Just a Teenage Girl Living the Dream, NBD

Published August 30, 2015 by Maggie Williams

Exciting things are coming my way, maybe. Let me just say, I am super proud of myself for seeing an opportunity and deciding to take it. I feel like such an adult with all the life stuff that is going on right now (and yet I’m still too scared to learn to drive- how mature can I be?). I’m keeping up on the work for my college class, finishing out two scholarship portfolios, writing a novel, starting a graphic novel, doing heaps and heaps of college application essays, and possibly starting up this secret project.

Why is it secret, you may ask. Well, because it involves actual people in the actual book-publishing world. I took an opportunity, not expecting much from it, but quite a bit could happen, actually. At the very least, an agent has promised to critique the sample of my writing that I sent in, which is still huge. I am but a child, how can I be doing business stuff? It’s terrifying and mind-blowing.

How am I going to find time for all of this, on top of having to go to school, and having a job? I will definitely have to sacrifice sleep and sanity, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t kind of love it. I love being busy like this, all with writing things. Flash forward a month or two, and that may change, but right now, I am super freaking content. Shout out one time to whatever great cosmic coincidence is letting my life be like this.

An Open Note to the Princesses of the World

Published August 13, 2015 by Maggie Williams

Why does the prince always have to be the savior, huh? You would think that while the poor guy is fighting a dragon that can literally call upon on all the powers of hell, you might try to do something other than faint in the background. This is your life he’s saving, honey- maybe at the mercy of his own. You could maybe throw him a bone and help out. At least create a diversion or something. Yeesh.

And don’t even get me started on the ploys that you use to sucker the poor guy into helping you in the first place. It shocks me to no end that you ladies are still using the Dance and Desert. I mean, leave him wanting more by all means, but you have to at least tell him your name. Some of these boys aren’t all that bright (sucking on those silver spoons must cause some sort of brain damage). They can’t all track you down with the only clues being A) the memory that you were, in fact, a babe and B) a shoe that could probably fit a lot of people in the kingdom. A shoe? Really? Because no one has ever used that one before.

Also, the Singing-in-the-Woods trick is just plain ridiculous. People wonder why you’re always a damsel in distress. I’m going to bet you’re not the biggest fan of being in mortal danger yourself. Here’s an idea- don’t hang out in the dark and creepy woods. Singing out there won’t cause your true love to find you, it’ll draw in a hungry wolf, bear, or maybe the occasional mountain lion. You’ll get eaten before you can even beguile him into planting true love’s kiss on those lip-glossed lips of yours.

(Although, it should be noted that if you save him from some sort of terrible fate, i.e. drowning or bleeding to death from a stab wound, this is still a very good ploy, no matter how many other princesses have saved their princes. There’s nothing like a brush with death to make someone want to plant the big TLK on you.)

Ugh- “true love’s kiss”. Let me tell you right now, that “true love’s kiss” will not be the first one you share with your prince. The first three are all teeth and too much saliva. They aren’t as romantic as you have been led to believe. Also, you need to reevaluate your life choices if you’re in love when you’re only in the first-kiss stage. Multiply that by one hundred if this first kiss has happened within the first three days of you meeting each other. If you think you’re in love with him in the first few days, you aren’t. You have been charmed by his good looks, power, and untold riches. This is not love. This is shallow. You are a kiddie pool.

I think I’m going to break some hearts with this one, and I’m sorry to ruin your dreams, but unless you are noble or rich, you can’t be queen. In a prince’s world, marriage is not about love. Marriage is a business deal between two upper-class families, and if you have been a maid your whole life, you cannot marry a prince. The best you could hope for if, against all odds, you actually get to meet one of the most important people in the country, is for him to take you as a mistress. The good news is that he will probably like you more than he likes his wife. The bad news is that the entire kingdom will look down their noses at you, and his queen will probably constantly be plotting your demise. But if that sounds like the life for you, be my guest.

