First of all, I am flexing my wrist in preparation of EXERCISING MY PIMP Â HAND.
For the ever lovely and fabulous Dakota Cassidy’s new book, Accidentally Demonic, is out tomorrow!
I haven’t read this one, yet, but I’ve read all the other books in this series and they’re SO FUN. Dakota’s marvelous sense of humor shines, her characters are adorable, and these books are always fab reads.
So go forth and purchase if you already know and love Dakota. Or, if you’re looking for a new para rom series to embark upon, try the first in the series, The Accidental Werewolf:
As for me, I have been having a fabulous start of the semester. I much prefer teaching my ENG 115 class to the other freshman comp course, my night class is my favorite ENG 215 (so very little pressure for a lot of enjoyment), and Modern Poetry is turning out to be very manageable and enriching, for me, as a writer. In other words, my primary career is going very well, and the writing is fab, as well! I’m figuring out my plan of attack for editing Jane True book 3, Tempest’s Legacy, and I’ll start writing my edits soon.
In the meantime, however, I’ve been watching a lot of movies and series on my Netflix, and one of the movies that I was randomly inspired to order was the 80’s classic, Jumping Jack Flash:
I was OBSESSED with this film when I was a kid. I adored it. I can’t really describe how much I adored it, because it would be like me trying to explain how much I love my family . . . it became a part of me and I would give it my kidney if it asked politely.
This film came out in 1986, eight years after my birth. And watching it as an adult I can absolutely see where it had a HUGE influence on me and my writing.
First of all: the swearing. I swear like a pirate, this is true. My family is a family of swearers, in general, but I seem to have taken up the swearing mantle and run right the fuck off with it. Then I watched this film, again, and Whoopi has a mouth so potty it’s like a psych ward.
Second of all: my love of a non-traditional heroine. Where do I start with my admiration for this film, in terms of its heroine? First of all, Whoopi is BLACK. How many films can you name that star (entirely) an African-American, let alone an African-American woman? And that are mainstream?Â Even nowadays?Â Second of all, while I think Whoopi is an extremely attractive individual in this film, she is by no means your traditional blonde bombshell. She’s Whoopi, and she’s gonna wear some MC Hammer OVERALLS (cause the only think that makes Hammer pants better is some straps!), and dreads, and YELLOW REEBOKS and she’s not gonna give a fuck! For dress up, she caps off that outfit with a turban!
As a kid, I was blonde and blue eyed, but I was also way too smart, way too mature (in some ways), and already short and chubby. So I knew I was never going to be the leggy, doe eyed thing expecting some hero to come along and rescue her because even though she’s a bit of a bint, DAMN SHE IS PHOINE.
In other words, I was looking for films that expressed my solidarity with the outsider, the underdog, the eccentric, for those who “sang his didn’ts” and “danced his dids.” For the most part, however, I was getting Melanie Griffith. And, while I love me some Working Girl, I knew that while my brain was going to be all about sin, my bod would, at best, most likely suggest white-collar misdemeanors or parking violations.
So Jumping Jack Flash was a revelation. I wanted to be Whoopi: a woman who was strong because she was smart, passionate, and brave, not because she’s beautiful and manipulative or, like Red Sonja, beautiful and ‘roided right the fuck out.
On watching the film as an adult, as well, I clap at how it handles “the issues.” Whoopi is constantly being told she’s not welcome because of her gender, her skin color, and her class. But she enters anyway, on her own terms, and uses her enemy’s cultural expectations against them. If they expect an African-American woman to be a singer, by golly she’ll dress up like a Supreme. She’ll give them what they expect, in an unexpected way, to get what she wants from them. If they expect a woman to be weak, delicate, and easily victimized, she will BITE HER WOULD-BE EXECUTIONER IN THE NADS. Cuz that’s what she does! Bites him! In the nads! I think this is partly why the film, despite being over twenty years old, hasn’t aged. Okay, the computers look a bit silly, but the real story is based on Whoopi’s character. And she is both ageless and paradoxically original, for Hollywood, it seems to me, has actually gone backwards in terms of its depiction of real women of any race.
My final plea: If you haven’t seen this film, please do. I think you’ll see some of Jane True in it, and you’ll definitely have a good time. Watch out for the giant toothbrush!