Thoughts on the Boston Marathon Disaster

I didn’t hear about the explosions at the Boston Marathon right away. It wasn’t until my sister and I were on our way home from a library, where we’d been running a simple jewelry workshop for kids, that she checked Twitter and asked, “What happened at the Boston Marathon? Why would they need blood drives?”

And she read back, and she told me. And my first words were, “Why? What is WRONG with people?!?!” Continue reading

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

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

Spoiler! People are Funny.

Truth is stranger than fiction; fiction has to make sense.

This quip, variously attributed to Mark Twain or Leo Rosten, is quite true. In story, writers must pay a great deal of attention to motive and consistency. In real life, people are hilariously inexplicable. Continue reading

What’s It Like, Being a Writer?

What’s it like being a writer, you ask? Well, there’s several different aspects to it all, of course. Here’s a quick glimpse into a writer’s head. Watch your step….

That guy's brain is a bag full of cats. You can smell crazy on him.

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

The Sixth Day of Kitsune — On Kimono & Japanese Clothing

This entry is part 6 of 12 in the series Twelve Days of Kitsune

Today we feature a guest post by my friend Emilia Blaser, a collector of kimono. Because there’s a lot of misinformation and false assumptions regarding kimono, Emilia is graciously allowing me to repost her convenient guide to kimono for beginners. Continue reading

Storylines and Plot Beats – Rise of the Guardians

Warning! Here there be spoilers, in great measure. Also, plot dissection and narrative breakdown. Continue reading