Marissa Lingen (mrissa) wrote,
Marissa Lingen
mrissa

Um, eww.

I get a medal for being the best homeowner/wife/puppymom in the world today: Ista was playing with a dead gopher in the yard, and I disposed of it.

With its viscera coming out of its nearly-severed neck and its wee little paws all curled.

*SHUDDER*

timprov is not yet up (for those of you coming late to this party: sleep disorders), but I reminded markgritter that if we'd been born a couple of generations earlier, there would have been no question that disposing of dead things in the yard was his job. He was, to borrow the phrase I usually apply to myself, glad to be living in the future.

We're getting the doglet some Listerine.

*SHUDDER*

In happier news, it has been a reading day, mostly, as I am Taking It Easy and not supposed to be working on Sampo on my days off. So I finished Mind of the Raven (and you're a good enabler, pameladean) and a YA anthology called What a Song Can Do. I got it for free and will be passing it on, and for awhile I was theorizing that only people represented by three-letter acronyms on my friendslist should edit YA anthologies. Then I thought of Jane Yolen and the Datlow/Windling projects as well as sdn and pnh, so that theory is out the window. Still, it was all the worst things about bad mainstream YA, condensed down without any of the redeeming bits: MESSAGE! Messagey messagey message! And social relevance! And also some more message! And it was About Muuuuuusic. This is right up there with being About Jeeeeeesus for things I approve of making awful messages. (It's all the vowels, is what.) Stories about music and musicians? Fine, good, cool. Stories that are really trying to have an Uplifting Message About Song? Pfffft.

Then, with some trepidation, I read Charles de Lint's Wolf Moon. ksumnersmith and I have had several conversations about What Is Wrong With Recent De Lint*, but this one was a reprint. And in some ways it was more frustrating: he showed that he knew how to write books without the same twitches. In this one, the bard was Bad News (this is a spoiler from approximately page 5). Nobody else was a Creative Artistic Type, and there was absolutely no wallowing in the magical goodness of Art. So he can do it. So I wish he would. In -- what was it, The Wild Wood? -- one of those, anyway, he was talking about an artist in a rut and what she needed to do to get out, and I thought, well, she could read her own book. And guess that maybe crows and artists in funky clothing were about played out by now, maybe?

But still: one more decent, readable de Lint (with a few twitchy prose moments, but still) is better than none. And I really liked the buxom barmaid who was an actual effective character, and I would have liked her even more when I was first becoming, er, buxom. At that age, I kept running into Marion Zimmer Bradley and Mercedes Lackey going on and on and freakin' on about how it was okay to be a late-bloomer, and the plucky adventurous late-bloomers were going to outshine everybody and la la la go late blooming. And the girls who had big tits always came to a boring end. And I read them and thought, well, screw you, then. It's not like you acquire secondary sex characteristics by focusing on them to the exclusion of other things; it's not like I was a GURPS character who spent ten points on boobs and so didn't get horseback riding. By the time I found Suzy McKee Charnas's "Boobs" when I was 14, it almost made me cry for having a cool early-bloomer heroine whose adults were saying the same stupid things adults said to me, and who got to KICK SCRATCH BITE RIP TEAR SHRED *ahem* be the heroine. If I was not from the Upper Midwest, I still probably would have fallen upon suzych's bosom weeping in gratitude last year when I saw her on the elevator in Boston, and that was twelve years after reading the story.

All those visceral 11-and-12-year-old reactions come back now when I come upon slogans like "real women have curves." I know where people are coming from on this, really I do, but 1) skinny girls can have curves -- you can ask the people who've met me, they'll tell you and 2) flat-chested narrow-hipped women are real, too, dammit. It's a big, bad mistake to look at an incorrect overgeneralization and decide that reversing it is the way to make it all better. Not everyone has to be shaped a certain way, no matter what way that is. If you have a 12-year-old with DD boobs, buy her a sports bra before she goes off to slay the dragon, and move on with the story.

(And for the love of Pete, please don't write a story prominantly featuring the heroine going shopping for a sports bra with her mom before slaying the dragon, because -- well, I won't say it's impossible, but it certainly doesn't look easy to pull off as anything but lame. At least don't blame me if you try and fail.)

I think this is one of those situations where it was lucky that I recognized early on that authors were people like me only, I thought at the time, sadly less competent, because I didn't internalize that I was incapable of kicking butt, I just decided that lots of authors were going to be stupid about it. Which is, on the whole, much less destructive. (I don't think I've met any authors yet who seem dubious about my butt-kicking abilities. Certainly none who have seemed to need me to verbally demonstrate. So that's good, I guess. Writers aren't like clergy, is what I'm saying; I don't have to knock them on their butts first to get anywhere in conversation. Not that all clergy is like that, but too many of them make faces like fishes when a twenty-something layperson with tits knows words like "adiaphora" and uses them in conversation.)

Ahem. Right. So I finished the de Lint, and now I'm reading O'Brian's The Truelove. The end of this series is coming up so fast I can smell it from here, and unless O'Brian turns out to be undead, there won't be more. Sigh. Somebody wrote the Zombie Francis Crawford of Lymond; won't somebody write me the Zombie Maturin? (Clearly not the Zombie Jack Aubrey. Poor sad Zombie Jack Aubrey.)

*I haven't read The Blue Girl, so it is excluded from this gripe.
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