Tuesday, January 21, 2020

The Rise of Reylo: A Mother & Daughter Take on #StarWarsIX

Me: so, your thoughts on Reylo in RoS?

Eldest: well, you know I always wanted them to get together. They both had this similar inner kind of conflict, but Rey didn't know who her family was while Ben did. He was kind of under a lot of pressure maybe to live up to being a Solo and a Skywalker with Vader as his grandad, while Rey was struggling to figure out who and what she was, her place in everything.

Me: so they were sort of running in parallel but from different starting points.

Eldest: yeah they were definitely running in parallel but Ben started knowing who his family were and therefore following the path of his grandad while suffering the conflict of being a Solo, while Rey started with no idea who she was and then battling with the conflict that surfaced from finding out who she was and how her background was similar to Ben's.

Me: one thing that bothered me about that was Luke and Leia both knowing her ancestry and not telling her. In the original trilogy, Luke was frustrated with Kenobi for not being told Vader was actually his father, and finding that out while in the middle of a battle with his dad seems particularly cruel. Yet Luke was okay with Rey having to do the same thing - I felt like despite seeing her spirit, they didn't have faith in her, maybe because when he finally took on training her, she went straight to the Dark Side. Is that why he was afraid to tell her? Instead, he left her to find out the hard way like he did? Even Leia went along with that? Seems harsh.

Eldest: it was harsh. If he was so bothered by the fact he found out the identity of his father so suddenly and in a way he didn't expect or want, then surely he wouldn't want the same for someone else? Obviously he had a background with Ben, knowing that his grandad was Darth Vader and then seeing him turn into the villain that he did must've motivated him to hide it from Rey. But he must've known Rey would find out eventually, especially knowing the bond between her and Ben and the knowledge that Ben had as part of the First Order, which suggests that he didn't have as much faith in her as him and Leia suggested. If he and Leia saw her spirit and decided to train her despite her grandad, they would have told her the identity of her grandad since they would have known it wouldn't affect her morals and attitudes. In the end, she still ended up on the right side despite knowing who her grandad was, meaning they should have had faith in her all along but that's also one of the reasons I like Reylo so much.

Me: tortured heroes are always my favourite! And I have to say, Kylo/Ben had a far better redemption than Vader (whose redemption in RoJ was later ruined by the prequels in my eyes). For me, Kylo started out as way too similar to Anakin, a brat having tantrums, to an appreciation for his sneakiness in TLJ (which otherwise I hated), to being the kind of hero I adore in RoS. But I feel seriously cheated. I disliked TLJ so intensely and RoS spent so much time undoing so much of TLJ that I feel we didn't get a complete trilogy. I really would have loved more than that one amazing kiss for the two of them (and I know you agree with me on how awesome that was and how we all deserved so much more. So much better for them!).

Eldest: they deserved a better ending that that. They spent the entirety of TLJ (even though RoS undid it) finding out about and figuring out their bond to then spend RoS figuring out what to do with that bond and what it meant only for them to end with one kiss that was instantly shattered by Ben's death. He had an incredible redemption arc and by the end of the trilogy became my favourite character because of it but it deserved to be developed more because it didn't seem an entirely redeemed or happy ending for Ben. And yes, the beginning half of the film was borderline ruined by the decision to undo the actions of the last film, which then made for a slow and disjunct beginning half where the acting was below par and it didn't seem to have a definitive storyline. Despite the disjunct first half, though, it did bring the trilogy to a fairly satisfying close, for me at least, and it provided the Reylo I'd wanted in TLJ. Some of the character developments were questionable, namely Po and Rey (who previously was my favourite character) but I liked some of the new characters and thought the second half was far better and more satisfying. The Reylo was an added bonus.

Me: Reylo saved that last film for me, but in so many ways I've been disappointed by Disney's decisions on Star Wars, and in some ways that makes me feel relieved that the saga is ended. And that's heartbreaking to me after a lifetime of fandom. A New Hope was eye opening for me as a youngster, taking me from writing fantasy to scifi. Of course, some of it was forced by the death of Carrie Fisher, stealing a story focussed on Leia from us, and to a degree I can understand how that had a drastic impact. I cannot understand the changes to Poe's character, especially making him a drug smuggler - did we need that? To me, it set his character back in an unnecessary way, and his bitchy bickering with Rey just made him look like a jealous boyfriend. I don't feel the new characters really got a chance to develop either being as it was the last of the trilogy. So it leaves me unsatisfied in a lot of ways.

