Friday Round Up

The news out of Russia continues to disturb me, but someone pointed out there are plenty of countries where LGBT are treated badly, all the way to a death sentence. Many places inflict you with life imprisonment. Not surprisingly, given that men usually rule over women, in some countries where gay men can be charged for being gay, being lesbian is not illegal.  And in Vietnam, there have never been laws against LGBT. This last strikes me as eminently fair and reasonable and a course everyone should have taken.

Why punish people for something they can’t change? WHY?

The OIC has reportedly told LGBT athletes not to say a thing about the Russian laws. Meanwhile, Russia confirms they will enforce anti-gay rules in Sochi. 

Clearly, this goes against the spirit of the Olympics when you say, “Hide who you are, don’t talk about it, get your asses back in the closet for two weeks.”

Um, NO. This is a human rights issue. I look forward to seeing this discussion heat up in the next few months. As for me, I think the Olympics should be moved to Vancouver. I wouldn’t set foot in Russia right now.

* * *

I hit my daily word count every day except yesterday. Evening festivities got in the way, for one thing, and for another, I ran into a scene that’s giving me fits. It’s a sex scene. I don’t enjoy writing them anymore. They mostly bore the crap out of me, both reading and writing, but this scene must be included because of the story, so write it I must. I’m hoping to tackle and finish it today.

* * *

I have almost two chapters written on the new YA book. AJ read the first chapter and said, “It’s cute.” I’m not sure if I should be flattered or not. He also suggested I add some slang, but I hesitate to do that because slang changes so fast. Using outdated phraseology would date the story. So I settled on relaxing their dialog a bit.

How do you feel about this?

* * *

We are currently in a stretch of warm sunny days that is supposed to last for the next ten days. No rain! I’m really looking forward to this, so I’d better get my butt in gear and jump into writing so I can get out on the scooter later with my camera. I suspect another trip to Dodge Nature Center is in order, as well as exploring entirely new areas.

Have a great weekend!

* * *

There is a place in St Paul called the High Bridge. These pictures will tell you why.

High Bridge 1 8.13 sm High Bridge 2 8.13 sm

And in Upper Town, I spotted this cutie on top of a giant sculpture. Ask yourself: how did she get up there?

Lowertown Sculpture 8.13 sm

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About Fenraven

Fenraven happily lives in south Florida, where it is really hot most of the year. Find him on Twitter, Google +, and Facebook by searching on 'fenraven'.
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17 Responses to Friday Round Up

  1. cindyls1969 says:

    I am very concerned about what’s happening in Russia, Theo. I don’t know what’s going to happen and you know that there will be someone who won’t be able to keep their opinions to themselves.

    I hope you post some more pictures here. I really enjoy looking at them.

    • This post went up ahead of schedule (took me a little longer than I thought to process the photos), but there are pics here now. 🙂

      As for Russia… I think they will not dare to screw with the athletes; the entire civilized world would kick their ass.

  2. Judy says:

    Every time you post new pics I’m in awe. ❤ You should really consider getting in touch with the tourism center, it's the best advertising St. Paul can possibly get.
    I think you made the right decision regarding the slang, it changes too quickly and not everyone keeps in touch / gets it.
    Russia and the Olympics – yikes. I don't get how on earth the discussion isn't already done. After all the Netherlands felt concerned enough about the laws to protest in April ! before the laws were passed. I just fear no discussion will change the standing of the IOC – it's outrageous.
    Even if no athlet will be harmed – what about their loved ones? Family members, support staff, visitors? And afterwards? Will the world simply turn their back on the LGBT community in Russia? There's already voices saying : every country has the right to make their own laws. I'm going through the roof when I hear this, how can any country dare to make laws in clear violation to basic human rights?
    Of course there are similar bad – even worse – conditions for LGBT people around the globe. But that should incite us all the more to stand up and make some noise, put every bit of pressure we possibly can on all those countries, the games is just around the corner, it's imminent and that's why I think it makes sense to start there.

    • The focus is certainly on Russia right now, but here in the U.S. LGBT continue to be persecuted and killed. It’s terrible everywhere. Makes me ashamed to be a citizen of this planet.

      • Judy says:

        “but here in the U.S. LGBT continue to be persecuted and killed”
        I’m becoming increasingly aware of just how bad it is. And it scares the living daylights out of me.
        What I cannot understand is the Why? Where is all this coming from? How can it be that in the 21st century fathers are still concerned their son might accidentally catch ‘gayness’ if he comes into contact with LGBT people? I mean, think about it, it’s ridiculous. There are people out there preaching marriage equality will lead to the downfall of civilized society. I cringe every time I read or hear that. How can people in this day and age still believe such utter nonsense?
        Of course I can only speak for myself, but I never got the phenomenon that is called ‘homophobia’. I hate the word, seriously, what’s there to fear? How can you feel fear or hate when you see two people in love? Holding hands, this tell-tale glow on their faces, and this sparkle in their eyes. It makes me smile every time, if just because every bit of love makes the world a bit brighter, a tad better. How can you not be happy for them?
        It’s what everybody wants, to find that one person you can share everything with, you can trust in and lean on, who you can love and who loves you back, isn’t it? How can people not get that? And even if they don’t get it, why don’t they just mind their own business and leave their fellow humans alone?

