Tuesday, November 19, 2013


That's my current estimate for how long this book will actually end up being. It's day 19, and I'm just under 60k, and about 60 % through the story.

I ended up going with the post-modern Fantasy novel idea. So far, it's been fun and relatively easy to write. I hadn't had to force myself through too many scenes. Sometime, when I don't have other obligations, maybe (that will never happen) it would be fun to literally just sit down and try to see exactly how much I can write without stopping, except to sleep and pee and eat bagels.

It has never really been like that. Especially now, when I'm working and teaching and still managing to waste time on Saints Row, and watch movies etc. The other night, I watched Labyrinth with my baby sister. I let her know that I tried to get the goblins to take her away a few times, but it never worked out.

She's adorable. Here's a picture of her when we went surfing last year.

Sharks didn't want her either, I asked.

Really though, I've been playing a lot more this month than I thought I would be. It's been nice. But, now it's time to get serious and try to finish this book!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

…Thinking about Vampires today.

That seems appropriate for Halloween week.

This newest season of Supernatural really had a hold on me, until episode three last week, when its grip slipped and I started to plummet into the darkness that is entertainment related disappointment. As a brief, almost spoiler-free explanation, I’ll only say that I saw Cas getting expelled from the bunker coming a marathon away, and I was screaming “NOOOOOOOO!” the whole way, because, come on, guys. Such a cop-out. You can’t come up with any other way to maintain tension and drama between Cas and Dean except to keep them separated, can you?

Ever since season five they've repeatedly come up with lame (okay, some of them weren't bad, or were downright awesome, but it’s getting old) excuses why Cas doesn't just stick around. And this is coming from someone who doesn't see Cas and Dean as having a romantic relationship.

But, now I’m getting into an entirely different rant, about how my generation can’t seem to comprehend the idea of a close bond between two people that isn't sexual.

We’ll see if I can recover in the next few episodes. I’ll watch episode four tonight and maybe it will all be okay… Maybe Cas will get the truth about why he has to leave and see the necessity in it, or maybe at least they’ll have Dean come up with a decent lie. I really hope so, because I want to be excited about this season.

Which brings me back around to the vampires.

I was trying to think of ways that Supernatural could make it up to me, as I’m sure it wants to—our friendship means so much, and it’s so needy, geez. Very near the top of my list was Benny the Cajun Vampirate.

Let me take you back to innocent days. When as a youngster, what I wanted, more than anything in the world was a really good vampire book. I searched everywhere, but unfortunately I only found a lot of really horrible and one or two really mediocre vampire books.

Oh, and Dracula. Which is great.

Eventually, I gave up and decided I would just have to write my own. Since my ex-boyfriend had so recently condemned me as a Satan worshiper, and had me believing at least for ten seconds that he was going to attempt an exorcism and hide my no-longer-possessed body somewhere in cottonwood canyon, I felt like I was in a really good place to write something truly romantic and not at all about how men are psychotic monsters. Bonus points if you can pick out which parts of this story aren't lies.

My awesome (and never to be finished) vampire novel ended up resembling Benny’s story to a somewhat troubling degree. I had originally envisioned it as a romance with a lot of violence and bloody revenge, but as I wrote it chapter by chapter I found myself more engaged in a secondary story-line in which my main fanged man chose to watch over one of his still very human and clueless descendants… so, it evolved into a family story, with a lot of violence and bloody revenge.

Also, everyone was Cajun, which I didn't realize at the time is kind of a thing already.

So, my novel did help me get vampires out of my system for a minute there, but then I needed another fix. Just in time for one of my friends to ask me, “Have you read Twilight?”

I hadn't. I hadn't even heard of Twilight and apparently there was another book already out and I was seriously behind. I went ahead and read it, and let me tell you, it was exactly what I was looking for at that particular time in my life. Hear me out, haters!

No… that’s all I got.

No shame. I liked it. I’m really critical of books, usually, but I found it entertaining and it was what I wanted.

I can say negative things about it, and in fact, I will, in a second, but let’s get real. I can say negative things about every writer. Except Jane Austen. She’s perfect.

Charles Dickens relied on coincidence, Silvia Plath wrote through one narrow, angry perspective, Douglas Adams purposefully tried to piss off his audience, Shakespeare pandered shamelessly, Hemingway hates you and James Joyce are you kidding me?

