When it is good to be a woman

The past few days have been almost whirlwind like. Finally, one of my projects is complete and I’m proud to share it with anyone who thinks things like these are totally cool.

In doing the research I needed to compile my super duper list of African authors, I came across the story of an Algerian author.

Yasmina Khadra (Arabic: ياسمينة خضراء‎, literally “green jasmine”) is the pen name of the Algerian author Mohammed Moulessehoul.
Moulessehoul, an officer in the Algerian army, adopted a woman’s pseudonym to avoid military censorship. Despite the publication of many successful novels in Algeria, Moulessehoul only revealed his true identity in 2001 after leaving the army and going into exile and seclusion in France. Anonymity was the only way for him to survive and avoid censorship during the Algerian Civil War. 
The irony of this is completely incredible!
For those who have not had the privilege of studying African literature, many authors from the 70’s were very vocal about corruption and the state of their countries. They were subsequently jailed, killed or forced into exile. This was about 10 years after Europeans decided it was time to stop fighting so hard to control people and give them their independence.
Almost every author I know who was sent into exile was a man and in reading Moulessehoul’s short biography, I see why. Maybe the words women wrote were not considered quite as powerful, or subversive. Even today women struggle trying to get their voices heard. They write and speak and invent titles meant to instigate others and force them into conversations about issues they find important.
On the other hand we have a man, using a woman’s name, in order to say what he wanted to say.
I wonder if this is still where we are. Ignoring female voices because their words do not weigh as much as a man’s words would. Maybe not.

Bee-bee-dee Boop!

Are you doing okay? Wanna talk about it?  Leave your comment.

Today is a smoggy day and I’m grateful to have and be near my computer. It also means that I’ve got to find a way to be productive and allow my fingers to speak for my brain. Telepathy will come soon enough. If we cannot figure out a way for our brains to do it, then we’re going to make machines do it for us! HURRAH!

I began a story yesterday. It is complicated and rough and filled with all the familiar tropes I’ve been trying to get away from. I had the opportunity to check out a post regarding challenging those familiar plots we have all come to accept as the truth or reality.

Writing stories is a way for me to live an adventure that I could never really have away from the story. Magical things are all around us in nature, but magic itself remains hidden. I read about new scientific discoveries every day and see how technology is going to shape our future, but right now I’m just breathing in Toronto’s smog and driving places instead of teleporting. So in my stories I can do things and experience life that is more grand than I think it is right now. I can be fabulous doing those grand things.

So enter new story. Great story. Wonderful tale. Things exploding everywhere, people running in all directions, blood guts and gore. All is well with the World until I realize that my main character is way too human for an alien. We have not met them yet, but when we do I’m not quite sure they’ll feel the same way about things the way we do. I’m not sure the multiverse is populated with Klingons, Vulcans, Romulans, Cardassians, Ferengi, Wraith, Aasgard, Nox and Gua’uld. You know what I’m sayin?

I’m heading back to the drawing board and working through this again. Coz if I’m writing for me, then what has that got to do with an alien species?

Kapla!

Nit Pickers Unite!

Reader! You’re here! How are you doing today?

I had a wonderful night last night, racing for the movie theatre to watch Oblivion with Tom Cruise and Morgan Freeman. I enjoyed watching the movie, then I hit rock bottom this morning and found stuff to grumble about.

Don’t you just love it?

SPOILERS AHEAD!!

Thankfully, I do not have the special gift my best friend seems to have, of being able to see where the story is going. I was pleasantly surprised by the big twist in the tale and the fact that there were no slimy cockroach aliens lurking in the shadows.  However, I had a real issue with the female characters in this tale. Why are women depicted as being so one dimensional? The stickler for rules and soooper smooth hair lady who cannot deal with the truth, or the tug-your-heartstrings-back-to-humanity babe who displays no real kick-your-ass skills.

*sigh*

I know I’m nit picking. I know it. But I really have issues with Hollywood right now. This could have been so awesome if:-

  • Victoria had been allowed to come to the awareness that Jack had come to, the anger and confusion and the decision to do things differently, maybe sabotage the tower and find some way to win the war.
  • we had been able to see what humanity had been reduced to, rather than this Zion-esque (ref: The Matrix movies) stuck in some library life.
  • Mrs. Harper had NOT been Mrs. Harper, but a kick-ass best buddy of Jack’s who was a little more cunning in helping him come to awareness rather than the super long hug that resulted in multiple flashbacks to the top of the Empire State Building.
  • the aliens were a little more than a camera lens inside a pyramid that was inside a pyramid.
  • if there were more than just British and Americans left on the effin’ globe!

It could have been GREAT! Instead it was good.

But I guess that is why I am a story teller and have chosen to tell stories about unconventional people doing World changing things. Stories about people you’ll never see on the silver screen, but who you know exist somewhere. Stories about women who are PROPERLY clad and do not have to use their sexuality to get things done.

My final thoughts: I liked the movie. I wish it was so much more.