19 8 / 2014

clavisa said: I just finished Talk Sweetly, and I'm wondering if I'm misremembering or did there use to be a part of a blurb somewhere saying she'd been corresponding with him as an old white dude? I mean, it was great regardless so I understand if you had to cut for length, just curious!

It wasn’t cut for length; I almost never cut things (or add things) for length at this point because there is nobody out there dictating length to me. It was cut because that story line just didn’t intersect with the rest of the story, and there was no way to tell a coherent story that I liked and still hold onto that element. I held onto it for way too long because the cover copy had it in there, but it just didn’t fit with the rest of the story.

(AND IN FACT: main reason I have not sent newsletter yet—with warning for boring asides—I tried something a little different this time around so I could get a preorder on Barnes & Noble. End result: B&N is not updating feed, and so the old cover copy is still up on B&N despite my requesting the change ages ago. Frustrating on my end. ARGH. But at least they actually appear to be selling the proper book file, which I was afraid they wouldn’t be doing for a very long time.)

14 8 / 2014

Anonymous said: Dear Man, do you think a Man can or should read romantic novels, especially those written by women? It seems from my experience that many men rather disdain things they perceive to be "feminine" or "for women," and if they do do those things, they're certainly not admitting it. Why do they feel that way and what is your opinion on it? --Curious Romance Reader

clavisa:

courtneymilan:

ask-a-man:

Dear Curious,

We all know what romantic novels are: stultifying tales of boring female matters—relationships, friendships, and unrealistic depictions of men as champions. But even a Man as certain of his answers as I am can surely open his mind long enough to slam it shut.

Yes, my readers—I, a Man, read a romantic novel. The novel in question was a modern book, published in 1879. It was entitled “Her World against a Lie: a Romance,” and the author was Florence Marryat. 

Men, having undertaken the reading of this novel myself, I beseech you: Do not under any circumstances read romantic novels.

You are far better off believing that women read romantic novels to sigh over unrealistically handsome, charming depictions of men. By all means, retain your innocence on this front. In fact, stop reading now, because I am about to describe the shocking heart of what lies in women’s breasts.

This book starts off with the character Hephzibah Horton—an unmarried woman of some forty years who shows no wish to correct that state, and indeed, supports herself in style through her writing, and admonishes others with things like: “What else can you expect when you put yourself in the power of a man?”

Now, we are all familiar with the figure of the ludicrous, sad, embittered man-hater, gracing many the pages of a fine novel. But Miss Horton is not ridiculous, nor is she embittered; in fact, she makes the men around her look ridiculous. More importantly, the book itself—centering around the trials of one Mrs. Delia Moray—explains in great detail how women in bad situations (according to the book, almost all marriages)—can get free of them by making use of the legal system. It reads as half fiction/half guide for all oppressed women.

I had expected an optimistic, shiny tale wherein a woman was saved from certain disgrace by a man. Instead, I got a gritty tale of a woman beaten by a drunkard who was saved by other women.

In the end, Miss Horton does marry, as one expects of such a genre—but she retains her own name and chooses a husband she may henpeck.

Even I, an Actual Man, quailed before this romantic novel. All you lesser specimens out there might actually perish.

Men: Take my advice and avoid these at all costs.

Sincerely yours,
Stephen Shaughnessy
Traumatized Man

The story behind this: When I got this ask, I thought, huh, it would be fun to read a romance from the 1880s! So I googled for novels written in that time period and chose this one basically at random. (I have ten billion other things to do but whatevs.)

GUYS. THIS 1879 NOVEL WAS MISANDRY AT ITS BEST AND BITTEREST.

I seriously chose it at random. I will write up a more comprehensive review of this when I don’t have ten bazillion other things to do but yeah.

Apparently the author’s husband was an abusive asshole who did things like try to have her living mother declared dead (!!) so he could grab her pension. She wrote to support her family, and eventually got a separation from her husband.

This book should be subtitled: How to get rid of a husband, A MANUAL WITH CHARTS.

It contains passages like this:

image

Yes, romance novels: giving women unrealistic expectations about men since…oh, wait.

(As a note, this book contains graphic domestic violence and a whole ton of casual racism.)

So, how about a future character who reads or writes a novel like this?

Nobody would believe it.

