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@seananmcguire / seananmcguire.tumblr.com

Urban Fantasy Halloween Girl at large
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Just a reminder that Sandman said Trans Rights in 1991.

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If you have not read A Game of You, and if you didn't read A Game of You in the early 90s when it was first released, it can be hard to understand how much it meant back then, and what it was dealing with.

Wanda was the first time I saw a trans person depicted sympathetically in any media. She was the first time I saw a trans person who wasn't a freak, a punchline, or a joke, presented as something ridiculous, to be horrified about or feared. It's certainly the first time I heard anyone say their chosen name was their Real Name, or was introduced to the concept of what we would now call a deadname. Wanda is clearly depicted as a "clockable" trans woman - she doesn't perfectly pass, she's got broad shoulders and big hands and she's drawn with a girlbulge in the scenes when she's in her underpants bc she got woken up at night - and she's a trans woman who either doesn't want or is afraid of GCS. She doesn't fit the neat Harry Benjamin mold of trans women who all want nothing except to get surgery, pass and go stealth. That's pretty normal today, but then?

That was radical. That was wild. That was freedom. Not within the trans community itself, per se, where there were and always have been lots of trans women who didn't fit that mold? But as presented in a widely-released comic book? Holy shit!

Hazel comments on Wanda's penis at one point, in a mildly confused way, and Wanda brushes it off, lets Hazel know that isn't cool. Same with her asserting which name is her Real Name. For a sheltered kid who was in high school in rural Pennsylvania when A Game of You came out? I actually learned a lot about how to be polite and cool to trans people from the boundaries Wanda sets for herself in A Game of You.

What about Thessaly?

One of the biggest objections to A Game of You's presentation of Wanda is Thessaly's denunciation of her as "male." Much has been made of that as an indication of @neil-gaiman perpetuating a transphobic viewpoint, but let's be clear:

Thessaly is an asshole.

Okay, that aside - Thessaly is an asshole - she's also reflective of the viewpoints of Dianic Wicca, which was on the upswing at the time, and the bioessentialism of which actively poisoned pagan communities. Those communities are still dealing with the fallout of that. When I first read A Game Of You, I understood who was being referenced immediately, because I was also trying to push out of my Evangelical upbringing, and Dianic Wicca was pretty much all there was, then. I knew what was being referenced, and A Game Of You actually showed me the problem with that sort of absolutist thinking. Who wants Gods like that?

"But what about the statement that the Gods don't recognize Wanda as a woman? Is that a moral statement one way or the other that a Final Authority doesn't view Wanda as a woman?"

If you read the rest of Sandman, you should be aware that being a God doesn't make you anything but a pain in the ass. Gods aren't inherently anything in Sandman, really.

There is one figure who gets pretty close to being a real moral authority in that universe, one who tells Dream to get over himself, one who approaches humanity with love and compassion. One who meets people where they are and sees them for who they are.

Death.

And in Death's company, Wanda is a woman, treated like a friend, like one of the girls.

The moral authority of that universe spoke quite clearly.

Now, there's a lot to be said about whether Wanda needed to die - I have always wished she hadn't - or about The Connoisseur. The latter is a choice that wasn't great at the time and really hasn't aged well.

Anyway, Wanda was really important in me understanding what being trans even is, which is part of how I came out as an adult, finally. My original trades from the early 90s have gone missing, and I'm heartbroken about it, but I am hoping if I rip my basement apart when I get home from my wife's GCS, I'll find them.

You should read A Game Of You. I wish I could gift you all the meaning and weight it had for me at the time. It was so powerful, and I can't wait to see how she shows up in the show.

And Neil? Maybe this time, Wanda can live.

Saw a comment before, complaining that he doesn't understand what he's talking about because Wanda appears as a perfect passing cis woman after death. Uh. If he'd drawn her as still "visibly trans" after death, they'd be yelling about reinforcing stereotypes and "see he's showing she's still a man" or thing like that.

Would that have been a more radical presentation? Sure. And more complex, but again that opens it to even more misinterpretation.

Most critical thing: There's only so much that can be done with one character. One character will never represent everything perfectly.

I've seen older trans women say it was the first mainstream media to make them feel truly seen. And if this single character still looked her living, clockable trans self after death, how much despair might that have caused? One character, in 1992- more radical, surely, but more appropriate? Hard to say.

And it's a blindingly clear "shot fired" to cis people- she is and has always been A Woman, they just wouldn't let themselves see past physical characteristics. This has some problem implications, for sure. But it's a very clear, positive message. We do have to consider the message going out to the majority cis audience in this way. It's a hard balance.