Eldest: unfortunately, that's true. The new characters could have been so much more but were rushed and almost forced into the film and Poe's character was turned into a man who experienced a lot of bitter jealousy and resorted to pettiness too many times. The final battle redeemed him slightly but other than that it was disappointing they portrayed him in that way. It wasn't the greatest of conclusions, especially considering the vastness of the fandom and how long it has existed and I can see why many were disappointed but I don't think they did all that badly considering how much pressure they were under to create a good finale.

Me: yeah, I do think they were trying too hard to please everyone and ended up pleasing very few. I don't hate Disney for it but my overall feeling is disappointment, and after my initial thrill with Rogue One (still love it), I honestly can't muster any enthusiasm for any of the current (Solo) or upcoming extended universe with the end of the Skywalker saga. Thanks for talking it over with me here today (I know we'll probably have more to say about it to each other again).

Eldest: we certainly will. But for now, may the Force be with you and goodbye.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Rise of Skywalker: The SFR Brigade Speaks Out

The Saga Will End...The Story Lives Forever

That was the tag line for the final motion pictures in the 40+ year old Star Wars main saga, a cultural icon for three generations.

How did members of the SFR Brigade feel about the wrap? A few are here to share their thoughts on the final installment.

Spoiler Alert! 
If you haven't yet seen Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker, don't read on!


The End of the Skywalker Saga 
by Patty Hammond 
Beta Reader, Editor, Blogger and Podcaster
EverydayFangirl.com     TheFutureofTheForce.com
Fanthatracks.com      TheBeardedTrio.com

How do you start summarizing something that has been part of your life since you were six years old in just a few words? I am still processing everything that I saw in The Rise Of Skywalker, even though I have seen the movie a total of two times. There was so much that happened and the emotions these evoked in me that I am not sure where to start. Therefore, all I can do is try, even though I am sure Master Yoda would not agree with that approach, huh?

It is true that we have reached the end of the current Star Wars saga and the story of the Skywalker family has completed. I know this ending may not have fulfilled the hopes of a happily ever after that many wished for and are struggling to deal with this. However, I believe that the ending of TROS is better than some other endings, like The Game Of Thrones, because it left me with a feeling of hope. For me the heart of the Star Wars saga has always been about hope.

I believe The Rise Of Skywalker gave this to us in spades. From the lack of hope being presented as ‘fact’ due to the First Order and of course the most evil being in the Universe, Palpatine and his Final Order. To the presence of hope as a rallying cry and a weapon wielded by the efforts of many characters including Rey, Finn, Poe, Rose, Leia and even Ben Solo. This ending gave us hope that a brighter future lives on in all the surviving characters, especially Rey, who is now the spiritual heir of the Skywalker family and the keeper of hope into the future. Overall, I left the theatre with this feeling of hope and I hope that when others left the theater after watching this film will feel the same hope that I did.

The Return of Hope
by Debra Jess
Author of Blood Surfer: A Thunder City Novel (Book 1)

Hope, like comedy, isn't easy. The dramatic, the sorrowful, the angsty stories always seem to get more attention over happier, more hopeful ones because well-told stories with happiness & hope appear too simplistic, too easy. Star Wars is about hope. It's always been fast, lightly touching the darker emotions before spring boarding off to the next space battle. Every time I see a fan bemoaning about how The Last Jedi was a better film than Rise of Skywalker because Luke was morose and depressed and turned his back on the Force because of all of the tragedies in his life, I just want to scream: "Did you miss the huge parties at the end of A New Hope and Return of the Jedi? Medal ceremonies! Dancing Ewoks! New sister! New friends! Fireworks!" Even Empire Strikes Back has an ending that promises a better future despite all the shocking revelations that went down in that film.

