Category: Miscellaneous

Livetweeting Sera Myu: Overture of Last Dracul

Posted June 18, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

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Chibiusa and Hotaru sitting in a pink boat while two human-sized ducks sit on the stage/water and one human-sized goose is posing.

It is time! After a good rest, I have collected last night’s livetweet into a new Storify!

This week I’ve livetweeted Overture of Last Dracul, or more accurately New/Transformation – The Path to Become the Super Warrior – Overture of Last Dracul and if that sounds like it’s a remake of a first stage musical you would be absolutely correct!

 

This musical is exactly like 1995’s Transformation – The Path to Become the Super Warrior except the Death Busters have been replaced by Death Nightmares, Tomoe… sort-of exists but is replaced by Berserk, Pharaoh 90 has been replaced with Death Vulcan, Mistress 9 does not exist, and oh there are vampires.

Yes, really.

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Interview at Huntress of Diverse Books!

Posted June 11, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

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Today Huntress of Diverse Book has posted an interview with one of my characters! Sinead is interviewing the protatonist of Sea Foam and Silence and in keeping with the fact that Sea Foam is a verse novel, we’ve done the whole interview in verse. Come check it out! Learn a little more about our little mermaid as she talks about discovering life on land, fails to understand puppies, and talks about what she loves to do.

And, while you’re there, why not check out the rest of Sinead’s blog too! <3

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First Patreon Goal Reached! Thank you so much!

Posted June 8, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

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Patreon Goal Reached! Thank you, everyone!

OMG! Thank you all so so much! <3 It was just a $5 goal, but I am just… blown away. <3

Goal 1: A freebie flash fiction piece or a piece of poetry for everyone, every month!

I’ve already scheduled the new freebie for this month! It’ll be a shortish poem set in the middle of Sea Foam and Silence and it’ll go up on the 15th!

It’s called This Roar of Tiny Voices and focuses on our mermaid discovering birds. You don’t need to have read Sea Foam and Silence to follow along with the poem. It’s just a little extra piece that I’ve written for everyone who wanted to see a little more of the mermaid’s explorations on land!

Here’s the first verse as a sneak peek!

The first time I hear birdsong…
The first time after the Witch gave me legs. ^_^
That first time, it is a soft thing.

I’ll undoubtedly see if I can make it two freebie pieces, with one of them being something entirely new and stand-alone as a way to say ‘thank you’ too. <3

Next Goal: Lynn Talks Linguistics

We’re also already over half way towards the next goal! Wherein I start answering questions about grammar and linguistics.

Once a month, I’ll open up a question post where you can ask me about English grammar or linguistics and I’ll do my best to answer them! (Bear in mind that my speciality is teaching modern English grammar.) I’ll pick out questions I can answer and then you’ll all get to vote on which one you want me to answer!

And just…

Thank you! Thank you so much!

I strive to keep making fantastic content for you all to enjoy! <3

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May 2017 Round Up

Posted June 2, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

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This month, in the interest of trying out some new things, I thought I’d forego the regular culture consumption post and try a different kind of round-up, focusing on the posts that I’ve made this month. I will admit to also doing this because, in all honesty, the posts take a fair bit of time to do even when I manage to stay on top of them and I’m not sure how much value they have for people in their existing format.

The links round-up is largely automated, thanks to the Ultimate Book Blogger plug-in’s awesome wrap-up feature, so it consumes far less time to manage when my approach is to use that to showcase links from the most important categories. Plus! Unlike the current “What did I post this month” structure that lumps everything together, this gives me a good overview of what I’m talking about in a month and that, in turn, will hopefully allow me to create more content because I can use the information to look at what people want more or less of.

I’m also including Patreon-only posts. These are the only set of links that aren’t automated. May is a slightly terrible month to start listing Patreon posts in because I’ve made a ton of scheduled posts to collect older material in one place. This way, people who explore my Patreon can find a lot of my content in one convenient location (right where they are!) and get a good sense of what I do without having to visit half a dozen sites to do so.

