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#GoodNewsTues

 

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Hello all, and happy Tuesday! I hope the world is treating you kindly so far this week. ^_^

downloadIn the course of my Intarwebs Adventures, I have encountered this lil’ #GoodNewsTues hashtag again and again (and yes, usually on Tuesday :P). I have to say, it makes me happy when I see it…and not in a Professor Farnsworth, “Good news everyone!” sort of way. I can always use some good news but yeah, now more than ever, seeing that wonderful things are still happening in people’s worlds is not just helpful, it’s necessary for cultivating a hope and faith.

It made me think…in my authorly endeavors, I will have soooooooo much good news coming down the road. And soon, too…soon enough that I’ve hit the stratosphere in my rocketing squee levels, about to break into space! Maybe it’s cheating to make a #GoodNewsTues post with no concrete details but I can wiggle around that technicality by saying that me having impending good news is…you guessed it…good news! The writing and publishing processes (trust me, they are two different beasties) are often slow, ponderous things until suddenly they go FTL and I’m so excited to note that I’m approaching the latter. Please do stay tuned, and in the next couple of weeks check back for some exciting announcements in my writing journey.

In the meantime, I hope you can find some not just good, but awesome news in your own lives, and that the rest of your Good News Tuesday is just the best. <3

 

 

 

Tasty Tuesday: Isn’t Food Nice?

Howdy, all…I hope the week is treating you well so far!

Recently I was having a conversation with a friend about how much I adore people’s food pics on social media. I’ve seen rants from naysayers, people complaining about UGH ANOTHER PICTURE OF SOMEONE’S STUPID DINNER and it never fails to make me a sad kitty. I love food, you see. Not just some casual, ‘you’re kinda alright’ feel but a deep and abiding love. I love how food brings people together–so many holidays and life milestones, happy, mournful, or indifferent–involve celebrations revolving around food. Food brings us together. We all must consume organic matter to convert to the energy our bodies need to function…alas, we are not yet transcended beyond flesh.

Which brings me to the fact that in most of my longer fiction, I try to include at least one little hint about the kind of food my characters eat or have available to them. Engaging all of the senses of a reader, communicating the smell of sauteeing garlic and onions or the warmth of a cup of fragrant jasmine tea–these details shift the world into a recognizable and relatable focus (or so I hope), and make everything just a little more real. This is incredibly important in speculative fiction, where worlds can be alien and strange.

In Nice, my story in the newest Book Smugglers Quarterly Almanac, I introduce a  place called Super Gyro. It’s an ad-hoc, hover-truck gyro joint that is so freaking good that even the transit cops in this cyberpunk metropolis love it enough that they’re willing to “forget” to enforce traffic laws whenever it shows up. Super Gyro connects Kitsune, the heroine of Nice, to Sam, the kitten-shirt wearing spec-ops soldier you’ll meet in my novella set in the same universe and coming from The Book Smugglers in August. I like to think that people from any walk of life can identify with the satisfaction of well-prepared, nourishing food…that enjoying the simple act of treating ourselves, if we’re so lucky to be able to do so, is something we can all agree upon.

NiceGyro

 

Stop by if you are so inclined, to join Kitsune in her appreciation of good food before the whole world falls down around her. Happy Tasty Tuesday, and thank you as always for reading! You’re really the best for that, you know! <3

If you’ve read any good meals lately, by the way, I’d love to hear about it on Twitter or in the comments!

before/after the streetlights (a poemy thing)

When I was a kid, I was a bit obsessed with streetlights. Not just because I was allowed to stay out till just past the time when they came on, but for other reasons…harder to explain reasons. Imagery from the Book of Revelations via terrifying sermons, post-apocalyptic scenes courtesy of 80’s sci-fi shows and movies, and sci-fi odds and ends from books and school all mingled in my mind to give me thinky-thoughts. I would look up at the streetlights with their buzzing, orange light and wonder–what would it take to turn off all the lights in the world? If that thing happened, would they all go out at once, a sudden there-then-not kind of thing? As I grew and my understanding of the world (power grids, physics, post-apocalyptic narratives stemming from post Cold War tensions and the 80’s Star Wars propaganda) matured, I started to see that these things that preoccupied me as a kid were still pretty scary. These things come out even now in my poetry and fiction. Streetlights, powerlines stretching for miles over grassy fields, windmills with their blinking red pilot lights, the kinds of strange machinery and structures I’d see at the edges of the military bases and the Port Authority where I grew up all blend together with my young mind’s questions, creating this personalized, complex iconography of tech. To this day, I write about when the streetlights go out. To this day, I still get chills thinking about it. I hope you are all having a good week so far, and thanks for reading!

And now, a new poem:

streetlights

before/after the streetlights

 

Be in before the streetlights come on, mom calls out

and her voice slaps flat against the sides of houses

and the summerhot asphalt

and my scrambling footfalls echo back–

 

I run till the street ends in woods and it’s darker.

