Author: Trisha Lynn | Date: June 7, 2013 | No Comments »

With my most recent bout of unemployment, I started posting more over at Geeking Out About. After all, I can’t call myself a writer if I’m not writing, right?

The article I’m most connected to right now is this one which is an overview of the recent troubles with the Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA) group and their quarterly newsletter. In a nutshell, an entire calendar year’s worth of issues contained material which was demeaning to some of its members. (If you need more detail, go read my article and some of the other articles in this list of links.)

Ever since I posted the article last week, I started to wonder if perhaps I was overreacting to the content in the first two issues. Mike Resnick and Barry Malzberg were writing about people whose careers began before I was born; who was I to say how or why their referrals to female professionals like Beatrice Mahaffey as “beauty pageant gorgeous” while discussing their careers was sexist or misogynistic?

So I spoke to my mother-in-law, who is a geek of a different stripe. Her geekery revolves around the viola da gamba, which is an instrument that’s a precursor to the guitar and for which the most music was written in the Renaissance era. She also did her doctorate work on a Renaissance opera called Alcyone by Marin Marais. If she isn’t exactly of Resnick and Malzberg’s generation, she’s pretty darn close to it.

When we first started talking about the usage of the word “lady” as an adjective, she reminded me that back in the day, one didn’t use “female” to describe a person because it was a word that was used only in its clinical sense. You also wouldn’t use “woman” as an adjective either, because that inferred a sexual relationship to the subject, as in “Bess, You is My Woman, Now” from Porgy and Bess by George and Ira Gershwin.

When you described a woman as a “lady” it was an attempt to describe someone you didn’t know personally. In context, then, Resnick and Malzberg’s use of the word “lady” to describe Mahaffey and the other women mentioned in their articles from issues #199 and #200 is improper because they did know the women in both a personal and a professional sense.

Vintage ad, courtesy of Amusing Planet.com

Vintage ad, courtesy of Amusing Planet.com / Click to enlarge

I then asked her about how Resnick and Malzberg made it a point to include descriptions of the women as attractive while talking of their literary accomplishments. She told me that it was a practice that was often used back in the day because it was assumed that if you were intelligent, you had to be unattractive. The popular thought of the day—as seen in the vintage ad for Palmolive soap, above—was that if a woman were beautiful, she wouldn’t bother herself with intellectual pursuits because she could easily attract a man to marry. If a intellectual woman happened to also be conventionally beautiful, then it was something worth pointing out because it was so “unusual.”

This means that not only were Resnick and Malzberg’s comments regarding Mahaffey’s conventional beauty offensive because it implied that it was more important to talk about than her professional achievements but that they thought that it was “unusual” for such a beautiful woman to even be interested in the science fiction and fantasy field of literature.

Granted, the opinion of an academic who has studied early music regarding male attitudes in a different field of interest isn’t a definitive source—which is the reason why I’m writing about this in my publisher blog and not my journalistic one. I don’t currently have the time or the resources to devote to further investigation to corroborate her statements. But it’s something that I thought was missing from all of the other editorial and opinion pieces I read out there, and I think it’s an important factor in attempting to suss out Resnick and Malzberg’s motives for choosing to speak of their peers in such a fashion.

In his list of links, Jim Hines has chosen to give the last word to Laura Resnick, the daughter of Mike Resnick, and an author of both fantasy novels and romance novels (under a pseudonym). The final words of her statement on the whole matter are:

Finally, although I was moved to write this due to the current discussion in sf/f, anyone who perceives my comments here as alluding to my father is mistaken. See above: I do not discuss my family. But I’ll make an exception now to say this: On occasions when I’ve complained to my dad about the sexist bullshit I’ve had to deal with in this business, he’s been sympathetic to my frustrations. [emphasis mine]

I find this heartening, because it illustrates that Mike Resnick wasn’t deliberately being a chauvinistic, sexist pig. I hope that it means that through this continued discussion both online and in the members-only fora for the SFWA, he and Barry Malzberg may be open to listening and reading the opinions of people whom he personally doesn’t know, whose experiences are not his own but who are also fellow science fiction and fantasy aficionados and professionals.

Author: Trisha Lynn | Date: October 26, 2010 | No Comments »

Last night, I finally buckled down and fired up Audacity to begin the editing work on the audio commentary that I taped with Lyssa for the first installment of Saw, in advance of Saw 3D‘s opening this coming weekend. According to my time stamps, I started working on the project, around 11:17 pm and stopped working on it at around 3:02 am. In that time, the file shrank from being 2 hours long to being about 1 hour long.

And there’s only 20 min. or so of good material so far.

Editing audio down is actually pretty fun, and the sound quality’s pretty awesome. I had my headphones plugged into my computer and I could hear the softer conversations in the movie quite well. That really came in handy when it came to making choices on where to cut based on our reactions, especially when we started riffing on some of the dialogue.

I’m going to work on it again tonight, and hope that I’ll be done tonight. Then, after that, I have to write my The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest review, and then I think I’m gonna start working the second part of my NYCC review.

It’s good to be working on the GeekingOutAbout.com website again.

Now, if only I could start writing up my new Smut Peddler story idea…

Author: Trisha Lynn | Date: September 22, 2010 | No Comments »

Hey Kelly,

My birthday two days ago was pretty awesome. I celebrated it by waking up to a ton of celebratory messages on Facebook which kept coming throughout the day from friends, former high school classmates, networking contacts, and readers of the blog I finally started which I hope will be a corner piece in my wee publishing empire. I worked non-stop at the day job and was able have a great dinner with my boyfriend.

