Tits Do Not a Woman Make

I’m big into working out, so naturally I read a few bodybuilding/fitness magazines to find new exercises, information about nutrition etc, and during the past two years or so, I’ve noticed that the fitness competitors and female bobybuilders have started getting breast implants en masse: suddenly there’s only a small minority of active competitors who do not have implants. I wondered what was going on, and after a bit of digging, I found out there’s actually a reason for all those boob jobs, and let me tell you, the truth is ugly:

The judges in bodybuilding/fitness competitions enforce specific criteria intended only for female competitors according to which they are not only judged by their physiques and abilities but also by their “femininity.” What does that mean in practice? There are a few elements that apparently make the competitor more feminine in the eyes of the (usually male) judges: she shouldn’t be very muscular, she shouldn’t be very toned (i.e. have low body fat), and she should have Big Boobs.

Small muscles, narrow waist, and plastic boobs = feminine?

Small muscles, narrow waist, and plastic boobs = feminine?

The first time those rules/guidelines were implemented was in 1994 when the IFBB set limits for how muscular female competitors were allowed to be, all in the name of forcing them to retain their “femininity” since we all know women aren’t supposed to have big, strong muscles, not even female bodybuilders. Yeah, that’s confusing to me as well: what’s the idea of bodybuilding if not to build bodies, i.e. big, strong muscles?

Anyway, they implemented even stricter limitations again in 2000, further downsizing the female competitors, again in the name of the hallowed ideal of femininity.

For years the judges have given or docked points depending on how feminine a competitor is but recently it’s become such a heavy focus that every woman without breast implants will be fighting an uphill battle. Likewise, female competitors are penalized if they have good muscle definition or big muscles. Because that’s not feminine.

This all made me wonder what the hell is this “femininity” that the IFBB is so hard trying to protect? For the life of me, I haven’t figured out any other definition than the old-fashioned ideal of the big-breasted, plump, fragile wife/mother/household slave. Women aren’t supposed to have muscles as big as those of men, otherwise they’ll lose their femininity in the eyes of the judges. That means they want their women weaker than men. What else could it mean? Large, strong muscles = masculine. Smaller, weaker muscles = feminine.

Yes, she is a woman, even with no make-up, pink frills, and big hooters.

Yes, she is a woman, even with no make-up, pink frills, and big hooters.

And then there are the breasts: muscle definition is usually considered a good thing, but apparently because losing body fat means the women also burn away their breasts (or make them smaller), it’s a bad thing nowadays to be “ripped.” That is, if you’re female. Men can and should be as toned as possible.

Let’s consider the human physiology for a moment: what can you tell about a human body just by looking? Well, the amount and proportions of muscle mass and body fat are pretty good indicators of the person’s level of fitness and strength. So, what do small muscles and a soft, round figure denote? Just that: softness, weakness… femininity. Now, what do large muscles and a fat-free, sculpted figure imply? Strength, discipline… masculinity.

Well, you know what? I call bullshit. Those ideals stem from the days when we still lived in hunter/gatherer societies where it was a matter of survival and practical to divide the sexes: men hunted, women took care of the children. Men did the heavy, dangerous tasks, women handled the lighter, safer tasks. It made sense back then when considering the fact that one man can impregnate several women, while one woman can only bear one child every nine months or so (barring the rare exceptions of twins, triplets etc.), so it was logical to try to keep the number of women as high as possible while the number of men wasn’t nearly as important as long as it was more than one to avoid inbreeding. It’s just that we don’t live in hunter/gatherer societies anymore. In fact, we haven’t in a long time.

Isn't it time we proved we have actually evolved from our cave-dwelling ancestors?

Isn’t it time we proved we have actually evolved from our cave-dwelling ancestors?

Ever since those days, the dominant patriarchy has enforced this dichotomy between the sexes, thus ensuring that women remain weak and easily controlled. I’m not touting a huge secret conspiracy, but let’s face it: men have had the upper hand throughout our history at least partly because we have the physical capacity to take power from women while the ladies, generally being weaker than men, have had to conform to what men decide simply because men, being stronger, can force their wills upon women. At least nowadays we have firearms, the great equalizers but, then again, we also have laws in most countries that ensure people don’t have access to them. The more things change…

Anyway, what do you think, would women’s physiques start to develop into stronger, larger bodies over the following centuries and millennia if girls and women were actually encouraged to strengthen themselves physically? It won’t happen overnight, no, but I’m pretty sure that evolution would step in eventually and women would start to catch up to men when it came to physical strength. Now wouldn’t that help in our constant pursuit of equality? How can there ever be true equality when one sex is so often physically stronger than the other, i.e. able to enforce the survival of the fittest? Until men lose that strength advantage, the sexes will never be truly equal.

