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Posts Tagged ‘fantasy’

What am I doing, since I’m not blogging? Besides completing the first draft of my latest novella, that is. Reading! Reading, to me, is a way of “refilling the well.”

A friend recently told me she felt that she was reading too much. She ought to be writing, but instead she was reading. I can sympathize. In 2018 I definitely felt like was taking too much time playing video games. True confession: I got into Dragon Age at the start of school in 2017 and it sucked me in completely. I stopped even trying to write in early December, and every inch of my writing mind was jammed until the middle of May 2018. There were times when I was afraid that my writing career was over!

By the way, it isn’t just me. Dragon Age is notorious for sweeping players off on grand adventures. A different friend of mine said that you think you’re going to Texas for Spring Break and six months later you’re in Honduras wondering what happened. So true!

But, guess what? My career didn’t come to an end. At the end of May, I started a novella. It wasn’t fan fiction, though you can see hints of the situations in the games I’d been playing. Presently, I’m about to finish a second, linked novella and have hopes for a third. Between them all, it should be about 100,000 words — and that’s a novel!

At some point, I’ll have to figure out publishing these three linked novellas. A good problem to have.

If you’re making resolutions and have been scolding yourself to write more, I would urge you to stop and think. Don’t resolve to write more because you feel guilty. You won’t create your best work. (Unless you have a contractual obligation — that’s different.) Instead, look at some of the stories that are absorbing you. See what elements you can bring into a new project.

Reading time or video game time or Netflix time or whatever… It doesn’t have to be time wasted.


Wyrmflight: A Hoard of Dragon Lore — $4.99 e-book or $17.99 trade paperback. Available at Amazon or Draft2Digital.

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A snippet from my fantasy novel,
The Seven Exalted Orders. It was published by Sky Warrior Books in 2012.

It seems I can’t stay away, dear friends. Also, I have this creeping fear that you will forget all about me.

So while I’m in the process of reorganizing my outreach, here’s a snippet from one of my fantasy novels.

These snippets are likely to become a regular feature here at Wyrmflight. I hope you’ll enjoy it!


Wyrmflight: A Hoard of Dragon Lore — $4.99 e-book or $17.99 trade paperback. Available at Amazon or Draft2Digital.

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Here’s a dragon joke, courtesy of my dad. It’s an oldie-but-goodie, as they say.

Q: Where does dragon milk come from?

A: From cows with very short legs!


Wyrmflight: A Hoard of Dragon Lore — $4.99 e-book or $17.99 trade paperback. Available at Amazon or Draft2Digital.

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Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day in the U. S, so allow me to say how much I appreciate all of you who read this blog. Some of you comment and click my links, while others mostly lurk, but I am thankful for you!

Now, here’s another great new picture book featuring dragons. The Book Dragon is a rapacious fiend who steals the joy from a hapless village when it snatches all their books away. Can a brave young girl help the dragon learn a better way?

Again, this is a fine gift choice for the young readers in your household.


Wyrmflight: A Hoard of Dragon Lore — $4.99 e-book or $17.99 trade paperback. Available at Amazon or Draft2Digital.

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This is a cute picture book I spotted in a first grade classroom recently.

Every dragon breathes fire, right? They gain this special ability when they turn seven, and a little dragon named Crispin is very excited about his coming birthday. Soon he’ll breathe fire just like his dad!

But when the big day comes, it doesn’t work out as planned. Crispin breathes… whipped cream! Dad is upset and confused. Over the following pages, he tries many strategies to make Crispin breathe fire like a proper dragon. Only when a crisis strikes does Crispin prove his alternative breathing can be a help instead of a hindrance.

The message here is obvious: all kids may feel “different” sometimes. They may worry about their place in the world. Understanding adults can help them find their way even when they truly are different from the rest.

Not Your Typical Dragon is a great choice for anyone whose child is “different” or who wants to help children accept a peer who is “different.” What do you know, Christmas is coming soon, too!


Wyrmflight: A Hoard of Dragon Lore — $4.99 e-book or $17.99 trade paperback. Available at Amazon or Draft2Digital.