For now, there are no graphics because I want to try out the structure and see whether I like it/whether anything needs changing first. So. If there’s anything you particularly want to see (or to see disappear) or aught, please let me know! And yes you can totally request I include my thoughts on media I’ve consumed that month. Unless people overwhelmingly ask me to, it won’t come back the way that it was, but if people find it useful I’m more than happy to try and find a way to make it work better for me too.

Goals

News

Patreon-Exclusive

This is not a collection of all the posts that went up on Patreon. This is just a list of the posts that went up on Patreon only. Most of these posts are personal life updates, fiction or fiction-related. Reviews and livetweets will find their way onto this blog eventually if they haven’t already appeared.

May saw a lot of public posts as I decided to move both the Teaser Verses of Rapunzel, Rapunzel and the sampler for Feather by Feather and Other Stories to Patreon. To clarify, I will not be collecting the Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon reaction posts that went up on Patreon this month. If you want to check them out, you can also find them on this blog!

Culture Consumption

Misc Posts

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How to Make a List of Asexual Books Post

Posted May 24, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 2 Comments

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How to Make a List of Asexual Books Post

So… There’s something I’ve noticed about a lot of people making lists about asexual representation. Actually, there’s a few things I’ve noticed and they all fall into slightly similar patterns.

Before I start talking about how to make lists about asexual representation, I want to discuss something else briefly. I want to talk about how these lists make me feel. This is especially true of lists or listers that include multiple queer orientations in their lists. These lists often make me feel like the asexual representation is tacked on as an afterthought with barely any research into what asexual representation exists in the field. The books are out there!

Claudie Arseneault’s absolutely fantastic database of asexual and aromantic characters in SFF fiction lists about 59 novels and novellas with asexual characters at the time I’m writing this. This post is concerned with listing asexuality in books, but a few things about aromanticism:
Aromantic readers have even less representation, the representation they do have is predominantly linked to asexuality1, and I have yet to see a list (that wasn’t compiled by aromantic readers) that explicitly includes aromanticism.

Those 59 books in Claudie’s database? Isn’t all of them. It’s an SFF-only list, so a book like Alice Oseman’s Radio Silence isn’t going to be on it. That’s contemporary YA. A handful of books I didn’t spot on the list that are also SFF and contain confirmed asexual representation: Garth Nix’s Clariel2, R.J. Anderson’s Quicksilver, Jo Walton’s The King’s Peace, Scott Westerfeld’s Afterworlds.

My point obviously isn’t to diss Claudie’s database. It is a fantastic resource. I mention those books because I want to highlight that there are enough books with asexual representation out there that even those of us who pay close attention to acespec characters in books will miss some of them.

So when I see book lists that include asexual representation and those book lists keep on including the same two or three books every single time that hurts. And that shows me that whoever compiled the list did the absolute bare minimum of research into asexual representation, assuming that they even did that much research.

And that’s why it feels like asexual representation is an afterthought when people make these lists. That’s why seeing the same books recommended over and over hurts so much. Recommending the same books over and over again just makes it seem like there so little representation out there. It suggests that we’re not worth reading about.

Now, I know. I know. When people make lists like this, often the books that get added are the popular books, the well-known ones. Trust me, I know. But when it comes to asexual representation, the recommendations are stagnant. It’s always the same handful of books that get included. A list with asexual representation will always include Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire. It will almost always include Clariel. Etc. It’s always the same handful of books. Always from the same tiny pool of books out there. It makes it seem like that handful of books is the only asexual representation out there when, clearly, it’s not. I wouldn’t be able to name 63 books with asexual representation if that handful of books was all there is.

A caveat here: part of this is based on faulty perceptions. I’m letting it stand because I’m talking about how it feels, but other queer communities struggle equally much with finding representation in books, and this is before taking into account intersectionality. I suspect that much of what I’m about to say can be applied to other minorities.

The issue I have with lists that are as stagnant as the ones I see for asexual representation is that this stagnation is actively harmful to readers. If ten different recommendation posts all list the same five books, readers are left thinking that those five books are all the books that are available to them. It doesn’t encourage people to do their own research to find that, actually, there are at least several dozen more! It actively discourages researching because, surely, if there were more books out there they would be talked about more often.

So what can we do about that?

