Science Fiction Fairy Tale: A Wrinkle in Time

Science Fiction Fairy Tale: A Wrinkle in Time

My August/September YA classics read was Madeline L’engle’s A Wrinkle in Time — but technically, it was a reread. When I was a kid, probably only eight or nine years old, my mother read Wrinkle to me out loud, which left only two lasting impressions for me: the line “There is such a thing as a tesseract,” and the scene with the kids jumping rope and playing ball, which was and remains TERRIFYING. I loved it when Mom read it to me, though, and devoured the next two books in the series. (But I’m not sure I ever read the

The Free World of Francie Nelson’s Brooklyn

The Free World of Francie Nelson’s Brooklyn

I knew even less about A Tree Grows in Brooklyn when I started reading it than I had about Little Women. But it was, in a lot of a ways, a perfect answer to Little Women, right down to the moment, early on, where Francie mentions that she read and enjoyed Little Women. Liberty vs. Poverty and Education in Francie Nelson’s Brooklyn It’s a little hard to summary the plot of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, because (again like Little Women) there isn’t much of one. It’s the story of Francie growing up, and of her family. Francie’s mother is

Little Women, Female Ambition, and Castles in the Air

Little Women, Female Ambition, and Castles in the Air

Hey everyone, have you read your Pilgrim’s Progress lately? Because it’s time to talk about what I got out of reading Little Women, in this first real installment of the YA Classics Catch Up. But first, one housekeeping note — as I experimented with formats, I found I had a pretty fun time capturing some of my thoughts on Instagram as I read. So if you’re an Instagrammy person, feel free to follow along that way! Okay. So. Little Women is a novel by Louisa May Alcott, originally published in two volumes, the first in 1868 and the second in

Assault, Consent, and Romance in Bound by Blood and Sand

Assault, Consent, and Romance in <I>Bound by Blood and Sand</i>

(Notes: This blog entry discusses rape culture, also, there are minor BBB&S spoilers.) It’s April, which is sexual assault awareness month. So I want to take a second to talk about sexual assault in Bound by Blood and Sand, because, well, it’s in there. Jae, the protagonist, is a survivor of rape before the book begins, and she’s assaulted about halfway through, on the page. Jae also has PTSD (from the assaults, and from a lifetime of slavery), something which is, of course, still part of her in Freed by Flame and Storm. I did not take the idea of

Leia, Rey, and Me

Leia, Rey, and Me

I have always had this habit of mentally rewriting stories I love to be about the female lead. If you were to hear me describe the plot of Disney’s Aladdin, you’d be pretty sure it should have been titled Jasmine. When I started binge-reading fantasy novels in middle school, man, the Belgariad was tedious until Ce’Nedra showed up. Bumbling farmboys bored me, but a red-headed princess? Sign me up! But no story in my mind was more about the female lead than Star Wars. In fact, I think it’s safe to say that I do this whole thing because of

Sailor Moon, Ninja Turtles, and Learning to Save the World

Sailor Moon, Ninja Turtles, and Learning to Save the World

So you may have heard about this, especially if you’re a woman between the ages of, let’s say, 25 and 35, but Sailor Moon has been re-subtitled and is now available on Hulu, with two episodes being released a week. And this will go all the way through the end of the series, which means lots of stuff that never aired, dubbed, in the U.S., and it will be a lot more faithful to the original.1 I adored the show when it originally aired in the U.S., so of course I have been watching it, and the thing is, even

More Links

I have been thinking a lot about this blog and why I never, ever use it, and there are a lot of reasons, most of them silly and personal (or personal because they’re too silly to share, to be more accurate). But I did semi-recently break down and start a tumblr, where I post a lot more. Most of it is reading/writing/publishing related, and it’s pretty rad because I can share the very smart (and/or clever) things other people are saying, as well as toss up my own thoughts when I have ’em. So that’s here: beckytext. (Why not allreb?

On Female Characters: This Isn’t Highlander. There Can Be More Than One.

So if there’s one thing I’ve focused on a lot in my six years of occasionally blogging, it’s female characters. Because aside from my own writing, I’m a huge consumer of media, I’m a feminist, and I care a lot about the way women are represented across media. So: female characters. I think about them a lot. And thus, non-shockingly, of the roughly seven billionty blogs that I read regularly, a fair amount discuss female characters. This makes me happy: a lot of other people care, too! And it’s interesting. Reading other people’s thoughts have helped me sharpen and figure

Thoughts on the Female Character Flow Chart

Last week, mlawski at Overthinking It posted a graphic titled The Female Character Flow Chart. I saw it, thought, “Huh, interesting,” and that was that. Then a couple of days later one of my friends posted me towards some criticism of it, leading to discussion and more thinking on my part. I was surprised to see so much commentary on it because it never occurred to me that the chart was aimed at someone like me, who already spends time thinking about the representation of women in the media. I don’t think good intentions (which I assume mlawski had) or

Quick Gripe

So while waiting for the subway this morning, I noticed a post for Lifetime’s Army Wives. Okiedokie. And when I looked up, right across from it, was a poster for the forthcoming Basketball Wives from VH1. O…kay then. And these after a few years of Bravo’s various Real Housewives of X series, which itself was following on the heels of Desperate Housewives. I am all for shows, be they scripted drama or docu-drama-reality-whatever, about the lives of interesting women! Neato! But really, must they be women defined entirely by their marital status? Whatever.