#Howtospotafeminist Uproar–Feminism or Misandry?

A lot of you probably already know my stance on feminism. If not, I will briefly summarize: I am a feminist. I believe in the equality of the sexes, not the superiority of womankind as many presume “feminism” means. I am, like many other feminists, hurt when accused of the latter rather than the former due to misunderstandings and terminology that has a rather loose definition. So when I saw that #Howtospotafeminist was trending, I checked it out. It began with a radio talk show host, Doc Thompson, when he posed on Twitter:

This immediately had an outpouring of input from those who had the notion in their head that all feminists were women, that they were man-haters who were power and attention hungry. That they were single, fat, unhappy and unattractive. That that they contradict themselves by saying that they don’t need any help from men and then ask for help. There were many more inaccuracies being spoken about in this hashtag, some of which are shown below. tumblr2 twitter1 twitter4 twitter5 Soon after those who believe as I do that feminism is not a dirty word, nor is it misandry incarnate, spoke up within the hashtag, attempting to set the record straight. While I agree with trying to speak out about the misinformation being spread about feminism and its definition, as shown below, I also feel as though the term has adapted as many do during culture changes.








There are feminists who seek to put down men, to separate themselves away from them and even above them. There has been an outpouring of individuals who believe in this misandrist view and label it ‘feminism’. Due to this extreme perception of the world, the term “feminist” has changed from being a socially aware individual with or without an education, in varying walks of life who believe in the equal rights for the genders to being man-hating, female empowering hypocrites who have little to no attractive qualities. So let’s take a look at some dictionary definitions of “feminism”.


dictionary2 dictionary3


So if the dictionary definition is conclusive, why is it that our culture has turned this beautiful movement into something other than what it stands for? Simply because of misogyny and it’s very nature–as said by Andrea Dworkin: “Feminism is hated because women are hated. Anti-feminism is a direct expression of misogyny; it is the political defense of women hating.”

Not to say that everyone who has an alternate view on feminism and its definition are misogynists, simply that our society has raised us with certain ideas in our heads, undercurrents enforced through media and therefore becoming integral to who we become and what we believe.

So what should you do about this trending hashtag? It’s up to you. Is feminism a part of your life? Have you been misinformed? Do you want to push all of this under a rock because it’s too uncomfortable for you to talk about? Challenge yourself; tell us all how you feel about the term “feminism”, about the movement when it began and what it has morphed into. Tell everyone you can about what you believe–your opinion is important, no matter what that opinion is.

Want to learn more about the modern feminist movement? Here’s a few starting points for you:

Emma Watson’s HeForShe Campaign

What Is Feminism Today?


Music for Writing to

I’ve been writing for years, and most of the time I come up with soundtracks for what I’m working on. These soundtracks inspire me to write certain scenes, exemplify relationships or characters within whatever I’m writing. Sometimes, though, you just need some good background music for whatever you happen to be writing (or studying!) at the time. Most of the time I find these soundtracks on 8tracks, a website that you may create a free profile on and begin creating your own playlists, adding annotations, cover art, etc. These are some of the ones I’ve found that I really think stand out.

Hello writing, my old friend. This one is mostly instrumentals from all sorts of media.

get shit done. The soundtrack that led me to 8tracks in the first place.

Epic Score Playlist. What it says on the tin. These are all scores from pop culture.

nobody saves me but me. For those of you writing female-driven novels.

my mind is somewhere else. Instrumental again, beautiful to have in the background.

writing mix: medieval. For those of us who are writing medieval or fantasy genres!

it’s time to run. For those running scenes. Whether they’re running to or from something, they’re running.

Writing: Character Deaths. Again, what it says on the tin. You want a tear-jerker farewell to one of your beloveds? Listen here.

until the end. Apocalyptic/Sci-fi? We got your stuff here.

drive, darling. Indie romance paging you. We’ve delivered.

NaNoWriMo: Adventure. Wanderlust galore here, these will help you write your adventurous characters.

