New SF Story Published in Spread the Love Antholgy

I’ve had a great experience getting Touch of the Traakyn published in the Spread the Love anthology from Ylva Publishing.

From story request through final edits, they were fun and educational to work with. And as a final icing on the cake, they put up an interview with me here.


My Schedule at Arisia

I’ll be heading into Boston tomorrow for the Arisia convention. I hope to meet up with a few of you while I’m there, so here’s the events I hope to attend:


SAT – 10am  Writing the Other — Writing, Panel — 1hr 15min — Burroughs (3E)
How do you write characters whose lives are far outside your own experience? Where do you turn for research, and how do you work that research into the story in a believable way? When, and how, should you talk to or interview people with those experiences?
D. L. Carter, Mikki Kendall, Don Sakers, Nisi Shawl (m)
SAT – 11:30am QUILTBAG Representation in YA — Literature, Panel — 1hr 15min — Faneuil (3W)
QUILTBAG refers to people who are queer or questioning, unidentified, intersex, lesbian, trans*, bisexual, asexual, gay, and/or genderqueer. Many teenagers identify somewhere along this spectrum, but not many YA books feature QUILTBAG characters. This has begun to change for the better in recent years! Let’s talk about books with QUILTBAG characters and how authors have done well—or poorly—in portraying them, and about what we’d like to see in the future.
Gillian Daniels, Adam Lipkin, Victor Raymond PhD, Julia Rios (m), Emily Wagner
 SAT 1pm – Broad Universe Rapid-Fire Reading — Writing, Reading — 1hr 30min — Hale (3W)
Broad Universe is an international organization of women and men dedicated to celebrating and promoting the work of women writers of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Come hear samples from the works of several members of the Broad Universe organization.
Terri Bruce, Kelly Hashway, Rachel Kenley, Ellen Larson, Catherine Lundoff, Gail Z Martin, KT Pinto, Jennifer Allis Provost, Suzanne Reynolds-Alpert, Roberta Rogow, Connie Wilkins, Trisha Wooldridge, Phoebe Wray
SAT 2:30pm  – Carl Brandon Society Awards Ceremony — Events, Lecture — 2hr — Grand B (1W)
The Carl Brandon Society presents their Kindred and Parallax Awards for 2011. The Carl Brandon Parallax Award is given to works of speculative fiction created by a self-identified person of color. The Carl Brandon Kindred Award is given to any work of speculative fiction dealing with issues of race and ethnicity; nominees may be of any racial or ethnic group.
Andrea Hairston, Tenea Johnson, Nisi Shawl
SAT 4pm – Guest of Honor Reading with Tanya Huff — GOH, Reading — 1hr 15min — Burroughs (3E)
Come listen to Arisia 2014’s Writer Guest of Honor read from a selection of her works.
Tanya Huff

This and That Thursday – Books From My TBR Pile

Playing along this week with Terri Bruce’s blog meme, here are the latest two additions to my to-be-read pile.

First off, I trolled through the Gaylactic Spectrum awards short list for some new books to read. I pulled off most of the list, but the two here are the ones I’m most interested in starting.

20140102-184126.jpg. The first is From Tanya Huff. I’ve read some of her Valor series and love them, so I’m starting to branch out now. You can’t beet solid writing and a great sense of wit and timing, and that seems to be a constant in her stories so far. The Wild Ways is a sequel to The Enchanted Emporium, a series revolving around a witch family. This one follows a secondary character from the first book.

20140102-190129.jpg For this one, I’m venturing to a new author, JA Pitts. The cover image drew me in. Then the blurb, which talks about a woman who is a modern day blacksmith, Norse legends… What’s not to like?

That’s my latest additions to the TBR pile. How about you?


2013 Year in Review

Like every year, this one had its ups and downs. But since I’m in a PollyAnna mood, I’ll pick out the good highlights!

  • Blood of a Traitor was released, along with the rerelease of Face of the Enemy, and Lavender Secrets.
  • signed back up for Broad Universe, a group dedicated to raising the visibility of women in science fiction, fantasy, and horror.
  • discovered #ROW80 and its inspiration for writing more.
  • fed my addiction to a fairy tale TV show (yes, I’m counting that as a positive, even though I hope to limit said addiction in the new year as it can be a real time sync (tumblr, I’m looking at you here).
  • got more into google + and some great SF and writing communities there.
  • dabbled in flash fiction, though not nearly enough.
  • dabbled in fan fiction, more than I should have! Still, quite some fun.
  • Well, that was that! Here’s to more writing and fun in the new year!

    Oh, and to prove it all wasn’t fun fun fun, I’ll leave you with a highlight of my own stupidity…. Guess what didn’t fit in the car…


Did OUAT Cast Rapunzel Based On Ancient Story Origins?

There’s been quite a stir in some places based on the recent casting by the US TV Show Once Upon a Time for their new Rapunzel.

For those unfamiliar, this show has a long history of taking fairytales and giving them a good hard twist (like plopping them all in a modern-day town called Storybrooke Maine). With that in mind, anything akin to ‘how dare they change an iconic character” is pretty much out the window. That is the entire premise of the show.

Given that, let’s explore the Rapunzel decision, and some of its less-than-pleasant backlash.

First off, here is our new Rapunzel, Alexandra Metz.

Now if we think of Disney’s recent Rapunzel movie, you may notice some differences. But again, I reiterate, this TV show has a long history of mixing it up.  So should it matter?  Should it matter in a show where Pan is taller and ever so slightly EVIL compared to the Disney version?  Absolutely not.

But let’s go deeper, and get beyond the reflex skin and hair color issues people have tweeted on about and defended as CORE to who Rapunzel is.  A fairly simple google search on the origins of Rapunzel push her story prior to our friends, the Brothers Grimm, suggesting tales a couple of centuries earlier, of French and Italian origin.

Dig just that little bit further, and there’s a possible link even centuries earlier to a Persian mythological tale of Rudaba.  Rudaba has what you expect:

  • Romance
  • Trials
  • Tower
  • Long hair.

Oh, and by the way, here’s a brief description from Wikipedia – curling black tresses, dark eyebrows and eyelashes compared to raven’s wings.

Hmm… seeing a similarity here?

Now is this what the TV producers had in mind? Who knows? Who cares?  The show is about hope, and redemption, and magic, and true love.  None of that is limited to race, skin color, sexuality, or anything else.  And any decision on cast or storyline that extends the world of hope and happy endings to reflect the wide wonderfully diverse cast of characters we have here on Planet Earth?  Well, that’s a good thing in my book (and on my TV).

The time of year for the Trans-Siberian Orcestra.

This time of year, I fall in love again with the music of the Trans Siberian Orchestra

They have such powerful instrumentals. While I can’t say it makes me feel in the holiday spirit, I can listen to select songs over and over again!

This year though, I am finally going to listen to their samples on iTunes and see if there is a CD I want that captures their unique sound.

image by informant