Friday, June 26, 2015

Clarion Write-a-Thon 2015

Extract from my Clarion  Write-a-Thon profile
Another year, another chance to challenge myself to the Clarion Write-a-Thon. Lend support to myself and others looking to raise money for the Clarion Foundation so that the Clarion Writing Workshop continues to benefit writers everywhere!

This workshop changed so much about how I write, what I think about, and what I think about when I write. It's a part of who I am. I want it to go forward and continue to help other people, writers struggling to find confidence and people looking to infuse their art with more courage. Among the students this year at Clarion UCSD is fellow Bostonian, the talented Jess Barber, so I'm pretty sure this class is already kicking ass and taking names. Just a suspicion.

Pooja Mandagere, left, and Natalie Thompson outside the Supreme Court.
Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times
So! Hey! 


Today is going super well

Congratulations to everyone who worked for so long and against so many obstacles to make this a reality for Americans. I hope the future is kinder, better, and sweeter because of it.

Monday, June 8, 2015

[SPOILERS for Age of Ultron and Mad Max: Fury Road] You Belong Here, Too

One of the first TV watching experiences I can remember is the art deco city against the blood red sky of Batman: The Animated Series (1992)A gift to my preschool boyfriend (he was my boyfriend by my decision, I remember, and probably not his) was a chewed Blowpop stick with the wrapper tied around the top like a cape. I claimed it was Batman. My mom opted to intervene regarding my homemade action figure.

My favorite characters in the show, however, included Catwoman, true to her morals (ie, protect cats, because cats were and are the best). I also knew she was tied to Batman in a complex almost-romance. It took a while for me to understand she was a villain. I remember a very passionate argument about it on the school bus when I was in kindergarten, later realizing my friend at the time only knew of Tim Burton's inferior (I felt) take on Selina Kyle.

I loved Joker's girlfriend and henchwoman, Harley Quinn (whose earnestness and accident-prone nature endeared herself to me), Poison Ivy (who was extremist, classy, and sexy without, apparently, being interested in men), and Detective Renee Montoya (who took no shit from anyone else on Gotham's corrupt police force and, I learned years later, went on to become The Question in the comics). I was a lot less interested in Barbara Gordon as Batgirl, who seemed bland and lacking in complexity.

Promo Image for Catwoman in
Batman: The Animated Series (1992-1995)
So it was a while before I realized superhero fiction was, by and large, marketed for boys. Due to Bruce Timm's sleek and PG-rated if same-ish designs of female characters for his Batman, it was longer before I realized most of the outfits of women were marketed for the gaze of heterosexual men.

Less vivid than the memory of trying to give trash to my preschool sweetheart or seeing the credits of Batman appear on-screen is my recollection of going into a comic book shop for the first time. I was with my Mom, I think, and I was met face to face with a collection of scantily clad posters complete with disproportionately large cleavage.

No one told me to leave the comic book shop. Of course not. I left anyway, though. I was a shy kid. There was a sense that this wasn't for me.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet #32

Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet #32
Shortly after I discovered the phenomenal work of Kelly Link, I found out about the zine she and Gavin Grant run. Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet is my go-to recommendation for speculative fiction fans thirsty for innovative, surreal, and beautiful work. It's inspired and challenged me for many years and has been enormously formative to my work.

One of my poems, "The Virgin Regiment," is in the newest issue. I'm still a bit shocked. Reading this issue has been delightful and I can't overstate how happy I am to be a part of it.

It's available for both hard copy and ebook purchase.  I tend to get my copies from Porter Square Books, so local retailers carry it, too! You should definitely check it out.