14 8 / 2014

Anonymous said: Dear Man, do you think a Man can or should read romantic novels, especially those written by women? It seems from my experience that many men rather disdain things they perceive to be "feminine" or "for women," and if they do do those things, they're certainly not admitting it. Why do they feel that way and what is your opinion on it? --Curious Romance Reader

ask-a-man:

Dear Curious,

We all know what romantic novels are: stultifying tales of boring female matters—relationships, friendships, and unrealistic depictions of men as champions. But even a Man as certain of his answers as I am can surely open his mind long enough to slam it shut.

Yes, my readers—I, a Man, read a romantic novel. The novel in question was a modern book, published in 1879. It was entitled “Her World against a Lie: a Romance,” and the author was Florence Marryat. 

Men, having undertaken the reading of this novel myself, I beseech you: Do not under any circumstances read romantic novels.

You are far better off believing that women read romantic novels to sigh over unrealistically handsome, charming depictions of men. By all means, retain your innocence on this front. In fact, stop reading now, because I am about to describe the shocking heart of what lies in women’s breasts.

This book starts off with the character Hephzibah Horton—an unmarried woman of some forty years who shows no wish to correct that state, and indeed, supports herself in style through her writing, and admonishes others with things like: “What else can you expect when you put yourself in the power of a man?”

Now, we are all familiar with the figure of the ludicrous, sad, embittered man-hater, gracing many the pages of a fine novel. But Miss Horton is not ridiculous, nor is she embittered; in fact, she makes the men around her look ridiculous. More importantly, the book itself—centering around the trials of one Mrs. Delia Moray—explains in great detail how women in bad situations (according to the book, almost all marriages)—can get free of them by making use of the legal system. It reads as half fiction/half guide for all oppressed women.

I had expected an optimistic, shiny tale wherein a woman was saved from certain disgrace by a man. Instead, I got a gritty tale of a woman beaten by a drunkard who was saved by other women.

In the end, Miss Horton does marry, as one expects of such a genre—but she retains her own name and chooses a husband she may henpeck.

Even I, an Actual Man, quailed before this romantic novel. All you lesser specimens out there might actually perish.

Men: Take my advice and avoid these at all costs.

Sincerely yours,
Stephen Shaughnessy
Traumatized Man

The story behind this: When I got this ask, I thought, huh, it would be fun to read a romance from the 1880s! So I googled for novels written in that time period and chose this one basically at random. (I have ten billion other things to do but whatevs.)

GUYS. THIS 1879 NOVEL WAS MISANDRY AT ITS BEST AND BITTEREST.

I seriously chose it at random. I will write up a more comprehensive review of this when I don’t have ten bazillion other things to do but yeah.

Apparently the author’s husband was an abusive asshole who did things like try to have her living mother declared dead (!!) so he could grab her pension. She wrote to support her family, and eventually got a separation from her husband.

This book should be subtitled: How to get rid of a husband, A MANUAL WITH CHARTS.

It contains passages like this:

Yes, romance novels: giving women unrealistic expectations about men since…oh, wait.

(As a note, this book contains graphic domestic violence and a whole ton of casual racism.)

11 8 / 2014

hmm … would the additional salt in tears affect the resulting soda bread?

I reduced the salt from 2 tsp (in the below recipe) to 1 tsp. For just this reason! :)

11 8 / 2014

There’s no way for me to mention this in universe, but Stephen’s grandmother’s recipe in today’s Ask a Man was modified from this recipe in the 1843 Southern Planter.

Whew. Now everything is properly attributed and I can rest easily.

11 8 / 2014

elodieunderglass:

gimmeagoodcoldbeer:

ronin134:

revengeofthemudbutt:

armedplatypus:

whiskey-weather:

stonerdoomandbeagles:

shoothikedrinkfuck:

blazepress:

This three-legged decorated war hero had one leg lost to surgery after taking four rounds from an AK-47.

Bad. Mother. Fucker.

 Those eyes say “Pretend to throw the tennis ball. I dare you to only pretend.”

I think those eyes say a lot more than that. He’s seen more than I ever will, done more than I’ll ever do, and his war will never be over.

He’s got Ranger scrolls on his collar. That dog is a god damn hero.

I just noticed the Purple Heart and that Scroll.Wow. Just wow. The picture alone, in all it’s detail says a lot of things. god damn.

