Monday, July 17, 2017

13th Doctor

In 2006, I was young, scared, and feeling alone. I had just come out to my closest friends, something I had sworn I would never do (I planned to take that secret to my grave). At the time, being gay meant I was going to be a disappointment. I’d accepted the idea that I would never be married or have kids. I felt more than just different. I felt “wrong”.

Then, I watched Captain Jack Harkness flirt with a man on TV. He did that… then he fought evil, saved lives, and traveled through time and space. His sexuality was inconsequential to his being a hero. When he was introduced, the Doctor told Rose “He’s a 51st Century man.”, implying that the future didn’t care about Jack’s sexuality.

Before marriage equality, before the “It Gets Better” campaigns, before Glee, before Lady Gaga…

Doctor Who told me that there was a future coming that I could be a part of.

Captain Jack Harkness was there for me right when I needed him most.

The 13th Doctor will be there for someone who needs her. That’s more important than your vague and ill-informed notions of “tradition”.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Review: Some Mistakes of Moses

Some Mistakes of Moses Some Mistakes of Moses by Robert G. Ingersoll
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a fascinating read. I confess I don't read enough older books, something I need to amend. I was directed to read this book by a YouTube video in which the creator reenacted "The Rib Story" bit. Ingersoll unashamedly lays out all the logical issues with the old testament that we are taught to ignore in Sunday school. Even if you disagree with everything he has to say, you should know why you disagree.
I think the coolest thing about this book is that it provides the reader with a snapshot of the understanding of science of the day (1879). Far too often, we think back on the past and imagine how primitive their understanding must have been. I was struck by just how much Ingersoll's scientific understanding is in line with what we know today.

View all my reviews

Review: Some Mistakes of Moses

Some Mistakes of Moses Some Mistakes of Moses by Robert G. Ingersoll
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a fascinating read. I confess I don't read enough older books, something I need to amend. I was directed to read this book by a YouTube video in which the creator reenacted "The Rib Story" bit. Ingersoll unashamedly lays out all the logical issues with the old testament that we are taught to ignore in Sunday school. Even if you disagree with everything he has to say, you should know why you disagree.
I think the coolest thing about this book is that it provides the reader with a snapshot of the understanding of science of the day (1879). Far too often, we think back on the past and imagine how primitive their understanding must have been. I was struck by just how much Ingersoll's scientific understanding is in line with what we know today.

View all my reviews

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Review: The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid's Tale The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I queued this book shortly after the election, although I had heard of it years ago and had planned to read it. I decided it had to be one of the books in my PopSugar Reading Challenge for 2017, even though I did not know where it would fit. Having read it, I will be using it for the "unreliable narrator" category.

The first thing that stuck out for me was how much the author explored the origins of the dystopian world. This feels unusual. In most dystonia stories I've read the setting is long after the transition (Brave New World, Hunger Games) and no one alive experienced the old world first hand. Offred was already an adult before the fall of the United States and the rise of Gilead. She clearly remembers the way things used to be. For me, this made the world of Gilead feel more real. We don't skip the transition, the narrator recounts it for us to the best of her ability.

Its easy to sympathize with the narrator, an intelligent and educated woman forced into a position where all intellectual pursuits are denied her. The author grounds everything that occurs in Gilead in historical precedent, creating a terrifyingly real world.

Slight spoiler-
The story ends rather abruptly. But, I actually like the way the author wraps it up in the form of an academic lecture. The ending reinforces the idea that the status quo is always changing. Even Gilead will not last.

I highly recommend this book.

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Sunday, March 19, 2017

Flash! Friday entry for 8/1/2014: Schism

On August 1st of 2014, the leaders of Flash!Fiction gave us this image and the word "Freedom". My story follows.
berlijncommewijne
Schism
“300 feet or so,” I told Sara, “about the length of a football field.” I can’t believe I still think like that. I haven’t seen a football game, in over a decade. Organized sporting events quickly gave way to combat training and sparring, after the start of the Schism War.
I glanced back to Sara. She usually rolled her eyes, whenever I made a reference to something from the pre-war era, a world that had ended, before she had been born. Instead, she kept her eyes on the far shore, as it disappeared, below the horizon.
The land we approached was overgrown, and the only structures were degraded, but I knew, somewhere, in the distance, was civilization. We’d have to avoid Canadian authorities, and find stable work, but we’d be free of the warring sovereign states, the endless Schism War.
Sara didn’t understand though, and probably never would. She just stared back, silently, at the only existence she’d ever known.

You can read the other contest entries Here

Thursday, November 3, 2016

NaNoWriMo and Book Covers

We're now a couple days into National Novel Writing Month, an annual challenge to write 50,000 words during the month of November. I've completed the challenge for the last four years and have served as my region's municipal liaison for the last three. We are told that participants who complete their novel profile on the challenge website are more likely to win and to finish their novels. So as part of my pre-writing (a.k.a. procrastination) I created covers for the novel I planned to write.
The story revolves around a gay dating app that becomes the platform for a resistance movement in a future where support for the LGBT community disappears. I imagined the cover would feature a smartphone displaying the app's icon.
The first version was completed on Microsoft Paint with clip-art and the paint feature. I was pretty happy with it, but Paint has a tendency to reduce the quality of images if you look at it wrong. Beck Muth, a writer in my NaNoWriMo region, suggested using Canva, a website for editing images. It had templates for crating book covers and in very little time I created the second version of my cover. I wondered how it would look if I added pictures in a grid, like a dating app might display, so I took some free images from Pixabay.com and pieced together the third version.


So, what do you think? Do any of them peak your curiosity enough that you'd flip it over and read the blurb or maybe download a sample onto your e-reader? I appreciate an feedback.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Flash! Friday Entry for 3/27/2016: Blazing a Trail

On March 27th, 2015 this picture was the Flash!Friday prompt:


We were given 200 works within a ten-word leeway. The story I wrote is very relevant to current events.

Blazing a Trail

At first, the grayscale image was just a blur. Pictures took a surprisingly long time to load in her new office, probably, because of the gauntlet of firewalls they had to pass through. After a moment, the image resolved.

Rachel stifled a laugh. Then, remembering that she was alone in her office, she laughed openly. The clothing was so antiquated, especially in contrast to the black suit and pencil skirt she was wearing.

She looked over the women’s faces. Only half of them even noticed the camera, before the photo had been captured. 1911, she thought, long before digital photography and selfies. Looking at the camera, or not, all the women were focused and resolute. They were prepared for the task that was about to be set before them.

If these women could blaze a trail, so could she. The knot in her stomach began to ease for the first time since the official tally had been announced.

Rachel took a breath and pushed back her desk chair. She chose to follow along the curved office wall, rather than step across the presidential seal on the floor. She took one last moment to gather her courage, then left the safety of the closed room. The torrent of press awaited.