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Being Thankful with the Class of 2k14

The Class of 2k14 wants to share our thanks. For other class members’ posts, check here.

It’s that time of year, and I have to say, I’m thankful for this whole year. In particular:

What are you thankful for this year?

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Who Needs the Educating Here?

The other day, a colleague emailed this link to the staff at my school, particularly because the university where it happened is local to us. This just weeks after some guys of less-than-optimal intelligence ran a similar “prank” at Vidcon. (I’m linking to John Green’s post summarizing Vidcon’s response to those incidents and more, because just about anywhere else runs the risk of stumbling into the Dreaded Comments Section.)

My first reaction was kind of blank. Like my brain refused to believe what I was reading, because surely guys around here wouldn’t be that stupid.

I stand corrected.

Once I un-blanked, other reactions kicked in. Feeling sorry for the girls (and few guys) who had to deal with the jerks. Imagining how I would’ve responded if put in that situation. Then I went back to the original email and noted the brief intro to the link:

Prank with disturbing ramifications. What are we teaching our daughters?

Whoa, wait, what was that?

With all respect to my colleague (who is an awesome person), that question veered off-course for me. Sure, I’d like it if our girls didn’t feel like they had to be polite, play along, laugh nervously. I’d like them to know it’s okay to tell someone to back off. But much more importantly:

What are we teaching our BOYS to make them think it’s okay to invade anyone’s personal space like that?

What I really want for those girls is for them to be able to walk around their campus without strangers trying to manhandle them while someone records for cyber-posterity.

Can we get on that, please?

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"The Writer’s Voice" Contest Entry: Stitching Snow

For my regular readers, this is my entry for a contest I’ve entered. (See details here.) Feel free to peruse or ignore as you’d like. 🙂

Query:

Seventeen-year-old Essie knows how to stitch up robotic drones so the men in the mining settlement remember she’s worth keeping around. She knows how to use her fists to make sure they keep their hands off her. What she doesn’t know is how to deal with a boy who’s depending on her to get his crashed shuttle off the ground and out of orbit.

He’s polite, chivalrous, even a little charming, and he gives Essie the kind of attention she’s never had … until he discovers her secret. She’s the missing princess of his people’s greatest enemy. One betrayal later, he’s taking her home whether she likes it or not, to exchange for prisoners of war. What he doesn’t know is she had damn good reasons for running away. His ‘leverage’ means her death.

STITCHING SNOW is 68,000 words of Snow White in space, if Snow were a cage-fighting tech-head with daddy issues.

First 250 Words:

It took seventeen seconds to decide Jarom Thacker’s reputation as the sharpest fighter on Thanda had been a minor exaggeration. At twice my size—and age—he was still quick, forcing me to move or risk getting pinned against the cage. Like everyone else who came through Mining Settlement Forty-Two, though, he aimed for my gut or back. Never the most obvious target.

Wouldn’t want to botch the pretty girl’s face, right? Idiot.

I blocked him on the left, but missed his swing on the right slamming into my ribs. Pain flared through my side. I let it fire me on and slipped Thacker’s grip when he tried to grab me.

Unlike him, I had no qualms about uglifying him further—not with the way he looked at me, the shudder it sent across my skin. The heel of my palm slammed into his nose with a satisfying crunch despite the cushioning of my shock-fiber handwraps. He ignored the blood and lunged blindly; I dodged with a knee to his groin. When he doubled over, I kicked his legs from under him. He went down and I followed, pinning him. He tried to raise himself up. Before he could throw me off, I grabbed a fistful of his hair and knocked his head against the floor.

“Three … two … one … fight goes to Forty-Two’s own Essie.”

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Coming Soon! – WAE Network

Okay, this looks potentially cool. A social network for writers, agents, and editors. Check it out.

Coming Soon! – WAE Network

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The Story Behind the Cover

When it comes to visual arts, I’m not the talented one.  My siblings are.  My sister, in her brilliance, designed the cover image.  The thumbprint is obviously connected to the title Fingerprints.  (The story behind that is … another story.)

The rest of the design reflects the following excerpt from the book:

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