What Happens When You’re Tired of Social Media

I haven’t blogged in several months because, to be perfectly honest, I got tired of it. I did not stop writing, reading, editing, and researching. But I did stop blogging. I also let my social media lag a bit, until recently.

I was just plain tired of it all. And at this point in history, who isn’t? The past couple of years have been crazy—and social media has made it all both better and worse. Better, because it’s allowed us to communicate with each other, and to realize that despite everything, we’re not alone in our struggles. And worse, because, well…just scroll through Facebook for ten minutes and I’m sure you’ll find at least two videos that lower your IQ, and at least three posts/articles/memes that make you mad.

Anyway, so what should you do when you’re just tired of it all and want to delete all social apps from your phone? Here’s my take:

Take a social media break. 

If you’re exhausted and fed up by social media, then by all means take a break. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with all of the drama and bad news, or frustrated by your lack of reach or other results, then it might be time to take a step back for a bit.

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Strong Women of Fantasy: Glinda and Ozma of Oz

I’ve written several posts about strong women characters in sci-fi and fantasy. My goal is to highlight some well-written female characters who are strong leaders, every bit equal to men, and yet still feminine. In this post, I’ll cover two female lead characters from the “Oz” books.

Let me begin by repeating that a strong female character is not a male character in a woman’s body. Women are inherently different in more than just biology, and those differences are important to portray well in fiction if a strong female character is to be believable. Yes, women can be warriors, leaders, and protectors (traditionally male attributes), just as men can be gentle, calming, and nurturing. But in a story, a strong female character needs to be so much more than just a gender-swapped man.

Many fantasy and sci-fi stories have an overwhelmingly male cast. All too often, the “token female” is just that—serving either as romance/sexual tension, and/or to simply say “this story is all about equality because look a woman.”

There’s no romance in the original Oz books by L. Frank Baum, primarily because they were written for young children. Even with some of the reimaginings of the Oz stories featuring romance to different degrees, most of the best Oz retellings stay fairly true to the strength of the female characters in the original tales.

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Happy New Year! Here We Go Again?

Yes, it’s a new year again. A new year full of hope and chances to start over. A new year full of goals, dreams, and plans. A new year to wonder how different life might become from what we imagined it would.

The past two years have sure thrown us all for a loop. Even those who haven’t lost jobs or loved ones have had their lives changed. Many would agree that this past year, and the year before that, weren’t the best years they’ve ever had.

And 2021, also, actually

But despite two years of changes that nobody wanted, I still choose to look on the new year with hope and positive expectation. And while this past year may not have been the greatest on record, I’m so grateful that I had some pretty amazing things happen.

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Strong Women of Fantasy: Elisa Maza

This is the next installment in my series about strong women characters in sci-fi and fantasy. My goal is to highlight some well-written female characters who are strong leaders, every bit equal to men, and yet still feminine.

Elisa Maza

I will begin by repeating that a strong female character is not a male character in a woman’s body. Women are inherently different in more than just biology, and those differences are important to portray well in fiction if a strong female character is to be believable. Yes, women can be warriors, leaders, and protectors (traditionally male attributes), just as men can be gentle, calming, and nurturing. But in a story, a strong female character needs to be so much more than just a gender-swapped man.

Many fantasy and sci-fi stories have an overwhelmingly male cast. All too often, the “token female” is just that—serving either as romance/sexual tension, and/or to simply say “this story is all about equality because look a woman.” In this post, I’ll be discussing the character of Elisa Maza from the 90s Disney TV cartoon Gargoyles. In this fantasy adventure story, the cast was, predictably, overwhelmingly male. Elisa may have initially stood out as the “token female,” but it was quickly apparent that she was to be a main character every bit as important as all the male humans and Gargoyles.

Elisa Maza, Police Detective 

Elisa starts out as a strong woman from the get-go, because she’s a New York City police officer. One can’t be a wimp if you’re a plain-clothes cop in the Big Apple. She’s determined, smart, and doesn’t back down when she knows she’s in the right—all traits of a strong woman. She refuses to be bullied (by human criminals or fantastical monsters), and though she uses her authority as a cop to get things done, she uses violence or her gun as a last resort. She also chooses to act rationally rather than react emotionally when faced with the shock of meeting living Gargoyles for the first time.

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New Jazz-Age Fantasy Adventure!

The next installment in my Adventures of Mrs. Jones series is out–and it’s a full-length novel! Up till now, all the books I’ve published (Mrs. Jones tales and others) have been short stories or novellas.

Mrs. Jones and the Radium City is now available for Kindle on Amazon. A physical paperback version will be available soon, so stay tuned for more info about that. But in the meantime, you’d probably like to know what this book is all about! And so here we go:

Mrs. Jones and the Radium City

In 1920s Los Angeles, Cornelia Jones moves in the top circles of society, thanks to her privileged upbringing as well as her marriage to the brilliant scientist and inventor, John Jones. But when John, on the verge of completing his latest invention that has the potential to usher in a new technological age, is critically injured in a laboratory accident, it’s up to Cornelia to investigate what happened and bring the perpetrators to justice.

Good thing she knows magic. 

Aided by Adelaide, a young society debutante eager to learn the ways of both science and magic, Cornelia embarks on a journey to discover who’s responsible for these nefarious deeds. But the deeper she dives into John’s world, Cornelia realizes that evil is alive and well in this bright new age of progress. A secret organization moving in the shadows seems to have mysterious and sinister plans for her husband’s altruistic creation. 

The world is changing as the Twenties begin to roar, and if Cornelia and Adelaide fail to stop the villains, then both Cornelia’s world and the rest of the planet will change more horrifically than anyone could imagine.

Get it on Kindle

A Glossary of Writerly Jargon, Part 2

Some time ago I wrote a post sharing some writerly jargon: terms that writers use that you may or may not be familiar with. To follow up on that post, here are a few more terms that you’ll likely encounter in the author world: 

In Medias Res 

Latin for “in the middle of things.” It means to start a scene or a story in the middle of the action. Not necessarily in the middle of a heated battle, but for example, in the middle of a conversation or the middle of some other activity that matters to the story. Stories that begin with the main character waking up, getting out of bed, eating breakfast, and so forth can get things off to a very slow start and you risk boring your reader with unimportant actions.

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