Snips and Stings

June 14, 2016 at 1:46 am (writing) (, , , , , , , )

11258110_10155756421925032_9144854063756410414_oI’ve been on a bit of a blog hiatus thanks to a series of events. Prepping for summer vacations has kept me busy and we’re in full-fledged gardening season (my garden looks lovely so far), which also takes me away from my computer. Add to that jugger and some heavier than normal editing demands and making time to blog is not all that easy. I’ve also been waiting on some ToC information to share that has yet to arrive. But I’ve decided I‘ve delayed long enough for that.

So on Sunday, for a couple of reasons, jugger didn’t happen (we played in light rain on Thursday), and gardening was a no go. My daughter’s class trip has come and gone, and while I have some edits to check over and some submissions I hope to make today, I have a few moments to spare.

I had mentioned about my efforts to network, and while my efforts continue, I’ve found at least one of the forums discouraging. I see people trying to contribute in a rather brash or blunt way(some of whom are social filter-challenged), other people taking offense, some harsh remarks (downright vicious at times) and some apologies, a little joking around, some lauding of new successes with a round of congratulations, arguing over rules and regulations, and writers who are also editors complaining about submissions they receive, but very little of anything productive or helpful. And I’m physically not in close proximity to the majority of the people on the forum, so any discussions of gatherings or meet-ups exclude me because of the distance involved. I feel very much like an outsider because of this and because I am new there.

I was hoping I might see more discussions of calls for submissions, tips and suggestions, problems and advice, encouraging talk and interesting stories – there are some, but I’d have to say more negative or neutral posts so far, a few of them accompanied by a sense of superiority from some writer who thinks he’s better than another. After observing several threads, I’m loathe to comment for fear of being pounced upon and attacked, or at least drawing a passive-aggressive snide remark or two. Even quite innocent comments seem to be vulnerable. The introvert in me is telling me to start avoiding the forum because it is putting me off writing, rather than motivating me.

As much as I was looking forward to participating and broadening my contacts and knowledge, it’s pretty pointless if it deters me from writing. So I might give it a little more time, in hope things improve, but if not I’m going to go back to just doing things on my own again. Maybe that’s how it’s meant to be.

I think that’s why I like gardening. The only things there that stings are the fire ants.

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Women Can’t Write Good Horror?

March 12, 2013 at 2:26 am (horror, writing) (, , , , , , , )

I don’t have my review ready this week – still immersed in Deep Cuts. I’m reading every little nook and cranny to the book, including the intro and all of the recommendations, in very careful detail. I guess I’ve been lingering so much on this because I was distraught and bewildered by something Lisa Morton says in the intro… that in almost every horror writer’s forum out there, there seems to be a thread running on the inability of women to write good horror.

Hunh? Really?

I was also disappointed to hear that only 30% of the submissions for a pro-rate anthology honouring women in horror actually came from female writers.

Have I had blinders of some kind on? Because I’ve never run into anybody who has told me I can’t write good horror because I’m a woman. I’ve had some people decide they didn’t like my writing in general, but I’ve never had anyone suggest that any problems they’ve had with my stories was a result of my gender. Do people actually think that way?

I decided to do a search on the internet to see if this was truly a common sentiment. Initially, I found a lot of postings defending female horror writers, most of them associated with Women in Horror Month. Most of them seem to be offering counter arguments or excuses surrounding the notions that female writing is too sappy and emotional for horror, or they don’t write anything that’s effectively scary or gory. I’ve never been accused of any of that either, so once again, I’m scratching my head.

By the time I was done my search, I was pretty upset. While I don’t give much heed to the odd forum entry that “chicks can’t write horror” (because I don’t value the opinion of anyone who would refer to me as a “chick” unless in jest), the reports of people on panels at conventions saying things like women were less effective at writing horror and suggesting we should stick to fluff and paranormal romance made me want to string the buggers up and whack them repeatedly in their scrota with a stick laced with rusty nails (pointy ends to flesh, of course). While I wouldn’t actually do anything like that, I was pissed off enough to consider the fantasy – not to mention it would certainly show them I mean business when it comes to horror.  I’m sure I have several female horror writer friends who might contemplate joining me.

Don’t think I can write horror that’s scary or gory? Think my work will be sappy because I’m a woman? If that’s the case, I’d advise you to check out “Wrigglers” when it comes out in the soon to be released Midnight Movie Creature Feature II from May December Publications. I don’t shy away from cruelty, gore, death or violence when it comes to my stories and I challenge anyone to give an example of a horror story I’ve written that’s “sappy”. Containing irony – yes. Offering dark humour – at times. But sappy? Never.

When I write horror, I write horror, and I mean business.

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