Friday, May 28, 2010

I heart boobies but not assholes

Has anybody seen the "I heart boobies" bracelet that Zumiez sells? My child now has one, courtesy of a friend. He thinks it's completely awesome, of course, because he's just getting to the time in his life when boobies are ultra-interesting, but not for breast cancer awareness, if you get my drift.

So I said to him, as he's talking about his bracelet and trying to annoy me, "Are you sure this is about cancer and not just loving boobies because they're boobies? What about a bracelet that said 'I heart balls' or 'I heart penises'? Could we do that for cancer research?"

Shocked silence. Then "Mom, nobody would wear those."

"I can think of people who would."

"No you can't."

Oh yes I can. And then I start laughing, because I'd bet I could sell a mixed case of those suckers in about twenty minutes, especially if I mentioned it on Facebook.

So here's the next question: if these bracelets are to raise cash for cancer (I am *not* saying raising money for breast cancer is bad, even in a wink-wink, nudge-nudge way), where are the ones for anal/rectal cancer that say "I heart assholes"? Or "I heart cervixes"? My brother has brain cancer, so why not ones that say "I heart brains"? Problem is, brains, cervixes, and anuses aren't sexy and cool--they are what they are, with not a lot of love attached--oh, unless you're a zombie, and then you do heart brains because you're hungry. But boobies--we can admit our sexy love for them and still call it fundraising. Is this good? I don't know.

You can, however, buy a similar product as chewing gum, as the picture demonstrates. Now we just need to skew it towards cancer research. And yes, there is such a thing as penile cancer.

This is why I'm a word nerd--the power within them fascinates me. Now I'm off to find a manufacturer for my "I heart penises" bracelets. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Knock me over with a feather

You'll never guess what I found in the Central Nowhere paper. I had to read it three times to make sure I had the genders correct:

"Mark Edward Becker and Cody Bill Shafer McKiddie, both of Denver, Colorado, are pleased to announce their engagement and upcoming wedding ceremony.

Mark, 29, is . . . Cody, 31, is . . . He is [also] an Iraq War veteran with 10 years of service as Staff Sergeant in the United States Air Force. He has served 1 tour in the Middle East and 2 in South Korea. The wedding will take place July 31st, 2010, in Council Bluffs, Iowa."

Mark is originally from Central Nowhere! And, double bonus: the other groom is a gay man in the military.

Why does this matter to me? Maybe, if she still was a teenager there, the real Tessa could be out today, and not have to hide herself with fake boyfriends. Maybe she could bring a girlfriend to the prom, and not have to deal with what Constance went through. I highly doubt it--one wedding announcement does not a gay pride festival make--but you never know.

For me, it boils down to this: if this announcement is in my hometown paper, there's hope in the world. Though I hope they don't choose this cake topper.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Yaaaaaay, research!

I know--long hiatus. Sorry.

I love research. Why? It's an awesome procrastination tool.

But it's also a smart thing to do. I just took a four-day research trip (and drove 1400 miles total, WOW, lots of gas), and it was beaucoup fantastic. I learned so much, even more than I was expecting to learn.

Some of what I now know:

1) one character needs a French surname, not an English one
2) buffalo are WAY bigger than you'd think (see photo for scale)
3) coyotes can't catch prairie dogs, even though they try
4) grandmothers rule the world
5) people are incredibly generous (thanks again, Ernie & Sonja!)
6) there was a real guy named Buddy Red Bow--he's not just a character in a film
7) a person could get lost in western South Dakota--on purpose or by accident
8) always bring a cooler

The best thing about research is how much better it makes your fiction. At the same time, you have to be very, very careful not to let facts overwhelm your story.

Now to do justice to what I learned. Eeek.

Hilarious photo from here.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Writers are cool, part 1

I want to do more to talk up other writers. What are the interwebs about but networking? So I thought I'd start with agent siblings--or people you share an agent with. And I have some really cool agent siblings, way cooler than me, plus they do interesting things.

For instance, Victoria Schwab. Her novel THE NEAR WITCH is out in Summer 11, but what's she doing in the meantime? Helping to bring Nashville back from its recent flood. Writers are good community members, and she's one of the best. Please please please, check out her auction.

Also Amy Reed. Her book BEAUTIFUL came out in October of 09, and she's busy talking about bullies and making a stand with other writers.

There are more! Marci Blackman is publishing an insider's guide to biking in NYC, out in April 2011 (not to mention all the other writing she's got out) with Ed Glazar, a phenomenal photographer. Courtney Summers has been writing since she was one--one!--check for evidence here, and what else could you ask for in a writer, or human being in general? But she also has two YA novels out there, CRACKED UP TO BE and SOME GIRLS ARE. Then there's Tahereh Mafi, who has more enthusiasm in her than one human should be allowed to have. And these are just the agent sibs I know of. I'm sure there are more, all equally cool.

Visit them (be sure to visit Victoria's auction here), buy their books, hang out. Enjoy!