Thursday, February 21, 2013

If You Need a Little Cheering Up (for whatever reason!)


I'm not actually upset. I might be getting some of that "you're in the middle of your story" angst right now, but other than that I'm good :)  Some facebook friends have been posting this and I just had to do it.

Also I miiiiiiiiiiiiight be going to see Jurassic Park when it's re-released in 3-D. You can judge, it's fine.



Feeling better?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Yeah, I disappeared again...

But it'll be fine because I've found something awesome via Twitter and Tumblr - Jessica Sinsheimer is running a Bad Query Contest and everyone's invited to participate!  The winner gets a query critique - or they can pass it on to a friend if they don't need it!

I had way too much fun writing mine last night :) The contest is open until March 1st, so get those bad queries in (rules and the contest email address are on the Tumblr page).

Here's my entry - it won "Best insult to Labradoodles (and best-worst job at making the writer appear sane)!"

I really don't think they're evil, I promise!

Be back soooooooooon :) Go write a good bad query!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Everything You Ever...

Might've lifted this title from the amazingly awesome Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along-Blog (sorry, Joss et al.!) but I figured it applied, because I've been tagged not once, but TWICE in this "share 7 things about you that no one knows" blogging thing, so I'm gonna do that now.


Thanks to Alli and Jessika for tagging me :)

THING #1:
I'm anonymously (and maybe illegally, I'm not sure) in a BBC documentary for like 5 seconds.  To keep the longest of long stories short, a random camera crew recorded my freshman English class one morning (one of the walls to our classroom was a massive window, so yeah, I guess we were convenient).  We thought it was maybe something our school sanctioned, but it wasn't and a couple months into the semester we found ourselves in a BBC documentary.  

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Naturally, I sat RIGHT AGAINST THE GIANT WINDOW, so freshman-in-college-Alex is now forever immortalized somewhere on British television.

Sigh.

THING #2:
Dolls freak me out.

THING #3:
This is kind of weird, but I don't have recurring dreams in the way one would normally think.  I tend to make up places (one is Disney's Haunted Mansion ride, but the ride goes off-track and to some random place, another is this castle-hotel-thing that you can only get to if you take a treacherous mountain path that is oddly specific in the things you can and can't do on said path...)
ANYWAYS.
I have dreams, different dreams, in the same made up places a few times a month.  Sometimes the dreams in the same place continue on from night to night, but I've been dreaming about these fake places for years now, and having tons of different dream adventures, and everyone I've asked about it has said they've never had recurring-made-up-place dreams, so you all are my last hope.
Has anyone else done this?

http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lxuw8cvQsQ1qkv4zy.gif
Just me?

THING #4:
Uhhhhhhhhhh, I'm originally from Virginia Beach, which means I grew up about 10 minutes from the ocean and have a really weird love for tourist traps, boardwalks, and the giant Neptune statue we have at our oceanfront.
Also, we have these signs up everywhere. Locals get fined for cursing when the tourists are around.

THING #5:
I've gotten three speeding tickets.  The last one should drop off of my license this may, but they'll stay on my record 'till 2016.  Wooooooooooooops.

THING #6:
I volunteered at our aquarium, which used to be called the Virginia Marine Science Center, but is now the Virginia Aquarium, in high school.  I helped out with summer camps for kids, and since I'm kinda uncomfortable around small  children, lots of hilarity ensued as I taught them about sea creatures.

THING #7:
I originally went to college wanting to be the next Jack Hanna.  I thought going around on talk shows and telling people about Jaguars and why they were important was a legitimate career path, and my back-up plan was to become a Sea World Whale Trainer.  Or a dolphin trainer.
I decided that I couldn't be Jack Hanna after a very terrible class called Dendrology.  Yeah, the study of trees. We had to know their latin names, their common names, and we had to know them while we were in the woods.
I'm from the beach. 
Water and trees are not the same thing.
Good.

Panic-inducing.

So yeah, totally tanked the class (I mean, I passed, but not gracefully) and decided that Psychology, and eventually Student Affairs, were way more up my alley.

So now you know :)  I think I'm supposed to continue this, so I'm passing it on to:
Elodie, because she's awesome and will send me German Chocolate some day :P
Jamie, for having that confetti cannon ready for me for when I finished writing my pseudo-thesis
Jen, even though I linked to her book review blog instead of her other blog, because we have way too many things in common
And whoever else wants to do this!  If you'd like to share 7 random things about yourself with the world wide web, then go forth and type!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Witty Title TBD - Allison!

