#OpenBook – “Masculine Energy” and The Woman Writer

OPEN BOOK (5)#Open Book

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

I remember listening to a male lecturer talk about women, men, and gender relations. One thing that stuck with me was when he went on this diatribe about women who have a lot of what he called “masculine energy.” He waxed for what seemed like forever about how a woman who dares to have a lot of masculine energy is a problem because she will always be ready to challenge a man. He claimed that such women are too assertive and authoritative and proclaimed that he could tell when there is such a woman in his midst.

After I laughed my…head off, I cringed a little at the incendiary generalizations he made, that make life hell for women. I won’t go into an analysis of how his language dangerously allocated certain human behaviors like confidence, ambition, critical thinking, power, and resistance as masculine and categorized women embodying any of these characteristics as “manly” deviants straying from their feminine nature.

I won’t highlight how someone privileged by gender can be guilty of reinforcing oppression by demonizing those struggling against their subjugation, discrediting them as misfits. Really, men need to stop that nonsense, especially those disguising themselves as progressive but are actually just as chauvinistic as their fellow misogynists.

Continue reading “#OpenBook – “Masculine Energy” and The Woman Writer”

In Vitro: Short Story Audio Clip

WELCOME NEW MEMBERS! (1)Alhamdulillah, I am blessed to have Sabina Khan, a great writer, for a critique partner. One of the biggest challenges we have when it comes to working together is our often conflicting schedules. However, this being the digital age, we managed to come up with a method—at least on my end—to share.

I often leave audio clips of my work for Sabina to listen to at a convenient time. She expressed to me how much she enjoyed listening to me read my work and constantly encouraged me to upload audio clips for my readers.  I was initially hesitant, but I decided to give it a try by reading the first part of the newest Layla Writes Love short story, In Vitro.

Continue reading “In Vitro: Short Story Audio Clip”

#OpenBook: Pouring out Money to Spill Ink

OPEN BOOK (4)#OpenBook

What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

I will have to split my answer to this week’s prompt into two categories: 1)writer and 2) author. It may seem like an exercise in semantics, but the distinction is important. In addition to my short stories and books, I do a TON of writing in different spheres that have required me to spend money in varying amounts and capacities.

You guys know how I get. Bear with me.

Continue reading “#OpenBook: Pouring out Money to Spill Ink”

#MFRW- Character-Driven Plot Building

blacksmith-3141724_1920#MFRW Plotter or panzer, and why?

I tend to be a character-driven writer. I have a bunch of people stomping around my head demanding that their stories be told.

Yeah, kinda like that. Because they are at the base of my writing, I usually have to structure a plot based upon what the main protagonists in a story want, the obstacles that get in the way with that, and how they change from the beginning to end of the plot. So, an organic plot structure is at the crux of my writing.

I also have a drill-sergeant for a writing coach, who doesn’t believe in just writing and letting a story evolve, at least not at the fundamental level, which plotting a story mainly involves. I think that is what confused me at first, and I also see it when I mentor writers. I had the tendency to think of details as essential to structuring a plot. They aren’t, and once I got used to sifting through them to the core components of a story, I have become better at having a solid plot on which to build it. Continue reading “#MFRW- Character-Driven Plot Building”

Sometimes, low-tech is the way to go. Writing things down can help reinforce memory, which is why so many instructors insist students take notes by hand.

I try to have pads and pens EVERYWHERE! I think every room of the house has at least on writing instrument and paper. Ironically, much of the time, I’m going crazy trying to find a pen or pencil, and I’ve even had to resort to using a crayon when a bout of creativity hit me.

Writers benefit a great deal by getting their ideas out of their heads for later reference. A slip of paper hanging on the wall can be more readily available than info buried in an app. Many of us also have a tendency to ignore notification dings and buzzes, so  jotting things down is the best way to go.

Check out how I manage some of my story ideas.

Mis Quince Años

Mis Quince Años (2) Continue reading “3 Low-Tech Writing Tools”

First Author Signed Giveaway Book Arrived!

AirBrush_20180725071046There is an awesome feeling that runs through an author when a fellow offers support and encouragement. I trodded to the mailbox the other day and immediately lit up when I saw the large yellow envelope containing a signed copy of Nasheed Jaxson’s Her Justice

The crime romance is one of my favorites, and I was thrilled when Jaxson agreed to send me a signed copy for a book giveaway.

Continue reading “First Author Signed Giveaway Book Arrived!”

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