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While I was taking a break from my book table at Lake City ComiCon, I spotted this great handbag at another vendor’s table.

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Dragon Handbag from The Crafted Geek

The Crafted Geek is the manufacturer and source for this charming piece. Please take a look at their web site.


Wyrmflight: A Hoard of Dragon Lore — $4.99 e-book or $17.99 trade paperback. Available at Amazon or Draft2Digital.

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Will you bear with me while I mix politics and the writing life for a bit? Normally I confine myself to dragon lore here at Wyrmflight, but I’ve experienced a moment of “total recall” that made me do some thinking.

Anyone living in the U. S. (and probably people outside our borders, as well) is aware of the confirmation fight over a supreme court nomination. The nominee has been accused of sexual assault. This comes amid the two-year-and-growing Me Too movement, where women are speaking up about their experiences with sexual harassment or assault. Powerful men are being accused years after the events occurred.

Against this background, I picked up a book given to me by a friend over the summer. Dragon Tales is an anthology from 1983, collecting stories that feature dragons. It’s edited by two revered figures, Isaac Asimov and Martin Greenberg. The authors are luminaries like Orson Scott Card, Gordon R. Dickson, Anne McCaffrey, Gregory Benford, and Dean Koontz. The editors made an effort to find work by early fantasists such as L. Frank Baum, and there were even a pair of women authors I hadn’t heard of before.

Imagine my surprise when the very first story included a sexual assault. A woman is pinned against the wall and kissed, despite her saying she doesn’t want this. It turns out she’s a dragon cursed into the form of a woman. Neat trick! But instead of punishing the fool who laid hands on her, she decides to help him get revenge on some guy he doesn’t like. Wha—?

Later, we see relentless bullying of a retarded man… for which the victim is persuaded to blame himself. We see barmaids equated with whores. Several tales use women as mere pawns, captured by dragons to serve as bait. One of these characters is so shocked by her experience that she becomes nearly mindless, yet apparently lives happily ever after. (“She is a mirror in which her husband can see himself.” This is what we call a Happily Ever After?)

In the most egregious case, a young woman sorceress is hounded by a stronger male sorcerer who sends an invisible incubus to grope and molest her. Ultimately this ends in her being raped while out-of-body fighting her persecutor. After winning, she is determined to summon that incubus again. But it’s not because she intends to punish him. Apparently she regrets missing out on the complete rape experience. WHA—???

When I finished the book, I told my husband I wanted to have a strong drink while taking a hot shower. Because fantasy is my beloved genre. It’s what I read and what I write, and I couldn’t believe the roots of it were buried in such filth. How could I not know this?

What made me really sad was to realize that, actually, I did know it. I read stories like these when I was in high school and bitched to my friends about the sexism. There was a terrible plot arc in the Avengers comic book, where Ms. Marvel (now known as Captain Marvel) was brainwashed and raped and had a baby in a matter of days. The rest of her team thought the baby was adorable and couldn’t understand why Ms. Marvel was so upset. I remember reading an interview with Anne McCaffrey, one of my early idols, who spoke of being asked to write soft-core porn for the SF magazines of the 1960s and ’70s. And she did write it, because the editors paid her well.

I guess I was oblivious, because I still read fantasy and comic books. And time went on. Until I read that anthology, I was able to forget how bad it was.

Now, the whole Sad Puppy debacle appears in a starkly different light. I thought they were all just obnoxious jerks. This anthology reminds me that when they say they want to get back to “the good old days of science fiction,” this is what they mean: women as pawns, women as whores, women who like being raped.

No. No. No. You assholes. No.

Things have gotten better, at least to some extent. Editors are more aware of demeaning content and have begun to avoid it. Certain factions may still think it’s funny to mock trigger warnings, but the warnings are there because they’re needed.

Do we, as a genre, still have miles to go before trigger warnings are no longer needed? Undoubtedly. But we who write fantasy really have come a long way since 1983.

If only certain judges and senators could say the same.


Wyrmflight: A Hoard of Dragon Lore — $4.99 e-book or $17.99 trade paperback. Available at Amazon or Draft2Digital.

 

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