Originality episode 23

ORIGINality 23: Avoiding Patriarchal Nonsense

In this episode I talk about my research trip to Egypt but first I delve deep into my life story to explain how it is I came to be writing a novel set in ancient Egypt in the first place. I’ve been researching Egypt for various projects since college, and the roots go even deeper than that. I talk about it all, including how The Patriarchy shapes what we understand about the past and how I’m looking to change that.

You can listen to the podcast below or on the episode page where you can see the show notes and also subscribe.

Microfiction October 2018

Monthly Microfiction – October 2018 [Patrons Only]

Apologies for all the October stuff coming so late! The end of October was very, very busy on several fronts.

The image this microfic is based on is “Feeding the Sacred Ibis in the Halls of Karnac” by Sir Edward John Poynter

The Initiate

The halls of the temple were quiet; the dawn song sung, the morning light just beginning to peek between the columns. Maatkare passed between them as silently as possible, bare feet barely making a sound on the alabaster floor and just a gentle swish from the linen wrapped around her body. Only sacred sound was permitted here.

To read the rest of this, become a patron on Patreon! If you’re already a patron, click here, then enter the password. Not a patron yet? You can get access to this and other content by becoming one of my supporters on Patreon. Just click the banner on the sidebar.

Pyramids and Punk DVD Extras

Background Sketch: Ibi 3 – DVD Extras [Patrons Only]

I’ve had the vague notion of this scene in my head for a very long time and so decided that it was time to solidify it. I’d also decided a little while ago that Ibi needed a piece of jewelry that would serve as an anchor. When I go back and revise this draft I’ll add it to the sections I’ve already written. Going forward, she’ll be wearing the necklace at all times.

PS – If anyone is moved to make that piece of jewelry mentioned, let me know…

support me on patreon

Patrons on the Sneak A Peek level, click here to read the scene (you’ll need the password). Not a patron yet? You can read the rest of this piece and all the ones that came before by becoming one of my supporters on Patreon. Just click the orange banner above.

compilation of images from Sirens

I Spent Two Weeks Attending Two Women-Focused Geek Cons And It Was Pretty Awesome [Repost]

Five years ago I attended my first Sirens conference. The theme: Reunion. In a couple of weeks I’ll be back at Sirens teaching and sitting on a panel. The theme this year? Reunion. <3

I love the fact that when I started going to SFF conventions there was one prominent and overtly feminist convention (WisCon) and now there are multiple conventions that center women SFF writers and women readers. This is why I was excited to go to Sirens the first time and even more excited to go to GeekGirlCon that same month. On the very next weekend, even.

My feelings about GeekGirlCon are more complicated, five years on. Sirens has just gotten better. Both cons give women and people of all genders the chance to experience what it’s like when a con centers women and their voices and their contributions. Both help make the space for other conventions and gatherings to do so. And after the past month? Hell, past three years? This is needed.

Earlier this week I found out that the media company that owned xoJane deleted the entire website. I went and saved all my posts, and in doing so re-read the piece below. It was my first for xoJane, and I’m still proud of it and also still find it relevant for the commentary on Sirens, GeekGirlCon, New York Comicon, PAX, and other SFF conventions. So I’m republishing it here on my blog.

Click here to read the whole thing.

Daily Writing Exercises - NaNoWriMo Edition

Daily Writing Exercises – NaNoWriMo Edition

Practice and warm-ups are fundamental to every artistic discipline, from the musician who practices scales for hours on end to visual artists who cover reams of paper with sketches to dancers and actors who rehearse for months. Practicing craft is important for writers, too. Especially when you’re about to write 50,000 words in 30 days.

Doing one 10 – 20 minute writing exercise every day before diving into your novel can help kick your brain into creative gear without pressure and give you the chance to try out new craft skills.

That’s what this course is all about. Starting November 1, you’ll get a writing exercise via email every day for a month. Each one is designed to get you warmed up and also to help you get to know your characters better, dig into details of your setting, and play around with voice, point of view, and other aspects of craft.

Sound good? Register Now or keep reading for more details.

All the deets.

