When the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry chose the theme of “Sex” for their latest OMSI After Dark event, I suppose it was only natural for them to think of the Rose City Romance Writers. (Thanks for inviting us, OMSI!) Although I admit, their request that we make our contribution “interactive” made me blush becomingly.
Regardless, I’ll be there tonight along with a contingent of my fellow romance authors including Nancy Brophy, Jenna Bayley-Burke, Linda Mercury, and Heidi Joy Tretheway doing our romance author song ‘n’ dance for a hopefully curious, adult-beverage imbibing museum crowd. In addition to some show and tell — heh heh — we have a quick sex quiz (sex shouldn’t always be quick, but quizzes should be) and a giveaway bag o’ books.
If you want to play along from home (although wouldn’t you rather be with us, imbibing adult beverages?) click on the quiz board to see the questions larger and answer in the comments section. Then sign up for my newsletter. I’ll be choosing a winner from my newsletter readers so if you already get it, no need to sign up again.
We hope to be back for OMSI After Dark’s May event — “Guilty Pleasures”. Assuming we don’t get 86′d for our wanton ways
Here’s the last tease from MATED BY MOONLIGHT. Now that the story is loose upon the world, I have to let it go and let it be what it will be. Good luck, werelings! Try not to bite anyone who doesn’t deserve it
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[Note: This is just MY perspective, of course, my eyes being the only ones I actually have the rights to. I don't represent all women or all women writers or all romance-writing women. But I do like to pretend I have other eyes sometimes.]
I’m fortunate I haven’t had to deal with much sexism in my life. I’ve experienced the occasional flasher, butt-grabber, catcaller, personal-space invader, and uncomfortably pushy date. But I’ve never dealt with something so bad or so pervasive that I felt the need to blame, fear or confront “men” as opposed to “that man.”
Which in some ways makes me feel even worse when I see what other women — women who are in many ways like me: writers, lovers of fantasy, players in imaginary worlds — are facing.
If you’ve missed the outrages lately — beyond, ya know, the usual background simmer of “fake” gamer girls, the war on women, rape culture, etc. — these posts will bring you up to speed: Jess Haine’s and Jim C. Hines‘ recaps; Ann Aguirre‘s run-ins with unconscionable misogyny; and — particularly relevant if you are a member of Science Fiction Writers of America or could be — Amal El-Mohtar’s call for specific action.
[Note #2: The outrages go beyond sexism to racism and other -isms, but for certain fish-belly reasons, the anti-female sentiment is more within my scope. Read N.K. Jemisin's transcript for a better understanding of the racism aspect.]
I’ve always had strong and supportive writing communities around me. My teachers – male and female – in grade school and high school were unfailingly positive about my writing. My college newspaper where I worked had a good mix of genders, and the editor was a woman. In my first newspaper job out of college, I was assigned to the “living” section — a beat often assigned to a female — but I was also made assistant editor of the AP wire stories. (Remember stories “coming over the wire”? Yeah, that was a long time ago.) On my second newspaper job, I was the only woman beside the secretary… and never gave it a second thought, nor did my male colleagues.
Joining Romance Writers of America has been equally positive. Yes, RWA is mostly women, so I suppose sexism is bound to be less of an issue, but I’ve always found the men in the group to be shining examples of writerly humanity: funny, smart, open, curious, civil, inclusive.
I almost can’t (don’t want to) believe some of what I read in the experiences of fellow writers — women writers, writers like me — in other genres from their own peers.
Yet I know it’s true. And it hurts me in the same place from where I draw my stories, from this bone-deep conviction that people — all people, surely — want to connect, to grow, to love. I don’t just WRITE about heroes and heroines learning from each other’s strengths and weaknesses and becoming synergistically more than what they were alone, I BELIEVE that is what will make our world a better place.
Some of what’s out there is “just” depressing or disturbing, but to find real-life bad guys who choose to isolate, hate and destroy… I know the warrior women in the links above are more than a match for the villains facing them, and I’ve seen there are good guys (emphasis on the guy part here) ready to speak against the misogyny as well. I hope young writers like I used to be won’t see this uproar and think the writing world is all dystopian chaos and lit fic-style angst. Maybe it’s my romance-issue rose-colored glasses, but I have hope this ugliness is part of a turning point (a writing term for an event of high drama which sends the action in a new direction) that will eventually lead us to our happy ending, unified and all the stronger for that togetherness.
No doubt it will take us many more words to get there, but that’s as good a reason as any to keep writing.