- You Never Forget Your First – I love these posts about the first romance novel people read. Mine was Gayle Callen’s Never Dare a Duke, which was full of every trope I’d DNF a book for now but completely entertained me at the time. It had a Nathan Kamp cover and everything.
Recently, I found that the first romance novel I had ever read had been released on the Kindle and knew I needed to give it another chance. Revisiting the book that got me into the romance genre made me wanted what book it was that captured the attention of my fellow reviewers. So I asked them to share what was the first romance they read.
The results, shown below, were pretty interesting. There seem to be two standouts for first loves, as far as books go. Many were turned on to the idea of romantic novels by classics such as Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre. It should be no surprise to anyone that the sexy Mr. Darcy and complicated Mr. Rochester piqued our romantic interest. Among the genre romances, Harlequin was the jumping off point for quite a few. Since Harlequin has become so synonymous with romance, that only seems fitting. Authors like Rosemary Rogers, Kathleen Woodiwiss, and Heather Graham were other popular firsts. It also seemed like, overwhelmingly, we all got started on our romance habits pretty young.
- It’s OK to admit that H.P. Lovecraft was racist – Poor white men. Everyone’s coming for their idols and pointing out the oppressive ideas in their favorite works.
The World Fantasy Awards, presented at the World Fantasy Convention every fall, have been around for almost 40 years. The trophy for such categories as Novel, Short Fiction and Anthology is a caricatured bust of H.P. Lovecraft, author of such classics of weird fiction as “At the Mountains of Madness” and “The Call of Cthulhu.” Lovecraft is a beloved figure in pop culture, and an influence on everyone from the Argentinian metafictionist Jorge Luis Borges to the film director Guillermo del Toro, as well as untold numbers of rock bands and game designers.
But not everyone who wins a “Howard” likes the idea of keeping Lovecraft’s face around the house. Nnedi Okorafor, who won the WFA for best novel in 2011 (“Who Fears Death”), wrote a blog post about her discomfort with the trophy after a friend showed her a racist poem that Lovecraft wrote in 1912. Enough dissatisfaction has accumulated to inspire another writer, Daniel Jose Older, to petition the WFA’s administrators to change the award to a bust of the late Octavia Butler, an African-American author more commonly identified with science fiction.
- Mother and daughter with dyspraxia offer help on video – If not for YouTube videos by a quad guy, I would’ve had a lot more trouble figuring out how to do things like open and close doors when I first got my chair. Occupational therapists have their place, but a lot of the work of adapting to disability comes from us helping each other over the internet. It’s a wonderful time to be alive.
A mother and daughter with dyspraxia have been making friendly, informal videos to help those who share their condition.
Kerry Pace loves gardening and dancing. She runs a company that helps disabled students who find regular learning methods difficult, mentoring them over Skype on time management and organisation.
Kerry’s daughter, 17-year-old Phoebe Pace, loves baking, craft and her Staffordshire bull terrier. She’s currently studying for her A-levels and recently started a blog about how she tackled overwhelming anxiety.
They both have dyspraxia, a common disorder which affects motor co-ordination. It can make activities such as writing or riding a bike difficult, and can cause problems with language, perception and thought.
In their spare time the mother and daughter from Hornsea in East Yorkshire make chatty video blogs full of helpful ideas for others with dyspraxia – from sleep advice to tips on how to use a toothbrush, all based on their personal and professional experience.
- A Woman Told Her Boss About A Devastating Cancer Diagnosis. He Responded By Firing Her. – The sheer dickery of this letter is amazing. “I’m firing you expressly because you have cancer, but I’ll be thinking of you.” Meanwhile, his lawyer is drinking whiskey by the pint thinking of the upcoming lawsuit.
Carol Jumper, who lives in Hopewell Township, Pennsylvania, was diagnosed with cancer impacting her pancreas, liver and ovaries in August. According to her fiance, Dennis Smerigan, Jumper received a letter from her boss, Dr. George Visnich, in which the oral surgeon said he was laying her off without compensation. Raging Chicken Press published the letter on Sunday.
“The symptoms of the disease, the pain medications you will need and the side effects of the chemotherapy will be significant and distracting,” reads the handwritten note, which bears Visnich’s letterhead. “You will not be able to function in my office at the level required while battling for your life. Because of this, I am laying you off without pay as of August 11, 2014.”
The letter continues, “Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you fight this horrible disease. Thanks for your time at Visnich Oral Surgery. I hope your battle is swift, smooth, and successful!”
- CBS Sports’ James Brown Speaks Out on Domestic Violence: ‘Our Silence Is Deafening and Deadly’ – Most sportscasters’ statements on Ray Rice and domestic violence in the NFL have been cringeworthy, but this one was just about perfect in how it addresses toxic masculinity and calls on men to change and do better.
Our language is important. For instance, when a guy says, ‘you throw the ball like a girl’ or ‘you’re a little sissy,’ it reflects an attitude that devalues women and attitudes will eventually manifest in some fashion. Women have been at the forefront in the domestic violence awareness and prevention arena. And whether Janay Rice considers herself a victim or not, millions of women in this country are.
Consider this: According to domestic violence experts, more than three women per day lose their lives at the hands of their partners. That means that since the night February 15th in Atlantic City [when the elevator incident occurred] more than 600 women have died.
So this is yet another call to men to stand up and take responsibility for their thoughts, their words, their deeds and as Deion [Sanders] says to give help or to get help, because our silence is deafening and deadly.”
- Search for bodies to begin – I’m linking to this because I’m not sure many people realize that there’s an epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous women in North America. You can follow involved activists on the #MMIW hashtag to get an idea of the problem’s size.
Bernadette Smith has no illusions about the challenges she and other volunteers face when they begin dragging the Red River next week to look for the bodies of missing women.
After all, Winnipeg is the Cree word for muddy waters.
Smith said her group knows it won’t be able to drag the entire river in the next few weeks, but its members are hoping to look at several areas.
“We know what we are up against, but we have people to help,” she said. “And we have family members of people missing. People have been wondering, even before my sister went missing, if there are bodies in the river.