Remember how everyone’s favorite part of Heath Ledger’s performance in Brokeback Mountain was his almost painful physical repression, his reluctance to express any emotion that wasn’t punching or SHUTTING DOWN? His voice was closed in on itself in a raspy burr — he fell to the ground rather…
“Last year, in total, British police officers actually fired their weapons three times. The number of people fatally shot was zero. In 2012 the figure was just one. Even after adjusting for the smaller size of Britain’s population, British citizens are around 100 times less likely to be shot by a police officer than Americans. Between 2010 and 2014 the police force of one small American city, Albuquerque in New Mexico, shot and killed 23 civilians; seven times more than the number of Brits killed by all of England and Wales’s 43 forces during the same period.
The explanation for this gap is simple. In Britain, guns are rare. Only specialist firearms officers carry them; and criminals rarely have access to them. The last time a British police officer was killed by a firearm on duty was in 2012, in a brutal case in Manchester. The annual number of murders by shooting is typically less than 50. Police shootings are enormously controversial. The shooting of Mark Duggan, a known gangster, which in 2011 started riots across London, led to a fiercely debated inquest. Last month, a police officer was charged with murder over a shooting in 2005. The reputation of the Metropolitan Police’s armed officers is still barely recovering from the fatal shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes, an innocent Brazilian, in the wake of the 7/7 terrorist bombings in London.
In America, by contrast, it is hardly surprising that cops resort to their weapons more frequently. In 2013, 30 cops were shot and killed—just a fraction of the 9,000 or so murders using guns that happen each year. Add to that a hyper-militarised police culture and a deep history of racial strife and you have the reason why so many civilians are shot by police officers. Unless America can either reduce its colossal gun ownership rates or fix its deep social problems, shootings of civilians by police—justified or not—seem sure to continue.”—Armed police: Trigger happy | The Economist (via kenyatta)
It's really disappointing to see you co-sign that Holly Black post as if the majority of YA authors don't write about very whitewashed worlds where queer/trans/poc people may as well not exist. Telling people to change that reality with their purchasing power is a tad hypocritical when you all write a certain way because you know that's what sells. I'd be more sympathetic to your point if you weren't directly contributing to the problem.
The point of Holly’s post is that buying works by PoC/LGBTQ/trans writers will literally change the landscape of what’s out there and what’s a bestseller and what’s mainstream. I do sign on to that.
As for the need for more diversity in all books being written, yes to that too. Though, I wish you wouldn’t say I am doing something because “you know that’s what sells.” People think writers do EVERYTHING because “that’s what sells.” People are always reading our minds/explaining our motives—people from every standpoint. Most book banners use the “you do this because this is what sells” in order to denigrate work. My goal for myself is to try harder and do better and make good stories.
But the point remains that diverse writers of diverse books are out there, and by buying their books, the playing field changes. It sounds like maybe you aren’t aware of all these writers. That’s a problem. But it’s something that so many good people are working on now, to bring these writers up to the front of the store/the reading list.
EVEN MORE NEWS: I am putting Wattpad online today, AS YOU MIGHT HAVE NOTICED. NEW ADDITION: A Study in Sink, my John Green/Sherlock fanfic, originally written for the Harry Potter Alliance. NOW YOU CAN READ IT FOR FREE.
YOU CAN READ A LOT OF THE NAME OF THE STAR NOW FOR FREE
I know. I am just full of this stuff today. But I thought I would let you know, since I just put it up, that the first 1/4 of The Name of the Star is now on Wattpad and you can read it for free, if you want.
Many of you have asked me, "Maureen, what is going on with The Boy in the Smoke?" And I have puffed on my cigar and looked at you enigmatically before spinning in my chair. Because I could not tell you, even though I knew.
Now I can tell you. And I shall.
*spins in chair for a moment*
FIRST! I will explain what THE BOY IN THE SMOKE is. The Boy in the Smoke is the Shades of London PREQUEL. It comes BEFORE The Name of the Star, and it details what happens to Stephen Dene that causes him to develop his sight! Yes!
*stops randomly bolding words*
I wrote this novella for World Book Day UK, and it is on sale throughout the UK. However! I wanted to make it available to ANYONE! For FREE!
And now, I am doing so.
On August 18th, The Boy in the Smoke will go live on Wattpad. The story has four sections, and one section will go live every week!
A: It is free as the proverbial bird. I wanted it to be free and SO IT IS!
Q: Why Wattpad?
A: Because I think Wattpad is an awesome platform on which you can share and comment on stories.
Q: What’s the catch?
A: There is no catch.
Q:Do I need to read this to understand things that will be coming up in future Shades of London books?
A: No, but there are details in the story that will certainly ENHANCE that experience.
Q: What if I want a physical copy or an ebook? AND I WANT IT NOW.
A: You’ll need to order that from the UK. Try Waterstones. Click here for a physical copy or here to immediately get the ebook.
I should add on a content note that the second part of the story (it is divided into four marked sections) contains a scene of a suicide attempt (not completed). The story is about NOT committing that act. It’s about how that act is a terrible mistake. However, I wanted this to be known for anyone who, for whatever reason, might have an issue with reading such a scene.