Have your own playlists for your projects you want to share? Have others that I haven’t listed that you think are awesome? Post them in the comments below for everyone to enjoy! Is it one song in particular that gets you ready to write? Put the youtube or soundcloud link below and I’ll take a listen! Most of all, though, enjoy writing.

#RedMyLips and Camp NaNoWriMo!

So posts may either be a flurry of activity or none at all during this busy month of April. Not only do I have my Anniversary coming up, but I have made a few commitments, am in the middle of paperwork for entering College for the summer semester and normal day-to-day life. So what are these commitments?

The first one I want to talk about is the Red My Lips campaign. April is, as some of you may know, Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Red My Lips is a month long campaign in which you sport red lipstick in support of survivors of sexual assault and as a starting point in which to talk about rape myths, victim-blaming and sexual assault in general. I’ve committed to this cause not only because it’s a great cause, but because of how many friends I had growing up who were victims. How many people I know now who either will admit it to others or aren’t ready to have the public bear witness to the trials they have faced. Sexual assault is something many, many women (and yes, men too!) have to deal with. It should be a topic freely discussed due to it’s frequency. I am here to talk about it, comfortably, with anyone who would like to talk more about it. If you would like more information about the campaign, the Facebook group is here and the website is here.

The second commitment is actually Camp NaNoWriMo. I’ve spoken about NaNoWriMo (which takes place in November) on this blog before, since I participated this past year. Camp NaNo is a little different, although it has the same basic principles. Firstly it takes place in April. You sign up and set your own goal (not necessarily 50k like the standard NaNo), it’s suggested anywhere from 10k to 100k. Since I have a busy month ahead of me, I settled for 10k in order to finish up one of my original novels The Weeping Year. I have set up my own cabin, even though this is the first year I’ve participated, and am very willing to invite others to join it. Want to write with us? Join up for Camp NaNo here! If you would like to receive an invite to my cabin for support and some fun social interaction, comment below with your username and you will receive that invite!

In other words, I’m sure to be very busy this month, but I might have time here and there to write reviews, let you in on how Camp NaNo is going and more! Have a wonderful April and if I don’t see you during it, I’ll certainly be seeing you on the other end of it!

Helen of Sparta, Making Her Own Fate


Helen of Sparta by Amalia Carosella is a wonderfully written tale covering the period of time when Helen (daughter of Zeus and Leda) was the captive of Theseus (son of Poseidon and Aethra). While it does explore Helen’s character prior to her having met Theseus, this is really just the set up for the world as well as the characters.

Not only does Amalia show that she had done her research on the mythology surrounding Helen, but she does so by weaving a beautiful story to give the character (who may be known as Helen of Troy by some) time to tell her side of things. Helen is a strong female lead in this novel, having to fight the gods on whether her fate is sealed or of her own design. It’s heart wrenching, but also heart warming as she finds love and support in places she never thought she would.

While Helen of Sparta also follows Theseus through some of the middle chapters, it is still focused on Helen during that time, only going into depth in order to give the audience a better knowledge of how certain decisions were come to by the other major party in the story. It only builds up the novel, by giving the other characters depth, instead of scattering thoughts by having more than one point of view.

Overall I give Helen of Sparta 5/5 stars, recommending this novel to any mythology buff and/or anyone who enjoys a strong female lead. Beautifully constructed and wonderful depth given to characters glossed over in current mythology.

Live by the Silver Linings Playbook?


The Silver Linings Playbook, starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper, is a film that has won many awards, including a BAFTA, an Oscar and an Academy Award while being nominated for several others. While this is a film adaptation of a novel, I have yet to pick up the novel, so my review will not be all encompassing from that standpoint. Silver Linings Playbook follows Pat, Bradley Cooper’s character as his mother, against doctor’s orders, brings him home after a time in a mental institution. With an ex-wife he is trying to win back and a new girl, Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), who not only battles her own demons but also wants to win Pat’s affections, life is more than difficult to handle at times.

