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Showing posts from July, 2016

No sh!t, the Ice Bucket Challenge actually worked, because of course it did, jerks.

I go to twitter today and see, next to the tragic news about Syria, this story about how "The Ice Bucket Challenge Actually Worked."

No shit, I say. No shit, it worked, and all you assholes who complained about the sheeple with their pointless viral video campaign for charity look like...well, assholes who complain a lot. 

As someone who worked for a few years raising donations, let me explain why. 

I spent hours each week calling potential donors for my small women's college. Some were on a yearly donor list; some were on an occasional donor list; some were cold calls to people who'd never donated. 

Some of the callers were absolutely lovely. Some were busy and donated just to get me off the phone. Some were interested to hear the news updates but didn't want to or couldn't donate. Some people on the inactive list were happy to donate at whatever level they could manage.

And some were horrible. You would not believe some of the abuse I got as part of that job. We…

Book Review: Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelly

Harmonic Feedback is a YA Contemporary novel about a sixteen-year-old girl who loves music. As a musician, it was gratifying to read a book about teens who love making music. 

[Trigger warnings for this review include: drug use, addiction, bimisia/bi-erasure, bullying, death, drug overdose; all discussed in 2nd half of review. Other tws not discussed here include: intimate partner violence, parental neglect, ableism, mention of past rape/sexual assault, mention of past abusive sibling.]


Summary

16-year-old Drea has lived everywhere with her mom, who bounces from boyfriend to boyfriend and drags Drea across the country with her. Deciding that being lonely is better than rejection, Drea loses herself in her music.
All that changes when they go to live with her grandmother. Drea must navigate the social minefield of high school while she deals with having real friends, and possibly a boyfriend, for the first time. 
I had problems with this book, but let's get to the good stuff first!
Harmo…

I tried to write a story with a gender-neutral protagonist

I wrote a horror story today. 

I needed a break from the other stuff I was writing, so I wrote this. I like it a lot. But I ran into a problem early on: what gender is the protagonist?

I couldn't decide. And I was on a writing roll, so I didn't want to stop and take the time to decide. I figured that if I wrote and the need arose to identify the character by name, or have others identify them, or have them use the bathroom, I'd decide then. Perhaps some other aspect of the character would reveal itself to me and I would determine gender based on that. 

It was a horror/supernatural story, but it was also a revenge story. Both those genres tend to have tropes strongly associated with gender. As I wrote, it became less about discovering the character's gender than it did about the exercise of writing a character who had no specific gender. This character could be male, female, or nonbinary. Perhaps they are nonbinary. I don't know. 

I didn't really want to deal with t…

Examiner is gone (and so are all my reviews)

Well, this is frustrating.
Examiner.com was a crowd-generated entertainment/opinion/"news" site where I reviewed books. I reviewed books there since college, and while it didn't exactly make me millions I enjoyed it.
In June I got an email from Examiner after a long break from the site. It offered an incentive for returning writers through the end of June. I figured, hey! Why not? and wrote them some bitchy reviews (and few nice ones as well). What was really nice was the fact that they'd updated their quality standards since I'd left. 
One of the reasons I left was the subpar content; I was putting a lot into these reviews for very minimal rewards while other people wrote 200-word, highly biased, often grammatically incorrect pieces about dog abuse or celebrities and made hundreds-and-more dollars a month. When I returned to the site, I was one of the contributors whose content was consistently high-quality. I thus wasn't subject to the new mandatory review pro…

Writing as Self-Punishment

Do you ever do something ridiculous? Of course you have. Don't lie.

And then you're laying around the apartment feeling like a terrible person and a fool and while you're not really motivated to do anything, you have to do something to keep your mind off the thing you did and the associated guilt and the mounting boredom. 

Well, at least I do. But then I was like, do I even deserve a distraction? Shouldn't I just wallow in how big of an ass I am? Why let myself off the hook by doing something I enjoy?

I decided to write. But not work on the things that I enjoy writing. Not my personal random projects or anything fun like that. Nope, I went to the copywriting site I work for and did a few assignments there before sinking back into pity-party gloom. 

Then I thought to myself, hey, you're a dorp, but you don't have to be a lazy dorp. Might as well get something productive out of all this downtime. Oh, you don't like it? Haha, fuck you, because you're not suppo…

Soggy and Chlorinated

Physical therapy, hooray. This is going to be a long post. 

I've been trying to get into the physical therapy clinic again for ages. I first went...oh, a year or two ago, for land therapy. I did my exercises. I did the exercises at home, did the stretches, and everything. Things were marginally better for a little while, and then they weren't. I was still in a job where I had to stand for eight, nine hours a day, and then go to physically active classes on my days off, and it was killing me. I tried new shoes. Shifting positions. Everything. Nope. Still I was going home exhausted and in pain, the underlying problem only exacerbated by my work. 

On school days and days off and days where I had to walk, or sit, or stand, or get up, or bend down, or crouch, or lie on my back, or do literally anything at all, I was in moderate to severe pain. It became a buzz in the back of my brain, a constant pain hovering around a 4 at the beginning of the day and growing to an agonizing 8 or 9 a…