And absolutely agree, hopefully this can be adjusted. Make the necessary changes. Done right could be a real gamechanger.

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I always understood it to be not that she was a perfectly passing cis woman, but that she looked in death the way she had always looked in her head. Maybe that's just because the way I have always looked in my head isn't the way I actually look.

also at the very end: god, witches, the narrative constraints of an epic quest, and wanda's own parents had all come out and said that wanda wasn't REALLY a woman, that they should get to define wanda's gender for her, because they knew better. they had authority, they were authorities.

but barbara looked at the gravestone and said 'no. you're all wrong. wanda was exactly who she said she was.' and wrote her real name there in lipstick.

that was perfect.

Also if you’ve been following Neil talking about this topic, he is cognizant of how the story’s importance at the time doesn’t necessary translate to a currently resonant important message, especially given the show being set in the 2020s. As such he has said he is deferring to the leadership of the trans and non-binary writers in the Sandman writers room on how best to handle Game of You if they get there.

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Yes, I know. That it doesn't translate to modern day the way it was when it was written has been discussed - but what I hadn't seen talked about is the context of when it first came out, and what it meant to those of us who saw ourselves in it for the first time.

There's a tendency to throw out all of our past stories once we outgrow any aspect of them or the community grows or changes, as if they never mattered. It's important to talk about the context of the stories, to talk about when they were published and why it mattered.

Lou Sullivan and Keith Haring died of AIDS during the years that A Game of You came out. Marsha P. Johnson died -- was probably murdered -- during it, and Brandon Teena was murdered between the run and the release of the trade. The year after the trade came out was the most lethal year of the AIDS epidemic and the year that Tyra Hunter was left to bleed by EMTs and died after they stopped post-auto-accident care upon discovering she had a penis.

This was the world of A Game Of You, the world where my father gleefully repeated to me William F Buckley's modest proposal that gay men forcibly have their HIV status tattooed on their asses. The world where most of my friends just assumed that all gay people -- and all transsexuals, the polite word for us then -- had AIDS. I certainly thought I'd just end up dead one way or another before 30.

It has been talked about a lot how and why it doesn't translate, but it is impossible to expect people who weren't alive then, or were too young to understand, the sort of emotional freight this storyline carried, why it was important in the first place, and why people get defensive of it. I've seen people -- for example -- write about Thessaly's denunciation without putting it into the Dianic Wicca context - and that context is what makes it matter. Absent that context, it's just some old woman being a dick. With it, it's a commentary on the harm occurring in the real world at the time.

We've been talking for years about how it is a dated story, but I had never seen another trans person say "I needed this story, and here's the context I came to it in."

So I explained as best I could.

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Context is everything.

Hell, there are people who throw hissy fits over the MUCH more recent Legend of Korra because it only just barely confirms Korra and Asami’s relationship at the very end of the series...  BECAUSE THAT WAS LITERALLY AS FAR AS THEY COULD PUSH IT AT THE TIME.  They get pissed at the creators for not going as far as later shows that only managed to have that opportunity because Legend of Korra metalbent the door open.

The kerfluffle over this looks to largely be a combination of that kind of “condemn the people who first hacked the trail out of the jungle with machetes for not making it a paved highway” mindset applied to something that got published back in the ‘90s, and the idiotic purity-culture drivel that an author is always 100% behind anything any of their characters say or do even if the character in question is explicitly shown to be wrong (like Thessaly).

In conclusion, actually look at the context, both from the story itself and the environment in which it was published.  Just because something hits weird and doesn’t go far enough now doesn’t mean it wasn’t extremely important at the time it came out.  And stop blaming the people who used all their energy to smash open the door for not making it very far into the room afterward.

On the other hand this was one of the first trans stories I was exposed to and the message young me got was "if you're trans you'll be killed by the fucking weight of plot snapping your neck"

I recognize that was just me but it WAS me and why I've never reread Sandman since

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And that is a perfectly fair reaction. I'm not attempting to dictate people's reactions, only to explain the context as I met it in the early 90s.

I'm not sure how to ask this, other than bluntly - how come there's no Black people in Toby Daye's San Fransisco?

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Much as you weren't sure how to ask, I've been unsure how to answer, so hey! Awkwardness for all!

