Political correctness is supposed to help us avoid offending people. I don’t generally give a flying fart if I’m offensive. I am not politically correct. I’m sometimes loud. I talk about sex, politics, and religion–often at the dinner table and sometimes when I’m a guest in someone’s home. I swear. I’ve been accused of mocking religion and I laugh at things Bill Mahar says. So when I call out certain talk or behavior, it’s probably not because I’m offended; it’s because I’m genuinely concerned about dangers related to said behavior. I think some of it is downright reckless.
RECKLESS BEHAVIOR #1 — Using sexist language & using “girl” as an insult
When a father tells his son to man up or stop acting like a girl, the trouble is not just the message it sends to his son (being a girl = bad, so don’t be girly), but also what it says to his daughter: that being a girl is simply not as good as being a boy. No matter what she does, she will always have a strike against her through no choice or fault of her own. And she (and her brother) also pick up on the fact that their mother, sister, aunt, and grandmother are inferior to their father and other men. Therefore, it’s not important to listen to their mother or respect her. And they certainly don’t have to respect female teachers, police officers, bosses, or strangers on the street.
I never want to be called the funniest Indian female comedian that exists. I feel like I can go head-to-head with the best white, male comedy writers that are out there. Why would I want to self-categorize myself into a smaller group than I’m able to compete in? –Mindy Kaling
RECKLESS BEHAVIOR #2 — Using racial slurs & making racist jokes
There are rules in comedy about which groups can be picked on. It’s bad form for groups in power to pick on those with less power (but the reverse can be acceptable, often because first group has already created a divide.). Also, only members of certain racial or ethnic groups can say certain terms. (Whether or not anyone should say such things is a different issue altogether). Remember how Michael Scott didn’t get why it’s not okay for him to recite a Chris Rock bit? Luckily, many people do understand the limits even if they’re not sure why they’re in place.
Most of the time, when majority or powerful groups disrespect people outside their group, it mainly serves to demonstrate insecurity and the desire to maintain the upper hand. [Like this example of how white students mocked nonwhites at a 70% white high school.] Even playful uses of terms and jokes are often used to create or maintain someone’s status as The Other. Those People. Us and Them.
Think of times when you’ve heard variations on these ideas:
- They are not like us.
- They only got this far because of affirmative action.
- They aren’t moral.
- They eat weird foods.
- They have weird traditions.
- They don’t share our values.
- They are sluts.
- They are taking our jobs.
- They don’t pay taxes/ They are looking for handouts/ They hate the rich/They blame us for our success.
- They drink too much.
- They are all involved in organized crime.
- They’re lazy/ smelly/ stupid/ oversexed/ dangerous.
Each one of these ideas translates to “I wish to maintain the status quo. If other people are treated better, there might not be as much good stuff for me. I enjoy coasting. I don’t want more competition for the stuff I like and I certainly don’t want to have to work harder.”
RECKLESS BEHAVIOR #3– Using “Muslim” & “terrorist” interchangeably
Radicals in all arenas are just that: radical. They wreck stuff for everyone because of stereotypes, which are seldom born through quiet, mellow people (see below). When Islamophobia is spread, people are unfairly targeted, especially women. Muslim women who cover their hair stand out, sometimes harassed and/or beaten. Shortly after the Boston Marathon, a man repeatedly punched a woman in the back who was walking on a sidewalk in Boston. College students in Texas were beaten while being called “terrorists” and “evil.” A man was beaten in the Bronx on Monday night in front of an Applebee’s. An Applebee’s! What a terrible place to be beaten, and just for having brown skin. (Of course, the fact that the bombers have since been described as “light skinned white men” is beside the point.)
RECKLESS BEHAVIOR #4 Perpetuating stereotypes
Stereotypes are bad for the stereotyped and the stereotyper.
It’s not fair to prejudge someone based on experience with (or hearsay of) someone else with a shared characteristic. Everyone deserves a chance to be treated and known as an individual. This is also why the “One of my closest friends is __________” trope is so grating. People read that as, “I can excuse my own propensity for stereotyping because luckily, I found the one _______ who isn’t ________ that I can pull out as a token on occasions like this.”
