Tag Archives: girls

I Am The Girl

So while trying once again to wrangle my beast of a manuscript, I noticed that I have quite a lot of female characters in my novel. As an exercise I tried to distill each girls essence into three sentences, loosely based around the tarot model of past, present and future.

Here’s what I came up with.

Ophelia

I am the girl with a soul like a star-gazer lily, and a mouth like an open rose. I am the girl who can line your skin with magic, embedded in ink. I am the girl who is certain to drown.

Keira

I am the girl with the spark and the tinder.  I am the girl who takes her beatings like a man. I am the girl who will be forced to believe in revenge.

Arabella

I am the girl with a heart born broken.  I am the girl dressed in cornflower blue. I am the girl who will get what she deserves.

Frankie (Francesca)

I am the girl from the black and white movies. I am the girl who wants you the most. I am the girl who is gone.

Perdita

I am the girl who was raised by the wild. I am the girl taking shots from the cacti. I am the girl with the healing hands.

I’ve also just noticed that all the names I’ve chosen for my girls end in ‘a’. Coincidence? Most definitely!

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Oh You Pretty Things

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For my girls

P.S Sorry these are so late, I’m currently using my iPhone as a modem :/

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Week 04: Girls, Theft

My mother said she wanted to make my last birthday in childhood special, so she drove three small children over a hundred miles to go to Marine World Africa USA. My seventh grade class had just taken a field trip there three months earlier. The concrete habitats so close to concrete freeways made the Pacific Ocean a distant memory. The smallness of the enclosures and the bigness of the mammals inside them made me want to steal something. Because we were straight-A students, we were able to convince ourselves that stealing would be a form of protest. So at a gift kiosk, I took a magnet shaped like an otter. As we walked around the park, it became apparent that her father had never tried to persuade her to keep a lost change purse that contained ten dollars in quarters. It had been my single greatest discovery in third grade. But I knew who the leather coin purse, in the shape of a moccasin, belonged to. The girl with blonde hair had always been mean to me. I remember when she brought the coin purse to class the first time, weeks earlier. She was showing it off to a crowd of our classmates, letting them all touch her new treasure. She had blond hair, was named after a mountain range spelled wrong, and claimed to be a quarter Navajo. I knew all about lies back then. I told kids at school I was born in Japan. I asked if I could hold it, and she grabbed it away from me, as though I was like Frank who didn’t bathe. She also shared her markers with everyone around her, except me, even though I sat immediately behind her. The day she forgot the coin purse, I knew she had ten dollars in quarters inside because she had been gloating about wanting to buy an ice cream at lunch, and I was glad she forgot. It didn’t have her name on it. I could claim it rightfully. It was more money than I had ever been given or earned. When I brought it home, my father made me dump it out and count the quarters. He said I could keep it. He said I’d be stupid to give it back, especially to someone like her. To this day, I am not sure if he was serious or if he was testing me, but the next morning, I gave it back to the girl whose parents had misspelled her name.

After having been able to walk away with the otter magnet in my pocket with no one noticing, I did not feel as vindicated as I thought I would. I had a fantasy of being apprehended and giving a speech about animal rights and how antithetical to the park’s mission of conservation it was to acquire and train wild animals. Being a straight-A student meant certain other straight-laced morals as well, and in the time it took us to take the magnet and walk a circle between the shark experience and beluga whales, my friend became sullen and withdrawn. I felt worse for her than even for myself, for I felt no guilt whatsoever, aside from bringing her in on my plan. I said that stealing a magnet was too small an act of protest, that it hadn’t effected the operations of the park at all, so I might as well put it back. And I did. I even told the cashier I had “accidentally” left with it earlier, and I was thanked instead of questioned.

Returning the magnet didn’t change my friend’s mood, though. She stopped being my friend after that anyway, and I didn’t really want to go back to Marine World Africa USA.

But my mom knew I loved animals. At this time, I wanted to be a veterinarian.

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The Woman Within

The Woman Within

She is beautiful. She is strong. She has a deep sadness. She has infinate knowledge. She is the woman within.

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by | January 29, 2013 · 9:09 am

On Being A Shit Girl Gamer, but Not A Shit Girl

So this is my first attempt at a non fiction piece for the Collective! Lets see how it goes.

