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drive-by rec and a whine

I read a fic last night that was really sweet, and evidently the writer's first piece of fanfic. Think about your first fanfic. I am so ashamed of mine, just crap. This story is not, it's a sweet look at Kurt deciding to take that next step and being mature about it (talking with Burt, Blaine) so go encourage a new writer to keep at it, because if this is her first? Just imagine where she'll go. *unicorn farts a rainbow*

(I confess to being selfish in the recs I've been putting up - I want quality fic to come out, and boy, is that lacking most of the time in Glee fandom. Mostly because writers are young, inexperienced, whatever. Quantity is preferred over quality. Boo. ENCOURAGE GOOD WRITING, PEOPLE. Esp. when characters are IN character. You can be AU and still in character, kids.)

But I have been having a case of the blahs for the past two days about this STOOPID BOOK I am trying to write.

My #1 goal with Oh My Heck! is to not sound like every other "I was __religious affiliation__ and now I'm not" type of book, you know, dry, dusty, faux-spiritual and just very "I have learned so much and am at peace, now." Because hey, have you met me? There's a reason Matt Stone and Trey Parker are my spirit animal. (They are one in my mind.) I'm trying to make it funny so I can sneak attack the holy shit, you believed what?! factor in there.

Currently I'm trying to rework a chapter on sex and I went digging in my old journals and the letters that I wrote to myself when I was 12, etc. (God, they are so embarrassing.) I started remembering all of the talks we had every Sunday in Young Women's (girls 12 - 18 are sequestered for religious training for an hour every week) and how EVERYTHING was shame based

Example, and remember that what's taught in one church building is taught in ALL church buildings. Every teacher gets a universal manual, and you teach what they tell you, period. Our teacher brought in cupcakes for all of us, about 9 girls total. She licked one, put it in the box, and passed them around. Of course no one wanted the licked cupcake, right? So someone was out of luck on cupcakes, because one was disgusting and gross and awful, and that's just like you will be if you lose your "virtue." You will be a disgusting licked cupcake that no one wants. *spits in your face*

The boys also had this lesson, with cupcakes. About girls. (I am adding a bit to my book about hot dogs, dropping one, offering it to the guys. Why not that lesson, teachers? Also, does my loving the act of licking frosting off a cupcake "mean" something about my sexuality?? Ha. I have an entire paragraph that is basically a cunnilingus joke. Because I'm classy.)

But there were lessons of picking gum that had been chewed vs. unchewed, there was the board with nails hammered in it (wow, subtle) and how you can pull the nail out, but the hole is still there! On and on. Everything about girls and their virtue, not boys and their virtue beyond them not masturbating.

And then I remembered all of the stories where we were encouraged to kill ourselves instead of losing our virtue. We were taught stories of brave and wonderful girls that flung themselves off a cliff rather than letting a boy tarnish her flower. NO, REALLY. Another story about a sad girl that had a drink at a party and had to live the rest of her life knowing that she lost her virtue that night because she had alcohol.

...you following? I know this is old school misogyny. I know it. But it's STILL BEING TAUGHT. And that shit stuck with me for years. That women I looked up to and admired and wanted to be like would be disgusted by me, a dirty flower, because a grown man "soiled my petals" by you know, molesting me. Even though it isn't my fault, wasn't my fault, good hell it's been decades by this point.

Anyway, I'm having a really hard time trying to make this shit funny today. (But kita0610? I think I got that chapter on Women to be more "me" than it was before. All it took was me remembering the 8 Cow Wife story. Good god, the crap I had to ingest every single week. GAH!)

I think instead of working on that stuff I might retool the Mormon missionary fic and repost it, since I deleted my Insanejournal account where it was stored. IDK, I'm moody today.


( 70 comments — Leave a comment )
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Oct. 19th, 2011 03:11 pm (UTC)
Oh, seriously, I am just going to have to internet marry you one day.
Oct. 19th, 2011 03:15 pm (UTC)
I NEED MOAR FIC! If you get praise, you will write more. <-- THIS IS MY SECRET PLAN FOR ALL WRITERS I AM ENJOYING. flaming_muse, I'm looking at you, too. ;) [Except for how she's my personal fanfic writer. In my mind. Ha!]
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Oct. 19th, 2011 03:22 pm (UTC)
Aw, see, you should have been Catholic. Then you would have known to ask St. Maria Goretti to watch over you...that eleven year old little girl was stabbed to death while resisting her molester and then held up as an ideal model of purity. Excellent.

