My husband and I were each getting ready for work the other day, he in the downstairs bathroom and me in the upstairs. Our five-year-old had been instructed to get dressed in his room.
His bedroom and the upstairs bathroom share a wall. I can usually tell if he's getting dressed or not because it seems to be physically impossible for him to do anything without singing or talking to himself, a habit I'm certain came from me. If it's quiet, usually he's gotten distracted by a book or toy.
It had gotten quiet, so I began to listen closely. Soon, I heard a "MEEP!" Not usually a sound that comes from his mouth.
"Honey? What's the matter?" I called.
"Kitty's being mean," he answered, and I figured he was letting his legs dangle off of the side of the bed. The cat loves to play with his toes while he bounces his feet this way and that.
I have good news and bad news. The good news is my blog is picking up a lot more traffic. The bad news is that, since some of the new readers know me personally, I had to delete a very popular post called, "The Real Horror Story Behind My Character's Motivations."
The children involved in that years-long ordeal are not yet safe, and I'm terrified word will get back to the psycho they have for a mother that I posted their story. She holds the upper hand because the law will not step in, even though her abuse has been reported. I fear what she will do if she is angered.
I took great pains to disguise the kids' identities, but one reader recognized enough details to know who they were. It's not her fault. It was mine. I had hoped by posting it I could show people how kids fall through the cracks, but it's too risky.
I grew up in a town so small that traffic lights were, and still are, completely unnecessary. There were seven bars, but to balance things out, there were also seven churches. Main street was only a couple of blocks long. There were only about 80 kids grade 7-12 when I was in school, and that number has since dropped to around forty or so. I started shooting a rifle when I was four, just like all of the other country kids, and I started driving about the same time. (No lie.)
According to the latest census, seventy-nine percent of the U.S. population lives in urban/suburban areas. I don't know if seventy-nine percent of U.S. authors live in urban areas, but I think it's safe to say that the majority of America's authors do.
To me, the disparity shows. If a small town is used in a setting in a story, it's nearly inevitable that one of the following negative stereotypes will be included. Nosy gossips.Ignorant yokels.Inbred, ignorant yokels.Homophobic, inbred, an…