A Time For Heroes

My biggest concern throughout this election process has been the messages behind it. I personally wasn’t keen on either candidate, and anticipated a difficult four years ahead regardless of the election results. My primary concern was the messages being sent by the voters.

We’ve been living in an era of progress – of empowered women – of men of strong character. And I believe that’s what most people want. Now suddenly the world is not so certain what we want.

I know there were many dynamics to this election. It’s not like Hilary was perfect either. I don’t believe the majority of Trump supporters voted for him because of the racism, sexism, bigotry and bullying. I don’t believe that’s what his voters were supporting, and I don’t begrudge anyone for their choices. That’s beside the point now. My primary concern is what it has always been – the message.

Intentional or not, the election of Trump sent a message to Americans and to the rest of the world. The message that this stuff is okay. That this stuff is encouraged and supported. That this will get you places. There are entire generations growing up today that have awoken to a world where that is the message they’ve received. What are they to make of that? Parents have a more difficult job than ever to encourage their children to grow up to be respectful, tolerant and wise individuals.

So let me speak to the writers out there.

Writers, we’ve entered a time when it is more important than ever to write the kind of characters that you want your children to grow up to be, to give them heroes to look up to, examples to follow. We need more Aragorns today. We need more Katniss Everdeens. The upcoming generations will need more examples of men being strong men and women being strong women. Strong in character, not just physically or charismatically. They will need to see what it looks like for men to treat women respectfully. For women to be attractive without it being about their bodies.

Parents, write your female characters with the kind of strength and dignity that you want your daughters to have. Write the kind of male characters that you would actually be comfortable with your daughter dating (difficult as that might be). Write the kind of heroes you want your sons looking up to. They need to be shown that this is the ideal, that bigotry is what’s out of place, that sexual assault is wrong.

I’ve heard too many stories of women being assaulted and doing nothing about it because they thought it was normal. An entire generation has just been sent that message, and it needs to be countered. We need stories of women fighting back, speaking up, making a change, fighting for others.

Forget about the election. Forget about politics. Hating and blaming is pointless and not what I’m here to do. I know it was complicated and I won’t pretend to understand all the dynamics of it. All that stuff is behind us now. What we’re faced with now is a message. We need a response. We need examples to give to our kids – to our teens who are right now in the process of deciding what kind of person they want to be. We need heroes now more than ever. Writers, we have work to do.

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Positive Reinforcement

I was feeling nostalgic for the original Borderlands game the other day, but after playing Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel for so long I had forgotten how much of a difference there is in sniping difficulty. I think the pre-sequel spoiled me and I just got used to sniping being a much easier thing. I’d also forgotten how excited the characters get when you accomplish something.

 

So I’m playing the original Borderlands  and I spot an enemy in the distance. He’s just standing there. He hasn’t noticed me yet. I take out my sniper rifle and aim for his head.

 

I miss.

 

He starts running toward me in a straight line.

 

I fire again. I miss.

 

I fire again. I miss.

 

By now he’s almost close enough to stab me, so I start backing up while continuing to fire.

 

I miss.

 

I fire again. I miss.

 

He swipes at me with his machete. He misses.

 

I fire. I miss.

 

I reload my sniper rifle because I’ve emptied the entire clip.

 

I fire again. I land a headshot, but it’s not good enough to kill him.

 

I aim for ANY part of his body. I graze his right arm and he dies.

 

My character: “Nailed it.”

 

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Crimson Dawn

 

crimson dawn HR revised 25

 

This project saw several delays, but I can finally say that the sequel to ‘The Kingdom’ is now published!

My new novel, ‘Crimson Dawn’ is a first for me in many ways. It’s my first published sequel; it’s my first published attempt at writing groups of characters rather than just a few at a time; and it’s my first published book with such a strong focus on combat. All of these are aspects of my writing style that I’ve yet to show to my readers, and I’m anxious to see the response.

I learned a lot from reader feedback on the first book, and tried to address those hopes and expectations in the sequel. My fans wanted a longer story. This one is more than double the length – although that’s not what I set out to do but the story kept expanding on me. My readers wanted to see more of the world. I have introduced characters from a variety of cultures in this sequel and taken time to talk a little about each. My fans want to know what happened to the wyvern “Ruth”. I made that the very first scene.

I hope my readers enjoy this story as much as I enjoyed writing it. It has been in the works for a while and there are some characters I have been very much looking forward to introducing to the fans. It is the encouraging words of my fans that inspires me to keep writing these adventures, so thank you guys. I hope I continue to earn the admiration you’ve shown me thus far.

To find ‘Crimson Dawn’ on Amazon, click here

If you’re interested but haven’t yet seen the first book, click here

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Deep Question #8

Deep Question 8

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Interview with Captain Colin Wade from ‘Singularity’

Singularity cover jpegRecently another blogger was interested in interviewing a character from one of my novels. I volunteered Colin Wade, the spaceship captain from my sci-fi novel Singularity. You can read the interview here. This is the first time one of my characters have been interviewed before. The results were fun. Thanks, Lynne!🙂

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Now Available for Speaking Engagements

DSC03052_crop_cropFor the past two years I’ve been speaking at schools and public events about my life on the Autism Spectrum and what it was like developing from lower to higher-functioning autism. I’ve found myself in a rare position of being able to communicate and inform teachers and parents about what that experience has been like from an inside perspective. Although it wasn’t until recently that I began advertising my speaking more openly.

So far I’ve spoken on a daytime talk show, at schools, at a church, and at autism-related events.  It’s been a very fulfilling experience to be able to share my experiences and help others to understand the condition.

