Month: November 2014

What’s in a URL? Or, the story of how this blog got its name

Pup all prettied up
Pup, looking thoughtful on a sunny day.

I am incredibly lazy. Instead of actually writing this story, I’m going to reuse an old narrative essay about this topic. It’s a bit stilted, since I was (or am?) still figuring out how to merge personality with academic writing. With that in mind, I tried to make it more bloggable. Is that a word? No? Well, now it is.

***

       My first story was terrible. Using increasingly elaborate notebooks covered with lighthouses and bees, I carefully composed a narrative involving princesses, stilted vocabulary, and talking horses. After roughly five years of this silliness, my original story had fallen into a sad state of neglect. Seeking distractions, I was lurking on the Amazon Romance Forum, as I often did, when a poster asked what sort of romance heroes and heroines our pets would make. I considered this question deeply. I considered it so deeply, in fact, that I wrote a novel about it. Pup, my little pit bull heeler mix, I made my heroine, and Midnight, my black cat with an ego the size of Alaska, was the hero. With those characters, I wrote over a thousand pages of drafts and tidbits. I learned something about composition from my original story, but my pets were the ones who really inspired my writing. Continue reading “What’s in a URL? Or, the story of how this blog got its name”

Fictional characters who should not have kids, ever

Children are a wonderful thing. To many people, they are the world’s most lovable curse, raining down affection and furniture destruction in equal measure. However, just like there is a time and place for everything, sometimes children pop up at the most inconvenient times. And no, I’m not talking about unplanned pregnancies. I’m talking about stupid endings. Many authors appear to have the erroneous belief that their characters need seven babies to unlock the full happy ending. Why? I don’t know, but here follows a list in no particular order of characters who really need to stay baby-free (and sometimes they do!). SPOILERS. Continue reading “Fictional characters who should not have kids, ever”

Think queens, not kings

Years and years ago, when I first thought up a fantasy world, it was a cliched mess, but in fairness to myself, I was nine. It consisted of long-lost princesses, talking animals, and more cliched dreck. And the men were mostly in charge. This country didn’t have queens; it had kings–even though the primary religion had a goddess. Storywise, it wasn’t a terrible gender dynamic. Throughout history, we’ve seen a similar story play out; no matter how friendly to women a society might seem at first, men have generally ruled the lands. For an author who wants to write history-based fantasy (think Game of Thrones), gender roles like these are a great idea. It is not, however, the only model available. The point of fantasy is imagining what could be different, be it dragons, chimeras, or gender equality.

Or maybe even matriarchy.

Continue reading “Think queens, not kings”

Surprisingly nice for a demon, or, a review of After Eden

After Eden has a special place in my heart. It was the first self-published book I ever bought (Actually, no, according to my Amazon order history, it was the second. Never mind). Since then, I’ve downloaded quite a few more reads (whether I will ever get around to reading them all is the question). But out of all them, I remember After Eden most fondly. On paper it sounds ridiculous: A high school girl without a spirit falls in love with a demon. I am here to report that it doesn’t get any less ridiculous once you read it, but perhaps that’s the story’s strength. It knows exactly what it is, and it is unashamed.

Let’s start with the story line. Devi, a girl who has endured debilitating pain ever since an angel took her brother, decides to stop by a bookstore. Just as she is about to put back a truly horrendous romance novel, a headache attacks, and she blacks out. She wakes up on an old couch in the back of the bookstore getting kneaded by temperamental cat named Princess, who belongs to a young man who goes by Oz, the one who brought her inside. To Devi’s utter shock, he can cure her pain with a touch, something not any amount of epilepsy medication has been able to accomplish. What follows is a visit to a 24 hour restaurant, where they discuss surrealist art, eat pancakes, and play the guess-which-supernatural-creature-I-am game. Oz insists on walking her home, which Devi accepts because, hey, he’s nice for a guy who thinks he’s not human. After Oz leaves, though, a creature named Forneus appears in her home with a deal to offer…

Still here? Good, because it’s only going to get whackier. Continue reading “Surprisingly nice for a demon, or, a review of After Eden”

A letter to Edward, or, an epistolary review of New Moon

Spoilers, just so you know. Oh, and here’s a song to describe everyone’s angst for your reading pleasure.

Dear Edward,

I am quite impressed with how efficiently you destroyed Bella’s self-esteem for all of eternity. Taking the “you’re cramping my vampire lifestyle” approach was simply brilliant. Indeed, it shows how well you know her–how else could you have convinced her to let you go? What can I say, the manipulator in me loves the manipulator in you. With that said…

I also hate you. You just left your depressed and fragile girlfriend in the woods over something someone else did. Whatever happened to “I’m not the most dangerous thing out there”? SHE COULD BE EATEN, EDWARD. BY MOUNTAIN LIONS. Or….BY WOLVES (heh heh). Continue reading “A letter to Edward, or, an epistolary review of New Moon”