After two days of intense upgrades, my house is powered by the sun.
We’re brand new and still working out the bugs, but our first day of full sun produced enough power to fuel my car over 250 miles. Our first day of partial sun produced enough power to run our house comfortably. We’re on Day 3 right now, so I can’t offer much more in the way of numbers or averages. Continue reading
I botched it tonight.
Someone asked our panel about writing in a traditionally male-dominated (both as authors and heroes) genre, as a woman. And several women writers were invited to answer, but with the clock ticking on the last moments of our chat time.
I was discombobulated by trying to formulate both a comprehensive and brief answer under the countdown, and even more so by another panelist’s previous assertion that white males were the cause of the downfall of society — a statement I found untrue as well as unfair to the white male panelists sitting on either side of me at the time, not freaking out about being outnumbered on the panel. Continue reading
Common Ash (Fraxinus excelsior) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Just because a book is a fantasy does not mean it does not require research (and in fact often requires more). Right now I am writing about the plants and animals of Asgard, and I am working to make them as probable as possible.
How do we know what animals lived and what plants grew in a land that never was? We look at where the storytellers lived. The Danes who first told these stories likely based their creatures and plants on the more familiar specimens they knew. Continue reading
Let’s talk about lady protagonists.
No, this isn’t another rant about needing more strong female characters, nor the problems with Strong Female Characters (TM). (That’s an easy problem to solve, really: you write good characters, and some of them are female. Done. Not every character needs to carry the impossible weight of universal representation.)
No, I’m going to talk about just the number of females, and my own part in the current state of affairs. Yes, this was partly prompted by Jo Eberhardt’s “The Problem With Female Protagonists,” but I think I’m going to add some additional data and personal takes.
First, let’s look at a statistical truth: There are more books and films with male protagonists than female. (The very fact that we call out but-look-a-female-lead! is proof of it being outside the norm. Nobody needs to point out gravity, because we’re all used to it.) But because we’re all neurologically programmed to notice the abnormal more than the normal, when we do start seeing “diversity,” it feels bigger than it is.
This is why research shows that if 17% of a given group is female, the men in the group report an equal number of men and women, and when the number of females reaches 33%, the men report a majority of women. The “excess” of women over the “norm” is what’s perceived, not an actual count. Continue reading
When So To Honor Him released last year, all the initial profits went directly to support International Justice Mission, an organization fighting modern-day slavery.
In 2015, we’re doing it again.
100% of the profits from all copies (paperback and ebook) sold December 14-18 will go directly to IJM. Click here to purchase and feel free to share with your friends! Continue reading
It was roughly three years of observing and dreaming, before I had finally realized I’d saved enough. And lemme tell you, there’s no feeling like achieving a dream.
Word got out this weekend, when I picked up the car itself. I have become the very pleased owner of a Tesla Model S.
And the key point for this blog is, my books are buying it. (Thank you, thank you, thank you!) Continue reading
Once, while dressed as Dracula (I was a sponsor for the Monster Mania film festival of Universal classics at the Historic Artcraft Theater), I donated blood. I posed for a photo outside the mobile donation trailer, assuring the photographer I’d come to the blood bank to make a deposit, not a withdrawal. Then I went inside, and when the nurse came around the corner to check me in, she screamed.
It was great fun. I do love my vampires.
In a similar /ahem/ vein, I would like to share with you a fun promotional event called Vampire Books for Blood. The authors of the vampire-themed books listed have pledged to donate 10% of their October sales to either the American Red Cross or Canadian Blood Services, depending on their location.
So hop on over (yes, that’s a vampire pun, too) and see if there’s any new books you want to sink your teeth into.
Okay, I’ve seen a number of people post this now. Many are people who don’t know each other. And I’ve seen the sentiment echoed from all demographics, people getting student discounts and people getting senior discounts. It’s everywhere. Here’s the thing:
And I’m going to step into the Old Ben mentor trope for a moment and pontificate, because it seems there’s something critical being missed.
Guys, this is not “that friend.” This is EVERYONE. Continue reading
So To Honor Him was released a day early to newsletter subscribers. Not only did they have the first look, but they had a different price: pay what you want, and all the profit would go to International Justice Mission.
(All direct sales profits last week went to IJM, but on official launch day, the price was a fixed $1.99.)
Amanda Palmer and I are very infrequently mistaken for one another. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I wasn’t sure about setting up a pay-what-you-want day. I mean, that kind of thing works for people like Amanda Palmer, but, well, I’m not Amanda Palmer. What if everyone just grabbed the story for free and nothing at all went to International Justice Mission? Continue reading
It’s about to become enforced policy: it’s illegal to take photos in national parks and on federal lands without a $1500 permit. The fine for taking unauthorized pics will be $1000/photo. Even in the /cough/ Ansel Adams Wilderness area.
USFS says it’s to protect the forests. Sure, our parks have been under a lot of stress — illegal logging, water pollution, drifting air pollution, human-started fires have all taken a high toll. You know what’s not damaging parks? Digital and film recordings. Photography doesn’t ACTUALLY steal the soul, you know. Continue reading