1. explore-blog:

    Ze Frank and the Monterey Bay Aquarium present “True Facts About the Octopus” –  a deep dive into the peculiar world of one of the planet’s most extraordinary creatures. This explains some of the Ancient Romans’ fanciful beliefs about the octopus

     
  2. sfgiants:

Tonight’s #GoldenGIF - Angel Pagan saving a run and showing off his amazing hair

    sfgiants:

    Tonight’s #GoldenGIF - Angel Pagan saving a run and showing off his amazing hair

     
  3. If you’ve ever sat down and tried writing a dictionary, you’ll be aware of what an onerous task it is … In March 1879, over 20 years after the idea was first conceived, a publisher was finally found; Murray was contracted by Oxford University Press to compile the new dictionary over what was envisaged to be a 10-year period.
    — Why was the creation of the first part of the Oxford English Dictionary particularly arduous? The Independent looks at the early history of the OED, and how it was first compiled. (via oupacademic)
     
  4. fyeahcopyright:

    The info at the link above? It isn’t true. 

    Sorry we’re hitting FYC with a lot of SOPA stuff today, but we wanted to address the specific legal issues in OP’s post. Comments are inline:

    flamehans:

    TheSOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) bill has resurfaced and is once again trying to be passed.

    No, it hasn’t resurfaced. There are lobbyists who would love for it to be reintroduced before Congress and taken through hearings and committees onto the floor and marked up and passed by both houses ad signed by the president (also see: Schoolhouse Rock’s I’m Just a Bill). But that’s not happening at the moment. 

    When it happens, we’ll tell you - but even before we do, the EFF.org will! If you ever hear anything about SOPA and we haven’t posted about it, check out their http:.., and use their Search feature. if you don’t find something about SOPA on the front page, likely nothing is happening right now, but you can always use their Search box to double-check. 



    The link attached will take you to a petition. Unless this petition reaches 100,000signatures by next week, this will happen:

    No. Nothing bad will happen if the petition doesn’t reach that many signatures, because SOPA is not currently before Congress, and the Executive Branch doesn’t have the right to make SOPA into law by fiat. 

    • All websites containing media that refers to or is owned by a company that hasn’t given its permission for the media to be displayed can and will be shut down. This means sites such as Tumblr, Wattpad, Pinterist, fanfiction.com.

    No. Does anyone seriously think that if this were the case, billion dollar companies like tumblr and Pinterest - and, btw, GOOGLE AND YOUTUBE, would not be doing everything in their power to prevent passage of a law that would destroy (some of) their revenue streams and cause them to be shut down

    And that’s without getting into the specifics of this paragraph. Because you can use anyone’s trademark descriptively (ie to “refer to”) and you can use anyone’s copyright for Fair Use purposes, which includes education, news reporting and transformative works(aka most if not all noncommercial fanworks). 

    • People who post such media can and will be fined, with a maximum sentence of five years in prison. This includes, but is not limited to, people who own/post the following: fanfiction, fan art, roleplay blogs, fan blogs/accounts and movie streaming sites.

    NO. There is NO PROPOSED LEGISLATION currently before either the House or the Senate that says this (as of March 13, 2014). Nothing. 

    Now, this doesn’t mean it’s legal to make copies of other people’s films or tv shows or music and upload them or stream them- that’s already illegal under the Copyright Act and the penalties are harsh and in many cases out of line with any possible damage that could be caused by the infringement (look to Aron Swartz). 

    But that law does not apply to transformative works. Types of transformative works are - you guessed it! - fanfiction, fan art, roleplay blogs and fan blogs/accounts. Check out the Organization for Transformative Works’ website, Legal Page and FAQ for more analysis and explanation of transformative works. 

    But as we said above, movie streaming sites? Those are probably infringing, and if you want to be careful around the Copyright Act, don’t share on publicly accessible streams. 

    The top of the petition we linked to above says “In this case, all fanart will be deleted, all fan-pages, fanfics, fan made videos, etc.” Now you know, that’s not true. 

    So, what does all this mean? 

    1. Doug Adams said it well in the 1970s. DON’T PANIC. If the time comes for us to panic, the brilliant people at the OTW and the EFF and Google and the paranoid people at Anonymous will tell us to panic. 
    2. PLEASE don’t reblog rumors unless you’re reblogging them to link to a post that explains why the rumor is unfounded (like this one).
    3. If you see a post shouting that SOPA is back or copyright terms are being extended another 100 years (or, frankly, even 10) or ALL THE WEBSITES YOU LOVE will be shut down, check with news.google.com or the nonprofit of your choice: EFF.org, TransformativeWorks.org, the Beekman Center at Harvard, or news sites like Wired, Rolling Stone or Mother Jones. We’re keeping an eye on it at fyeahcopyright.tumblr.com, too. Everyone is tracking this issue. 