Before the streetlights, what was there?

Fireflies and distant blinking stars only go so far

in holding back the night–

 

Before the streetlights, one kind of darkness

and after? What happens when the white light

eats the sky, when the generators die–will the streetlights

and stoplights and house lights all go out at once?

 

Will I be able to see to run? Be in before the streetlights

come on, I tell my blue shadow and look up at the metal

and orange light and down at the crumbling street

and I hum and I try not to be afraid of the after

Creating Space

I don’t need to wax poetic about the fact that life is busy, and continues to be happen-y or busy or full as long as it extends. I won’t even go on about the fact that it’s sometimes vexingly difficult to find time for creative endeavors…particularly when we’re often convinced that there are Much More Important Things To Be Doing. Life hits hard sometimes, and we can so often be left examining the cracks in the pavement, stubbornly planting our creative gardens in the tiniest spaces. And that’s okay…even from those ittybitty spaces, big things can grow. Creating space is about seizing any opportunity we can to express ourselves–to think, dream, paint, write, sing, dance, move…to exist in that place where we are the makers. I’ll just leave this little image here in closing–my notes from a meeting where I was fully aware of the agenda content and discussions, but let myself also free-hand doodle through the facts, figures, and bullet points (I had SO much fun looking back over them). In the Venn diagram of life, there are many odd and wonderful places where the colors of “daily routine” and “creativity” intersect. Where do you create the space for imaginings? Where do you make the time to create? I’d love to hear in the comments. Be well all, and happy creating! <3

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Newsday Tuesday: An Announcement!

Hello, all…happy Tuesday to you lovelies! Since Tuesday rhymes with news-day, I’ve decided to announce today that my short story Nice will be appearing in next edition of The Book Smugglers’ Quarterly Almanac! WOOOOOOOOOOOOO! *ahem* Nice will introduce an exciting new sci-fi world and set in motion the events that go down in my upcoming sci-fi romance novella T.D.A., coming in July of this year. I cannot tell you how excited I am, so I must include a moment for internal Carlton Dancing.

YdmGHYG

*Ahem* again. In preparation for this exciting new story, which is among my favorite things I have EVER written and maybe even my Patronus, I have opted to do teaser art of one of Nice‘s characters. Kind folks, meet Lukka:

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Lukka keeps company with shell casings, apparently.

I’ll announce more details, including a cover reveal for T.D.A. (it’s AMAZING and I am not even one tiny bit joking), and availability dates. Thank you as ever for reading and I hope you have a beautiful day! <3

#TastyTuesday Writing Prompt

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Nothing brings people together like food. We all need it–there’s no getting around that fact. Beyond simply existing as sustenance, food is such a wonderfully rich expression of our humanity–we share our cultures, our family traditions, our own joy in the creating and sharing of something that does far more than keep us alive.

Which brings me to the matter at hand: your oh so yummy, #TastyTuesday writing prompt! Getting to know our characters can be as simple as knowing their favorite foods. Food is also a way to ground difficult or abstract narratives or complex worlds…showing what keeps your characters sustained and living contributes to world-building in the most relateable, practical ways. Think about the following questions for your main characters:

  • What is your character’s go-to comfort food when stressed?
  • What meal do they absolutely dread but know they can expect (and that they must partake of for fear of alienating others, hurting feelings, etc.) during family, civic, or social events?
  • What types of meals do your characters associate with major life events such as deaths in the family, civil unions, or celebrations of birthdays or career achievements?
  • What would be considered a super-rare delicacy in your character’s world? Is it a chocolate bar in the trembling hands of a world-weary dystopian society rebel? A rare, cave-dwelling fish or a moonflower that can only be harvested on the night of a lunar eclipse? Would your character have ever tasted such a thing, even?
  • What food would be your character’s biggest “guilty” pleasure–as in, something they are embarrassed to admit to liking as violently as they do because it’s considered icky, weird, gauche, or any other number of reasons?

Have some fun thinking about these little things a bit and maybe even write a drabble, paint or draw an image of or create a collage for what mealtime looks like in your world. I know it’s helped me make my worlds more real and alive than they would be if my characters didn’t take a moment to sit and smell the legume protein mash or delicate star-blooms or fried green tomatoes. Happy creating, and if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to raid the cabinets. <3

Robin McKinley Said It So Well-A #FridayReads Quick-Post.

So often, I feel like what I am, what I do, how I exist is not enough in wake of the Big Bad in this world. Then I remember a quote from Sunshine by Robin McKinley, one of my favorite reads of all time and something I’m planning to treat myself to re-reading for #FridayReads after some editing. We must use what we are given, and we must use it the best we can. I hope this Friday finds us all using what we have and being who we are as best we can to make the world brighter, kinder, and more full of win. Happy Friday!

sunshinequote