Stereotyping is a shortcut, and like all shortcuts, stereotyping often ends up costing much more time than it would take to do something right in the first place. And you know what? Positive stereotypes are just as dangerous. It’s not fair to expect people to live up to imaginary standards.
Homer: Listen, do you want the job done right, or do you want it done fast?
Marge: Well, like all Americans, fast . . .
Imagine all the friends and experiences people miss out on because of assumptions! Conversely, imagine all the bad hiring decisions and dates that have taken place because of assumptions.
I’m just as guilty as the next human. Did I ever tell you about the time I agreed to hang out with a guy who I thought was gay? He was a regular at the place I worked. One cold Minneapolis evening, I was on a date and didn’t know it. So when he invited me up to his apartment to look at his plants, I said yes because I genuinely wanted to see them. This was apparently code: glaringly obvious code. So while I was admiring his orchids and he tried to kiss me, I laughed–mostly at myself because I was surprised by my appallingly inaccurate gaydar. I had plenty of time to think about what I’d done on the long walk back to my car.
Back in April, I wrote a post about my sweet kitty, Chloe, who was in the hospital. It breaks my heart to reread the post; when I wrote it, I was hopeful that she’d recover. I didn’t know, at that point, that she had cancer (and not an infection, which is what we thought at the time). Do I want to rehash the sadness, the hopelessness, the anger, the frustration? I do it enough, really. So what I’d like to do now, instead, is celebrate Chloe by displaying some of the original art featuring Chloe that’s been made by my friends. I’ll start with a picture that my friend, cartoonist Lonnie Millsap, sent to me just days after Chloe died, of her in heaven:
My friends have been remarkably helpful, but sometimes the grief and sheer loneliness for her is overwhelming. I had to share my grief with the cartoonist Jeffrey Brown, who is a cat lover and heckuva nice guy. He and I have written letters (yes, snail mail!) occasionally over the past year. This is how he signed a recent postcard to me:
Several years ago (long before Chloe was sick) my friend Jocco (artist Jeremy R. Scott) created this picture for my birthday. You’ll notice Chloe on the back of the couch, which was indeed a common place to find her.
And a few months before that, I commissioned Jocco to make this picture for Joe’s birthday. We are a super hero family, flying over Miller Park:
Chloe and I fly very well with our eyes closed.
There’s a profound sadness that’s hard to describe when we lose a cherished four-legged, but I’ve found comfort in knowing that Chloe had an affect other people, too, even if no one else (maybe) loved her the way I did. She was responsible for many people’s conversions away from anti-cat ideologies with her calming presence and gentle sweetness. Plus, she was beautiful, too, and seeing the work these artists did in Chloe’s honor is very heartwarming.
This memoir follows the truncated, nonlinear, and sometimes disturbing thoughts that occupy the mind during mourning and grief. Through flashback and even fantasy scenes and imaginary conversations, Jourdan makes sense of his rage, pain, and regret–as best one can make of their mother’s sudden death of a brain aneurysm.
Even with frequent shifts in point of view and timeline, the memoir is easy to follow; it grabs you. I particularly enjoyed the narrator’s descriptions of being a teenager, when rage, lust, and fear (most emotions, even contentedness and boredom) are so intense that you’re convinced you’re the first and only person to feel the way you do.
Teenagers are also incredibly difficult to love if only because of their self-righteous rudeness and stubbornness. “I was fourteen,” he says, “and like every fourteen-year-old, I believed myself wiser than my years.” Luckily, the reader likes the narrator, and descriptions of himself as a teenager are given in retrospect, which makes him tolerable, more understandable. He’s a young man not afraid to admit that not only did he love his mother, finding her beautiful, intelligent, and kind, but that he still needed her when she was taken from him. Interestingly, the author also suffers from anxiety, and describes breakdowns and ugliness he sought to conceal, especially from his mother. (Parents should be relieved to learn through his memoir that no amount of good parenting can prevent certain troubles). He is honest without being overly confessional, loving and descriptive without being overly gushy and flowery.
