot about a person by the state of their sock drawer..?  (Confession: this might have been on Veggie Tales.)

I really like it when bloggers take or make surveys.  Yeah, you can learn a lot about someone through their regularly scheduled (or, in my case, wonderfully erratic) posting, but surveys pose the deep questions, man; they probe people for all these little delicious bits and pieces you would have never known about them otherwise.

sock drawer

So surveys are like sock drawers.  Just for all y’all, since I love ya so much, I took a trip into the dank abyss and snapped a photo.  Any psychologists in the audience?  I’m sure this is a veritable peep into my soul.  Let’s see, we have…a massive bag of leftover Halloween candy…socks that haven’t fit since I was 6…old bottles of nail polish, a beanbag, dirt, grime, pine needles, miscellaneous hodgepodge…a baby doll bottle…several dead spiders…

*clears throat nervously*

I’m really in the survey-taking kinda mood right now, but incidentally…I’m not, actually.  No pre-existing surveys, at any rate.  I just want to tell you guys random facts about myself, so I think I’ll pass it off under the guise of creating my own survey! and you guys can participate as well, either in the comments (answer your favorite questions!) or on your own blogs!  Link up!  Let’s have a party!

Favorite type of workout?  Oh, gosh and golly.  Why do I pick such hard questions?  I guess if I’m being totally honest, I like a leisurely but looong bike ride.  Walks are nice too.  Pretty scenic, none too aerobic.

Favorite type of cheese (or cheeze)?  Parmigiano reggiano, definitely.  It does contain rennet :(, but…I make the exception because…it’s delicious.

You’re on death row but they have allowed you to choose a most extravagant last meal.  What is it?  A hot fudge brownie sundae the size of my torso.

DSC_0130

Favorite variable to use in an algebra problem?  I must confess I’m pretty traditional.  I love x.  In fact it always really bugs me when a variable is t or y or something if there’s not already an x in the problem.  Please just stick with x.

Favorite outfit?  I’m mainly just including this question because I just got a really cute outfit from ModCloth with a pretty yellow cardigan, a typewriter-patterend tee, and wedges.  Look.

typewriter outfit

Hashtag selfie swag.  We’ll try to ignore how atrocious I am at taking selfies.  Also, from this rather awkward angle, you can’t tell that the paper coming out of the typewriter ironically says “laptop”, which is one of the best parts of the shirt.  Alas.

This is literally my only outfit that looks like…an outfit, and I normally haven’t got an ounce of fashion sense, so I’m really hoping someone else will take this survey and give me some inspiration.  Pretty please?

Favorite caffeinated beverage?  For me it really depends.  If I need a lot of caffeine then I’ll drink some coffee (black, I don’t mind), and I do like coffee, but tea offers so much more variety! I really like chai spice in the morning.

oooh tea is so dramatic

oooh tea is so dramatic

One of your favorite fictional characters has shown up on your doorstep, ready to take you on the adventure of a lifetime.  Who are they, and where do you go?  It’s the Doctor.  Preferably the tenth incarnation, though I wouldn’t say no to 9.  I suppose we go to Barcelona. 🙂

allonsy

Any tattoos you’d like?  I feel like this says a lot about a person.  I am actually DYING to come of age and have full autonomy over my body and write sompin’ pretty on it.  (Please do not suddenly go into cardiac arrest, grandparents reading this.)  I’d like a few, actually, probably on my back, literary ones; lines from poems that speak to me and that come back to me a lot or inside references to favorite works.  After reading Good Omens, I really want “ineffability and all that” somewhere, like along a collarbone.  Some Sarah Kay lines, too, like “this world is made of sugar” (from one of my favorite spoken word poems of all time, B.)  And I absolutely PROMISE to the adults in my life that I won’t be rash about this; I think my rule will be that if I still love a line or a quote as much as I did when I first read it 1-2 years later, then it can go somewhere on my person. 🙂 I hope to gradually amass a little collection of my favorite words.  I’ve given this a good deal of thought, and yes I KNOW they will be with me forever and I KNOW I will become elderly and they will sag and spot but HOPEFULLY only people I really trust are going to be seeing my back when I’m in my 70s-80s and onwards.  ALSO, if I get really fit and well-toned before getting said tattoos, it will be a good incentive to keep the muscle definition, since if I let it turn back into flab the tattoos will warp. 😉

