The Year I Learned What Hate Was

I grew up watching LeVar Burton in "Reading Rainbow" and later, in "Star Trek" alongside Whoopi Goldberg and Michael Dorn. Skin color was about "significant" as pointed ears or angled eyebrows; it might set you apart and make you more interesting than the rest of the population, but nothing more. And I thought racism was dead. … Continue reading The Year I Learned What Hate Was

The Rush to Publish and Half-Baked Writing

Lately I’ve been thinking about how soon one should start looking for a publisher. The moment the manuscript is finished? Once the first rewrite is done? When your Beta readers say it’s good enough? Authors have historically run into this dilemma. J. R. R. Tolkien published The Hobbit, then revised it and published it again, … Continue reading The Rush to Publish and Half-Baked Writing

Back When We Still Cared

I just finished a recently-published historical fiction novel, set in England in the time of Jane Austen and most of Georgette Heyer’s books. It had a great premise, but the execution was…flawed. And not for glaring historical flaws. The costumes, the plot events, and the characters had a studied feel to them. I felt like … Continue reading Back When We Still Cared

What’s YA Fiction Telling Our Young Adults?

I have noticed a couple concerning trends in YA fiction. While I do not proclaim myself to be an expert, what little I have read suggests that these messages frequently appear in YA fiction, and I wonder if that's really what we want to be telling our young adults. Young adults are adults…just young. Very … Continue reading What’s YA Fiction Telling Our Young Adults?

Frozen to the Core

The other day, I took some frozen strawberries out of my freezer—lush, red heart-shaped orbs crystallized in ice for their protection—and I washed them in warm water to help them thaw. After I placed them in a bowl, they started changing any lingering water on their surfaces into ice. They were so accustomed to their … Continue reading Frozen to the Core

The Four ‘Verts

I had some interesting discussions with local extroverts and introverts in response to my post last week, “Why I Don’t Believe in Ambiverts?, and I have crystallized the rest of my theory on personality categories. Basically, there is a gradient, from the extraverted-side of things to the introverted-side, with four categories between them. Here is … Continue reading The Four ‘Verts

Why I Don’t Believe in Ambiverts

People are like tapestries, made of so many threads that, by the time you finish classifying and dissecting, you might as well have created a custom spot for each of us, with our name on it, because you can’t pigeonhole people. That being said, there are some useful categories which help us understand those who … Continue reading Why I Don’t Believe in Ambiverts

Writing the World as You Know It

When I was in college, I began the first book of my sci-fi fantasy series; at the same time, one of my professors was in the middle of writing her own novel. With her background in cross-cultural studies, though, her characters represented a very different demographic than mine, and it worried me. I wasn’t trying … Continue reading Writing the World as You Know It