Grief and mourning are tricky things to write about. The descriptions might be too unique, preventing the reader from connecting with the experience; or too universal, alienating the reader by making a deeply painful, immensely personal experience seem trite or stereotypical. Jourdan, however, finds the line between the two, sharing his ubiquitous feelings of denial and anger but showing them through his individual thoughts. By lashing out at a stranger, a woman he had had a confrontation with several years prior, for example, he demonstrates how rage festers and even old and unrelated injustices feel fresh and even more injurious. In this example, he tells her, “you were the biggest cunt in the world and your dogs should have been put to sleep after they attacked my Labrador, as though they had never been fed, or petted, or loved.”
Next, the narrator is not pleased with the heavy turnout at his mother’s funeral. He’s annoyed by the platitudes, wishing non-family would have not come to the funeral. His words:
Go back to your stupid house with your stupid family and leave me the hell alone, leave my sister alone, and stop attending funerals to which you weren’t invited. Just go away.
Of course, many people are touched by a large turnout; there is comfort in knowing our loved ones touched others’ lives as well. Many of us like to hear stories special to other people. In fact, at my grandmother’s funeral two years ago, the most memorial part of the visitation and services was when we stood up to share stories of my grandma.
In any case, then, this passage shows that there is no one way to mourn.
It is for these reasons I recommend Praise of Motherhood (although I’m not convinced the title matches the book) to anyone who likes memoir and/or to anyone dealing with a loss or is interested in anxiety.
About the author: Phil Jourdan fronts the lit-rock band Paris and the Hiltons, runs the fiction press Perfect Edge Books, and occasionally works on a PhD. Visit Phil on his blog, music site, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.
This book was reviewed as part of Novel Publicity & Co, for which I am an official blog tour host. Novel Publicity & Co helps newly published authors get their names out there in such a way that they are represented by fellow writers (like me!) rather than by a big, rude corporation (that probably won’t do such a swell job anyway). If you’re interested to see if Novel Publicity & Co can help promote your work, or if you’re interested in becoming a blog tour host, see its website.
I will be reviewing Praise of Motherhood this week, but thought I’d share the author’s own ruminations on his memoir today. Look for my review, along with my July tally of the 50/50 Challenge, later this week.
Back in late 2009, when I began working on Praise of Motherhood, I had envisioned a book very different from what I ended up submitting to my publisher. I’d just lost the woman who’d raised me, and when I wasn’t sitting around numb and brooding, I was frantically trying to contain the universe of loss and suffering in a single Word document on my laptop.
I wanted to write a book that expressed the impossibility of letting go. We’re often told, when someone close to us dies, that we have to move on, that things will get better. I couldn’t accept this back then: I didn’t think it was possible to let go of my mother, who had been so patient and kind during my weird teenage years.
The first two versions were entirely different from each other in form and tone, but they did have a certain delight in chaos in common. I was mourning the only way I knew how: by adopting a hundred different voices, each trying to say something about my mother that the others couldn’t say. One chapter was pure dialogue; another was a series of letters; for a while I wrote in breathless page-long paragraphs because it was the only way I could feel honest about what I felt. I’d swing from rage to self-pity to sadness to bliss to sheer bafflement.
It was only when I decided to turn this book into something that others could actually read without going insane that I figured out how to structure a book like this. I cut a great number chapters because they were honest but unhelpful. I tried to make myself a sort of antagonist, so my mother’s qualities as a human being could be emphasized. I left things relatively ambiguous instead of offering anything like words of wisdom to my readers. I tried to leave the book as open as the wound that stayed after my mother died.
This has irritated some people. They ask why I don’t provide a real sense of what my mother was like on a day-to-day basis, or why I focused so much on how she affected my life instead of just writing about her, as a person in her own right. Fair questions — but I never set out to just “write about my mom.” I wanted to write about the struggle of losing her, and what made losing her so painful. That’s why I ask questions in the book that I never really answer: because I was never able to answer them myself. They are questions that will remain.
