“I know some very great writers, writers you love who write beautifully and have made a great deal of money, and not one of them sits down routinely feeling wildly enthusiastic and confident. Not one of them writes elegant first drafts.”—Anne Lamott (via maxkirin)
“The truth is, everyone likes to look down on someone. If your favorites are all avant-garde writers who throw in Sanskrit and German, you can look down on everyone. If your favorites are all Oprah Book Club books, you can at least look down on mystery readers. Mystery readers have sci-fi readers. Sci-fi can look down on fantasy. And yes, fantasy readers have their own snobbishness. I’ll bet this, though: in a hundred years, people will be writing a lot more dissertations on Harry Potter than on John Updike. Look, Charles Dickens wrote popular fiction. Shakespeare wrote popular fiction - until he wrote his sonnets, desperate to show the literati of his day that he was real artist. Edgar Allan Poe tied himself in knots because no one realized he was a genius. The core of the problem is how we want to define “literature”. The Latin root simply means “letters”. Those letters are either delivered - they connect with an audience - or they don’t. For some, that audience is a few thousand college professors and some critics. For others, its twenty million women desperate for romance in their lives. Those connections happen because the books successfully communicate something real about the human experience. Sure, there are trashy books that do really well, but that’s because there are trashy facets of humanity. What people value in their books - and thus what they count as literature - really tells you more about them than it does about the book.”—
More fun facts about ancient Celtic marriage laws: There were no laws against interclass or interracial marriage, no laws against open homosexual relationships (although they weren’t considered ‘marriages’ since the definition of a marriage was ‘couple with child’), no requirement for women to take their husband’s names or give up their property, but comedians couldn’t get married
Having a pet is so weird. Like neither of you speak each other’s language and yet you form some strong bond by rubbing against each other and sleeping together and you might accidentally kick them in the face or step on their tail once in a while but at the end of the day you two are best buddies from entirely different species.
Q: Why does that character have to be gay/bi/black/Asian/Hispanic/etc?
A: As opposed to what?
I’ve found this to be a useful response, because many people will hesitate before saying “white” or “straight.” That hesitation comes from the realization, however subconscious, that they have defaulted all characters to white and straight, and are thereby declaring this normal, while everything else is other. From here, if they choose to acknowledge their internalized (unintentional but still harmful) supremacy rather than going on the defensive, they will begin to understand the real value of representation.
Q: This story isn’t about romance! Why does it matter if the characters are gay?
A: What should they be instead?
Essentially the same response. By that logic, any character in any story who does not have a romantic or sexual story arc should be aromantic and/or asexual. But the truth is, sexuality is only one part of a character’s identity (hey! just like IRL!). Any character of any race, gender, or sexual orientation can go on an adventure that does not involve sex or romance.
“Sometimes you meet someone, and it’s so clear that the two of you, on some level belong together. As lovers, or as friends, or as family, or as something entirely different. You just work, whether you understand one another or you’re in love or you’re partners in crime. You meet these people throughout your life, out of nowhere, under the strangest circumstances, and they help you feel alive. I don’t know if that makes me believe in coincidence, or fate, or sheer blind luck, but it definitely makes me believe in something.”—(via shonaaak)