The short answer is that of course there are Black people in Toby's version of San Francisco. She just spends a minimal amount of time in the human world, and thus hasn't been interacting with very many humans, of any race. I don't tend to call out or describe people she passes on the street in the human world, but the police station she's at, on Valencia Street, is probably about 60% staffed by Black officers and desk workers, and they would have been there when she was. She just didn't describe them, and that's on me.

Your question made me curious, so I went and looked it up: there have been twenty-three named human characters across the span of the series.

Discounting the members of Shakespeare's company who appear in the Tybalt shorts, and Jude and Alan from Borderlands books, all of whom are (or were) real people, that leaves us with about eighteen humans. We know Bridget is white, and we can assume the same about Jonathan (Toby's father; IDK why I have such a thing for fathers named Jonathan), but beyond that, there hasn't been any real demographic data for any of the humans she's dealt with. The majority of them don't get any descriptive attributes beyond "human."

I know what my intentions were in some cases; Libby, Joe's wife, is meant to read as white, while Susie, his counter staff, is Asian-American. And both of them are in Portland, anyway. Jack, Walther's grad student, is intended to be native Californian (specifically Ohlone), but he's in Berkeley. In other cases, I do not know what I intended. Toby's boss at the Safeway, for example, gets a hair color and no other description.

This is not an excuse for the lack of open representation in the series. I've apologized, enough times that it's on the TV Tropes page for the books, for accidentally locking myself into a very Euro-centric world with the way I set things up (all fae are descended from Oberon, Maeve, or Titania, three figures from European mythology; we mostly deal with the fae; while many of them have darker skin, they're not Black in the human sense, and I would never claim that they were. By the same token, pale fae are not "white," they're fae, but they are European in descent). At the same time, I regret falling into the baby folklorist trap of "oh we call them fairies, they're up for grabs" with some of the Asian folkloric figures, like the Kitsune, and have apologized for that, too.

Despite this setup, there are Black fae, most notably among the Roane, where they married in, got their skins, and now live fully fae among the rest of Faerie.

I'm sorry if that isn't enough. I just didn't think to describe the humans around Toby in more detail during the early books, when she did spend more time around them, and then she wasn't spending a lot of time around humans anymore, and so there was less room for human-specific representation.

Anyway, I'm sorry, and there are Black people, Toby's just been avoiding humans almost entirely for several books now.

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Okay, I know Tybalt isn't black, and is described as such many times, my brain just makes him black anyway. I think I can blame the Coraline movie on that one because my brain goes, "cat person? Keith David."

That's the neat thing about fiction, your mind makes it's own casting and sometimes it's just stuck that way.

I mean, that is fair.  When we were talking about casting the TV show (which is currently not a thing; the option expired during Covid), we were discussing an Aldis Hodge-type for Tybalt (assuming we wouldn’t be able to get Aldis himself).  There are ways to have been more diverse from the beginning.  I just didn’t know them in 2007 when I was writing the series and locking myself into rules I still live with today.

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I still can’t stop laughing at this.

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I’ve been sent this video a number of times, and I’m very sorry to have to break it to everyone, but this is just outright kind of horrifying treatment of this bird.

Those eggs are not a part of a peahen’s clutch- they have been placed there for the purposes of making this video (a peahen lays, at most, a dozen eggs in a scrape and it’s usually more like 6-8, and they don’t share unless confined because they spread way out when nesting. there’s no evidence of a scrape, either). The cock has been stressed and likely hobbled to keep him in place on the ground, as the cocks don’t sit on eggs at all- they don’t even go near the scrapes usually, as hens leave the area/party to lay. He is being thrown off screen not in order to collect the eggs (because he doesn’t care and will absolutely not defend them at all), but because it’s “funny.” He doesn’t catch himself in the air when tossed, like he would if he were well, meaning he hits the ground awkwardly and could have been injured. Whoever is waiting of screen then throws him back at the woman to make it look like he was getting revenge. However, while peafowl actually will do that (kick someone/something for perceived or actual offenses/spooks), that is NOT how a peacock attacks someone. They run forward and then leap vertically to use their spurs to flog. This is unfortunately just humans chucking a stressed out, helpless bird at someone else to get views online. And it is working.

Anyway, please stop reblogging this awful video, or at least do it with an explanation of why it’s real shitty.