I was happy to see all of the past threads brought together and tied into a nice neat bow. My jaw dropped when Han Solo appeared (how many souls did Kathleen Kennedy have to sacrifice to bring Harrison Ford back?) However, I will always believe that directors and producers showed a complete lack of understanding of what Star Wars is about when they chose to deprive the legacy fans of the one small story point they wanted more than anything else: a few minutes of screen time with Luke, Leia, and Han together as the heroes that we remember.

I was surprised at how much screen time they constructed for Leia. I know it's not perfect, but then Tarkin wasn't perfect in Rogue One and his rendering didn't bother me or distract me from the movie at all.

The twists were a pleasant surprise. I can see Hux spying in an attempt to get revenge on Kylo. Adam Driver made me believe in Kylo's re-embracing of Ben's soul. His whole stance is looser, his manner less strained. I'm still glad Kylo/Ben died, because you don't get to commit patricide and survive. His kiss with Rey was a bit queasy, but at least Rey is now free to choose her own destiny with no ties to the dyad, her bloodline, or her past. Her loyalty belongs to her newfound family and friends.

Rose, however, got screwed. There's no way to justify her lack of screen time. I believe the director kept Zorii's helmet on to cover for the fact that he downgraded Rose in favor of another white woman. Rose deserved so much better.

As for Rey taking on the Skywalker name? I was torn because I hate the whole bloodline legacy idea because it ties in with the need for midi-chloridians to touch the Force. Midi-Chloridians don't exist in my universe. However, the fact that Rey chooses the Skywalker name at the end shows that bloodlines really don't matter if she's the first in a new generation of Jedi.

The Digital Necromancy of the Mustache Twirl
by Marlene Harris
Book Blogger / Librarian
Reading Reality   Twitter @readingreality

I saw The Rise of Skywalker over the holidays with my husband. Our experience of the Star Wars universe is different; I was in college the summer that the original movie came out and he was born that summer. He doesn’t remember a world without Star Wars. For me, it was the opening of a bright if occasionally unstable wormhole to a place where nothing would ever be the same. Suddenly my love for all things fantasy and SF, including a lifelong love affair with Star Trek, thankyouverymuch, had a big audience and acceptance beyond a snicker.

So we’ve seen all the movies, one way or another. But I remember when Han really did shoot first - and he doesn’t. Still, it’s been a wild ride on the Millenium Falcon, no matter how fast or slow the Kessel Run.

Now the saga, or at least the part of it wrapped so tightly around that original story, has ended. And not with the bang we hoped for, but with a whimper. Your lightspeed, of course, may vary.

As the wrap-up to an epic, The Rise of Skywalker managed to tick off a reasonable number of the required boxes. But it missed the boat in a big way. Several of them.

For him, the digital necromancy required to get Leia into the picture just didn’t work. It felt flat and contrived and obvious. But then, he didn’t have tears in his eyes blurring the screen just enough to make it work - as I did.

For me, it came down to villain fail. It weakened the story for the villain to be Palpatine himself, instead of, oh, say, a bastard child or a deluded follower. Instead we got the undead Sith himself, making speeches that sounded like echoes from the past as his formerly creepy and haunting presence got reduced to a whole lot of prosthetics and an affect that felt like the equivalent of a mustache twirl. He seemed like a caricature of a villain rather than an actual one.

And what was up with all those really tall and creepy statues? He must have been seriously overcompensating for something, which leads to some really unfortunate questions about exactly how Rey’s father was conceived.

Last, but not least, at least for me, was that the story seemed to be missing its beating heart - possibly because that’s the element that Leia was supposed to have provided. I wanted my heart to soar as it did when Luke made that impossible shot in the first movie, and sink into my toes the way it did when Vader cut off Luke’s hand and he fell into the dark.

I just didn’t feel for these folks as much as I expected to. And the movie missed its opportunity for a truly crowning moment of awesome. When Rey ground out “I am ALL the Jedi” they should have all been there with her. Not just disembodied voices, but actual Force ghosts. They should have been standing at her side. If they had, we would have known that we were there too.