So why don’t more women jump on the fitness bandwagon and start lifting iron? Because most people, men and women alike, still look at muscular women and go “eww, gross! They look like men!” Because, after all, big, strong muscles are masculine, i.e. women should be small, soft, dainty. So, ladies, put away those kettlebells, grab a proper kettle, and get the fuck back in the kitchen. Is that truly the mindset we want to teach to our daughters?

This woman knows her place... or does she?

This woman knows her place… or does she?

Note that I am not saying that a small, weak, soft woman is somehow inferior to muscular women, no. Granted, it is a fact that a smaller woman is physically weaker than a more muscular woman, but that doesn’t diminish her inherent value as a person and a human being.

What I am saying is that muscular, small-breasted women are no less feminine than weak, large-breasted women. Neither are they uglier or manlier except in the eyes of those still perpetuating the age-old patriarchal views on the sexes, views that should become obsolete as of right fucking now. So repeat after me:

Strength is not masculine. Strength is not feminine. Strength is desirable. Weakness is not masculine. Weakness is not feminine. Weakness is not desirable.

Now, to return to those wonderful things that likely drew your attention to this post in the first place: tits.

In the light of all that I’ve said above, I have to wonder what it is about breasts that have such a huge influence on a woman’s perceived femininity? And what does that mentality entail for those girls and women who have naturally small breasts? Simple: they aren’t as feminine as their bustier counterparts. In essence, they are lesser women.

Rūta might be an Olympic champion, but some still consider her less of a woman than Pamela Andersson due to her smaller bust.

Rūta might be an Olympic champion, but some still consider her less of a woman than Pamela Andersson due to her smaller bust.

What does that mentality tell growing girls? If my male brain is anything to go by, it tells them that if they want to be appreciated as women, if they want to be seen as beautiful, feminine girls, they need big breasts, they need curves, they shouldn’t be athletic, they shouldn’t be strong, they should focus on looking pretty instead of focusing on their capacity for action.

It means they aren’t valued for what they do, but for what they are.

Have you ever noticed that in the case of men, it’s the exact opposite? Men are valued by their actions, their accomplishments, not by what they are. A man can be the ugliest ogre on the planet, but if he excels at something, he’s revered worldover. I know that’s a generalization, but most of the time, that’s how people see men and women.

Somebody please explain to me, what the hell kind of message are we sending to our young female athletes? That implants and girly looks are more important than their skills and abilities. That they shouldn’t be sporty, but fashionable. That instead of training for more skill and strength, they should practice walking on high heels so that they look good doing whatever it is that they do. So that they can look good in the eyes of men. So that they can please men.

Should she really trade her dreams of becoming a gymnast for high heels if she ever wants to be appreciated as a woman?

Should she really trade her dreams of becoming a gymnast for high heels if she ever wants to be appreciated as a woman?

Do we place such demands on men and, to return to the original context, male bodybuilders? What, are you crazy? Of course not; they are athletes, after all, not models. Men are supposed to be muscular, strong, and ripped. Because that’s masculine. What a load of shit…

Note that I’m not against big breasts; big, small, perky, droopy, to me, they are all beautiful. I’m not even against breast implants as such. I’m against pressuring small-breasted women to get cosmetic surgery, to put their bodies under the knife only to please the aesthetic tastes of judges who love big jugs. Judges who are usually men, sometimes women who help to perpetuate the oppression of their sisters.

I understand that maintaining a low body fat (under 14%) can be detrimental to the health of many women in the long run, but that’s the reason why bodybuilders and fitness competitors as well as weight class athletes (such as boxers, wrestlers etc.) usually drop their body fat into the single digits only for the duration of the competition. However, it is a fact that some women have naturally small breasts which only get smaller come crunch time, when they drop their body fat below 12% for the competitions, often resulting in what essentially are just pectoral muscles with no fatty tissue (what breasts essentially are) left.

