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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-07-29

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Werewolf Wednesday…Catherine Lundoff’s Save the Wolves Giveaway

Bonus Werewolf Wednesday post this week, to get this out before the August 7, 2012 donation of prizes.

Catherine Lundoff (author of the lesbians + werewolves novel Silver Moon I recommended back in May [here is a link to my review]) is currently hosting a giveaway to raise money for the Defenders of Wildlife’s Campaign to Save America’s Wolves and the International Wolf Center in Ely, Minnesota.

Here is a link to more information about the giveaway, including links to three pages worth of prizes. There are some seriously awesome prizes in this great giveaway for a good cause. (I personally plan to use the prize list as a list of wolfy things to check out, as well.)

Werewolf Wednesday…Werewolf Tropes You Love or Loathe

This Werewolf Wednesday post is inspired by two things: the Face Off: What Werewolf Legend Should Not Be Missed? post from Fangs for the Fantasy, and a conversation I’m having with Eliza Reeve about a certain trope, the Only Werewolf Woman in the World trope.

The Fangs for the Fantasy post discusses which werewolf legends they do and do not want to see in stories now. My conversation with Eliza is basically whether having few werewolves who are women is a trope in werewolf fiction. (Though it’s not everywhere, I see it frequently enough I think it is.) I’m combining these two things to talk about some of the tropes I either love or loathe.

Love: Forced Change During the Full Moon

Though I can also get behind the stories in which werewolves can change whenever they want, but I love the stories where no matter if they can control the change the rest of the time, they have to change under the full moon. That can be one night, three nights, five nights, I don’t care. What I love is that inevitable moment where no matter what they want, no matter what they’re doing, they have to give in to the pull of the moon. So much power, and yet it can’t always be fully controlled.

Loathe: Only Werewolf Woman in the World

Though there are stories that include this trope which I love, I hate the trope itself. In part, I hate it because I love stories with many women in a variety of roles, and I love stories about packs of werewolf women being human and animal together, their friendships and their romances, their triumphs and their failures. Mostly I hate this trope because it tends to come with all sorts of anti-women storytelling and misogyny and turning the one woman werewolf who exists into a sexual object for the others. I often find it gross and infuriating.

Love: Pack Bonds

Whether it’s a psychic bond that allows the werewolves to talk to each other in wolf form, or simply the bonds that make them feel like a family, the familiar smells and sounds of the others, I love stories where the pack is one big created family. Not everyone has to get along, but in the end, they fight for each other and support each other and love each other. Created families of werewolves for the win.

Loathe: Abusive Alpha Males

I’d loathe abusive alpha females, too, but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen one. I love pack structures and alphas in control, but I am not a fan of this trope where the alpha male is abusive and too strong for anyone else to fight and far too often sexually abusive, particularly to the Only Werewolf Woman in the World.

Love: Enhanced Senses in Human Form

I love werewolves in human form being able to smell and taste and see and hear and feel so much more than regular humans. I love the potential available to the story when the werewolves can do that, and as a write I love coming up with new descriptions and thinking about what they can sense that a human could not, particularly smells. It’s a way of building the world from a perspective that is similar to, but not quite, human, and I enjoy that challenge a lot.

What are the tropes you love and loathe?

Music Monday…Currently Listening

I’m in the middle of a couple projects, so I don’t have soundtracks to share, but I am currently listening to some music which I thought you might like.

1) “I Am Me” Willow Smith

2) “21st Century Girl” Willow Smith

How awesome is this kid? And she runs with the wolves in that second video, which filled me with glee the first time I saw it.

3) “Kiss Me Again” We Are the In Crowd

There is just something so cheery and fun about this song.

4) “It’s Not You” Halestorm

Halestorm + roller derby? AMAZING.

5) “Unity” Shinedown

Part of this video was filmed in Kansas City, at Rockfest 2012, and I love seeing one of my favorite things about KC featured in this video.

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-07-15

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Werewolf Wednesday… Darker Than You Think by Jack Williamson

I’m not sure how I’ve missed this book for so long, but I only recently found a copy of Darker Than You Think by Jack Williamson.

