Wynonna Earp recap: 2.07, “Everybody Knows” (aka Ghost Posse Warrant Cray)

Hi, everybody!

So the big news out of SDCC 2017 is that Wynonna Earp was renewed for a THIRD SEASON.

And there was much rejoicing throughout the land. Just go onto Twitter and hit the hashtag for #WynonnaEarp and you’ll see videos posted of the moment of the announcement at the WE fan panel and you, too, can participate in the rejoicing throughout the land.

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Wynonna Earp Recap 2.06: “Whiskey Lullaby,” or the kids are probably gonna be all right

I…

What.

This…holy shit.

I thought last week’s episode was off the damn chain. This one, though. THIS ONE. Jesus, Andras. This is why #Fandras is a thing, no matter how you slice it. Because with writing like this…holy crackamoli.

This is such a powerful women-centric episode. And all the ways the relationships intertwine not just between the women, but the men in their lives. It was so beautifully done. I’m…wow. Just wow.

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Wynonna Earp Recap, 2.05, “Let’s Pretend We’re Strangers”

What. The. Holy. Freaking. Hell. Just. Happened.

You guys. YOU GUYS.

I can’t…

What…

THIS EPISODE BLEW MY FREAKING MIND. GAME-CHANGER! GAME-CHANGER! THIS EPISODE IS A GAME-CHANGER! And I mean that in terms of the Wynonna-verse and also in terms of Wynonna Earp’s personal character arc and the arcs of the other characters.

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Wynonna Earp recap 2.04, “She Ain’t Right”

So here we go with another Wynonna Earp recap. For those of you not in the know, I am a hardcore longtime fangirl. It’s a side I haven’t displayed too much over here (though you will find posts on how to survive a zombie apocalypse floating around out there that I’ve done), but I’m now cross-pollinating platforms.

You can find my Fangirl Friday posts at the blog I co-admin, Women and Words and a fangirl podcast I do with colleague and fellow spec fic writer Lise Mactague on the Lesbian Talk Show Channel. That show is Lez Geek Out! and I just interviewed awesome steampunk author Gail Carriger.

AND you can engage with me about fanstuff on Twitter and Tumblr.

Okay, with that out of the way, let’s dive into this recap of this totally off the chain WTF OMG I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT JUST HAPPENED recap of “She Ain’t Right,” episode 2.04 of Wynonna Earp.

And, standard operating procedure: THERE ARE SPOILERS! OMG SO MANY SPOILERS! FOR REALZ!!!!! YIKES! DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVE NOT WATCHED THE EPISODE AND PLAN ON DOING SO! SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS!

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Wynonna Earp Recap, 2.03, “Gonna Getcha Good”

So I’m going to be doing some recapping here, in accordance with my fangirling which seems to have taken a turn for the MOAR over the past year or two. Maybe it’s my next childhood. Or still existing one. Who knows. Regardless, let’s talk Wynonna Earp.

And you guys.

This is the opening scene of episode 3, season 2 and you are welcome.

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I still swear and sometimes I’m an asshole but for generally good reasons

Greetings, all!

So yesterday on social media I brought up an issue that I think garners discussion and I’m pleased to say that overall, the discussion was pretty much respectful (and delightfully irreverent in some cases), with the exception of a few pissy comments. Which is fine. That’s how this stuff goes.

Anyway, the subject was swearing. As in cursing.

I’ve blogged about this before, because I am of the lady variety who swears. Not only in real life, but in my writing. Some of my characters also swear. Swearage is part of my existence. I have many friends who swear. And others who don’t swear as much. And still others don’t swear at all.

I tailor my swearage to my contexts. In some places, I don’t swear. Like, say, job interviews. Or around children.

I call this self-policing. It’s basic manners, and it’s a conscious, individual choice I make.

But then there’s this other kind of policing and that’s what I want to talk about now.

Yesterday I posted the description of a panel that is being presented at an upcoming lesfic conference. The description made me uneasy. Here it is:

Profanity, Vulgarities and Obscenities, Oh My!
A discussion of the growing and often unnecessary use of profanity in lesbian fiction. Do readers deserve a more intelligent vocabulary? How can non-objectionable words and phrases work to an author’s advantage? How much is too much? Is the shock value muted when swearing is over used? When is a carefully placed obscenity absolutely necessary?