These regulations I’m ranting about discriminate against those women in particular as well as all girls who haven’t reached puberty yet, since by valuing big knockers so highly and associating them with femininity and superiority (over their flat-chested counterparts), we influence the attitudes of our children, male and female alike.

We teach boys to prefer big boobs and we teach girls to want big boobs and hate their own if they happen to still be or stay small. How in the name of holy fuckness is that supposed to be a good thing?

Do we really want to teach them to hate their bodies if they don't look like Hustler centerfolds?

Do we really want to teach them to hate their bodies if they don’t look like Hustler centerfolds?

Also, why is it socially acceptable to look at muscular people and go “eww, gross!” but it’s not acceptable to say the same of, say, overweight people? Hell, I’ve seen overweight men and women cry out their disgust at bodybuilders. Guess whether these examples of social finesse would’ve appreciated being called repulsive, fat sacks of lard? Yeah, exactly: hypocritical much? This double standard is confusing especially since generally muscular people are healthier than overweight people. For the sake of clarity, let me specify that I am not talking about athletes who use steroids, growth hormones etc. to gain bigger muscles. I don’t condone the use of such substances for the simple reason that it’s unhealthy. Just like being obese.

Anyway, riddle me this: what kind of sense do plastic boobs on a female athlete make in the first place? Not only can breast implants cause some health problems, the procedure itself has its own risks which, while not astronomical, are risks that shouldn’t be required in the first place, especially since the implants need to be renewed every few years, and you can do the math about repeated surgeries with anesthesia (which does no favors to anyone’s health) and the risks inherent in every surgical operation.

Add to that just how impractical large breasts are in the world of sports (and most physical activities) as well as the health problems large, heavy breasts can cause to women, especially athletes, and you can see how much sense this idealization of massive busts makes. And for what? Just so that some judges will have their desires to ogle at big breasts fulfilled, because when we ditch all the bullshit about preserving the “femininity” of female competitors, that’s all these pro-implant guidelines are for.

What? They just appreciate femininity...

What? They just appreciate femininity…

Luckily, some of the less oppressed female athletes are fighting back, be it consciously or by accident: quite a few professional athletes have actually gotten breast reduction surgeries. Why? To look less feminine? To look less attractive? No. To improve their performance. Because they are athletes, i.e. people who are judged according to what they do, not what they are. Or that’s how it should be. To me, that makes much more sense when we’re talking about athletes since sports are are all about doing.

Simona underwent breast reduction surgery to improve her performance instead of suffering back pain and other ailments big breasts mixed with sports can bring... yes, even at the risk of disappointingthe fine examples of manhood shown above.

Simona underwent breast reduction surgery to improve her performance instead of suffering back pain and other ailments big breasts mixed with sports can bring… yes, even at the risk of disappointingthe fine examples of manhood shown above.

So, my dear ladies, gentlemen, the next time you see a muscular female, try to resist your God-given right to go “eww, gross!” even if that’s how you feel because, trust me, such comments benefit no one. Furthermore, try to understand the radical notion that the size of muscles or breasts has absolutely nothing to do with femininity or a female’s inherent value as a person. Likewise, if you find muscular females gross, ask yourself why? Do you find weak men gross, unnatural, and feminine? Someone like, say, Johnny Depp? Gross, right?

Fucking gross, isn't he? And he's got long hair and an earring! Eww, girly!

Fucking gross, isn’t he? And he’s got long hair and an earring! Eww, girly!

And just to be clear: everyone has their own tastes and they should have the right to their opinion, but saying “that’s not really my cup of tea; I prefer this” is a very different thing from “dear God, that’s hideous! What a fucking freak!” Remember, chances are, plenty of people think you are a fugly, creepy, pathetic piece of shit, but do you want to hear that a dozen times every day and thrice that every time you step into a bar? Sure, they might be ignorant little cunts who just don’t understand you or your passion or they might have a point, I don’t know, but I say live and let die, to each their own, different strokes, and all that crap.

That’s all for now. Until next time, peace out.

-T.Trian

Thoughts on Girls and Guitars

I play guitar in a rock/funk/metal band. Yeah, I know, it’s a bit of a mishmash, but it’s fun music to play albeit technically pretty demanding since you gotta know a bunch of very different genres, some of which are technically inherently challenging, like most modern metal.