Blurb: Who is the child of the night? That’s what small-town reported Will Barbee must find out. Inexorably drawn into investigating a rash of grisly deaths, he soon finds himself embroiled in something far beyond mortal understanding. Doggedly pursuing his investigations, he meets the mysterious and seductive April Bell and starts having disturbing, tantalizing dreams in which he does terrible things–things that are stranger and wilder than his worst nightmares. then his friends being dying one by one and he slowly realizes that an unspeakable evil has been unleashed. As Barbee’s world crumbles around him in a dizzying blizzard of madness, the intoxicating, dangerous April pushes Barbee ever closer to the answer to the question “Who is the Child of Night?” When Barbee finds out, he’ll wish he’d never been born.

That blurb sounds kind of awesome. There’s an author blurb from Douglas E. Winter that calls this “arguably the best, and certainly the best remembered, American novel about lycanthropy.” Clearly that means I need to read it.

The version I picked up is a part of the Fantasy Masterworks series, which “is a library of some of the greatest, most original, and most influential fantasy ever written.” Which sounds like a great idea in theory, but I wonder how much of the collection is works by straight, white men, as these collections tend to go.

Music Monday…Soundtrack for “Lone Wolf (Bound)”

Last week I posted “Lone Wolf (Bound)”. Today, I thought I’d post the songs I listened to while writing it. (I’m unfortunately not doing a lot of fiction writing except for the Full (Moon) Flash Fiction, which is frustrating, so I don’t have a lot of playlists to pull from right now.)

Only three, because I listen to my music on repeat while writing, and flash fiction doesn’t require an extensive soundtrack.

1) The Lumineers “Ho Hey”

Totally unashamed of falling in love with this from the Bing commercial. Between this and the vampire Bing commercial, I find Bing commercials to be the best.

My favorite lines are, probably unsurprisingly: So show me family / all the blood that I will bleed / I don’t know where I belong / I don’t know where I went wrong

2) Alex Clare “Too Close”

I swear, I don’t actually get all my music from commercials. This one, Tech Guru introduced me to the song before I actually saw the IE commercial. (Which is kinda gorgeous. Whoever Microsoft is using for their ad work right now, GOOD JOB. Did you see that awesome Iron Man bit?)

It’s actually not the lyrics that get to me on this one, just the rhythm and the electronic work. What would you call that? Someone musically smarter than me should help me out with the proper terms.

3) Florence + The Machine “Drumming Song”

The rhythms here work nicely for the building tension of a full moon night, I think. (I’m not generally a fan of Flo + The Machine, particularly after the whole racist “No Light No Light” video; see Racialicious.com’s “No Light No Light White Supremacy All Dressed Up in a Pop Video is Still White Supremacy” for a great analysis.)

What are you listening to this week?

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-07-08

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Werewolf Wednesday…Wolf-Girls: Dark Tales of Teeth, Claws and Lycogyny and Fiona Apple “Werewolf”

I am pretty eager to get a copy of this new book, Wolf-Girls: Dark Tales of Teeth, Claws and Lycogyny, edited by Hannah Kate, from Hic Dragones. And how sad am I that I didn’t learn about the Manchester launch party until after it occurred? I could have asked my bff to hit it up for me.

Here’s the book trailer:

And the blurb: Feral, vicious, fierce and lost… the she-wolf is a strange creature of the night. Attractive to some; repulsive to others, she stalks the fringes of our world as though it were her prey. She is the baddest of girls, the fatalest of femmes – but she is also the excluded, the abject, the monster. The Wolf-Girls within these pages are mad, bad and dangerous to know. But they are also rejected and tortured, loving and loyal, avenging and triumphant. Some of them are even human…

Seventeen new tales of dark, snarling lycogyny by Nu Yang, Mary Borsellino, Lyn Lockwood, Mihaela Nicolescu, L. Lark, Jeanette Greaves, Kim Bannerman, Lynsey May, Hannah Kate, J. K. Coi, Rosie Garland, R. A. Martens, Beth Daley, Marie Cruz, Helen Cross, Andrew Quinton and Sarah Peacock.