It's time for my last interview!!!  Sorry for taking forever to post this, Allison!  

Anywaysssssssss. Allison can be found over at her lovely blog, Geek Banter!  We originally bonded over our full-out love for pretty much everything sci-fi, which pretty much means she's one of the coolest people ever.  But I won't keep telling you how cool she is.  I'll let her do that :P


What do you want the world (or the 5 people who read my blog) to know about you?

Aren't we bloggers supposed to keep our identities secret? Oh, wait, that's superheroes. Well, you can see how I might get confused... 

When I guest posted at The Little Red Reviewer, she described me thus, which I found quite flattering: "Allison is a huge science fiction fan, a writer, a gamer, and an all around geek. When it comes to anime, scifi, and gaming, this is the woman who walks the walk. On her blog she talks all things speculative – books, movies, tv shows, video games, everything that makes geeks smile." I hope I do make geeks smile!

What’s the first thing you wrote for fun? (that you can remember!)

I wrote my first short story (a retelling of a fairy tale on a sticky note) when I was four and could barely write. My mom kept a copy of it and, thank goodness, included a translation, because otherwise I would have no idea what it said. I wrote my first novel when I was 11 or 12--it was about an elf who lived in our world, got made fun of for her pointy ears, and traveled back to the fantasy land of her origin to find her real family. It was terrible.

Give us a little insight into your writing journey so far.

I have a few short stories published and some soon-to-be published. I've also done some devotional writing for Christian magazines. I am currently working on a YA sci-fi novel that I will describe as a mixture of Ender's Game, Divergent, and Mass Effect. Here's my elevator pitch: After their mother is captured during the galactic war, twins Anasta and Taren discover they have abilities beyond their control and start training to join the ranks of elite military operatives called Shifters.

Star Wars, Star Trek, or…Firefly?

FIREFLY!!!!! The show is a perfect mash-up of adventure, space travel, character development, interesting plot, and humour. Every episode is fantastic. If you haven't seen it, go watch it. Right now. I'm serious. Jayne is my favourite. No, River. No, Wash. No... okay, they're all just so awesome! For the record, I also love the original Star Wars trilogy.

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This. Just this.

What song’s been stuck in your head lately?

Temple in the Storm by Seventh Wonder.

Why do you write/read/lurve YA?

Because most adult books I have to plod through, but YA I can devour.

Do you have a favorite place/time of day to write?

When I had a part-time job I liked to write in the afternoon. Now, I'm going to have to change to nighttime writing. I can type way faster than I can hand write, so the keyboard is the way to go for me.

If you could only pick one book to read for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Why would I be punished so cruelly by only having one book??? I am a Christian, so I'd pick the Bible as it is the most important book in my life. But if I could also have some fun fiction, I would probably go with Harry Potter. Which Harry Potter, you ask? Number 3.

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Seriously, almost EVERYONE I INTERVIEWED picked a Harry Potter book or tired to cheat by picking the whole series.  I have the best writing friends ever :)  Also, HP 3 is MAH FAVORITE.  So yeah.

What was your favorite book of 2012?

I am a huge Terry Brooks fan, so it was the first book in his new Shannara series--Wards of Faerie.

Is there a 2013 book you’re looking forward to?

I am looking forward to reading the next book in that Shannara series--Bloodfire Quest. For YA, I think Dualed by Elsie Chapman looks really good. (Yes, I cheated and mentioned two books.)

And, since I won an award for culturally under-represented authors: If you could pick a culture that you might not be totally familiar with to research and write a story about, which culture would it be?  And why?

I find Japanese culture to be really interesting and fantasy stories with a Japanese twist are always fun (plus, I love anime).

Anything else I might have missed?

Umm... Firefly is awesome? Oh, wait, we covered that...

Thanks for having me, awesome Alex!

There's been so much Firefly love, y'all :)  Now that I'm out of interviews, I don't know what to do anymore!  I'll compile my thoughts on SCBWI NY (they're pretty awesome thoughts!) andddddddd hopfully have more fun stuff to post after my thesis is done!  Yay for grad school :P

Before I go, the BIGGEST OF THANK YOUs to everyone who allowed me to interview them!  I love you all, and I'm not a hugger, but I'm giving you all wonderful internet hugs right now. <3

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Witty Title TBD - L!


Soooooooooooo I still have a couple of interviews left!  Sorry for the delay, friends!  Here's my interview with one of the pioneers (I'm calling her that 'cause I totally think she is!) of New Adult-ness - L!

