Female Friendships

I was hoping to do a post today entitled: ALL THE COLORS Pt. 2.

Obviously I’m not doing that, which is because I haven’t yet attempted what I planned to attempt in ALL THE COLORS. I’m still planning it, but I haven’t got all my supplies out of the boxes they’re in yet. I’ll try it out at some point, hopefully soon.

So instead, I’m going to be writing a post about the importance of female friendships in novels, and in life. This is inspired by Vampire Academy coming out in two days, which I am EXTREMELY excited about.

Most of the reading I do is in the YA genre. I don’t always WRITE in that genre (it’s a bit difficult for me to keep the cursing to a minimum [depending on how badly a character wants to do it] and wondering about the line where *cough* other things are concerned), but I prefer to read in it. My reasons for doing as much aren’t related to this post, so I’m not going to get into that because I’m trying to stay on subject with the new schedule. (Is mentioning something getting into it?)

One of my largest problems (it’s not the only one) with the genre is the lack of female friendships that the heroines have in their lives. More often than not, it seems to be piling a bunch of males in with the one female to develop (sometimes) meaningful relationships and friendships with. If there are females, they seem to be put on the back-burner and are more for keeping up appearances rather than adding any sort of legitimate substance. They’re underutilized, in my opinion. (Kind of like something else, which I will probably get to in another post.)

I’ll completely admit that writing female friendships is a tricky thing. When you’re female, you KNOW how tricky female friendships can get, especially around the age when YA main characters are. I’ll also admit that the male/female friendship ratio I tend to work with is usually pretty indicative that I personally find friendships with males easier. BUT, there’s a quality over quantity aspect. And I will say that in any series I’ve finished, the main female character has AT LEAST ONE extremely meaningful friendship with another female. Doesn’t necessarily happen in the first book of a series, doesn’t necessarily not happen in the first book of a series, but it happens at some point (thus far). It happens because . . . that happens in life. I also believe it’s important.

I think for younger females, it’s good for them to see that friendships with other girls can be healthy. It doesn’t have to be backstabbing and all the other nonsense that comes along with being 16-18 years old (and younger, and older). I think it’s good for them to see that. It’s true that you don’t always get back what you put into a friendship, but sometimes you do.

While I’ve always made friends easier with males (for the most part), some of the most meaningful connections I have in my life are with females. Females communicate together in a way that you just . . . don’t get with males. And no, it’s not all make up and clothes (but yes, that’s fun).

I have no problem saying that Aster eventually develops several meaningful relationships with females in the Reave series (apart from Agatha). Some of them come later into the game than others, but they help her grow as a ‘person’. These females (I’m not giving them away) help her in ways no one else ever could.

I say writing female friendships isn’t any trickier than writing love entanglements. No, they’re not as ‘appealing’, but by god . . . they’re real.

And that’s one thing I loved about the Vampire Academy series (apart from Rose being badass, which she was). Rose and Lissa, whatever connection aside, have one of the deepest friendships I’ve ever read. No matter what boys get thrown into the mix, or what crap, they are always there for each other. I think that’s beautiful, and I think it’s important.

When you have girlfriends and you throw boys into the mix, things can get a bit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . difficult. When you’re young, a lot of times you think the boy is the one that matters, and don’t get me wrong, they matter in their ways. It’s usually not ways you realize at the time.

You might cry on a male friend’s shoulder when you’re falling to pieces over a boy. I know I did my fair share of that when I was younger (A BIG SORRY here to any of you who had to deal with that), but it’s different when you’re sprawled out on your best female friend’s bed, a complete wreck. There’s no, “I knew this was going to happen.”

That comes later, if ever. Usually not.

Girlfriends know you don’t want to hear that garbage, especially when you’re in pieces (you probably did know and don’t need reminding). All you want to do is cry about some jerkface who probably didn’t deserve your time or the tears you’re crying over him anyhow.

I’m not devaluing one sort of friendship and talking up the other. Some of my best friends in the world are male, and I would not give up those friendships for anything, but neither would I with my female friendships. What I’m saying is that it’s all important.

There’s really not much that compares to the bonds females can form with one another, especially in the fueled flames of adolescence. I can easily say that, being well past that time, I’m glad to see it over. That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate it for what it was, or the people involved. But it’s easy to look back and realize that you take things for granted when you’re young.

So hug your girlfriends and always remember . . . they can’t be replaced. And those connections? They deserve to be written about. They deserve so much more than what they’re given.

Thank you Richelle Mead for doing a fantastic job of that when it seems to be so rare in the genre.