1. Spend as much time researching books with asexual representation as you would other representations.

There are, at least, 64 books with characters on the asexual spectrum that have been published to date. When I searched for ‘asexual books’ just now, this was the second link. There are 135 books on that GoodReads list. Not all of them are fiction, mind you, but a sizeable chunk is. The top result for similar lists is this one about asexuality in YA fiction. It has 54 books on it when I checked (and considers Every Heart a Doorway adult fiction or it would’ve been 55).

That took, what, five minutes and the most basic of search terms I could think of using. Don’t tell me that you can’t find more asexual books than the handful that keep getting recommended on these “books with asexual representation” lists.

I take back what I said earlier. Including the same handful of books over and over suggests the person who compiled it did no research because it’s so incredibly easy to find others if you actually look for them.

When someone knows how much more representation there is out there, it’s very easy for that person to feel like the only research that’s gone into making the recommendations list is looking at a handful of popular mainstream lists and deciding to mix and match from between those titles and… that’s it. That’s all the research that that person did.

It may not be true! I don’t know the list-maker. I don’t know how much research they did or did not do, but that’s how it will come across to asexual readers looking for more representation.

2. Recognise that asexual representation and aromantic representation are not the same thing.

They are not. I would argue that failing to differentiate between the two is one of the biggest red flags regarding the amount of research someone did in compiling their ace rep lists. (Another red flag is failing to mention aromanticism at all.)

This is… a difficult topic for me to talk about, to be honest, because I’m not aromantic and I know a lot of aros who have been hurt by alloromantic aces speaking about aromanticism and getting it wrong. You can find a good primer written by Mikayla on Twitter here. Bear in mind it’s a 101 thread and will pretty much only give you a grounding in the terms. You can also check out AVEN‘s website or the Aromantics Wiki to get you started.

I will say that while I think the conflation is understandable, given how invisible both orientations are and how often the representation we do get conflates the two, that doesn’t mean it’s right and it’s certainly something that list makers need to bear in mind and actively work against perpetuating.

The easiest way to do that is to list both a character’s romantic and asexual orientation so that people will know what rep they’re looking into.

3. Look at small press and indie publications.

I know. I know. They’re frequently less popular and less well-known than the big popular names, but… I guarantee you that these are the books that need your signal boosting the most. Plus, most acespec authors I know struggle to get published traditionally by the larger publishers because they write characters that are deemed harder to market.

I’m certain that if Seanan McGuire hadn’t been a popular author to start with Every Heart a Doorway wouldn’t have found a traditional publisher. Not without editing out the explicit asexual and aromantic discussions anyway. Even small queer publishers don’t seem to touch asexual representation unless it’s homoromantic and the focus of the story is on the homoromantic.

4. If you have a limited amount of spots on your list available, think twice about including the most popular recommendations.

Sounds harsh, I know. But, listen. There are a couple of books (Clariel by Garth Nix or Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire are the two most notable ones) that have appeared on just about every single list about asexual representation found in mainstream book blogs. These are the staple recommendations that people turn to.

To be absolutely clear: I’m not saying that you should never recommend these books ever. But, in general, most recommendation lists consist of about 5 books per list. Some go as high up as 10! But most tend to be 5 books long because reader attention span and memory.

What I am saying is that when you’ve only got a limited number of slots to recommend books in, you should think about which books you’re including, what your goal is and whether that book reaches that goal. Look at other lists and see which books they share.

And then don’t recommend those on your actual list. Or at least restrict the list to one of them. They’re already available on a bunch of lists, so I guarantee you that there are other books that are just as good (if not better) that need the publicity for including asexual representation a lot more. Yes, even if it’s a traditionally published author like Scott Westerfeld. Did you know he wrote a demisexual character in Afterworlds? Or Laina Taylor. I didn’t know there was asexual representation in her books. No one ever mentioned it to me.

Truthfully, I would love to say “don’t recommend the most popular books in a list of less than 10 books under any circumstance”, but the truth is those are the books that will help people find your post about asexual representation because, well, they’re popular. People are going to search for them. They’re keywords to help boost the visibility of your list.

I get that there are good, defendable reasons for including those books. A list of 5 obscure books with asexual representation is nigh-on useless if no one can find them. Another approach you could take is to name drop the popular book (or books) in your introduction or at the end as an honorary mention. That way, you still get to mention the popular books (and thus get the keywords into your post), but you end up centring other books.