These are great writers, and I don’t think anyone is going to accuse Stephanie Meyer of that, but she filled a void that had plagued my lonely, self-conscious, why-are-guys-so-mean?-adolescence. I’m happy she wrote Twilight. I’m happy I read it.

Rereading it didn't work out though.

I used to be the kind of person who reread books. Twilight cured me of that. Attempting to read the book a second time was oh so boring. The narrative that kept me going the first time around, just doesn't hold up when you have another go at it and the plot… well, there’s really not much in the way of plot, so what was going to compel me to read more than two chapters? The characters?

Hell to the no.

In my adult years, I would say I've transformed into a classicist when it comes to vampires specifically, but monsters in general. With few exceptions, I think they ought to exclusively be terrible and don’t fall in love with you, but kill you dead and eat you. And maybe turn you into one of them and then you’re a monster too. Which sucks. Pun absolutely intended.

Benny is one of the exceptions. He was believable as a good person, and as a monster. Usually, I find myself not buying either the good or the bad side of the archetypal conflicted vampire’s personality, and maybe that’s more my problem than the writer’s, but I’m gonna say no, it’s not on me.

Allow me to leave you with this clip from Community, of when Abed briefly became a vampire in order to meet a girl.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

NaNoWriMo 2013

I was totally going to skip it this year. I had all these excellent, detailed plans about how I was going to not.

Then I thought to myself… that’s stupid, just because you’re unreasonably busy is no excuse to stop doing the things.

It probably is, but myself won’t hear of it, so even though we’re somewhat in disagreement about the wisdom of this decision, we are going to snap our faculties back together in order to attempt to knock out another novel this November. For a second there it looked like I might have the third book in Rosenrot’s series done this month, but then life ensued and I decided to hold off on trying to finish it until December.

Anyway, last year, NaNoWriMo did not work out so great for me. I finished the book, but it was terribly short and refused to get any longer, no matter how I begged it. It doesn't surprise me though, since it was someone else’s idea and I was writing it in a genre that I typically avoid, precisely because it’s challenging for me to maintain the interest. That having been said, I do quite like the book I wrote last year and perhaps in a few years I’ll pull it out, dust it off and turn it into something less embarrassing.

For now, I've decided I want to choose an idea that’s more fun, and yes, much more self-indulgent. I think a healthy level of self-indulgence can be crucial to finishing a NaNoWriMo novel. Skip right to the fun stuff. Author Avatars everywhere, switch voice and style as it pleases you, never editing! That sort of thing.

I've got a short list of ideas I’m considering for NaNoWriMo. All of them involve going back to my YA Fantasy roots.

Idea # 1 – I shall call thee High Fantasy Gods & Monsters Book! So, this one is currently in last place because it involves creating a new language, which seems mighty ambitious for a novel I’m supposed to finish in thirty days. But, it’s the most solidly formed in my mind, I've got characters and plot points and four parts, I just need to write it… and make up that language.

Idea # 2 – The Inverted-Harry Potter Story! So, it wasn't until recently that I realized this was the inverse of the Harry Potter plot. I’ve had this idea for years and it’s taken on a few different forms. The fact that I can’t seem to pinpoint exactly how I want to tell this story is one of the reasons I haven’t written it, but essentially, it’s about a Sorcerer’s Apprentice who finds out that his master stole him from a mortal family. He runs away to find his real parents and tries to live as a normal kid for a while. Spoiler—he’s unsuccessful.

Idea # 3 – Currently in first place, we have: Post-Modern Epic Fantasy Experiment. I think every sad writer of my generation has written this story already, except me. It’s basically Lost in Austen, but in a Fantasy World that resembles every Fantasy World. Very self-indulgent. I’ll only go ahead and do it if I can be clever about it.

Honorable Mention #Theonlyone – Guinness. Five years ago, I told you that if you hadn't at least started writing that charming and wickedly funny fairy-tale story you’d mapped out from beginning to end, I would steal it from you in five years and write it myself. I feel I’m morally obligated to make good on my word. I’d be willing to give you a six month extension except I know it won’t matter.

Monday, July 22, 2013

I'd make him a sammich

I said that about someone the other day. Can't remember whether it was Richard Armitage or Tom Hiddleston.

Might have been Cumberbatch.

