Thursday, March 31, 2011

Let's Talk about Sex, Cancer, and Douchebags

Warning: This is a politically charged blog post in which I will use the "f" word and say uncomfortable-making things. If you don't like that sort of stuff from your authors, please move along and come back tomorrow when I will post an excerpt from something fictional. And no doubt less depressing.

Sex happens.

It happens between consenting and non-consenting adults and it happens between consenting and non-consenting non-adults. Depending on which study you consult, somewhere between 5 in 10 and 7 in 10 teenagers are sexually active by the age of 18, and at any given time over half of the teenagers in an average high school will be doing it.

is sex. S E X. It is not a dirty word, it is a human drive right up there with the need to eat and find shelter, and it is happening. I'm not going to comment on whether consensual sex is right or wrong in my opinion because this post isn't about right and wrong. It's about caring about young women. I write primarily for teens and young women and I care about them. I care about their future and that future is under attack.

Teenagers are having sex, and they deserve a place to go where they can obtain contraception and counseling about safe sex that they might not be able to get at home. If we want our teens to be safe, to decide when they want to have children, to stay free of sexually transmitted diseases that could negatively affect the rest of their lives or even kill them, we need to protect Planned Parenthood. Right now, federal funding for Planned Parenthood is under attack by the extremist, right wing Congress.

In addition to cutting money to Planned Parenthood, they also have other big changes on their agenda--including redefining date rape as not rape. That's right, if you're date raped, you will no longer be considered a rape victim if this bill is passed. Other people on the rape chopping block? Statutory rape and incest victims.

So you're a twelve year old girl who was conned into having sex with a twenty year old? Not rape.

So you're a teenager who doesn't fight your uncle because he's been raping you since you were eight and you gave up fighting a long time ago? Not rape.

So you're a woman who was drugged and raped while unconscious? Not rape.

Being a woman can be downright scary at times, but I don't know if I've ever been as scared or repulsed or horrified as I am right now. It's bad enough that women, men, teen girls and boys, and children are raped every day. But now, even their status as victims is under debate. Now, we're supposed to be raped and call it something else.

Unwanted contact, maybe? Undesirable penetration?

Some less unpleasant euphemism that makes it okay to cut funding to the places we go when we've been raped and we're terrified that we're pregnant or may have gotten a disease or are just so deeply shamed that someone we trusted violated us that we don't know where else to go and can't tell our parents what's happened because we can't stand imagining the look on their face when they know?

Now, we're supposed to be raped and then raped again by our own government, these people who have promised to represent our interests and protect our health. You know what? Fuck them. That's right. I said it, and I'll say it again. Fuck them. The ultimate justice in this situation would be for every single person--every woman and man (mostly men) supporting this bill--to be non-raped in one of the ways described in their new bill and see how they feel afterward. I think maybe their definition of violation might change.

But seeing as I am not a proponent of ultimate justice or violating other people, here's what we can do instead:

Go here to read more about the attack on Planned Parenthood and learn where to go to offer your support:

Because Planned Parenthood isn't the abortion factory the extreme members of the GOP make it out to be. It's a place where young women and poor women go to get reproductive health care, to spot cancer in time and treat disease. And even if abortions were the only service Planned Parenthood performed, I would still be standing up and begging people to save this very vital place. Why? Because in my mind, a woman deserves the right to choose. And a girl who's been sexually assaulted deserves it even more.

Stacey Jay

UPDATED: I was just alerted to the fact that the GOP is now back-pedaling on redefining rape, but I'm going to leave this post as is. The fact that they even put the bill forward is enough to be horrified about. And in addition, they still have a proposed bill that will deny a woman whose life is threatened by pregnancy the right to an abortion. They would refuse a mother--who may already have other children depending on her--the choice of whether to end a pregnancy that will take away her life and take her away from everyone depending on her. Insanity. That's what this is. Go here to sign that petition:

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Juliet Immortal-update-y bits

This bad boy is all over the internet, so I figured I might as well post it on my own blog. JULIET IMMORTAL, I give you her cover splendor!

I really do love, love, love it. I also love that I'm starting to hear readers getting excited to get their hands on my first hardcover, but it also freaks me the hell out so I can't talk about that too much. I'm really nervous about my next two releases (DEAD ON THE DELTA and JULIET IMMORTAL). More so than I've been about any release ever. I honestly think they're my best stuff so far--though in very different ways--and I'm very personally invested in these characters and stories and I'm kind of going to take it personally and get my preshush feelings hurt and my soul bruised if people slam the hell out of them/don't buy them/pirate them endlessly and tell me it's free publicity.

I mean, I've always been invested in my books and driven to entertain, but there have been some books that I've written because I was under contract and needed the money. These I wrote because I needed to write them and I took chances to write them and I know this is just fiction but god people I'm just freaking out a little bit so blah!! Blergh! Blah!!!

*deep breath*

Okay. I'm better now.

In other Juliet news, I'm happy to announce that the lovely people of Brazil will be getting a translated version not too long after the U.S. release. Squee! Portuguese Juliet. I'm excited.

