2015 Summer Reading (and Writing) Program from Nerd in the Brain

Click HERE for the Audio Edition!

 

Hello all!

Sorry, I know I haven’t been keeping up with most of my online writing, but I promise it’s because I’ve been hard at work editing Ravens and Roses.  But I did want to share something fun that I’m doing at the same time:  the Summer Reading (and Writing) Program from Nerd in the Brain.

I only found out about this challenge a few days before it started, but I’ve been enjoying it.  There are 30 reading challenges, 10 writing challenges, and 10 “other” challenges.  I’ve been reading like a madwoman, since now I have added motivation to get through the pile of library books I’ve been hoarding for weeks.  The reading challenges are really easy to write a small summary for, but the writing challenges are (for me) a little harder to tackle.  I didn’t want to just write a little summary of something I wrote, but I also didn’t want to post the entire response to the challenge in that small space.  It could be done… I just didn’t want it to be inconvenient.

So I decided to post my writing responses here on The Cat’s Cradle, as well as a list of the books I read for the reading challenge.  I’ll post a summary and a link for Nerd in the Brain, so I won’t take up all that space, but folk can see what I did if they want to.  So check back throughout the summer to see the results of the challenge.

Here goes!

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Slouching Towards Despondency

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Hi all.

I’m sorry that I’ve been so bad about keeping up with The Cat’s Cradle, the Audio Editions, the #ThrowbackThursdays, the fanfiction chapters… pretty much everything that I somehow managed to do in the depths of depression but now find almost impossible to focus on.  Part of this is because I have been doing a lot of editing work on Ravens and Roses.  Any free creative time I have goes towards that.  The other part is because of a lot of tension at home which I find difficult to mentally detach from.  So pretty much anything creative has fallen by the wayside, and I apologize for that.

I don’t know how long this funk will last.  I really want to get back into the groove and get all these things done, plus transcribing my dad’s stories for publication and writing more short stories of my own…  I think music by David Arkenstone is the only thing keeping my muse around at all.  (Absolutely gorgeous.)

Anyway, yeah.  Updates will be sporadic, if they happen at all.  I will make every effort to keep up, but Ravens and Roses has top priority.

I hope to have better news and more inspiration soon.  Thank you very much for your patience.

Where Are the Ladies? Female Protagonists in Fantasy

Click HERE for the Audio Edition!

 

One of my friends mentioned that, when she was a kid, she couldn’t find any female characters she liked or could relate to.  In fact, she became misogynistic herself for a time because the only examples of women were weak, whiny, helpless bimbos.  Not exactly the best role model for a growing girl.

But oddly enough, I don’t remember there being a deficiency in heroines during my childhood years of reading.  But then again, I read fantasy and it seems that fantasy has a higher prevalence of female protagonists (and women in general.)

I’ve heard about several studies that speculate on the lack of female characters in children’s and young adult literature.  Granted, this has been changing over the last few years, especially in teen literature, but I still find that female characters, when they are present, tend to fall into the emotional/romance category.  There are fewer examples of (dare I say it?) “strong” (or rather, “well-rounded”) female characters in children’s fiction.

Since my last entry, “Character Charisma,” was so heavily skewed towards male characters (9 men to 1 woman), I wanted to explore some of my favorite female characters in fantasy novels. Unfortunately, in the video games I’ve played so far, there are very few, if any, female characters who left much of an impression, and even fewer who were the star of the show. The only two that come to mind are the sun goddess Amaterasu (Ammy) from Okami and Aurora from Child of Light. (Both of these are beautiful games with unique designs and gorgeous musical scores, and I highly recommend playing them.) Or maybe I just haven’t played enough games, but either way I’m going to focus on books that I read with interesting, unique, or kick-ass protagonists… who happen to be girls.  (I apologize in advance for any mispronunciations.)

 

WARNING: THE DESCRIPTIONS BELOW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!

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