Praise of Motherhood isn’t a book praising all mothers across all ages. It’s not meant to praise the idea of “motherhood” itself as some glorious ideal. I wrote this book because I wanted to transmit something of my mother to those who didn’t know her; those who, perhaps, need to hear that it’s okay to say you love your mommy and you wish she could still be here when you feel like crying.
About the book: Praise of Motherhood is a son’s tribute to the woman who not only gave him life, but helped him live: through various psychotic breakdowns, tumultuous teenage years, and years of feeling out of place in the world. Get it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
About the author: Phil Jourdan fronts the lit-rock band Paris and the Hiltons, runs the fiction press Perfect Edge Books, and occasionally works on a PhD. Visit Phil on his blog,music site, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.
I used to be married to a man named Jeff who had a fear of cats. It wasn’t his fault; he was raised by dog people. Plus, he had known a particularly rude cat who used to attack him while he was sleeping. Anyone would be leery of cats if Sneakers was their first introduction (trust me on that). I had cool a cat growing up, and I think a house needs at least one cat to be a home, so I figured maybe I could convince Jeff to get a kitten at some point. I was also happy with the idea of having a dog. My brother had a springer spaniel when I was a kid and I adored that dog, with his sweet nature and floppy ears.
In 1999, just a few months after my wedding, our friend Joy graduated from college and our friends Craig and Connie were hosting a party for her, so we went up to Duluth from St. Paul for the party and stayed with C & C. They had two cats, Sage and Flora. Jeff wasn’t crazy about their cats, but he wasn’t afraid of them, so I held hope that he might warm up to the idea of living with a cat. When we arrived, we saw that Craig and Connie had a new addition, a sleepy fluffball that Craig had rescued from the abuse of neighborhood kids.
Early the next morning, I awoke before anyone else in the house. I looked over and saw that the cat was curled up asleep on Jeff’s chest and he had no idea. I knew at that moment that this was the cat for us. I carefully woke Jeff and told him there was a kitty sleeping on him. He started petting her , she purred, and I knew Jeff had been converted. I asked him if we could approach Craig and Connie about taking their rescue home with us and he said yes. He fell for her blue eyes, orange ear, and comforting purr just as I had.
Asking Craig and Connie was the tricky part. They already had two cats and their female cat, Flora, was not particularly friendly, so I mentioned that Flora might not be accepting of a new female cat, maybe making three cats too many for their house. This offended Connie and they were already attached to her, so they said no.
Two weeks later, we got a phone call from Craig asking if we still wanted to adopt the cat. We arranged to make the 2 1/2 hour drive up to Duluth to pick her up, excitedly buying cat supplies on the way there: food, food dishes, litter box, carrier, toys. On the way there, we wondered what had changed their minds. The 180 was suspicious. Did the cat have an illness? No, Craig and Connie wouldn’t be dishonest like that. Was the disharmony between the three cats too much? Perhaps. Was the cat pregnant? Or was Connie pregnant?
When we arrived, Craig and Connie sat us down and told us that Connie was indeed pregnant, so taking on a third pet was probably too much. C & C hadn’t even been married yet a year, but we knew they wanted to be parents, so we were delighted for them. We were on our way to graduate school at Florida State, and we were excited to have a kitty come with us. Regular readers of my blog have probably already figured out that the Craig I’m talking about is known for his band Cloud Cult and the child they were expecting was their son Kaidin, who I never got the chance to meet. I’m eternally grateful to Craig, Connie, and Kaidin for letting me have these years, nearly thirteen, with Chloe.
If you’re new to my blog or still unfamiliar with Cloud Cult, I’d like to introduce you. Here is one of my favorite Cloud Cult songs:
After a few days, we decided on the name Chloe because it was the prettiest name we could think of. Every night, I’d place Chloe on my pillow so that she knew she was welcome and wanted there. She would curve around my head and knead me with her front and back paws, giving me a wonderful shoulder massage every night and morning. She was spayed and declawed in the front. Our vet guessed she was a year and a half old. We could not understand how anyone could send this sweet kitty outside (in Duluth! with wolves! and bobcats! and lynxes! and bears!) to fend for herself.