I'm missing UK land pretty bad right now. It's been a year since our adventures and I'm tripping down memory lane line a newborn deer, giraffe, hybrid-creature in hotsuace... my thoughts are getting away from me.

They're not all winners, but they all make me smile because they're part of a whole that was legitimately amazing.

Like the following impromptu lesson in Cognitive Dissonance, specifically the whole ability to minimize the discomfort associated with regret, or whatever the hell it's called, I'm not getting my old textbook out.

See, everyone makes mistakes. Big and small, it's an unavoidable part of being a person. That's not nearly as much in our control as we pretend it is. However, the way that we deal with those mistakes, varies from person to person, and I at least, think a lot of that has to do with our choices rather than our brain chemistry.

So, I'm going to illustrate this with a story from one of our trips to London. It's really not the best story, not gonna lie, but it's made me laugh until I cry the couple of times that someone has brought it up again.

It's probably a 'you had to be there' thing.

Anyway, this is the story of some disappointing sandwiches.

We were running all over the place, being obnoxious touristy Americans and generally just being happy to be alive and we kept forgetting about eating. By the time we remembered everyone was feeling quite faint and so we basically ran into the first little Tesco type place that we could find and grabbed some of those boxed sandwiches, because it's food! We wanted food. That's all.

So, Angela and Guinness both ended up with very disappointing sandwiches. Angela complained about her's through three bites, then tried taking it apart and eating the pieces separately, as if that would help. When this didn't work, she ended up throwing most of the sandwich out, but now she was starving and didn't want to spend any more money (and wouldn't let anyone spot her, too much pride, that Angela). She dealt with this the way that I suspect she deals with everything and she complained about it...

You don't understand though, because I haven't finished. She complained about it FOR THE REST OF THE WEEK.

No joke. She found every opportunity she possibly could to talk about how horrible this sandwich had been.

It got so ridiculous that at one point she started to talk about the damn sammich again and I burst into maniacal laughter and she still doesn't know what that was about. She pretty much drove me mad with her talk of soggy Tesco sandwich.

Meanwhile, Guinness also had a disappointing sandwich. She bit into it, frowned at me and said "Ugh, that is terrible," then proceeded to eat the whole thing, because she was hungry. She made a face, washed her mouth out with Coke and then lived her life like nothing had happened. (Because, let's be honest, nothing had happened).

She didn't think about it or bring it up. In fact, she forgot about it completely, which we realized the next time we went to Tesco for a quick meal and she purchased the same sandwich for a second time, bit into it and then said "Oh yeah... I didn't like this one."

And then she ate it.

So, while Angela is the extreme example of maximizing cognitive dissonance, Guinness is the extreme example of minimizing cognitive dissonance.

There's got to be a happy medium in there. Someone who would eat the sandwich out of necessity but remember not to buy it again...

I'd like to think that's me, but according to Guinness I slid along the scale depending on what has displeased me and whether or not I'm writing.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

I don’t want to talk about the LSAT

I want to talk about TV.

I finally got around to watching everything that I told people I would try, on their advice.


I gave the television show Supernatural, what has to be its fifth chance to impress me. Like a new organ I’m not sure I need (like an extra spleen or something) I kept rejecting it. 

The LSAT has damaged my ability to come up with similes.

Most fan I know watch Supernatural because they are in love with one of the two main guys. So, that left me with the impression of a show that must cater towards that crowd. (Turns out I was at least partially wrong, there is a legitimately interesting story-line). 

Don’t get me wrong, they’re very attractive man-type blokes, but you know what? they don’t do it for me.

Here’s why. Sam (Jared Padalecki) looks like and reminds me far too much of a very platonic friend of mine and Dean (Jensen Ackles) well… he’s called Jensen. As in, he has the same first name as my little sister.

So… No.

Maybe I should be a Castiel (Misha Collins) girl. We’ll see. I do like a deep voice, me.

Tangent—but necessary, probably—so, this time, for whatever reason, I’m thoroughly enjoying the show and I’m not sure what turned me off about it the previous times I was subjected to viewing it’s episodes.

I swear there’s got to be a Mormon writer on staff, secretly trolling about, adding little Mormon tid-bits here and there. Michael in Adam's body. Modern day prophets, “The New New Testament”. Pretty sure I didn’t imagine the phrase “War in Heaven” appearing somewhere.