I also feel that I need to mention that maybe, just maybe, some princes don’t want a lady mistress. (You should also consider the possibility that you don’t want to be a lady mistress, to a prince at least. Maybe you want to be the “close friend” of a queen.) Take it from a prince who knows. I spent my whole life learning about these happily-ever-afters, just like you did. I looked at books full of pictures of your kind, trying to see what the other princes saw in you. I spent my adolescent years confused and hiding from myself, all while princesses chased me around. I did a lot of soul-searching and crying and talking to my trusted few friends to figure out who I was. Of course, I had to marry a princess. If you’re a prince, you have to, no matter the circumstances. But my mistress is, shall we say, more of a bearded-lady type. And yes, I do love this bearded lady very much- much more than my princess (and like I said, my wife hates him- er- her). I just thank my lucky stars every day that I’m the fifth brother, and so have next to no need to produce an heir. But that’s enough about me, let’s get back to you. I’m sure those are words you love to hear.

You should probably mention when you first meet this poor sap if A) your step-mother is a witch who hates you B) your parents offended a witch and she now hates you or C) you know of a witch who hates you. It’s just common courtesy, really. These are the important matters that can really make or break a relationship. This way he can be on the look-out for creepy old women who might try to poison one of you, a shady step-mom who may have you locked in a tower somewhere, or the aforementioned dragon with hell powers. I can guarantee that if those princes had known about all of the work they had to do, they never would have chosen you.

Do you even know how long it takes his servants to get him clean and ready in the mornings? If you don’t take pity on the prince, at least have a little respect for the peasants who have to clean him up after he got all covered in dragon guts, or old-lady-witch-who-has-recently-been-crushed-by-a-boulder blood. It’s really just selfish of you not to mention your biggest deal-breaker.

Finally, if you have secured his hand through all of these hardships, never- I repeat- never tell him about the animals you can talk to, unless you want to end up in bedlam with your marriage newly annulled.

So, there you have it, princesses- a little note full of tips and critiques on how you’re living your lives. Please listen to what I have stated here- it would make life a lot easier on everyone at court. If you do, perhaps a lot more of us could live-dare I say it?- happily ever after, the end. Ugh, I regretted saying it immediately. Let’s also abolish that saying because it’s more clichéd than every princess having only one parent, am I right?… Too far? Oh well. Thank you and good night.

*Side note- I am not now, nor have I ever been, a gay prince. I am merely a humble writer who had a humbly genius idea. Humble.*

Do Not Read This, It’s a Waste of Your Time

Published August 12, 2015 by Maggie Williams

It’s crunch time. There is officially only one week left until I start my senior year, and I have so much to do. So naturally, I spent the entire day watching various tattoo shows instead of doing any work. You know how it goes.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned multiple times how bad I am at sticking to goals that I make for myself. But maybe this will be the time that I actually do the thing. I have 22 more pages of fiction, nonfiction, screenplay, or poetry to write and then I’ll be finished with both of my major scholarship portfolios. It’s my goal to get all of these down before school starts. Shouldn’t be that hard, right? You don’t know how chronic my procrastination situation is.

I’ve actually been super good about writing short stories the past few days. I did three in the past two days, and I’m hoping to maybe possibly do a fourth today. The night is still young.

I was going to try and finish reading a book today and tomorrow, but I seem to be in a reading slump at the moment. I know the book I’m reading is really good, but because I don’t feel like reading, I found myself hating it. So I had to stop so I don’t let the experience taint my opinion of the book (taint is a gross word). Does that ever happen to you?

Well, now that I feel accomplished for doing a blog post that I’m sure is a yawn, I’m going to go write something interesting. I’m sorry if you made it through these 295 words. (I told you in the title it was a waste of your time. What are you doing. Get back to work on whatever project you’re avoiding.)

6 Thoughts on My Yearbook

Published August 5, 2015 by Maggie Williams

I just finished reading perhaps the scariest book of all- the yearbook. It terrifies me that after this year, some of these people will be out on their own. My friends will be adults. I’ll be an adult. How will the world survive? We are silly, moronic children. I give us two months before we end up calling the Four Horsemen upon the earth by accident. But anyway, I noticed a few things other than how horribly unprepared we all are for life.

1. I am a recluse. You know that episode of Hannah Montana where Jackson becomes a hermit? That is me. Literally the only picture/quote/anything of mine in the yearbook is the mandatory class photo. On the other hand, maybe I’m just incredibly lucky that the yearbook quote kids have never descended. It’s almost time once more for my yearly sacrifice to Satan to ensure they don’t capture me.