I was originally gonna put up a legit Oregon Trail picture, buttttt this is SO MUCH BETTER.

What do you want the world (or the 5 people who read my blog) to know about you?
Well, five people who read Alex's blog (though, I'm guessing she's just being overly modest here), I'm L.G. Kelso. Feel free to call me L, as most people do, or LG or Kelso or random-person-blabbing-over-here or ginger or whatever makes you happy. What would you care to know? I'm a writer with a love of books, blank and filled pages, horses and dirtbikes. Most of my writing falls into the New Adult category, but sometimes I write some YA or adult. I typically write paranormal or fantasy (UF or dark, high) novels, but I have two contemporary projects in the works along with my current paranormal series. I like kick ass females characters, independent characters, characters who fall in love through conversation and silence (no instalove for me) and a voice that will hold me captive. You can find me at lgkelso.blogspot.com and naalley.blogspot.com

What’s the first thing you wrote for fun? (that you can remember!) 
I've been writing since I can remember. When I was little, I made my own "books" (folded paper) and even did illustrations. Luckily, as I got older, I got over the illustration part because you do not want to see my artwork. I wrote a lot in elementary school, but my clearest memory is a "novel" I started when I was 10, and it eventually turned into a WIP with my best friend. We wrote it throughout middle and high-school and had a blast doing so. It's also pretty amusing to read what we wrote when we were like 12. It's a horrible sort of amusing because some of it is just freaking awful, but amusing nonetheless.

Give us a little insight into your writing journey so far.
I'm working on getting my first novel published. I wrote it after graduating from college (though, some of it I did write while in class...but shhhh) and tested the water a bit last year with a few queries. The responses were good, and helpful. I put it away for a few months and recently started a revision to take it back to my original plan for it. It started as what is now being called New Adult, but at the time I started it, New Adult was not yet recognized. It kind of worked as "upper YA" but I had to make changes to make it fit the YA mold (the responses I got were positive, but would include things like "X character is too old for YA.... age him down").I didn't, because that would change the story, and decided to go back to the my original plans. Everything clicked in it when I accepted that it is NA and started doing the NA revisions. It's also paranormal, which is a little tough right now due to the relatively recent paranormal saturation in the market. I'm loving the revisions though, and am really happy with how they are going. I also have a contemporary WIP that is coming together a little slower than I planned (it deals with some tough matters and has mystery and thrillerness to it).

Star Wars, Star Trek, or…Firefly?
Hold please. *grabs shield and or boxing gloves* Now stay calm everyone: None of the above.

Nope.  Too late.  Freaking out.

What song’s been stuck in your head lately?
A song called Thrift Shop. It has this beat that just gets stuck in my head for days on end. Also, there are certain words that cue it in my head. My family has figured this out and now has a way to torture me by saying things like "this is * Expletive* awesome." And cue song. Again. Darnit.

Why do you write/read/lurve YA?
As I said, most of my writing is NA but I do write some YA, and some of my NA still could be considered upper YA. I think I write/read/lurve YA because it's about a stage in life where everything is so new. Lot's of firsts. It's a stage that many of us have very strong and emotional memories from. Not that we all would want to re-experience it in real life, but sometimes it's fun to experience it through the novel we read. It's also a very emotional stage, and that's fun to write. I tend to think more logically based than emotionally, so sometimes I enjoy going out of my own "thinking box" and looking at a situation with more emotional dependence.

Do you have a favorite place/time of day to write?
Not really. Whenever I can. Though I do especially enjoy writing in the morning, with the sun warming my office and a cup of coffee or tea in hand.

If you could only pick one book to read for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Oh. Man. That's hard. I have three different favorite series, and all of them want this spot. But, I'd probably have to go with one of The Black Jewels Trilogy novels by Anne Bishop or The Girl Who Played with Fire by Steig Larson. And out of those....argggg.... Black Jewels novel, I guess?

What was your favorite book of 2012?
Well, my favorite book published in 2012 would probably have to be The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead (those series are a contender for the above question as well).

Is there a 2013 book you’re looking forward to?
The next book in the Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead. There are more, but I'll leave it at that.

And, since I won an award for culturally under-represented authors: If you could pick a culture that you might not be totally familiar with to research and write a story about, which culture would it be?  And why?
Honestly, I don't think I could sum up an answer for this. I find various cultures interesting. I grew up in an area that was hugely impacted by multiple cultures and ethnicities. I don't think I could narrow down just one.

