Women Made of Chrome (a guest post)

I wish there were more Jane Navios in fantasy. Oh, you see them in science fiction and horror, but not in fantasy. There is an unwritten code that women in fantasy novels must not be older than thirty, or they’re all the grandmotherly types over sixty, but rarely are there any in the forty to fifty range. There are a few exceptions to this rule, but since the 1990s, female characters over forty seem to have faded into the background scenery, and very few are protagonists.

You can read the rest of this post over at the Hugo Award winning blog, A Dribble of Ink.

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Books I'm Reading

This past week was a little like Christmas. My Barnes & Noble order hit the door along with a very nice surprise from a fan who only wants to be known as Sean McGivney. Three novels and COFFEE (Yo te amo, Columbia). My most heartfelt thanks to Sean. The coffee has been amazing and the books look to be just as delicious.

But first, a picture of the elusive Mr. Macavity ...

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The Broken Road--a brief excerpt (#SFWAPro)

And finally, the opening for my novella "The Broken Road" is finalized. This means that I have opened the file numerous times, read it, and have not felt the need to rearrange words.

Outside the gilded halls of Antigua, summer wilted the crops in the fields. The lowborn poured their blood into the soil. What grew from those rites couldn’t be named or eaten. Famine was a dirty bitch with rotten fangs, but the hunger she put in a belly bit sharp nonetheless ...

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"The Broken Road" novella update

Nailing the opening and ending of a novel are the two most difficult aspects for me. Those first words are like a thesis statement, and I have to work them constantly to get just the right feel for the novel. 

I'm still playing with the paragraph. It has morphed at least five times in the last week. Each time I open the story to work on it, I read the first paragraph anew and tweak it slightly.

Last week, it looked like this:

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A new look to the website (#SFWApro)

A new look to the website (#SFWApro)

Wow. I knew you guys were awesome, but you just blew me away last week. On Friday, I received an email from Clarion West that we have achieved Tier 3, our $100 goal! As a matter of fact, we shot over the goal and collected $160.00 in donations for Clarion West.

You people simply rock!

What this means is that I am now about to offer up not one, not two, but all three of the tiers to some lucky folks. Here is what I'm going to do:

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A chance to win a Tuckerization in my novella

I'm working on a novella that is due to be finished by August 1st. Over the weekend, I discovered that Clarion West Writers Workshop is hosting a Write-a-thon to help raise money for Clarion West Writers Workshop. For those of you who have never heard of Clarion West Writers Workshop, the organization's mission is to improve speculative fiction by providing high quality education through both one-day workshops and an intensive six week writing program. Clarion West is funded through donations, and of course, more donations means that they can keep their tuition low so that more writers can attend.

I've heard a lot of really great things about Clarion West. Since their Write-a-thon coincided with my impending deadline, I thought I might try and raise some money for Clarion West while having a little fun.

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what I've been reading: The Tainted City by Courtney Schafer

what I've been reading: The Tainted City by Courtney Schafer

A disclaimer before I begin this review: Courtney and I are both former NSB authors, whose debut novels were published within months of one another. Since then, she and I have emailed one another frequently and I consider her to be a friend. That doesn't mean that I will pull punches in my review. It's just there for your information.

For those of you who have not been keeping up with Courtney's Shattered Sigil series (gives a stare worthy of Chuck Wendig), you should be. The first book of the series, The Whitefire Crossing, was a wild romp of a read. I thoroughly enjoyed it and if you want to read my review of The Whitefire Crossing, it is here.

And now, The Tainted City by Courtney Schafer:

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Why you won't see "trigger warnings" here

I dislike the use of blanket use "trigger warnings," especially in academic settings. Yes, I understand that people suffer traumatic circumstances outside of the classroom, and I think it is incumbent on the faculty to say that the next work they are going to examine might be disturbing to some students. Brittney Cooper talks about why this form of censorship shouldn't be tolerated and the instructor's role in guiding discussions.

From a personal perspective, I find it demeaning that a certain group of people believes that I will forever be a victim and constantly being "triggered" into bad memories of traumatic abuse by any- and everything. Everyone who has been abused in some manner goes through a victim-stage. There is nothing wrong this, it is a perfectly valid response to abuse. However, to remain locked in this stage as a victim can be emotionally crippling. There is one stage that comes after "victim" that I don't see people talking about at all.

With constant work and good therapy, most people progress to become a survivor. At this point, the trauma is there, but the trauma no longer controls the individual or their actions. We acknowledge what was and know that it is something that HAPPENED to us, not something that DEFINES us.

To allow any kind of trauma to define me and restrict my life and my thinking is a straightjacket that I prefer to avoid. That's just been my personal experience.

Also, if you're triggered by anything, don't read my works. I trigger everything, because to hide abuse is to deny its existence, and I'm not into denial. Not anymore.

So you will never find "trigger warnings" here. Remember: