When strong women prevail

I recently found out about an amazing new project on Kickstarter – an anthology called Athena’s Daughters that is of the women by the women and for … well, for everybody.

Athena’s Daughters is a collection of diverse and engaging science fiction and fantasy stories, the Kickstarter page says, with one unifying theme: all of the protagonists are strong women. Not only physical strength, but the strength to stand up for what you know is right, the strength to make an unpopular decision, the strength to be a calming voice in a contentious situation. ALL forms of strength.

Not only is this anthology already funded – within days of  going live – it still has 24 days to run. It makes me purely HAPPY to see the kind of support it is getting.

I chirped to a friend connected with the project that – as a poster child for a writer of strong female characters – this was a project that I would have loved to have been involved with.

She passed the information on to the editors.

Who asked for a story.

So I gave them one.

And now if this thing hits one of the stretch goals, my story (“different and eerie…a nesting doll”) goes in there too.

Athena’s Daughters

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Peter O’Toole R.I.P.

Many years ago, when Peter O’Toole’s autobiography came out, I happened to be in London attending one of his plays the night before he was to sign his book at Harrods. I saw him live, on stage, the man who had stole my heart with those luminous mad eyes in “Lawrence of Arabia” – and he was magnificent.

Oeter O'TooleAt the signing the next day, all of us in line watched him walk in – tall, very thin, so long legged that he looked like he was walking on stilts. There was nothing left of “Lawrence” except those burning eyes, but they were enough.  

When my turn came and I handed my book over, I told him that I’d seen him in that play the night before. He lifted his head and transfixed me with that actinic blue gaze.

“Oh? And what did you think about it?”

“I thought you were wonderful,” I said, truthfully.

His face broke open in a wide grin. He signed the book, and then rose to his feet and shook my hand.

I walked all the way back down the hall, under the baleful stare of the rest of the waiting queue, all of whose thoughts were painted on their faces – What in God’s name had she said to him to get that response?

Thank you, Mr O’Toole, Lawrence, Henry, Lord Jim. Thank you for being luminous, and talented, and passionate, and vivid, and bright, and beautiful. Thank you for the characters you brought alive for us. And thank you for those eyes, and the opportunity to have looked into them, and to have been seen by them.

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10 Ways to Make Everyone Root for Your Amoral Protagonist

One step beyond the anti-hero, there’s the amoral or morally challenged main character, Charlie Jane Anders says in an article on io9, and asks “how do you get your audience to root for a character who might throw an old lady under a bus.” She lists a number of ways:

Make their ends noble even if their means are evil
Ensure there is a line even they won’t cross
Show us how they lost their moral compass
Make them lose

This is textbook Sif, my antagonist in the “Changer of Days” books.

Sif is a brilliant strategist and warrior, but bastard born and therefore subservient to the slip of a girl whose only claim to the throne is that she was born in wedlock to a duly married Queen. And the only reason it was THIS Queen, and not the boy’s own mother, is because of a strange and unfathomable gift called Sight – the girl-child’s mother had it, the boy’s did not and was therefore passed over for marriage.

Sif develops a massive chip on his shoulder because of this, and a resentment for Sight that stretches, in the end when he has usurped the throne, to setting fire to an abbey and burning alive its Sighted sisters. In the end, in the last battle, he is destroyed by finding out that *he too has the Sight*, the Sight he always hated and fought and went all out to destroy in any way that he could.

Textbook, I tell you. Textbook.

Amoral protagonistThe line they wont cross. Even someone who defies all known moral codes can still have personal limits and standards.

Liking the amoral character

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Does Instagram alter your memory?

Our cities, neighborhoods, and favorite spaces have never been quite so widely photographed before, Emily Badger says in an article at The Atlantic Cities.

Anyone with a smart phone now has a camera. Anyone with Instagram is a faux-fine-art photographer. It seems highly likely, though, that the ubiquity of digital photography may be altering how we perceive the world around us.

Photo memoryTo what extent does capturing one’s life events with a camera shape what one remembers? Photography may focus our observation on the things around us. Or we may actively opt not to pay much attention to the scenes we capture because we’re counting on photos to record everything.

If that’s the case, that would mean that you’re farming out your memory to Instagram as you move through the world.

Digital memory

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But be careful what you post

Dupree Johnson Charged With 142 Felony Counts After Cop Sees His Instagram Page

Think before posting

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Quote of the Day

Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.” ~ Chinese Proverb
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Alma Alexander

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