As much as I think the Tor.com article recommending 5 books with asexual protagonists is badly researched and messed up, it did get that aspect spot-on if you’re looking for an example of how to use popular and well-known books to recommend less well-known ones.

5. Consider making your goal explicitly “I want to introduce acespec readers to more books with asexual representation” rather than “I want to introduce allosexuals to acespec 101 books”.

This all ties into the popularity of books, as well, really. The most popular recommendation by far is Every Heart a Doorway. It’s Asexuality 101 representation. Most of my friends who’ve read it find its representation, especially its aromantic representation, problematic. Here’s the thing: we’re not looking for 101 representation to explain our orientations to allos. We’re looking for something a little more, well, nuanced.

And by and large the books that get recommended… aren’t. They’re 101 books and the list as a whole is aimed at allo readers looking to learn a little more about asexuality. It’d be nice if list-makers in mainstream outlets would think about catering to those readers who already know about those books.

There’s an added bonus to doing that for allo readers too! Because, you see, you’re also doing them a disservice by only showing them the asexual 101 books. Most Asexuality 101 books feature characters whose asexuality is similar, but asexuality is a spectrum and by recommending the same books over and over you deny allo readers a chance to understand that spectrum. In fact, you’re actively encouraging them to see that asexuality only looks one or two ways.

Which… While we’re on the subject, does a lot of harm to asexuals who don’t align with those ways because people will attack them for ‘not being queer enough’. We are queer enough, but the narrative put forth by the most-recommended and most well-known books with asexual characters wouldn’t suggest it. (See also: queer romance publishers won’t touch a book featuring a heteroromantic asexual MC or LI, even though heteroromantic asexuals aren’t straight.)

So… You know. By shifting the goal and focus of your list around, what you end up with is a list that, in the long run, does more good and promotes more diversity and cultivates more understanding between different communities. It’s win all around!

And… that’s all I can think of (for now). Hopefully that will get you started in figuring out how to write lists of books featuring asexual representation! I’m pretty sure that you can apply the same general ideas to any list focusing on representation.

To recap and to offer you a tl;dr version: do research into the marginalisation you’re recommending, think about what you want your list to accomplish and make sure that the books you include actually help you accomplish that goal.

1. In the interest of full disclosure, at the moment my works are adding to this as both the prominent aromantic characters in my books are aromantic asexual. I aim to work on including other aro rep, but I’m a slow writer. 🙁 I’d also like to apologise for making this a footnote. I didn’t know how to fit it into the main body. My apologies. 🙁

2. Clariel is one of the most frequently included books for asexual and aromantic representation. Most aspec readers I know find Clariel deeply problematic representation, so I’m not surprised that this one isn’t in the database despite how well-known it is.

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Changes?!

Posted May 23, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

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After… much consideration and deliberation I’ve decided to up the length of time posts are Patreon-exclusive to a month. No changes will be made to any of the other posts, but it will be a full month before blog posts and review posts cycle through to the main blog and become publicly available.

This change does not apply to already posted or scheduled posts. More specifically, the following posts will still appear on the 7 day schedule and will be publicly available on Patreon within 7 days after their appearance on Patreon as well:

  • How to Make a List of Asexual Books Post
  • Book Talk: The Traitor’s Tunnel by C.M. Spivey
  • Book Talk: Stake Sauce Arc 1 by RoAnna Sylver
  • Book Talk: Seven Years among Dragons by Lyssa Chiavari
  • Book Talk: Masquerade by Laura Lam
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8 Things To Keep In Mind When Boosting And Supporting People

Posted May 11, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

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One thing that, in my experience, comes up a fair bit when people see aces and aros ask allies to speak up about the issues we face too is the idea that people can’t boost our voices or issues because something else is happening that affects that person directly. This post, however, won’t look at aces and aros specifically. It looks at general ways I’ve found that are important when speaking up about the hurt done to other marginalisations when your own marginalisation is being hurt too.

