Poetry as a cemetery. A cemetery of faces, hands, gestures. A cemetery of clouds, colors of the sky, a graveyard of winds, branches, jasmine (the jasmine from Swidnik), the statue of a saint from Marseilles, a single poplar over the Black Sea, a graveyard of moments and hours, burnt offerings of words. Eternal rest be yours in words, eternal rest, eternal light of recollection.
—  Anna Kamienska, Industrious Amazement : A Notebook
Writing Survival was my dream job, but it was a mournful time in the show’s history. This has been a very different experience. There’s more of everything; people, resources, confidence, success… but the same constantly renewing and indefinable wonder that is Doctor Who. When I was very small and watching the First Doctor, I had a special cushion known as ‘Rona’s Doctor Whocushion’. I would hide my face in it when the Daleks or other monsters appeared on screen! The Eaters of Light is my version of other stories that have haunted me for almost as long.

Happy Birthday Jane Austen! (16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817)

From our stacks; Cover and end pages from Love & Freindship and Other Early Works. Now first published from the original Ms. by Jane Austen with a preface by G. K. Chesterton.  New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1922.

anonymous asked:

Duke! I am very excited about your book! But I'm very curious-- your main character is male. So many female authors make their protagonists men, and sometimes I just can't see why, unless it's because that's assumed to be more "marketable". (Like Harry Potter-- easily could have been a chick). Not attacking you at all, I'm just curious as to your reasoning.

This is one of those questions that I find slightly infuriating because it’s one of those questions nobody asks male authors. Nobody questions a male author’s decision to write a female lead or narrator (my male narrator is actually not the main character, but that’s splitting hairs), and making women constantly justify their creative decisions or assuming that if they write a prominent male character they must be working an angle or even just demanding to know why they didn’t write a female character instead is both exhausting and unfair. There’s no nefarious anti-feminist agenda here. I did not write a male narrator to make the book more marketable. I wrote a male narrator because that was what worked for the particular story I was telling. Why? I’m not going to get into specifics, but some of the major conflicts that arise between these characters are spurred by homosocial power dynamics, and that’s because the story itself has Shakespearean source material and that was a major theme I wanted to explore. The main characters are almost exactly evenly split as far as gender ratios go and the men are not more important or prominent than the women (narration =/= representation), but for the mechanics of the story to work I needed my narrator engaged in a very specific kind of competitive conflict which does not typically arise between women and girls. That’s why he’s male. But the decision to write a male narrator was hardly that logical. There really was no “reasoning,” as you put it. It was simply what felt right for this particular story. It was what worked with the group dynamics. It just fit. That’s all. It’s that simple. No marketing scheme, no misguided attempt to appease the Straight White Male literary establishment or prove myself by writing a character not of my gender. This time I just happened to need a male narrator. In my next book I needed a female narrator and in my current WIP I needed a third person omniscient narrator who follows characters of all genders. 

I write what’s right for the story. I don’t think I need any better justification than that. 

Generally the men always tried to appear strong; they walked tall, heads upright, arms steady at the sides, and feet firmly planted like trees. Solid, Jericho walls of men. But when they went out in the bush…and nobody was looking, they fell apart like crumbling towers and wept…

And when they returned to the presence of their women and children and everybody else, they…erected themselves like walls again, but then the women, who knew all the ways of weeping and all there was to know about falling apart, would not be deceived; they gently rose from the hearths, beat dust off their skirts, and planted themselves like rocks in front of their men and children and shacks, and only then did all appear tolerable.

—  We Need New Names, NoViolet Bulawayo

I can’t remember a time when I ever had someone look at me the way you look at me.
I’m still taken back each and every time that I look over at you, and see you looking at me.

Your eyes light up and become so full of life.
Your smile goes from ear to ear.
And the best part of it all is you don’t even realize that you’re doing it.

—  Xx/365// the way he looks at me.
18th December, Kathy Reichs

The Calendar Woman for 18th December is Kathy Reichs (born 1948)

Kathy Reichs is an American forensic anthropologist and crime writer whose novels are loosely based on her own experiences in the field. Since completing her Ph.D in physical anthropology at Northwestern University, she has taught at several American Universities, consulted for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in North Carolina and appeared in Tanzania to testify at the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. She was also a member of the Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team that assisted at the World Trade Center disaster.

As well as writing academic books, Kathy has written over 20 crime novels about the character Temperance Brennan who is also a forensic anthropologist, and a series for young adults about Temperance’s niece, Tory. Using her own experiences as a base for many of the events in the adult series, she has stated that she is meticulous in making sure that the science is accurate. In 2005 Fox television launched a series called Bones which is loosely based on the books and Kathy works as a producer, consultant and occasional writer for the show. In the series, Temperance writes novels about a forensic anthropologist named Kathy Reichs.