Oh, right! It’s time for Armchair BEA. If you have no idea what that is, don’t worry about it. (Thanks for the reminder, Tasha!) Anyway, today’s the first day of Armchair BEA, and the topic is “Introductions.” I picked the following five questions from a list. I’m fairly certain the purpose of this whole venture is conversation, so feel free to chat with me in the comments below or on Twitter. 🙂
1. Why do you love reading and blogging?
I have to separate these, because lately, I love reading a whole hell of a lot more than I love blogging. I suspect that most of us strange beings who practice consistent reading habits would agree that we just are readers. I am a tall; I have light brown hair; and I read books. My identity as a reader is both visible (because I carry books everywhere) and invisible; I could never pass as a non-reader. I don’t know how to interact with the world except through books. I am a reader.
Blogging, though, is hairy. I mean, when I can forget that people are eventually going to read these words (and interpret them however they wish, and I suspect that’s the sticky part), I enjoy the act of writing about the books I read, and I like re-reading my posts from years past. I love the relationships I’ve been able to form through this blog with other bloggers and with authors (mostly on Twitter). But I’ve been finding it very difficult to force myself to write past the fear of proving myself unworthy of my little niche in this community. So, you know, writer’s block.
2. What is your theme song?
The Animals’ “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.” Given my answer to the last question, I suspect you’re not surprised by this answer.
3. What does diversity mean to you?
The world just is a diverse place; it has to be in order to survive. In nature, the more diverse the ecosystem, the more it thrives, and any ecosystem that is thrown off-balance by too much homogeneity, too much sameness, eventually fails. I agree with certain aspects of the push for more diversity in books and in romance, but I worry that the constant repetition of the phrase does nothing to point attention to and celebrate the diversity that already exists in these communities. Writers are there, writing stories about non-dominant cultures, characters who don’t fit the dominant mold of rich, white, cis-gender. Those writers have been there, writing their stories this whole time. Perhaps it’s time we all paid attention to them and started reading their stories. Perhaps it’s time we celebrated their tenacity in providing some much-needed diversity within a system that has pushed for homogeneity to its own detriment for years and years.
Is that a controversial answer?
4. What is one book everyone should read?
Oh, come on. I can’t pick just one. Here’s a list of five, presented without comment:
5. What is your favorite genre and why?