A Lady in Shining Armour

I like role reversal stories in historical fiction, however impractical and untrue they really are. Why should fiction try to be especially honest, practical or factual? If you can’t spin a few tall tales you may as well be writing non-fiction.

Dream up a character: a woman knight. She might be a secret knight, living among the men as one of them. Or, she could be accepted as one of them even though she is a woman. What is the story behind her? What does she look like? How did she learn her fighting skills? What does the future hold for her? Could she ever retire (before she gets killed off by another knight)?

My woman knight would be raised by dragons, never really knew her human family. She becomes a knight to fight for the dragon cause. She doesn’t wear skimpy stuff the way women are drawn and shown in film. She is a full knight, with a full suit of armour. No horse though. Horses would just be too scared of the dragons.

Dead Men Tell No Tales

“Dead men tell no tales” – Hiriam Breakes

From Deep Sea News: Hiriam Breakes was a Dutch pirate, the second son to the Councillor of the Island of Saba in the Netherlands Antilles. In his twenties, he stole the ship and cargo of his employers and renamed the vessel The Adventurer. Almost immediately he came upon the Chilean vessel “Acapulco” which was carrying 200,000 small gold bars. The hapless crew were all murdered in a most despicable manner, and being the Acapulco was better ship than the The Adventurer Breakes stole the ship and refitted it for piracy.

Now there’s a good lad.

I like knowing who was behind the famous pirate quote originally. You just had to know it wasn’t going to be some, shy, quiet type.

Another Way to Say Divorced

One of the things I got thinking about this morning was other ways to say divorced, another phrase. How about ‘in between marriages’, as they say for people who are unemployed. Not that women have to marry again but it seems we tend to do so, or at least be looking around with that as the end goal. Here is my list of other ways to say divorced:

  • In between marriages
  • Exploring new men
  • Refreshingly single
  • One man down
  • Unmarried
  • Despoused
  • Otherwise engaged
  • Paired out
  • Wanna be widow
  • Matrimonially unchallenged
  • Looking for Mr. RightBehind
  • Repenting in leisure

What can you come up with? We are the word people lets see what we can do for divorce. Someone can come up with something funnier or more sarcastic than mine.

While looking for ideas and inspiration for divorce phrases I found other divorce related resources, humour and quotes. Some pretty bitter and nasty. I didn’t save much of that, it isn’t productive and it seems to be a way to keep yourself in the past rather than letting you move ahead into your future. Also, blaming others is too easy. Not that we should everything is only our own fault. But, through it all press on, move ahead and find something great you can focus on for your own future.

“I’m an excellent housekeeper. Every time I get a divorce, I keep the house.” – Zsa Zsa Gabor
“Getting divorced just because you don’t love a man is almost as silly as getting married just because you do.” – Zsa Zsa Gabor
“Marriage is too interesting an experiment to be tried only once.” – Eva Gabor

Did you know there are Divorce Planners and Divorce Coaches? I can see how it would help but it seems kind of a cynical thing, for our world community to have need of these services. When you start looking around it’s interesting how much of an industry divorce is becoming. Yet there isn’t a ton of stuff giving support, humour and the light hearted side. It’s mainly geared to the lawyer stuff. I think something more is needed. I may work on that, having been divorced once myself now, I’m at least qualified in that way.

Divorce Network – Twitter link
Divorce MagazineTwitter link
Divorce SaloonTwitter link
Divorce Diva Blog – Twitter account is somewhat active, the blog is gathering dust bunnies.

Dastardly Yours – Divorce cards.
Divorce Party Supply

I found this on a site but they didn’t give the name of the person who said it originally.

One of the reasons that fifty percent of marriages end in divorce is that those men who promised that they’d die for their woman just don’t come through.

The Slant of the News

I stopped listening to the news a long time ago. If you listen too much it feels like there is no hope at all. Another woman missing, another woman found murdered, another woman shot in the head by her boyfriend/ husband. If you listen to all of that who would you ever trust, you’d become paranoid and live like a hermit with far too many cats and your groceries being delivered – but just to the fence, not to the door itself!

The economic stuff aside, the violence and aggressiveness is what really worries me. So, I’ve just stopped listening to it. Once you stop listening to the news you remember what life was like when your world was more about your neighbours than the world at large. You focus on what the people you can help everyday are doing and what they need. Everything looks much better when you deal with what is in front of you instead of looking at the world – as reported by the news mongers who want to sell papers after all. Newspapers aren’t exactly out there to report world peace and good will to all men. They make money by selling us fear, thrills and chills.

If you listen to the news you have to keep in mind that you are getting a warped version of the world. Sex, fear and violence sell far better than the kid who found their lost puppy. They save the nice news for somewhere inside the paper. Good news seldom makes page one.

