In Defense of Fantasy and Scifi

I came across this article on Wired today, about how colleges aren’t accepting of the fantasy and science fiction genre as a valid literary avenue. I agree that for the most part, they are not. My own college advisor hated fantasy because he felt you couldn’t describe magic–it was unseen. He liked sensory detail. I wrote a piece for one of his classes in which I described magic well enough to win him over, at least partially. He liked my story and was surprised by my use of sensory detail to describe fantastic details or the appearance of magic. 

When I published Bound, he read and enjoyed it. Now, I can’t say he has accepted the genre as something to integrate in his cirriculum, but I felt like I helped him better understand its value. Not everyone is going to be as open-minded as my professor, however.

Most people forget that this genre provides detailed social commentary, or predicts how humans might behave in the future, or could have behaved in the past. It is an exploratory genre; one that allows humanity to be more than it is, one that postulates solutions to larger social or scientific problems, one that helps us learn things, in addition to telling a damn good story.

So, if you’re looking to defend this genre, remind folks that H.G. Wells and Jules Verne are some of its forefathers, and Mary Shelly the mother. Remind folks that if they like Star Trek, they already walk this path with us. And whatever happens, do not let anyone dissuade you from loving this genre. It has as much value as any other.

If you see other genre fiction folks floundering (graphic novels, romance, or other niche subjects) rise to their defense. We’re all in this together.

Happy writing, all. 

U is for Undead, my slogan for Bound.

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Live a Life of Discovery

I want to live a life of art, discovery, and in-depth, no pressure learning. I want to learn about werid shit, discuss wild scientific theories, and analyze the facts that typical schooling keeps from us–by accident or design, it doesn’t matter–so I can experience the world in as many ways as possible. 

My writing helps with that; it makes me research things I never would have before. But I think I learn the most from other people and their recommendations. 

For example, a former teacher posted this article about Seneca Village, an African American community razed to make way for Central Park, and I was astounded.

What weird and awesome facts do you all know? Share them here.

Update 2017!

Well, it’s been quite a while. Life became a bit overwhelming, what with the election, and then the holidays, and then….stuff. You know how it goes. Here’s a general dump update, in no particular order:

– The president continues to be, uh, himself, and the resistance goes on. Compassion fatigue is a real thing that can be actively used against us–remember to take breaks from the news cycle, and social media, and that crazy relative. Unplug for a while. Then, come back in swinging. Can’t make to a protest march for whatever reason? Don’t feel guilty, you can help in other ways: support folks you know are going, spread the word, donate to that march or similar cause, amplify the voices of others. 

– The holidays were lovely, thanks for asking. ūüėä I hope your were lovely, too. 

– Work has stalled on my trilogy project. I keep trying to start up again, but get tangled up in other short term projects, and writing exercises, and home repairs. My heat went out last month on the same day cosmetic drywall repairs and painting were happening–it was a regular party in the house. Phew.

– “The Campaign” is an unsustainable side project right now, so I will be taking that page down. But maybe in the future, I’ll post it again. 

– I am beginning to build my freelance writing and editing portfolio. The hustle lives! If you need editorial services, check back in a couple weeks, I should have a better contact system set up.

I think that’s it for right now. Have a good week, my hearts! 

“Sheperd Book used to tell me if you can’t do something smart, do something right.”– Jayne Cobb. 

To My Fellow Bleeding-Hearts

Today was a rough day for some of us. While I respect my fellow citizens for voting for Mr. Trump–they are, after all, only doing what they feel is right–I can’t say that I understand it. I’m sure they would say the same thing about my vote for Hillary.

Yes, I voted for Hillary despite her multitude of political sins–I voted for Hillary because I knew my preferred third party candidate selection stood no chance, and I wanted to do my best to stop a candidate I felt was a bad choice.

I voted for Hillary because I genuinely saw some good in her, her policies, and her message. When I read the results this morning, I was devastated.

That was a feeling I had never experience during an election cycle. I am still reeling myself, but I wanted to write to you all about this thing that is on my mind.

Hate, it appears, has taken root. So it appears. But, I want to remind you that the fight has just begun.

This Cracked article¬†tells us not to panic; it discusses all the progressive policies that we’ve put into place and how those policies are widely accepted across the country. It is also a call to action and shares what we can do in the coming days. Go check it out.

On a related note, this article from Buzzfeed about six historic firsts for women in this election cycle. Read it.

Here’s a¬†Jezebel article listing all the progressive organizations that need your support–it’s a big list, there’s a cause for everyone. Act.

Remember (that Cracked article reminded me), midterm elections are two years away. Get to know your candidates and issues now. Get involved with local and state elections now. Here’s a good place to start: https://www.usa.gov/voting.

But most importantly, especially in the immediate days ahead, we have to continue to keep doing good. Reach out to your friends and family, even strangers, and let them know you are there to help. Tell that guy making racist jokes he isn’t funny. Sit with the woman on the train in a hijab and have a friendly conversation. Tell your black friends their lives matter. Be a voice for the unheard (looking at you, fellow writers, storytelling is our microphone). Be a light in the darkness.

It is imperative that we are staunch allies and safe spaces for those who will need it most.

It is essential that we defend the humanity of others–yes, even that guy.

Our fight has just begun.

Let love be the revolution.

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Special thanks to Becca, Patrick, Andrea, and Jennifer for posting the above links on the Book of Faces for me to find. I looked for my helpers, and there they were.