Two weeks after she came to live with us in St. Paul, Chloe and I were on a plane to Tallahassee, where we stayed for a month with Dr. Bonnie Braendlin, a professor in the English department at FSU, and her husband and two cats, George and Bernice. I started teacher training in the summer session and Jeff came down when our apartment was ready.
It’s rough to be a cat, even a housecat, in Florida. She got fleas (twice)–apparently, people bring them in on their clothes. My friend Jamie, who worked at his dad’s vet clinic growing up in Georgia, came over and taught me how to bathe a cat (a skill I have employed several times since). The humidity sometimes made her declawed paws ache, making it hard for her to jump sometimes. Seeing her suffering strengthened my resolve to never do that to a cat and to try to talk anyone out of it who was considering it. (Do not declaw your cat! It is amputation.) Chloe lived in four places in Tallahassee, then three places in Milwaukee, and one place in Illinois. Yep, she’s lived in four states (that I know of) and five cities. But in all that time, she’s never spent the night at a house that wasn’t hers except for staying with the Braendlins in Tallahassee, one month the three of stayed with our friends Nikki and Josh in Milwaukee, and one night in a motel in Kentucky on the drive to Milwaukee from Tallahassee. We never had her boarded.
Tonight will end the streak. For the past three weeks, she has been fighting an infection. Ironically, she caught a terrible bug at the vet clinic when she was there for her regular exam on March 13. She seemed to be getting better, but this morning I took her to an emergency hospital because she was refusing to eat once again and she was very wobbly. Also, her belly felt hard and weird. They admitted her. They thought it could be her liver, but the test results show normal liver function. I am wondering if she has staph or MRSA–it seems possible since I do know she was infected at the vet clinic. Thus, the exact cause of her high white count is a mystery but they are giving her IV antibiotics (hopefully a different kind than the one she’s been on for over two weeks because that one is not working) and they don’t know why she’s got fluid in her abdomen if it’s not her liver.
I know some people will find this post ridiculous. “It’s just a cat,” they’ll say. Last week I told some students I was worried about my sick cat, and one student said, “I hate cats.” (She, it seems, is a dog person). I told her that even if she were a huge cat person, she wouldn’t know my cat, so why not just employ some empathy and feel bad that I feel bad? I said, “What if your grandmother was ill and instead of saying something kind and comforting, I said, ‘I hate old people’? It’s the same thing.”
But many people understand the connection we make with our four leggeds: dogs, cats, chinchillas. And anyone who’s met Chloe understands this in particular–she’s not “just a cat.” She has converted more anti-feline people to our side than just my ex-husband. She’s warm, friendly, soft, and would never say a cross word about dogs or dog people. In fact, the only time she’s ever snotty or rude is when someone tries to brush her. If people think she’s an aloof cat (the unfair reputation many cats get), it’s simply because she’s misunderstood because she is so remarkably beautiful. She likes new people; she doesn’t hide under beds or in closets. She stays in the living room during parties and lets children pet her. She meets me at the door and watches TV from my lap.
To my friends and readers who’ve gone through this, I’m so sorry. And thank you to everyone who’s offered me kind words in this rough time. Hopefully we’ll get through it. I want another thirteen years and maybe even another four states with my sweet kitty. I’m not ready to lose her.
I went to Minnesota last weekend and hit my high school reunion. Some people are surprised that I went– I hated high school, after all. But the deal is that while I was not a fan of high school (I didn’t like getting up the morning, didn’t like math, hated my principal more than you hated yours), I have never disliked people as a rule. And now that we’re adults and much more secure, we’re much more likable generally than we were then.
So, anyway, I was chatting with the wife of my 7th grade crush (and 8th grade crush, and part of 10th grade, most of 11th, not much in 12th, but reinstated after graduation). She asked if I knew someone with a name that included the last name of someone I dated and the first name of a girl who was my friend until I found out she was dating the guy with that last name.
