End of NaNoWriMo, Start of Something New

Congratulations to those that wrote during NaNoWriMo this year, and kudos to those that won!

This year, I did not beat NaNoWriMo. I did not finish last year, either. However, I did begin and get well into a new novel, which I am utterly smitten with. I feel successful, anyway.

"Party Girl" detail, completed October 2014
“Party Girl” detail, completed October 2014

I did not finish this year for several really good reasons. One was that I entered and took a prize in a local art show. It was completely unexpected that I would be accepted, much less win something, but more on that in a post very soon! I have also resigned from my day time job, in search of something more steady, better paying, and with a healthier workplace environment. These days, all of my writing time seems to go into cover letters.

During my unemployment (which is hopefully brief!) I plan to work on more art, and put an artwork tab on this blog. There are also plans to finish this novel, get further on the other two I am working on, and finish some stories I’ve been meaning to shop around. I’ve also got plans for a new blogging project (as always), and of course more regular updates to Babes in Armor.

An exciting thing to come out of this last November was the zine Chipped Beef #1. I was invited to contribute a piece about being a woman in punk by an old friend of mine, and was pleased with the resulting zine. The curator collected several stories and anecdotes by women that interact with punk spaces, or did in the past. We were asked to write between 100 and 200 words. I have posted mine below:

As a woman in a male-dominated space (and punk is a male-dominated space), I think it is fairly common to expect a certain low level of decorum and respect for personal boundaries. That’s sad, and it isn’t right, but as a 19 and 20 year old woman in my first and last punk outfit, I dealt with sexual harassment and assault as matter of factly as I observed my peers doing.

It is hard to pinpoint one overarching example of harassment in my year and a half with SluTron. Instead, I remember preparing for it with every show we played. I was groped in basements, hit on by sound techs, and even had my instruments locked up in the car of a guy that demanded we give him blowjobs (we didn’t). In these instances, I’d scream, I’d curse at them, once I even Judo-threw (best use of two weeks out of a semester) an ass-grabber in the middle of someone’s set. Most of all, I drew attention to it, and was generally supported when that happened. Then there were times I did not yell and scream, and that’s when I was alone and unable to protect myself against the men that dominated punk. I wonder sometimes if that’s how other women experience it.

For those interested in zines and punk culture, my favorite zine is the International Girl Gang Underground about the rise, fall, and problematic calls for a Pheonix-like revival of the Riot Grrl movement.

That’s all I’ve got for now. Keep writing, creating, or whatever it is you do!

Josephine.

PS Apologies to anyone that clicked on that link for a video of my first college band. It takes a refined ear, I know. Apologies to anyone that now clicked on the link while reading this post script.

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