But honestly, the thing I really love about the show is the relationship between the Wayward Sons, Sam and Dean, Bobby (Jim Beaver--every time Bobby appears on screen everyone in the vicinity cries out "BOBBY!") It's like a drinking game, but more obnoxious. And, now that I've finally gotten this far... Castiel. Who doesn't love a stoic fallen angel guardian thing?

New Girl! 

Okay, I tried it.

I got one episode in and I thought it was really cute and then I watched ten minutes of the next episode and I had to stop.

I’ll give it another go in a few weeks, but I need some time to mourn and then hopefully forget about Coach. I liked Coach!

Guinness thinks it's because the actor and miss New Girl herself had noticeable chemistry and it derailed their planned plot. If that is what happened.... that's stupid.

Robin Hood (BBC)

BBC's Robin Hood was exactly as terrible as the person who told me to watch it initially admitted, but I still watched every episode and freakin' loved it. Robin Hood is really, quite, tres, muy, bien not a good show. The actors are surprisingly great. They're having fun, and I went ahead and had fun with them. There's a fan theory out there that the entire story is actually taking place during a renaissance fair, which would explain all the anachronisms. After I heard this (around episode 3) I went ahead and accepted it as head canon and you know what, it made the show REALLY amazing to watch.

So, every time someone 'dies' I figure that they actually needed to take off and go do something in their normal life, so they arranged beforehand to fake their death during this game of grown-up dress-ups. Obviously everyone came back at the end so they could all go to Denny's or something.

I recommend watching this show with all of that in mind. It makes the ridiculous stuff funnier.

Oh, and I should mention that I thought it had quite a few moments in which I said to myself "That deserved to be in a better show."


Another BBC show that I was bullied into watching. So far, I'm not sold on it's greatness yet, but I've been assured that I need to stick with it, as it apparently improves with time. Alright, friends. I trust you. As with most BBC shows I'm willing to watch it, if only because I appreciate fake worlds populated with actors who look like real people and can... you know... act well.

Not that American fake TV world actors don't look like real people... they look like real, extra-pretty, photo-shopped people... that I have a hard time relating to. Which, I guess, is still real people.

And some of them are good actors.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

A collection of snapshot from this last Spring up to now

Not literal pictures, sorry, should have clarified.

"Am I one of the disreputable females to whom this shout-out is intended?"

Won a game of Categories by being able to list WAY too many superheroes.

Best moment-

"Robin!" - Lucas
"Uh--can I say Nightwing?" - Me
And we high-fived and kept going until I won.

Literally three seconds after almost slamming into another while merging from the 215 to I15
"Can we celebrate not dying with ice cream?" -Guinness

"I still think you should just marry your cousin."

"I like how we're the only family at the Temple having a massive argument."

Jensen's knee doesn't need surgery.

Rest In Peace, Simmons (my faithful and awesome car).

"Of course he didn't catch any of that, he only listens to you speak if you have a penis."

Carmina Burana played on repeat at my cousin's wedding reception. It was very epic, and not nearly as inappropriate for the setting as it probably should have been.

Watcha doing? - a text message sent to my cousin around 10:15 pm on her wedding night.

"You should consider modeling." - Mom
"I'm twenty-five and chubby." - Me
"Yeah... well... okay." - Mom

"You need to go out with my cousin, because you need to marry a black man. Marrying a black man is the only way you'll have half-black babies." - Cee
"But what about adopt-" - Me
"No." - Cee
"Okay." - Me

Whenever it’s been a while since I wrote a blog, I always have the urge to do something like this. I think it’s 
because I’m never quite sure what it was that distracted me, so I just throw together a collection of stuff I remember from the last few months.

This time is different though, because I know exactly what distracted me. The LSAT.

An arrogant associate told me he found it to be “Quite easy. Much more fun than the GMAT.”

I didn’t punch him.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Once upon a time, my younger sister Guinness came to pick me up from school. I hadn't seen her for a few weeks, as she'd just gotten home from vacationing with a friend. She had an enviable tan and her hair was underneath a bandana. I stood outside with a group of girls, chatting and waiting for my ride. None of these girls had ever met my sister before.

So, Guinness pulled up to the curb, but the other girls saw her before I did. One of them, Ashley, I think she was called, gasped and exclaimed, "Oh my gosh, there is the hottest guy in that car."