Middlegame is insane because it is first and foremost about two siblings. It’s about a brother and a sister who should have grown up together but didn’t and that is the first tragedy. After there’ll be other pains but the separation is what hurts them so deeply from the start. Sure, they are Language and Math incarnate but that pales in comparison to the fact that they genuinely love each other and that they should have had those years of growing up together. Every scene where they’re actually together is coloured by the what ifs superimposed on their synchrony and fondness for each other. Above the alchemy and the laws of nature and all it’s just platonic love, because Roger and Dodger —rhyming names and all— can’t do this shit without the other. It starts and ends this way: “I can’t do this without you. Don’t die. This is an order. This is a command. This is an adjuration. Do whatever you have to do, break whatever you have to break, but don’t you die.”

I'm not sure how to ask this, other than bluntly - how come there's no Black people in Toby Daye's San Fransisco?

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Much as you weren't sure how to ask, I've been unsure how to answer, so hey! Awkwardness for all!

The short answer is that of course there are Black people in Toby's version of San Francisco. She just spends a minimal amount of time in the human world, and thus hasn't been interacting with very many humans, of any race. I don't tend to call out or describe people she passes on the street in the human world, but the police station she's at, on Valencia Street, is probably about 60% staffed by Black officers and desk workers, and they would have been there when she was. She just didn't describe them, and that's on me.

Your question made me curious, so I went and looked it up: there have been twenty-three named human characters across the span of the series.

Discounting the members of Shakespeare's company who appear in the Tybalt shorts, and Jude and Alan from Borderlands books, all of whom are (or were) real people, that leaves us with about eighteen humans. We know Bridget is white, and we can assume the same about Jonathan (Toby's father; IDK why I have such a thing for fathers named Jonathan), but beyond that, there hasn't been any real demographic data for any of the humans she's dealt with. The majority of them don't get any descriptive attributes beyond "human."

I know what my intentions were in some cases; Libby, Joe's wife, is meant to read as white, while Susie, his counter staff, is Asian-American. And both of them are in Portland, anyway. Jack, Walther's grad student, is intended to be native Californian (specifically Ohlone), but he's in Berkeley. In other cases, I do not know what I intended. Toby's boss at the Safeway, for example, gets a hair color and no other description.

This is not an excuse for the lack of open representation in the series. I've apologized, enough times that it's on the TV Tropes page for the books, for accidentally locking myself into a very Euro-centric world with the way I set things up (all fae are descended from Oberon, Maeve, or Titania, three figures from European mythology; we mostly deal with the fae; while many of them have darker skin, they're not Black in the human sense, and I would never claim that they were. By the same token, pale fae are not "white," they're fae, but they are European in descent). At the same time, I regret falling into the baby folklorist trap of "oh we call them fairies, they're up for grabs" with some of the Asian folkloric figures, like the Kitsune, and have apologized for that, too.

Despite this setup, there are Black fae, most notably among the Roane, where they married in, got their skins, and now live fully fae among the rest of Faerie.

I'm sorry if that isn't enough. I just didn't think to describe the humans around Toby in more detail during the early books, when she did spend more time around them, and then she wasn't spending a lot of time around humans anymore, and so there was less room for human-specific representation.

Anyway, I'm sorry, and there are Black people, Toby's just been avoiding humans almost entirely for several books now.

I got Final Girls from the library off of hold today, and really enjoyed it. Thanks for writing your excellent books!

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Thank you for reading!

An October Daye question (as I finally set aside an evening to catch up with Toby getting married) - We keep meeting more and more races of faerie. Are all of them based off of actual myth/folklore, and if so, do you use the original names (if there’s a generally agreed on name)?

My solid folklore knowledge taps out with “sidhe refers to the fair folk” in this area.

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About 50/50, really. A lot of the species of Faerie--and I've been trying to stress more and more that they're species of distinct but often cross-fertile creatures, not races of the same species; Gary Gygax and the other fantasists of his era did my generation of writers no favors when they used "race" to refer to elves and dwarves and the like--are based on folklore, but when I need something that doesn't exist in the specific traditions I depend on, I make it up, and come up with a name for them based on whatever folkloric base I used to get there.

I have lots of anticipation for Be The Serpent, the next Toby book. Then I went and read the four that you suggested to reread first. Now I'm filled with as much trepidation as I am anticipation. All the pins and strings on my theory board are quivering with the suspense. May your August lead up to book day be a delight!

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I am very excited for the book to get here!

Hey there, I wonder if you can tag doll posts with "dolls"? I have automatonophobia and your post recently was super-duper upsetting :(. Thank in advance if you can. ♥

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I can...try.

This is the only promise I am able to make when people ask me to tag things. I have my own neuroatypicalities and access needs, and part of the way they effect me is very poor immediate access memory. I remember to tag: gifs, snakes, insects, gore. That is about it.