  3. Allison says:

    I’m not sure what to do about the Olympics being in Russia. In some ways it’s a good thing that they are being held there. It is shining a light on what they are doing and that probably wouldn’t happen as much if they weren’t hosting the Olympics. I doubt they will be able to do anything if the majority of the athletes carry rainbow flags or, as I have seen suggested in a few places, all same-sex athletes hold hands. But what will happen behind the scenes? That is what is truly scary.

    I agree with you on the slang. Much like movies that make too many pop culture references, it’s great at the time but you watch a year later and not so much anymore. Lots of things date books but using a term that people don’t follow anymore can be confusing.

    Enjoy the wonderful weather. I am already starting to dread fall, the quality of the sunlight has changed and while it’s beautiful I am not ready for summer to be waning. Maybe we’ll get the picture of Suki on the scooter soon? 

    As always, I love your shots but the little one on top of that stuff freaks me out. I’m not that into kids but when I see them in situations where things can get broken I can’t stop myself from cringing.

  4. W. Lotus says:

    A friend of mine (@lilrongal on Twitter) is an avid YA reader and aspiring author. She is also a freelance proofreader. She might be willing to take a look at your WIP, if you ask nicely and let her know I sent you. 🙂

    As for Sochi, I am sick to death about anti-LGBT bias and tiptoeing around it. The Olympics should be moved.

  5. Karen says:

    Ok my thoughts on the easy stuff first, she totally climbed. Her parents were probably scared stupid, but sometimes you have to suck it up be there and pray really hard that the little piece of independence that you are giving them is the right one that day. Children learn by doing, mom and dad probably knew she could do it, doesn’t make it easier jus necessary.
    As for Russia and the Olympics with any luck the International Human Rights Commission (I’m not sure if that’s the exact name or not, I believe it’s a branch of the UN) is monitoring this situation and will take the necessary steps to ensure things that shouldn’t happen do. There are so many aspects to this of what could and shouldn’t go wrong and just the safety and well being of the citizen’s of that country politically everyone has to walk on eggshells to ensure that any actions taken by external observers doesn’t make things worse for the very people they are trying to protect. Once again it comes down to the fact that something that shouldn’t be the concern of anyone except the people involved is. Who a person loves or simply chooses to have sex with that night is nobody’s business except that of the people in the bedroom at the time. If people put as much effort in to some of things that are really wrong with this world and stayed out of bedrooms where they don’t belong, life would be so much better.
    Slang, AJ’s probably right, but so are you. What can I say 2 sides to every thought/opinion (argument didn’t seem to apply, so I substituted) so I say go with your gut and write it how you feel it should be, if you decide that’s not quite right you can always change it in rewrites/edits whatever. Oh and last but not least sex scene, I’m staying out of that one there are already too many people in bedrooms where they don’t belong, lol. Have a wonderful weekend and make sure you enjoy some sunshine.

    • In the end, I skipped the nitty-gritty, and the characters talk about it after, enough so people know what happened.

      It’s interesting. When graphic sex was not allowed in books, that’s all people wanted. Then it not only became okay, especially in m/m, but demanded by publishers and readers. So we got a flood of books with blow by blow descriptions of something most of us have experienced, and at first, it was really hot. Then it was lukewarm. Now, to many mature readers anyway, it’s boring as hell.

      I’ve read and edited books that feature one sex scene after another, and in a few of them, they were exactly the same scene, over and over! The repetition was mind-numbing, but apparently there is still a market for this crap, because it still sells very well. If EL James had asked me to read her monumental opus prior to publication and give her an opinion, I probably would have said it was shit and would never sell (I never did read it, so I’m only speculating). See how wrong I would have been?

      I’ve learned that there is a market for just about any piece of crap; you just have to reach that market to sell.

  6. Karen says:

    Yeah, I’ve read a couple of those books and after a while you start skimming and yawning and wondering how the hell anything else gets accomplished because all the MC’s are doing is screwing each other. I don’t mind one or two tastefully written scenes in a book but after that it just gets tedious. I’m looking forward to reading this story, but willingly wait for the quality product that I know we will get from you.

  7. A.M.B. says:

    Interesting thoughts on the use of slang. I think including dated elements in a story is largely unavoidable, whether it’s a character’s words or their gadgets. Sometimes it’s nice to have a story that’s firmly grounded in a particular time period (particularly if you’re trying to appeal to an audience through nostalgia). Good luck with the story!

    As for Russia, I completely agree with you on how disturbing it is.

    • If I was writing a story set in, say, the ’60s, the slang would be obvious (groovy, solid, cool, etc.) but writing something that is contemporary but not connected to a particular period is more problematic. You want readers to identify with the story, and current slang can obviously do that, but what’s cool (a perpetually acceptable slang word) changes so quickly, the author walks a fine line between what to use and what to skip to keep the story fresh year to year. I do think readers are forgiving to some degree, but seat the tale too firmly in current slang, and I think one risks boredom and derision.

  8. dani says:

    very worried about the olympics especially as the ioc did announcements that makes me even more worried how can you ask for people to not act like themselves!!!!
    unbelievable and very very sad we were talking about it here ( in the Netherlands) and it feels like simularities to events in history i rather would not mention but so so wrong all this!

    The photo’s are like postcards or images so beautiful and that little girl She can definitly climb 🙂

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