Thanks for Forty Years of Skywalker
by Lea Kirk 
USA Today Bestselling Author of the Prophecy Series
Website   Facebook    Lea Kirk Author Newsletter

As one of my besties & I took our seats in the theater to see The Rise of Skywalker, a sense of finality came over me. This was it, the last movie of a surprise franchise that began over forty years ago. I was a skinny, bespectacled seventh grader when A New Hope released. I was also living in Japan, and at that time new cinema releases were out for a year in the U.S. before they were sent overseas. (They did send Mark Hamill to visit his old high school, which was on the same Army base as the middle school I attended, but that’s another story.)

All we could do was wait. As fate would have it, my dad was transferred stateside and we left the week before Star Wars arrived at the base theater. The first thing my mom did after we arrived in California was to take my sister and I to see the movie—a whole week before my friends got to see it! It was awesome, and it seemed like the story (like the lines) would never end.

But, it has.

Did The Rise of Skywalker live up to my expectations? Overall, yes. Do I have questions? Most definitely. Would I change anything? Yes! The most glaring issue to me—which started in The Force Awakens—is the relationship between Poe and Finn. OMG, people! These two should’ve gotten together!

Now, I’m not a Rose-hater…I actually love her character. And since the powers that be did not see fit to romantically link Poe and Finn, then why not let Finn and Rose hook up? All in all, it would’ve been great if they hadn’t even tried to force that relationship to begin with, but to turn around and cover it up in the latest movie like it’d never happened? Messy loose end.

My biggest heartache was that Rey and Ben will never get together. He dies, she lives, minus the greatest love of her life. This is, of course, my internal romance writer soul crying out at the injustice of them not getting their happily ever after. How-e-ver, there is always a price that must be paid, and Ben’s death—his separation from the woman he loves—is his price. And most of me is good with that.

If I could, what one thing would I change in this movie? Simple. When Luke and Leia appeared to Rey (beautiful and touching, imo), Ben should’ve been with them. He found the good within himself at the eleventh hour, much like Anakin did. And, he quite literally gave his life for her. (Tell me you didn’t cry about that! I did. Like hormonal teenager.)

Bottom line: Despite the still unanswered questions, J. J. Abrams did a phenomenal job wrapping up the Skywalker saga. I wish it could go on forever, but after forty plus years, I’m happy.

I wonder if Abrams would consider going back and remaking parts 1-3…?

Saying Goodbye to the Saga
by KG Stutts
Author of the Mirror trilogy and the Amethyst Chronicles
Blog: My Creative Desk    Amazon Author Page   Facebook Author Page

Like most of us sci-fi fans, I grew up on Star Wars. I watched the movies, read the comics and extended universe books, and played the games. I knew the backstories of characters and could have whole conversations with my brother using quotes. That love for Star Wars grew with each installment that came out.

Unlike most fans, The Last Jedi didn't bother me. I actually liked it more than The Force Awakens, which seemed to do too much to try to remind fans about the original series, as if we didn't already know it by heart. Granted, I didn't love the second installment but I also don't get the complete hatred some have. So with that said, I held my breath going into Rise of Skywalker. I sat in the theater incredibly nervous as to what was going to play out. Honestly, I was pleasantly surprised.

There were moments I expected, and still some surprises. I cried more than my share of tears at two parts (staying spoiler free to be safe but you probably know what I mean). To me, it was the perfect send off for our favorite characters and still left it open at the end to explore more if they choose to (and let's face it, they will). Carrie Fisher will forever be my Princess and General and her moments were so beautiful and moving. To me, the story wrapped up this saga incredibly well.

I was nervous and scared as to what this installment would cover. It did feel like they were trying to get three films worth in so at times it both dragged and moved at lightspeed. Overall though, I felt like I could overlook that because the emotion was there. Saying goodbye is always hard, but my heart did feel a little lighter as the credits rolled.

Closing a Four Decade Dynasty
by Laurie A. Green
USA Today Bestselling Author of The Inherited Stars Series
Website   Amazon Author Page    Facebook Author Page

I found Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker to be extremely fast-paced and almost non-stop excitement. I'd have to watch it at least twice more (and I will) to catch all the subtle and not-so-subtle wraps of themes and story lines. So for now, I'll only comment on the main character and the conclusion.