NOTE: This description is being re-written and I want to thank the person who wrote the original and then came to my social media post and acknowledged that it was problematic and that the description was being re-written. When I have the new description, I’ll update here. I made sure to update the original post on social media with this information.

AND a conference official did reach out to me, and I greatly appreciate that. So thank you, for being willing to engage and for addressing the issue quickly.

That said, I will own that yeah, maybe it was asshole-ish of me to post the panel description and say that it felt like speech-policing without going to the organization first. But I wanted to see what others in my lesfic reading/writing community felt about this and about the description because I’ve been speech-policed over the years by ciswomen in this community who expressed displeasure about my use of profanity in my books. And I know fellow authors who have been speech-policed for profanity in their books to the extent that these authors even got bad reviews as a result.

So the issue is actually bigger than this panel — though the person who proposed it and wrote the description didn’t intend at all for the sense that speech-policing was involved.

Though it wasn’t the intent, it came across that way, and I want to now raise why I think this issue is much bigger than this panel, because it’s something I and other authors have dealt with in the lesfic reading and writing community.

And as I said in my previous blog about this (see link above), policing swearing is something that women go through way more often than men. If I were a male author, I don’t think the swearing I incorporate in some of my work would even be blinked at.

There are several layers to this. Lesfic is a marginalized community in many ways, and to be speech-policed by fellow travelers in that community is a particularly bitter pill. And I say that as a white ciswoman.

KD Williamson, one of my fellow authors in this community and who has indulged me with many conversations over the past year, is also speech-policed for profanity in her work, but that policing gets tied up with something else. In one instance, she was speech-policed with regard to profanity in her work but with the added comment about how the reader knew she was black because of “all the curse words” in the book.

Would that reader have made the comment that she knew the author was white because of all the swearing? Or perhaps because of the lack of swearing?

That’s a hella big load of baggage in a statement like that. Speech-policing becomes a statement about someone’s race, which also laps at the boundaries of behavior-policing. It’s not much of a leap from “you can’t say that” to “you can’t do that” and within that are historical tropes about the “kinds” of people who “are allowed” to do and say certain things.

KD blogged about this whole dust-up, too. Reviews of her work often include references to her use of profanity. I’ve been approached in person and I think there are reviews floating around out there that reference my use of it, and generally, someone’s issues with profanity may bring them to write a bad review, even if the book is structurally sound and tells a good story.

So that’s why speech-policing makes me knee-jerk. I’ve been subjected to it, and my colleagues have been subjected to it, some with added implications about race and class.

Speech-policing can have a chilling effect on writers, especially when people do it in reviews and on conference panels — again, I understand the intent was not to do that in this panel, but reading the original description demonstrates why many of us reacted the way we did. But the question remains, why are we policing each other in a community that now, more than ever, needs to stick together and support the stories we’re telling?

And that’s why I brought it up yesterday. I have no issue with discussing effective use of language — whatever its type — in writing. And hell, in speaking. And certainly, some people want to learn how to wield profanity better in their work. Sure. Have a panel about that. But I also think it’s important to think about perceptions about swearing and the historical and cultural baggage that comes with it and with judgments about it. Because it’s one thing to say: “learn how to swear effectively in your writing” and quite another to say “discussing the growing and often unnecessary use of profanity in lesbian fiction. Do readers deserve a more intelligent vocabulary?”

One statement is a how-to. The other is a judgment.

And I worry that a panel like this, no matter the intent behind it, may end up being the latter.

Hence my knee-jerk, and the reason I brought it up, because as KD says in her blog on this topic, “sanitized lesbian romance and lesbian fiction is okay. Guess what? So is everything else.”

Indeed. Your cup of tea may not be to someone else’s taste. That doesn’t make it “bad” or “unnecessary.” There’s plenty of room for all kinds of stories. Let’s make sure they get told, and let’s keep talking.

10 things I’m learning from podcasting

Hey, peeps! Hope everybody is having a fab time!

As some of you know, I’ve been crazy busy over at Women and Words and other projects and with the Lesbian Talk Show podcasts over at Podbean. I co-host two. One, with my colleague at Women and Words Jove Belle, is a round-up of things going on at the WaW blog as well as whatever else we tie to that to chat about, and we often throw in news from the lesfic/LGBT+ publishing world about events, calls for submissions, and things like that.

