Thursday, August 25, 2016

Let's talk about gender

One more time, for the people in the back...

We are born male and female. We become men and women.

Sex and gender are not the same. Sex is determined by the sex chromosomes. Women carry X from their mothers and X from their fathers (who got it from their grandmothers). Men carry X from their mothers and Y from their fathers.

These tiny haploids reside quietly until a pregnancy happens. Then they combine. XX for a girl, XY for a boy are the most usual combinations. XO, XXY, XYY, and other permutations happen, but are not always viable.

Gender is determined by society. And it starts with gender reveal parties from the ultrasound. Pink for a girl, blue for a boy. Flowers and butterflies or trucks and boats on the clothes. Toys, language, and everything condition the child to perform the role their genitalia dictated at birth.

There was a trend to gender neutral childhoods in the 70s and early 90s alike. Both of these were met with strongly gendered backlash and even more emphasis on frilly femininity and macho masculinity.  In  2015, Target quit labeling toys by gender. The outcry was ferocious.

Gender is a performance.
It varies from society to society, from era to era.
What is manly in one place and time

is disparaged by other of the same time. The soldier above was what the soldiers below called "a lady from hell." (the kilted units took it on as a mark of pride)

Yet there is nothing feminine about him or about these men, save the lack of trousers

When Katherine Hepburn wore pants in her films, it was considered racy and daring.  Nowadays, skirts are seldom seen in public because they are impractical for the active lives most women lead.

Gender performance changes over time, over region and over class.

200 years apart, roughly. All of these aristocrats are considered fashionable and very masculine.

Gender and sex are not the same. Gender is the performance. Not everyone's performance will match their assigned sex.

Not everyone has passing privilege, as the three public figures above do. Most transwomen must undergo a great deal of work to alter their features. Some choose not to.

Sex is what is in your pants.
Gender is how you present yourself to the world.
And lately, more and more people are choosing to give no performance at all.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Fall Death march, now with 30% less death

So the Fall Death March begins

Aug 20-21, 27-28, Memphis Renaissance Faire. Shelby Farms $15 for adults. There's $2 coupon on the website.

The Carpenter's Wyfe has been working hard to get things ready. We're quite excited about this.

Sept 2-4, Mephit Furmeet. This is the penultimate outing for Inkstained Succubus and the last chance for Memphis folks to pick up the books!

Sept 24-25. Kansas City Renaissance Festival. We'll be in the Tradewinds Section.

Oct. 13-16, Festival of Souls. I can't handle this pagan festival, but my staff will be there with the booth.

Nov 11-13: ConTraception, Kansas City. Inkstained Succubus' final outing.

And it's going to roll by fast!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Gondor calls for aid

Kansas City SCA/RenFest folks! Is anyone free the weekend of Sept 24-25? 

The Carpenter's Wyfe will be blowing into the Renaissance Festival on the Tradewinds for a single weekend. However Rhys Belthir may not be able to make it and I am looking for a shop assistant. 

Admission, food and drink, and a motel room if you live too far from Bonner Springs. Also compensation in kind (merchandise). Must have own garb of appropriate period.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Dramatis Personae, or my life has a superb cast, but I can't figure out the plot

Hello! And welcome to the new folks or the old folks who just haven't wanted to ask.

We're talking about who is who in this ongoing soap-opera of a journal (14 years and counting!)

I'm Angel, your host. I am a grouchy old witch-byke with strong liberal feminist leanings. I work for Action link, mostly training Sears employees, and for Michael's crafts, as a cashier (I'm going to be training as a framer) I'm an old school geek-chick, a former trucker, former university library paraprofessional, former writer and former casino worker. I failed out of the nuclear engineering program and took an English degree. I wrote 16 novels 92 short stories, 3 children's books and published with half a dozen houses. I am a crafter. I am a Hellenic pagan in service to Hermes and Hera.