Yesterday, I had a bad day at work, and all the communication techniques I’ve been learning in therapy failed me. Only my best friend was able to help me make sense of things, and I woke up to the news that one of my boss’ clients suffered a tragic loss earlier this summer and we didn’t even realize it.

On the positive side, I haven’t had a cigarette in about six months, since my aunt died. (I wonder if you’ve met her over there in that other plane of existence.) I also cut my hair really, really short and will blog about that once I ship the pony tail of hair off to Pantene Beautiful Lengths, which I will do today.

That’s what days are like now. Some days are really awesome, some days are not. My group of friends is smaller and more localized, but I do still try and keep in touch with the friends I met when I first met you. Hell, I made it up to Toronto for a subdued DexCon, and I even edited a book for your husband, and doing that and working on the blog was and is one of the most fun things I’ve done with my professional aspirations. Baby steps, I know…

I hope that I’ll have more that I can tell you about next year.

Miss you, a lot,
Trisha Lynn

Author: Trisha Lynn | Date: June 5, 2010 | No Comments »

Thanks to a good friend, this page is finally bursting with content and I hope to be able to keep you updated on all Saucy Goose Press-related news here.

Of course, there’s still some things I need to fix here with regards to reorganizing things into new categories, but I figure I’ll try and do that before I make the next big update.

Author: Trisha Lynn | Date: March 28, 2010 | 3 Comments »

My aunt passed yesterday at 8:20 am, EDT.

If you can, please donate to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Author: Trisha Lynn | Date: March 22, 2010 | 2 Comments »

Ever since Kelly died and I also learned that one of my dad’s sisters has lymphoma, I’ve been growing out my hair so that one day it will be long enough to donate to an organization like Locks of Love or Pantene Beautiful Lengths.

I’m not exaggerating when I say I’ve got fantastic hair: it’s thick, grows well, and can be pretty damn shiny when I remember to leave the conditioner in for at least two minutes. If you don’t believe me, take a gander below:

Author: Trisha Lynn | Date: September 22, 2009 | 2 Comments »

Hey Kelly!

A lot’s happened since you died. I finally tipped over into being an agnostic and have been going through a lot of intense therapy. I really wish you could have been here to rant at when I lost some friends because of my behavior because you were always awesome at getting me to see the funny side of things or to commiserate with.

Ever since I changed jobs and pared down the list of people whose LiveJournals I read, I’ve been spending a whole lot of time in my head and I think about you now and then. Most often, I think about the vow I made to make each day of my life better because it’s one more day I have that you don’t, to say “Yes, and…” to more opportunities, and the promise I made when I turned 31 to make you proud of me wherever you are.

That last part? I’m not entirely there yet, and I am also wondering if it’s something I should give up on because I don’t see in myself the kind of near-universal compassion, friendliness, and acceptance that surrounded you. The fact that you still liked me despite the faults I am learning that I have still astounds me, and I wonder if I’ll ever find another female friend like you again.

Today I’m going to talk about you in therapy. I’m going to talk about why I’m still pissed off that you’re dead, how I feel like a failure because I don’t think I’ve done enough to honor your memory, how I’m finally as old now as you once were because my birthday will always be two days before the anniversary of your death, and how next year (if nothing catastrophic happens) I’m finally going to be older than you.

Anyway, I love you still, and I miss you a lot.

Take care, love,
Trisha Lynn

Author: Trisha Lynn | Date: August 23, 2009 | No Comments »

As many of you know, Carla Speed McNeil’s Finder is one of the best indie comics both on the web and off of it. I’ve been a fan ever since my days at Sequential Tart, and I was beyond pleased to learn that she had finally won an Eisner award this year at the San Diego Comic Con, even though some people don’t believe she should have won for “Best Digital Comic”.

And in a way, I agree.

Author: Trisha Lynn | Date: July 4, 2009 | 1 Comment »

I make a lot of promises to myself and while I’m not very good at keeping all of them, I’m glad (and sad) that I was able to keep this most recent one.

In April, I was talking with a friend in Houston, Texas named Corey with whom I’ve kept in sporadic contact for about eight years. We were having a catch-up conversation when he mentioned that his father had finally succumbed to the cancer that he’d been suffering through for at least a year.

That’s just one more person who has been claimed by “this fucking disease” as another friend of mine whose father died about a year before Kelly did said at her wake. Corey and I compare notes on our therapy process often, but I’d say he’s way further down on the atheism scale than I am. He’s angry, and hurt, and alone, and it hurt me to know that he’s been doing all this hurting by himself.

So when he said that with a little bit of the money he and his sister had gotten from his inheritance, he wanted to fly me down to visit him over the Memorial Day weekend, how could I say no?

Author: Trisha Lynn | Date: July 3, 2009 | 11 Comments »

This morning, I was sitting down to enjoy a cup of hot chamomile tea with lemon and honey at the Starbucks on the corner of 66th and Lexington when I overheard a man talking to a woman seated at a table against the wall a little behind me. The table was littered with the pages of one of the tabloid newspapers, and he was talking about one of the things he had read.

I don’t exactly recall how his rant started, because I was trying very hard not to overhear, especially when he started talking about how New York Governor David Patterson has been trying to introduce a same-sex marriage bill into the state constitution. What followed was the usual rhetoric I hear from homophobic people who call themselves Christians, sprinkled with some truly bizarre comments on how President Obama might be gay, something about Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky and fellatio…

Really, it was all a blur because inside my head and out loud on Twitter I was trying to decide if I should say something to him.