The other (we just launched it!) is Lez Geek Out! which I co-host with fellow spec fic writer Lise MacTague (who I call L-Mac). That one’s Lise and I fangirling about TV shows, movies, comics, and whatever else we can find to fangirl about.

I’m relatively new to this whole podcasting thing, but hey, you won’t learn if you don’t try, right? I’m lucky in some ways, maybe, because I have a background as a radio DJ and I’ve done a lot of public speaking (I still do a lot of that), so I’m comfortable talking on a broadcast and in front of a live audience.

But there’s always something to learn, and here are some of the things that I’ve learned as I’ve ventured into this whole podcast thing. And if you’re a podcaster, please do share your tips below in the comments. If you’re a listener, what works for you and what doesn’t? Let me know! You can also join the Lesbian Talk Show chat group on Facebook, which has all the hosts from the podcasts at the Lesbian Talk Show on it, and we can be pretty irreverent, but we’d love to hear your thoughts, so please do join the group and join in.

1. Better time management. LOL In most cases. Lise and I are pretty good about keeping the Lez Geek Out! podcasts to around 20 minutes. Jove and I can get a little off-track, so we go anywhere from 30-45 minutes, though we’re trying not to. So I clearly have more to learn about time management. But we do end up staying on topic, so there’s that.

I also learned this from being a radio DJ, because when you’re broadcasting, you have a certain amount of time to talk if you’re doing certain things, so I got pretty good about getting to the point quickly and disseminating info in 30-second or 2-minute blocks. Podcasting may not have the immediacy of a live broadcast, but when you prepare for one, you get a sense of how long you have, and what to say and what not to say in order to keep the show moving and to hit that sweet spot time-wise. I’d argue that 30 minutes is probably ideal, but an hour isn’t bad if you and your co-host(s) have a good rapport.

2. Better organization. Again, this is kind of an LOL because sometimes it doesn’t always work out that way, but I tend to prepare materials prior to recording and I and my co-hosts will chat beforehand to determine where we want to go and how we want to address things. I realized that I needed to do this to make sure we stayed on track, and it’s a habit I actually picked up as a radio DJ, though podcasting works a little differently.

If you want to start your own podcast, it’s well worth your while to map out an outline ahead of time so you can stick to your topics and fit it into your time block. After a while, when you get more comfie with the environment, it’ll take you less time to prepare and you’ll have developed a rapport with your co-host. Or at least a stronger rapport, if you already worked in some capacity with that person.

3. How to herd cats. Mostly. I work with two very different co-hosts in the podcasts I do. One is someone I’ve known for a decade and we’ve started and maintained different projects together over the years. We know each other pretty well in some respects, and we know our strengths and weaknesses. She lets me be the bad cop in terms of reining her in to keep us on track, and I’ve learned how to apply that to myself, too, though sometimes we both slip. Heh.

The other person I work with is someone I haven’t known very long at all, but we chatted before deciding to do this podcast and decided that it would work. She’s pretty organized, and we talk about what we’re going to do and what our approach is going to be before each show, and we’re good at staying on topic and within our time frame. It’s a more organized approach than my other podcast, but that’s okay because it’s two different people, and I’m thus…

4. Learning to work better in this environment with others. I like that I do one podcast with someone I’ve been friends and colleagues with for a while and that the other is with someone I just recently met. It forces me to really think about my approaches and how to make adjustments to the approaches of the other person, and that’s a useful skill for any collaborative endeavor. Podcasting with a co-host is, after all, a team sport.

5. Expressing thoughts more clearly. Okay, it’s an ideal, people. 😀 But like my radio days, podcasting requires that you have a plan and that you figure out how to execute that plan within a time limit and how to stay mostly on topic. Some segues can be fun, and you’ll get a sense for figuring out when that’s happening and when you’re flying off the rails. Which is not to suggest I haven’t flown off the rails with my co-hosts, but I think I’ve gotten better about grabbing on as we’re flinging off and helping bring us back on track.

I’ve listened to podcasts that went on for an hour or more and the hosts started with a good topic but then didn’t execute and ended up rambling and not wrapping it up in a neat package. So I try to approach each podcast with this in mind, and I try to make clear statements about the direction and topics. Which hearkens back to organization and sometimes I don’t execute as cleanly as I’d like, but the more I do this, I hope the better I get.