So Rey is a Palpatine, not a Skywalker. Adam Driver's interview slip several years ago about her being "a princess" was apparently in error, or else writers moved away from the original plot idea after The Force Awakens. I think many of the fan base still suspected she was somehow Luke's daughter, but that never played out. I'm a bit melancholy that it didn't. The title Rise of Skywalker didn't foreshadow any amazing reveals at the end, after all.

About that end. After all the battles, clashes, visually-stunning and gasp-worthy scenes, Rey returns to Tatooine--the beginning of the epic journeys for both Luke and Anakin. She buries two lightsabers in the sand near Luke's childhood home--the moisture farm once owned by Luke's Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru...before they were taken out by Stormtroopers in a desperate search for R2D2 and C3PO so long ago.

And at the finale, Rey claimed the name of Skywalker for her own. I got a certain "calm after the storm" feeling from that scene, but I also felt a huge void. All the galaxy-changing Skywalkers were now gone--Anakin, Luke, Leia and Ben--and even though Rey honored them by taking their name, as a character in the franchise once said, "Their fire has gone out of the universe." Certainly that fire has gone out of mine, now that this epic has ended. I'm sincerely going to miss this "story of a lifetime." But was there any way to end this saga that would have pleased everyone? I think not.

I'd just like to add one final thought. The original trilogy is--and will always be--the best of the franchise for me. That first-experienced magic and wonder and awe that drove people to the theaters in droves in the late 1970s and early 80s was never recreated again in later films, though each and every one of them is exceptional, and will always be worth watching again and again. But Star Wars became what it was all because one man had a powerful vision and the genius to pull it off in a way the world had never seen before. Thank you for what you started, George Lucas. We may never see the like again. 

Spacefreighters Lounge would like to thank the SFR Brigade participants who took the time to compose their entertaining and thoughtful individual commentaries on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the final motion picture in the triple-trilogy saga.

We realize that opinions may vary for every fan, and we invite your comments and discussion of Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker below.

Friday, January 17, 2020


There’s a lot to talk about in this week’s Oscar nominations, but one controversy, in particular, should make science fiction authors think twice. Because if Greta Gerwig’s film LITTLE WOMEN has a “men problem,” as Vanity Fair asserts and Constance Grady in Vox explains here, then SFR has one, too, for a lot of the same reasons.
LITTLE WOMEN: A uniquely feminine POV.
As Grady points out, this latest film adaptation of the beloved novel by Louisa May Alcott has a 95 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a 91 percent Metacritic score and earned $60 million at the box office even before garnering a Best Picture Oscar nomination and a Best Actress nomination for Saoirse Ronan, who plays aspiring-author-sister Jo, a role previously, and famously, taken on at different times by Katharine Hepburn and Wynona Ryder. Yet director Greta Gerwig herself was passed over for Best Director nominations not only by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, but also by the Screen Actors Guild, the Directors Guild and the Golden Globes. Indeed, all except the Oscars ignored the film as a whole. (The Academy gave LITTLE WOMEN six nominations in total.) Only the Writers Guild recognized Gerwig herself with a nomination for the screenplay.

The problem—the “men problem,” if you will—is that two-thirds of those 60 million bucks being spent to see this film were being spent by women. Guys, apparently, were outright refusing to see the movie, or were being dragged kicking and screaming to the theater by wives or girlfriends. And because men still dominate the film industry, not only in production, but also in marketing and, most especially in this case, in the awards voting process, no “girly” film like this was ever going to get the recognition it deserved.

Other films with women in the lead have attracted a male (or a mixed) audience. WONDER WOMAN comes to mind, a film after our own hearts, or MAD MAX: FURY ROAD. But as Grady so well explains, these are heroines who act like male action heroes. TERMINATOR’s Sarah Conner, ALIEN’s Ripley, every Marvel superheroine, all share these same masculine characteristics—physical strength and agility, stoic determination, a square-jawed lack of words. The only difference is they look better in tight clothes (or bustiers, or underwear, as the case may be).