It is written from an ace perspective on account of the fact that I am ace spec, after all, but I have done my best to keep the tone of this piece neutral-to-positive and general. It’s also, because I spend most of my time on Twitter, going to use Twitter terminology more than anything else, but I think it applies across various platforms. I hope you’ll find it useful, so let’s dive straight in with the first and, in my opinion, most important point!

1. Keep talking about your own issues.

Seriously. Don’t stop talking about the issues that you and your community face to talk about someone else’s. For one, if you don’t share that marginalisation, that community doesn’t need you to speak for them. For another, your voice regarding what’s happening in your community matters! It’s important!

Do you know who’s qualified to talk about the issues you/your community faces? You are. Don’t stop speaking just because another marginalisation is asking you to boost their voices.

This is especially true and especially important when multiple trashfires are happening in different communities simultaneously. Talk about yours! You don’t have to make threads to discuss what’s happening in another community unless you choose to. People just want a boost in visibility. That’s all.

If you share both? It’s okay to pick and choose which one matters most to you if you need (or want) to. Focus on whichever topic is more important to you at that time. You’re not obliged to talk about both (or either) of them. Just… Do try to boost both if you can.
Relatively, if you think the best approach for you is to focus on making positive and inclusive art and boosting the same, that is absolutely valid. You do what makes sense for you. Everyone does activism in their own way (and this is activism) and there is no One True Way.

2. Retweet or otherwise boost other marginalised voices.

Okay, so you’re dealing with your own stuff, but you see a tweet about something another marginalised group is dealing with. Why not hit that RT/reblog or like button? Even if you don’t engage with it otherwise, that will help the issue become visible to other people and it sure as heck will make the people you’ve retweeted/reblogged feel like they’re being heard and seen.

That’s basically it, though. Whatever you’re dealing with, unless you’re in the middle of a tweetstorm or aught, why not hit that RT button? It only takes a few seconds and a single click and your extended reach could help a lot.

Yes, even if your reach is only tiny. You know that saying about small things adding up? That applies here too. Lots of boosts from people with small reach adds up. It’s like crowdfunding. If 100 people can only chip in $1 each, the total sum raised is still $100 dollars. That can still make a huge difference!

But this is social media, so chances are that a boost is going to reach more than one person. I’m terrible with numbers, so to make maths easier for me (and you!), let’s say that each RT boost will reach 10 people who’ve never heard of the issue before.

If 20 people boost one of my tweets, that means that 200 people whom I could never reach on my own saw that tweet. If those people then boost your boost, that reaches another 20 people each and… that’s… like… 20 times 20 number of people who’d see it so that’s like 400 people? (This is a genuine question.) In any case, that one RT you gave me has the potential to reach exponentially more people than I could reach on my own. And all of that just for a few seconds of effort to hit a button!

3. Don’t speak for the people you’re boosting. Speak with them.

If you don’t share the marginalisation, you are not an expert on what they face. Let them speak for themselves. They’re perfectly capable of it and usually prefer to.

Just to be clear: that doesn’t mean “don’t talk about what other marginalisations deal with”. It just means “Don’t make your voice the only voice your audience sees”. Remember that you’re boosting the people, not the issue.

There are things that, if you don’t have a particular marginalisation, you will never understand in the same way. There are nuances you’ll miss and microaggressions that you might accidentally repeat. You’re trying the best you can, but there are just some things that you can’t see because you have privilege along that particular axis. Sucks, but that’s life.

If you want to speak with people, by all means do. Your voice will be welcome. But please remember this isn’t about you. Do your best to centre the people who are being hurt.

You may not always succeed. That’s okay! We’re people. We mess things up. It happens.

Relatedly, this also applies to including ways for people to support you financially without including ways for them to support the people who are actually being hurt the same way. Yes, I know that it takes a lot of effort and emotional labour to speak about an issue like, say, why something is erasive, but remember this is not about you. If you direct people only to places where they can financially support you, you’re making that thread about you and your voice, even if you include links or boost other people’s threads at the same time. They’re doing the same labour you are and, if you don’t share the marginalisation, at a much greater personal cost. Remember to centre them.

It’s okay to tell people “Hey, if you want to support me, here are ways to do it” if you also focus on ways they can support people of the marginalisation you’re boosting! Please remember to centre them in this area too! They could often use the boost!