6. Learning how to use new software and hardware platforms. This is a work in progress, friends. There’s lots of different software out there to do podcasting. So far, I’m trying to deal with Audacity, which is a free multi-track audio editing and recording program. Back in my radio days, I worked with a similar program and a bit with ProTools, which is a program for hardcore music production. As a radio DJ, I often recorded ad spots for airing, and I really didn’t need ProTools for that, but at the time, other programs weren’t as readily available.

I’m really appreciative, actually, when I learn cool new things like this, even though it can be really super frustrating at first. I’m fortunate at the moment right now because one of my colleagues uses Open Broadcaster software (opensource) and she gets everything done on her end when I Skype in for the recording and ships it off to the coordinator and founder at the Lesbian Talk Show. In the other case, my co-host and I use Audacity and the coordinator/founder edits them together. So I’m trying to learn more so that I can help out in the editing realm.

7. Building an audience. Developing a podcast audience is much different than developing one as a writer. Different products, after all. So I’m learning to think outside the usual boxes, and Sheena, the coordinator/founder over at the Lesbian Review Talk Show (who also podcasts) has been SO helpful in this regard, in terms of tracking numbers and helping us figure out what works and what doesn’t. She’s also constantly thinking about how to market and where, and constantly tweaking approaches.

8. Developing a thick skin. Granted, I’m a writer, so I’ve had to develop one of those anyway. But podcasting is a different medium, so I’m taking cues from listeners and Sheena about what’s working and what’s not and making adjustments. There will always be people who think I suck, and that I sound terrible and who might even hate-listen to me. I can’t do much about that, but if they have legit critiques about how to make myself sound better or articulate better, hey, I’m all ears! I want to get better at this, so any help you have, thanks!

9. Podcasting legalese. I’ve just begun scratching this surface, and it’s important that podcasters figure this stuff out, especially if you’re going to be bringing guests on (celebrity or otherwise). This means you need to think about publicity rights in terms of you and your guests, and commercial use (if applicable). But, knowledge like this is good to have anyway, especially if you’re a writer, because it gets you thinking about trademark and copyright and the like and encourages you to become more savvy about your contracts. 🙂 If you’re not a writer, it’s just good to be informed about how this stuff works if you’re podcasting.

Handy guide to podcasting legalese.

10. A whole new bucket of fun and community engagement! Podcasting has opened new avenues of creativity for me, and new ways of exploring both writing and fangirling (two passions of mine), and working with people in new ways. So though it is work, and I’m not getting paid for any of it, I love it, and it’s another way I can engage with community and with colleagues. And I am all about that.

So there you go. Stop by the Lesbian Talk Show over on Podbean to see what’s going on. There are a variety of podcasts available there, and one or more will probably strike your fancy. Also check out the LTS chat group Facebook page and come on and jump into the fray.

Get the app for at the App Store or Google Play.

Some podcasts that I listen to:

Spirits — boozy, biweekly podcast about myth, legends, and folklore. The hosts, Amanda and Julia, are knowledgeable and hilarious and will bring guests on.

Tales of the Black Badge — A podcast that deals with all things Wynonna Earp. The show, the fandom, the comic, the actors, the writers, the showrunners…you get the gist. Hosts Bonnie and Kevin are a lot of fun.

The Hunner — this one is pretty new. Only two episodes thus far, but it’s pure Clexa Trash from across the pond and I love me some Clexa Trash. Plus, the hosts are hilarious.

Throwing Shade (podcast and vid) — hosts Erin and Bryan (both comedians) take on politics, celebrity, and whatever else in their snarky, fun way.

Tagg Nation — queer news and views.

And if you’d like to find other LGBT+ podcasts try this list at Player FM.

Let me know what podcasts you’re into and why! Share some luv!

Happy Monday, all!

10 things I’m looking forward to in 2017

Hey, all!

So the Hootenanny over at the blog I co-admin, Women and Words, kept us crazy and busy, and I’m pretty sure we must’ve given away around 500 books. But I don’t even want to count for sure.

Also, in case you didn’t realize, I do a Fangirl Friday blog over there almost every Friday about what I’m fangirling over, so if that’s up your ally, give it a whirl. This past Friday’s was my thoughts about Carrie Fisher.