(Also, on a completely unrelated note: I’m trying to get an actual SCHEDULE made up for reading people’s blogs on here. It’s taking me longer than I want it to with all the work I’m doing, but I AM working on it. Please be patient with me until that time, and then I’ll actually have a daily schedule for it to hold myself to.)

🙂

ALL THE COLORS (Wednesday Randomness)

I’d had every intention of spending the entire night editing and just getting to my Wednesday post this afternoon (evening, or whenever I woke up), but . . . my wrist hurts from writing so much. So here I am!

For my Wednesday Randomness post, I’m really going to talk about something completely random . . . ish. No, there’s no ish about it.

To explain, I have to talk about work (just for a second!).

I print my books out to edit them because I would honestly rather not read anything on a screen if I didn’t have to, and I’ve found I’m able to catch more when it’s actually on paper.

I use gel pens to edit. You know . . . the really inky ones (not the ones that write thin) that feel like you’re writing with air? I also have pretty big handwriting in general, so needless to say, I go through A LOT of pens. (Writing a bit larger than normal comes in handy when inputting changes, I should add to my own defense.)

All in all I’ve gone through an UNGODLY amount of pens from editing over the past several years. But I’ll be totally honest, I just love seeing the pretty colors. (What?) Getting new pens is like Christmas for me, only better. I get to organize them in the order I want them used (OCD much?) and all sorts of fun things. And I do love moving from one color to the next.

I’ve thought a lot about the trees I’m killing with editing (I love trees), but I hadn’t really thought about all the pens. Mostly because I save them (WHAT?) and have full intention to recycle them at some unknown point in time. Probably after I’ve accumulated a number of them that goes past ungodly and into the realm of, “I don’t even know what to call this.”

But I had a thought earlier.

You see . . . one of my hobbies is making make up. (I haven’t done in quite a while, partially due to lack of time and partially because . . . . . . . . . erm . . . . . . the amount I already have is startling . . . and partially because I’m always in pajamas. Meaning: no makeup on.) This is related to pens, just hold on.

I had a bit of . . . . um . . . we’ll call it an obsession a while back. That’s putting it lightly because I can’t tell you how many times my husband has heard me say, “I WANT ALL THE COLORS.” (Yes, that is exactly what I ran around saying.) The problem (which is also the awesome thing about it) is that when you make your own eyeshadow . . . there is an ENDLESS amount of colors. You can mix them to make new colors. You can do all sorts of things. The possibilities (color-wise) have NO LIMIT. (Also make nail polish, but I’m still on a biting streak [ :/ ] so I guess that shouldn’t even count because I CAN’T use it.)

Anyway, I don’t know what made me think of it, but I looked at my husband and asked, “Do you think the metallic gel pens are basically just mica?”

They LOOK like mica. (All this time it’s taken for me to think, “Hey . . . this looks like that.” >.o)

So now I have this crazy idea in my head that I want to use some of that mica to attempt making my own ink and refilling my gel pens.

ALL THE COLORS.

*cough*

I looked it up and apparently you can mix the mica with aloe vera and it will make ink. (?????? Weird.) But I’m kind of . . . . . . dense when it comes to making things work, and I don’t know how to get the ink into the pen (if it would actually BE ink).

But I’ve got all this mica (ALL THE COLORS) that I could do this with. I think it would be fun. I might try it, even though it would put a halt on the ‘don’t know what to call this’ goal.

I’m SO glad I have a husband that doesn’t care if I make an entire room sparkly (XBox and all accessories included).

If I actually do this, I will say something about it on here. And if I figure it out, I might share the knowledge. There’s pretty much nothing about that on the internet (obviously a lot of people have no interest in this specific thing), but maybe it might help someone out later.

I should add:

The likelihood of me actually figuring out how to get the ‘ink’ in the pen and making it work is . . . pretty much nonexistent. (My brain doesn’t work that way.)

ALL THE COLORS.

*eyetwitch*

Please excuse me while I stand in the ‘defeat corner’ . . . (Wednesday Randomness)

My newest plan has been foiled by an unexpected foe: Cold

(Isn’t that the way plans go? Yes, I know as much, but I still plan everything anyway.)

Obviously, it’s winter, and obviously Cold is expected to some degree (bad pun?). I’m not that stupid (Debatable after the pun? Does it help that it wasn’t intentional?), and trust me when I say that Cold and I are WELL acquainted.