Also, I kind of like the phrase "soiled my petals" and I plan on working it in to everyday conversation. Bonus points if I can get a "delightsome" in there, too.
Oct. 19th, 2011 03:25 pm (UTC)
There was a lesson where they had a vase of white roses on the table and passed around another one where we were all encouraged to touch it, smell it, pinch the petals, etc. By the end of class it's all wilted and browned. JUST LIKE YOUR VAG WILL BE.

Which of course needs to be white and delightsome.

True story: after Elizabeth Smart (who's dad is a wealthy and high-up LDS officer) they had to re-work the whole "your virtue is ruined if a man touches you" shit.
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Oct. 19th, 2011 03:26 pm (UTC)
When I read your stories about Mormonism I think wow, you couldn't make this stuff up it's so crazy... and then I remember someone DID make it up.
Oct. 19th, 2011 03:34 pm (UTC)
AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I just scared the cat off my lap, I laughed so hard at that. Hooo boy, did I need a laugh, too. <3
Oct. 19th, 2011 03:30 pm (UTC)
I feel blessed to be an Episcopalian, because it was considered tacky to talk about sex even if it was about praising abstinence. Of course, I once had sex at a Baptist lock-in,* so maybe someone should have give me a talk.

*I don't regret this one bit.
Oct. 19th, 2011 03:36 pm (UTC)
Constant constant CONSTANT talk about sex. And always by the male leaders who looked down at us. And then their wives would wrap it up in a bow with more condescension. Fun times.

I think you having sex at a Baptist lock-in trumps the friend that had sex with a missionary at the church in the baptismal font. GO GETCHA SOME, GIRLFRIEND! :D
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Oct. 19th, 2011 04:57 pm (UTC)
ugh. UGH, M, GOD. We didn't get the licked cupcake thing, we just got about six Temple Marriage lessons a year. OH OH AND we had to write letters to our future husbands who were out there waiting for us! Depending on us to stay pure! etc.

uuuuuuuuuuuugh, FUCK, Johnny Lingo, GOD. THAT MOVIE MADE ME SO MAD. LIKE EVEN AS A TWELVE YEAR OLD. also, did you know that they changed up the YW motto so that now it includes "we will be prepared to strengthen home and family"? Like. just. FUCK, GUYS. COULD YOU BE ANY MORE OBVIOUS ABOUT WANTING YOUR WOMEN TO KEEP SWEET AND KNOW THEIR PLACE?
Oct. 19th, 2011 05:03 pm (UTC)
WAIT, HOW DID YOU GET OUT OF THE CUPCAKE LESSON? Flower one? I had a book that you opened to learn about a young woman who let boys touch her and the book - shaped like a flower, each page was a petal - IS DESTROYED BY THE END.
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Oct. 19th, 2011 05:43 pm (UTC)
God, my head is imploding from the memories this dredged up. Oh gods.

To those who think maybe Stoney's exaggerating - she totally isn't.

*primal scream*

I need coffee to wash this away. And maybe some cherry wine.

(You'll let us know when The Book is done, yah? I need this on my bookshelf.)
Oct. 19th, 2011 06:18 pm (UTC)
I AM SORRY TO HAVE BROUGHT UP BAD SHIT. I'm trying to climb on top of the tsunami of shit rolling through my head.

(PUH. I will pimp it like a purchased child bride, please.)
Oct. 19th, 2011 06:28 pm (UTC)
YES. The Eight Cow Story TOTALLY reworked that chapter. That was some of the feedback I was gonna send you before all the shit with Nana made me lose my mind. There's more, please to be holding.

They are STILL posting about how girls are like apples on a tree and boys pick the rotten ones off the ground because they are easy and they tag it with TELL THIS TO YOUR DAUGHTERS and I keep replying with NO ACTUALLY I DO NOT WANT MY DAUGHTER TO THINK IT IS OKAY TO CALL OTHER GIRLS ROTTEN FRUIT YOU INSANE PERSON.

Damn, Stoney. I admire your sanity more and more every day.
Oct. 19th, 2011 06:34 pm (UTC)
OH GOOD. Your crit was totally valid, so hopefully it feels different. AND YES, TAKE YOUR TIME, FAMILY FIRST.

Oh, then there was the lesson in how to dress for a date: do you want to be a burger in paper or a rare steak on china? BECAUSE FOOD ANALOGIES ARE GOOD FOR LADIES.
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Oct. 19th, 2011 06:35 pm (UTC)
Anything that involves making that Mormon missionary fic available is A-OK with me. I remember breathlessly waiting for installments!

And, just huge internet hugs for the girl you were struggling against the awful stuff that happened to you and the stupid things you were taught that made it worse. :(
Oct. 19th, 2011 06:42 pm (UTC)
Oh, that's nice to know, thank you! I pulled that out the other day and wondered what to do with it.