If you need dolls, Ponies, frogs, or Disney movies reliably tagged, my blog is not and cannot be a safe space for you, and I apologize for that. I know myself well enough to know that I will absolutely forget.

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I’m frothing at the mouth this is my DREAM

#as a professional carnie i gotta say#wlw have a special inate ability at these games i swear to god#there used to be some kind of year#yearly retreat for?? idk what but it was made of almost entirely butch women#and there would be like a whole day the part was just overrun by gay ladies#and when the catering hall let their party out they all wanted nothing more than clean fucking house for their gifriends and wivesa#we all knew it was coming. wed all be like todays the lesbian day guys get everything stocked#and this isnt like the o be weird or something abt butch women being strong or athletic#i mean they would win games of chance way more often than straight couples#gay dudes do not factor in cuz we all suck balls at those games literally they were all awful#one very out gay coworker i had would openly tell them like look from one of us to another keep walking these arent for us they just arent#but girls? girls dating other girls? it was on sight they all won all the time (via @transkeiichi)

"Today's the lesbian day guys get everything stocked" is sending me

That’s it, I wanna be taken out on a lesbian carnival date and get some plushies

Ok so the thing about reading like books which are “predictable” is that I, a story enjoyer, go completely bonkers about it bc its like Enrichment in my Enclosure. A scene parallels another earlier scene between different characters thus serving to highlight the differences in their views and priorities???? A line makes me think “hmmm I bet that’s gonna be relevant later” ends up being relevant later????? I am a tiger chewing ice cubes out of a pumpkin. I’m so so happy. Please foreshadow more things. Throw the completely anticipateable plot beats at me like catnip mousies!!!!!

YEAH!!!!!!

When I see a rifle on the wall, I want to see that rifle being fired! I’m literally on the sidelines shouting “Chekov! The gun! Get the gun, Chekov!”

What kind of clothes are you going to sew for your dolls? And do you do the patterns yourself, or do the American Girl series come with patterns for them?

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I like sewing historically accurate (or sometimes more “historically-inspired, but the fabric looks really cool”) clothes for them.

When I was a kid, I didn’t really like dolls, but I liked books and I liked history. And when I read the books, I was extremely jazzed about the idea of having a physical manifestation of the character. It’s Blorbo, From My Books!  It’s also one of the big things that got me into sewing. Nowadays it’s less about that, because that was 25 years ago, but I still like them, and I like making cool stuff for them, or getting adorable tiny pretend baked goods for them. Back in days of yore (the 90s) American Girl did sell patterns for their first six dolls, but they stopped doing that. HOWEVER, someone has scanned them in and posted them on the internet.

But people online make and sell them, too.  I’m technically capable of drafting patterns, but sometimes you just want to buy a pattern and let someone else do that part.

It was REALLY hot here for a lot of the last month - way too hot to have the iron on in my room, which you need for pressing seams and stuff - so I cut out pieces for four different outfits.  HOWEVER, that means I now need to sew them, which in crafting terms is kind of:

So the one I’m working on finishing up right now is the Regency-era dress on the left here, in a white-gray batik with pale purple and blu-ish speckles. (Not historically accurate, but I had the fabric on hand and I think it’ll look pretty).

I’m doing this corset in a red silk shot through with electric blue that looks really interesting. I need to bug my housemate to ask what her thoughts on interfacing are. (I’m fortunate in that one of her previous jobs involved her getting to take home a bunch of tiny silk scraps, which are perfect for some of the doll stuff I’m doing. I can’t always get a full dress out of them, but stuff like a jacket or a corset usually isn’t a problem.)

I’ve got the pieces cut out for this one in gold silk. This one presents a little bit of a dilemma because I’m reasonably sure the skirt is a LITTLE too long for what would have been worn by a 10-ish-year-old in the 1840s, but I didn’t consider that until I cut out the pieces. So I’m going to have to decide if I want to make the hem come up a little..

And the one in the upper-right here, in a kind of olive-colored cotton I had a sufficiently large scrap of. (I’ve also done that jacket, in dark purple silk, but not in the same outfit):

I also have some plushies I need to make at some point - for @lynati‘s birthday, I’m making her King from The Owl House (the little) to accompany her in her Eda cosplay.

And I’m engaging in a trade with an author friend whose work I like, to exchange a plushie of her DnD character’s tabaxi boyfriend for some of her pricey, limited edition books. (I made her DnD character, who’s a bright orange tiefling, previously.)

