Monday, January 19, 2015

Reading and Mockery are a Few of My Favorite Things

I LOVE reading. Like, I just finished book 9 of 2015. Love it. And I am a very accepting reader. I've even read all of the Twilight books. Twice. In my defense, I read them the first time to see what the hullabaloo was about, and then again because I figured I missed something since there was still said hullabaloo. Sigh.

Despite my ability to read garbage and enjoy it, I have a few pet peeves that  really get my goat.

1. Typos

From my understanding, books have a lot of people touch them. Writer, editors, friends, family, more editors, publishers, advanced readers, etc. So many people, so how do all of these people not realize that there is a sentence that says, "and despite her flowning face..." WHAT. THAT'S NOT EVEN A WORD. YOU HAVE ONE JOB. How are typos even a thing with all of those people reading it? ONE JOB. 

2. Over Description of Outfits

One of the downsides to my willingness to read whatever is put in front of me is that I read some terrible writing. I usually enjoy the story despite said awfulness, but there is one thing I can't stand. I have come to realize that there is a hallmark of bad writing - describing what everyone is wearing. ALL THE TIME. 

I read a book that listed five different colors of pink nail polish. FIVE. "And her Ice Princess Pink nails...." and "she looked at her Fru Fru Magoo Pink nails..." What. Why. I was really starting to get into this ridiculous story and suddenly all I can think about is how often your main character is painting her nails. 

3. Literally

"He was so angry that his eyes were literally on fire." SOMEONE HELP THE DYING MAN! THAT SOUNDS TERRIBLE!! Unless you are Rob Lowe on Parks and Rec, and deliver this line with absolute sincerity, do not use this word. Just don't risk it. It literally always goes wrong.  

4. Decimate

This one irritates me so much because it's been misused to the point that the definition of the word has changed. Decimate means destroy one in ten. Writers LOVE this word. "The war decimated the population.." I mean, 10% loss isn't great, BUT IT'S NOT WHAT YOU MEAN. Devastated. Destroyed. Annihilated. All lovely options. 

5. Hair color

I finally read Gone Girl the other day, and it was really good! BUT as a girl who has dyed my hair a gross amount of times, I had one major pet peeve. The main character dyes her own hair brown (fine, that's a thing) but then dyes her hair right back to blonde. Nope. No no no. Not a thing. Dying brown dyed hair with blonde dye from a box has two outcomes - horrifying or blood curdling. Neon orange. Or green. 

Am I nit picking? Yes. Would her green hair have ruined her whole story? YES. 

What's your biggest pet peeve in reading?


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

RAR!! I'm Angry Like a Dinosaur Stuck in a Party Hat

When I write, I do it to help my own process and to entertain, because making people laugh is pretty much the best thing in the whole world.

Today, I don't feel like being funny. You know that feeling you get when your soul feels like it is physically on fire because you are so aggrieved and/or hurt and/or stabby? I have that in spades today. I could give you an outline of all my internal organs because my feelings are so visceral.

As I told Princess Consuela, "I have rage in my soul," and she suggested we name our band that. T-shirts are in the works.

Typically, I would not deal with this online for all the world to see, because it's not nearly as fun to read about gross feelings as it is embarrassing stories. However, the whole point of all this is that I am tired of keeping silent.

I wrote a while back about the idea of shame and how damaging it is (if I remember to, I'll put a link in the comments, but I probably won't). Being a people pleaser, with a very external locus of control, I'm often impacted by shame, real and/or perceived, so it shouldn't be a surprise that I have more to say on the subject.

I'm frequently shamed for who I am. Let's look at the facts - I'm fat, I don't put effort in to my appearance often, I'm loud and opinionated, I'm emotional, I often take up more space than allotted, I wear a sock monkey hat on a regular bases, and the list goes one. I am not dainty, I am not put together, I am not demure, I am not traditionally attractive, I rarely say the right thing, and, boy howdy, does that piss society off.    

"But Anna, we live in a society that is liberated and women are free to be what they want and look how they want. Society is so much more progressive now, you're behind the times, this isn't the 1950s!"


Well, not totally. You are correct it is not the 1950s, I stand corrected. But as to the rest, BULL SHIT.

I am shamed by friends and strangers alike. People often think I can't hear them in places like the grocery store. Friends think what they say doesn't get back to me. A look communicates so loudly you might as well yell.

It's exhausting and makes me heart sick.

And I'm sick of it. For myself and for others like me who aren't even in the same room as society's mold. It's total crap. If your perfect life is so unsettled by who I am that you have to communicate it directly or indirectly, then go away. I'm tired of being the one running. I'm tired of pretending I can't hear or see. And I bet others are too.

I am awesome. I'm gut-laughingly funny, I'm bright, I love fiercely, I have eyebrows to die for, and skin so great people want to make me into a trendy vest.

I am also deeply loved. I have people who are so affirming in my life, it's almost aggressive. But the reason I can't stay silent anymore? Because the negativity people who don't fit in face is so loud, it is so damn hard to hear the positive.

Shaming people doesn't just effect the people who are the direct recipients, but their loved ones. My husband has to deal with the me rejecting compliments about my body because I often hear things like, "oh wow, are you sure you want to take a picture next to her?"

So stop. Just stop. Leave us alone. Leave alone people who are overweight or have bad skin. The people who are socially awkward. The people who love Pokemon way past the appropriate age. Shame is so damaging, and whatever the goal is, it is not achieving any positive outcome. You telling me I'm fat isn't going to  magically inspire me to lose weight.

And you. Yes, you. The person who understands what it is like to hate parts of yourself because society says you should. STOP IT. You are so wonderful. I would much rather hear about your weird obsession with comic books than about the newest trick for applying eyeliner. Unless that's truly your thing, then I want to hear about. Embrace your quirks, your looks, your attitude. You are an inspiration, deal with it.      

Being shamed is awful. But the worst is when it translates into shaming yourself. I've been letting myself be eaten up by shame the last few weeks, for various reasons from various sources. And the tragedy is, it's my fault for letting them win.

So no more. I'm delightful. If that bothers you, I don't care. If it inspires you, wonderful. And if you ever need someone to speak louder than all the shaming bull shit in society, I'm  your girl.