Island Life, Word Birds & Process

In the aftermath of yesterday’s #WomensMarch events, I’m overwhelmed by how feminism is everywhere: living, working, moving; a river of loud, feisty, determined, courageous energy refusing to be silenced, clearly stating we can dare to dream of resurgence. These woman made feminism normal. They put two fingers up at misogyny, smiled their perfect smiles & roared as they did so.

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And I realise today I want this power in the books I read. I want it in the books I write.

In a recent conversation with a friend, we were discussing the central character in my third (WIP) book. She’s an older woman, living alone. Like that of the secondary character, no men feature romantically in her world & never have. There is a sense that men are contrary to both their natures. (You’re getting no more than this, dear reader – enjoy your speculation!) My friend pondered the ‘natural expression’ for the female, how men try to manipulate & exploit it. She used the term ‘feminist fiction’ purely in terms of a vehicle for writing the topic & not as a label per se for mine.

It gave me food for thought though. If it’s the responsibility of women writers to promote feminism, how do we accomplish it without coming across as shouty provocateurs? (So tired of that shit in any case.) Do we make it an actual campaign or, in the same way I write my lesbian characters, give it subtle shape & normalise it? I want feminism to be commonplace; entrenched at the centre of my experience, my reading & yes, my writing.

In the same way I don’t want my own books – which have few male characters – labelled ‘women’s’ fiction, I don’t want any of it overtly described as feminist. I’m proud if people describe me as a feminist writer, because I am. I’m also a feminist cat owner, swimmer, frock lover, shopper & cake eater. I don’t want to smash the patriarchy I want to bloody annihilate it.

The stories I write are just that – stories. Mostly about women, told with honesty from my feminist heart, but ‘the genre is book.’

This is Kat – she was in Washington.

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She’s a Purrfect Pussy Kat & she has Feline Friends!

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