Thanks for stopping by to answer some questions, L.!  Tune back in tomorrow for my last interview!
Now, I'm gonna go try to get "Thrift Shop" out of my head...

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Diversity IS Important!

I'd had this post drafted for a while, and actually posted it for like a day a few months ago,  but took it down 'cause I didn't think it was really necessary.  I thought I just sounded super chip-on-the-shoulder-y, but after my weekend conversation took a turn for the worse, I figured I might as well dust the old post off.

PLUS, I don't think people are quite tired of me talking about why diversity matters, and after this awesome response post I really just want to keep the conversation going.  So bare with me while I step on my soapbox.

*Steps on soapbox, clears throat*

Diversity is a buzz-word in, well, pretty much every field, and can mean many things other than race and ethnicity.  But, for the purposes of this soap-box chat, I shall only discuss that aspect (mostly because I know the most about this specific part of it, and can only speak to my experiences BUT in the future I definitely want to do a blog post on ability/mental wellness/sexual orientation after I've done a bit more research!).

Over the years I've had lots of conversations with peers, mentors, family members, and random strangers who'll listen to me talk about diversity, and one particular company where the lack of diversity was sorely noted (and is still pretty sorely noted).  After a Twitter convo a few months ago (which is when I'd originally posted this), I wrote this blog post.  So, here are my (slightly rant-y) thoughts on the company that started it all...

Disney 

Now, don't get me wrong, I can sing-along to every single Disney song with one hand tied behind my back and a blindfold on (which probably wouldn't mess with my ability to sing, but I digress).  I grew up on Disney movies, and they will always have a special place in my heart.

Always.
But.

These movies were filled with people of only/mainly one race for decades.

DECADES.

Snow White, Disney's first foray into the fairy-tale-Princess-lands, came out in 1937.

Aladdin didn't come out until 1992.  According to my calculator, that's 55 years.
55 years to have main characters from "another land."
And, even then, the only sort-of middle-eastern looking character was Jafar.  Yeah, the bad guy was the only character who looked remotely ethnic.
Also, the beginning song in that movie was racist when it opened in theaters.  Just saying.  It is NOT okay to have a line like, "Where they cut off your ear if they don't like your face/It's barbaric, but hey, it's home!"

Just don't.

Fast-forward to Mulan. 1998.  Six years after Aladdin, and 61 years after Snow White.  
Now, as a half-Filipino, half-Caucasian child, it was always really weird to me that I didn't look like Any. Single. Disney. Princess. Ever. When Mulan came out, I clung to her, clung to that movie, because she sort of looked like me.

She was Chinese.  I am not Chinese.
But it didn't matter, 'cause she was Asian, and I sort of look Asian, so, there, problem solved, right?

Nope.  Not at all.

Fast forward again to 2009, when The Princess and the Frog came out.  I was so excited about this movie because Tiana was going to be Disney's first African American Princess.  For those of you calculating with me at home, it took 72 years for Disney to have an African American Princess.

72 freaking years.


And, while it was pretty awesome that an African American Princess finally existed,  you know what happened in the movie?

Take a guess.  I'll wait.

Oh, that's right.  She spent most of that movie AS A FROG. Disney's first (and hopefully not only) African American Princess spent most of her movie as a frog.  I kind of just want to keep repeating that sentence over and over again, 'cause I'm still mad.  But, for the sake of this post, I'll move on!

If I, as a little bi-racial girl, was sort of lost without any sort of Disney Princess doppelganger  I can't even begin to imagine how other diverse girls felt/may still feel (there hasn't been a Latina Princess yet).

Even if you've run across these stats before, it begs the giant-ass question that no one seems to have an answer to.

That question: Why did it take so long to start acknowledging other cultures/races/heritages/stories?

We live in a diverse world, friends, and it blows my mind when Disney movies, TV shows, books, or, hell, even just regular movies still have predominantly Caucasian casts/characters.

What are we teaching all of the kids who don't have a role-model/character that looks like them?  And no, I'm not accepting the argument that it doesn't matter what a character looks like, that kids will look up to them anyway.  To an extent, this is true.  I connect with someone like Hermione because she loves school or Percy Jackson because he's loyal to a fault.

But you know what?  How characters look also matters.  And it doesn't just matter for the kids who need a positive, successful role-model who looks like them and gets a happily-ever-after, or is a super-genius, or cares about their friends.  It would have been nice for me to have those as a kid (and I do hope that the gap lessens for kids growing up today).