I can’t not reblog this dog… his youEyes say so much

I’ve never seen a dog with such a face like that. Like an old man who went to war and if you ask him about he just stiffens up and face turns to stone. 

Layka is a lady dog. Let’s remember that.
Now, it’s an understandable problem - our socialization instantly encourages us to see this rugged, sleek, military animal as a male. Three-legged hero dog with military decorations and stern-appearing eyes? TOTALLY A DUDE DOG, JUST LOOK AT HIM. It’s a programmed response, and nothing to be ashamed of - let’s just be accurate and note that Layka’s a female.
I’ve highlighted all the reblogs above where Layka is described as a hero, an old man, with male pronouns - rather than the fierce, charming heroine she is. It’s kind of a teachable moment: how does an image of an animal, displaying absolutely no secondary sex characteristics, instantly give us these fictional headcanons about its gender and gender performance? It’s an impressive demonstration of our ability to translate body language.
The photographer who took this compelling shot noted that Layka’s playful, bouncy energy made it nearly impossible for him to get a shot with her mouth closed! He ended up having to stop using the tennis ball he was using to get her attention, because it made her too excited and smiley. Based on the photos below, I think she’d have quite a sense of humor about the “where’s the tennis ball?” game!

Of course, the photographer did end up connecting with a fundamental aspect of Layka’s nature in the cover photo; her serious, soldier side. But that’s not all the animal is. Does the dog in the unused shots still resemble an “old man?” Is the dog in the unused shots male or female? Is it still a hero with its tongue out? Is it still admirable without a “face like stone?”
This is what I mean when I say that we have to examine the lenses of culture and society that we are always, always looking through when we talk about science biology.

elodieunderglass:

gimmeagoodcoldbeer:

ronin134:

revengeofthemudbutt:

armedplatypus:

whiskey-weather:

stonerdoomandbeagles:

shoothikedrinkfuck:

blazepress:

This three-legged decorated war hero had one leg lost to surgery after taking four rounds from an AK-47.

Bad. Mother. Fucker.


Those eyes say “Pretend to throw the tennis ball. I dare you to only pretend.”

I think those eyes say a lot more than that. He’s seen more than I ever will, done more than I’ll ever do, and his war will never be over.

He’s got Ranger scrolls on his collar. That dog is a god damn hero.

I just noticed the Purple Heart and that Scroll.
Wow. Just wow. 
The picture alone, in all it’s detail says a lot of things. god damn.

I can’t not reblog this dog… his you
Eyes say so much

I’ve never seen a dog with such a face like that. Like an old man who went to war and if you ask him about he just stiffens up and face turns to stone. 

Layka is a lady dog. Let’s remember that.

Now, it’s an understandable problem - our socialization instantly encourages us to see this rugged, sleek, military animal as a male. Three-legged hero dog with military decorations and stern-appearing eyes? TOTALLY A DUDE DOG, JUST LOOK AT HIM. It’s a programmed response, and nothing to be ashamed of - let’s just be accurate and note that Layka’s a female.

I’ve highlighted all the reblogs above where Layka is described as a hero, an old man, with male pronouns - rather than the fierce, charming heroine she is. It’s kind of a teachable moment: how does an image of an animal, displaying absolutely no secondary sex characteristics, instantly give us these fictional headcanons about its gender and gender performance? It’s an impressive demonstration of our ability to translate body language.

The photographer who took this compelling shot noted that Layka’s playful, bouncy energy made it nearly impossible for him to get a shot with her mouth closed! He ended up having to stop using the tennis ball he was using to get her attention, because it made her too excited and smiley. Based on the photos below, I think she’d have quite a sense of humor about the “where’s the tennis ball?” game!

Layka is so smiley in person that the photographer struggled to get her to pose "seriously."

Of course, the photographer did end up connecting with a fundamental aspect of Layka’s nature in the cover photo; her serious, soldier side. But that’s not all the animal is. Does the dog in the unused shots still resemble an “old man?” Is the dog in the unused shots male or female? Is it still a hero with its tongue out? Is it still admirable without a “face like stone?”

This is what I mean when I say that we have to examine the lenses of culture and society that we are always, always looking through when we talk about science biology.

