Political Insults — Assault Weapons & Weapons of War

The most insulting letter I’ve ever received from any government entity or official was a form letter from TSA, informing me that the agent who had invited me to come back for some costumed roleplay with him was in fact only acting for my own security. Not a word about the inappropriateness of the sexual overture, just a party line about all agent actions being for my benefit.

The second most insulting letter I’ve received from a government entity or official came yesterday from Representative André Carson. Continue reading

More Options for Guilt-Free Chocolate

Dove Chocolate Rainforest Alliance Certified

this caught my eye

Well, free of guilt from exploitation. You’re on your own for the calories. (But dark chocolate has important antioxidants and flavonoids and stuff. It’s good for you. That’s science.) Continue reading

On Today’s Slavery — the End It Movement and a 5k

International Justice Mission

event poster – click to visit site

So, I signed up for a 5k run to raise funds for International Justice Mission. Now, you have to realize what this means. I don’t run. Even when I was doing insane interval training, I never ran. So you know this is a good cause. Continue reading

Rape in Life and Fiction

Tarquinius and Lucretia

Tarquinius and Lucretia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now that’s not a pretentious blog post title or anything…..

As I write this, society (or at least social media) is still reeling with the verdict from the Stuebenville rape case, in which two high school athletes (illegally drinking) sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl (illegally drinking) and were convicted with minor sentences, possibly never carrying the sex offender label, with a warning from the judge to be careful “how you record things on social media that are so prevalent today.” That’s right, kids, if you’re going to rape, just be sure your friends don’t post incriminating evidence on YouTube.

My opinion’s clear enough in the above paragraph on that case, so I won’t spend any more time on that. But the trial prompted me to review a topic I’d been mulling occasionally already, on rape in fiction. Continue reading

Fantasy, and Why We Need It

Description unavailable

(Photo credit: Hani Amir)

Today I intend to justify fantasy as a genre. Not that it needs justified, no more than any other genre, but I’m going to anyway.

But first, I’m going to tell you a story. Continue reading

On Today’s Slavery.

The Slave Market, by Gustave Boulanger

The Slave Market, by Gustave Boulanger

Serious post today, folks.

While writing Shard & Shield, I spent a lot of time researching Greco-Roman slavery, as slavery is integral to one of the cultures in the story. Research always leads one down unexpected roads, and I learned a lot about slavery in other areas of the world and in world history, too. Continue reading

Decisions, Decisions: Self-Published or Hybrid Author?

crossroads

(Photo credit: Laenulfean)

It’s a great time to be a writer, because we have more choices in how we conduct our careers: traditionally-published, self-published, or a hybridization of both? But with the freedom of choice comes the weight of having to choose.

Continue reading

Authors banned from reviewing books on Amazon?!

An American Pit Bull Terrier muzzled. Español:...

How is this dog and owner like an author on Amazon? Both are being punished for the actions of someone they didn’t even know. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The latest publishing industry kerfluffle is Amazon’s banning of authors from reviewing books in their genres. You can read more about it here.

This is of course ridiculous, and there are so many reasons why. Continue reading

On Spoilers. (I Hate Them.)

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A 2011 psychology experiment indicates that spoilers don’t ruin a story, but rather enhance it.

With all respect, in this regard psychology has its headlight plugged firmly into its tail-lamp. And that’s coming from someone who makes her day job in psychology and behavior, so you know I feel pretty strongly about this. Continue reading

Self-Publishing, Royalties, and Self-Worth

So I just got an email notifying me of my first Kitsune-Tsuki royalties. So of course I had to tweet about it.

Of course, I knew that I wasn’t putting out Kitsune-Tsuki for money. That’s good, because all single-digit humor aside, percentages on a 99¢ ebook ($4.99 in paperback) are not exactly going to pay for a trip to a warmer climate. Continue reading