(I’m not a huge fan of needles or blood [gah, blood especially], so this is an odd little yearning on my part, but incidentally I am a fan of meaningful and beautiful body art.  Huh.  Who woulda thought…)

Hair color?  Would you ever dye it?  Chop it all off?  Brown.  Some people say it’s blonde but then I look at them funny.HAIR! 004have chopped it all off before!  Well, not all off, but, you know, most of it.HAIR!! 005

I don’t know about dyeing it.  I’m really envious of those lovely ladies who are rockin’ blue or red locks, but, deep down, I know I’m not meant to be one of them.  It would be cool to have orange hair but not very socially acceptable and I am not deep enough into don’t-give-a-crap mode to go for it.  I am thinking about getting highlights once it gets longer, though.

Favorite smell?  Just-baked brownies, vanilla extract, old books.  (That was three.  Whoopsies.)

DSCN3806.jpgFavorite sound?  Laughter (certain people’s especially), Citrus whistling (as long as it’s not the middle of the night), little kids with adorable lisps reading aloud, pages of a book turning, pens scratching paper, marbles rolling across a hardwood floor, meadowlark song.  That was too many.  Whoopsies.

DSCN3526

For anyone interested in taking the survey themselves, here are the questions, in order:

  1. Favorite type of workout?
  2. Favorite type of cheese (or cheeze)?
  3. Last meal.
  4. Favorite variable to use in an algebra problem?
  5. Favorite outfit?
  6. Favorite caffeinated beverage?
  7. One of your favorite fictional characters has shown up on your doorstep ready to take you on the adventure of a lifetime. Who are they, and where do you go?
  8. Any tattoos you’d like?
  9. Hair color? Would you ever dye it? Chop it all off?
  10. Favorite smell?
  11. Favorite sound?

Also, you gotta show us your sock drawer.  😉  No straightening up beforehand, that’s cheating.

A good breakaway from the monotony of “what’s your dream vacation?”-type surveys, methinks.  🙂  I’m really dying to know what everyone’s favorite variable is.

Week in Review

If you haven’t cottoned on, for my last few posts I’ve been trying, albeit with questionable success, to give my posts zippy and witty and possibly punny titles.  (No, autocorrect, that word is not puny.)  My brain is fried this week though, so I guess you guys get a blessed reprieve mournful absence of my normally on-point and ineffable wordsmithery.

So, yeah, um.  My brain is fried.  Don’t mind too much, though, it’s a great excuse for rambly posts with lots of comma splices and erratic ideas from all corners of it.  (It being my mind.  This might not be a too-coherent post.  I’ve just finished up with finals and am trying to type this up while streaming Sherlock S3 for the second time…)

Weekity Things: (by which I mean events of note that occurred over the course of this week, excusez mois)

  1. Reading Good Omens.
    DSCN4422I don’t–I can’t–it’s just–*exhales sharply through nose in frustration* this book is now one of my all-time favorites ever, and I can’t really explain why.  Why does it make me tear up when I think of it now? Why did I feel the need to put off studying and self-care for a whole two days in order to tear through it?  Why did this religious satire speak to me on a more profoundly spiritual level than any other book I’ve read?

i don't know doctor who gifIt’s just ineffable, I guess.  (Heads up: I will be using the word “ineffable” so much in the coming posts that you will become so ineffably done with it that you feel an ineffable itch to ineffably strangle me.)  It was one of those weird things that really struck me in exactly the right way, and now my conversations with anyone new this week have been beginning with a sharp and judgmental “Have you read Good Omens?!”  Most people haven’t.  Uggghhh.  Get on this book, world.  It is so good (and hilarious) that whenever I think of it I’m pretty sure my heart rate speeds up and the emotional center of my brain (is that the amygdala? *googles* yes it’s the amygdala) sort of spasms out and my face is kind of caught between doing this
giphyand this.
glass cage of emotion
IT’S NOT EVEN PARTICULARLY SAD OR PARTICULARLY HAPPY IT JUST GIVES ME ALL THE FEELS UUGGH.

