meme can't marry a man you just met

Instalove, Because I Said So, and Frozen

Karin Kallmaker Because I Said So, Book News 0 Comments

meme can't marry a man you just met

Instalove is a romantic story telling trope of long standing. It shows up so often in Shakespeare, for example, a person could think it’s how all relationships happened. The Romans invented Cupid’s Arrow to explain the irrationality of it (and to excuse a lot of rape, but I digress).

In The Little Mermaid, Mermaid falls for Land Guy cause he’s pretty or something. Land Guy is into someone else and it doesn’t go well. At least that’s how it goes in the original version, which is a cautionary tale about Love At First Sight, and, of course, there is no such caution in the Disney version. (See P.S. below.)

Why can you marry a man you just met according to a thousand years of stories? True love. Love explains all.

meme you can if its true love

Anna has seen all the Shakespeare plays, obviously. But what if she doesn’t know what True Love is? Ay, there’s some rub for you.

This is How My Brain Works

I had several reactions to Elsa’s ultimatum: “You can’t marry a man you just met!”

  1. Because I am a contrary person who doesn’t like absolutes, I thought, “Oh, yes she can.”
  2. Why should we agree with you, Elsa? Because you say so? Oh, hey…
  3. Karma payback for making an absolute statement like that, which is that Elsa falls in love at first sight in Frozen 2.
  4. With a woman. Because I’m me.
  5. After all, Elsa didn’t say anything about not marrying a woman you just met. Seems like a loophole that Anna could have exploited.
  6. If Elsa falls for a woman then it’s not really karma payback because of the Woman Loophole. Damn.
  7. But Elsa should definitely fall for a woman. I might have a thought**. #MarvElsa
  8. Wait a minute, Disney! Every princess EVER fell in love at first sight until Pixar came along. [descent into muttered rant about effing dudes presumed to have claim on any solitary woman they come across, comforts self with the gleeful memory of flipping that script in Christabel].
  9. Note to self: Anna, True Love, what if she’s wrong? Elsa’s got a right to worry here. Hmmm.
  10. Note to self: About that last note to self = conflict thread. So write it down. Ignore that lying voice that says you’ll remember!

Brain Soup

My creative brain soup is hard to explain, but this is how story ideas begin. With conflicts and possibilities. Tropes that I want to subvert and change up to make fresh stories. This particular stream of ideas ended up with two women in Because I Said So delivering an ultimatum to the young people in their lives. An ultimatum that bites back.

Of course it’s more complicated than that. It’s me. It’s also a book about what really makes a family. There’s also Mahjong. I wrote more about that at the Bella Media Channel.
meme laughter is the second best medicine mahjong is the first majhong with friends always means both
What I love most about Because I Said So is that I think it tells a story of real women playing and resisting the hands they’ve been dealt, and winning the ultimate jackpot in spite of them. Two women living in today’s precarious and imperfect world will always find a way through all the tropes and expectations to each other.

That path can be messy, and funny, and so very not straight. For me that’s always been the point.

Because I Said So – July 18 at Bella

Cover, Because I Said So by Karin Kallmaker, Bella Books 2019
Because I Said So is available in paper and eBook at and signed paperbacks are available from me if that’s your jam. It’ll also be available at all the other usual suspects in eBook form in a few weeks. Watch this space.

Place your pre-orders and thank you in advance for honest reviews! They truly help tell other readers if this is a book they’d like.

** Who’s the right woman for Elsa? Maybe this one, who is hot enough to melt all that ice. I mean, she is literally on fire. #MarvElsa anyone?
captain marvel literally on fire

P.S. Fixed it for you. Newsflash, for the record, the mermaid Disney named Ariel can be lesbian, she can be black, she can be trans, she can be anything any person can be, plus whatever any mermaid can be too, i.e. imagination’s the limit and if your imagination won’t go there you might need to think on that.

Copyrighted content.
woman triumphant in field of sunflowers

Surviving that First Reading – Updated

Karin Kallmaker Resources 2 Comments

Oof the biggest challenges I faced, after writing my first book, was reading from it to a live audience. I had never done anything like that before. My very first reading at a bookstore in Vacaville, sadly now closed, is still a vivid memory. I had flop sweats from minute one. I plowed onward. And at the exact right time in the scene the audience laughed.

Once I got that laugh I was hooked on the feedback loop in public readings. I enjoy readings immensely. But it took practice and learning from a lot of mistakes to get there.

