A Pageant of Authors – Q7 & Q8

Just imagine that she’s me and there’s something you wanna know, but I don’t wanna talk about it. What would you do?”

“You want me to beat it out of her?”

– Miss Congeniality

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Question #7: Which word do you not like to hear at all? Why?  The responses to this one were really interesting. Overall, the verdict is that writers don’t like C-words. There’s more than one C-word we hate, though.

“That four-letter C-word applied to women and their genitals. I know it’s frequently used in erotic romance today, but I’ve heard it more often as an insult to women, so it has a bad connotation for me. That’s why you’ll never see it in my work. I don’t judge others for using it, but that’s my bugaboo.”

– Allie Ritch

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“C*nt is the most derogatory word I can think of. I hate hearing it and seeing it in a book, makes me throw the book at the wall. I HATE it.”

– Cynthia Woolf
Website: http://www.cynthiawoolf.com
Blog: http://www.cynthiawoolf.com/blog

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“There is one bad ‘c’ word that I just hate, hate, hate. It’s demeaning and distasteful.”

– Pam Labud/Leigh Curtis
Website: www.pamlabud.net
Website: http://www.pamlabud.net

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“Um, I can’t even TYPE it, I find it so offensive. It’s a nasty, slang term for a female body part.”

– Pippa Jay
Blog: http://pippajay.blogspot.com/
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5054558.Pippa_Jay

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“‘Can’t’ is such a nasty word. Think positive and ‘TRY’!”

– Casey Crow
Website: www.caseycrow.com

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“‘Can’t’  I hate it when people say can’t, because if you think you can’t, you’re right. So much of what we do is mental. If you think you can, then you’ll most likely find a way.”

– Jami Davenport
Website: http://www.jamidavenport.com/

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“Can’t. It limits you.”

– Selena Illyria
Website: www.selenaillyria.com
Amazon Central: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B0075NG31K

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“Can’t, ‘cause you usually can.”

– Jianne Carlo
Website: www.jiannecarlo.com

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“‘Try’ or any version (tried, trying).”

– A. R. Norris
Blog: http://sci-fiadventures.blogspot.com/

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“Should…oh boy, I say it enough in my head, but really, should I take that word seriously?”

– Viki Lyn
Website: http://www.vikilyn.com
Blog: http://www.vikilynromance.blogspot.com

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“I hate the word no. When I hear it, I black out and wake up in a pile of drool and chocolate wrappers. LOL I really hate the word no. It is so final. And in my philosophy there are only two sure things—death and taxes. No means that there are no other options. That goes against my dogmatic nature. But I believe in that finality, it would make me not want to try. No is a bad word… unless it is used in some situations when someone is impugning your personal rights. Then scream no to the rafters.”

– Stephanie Burke
Website/Blog: http://theflashcat.wordpress.com/

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“‘No.’ Because usually that means I’m not going to get something I want.”

– Clancy Nacht
Website: http://clancynacht.com/
Amazon: http://astore.amazon.com/charlottesome-20

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“Sorry (we’re out of ice cream.) Oops, that’s more than one word.”

– Tarah Scott
Website: http://www.tarahscott.com/

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“‘Discoverability.’ I hear it all the time. It’s awkward, jargon-y—and important.”

– Kate Rothwell/Summer Devon
Website: http://katerothwell.com
Website: http://summerdevon.com

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“Can I have words instead? I hate the phrase, ‘You need to understand that…’ They use it all the time on TV shows and it drives me insane. It’s such a controlling phrase. Why don’t they just say what it is they want the character to know?”

– Jaleta Clegg
Website: www.jaletac.com
Blog: http://jaletaclegg.blogspot.com

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“Gay, but only in a negative context, such as ‘That’s so gay.’ It’s the equivalent of the ‘n’ word or disparaging someone’s intelligence. All names that name one group lower than others remind me strongly of the Holocaust.”

– Emily Carrington
Website: www.emilycarrington.com

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“Faggot, because most of the time you hear it said by a homophobe, and someone who condemns another for loving who they love is not a person I want to know.”

– Cassandra Carr
Website: http://www.booksbycassandracarr.com

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“Words are meant to communicate. Almost any word is acceptable if it’s used to convey something that’s not hateful or threatening. The words I object to, however, are ones I can barely manage to type here because they epitomize hatred to me on such a dark and dangerous level. The ‘n’ word, for one, and anything having to do with Nazism makes me sick to my stomach.”

– Tibby Armstrong
Website: http://www.tibbyarmstrong.com

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“Besides words used as racial slurs, I like pretty much all words.”

– Lynn Lorenz
Website: www.lynnlorenz.com

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“Not sure. If I don’t like something I either turn away from it, take steps to change it, or investigate the reason why I don’t like it so I understand and can change it.”