Here’s my equally non-articulate GoodReads review, if anyone’s interested:

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, WitchGood Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh, man. Why didn’t I read this book sooner? Why, oh why, did I pick it up for “idle reading” in the heat of Finals season??
I’m not really sure how to describe this book, except that it’s one of those books where you drift around with your eyes unfocused for hours after reading, and you spill a bunch of stuff because you’ve been well and truly entranced. It’s one of those books that you can stare at and squeeze to your chest because the characters, even those that hail from the pits of Hell (especially those) feel like your best mates and the whole book fills you with a kind of existentially ironic warm fuzzy feeling, which I didn’t even know was a thing. Laugh-out-loud hilarious, a good read for those who want to stop taking themselves so seriously. The writing was beautiful and I loved the dialogue. In the beginning (haha, Bible pun, haha) it felt like there were WAY TOO MANY characters for my poor feeble mortal mind to juggle, but it pares down into a glorious semblance of sense.
I also have the hugest crush on Aziraphale, bless his soul.

View all my reviews

(bee tee dubs you should all become my friend on GoodReads because I need more virtual friends to fangirl over books with okay? okay)

     2.  Scholastic Art and Writing Awards results!  (This was the thing that my poetry collection won in last year, with the celebration at Carnegie Hall.)  This year I submitted a short story (that I wrote in 8th grade and that you haven’t read), “We Hired Death as Our Landscaper,” a poem collection of “Dichromate,”“Ellipse,” and “Silver,” another poem collection including two of my spoken word poems “Solicited Advice to Prepubescent Nintendo Freaks” and “Sweet, sweet Adolescence,” and finally, my poem “The Professional Aimless Wanderer”.  Two of the poem collections won Silver Keys (which is like an honorable mention except there is actually also an honorable mention category so I guess Silver Key is like one step up from honorable mention) and “Wanderer” is going on to National Judging!

SAWA 2014 announcement

Hmm.  Well, I realize this doesn’t actually look too…legitimate.  (You gotta love the PicMonkey “paper scrap” feature though, amiright?)  I promise these were my actual results. Huzzah for creative censoring.

It’s kind of wryly funny that Scholastic always loves my poetry (at least they seem to), whereas I work a lot harder on my prose and like it better than my poetry.  I wasn’t sure about some of the poems I submitted, but I definitely thought the short story or at least “Landscaper” was going somewhere.  I guess I’m too biased.  I also guess that the fewer words in which I have to say something, the better I say it…which I kind of already knew.  Brevity is not my forte, but when I can manage it, it definitely improves my writing.

3.  FINALS SEASON IS OVAHH! *upturns a science lab bench and begins tap dancing upon it*  Really, that’s being a bit overdramatic, and it wasn’t nearly as bad as I was expecting it to be. In a fit of procrastination and denial one night, I even wrote a satire of Robert Frost’s “Fire and Ice” proclaiming “Some say the world will end with Finals…”  I had just heard so many rumors about how awful they were, and I suppose I had it easy since I’m but a wee freshie, but they were all right.  My lowest score was in Algebra 2/Pre-calc, predictably, and that was just an A-.  I am in a state of ineffable gratitude that there was no Orchestra final, because my Orchestra grade has now squeaked up to a 93.01%, which is literally one-hundredth of a percent over the requirement for an A.  So now my GPA is a 4.0. *smiles beatifically*

Hope you had an equally eventful week, my dearest tropical fish, and that the next 7 days also hold, for you, a trove of mystique and ineffable excitement. (Congrats on getting through finals, if you’re a student!)

Let’s chat.

Have you ever seen those “coffee-date”-format blog posts, where you and the blogger are seated across a virtual table sipping on respective caffeinated drinks, and supposedly you’re talking to each other but really the blogger is just droning on and on about their lives while you stare at pictures of said drinks?

Well, aren’t you in for a treat.

Have a lovely, classy, monochrome cappuccino.  It tastes wonderful; warm, smooth, and a bit bitter–and you’ve got a brownie to wash down too, it’s just been cropped due to Instagram’s weird photo shaping lens.

Firstly, I want to say, thanks for the responses to my last post!  I really feel like I’ve been welcomed back with open arms.  Muchas gracias!! (As a side note, though: wth are you people doing commenting at 6:30 AM?? Sleep, sleep, my children.  We are on winter break!  Am I the only proper teenager here?  I myself only slithered out of bed at 10 this morning because I needed to get food in me and make sure that last post published.  I’m quite sure I could sleep all day if I didn’t get hungry.)