For years now, we’ve been on the lookout for a second guitarist and a second female vocalist: we figured since we have two male voices, it would be nice to also have two female voices to balance things out. Thing is, five members is already plenty, six would be almost too much, seven… just no; we barely fit on the small stages of our usual venues as a fivesome. That being said, we figured it would be practical if the second guitarist and second female singer were the same person.

We’ve searched high and low, far and wide, but haven’t found anyone to fit the bill, and we’re not even picky! We’d take any girl with a guitar, enough skill to plow through the songs, and a kickass attitude, but… where are they? There are a few very skilled axewomen in the local circles, but they are exclusively focused on the jazz/funk/r&b side of music with no interest in the heavier stuff.

When we look at female musicians in the metal circles, we have plenty of singers (but only a few express themselves any other way than by what’s traditionally “feminine,” i.e. by clean, melodic singing), a few keyboard players, and the odd bass player, but where are all the skilled, female metal guitarists?

Where are all your fellow female axewomen, Lita?

Where are all your fellow female axewomen, Lita?

And don’t get me started on female metal drummers. I know a few exist here and there, but they are about as rare as a live T-Rex with a degree in chemistry and microbiology. Sure, drummers are rare even among men, but male guitarists are a dime a dozen. It’s among the world’s most popular instruments, so what gives? Usually female guitarists aren’t even “proper” guitarists, but singer/songwriters who just strum their guitars to back their main instrument, their singing, or they are punk players who are content banging away their power chords. Most modern metal, however, takes quite a bit of technical skill which, in turn, requires diligent practice.

So, don’t girls like to practice, spend endless hours woodshedding, working on their shredding and tapping? Some call that the musical equivalent of wanking, so since a larger portion of guys have regular onanistic pursuits in comparison to girls, is that the reason? Girls aren’t enthusiastic fiddlers?

No passion for practice?

No passion for practice?

Okay, bad humor aside, what’s the real reason behind this lack of interest in serious practice? I’ve read one interesting theory: in popular culture, it’s practically always the men who are the guitar heroes, the rock gods, while the audience consists of screaming girls who have posters of the cutest band members adorning the walls of their rooms.

Popular culture itself, music videos, movies, even the posters help perpetuate this dichotomy. Kids see images of men performing onstage, of girls screaming in the audience or swooning next to the band members backstage, so naturally the kids usually relate to the pictured representatives of their own sex: the boys see themselves in the role of the worshipped rock gods, the girls see themselves as the worshippers with only the very few exceptions daring to think outside the box and imagine themselves in the place of the rock gods, being worshipped by the adoring crowd. I would hazard a guess that more girls would probably feel comfortable with that setting if the poster depicted a female guitarist and an adoring crowd of cute boys.

Girls can be rock god(desse)s too.

Girls can be rock god(desse)s too.

I’m not sure if we can lay all the blame on social conditioning, but I do believe that theory has some merit if we accept that other kinds of social conditioning affect our behavior as well as our thought processes.

Luckily today, more than ever, we have girls and women paving the way for their future sisters: technically adept ladies are more abundant than ever, but despite the likes of Leah Woodward, leading by example of a serious female guitarist who likes to crank up the gain and blast all-out metal with the best of them, she’s still one of the very few exceptions.

Now if only (wo)mankind would catch up to the new millennium and stop antagonizing girls and women who choose to follow their hearts and dreams instead of social conventions, we’d face a far more diverse palette of talent. Imagine how many wonderful songs remain unwritten because so many girls have been discouraged from picking up an instrument by either their families, friends, or the society in general.

However, even today, being a female rock guitarist is a double edged sword: I’ve heard of a local all-girl punk band who got their first gig before their first practice session! And some of them hadn’t even picked up an instrument before the first band practice. Imagine that: someone proactively sought them out… and offered them a gig… before some of them had played… a single… note. Some club owner had just heard from a friend of a friend of a friend of a new all-girl punk band and immediately called them to play at his club because apparently girls sell.

Then again, it is largely because of that kind of preferential treatment why so many people, men and women alike, don’t take female players seriously. The basic assumption being that the girl guitarist got all her fame, gigs, sponsors etc. simply because of what she has in her pants (or under her skirt).

So being a female guitarist can prodive you with extra opportunities, but also an uphill battle when it comes to earning respect. Without respect, without being taken seriously, several people have a hard time persevering in their chosen activity unless they really, truly love it. And even if they do, having to constantly prove yourself over and over again to hostile doubters may start eating at you over time, causing frustration and even making you give up and quit.