– Qwillia Rain
Website: www.authorqwilliarain.com
Blog: http://authorqwilliarain.blogspot.com

*

*

Question #8: According to you, what is femininity?

“Hey, we all know from Kindergarten on that boys and girls are different. To me, femininity is not a stereotype or a constrained way of being, but it is that indefinable quality that unites our gender. Femininity can be soft or strong, nurturing or tough, dominant or submissive, but it will always have a different energy and flavor to it than masculinity.”

– Allie Ritch

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“Femininity is caring enough about yourself to be proud to be a woman and not want to be a man. I may want to be as physically strong as a man but that’s all. I like being a woman. I have the mental and emotional strength that men don’t have.”

– Cynthia Woolf
Website: http://www.cynthiawoolf.com
Blog: http://www.cynthiawoolf.com/blog

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“Strength, Intelligence, sensuality, courage, cleverness, creativity and emotion.”

– Selena Illyria
Website: www.selenaillyria.com
Amazon Central: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B0075NG31K

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“Passion.”

– Jianne Carlo
Website: www.jiannecarlo.com

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“Femininity is the rendering of your gender or sexuality in your actions and words. It’s different for everybody because each person sees their gender/sexuality as something different.”

– Cassandra Carr
Website: http://www.booksbycassandracarr.com

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“Femininity is a way of relating to the world that rounds off the hard edges. It softens even as it strengthens. A woman can be tough, but if after she’s done kicking ass and taking names she enjoys reading a romance novel in the bath? She’s as feminine as they come!”

– Tibby Armstrong
Website: http://www.tibbyarmstrong.com

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“Ack! That is a hard one to define. But for me, I guess femininity is the ability to accept and understand the part of me that is not the aggressor. Not to say femininity is weak or meek—I am a mother who has had to defend her children before and there is nothing weak about the way I went about it. More like the part of me that desires the calm and peace, the part that wants to be protected until I am ready to fight again, the part that knows and accepts my weaknesses and accepts they make up the facets of my femininity.”

– Stephanie Burke
Website/Blog: http://theflashcat.wordpress.com/

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“I believe femininity is when a woman has the self-confidence to feel sexy. No matter her age, size, or what she’s wearing, nothing is hotter or more feminine than when she gives her man a saucy smile.”

– Casey Crow
Website: www.caseycrow.com

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“Being independent, strong and compassionate.”

– Viki Lyn
Website: http://www.vikilyn.com
Blog: http://www.vikilynromance.blogspot.com

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“Femininity is not working to prove you’re not feminine for fear of being perceived as weak if you show a softer side.”

– Tarah Scott
Website: http://www.tarahscott.com/

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“Long answer: Quiet strength, strong touch with the inner female (compassionate, loving, understanding, patient, etc). Short answer: the opposite of me.”

– A. R. Norris
Blog: http://sci-fiadventures.blogspot.com/

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“It should mean being happy and confident in yourself as a woman and not being defined by your body size, shape, or someone’s unrealistic idea of beauty or behaviour.”

– Pippa Jay
Blog: http://pippajay.blogspot.com/
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5054558.Pippa_Jay

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“Ah, this is a good one. I didn’t realize what a big struggle I had with this until I wrote my SF series. The main character, Dace, grew up in a society where womanhood and anything associated with it meant second-class status, if that. Women were for creating the next generation of workers. When Dace escapes that world, she refutes anything that has to do with being female—she chops her hair short, wears baggy coveralls, and doesn’t have a clue how to handle a man being interested in her. Book 2, which will be coming out—I just got the contract signed, deals partly with her learning to be a little more feminine. I’ve had similar struggles, at least in my head. I love science and math and taking things apart. I’m a geek. I was voted an honorary guy by a group of male friends once and was very flattered by it. But as I grow older, I’ve come to terms with my female side. I’m still not big into makeup, hair, and shoes, but I’m happy with who I am these days.”

– Jaleta Clegg
Website: www.jaletac.com
Blog: http://jaletaclegg.blogspot.com

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“Whatever it wants to be. Often there’s an XX chromosome involved, but not always.”

– Kate Rothwell/Summer Devon
Website: http://katerothwell.com
Website: http://summerdevon.com

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“A confidence in yourself and sticking to what you want out of life. It includes knowing your strengths and weaknesses and being willing to ask for help when you need it.”

– Qwillia Rain
Website: www.authorqwilliarain.com
Blog: http://authorqwilliarain.blogspot.com

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“Inner beauty, inner strength, a sense of humor, and the good grace to make everyone welcome.”

