Friday, May 20, 2011

Adventures in Google Searches

To the woman (I'm assuming) who found my blog by googling "Pinot Grigio Lesbian" - please contact me here or via twitter. I MUST know what you were actually looking for, and I think I maybe love you.

ALSO! New post next week - a femme reads Ivan E. Coyote. Stay tuned!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Gorgeous Women Reading Books

Dorothy Surrenders, we love you.

Go here for the full post (believe me, it's worth it!).

"Books on Figuring Out if Your [sic] Gay"

Blogging tools are dangerously addictive. Not only do they tell me that a bunch of you lovely lesbian ladies are from Russia. Hello! Also, tumbler is apparently amazing, and I should get on that.

But the BEST time waster is following the Google search terms that get you here. Usually they're pretty unsurprising: "lesbian book review blogs" or "is huntress a lesbian book."

Yesterday, however, we had a visit from a new member of the tribe, who found us by googling "books on figuring out if your gay."


This is, honestly, a sort of awesome question - if you think you might be gay, what could you read to "find out?"

As I've admitted on this blog, I had my first "aha, oh, I'm a lesbian, that makes so much sense" moment after watching But I'm a Cheerleader. Seriously. I know. Also, any excuse to post that gif.

Fiction gives you access to a world outside your own daily life, and what you find there can alter the way you perceive everything.

So, I have a few recommendations, because that is what I do. First of all, watch But I'm a Cheerleader and read a few issues of Curve. Then, give these books a go:

It Gets Better. Not fiction, but you may see yourself in the experiences of others. Or you might not. Either way, everyone on the gay-lesbian-queer-questioning-trans spectrum should read this book. (Questioning - that's you! You're included!)

Another Life Altogether. Review here. Gorgeously written and captures that sense that something amazing and wonderful and maybe a little (maybe a lot) scary is different about you.

Map of Ireland. Review (listicle, actually) here. A different kind of coming of age story, but just as valid and poignant.


Stone Butch Blues. Recommended by our favorite butch blogger, Bren of Buzzcuts and Bustiers.

And you, dear readers? What books would you recommended to our new friend? Let me know in the comments or on twitter @litlesbian, and I'll be sure to share!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

THE BIG LESBIAN SUMMER PROJECT (So many exclamation points...)

Announcement time! We're writing a book! You! And me! And it's going to be amazing!

But we need money to do it, and thanks to Kickstarter, where there's a will, there's a way. Yes this means I'll be occasionally begging like an NPR fudraiser. I'm sorry. But, it's only for a month, and in the meantime, I promise one new lesbian book review per week!

Please support (and join in on) this project, tentatively titled "Create and publish the best damn lesbian novel ever written" because we don't really do subtlety around these parts. 

And, like NPR, you get gifts when you donate!

  • Special access as the book is written!
  • Name one of the characters after your lady love! Or, even better, after your ex. 
  • A night out on the town! With me! I'm so much fun. C'mon, my hobby is reviewing lesbian books. HOW COULD I NOT BE FUN?

And much more...

The basics:

So you're a lesbian, or you like lesbians. And you read books about lesbians, just like all of us over on Literally Lesbian Book Review
Join the editor of Literally Lesbian (that's me!) as we crowdsource the characters, plot, and "new lesbian fiction rules" to create your new favorite lesbian novel. 
The Rules (so far):
  • Not all the lesbians are ladies who pass as straight ladies! Crazy!
  • Gold star lesbians present and included!
  • No one is trying to get pregnant! 
  • There are butches! And they date femmes! And other butches!
  • Women of color!
  • No one comes out of the closet! Shockingly, the gays know they're gay and the straights know they're straight before the story begins.
How it works
  • If we're fully funded by June 1, the project website will launch, and the writing/planning process will begin. 
  • Your writer promises one chapter completed per week. Ten dollars gets you access to the writing as it's completed. (Ugly as it may be. Seriously, first drafts are terrible and awesome in a can't look away car wreck kind of way.) 
  • Beyond the rewards below, followers of Literally Lesbian on twitter (@litlesbian) and followers of the project blog will be invited to weigh in on plot/character/scene development and add their own twists and turns. 
  • The first draft will be completed by September 1, 2011. Then on to revisions. Query letters will go out no later than January 15. If we find a publisher, wonderful! You'll get updates as that process progresses. No publisher? No problem! We'll self-publish it and have copies available no later than June 2012. 
Thank you in advance for all your lezzie love and support - we're going to have a grand old time this summer!
PS: Have an idea for a reward you don't see here? Contact me here or tweet it to me @litlesbian.

