- Love, color, and blindness – It seems like a bunch of “love is blind” posts made the rounds recently, and Sunita weighs in with where they fall down for her.
Color doesn’t play the same role in every person’s life, so it obviously isn’t going to play the same role in every relationship. But society doesn’t let minority people forget their color even if they want to. The reality for minorities is that everyone’s skin color provides a social cue, whereas majorities don’t think of their own skin color as providing social cues at all. Maybe the desire to emphasize the “love sees no color” condition comes from a wish that we could all have the freedom not to notice. But that’s not the reality. And the color-blind fantasy takes away not just what is difficult in our lives but what is good and wonderful. I like who I am. All of it. The bad experiences made me as much as the good. I’m OK with that and that’s the reality I want to see in my romances.
- Marieke Nijkamp: The Trope of Curing Disability – A good post about the Throwing Off the Disability trope, using The Secret Garden as an example. It got me thinking about the Beauty and the Beast trope in romance and how having the disabled/scarred hero change a bad attitude to better fit with society is in this tradition.
Now in Colin’s case, it might be argued that he was never disabled at all, just weakened and made ill, but to me, it felt like a betrayal. Again. He wasn’t the first character I met who overcame his hardships and was miraculously cured, and he wouldn’t be the last one either. In fact, for disabled characters, being cured is a common trope. What’s more, in most of these narratives, classics as well as recent kidlit, the characters are cured because they’re better than they were at the start of the book: kinder, gentler, braver. And finally, finally, they’re normal and whole.
And quite frankly, that trope needs to GTFO.
- Really? Quality, Craft, and Reader Expectations – Author Tamara Hogan talks about reading and judging books for the Rita award and how self-published works compare rather poorly with their traditionally published counterparts when it comes to editing and formatting.
How many points do you award “The Writing” when the book features beautifully descriptive language, deep and authentic POV work, evocative love scenes…yet contains dozens of grammar and spelling mistakes? When an author uses some of the most original metaphors and similes you’ve ever read, but the book is riddled with text formatting errors?
I hold such a book in my hands, and it’s breaking my heart.
- There’s a Place for Us, Just Not the Kitchen – This NYT article talks about unbelievable movie sex, and it seemed relevant to our interests as romance readers.
It was about a form of movie sex I think of as the Countertop Heave: The leading man, too passionate to wait or perhaps hoping to grab a snack afterward, lifts the lady he desires onto a kitchen countertop and does the deed there. I know, from years of being on the home-design beat, that Americans are crazy about their kitchens, particularly if there’s been a recent renovation. But I also know that the standard floor-to-countertop height is 36 inches.
You would have to be a pro basketball player to consummate. You would also have to make room, swatting the Hurom juicer and smoothie maker and the Jura cappuccino machine to the floor and risking breakage. And believe me, the people who have this stuff would rather give up sex.
- Rage Doesn’t Exist in a Vacuum, or: Understanding the Complex Continuum of Internet Butt-Hurt* – Author Kameron Hurley responds to the latest SFF debacle – which Natalie Luhrs details in this post – with a spirited defense of anger and a pointed dismissal of certain men’s “weariness” at all the outrage.
My specialization is in the history of revolutionary movements, and let me tell you, folks – being nice and holding hands didn’t get shit done. Or sure, it was one tactic. But never the only tactic. I wish a nice circle jerk got shit done as much as the next person, but if it were so, history would look much, much different.
Change is messy. It’s angry. It’s uncomfortable. It’s full of angry people saying angry things, because they’ve been disrespected and forgotten again and again and again and again, and they’re tired of being fucking nice because it makes you uncomfortable if they act in any way that is not deferential or subservient to you and your worldview.
- Animal Rescue Questionnaire: Are You Good Enough To Save This Dog? – Shelters near me here in Boston rarely have dogs to adopt, so if you want a dog and want to avoid a pet store, you kind of need to work with a rescue organization that ships dogs up from the South. This parody of rescue applications is almost indistinguishable from the real thing. I despair of ever managing to adopt a dog.
By completing this questionnaire, you help us in determining whether you and your family are indeed ready for pet guardianship, and if the animal (fur human) you are interested in would suit your (almost certainly unsatisfactory) lifestyle. Should you agree that adopting a pet is a commitment throughout this lifetime (and any afterlives, depending on your pet’s personal spiritual beliefs which are entirely valid and not to be criticized) of your companion animal, please fill out this questionnaire.
*We find the term “adopts” problematic as it reinforces an owner/owned, parent/pet, human/animal, master/subaltern dynamic and reject it in favor of less loaded terms like “co-reside,” “engage on this journey of life together,” or “mutual existence”
*The word “animal” is an act of violence and corporate fascism
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An ice hockey fan from north of Boston and the genre's most beloved troll, Ridley enjoys reading contemporary and historical romance, as well as the odd erotica novel. As someone who uses a wheelchair, she takes a particular interest in disability themes.
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