(via morismako)

05 8 / 2014

I’ve just realized that I haven’t been doing snippets for Talk Sweetly to Me. Whoops! I’ll try to make up for it by doing more than one a week.
Here’s snippet number one:

“Multiply that by the possibility of our meeting while alone—let us call that one in four—and that by the chance that you will be charming.”
His interest was piqued now. He had no idea what she was computing, but he’d be happy to find her alone and charm her into whatever number she wished. He leaned forward. “Tell me. Whatisthe chance that you’ll find me charming?”
“I’d approximate it as…” She looked across the room thoughtfully, her finger tapping against her lips. “Forty percent? On a good day.”
“A mere forty percent?” Stephen clutched his chest dramatically. “A knife to the heart! You slay me, Miss Sweetly.”
Her finger did not stop tapping, but she smiled as shyly as if he’d offered her a compliment. “You misidentify the weapon. It’s not a knife.”
“No?”
Miss Sweetly shook her head. “It’s a double slide rule from Elliots, and I have found it extremely useful in dispatching all manner of men. Especially the ones given to excess histrionics. Now shall we continue the calculation?”
“By all means. I can see where this is heading. I have always wanted to be abused with numbers.”

Want to find out more? You can read the first chapter here. And the hero Stephen Shaughnessy, has his own tumblr account here.

I’ve just realized that I haven’t been doing snippets for Talk Sweetly to Me. Whoops! I’ll try to make up for it by doing more than one a week.

Here’s snippet number one:

Multiply that by the possibility of our meeting while alone—let us call that one in four—and that by the chance that you will be charming.”

His interest was piqued now. He had no idea what she was computing, but he’d be happy to find her alone and charm her into whatever number she wished. He leaned forward. “Tell me. Whatisthe chance that you’ll find me charming?”

“I’d approximate it as…” She looked across the room thoughtfully, her finger tapping against her lips. “Forty percent? On a good day.”

“A mere forty percent?” Stephen clutched his chest dramatically. “A knife to the heart! You slay me, Miss Sweetly.”

Her finger did not stop tapping, but she smiled as shyly as if he’d offered her a compliment. “You misidentify the weapon. It’s not a knife.”

“No?”

Miss Sweetly shook her head. “It’s a double slide rule from Elliots, and I have found it extremely useful in dispatching all manner of men. Especially the ones given to excess histrionics. Now shall we continue the calculation?”

“By all means. I can see where this is heading. I have always wanted to be abused with numbers.”

Want to find out more? You can read the first chapter here. And the hero Stephen Shaughnessy, has his own tumblr account here.

01 8 / 2014

So I just realized that I had not actually mentioned the Ask a Man tumblr on my own actual tumblr account…?
Look at me! I am good at self-promotion.
Stephen Shaughnessy (a side character in The Suffragette Scandal; hero of Talk Sweetly to Me) is running his column on tumblr until the day the novella comes out.
You can ask him questions. Or just follow him and read the columns. 
Here’s a link: http://ask-a-man.tumblr.com/

So I just realized that I had not actually mentioned the Ask a Man tumblr on my own actual tumblr account…?

Look at me! I am good at self-promotion.

Stephen Shaughnessy (a side character in The Suffragette Scandal; hero of Talk Sweetly to Me) is running his column on tumblr until the day the novella comes out.

You can ask him questions. Or just follow him and read the columns. 

Here’s a link: http://ask-a-man.tumblr.com/

15 7 / 2014

soemily said: Hi Courtney! Congratulations on The Suffragette Scandal; it looks completely amazing. I love the snippets you've posted! A quick question, if you don't mind: I'm saving it to read as a treat after the bar exam, and I'd like to get a hard copy. Do you have an idea of when they might be available? Thanks!

It showed up on print in Amazon early this morning: http://www.amazon.com/Suffragette-Scandal-Brothers-Sinister-Volume/dp/1937248313/?tag=cmwebsite-20

15 7 / 2014

It’s time—THE SUFFRAGETTE SCANDAL is here now.
Get it:
Amazon
Amazon UK
Nook
Apple 
Kobo 
Google 
All Romance eBooks 
Smashwords 
Want to find out more? Visit http://www.courtneymilan.com/thesuffragettescandal.com to read an excerpt.

It’s time—THE SUFFRAGETTE SCANDAL is here now.

Get it:

Want to find out more? Visit http://www.courtneymilan.com/thesuffragettescandal.com to read an excerpt.