*hugs back*
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Oct. 19th, 2011 06:44 pm (UTC)
It's like a 1950s Readers Digest version of the Taliban.

Ha, I didn't think you were envisioning Mitt falling in love with his Mission companion, so we're all good there. Heeeee.
Oct. 19th, 2011 08:06 pm (UTC)
I don't remember any of these object lessons, but boy do I remember Jonny Lingo!!!! My dad was the sub teacher for that day and brought it in spur of the moment. At 9 I was totally entranced by it. So cool, right? All it takes is one hott guy to tell the world you are beautiful and SHABANG! Beauty thy name is thee. Now when I tell people that story they look at me like I'm nuts... It feels me with rage.

I know you're striving for the funny in the Book... But most of this shit isn't funny. It stays sad no matter how you spin it.... Especially if you lived it and internalized it. So... Idk... Make the funny bitter, maybe. Tell your audience:: I know you think this is hilarious, and I'll laugh with you - but the jokes on you b/c I'm making you laugh about something
Oct. 19th, 2011 08:08 pm (UTC)
.... About something that isn't funny, because 9 year old girls are still living it.
... Or you know, don't be a manipulative sadist :)

Ugh! Sorry about the split posting but my phone hates me today.
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Oct. 19th, 2011 10:02 pm (UTC)
I was just reading an op-ed about Mitt Romney and how he's all affronted that people are talking about his religious beliefs (not like they did about Obama, no, 'cause being a sekrit Muslim is soooooo awful, let's dish!).

Of course, i immediately thought of you. :)


And, meant to add...how in the *hell* can people do this to little girls and think they're doing *good*? It's just...rage-inducing.

Edited at 2011-10-19 10:04 pm (UTC)
Oct. 19th, 2011 11:27 pm (UTC)
God (gosh?), that stupid cupcake lesson made me feel like crap for WEEKS. Ifelt dirty for just *thinking* about the possibility of one day holding a boy's hand, much less actually being kissed, that I was a total basket case. I'm so glad I figured this shit out before I subjected my own daughters to it.

I am waiting with bated breath for the missionary fic!
Oct. 20th, 2011 12:29 am (UTC)
WAS THAT NOT THE WORST!?! I emailed one of my old LDS friends and she said the same thing, she just felt sick afterward. Oh, the GUILT I had if I entertained any impure thoughts! Fuck that noise.

Oh, that's so nice to know! I'm working on it right now, actually (adding a little more to it.)
Oct. 19th, 2011 11:46 pm (UTC)
and how you can pull the nail out, but the hole is still there!


also I would've raised my hand to ask about the TWO OTHER AVAILABLE HOLES, tbh.
Oct. 20th, 2011 12:28 am (UTC)

I would expect nothing less of you.
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Oct. 20th, 2011 12:30 am (UTC)
Jeezum crow with the cupcake demonstration. And boys can never be soiled, I guess? Effed up.

It breaks my heart that it seems the Mormons appear to hold disdain for victims of childhood sexual abuse, thinking or at the very least quite strongly implying to them that they're soiled -- it's all fucked up, but that is so. fucked. up.

I don't know if I've ever said it clearly, but I'm so proud of you for continuing to work on your book and get your manuscript out there. You're going to find an agent and a publisher who stand behind your project one day, and then we'll all pre-order your book!
Oct. 20th, 2011 12:45 am (UTC)
Isn't that horrible? I had a book that was shaped like a flower, each page was a petal - origami? But to read the story (of a girl that let boys touch her) you had to mangle each petal and then the book is ruined when you read she is.


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Oct. 20th, 2011 02:01 am (UTC)
That's...wow. Pretty horrifying. I can see how making this stuff funny would be really difficult. I'm always really interested in what you have to say about it though - even when I'm not totally sure how to respond to it, I'm glad you share pieces of the book, and the process of writing it, with us.
Oct. 20th, 2011 02:31 am (UTC)
Thanks for this, H, and you know, any response you've ever given me has always been a good one, because if you're horrified, if your angry, if you're amused, that means it's okay that *I* feel that way about it, you know? I'm glad to not be going through all of these memories alone, man, most of the time I'm fine, then WHAM, something bad pops up.
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Are You Actually

Reading this? I'm just curious. Because that's really detail-oriented of you. Feel free to stop reading. But you can see that there's more here, so are you going to keep reading? Really? That's pretty dedicated. I'm impressed. No, really. I'm not being sarcastic, why do you get like that? See, this is the problem I have with your mother - yes. YES. I'm going there. It's time we put all of our cards on the table.

I love you, why are you doing this? After all we've been through? You don't have to be like this. You know, still reading. You could be baking a pie. And then sharing it with me.

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