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Showing posts from December, 2016

This Year, I Wrote Words That Lived Without Me

We all know that warm fuzzy feeling of getting a bunch of likes on a social media post or having people tell us they enjoyed something we wrote. It says, "I like YOU" or "I value YOUR opinion" as much as it compliments the words themselves.

But there is a different feeling of accomplishment watching a written piece take on a life of its own, shared and enjoyed by people who do not know the author personally, or who do not even know the identity of the author--when the author can be certain that nobody is sharing it with their friends or complimenting it just "to be nice."

This year, I wrote two major works that are not about me, which connected with people who do not know me (or that I wrote them).

Obviously, one is The Grove of Thorismud. I've been astonished at the number of beta readers in my local writers' association who have continued to contact me asking if they can read it, too, and encouraging friends and colleagues to read it so they ca…

It's the End of the Year as We Know It

Yeah, I've been binge-watching Colbert. Also eating. Eating like the Nazis are coming. (Are they?) I feel like I can't get full no matter how much I eat. The other day, I decided I needed to build some muscle for all the shoveling and wood hauling I will have to do this winter. (My husband blew up his knee chopping wood and cannot do physical labor for at least two months.) I put on fitness gear, turned on a workout video, and started to warm up. I looked at myself in the mirror, saw with alarm that I could already see my ab muscles, shut off the video, and went into the kitchen to eat cookies. HOW WILL I SURVIVE 2017 IF I AM SKINNY? I look out the window, see the chubby squirrels making their winter nests, and I envy their fluffy little butts.

This is the time of year when I would normally re-post my "Keep Saturn in Saturnalia" meme. But now it makes me think of Burlusconi and fascism, and it's not funny.

Or I would post some "Merry Christmas" message,…

The Birth of Joy: A Holiday Tale as Old as Time

Once upon a time, there was a princess named Mind with a great thirst for knowledge and a deep desire to be loved. Alas, she was cursed by her own prettiness.

One by one, her sisters married, but men were intimidated by Mind's beauty, and women were jealous of her.

As a righteous babe once sang,

and god help you if you are an ugly girl
course too pretty is also your doom
cause everyone harbors a secret hatred
for the prettiest girl in the room

The people celebrated and spited Mind's beauty so much that the Goddess Lust herself became jealous of their attentions and cursed the princess. She ordered her son, the Body God, to prick her with one of his arrows of infatuation and make her fall in love with a monster.

An oracle passed the divine message to Mind's family: that she would wed a hideous beast and must climb the highest mountain to meet her fate. But Mind did not despair along with her parents. She welcomed the love of a monster husband who would end her loneliness.


Hygge Me!

Get thee behind me, pumpkin spice. Hygge is the big league of cold-season trends that help you forget the brutality of reality beneath a smothering mountain of blankets.

I've canceled my 10 hours a week of creative writing time for the month of December so I can focus on my day job--at which I might receive death threats at any time for promoting peace, love, and justice--and recovering from that day job while taking care of myself, my family, and my friends, who--I have realized this fall--are frankly better people than a lot of America, you flaming dirtbags.

This month, I'm putting up Queen Elsa-sized, icily fortified boundaries around my personal energies, so get in line, devil's advocates and ism apologists. You can wait for your hot cocoa right there in that greasy snowbank.

Meanwhile, I am volunteering at churches that serve activists and immigrants.

I'm working on semi-obscene Christmas cards to spread the warm feelings among friends who need a laugh.

I'm ba…

The Grove of Thorismud

I have rewritten Briars and Black Hellebore into a more twisted love story, less sweet than savory. The Grove of Thorismud is complete, composed of 40% Briars material, now fermented and spiced. I received feedback from four beta readers and one editor, sharpened the emotional drama, cleaned out 6,000 unnecessary words, and submitted The Grove to one agent upon request.

The Grove of Thorismud takes place in a small forest kingdom of Central Europe in the 10th and 11th centuries. Two cursed dynasties inspired by the ancient stories of "Sleeping Beauty" and "Beauty and the Beast" are rescued during the same spring, and the two heroes--an aspiring knight from a nearby farm and a nomadic wolf huntress--claim their own prophesied right to rule Vepres.

Johann marries "Sleeping Beauty," the former Princess Rosemary, and Bellynda marries the transformed "Beast King" Gustav.

Bellynda easily takes the throne as reigning queen, but as a gift to her tenderh…