And obviously, since I’ve been gone for so long, there’s things that have happened since my last post that I need to fill y’all in on.  Not anything big or scary, just a bunch of mildly exciting pit stops on the road of everyday life.

  1. I performed my poem ‘The Professional Aimless Wanderer’ two months ago at the Washington State Poet Laureate’s reading.  The last word you all received on this endeavor was that I was having a hell of a time trying to write something.  I never succeeded, instead digging into my poem backlogs to scrounge up something suitable.  It went over quite well, though, and it was fun and a good experience.  Mother Dearest took a video…but due to her technological ineptitude, it’s mainly a video of the back of someone’s head with me off to the side, perched like a poetic shoulder-angel.  It’s also sideways.  😀  You guys want to watch it anyways?  Anyone know how to rotate it, at least..?
  2. Just 2 days ago we returned from a trip to see the extended fam in Klamath Falls, Oregon.  At Crater Lake we got a very detailed and lovely shot of a bird’s butt:IMG_0100
  3. IMG_0046 as well as this striking fisheye-effect shot of yours truly.  🙂  (NOTE, FOR CLARIFICATION: THIS IS NOT MY ACTUAL FACE.) We toured Captain Jack’s Stronghold (in Northern California), attempted to ice skate, and ate more hash browns than could possibly be healthy. Life was good.
  4. I got a new computer!  DSCN4325Its name is Cecil, he’s my birthday and Christmas present and probably blackmail material for this year and next, and he is just…the sexiest thing. Seriously.  So sleek and shiny and light and fast…I think I’m in love. Many thanks to the parental units.DSCN4327
  5. In way more recent news, today we took a day trip to Portland, Oregon, and visited the famous CITY OF BOOKS!!  Is it a bit drastic to proclaim that, post-high-school sometime, I really want to live in Portland, just for the sake of Powell’s?  Maybe I could work there as a supplement to the writing thing…I just really, really love this place, you guys.  For some reason it’s extremely comforting to wander around alone inside a huge building filled with books–like being swathed in stories.  Plus there was a cafe, with scones and chai lattes.  DSCN4328(Upon bringing out the camera to snap a picture of the lemon-blueberry scone, Daddio exclaimed from across the table, “You must be back to blogging!”) 😉DSCN4330

My haul.  Hyperbole and a Half is the…the greatest thing ever, you guys.  I cannot even begin to express my love for this comic.  If y’all aren’t reading her blog, get on it, stat.  Her dog-themed comics are the only thing that will guarantee me a 10-minute, laugh-so-hard-I-cry session, no matter how bad of a day I’m having.  I’m usually guffawing so loudly Citrus joins in (he knows how to mimic my laugh), and there’s no way my day can continue to go downhill from there.  Hyperbole and a Half, guys.  Seriously.

And now I hold the awesome concentrated humor in tangible, dead-tree form.  Nothing could be better.

Also…

DSCN4339

ohmigod I might be really dangerous with this book. 😉

Have a lovely day, y’all.  I don’t know why I’ve slipped into saying “y’all” within this post.  I don’t say it in real life.  It’s pretty fun to type, though.  I hope your coffee was enjoyable, and the brownie too!  We should really do this again sometime.

DSCN3111(Citrus says hi, btw.  He’s missed his adoring people.)

Friday Faves #2

Featuring 5k fears and finds, beautiful blog buttons, bolstered body image, link love, and writing-related reads.  Not in this order.

Greetings my dear friends.  I would like to apologize for not posting since last Sunday, but I know you’re cool with it ‘cuz you’re cool like that.  It wasn’t that I had writer’s block, really–it was more that I did have a lot of ideas but, incidentally, there was a lot of stuff I wanted to do a heck of a lot more than sit down to pound out a blog post.  Projects, people…mysterious projects. 😉  Ah, well, you’ll find out about them soon enough.  They’re good ones. 🙂

Anyway, this, at least, means that come September 4th when I forgo my internet-inhabiting ways for the academic lifestyle once again, I will not completely abandon you for a week!  I now have many “backup” post topics saved up to prevent total radio silence here.  So, everyone has won here.  Let us move on.