Taking all that into consideration, the next time you see a beginner female guitarist, do us all a favor and offer her some encouragement instead of doubts and criticism even if she gets more attention than you (if you’re male or a non-musician female) because of the combination of her sex and hobby.

When we first start out, a little support can go a long way.

When we first start out, a little support can go a long way.

I do know from experience just how unfair it can be when you see a beginner get far more attention simply because she’s a girl guitarist than I after years of diligent practice and hard work, but so what? None of us like unfair treatment (unless it’s in our favor), but it’s not the girl who’s at fault; it’s the jackasses who place different values on people depending on their sex instead of their skill level. So instead of directing your anger at the rocker girl, either redirect it into practicing or aim it at those who perpetuate inequality, be it for the detriment or benefit of men or women.

Until next time, peace out rock on.

T.Trian

Boys Don’t Cry

I’m old enough that I was brought up with that mentality: boys don’t cry. Girls are free to bawl as much as they want to, but boys don’t. Well, some do, but only sissies, pussies, wimps, and the like, and most impressionable young boys don’t really want to be any of those, they want to be Men, or at the very least if their parents teach them early on that they ought to be Men (newsflash to parents: young kids often fear you stop loving them if they don’t do what you want just as much as you fear they stop loving you if you don’t do what they want). How do you become a Man, then? Act like one. Be tough. Don’t be a sissy. Don’t cry.

If you're a girl, crying is a perfectly natural expression of distress

If you’re a girl, crying is a perfectly natural expression of distress

Okay, my parents weren’t horrible, but in some respects a little old-fashioned, and the result is, I can’t really cry unless some truly momentous disaster befalls me or mine, like a loved one dying, you face bankruptcy and it’s your fault, your favorite toy breaks, you get the picture. Everyday annoyances… nope, can’t do it even if I wanted to. Not even when I found out of an incurable ailment (back problems that’ll restrict what I can or can’t do and cause constant pain for the rest of my life).

The thing about crying, though, is that it’s an outlet, and a pretty handy one at that: feel frustrated? Shed a few tears and it’ll purge your system a bit. Feel wronged? Cry yourself a river. Feel angry? Open the dams for some good, old-fashioned waterworks, and soon the anger will seep out like air from a balloon. At least to a degree.

If you're a guy, crying is like taking your pants off in public

If you’re a guy, crying is like taking your pants off in public

What do you do then, when you’re a Man and can’t cry? There are several options, but one of the most common is anger. It often manifests as aggression, especially if you’re competitively inclined, like yours truly. The assholes take it out on their loved ones or anyone who happens to cross their paths when they are venting (essentially a situation where any other human being except a Man would cry). Smarter Men take it out on something else, preferably something inanimate, like a heavy bag, weights etc. Actually an animate object is even better, like a friend from the boxing gym: put on your helmets, mouthguards, gloves… and do not forget your groin guards! Trade some blows and you’ll feel so much better, trust me, especially if your friend is bigger and tougher than you are.

Boxing is a great way to vent your anger in a controlled manner

Boxing is a great way to vent your anger in a controlled manner

The thing is, what if you can’t access a gym when The Anger hits you? By “The Anger” I mean a state of existence where your emotions are at such a volatile state that they require some kind of an outlet, usually crying, but, in the case of Men, a display of aggression. Let’s say, you’re driving home from the doctor (after hearing some bad news) with the Mrs, or you’re at a family dinner (and you get a call from work that you’re fired, just when all those bills are due), or you have a few friends over, or whatever; some situation you can’t immediately escape and something happens that really gets under your skin and riles you up. What happens then? In my experience, nothing positive.

Let’s take the “driving with Mrs. next to you” -example. At best, she joins you and you’re angry at the world together. At worst, your venting is so colored by The Anger, that she thinks (and usually understandably so) that you’re actually angry at her or, at the very least, your tone and word choices are so antagonizing, she feels your taking it out on her. And the next thing you know, she’s crying, and you feel like a complete asshole because that’s what assholes do, remember? They displace their anger on their loved ones.