    It’s great to be an activist, but you’re wasting your time and your energy if you get distraught about something that isn’t actually happening. And our concern is, if people continue to whip up concern about fictional SOPA reboots every few months, if something actually does happen, people will ignore it because they’ll assume it’s just another round of nothing. 

    Don’t let that happen! Check before you reblog anything that says creative content and the websites that host them will be banned, criminalized or destroyed. 

    Chances are, they aren’t going to be. 

     
  5. (Source: msoderstrom)

     
  6. 17:02

    Notes: 48

    Reblogged from therumpus

    Tags: this is 100% accuratesalman rushdie

    image: Download

    therumpus:

Spotlight: Thoughts While Reading by Sophie Lucido Johnson

    therumpus:

    Spotlight: Thoughts While Reading by Sophie Lucido Johnson

     
  7. noiseymusic:

No Tomorrow: A South Side Heroin Addict Parses the Noise on Chief Keef and Violent Crime in Chicago
When everything began to fall apart for me in Chicago last year, I thought, fuck it, maybe it’s time to give heroin another shot after a nine-year hiatus. So, like any enterprising self-starter in the 21st century, I turned to the internet. One needn’t be a news junkie to know that Chicago—or more to the point, a handful of Chicago neighborhoods—is in the throes of perhaps the most desperate outbreak of senseless carnage this side of the (other) Great Lakes. And even my solipsistic English-lit-graduate-student self was aware that this shitstorm of dope-and-poverty-fueled mayhem centered in a handful of South Side neighborhoods that bordered my own tweedy Hyde Park zip code.
Chicago is a heroin town and, as anyone who’s seen an episode of The Wire knows, the drug trade is an intensely regional affair. A modicum of message board research taught me that in Chicago, $10 bags of heroin are called “blows,” and the ostensibly larger “dubs” go for twice that price. I also learned that while open-air drug markets are common on the city’s West Side, on the South Side it helps to know somebody. Lucky for me, I spent the summer interviewing residents and activists in the South Side neighborhoods of Washington Park, Englewood, and Woodlawn for a documentary film project (let’s acknowledge the absurdity of this situation and set it aside for the moment) and thus knew a handful of likely somebodies whom I could call upon.
A few phone calls later, a kid called Earvin—the names of all my pushers have been creatively changed to protect their identity while still acknowledging their significant contributions to my story—assured me he could find what I was looking for and I set out on the pleasant walk across Washington Park to the corner of 57th and King Dr. While Earvin and I waited for his connection to arrive, I did what any well meaning, vaguely plugged-in liberal white dude would do and decided to ask him what he thought of Chief Keef, whose primary hustling grounds were just a few blocks away. Earvin’s response was somehow both cryptic and revealing: “Keef’s alright, he just needs to open up his vocabulary a bit.”
Continue

    noiseymusic:

    No Tomorrow: A South Side Heroin Addict Parses the Noise on Chief Keef and Violent Crime in Chicago

    When everything began to fall apart for me in Chicago last year, I thought, fuck it, maybe it’s time to give heroin another shot after a nine-year hiatus. So, like any enterprising self-starter in the 21st century, I turned to the internet. One needn’t be a news junkie to know that Chicago—or more to the point, a handful of Chicago neighborhoods—is in the throes of perhaps the most desperate outbreak of senseless carnage this side of the (other) Great Lakes. And even my solipsistic English-lit-graduate-student self was aware that this shitstorm of dope-and-poverty-fueled mayhem centered in a handful of South Side neighborhoods that bordered my own tweedy Hyde Park zip code.

    Chicago is a heroin town and, as anyone who’s seen an episode of The Wire knows, the drug trade is an intensely regional affair. A modicum of message board research taught me that in Chicago, $10 bags of heroin are called “blows,” and the ostensibly larger “dubs” go for twice that price. I also learned that while open-air drug markets are common on the city’s West Side, on the South Side it helps to know somebody. Lucky for me, I spent the summer interviewing residents and activists in the South Side neighborhoods of Washington Park, Englewood, and Woodlawn for a documentary film project (let’s acknowledge the absurdity of this situation and set it aside for the moment) and thus knew a handful of likely somebodies whom I could call upon.

    A few phone calls later, a kid called Earvin—the names of all my pushers have been creatively changed to protect their identity while still acknowledging their significant contributions to my story—assured me he could find what I was looking for and I set out on the pleasant walk across Washington Park to the corner of 57th and King Dr. While Earvin and I waited for his connection to arrive, I did what any well meaning, vaguely plugged-in liberal white dude would do and decided to ask him what he thought of Chief Keef, whose primary hustling grounds were just a few blocks away. Earvin’s response was somehow both cryptic and revealing: “Keef’s alright, he just needs to open up his vocabulary a bit.”

    Continue

     
  8. 18:05 7th Dec 2013

    Notes: 51078

    Reblogged from fuckyeahbookarts

    Tags: reference

    writingadvice1:

    Finding the information you need as a writer shouldn’t be a chore. Luckily, there are plenty of search engines out there that are designed to help you at any stage of the process, from coming up with great ideas to finding a publisher to get your work into print. Both writers still in college and those on their way to professional success will appreciate this list of useful search applications that are great from making writing a little easier and more efficient.

    Professional

    Find other writers, publishers and ways to market your work through these searchable databases and search engines.

    1. Litscene: Use this search engine to search through thousands of writers and literary projects, and add your own as well.
    2. Thinkers.net: Get a boost in your creativity with some assistance from this site.
    3. PoeWar: Whether you need help with your career or your writing, this site is full of great searchable articles.
    4. Publisher’s Catalogues: Try out this site to search through the catalogs and names of thousands of publishers.
    5. Edit Red: Through this site you can showcase your own work and search through work by others, as well as find helpful FAQ’s on writing.
    6. Writersdock: Search through this site for help with your writing, find jobs and join other writers in discussions.
    7. PoetrySoup: If you want to find some inspirational poetry, this site is a great resource.
    8. Booksie.com: Here, you can search through a wide range of self-published books.
    9. One Stop Write Shop: Use this tool to search through the writings of hundreds of other amateur writers.
    10. Writer’s Cafe: Check out this online writer’s forum to find and share creative works.
    11. Literary Marketplace: Need to know something about the publishing industry? Use this search tool to find the information you need now.

    Writing

    These helpful tools will help you along in the writing process.

    1. WriteSearch: This search engine focuses exclusively on sites devoted to reading and writing to deliver its results.
    2. The Burry Man Writers Center: Find a wealth of writing resources on this searchable site.
    3. Writing.com: This fully-featured site makes it possible to find information both fun and serious about the craft of writing.
    4. Purdue OWL: Need a little instruction on your writing? This tool from Purdue University can help.
    5. Writing Forums: Search through these writing forums to find answers to your writing issues.

    Research

    Try out these tools to get your writing research done in a snap.

    1. Google Scholar: With this specialized search engine from Google, you’ll only get reliable, academic results for your searches.
    2. WorldCat: If you need a book from the library, try out this tool. It’ll search and find the closest location.
    3. Scirus: Find great scientific articles and publications through this search engine.
    4. OpenLibrary: If you don’t have time to run to a brick-and-mortar library, this online tool can still help you find books you can use.
    5. Online Journals Search Engine: Try out this search engine to find free online journal articles.
    6. All Academic: This search engine focuses on returning highly academic, reliable resources.
    7. LOC Ask a Librarian: Search through the questions on this site to find helpful answers about the holdings at the Library of Congress.
    8. Encylcopedia.com: This search engine can help you find basic encyclopedia articles.
    9. Clusty: If you’re searching for a topic to write on, this search engine with clustered results can help get your creative juices flowing.
    10. Intute: Here you’ll find a British search engine that delivers carefully chosen results from academia.
    11. AllExperts: Have a question? Ask the experts on this site or search through the existing answers.

    Reference

    Need to look up a quote or a fact? These search tools make it simple.

    1. Writer’s Web Search Engine: This search engine is a great place to find reference information on how to write well.
    2. Bloomsbury Magazine Research Centre: You’ll find numerous resources on publications, authors and more through this search engine.
    3. Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Thesaurus: Make sure you’re using words correctly and can come up with alternatives with the help of this tool.
    4. References.net: Find all the reference material you could ever need through this search engine.
    5. Quotes.net: If you need a quote, try searching for one by topic or by author on this site.
    6. Literary Encyclopedia: Look up any famous book or author in this search tool.
    7. Acronym Finder: Not sure what a particular acronym means? Look it up here.
    8. Bartleby: Through Bartleby, you can find a wide range of quotes from famous thinkers, writers and celebrities.
    9. Wikipedia.com: Just about anything and everything you could want to look up is found on this site.
    10. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Find all the great philosophers you could want to reference in this online tool.

