Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Misandry of FROZEN


I'm going to have to take an unpopular stand here and say that Frozen is one of my least favorite Disney films to date.

Wait, keep reading!  You might just agree with me.

I went into this movie with a pretty open mind.  Disney has a history of finding a film the public likes and squeezing every last penny out of it in every possible way until the public can't stand it anymore.  (Start singing "Let It Go" and see how many groans you get these days.)  That said, I was prepared to ignore the marketing-a-thon and see the movie anyway, being a fan of animation in general.

I liked the fresh setting, and the relationship between the sisters was also unconventional - a move away from romance (mostly) and into new territory, showing that girls can have more on their minds than marriage.  The character action read more like a musical or stage performance than a movie, no doubt a deliberate move on Disney's part so they can translate it easily onto Broadway or to other venues.  Very prettily done, I'll admit.  (Disney also upheld their own rule of killing off a character or two in the beginning of the movie, so no disappointments there. *grin*)

Where Disney failed in their "feminist" approach to this film is that it hammered the other end of the spectrum, giving us male characters that really not need be present in the film at all. Most of the males in this movie are either prejudiced, evil, clownish, or entirely silent. I'm all for female empowerment, and I don't think a girl needs a man to feel validated.  However, this film merely perpetuates a gender prejudice I have seen in so many recent films and television shows (particularly sitcoms), where the the man is portrayed as the clueless comic relief to a savvier female.  Rather than fostering gender equality, Frozen reinforces this imbalance, even celebrates it.

As a gender, women used to bemoan the lack of strong female leads in film.  We had - what, Princess Leia?  Now, we are faced with a tipping of the scales in the other direction, an overload of films and television shows that minimize a male's meaningful contribution to story.  One does not have to devalue men in order to be a feminist.  In fact, a strong woman would not feel the need to measure her worth against another's, male or not.  She would simply BE strong, without feeling the need to call attention to the fact. If there must be romance in a movie, I would much rather watch the pair become a team, with their separate talents helping to form a stronger whole.  THAT should be the message we carry to our children: not that one gender is better than another, but that everyone has strengths, and combining them can accomplish some amazing things.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

New York State to Ban Hydrofracking


New York State can breathe a sigh of relief for the protection of its environmental health, especially its groundwater. Governor Andrew Cuomo will be banning hydrofracking in our state.

Hydrofracking is variously defined as hydraulic fracturing, hydrofracturing, hydrofracking, fracking, or fraccing, and innocuously alluded to as "drilling for shale oil." What it really does is allow private companies to inject water and a proprietary (and therefore undisclosed) concoction of chemicals into our shale to hydraulically drill for oil. While to the energy-conscious this might seem a good thing, reducing our reliance on foreign oil, it is in fact an untested, unproven, expensive, and hazardous undertaking.

Hydrofracking risks contamination of groundwater, soil, and air, and can also be linked to instability in the ground itself. There have been numerous reports showing the damaging results of hydrofracking. I don't even need to go into them; you can Google it for yourself, including one presentation by Thomas Shelley, a former chemical hygiene officer at Cornell University. Mr. Shelley participated in a 2011 panel discussion on hydrofracking presented by Upstate University.

Cuomo stated that it's our responsibility to find energy alternatives. Bravo to Governor Cuomo for listening to New Yorkers' concerns and for putting the environment and our future health first.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas Tree 2014: Silver and Gold!


 This year, our tree is self-explanatory. Everything silver, gold or white went onto the tree, with a few additions of favorite ornaments. I love how this tree shines at night when it's dark in the room and only the tree is lit.

Looking for some ideas and inspiration for your own tree? I put my trees on both my Pinterest page and my Facebook page, so you can check them out in either place.

Happy Holidays to all! Hope you have an enjoyable and peaceful season.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Twelve Days of Writing


The Twelve Days of Writing

It's that time of year again, fellow authors! This year, a tongue-in-cheek version of "The Twelve Days of Christmas!" You know the song, so I'll just go backwards from twelve. Sing along! (I just wish I could write a full book this fast. *grin*)

On the twelfth day of writing my hard work gave to me:

Twelve finished chapters,
Eleven broken pencils,
Ten aching fingers,
Nine crumpled stickies,
Eight crazy plot twists,
Seven garbled E-mails,
Six dead highlighters,
Five killer scenes ....
Four awesome CP's,
Three days of edits,
Two chewed nails,
And a finally-polished manuscript!

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Happy Holidays!

Today, I'm posting to wish you all the happiest of holidays.  This has been a wonderful year for me, full of writing, book releases, and goals fulfilled.  HEAVY NETTING and FLASHPOINT were big successes, and there's more to come in 2015.  I hope your year has been just as productive and satisfying!

As the snow begins to fall here in NY, I'm winding down my events for the year and beginning to plan my 2015 calendar.  I'll be making time for some holiday baking and some relaxing hours on the couch with a good book.  (If you have any suggestions, I love historicals!)

Have a peaceful season, and make some time for yourself among all that hustle and bustle!

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

My 2015 Calendar is Open!


I can't believe the New Year is so close! I have opened my 2015 calendar to chats, appearances, and workshops! If you're interested in scheduling me for any of those, you can contact me to set it up! I am available most weekends for appearances and workshops. If you would like to schedule an online chat with me, most evenings are available.

Hope your holidays are terrific, and your 2015 is even better!