Madison Parker's Blog
May 30, 2014
When I was four years old, I remember seeing a movie that Iloved so much, I becameenamored with the concept of acting professionally. But throughout those developmental years, I was scoffed at, ridiculed and insulted about my ambitions and dreams,so much so that I gave up on the idea and pursued careers that I enjoyed but weren’t satisfying. I’ve been a circus performer, massage therapist, ESL teacher, and restaurant manager. I wasalso a gas station attendant for a short time. One of the most...
March 15, 2014
I once had the opportunity to listen to a student speak to a major university on the topic of issues faced by transgender students at the university. I don’t remember everything they said, but there was one moment that really stuck out to me.
After a wonderful, beautiful, impassioned appeal by the student, the university replied that all students were afforded fantastic opportunities: the professorial staff was highly valued, there were research opportunities, and chances to learn and do thing...
February 18, 2014
This Valentine’s Week at my place began with an unexpected storm.
Last Monday, my parents got into some petty argument over food (FOOD, people! Can you believe it? *exasperated sigh*) and my mother, in her dramatic fit of wrath swore that she would never talk to him again.
My father is usually the calm one in the relationship and even though such arguments affect him a lot, he wouldn’t say a thing. And my mother – she is a stubborn woman. To her word, she didn’t utter a word for the next three...
February 13, 2014
Can you remember who you were before the world told you who you should be? A friend posted that on his blog yesterday. He talked about painful memories of his seven-year-old self being made fun of for being different than people thought he should be. He may not have fully understood those differences at the time, but the message was clear: there’s something wrong with you. It breaks my heart to think of a child’s self-esteem being crushed like that.
Today is Valentine’s Day, and I can’t think...
December 11, 2013
Writing about quirky characters who don’t quite fit is is easy for me because I was that kid. I was the person who was sarcastic in 4th grade when none of my other classmates understood sarcasm, and as I got into high school, I was convinced I had a horrid sense of humor. It wasn’t until I went to college that people thought I was funny, and I finally started to fit in more.
In Private Display of Affection, both Hugo Thorson and Kevin Magnus feel like outsiders. Hugo has known he was “differen...
November 26, 2013
The following gifs were created from Eric Arvin’s reading of an excerpt from Ghoul’s Gym. Watch the video HERE.
To see a larger version, or if any of the gifs below fail to animate, click on the image to reload it in a new tab/window.
November 25, 2013
But gender isn’t like that. It’s a spectrum as much as sexuality is. Some people are completely female or completely male. Some are transgender. Some are genderqueer or gender fluid. An older teen I know who identifies as gender fluid explains that some days she’s female and some days he’s male, and it’s like dancing along a rainbow.
Personally, I know people who would place themselves al...
November 7, 2013
Funny story: the main character in my book, Here’s to You, Zeb Pike, was straight when I first started writing the book—until he came out to me. For real.
Here’s what happened. Ten years ago, when I first started writing Here’s to You, Zeb Pike, the story was very much centered around Dusty and his horribly neglectful parents. I was a brand-new middle school teacher then, and the book was loosely based on a variety of different issues my own students were struggling through.
And Dusty was strai...
November 1, 2013
Writing is something I’m compelled to do, but it is not always enjoyable for me. Sometimes there are those characters that refuse to do what I say and until I’ve rethought a scene, it is like they sit in my mind and glare at me, dissatisfied. When I’m stuck and my character creations are busting windows in my brain, leaving dishes in the sink and generally making a mess, I have to get away from the desk.
My first attempt to break writer’s block involves fresh air and a brisk walk. I know, blah...
October 31, 2013
Surrounded by strangers and trapped in a life where he could never belong, Alex turns to the only person lower on the social ladder than he is: a “special” mute boy. In Sebastian,...