    Niche Writers

    If you’re focusing on writing in a particular niche, these tools can be a big help.

    1. PubGene: Those working in sci-fi or medical writing will appreciate this database of genes, biological terms and organisms.
    2. GoPubMd: You’ll find all kinds of science and medical search results here.
    3. Jayde: Looking for a business? Try out this search tool.
    4. Zibb: No matter what kind of business you need to find out more about, this tool will find the information.
    5. TechWeb: Do a little tech research using this news site and search engine.
    6. Google Trends: Try out this tool to find out what people are talking about.
    7. Godchecker: Doing a little work on ancient gods and goddesses? This tool can help you make sure you have your information straight.
    8. Healia: Find a wide range of health topics and information by using this site.
    9. Sci-Fi Search: Those working on sci-fi can search through relevant sites to make sure their ideas are original.

    Books

    Find your own work and inspirational tomes from others by using these search engines.

    1. Literature Classics: This search tool makes it easy to find the free and famous books you want to look through.
    2. InLibris: This search engine provides one of the largest directories of literary resources on the web.
    3. SHARP Web: Using this tool, you can search through the information on the history of reading and publishing.
    4. AllReaders: See what kind of reviews books you admire got with this search engine.
    5. BookFinder: No matter what book you’re looking for you’re bound to find it here.
    6. ReadPrint: Search through this site for access to thousands of free books.
    7. Google Book Search: Search through the content of thousands upon thousands of books here, some of which is free to use.
    8. Indie Store Finder: If you want to support the little guy, this tool makes it simple to find an independent bookseller in your neck of the woods.

    Blogging

    For web writing, these tools can be a big help.

    1. Technorati: This site makes it possible to search through millions of blogs for both larger topics and individual posts.
    2. Google Blog Search: Using this specialized Google search engine, you can search through the content of blogs all over the web.
    3. Domain Search: Looking for a place to start your own blog? This search tool will let you know what’s out there.
    4. OpinMind: Try out this blog search tool to find opinion focused blogs.
    5. IceRocket: Here you’ll find a real-time blog search engine so you’ll get the latest news and posts out there.
    6. PubSub: This search tool scours sites like Twitter and Friendfeed to find the topics people are talking about most every day.

    (Source: writingadvice)

     
  9. Quite honestly the thing that interests me the most about her relationships with Gale and Peeta is that they’re completely organic to the situations. That in the beginning of Catching Fire, she wants to forget her time in the games and go on with her regular life, which means she will be pushing herself away from Peeta because he’s a reminder of the Games, and growing closer to her childhood friend Gale because he reminds her of home. But when she’s thrown back into the Games, she’s pulled away from Gale and pushed back towards Peeta, because she finds comfort in him having shared the trauma of the Games. But I never, for one minute, think that she sits around debating who she likes better.
    She doesn’t have time for it.
    — francis lawrence, the he-fucking-gets-it director for mockingjay and catching fire (via jerichoes)
     
  10. summerscourtney:

My books usually come from a place where I’m trying to explore and/or challenge the socially ingrained ideas and expectations we have of girls.  They’re a response to the anger I feel about double standards in fiction, the way girl narratives are subtlely and overtly dismissed, how we penalize girl characters for either being too much of a girl or not enough of one, and the many questions I have surrounding all of this.  I write my books with more questions than I have answers for, if I have any, but to me, that’s the point. One of the things I do while I work on a book is I’ll try to anticipate its reception.  Will it be embraced?  Rejected?  That’s something completely out of my control and I’m happy to leave it there, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t something I think about.  Love my work or hate my work, it’s all good.  Mostly, as a female writer, writing female narratives from a place that wants to challenge and explore, I wonder how certain elements in my novels are going to be received based on the gender of my main characters.   Most of my readers know I wrote CRACKED UP TO BE because the book I’d tried to get published before it got rejections highlighting the unlikability of its main character as The Issue—as if a girl can’t be unlikable and still lead the way.  This remains one of its biggest problems for some of the people who have contacted me about it;  they express disappointment when they discover Parker’s story is about a Mean Girl Who Falls from Grace and Gets Meaner, as opposed to a Nice Girl Who Falls from Grace and Finds Her Way Back to Niceness.  Some people really struggled and are very uncomfortable with the concept of a girl being more than sugar and spice at any given moment.SOME GIRLS ARE is about girl-bullying and how girls internalize and externalize violence.  I was told girls do not behave the way I was writing them and I’m still told this.  Too extreme, too unladylike.  Even in the wake of more and more news stories about girls being bullied to death by other girls.  Both Regina (from SOME GIRLS ARE) and Parker have been accused of not being “good enough” for the male characters who express romantic interest in them.  This sentiment followed me to FALL FOR ANYTHING, a book about a girl trying to find the answer to her father’s suicide.  I got an email telling me Eddie was too selfish in her grief, thus making her less worthy of the male love interest.THIS IS NOT A TEST is probably my least criticized book in a way I can draw these kinds of lines, but I’ve seen Sloane, who suffers from PTSD related to a lifetime of abuse at her father’s hands, accused of being whiny and why can’t she get over it or better yet, kill herself already?  And while that might not be related to her gender and could have everything to do with my execution, it’s hard not to wonder how her trauma would be received had she been a boy.There are some people who need to see a girl a certain way and if she is remotely outside of that box, they dislike it.  The general worthiness of a female protagonist as a love interest is a biggie—male characters can be cold, flawed, and present behaviors bordering on abusive (emotionally and physically) without ever compromising their potential as a love interest.  Girls who experience trauma are often dismissed as melodramatic, though a traumatic past will often add to the mystery and desirability of a male character.  These particular responses are not really surprising.  You can find them in just about anything that features a female protagonist—movies, television, books.  The response that broke my heart, though, was this one.  Before CRACKED UP TO BE was released and ARCs started rolling out, a person in publishing shared their thoughts of it and left me sucker-punched enough that I never forgot it.  The person had issues with the writing and characters (fair enough!), but wound up their take by suggesting YA fiction already had a book about a girl who was dealing with rape so why did we need another?
Yeah.
It’s amazing how many different ways you will hear this kind of sentiment leaving the mouths of a disappointing amount of people.  Another book about a girl falling in love.  Another book about a girl with trauma.  Another book about mean girls.  Oh no not another book about a girl that is breathing and alive and on and on and on.  Why write them?  When is enough enough with these girl stories?  I think I was ready for just about anything in terms of push-back relating to the questions I hoped my work was asking about gender expectations and stereotypes relating to girls, but I was not prepared to hear those questions weren’t worth asking in the first place.
If you follow me on Twitter, maybe you’ve seen my recent Twitter rants about girl characters and the expectations surrounding them (here, here, here, here, here, and here).  It’s all been on my mind lately, because ALL THE RAGE, the book I’m working on now, is about rape and rape culture and violence against women.  This is obviously a subject I have approached before in my work, but it’s one I have so many questions about and so I keep coming back to it.I got this wonderful email from a reader a little bit ago.  The subject line was, When I read your books, its like reading my life.  I have printed out and saved a comment that showed up on Angie Manfredi’s review of SOME GIRLS ARE:  Nobody gives a shit . They never will. This is what really goes on. This is my life.  I get messages like these in my Ask Box.  
I think about all the ways a girl can be devalued in fiction and in life, because she is a girl.  I think about that years-old review of CRACKED UP TO BE, that, whether consciously or unconsciously, implied it would have rather had no story than another story about a girl. 
I wonder what would have happened if I had taken it to heart.  I think of all these readers, most of them girls, who have reached out to me because they’ve connected with the girls in my novels.  These girls often tell me they are writers, they have stories of their own.  The world being what it is right now, there is no doubt in my mind those girls will come across similar sentiments to the ones I’ve experienced and shared with you here.  What if they take them to heart?
And that’s the question I’m asking now.
Except I already know the answer.

    summerscourtney:

    My books usually come from a place where I’m trying to explore and/or challenge the socially ingrained ideas and expectations we have of girls.  They’re a response to the anger I feel about double standards in fiction, the way girl narratives are subtlely and overtly dismissed, how we penalize girl characters for either being too much of a girl or not enough of one, and the many questions I have surrounding all of this.  I write my books with more questions than I have answers for, if I have any, but to me, that’s the point.