...that's my sister.

Nothing quite warms my heart like remembering this perfect. PERFECT moment.

Soundly embarrassed, Ashely might have begged me not to say anything. More likely though, she just laughed with everyone else and was a good sport about it. In any case, my sister thought it was the most hilarious thing she'd ever heard.

She's always embraced her androgynous appearance. It's been easy for her to work with, because if you'll remember, Ashley specified that Guinness was a 'hot' guy. My sister is a gorgeous women, and knows well how to play up her more feminine features, but she can also do more masculine looks when she feels like it too. She's done some acting, and she really wants the chance to play Viola or Rosalind someday. Especially Rosalind, because that's her favorite play.

We were all pretty stoked when her theatre make-up class assigned her to do a half-male, half-female paint-job on her face.

I think the fact that she already had the a-symmetrical half-buzzed haircut made it that much better. If you cover the girl half of her face she looks like a dude and if you cover the dude half, she looks so girly!

Guinness is my favorite thing!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Didn't get back to Cardiff until midnight or so

Yes. That is the Mystery Machine parked in front of Stonehenge. Your argument is invalid.

I received a firm exhortation (nearly a threat) to write more about my time in UK-Landia. So, I take you back to the same day with the slugs, but a little later on. I had the wonderful opportunity to skip and dance and pretend I was a merry druid among the massive, mysterious stones of Stonehenge, right at Sunset. (It was pretty much the greatest thing ever:)

I tried to be a good girl and didn't touch/rub/hug/try-and-make-out-with the Stones, although I cannot say the same for all of my companions on that trip (looking at you Guinness) and that picture was taken the same day by someone in our group. Clearly, this proves that Stonehenge is haunted.

If you want to make your own henge, you may do so if a few simple steps.

1 Be an awesome Stone Age person! I just want to give props to Stone Age people for a second. They had very little to work with. Pretty much just stone and dirt, but they still dreamed big, and they worked with what they had. Go them!

2 Go to Wales to get yourself some awesome Welsh rocks. Ignore the close by stones, because who cares about them. Actually, just kidding, get some of those too. (I’m skipping over how they transported the stones, because I honestly don’t think the debate about method is nearly as interesting as archeologists seem to think.) 

3 Carve your stones into desired shapes.

4 Loose the earth within the desired henge area, perhaps using sand, for extra sinkage, although your stones are so heavy, I really don’t understand how that would made a massive difference. Sorry scholars.

5 Arrange your stones (except for the capstones). Use all kinds of horrifying, yet simple techniques to get them upright. (Not even wanting to put my toes in the water of that ongoing discussion)

6 Pack the heaps of earth around the stones tightly so that they don’t tip over.

7 Keep going—bury the whole structure, until you’ve got a pretty steep manmade hill.

8 It’s going to rain and stuff, because this is England. The rain will wear some of the earth away, which means you’re going to have to redo steps 5 and 6 (and maybe even 4) a few times. Don’t worry about it, by this point, you’ve been dead for ages and your kids' kids' kids' etc. are now working on the project that you started when you went to Wales to bring back some cool Welsh rocks.

9 Once the ground is really secure, you can go ahead and scrap off that top layer of earth so you can just barely see the tops of the stones.

10 Slide those massive capstones into place on top of the mound.

11 Start digging.

12 Let the grass grow, and watch from the afterlife as thousands of generations of your progeny can’t figure out how the hell you did that.

13 Laugh.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


 I have a history of ridiculous, easily-could-have-been-avoided accidents. I never get hurt very badly, and I wouldn’t necessarily call myself clumsy. Let’s use this term that I possibly made up, ‘karmically challenged’ to describe the kind of experiences that pepper my life.

There you have my incredibly un-subtle foreshadowing (not even foreshadowing, more like an outright foregone conclusion) that this story contains an unfortunate accident caused by me being stupid.

Stone Circles are beautiful and mysterious. One of my favorite things about my trip to the UK this last summer was our visits to stone age sites. My other favorite things were everything else.

Avebury was one of our first stops. The Avebury stone circle is famous because the stones are really, really huge and the circle itself is MASSIVE. The village of Avebury is contained within the perimeter created by the stones. Adorable sheepies graze in an English way about the frothy greens that sprout wildly about the stones. Like many Stone Age structures, there’s a large outer henge, which is like a deep, “dry” moat dug into the ground around the stones. 

