Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Women Who Rock Wednesday- New Format?

Welcome to Women Who Rock Wednesday. The guest I had scheduled, Kathy Charles had to postpone, so we'll hear from her sometime in the future and if you are in Australia, I highly advise you to look for her brand new book, Hollywood Ending.

This means that I'm continuing the contest for last week's guest, filmmaker April Mosqus until next Wednesday. So if you haven't read the interview about her film, Before We Get To Seattle and entered the contest, do so here.

This little lapse also gives me a chance to propose a new format of sorts for Women Who Rock Wednesdays. As much as I like bringing you new interviews every week, umm, it gets really crazy time consuming, tracking people down, interviewing, formatting. So I'm thinking of going to every other week with the interviews. There will be exceptions of course like when I get a bunch of cool people or certain dates that work for certain people.

On the off weeks, I want to take the time to talk about the women who have inspired me who I may not be able to interview for some reason or other, like maybe they are way too famous or dead (if I hadn't experienced some utterly terrifying Ouija Board incidents when younger, maybe I'd try interviewing that way, but...) or they are fictional characters. Or I'll talk about stuff in the news related to women. That kind of thing.

I hope that will still be interesting. And I hope you'll still come and visit me even if there aren't always contests. If the contests are a big reason you come, please do say so and I'll try to figure something out, but yeah.... That's what I'm thinking right now.

So I guess now it is time to give an example of what I'll be doing on non-interview Wednesdays.

Today I thought it would be fun to talk about a fictional character that influenced me, and I thought I'd actually share what I wrote about this particular fictional character when I was 16. So here is an excerpt from an article called "Growing Up Feminist: Influences in the Pre-Bikini Kill Days" which I published in one of my 'zines back in the day. I'll even leave the crazy spelling and punctuation intact.

Time to flashback to me in 1996 flashing back to the late eighties... ready?

My generation has been called the TV babies, so I have to admit that the idiot box has influenced me also. I remember liking She-Ra and Jem. I guess She-Ra was rather scantily glad, but you have to admit, that girl was powerful. And Jem, she was the eighties' girl rocker, and "truly outrageous". Actually I watched a lot of PBS as a kid, the one show the influenced me most in my entire life was on PBS, Degrassi High/Jr High. It taught me about all the issues: AIDS, teen pregnancy, abortion; pretty controversial for the eighties. It shaped my views on animal rights and many other subjects. My main role model on the show was Christine, known mostly by her nickname, Spike, after her hair. I've wanted my hair to be like her's since I was 8, I just plain wanted to be her. Spike wasn't the perfect role model though, she had a kid at 14. I guess that should rule her out as a role model, right? Wrong. Spike portrayed real life, she dealth with a lot of problems and never gave up. The school made her take special classes away from the other kids because she was a "bad influence" and then she had to do with raising her baby, Emma. She didn't drop out of school, but she made sacrifices like missing school dances and concerts. She dealt with getting child support and trying to find a job which was difficult because she was jurdged by her appearance. I was pretty disappointed when I found out high skool wasn't like Degrassi, maybe it's only like that in Canada. I still tape Degrassi from Showtime and I still relate to it. Before I grew up and found out who I wanted to be, I had these influences, who knows what I'd be without them.

Okay, back to the present day...

I've since learned to use a semi-colon correctly, that periods go inside the quotation marks and I have stopped intentionally misspelling things like skool, but to quote one of my favorite bands from back then, Skankin' Pickle, "I'm still in love with a girl named Spike."

I still stand by all that I said about her and as I was retyping this, I thought, wow, back then Spike influenced me as a person, now she has also influenced me as a writer. I think I've gone on to write about girls like Emily and Kara, who are flawed and in tough situations because I loved watching characters like Spike be a survivor.

So yeah, that is the tribute of the day. And I do actually have a prize (can you tell I just feel guilty about not giving you guys the opportunity to win prizes!)... I have a copy of the last issue of Kill Supermodels, the zine that I did with my friends in high school (please note it was about killing the idea that we all had to look like supermodels, we did not condone violence against actual supermodels or any women!). It was our best issue, IMHO, but I will throw in some additional articles that were pretty good including the one I excerpted from today.

As usual to enter the contest, just leave a comment. Let me know if you are cool with the new WWRW format idea (I hope you are cuz man I just can't keep up with the interview pace!). Or tell me about the ladies from TV who influenced you. And as usual, you get an extra entry for tweeting or blogging about this post. Go ahead and note that extra entry in your comment along with your email address so I can easily find you if you win.

I will announce this winner and April's winner next week when I do have a guest, Lauren Baratz-Logsted, who will talk about her book Crazy Beautiful which I am really really looking foward to, I don't know about you....

Oh and if you want another contest to enter, YA Book Central is giving away 5 copies of Ballads of Suburbia this month, go here to enter!


Annika said...

Somewhere I have a couple of your old zines! But I seem to recall promising you that they would never see the light of day, so I'll just keep quiet about those. I don't think Kill Supermodels was one of them.

I think doing WWRW less often sounds just fine! I love that you do it but I don't always have time to read it every week and I know it must be exhausting for you. Every two weeks sounds good to me!

marina said...

i love degrassi. i can't watch the old episodes because they're never on and i've been meaning to order them but the next generation, i watch whenever it's on. in that one ellie's my favorite girl. and it's cool that snake and spike and joey are all still on the show. and caitlin for a while too.


Steph Bowe said...

Oh! I live in Australia: believe it or not, I've been meaning to get Hollywood Ending for the past few weeks after aI read a blurb somewhere.

And I've taken up zine-makking recently, too :-)

Kristen said...

Awesome, fictional character can sometimes be very inspiring.

So two ladies who inspired me...

Marian from The Music Man - yes, I always wanted to a librarian, but a cute fun one like Marian.

And then...
Daria - yes from that animated MTV show. I just loved her and Jane. Cheeky and intelligent and totally into being an outcast. Not to mention my obsession with cartoons... hehe.

I like the format. Whatever makes it less crazy for you.

Stephanie Kuehnert said...

Annika, Yeah I am more okay with putting them out there now. Well one of them at least, Do Not Go Quietly Unto Your Grave. And KS #4 is okay, but some of the other contributers dont want earlier issues public. Then the two others I did, Hospital Gown and Goddess Defiled, thsoe are so raw, probably keeping those out of it for now.

Glad everyone likes the new format idea. Marina, I love ellie best on next gen too and love seeing the older crew. I have the original degrassis on DVD and am collecting the next gen because i;ve only seen it all out of order on the N!

Steph, yay! i love to hear about people doing zines! And get Hollywood Ending, definitely!

Kristen, that is awesome you always wanted to be a librarian and I love daria too!