Also, Juliet will be a Listening Library audio book! And that will be available in September at the same time as the hardcover. I am thu-rillled! The Listening Library people are so amazingly sweet. They sent me a welcome package with a giftie and some earbuds and they called me Ms. Jay and I just felt...fancy and a little teary-grateful. Niceness is nice, isn't it? People should do it more often.

Hugs, Internet. Have a great Thursday.

Stacey Jay

Friday, March 18, 2011

This Week's Blog Vomited Out

Along with everything else in mine and my family's bodies.

I tell ya, there's nothing like several days of yarfing your guts out while cleaning up the yarf and fast-poo (what Six calls it) of small people who can't seem to make it to the bathroom in time to put normal, everyday troubles in perspective. Sure, I have a TON of work to get done between now and July 1st and I tend to get stressed if I think about it too much, but at least I can sit upright and hold down water and not spend hours getting my face back-splashed with a repulsive mixture of loo water and my own vomit--because the puke is just coming out THAT. FAST. AND. FURIOUS.

I'm so sorry. I...don't know what else to say. The evil part of me felt the vindictive need to lash out at all you well people with graphic descriptions of my pain. The nice part of me is now apologizing.

The goal-oriented part of me promises a better blog next week, while the tired part of me is saying it's time to go watch House Hunters. The baby is finally sleeping and the puke laundry is done. This might be my only chance!<--the tired part of me is too tired for a normal sized exclamation point.

Here's hoping all of you are in better health.

Peace in the intestines of one and all,


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Randomness/The Only Thing I Half Ass is this Blog

Where have I been?

Rollerskating. Every time I can get away, with and without children, with and without husband. And yes, I am starting to get pretty effing awesome and probably look nearly this cool (except on skates, not a skate board):

(Not actual picture of me. Though I would look like Farrah if I had blond hair and less stomach and a different face.)

I have a hard time doing anything halfway (*cough* obsessive-compulsive tendencies *cough*), so once I decided I was going to do this roller derby thang for real, I've been committed. I've skated every free second I could find in hopes that I wouldn't embarrass myself my first time at Roller Derby Newbie Night. I'm happy to say that I did not embarrass myself, but was rather fearless and intense and now have very sore muscles and a few bruises that are purpling up quite nicely.

But I didn't get home until late last night and I couldn't get to sleep until even later, so I'm beat and basically just swinging in to say a few things:

1. The mug winner was announced and the mug(s) sent out (I sent her two because I needed more padding in the priority box. Just goes to show you never know how far I'll go to avoid buying packing peanuts, which I have a strange hatred of, for some reason.)

2. The whole YA Mafia debate last week mostly passed me by, but I saw enough of it to realize that it seemed kind of silly. There is no YA Mafia. 90% of the writers you meet online or in person are just hardworking folks who love to tell stories. (And I can promise they are a hell of a lot nicer than most of the actors I met when I was in that business. They really take the competition thing much more seriously.)

In addition, the idea of a "Mafia" implies that we're all banded together getting rich. Maybe some people are managing to work that out, but around here we're still struggling to qualify for a home loan. So no rich. Not much famous. And though seeing my book on a shelf is still a HUGE thrill and I feel lucky to be a working writer, becoming a published writer has not brought me fulfillment. That came from different places that have a lot more to do with being a good person and having a family I love very much. I don't know about other people, but professional accomplishment doesn't seem to be the way to riches in the inner kingdom for me, personally.

Which brings to mind a facebook post I read the other day, from a new author who had just signed her first contract and was excited that now she would have her revenge on "all the people who made fun of her in high school." This was an odd idea for me. First of all, these people have probably moved on and have lives and most of them aren't reading books (sadly). Secondly, let's take a personal example:

I dated a lot of guys in my twenties, and a lot of them were in the entertainment industry. Several of them have gone on to star in television shows and movies (and a crap load of commercials, there was a time in the early 2000's when I couldn't turn on the television without getting an eyeful of ex number 6 and 13). Anyway, the point is, one of the guys I dated was crazy about me. I wasn't so crazy about him. We were both young actor nobodies, but I quit the biz with nothing but some crappy C movie credits and now he's semi-famous and women lust after him on message boards. But when I finally realized this--years after his show debuted because I never have time to watch grown up T.V. and only noticed his name once his first season came to Netflix--did I feel he had gotten revenge on me? No. I was happy for him. I was glad all his sacrifice worked out, and bummed that we couldn't have stayed friends. The end.

Maybe other people are different, but most of the time the idea that anyone who hurt you is going to care that you're successful is a waste of fantasy time better spent imagining you're on the beach with a good book and a full time nanny to make sure your kids don't drown while you bask. My 2 cents, of course.

3. My two year old just patted me and said "good Mama, bad Mama, good Mama, bad Mama." I'm not sure what this means, but he's probably right.

4. I like Greek yogurt with honey and walnuts. I am going to go eat some.