I was listening to one of my favourite podcasts recently, called the Indoor Kids, which is a video game podcast hosted by the wonderful Kumail Nanjiani and Emily Gordon. They love video games, they’re married, and they’re both really smart and funny and adorable, and I have a bit of a crush on both of them.
Anyways, during this episode they had a guest on called Aisha Tyler, who is also funny, charming and a talented woman. She is also a hardcore videogamer.

Aisha posted this fabulous fuck you to many a chauvinistic internet troll, in a response to accusations that she is just ‘another pretty dumb actress who knows nothing about gaming.’
Not only did such accusations make me extremely angry and frustrated and want to boycott the internet (until I remembered that it also gives me this group and all the cute baby animal videos I could ever ask for)  it got me thinking about why it is still considered out of the ordinary when some of us who own a vagina and a nice pair of boobs also own an X-Box.

I love video games, but these days I’m pretty crap at them. I am what the culture itself would call a casual gamer, or a noob. However, if you dared to delve a little deeper into my own childhood, you would find that I used to be a very avid player while I was growing up; I was the kid who would come over to your house just so I could play Mario Kart single player for the entire afternoon while you watched, and then complained to your mother that I was a big fat meanie (which is fair enough). I was particularly attached to the games of the Nintendo 64, and so when ‘Santa’ brought myself, my brother and my sister a shiny new 64 console, complete with the purple plastic see-through controller, you could barely drag me away from it. Between my siblings and I, we scored first place in all the Mario Kart tracks, thus unlocking the track selection that lets you do everything backwards; to this day, it is our greatest collective achievement. On my own, I spent full days exploring the magical landscape of Hyrule that enthralled me like no other. I used video games in the same way that I used books as a child, and still do to this day; as an escape. Riding Epona through the fields outside Hyrule Castle, or soaring through a city of clouds on the back of giant colourful bird, appealed to me much more than joining the Year 7 Netball team. I wanted to be part of the world, and being able to control a computerised character of that world was the closest I was going to get.

And then one day, my mother turned around and accused me of being addicted to my Nintendo. I was around ten, I think, and exhibiting all kinds of ‘antisocial’ behaviours, such as gaming, and writing, and being just a bit of a loner. I didn’t want to go outside, at least not to run around and kick a ball; I was self-conscious enough without having to draw attention to my severe lack of physical co-ordnation. Link could leap from tree to tree and cross rivers in a single bound, but I could barely make it from Center to Goal Attack without tripping over my own feet. I know she meant well, but what my mum said stuck. It was the first time that my beloved console had ever been associated with something bad. The only way I had heard the word ‘addiction’ used was in reference to things like drugs and gambling, and it scared me a little. I had been playing Golden Eye for three consecutive days; could I really stop if I wanted to?

And I did stop, after a time, as life began to get in the way. School got harder, both socially and academically, and the holidays started to become less luxurious when homework became involved. The idea of ‘fitting in’ became more and more desirable, even if the people I tried to fit in with made no sense to me; these girls didn’t like to play video games, except maybe the Sims, and even then it was just a competition to see who could build the best house. No one wanted to help me slay Bowser and save princesses; I kept the books as my refuge, but somewhere along the road of growing up, I lost the ability to game.

I have an incredible respect for female gamers, because they have to put up with a tremendous amount of shit, and it makes me sad that they have to justify themselves so extensively because of their gender and appearance. There are so many of them out there that I admire, not just as gamers, but as people; Felicia Day, Emily Gordon, and now Aisha. Part of me wants so badly to be at their level, and I know, given the unwavering attention span of my ten year old self and an infinite amount of time, I could be. But for me the age of the endless summer is over, and now I am just happy to play an hour of Skyward Sword as a wind-down after work, or a co-op with my boyfriend for an afternoon.  I know I am bad. But it’s not because I’m a girl.

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Fear and Loathing

I admit it: I am afraid.