Mudd is my husband, Richard. We've been married for 27 years (as of this coming Friday). He's brilliant. He's got a master's in Physics and a math minor. He teaches high school science and is president of the local PFLAG.

We have 4 kids:
Bun, Victoria, 24, who is a camera model and dancer.
Obi, Christopher, 21, who is closing in on his sergeant promotion in the Army.
Jonner, Jonathan, 18, who is headed off to college as a chem major in 3 weeks
Dollface or Oli or Ollie. Olivia, 16, who starts high school and is doing a double program with the local community college, as a welder.

Here's where it gets interesting. I not only have a family, I have a household. 
I am the dominant alpha female of the pack, and Crone of the grove. I stand like the mountain between my people and trouble.

My peoples:
Gabriel Belthir-Rodgers. My junior husband. We got married accidentally last Festival of Souls by walking the Labyrinth together. This suited us both so we just went with it.

Kevin, Gabriel's legal husband. They got married at Frolicon 2015. I helped officiate. 

Cat. Cat is complicated. She is my on-again/off-again girlfriend. She is the wife of one of the personalities that lives in Angel's head. She is Gabriel and Kevin's ex. She is a people I am responsible for.
Finn. Finn is Gabriel's slave boy. He kind of comes as a package deal with Gabriel.

Gwen and Sarah
. They are Gabriel's schmoops, and I like them a great deal. They mean enough to be included under the "my people" umbrella. Gwen in particular makes me all protective.

Extra kids:
I acquire these in phases, with each of the kids. They always have friends who need an extra mom.

Tabitha and Bradley, friends of my older two. I have taken tearful late night phone calls, given advice, and offered endless comfort to both.

Alex needed a place to stay when booted out.

Brandon just needs an extra mom, the kind who gets him as a gay kid.

Imani needed support and a hand back on his feet.

Cameron needs a place where he can be himself.

Jamie, who dated Victoria and discovered my oldest is a psycho. But she also got us Tribble and stays in touch.

And more I'm sure I missed (I'm tired)

On my extended family:

My Dad is 71, has fought cancer and won and is doing his best to keep going. He's buried two ex-wives and his surviving ex is incarcerated. (tax issues)

Mom lost her battle with leukemia in December 2014. She buried her last husband and two ex-husbands (my dad and Wicked Stepfather) showed for her funeral. The third could not be reached. (not that we tried)

I have two bio sisters:
Jennifer is my half sister on Dad's side. We are very similar, despite being raised apart. She has never married but does the Cool Auntie thing. She has her BA and works for a lumber company.

Brenda is my half sister on Mom's side. We are very different. Her ex is putting her through hell, trying to bankrupt her with endless court proceedings and take away their youngest daughter, who doesn't want to live with him. She has an MBA and works two jobs.

Sherrie is my step sister from Mom's second marriage. She is a real estate agent, and has grandkids. She also has a sister of whom i do not speak.

Hopefully this clears things up a little.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Let's talk about Xenophobia

So, Brexit.
There are a lot of reasons why people voted to leave. There are going to be a lot of consequences.
But one thing that is showing up is a lot of "Foreigner Go Home" sentiment.

We're seeing it here too.
Understandable. Humans are violent, xenophobic, tribal monkeys. This is a given. Early in our species it was a survival trait. But that time has been over for thousands of years.

Now, here in our current election cycle, Trump talks about deporting all the illegals (meaning anyone with a Hispanic surname), marking and deporting all the Muslims.

There are some in his camp who are for shipping all the blacks to Africa.

Someone forgot to give Trump the Atwater Memo.
 You start out in 1954 by saying, "Nigger, nigger, nigger." By 1968 you can't say "nigger"—that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff.  You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.

Trump has been saying it. He's been putting out the divisions, without any of the coded economic language. He's not saying "let's cut food stamps." He's saying "Let's send them all home."

The question is, once the Muslims and Mexicans are gone, and the blacks (50 million of them) are being rounded up for transport to Africa, who is next? Who do the followers come for next?

