Saturday, July 13, 2013

Wewriwa 07-14-2013 - Being vulnerable

Welcome back everyone. It's Sunday, again. Which means another snippet from my paranormal romance in progress, Eternity's Price. My poor little idiots have been on quite a roller coaster the past few weeks, and it doesn't seem to be getting easier quite yet. There is probably going to be another scene in between last week's and this week's - but since I haven't WRITTEN it yet, I obviously need to skip it for now.

This is from the next night, after the concert from Hades that resulted in them breaking up. Catie has gone to the arcade to "beat the crap out of the poor little plastic moles" in the Wac-A-Mole game. Eli has tracked her down and is trying to get her to talk to him. She's still hurting a LOT, though, which is causing him to just pour his heart out to her - in the middle of the arcade. This is part of one of his speeches.

"My previous girlfriend died, not three weeks ago. And I turned to you in my pain, and I found you standing there. For the first time in my life, I turned to find someone waiting for me to talk to them. It scared the life out of me. I have been alone most of my life and I have never been so terrified as I was at that moment. I have never been so vulnerable as I am being right now. The whole concept scares me. I don't know what to do or how to do it."

Aww... Talk about someone laying their heart out on the line. The question is: will Catie take him back? I guess you're just going to have to come back next week to find out. ;) In the meantime, check out all the other great writers over at

And finally a little musical inspiration. Here's the song I was listening to while writing this scene:

P.S. For some reason youtube doesn't seem to have the actual Garth Brooks version of this song. Slightly annoying, but this version is decent - even though it's not ACTUALLY what I was listening to...

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Wewriwa 07-07-2013 - Nothing more she could do

Welcome back, everyone. Well, it's Sunday, again. And that means another snippet from my paranormal romance Eternity's Price. Two weeks ago, we watched my vampire couple, Eli and Catie break up over Eli really just not being emotionally ready for a relationship. Last week, we saw some of Eli's reaction to the break-up.

This week, we'll see Catie's. This is actually happening at about the same time as last week's post. Maybe even a little before it since it's earlier in Catie's scene than last week's had been in Eli's. She's trying to figure out what went so wrong between their first couple nights as a couple and now. Her own insecurities have gotten the better of her and she'd thinking that maybe he just never really loved her, or wanted her. And here are some of her thoughts on that:

That fear was what had kept her from looking inside his head that second night, the fear that she wouldn't like what she saw. 

Which was stupid, really; what was her own pain compared to his? Except... he had said that he needed that. So, even if it wasn't really what he wanted in the end, at least she had been able to give him something when he needed it. She turned around, leaning against the door and then slumped down to sit on the floor, drawing her knees up to her chest. She considered trying to reach out to him, but then changed her mind. Feeling his pain would do nothing but make her feel worse. There was nothing more she could do for him.

Poor girl. I kind of hate seeing her feeling so helpless and useless. Come back next week where we'll pick up... technically later that day, but the next night. (I have officially decided that time phrases are the bane of people who write about vampires. Since the date changes over in the middle of their "day" things get confusing when you're talking about right after the sun goes down again when it's already after midnight.) In the meantime, don't forget to check out the other great writers over at

And finally, the song I was listening to for this scene. This one is once again in Italian - but I think it may be the last of them.

Friday, July 5, 2013

The Bechdel test

So, an online writing group got into a discussion about the Bechdel test, which is supposed to "identify gender bias in fiction." For those of you that haven't heard of it, here's how it works: A work passes the test if it features at least two named female characters who talk to each other about something other than a man.

Now, on the surface, that sounds like a good thing, a benchmark to try to hit. And yet, if you think about it, it is at once over-broad and limiting. And I'm going to use my own work in progress, Eternity's Price to demonstrate why I say that. For the record, it DOES pass the test - however, as you'll see, it passing this test is also NOT what makes it not gender biased (which from here on out, I will be referring to as sexism, since I think that's what the test is supposed to be about.)

So, I'm going to start with some of the scenes that are NOT part of why it passes this test:

On two separate occasions Catie stands up, looks a man that can kill her with little more than a thought in the eye (and on one of those occasions, the man in question has not only the physical ability to kill her but the legal right to do so, and on the other the man has already shown that he is not above killing to get what he wants) and basically told them to go fuck themselves. But because she was talking to a man, neither of those scenes make the book pass the test.

She goes off on one of the younger members of her Clan about his impulsiveness. Giving him a solid tongue-thrashing, and is essentially acting as Eli's second-in-command in Clan politics. But because she's talking to a man, it doesn't count.

She and two other women plot serious bodily harm to the father of the youngest girl's child. One thing to keep in mind is that this man is a werewolf. So, nearly as strong as a vampire, but without the biggest obvious weakness. But because they were talking about a man, it doesn't count.

The young girl in the previous example happens to be under the protection of one of Catie's (male) friends, and is worried that when he finds out that she's pregnant he'll make her lose the baby - and then make her forget that she was ever pregnant. Catie's response? "He'll have to answer to me if he does - and trust me, he does NOT want to have to answer to me for that." The older woman replied "He'll only answer to you if there's anything left of him after he's done answering to ME." But because they're talking about a man, it doesn't count.

I could go on and on. Examples of her strength, courage, intelligence, conviction, leadership ability. All extremely positive qualities, and all qualities usually associated with men. But because men were involved in these conversations in some way - they don't count in this test for sexism.

So, what DOES make it pass the test?

A conversation with another woman about the uses of stilletto heels as a weapon - which was really as much for Eli's benefit as anything else.

A shopping trip where she and a friend are looking for dresses. This is probably actually the most sexist scene in the entire book - but because they're talking about clothes instead of men, it passes the test.

There are others. The two examples I gave about the pregnant girl both followed a discussion about what the girl planned to do about her pregnancy. Catie was also acting as her doctor, since carrying a werewolf baby she couldn't really go to a conventional doctor and being under the protection of a vampire made the werewolves' territory off limits to her, so there were the medical exams and such. Probably others that I can't think of off the top of my head.

But what I found amusing is that in a test for sexism - the most sexist scene in the whole book passes, but scenes of women standing up to men don't. I get it as simply a way to get writers to think about their characters and the way they're portrayed. But taken by itself, at face value, it is extremely flawed. Why is a discussion about clothes and make-up less sexist than a woman telling a man to go fuck himself? Or her taking charge of a situation? Why is a woman acting as a man's SUPERIOR sexist, but giggling over clothes isn't?

What are your thoughts on this?