So it’s no surprise to me that one of the most common requests for advice from new authors is how to survive that first reading. I’ve attempted here to create a useful checklist of advance work that will take a lot of anxiety out of the process. Plus tips for managing the event itself gleaned over many years in a changing landscape of opportunities for live readings. Read More

GCLS logo 2019 Pittsburgh

So I Had This Idea 2019 – From Idea to Published Work

Karin Kallmaker Events and Appearances, Sisters of the Pen 2 Comments

Every writer I know has doubts – they come with the job. On top of that, once the Googlerithmz realize we’re writers, every third online ad has a new way, a rediscovered old way, a better way, the best way, the only way to be a writer.

Know what I say to that? Hooey. (It’s a technical term.) The only wrong way to write is not to write. After that, whatever works is what works.

Every year I have the good fortune to be reminded of this fact when I moderate a panel of recently published writers who tell how they did it, warts and all. So mark your Saturday afternoon at 1:30pm to sit in on “So I Had This Idea – From Idea to Published Work.”

It doesn’t matter if you’re an experienced author or just starting out. I find it refreshing, every year, to be reminded that there are as many ways as there are writers to birth a book. No two authors ever describe the same journey. This panel is one of my favorite parts of my favorite conference of the year.

GCLS logo 2019 Pittsburgh

Past panelists have included Jen Silver, Ashley Bartlett, Lynette Beers, Nancy Hedin, Tagan Shepherd, Erin Zak, Annette Mori, RG Emmanuelle, Rachel Gold, Mercedes Lewis, Jeanne “Barrett” Magill, Jessie Chandler, Erica Abbott, Mary Griggs, Shelley Thrasher, Beth Burnett, MB Panichi, Marie Castle, Heather Blackmore, Alison Solomon, Cass Sellers, Kimberly Cooper Griffin, this year’s special speaker Cindy Rizzo, and the late Sandra Moran. That’s not even close to the whole list.

KK meme I'm a writer. What's your superpower?

The authors telling the story of their stories this year are:

  • Anna Burke, Compass Rose (the Cardinal Points triology) (Bywater)
  • Carolyn Elizabeth, Corey Curtis and Thayer Reynolds romantic thriller series (Bella Books)
  • K. Aten, Arrows of Artemis series, and more (Regal Crest)
  • KC Luck, The Darkness Trilogy, and more, (Self-published)
  • Ona Marae, Gum for Gracie (Flashpoint)

If you don’t know what the Golden Crown Literary Conference is, go have a look at the amazing schedule of events for readers and writers. There is still time to register and there will be day passes at the door.

designer drawing inset from Because I Said so cover

So Cosmo Came in the Mail Today – One Girl Revolution

Karin Kallmaker Because I Said So 0 Comments

Cosmopolitan cover July 2019
We don’t know how, but somehow Maria got subscribed to Cosmo. Never paid them a dime, and it’s been a couple years now. They keep threatening to end the subscription which would be dandy, but do they? No. So the latest issue arrived in the mail today.

I do admire Aubrey Plaza’s work as performer and writer, and her basic showbiz gumption. I can see what she’s doing there with the super photoshopped sexy photo and the ice cream. The subversive warning is in her memorable eyes. As the song goes, “Some people see the revolution, but most only see the girl.”

Flip the magazine over and you see something like this:

I am hip to the patriarchy’s wiles. I do see what They did there. There’s a flat-stomached, photo-improved, toned woman and all her impossible perfection on the front cover, and a fix for your feelings of inadequacy on the back cover.

Cosmo‘s messaging is that of an arms dealer selling to both sides.

I haven’t a clue who “Cassie” and “Colton” are, and I’m going to call that Read More

because I said so good romance with great characters review

Because I Said So – Meet Shannon Dealan

Karin Kallmaker Because I Said So, Book News 1 Comment

Cover, Because I Said So by Karin Kallmaker, Bella Books 2019

Because I Said So – if you’ve read Chapter 1 you know how much Kesa Sapiro wants to say those words to her sister Josie. In this teaser from Chapter 2 you’ll find out why Shannon Dealan is in the same situation with Paz.

Because I Said So – Preview
by Karin Kallmaker

Because I Said So will be available July 2019. Did you listen to the reading from Chapter 7 yet?