Let me back up: At a New Year’s Eve party during eleventh grade, I hooked up (not like that) with a guy who I will call Barney (because I am watching How I Met Your Mother right now). A month or so later, I was out with a friend I will call Lily (because, as we’ve established, I’m watching How I Met Your Mother right now). Lily and I bumped into Barney while we were out. I had a feeling he liked her, but he continued to call me and ask me out and such, so I figured I was wrong and he was still into me.
On Valentine’s Day, I had a thing I needed to do so I couldn’t make V-Day plans. When my thing was over, I went over to Barney’s place to surprise him with something sweet and dorky (I don’t remember what) and found that his ex-girlfriend, Robin, was there. He took me to the other room and explained that he was spending time with her because V-Day and other holidays were so hard on her since they broke up. I didn’t buy it and stopped seeing him.
I found out shortly thereafter that he had been seeing all three of us (and more?) at the same time so I stopped hanging out with Lily. I wasn’t heartbroken over Barney (it hadn’t been one of my great romances) but I was offended at the lies and trickery.
So now we go back to my reunion.
“Do you know Lily S——? She said to say hi,” my former classmate’s wife said.
“Yeah, I think so. How do you know Lily?” I asked my former classmate’s wife.
“She does my hair,” she answered.
“So Lily and Barney got married?”
“Yes, for five years now. And they have a little boy,” she told me.
The ridiculousness of it all hit me pretty hard. After approximately three minutes of laughter and pounding on the table, I composed myself, sought my soul for the most sincere facial expression and tone of voice I could manage, and said, “tell her I said hi back.”
This is the third relationship that I know of in which I have had an indirect role in creating. I would be gold for Bravo.
(Interestingly, I met Lily through a guy I dated before Barney. He told me that they were friends, but Lily told me she was his ex. It’s all sorts of grody, isn’t it?)
I recently contributed to a website called Dear Teen Me: Letters to Our Teen Selves. It’s a fun place, mostly with letters contributed by writers. I tried to write something entertaining to people of my era but that could still hopefully be of use to current teenagers. The brand of jeans changes but the feelings and fears probably don’t as much.
If that’s not encouragement enough for you to click the link, I’ve got more to tantalize you: There are pictures there! Four of them! All of me in my teens– one with a perm and one with me in a bikini top, on a bike, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. You’re intrigued, aren’t you?
If you like the post, please comment on the article itself. You don’t need an account, and if the site administrators see a lot of action on my post, I might be asked to do some more writing for them (which I’d like to do). Thanks, friends!
In Leah’s Wake, the ambitious novel by Terri Guiliano Long, is the heartbreaking and engaging story of a family’s struggles told by all members of the family. Through its depiction of flawed but ultimately likeable characters, Long has created a realistic novel that will stay with its readers because of its searing honesty, pitch perfect character development, and page-turning tension.
In Leah’s Wake is the story of a family in turmoil over the gradual loss of a daughter, Leah, to drug use and rebellion. Of course, every parent can tell you that teenagers distance themselves from their parents, and it’s natural and normal for teens to establish their independence, but coupled with the brain’s immaturity (especially the parts that control empathy) inherent in teens (the human brain doesn’t reach full maturity until the late 20s), drugs and outside influences can alter a teen who had previously always been level-headed and kind. And this is the case with Leah: she starts to see her parents as the enemy, begins to question whether or not her soccer career was ever her idea or passion, and becomes obsessed with Todd, her new boyfriend.
Perhaps the story really belongs to Justine, Leah’s younger sister, who is left in Leah’s wake. She is 12, terrified for her sister, and worried for her parents’ marriage. The novel shows how younger siblings are often the quiet victims, hurt by side-effects of a teen’s rejection of her parents, as ultimately the entire family is rejected as well. Leah struggles with this conflict: she wants desperately to get away from her parents but hates leaving Justine behind. There are moments in the novel when Leah’s love for Justine seems to be enough but Leah heartbreakingly continues on with her destructive path.
