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:
Bethany A. Jennings at @simmeringmind asked this question this week on Instagram and her observations resonated so powerfully with me that I decided to discuss it further in this week's "Coffee With Yaasha." In this digital age, we can feel pressured to read, post, review, bookstagram... instead of just reading. Check out Bethany's story and my follow-up story:
Do you feel like social media has overcomplicated reading? If so, how do you distance yourself so that you can enjoy the benefits both of being part of the bookish community and reading just for pure enjoyment?
Join the conversation and comment below!
I'm so stoked to share with you one mistake that I've seen sabotaging people from their goals.
It almost sabotaged Bilbo Baggins, it almost sabotaged me, and it's currently sabotaging a lot of indie authors and goal-setters.
You don't have to make this mistake!
Check out the newest upload to my "Coffee With Yaasha" playlist, entitled, "A Lesson From Bilbo Baggins," or keep scrolling to read about it.
I first learned about Inktober last October, when I was browsing through my Instagram feed. What was this? Fantastic ink drawings? These people were seriously talented! I wanted to do that too!
Twenty minutes later, I crumpled my piece of paper and threw my pen with disgust. Nope. I was not an artist.
In January 2017, I started to bullet journal and, because no one was watching and there was no pressure, I began to draw again. Those early drawings were awful, but they improved. And now, this October, I realized I was ready to take on the #Inktober challenge. To my delight, I discovered that not only artists, but authors, had now joined the challenge! While artists penned an ink drawing according to the Inktober daily prompts, authors penned 50 word microfiction. The results from these authors are just as spectacular and talented as the results from the artists!
This week I talk about how we measure time in real life (it's more fascinating than you think!) and how fictional worlds develop their own concept of time.
I realized earlier this year that, although I've been blogging since 2011, it isn't what it used to be. I felt like I was struggling to truly connect with people the way I want to connect, and to truly express my joy in reading (and writing) awesome fantasy and sci-fi.
I wanted to talk directly to fellow fiction fans and authors. Video seemed the better way to do it.
That's why I revived my YouTube channel and began posting episodes of "Coffee With Yaasha," weekly casual chats about all things books, with heads-up about current discounts, deals, and sales on various fantasy and sci-fi. (For example, I just finished filming an episode in which I discuss an interesting phenomena: female readers who prefer books by male writers.)
But there's more!
In this post: A tax form applicable to your favorite fantasy and science fiction worlds.
For subscribers: An exclusive scene from my fantasy WIP featuring a humorous financial negotiation.
Nobody likes tax season, and last year's season had me literally in tears. My Dragon and I joke that we were penalized for having gotten married, but the piles of extra paperwork was certainly no joke. Despite help from a computer tax program and volunteer help from a certified accountant we knew, I still spent hours with a good ol' calculator and a plethora of forms.
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: An excerpt from C. S. Lewis' Perelandra, a little bit of my life story, and how failure shaped my writing. For newsletter subscribers: A humorous excerpt from my current work-in-progress, Book One of my Firewing Chronicles.
A few years ago, I realized that I had never really failed at anything.
Don't get me wrong. I've spent my life, like most people, fearing inevitable moments of failure. "What if it doesn't work out? What if I've put all this effort into something that does not create the expected outcome?"
But C. S. Lewis taught me something in Perelandra, the second book of his science fiction trilogy, that changed my mindset.
Welcome to my life told fantasy-style! In this post: I discuss how I got into bullet journaling and ten ways that I have used it to bring my life into balance. (Also: Lots of pictures!)
I once opened a fortune cookie to reveal this nugget of wisdom: “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”
But what is the best way to plan?
It was a few days before Christmas and, in a discussion of New Year's resolutions and goal-setting, a friend of mine asked: “Have you ever heard of bullet journaling?”
“No. Educate me!”
So he pulled out a plain, dark-covered tome in which he had written many spells and recipes for a productive and meaningful year, with notes and observations along the way. He explained the process and I thought to myself, “This is flippin’ awesome!”
I have now been bullet journaling for a fortnight and here are ten thoughts on it:
I write YA/adult fantasy & sci-fi that explores fantastic and interconnected worlds, with stories that burn through the darkest realities with hope and redemption.
Learn more here!