My comment as posted to Ken’s Writing blog. A post about dealing with too much negative news.

Plain as Day Directions?

Think of a place you have been to today, maybe out for coffee, out to work, as long as you had to get out of your homespace. Think about the route you took to get there. Things you needed along the way, like a bus pass, your purse. Anything you stopped for such as coffee or cash at the bank machine.

Could you describe your route and all your stops along the way to your destination. Write out directions and instructions for someone else (assume they do not live in your area and will not know the street names or landmarks). When you read back your directions do they make sense? Could you follow them clearly yourself? Test them out on someone if you can. See how clear they are to another person.

Writing directions can be tricky. Women look at landmarks while men, typically, want street names and plain directions with right, left, north, west, etc. Beyond that, everyone notices different things along the route. Something that seems plain as day to you may go unnoticed by someone else.

Roald Dahl: In a Different Place with Different People

I came across several Roald Dahl books among those we were taking to the second hand bookstore. They had been part of a pile of books at the bottom of a box of toys no one was bothering with for month. I saved them. I might even read them at some point. I don’t like being too casual to give away well written books. A clever line should be worth saving, no matter what the book editors may say.

A writer of fiction lives in fear. Each new day demands new ideas and he can never be sure whether he is going to come up with them or not.  – Roald Dahl.

The writer has to force himself to work. He has to make his own hours and if he doesn’t go to his desk at all there is nobody to scold him.  – Roald Dahl.

Two hours of writing fiction leaves this writer completely drained. For those two hours he has been in a different place with totally different people.  – Roald Dahl.

A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom.  – Roald Dahl.

I began to realize how simple life could be if one had a regular routine to follow with fixed hours, a fixed salary, and very little original thinking to do.  – Roald Dahl.

Nowadays you can go anywhere in the world in a few hours, and nothing is fabulous any more.  – Roald Dahl.

And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.  – Roald Dahl.

A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.  – Roald Dahl.

The Roald Dahl site.

The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre.

Roald Dahl Fans.

I am Not a Dude or a Guy

Dude… Hey guys…

I’ve been noticing the growing trend to use ‘dude’ and ‘guys’ as an informal, generic greeting. My Mother really dislikes this. When they come to take our order in a restaurant and say “What can I get you guys?” She cringes, politely. I understand it isn’t meant to be annoying. Yet, I’ve been thinking about it… It IS annoying. It’s also a throwback to the days when women were not counted as people.

How far have we come (as women) if we are excluded in this simple, casual way? Not a big deal, is it? What bee have you got in your bonnet. Don’t get your knickers in a knot or maybe we are just being way too sensitive and girlie about it. Or maybe, you should see what your husband thinks about it, little lady.

I don’t like it.

It is far too informal for general use. I don’t like being treated that casually by someone I am not on a first name basis with. I’d prefer a little respect, a little distance and a little space from people who don’t know me well enough to call me by name. I’m not unfriendly but I’m not desperate to have everyone like me either.

It is directed to men only. Look up the words dude and guy in the dictionary, they don’t refer to women. So we are excluded and in such a way that it is taken for granted that we aren’t being excluded. To protest makes us seem uptight bitches. I’m sure women have been called worse in our fight to gain rights for ourselves.

To me this feels disrespectful to all the women in our past who stood up and took the hard knocks in order to get women this far. How would they feel to read the ads for WordPress WordCamp directed to “Dude”? How would they feel to have the customer service person label them “guys”? How would it be to get an email from a group of women asking “how many of you guys are going to attend?” What progress was made if we are backsliding and not even noticing it happen?

I am a woman. I am a person. I am not a dude.

Choreography in Battle

Men like to fight, scrap around and have a little horse-play in general. Most of it is fairly harmless. Like other large predators they have the instinct to not injure each other too badly unless it’s over something really important. Last night I watched a group of men fighting (on TV). They wore cardboard, used cardboard battle gear, it was kind of funny to watch them go at each other with plain brown cardboard boxes. They call it Box Wars.

Box Wars begin in Australia. The local Toronto chapter here in Ontario are the men I saw on TV. I’m sending the link to my 14 year old nephew. Not just because it looks like fun for himself and a group of his friends, but because I’d like to see him get into the engineering and planning of building equipment and battle gear out of cardboard. It will take some thought to figure out how to make the cardboard work, how to build effective fighting gear that doesn’t just fall apart.

What else would be interesting as material for men to slam each other with, something that isn’t likely to hurt them, too much? Could you write about a battle with this material or the cardboard as above? Have you ever written a battle scene. It takes some choreography to keep track of the arms and legs, not unlike a sex scene.