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Monthly Archives: April 2012

#Writemotivation: May 2012

Well, it’s almost that time of every other month again! K. T. Hanna is once again hosting a #Writemotivation goal-check month, starting May 1st! I tried this out in March, and while it didn’t work out too well for me, I did make progress and I had a lot of fun meeting new people and cheering them on! For May #Writemotivation, I’m setting the bar a little (lot) lower for myself. If I seem to be doing too well, I’ll up the goal. For now, all I want to do is write 8 chapters in Beneath. That should be enough to almost finish the story (as it’s a short one). I hope to have Beneath completely done by the end of the summer!

Here’s hoping I do better this month than last. Click here to sign up for #Writemotivation 2012 if you haven’t already! You won’t regret it.

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2012 in Writing

 

When Death Comes Knocking

Knock knock.

Who’s there?

***

Knock knock.

Who’s there?!

***

Knock knock.

Stop knocking! Who’s there?

***

Knock knock.

A door opened to the night.

Who’s knocking?

***

Knock knock.

WHO’S THERE?!

You.

A start and a look of fright.

You… who? Me? What?

***

Knock knock.

…Yes?

I am here.

Who are you?

You.

Me?

You.

***

Knock knock.

***

Knock knock.

***

Knock knock.

A door opened. A shot fired. A body fallen. A door slammed.

***

Knock knock.

Come in.

A door opened. A door closed.

***

Knock knock.

Come in.

A door opened. A door closed.

It is gone?

Yes.

How?

Heart.

Ah.

***

It shouldn’t have opened the door.

Why not?

It was deaf.

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2012 in Blog Fiction

 

The Complacency of Cattle

Two hundred years is a sufficiently long nap. I woke up feeling refreshed and, had I possessed a tail, it would have been bushy and my eyes would have been bright. I prowled about my mausoleum for a good five minutes, re-acclimating myself to the world of consciousness, if not the world of the living. I haven’t been alive in a very long time.

I climbed the dusty stairs slowly and carefully, doing my best to not disturb the dust. I reached the heavy stone door leading to the outside world, and carefully used my right arm to slide it open a crack. Light shone through the crack and I cursed the Lord in Heaven as it struck my flesh with holy fury, causing it to steam and burn. I withdrew immediately to the shadows and donned my daylight form. I spread my leathery black wings and slipped through the crack, blinking in the awful sunlight. it was hot, but I could bear it now. I soared up into the sky, over the cemetery I had slept in for two centuries, ignoring the funerary procession beneath me. A few cows looked up from the line at the large bat flying during the day, but failed to give me much more notice than that.

How things had changed. Gone were the brick pens and cobblestone streets of my last waking. Gone were the horse-drawn carriages and well-dressed cattle, ever watchful in the night for the soaring death. None of the cattle seemed to wear any clothing at all, unafraid to flaunt their succulent flesh to the world, their blood purity clear for all of the hunters to see. The pens of the cattle had become blockier and, dare I say it, even more hideous, even if they were bigger, reaching up into the domain of the great hunters in their hubris. The streets the cattle walked on had become smoother and splashed with bright colors. The horse-drawn carriages had been replaced by carriages that moved on their own. The cattle had gown inventive, it seemed. I soared down into a dark alley not unlike those I had known, and spent the sunlit hours lurking behind a pair of smelly metal cylinders.

When the sky’s shadow fell upon the world, I turned again into my night form. A male cow, though hardly a bull, clearly deep into his drinks, stumbled blindly into my alley, lurching by me. I killed him in a second, a snapped spine being all it took, but disdained his blood, tainted as it was by the drink. I took his costume and donned it myself, covering my naked body, in order that the cattle would not recognize me for what I was. I stepped out into the streets and prowled the city.

My prey revealed itself to me not half an hour later, exiting from a large building  with glowing white boards above it, with what seemed to be novel titles printed on it. Three young female calves walked out of the building’s glass doors, talking excitedly. Their clothing left little to the imagination, and I could see the pure, beautiful blood pumping through their living veins. I stepped into the false light and flashed them a brilliant smile, hiding my fangs. My suave disguise caught their eyes quickly, and their jaws dropped. The foolish calves walked right up to me.

“Whoa girls! He looks just like Edward!”

“Oh my god, are you a vampire?”

“You’re so pale!”

“Do you sparkle?”

“Where are your fangs?”

“What’s your power?”

“Are you strong?”

For the first time in my life, I was taken aback. How did they recognize me so quickly? Cattle might be weak when divided, but united against a common foe, the stampede could take down even the most fearsome predator. My shock showed on my face, and they reacted instantly.

“Oh! You are!”

“Oh my god!”

“Your secret is safe with us!”

“This is so awesome!”

“Which one of us are you gonna date?”

“Me!”

“No me!”

“Me!”

I quickly adapted to the new situation. I did not appear to be in danger at all. They seemed to worship me, finally, even if their worshipful practices were incorrect. “Well, I am glad to learn I can trust you all,” I said smoothly. I bared my fangs, and they all squealed.

“Oh my god! This is so awesome!”

“Make us into vampires!”

“I love you!”

“Oh my god oh my god oh my god!”

It was a simple matter to entice the calves to follow me into a nearby dark alley.

“What are you going to show us?”

“Will you take us away?”

“Bite me!”

“No, me!”

“Me first!”

The moonlight faded as a cloud passed over it, and the world darkened. I smiled malevolently. “Bit you?”

“Yes! Yes!” they all squealed.

“As you wish,” I said, and took on my hunting form. Only the faintest of shrieks emerged from the mouth of the alley as I feasted.