It was a grey, drizzly day and I was dancing about like a loon, because I’m a free-spirited young thing, but also because it was cold and I thought that moving a lot would help. I got very, very wet, as one does whilst dancing through the rain, but when we all met up again after exploring Avebury a little, it was pretty obvious that I’d managed to get extra-soaked.

I’ll tell you how. I separated from the group—always recommended if you’re in a foreign country and want something unfortunate to happen. As I was weaving in and out of the stones and slowly making my way towards the largest ones I saw what I presumed to be a pathway through a more swallow part of the henge that led to the other side. I was curious to get a look at the full structure as best I could, so I decided to climb up yonder hill to see if I could get a glimpse of the entire village, and thus, the entire circle.

It turns out that even the ‘more shallow’ parts of the henge are actually pretty deep. I inched down the path about too feet before the mud gave and I slid on my poor bum right into the middle of the flooding henge (I had been planning to leap across the water collecting in the middle). I was fine. Just really wet and dirty and when I stood up I heard myself asking the following question out-loud, “Are there terrestrial leeches in England?”

No. No there aren’t, you soggy twit. (Actually, I’ve since found out that yes, there actually might be, but that’s sort of horrifying, so let’s just forget that discovery.)

I was looking at big black juicy slugs.

I’d seen them around before. I’d been living in Cardiff for sobbing out-loud. However, this was my first time seeing them so huge and also, so very many hundreds of them all over, slowly making their sluggy ways about the henge.

The path I’d slid down looked too muddy to support a return trip, so I had to march through the henge for a while looking for a more shallow/less rain-soaked way of escape. It didn’t take longer than ten minutes. Surely. And I made lots of invertebrate friends.

As I was leaving Avebury, it became pretty obvious that the paths I was seeing through the henge had been made by those frolicking sheepies. Humans were never meant to follow.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Male Writers and the Female Characters Who Hate Them.

Ever since The Amazing Spiderman movie came out this summer, I've been on an extended rant. Don't get me wrong--I loved it. My sister and I saw the movie while we were staying in Cardiff. We didn't have cars, didn't feel like getting cabs when we weren't burdened with luggage and happened to live a good distance from the theater, so during the long walk back we attempted to discuss how Gwen Stacy is a much better character than Mary Jane.

We didn't really get to talk too much though because we were derailed repeatedly by the two intellectual guys who were with us and thought it would be more interesting to talk about coming up with the perfect phrase to describe when men and women want to talk about different things. For. Forty. Five. Minutes. The irony was not lost on me, but it was absolutely 100 percent lost on them, which is hilarious in retrospect. I guess.

Anyway, the reason I've never liked Mary Jane (keep in mind I think I've read three Spiderman comics, so I'm really just going off the movies and cartoon) is because she doesn't act like a real person. She doesn't make decisions that real person would make were they in her place. She doesn't talk like a real person. She doesn't react to anything like a real person. She's acted upon. She's furniture that you can occasionally build a plot around.

Gwen Stacy, on the other hand, does react like a real person, at least in the newest movie. I understand her decisions, even when I would have done something different. She has realistic motives and emotional responses as well. Go Gwen.

I've heard lots of male writers say things like "I have trouble writing female characters, because I just don't know what a woman would do in that situation."

In the case of the guy who said almost those exact words to me, I think I set his chapter down, face palmed and responded with "Well, not that."

Here's the big secret to writing realistic women. It's pretty much exactly the same as writing realistic men. That's what is so insulting about the whole 'writing female characters is hard' whiny-oisty. Writers are encouraged to make their characters actions make sense, but too often I read these female characters who either do and say things that just don't make sense, or they don't really do anything at all and are just danced around.

Writing a good female character should be like writing what any rational/irrational person would do, depending on the circumstances and the character in question. What are her motivations? Is the real problem that you didn't give her any to begin with? Nice.

Guinness and I did eventually get to talk about well-written female characters, after the guys went into the kitchen to continue their in-depth conversation about talking to women... also hilarious in hindsight.

I will say that this isn't a universal problem. Off the top of my head, I can actually name several male writers who consistently write good female characters. Most of them are married, or have lots of sisters. At least one is married and has lots of sister.