While I’m certainly no expert on dealing with mental disorders, even I can tell that this film was written and performed beautifully. It’s always hard to get it just right, as sufferers from the same illness may have diverse reactions to the same situation, but in this case they went with it and made a killing. The actors, in addition, bring nuances to the film that might be lost in script form, but certainly bring it to life while watching it. I was drawn in and felt their tumultuous emotions during the two hours of film time.

As the movie progresses, you find yourself immersed in Pat’s new life and how he isn’t coping well; wanting to win his ex-wife back even though she has a restraining order against him. Until he is given something to focus on, encouraged and enforced by Tiffany, he has a hard time making his life into a functional, happy one. He learns, over the course of the movie, that what he thought he wanted and would make him happy once more and what actually makes him happy are two very different things. With this emotional turnabout, the audience is relieved to see him making a wonderful choice in order to continue his life without dwelling on the past and his stint in the mental institution.

While this film has an R rating and would not be suitable for minors due to some violence and mostly a lot of swearing, I would suggest it to anyone 16 and up, as long as they had a mature mindset. It’s a well-written, beautifully performed story about finding happiness and coping with your problems. I definitely don’t recommend this if you are looking for something more funny and romantic, although it is technically a rom-com; it’s a bit more on the serious and bittersweet side. Still, I give Silver Linings Playbook a 5/5 stars!

Lucy: One Girl You Never Want To Know


Lucy: a movie starring Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman is a slightly ridiculous science fiction movie that should have had a more coherent plot if it wanted to keep audiences interested for the entire 90 minutes it was on screen. As much as I love the two big-name actors that are fronting this movie, the writing of the screenplay was atrocious at best. I knew, going into it, that it wasn’t likely to leave a lasting impression based on the rating it had received (58%) on Rotten Tomatoes, plus a lovely movie review blog I follow here on WordPress (Justine’s Blog) that discussed her thoughts on the movie. In any case, I decided that for a fun night out with my boyfriend, we would go watch Lucy.

At first the premise wasn’t so bad, Sure, it posits that humans only use about 10% of their brain and though it is not a true fact of life it is presented as one. For a good plot I’m ready to believe anything (like aliens exist, zombies have taken over the world, the world has been thrown into another ice age…), so I let it go. In fact, for a good half of the film it seemed as though everything was going to tie together. Even when we watched Lucy, the main character, become a drug mule and get beaten up as a plot device to get the new drug into her system. The new drug, unsurprisingly, makes Lucy super-powerful and capable of accessing 100% of her brain.

You see, here is where things start to get a little wonky. I could suppose that it’s all the writer’s take on what could happen if humans were able to use all of their brain and that the hypothesis could be that the said human (Lucy, in this case) would become God-like in qualities and powers possessed. However, the fact that Morgan Freeman’s character, the man who has been studying the 10% functionality and theorizing what would happen if brain power were boosted past that threshold, was correct in all of his concepts threw me. Science and more specifically theories are meant to be proved incorrect. “In all science, error precedes the truth, and it is better it should go first than last.” Hugh Walpole once said. The beginning part of the quote is the part I’d like to focus on—”error precedes the truth”. This is almost always true (i.e. the world was flat—until it was proven to be spherical), and when theories are posited you expect even a tiny little itty bit of them to be at least not-so-right. (See X-Men, Alphas). I just found his spot-on hypotheses to be really sketchy.

Continuing on in the movie, Scarlett Johansson undoubtedly gave a phenomenal performance (as did Freeman), but the plot got lost partway through. Suddenly everything changed from Lucy wanting nothing more than to get out of the situation she was in and go back to her normal life with finals and partying, but then she got all caught up trying to get her brain to get to 100% functionality—seemingly for no reason. I tried to go with it, as any audience does when a plot twist is thrown at them, but it was difficult to understand where the movie was going by now.

