Today is Marion Zimmer Bradley’s birthday. Even after her death in 1999, she continues to be a sci fi and fantasy legend, best known for her Arthurian novel The Mists of Avalon. She was also a child molester and abused her daughter, Moira Greyland, and many other children.
Greyland kept silent until 2014. She feared her mother’s reputation. She feared no one would believe her. That they would instead cling tight to the great and powerful ways Bradley uplifted emerging writers and inspired a generation of female speculative fiction authors.
But the sci fi and fantasy community stood with Greyland. There are fans who have vowed to never read or recommend Bradley’s work again. Authors who continue to work off her source material are donating profits to organizations combating abuse.
Ordinarily, LSQ celebrates the birthdays of famous female authors. Today, let’s celebrate the power of telling our stories. I took an online workshop with Ann Napolitano through One Story, and after every writing exercise Napolitano brought it back to our lives. After we explored what’s missing for a character, we explored what’s missing for ourselves. She said that a writer’s personal life will affect how she writes and that we cannot discount our emotional and mental health. Otherwise, we risk snagging our story in our personal grievances and buried disturbances.
Share your story. Whether your story is a personal narrative, a joy, a trauma, a novel that’s been nibbling for too many years, or that old short story you promised to one day return to, share your story. You will have listeners and we will support you.