Wednesday, 31 October 2012

The Artist Unleashed: MY MOMENT by Theresa Milstein

Thanks for swapping blogs with me, Jessica. I’m happy to be in a second anthology with you. This time, we’re both in, From Stage Door Shadows, which sheds light on the darker side of show business. Scary subject for Halloween…  

My short story “My Moment” is a mix of Victorian and 1950s ideology meets 2313. Part of the story was inspired by the appalling American television show Toddlers and Tiaras, which I wrote about on Chandara Writes blog.

The YA novel XVI by Julia Karr influenced the other part of my short story.  I actually gave Karr’s book one more star on Goodreads because I was impressed by the dystopian premise: when girls turn sixteen, they get a XVI tattoo on their wrist and any man can have sex with them. With women so sexualized in our society and some recent comments regarding “legitimate rape” by American politicians, it’s not a far leap to see women losing compete control over their bodies in the future.

The book made me wonder what women would face in the distant future. Would they be celebrated for beauty or brains? Would they be celebrated at all? 

In “My Moment”, girls attend school for domesticity and deportment. They aren’t allowed to read books, and they learn just enough writing to prepare grocery lists and party invitations. And after school, these girls practice their pageant routines.  Pageants become the only arena for females to succeed in society. “Success” means to marry well. Wives are expected to look polished and use their talents to impress their husband’s guests at dinner parties. The pageant winners will be hand-selected by men seeking arm-candy wives. 

And if women don’t succeed in pageants, the alternatives are anything but pretty. 

Dystopian pieces always stick a lens into our contemporary society and show what the likely outcome if some sinister aspect were able to run amok. I hope “My Moment” will remind us of the danger of fostering inequality between the sexes. 

Links to book:

Note from Jessica: I'm over at Theresa's blog today talking about my story in FROM STAGE DOOR SHADOWS. Care to drop by?

PS: My novel String Bridge is FREE on Kindle TODAY ONLY. Amazon UK | Amazon US

ALSO: Could you pretty please vote for my poetry book FABRIC in the opening round of the BEST POETRY 2012? You'll have to write it in for it to have a chance at becoming an official nomination in the second round. Would REALLY appreciate it!

40 comments:

  1. Good morning, Jessica! I know it's afternoon by you, but it's still dark as night here. Happy Halloween!

    Thanks for having me on your blog. Your post is up my blog too: http://theresamilstein.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-power-of-hidden-gems.html

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  2. That is a sobering premise- women and girls banished to a status lower than some animals. Great warning cry for us all. I'm headed over to Amazon right now!

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    1. Shelly, it feels all too possible these days. Thanks for your support!

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  3. Hello here Theresa!! This is such a fun idea - this blog takeover exchanges! Yay!!!

    Oh these silly mysoginistic politicians and their stupid talk make me puke! :-( Take care
    x

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    1. Old Kitty, the politician talk is raising my blood pressure. I'm worried about this election in the US.

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  4. Awesome Theresa finding out more what inspired your story. I loved XVI too!

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    1. Natalie, thanks. Funny because I didn't love XVI. Glad I didn't abandon it because it inspired me and was thought-provoking.

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  5. Your story sounds great Theresa!! Can't wait to check it out! So glad to see you've been doing so well :)

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    1. Slushpile Slut, great to hear from you! Thanks!

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  6. I remember reading Margaret Atwood's THE HANDMAID'S TALE and thinking, wow, what a bizarre premise. Something like that could never happen. Given the political climate, today I'm not so sure. I look forward to reading "My Moment".

    Congratulations!

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    1. VR Barkowski, in the year since I wrote the story, the political client is making my story more plausible than ever. Unfortunately.

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  7. Theresa, I absolutely want to read your story. In fact, the anthology is on my TBR list.

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    1. Susan, that's wonderful to hear. Thanks!

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  8. Congratulations on your release, Theresa!
    This sounds like a great story, the kind of thing that makes a reader squirm.

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    1. Deniz, thank you. Jess's story is definitely squirm-worthy!

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  9. Oh man! I TOTALLY want to read My Moment now!! I'm definitely adding the anthology to my Christmas list!

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    1. Sarah, that's wonderful to hear. Thank you!

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  10. vehemently agreeing and nodding here Theresa! The objectification of women extending to toddlers - it chills to the bone!

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    1. Words A Day, what toddler need to fret about their appearance. Chills me to the bone too!

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  11. Hi Theresa .. not sure I'm looking forward to the future - that's a scary thought ... I shan't be around thankfully!!

    Very interesting story and idea - great to see you here on Jess' blog - cheers Hilary

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    1. Hilary, I hope the day never comes. Good thing about writers is they hold a lens to our society. Now to get people to see it too...

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  12. This is a subject close to my heart, Theresa.

    Jai

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    1. Good to know, Jai. It's heartening to know how many of us are concerned.

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  13. Wow, Theresa, what a chilling concept! It sounds like a great story, though one I hope remains just a story! :)

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    1. Susanna, I hope it remains just a story too.

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  14. Nice to see you here, Theresa! Wishing you all the best! :)

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  15. Ouch, that sounds like a rough existence. Still, I can imagine a brilliant character not willing to stand for a single moment of that rubbish, which would clearly make for a great story!

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    1. Matthew, the one who figures out there are different choices other than the reality they live in is what can make a story interesting. I hope.

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  16. This is so interesting Theresa. I meant to order it by now. Gotta get over to Amazon this weekend. This could be in our not so distant future. Sex is so celebrated and women are not held in a high regard anymore. Hugs pal.

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    1. Robyn, you're too sweet. I couldn't agre with you more about how women are perceived.

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  18. Hi Theresa,

    It was good to see where your inspiration for this story came from.

    And yes, it's an eye-opener where women are concerned.

    Thanks for sharing!

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  19. Sobering premise indeed! It awakens memories of Margaret Atwood's "Handmaiden" world. I'm coming to this post late, because for the last two months I was immersed in a rewrite of a book for my agent and didn't visit blogs too much. Congratulations on having your story in this new collection.

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    1. Elizabeth, thank you so much for visiting. Sounds like you've been busy!

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  20. Wow, Theresa--that sounds really awesome! Congrats, you lovely person. Off to click on links!

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  21. "Would they be celebrated for beauty or brains? Would they be celebrated at all?"

    These are super interesting and important questions.

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“I'm using my art to comment on what I see. You don't have to agree with it.” ~John Mellencamp

“Allowing an unimportant mistake to pass without comment is a wonderful social grace” ~Judith S. Marin

“I don't ever try to make a serious social comment.” ~Paul McCartney

“I'd make a comment at a meeting and nobody would even acknowledge me. Then some man would say the same thing and they'd all nod.” ~Charlotte Bunch

“Probably what my comment meant was that I don't care about the circumstances if I can tell the truth.” ~Sally Kirkland

“We're not going to pay attention to the silliness and the petty comments. And quite frankly, women have joined me in this effort, and so it's not about appearances. It's about effectiveness.” ~Katherine Harris