Part of this is a function of "fanboy" culture, the result of the influence of comic books and video games, long the purview of teenage males, on the wider film world. The avatars in those types of media accentuate unrealistic female physical characteristics coupled with supernatural male abilities. 
The male POV, despite all efforts to broaden it or open it, is still dominant. Girls are expected to read and relate to Huckleberry Finn, Call of the Wild, Red Badge of Courage, but boys are no longer expected to read and relate to Heidi, Black Beauty or Little Women, as they once were
But Grady argues the problem runs deeper and further back, to the way we are taught to embrace or reject “masculine” and “feminine” ways of viewing the world. (And, even though I frame this discussion in stark binary terms, it shouldn’t go without saying that the real sexual world is NOT binary at all and any attempts to squeeze real life into that framework are doomed to failure.) The male POV, despite all efforts to broaden it or open it, is still dominant. Girls are expected to read and relate to Huckleberry Finn, Call of the Wild, Red Badge of Courage, but boys are no longer expected to read and relate to Heidi, Black Beauty or Little Women, as they once were. Perhaps this change was a result of mid-twentieth-century sexual stereotyping or maybe it was just plain laziness. But a book like Little Women, centered as it is on uniquely female interaction, has lost popularity, even though as modern and muscular a writer as Stephen King counts it as a seminal influence.

This “female-blindness” is a big problem for us in SFR, not only because men think because there is romance in our books, our books must be for “girls,” but also because some of us play into that stereotype by creating one-dimensional “kickass” heroines that are no more than Mel Gibson-in- leather-with-boobs. I admit I love my two most kickass heroines—undercover Rescue agent Rayna Carver (Fools Rush In, Interstellar Rescue Book 3) and FBI Special Agent Lana Matheson(Trouble in Mind, Interstellar Rescue Book 2)—but the heroines of my first novel, Asia Burdette (Unchained Memory, Interstellar Rescue Book 1), and my most recent one, Charlie McIntyre (Not Fade Away, Interstellar Rescue Book 4), are more nurturing, communicating types. And in all cases I try to make my heroines genuine full-featured women, with all the talents and flaws a real person would have.

Kickass heroine?
Nurturing heroine?
  I have always found that if I can get men to pick up my books, they really like them. They like my heroines (and my heroes), because—guess what? –the women in their lives are multifaceted, too.  Grady says this, too, in her article on LITTLE WOMEN. If you can just get the men to see the film, suddenly the scales fall from their beady little eyes.

Still, it begs the question. We may lead the horses to water, but what in the universe will make them drink? 

Cheers, Donna

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Hello from K.M. Fawcett

Hello Spacefreighters! I am thrilled Laurie invited me to join the blogging crew! I’ll be posting every other Wednesday on topics like science fiction romance, writing, and my other love--martial arts and self-defense.

Today I want to talk about book covers, but before I do, I should probably introduce myself. I’m K.M. Fawcett, a science fiction romance writer relaunching my career this month after getting my rights back from my publisher for my books in the Survival Race Series. I like writing stories featuring underdogs and fish-out-of-water characters who find their place in the universe. I believe in happy endings and true love conquering all.

My husband—who wants everyone to know he’s the inspiration for all my heroes, who then have to be toned town for believably *grins*—and I own Tenchi Dojo in NJ, where we teach traditional Okinawan karate and kobudo (weapons). I incorporate my martial arts experience into my stories to create strong, kick-ass characters who aren’t afraid to fight for the life and love they deserve.

Now that I have the rights to my books back, I gave them shiny new covers and revised the material, including expanded and new scenes in CAPTIVE from sexy alpha gladiator Max’s point of view! Woot!

I’m super excited for the relaunch of my writing career and for my stories to be back out in the world. Before we peek at CAPTIVE’S new cover created by my cover designer Karri Klawiter, here’s a look at the original. Can you tell what genre this book is? Unfortunately for me, many readers couldn’t.

Some people guessed historical romance, medieval romance, or fantasy romance. Nope. Nope. And nope. How about this cover? What genre is this? Leave your guesses in the comments section.

A rookie cop and an alpha gladiator band together to escape their alien captors in a chilling race for survival and soon discover freedom isn’t all they desire.

Captive is available now at your favorite retailers. You can read the first chapter for free here.

Happy reading!