2. Speaking of mandatory class photo, I’m fucking hot. People complain about picture day a lot, but damn, I look good. Of course, I have to complain about my picture in front of people because society mandates that you hate yourself publicly so that you don’t appear vain. But just know that I know that I look damn good.

3. In the group photos in the back of the book, the guys are always sitting comfortably, with their knees apart. Just chillin’. The girls, on the other hand, sit up straight, with their legs close enough together that they could hold some kind of magazine on Victorian etiquette between their knees. It’s just so weird to me that we’re even conditioned all the way down to the way we sit. “It’s not very lady-like to sit with your legs open.” What do I look like to you, some kind of medieval baroness? I’ll sit how I damn well please.

4. I have never seen a good 20% of these people before, and that’s just in my own class. WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE. DO YOU EVEN GO HERE.

5. I don’t like most of the 80% of people I do recognize. This kind of comes full circle to the recluse thing.

6. I feel a weird bond to these people. Most of us have been together for the past five years. It’s like we’re all grudgingly step-siblings. I hate it- exercise this feeling from my body like a demon from the innocent (I must have demons on the brain or something. What can I say? I’ve been watching a lot of Buffy). I don’t want to be one of the criers at graduation. I definitely will be though.

Let me know- what are/were your thoughts whilst looking at your yearbook? How many times could you find yourself? Do you also make a lot of references to sacrifices, Satan, and/or demonic possession when you write?

Feminazi Vs. Meninist (Who’s Right?)

Published July 24, 2015 by Maggie Williams

Feminism is a hot button topic at the moment. Everyone seems to be discussing it, or maybe that’s just the cyber world that I live in. I’ve watched a couple Men’s Rights Activist vs. Feminist videos and I have thoughts. Oh boy, do I have thoughts. Tuck in, kids, this is going to be a long bedtime story.

So as this battle rages, it is increasingly turning into a men vs. women all-out war. Women say “Our lives suck because of our society”, and then men come back with “Quit whining, we have it worse”. It goes back and forth like that until it just turns into a huge shouting match that doesn’t accomplish anything. The truth is, and I know this may be hard for some people to accept, we have it equally as bad. Each group just has it bad in different areas.

Women are taught that our worth comes from our physical appearance. We are the nurturers, the domestic sex, the property. We aren’t allowed to be thinkers, to be the outspoken ones, to be the strong protectors. And when I say “we aren’t allowed”, I know that by law we have to be allowed. I also know that, by law, people aren’t allowed to do drugs, and what still happens? It’s all about societal expectations, not what the law does or does not allow us to do. It’s about changing people’s perspectives on the capabilities of women and girls and, more importantly, changing women and girls’ perspectives of themselves.

Women have a lot of trouble being equally represented in STEM fields, and as the heads of companies. And, no, I don’t think that companies should hire less-qualified people in order to diversify. I think that we should change the way we bring up girls, so that they can be more interested in CEO positions than in whether or not they look presentable enough to leave the house today. This is not to say that someone shouldn’t be allowed to care about their appearance. People should be allowed to be passionate about whatever they want, as long it doesn’t harm anyone. The key word here is “want”. I don’t want to have days where I look in the mirror and cry because I feel so terrible about the way I look, as if it were the epitome of my being. No one wants that, but that is often forced on us by the views of the world we live in.

I also understand that men feel self-conscious about their appearances as well. Everyone is taught to hate their bodies in our society, but that’s a discussion for a different time. The fact of the matter is that men are not taught to base their importance on how physically attractive they are to the female gaze, like women are with men.

What men are taught to base their importance on is status symbols. How nice is your car, how big is your house, how much money do you make in a year? Men aren’t allowed to have emotions, or feel pain, or be anything other than the aggressor. Where women must remain eternally weak, men must remain eternally strong, with no help and no faltering. Common points that I’ve seen discussed are that “Men are the ones expected to fight wars”, “Men are the ones expected to protect women, at their own peril”, and “Men are the ones who have to financially support women in romantic relationships”. All of these things are true from a broad societal standpoint. None of these things are fair.

