Should Feminism be Angry?

Today is a big day- I get to officially unveil a project I’ve been working on for weeks.  A group of writers, including me, have created a website dedicated to promoting strong female characters in literature. Check us out!

Website: Rewriting Mary Sue Facebook: RewritingMarySue Twitter: @RewriteMarySue

mary-sue

My friend Amy who started the group said she wanted to promote any type of female character, “Who could not be replaced by a sexy floor lamp with a post-it-note on it.” (This expression comes from: here.)  I thought this was an absolutely tart & hilarious way of summing up the problem: too often female characters in literature are just there to look pretty and perhaps advance the plot mechanics by delivering a piece of information. They don’t have enough action, enough agency, enough internal narrative. And they are often jammed into stereotypical boxes. Continue reading

Manifestation, by Jason Cantrell

manifestationQuick Description: Creative apocalypse tale with a protagonist you really feel for

How I found this book: I’ve been following Jason Cantrell’s blog and Twitter for a long time, so his debut novel finally being released was a big event for me. I’d followed him along his journey of creation, laughed at his jokes and snide comments, heard his heart-felt stories, and even helped him with a critique of some poems he’d written from the viewpoint of his protagonist. Teachers will be touched by this blog post of Jason’s about how his fifth grade teacher helped him through a rough patch in his life by encouraging his writing.

Emotional depth: Manifestation is an extremely emotional read. In fact, after the first two chapters I had to take a break and recover. Continue reading

The Dragon, the Girl, and the Twitter: A True Story of Portland and Magic

As a child, I envied the children in the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, for their ability to open a door into Narnia. I would stare at the back of my own closet with a wistful yearning in my heart, wishing the same was possible for me. Once at my grandmother’s house I even crept behind her coats and knocked a little at the wood, not truly expecting anything to happen, but feeling a weird pang in my heart.

I’m not the same lonely person I was as a child, always dreaming of escape. By some freak chance I achieved at a reasonably happy & well-adjusted adulthood. So it’s particularly ironic that Narnia arrived exactly at the moment I no longer needed it.

Continue reading

Does society accept nerds?

In my lifetime, I’ve seen society move from reviling nerds to glorifying them. It’s an incredible social change. But does the revolution go far enough?

We’ve embraced the positive: the nerd’s endearing love & enthusiasm for obscure branches of knowledge. But there’s still discomfort with the dark side of nerddom, aka social disability. That is not to imply that all intelligent people are socially handicapped (sure, there’s a lot of variety) but there is some correlation between intellectual excellence and social weakness.
Continue reading

You Don’t Need to Be Happy for Me

I’m very upset about Robin William’s suicide. He was my favorite actor. The characters he depicted were in terrible, tough situations and dealt with them using humor. I’m wondering now how much his characters were based on himself.

Society treats depression like a character flaw you can overcome using willpower. People feel they have a duty to fake cheerfulness for the sake of others. What this boils down is people hiding their depressive symptoms until it is too late to get help.

Continue reading

Zeus is Dead, by Michael Munz

Zeus-Is-DeadQuick description:  Hilarious mythological satire, light-hearted yet meaningful- reminds me of Terry Pratchett

How I found this book:  Michael Munz caught my attention on Twitter with his witty quips.  I’ve been a big supporter of him for a while now, and I’m thrilled by the way this book brought out all his humor and thoughtfulness.  I’m also pleased that he’s gone from self-publishing to traditional publishing- that’s a route I’d love to see more authors take.

What I liked about this book:  It was very unique.  Why?

Continue reading

The Origin of Patriarchy

A fable in the style of Rousseau’s fable, “The Origin of Inequality.”  Inspired by divisive nature of the social media conversation about misogyny following the Santa Barbara shooting.  This story is to prove why the cause of defeating patriarchy should unite us, not divide us.  (Trigger warning: rape, violence.)

When time had freshly dawned and humans were new to the world, there lived a little village called Innocence at the edge of a wide blue river.   Life was quiet there, but peaceful.  The men hunted and fished, the woman wove and gathered.  Tragedy was rare, although it did occur from time to time.  A man named Hugh, for example, was born with a twisted leg.

Continue reading

Astral Dawn by Adam R. Brown


Quick description: Fascinating world-building and ideas, but plot moved slowly and I wanted more plot twists

How I found this book: I’m friends with the president of “Authors Large and Small,” a wonderful book publicity firm that helps a lot of independent authors.  She posted about her client’s book on her Facebook and the description was so intriguing that I volunteered to be a reviewer.

This book is not for everyone:  but fans of Mark Twain’s story, “Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven,” or Terry Pratchett’s book Small Gods, will likely find this book to their taste.   Continue reading

Rooted, by Amy Good

Quick description: a unique supernatural not-quite-romance that tackles gritty social issues in a very compelling way

How I found this book: I met Amy on Twitter- the first time I spoke to her, I said, “I wish I had beautiful red hair like yours,” and she told me, “My secret is henna. It’s really easy!” or something. Then I went to her vlog because I wanted to get a closer look at her hair (okay, does that make me shallow?) and I enjoyed her vlog so much that I subscribed. My favorite thing is when she vlogs her mommy poems- I’ll embed one below that really cracked me up.

 

Continue reading

I love you West Oakland

I live in the ghetto, and even though many people ask “how can you live there?” I really enjoy living there.  This poem is about that experience

I love you West Oakland.
I love this abandoned little park I am sitting in now with the wrappers tossed and grass overgrown everywhere
I love how the activists put poetry in the concrete of the plazas
As if that would make a difference.

Continue reading