Cultural Appropriation: When the Chicken Doesn’t Hatch from the Egg

I recently wrote a short story for a creative writing class that had a heavy emphasis on feminism, equality, and the removal of appropriative stereotypes (not the story; the class). Throughout this class, I’ve felt more and more dour about my place in it: every day we meet, I am told how I have flouted my power to oppress and dehumanize everyone not me. I am aware of this. I work hard to remove the bias in my life. I work hard to use my privilege for good, if possible. I watch preference given to others who have had to work twice as hard as me to get where they are, and I respect the preference. I don’t know how to write about what I want to write anymore because of all the boundaries and expectations. This gives me a whole new twist on “write what you know.”

But this short story has me confused and bewildered. A long while back, I wrote a story about the most fierce and independent women I had ever met: my ex wife. She was a warrior, a fighter, broken and not, flawed and abusive and everything complex about a person you could possibly want. And exotic. And powerful. Given this class is about the empowering of women, and minorities, and those traditionally without voice, and she’s as untraditional a person I had ever met, I revived it, revised it, reviewed it, revised it again, and handed it in.

If I had problems with the insane amount of, “you can’t write effectively about this because you’re white,” and, “you can’t write about this because you’re male,” restrictions–and then being told I must write it in a social justice vein, where I’m expected to write about an issue I have no business writing about–surely I found a way around it by telling a fairy tale story based strongly on a real life, honest-to-god person.

Not so much. Continue reading

I Tiptoe Around (Some) Empowered Women in Literature and TV

This semester, I’ve been studying American Indian Survivance Discourse. I’ve been studying code-switching and the importance of diversity in voice through minority writing. I’ve been studying transgender literature. Fairy tale literature. LGBQ literature. It’s beautiful.

Most recently, I’ve been studying the poet Adrienne Rich. While all the subjects I put in my head this semester has had an impact on me, to varying degrees, Rich never ceases to explode my thought. Boom. And the kicker is, I studied her seven years ago with similar effect. Her insights are mind-curling, deep and twisting and nearly self-aware. And she made sense, on Thursday, in a way that fit something I’ve been thinking about for a while.

She said that for her to be a truly independent woman writer, she had to stop using men’s sensibilities and styles while writing.

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Personal Life Update: Graduation, Grad School, and Humor (but not mine)

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Cthulhu Flower needs a hug.

I’m going to try and continue writing in this, consistently, until I finish my studies at UIS.

I have four research projects, 10+ pages each. I have been running crazy for over a month. In many ways, time moves so slow. So very slow: only a month? In many other ways, my life passes me by. Thirty three years old. I won’t go down the list my mother has engrained in my head since I was a child. The shadow CV, as Bella calls it. The things I should have done. The things I could have done. The things I didn’t do. Couldn’t, under circumstances. I’m in a place of processing, revisiting old experiences, old lessons in my large book of life.
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Focusing Through Distraction

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Missing it.

I’ve definitely written about this before. Yet I’ve seen Denzel Washington talk about the exact same discussion points on technology that’re being discussed in my classes, and I find solace in knowing this isn’t some College-level talking point. He says, on at least two interviews, what do you do with too much information?

I am a writer. I write. This semester has been intense and leaves me little time to breathe deep, so as per how I live my life, my writing priority is fourth under schoolwork, making food, and staving off insanity by staring at political insanity. Apologies for not being around much. I’m learning about rhetoric, learning about sociolinguistics, and online publishing. Continue reading

Althea (poem)

To give it a name–a thing, a move-
Ment, a legerdemain, while it walks down
Walnut Street, while it stares down the Postal
Service–is to tame and convince it
That it has purpose beyond “it”
In itself.

And you are knife.

We, the people of the (thick billed fox sparrow), clipped
stare toward the sun with our wax forming with
our thoughts of rose-red fingers climbing,
we who put the Lethe in Lethargy. Caught.
Before you see it, you see something else, and

back before, and back, in time, some pre-seen tale
all foreground and almost remembered but forgotten.

Never bloomed. Never lived. Never born.

All horizons from yesterday, somesuch dreams felled flickering crashed like when
That surfer breaks his sharpened board against shark skulls, tastes salty sand and perhaps
Godly wine, the sky a radiance like volcanic dawn and crippled clouds painted fake
onlookers prying serrations from his pulpy feet while he rolls and coats his flesh in stones

Glass. Perhaps armor.

To give it a name, this move-ment,
A letherdemain, while it drives away
To somewhere else, same horizon
Same sun still no closer to the sea
Or parting thoughts, it names me.
Something.

And you are knife. Sharpening.

It Might be Time for a Reboot

This is a writing blog. I haven’t written (much) in the past few years, so this blog has fallen by the wayside. And I’m about to pick it back up. It only makes sense that I don’t load a new pic for the post, since it’s a writing blog and not a mullet (Business in the front. Party in the back). I want it all to be a party, and bangs would just look emo.

I’ll start by greasing my rusty writing hinges; Hello, World! I’m ready to shaaare myself again!

The primary focus for this blog is professional updates on how I understand writing to be, in all its forms: literary and artistic reviews, updates on my work, and helpful hints along the way. I grew away from this professional blog due to (excuses) and now that I’m able to focus more on the often complex and changing needs of novel writing, I can also step back into this place.

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Mental Rambling

I usually create the title first, topic second. I have an idea in my head, but I don’t know how it’ll pan out. Thus, I write the title last. Apologies if I ramble.

This evening, I looked at myself in the mirror, and studied my facial features. It might sound strange, but I find sometimes when I look hard enough I find aspects of my characters within my face. Spend enough time on Deviantart and you’ll see your fill of eyes. As close-up as you can possibly get, natural or manufactured or mystic to the point where you’re lost in the idea of being that close to another person.

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