Original play “Allergies” on Spokane Radio Theatre now!

Come listen to Spokane Radio Theatre at the top of the hour (about five minutes from now) to hear my short play “Allergies!” I hope you tune in — and let me know what you think!  :)

Cancer sucks, and fiction’s fun!

Happy Halloween! I hope you’re staying warm (and dry, those of you who met with Hurricane Sandy), and I wish you all a great night with friends and family… and good fiction.

While you’re looking for the perfect Halloween read, check out Inveterate Media Junkies’ series of posts today about the awesome anthology, Hazard Yet Forward! This collection of short stories sends all proceeds after Amazon’s cut to cancer-fighting superhero, Donna Munro. You can celebrate this evening by reading great fiction, spitting in cancer’s face, AND eating all that candy you couldn’t bring yourself to give away to the neighborhood kiddies. Yeah, I know about that secret Snickers bites bag.

Come on down to IMJ to learn about the amazing writers who have contributed to this anthology. There really is something for everyone!

You can read my column, The Princess and Her PS3, here.

You can read Heidi Ruby Miller’s column, Geek Girl Underground, here.

You can read Jason Jack Miller’s column, Sound Check, here.

Which is your favorite story from this anthology? I honestly can’t decide — there are so many amazing ones. Let me know if you have a recommendation!

Doctor Who: crying through the timey wimey parts

As a writer, I love to pick apart my favorite books, films, and TV shows to see what makes them “tick.” How exactly did the writers make me laugh, gasp, or cry at the perfect moment? Sometimes I can figure it out. Sometimes I can’t. Almost always I learn something interesting about the story.

This is something I do almost every time I watch Doctor Who. If I had a regeneration for each time I felt powerful, lasting emotion from a Doctor Who episode… well, I’d be around for a long, long time.

Please note that when I say I pick apart a Doctor Who story, I mean I pick it apart afterward. During the episode, I’m involved. The story is real to me. As far as I know, I’m zooming through the time vortex in a blue box, hanging out with awesome people whose vacations consist of saving planets and risking death every day.

But then the credits roll, and I look around. I’m not on the TARDIS. Annoyingly, I realize that I’m on what the Doctor calls the “slow path” through life, and I might as well take some of that extra time to figure out what exactly happened on the TV just a moment ago.

Last night was the fall season finale of Doctor Who, which means we have to wait for Christmas to get another episode, and then we’ll have to wait again for more.

The slow path is so irritating sometimes.

“The Angels Take Manhattan” was the episode we had all been waiting for, anxiously speculating about what it meant that Amy Pond and her husband Rory would be leaving the show for good and that not everybody would make it out alive.

It was a great episode. We laughed and cried. We got to see the Ponds run around New York City with Matt Smith and River Song. We watched some good battles (such as they can be called) with the weeping angels. We…

We were also a little bit confused. There were a few timey wimey moments that, when I began to pick apart the episode to learn what made it tick, didn’t quite seem to make sense. For example –

Well, let me do this in spoilers. If you’re reading on a mobile device or in an email subscription, what comes below may not be hidden from your view. If you’re reading on a regular browser, just go ahead and highlight the space below to read on. Let me know if you agree!

1. First off, can I just say that the Statue of Liberty as a weeping angel was awesome? So super cool.

TIMEY WIMEY: I wasn’t really sure how Lady Liberty managed to get all eyes off of her so she could stomp over to the hotel… and why wasn’t there mass panic on the streets either because the statue was missing or because it was in the middle of the city, showing off horrific monster teeth?

2. Next, the double suicide. I loved this. It was perfect and sad and romantic and edgy and wonderful. I always marvel at how the writers of Doctor Who manage to make me feel for the companions and the Doctor in totally different ways.

TIMEY WIMEY: I’m sure there was something iffy about the paradox here, but, honestly, I was so wrapped up in the emotion that I wasn’t able to focus properly. Clue me in if you’ve found something.

2b. How wonderful was Rory’s, “When don’t I come back to life?” line? I actually laughed while crying. Well played, Moffat.

3. The real goodbye. This was an interesting decision. Steven Moffat actually did kill both companions. Here we are in 2012, and Amy and Rory are dead. In addition to that, we have poor Rory’s dad sitting back at home watering plants and hoping they return soon. Ugh. More Kleenex, please.

TIMEY WIMEY: Okay. Help me out, here. The Doctor explains that he can’t go back to get his friends because the timelines are all scrambled. He’d burn up New York. Here are my issues:

  • He already risked burning up New York before, and everything turned out fine. Why is a second time worse than the first?
  • When Amy asked whether she would go to the same place and time as Rory, the Doctor explained that there is no telling. So how does anyone know where or when Rory actually landed?
  • What exactly is off-limits to the TARDIS now? All of 1938? All of Manhattan?
  • Why can’t the Doctor simply zip over to New Jersey and drive in to collect them?
  • Why can’t the Doctor arrive a year later and grab them then? I’m having a hard time understanding this, “I’ll never be able to see you again” thing.