4. Recognise that it’s okay if you, personally, cannot boost a specific instance.

Really, it’s okay. People don’t know your circumstances. If you, personally, cannot boost something at a specific time, that’s okay. You, personally, are just one person and self-care is important. Also we can’t boost all the things all the time. It’s exhausting and leads to burn-out.

Just… If you never boost a specific group or topic, even when you’re aware of an issue, and you do routinely boost other groups, the people from the group you never speak about will notice. And at that point, you may have to ask yourself why you never boost that particular group because it’s clearly a pattern that only occurs with that particular group.

5. Recognise that not all marginalised groups get the same level of boosting.

Let me be very clear here: this is not me trying to play a round of oppression Olympics. This is just a simple fact because not all marginalisations are equally widely understood or discussed. Asexuality and aromanticism are largely invisible, so of course straightwashing an aroace character is going to have less visibility (and thus less boosting) than straightwashing a gay character is.

The thing is, though, those smaller marginalisations will notice when they don’t get the same level of boosting and they’ll talk about that amongst themselves. And when they do, someone somewhere is going to tell them that they have no right to be upset about the issue because X, Y or Z is far more important.

That response is what turns it into oppression Olympics. That response is telling marginalised people how to feel and that their issues and oppression isn’t as important as another. So don’t do that. If people are hurt by the lack of support, allow them to talk about that without trying to shame them for it.

Sometimes, members of these groups will vent about the differences in boosting. Sometimes they’ll discuss it amongst themselves. I stress: they’re not doing that because they want to say “Oh, we’re more oppressed than others!” They’re doing it because, actually, it really hurts to see others speak up for or boost everyone else and they just want to talk about that hurt, process it and deal with it. And yes they often also phrase as “Why us? Why does no one listen to us? Why does everyone else get boosted?” because those are valid questions to ask when that’s why you’re hurting. (I have yet to see anyone decide that the answer is “Because we’re more oppressed!” It’s usually something along the lines of “Because we’re invisible”.)

Now, obviously, if someone is making threads about how their issues are more important or trying to derail existing discussions, that’s a different matter. Do not do these things. They are wrong on so many levels and, really, the only thing it accomplishes is that you’re hurting the community you’re trying to help. You’re also hurting the other community that was originally being discussed. Don’t do this. It is harmful to everyone.

6. Be prepared to learn.

Issues don’t just disappear because we RT them (though we can dream and wish). If you’re RTing a specific instance once, chances are that there are more examples of that instance either in the past or in the future that you’re not aware of. That’s okay! You don’t need to be aware of each instance individually ever!

My point here is that when people are talking about issues they face because they’re part of a marginalised group, chances are that this singular instance is an example of something systemic. For example: an article discussing how Jughead might still be ace (and makes no mention of his aromanticism) is a single instance of aro erasure that you can call out. But there have been articles that did it before and there will, almost certainly (T_T) be articles that do it afterwards. It’s a pattern of aro erasure.

Sometimes you’ll easily be able to see how the system repeats itself. Sometimes you won’t. But just because you can’t see it that doesn’t mean it’s not there. (Remember: if you don’t share the marginalisation, you may not notice it. Heck, even if you do share it, you may not notice it at first!)

Anyone, calling out a specific instance once likely isn’t going to do much besides making you feel good for helping.

Be aware of the fact that specific instances that gain discussion traction are often symptoms and examples of a wider problem. You don’t need to know (or recognise) all the individual instances. You do need a rough idea of what the framework it occurs in is, so you can speak out against the framework the instances occur in. And that requires a bit of effort to learn what’s happening in that instance you saw and why it matters.

You don’t have to drop everything to learn about that framework right there and then! Especially if you’re dealing with an issue in your own communities or have personal issues that mean you’re not up to learning new things, you don’t have to drop everything immediately. Again, you are important too. Focus on yourself. Practice self-care. You matter.

But when you’re in a better place and can manage it, try to learn about the issues those other marginalisations face. You want them to learn about the issues you deal with too, right? If you’re never willing to learn about other people, you can’t really expect them to be willing to learn about you.

