Here are but a few of the things that have been racing through my brain this week.
Fan Fiction, Plagiarism, and Copyright (Dear Author) – This is a really interesting topic for me and Eleanore, because it’s part of the reason we started this site. Our work was hosted elsewhere, and when someone started copying my story, the site owner dismissed it as an “homage.” Lovely. Anyway, this is a good start on some of these principles, particularly for you fanfic writers and readers out there. Or, y’know, ANYONE.
“She’s Not Quirky” (in which Jane is BOTH women)…
Contrast that with…
I Was a Manic Pixie Dream Girl (New Statesman) – “Men grow up expecting to be the hero of their own story. Women grow up expecting to be the supporting actress in somebody else’s.” Great discussion about lazy character creation and how the lives of some women who might resemble the idea of a MPDG can’t be reduced to a cutesy stereotype.
Kody Keplinger: Being a Blind Teenager (Disability in Kid Lit) – Author Kody Keplinger was born with a condition called Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis (LCA). “But I’m not here to give a lesson on LCA. I want to talk about what it was really like being a blind adolescent. As I said, I was born blind, so I got to go through all of middle school and high school with this disability. Unfortunately, I’ve yet to read a book or see a show that depicts anything remotely like what I experienced. So, this is my story.”
Discussion #2: Tips For Researching and Respectfully Writing Disabled Characters (Disability in Kid Lit) - “Don’t look at a list of symptoms and and wonder, “OK, now if I were in this situation…?” because disability is more complex than that. You must research beyond the objective physical aspects. People become used to disability over the years and find ways to adapt; don’t get so hung up in a character’s limitations that it takes over their entire being. . . Whichever route you go, make sure the character’s personality traits, habits, and plotlines are influenced rather than defined by disability.”
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum – This amazing place came up twice this week, both because it is AWESOME and because a book reminded me of it. The museum is best known for the crazy heist back in 1990, which you should learn about by viewing Stolen. But it’s also a fantastic example of a (rich) woman, not known for being particularly beautiful, being able to shape her world and the way others experience it — even 90 years after her death. I mean, did you know that anyone named Isabella gets free admission forever? For-EV-vurr.
Whaaaaaa? J.K. Rowling unmasked as author of detective novel – Oh, Jo, how you keep making me love you.