  You know who else those diverse characters would matter to?  The kids who might not have had the opportunity to meet people different from them.  I can't tell you how many people I've met who've said their first interaction with someone who was (fill in the diversity blank here) wasn't until college

COLLEGE!

And, by then, what do they have?  A few exaggerated caricatures, a whole lot of pre-conceived notions, and none of the desire to get to know someone for who they are, rather than passing judgement on them based off of what they look like.

Now, I'm not saying that Disney movies were the end-all-be-all to my identity development, 'cause they weren't (also, Disney Princesses and their adherence to/occasional defiance of Gender Roles is going to be one awesome future blog post).

But what I am saying is that, as a kid, it was hard for me to find heroes/people to look up to that looked like me.  All the characters I admired looked like one of my friends, and I was always so jealous that I couldn't have Belle's long brown hair, or be blonde like fifty gazillion Disney Princesses (why is blonde the default, anyways?  Curiouser and curiouser).

So, my point.  I'm sure you want to me to get to the point.  Here it is:

This is my Diversity Plea to you.  Please, PLEASE go out of your comfort zone and talk to someone you might normally not talk to.  Immerse yourself in another culture, or ask your friends about theirs.  Write stories with diverse characters in them, and please, for the love of everything good,

Just acknowledge that diversity exists, and that it's OKAY for it to exist.

Stories, our stories, exist in our heads.  And then we share them with the world.

THE WORLD. 

Which has about 7 billion different reasons supporting the idea that diversity is everywhere.

So, no matter what you write, whether it's High Fantasy or Contemp, YA, MG, or Adult, take a second to think about how diversity can add to the world you're building.  

That one character might make all the difference to someone out there, searching for a character who kind-of-sort-of looks like them.  And, as writers, isn't that what we want?  For people to connect with our characters?

Right then.  I'm done.

Seriously.

*Steps off of soapbox*

Monday, February 4, 2013

In Which I Defend Multicultural Stories.

Hello everyone!  The time has come for a blog post that I've been contemplating since Saturday night, but that I wanted to wait to write, to make sure I sounded more reasonable and less angry.

This weekend I was very, very lucky to attend the SCBWI NY Winter Conference.  I had a fabulous time and really loved being around people who cared about children's literature as much as I did.  But there's always that one person you run into who makes you wonder/gets you thinking about the different ways people can perceive the world.

This post is a response to a few of the points someone at the conference brought up to me and one of the other award winners.  I'd like to re-iterate that the award we won was based on finding voices that are currently under-represented in children's literature, and that I am doing research about issues that relate to multicultural students, so I'm just a little biased when it comes to my views on multiculturalism.

Anonymous Person's Point 1: Multiculturalism is a "one-way" road right now, and it needs to become a "two-way" road.
When pressed further for clarification (because I was honestly trying to give them the benefit of the doubt at this point), they said that, as of this point in time, White authors are being pressured by people of color to write stories about their cultures.  So, for example, I'm half-Filipino, and I would walk up to someone who was White and ask them to write about the Philippines.

This, anonymous person said, was what was wrong with "multiculturalism" because when White authors aren't writing other people's stories, the people in other cultures start to write their own stories.  The inherent problem with people writing about their own cultures is that, inevitably, they end up leaving out "White Culture."  In anonymous person's opinion, when people write about their own cultures, they use such a narrow lens that they end up leaving out other cultures (they emphasized, again, that it was primarily "White Culture") and that these stories truly weren't multicultural because of that.

My counter to Point 1.
First, I'm not sure I'm aware of ever asking anyone (or knowing anyone else who did this) to write about MY culture.  I'd like to think that, if a White author were writing about the Philippines, it would be because they were genuinely curious about the culture/country and wanted to learn more about it and then, in turn, help others learn about it as well.

And you know what?  I'm totally okay with them writing about it if they've done their research.  I mean, think about it, I wouldn't go off and write about Blackbeard if I hadn't read about Blackbeard.  You can't know what you're talking about if you don't do any research.  There are a bunch of great cultures and people out there, and it's definitely worthwhile to learn something new!

Also, to her point about it being a "one-way" road - uh, sorry, it's not.  The other award winner and I both tried to explain that just because a book focuses on one culture doesn't mean that we're excluding everyone else.  My book has characters that come from different countries, ethnicities, and, because it's sci-fi, they also come from two different universes.  The other award-winner's story focuses on Hispanic culture in America.  America.  You know, that place people often call a melting pot.  

