Image credit — Kyle Hemmings
Welcome to Twisted Sister, a place for feminist horror and dark fantasy, and as much as we advocate a balanced approach to all things, we want to take a moment to spotlight the ladies around here. (You can check out our Greatest Hits list below.)
In our editorial discussions, we keep saying that women just do horror and dark fantasy differently than men. Generally speaking, (and we can only speak generally) the differences might come from different experiences. I don’t know how many male writers write about cooking, housekeeping, or parenting, but around Twisted Sister, the tiny details of our day shine through (even when we’re killing someone fictitiously). A cup of tea. A love for chocolate. A glass of wine. And of course, dessert.
We seem to have a thing for poisoning (like in the adventure of our pals Edna and Alice, or in Something from the Garden), and it might be because we spend so much damned time in the kitchen. (Although, just to be different, Liz McAdams had a doozy of a story involving blunt force trauma from a frying pan.) But, you get the picture.
I would argue the problems that come up in the stories women write tend to be more based in personal conflict; whereas the male writers tend to try to save the world, in whatever form that takes. Zombies, bad guys, interplanetary invaders — an external threat is upsetting the balance of the universe, and the guys step in to save it. They think big.
The threats males perceive tend to be the loss of ability to protect themselves and their loved ones (think any typical zombie, alien, shark (Jaws i-iii) invasion or attack blockbuster movie. The threats women experience tend to be subtler, and therefore might not be big box office hits. Threats to self, or their loved one (such as the loss of a child). Stories might be more complex, and told more subtly.
And in it all, some big issues creep in to women’s writing. Abortion. Pregnancy. Body image. Sex. Abuse. The list goes on.
Of course, we’re talking generalities. Brookelynn Berry’s Frogs n’ Shit or Linda Barrett’s Guess Who’s Coming For Dinner are in your face, no questions asked kind of stories. And, Where the Spirits Take Them by Rob Dominelli is told in a well-thought, complicated way that we love. So, there’s no hard and fast rules about gender, and fiction, only some observations we’ve made based on reviewing hundreds (!) of stories and poems on Twisted Sister.
And it is all your stories, your poems, and your thoughts that we appreciate, and for that, dear readers, we love you, no matter who you are.
(Ed. Note — we’ve kept the discussion simple by using simplistic binary notions of gender, ‘cuz otherwise this Ed Page would run to 300K if we tried to cover everything and embrace a more fluid notion of gender identity. So for the sake of brevity, we opted for KISS.)
Greatest Hits from the Leading Ladies around Twisted Sister
We’re mixing the old in with the new, and showcasing some of our female writers around here so be sure to check them out. And of course, the categories aren’t really fixed, and you might consider different pieces under different headings, just like you can rethink this whole notion of binary gender identity, so feel free to switch ’em around in your own little minds as you read ’em.
Cars and Trucks and Bicycles and Other Things that go
The Duke of Dunstall – Kate Murdoch
Frogs n’ Shit – Brookelynn Berry
An Acceptance of Self (really, tell us which male-based pub you’d see with this category)
For Her, With Love — Carly Zee
The Circle of Life — Donna Krause
Family and Caregiving – the good, the bad, and the truly f-d up (For more on this one, be sure to check out our Parenting Issues, both weeks one and two.)
On Good Days I Remember My Name – Ruth Demming
And a selection of poems from Donna Krause including Black Moon and Mariel’s Flight as well as Alexa Farley’s Little Pots and Jars and Envelopes
Something’s Cooking in the Kitchen (Now, we’re sure as hell not saying a woman’s place is in the kitchen, but a heck of a lot of stories seem to happen there.)
Alice Makes a Pudding — Alexa Farley
A Matter of Taste – Liz McAdams
How to Make an Omelette – Liz McAdams
Oven-Baked Musings – Kim Matheson
Something from the Garden — Catherine McKenzie
For all things chocolatey – we bet you can’t just have one from Carolyn Ward – Enjoy The Perfect Man and The Chocoholic (Ed. Note – half a packet of chocolate chips was consumed during the creation of this post. Read at your own risk.)
The Weird and Wonderful (and slightly Spooky)
Ode to a Painful Foot – Ruth Demming
Interview With The Boogey Man – Liz McAdams
Devil’s Night – Brookelynn Berry
(Why so short a list here? Twisted Sister is jam-packed full of weird and wonderful (and spooky) reads. Just look around.)
And, sex. Oh, yeah, sex.
Two hot and spicy poems by Madhuri Pavamani — Vanity and Taboo
Two from Carly Zee – The Tale of Yvonique and French Restaurant will have you saying ooh la la
Tinder Sacrifices – a sexy series about a coven of witches by Vanessa Levin-Pompetzki
We’d like to take a moment to acknowledge some of the voices you might not hear much about – they like to be hidden away (Ed Note – yep) but without Cindy Rosmus from Yellow Mama, we’d be nothing, so we truly appreciate her.
And of course, dear readers and contributors, it goes without saying that without you we’d be nothing at all, and we always appreciate all you fine folks hanging out there in cyberspace.
(awe, shucks moment all ‘round)
Thinking of submitting short stories, flash, or poems to Twisted Sister? Wondering what turns our crank – check out What the heck is feminist horror* anyway? And when you’re ready to submit, drop on over to our handy-dandy form over here, ‘cuz We Want YOU!