Copyrighted material, uncorrected proof, 2019

Potatoes, Green Beans, and Ham Hot Dish in the Instant Pot

Karin Kallmaker Chocolate and Inspirations, LIFE + STYLE 2 Comments

I don’t really focus on recipe blogs (here’s one for delectable oatmeal chocolate cherry cookies, though, you’re welcome) but every time I make this dish I take a picture as if that somehow will preserve the sheer deliciousness of it. Then I can’t help but post that picture and then someone asks for the recipe. So here it is. Read More

carol danvers nick fury in captain marvel 2019

Captain Marvel is ‘Just Another Marvel Movie’ – And Why That Matters

Karin Kallmaker Chocolate and Inspirations 0 Comments

Movie still Carol Danvers Captain Marvel 2019 Marvel Studios

Captain Marvel is as good as many and better than some of the other entries into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). It lights up all the levels in my feminist heart, and it also pleases as an entry into this massive franchise with 17 films and counting. I’ve watched every movie multiple times, and I’ll rewatch this one too.

It’s not the best movie in the MCU. It’s also not a Susan B. Anthony dollar.

It’s not a token nod toward representation of women that’s executed to guarantee unpopularity, mediocrity, and, ultimately, failure, so that men who control the spigot of money and opportunities can say, “See? Projects that front women don’t succeed.”

Just Another Marvel Movie

Instead, Captain Marvel presents on screen with Read More

women hugging in friendship

Cheaters are Prospering, But That’s No Excuse for Asshattery

Karin Kallmaker Business of Books 5 Comments

Romance authors are genuinely frustrated and harmed by the cheating going on at that big platform. I’ve been seeing a range of exasperated comments around the writing community about something else – authors being jerks to other people in the business while marketing their books. It made me wonder if the frustration and lost income over cheating has made some authors resort to undesirable behavior to try to compete. If so, it’s a losing strategy.

Cheating *IS* at Flood Stage

There’s plagiarism by putting other writer’s books in a blender to produce content as quickly and cheaply as possible. Kindle Unlimited has been rampant with book stuffing. The style of payouts has content producers Read More


The Voices Told Me To – Comfort and Joy Audiobook

Karin Kallmaker Comfort and Joy 2 Comments

Every character I write has a distinctive voice in my ear. Different word choices and inflections. Idioms and euphemisms. Or a way of saying a certain sentence different from all the others because it’s a line from a movie or a song. On a good day I feel like I’m merely the typist lucky enough to hear their story first.

Though I try to capture those nuances, all of that uniqueness doesn’t carry over into the printed version. Only I hear it. Which is why I truly love reading my work aloud. (Possibly because it makes this process sound a little less crazy, but I digress.)

Finally, I can use the voice of Bugs Bunny, or add the Winnie the Pooh think-think-think sound, so that they are part of the experience of the story for the reader the way it has been for me for oh so many years.

When I decided to undertake this production, I quickly realized the biggest luxury of the project was not being under a time limit to get through a scene. I could slow down and breathe, huzzah! I missed the live audience reaction, but I also got used to that.

While my performance may not be the high polish of the professional narrators out there, I hope that my personal attachment to the characters comes across in the reading, as if we were gathered in a cozy bookstore, safe and together, while I read it.

Clocking in at just under 90 minutes, I think it’s a great length for commutes. I hope it’s a story you’ll look forward to every year.

cover Comfort and Joy audiobook unabridged read by author

One last thing: I treasure constructive, critical feedback. Please leave a review. Tell me what you thought here or post a review at the site where you purchased it. And I thank you for the gift of your time! Your feedback will count in the decision to do further projects.

Copyrighted Material
cover Comfort and Joy audiobook unabridged read by author

Comfort and Joy – Audiobook Available!

Karin Kallmaker Comfort and Joy 1 Comment

Update: The Audible release is finally up, 27 (not 5-14) business days later, so I’m removing the downloadable version from my site as previously stated. Information with all the Audible, Amazon, iTunes links forthcoming shortly.

The best laid plans of releasing this holiday audiobook didn’t include an unexpected 10 15-day delay in the approval and release by Audible. All my fault. I misunderstood that “3-5 days” actually meant, without explanation, “15-20 25+ business days.” Read More

hand hiding keyboard

The Difference Between Hacking and Spoofing on Facebook

Karin Kallmaker LIFE + STYLE 11 Comments

This is a Public Service Announcement. There is significant difference between being hacked and being spoofed on Facebook. (Spoofing is also called cloning.) I often see people in a fear spiral when they don’t need to be, and after explaining the difference numerous times it finally occurred to me I could just do a blog post and then share the URL in the future. The spoofers get less of everybody’s time and attention.*

But First, False Warnings via Spam Messenger Text

Are you here because you got this or a similar private Messenger text from a friend?