~ K.M. Fawcett
Romance for the Rebel Heart

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

NorCon Revisited #scifi #fantasy

Despite a super hectic year, we did get time to make our annual visit to NorCon, although only for the one day. Neither hubs or I got to make new cosplays this year, and youngest decided to revisit his Plague Knight costume, so it was only eldest and middle child in new ones. 
But first, some real nostalgia for me. Some 30 years ago I got my photo taken with the then 7th Doctor Sylvester McCoy (also of Radagast the Brown from The Hobbit). And I got the chance to relive that excitement at NorCon. 

Amidala, the level of cosplaying my skills and budget would love to aspire to...

Youngest revisiting his Plague Knight cosplay

My older two cosplaying brother and sister mutants Quicksilver (Avengers version) and Scarlet Witch.

The hair-raising effect of prolonged wig wearing!

Hell, yeah, I'm shooting first!
And of course, I couldn't resist some merch...

Monday, January 13, 2020

I'll Just Work Quietly in my Little Corner of the Writing Universe, Thank You Very Much

If you've been following this blog, you know there's been a lot of controversy in the writing industry the past few weeks, especially involving racism and RWA. See Donna's earlier posts for a concise recap:

Racism Clash Last Straw for RWA?

The Fight for RWA Part II

While all this hullaballoo has been going on, I've been steadily retreating into my comfort zone--my writing space.

People say you need to have a voice, and I've been vocal about many issues involving RWA for the past several years, including sending multiple emails and a lengthy letter to the Board. All of my efforts fell on deaf ears. So I decided to make myself heard a little more clearly, if silently. By non-renewal of my membership in 2019.

Hear me now, RWA?

Time to focus my attention on other things that matter to me, namely...writing more books. I haven't exactly been doing a great job of that and it's another reason for the need to create some calmness around me so I can focus on my personal objectives.

Where I Am

I have several books that are allllmost to the point of being published, but not quite. That's where I need to invest my time and attention this year.

I also have a story that, although it's part of my series universe, takes place 50,000 years in the future. (Yes, you read that right.) Due to this, it's connection to the rest of the series is, of course, tenuous, but the underlying theme is: Who are these people and why were they forgotten for so long?

And it's an underwater SFR. And I'm not talking mermaids. Exactly...

At any rate, because of its outlier place on the series timeline and other factors that make it a bit of a wildcard (underwater SFR notwithstanding), I'm debating about publishing it in chapters here on this blog. That would also give me the advantage of adding some visuals by way of graphics. Hey, that's how Andy Weir got started with The Martian. It might be fun. Let me know what you think in comments.

This story doesn't yet have a cover--but the initial editing rounds have been done. I may go ahead and splurge to have a nice cover done, because everyone likes to see cover reveals, and because there's a (very remote) chance I'd formally publish it at some point in the future.

I'll keep you updated on that crazy scheme.

For those of you who follow me on Facebook. you may be aware that the end of 2019 brought some tragedy to my world. My sis, Bonnie, passed on December 22nd. That led to a lot of sorrow, regrets and Why Didn't I's and a bit of a black Christmas.

Then to make matters worse, while researching her obituary, I discovered my oldest sister Merrie, who has been estranged from the family for many years, had also passed. True, she had left this Earth in mid-2015 (at just about the time I attended my first and last RT Convention in Dallas) but the mental impact was that of losing two siblings in one week. It quite literally set me right on my butt, and trying to work on my WIPs at that time became an impossible dream.

The trauma of grief also contributed to my backing away from all the online dramatics and seeking refuge in my quiet corner. And here I be.

So...yes...fresh new year. Time to buck up and get down to business. Time to compartmentalize all the sadness and aggravation that came about in the last few weeks and work on positive goals.

As the characters shouted in Inherit the Stars, "Gerabunga!"

Hope your 2020 is off to a good start. Have a great week.

About Spacefreighters Lounge

Hosted by 5 Science Fiction Romance authors with 8 RWA Golden Heart finals and a RITA final between them. We aim to entertain with spirited commentary on the past, present, and future of SFR, hot topics, and our take on Science Fiction and SFR books, television, movies and culture.