First, author Jennifer DuBois wrote an article called "Writing Across Gender" and it's fantastic. She is the author of A Partial History of Lost Causes, which is written from a male protagonist's perspective and the article talks about gender and point of view and how fiction reflects the real world. I owe Catherynne Valente for sharing this article on Twitter.
The article says so many of the things I've tried to express before on this blog (here, here, and especially here) and in conversations with male friends who tell me they, "Just don't like reading books that are written from a woman's perspective." Thankfully, DuBois manages to talk about the issue without losing her temper (something I struggle with).
Second, speaking of Cat Valente, she wrote a lovely blog post about going back to Scotland, which spoke to me on several levels, one being my connection to Scotland and the another being my tendency to walk with ghosts. It's a lovely, short read and I highly recommend it. Also there's a reference to The Labyrinth so...yeah. It's pretty much awesome to the max.
And finally, I live in a crow neighborhood. Have I mentioned this before? When I lived here as an undergrad, I used to make jokes about the eternal struggle between the crows and the seagulls in this area of Maine. Oh haha, College Student Jennifer, you are so whimsical and eccentric. Right?
Wrong. That shit is for real.
We're talking straight up aviary gang wars. And yes I'd love to write a story about that someday. It's in the back room of my brain, gnawing at the dark and getting bigger.
So, anyway. I make sure to be polite to the crows. I'm not even joking. They've done experiments that suggest that crows remember humans, can differentiate between them and will communicate information about particular humans to other crows. So, I say hello. I am polite. It never hurts to be polite.
About ten minutes ago, there was a lot of crow noise outside. I looked out and at first I thought there was a dead crow splayed out on my neighbor's driveway. I'm actually somewhat proud to admit that my first reaction was to lunge for my camera.
|"Are you guys fighting?"|
|"Hmm I don't see any blood..."|
No. Not fighting.
That's right, Gentle Reader, it was the sexing.
|"Ooooh. I get it."|
It was so strange to watch them (yes, I kept watching). They were locked together, talons hooked to each other's breasts, wings splayed.
While you look, imagine the sound of another crow hunched on a nearby rooftop cawing like crazy. I like to think that the two on the ground were thinking, "Gee, thanks, buddy. We really appreciate that encouragement."
|(After a while) "Are you stuck?"|
Finally I did say, "Are you stuck?" out loud. The crows suddenly seemed to realize they were utterly exposed in the middle of a driveway, or that they were being watched by someone other than their encouraging friend, and flapped off in a huff.
They are probably going to tell the rest of the Crow Clan that the girl with long hair and glasses is a total creeper.