Please support the project and spread the word! 
We love word spreading!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Literally Lesbian Review: Malinda Lo's Huntress

Note: This review is safe for all audiences and is Completely Spoiler Free, as I have been informed that Huntress is not yet in bookstores outside the U.S., and many of you are from the UK, Australia, and Russia. Lezzie love to all of you!

I’ll admit it: I have a crush on Malinda Lo. She was one of my favorite writers for AfterEllen (you can read her articles here), and then she went and wrote and published Ash, a lesbian twist on the classic Cinderella tale.

And now she’s back with Huntress, which I read in one glorious responsibility-free weekend, and it was scrumptious in a way only YA can be. (It goes very well with warm Spring afternoons and a cold glass of Pinot Grigio. Okay, a cold bottle of Pinot Grigio.) It’s not perfect, but it’s certainly worth your time, and it belongs in every school library in the world.

First though, let’s talk about the problems. I edit a great deal of Young Adult fantasy fiction (I have absolutely no idea how I fell into this particular niche market, but life is strange and wonderful), so I already spend a decent amount of time immersed in this market. 

Huntress suffers from a nagging issue plaguing the YA world: Book Number One Syndrome. I could be wrong (and Malinda, please feel free to correct me and make my life by letting me know you actually read my blog), but I got the distinct impression that one of two things happened here.

  1. This book is the first book in a pre-plotted series, so Ms. Lo held back on some of the action for the purposes of setting up the next book. Or
  2.  The book was originally much longer, but was cut into two books, the second of which we’ll see as a sequel sometime next year.

After a rip-roaring start, the book stalls in the middle, and the end is a bit of a muddle, with a brand new plot line popping up in the last few pages.

All that said, it’s a good read, and you should do your duty and buy it for all the baby dykes in your life today. If you’ve been reading Literally Lesbian since the (problematic) beginning, you know my feelings on the ridiculous number of coming out plotlines in Lesbian Literature. Malinda has created a world in which coming out isn’t even an issue for her coming-of-age characters, and that’s something to celebrate.

In the world of Huntress (and Ash), kissing/liking/falling in love with girls is no big thing and is treated like any other kiss/crush/love. And considering this book was published by Little Brown, a major YA publisher, that is a very, very big deal. It’s a world we all wish we grew up in, and that we hope for the future – when a seventeen-year-old girl doesn’t bat an eye when she falls in love with another girl, because really, why not? There are fairies to fight!

Description from Malinda Lo's website:

"Nature is out of balance in the human world. The sun hasn’t shone in years, and crops are failing. Worse yet, strange and hostile creatures have begun to appear. The people’s survival hangs in the balance.

To solve the crisis, the oracle stones are cast, and Kaede and Taisin, two seventeen-year-old girls, are picked to go on a dangerous and unheard-of journey to Taninli, the city of the Fairy Queen. Taisin is a sage, thrumming with magic, and Kaede is of the earth, without a speck of the otherworldly. And yet the two girls’ destinies are drawn together during the mission. As members of their party succumb to unearthly attacks and fairy tricks, the two come to rely on each other and even begin to fall in love. But the Kingdom needs only one huntress to save it, and what it takes could tear Kaede and Taisin apart forever.
The exciting adventure prequel to Malinda Lo’s highly acclaimed novel Ash is overflowing with lush Chinese influences and details inspired by the I Ching, and is filled with action and romance."