Writing: Women are automatically YA Writers???

This came up when a friend asked for women of color or women writers’ books. So I pulled out my goodreads and gave a few suggestions. I included Dragon Pearl because- well because I kind of loved it and I want a bazillion people to read it. I made a comment “YA but doesn’t feel like it.” Someone raised a question with a link to this article. Ok…. Breathe deeply and don’t get angry. So fifteen years ago when I first started looking at being a writer – specifically a Sci-fi/fantasy writer – the general was that women writers were predominately romance novelists. Apparently, they’ve been allowed to break into YA – but GOD FORBID they write for “real” sci-fi or fantasy fans. If The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin is “Young Adult” than so is every single book by John Scalzi – and they are NOT Young Adult. He is not classified as a YA author on any chart I know. The foul language alone in

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Review: Frankenstein

Whew – that was. Interesting. So I knew the story pretty damn well. Despite not reading it before, I really felt like there were few surprises. The only big surprise to me was the super-secret of how he made Frankenstein. That is one the movie-makers really confused me on with the whole lightning thing. I even went to Gutenberg and searched “lightning” – it’s only mentioned 5 times in the whole book and all AFTER the monster is created. I was looking for that!! Ok, I’m not going to stress about spoilers because…. well the book was originally written in 1818 and anything 200 years old (Damn, I wish I’d read it last year) I think should be pretty fair game. If you need to, you can go to Wikipedia, although it definitely is worth the read. Now, for my take on the book. I think Frankenstein made the monster up because he is mentally ill. I don’t know enough psychology

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Manner: Bagging Groceries

I was a grocery store cashier during high school. It is NOT a thrilling job. It is not mentally demanding. Emotionally – but not mentally. So in order to stave off boredom I came up with my own mental games to play. Things like racing the computer to compute change (I always lost). And optimizing grocery bagging. This past weekend, I went to the grocery store. I bought some pasta, pizza rolls, a bunch of yogurt, and lettuce. Not a ton of groceries, enough to get me started this week. Somehow my yogurts (granted, I bought like 10 of them), ended up in 3/4 bags. The pizza rolls were alone in the first bag. Then the spaghetti noodles and ~3 yogurts were in a bag. The lettuce and ~6 yogurt were in another bag. The mac n cheese and the rest of the yogurt were in a third. What is wrong with the bagger?!?!?!?! So when I get home I need to carry

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Review: Dragon Pearl

I devoured this book in a way I don’t normally these days (I try to savor a good book). It came out on Tuesday. I got a library notification it was automatically checked out for me. I downloaded it in the morning. Started reading at lunch. Came home and finished it. Now I am trying to decide when/where to go pick up a physical copy to put on my shelf. I expect I’ll be reading this again and again over the years. This is a middle grades novel, so it is marketed for ~11-14 year old kids. It is not however childish. It deals with issues that are very, very real – gambling addiction; honor (and recognizing the dishonor of adults); trust and friendship and betrayal – of all kinds; and definitely death. These aren’t childish ideas or themes and Yoon Ha Lee does not shy from them nor preach about them. They are facts of life and must be

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Review: Writing “Bad” reviews

Interesting conversation popped up this week that made me want to respond. Read this: https://www.theringer.com/pop-culture/2019/1/10/18176366/bad-reviews-jeff-weiss-a-o-scott-greta-van-fleet-post-malone-bohemian-rhapsodyThen Read this: https://whatever.scalzi.com/2019/01/12/yes-theres-a-point-to-bad-reviews-in-2019/ So I ran across these through Scalzi’s blog (I like his blog, I find it funny and enjoyable). I read these in the order I recommended to you. I then decided I don’t think Scalzi or Harvilla hit on some of the important things I think make a “bad” review actually very valuable. In the past year I think I’ve only post two “bad” reviews – and both of those I would definitely put in quotes because even on those… well let me link them and then defend them:Simon Sinek: https://librinlatone.com/2018/11/20/review-simon-sinek/Freedom: https://librinlatone.com/2018/08/07/review-freedom/ I think there are two reasons people would/should read a review (negative or positive): either they find the review itself entertaining OR they are looking for an informed opinion IF they even want to read a book (or watch a movie, go to a play, etc.). If those are the

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Politics: AOC’s Plan

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortex (AOC) has announced a proposal for a tax plan with a top rate of 70% on anything over $10 million. She is nicer than I am. I wrote two posts on the realities of costs & taxation in the 1950’s back in 2017 Part 1Part 2 In my research I found less than 20% of households in America break across the $100,000 mark. HOUSEHOLDS – not individuals. So for better than 80% of people an increase in taxes on over $100k (much less $1M or $10M) – DOES NOT IMPACT THEM AT ALL. I can’t express how confusing I find it that so many people who I am sure are NOT in that top 20% are upset when the taxes are raised on them. The only explanation that makes any sense to me is that there is something in their brain saying this: As much as I hope that someday I too am one of those rich people, I

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Review: Early Access Games

There has been a been hullabaloo in the gaming world lately over “Early Access Games.” This is really on the tails of a larger conversation of “unfinished releases” which are more and more common. Just go watch some early reviews of FalloutĀ 76 or Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4 – and their “day-one-patches” which are basically the same size as the game itself. I’ve played a good handful of Early Access games. I always go in knowing they are a gamble. They are promises from the developer that they will finish, but “finishing” a project is a mutable idea. I’ve worked on several projects where the line of “done” moved back and forth for damn good reasons – you run into a hurdle that you just don’t have the time or money or energy to meet the original line. Or you moved the line and then had to move it back again. The bad about Early Access (EA for short)

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Resolutions: Books

So for 2018 I did the “Goodreads Challenge” – and if you aren’t on Goodreads, I recommend it – I love being able to add stuff in the library or bookstore or wherever to my “to read” list and go back later to re-find the things I couldn’t pick up at the time but want to read. Sorry, that’s my plug for the week. I set the challenge of reading 60 books in 2018. I ended up reading 62. Now, I counted anything that was on Goodreads. All my re-reads, all my new books, audiobooks – everything. I read a lot. I never felt like I had to go find a short book to fit in the challenge. There were 2 books I started and gave up halfway through (rare, but it does happen!) In 2019 I set the goal of 12. This year I am going to work on reading some of the classics I’ve always missed for one

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2018 Resolution Review

My goal for 2018 was to say “yes” to life. I think I succeeded in some ways and still fell down in others. But overall, I feel like 2018 was a “win” on this resolution. I didn’t write as much as I wanted. But I forgave myself that because I wasn’t prioritizing it over friends, family and work. I got a lot done that I didn’t expect to – including adopting a dog, getting pregnant, and starting a major home renovation project (and the stress that has introduced to my life). All of these were things my husband and I had sort of had circling, but we took the plunge on ALL of them in 2018. I had an incredibly stressful year at work and I feel like I came out on top of it. I made successes. I learned a LOT. I did a lot of growing and developing to be better for future projects and roles. I DID

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