Monday News: Miranda Neville, witches, scary books, and funny tweets
In Memory of Miranda Neville – The lovely Susanna Kearsley wrote a very touching tribute to the also lovely Miranda Neville at Word Wenches. Avon Books also put up a tribute to Neville, which contains some wonderful insights about her work. Both sites are hosting comments, so if you have a remembrance to share, you know what to do. There are also instructions via Kearsley’s post for donations to Planned Parenthood or the NEA in lieu of flowers. I think many of us are still in shock over this news, especially since her (for me) highly anticipated May 2018 had recently gone on pre-sale at Amazon:
But she had a brand new book, Lady Scandal, set to be published this coming May 29. The heroine “might just have written a novel,” she revealed, “But [the] hero isn’t a duke.” It would feature Diana, from The Dangerous Viscount, and Minerva, from Confessions From An Arranged Marriage. She was really looking forward to sharing it with her readers. “It’s good,” she said, “to get something out again.”
The pre-order link for that book has been taken down. I really hope it goes up again. Selfishly, I want to have that last piece of my beautiful Twitter friend. I want to hear her voice speaking to me in the pages.
I am not ready to let her go. – Word Wenches
Sex, Drugs, and Broomsticks: The Origins of the Iconic Witch – Halloween provides us with yet another opportunity to examine the demonization of female sexuality, which is playing itself out in US politics in very serious ways right now. All one has to do is look to the history of the female witch to see how terrifying female sexuality is to the patriarchy. Kind of makes me want to dress as a witch every Halloween:
For a long time the common answer to the question of why witches flew on broomsticks was relatively straightforward if a bit broad. The broom was a symbol of female domesticity, yet the broom was also phallic, so riding on one was a symbol of female sexuality, thus femininity and domesticity gone wild. Scary for any patriarch! It wasn’t just women, however. The first known reference to witches flying on broomsticks was confessed by a suspected male witch, Guillaume Edelin of Saint-Germain-en-Laye near Paris, while he was being tortured in 1453. – Atlas Obscura
9 Scary-Ass Books You Can Read This Halloween – What I like about this list is that it’s not full of cliched creeper tales. Instead it contains works from Shirley Jackson, Richard Preston, Margaret Atwood, and Carmen Maria Machado, among others.
The most recent book on this list, Machado’s debut story collection [Her Body and Other Parties] is genre-defying collection of delightfully bizarre tales. These are twisted fables, where real world traumas mingle with supernatural powers. While deeply informed by fairy tales, Machado bends stories into new shapes—even literally as in the phenomenal “Especially Heinous” written as 272 capsule reviews of every episode of Law & Order: SVU. Machado’s stories are spooky, but also joyful. The kind of scary stories that leave you full of life. – GQ
Just 17 Really Funny Tweets By Women This Week – I don’t think these are the funniest tweets from women this week, but there are a few gems here, and who doesn’t need a good laugh right now. It’s interesting to note, though, how much of the humor is self-deprecating. – Buzzfeed