Many of you know that I work in a shed. It’s a pretty nice shed. It has an AC that works well enough to keep Hot at bay in the summer (as long as I stick to my nocturnal schedule) and it’s well-equipped with measures to prevent Weather from causing too much trouble for me year-round, apart from insulation, which I’m sure would help IMMENSELY. But preventative measures only go so far, especially without insulation. And when Cold decides to strike rather than hang around, I only have two choices.

I can (not) grin and bear it, use up my supply of tissues due to my nose constantly leaking fluid (which seems to be more water than anything that typically constitutes as ‘nose fluid’), have my two heaters on full blast (until the breaker blows and leaves me in the dark for a bit), have my fish hand warmers (yes, they’re fish – one of the best gifts ever) on both hands (until I need to smoke or write something down at least, which requires alternating removal). I can handle it most days. I can (not) grin and be totally fine because I’m working and that’s what I love doing, even when my fingers feel like they’re going to break off anytime I touch anything. It’s fine.

It’s all fine until Cold actually strikes. I can (not) grin and sit here with all those things above, while my heaters try in futility to keep the temperature JUST ABOVE what it is past the second (first?) line of defense against Weather (and risk getting myself legitimately sick during). OR I can stop being so freaking stubborn, go inside, and be warm (apart from when I have to come outside to smoke and/or take my dog out).

Sounds like a good time, yes? Yes, it really does.

The thing is . . . I don’t TAKE time off. I might take a bit of time here or there to watch some TV with Husband. I might take off a bit here to chat with a friend or two (sometimes I multitask during, which only partially counts – either as work, or time off [and I suck so bad at multitasking that it’s hardly either thing]), or a bit there to do things that people have to do (eat, sleep, etc.) . . .

When I’m not working, I’m THINKING about working. I’m thinking about all the things I need to do, formulating a ‘plan of attack’ (an order to do those things). So time off really isn’t ‘time off’ for me. I’m either working in my head or feeling guilty about all the things I should be doing instead.

I haven’t taken a full day with no guilt in . . . I can’t even remember. (Guilt = not ‘time off’ . . . Planning = not ‘time off’ . . . An Hour or Two = not ‘time off’ because that is NOT enough to relax me)

I took one yesterday. A full day where I did nothing but watch some TV with my husband, and played hours upon hours of video games. I woke up and saw the temperature on my phone and basically said . . . well, I’m not going to say what I ‘said’ here because I try not to say anything too bad . . .

It was a series of four-letter words though, and I think that’s enough to go on . . .

Anyway, yesterday was pretty spectacular (and, alright, alright, I did do a bit of catching up on Twitter INSIDE [that was weird]). It was really nice to say, “I’ll do it later,”  while thinking, “I’ll do it later and that’s fine.” Rather than saying, “I’ll do it later,” while thinking, “OMGINEEDTOBEDOINGTHISRIGHTNOWHOWCANIBETAKINGTIMEOFFOMG.”

It was nice, and it really made me see that I . . . need to take breaks. I need to spend more time with my husband than eating and watching an episode or two of Modern Family during. I need to do that. I need to let myself enjoy things other than WORK. So . . . I think I’m going to start taking at least one day off every week, to spend with Husband. I think that will be good for my sanity (I’m also sure it would make him happy, and that’s a very good thing).

Unfortunately I woke up today and Weather had changed only the tiniest bit. Knowing I needed to get some things done today, I trudged out to Shed and thought, “I can stick it out for a few hours.”

Also unfortunately, a series of events happened which frustrated me to no end and I found myself thinking a set of words I never, ever think.

I just can’t be bothered with this right now.

(It didn’t help that the last time I’d been working with Herald [my laptop], I essentially stormed off in a fit of frustration, which MIGHT have carried over . . .)

So I went back inside, played more games, ate an unhealthy amount of white cheddar popcorn while playing those games (I’ve got skills, and apparently was lacking self-control today), made dinner with Husband, then came back out here now. And honestly . . . I’m still feeling like I can’t be bothered (Word is driving me insane).

Anyway, obviously Cold has hindered my plans to catch up on here (among about fifty other things I need to do), but like all things, it will pass and like all things, I will get it done. I will (not) grin and bear as much as I can of Cold until it decides to just hang out rather than punch me in the face. Then I WILL grin (no parenthetical aside needed) and not bear anything more than a ridiculous workload that seems like it will never, EVER lighten.

By the way, I sincerely hope no one is as cold as I am right now.

(I know it’s not Wednesday, but obviously I wasn’t out here to write this Wednesday, and this was ABOUT Wednesday, so . . . WEDNESDAY.)