Tuesday, June 19, 2018

"But this is America--this is not who we are." (Spoiler Alert: It's exactly who we are)

Unless you've been living under a rock in the past week, you've probably seen news stories and Twitter feeds about migrant Central American children coming into the United States with their parents to escape any numbers of dangerous situations seeking asylum, only to be separated--the parents sent to one place, arrested, deported; the children sent to detention centers and not let go to be with their parents.

I've been seeing a lot of "This is wrong, this is immoral"--which it is--but I'm seeing a lot of "This is un-American." Now what exactly does that mean? "This is un-American. This is not who we are as a nation."

I feel like that's either a call to American exceptionalism, an overly optimistic view of the American government and nation, or a lack of knowledge of our history.

I didn't put this list together to diminish anything that's going on today, because yes, I see some unsettling echoes of bad eras of history going on. But honestly, y'all--the United States has done some shitty shit to people in the past and it's doing shitty things to people now. I personally don't know people who approve or want any of this crap to be taking place, but they are. These sorts of things are not new and we need to reckon with the past and solve the present so our future can be full of less crap.

Also, this list is not comprehensive because that would take too long.

When you don't know history, you are bound to repeat it. When you don't know history, you are bound to let your government repeat it.

(And yes, I know, the American people and the American government are not the same entity. But since the government does things "in the interests of American citizens," there you go. This has been our country. This is our country.)

How do we get those kids out of cages and reunited with their parents? How do we grant asylum to people fleeing unstable countries? How do we improve our immigration laws?

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Reading Challenge 2018: 20 Books!

Woohoo! I have finished my twentieth book of 2018, putting me something like 4 books ahead of where Goodreads says I should be, which means I can now take my sweet time with the other books I want to read.

Here's what I've read:


11. A Princess In Theory (Reluctant Royals #1) by Alyssa Cole. Fiction/ Romance/Contemporary Romance. 3 stars.












17. The Invisible Orientation: An Introduction To Asexuality by Julie Sondra Decker. Nonfiction/Human Sexuality/LGBTQIA/Asexuality. 4 stars.


18. Gundpowder Alchemy (The Gunpowder Chronicles #1) by Jeannie Lin. Fiction/ Sci-Fi and Fantasy/Steampunk/Action and Adventure/Romance/Nineteenth Century/China. 5 stars.


19. Clockwork Samurai (The Gunpowder Chronicles #2) by Jeannie Lin. Fiction/Sci-Fi and Fantasy/Steampunk/Action and Adventure/Romance/Nineteenth Century/China/Japan. 4 stars.



Wednesday, June 6, 2018

IWSG June: Titles & Names



Welcome to my June IWSG post! The Insecure Writer's Support Group is an online community of writers. We post our writerly insecurities into the world every first Wednesday of the month. Check us out here!

What's harder for you to come up with, titles or character names?

Excuse me while I give a resounding and hearty laugh.

Okay.

I'm terrible at giving titles to my stories. Pearl is Pearl because that's all I could think of. Last year, when I started planning the quartet of contemporary romance stories I'm still outlining, I decided that "Seeing You" (after a song) would make a good title for the first of the stories. "Hearing You" could work for the second, since there's a musician hero in that one. But then, the titles quickly deteriorated.

But I love character names. The character starts taking shape when I've named them. Sometimes they pop into my head already named--Alexandra and Madeline Keegan from Pearl came that way as did Kimiko and Chris from my short story "Haunted Lake." Sometimes I play around with character names for a bit until I get one I like. I like looking up names on websites like Behind the Name and Nameberry, not necessarily to learn the name's meaning, but maybe to learn its origins or derivations or when the name was popular.

But yes, character names are so much easier than titles.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Pink Nipples, and Other Romancelandia Peculiarities

Every genre has its tropes and quirks, right? Mysteries have murders and murderers. Legal thrillers have complicated cases and courtroom drama. Fantasy and sci-fi have magical creatures or people with amazing abilities or feature the future or technology.

Romance has plenty of tropes--I've mentioned them in a few past posts--depending on the type of romance. And then there are the weird little things that have built themselves into like an almost romance-canon thing. That's not explained well. Sorry.

Okay, you know how in fandoms, whatever the fandom-ee is sort of takes on its own life among the fans? In the Downton Abbey fandom, for example, there was a widely-held belief that Lady Sybil Crawley's middle name was Patricia--because there'd been a photo in one of the Downton Abbey books of her carrying a briefcase with SPC stamped on it. And it just became like an established fact in the fanfiction and everyone wrote that in as her middle name, even though the show never confirmed it and then gave her another middle name in a later season.

Little things like that, which take on a life of their own.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Once... Book Blast!






Damsels in distress, curses, echoes of faery tales and tragic love affairs swirl together in sixteen stories found in a dragon’s lair by a curious half-fae.
Unexpected changes to reality causes more than one damsel to turn into a strong, independent woman who takes charge of her own life.
A collection of short stories about Faerie and the fae that live in the human realm. A few of the stories had won competitions and all of them had enchanted readers.
Learn their secrets and enter the realm of the fae…
ISBN EPUB: 978-0-6399476-2-4
ISBN Paperback: 978-0-6399476-3-1
Publication date: 23 May 2018
Universal Book Links for Afrikaans and English versions of this book:
Also available in Afrikaans as “Eens…”.
Excerpt:
Mortals cannot perceive the veil unless they are invited to – or extremely gifted. For centuries, Man and Fae have been kept apart, for nothing good ever comes from them mixing. The collection of The Adventures of Saphira the Faery Dog is proof of this.
Still, there are magical creatures that side neither with Man nor Fae.
Dragons are such creatures. They hold the knowledge of both worlds. Some even collect it in the written word, keeping it safe in their lairs.
An inquisitive half-fae once broke into the lair of a dragon known to hoard books. The knowledge she found was too much to keep to herself…
Here are a few tales, myths and legends from Faerie. Some may sound remarkably similar to legends held by mortals, while others are…  well… as otherworldly as the fae themselves.



Ronel Janse van Vuuren is the author of New Adult, Young Adult and children’s fiction filled with mythology and folklore. Her dark fantasy stories can be read for free on Wattpad and on her blog Ronel the Mythmaker. She won Fiction Writer of the Year 2016 for her Afrikaans stories on INK: Skryf in Afrikaans. Her published works can be viewed on Goodreads.



Ronel can be found tweeting about writing and other things that interest her, arguing with her characters, researching folklore for her newest story or playing with her Rottweilers when she’s not actually writing.


All of her books are available for purchase on Amazon.


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