The finale of the movie (which I won’t spoil for you, don’t worry), was lackluster and seemed like a cop-out in the face of all the questions left over from the movie. It seemed like they were trying to go for some enlightenment or a big ‘aha’, but no one in the audience seemed to get it. Whether it went over our heads or it just wasn’t made clear, I’m not sure. I just know that no one left the theater satisfied.

Follow Your Pen

In this article I want to give you an overview about different genres that you might write for, or be interested in. I weigh in with the pros and cons of such genres and what it can be like writing for them. Romance, for example has a huge audience, but it’s often the same story over and over again but with slight variations to it. So how can you, as a Romance Author, stick out? I discuss this, and many other points below.

Romance is a tricky genre to get right. Certainly, anyone can write about the typical teen romance, especially if they’ve read a couple of them, but if you want to go outside the normal bounds of what is considered a romance, such as the LGBT route, Asexuality or any other differences, it can take some interesting writing to keep it within the realm of this genre. Not to say that LGBT or Aces are any less legitimate or compelling, just that it isn’t a usual choice. As it is, keeping a hetero relationship fresh and exciting instead of being “another Twilight” is difficult as well. Be prepared to bring new ideas to the table in order to keep your audience enthralled!

The Young Adult genre is not that hard to crack, my first novel was partly this genre and it gave me direction in the book that it otherwise might not have had. Finding yourself is a common topic and it never gets old—everyone finds different things out at different points in time, and the range of ages that this genre covers is a tumultuous time in many people’s lives anyway. They are simultaneously figuring themselves out as well as figuring out the world around them. The only issue is not having the main character figure everything out at the end, because most often this is not a fairytale ending sort of genre. However, feel free to make it what you want. Don’t be afraid to break the mold.

The enthralling suspension and twists and turns of a mystery plot can keep anyone busy—as the reader! Imagine what the author has to do in order to write these books. To be completely honest, much of the mystery genre is full of murder mysteries. The allure of this genre is the rough and tumble cop plodding his way through deception and the red tape that keeps cops on the up-and-up, who finally veers off course in order to solve the mystery. This may come back to bite him, it may not. Either way, the whole idea is to solve the mystery. It’s a beautiful genre, and if I had more patience I might even contribute to it; I personally do not want to invest much of my energy into researching murders and how criminals get caught due to one tiny piece of evidence and a gutsy detective. It may not be the genre for me, but I sure do enjoy watching crime dramas such as Castle unfold on television.

The largest genre out there is Fiction. This encompasses a lot of other genres, if you get right down to it—these days, however, this genre tends to take whatever is a fictional story that doesn’t fall into the sub-categories. At the moment this means books with the target audience of adult age, post-apocalyptic novels that don’t fit in with fantasy, teen or other genres and many, many others. This isn’t a terrible genre, in fact it’s one of the best! However, it does give you a lot more freedom, with hardly any focus other than ‘this didn’t really happen’. For someone like me, who finds it easier to write as an escape, this genre often deals with aspects of life I would rather leave behind. Because of that, I don’t venture too far into this genre.

Sci-fi and Fantasy are my favourite genres to write in. I personally find them to be the easiest to write, as I can escape into worlds of my own creation, superpowers and things I wish were real but sadly aren’t. I feel so free to come up with whatever I want out of plots, sub-plots and varieties of people. However, there are some parts of these genres that can be quite hard to work around. In the Science Fiction genre, for instance, some modicum of knowledge about space is usually required. At the very least physics as we know it and science in general is a great foundation. At least in the Fantasy genre there’s almost complete freedom to ignore science. Not so much if you’re going for strict Sci-fi. If you’re up for blending the two genres, it then gets interesting. You have exceptions to rules more and more often. Needless to say this genre has boundless room for creativity and originality; however it can also be hazardous terrain if you’re not willing to put some thought into your writing.

