I still believe in the power of fiction, I still believe in super girls.
Of course it’s an aesthetic. Super-powered girls and women, my Muse on mega steroids, yeah, well, so what? What’s wrong with that? Beautiful prose, “beautiful fantasy lovers,” fiction is supposed to seduce us, and we as writers must seduce our readers.
I mean, my first literary crush was
Who, in my fantasies, looked like this:
Damn, I wanted to save Sylvia. In a fantasy sort of way. Like averting the Titanic disaster, or killing Hitler in 1933. I wanted to save Sylvia Plath. Because I believed. Her words, her genius.
I wanted to save her from the fires and fumes of her self destruction.
Reading her poetry as a teenage boy, I felt nothing less than anguish. Here was a real Supergirl—but she just couldn’t live. Not on this Earth. Not on this world.
Sylvia Plath, “Lady Lazarus” from Collected Poems. Copyright © 1960, 1965, 1971, 1981 by the Estate of Sylvia Plath. Editorial matter copyright © 1981 by Ted Hughes. Used by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
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I grew up with three older sisters. They were all weird and powerful, overwhelming to poor little drax! It must come as no surprise to even the most casual of my readers that I’ve fetishized super-powerful women in the bulk of my fiction.
Gloriana Blitz from DOOMTOOPERS by Jo Chen & La Shae Ortiz
Samantha Cross from CYBERSTORM by William Briggs Jr
Mori Kim Marr from EXIT VECTOR by Claire Boucher Grimes
So is she my super-muse or my super-dream girlfriend? Both. Like I said up top, “Of course it’s an aesthetic.” And again, so what? It is an aesthetic that has served me well in both literature and life. Example: when I met my former wife in 1994, she was a 3rd degree Black Belt and she kept weapons in her fucking kitchen. “Show me,” I asked her, and she whipped out a Sai for her right and a Sai for her left and she tore through that tiny kitchen, black tights and bare feet, her hair flying, a blur, she would have put Frank Miller’s Elektra to shame and I thought OH MY GOD OH MY GOD BABY I WANT TO MARRY YOU, and I did, and we did, and it was great and we had two amazing children, but in 2015 we don’t love each other anymore, and that’s okay—that happens—but it’s also okay because…
I still believe.
I received a few gift cards for my recent birthday. I was adamant. I wanted a copy of STATION ELEVEN and a Supergirl Action Figure, an icon for my desk.
I had to release Supergirl’s ankles from metal bindings as the cat on my lap looked on. This might be the most surreal photo I’ve ever snapped.
But there she is! On my filthy fucking black desk! An ideal, an aesthetic, a heroine, a muse. I still believe, I still believe, I still believe.