7. Self-care is important.

I’ve said that a few times and in different ways, but it’s worth repeating and giving it its own point. As many people have pointed out, if you’re marginalised in any way self-care is the most radical thing you can do. I assume that, if you’re reading this, you’re marginalised in at least one way yourself. If you’ve ever spoken out about anything, you’ll undoubtedly know that doing so comes at a price. Trolls will find you and harass you for it. They’ll do the same if you speak out for people whose marginalisation you don’t share.

Practice self-care. Don’t feel obligated to take on more than you can handle. See also: don’t speak for others. That’s a related issue. Often, I see people think that “help us” means “speak for us and get attacked by the trolls for us” and… Listen, I won’t deny that it can be nice to have someone else handle the brunt of the troll attacks for you, but that doesn’t mean they should. No one is obliged to take on trolls. If someone chooses to, that is incredibly generous of them, but it should be their choice.

If you don’t want to take on trolls for another group, that’s okay. Never let anyone tell you that it’s not. It is not your job or obligation to take a proverbial bullet for other marginalised groups.

Take care of yourself too when you boost other people. Boost in ways that balances with your needs and personality.

8. Consider boosting positive things related to a marginalisation.

Again, I’ve mentioned this before, but I thought it deserved its own thread. So something is trash and people are hurting? Boosting their hurt and their discussions isn’t the only way to boost people from that marginalisation! You can also boost positive things that people from that marginalisation have done or are doing!

For example: if a white author publishes a racist book, boost non-white creators and encourage people to support them financially. That creates positive visibility for the people who are being harmed by that instance and it can introduce people to new favourites and marginalised people to creators who share their marginalisation. It is powerful to read books by people who get you.

Marginalised creators often need the boost for visibility and many struggle financially, so your boosts of their work can offer concrete support in a way that boosting the conversations and threads can’t.

And on that note, I think that’s me all rambled out. I hope this is helpful to you! Please do use this post as a jumping out to add more things people can do or shouldn’t do while boosting others. And let me know if I’ve messed something up or left it unclear. Let’s work together to make the world a more inclusive and positive place for everyone!

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Lynn’s 3-Step Guide to Getting Started with Indie Publishing

Posted May 5, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

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I’ve been asked recently how to get started with indie publishing. That’s… a slightly tricky question since, like so many questions, the answer is roughly “It depends”. That’s not me being coy! It really does depend on who you are, what your strengths and weaknesses are, what your budget it and what you want to accomplish. There’s more but that’s a good start!

Nevertheless there are a few basic things that you’ll need to take into account if you want to pursue self-publishing. First and most importantly: you need to research your options. You need to know what you want to do and what will work for you.

For example: Do you want to publish to Amazon exclusively? Do you want to publish via Draft2Digital, Pronoun or Smashwords? Do you want to offer only ebooks or only print? Or do you want to offer both? What about audiobooks? If you want to publish print books, do you go with CreateSpace, IngramSpark or some other publisher entirely? Do you hire someone to do the work for you or do you want to invest the time yourself? Do you want to set up a small imprint for your own books? If so, can you design the logo yourself or do you want to hire someone to do it for you? What are the benefits and drawbacks of any and all of these choices? Etc, etc.

That’s… a lot of question to throw at you, sorry. They’re important, but you don’t have to tackle them all in one go! For me, personally, the biggest issue was anxiety, so for me the main thing that I needed to do was a quick way to get my work out there and then sort the rest later. It’s not a strategy I recommend unless you need it, but it’s a strategy. Anyway, let’s break it down a bit by looking at what you need before you get to that “hit publish” button.

Read More

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Kindness of Gifts

Posted May 4, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

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Today in Anonymous Kindnesses Specific To The Lynn, we tackle what you will probably think is a slightly frivolous and entirely unexpected topic: book gifting.

I told you it was frivolous. But if you haven’t yet noticed from my blog, I really like books. Most all of my friends really like books. And I think one of the things we like most is sharing books.

And it’s almost always a nice feeling to find yourself facing an unexpected gift which was given purely because someone cares about you. (Disclaimer: Not everyone thinks this is a nice feeling. If you know someone like that, honour their feelings on the matter! And maybe try to find some compromise if possible.)