When we wrote our stories, we weren't purposefully sitting around, twirling our evil villain mustaches, as we tried to figure out who we would exclude.  No.  We wrote our stories to try to expose people to something new, or to get them to think of the way they view others, or just to write a fun story.  As the other award-winner tried to express, anyone can enjoy a book.  That's the great thing about art, books, movies, music, television - there's something universal, something everyone can relate to, in each piece of art.

It's all subjective anyways, right?

Anonymous Person's Point 2: Blanket SES statement about low-income families.
After the other award-winner stated that she wanted to write more stories about her heritage/culture, anonymous person said, with a completely straight and very serious face, that the award-winner was wasting her time.

And why was she wasting her time? Because she knows that the parents of said children (in this case, Hispanic children) won't have enough money to buy a book.  

Yeah.  She made a blanket statement about the SES of a certain group of people.

My counter to Point 2.
First, WHAT?

Second, it's funny, because I was talking to someone an hour or so before this conversation started, and I brought up the Twitter account "Yes, You're Racist" - an account that points out tweets that usually start off like "I'm not racist, but..." and RTs them.  It's amusing and sad all at once.  Anyways, the way this point was phrased reminded me of that Twitter account.

Third, I don't believe in blanket statements like that and am still offended.  

Anonymous Person's Point 3: There aren't enough multicultural stories right now because the people who could write them don't have the right amount of schooling.
I'm really, really trying to benefit the doubt her here and think that she was referring to how we need to fix our education system.  But, if she isn't, then...

My counter to Point 3.
I'll try not to sound too conspiracy-theorist-y here, but Standardized Tests are biased, not all schools are created equal, and we're way behind in terms of the quality of our education than a lot of other well-developed countries.  Yes, there is something broken and yes, our education system needs to change for the better if we want to produce well-rounded individuals who will contribute to society, BUT there are already people, lots of different kinds of people, doing just that.

This is another terrible blanket statement that's offensive and insulting.  It's so insulting that I can't even form the right words to describe how I feel about it right now.  Yes, the majority of people who move on to higher education in this country are White, but, here's the thing - life's different for everyone.  Maybe there are certain circumstances holding someone back from going to their dream school, or maybe they just don't have any desire to go to college.

And you know what? That's fine. Not everyone has to follow the same path.
Also, going to college is not an indication that you're better than someone who didn't go.
There are different types of intelligence.  For example, I love writing, and words, and scored in the 90th percentile in the Verbal portion of my GRE.

How'd I do in math?
I definitely scored wayyyyyyyy lower. like, terribly lower.

Conversely, my best friend got a perfect score in her math section.

See?  Different ways to be intelligent exist.  I may never know anything about how a car works, or how to calculate the velocity of a falling object, or how to make a donut.  And I'm cool with that.

To get back on track, I think there are plenty of qualified people out there writing stories about their culture, and who are just as willing to share them with the world.  I don't believe that it's fine to discount someone totally based on their heritage, or to generalize not being "educated enough" to a certain group of people.  

To wrap this whole thing up:
This conversation showed me why it's important that people (regardless of what they look like/identify with/etc) should write stories about cultures that are currently under-represented.  It's only through trying to understand someone else's view-point that we can move past terrible and false generalizations and start to understand that yes, people are all different and yes, it's okay to be different.

Ignorance is a two-way road.  Perhaps if we all work together, instead of shoving past each other without another thought, we can start closing that road down. 

Sorry I just disappeared!

I'll have conference updates and the last couple of writer friend interviews up soon :) I meant to blog about the conference while I was there, but things ran late/I was tired/in one instance, got a little too mad to make a ranty blogpost on the spot.  BUT other than the one incident that made me want to angry rant on Twitter, the conference was fabulous (I was in the same room as Julie Andrews! AH!), I met lots of new writer friends (and some of the old ones from Twitter!), and had a blast!

To paraphrase Julie Andrews, I sure am lucky. :)

So, later today I'll post another interview. And then I'll post my calm-sounding ranty blog post.  It's about multiculturalism and diversity in stories, and I've been working on it since the "incident" happened.

Happy Monday!


Friday, February 1, 2013

Awkward Hotel Tour Time!

I'm very sleepy.  I hope this makes sense.
ALSO THE CONFERENCE STARTS TOMORROW AND THE AWARD PRESENTATIONS ARE SUNDAY!!!  AHHHHH EXCITEMENTTTTTTT!

Part 1: The Hallway
video

Part 2: The Room...
video

Part 3: The Room continued...
video

Time for me to sleeeeeeeeeeeeep.  Other interviews are going up soonsies, I promise!!!