Another worst case scenario is if your anger has you so riled up, you break something. Like punching the car’s windshield and, whoops, there’s a crack so big it won’t pass the next yearly inspection (or however often they inspect your car in your country). Ready to pay 200-300 bucks to get it fixed ’cause you were angry and broke it? In your defense… windshields are supposed to protect you and your family from all the shit that could hit your car while you’re driving. How can a punch, a fucking punch, and one thrown while sitting at that (hardly the optimal position for optimal power generation, ask any boxer), break the windshield? But that’s beside the point.

The point is, it would be so much easier (and cheaper!) to just shed a few tears and be done with it. But us, Men, we don’t have that option; it was robbed from us, usually at childhood. Maybe we could learn the art of crying, but I don’t know, it would take some serious reprogramming because the mere thought of myself crying feels about as alien as having sex with a member of the sex I’m not attracted to (if you’re bisexual, just think of having sex with an animal. If you’re into beastiality… get some professional help, seriously).

So what’s the solution? I’m afraid I’m all out of good ones. What I’m trying to do (and frequently failing; it’s a learning process), is to either express my anger in such a controlled fashion, that my wife has the time to adapt to the change in atmosphere and can join me for some good old husband-wife world bashing (try it, it’s fun. Seriously. And it brings you two closer together. And then you can go home and have angry sex!) or I try to bottle it up and let it loose the next time I can unleash the fooking fury (ten points and a nude badge for anyone who gets the reference) in a safe, controlled setting, like the gym.

My absolute favorite is to spar with the biggest, toughest blokes from our boxing gym (since they’re much better than me, I get my ass kicked anyway, so I can go pretty much full force, full speed, which is a great release for anger). That one hurts, so a word of warning: if you can’t take a beating, if you’re shocked to see blood on your mouthguard, do one of these two: hit the heavybag (but wrap those hands and wear gloves if you can punch so hard that you’ll break your hands otherwise ̔cause nothing’s more frustrating than cracking a knuckle with the first punch when you were amped up enough to go ten 5-min rounds), or do a heart killing circuit workout: no breaks, nada, zip, zilch, just one grueling exercise after the other. My favorites are push-ups, pull-ups (the proper kind, not the crossfit ones), the ab wheel, and a sprint on the crosstrainer.

But I’m rambling again. The point is, whether your thing, your release, is boxing, lifting iron, running, playing guitar in a metal band, listening to metal, punk, or whatever, napkin folding, whatever, think of something, some activity that allows you to release your anger without causing casualties among innocent bystanders. Also, be mindful of the moment when The Anger is gone, because sometimes it’s sneaky: you think it’s gone, but once you get home, you blow up because you just thought you got it out of your system. I’ve found that a good way is to just kill yourself doing whatever it is you do for the release. If you’re too tired to empty your gym bag, chances are, you’re too tired to blow up and The Anger is gone.

Mind you, there’s a scientific explanation for The Anger, namely adrenaline, how it builds up in your system and stays there, making you apt to blow up at an inconvenient time if you don’t do something that releases it. The funny thing is, some releases actually cause more adrenaline to leak into your system (like my fave, getting my ass kicked at the boxing gym) because it can be a scary situation, but the physical strain it puts on your body overcomes the extra adrenaline and it ultimately drains The Anger and you’ll be a tame, cuddly teddybear again. But adrenaline is a whole other subject, and if you want ot learn more about it, I seriously suggest checking out Geoff Thompson’s books (my recommendation would be Dead or Alive: The Choice is Yours, ’cause it’s kinda like a best of the best of his discoveries and ideas).

Anyway, in the meantime, you can practice crying. Don’t ask me how, I have no idea. I’m still at the “trying to accept it doesn’t make me any less of a man and a complete wuss” -stage, and I’m not entirely convinced I’ll ever get past that, but I’m trying. After all, remember the saying about minds and parachutes and how both work better when they’re open?

So, whether you’re a Man or one of the smarter folk, be mindful of The Anger, that it’s your cross to bear, not your wife’s, child’s, parent’s etc, find your outlet, and don’t be an asshole.

Peace out,
T.Trian

How Do You Make Time for Not-Writing?

By K. Trian

This post is the straw prison breakers breathe through when they dive into the pond to hide from the cops and bloodhounds. Not that I’m exactly hiding, but I do have two major responsibilities that have been hunting me down through this spring. To stick with the analogy, I could say my job is the cops and my Master’s Thesis is the bloodhounds. There are other things too; I have a second job and recently accepted a position as a forum moderator at Writingforums.org (as did T. Trian).