September Microfiction

Monthly Microfiction – September 2018 [Patrons Only]

I’m back to writing Wolf & Bunny stories. Because it’s been a while, I went ahead and added the other two stories to the blog here so you can read them if you didn’t before or forget what happened in them. There’s a TOC at the bottom of this post.

The stories in this series are based on the artwork of Chiara Bautista which is amazing and gorgeous and you should look at all of it.

I’m including stories based on two images this month since the first story didn’t feel quite substantive enough. I hope you enjoy and please do let me know your thoughts in the comments!

There Are No Stars in the Sky Tonight

She came down here to be alone. Up there she’s never alone. But then he came down to join her and that ended up being all right. Because she realized that what she needed wasn’t to be alone. She just needed a change in perspective. And perhaps, just a little, to feel some proof of love.

To read the rest of this, become a patron on Patreon! If you’re already a patron, click here, then enter the password. Not a patron yet? You can get access to this and other content by becoming one of my supporters on Patreon. Just click the banner on the sidebar.

Celebrating the Equinox (an excerpt from The Copper Scarab)

The autumn is upon us, and it’s time to celebrate the harvest and wave goodbye to summer ~sniff~. I try to mark the quarter days (equinoxes and solstices) with something special. And there is stuff to celebrate! Those of you who backed the Sunspot Jungle Kickstarter should be getting your hardback copies of the book very soon! The paperback and eBook editions will be out on December 1 (and are already up for pre-order!).

I have a story in volume 1, a reprint of my Pyramids and Punk tale The Copper Scarab. When I was writing it I had this vision of how I wanted the last section of the story to go. I knew the sphinx at Giza would be involved, but needed some other element to make it all click. I went poking through all my research files and found an article I’d saved talking about the connection between the sphinx and the eastern horizon and the timing of the inundation of the Nile (which is a plot point in the story) and everything fell right together into this passage below.

This is from the last section of the story but does not include the end. It’s minorly spoilery, but I doubt the reading of it would be “ruined” for you if you read this.

Excerpt: The Copper Scarab

In the darkness before dawn on the equinox, Khemetans who came from across the delta and White Fortress region gathered around the base of the Great Lioness. Their voices quiet, reverent; their bodies newly wet with water from the still anemic Nile. They sat with eyes trained on the eastern horizon. Like the giant stone Lion of the Horizon, their faces would greet the dawn directly on the day marking the beginning of the harvest season. Most of them tried not to think about how poor that harvest would be this year, just as last year, and possibly all the years to come. Instead, they waited for the life-giving rays of the sun to warm their skin and remind them of the first eternal truth: Everything changes, but the dawn always comes.

Half a shade after the sun disk pushed fully over the horizon, the Lioness seemed, impossibly, to shudder. Sounds emerged from under the ground that ricocheted around the still quiet crowd–vibrations that didn’t make sense.

They had begun to murmur when the copper scarab emerged from the sand between the stone paws, hissing and clicking and gleaming in the sunlight. The people’s silence held for one breath, two, before everyone reacted at once. Amatashteret watched from a short distance as some scrambled away in fear, some fell to their knees in shock or in reverence, and some ran to get a closer look. The engineers surrounded the scarab, lifting the copper wings to the right position and ensuring the steam pressure stayed at the right level. Once they gave the ready signal, she and the other chariot riders rolled past the machine, heading into the desert and upriver toward the capital.


Pre-order Sunspot Jungle to read the whole story.

Pyramids and Punk DVD Extras

Background Sketch: Sitamun 1 – DVD Extras [Sneak A Peek Patrons Only]

Now that I’m moving into Section 3 of the book Sitamun, Ibi’s mom, is about to be on screen more. So I’m writing out some key interactions between her and Ziwat to give myself more context for the dramaaaaaaaaa that’s about to take place.

If you want to see the other background scenes leading up to this I now have navigation at the bottom of this and other DVD Extras posts so you can easily find them.

support me on patreon

Patrons on the Sneak A Peek level, click here to read the scene (you’ll need the password). Not a patron yet? You can read the rest of this piece and all the ones that came before by becoming one of my supporters on Patreon. Just click the orange banner above.