Writer Round-Up!

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Posted by TERESA

Just because we haven’t been writing here, doesn’t mean we haven’t been writing at ALL!  Here are some links to work by me and some other Commune Cohorts that you might have missed!

TERESA (that would be me!):

Here are my most recent contributions to Pink Raygun and PopMatters!

** Pink Raygun Post – GEEK THEATER: “VIRAL” – review of the wonderful off-off Broadway play by Mac Rogers, which has currently added performances through the end of September (see comments at the bottom of the article).

** PopMatters Post – Wizard World Philly #1: The Death Rattle and Wizard World Philly #2: The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund – two blog posts I wrote for PM summing up the LAMENESS that was Wizard World Philly this year.  However, I was there for a very good cause!

PENDARD:

Pendard’s Geeky Sex blog is still going strong!  Here’s some of the posts you might have missed:

FET LIFE INTERVIEW – where Pendard discovers that the founder of the Fet Life community is a kindred spirit in more than the obvious ways.

THE STACKS: BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN – Pendard talks about the short story, the film, and Annie Proulx’s difficulty with fan fiction

DEFENDING VANILLA SEX – a thoughtful piece on vanilla sex and its place in the kink community, which is also a response to a column by Mistress Matisse in The Stranger.

AUNT MAY IN LOVE – old people have sex, and young people need to get over it!  Because one day, they’ll be old, too!

APPARENTLY, I’M SOME KIND OF POLYAMORY EXPERT – Pendard as advice columnist?  Sounds like a great idea to me!

SUSIE BRIGHT ON “BLOODBALLING” AND OTHER FUN ACTIVITIES – Like Margaret Cho said, “There’s this weird correlation between people who like Star Trek, S&M, and the Rennaisance Faire.”  Susie Bright (and Pendard) explain why.

ANNABELLE RIVER:

Check out Annabelle’s latest posts to SexGenderBody:

THE MASOCHIST NEXT DOOR – Annabelle explains just how it is that a good girl from a stable home who always got good grades and had never been abused gets turned on by being bound, gagged, and spanked.  I’d actually read this elsewhere, and I’m so glad she reposted it.

BRIDEZILLA AND BACK FROM THE DEAD – Where ARE all the groom magazines, anyway?  And who says women are the only ones who care about weddings, or that they care at all?  Annabelle discusses the stereotypes she encountered in planning her recent wedding.

Happy reading, everyone!  🙂

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Published in: on September 4, 2009 at 2:37 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Pink Raygun Post: Review of “Go-Go Killers”

kidnapgogo

Posted by TERESA

As you may or may not know, I’m a contributor to an awesome, geeky website called PinkRaygun.com.  A while back, I started covering Geek Theater once I realized that there are so many theater pieces coming out these days that are inspired by comics, sci-fi, fantasy, horror, or b-movies.

Today, you can check out my latest Geek Theater review of a play called Go-Go Killers, which is in its final performances this weekend!

GEEK THEATER: Go-Go Killers

Published in: on May 26, 2009 at 10:20 AM  Leave a Comment  
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Some Rise By Sin, and Some By Virtue Fall?

Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles as Patrick and Kat in "10 Things I Hate About You", with Allison Janney (center), whom I've also seen play Katherine in "The Taming of the Shrew" in Central Park, NYC

Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles as Patrick and Kat in "10 Things I Hate About You", with Allison Janney (center), whom I've also seen play Katherine in "The Taming of the Shrew" in Central Park, NYC

Posted by TERESA

So, remember that short story I’m working on that I’ve been all excited about?  Well, I still am – but some early feedback has forced me to do a lot of thinking about what it is I’m actually trying to accomplish.

First, some background.  One of my favorite Shakespeare plays is The Taming of the Shrew.  It’s the story of Katherine, a raving bitch who’s hateful to everyone.  Finding her a husband proves difficult – not that she would EVER admit to even wanting one – and her dad won’t let her younger sister marry until she does.  Along comes Petruchio who tries to “tame” her by being even more bitchy to her than she is to him.  In the end, they develop feelings for each other, and Kate agrees to slow her bitchy roll for him.  (You can also rent/download/whatever 10 Things I Hate About You for an awesome, modern retelling of the story)