(I am not sure why Tumblr is posting that sideways. I rotated it properly before I posted it. Gah.) And at some point, I also have a dress I want to make for the new 1920s American Girl doll (which I designed like a decade ago, and then Shit Happened and I never pursued it) they’re releasing this fall.  But, for the moment, the plan is to finish projects one by one and get stuff OFF MY DESK and PUT AWAY ans I do that.

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Kelpie remains the best birthday present I have been surprised by in a long time.

trying to decide if i'd rather be a tortoise or a turtle. on the one hand I prefer dry land, on the other hand turtles can breathe out of their cloacae so. it's tricky

hmm have you considered something like a snapping turtle? can live on dry land if it wants to and just go to the water for a nice splash splash

that'll work

so we have these in North Carolina and they are Menaces (note the capital M) but not in the way that you would think. no. you don’t step into a pond and go “ouchie my foot, a snapping turtle bit me.” (they’re actually very friendly in water so long as you don’t bother them). no no, these fuckers LOVE scorching hot concrete. and they’re BIG.

Most commonly you’ll see one chilling in the middle of the road like a little goomba waiting to wreck your car tire. So you gotta stop and move them which involves awkwardly lugging this flailing, hissing turtle well off the road and into the forest where you pray it will stay.

Now, I know they’re called snapping turtles, and they do snap, WHICH IN ALL DUE FAIRNESS is BAD for the person moving the turtle out of the road.

BUT.

THEY HAVE CLAWS.

Remember when I said “flailing”?

Yeah, it’s easy to avoid the beak but it is NOT easy to avoid those feet. they will fuck you up with their sword-feet.

So, my advice, as a North Carolinian, on moving snapping turtles off roads: Let someone else do it :)

And hey! If i wanted to be a turtle, i’d pick this one! no one’s messing with me!

no one.

Beautiful.

@willowbane are these things of a size where a snow shovel might be a useful implement of hazard-removal? I assume it'd have to be a real heavy-duty one, not one of the flimsy little collapsible popsicle sticks that are what most people have stashed in the back seat footwell somewhere...

*ahem*

To answer your question, here is the following:

i did some research and the research says… maybe???

while this would probably work better from a safety standpoint…

…no one in North Carolina keeps a snow shovel in their vehicle (we're southern, please forgive us). also, snapping turtles are still kinda squishy, at least their legs are, so i would be concerned about cutting the turtle while scooping it since decent snow shovels are usually made of metal and are pretty sharp.

Instead, here is a helpful guide on how to pick up a snapping turtle:

So. You have encountered a turtle…

…and it is filled with the burning rage of a thousand suns because, dear god, you, mortal flesh pod, have decided to move it from its Sunny Spot™️

Question is, how does one go about doing this?

Well, friend, first you approach the turtle from BEHIND (to avoid the beak, chase after it, etc, etc)

You’ve made it this far so now you’re going to want to pick this bad boy up.

In order to avoid walking away from this looking like you just fought with a rotating sphere of knives, pick up the turtle towards the back of its shell but in front of the hind legs:

Then, you’re going to pick the turtle up and lug it across the road in the direction it was facing/walking. They know where they’re going, they have turtle instincts. Trust the turtle instincts.

Now, it is important that you’re only picking this turtle up a few inches off the ground because 1) they are very heavy and if you drop it, you only want it falling a few inches and 2) there’s just less flailing if they can see the ground.

after awkwardly shuffle-walking to the curb, set the turtle down (gently) and watch it waddle into the undergrowth!

You did it!

Thank you for the helpful guide! This is almost completely right except for one very important thing: if you absolutely have to pick up the turtle, please make sure you do so by gripping the underside of the shell and support the body as well. As you note, snapping turtles are squishy and heavy and just gripping the top shell can put undue stress on the joints where the bottom shell joins and it can separate causing damage and pain.

Also pro tip: keep heavy leather work gloves in your car and use them. It won't stop them from biting (they can bite your finger clean off) but it will help protect against the claws and give you more confidence in your grip.

i'm STILL not over

My spouse has so many stories about being a designated family Turtle Mover. One spot in his childhood yard was the sunny spot that a turtle had decided very firmly was Hers, and to protect the family dogs, my spouse enacted more and more extreme turtle moving maneuvers (eventually going up to a wheelbarrow and a longish walk to the nearest river) to encourage her to move along to a different sunny spot, because otherwise she just kept coming back.

This summer he got his practice in turtle moving when one ended up in our ditch and made serious moves towards I Can Take Your Car In a Fight, Actually.

Some folks just got turtle karma.