I’m getting a heavy feeling that something’s going to crack soon. The balance is delicate. Just a tiny disturbance can upset it; a gust of wind, a sneeze, a fart.

I’m constantly bulldozing time for writing, but whether I like it or not, it’s the nights when T and I are at our most creative so it’s at nights when we write and revise Solus (the first part had to be split in two and we’re considering a name-change, but more about that later). This means I’ll be writing the Thesis at 7 o’clock in the morning before work/school, nodding off in my second job, juggling things and barely holding on in my number one job. I would compare this to dancing on a tightrope, but in truth, I feel like I am the tightrope, an unreliable one at that, suspended too tightly in the air, a horde of tightrope dancers jumping all over me, and when I snap, I’m gonna bring down several precious things.

So this is my question for you: how do you take care of your other responsibilities when the over-whelming need to write hits you and you realize you’ve just spent the time you should have been working to pay your rent or some such on your creative endeavors? Do you have an understanding spouse who picks up the slack for you? Have you accepted you might perform sloppily at your day job because you’ve directed your energy and efforts into your writing? Have you sold everything and moved to Goya?

And as for the straw metaphor… I guess for a second there the blogosphere supplied some oxygen into my lungs.

-K-

Buy my book discounted!

Hey ho, if you’re looking for something fantastic to read, check out Erica Dakin’s ‘The Conspiracy,’ now at such a low price it’s practically for gratis! 🙂

Theft and Sorcery

This is a very brief announcement to let all people in the States know that my second book, The Conspiracy is discounted on Amazon until midnight this Friday. Until then you can get it for $0.99, which is a complete steal!

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CZF0Q0M/

I intend to do a British countdown deal as well, but for technical Amazonny reasons I couldn’t do it at the same time as this one.

I’d appreciate it if people would spread the word!

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Giveaway now live!

Erica Dakin is giving away free gems! Check this out and get yourself a copy of The Conspiracy; romantic adventuring and adventurous romancing laced with kick-ass action. (yes, we’re reading this novel right now, so not talking out of our asses here either!)

Theft and Sorcery

My Goodreads giveaway has been approved and is now live!

Click here to go to it.

There’s some sort of fancy widget thing, but I can’t figure out how to get that to work in a post (tips appreciated).

Anyway, if you like Fantasy and Romance, this is the book for you! And if you don’t believe me, then believe some of the things other people have said:

“This book was everything I could have possibly hoped for and more!” – Lindsey.

“There’s plenty of action, some truly dramatic moments and a scary twist at the end. (…) What about the romance side of things? Short answer – terrific. (…) Kai is one of the most charming heroes I’ve ever encountered, with none of the smug arrogance that so often characterises the male lead these days.” – Pauline.

“I like a series which gets better and better; I am pleased…

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Writing Scenes That Will Never Make It

by K. Trian

Lately T and I have been incredibly occupied with the revisions for Solus. Based on the feedback we’ve received, we realized there are certain events that have taken place outside the story that we need to know better than just on some vague, approximate thought level in order to make the actual scenes even better. Like pretty much every writer out there, we too adhere to the iceberg analogy; the writer knows more about the story and characters than the reader ever will, thus only presenting the tip of the iceberg to their audience. However, there were certain scenes we never wrote, just knew of their existence, and thought we were ok not knowing what exactly went down — until we realized that there’d be no harm in it if we actually made those scenes more “real.” It felt like having those events just talked out and planned was not enough. The events felt disjointed and murky, and they kept changing shape. Imagine being hung over and thinking back your night out, how the memories are all fuzzy and vague. The scenes had to be actualized and made real, and once we did that, things were instantly much clearer.

Of course it’d be pretty damn crazy to write out your every character’s history, every thought and dialogue they’ve ever had, but certain key events that are referred to within the story can turn out to be not only clarifying, but fun writing exercises as well. We’ve heard writing gurus say “write the story, not the backstory,” but that’s not the point either. All these little scenes that you know will never be in the finished manuscript somehow make the finished product feel more coherent. Now we know exactly what happened, the exact words that were said, the motions and emotions, and it has also deepened our understanding of the characters and their motivations.

So, fellow writers out there, have you written scenes that you know will never make it, but you do it anyway, just to get a better idea of what happened in the characters’ past, or for some other reason? Or is it really just a waste of time?

-K