If you are looking for someone who can talk about autism with inside experience, click on the link Schedule a Speaking Event to look over my information for doing speaking engagements. Or if you know anyone who might be interested, then please send them the link.

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Snowman (Hug Me Maybe)

elsa-coronationshrink65I HAD TO CANCEL THE BALL

I FELT LIKE TWO INCHES TALL

WE KINDA SKIPPED OVER FALL

AND THEN I SEE YOUR FACE

I’D FROZEN THE FOUNTAIN STILL

I MADE A RUN FOR THE HILLS

WE ALL WERE FEELING THE CHILLS

AND THEN I SEE YOUR FACE

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IT STARTED SNOWIN’

COLD NIGHT WIND WAS BLOWIN’

GLOVES GONE, HANDS WERE SHOWIN’

FINALLY LET-GO-IN’ BABY

 

 

HEY, I JUST MET YOU

Frozen_29shrink60AND YOU SEEM CRAZY

BUT YOU’RE MADE OF SNOW

SO HUG ME MAYBE

IT’S HARD TO KEEP COOL

WHEN LIFE GETS HAZY

BUT YOU’RE MADE OF SNOW

SO HUG ME MAYBE

AND ALL THE OTHER BOYS

KINDA CHAFE ME

BUT YOU’RE MADE OF SNOW

SO HUG ME MAYBE

frozen-fever-febre-congelante-elsa-olaf-boloshrink40

BEFORE YOU CAME INTO MY LIFE I MISSED YOU, SNOWMAN

I  MISSED YOU, SNOWMAN

I MISSED YOU SO, SNOWMAN

BEFORE YOU CAME INTO MY LIFE I MISSED YOU, SNOWMAN

AND YOU SHOULD KNOW, THEN

I MISSED YOU SO, SNOWMAN… MAN… MAN… MAN… MAN… MAN…

anna elsa frozen babies crop

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Upcoming Release – Crimson Dawn

 

crimson dawn HR revised 25

Well this one has been a long time coming. When I published ‘The Kingdom I didn’t expect it to receive the favour it did, particularly the demand for a sequel. It took me some time to think of where to take the story from there, but two things fans commented on was they wanted to stay in the world longer (The Kingdom was a very short novel), and to see more of that world, which made part of the direction clear for me.

For anyone who hasn’t read ‘The Kingdom’, the rest of this blog post contains SPOILERS.

One thing I knew from the beginning was that the focus would have to change. The story of Roy and Nevaeh has already been told in full. But what remains unfinished is the fate of Allandor itself. And to tell that story, the focus shifts toward Daxion.

I also needed to add a few characters, from different cultures, in order to give my readers a broader sense of this world that they were only briefly introduced to in the first book. One thing my readers often compliment is the character interactions in my books, so I knew compelling characters and lively dialogue would be key to this book having the same heart as the first.

A specific release date has not yet been set, but the plan is for publication this Spring (2016). I will keep my blog updated when digital and print versions become available.

As with every book release, I’m both excited and nervous. I’ve been waiting a long time to introduce some of these characters to the world, and I hope my readers are entertained. Check back with me in a few weeks and see if I’ve got an official release date posted. And thank you for following my work!

 

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Tournament Year

I recently celebrated my 32nd birthday. I didn’t have much planned but as the day approached I remembered that 32 is a tournament number (a number that can be repeatedly divided by 2 without decimals until it gets to 1). And I also remembered that years ago I had decided my 32nd birthday should be fight-themed. With that in mind, I got the family together and watched a Ninja Turtles movie.

In my personal time, I also arranged a tournament between myself at different ages. (Let me explain.) I went back over the past 32 years of my life, looking at significant events from each year, related each year to characters in a fighting game (Super Smash Bros.) having those characters represent the years of my life, and then watched the computer fight itself as all of those characters.Roy_Fire_Emblem

I had Young Link represent age 10 (the year I played an elf on ‘The Santa Clause’). Roy from Fire Emblem represented ages 22 and 27 (the years I wrote and published The Kingdom). Dr. Mario for age 24 (the year I had Healing Night). Jigglypuff for when I was a baby. Zelda for my last year of acting (she turns into a guy). 220px-Nintendo-pelien_KirbyAnd last year, because I published Singularity (a book about a spacial anomaly that sucks everything into it), was represented by Kirby.

The winner of the tournament was age 18 (Adult Link) for the year I became an adult and simultaneously fell in love with ‘Lord of the Rings’.Link maxresdefault

Because I’m an organizer, and because I love watching fights, this turned out to be a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Odd as it may be. The next tournament number up is 64. But I might not wait til then to do another tournament like this. My mind is already thinking of how I can apply the concept to different games using different characters. It was also fun just to go over my history and see what moments or elements seemed most prominent. I think I need more bizarre celebrations like this in my life.

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Pick Up Truck

Pick Up gmc-pickup-truck-widescreen-imagesPICK UP 3 gmc-pickup-truck-widescreen-imagesPICK UP 7 gmc-pickup-truck-widescreen-imagesPICK UP 6 gmc-pickup-truck-widescreen-imagesPICK UP 8 gmc-pickup-truck-widescreen-imagesPICK UP 10 gmc-pickup-truck-widescreen-imagesPICK UP 9 gmc-pickup-truck-widescreen-imagesPICK UP 2 gmc-pickup-truck-widescreen-imagesPICK UP 5 gmc-pickup-truck-widescreen-imagesPICK UP 4 gmc-pickup-truck-widescreen-images

 

DUMP caterpillar-625629_960_720

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