A sense of place

The first chapter of my serialized novelA Coven in Essex County, was published last month, and the second chapter was published recently. It’s probably about time I made a post about them.

In the first chapters, I attempted to create a sense of place, to highlight the town and a confined space within it. The Bridgeford Manor is a looming building in Innsmouth’s historic landscape. It was built on a fortune earned through negotiation with beings more ancient than Innsmouth’s occupants.

I don’t think I did a particularly good job. It’s too bad, because some of my favorite books employ well developed domiciles to house their stories. I’ve decided to make a brief list of inspirations:

White is for Witching, Helen Oyeyemi

Set in a bed and breakfast in Dover, White is for Witching is a creepy, erotic, chilling, and strangely comforting story of girls and women making their own places and bodily interactions.

Paradise, Toni Morrison

A New York Times article described Paradise as being about “Worthy Women, Unredeemable Men.” I cannot agree entirely, but this story about women making their own lives after existences defined by men, and the interloping forces of the community that seeks to engulf and control them, paints a varied and complex picture that is defined by and expands well beyond the house it is set in.

The Blind Assassin, Margaret Atwood

The Blind Assassin is about much more than a childhood home, but some of the lush flashbacks in the novel are set against a richly imagined house that becomes more symbolic than its mythologically inspired decorations as the protagonist ages.

Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte

I’m not linking Jane Eyre, because… it’s Jane freaking Eyre. (And I doubt Bronte’s collecting those royalty checks.) There’s a lot to be said about this classic. Namely by me, on uncomfortable dates, after 2 or more glasses of wine. But one thing that is not talked about enough: the role houses play in the novel, before and after Lowood. Described in no small detail, the buildings where Jane lives with the families she is thrust into play as much a role housing her feelings as her drab wardrobe and quiet mannerisms.

That’s all for now.

J.M.

Announcement

It’s old news at this point, but on June 21st, the emerging literary website Visitant. However, I failed to post it on my author blog, so here it is: The official announcement!

Visitant will be publishing my novel, “A Coven in Essex County”, in serialized monthly installments. You can read the first one here: https://visitantlit.com/2016/06/21/a-coven-in-essex-county-part-1/

I completed this novel last year, and the bulk was written while I was working in a museum in the Rocky Mountains. It’s set in the fictional town of Innsmouth, Massachusetts invented by H.P. Lovecraft. The story’s intro has a pretty good overview, so I won’t rehash that, but I am so excited to share these women’s stories.

As each installment is posted, I will also be sharing a little bit about the research that went into the book, or about the personal experiences that inspired each chapter/woman. Be assured that I have been all of these women, as cheesy as that sounds. The circumstances are often far outside my own (for instance, I have never been married, much less against my will), but their reactions to them, their personalities, often have much in common with myself.

Please, enjoy!

J.M.

Nexus Game Fair and Beyond

I published an article on FemHype about my experience at Nexus Game Fair this weekend. Unfortunately, due to a lack of response about a tentacle rape game featured at the convention, I do not think I will be returning.

It was still a time to meet great people and learn some new games, and for that I am grateful.

I am working on a long-form article on trauma in games right now, and pulled some excellent suggestions on Twitter. Working through my contacts to get game designers’ input before compiling all of the information!

Here are two self portraits I took at Lincoln Park Zoo yesterday:

J.M.

Masques, and also Murder (and a little costuming)

I reviewed the indie game Masques and Murder! for the excellent website Femhype. Check it out, and if you think you might like the game, go throw your money at it! (Okay, don’t throw your money at your computer. Put numbers into the “pay what you will” box. It’s sort of like a calculator.) I truly enjoyed the game, and can recommend it wholeheartedly.Continue reading “Masques, and also Murder (and a little costuming)”

Discussing Race through Music Videos

A critique I wrote of the Rihanna video for BBHMM was published on Bitch Flicks called “Horror, White Bodies, and Feminism in ‘Bitch Better have My Money’.” That’s what it’s about: the use of white bodies and thematic elements of horror in the video. When it comes to film critique, there is a lot to talk about. I had to pare down the elements I wanted to focus on, and avoided discussing other films, directors, and art pieces the video references.Continue reading “Discussing Race through Music Videos”

Tabletop Gaming and Personal Identity

I wrote a piece of the rad website FemHype on my experience at the Nexus Game Fair outside Milwaukee at the end of June, and my experiences at conventions in general. There’s a lot more to be said about my experiences as a woman that grew up gaming and going to cons, but I don’t have the time to focus on that right now. Until then, the article will suffice in place of more in depth explorations- Gamemastering Tabletop Sexism: When Conventions Require Defense Tactics.Continue reading “Tabletop Gaming and Personal Identity”

On Women and Mining

I have just finished an internship at a history museum in the intermountain Western United States. The museum primarily deals with mining, since that is what brought many white settlers into the area. Every historical scholarship community has its accepted tropes and narratives, and this small town was no different. Naturally, the first thing I did upon arriving was dive into learning the history and tearing apart those narratives.Continue reading “On Women and Mining”

Poem Published on PDXX Collective

Today, May 15th, a poem I wrote was published on PDXX Collective with lovely art by Tina Bell Vance. The collective was started in Portland, Oregon, and features feminist writers from a variety of backgrounds. Posts come in a variety of forms and analyze political and women’s issues.Continue reading “Poem Published on PDXX Collective”

On the Ute and NW Shoshone in North West Utah

I wrote this article for the museum currently employing me. It’s about the groups of people moving through and living for part of the year in Park City area before white settlement. It has been published in the Park Record:Continue reading “On the Ute and NW Shoshone in North West Utah”