And that’s it! Of course, THE SHADOW CABINET comes out in the United States on February 5th. ALL YOUR ANSWERS ARE COMING!
- until each time I leave for LeakyCon, and the texts and excitement start flying, is that I AM SEEING SOME OF MY BEST FRIENDS TOO. In the craziness of the year and all the work it’s easy to forget that. And I watch how people say “I’m going home,” and mean it. And I always feel like that guy…
i just saw a webcomic which also happened to be about ghosts and special police who catch those ghosts and the special police were called INSPECTRES!! i cannot help but feel like you have dropped the ball on this one MJ
Maureen I feel like everyone inadvertently makes me feel really inferior for being a girl who doesn't want to wear makeup and I feel like I have absolutely no female role models who don't wear any makeup and it's so alienating and messing with my self esteem and it's not fair and I don't know what to do. I mostly hear other people say it's good for women to wear makeup for themselves, but when they say women don't have to it seems like an afterthought and that they don't really mean it. h..help?
I had to use an image to get the second part of the question in there.
SO, OKAY. I think I will need to break this apart because there are a few things here to grapple with. I’ll get to the easy ones and progress to the more complex part.
The first bit of good news is that there are loads of women who don’t wear make up. I can’t speak to your female role models, because they are a group that you’ve selected. I would hope you don’t dismiss a female role model because she wears makeup, in the same way that I would hope you would feel the same about her if she did not.
Second, I don’t know where you are—I know some places are more into hair and makeup than other places. (The two are often paired.) If you are, MORE GOOD NEWS! Not everywhere is like that!
Third, John saying he liked to wear makeup was just a statement of opinion on his part about a personal feeling on a matter personal to him. That’s allowed! We don’t have to be exactly like our role models in every respect. No one is alike in every respect! Also, I believe John was talking about this to subvert the assumption that men should not wear/like to wear makeup, when the wearing of makeup is one of the more arbitrary things of our culture. Anyone can wear it or not wear it. For some people, the wearing of makeup is a sign of their personal liberation. And for some, the lack of it is the same. John wasn’t suggesting that you should also wear it. He simply was saying, “I identify as male, and I wear makeup, and I am fine with it.” It’s much like saying, “I identify as female and do not wear makeup and am fine with it.”
These are both extremely correct and pleasing statements.
All matters of personal adornment—makeup, hairstyle, hair color, tattoos, clothing choices—these are matters for each person to decide for themselves. There is nothing whatsoever wrong with not wearing makeup! There is also nothing wrong with wearing it! I certainly understand what you are saying about the pressure on women to conform to a certain behavior, and that often includes the wearing of makeup. But you have correctly assessed that you don’t have to. You never have to. Loads of people do not! I SWEAR TO YOU.
I’m kind of a 50/50 person myself. I tend not to wear it most days, but if I am doing something, I tend to put it on. I was in theater for a long time, and I like the pleasing sensation of putting on makeup to prepare to make some kind of appearance. That I’m a woman is irrelevant. If someone told me I had to wear makeup, I’d probably throw mine out the window. If someone told me I couldn’t, I’d buy some. I don’t care. No fixed position is needed on the subject, but if you have one, that’s fine! No makeup for you! Perfect. Lovely!
I know it is a hard feeling when you feel yourself conflicting with some preconceived notion of what men or women are like. This may sound weird, but I am going to suggest that you grab hold of that discomfort and realize it for what it is—the pressure of that message hitting you. That discomfort is you pushing back against obvious nonsense. Keep pushing. This is how we develop as people. And as society!
We cannot control what others say or do. We can only work with how we perceive what others say or do. I am sorry you feel bad about how other people seem to react with your deliciously rad no-makeup stance. But I’ll bet you REAL HUMAN MONEY several people in that group really respect you for it.
I feel like you would hold the baton dressed as a Jedi and scream random quotes from Star Wars while pointing the planes in random directions and John will be in the control room blaring Light saber sound effects every time you move your baton. I don't know the thought just came to me
Laura Aceves photographed in 2009, holding her niece. Berryville, Arkansas — Two days before she died, Laura Aceves stood on the side of the road and frantically dialed the police for the last time. It was early afternoon and the 21-…
One of the most intense and moving articles I’ve ever read on this subject. A hard read, but so very worth it. Please share. This is important, important stuff.
Which authors are you friends with? Like I know you thank Jackson Pearce in your acknowledgments in some books (I have read As You Wish by her and this book is so beautiful!) but do you know other authors personally?
I don’t know if you knew this, but published authors run in packs. If you are very quiet, and you stuff your left pocket with foxglove and your right with St. John’s Wort, you can see these authorial packs by the light of a full moon. The proper name for such a grouping is a travesty. So if you have been quiet, and also if you have no outstanding library fines, you will see the insidious dark forms of dozens of roving literature mongers streaming across the suburbs. You shall hear them whispering hoarsely back and forth. If you listen closely, you can hear what they are saying — away away the hero’s journey subtext and meaning a gif of tony stark holding a kitten away away —
You will know me by my antlers.
Do I know other authors personally? I know a travesty of authors, my dear reader. A travesty.