text of spam message I actually got another friends request from you yesterday which I ignored so you may want to check your account

Resume your daily life, you haven’t been spoofed. The text is pure spam and why anyone would send that message to their entire friends list is beyond me. Maybe ask the person who sent that to you if they really got a fake friend request from you or not. Maybe consider blocking that person from sending you private messages. Unless it’s your Nana. Never block your Nana. Read More

Karin with mom, aunt and grandma

That One Thanksgiving with the Whipped Cream Thing

Karin Kallmaker LIFE + STYLE 4 Comments

grandma marie circa 1965
My maternal grandmother, Marie, was a baker. I was very little but I remember going to the county fair one year and instead of going to the rides, we went right to the venue for the baking competition. My grandmother said, “Well, I’ll be,” at the sight of her name written on a huge piece of butcher paper tacked to the wall.

She’d won the prize for All-Around Best, well, Everything. She won two more times in subsequent years. This happened later in her life when baking was a serious hobby. She’d learned to bake through pure necessity in rural Oregon and California. She had no car, the stores were always a long way off, and you made meals out of what you had. She once told me that in WWII during rationing, with only two kids she always had shoe coupons to spare, and she would trade them for sugar coupons. That meant she could put up her fruit crop for winter, and even if the main meal was lean there were treats. Read More

books and boots dallas gcls logo

Books and Boots Gather in Dallas November 10!

Karin Kallmaker Events and Appearances 0 Comments

Feeling as if the barbarians are at the gate, and it’s nonstop? Gather with likeminded people, get some hugs, breathe easy. I recommend it with all my heart, and it’s how I’m coping in this very difficult time. If you can get yourself to Dallas on November 10, I will hug you and that’s a promise!

It’ll be a great day with a lot of wonderful authors you can talk to, and plenty of other readers who like what you like: stories about women who love women. Read More

michelle yeoh in crazy rich asians

Crazy Rich Asians – a RomCom that Takes Love Seriously

Karin Kallmaker Chocolate and Inspirations, Craft of Writing 2 Comments

Box office blockbuster Crazy Rich Asians, which I saw this week, succeeds so well as a romantic comedy that I was left wondering how it is that so many romcoms don’t. I think this is the core of the problem:

You can poke fun at the couple’s foibles, and you can put them in awkward situations, but you can’t make light of love itself.

Read More

Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture

Land o’ Book Love – Upcoming Events in Minneapolis

Karin Kallmaker Events and Appearances 0 Comments

Road Trip!

Hello Land of 10,000 Lakes! The North Star State! And home to an astonishing quantity of out and proud queer writers. My wife and I are undertaking an epic trek this fall, and it includes a swing through the Twin Cities where I’ll be reading my work and talking about books at two different official venues.

There will also be unofficial meetups in Detroit, Ann Arbor and Stratford that I’ve announced on Facebook, so visit the link if those locations intrigue you. Read More

publicity poster for 2018 Western Women Writers of New Mexico annual event

WWW of New Mexico – A Day of Writing and Women in the West

Karin Kallmaker Events and Appearances 0 Comments

publicity poster for 2018 Western Women Writers of New Mexico annual event

Treat yourself and join us! These women love books. They love to write. They love Albuquerque*. And every year they put that all together for an annual event featuring a variety of authors across genres and identities. So I’m really pleased this year to be appearing at the WWW Conference with literary luminaries I’ve fangrrled for years. Read More

quote dorothy allison tell your truth

Dorothy Allison: Burning Hot Hope

Karin Kallmaker Events and Appearances, Sisters of the Pen 15 Comments

It was a physics problem from the get-go. How could I condense a universal force of nature like Dorothy Allison into a PowerPoint presentation of ten minutes? The truth is that it can’t be done, though I tried.

When I was asked if I’d present the Golden Crown Literary Society 2018 Trailblazer Award on behalf of the Board of Directors to her, I of course said yes. It was my honor, and a privilege. Secretly I thought it would be easy. Read More

GCLS 2018, Las Vegas, July 4-8

So I Had This Idea 2018 – From Idea to Published Work

Karin Kallmaker Events and Appearances, Sisters of the Pen 0 Comments

There are many right ways to finish a novel. Over the years I’ve seen over and over that there’s only one wrong way: not to finish. Lucky me, every year I’ve been honored to moderate a panel of authors who tell us how they personally got it done. The light bulb went off and they took that idea and transformed it into a finished story. Read More