While I do label Fiction as the largest genre out there, Non-Fiction also has quite a large scope. The unfortunate side, I find, to Non-Fiction is the creativity is lacking. You’re writing about either something, someone or an event that happened in the real world. Listing facts and coming to conclusions about things. It all seems rather boring; however these books also make great references. For example, self-help books can fall into this category. Helpful information can come in the form of encyclopedias and reference guides. While writing for this genre may not hold the escapist’s heart and soul, it certainly isn’t a genre that shouldn’t exist. This is the genre for passing on knowledge in the purest form; this is the most noble of the genres.

Erotica was a small genre—when I was working at a book store we had a tiny little four foot section that didn’t have very much in it. We often had to seed other books into it that didn’t really fit that description. By the end of my stint there, the section was nearly overflowing. What turned it around? More people willing to write for this genre. More people who don’t find it despicable or not okay to read. So this genre has grown to a size where mentioning it as a valid genre is relatively commonplace. So what is Erotica? It’s the sex books, right? Partially. Erotica isn’t always just about sex. That may be the whole reason for reading it, but there are plots and even though they are often predictable and just around as an excuse to write the sexy scenes, it still draws enough of a fanbase that it’s worth discussing. The downside to this genre? Often you’re a ghostwriter. Whether you are or are not, it doesn’t seem to matter because all of the characters are unimaginative, have a one-track mind and are often 2-dimensional. The upside? You get to write adventuresome scenes dealing with a topic that is so often only implied (if that) in other novels.

Genres are all up to the individual. Even though I would never find myself writing a Non-Fiction book that doesn’t mean that it isn’t someone else’s forte. I hope that this guide gives a somewhat helpful look into what writing for each one is like, so you might find it easier to figure out where your heart lies. For me, I love Science Fiction and Fantasy, but I dabble here and there in other genres so that way I don’t get sick of writing the same thing over and over again. It’s okay to not just stick to one genre—it’s okay to just write for one genre. You’re the writer, follow your pen!

The Expendable 100?


The 100 is a show on the CW (formerly WB), into its second season and going strong. As a post-apocalyptic show, featuring a cast of mostly young adults, it’s no wonder that this show is a hit. I certainly have no quarrel with it, although I have noticed some plot holes here and there. Mostly I find the characters to be well-rounded and very humanized. Characters you start out hating end up showing surprising developments that make you love them and yet others take a drastic turn for the worse and you regret having loved them early on in the series. With this sort of approach to the series, I find that the series is less of the teen romance drama that everyone was certainly expecting, and more about survival and the politics, the growth of characters.

You follow the group of 100 teens who were chosen from their home on The Ark (a space station that holds thousands of occupants of different nationalities that managed to escape Earth’s toxic conditions) and sent down to Earth—somewhere no one has been for 97 years. Except they find out that they aren’t the only ones down there. While trying to figure out how to live on their own in the harsh environments that this new, post-apocalyptic Earth provides, they also have to deal with a war breaking out between themselves and the people who have managed to survive on the Earth throughout its transformation from what it was into what it is now.

The series definitely had a solid beginning and comes from an interesting idea. There are certain things about it that have fallen through: it was never explained how the indigenous people of Earth survived during the nuclear fallout; during the first couple of episodes the forest is revealed to glow brightly at night and yet it is never seen again; mutated creatures have been seen, and yet they are never a major plot point or have anything to do with the struggle to live on Earth. There are many subjects that were either dropped after a big scene about it, or just were never covered to begin with. While this doesn’t take away from the story itself, it does limit the viewer’s immersion into the world they have created. The audience should never have to ask questions about the setting, it should just be shown.

However, as these over looked subjects are really just me being nit-picky, I can easily wave them off and happily continue to watch the series. I give The 100 a solid 4.5/5 stars and recommend it to anyone who has a particular liking for the dystopian, post-apocalyptic genre. It’s well-written and definitely different from other shows out there.