But if you’re someone who likes being given gifts (which I am!), then it is a great thing to know that someone cared enough to gift me something. Especially when it’s a book (and most likely on my wishlist or chosen with care because the gifter thought I’d like it), because obviously books are my one true weakness.

So… I know that I said this was a post specifically about book gifting, but of course this applies to other gifts as well. It’s just that books are the best gift anyone can give me if you’re looking for a gift for me personally. (I’m also really fond of “I donated to X charity in your name!” as gifts.)

And my friends know this. Of course I do my best to return the favour when I can afford to. ^_^

One of the reasons random gifts can be so kind is because they can be timely reminders that someone cares about you. As someone who deals with depression (don’t worry; it’s usually under control), it’s something that can have a lot of emotional impact because it’s such a concrete reminder that someone cares about you enough to spend time (and/or money) on finding (and/or making) you the perfect gift.

That’s powerful stuff.

And I’m grateful to everyone who’s ever sent me gifts, even when I’ve not always been good at graciously accepting them upon arrival, because knowing that people care is the greatest gift of all. <3

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Culture Consumption April 2017

Posted May 2, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

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What I've Posted

What I've Read

An Accident of Stars by Foz Meadows: My thoughts will follow. I enjoyed this, but I didn’t love it as much as I’d hoped I would.

Chameleon Moon by RoAnna Sylver: My thoughts will follow. This was delightful. Not perfect, but utterly and entirely delightful and I’d be happy to recommend it to anyone looking for a diverse read and a read that offers hope and goodness.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas: My thoughts will follow, but basically this book is absolutely amazing and if you haven’t read it yet, what are you waiting for?

Code Talker by Joseph Bruchac: My thoughts will follow. This was a beautifully written look at Navajo code talkers in WW2. I think with the amount of information it includes it leans more towards creative nonfiction than a novel, but don’t let that put you off. It works well with the structure of the book, it’s an important piece of history and it’s well-written.

What I'm Reading

A Courtship of Dragons by Becca Lusher: Slowly, slowly, this story is continuing. I’m… oddly not enjoying it as much as I normally like Becca’s work, though. It feels far less polished and strong than her work usually is. (Sorry, Becca!)

Masquerade by Laura Lam: I’ve finally tracked down a copy! So of course I dove straight in. I’m enjoying it so far, though it’s taken me a bit longer than I thought to settle into the world Lam’s built these past two books. (Masquerade picks up right where Shadowplay left off.) You can read it without (re)reading book 2, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

Dragongift by Becca Lusher: Wherein the Adventures of Mhysra, Cumulo and the other surviving Riders continue! Also wherein the plot thickens, Yullik remains terrifying and we may slowly be learning more about Dhori. It’s as different in tone as Rift Riders was to Wingborn, but the heart and core of the series, the characters and their relationships with one another, continues just as strongly.

What I've Played

Technobabylon: My thoughts can be found here, but if you enjoy diverse futuristic settings in gaming, do check it out to see if it’s something you’re interested in. I found it a lot of fun.

Divinity: Original Sin 2: This is still only in Alpha. It plays quite similar to the first game, except with some changed dynamics (you don’t start off with two characters) and the option to play as several different races rather than only as human. Being an alpha, things are subject to change, but I’ve had a lot of fun returning to Rivellon and I’m looking forward to seeing how the game develops.

What I've Watched

Rogue One: Everyone who knows me and watched this before I did and didn’t tell me I was going to need tissues? I hate you for not telling me I would need tissues. Seriously, what kind of friend are you not to tell me I would be needing tissues? Glad to have finally seen it, though, and kinda looking forward to seeing it again (WITH TISSUES) now that I know what to expect and at some point where no one will disturb me so I can actually watch it in peace.

Sera Myu: I’m slowly wending my way through the musicals. So far I’ve seen the ones available to me up to the original Sailor Stars musical. Next up is the kaiteiban of the Stars musical. I’m really enjoying them and because my brain is mush, they all get only one entry this month, sorry! Most have got a number of really big plot holes and the costumes are… something special that only happened in the 90s but that’s what makes them glorious, and the shows just spread cheer and joy. The cast looks like they’re having a blast in every musical and I love them to bits. <3

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