And in keeping with my fangirl obsessions, I’m also on Tumblr and I’m writing a Clexa fic at Archive of Our Own.

Anyway, I just want to say that for the most part, 2016 was full of serious suckage. So here, I’m listing 10 things I’m looking forward to in 2017, provided the new regime doesn’t shut down the Internet and start rounding people like me up (only partially kidding).

1. Wynonna Earp Season 2. OMG I can’t EVEN! SO EXCITED about this! Wynonna Earp provided balm to my broken Clexa heart in the wake of the bullshit that was S3 of The 100. Queer and POC rep! Possible March premiere of Wynonna Earp S2. More of my fangirling over it. By the way, shout-out to the Wynonna Earp fandom, which organized and was largely responsible for convincing the network (SyFy) to renew for a second season. Well done, my peeps. Well done.
screen-shot-2017-01-01-at-2-19-26-pm

2. Killjoys Season 3. Killjoys, too, provided some balm to my little wounded heart in the wake of The 100 and yay, it was renewed for a third season. Ass-kicking women, great plots, space opera awesome-ness. Queer and POC rep. It’s well worth your time to check this series out. And here’s me fangirling over it.

3. Star Wars Episode VIII: This is the last Star Wars appearance of Carrie Fisher, if I’m not mistaken, and I’ll most likely cry when I see her on the screen, but damn, Star Wars. Thank GAWD for Star Wars in my life. It feeds my little space opera/spec fic/adventurous soul.

screen-shot-2017-01-01-at-2-21-56-pm

4. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter – Yeah, whatever! I enjoy the Resident Evil movies because HELLO. Mila Jovovich kicking serious ass all over the screens as Alice, battling the evil corporate empire and various zombies and whatever the hell else she has to deal with. Woman power, y’all!

And yes, that is Guns n’ Roses playing. How can you not want to see this movie?

Notice my theme, here? Fangirling and escapism. If only I could have my own band of outlaws and take to space…

5. ClexaCon, Las Vegas, March: HOLY SHIT I am SO STOKED about this. ClexaCon is the inaugural con for queer women in media, named in honor of the iconic ship Clexa, from The 100. I will be attending as press (Women and Words) and I will be blogging and Tweeting about it and I may be moderating a panel. We shall see! If you’re interested, here’s an interview I did with some of the organizers.

6. Releasing a few more books/novellas. Okay, so, I’ve been kind of tight-lipped about what I’m up to in that regard, and I usually am (weird superstition), but I am going to be publishing a few things this year. So stay tuned. 🙂

7. Writing more fanfic: I dunno. I’m really enjoying this, so I may actually write some more this year. Probably Clexa, but you never know. And holy shit, I may actually do some AU Clexa. WTF? lol

8. Continued work building community: Some of you know that I and bunches of colleagues do lots of community-building through Women and Words and organizations like GCLS as well as through various other organizations, and I love doing it. I’m going to keep doing that — and I think we need it now more than ever.

9. Hopefully some more travel, provided the new regime doesn’t put travel restrictions on people it deems “unworthy” (again, only partially kidding…ugh). I would LUUUUUV to go to New Zealand and Australia, so if anybody in those countries feels like putting up a half-cracked weirdo American fangirl/author like myself, let me know! LOL

10. A super-secret project I can’t tell you about yet. Really looking forward to it, and you’ll be the first to know when it drops. 😀

Regardless, stay strong, my friends. Stick up for each other, speak out, and remember who you are. Much love for 2017.

Some reminder writing tip posts

Hey, all!

Damn. Been a while. But you can always find me over at Women and Words, on Twitter, or Facebook.

I’m working on several see-krit projects at the moment. A not see-krit project is the fanfic I’m doing over at Archive of Our Own. It’s a Clexa piece, and it’s over 180K words, now. Still going. Basically, I rebooted season 3. You’re welcome. 😀

Anyway! Here are some writing tips just for you, in a few different (oldies but goodies) blogs that I wrote. I still get requests for these, so here they are again:

On writing dialogue

On Point-of-view (POV)

On headhopping

“As you know, Bob…” (part of the writer’s adage, show-don’t-tell)

Participial Phrases

Get your write on!

Happy Tuesday.