I have three separate chronic illnesses, so when it comes to science fiction and fantasy that portrays characters with disabilities and chronic conditions, I am especially interested. Is the character a well-rounded, realistically-portrayed character? Or is the character a stereotype for "disabled" in order to wring sympathy from the reader or provide motive for some later action?
This week on "Coffee With Yaasha," I discuss my thoughts in relation to my own story and to the thought-provoking blog post "Writing Disabled Characters: What You're Doing Wrong" by Hannah Heath. I also collected recommendations from my fellow authors and bookworms about SFF books that portray disabilities and chronic illness well.
The recommended books:
In this post: The fascinating neurological condition synesthesia affects how I see and write about the world. Join the conversation and I'll tell you what my synthesthesia senses in your personality!
For newsletter subscribers: In your inbox, you'll get an exclusive scene from my work-in-progress featuring a character who "reads" emotions through synesthesia.
When I was thirteen years old, I had a deep-water experience that terrified me. My sister, cousin, and I swam out to the buoy that delineated the beach area from the rest of Lake Champlain. Not being a strong swimmer at the time, as soon as I reached the buoy, I was tired and wanted to head back to shore.
I flipped onto my back, since backstroke is my strongest stroke and easiest to do when I'm tired.
My right arm is apparently a lot stronger than my left arm, so I pulled unevenly.
Unbeknownst to me, I was heading straight out toward the open lake.
In this post: Two fun graphics about how life works, a peek at my past website themes, and a fun quiz to help you identify which mythical creature you are!
It's been a crazy year. In 2018, I celebrated my one-year wedding anniversary with my Dragon, started writing a seven-book epic fantasy series, got diagnosed with a functional neurological disorder that involves non-epileptic seizures (among a host of other symptoms), started a new job and lost it due to the aforementioned disorder, and toured the western United States in an incredible five-week trip.
I've learned a lot about myself and about the stories in me that must be told.
By the end of 2018, I was not the same person who I had been just a year previously. And the stories that burned in me were deeper, fiercer, and brighter. I needed a platform to share those stories that matched their vibrancy.
But my journey to this place has not been linear. Observe yonder explanatory graphics:
In the first episode, the Incredibles visited the Badlands, Mount Rushmore, Beartooth Pass, Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park, and Schweitzer Resort. In the second, they journeyed to the Cascades, Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens, the Oregon Coast, Yaquina Lighthouse, Crater Lake, the redwoods and sequoias, and Redrock Canyon.
In this episode, they experience the final stage of their journey!
"I want to see mountains, Gandalf, mountains! And then find some place quiet to write my book." - Bilbo Baggins
The Monster first entered my life in November 2017. It was a very intrusive monster, showing up when I least expected it, rousing me from sleep, and slowly creeping into my work, even when I beat it back.
After several visits with the Wizard of Healing, the Wizard at last identified the name of the Monster, a name which sounded like a violent sneeze. "But I'm not sure which spells would banish it yet. This is a rare monster, and very difficult to get rid of. I will send you to consult with more Wizards."
When the Monster decided to barge into my life on a massive scale, my job as a Keeper of Very Important Papers had to come to an end. The next week, my Dragon's job as a Manager of Very Important Business came to an end due to downsizing.
Here we were, Phoenix and Dragon, unemployed, with a great Monster living in my body. What was next?
I'm back! I know I've been gone for over a year, but that was because I was living the biggest adventure of my life to date. Ben Franklin said, " Either write something worth the reading or do something worth the writing." 2017--and 2018 so far--has been filled with "doing things" that are definitely worth the writing.
And every story is more interesting when told fantasy-style.
Listen while I tell the real-life tale of a dragon, a phoenix, magic wake-up juice, swords, and a treasure.
2016 was an awesome year for writing! What have I been doing? What am I going to do in 2017? This is the post that will tell all!
(Well, no, not all. But it will give enough details to tantalize.)
I give you: A review of my 2016 writing journey!
The Sunshine Blogger Challenge is a "get to know the author" challenge that asks 11 questions of the blog author. Then the answering author tags other authors with 11 of his/her own questions. For this challenge, I'm answering the 11 questions posed by speculative fiction author Bethany Jennings of The Simmering Mind.
I'm not tagging anyone, but if you want to play, answer my 11 questions at the bottom of this post and comment with a link to your post. (Or just answer in the comments. That works too.) I'd love to read your responses!
Recently, I had the privilege of visiting a real-life castle. For a fantasy author like me, the adventure was a treat. Behold, Boldt Castle!
Wait, my bad. That's just the power house.
So let me tell you a bit about this historic New York castle and the adventures I had there...
I write YA/adult fantasy & sci-fi that explores fantastic new worlds, with stories that burn through the darkest realities with hope and redemption.
Learn more here!