I was long gone by the time any cattle authorities arrived to investigate their blood-drained carcasses. The cattle had grown complacent, and dare I say, even dumber. The pure energy of untainted blood pulsed through my dead veins, and my strength was boundless as I leapt and flew from rooftop to rooftop. The hunt is good and the night is young. I do not think I shall be sleeping again for a long while.

Copyright 2012 by Z. M. Wilmot

 
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Posted by on April 9, 2012 in Blog Fiction

 

Feminine Pollution and Male Social Control

Disclaimer: I am not here trying to express my own views about women and men. I am merely trying to explain my thoughts on how the American ideologies about the two sexes and genders work.

As many of you know, one of the subjects I study at university is Sociology (the other being History). As I was using the restroom today, something got me thinking about the gendered division of restrooms. In my personal experience, it has been acceptable for women to enter men’s bathrooms, but unacceptable for the opposite to occur. If a woman goes into a man’s bathroom, she is admired and her courage applauded. If a man goes into a woman’s bathroom, he is shamed by most of society, save for those with the attitudes of college frat brothers, and is considered a voyeur. Part of this difference, I think, has to do with the sexualization of women in Western society, but part of it also has to do with the nature of the social spheres of men and women, and their characteristics.

The sociologist Barrie Thorne studied gender socialization in children (her book Gender Play is fascinating, if you ever get the chance to read it). One of the things Thorne comments on in her book is the role of “pollution rituals” such as cooties in forming an image of women as the ultimate source of contamination. This narrative is evident in narratives such as the concept of original sin and the Garden of Eden, as well, with woman being responsible for humanity’s downfall. Pollution rituals in childhood, however, reinforce this social idea of women as contaminating, somehow, and with this comes the idea that those things associated with women – the feminine – are also contaminated.

It is, in many parts of Western society, more socially acceptable for girls to act like boys than the reverse. This is interesting, because Western society is patriarchal, and men have significantly more power than women, though they try to deny it. If society is patriarchal, one would think that it would be most logical to exclude women from the world of men, in order that men can maintain their hegemony. Yet, as mentioned above, when women break through into the world of men, they are often accepted and sometimes admired and applauded, especially where sports are concerned (one realm this is not true in is politics; look at the treatment of Hillary Clinton during the 2008 Democratic Primaries). When men enter the world of women, however, they are shamed and made into social outcasts.

One example of this is gay men. Conceptions of sexuality are very closely tied to conceptions of gender in this society, and males are expected to be extremely heterosexual. Gay men are subjected to more derision and scorn in society (think of all the “buttsex” jokes and the use of threatening one’s sexuality as a means of social control among men in schools) than lesbian women are. By being attracted to other men, gay men step into the world of Western women, leaving the male sphere, and are subjected to scorn because of it. When women are attracted to other women, they step into the man’s sphere, and are not subjected to as much scorn and derision (this is not to say that the experience of lesbians is insignificant at all; they are still subjected to a lot of bigotry and hatred). It is more socially acceptable to be lesbian than to be gay. Why? Part of this, I think, again comes back to the sexualization of women in society, and part of the limited acceptances of lesbianism is a voyeuristic one; men like to think about women having sex, because women’s bodies have become more sexualized than men’s. Additionally, power comes into it: women are not seen as a threat, and so their deviance is deemed as slightly more “acceptable.”

So, then, why is it more acceptable for women to step into men’s worlds than the opposite? Is it solely because women are not seen as threatening male hegemony due to cultural notions of their relative weakness? No. I think another major aspect of it is that male hegemony is more worried about keeping its own in line than being worried about women stepping their world. As I said, women are not considered a “threat” to male hegemony, but males becoming more “feminine” is. Feminine males break the illusion of heterogeneous masculinity, and threaten the integrity of the entire male establishment. As such, greater social control is put in place moderating men’s behavior when they step into the feminine world. They are called “sissies,” and being called a “girl” is a common form of social punishment and pressure for males, especially in competitive environments. Women – and those things associated with them – are a source of pollution from which men must be protected, and the only thing that can protect them is the shield of their own masculinity. Men must stay in groups to be protected, and be united against corruption; only by clearly dividing the lines of power and making sure that men appear to be “better” than women can male hegemony be maintained. Women who become more male-like, I would argue, lose some of the feminine miasma surrounding them, and are no longer sources of contamination. Interesting, to me this indicates that women themselves are not the source of contamination so much, but instead, femininity is.

As a disclaimer, I am also not claiming that there is no pressure for women to act feminine; their certainly is. However, “tomboys” are more common and accepted than “sissy boys” are, generally, especially in younger ages, when gender identity is still being formed (for research on this, I refer to Barrie Thorne’s book again).

Just my random thoughts for the day. If any women want to weigh in on this, please do! I am a guy, and so am not sure how the experience of the other gender matches with social norms/what I said above!

 
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Posted by on April 3, 2012 in Philosophical Musings

 

End of #Writemotivation

So, March is over. #Writemotivation goal check month is over. In conclusion, I failed miserably at my goals:

Goal #1: Finish “The Woodsman” rough draft.
-I did this one! This was the only one I accomplished, although the rough draft is awful, and half of it will probably be rewritten. But, this was done!

Goal #2 [Deleted in Goal Revision]: Write 32,000 words in Tal’kan.
-Yeah… This didn’t succeed at all. I wrote a little over 3,000 words, and then shelved this project for a while until I got inspiration back. So, didn’t do so well here.

Goal #3 [Added in Goal Revision]: Write 3 Chapters in Beneath.
-I wrote one and 4/5 chapters, which is better than nothing, but still not a success.

So, what did I learn? Set better goals next time! I underestimated the amount of university and other work I would have to do during March, and didn’t handle the time management as well as I could have, and so fell short. Oh well! I will certainly be trying this again in May, and I hope I’ll have much better luck then, when I’m out of university for a little bit!

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2012 in Writing