Diversity (A TCWT Prelude)

What kinds of published books would you like to see more of? 

Thus spake the Teens Can Write, Too! blog chain prompt this May.  My scheduled day is the 15th (Thursday), but I’ve got something else to say first.  I’ve read and commented on all the posts in the chain up until today, and I’ve seen a big similarity: diversity.  Diversity in race, worldview, and gender; diversity in worlds, magic, and society; diversity in conflicts, plot elements, and protagonists.  It’s all true.  But as you can see from just half this month’s responses, we as individuals aren’t the only people to have realized we need diversity.  Many people advocate it.

What does that mean?  Are we apathetic, trying to force others to write what we think should be written?  Is society restrictive, shooting down every diverse idea we have?  You might not agree, but it’s neither.  There are plenty of diverse books out there.  An astonishing number of writers are writing from all different backgrounds, writing about everything under the sun.  Diverse?  Yes.  Well-known?  Some, yes– others, no.  If that’s the case, why are we still crying for diversity? Continue reading “Diversity (A TCWT Prelude)”


Phil Phorce: Splatter Paint

The Phil Phorce is a fictional periodical featuring my favorite characters from my own writing.  It comes out in episodes, once every three months or so.  To find out more and to read previous episodes, please go to these two pages: About the Phils and the Phil Phorce.  Please enjoy and critique if possible.

Quirk fell, spinning as he went, the wind filling his ears with an emotionless roar, and all he could wonder was whether falling from clouds was a requirement for being Head Phil.

Then he realized he was falling to his death.  That was odd.  Perhaps he should scream.  Oh, but which scream should he use?  Battle cry roar?  Surprised in the alleyway shriek?  Full-blown girly squeal?

What the heck, he thought; I’m falling to my death and no one can hear me.  Might as well be indulgent.

He went for the girly squeal. Continue reading “Phil Phorce: Splatter Paint”

Seraphina, a Review

This spoiler-free review is for Seraphina, by Rachel Hartman.  I first heard of this book from its sparkling starred review by Kirkus (called the best of 2012), as well as its listing among the Top Debuts of 2012 on the Publisher’s Weekly website.  (Note: I glanced at both websites in passing– I’m not so much of a publishing nerd that I follow all the news.  Nevertheless, both are reliable sources for good books.)  In all the reviews I read, Seraphina was described as being an original YA fantasy about dragons– how could I resist?  A few more favorable reviews from trusted sources followed, prompting me to pick up the book as soon as I saw it on the shelves.  Here is the usual summary:

Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty’s anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen’s Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life. Continue reading “Seraphina, a Review”