I understand the fighting, I really do. No one likes to be accused of things. People are passionate about equal rights, and I think that is an amazing thing. And, it’s true that women will always be more passionate about gaining their own rights than helping men gain their rights, and vice versa for men. I don’t think that that is a bad thing. We should all be at the center of our own lives. It makes sense that we care about ourselves more than anyone else in the world. It’s called survival. The important thing is to not only care about yourself. Men can care about their rights more, that’s fine. But they should try to care as close to equally about women’s rights as they can, and vice versa is true for women.

Neither side should be holding the other back from gaining the equality that they need. There shouldn’t even be sides. I think people often forget that we shouldn’t be fighting each other. When we fight each other, it only makes progress harder. Instead, let’s turn our attention to the real problem- society, the media, and the reigning factor- gender roles. Let’s break down the ideas in ourselves, and in others, that it means a certain thing beyond biology to be born a man or a woman. Let’s try to create equal opportunities for both sexes by battling the ideas that got us into this mess, instead of the people who are trying to get us out.

And so, with all this equality, I think of another common argument that I see- “Why call it ‘feminist’ if it’s about equality? Doesn’t that already exclude one group?” To me, it doesn’t. The word “feminist” works for me because, as I see it, I am fighting for femininity to no longer be seen as weak. I want women to be allowed to be feminine and strong. I want men to be allowed to be strong and feminine. The word itself assigns a gender to certain attributes, and that is also a problem, but for now, it keeps everything in plain terms.

The thing I find funny is that “meninist” and “feminist” are the same thing. Well, I’m not actually sure of that. I’ll be frank, I haven’t actually looked into what most self-proclaimed meninists believe, but it makes sense to me that they would believe that men should be allowed to be masculine and vulnerable, and women should be allowed to be vulnerable and masculine. If that’s not what the movement is, please feel free to correct me, but I think you get the gist of it.

When it comes down to it, the words we use are irrelevant. They don’t matter even a little in comparison to what everyone is trying to accomplish. You can use whatever word works for you- feminist, meninist, equalist, whatever- as long as everyone comes to understand that we’re in this together. We’re all fighting toward a common end goal. We all want to live our lives happily and true to ourselves, without feeling shamed by our society.

And with this final statement (at last), I implore you to stop arguing among other people who simply want equality. We need to band together so that we can solve our first-world issues, so that we can, in turn, fight for those who have even worse lives than we do because of the age-old gender roles that still have such a tight hold on us. And though it can be difficult, I also ask you to try and present your argument to those who don’t understand this issue in a calm and kind manner. At one time or another, none of us was aware of the unfairness of gender roles, and you might not be the person you are today if someone had been condescending and shamed you because you hadn’t realized this problem existed. Shouting and being defensive really does not help to inform people. I know you’re probably passionate about it, and that’s wonderful, but just try and give others a kind introduction so that they can learn to be passionate as well.

Be kind to others and try to see things from their perspective. Close-mindedness is for people who would hold back progress, not those who want equality. Stay happy, be nice to people, and and get your activist on.

How My Life Is Like “The Princess Diaries” Right Now

Published July 23, 2015 by Maggie Williams

I’m talking about the books by Meg Cabot, not the flawless Anne Hathaway movie. The novels were way less PG and didn’t keep my attention as well, but I read all of them, and I think I remember enjoying them. And now, several years later, I’m noticing strange parallels between Princess Mia’s life and my own:

1. Mia and I both want to be writers. I actually already wanted to be a writer when I read those books, but, you know. I had to have more than two things on this list.

2. I recently got a haircut, and with the new shoulder-length thing I have going on, I completely understand Mia’s triangle-shaped hair issues. It’s flatter near the top, and then poofier at the bottom, so my head looks like a trigonometry teacher’s dream.

3. I am chronically uncool, and always have been.

4. I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY want to go to Sarah Lawrence in New York for college. It was Mia’s dream school, and it’s mine too.

5. Those are the only similarities because my best friend doesn’t have an attractive brother for me to fall in love with and, despite what I told everyone in third grade, I’m not actually descended from royalty. I also am not good at keeping a diary.

So what I’m saying is that I’m Mia pre-princess. Feel free to come out of the woodwork now, distant royal relatives. I could use some of that cash money so I can actually go to my dream college. (By the way, who else thought Genovia was a real place as a kid? My mom certainly thought it was as an adult, so don’t feel bad about yourself.)

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