1.  Beautiful Blog Buttons.  Have y’all noticed my new lovely ORANGE social media buttons in my sidebar?  They were only 99 cents 5 dollars in the Etsy store, made by IGottaCreate, who also offers FREE buttons, though not all in orange. 🙂  Cheap Etsy downloads are quickly becoming a kind of vortex for me…  At any rate, I’ve finally found out how to make social media icon bars, as per my question in my Blogoversary post!  I used this tutorial, designed for WordPress.COM blogs, to integrate the buttons into a widget.  It’s way easier than I was mentally building it up to be.

2.  Bolstered Body Image.  Maybe it’s come across around these parts (because I’ve written about it at length) that, lately, I haven’t been exactly happy with my appearance.  I’ll skip the melodrama.  Then I found some clothes that actually fit me nicely, wrote a post in an attempt to shape myself up, read some even more awesome posts, stripped down to my skivvies in front of a mirror and recited some self-esteem mantras (a la Kiss My Broccoli), started running longer and harder (why is running like the magic self-esteem-boosting drug?  though I’m not complaining), and bought some pretty eyeshadow and liner for my peepers.  I’ve always really loved my eyes–probably my favorite superficial feature, and I’m glad I’ve figured out how to play them up a little bit more now.  No shame in flaunting what ya got! 😉

IMG_20130823_141747

I also got a haircut.  Not that this picture makes it very easy to tell.  Also, I’ve coined a term–that above hairstyle?  That’s not “unruly” or “out-of-control”, folks, that’s SPUNKALICIOUS, you hear me?  SPUNKALICIOUS.  Please let’s integrate this into our daily conversations.  As in, “My bangs are being especially SPUNKALICIOUS today”, or “My day was sure hard; I guess life’s just testing me to see how SPUNKALICIOUS I can be about it!”  Yes, SPUNKALICIOUS must ALWAYS be ALL CAPITALS.  Preferably accompanied by a Z-formation fingersnap, if you can manage it.

3.  5k fears and finds.  My second 5k ever is tomorrow!  AHHH/yay!/I’m going to be so dead by the end of this!  Funny thing: since I’ve done this before (once), my brain has seemingly gone into “pro mode” about the whole thing.  As in, why should I worry about preparations?  Stretching beforehand, hydrating sufficiently?  Why even bother, especially when you’re not shooting for a PR?

I really hope I can snap out of this before tomorrow morning; at the very least, I have no doubt it will dissolve into a cloud of fear and crippling self-doubt at the starting line.  But this too must be worked through!

If your arrogant brain hasn’t gone into everything-under-control mode about your next 5k, here are some great reads from around the internet to help you prepare yourself for the race:

4.  Writing-related reads.

  • 10 Things Teens Should Know About Writing.  He comes right out and says teen writing sucks.  I can’t figure out whether I’m awestruck and thankful that someone prevented me from getting my hopes up too high, or feeling crushed…
  • Maureen Johnson’s Brain Monkeys.  Her answer to that eternally-posed question, “Where do you get your ideas?”  And it’s Maureen Johnson.  You’re guaranteed an out-loud laugh.

Also, this and this.

DSCN4119The former, I was lucky enough to snag for free at the magical old library, and the latter I pre-ordered.  (It’s been out for about a month now.)  The former…well, it’s Stephen King!  So witty, hilarious, and wonderfully profane; and since it was an older copy, I didn’t feel guilty about underlining quotes and dogearing pages.  For reference, you know.  😉  It’s just general, down-to-earth writing advice that doesn’t even bother to be tailored to specific ages.  And the latter, obviously, is geared more toward young writers, and it remains optimistic about a writer’s chances while still cautioning you to get a “real job”.  😀

The parents are also very supportive of all my writerly endeavors, but then again, they are parents.  That is Job of Parent.  So…does my writing suck?  Do I have no chance of success?  Or am I an amazing undiscovered gem (Mother Dearest’s viewpoint on the matter)? 😉  I’m getting whiplash darting back and forth…I guess the only thing I can do, in either case, is to keep pounding on.  Work hard, put in effort, always be striving to improve.  Maybe even query anyway, despite my age deficiency.  The worst that can happen is “No”.

No further alliteration for today…Happy Friday! 🙂

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What’s your favorite thing about your body?  Please divulge all in the comments!  Today, take a moment to appreciate at least one thing that is beautiful about yourself.  Don’t fall prey to the “but that’s so vain” thing.  Strut yo stuff, gurl.  And tell me what it is that makes you beautiful!  (Well, one item from the list, anyway.)