I've had a quote from A Man for All Seasons ringing through my ears as I think about that.

William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!
Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
William Roper: Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that!
Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!

"And when the last civil rights law is down, and the mob turned round on you, where would you hide then, all laws being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from sea to shining sea, Man's laws not God's! And if Trump cuts them down and his mob are just the ones to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that blow then?"

Because when all the Muslims and Hispanics and Blacks are gone, they will inevitably come for women. So even you actually think forced transportation and relocation of 50-60 million people  is a net good, remember that it will come around on you.

And this is why Xenophobia, such as we're seeing in the wake of Brexit, such as we're seeing at Trump rallies, is a feminist issue.

Friday, June 17, 2016

My Household or Polyamory while multiple

My mother used to give me static about not using the phrase "family" but rather referring to them as "my people" or "my household."

I never felt like explaining the concept from Supernatural: Family don't end in blood.

I get odd looks when i mention I have two husbands.

I am legally married to Mudd.

27 years ago, this August, we stood up in Rolla Bible Church, said our words and signed our paper.
27 years, good and bad, 4 kids. 6 moves, a near fatal accident and several nervous breakdowns.

Last Samhain, I Accidentally Married Gabriel. (fair warning that goes to TV Tropes)

We had walked the labyrinth, separately. I found him in the middle and took a while to recover. (apparently I was putting out candles just by walking past them) He held my hand and we walked out. In his religion, and that of my ancestors, that is enough to be married.

So, I have a second husband. And I am his Waifu.

The rest of my household includes:
My two younger children.
My girlfriend (our exact relationship is very complicated. I'm her big bad boyfriend, and she's my girl, and sometimes it gets more serious, depending on which personality is out when.)
Gabriel's husband
Their houseboy
A lesbian couple
Three Extra kids who do not live with any of us.

We're a big rambling S-group. And I am adjusting, jealous Scorp that I am.
Relationships vary depending on who is prime at any given time. The hazard of being married to someone with multiiple personalities is that you're always in a poly relationship.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Let's talk about Hate

Yesterday, I awoke to the news that a shooter had killed 50 people and wounded 53 more in a gay nightclub.

Later in the day, I got news about a man who was pulled over for a speeding ticket on his way to LA Pride, and arrested for a car full of rifles and bombs after neighborhood watch reported him for peering in windows. He said he was going to Pride..

The narrative around the men was achingly familiar to anyone who watches news.
The first, being Muslim, was labeled a terrorist. (he did call 911 and claim to be Daesh, but Daesh did not take credit until after the event. It was grandiose self-inflation on his part)
The second, being white, was labeled mentally ill.

They were BOTH garden variety homophobes.
The only difference is they believed their religious rhetoric more than most and decided to act on it.


I asked myself why I was so angry about it, so afraid. It's hundred of miles away. I didn't know anyone. And these days I'm only marginally involved in the community. Not like the early 2000s when I was volunteering at the Center twice a month.

Then I remembered:

Mudd was recently featured in an article in the local GLBT magazine. Photos and all.

Olivia and her friends, and most of the local gay youth group went to a showing of Rocky Horror on Friday.

They will both march in the Pride parade come October, and I will be watching.

My household goes to Perpetual Transition every Monday night.

We are all targets.


I thought too much yesterday.
I figured the Right Wing would be salivating.
They get fifty dead queer PoC, which they would consider an objective good in itself, that they can pretend to care about and Muslim to blame for it.  (The LA event would have been much more problematic for their narrative.) I write political thrillers and that would have been a master stroke of plotting in my opinion.

And Ted Cruz, who has connections to Kevin Swanson, a pastor who called for the death of gays, tweeted about his "thoughts and prayers."  Hence the "pretending to care" part.

There was a lot of anti-immigrant sentiment--even though the shooter was American. There was a lot of anti-Muslim sentiment.