shrew

Now, Katherine ends the play with a thought-provoking monologue.  Most modern productions of the play have Katherine deliver that monologue  ironically, as if she’s humoring Petruchio.  That bothers me.  Katherine is someone who spends her whole life pushing people away by being horrible.  It’s not as if she started out being this awesome person and was later stifled and made less.  It’s not as if she only bestowed her acid tongue on horrible men.  She treated EVERYONE like crap (and ties her sister to a chair, by the by).  Yet by the end of the play, she’s learned how to be humble and to give up the control she’s insisted on weilding her whole life.  This is not weakness.  Subservience and humility does not equal weakness when it is a choice.  I’ve always thought that giving that final speech an ironic reading undermines what once was a complex journey for a prominent female character.  Shakespeare starts the play with her, and ends it with her.  The play is, more than anything else, the story of Katherine’s journey.  If she doesn’t change by the end, and of her own acord, then the entire thing is pointless.  I also don’t understand why the only two ways in which to discuss the speech are  as either indicative of opression and powerlessness, or as ironic subversion.  To me, Katherine is a woman who has learned to pick her battles.  She knows, when she walks into the room at the end of the play, that this guy who’s her match and is now her husband needs to save face in front of his friends and she chooses to give him what he asks for by giving this speech.  She lays it on really thick, but it isn’t ironic.  Whether she means every word or not is irrelevant, because the mere act of giving the speech, and her willingness to do it, make it genuine.  It’s an act of love.  I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a production tackle it in this way.  I’ve certainly gotten into many debates about it with people.  🙂

measure for measure

Then there’s Measure For Measure, in which a fake duke imprisons a nobleman for premarital sex, falls for the nobleman’s nun-in-training sister, and tells her that he will release her brother if she sleeps with him.  When I studied this play in college, I was the only person in my class who could wrap her head around the idea that someone could love God more than their own family.  Everyone else spouted variations on Why doesn’t she just do it?  She’s being such a prude!  She’s being so selfish! Etc, etc.  And they all jumped down my throat when I said To her, God is more important even than her brother.  God is the most important thing in her life.  Expecting her to throw that over doesn’t make sense. I was much more devout then than I am now, and no one understood where I was coming from.  Meanwhile, I couldn’t understand how a room full of theater students who were used to sympathizing with all sorts of characters couldn’t understand soemone prioritizing God above all things.  Drug addicts?  Pedophiles?  Murderers?  No problem.  But someone who loves God?  THIS didn’t compute.

writersblock

Which brings me back to the short story I’ve been working on.  I can’t get into specifics, because only a few people have read it, and I don’t want to spoil it.  But I have my main character choose to do something at the end that I believe is a powerful choice, but that no one else seems to see that way.  The feedback I’ve gotten so far has been all about how tragic and/or weak the character is at the end.  I’ve gotten suggestions about how I could “fix”  the ending to “make the character stronger.”  Thing is, I don’t want to change the ending.  If I change the ending, this character wouldn’t grow and change the way she’s supposed to.  She’d be a different character in a different story than the one I’m writing.

I seem to have such a different outlook than any of my friends when it comes to certain things.  Sometimes it feels like I have a different outlook than my entire generation on certain things.  I wonder, then, if this will always be a problem for me.  If there are just certain things that, no matter how well I craft it, won’t resonate with most people who read my stories?  Part of me worries that certain things I write won’t be relevant to the time in which I’m writing them.  I mean, yay for me if I reflect the values of the past, or woo hoo if I’m “ahead of my time”, reflecting the values of the future, but that doesn’t do me or readers today any good.  Hmm.

Knowing that I have SO much to learn about writing, I’m currently trying to figure out if there are things I can do to improve the story in order to get my message across.  I would like readers to, at the very least, understand how what the main character does can be seen as a strong choice even if they wouldn’t do it themselves.  The way I see it, readers should either understand and believe the message I’m sending, or understand and disagree, which could lead to some fun debate, but they should at least get it to begin with.

I hope I can be the writer my story deserves.

Published in: on May 19, 2009 at 4:26 PM  Leave a Comment  
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The Year the Tonys Will Be Legen…Wait For It…

Neil Patrick Harris - this year's LEGENDARY Tony host

Posted by TERESA

So today, my boss in at my theatrical PR firm day job gave me the GLORIOUS news that Neil Patrick Harris has been chosen to host this year’s TONY AWARDS!

Seriously, how perfect a fit is that?!

Anyone who’s familiar with NPH knows that he’s not only an amazing musical theater performer who’s been on Broadway before, but he’s also a musical theater GEEK who’s prone to bursting into showtunes on daytime talk shows:

So, my boss tells me this fact and follows it up by saying “Ugh.  Can you believe it?”  As if it were the lamest choice ever.  (I know.  WHAT?!)

So I say, “Oh, cause I was going to say that this was the most AWESOME THING EVER!”  And she chuckles and says “Well, they’re probably trying to get your age group interested in the Tonys…”

Well.  It’s WORKING.  I haven’t given a Rat’s Patootie about the Tonys for a couple of YEARS now.  And I LOVE theater!  But guaranteed that when the Tonys air on June 7, I’m going to be glued to my TV basking in the glory and majesty that is Neil Patrick Harris.

Also, I’ll be rooting for Billy Elliot, which is a fantastic show.

Published in: on May 15, 2009 at 2:51 PM  Leave a Comment  
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