Tag Archives: change

Nine days to Becoming Magic: What do I know about #metoo?

It’s a fair question. I’m happily married to a wonderful man. I’ve never been sexually assaulted. Not by a significant other, a trusted family member, a stranger, a friend. I know people who have, though. Several.

Think about that for a minute. I know several people (I could name about six) who have been a victim of a violent crime. If I know 600 people (and that’s generous because I’m practically a hermit) and I could name six who have told me what happened to them (and it varies all along the spectrum of sexual assault from date rape to outright attack), then one out of a hundred people I know have suffered from this crime. If you count the number of women who have been sexually harassed or touched inappropriately against their will, that number skyrockets. It’s probably more like one in five.

That’s where #metoo gets its power. The sheer number of women who have suffered from this crime is overwhelming. And the rest of us? We live in fear of it. That’s me. When my mother sent me off to college it was after a strict talking to about what could happen. I already knew of course. Even in my small town, bad things happened. A teenage girl my older brother knew was raped and killed when I was a child. During my sophomore year in college, a woman was raped and killed about a block away from my apartment.

Now I’m a middle age woman and I’m still aware of how men look at me. Over the years I’ve read more and more about sexual assaults and I know better than ever what men can do to a woman. I have had moments when I’ve been certain I was in danger, when I would reach for my keys and line them up between my knuckles like claws (a move I was taught in a self-defense course), when I would go into the nearest lighted building because I thought maybe someone was following me.

And now I have a daughter.

#Metoo isn’t just about having survived an attack. It’s about women banding together to prevent those attacks from happening. It’s about creating a world where our daughters don’t have to live in fear and wear their keys like weapons. It’s about taking charge of our lives and our happiness. And that’s what Becoming Magic is about. As a romance writer, I can’t do much to change the world, but I can refuse to put the dangerous fantasies in my books. I’m changing. I hope my genre will change, too.

She looked around, spotting Connor almost immediately. She took a half step toward him and froze, stumbling a little, her eyes on the dark-haired man at the next table. He was the large, powerful type you got used to seeing in Hollywood. The kind who worked out at a gym first thing in the morning and then again at night. He was good-looking in a slick, well-kept way. Nothing about this man was an accident.

And nothing about his appearance should make her want to find the nearest potted plant and puke in it, but that was exactly how she felt, nonetheless. She felt hot and cold in quick fluctuations. She swallowed hard against the bile that rose in her throat and wheeled around, knocking into a waiter with a tray full of glasses as she did, sending them flying with a crystalline clatter.

The icy water erased the need to throw up, but not the need to flee. She wanted to look over her shoulder, to see if Connor had seen, but nothing mattered except getting away now. The world whirled and refocused on a narrow aisle leading her away and she followed.

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Looking back while facing the future

IMG_3378Yesterday my oldest son graduated. What does that have to do with writing and my blog? You’re right. Absolutely nothing.

Except.

Except I didn’t start writing seriously until I became a mother. I will not presume to speak for all women, but my creativity is, I think, closely linked to my maternal drive. After all, I’d never had less time to write than after I became a mother, but since then I’ve written thirteen novels. And, interestingly, I have seen my writing grow, not just quantitatively but also qualitatively, with my children.

Other than that, what does my son’s graduation have to do with my writing. Probably nothing.

Except.

Except now he’s old enough to—if he wanted—pick up one of my books and start reading. He’s certainly old enough to run into someone else who’s read my books or to have a friend who, out of curiosity, picks up one of my books to read. It’s a half frightening thought. I don’t write or publish anything I am ashamed of having read, regardless of by whom, but it’s always a possibility that anything I put out there will change someone’s perception of me. And that’s now a possibility I have to face with my child.

Other than that, surely my son’s graduation doesn’t have anything to do with my writing. Right?

Except.

Except I can’t help wondering how it will sneak into my writing. I often find my life events do. Especially emotional ones, and this one is a doozy. How does the love between a parent and child change when a parent has to face that the child no longer truly needs her in his day-to-day life? It will surely change, and probably deepen into something I haven’t yet experienced. Since I write about love, this will probably factor into my writing in ways I cannot yet predict.

So, while I look back on my past writing with pride and see how it matured with my children, I also face forward and embrace the changes yet to come.

And speaking of changes…

Screenshot 2018-06-03 10.53.37

Coming soon

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