When I learned this theme I felt cold, hardened, contorted.  As a feminist I am totally ashamed that on more than one occasion I have said that I hate girls.  It isn’t all true, I don’t hate all girls.  I don’t actually hate anybody.  But I have some deep-seated anger and resentment for many girls who have passed through my life, who have shaped me into someone less confident than maybe I might have been.  And even that much isn’t fair.  I can’t blame other people for bad choices I’ve made or behaviors I’ve adopted, but if I’m looking for someone else to blame, that person, those people, are inevitably girls.
 
And I have so many strong women in my life, and throughout my life I have been surrounded by more than my fair share of truly wonderful girls.  I know this.  I know that I would be in such a different place without the incredible support system that I have – of girls who get it, who get me, who love me.  My hope this week is not to dwell on the negative, but to release it.  I hope that maybe, by breathing these hostile memories into the ether, they can dissipate.  That I don’t have to hold an unfair resentment against girls.  
 
I am one, after all.
 
I hope this is the last time I hold these girls responsible for things they probably didn’t even realize they did wrong.  
 
I blame the friend I had in kindergarten, the one who had the most beautiful cotton candy pink dress for dress-up, the one who, when a pretty new french girl wanted to wear it, told me I couldn’t anymore, because it wasn’t for me.  The one who never invited me over after she chose the other girl as her best friend instead.
I blame the girl on the bus in second grade who said my fingers were short and stubby.
I blame the girls who were my friends, but only during the week. The ones who, every Friday, when I left lunch early for band practice, started rumors about me, or at any rate told me they did. I cowered in fear until Monday, when we would be friends again.
I blame the girls who made me feel like I was less than them because I didn’t own a pair of penny loafers.
I blame the girl who told the boy I liked that I liked him, all as a way of getting closer to him so that they could go out (again).
I blame the other girl who told a different boy I liked that I liked him, and who then told me that he said I was hideous.  He was a jerk – don’t worry, I blame him, too.
I blame all the girls in the boat one day when I was coxswain, who rowed opposite of what I said even though it meant we would end up on a sandbar.  
I blame the girl who told me that my sense of style was unique, but hard as I tried I couldn’t bend the meaning into something positive.  She didn’t mean it that way.  She didn’t.
I blame the girl who caught me singing to myself in the hallway, the one who told me I looked possessed.
I blame the girl who told me not to quit my day job.
 
The girls who betrayed my confidence.
The girls who stood me up.
The girls who put me last.
The girls who told me I was weird.
The girls who thought that weird was bad.
The girls who talked and laughed until I came into the room, or on the bus, and all was silent, and everyone stared.
The girls who made me feel as though there was a reason for us all to compete against each other.
Even (especially) the girls who don’t remember me.

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Scratched Records and a Broken Toe

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Girl, she found

Herself

Growling

In homeroom

Orange chair

Welded to green desk

Groggy

Through morning prayer

The anthem

This is the way

Follow me

I’ll follow you

Come with me

I’ll come with you

Through darkened halls

Set with skulls

Cafeteria lunch

Chimichurri smile

This kind of spice

Makes starry eyes

Cry

Mother Mary

Bless

All girls

We roam the halls

A perfect square

Stacked

Red lipstick

Purple lipstick

Black lipstick

Blue kilt of confusion

With always

The illegal red sweater

Deep

Goth

Thoughts

Drama in the basement

Insight

Origami

A way home away from home

This teacher gave

This teacher saved with

Wings

And words to fly

These girls

Women now

Hungry Ants

CFNY Djing the dance

Blissful Zoe, Emaleth Muse, Cymbelline

Dead or

Alive

Poets

Scratched

Records

Bitten nails

Baby blue walk-man

Yellow bus

November Rain

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Fairy shoes

With a killer sole

Girl

She stubbed her toe

The trap door

Swung

So fast

Beneath

She wasn’t looking

She was just going

Going hard

Full out

So the toe

It broke

“There’s nothing we can do.  Take something for the pain.”

There is no relief

Searching for the breeze

Seeking fuzzy dreams

Unhook

The latch

Unhinge her

Secret stash

Teenage crush

Giddy rush

Lusty hush

Bundled and sent

Twenty years late

Unforgettable face

Rotate This

Across a blazer back

Unbuttoned chest

Promiscuous

Tiger

Soundtrack

Spinning

Vest

Belt

Heels

Hard

Wood

Floor

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