    One of the things I do while I work on a book is I’ll try to anticipate its reception.  Will it be embraced?  Rejected?  That’s something completely out of my control and I’m happy to leave it there, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t something I think about.  Love my work or hate my work, it’s all good.  Mostly, as a female writer, writing female narratives from a place that wants to challenge and explore, I wonder how certain elements in my novels are going to be received based on the gender of my main characters.   

    Most of my readers know I wrote CRACKED UP TO BE because the book I’d tried to get published before it got rejections highlighting the unlikability of its main character as The Issue—as if a girl can’t be unlikable and still lead the way.  This remains one of its biggest problems for some of the people who have contacted me about it;  they express disappointment when they discover Parker’s story is about a Mean Girl Who Falls from Grace and Gets Meaner, as opposed to a Nice Girl Who Falls from Grace and Finds Her Way Back to Niceness.  Some people really struggled and are very uncomfortable with the concept of a girl being more than sugar and spice at any given moment.

    SOME GIRLS ARE is about girl-bullying and how girls internalize and externalize violence.  I was told girls do not behave the way I was writing them and I’m still told this.  Too extreme, too unladylike.  Even in the wake of more and more news stories about girls being bullied to death by other girls.  Both Regina (from SOME GIRLS ARE) and Parker have been accused of not being “good enough” for the male characters who express romantic interest in them.  This sentiment followed me to FALL FOR ANYTHING, a book about a girl trying to find the answer to her father’s suicide.  I got an email telling me Eddie was too selfish in her grief, thus making her less worthy of the male love interest.

    THIS IS NOT A TEST is probably my least criticized book in a way I can draw these kinds of lines, but I’ve seen Sloane, who suffers from PTSD related to a lifetime of abuse at her father’s hands, accused of being whiny and why can’t she get over it or better yet, kill herself already?  And while that might not be related to her gender and could have everything to do with my execution, it’s hard not to wonder how her trauma would be received had she been a boy.

    There are some people who need to see a girl a certain way and if she is remotely outside of that box, they dislike it.  The general worthiness of a female protagonist as a love interest is a biggie—male characters can be cold, flawed, and present behaviors bordering on abusive (emotionally and physically) without ever compromising their potential as a love interest.  Girls who experience trauma are often dismissed as melodramatic, though a traumatic past will often add to the mystery and desirability of a male character.  These particular responses are not really surprising.  You can find them in just about anything that features a female protagonist—movies, television, books. 

    The response that broke my heart, though, was this one.  Before CRACKED UP TO BE was released and ARCs started rolling out, a person in publishing shared their thoughts of it and left me sucker-punched enough that I never forgot it.  The person had issues with the writing and characters (fair enough!), but wound up their take by suggesting YA fiction already had a book about a girl who was dealing with rape so why did we need another?

    Yeah.

    It’s amazing how many different ways you will hear this kind of sentiment leaving the mouths of a disappointing amount of people.  Another book about a girl falling in love.  Another book about a girl with trauma.  Another book about mean girls.  Oh no not another book about a girl that is breathing and alive and on and on and on.  Why write them?  When is enough enough with these girl stories?  I think I was ready for just about anything in terms of push-back relating to the questions I hoped my work was asking about gender expectations and stereotypes relating to girls, but I was not prepared to hear those questions weren’t worth asking in the first place.

    If you follow me on Twitter, maybe you’ve seen my recent Twitter rants about girl characters and the expectations surrounding them (here, here, here, here, here, and here).  It’s all been on my mind lately, because ALL THE RAGE, the book I’m working on now, is about rape and rape culture and violence against women.  This is obviously a subject I have approached before in my work, but it’s one I have so many questions about and so I keep coming back to it.

    I got this wonderful email from a reader a little bit ago.  The subject line was, When I read your books, its like reading my life.  I have printed out and saved a comment that showed up on Angie Manfredi’s review of SOME GIRLS ARENobody gives a shit . They never will. This is what really goes on. This is my life.  I get messages like these in my Ask Box.  

    I think about all the ways a girl can be devalued in fiction and in life, because she is a girl.  I think about that years-old review of CRACKED UP TO BE, that, whether consciously or unconsciously, implied it would have rather had no story than another story about a girl. 

    I wonder what would have happened if I had taken it to heart.  I think of all these readers, most of them girls, who have reached out to me because they’ve connected with the girls in my novels.  These girls often tell me they are writers, they have stories of their own.  The world being what it is right now, there is no doubt in my mind those girls will come across similar sentiments to the ones I’ve experienced and shared with you here.  What if they take them to heart?

    And that’s the question I’m asking now.

    Except I already know the answer.