I hope the stories are dark and snarling. I’ve been eager for the nastier, more dangerous side of werewolves for awhile. Plus, I’m always interested to see how female werewolves are portrayed in fiction. (Generally, more sexually dangerous, I think, while male werewolves are often the tortured sympathetic monster, even if still dangerous against their will, and generally not sexually dangerous. The sexuality of the male werewolf tends to come into play when the werewolf is the romantic hero.)

(DUDE! This publisher is going to put out murder mystery and horror games. I WANT TO PLAY A MURDER MYSTERY HORROR GAME. Like The Werewolves of Miller’s Hollow, only more complicated. I probably need to find a new tabletop gaming group and do some werewolf gaming, as much as the thought of that filled me with excitement.)

A werewolf reference more than anything about werewolves, Fiona Apple’s new album as a song called “Werewolf” and I really like this little bit of the lyrics:

I could liken you to a werewolf the way you left me for dead
But I admit that I provided a full moon
And I could liken you to a shark the way you bit off my head
But then again I was waving around a bleeding an open wound
And you are such a super guy ’til the second you get a whiff of me
We’re like a wishing well and a bolt of electricity

Not a lot of werewolf news lately, but hopefully I will have reviews and such soon. Happy fourth, otherwise. Try not to set any werewolves on fire with your fireworks.

Publications… Full (Moon) Flash Fiction “Lone Wolf (Bound)” available free online

Full (Moon) Flash Fiction

May Milk (Super) Moon: “Moonlit”
June Strawberry Moon: “Great Wide Open”
July Thunder Moon: “Lone Wolf (Bound)”

Lightning cracked across the sky, lighting it up. One of the pups whimpered, but Dot couldn’t tell them apart. Couldn’t, didn’t want to, it all came out the same. They all looked like her brother in different ways, even the one that wasn’t actually related to him, sounded like him, smelled like him – she couldn’t take it.

“Shh.” The hay rustled as Trouble crouched next to them. The sharp scent of their fear faded, leaving that familiar-strange mix of family and not.

Patch was three weeks gone, his old lady said. Skittish under the last full moon, quiet where he was normally loud, talkative. Dot didn’t know him like that. He was the runt three litters after her, always silent and still.

Big shadows like bruises stained the skin beneath his old lady’s eyes. Manda, she was called, a human name for a wolf. “My parents liked to play pretend,” she said, and bared her teeth.

Patch gone, and their nearest neighbors, too, three of the four adults in the wolf pack. Five pups, four Patch and Manda’s, one their neighbors’, and Manda left to watch them. She slept fitfully in the corner of the barn, hugely pregnant, hands pressed against her belly even in her sleep. It rose like a full moon, third litter and maybe the last.

The breeze shifted, blowing into Dot’s face. She gulped it down, searching.

Behind her, a yip, cut off sharp, and she spun, crouching low, hands and feet against the boards she’d cleared of hay, ready for her shift. (Hay stuck to fresh-changed fur, made her itch, with no hands to scratch it free.)

Manda was awake, and on her feet, arms curled under the swell of her stomach, holding its weight, and her eyes were wide and dark, all the color bled out of them.

“They’re coming,” she growled, teeth sharp behind bloody lips. “They’re coming, they’re coming, they’re coming.” Her words rose into a howl by the end, high and thin, wolf crying for her pack, but only silence after.

Then, quiet at first, gaining volume and strength, Trouble raised her voice, head tilted so that her dark braids tumbled down her back, covering her bare brown skin. Around her, the pups lifted their heads, weak calls that made her jaw ache like claws on glass.

Too much like pack, and Dot was lone wolf nose to tail.

Thunder rolled, and with it the rain, gusts of it shaking the barn doors, covering their trail, the marks they’d left behind and their smell. From nothing to thunderstorm, and the snap of wind strong enough to knock over small wolves, nothing could track them through it.

“Shift,” Dot ordered, drawing herself in tight, muscles straining. The others turned toward her, watched her, and she shook her head, shifting back on instinct. She ran alone, no others to slow her down, but their hearts raced, and each breath pack pack pack. “We’re running.”

Running meant one more night safe and free.