4. The book thing. That was really cool. As soon as Rory left to get coffee, I guessed what would happen with the story, and that was fun. However…

TIMEY WIMEY: I have a couple of issues with this one:

  • Is River Song able to visit her parents using her time travel bracelet, or not? Was the manuscript a hand delivery or a postal thing? If she can visit them, then why did the Doctor offer his condolences? If she can send them things, then why not deliver the bracelet and collect it from them when they show up in the right time?
  • And this one is not my idea, but actually something I saw repeated in blog comments already: why didn’t Amy write a FOREWORD instead of an afterword? “Doctor, this is Amy. Read the book and enjoy, but DO NOT LET RORY CHECK THE TOMBSTONE. Thanks!” Yes, I see that’s a paradox in itself, but, honestly.  :)

The Sims 3 healed my broken hand

Well, sort of.  :)

Come read the whole story over at Inveterate Media Junkies! It’s the tragic tale of my broken my D-Pad hand and how The Sims 3 got me through the worst of it. Have you ever broken a bone before? Come share your experience with me!

Fifty Shades of Grey Ash — Burning Books

I haven’t read Fifty Shades of Grey, so please understand that I’m not promoting it or hating on it in this post. The series by E.L. James is simply a trilogy that lots of people like and lots of people dislike. I belong to a third group of people who just aren’t interested.

Well, okay. I’m a little interested. Any time something gathers that much attention, my pop-culture sensors buzz, and my curiosity creeps up. I’ll admit that I’ve read reviews of the books (some of which are pretty creative and hilarious themselves), and I’ve even picked up one of the paperbacks in a bookstore just to leaf through to see what all the fuss was about. To be honest, what I saw kind of gave me the creeps, but I was reading the middle of the book out of context. And, anyway, to each his own.

Yesterday the Huffington Post posted an article about an anti-domestic violence group in the UK that is planning to hold a good, old-fashioned book burning for the super-sexual saga of Christian and Anastasia. If you want to participate, bring your copies to the Wearside Women in Need office on November 5. There will be a bonfire.

I hope you don’t go.

Let me be clear. I do not support the following things:

  • Violence
  • The concept that women are less than human
  • Bad writing
  • Book burning

While E. L. James’ books may have propelled the author into stardom thanks in part to her use of violence as a turn-on, she has contributed, for better or for worse, to English literature and our current popular culture. She has a right to create these stories, you have a right to read them or not read them, and, yes, you have a right to burn them if you want to.

But, just as Fifty Shades of Grey threatens boundaries that many men and women find uncomfortable, burning books definitely crosses a disturbing line. The Wearside Women in Need staff members aren’t writing fiction about burning books; they’re actually going to do it. What comes next? I rather like the Sookie Stackhouse novels, and there’s absolutely some questionable material with regard to bedroom activities in there. When do we get to the point where, say, Othello has to be taken off the shelves and set ablaze because of what he does to Desdemona?  After all, he loved her “not wisely, but too well.” So well, in fact, that he had to kill her.

What do you think? Does burning books set the right example?

Breast Cancer Sucks, but Great Fiction Helps

Here is an anthology that everyone will want. It offers just about every type of fiction you could need from top authors in their genres — and it supports one of the coolest writer chicks I know who is currently battling breast cancer like a champ. Read on for the press release, and get your copy today!

Seventy-six writers connected to the Seton Hill University Writing Popular Fiction program have created a multi-genre charity anthology entitled Hazard Yet Forward.  All proceeds from this project will benefit Donna Munro, a 2004 graduate of the program.  Munro, a teacher living in St. Louis, Missouri, was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.  An active member of the SHU WPF alumni committee, Munro helps organize the school’s annual writing conference, the In Your Write Mind Workshop.

To aid Munro and her family, faculty members, alumni, students and friends of the Writing Popular Fiction program quickly responded to compile this massive anthology.  The book features flash fiction, short stories and even a full-length novella.  In total, there are 75 works from various genres, which makes this anthology one that features something for everyone.

Genres represented in the book range from horror to romance to mystery – and everything in between.  Some of the notable writers in the anthology are World Fantasy Award winner Nalo Hopkinson, Bram Stoker winners Michael A. Arnzen and Michael Knost, Bram Stoker nominee Lawrence C. Connolly, ALA/YALSA Best Book for Young Adults winner Jessica Warman, Rita finalist Dana Marton, Spur winner Meg Mims, Asimov’s Readers’ Award winner Timons Esaias  and WV Arts and Humanities literary fellowships winner Geoffrey Cameron Fuller.

About Hazard Yet Forward, co-compiler Matt Duvall says, “It’s an unprecedented collection of stories from every genre imaginable.”  This large volume is an electronic book for the popular Kindle platform and is available for purchase through Amazon starting August 7.  It’s also reasonably priced.  The book will be on sale for $9.99.

I am honored to be a part of this anthology.  My story “God Corp.” is one that I penned around the time I first met Donna, so it is a special treat to be able to include it in this amazing collection.

More information about the anthology can be found at http://hazardyetforward.wordpress.com.

Oh, yes. Geekiness will occur.

I’m thrilled to announce that I’m the newest columnist over at Inveterate Media Junkies, which is basically the ultimate hub of geek culture win. This is a big honor and a lot of fun. I hope you’ll come share in the excitement with me!

Click here to go to IMJ!