Thursday, December 27, 2007

Submissive Men

I've had a lot of private comments on my post about women and BDSM - and some public ones too. I was a little surprised because that was a bit of a rant - just me expressing my frustration with men who can not accept that a rational woman might choose to have rough sex. Apparently a number of other people are fed up with it too.

In that rant I mentioned how men who don't approve of women enjoying BDSM sex tend to completely ignore the idea of submissive men, and then I went on to ignore them in my rant. The specific conversations that pissed me off were about women, so that's where my mind was at, but it seems only fair to give equal time to the guys.

I only know two submissive men. So any conclusions I have here are based on a very limited sample size and colored by my perceptions, but... Submissive men aren't all that different from submissive women. Don't think for a second that means I find them less than masculine. Submissive men, including the gay ones, are still men. The similarities between submissive men and women are that they're educated (sometimes advanced degrees), have a good sense of humor, are mature in their sense of sexuality, and have above average intelligence.

Again, this is based on a small sample of the population, but it seems to me that men who embrace their submissive side must have a very secure sense of their masculinity. They don't seem to feel that it's threatened by the act of submission. If you're a submissive male, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Best Christmas Present Ever!

Got the contract for my novel Chaos Magic II: Love Runes in the mail yesterday, and a contract for Chaos Magic and Love Runes to go to print!!!!!! Happy happy joy joy!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

I'm in an 80's Christmas mood.

Bear with me. The videos suck, but I love the songs.

Christmas Wrapping

Father Christmas

and Love is Around Us. (okay, this video isn't 80's, but I crack up at the Robert Palmer girls - which was an 80's vid - in the beginning, because they look a bit like vampires, and of course, that actor played Victor, the head vampire in Underworld. And yes, weird associations like that make me laugh.)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Micro Managing My Characters

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know how I feel about micro-managed characters. If the author is playing Twister (He picked up the red coffee mug with his left hand while his right hand rested on the knee of his blue pants.) then the character is micro-managed. Writing a scene isn't like drafting a technical schematic. It's more like an impressionist painting. Capture only enough to get the idea across and move on.

Advice is so very easy to give, isn't it? Not so easy to follow, especially when it's your own.

I was working on a scene that was running like a movie in my head. I could see every detail of the room and what the characters were doing. And I caught myself transcribing everything I saw from my imagination onto the page. Wrong, wrong , wrong. I only need enough detail to anchor the reader into the scene. The rest is getting the characters from point A (where they were when the scene opens) to point B (where they are emotionally, physically, etc when it ends). The only things that should be happening in that scene are things that move the characters from A to B. That's it. I know that. So why am I looking at a scene I've just written and thinking "left foot, green?"

Thursday, December 06, 2007

BDSM and Women

Several groups I belong to have recently had discussions about BDSM. Many people will never understand the dynamics of a power exchange relationship. That's fine, but not understanding and willfully misunderstanding are two different things.

Those conversations usually center around submissive women. For some reason, the subject of submissive men is ignored, as if they are either figments of literary imagination or somehow beneath notice.

One of the most frustrating things to me is the tone of the discussion. Some men purport to love and worship women, and can't understand why women "let themselves be abused," because that man would "never hit a woman." The submissive (and some dominant) women on the discussion group then explain the vast difference between abuse and BDSM in well thought out replies - which are ignored. Why? The reason seems to be that the men feel that those submissive women are deluded and have bought into the idea that there's a difference, but there isn't, and the men are there to help them realize the error of their ways. So what those men are saying is that while they'd never "hit a woman," they are more than willing to tell a woman that she isn't smart enough or mentally stable enough to make a decision about her own body. Now that, to me, is abusive. The message is that women can't be trusted with their sexuality and that women can't possibly be turned on by that sort of thing because women are fragile and require kid glove handling.

Bullshit, guys. Stop the patronizing attitude. Loving and adoring women means treating them like rational adults, not coddling them.

The women I know who are submissive in BDSM relationships are not poor deluded mental cases. They are intelligent. Many hold advanced degrees. Many have careers that pay well. They are competent. And they are perfectly able to distinguish between sex that turns them on - which they seek - and abuse - which they would not tolerate. Submissive does not mean weak. Submissive does not mean stupid.

I wish I knew the magic words that would make the light bulb go off over those men's heads during those discussions. Unfortunately, their minds are so tightly closed that I doubt any of that light would get through to them.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Writing Rules

There are tons of writing rules, all of which are passionately debated on writer's lists. The problem with rules is that some writer breaks one, and does it so well that suddenly everyone sees the rule was merely a guideline.

The rules I'm having problem with right now are personal writing rules. I like to tell a story in a linear direction and not loop back in time with extended flashbacks and scenes. That seems pretty straightforward, right? Except that it's in direct conflict with another personal rule, and that is that the major conflict is foreshadowed or shown in the first chapter. So which one to break? Well, they are just personal guidelines, and I think it's more important to show the conflict, so I'm writing it out of sequence and then quickly getting back on the linear track. It can work. It better work. *sigh*

Monday, December 03, 2007

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Holy Hannah, It's December!

I swear that someone stole half a month from me while I wasn't looking. One day it was mid-November, and suddenly it's December. (I actually suspect that a couple months were swiped out from under me, but can't prove it.)

I never knew handing someone a plate of cookies was such a dangerous thing, but what was once a little gesture has turned into a tradition. Bah! Humbug! I swear that when the police come by with their Santa Float for the neighborhood kids, they park in front of our hovel because they know we'll come out with a plate of Charlene's Favorites, Nutmeg Logs and Toffee Squares. This year I even made pralines (with a healthy dose of Maker's Mark). And the cooking frenzy isn't over yet, because we're hosting for Hanukkah this year, so I'm on latke duty.

Tradition is a weird thing. Every year for Thanksgiving, I get assigned (among other dishes) the dreaded canberry pineapple jello mold. Even though I won't eat it, I dutifully make it. And every year, the only person who eats it is the SO, and he takes the smallest sliver he can cut. Then, when the older people are safely snoozing in front of the TV, those of us still in the kitchen make a command decision and dump it into the trash. No one ever questions why it isn't with the other leftovers. Why do I have to make that wretched thing? Because it's tradition. Why did I have to make the flaming yam surprise? Tradition. Did anyone eat it? No. All the non-traditional dishes I made were consumed, while all traditional ones were ignored. It's almost like sacrificial food at this point. I'm tempted to set up an altar and offer them up to... who? Maybe those who are no longer with us but who live on in recipes.

Thankfully, except for the latkes for Hanukkah and torepitas for New Years, there aren't many traditional foods left to make this year - and they're the good ones. At least, I've never seen one dumped in the trash.