Character Flaws: Everyone Has Them, Not Every Writer Writes Them

What makes up a character? Traits. What are traits? Good or bad points found in a character. Good character traits (meaning those that are positive), are easy to come by. We are taught from a young age to look at the perfections, the good in others. This includes our characters. Unfortunately this means that so often character flaws are left forgotten. Flaws are just as important as talents and perfections: they make the character much more human and easy to connect with.

What flaws are most commonly seen? Depression certainly is one, so is social ineptitude. Arrogance is seen here and there, as is trouble-making (see bad boys). These are by no means bad flaws, though they are seen often and can be seen as dull and cliche as opposed to finding something different: Superstitious, apathetic, overconfident characters are hardly ever seen. What if the character is paranoid? Overprotective? Illiterate? Every person has those traits that could stand for some improvement, whether they recognize it themselves or not. You can either go for flaws that make you think outside the box, or you can stick to known entities. The good part about sticking to the sometimes over-used traits (whether positive or negative), is that as a writer you have plenty of material to pull from. The flip-side is that you have to try to write it in a different light, or make it somehow original in your character (unless your story is about how your character is actually very average, which is one tactic you can use.

Flaws can be real or not real. A character can perceive a trait in themselves that isn’t actually there, or perhaps they just don’t see the positive of a trait (like practicality, which can be seen as a double-edged sword). These approaches to your characters can provide points to grow and develop from, which can create a great sub-plot. Never forget that flaws are fluid: they can either be tackled by the character knowingly or unknowingly, they don’t need to be resolved at all if you don’t want them to be.

New flaws can surface. After being incarcerated, for instance, perhaps your character becomes claustrophobic. Maybe they always scarf up their food because they don’t know if it will be taken away or not. Maybe they’re more outwardly violent now, or withdrawn. Any number of outcomes can come from a single plot point. Giving your character a reaction to the situations they have been put in means that they are human and easier to connect with.

Flaws can come in many forms. Physical, emotional, mental, etc. Phobias, mental illnesses, disabilities—these all count towards flaws. Your character doesn’t need to necessarily view them as flaws, they could see the silver lining in their predicament, if they’re even aware of the flaw. Flaws help to define and differentiate your characters. Diversify your characters and their flaws. Everyone copes differently, even if they have the same problem (depression, for instance). Write your characters with thought and consideration. They deserve it and so does your writing!

List of Mental Illnesses

Character Flaws

Selfie: A Satirical Take on Generation X


Selfie is a Fall 2014 television series starring Karen Gillan and John Cho (read: Amy Pond and Sulu). With this star-studded ensemble there’s no wonder the show is a hit. Although Selfie is mostly a satire on my own generation and it’s self-obsession, I thoroughly enjoy the show and it’s comedic take on the topic.

With a hilarious take on those who are lost in their cell phones and their online reputations, along with stellar characters who become more self aware as the season goes on, this dramedy (drama-comedy) really hits big with the viewers. Even putting aside the two main characters of the series, you have a wonderful and diverse cast who bring heart and soul into the show. There are so many great points to this show including balance in your life, how to make and keep friends and take responsibility for yourself. So not only does this show touch on many real-world problems that people have (although they satire it be over-exaggerating), but this means that there are many aspects to the characters that you, as the audience, can connect with. For instance, Eliza Dooley (Karen Gillan) tends to let the amount of followers and likes she’s receiving online effect her daily life—in my generation this certainly can be the case: girls document their daily outfits in order to gain approval and a sense of self-worth. Henry Higgs (John Cho), meanwhile, exemplifies the part of us that try to work hard for what we have, read books and live well. What both of these characters lack, however, is connections to others. They are so worried about their own lives that they have trouble forging connections outside of that which last.

I can hardly find anything bad to say about this show, as I love the characters, the premise and the ridiculous situations they get themselves into. It’s a good laugh and certainly an excellent show to watch in the evenings. I highly recommend this show to anyone and everyone. It’s just started this year, so catching up is easy and brings some levity to your lives. A 4.5/5 stars for Selfie from Parkyr’s Perspective.