Long offers a realistic depiction of family life and marriage, with an honesty reminicient of Jonathan Tropper, and the difficult and often confusing experience of parenthood in the spirit of Anne Lamott. In fact, Lamott’s novel Imperfect Birds, released at almost the same time, is an excellent companion piece to In Leah’s Wake because of the similarities in the daughters’ plights, but the differences in the ways the families react to the daughter’s drug use. Other differences to contrast with Lamott’s book show how the dynamic might be different for the only child the ways that not having a boyfriend can also prove as difficult for the teen girl to handle as actually having one.
Long’s story is told from multiple points of view, which shows a dedication to the story and an astounding amount of research and empathy. Long shows the striking difference between the way a family sees itself and how outsiders see the family. Long glides effortlessly between narrators, offering a richness found in very few novels. Beyond the family, Leah’s drug use and rebellion affect other people in the town, classmates, her soccer coach, and even random people with whom Leah’s parents come into contact. If there is one flaw with this book, it’s that Long doesn’t hold back enough and offers the insights of too many tertiary characters.
In Leah’s Wake is an excellent novel for teenagers and parents alike, to read and discuss issues perhaps to prevent such problems in their family. Even the best parents and the best kids can expect to face some of Leah’s dilemmas. This novel can work to help people feel less alone in their adversity. And for childless people, perhaps this book can illustrate what it’s like to have a teenager, which is the most exhausting, difficult (and often thankless) experience in many people’s lives.
My score: A-
In Leah’s Wake is available on Amazon. com. The Kindle edition is only 99 cents (at the time of this posting).
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THIS BLOG TOUR:
This is the final stop on the novel publicity blog tour for In Leah’s Wake. I have not yet read any other reviews of the book (on the tour or elsewhere) to keep my impression unaltered. If you like my writing, please vote for my blog in the traffic-breaker poll for this tour. The blogger with the most votes wins a free promotional twitterview and a special winner’s badge. You can vote for me in the poll by visiting the official In Leah’s Wake blog tour page and scrolling all the way to the bottom. Look for the name of my blog, Geek Magnet.
The next word for the book give-away is SOON . . . (including the ellipsis). Learn more about the giveaway and enter to win one of three copies by visiting official In Leah’s Wake blog tour page. The other two copies are being given away courtesy of the GoodReads author program; go here to enter. Check out the Q & A with Terri Giuliano Long and the Terri Giuliano Long author page for In Leah’s Wake (which includes questions from the official book club guide, the author, her writing process, and advice.)
I have recently become a friendship writer over at Examiner.com. Check out my page here.
I’m brainstorming some topics about friendship, and something I’d like to do is an article with some of the sweetest/funniest/most poignant/typical/everyday/delightful stories of how my friends and readers met their best friends. Please comment below with your story or email me at email@example.com with your story. And if you have any other suggestions for articles I can do about friendship, I’d love to hear them!
So far I’ve written about letter writing, what to do if your friend is in an abusive or otherwise unhealthy relationship, and gift ideas for friends about to graduate. If you like the articles, please let me know and please comment on the articles.
I didn’t leave the house today, so you didn’t see that I wore my purple hoodie all day. And many of you were in the closet anyway, so our paths wouldn’t have crossed regardless. But just so you know, I would love to support you if I had the chance. (Support you in an emotional, not financial, way. I can’t support myself financially so I certainly can’t take care of you). I would listen to you and hug you. I stop people when they say ignorant things about you. I call people on their bullshit. And there are a lot of us straight people who feel the way I do. It may not always seem like it, but we’re here. I remember how much being a teenager totally sucked, and I can’t imagine what it would have been like to go through that hellstorm gay. I do not envy you.
You can survive high school, though. I know it! And then pick a progressive college in a nice place, like UW Madison. The Twin Cities are a pretty gay-friendly place. College will be So Much Better. I promise.
Godspeed. Especially if you’re in Texas. I feel you.