- This Month in Multicultural Romance – Alyssa Cole is at Romance at Random with mini-reviews for a half-dozen novellas that feature POC protagonists.
Just about everyone I know has been crazy busy lately. Whether it’s dealing with work, family, weddings, or new additions to the family, time seems to be a precious commodity lately. But just because you’re swamped doesn’t mean you have to stop reading. Here are a few multicultural novellas that sate your craving for a well-told romance without the commitment of a full-length book.
- Discussion #7: Warning Flags and Turn-Offs – This post at Disability in KidLit is a great collection of things to avoid when writing about disability, especially when writing jacket copy.
What kinds of words, phrases, or situations used in book or character descriptions send up warning flags for you? We’re thinking of clichés, ableist language–anything related to disability that may be a turn-off.
s.e. smith: Well, magical cure narratives, obviously. But if I’m casually looking at jacket copy, things I tend to look out for are ‘despite her disability’ or ‘overcoming adversity’ or ‘brilliant but [disabled]‘ or something along those lines, where characters are separated out from their disabilities. I’m also leery of anything that talks about disabled characters as inspirational, courageous, or amazing just because they’re disabled. Language like ‘wheelchair bound’ also makes me very uncomfortable, as it suggests the publisher isn’t in tune with disabled people, and that the target market for the book is nondisabled people, not people like me.
- Nordstrom’s Features Wheelchair-Bound Model in New Campaign – Everything about the headline and lead paragraph is straight out of How Not To Write About Disability (which I had a nice chat about with the author last night) but I’ve always liked Mercado and I’m happy to see her in the spotlight.
Nordstrom’s anniversary sale can often be enough to create some buzz around the Seattle-based retailer, but this time, one of their models is coming close to trumping the news. Wheelchair-bound blogger and editor Jillian Mercado is one of the faces of the July 2014 catalog. The 26-year-old Fashion Institute of Technology grad, who suffers from muscular dystrophy, is featured wearing a black leather jacket with Aquatalia by Marvin K moto boots and a spiky lavender-hued shag.
- Prosecutors dismiss charges against Shanesha Taylor – While I don’t agree with forcing her to participate in a “diversion program”, I am super glad to hear the charges have been dropped and that she can be reunited with her children. I hope things look up for her from here on.
The job-seeking Phoenix mother whose tearful mugshot spawned worldwide support after she was arrested for leaving her children in the car in Scottsdale will have her case dismissed if she successfully completes a diversion program, according to a statement from the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.
Shanesha Taylor was arrested in March after police said she left her children in her Dodge Durango for 45 minutes while in a Farmers Insurance office in Scottsdale. Taylor told police she was jobless, without child care that day and had occasionally been homeless.
- I Don’t Care If You Like It – Rebecca Traister goes in on the idea that women should be grateful for male approval or that their attention legitimizes what women have been doing.
Last week, I got into a fight on Twitter with New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait, whose work I respect, and it wasn’t about anything that either of us had written; rather, we were tussling over the merits of a piece written by Tom Junod, for Esquire, about how today’s 42-year-old women are hotter than ever before.
There’s no need to linger over our differences: I thought the article was a piece of sexist tripe, celebrating a handful of Pilates-toned, famous, white-plus-Maya-Rudolph women as having improved on the apparently dismal aesthetics of previous generations; my primary objections to the piece have been ably laid out by other critics. Chait tweeted that he viewed the piece as a “mostly laudable” sign of progress: a critique not of earlier iterations of 42-year-old womanhood, but rather of the old sexist beauty standards that did not celebrate those women; he saw it as an acknowledgment of maturing male attitudes toward women’s value.
- Lowe’s Employees Decided To Fix This Veteran’s Wheelchair After The VA Wouldn’t – I’m really not surprised by this story at all. Cheap-ass insurers do the least they can get away with and random people fall over themselves to try to help when they see with their own eyes someone who needs help. Disability is a societal problem, not an individual one. At least the VA was shamed into sending him a new chair.
On the evening of July 7, my wheelchair fell apart again, while shopping at Lowe’s Home Improvement Center in on Forest Avenue in Mariners Harbor.
Three employees, David, Marcus and Souleyman jumped to my assistance immediately. They placed me in another chair while they went to work. They took the wheelchair apart and replaced the broken parts and told me, “We’re going to make this chair like new.”
I left 45 minutes after closing hours in my wheelchair that was like new.
I kept thanking them and all they could say was, “It was our honor.”
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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.