– Lynn Lorenz
Website: www.lynnlorenz.com

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“Anything pink? Just kidding. I’m with Leslie Feinberg on this one: it’s like masculinity: a narrow term which needs to be expanded. Or, failing that, it needs to be one term among dozens that women and men can use to describe themselves without fear.”

– Emily Carrington
Website: www.emilycarrington.com

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“Oh, I love this question! Femininity is power! It’s the soft curve of a round hip, the smell of honeysuckle in a strand of hair, the way a woman looks down and to the left when she asks her hero to kiss her because he’s too nervous to offend her sensibilities. It’s the way crimson lipstick is left on the rim of a white coffee mug, the way direct eye contact tells him more than words ever could. It’s that precious moment when her ass sinks against the mattress and the gorgeous man presses his hips against her to enter her for the first time. Yeah, femininity kicks ass!”

– Pauline Allan
Website/Blog: www.paulineallan.com

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“An arcane concept meant for a binary world. Horribly outdated, often used for repression. The yoke of the man. Maybe I should change my answer to number 7, because this word is really pissing me off.”

– Clancy Nacht
Website: http://clancynacht.com/
Amazon: http://astore.amazon.com/charlottesome-20

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“Femininity is the expression of the softer, more giving side of humanity.”

– Cara Bristol
Website: http://www.carabristol.com

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“I think it’s embracing what it is to be female. It’s certainly the challenge we face in a gender separated world. We are equal to men, but we are still different. Our brains work different, we have more complicated thought processes. I think you can be a strong and smart woman and still be feminine. It’s also motherhood and sisterhood. It’s the ability to express one’s emotions and not being afraid to speak and listen. We are so much more than just the estrogen brigade.”

– Pam Labud/Leigh Curtis
Website: www.pamlabud.net
Website: www.leighcurtis.net
*

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Fantastic answers, everybody. I think Pauline had one of the best definitions of femininity I’ve ever read, and Jaleta now has me super curious about her work.

Be sure to return for the last installment of interview questions. Whom do these authors identify with, and what are they looking forward to in the future? Find out next time.

14 responses to “A Pageant of Authors – Q7 & Q8

  1. I love this whole theme, Allie. And I agree with you on the one word for female parts. I can’t even type that one either! 🙂

    • Thanks, Jianne. Yeah, I didn’t have to think too hard to pick that word as the one I hate to hear. I was surprised, though, by just how many authors gave the same answer. That really tells you something about the way the word has been used.

  2. I purposely don’t use *that word* in my everyday langauge, so it’s definitely off my table too. I hadn’t realized how much I exclude it from my life until others mentioned it.

    • Now, see, that just goes to prove how many other great words there are to choose from. You didn’t even notice the absence of this one.

      I like what Tibby said about staying away from words that are hateful or threatening. I would add demeaning to that list, which is what that particular c-word says to me. There are some really bad “isms” out there, and this bit of vocabulary often falls under the category of sexism the way I’ve heard it.

  3. I love that there’s two ‘c’ words mentioned. Both are unlikeable. 😛

    • I agree. Both c-words have impact. Negative words like “can’t” and “no” affect us on a daily basis and can be really harmful to people who adopt them as a sort of mantra.

      I’m with Tarah on this one, too. I don’t want to hear, “Sorry, we’re out of ice cream.” Lack of ice cream can have a negative effect on my emotional stability, too, LOL.

  4. Great answers, everybody. Pauline, I especially liked your answer about femininity. Your answer was very sensual. Written just like an erotic romance author!

  5. Some people enjoy the “bad” c-word in a fetishistic sense. Masos who are into degradation etc. love to be called that word–it becomes a term of endearment. So there is always an audience. I’ve used it in a couple of my books, and they ended up being my two most popular books. Go figure. I agree that when it’s used in a cruel and derogatory way, it SUCKS.

    And ah, I love femininity. It’s one of things that differentiate women from men, and it’s a powerful, beautiful thing.

    thanks to all the authors for sharing their perspectives.

    • Thanks for sharing another perspective on this, Annabel. I hadn’t thought of the use of that word in that context.

      I think words, like actions, are fueled by intent. If by tone and context a given word is used as an endearment or a turn-on, then that’s the meaning it conveys. In other words, if the meaning is good, then the word is good. Kind of like the word “princess.” If she really is royalty or the hero or whoever regards her as something precious, then the word shows honor or endearment. If the speaker thinks she’s a spoiled brat, then the word becomes derogatory. I can see where the c-word might function the same way.

  6. Cheers and more cheers to all of you glorious writers who voiced distaste for words of hate – hate of others and ourselves. You are writers I want to read!

  7. I love this pageant theme, Allie! It’s been so much fun reading everyone else’s responses.

  8. Pingback: Most Popular Posts of 2012 | Allie Ritch, author

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