- Little Miss Crabby Pants Ruminates On Disclosure – In case you missed it, yesterday Jane Litte revealed that she’s been publishing New Adult romance as author Jen Frederick since May of 2013. The reception on Dear Author was universally positive, but elsewhere in Romancelandia people had some things they wanted explained. Super Wendy has a pretty even-keeled post pointing to inconsistencies she’s uncomfortable with, and Meoskop has a more personal post reflecting on the evolution of Dear Author.
Just as I thought things were simmering down in Romancelandia, news broke today of epic proportions. Jane, of Dear Author fame, “came out” as New Adult author Jen Frederick. I’m not a NA reader, but I know the author by name recognition (job hazard). It also helped that I just had lunch with Rosie (who doesn’t blog anymore because she hates me) this past weekend and she mentioned liking Frederick’s books. So the name had burrowed into my ear just recently.
Reaction to this news has, at the time of this blog posting, mostly been positive. And here Little Miss Crabby Pants sits ruminating. On one hand? Fine. Whatever. On the other?
I’m calling shenanigans.
- Jane Litte/Jen Frederick – Linking to Passive Voice goes against my religion, but this reaction to the Jane/Jen news from an author perspective was illuminating. What a tangle.
Imagine my surprise, then, to realize that Jane is on more than one of these loops with me as Jen Frederick. I find myself…not okay with that. Not because I’m ashamed by anything I’ve said, but because I even have to sit here and worry about it. And I’m feeling even sicker for the authors who thought they were in a place that was safe to share certain things and did so who would NOT have done so had they known Jane was present. Do I believe Jane would or has intentionally retaliated against these authors if they said something negatively about her site, her books, her writing partner, or the EC case or any myriad of things? No. But that doesn’t change the fact that it feels like a violation. And the thing that readers of this post need to realize is that JANE KNOWS THAT. There is no way that a right-minded person would be privy to the posts and information she was privy to who would not realize that they were eavesdropping on a conversation that they weren’t supposed to hear. That they were peeking through someone’s window who wasn’t aware they were watching. Yes, it’s the internet. Yes, maybe we should’ve closed the bedroom door more tightly. Yes, maybe would shouldn’t have left our curtains open. But morally, there is no question in that situation, a right-thinking person knows they should look away. Especially a person as smart as Jane.
- Suleikha Sounds Off: If You’ve Read One Of Us, You Haven’t Read Us All – The blog Saris and Stories escaped my notice until yesterday, somehow. It’s a group blog run by South Asian authors and Suleikha has a post up talking about publishing’s frustrating tendency to view token diversity as good enough.
More than a year ago, I published a post on my own blog about how multicultural fiction is not a monolith. “I am not Nalini Singh who is not Brenda Jackson who is not Shelly Ellis who is not Jeannie Lin,” I said. “And just because Nalini and Brenda are superstars doesn’t mean the POC Author Quota has been filled.”
And yet…that attitude in publishing persists. “Oh, we’ve got our favorite brown author, so we don’t need more.” Do you know how disheartening it is for those of us who aren’t Mom’s Golden Child? Why keep at it if the position has been filled?
- Dear Nellie Andreeva and Deadline, About Your Piece on Too Much “Ethnic Casting” on TV – Awesomely Luvvie takes on that horrifically ignorant piece about how the current trend of “ethnic” roles in TV is squeezing out white actors.
Yesterday, Deadline’s TV editor Nellie Andreeva posted as piece titled “Pilots 2015: The Year Of Ethnic Castings – About Time Or Too Much Of Good Thing?” This headline wasn’t click-bait because it captured exactly what the writer was trying to say: that TV is getting too Black and maybe it should chill on that. It was bullshit pasta mixed with wack sauce and I was offended by it. This is why I’m writing this sternly-worded letter.
- Why Do We Need Diverse Books in Non-Diverse Schools? – Lee and Low stress the virtues of diversifying children’s lit in predominately white schools and communities.
In a year with so much important attention to discrimination, the call for diverse children’s books is clear. However, diverse books aren’t just essential to students from minority or marginalized backgrounds. We need diverse books in schools with students representing fewer identity groups just as much as we need them in more diverse schools.
Research shows that the less contact students have with people from other racial groups, the more likely they are to retain higher Why Use Diverse Books in Non-Diverse Classrooms?levels of prejudice. While equity and inclusion are necessary, especially for those of us too long without them, social change is more likely to happen when everyone understands how they will benefit directly from increased diversity and, what’s more, why their ability to embrace the benefits of diversity will be a key determinant of their future success. Here are a few key benefits to adding diverse books to a collection, regardless of the demographics of students:
- Which of These College Lacrosse Player Names are Real? An Important Quiz – I think we all could use a chuckle, so here’s a fun game made out of WASPy college boys’ names.
It’s not important how it starts. The internet is a black hole with other, smaller black holes within it, and to pass through it daily is to be pulled helplessly into one wormhole or another. Sometimes it is harmless, and you wind up learning a lot about something important. Other days, you get Event Horizon-ed into a realm of pure horror, except instead of being hunted by a malevolent naked Sam Neill, you are staring—quite suddenly, quite helplessly, for reasons you don’t even understand—at a college lacrosse roster on which everyone is named, like, Scooper Marble or Hayes Hayes.
I’m making it sound worse than it is. Sam Neill is a fine actor, and college lacrosse names that sound like white-shoe law firms or pilgrim foods are delightful. With that in mind, we invite you to join us on a journey through this particular wormhole, to a place where the only limits are your imagination and the contents of the L.L. Bean catalog’s outerwear section.
Your challenge: determine which of the following names belong to actual NCAA Division I lacrosse players, and which were produced by submerging a random name generator in mayonnaise and gin. The answers are at the bottom.