Review: “Barsk”

Maybe I entered the world of Barsk with poorly calibrated expectations. Lavish critical praise described a unique, thoughtful science fiction tale. I typically view such panegyric with skepticism, but the book’s premise sounded legitimately intriguing: in a galaxy of advanced sapient mammals, a planet inhabited by an ostracized elephantine race produces a unique drug that … More Review: “Barsk”

Review: “Rendezvous with Rama” by Arthur C. Clarke

“Seriously?” I deadpanned, startling my Laddie from his bedtime Kindle doze. My own e-reader cast its moonbeam light on my pillow, emanating a serenity I didn’t share. “We finally get a female character and the first thing they talk about is her breasts?” This irritating discovery wasn’t completely unexpected. When I launcher a personal initiative … More Review: “Rendezvous with Rama” by Arthur C. Clarke

Gotta Catch ‘Em All: Pokemon Go Showed Me The World Through My Protagonist’s Eyes

“Watch out!” I caught my Laddie’s arm before he stepped off the curb, uncomfortably close to an SUV speeding down our street. The neighbor scowled at us from behind the wheel, but my Laddie was too absorbed in his phone to notice. “Stupid zubat got away,” he muttered. “You need a bodyguard to play Pokemon … More Gotta Catch ‘Em All: Pokemon Go Showed Me The World Through My Protagonist’s Eyes

How to Write a Novel, Part 7: Revision and Editing

So you completed the first draft of your story. Congratulations—it’s a milestone in the novel-writing process. But your work is far from done. If you think revision means typing “The End” and running spellcheck, think again. Drafting just generates raw material. Through revision, we sculpt that narrative clay into a novel. That’s where creativity and … More How to Write a Novel, Part 7: Revision and Editing

How to Write a Novel, Part 2: Crafting Characters

Last year, a friend told me she had an idea for a story. “That’s awesome!” I said. “Tell me about your characters.” “The heroine is kind of a rebel who sees things differently,” she explained. “Then there’s another girl who represents the establishment.” I stopped her and threw down some emergency novelist knowledge:  characters are … More How to Write a Novel, Part 2: Crafting Characters

Sentenced: Struggles with Short Stories

Stephen King must have a much more affectionate relationship with short stories than I do. The past two months I spent writing pieces for ASU’s cli-fi short story contest—submitting them just a few days shy of the deadline last Friday—didn’t feel like a passionate, mysterious encounter. More like a home invasion. Let’s review the charges: … More Sentenced: Struggles with Short Stories