I tend to ask the latter: How can you tell? Or shall we just murder all 3.3 million in the US, plus all the ones who look Middle Eastern but aren't Muslim, in the name of our fears? Because genociding religious groups is not good publicity.

My father opined that they're all crazy and we need to be out of the Middle East entirely. I reminded him of Dr. Jezbi and Dr. Ahmed, both of whom had saved my life and my hearing.


And people ask why I live by the axiom "Straights hate Gays." They think it's sad, that it doesn't give allies enough credit.  Maybe it doesn't. But it means that things like this never surprise me.

And now, I think I need more chocolate. It's the thing after Dementor attacks. And this one has been a lulu.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Bits of news

I've been working hard at the day jobs lately, but here's what is going on.

1) Hard Reboot is out as an audiobook
Dark erotic cyberpunk with strong BDSM content. Patrick Blackthorne, our narrator, sounds creepily like Darren in places.

2) We are in for Memphis RenFaire, KC Renaissance Festival

The Fall Death March runs as follows:

Aug 20-21 and 27-28, Memphis RenFaire: The booth will be staffed by a rotating crew to keep us healthy

Sept 2-4 Mephit FurMeet.  Mostly staff. I may be going to my 30 year HS reunion

Sept 24-25 Kansas City Renaissance Festival.

Oct 13-16, Festival of Souls. Staff. I won't be going.

Nov 6-8 ConTraception. This is the final outing for Inkstained Succubus for the foreseeable future.

Dec 10-11, Kris Kinder Market, KC.  This is a tentative SCA event

3) Anthony and Glad Hands are still scheduled for reissue.

And I have to go clean stuff for a yard sale.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Decisions and going forward.

It's not much secret I'm burned out. The thought of doing another convention makes me want to hide in the bottom of the closet under a pillow fort and refuse to come out until someone guesses the password. The password changes at random intervals.

Most of my publishers have gone under or will be reverting my rights withing a year or so. The thought of editing and self publishing my entire oeuvre makes me want to open my wrists with my teeth. And my dentures are nowhere near sharp enough. I'd have better luck sawing with the edge of my Otter Box.

So I have done some hard thinking and decisions have been decided.

1) I am taking the year off from writing and publishing. I did one short story and that's it. That's what I have. The Word Hoard is mostly empty. There are a few loose pieces of  Was and The and a lone Defenestration rattling around at the bottom.  Since 2004, I have written 17 novels, 3 nonfiction Children's books (and two half done) nearly 100 short stories and a non-trivial number of blog posts.

Nobody is holding their breath for the next Angelia Sparrow. I figured that out 5 years ago. It just took a while to sink in.

2) Inkstained Succubus will close, at least for the foreseeable future, on Dec 31 of this year. All rights will revert on that date. The crew has mutinied. And the Art Department is in the Brig with no drawing privileges until June.

3) I am not doing any shows until August. That gives me 3 months to get the stock up for this next exciting venture. I've had a lifelong dream of being a RenFaire merchant and it really kicks off with the Memphis Ren Faire.

FurMeet, KC RenFest, Festival of Souls and ConTraception are also on the schedule. We'll look into other for next year. Hoping for Estrella and Lilies War.

Thanks to all who helped with the crowdfunding. We're up at Etsy with some things.

4) My social media presence may drop as well. Crochet takes both hands. Do not look for content at Facebook. It is and always has been the repost spot for LJ, Blogger, Tumblr, Pinterest and Twitter (and everyone else's walls too).  Here at Blogger, be warned I prefer LJ.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

One Day left

All contributions will be credited at the next higher perk Level.

Ebooks $1

$25 gets you a paperback, an audiobook, an ebook AND a tarot reading.

Become a character in the Eight Thrones Saga, just $100 instead of $150.

$150 gets you a custom paddle ($80), the character, a box ($25), a hat ($25), the tarot reading ($20), a paperback ($15), an audiobook ($10) and an ebook ($5). A $180 value, for $150, plus, you become a part of the story. Priceless.