Weekly Comic Review: Last Days of Black Widow, 19

bw2I’m a little low on time this week, so I’m this might be more of a comic recommendation and less of a review.

This week the only thing I picked up was Last Days of Black Widow by Nathan Edmondson, Phil Noto and VC’s Clayton Cowles.  I’ve been following the series since it began, and I’ve really loved the art as well as the portrayal of Natasha balancing both her life as a spy and a superhero.

In issue 19, we’re starting to see the effects of Secret Wars effect her corner of the universe.  This is touched on, but then rest of the story is a flashback into one of Natasha’s missions for the Red Room.

Personally, I love anything that shows us more about Natasha’s past, since it’s often been written about in very different ways and sometimes even conflicting stories.  A lot of the fans chalk this up to the possibility that Natasha doesn’t have her own history straight.  This story does a great job of showing Natasha’s past, without stepping on previously narratives.

Noto again does a great job with the art. I especially liked the contrast between the first panel on page 1 and the first panel on page 2.  On the first page, we have the modern Natasha, ready to face down danger.  Her hair is whipping in the wind, the shot is very dynamic.  She looks at directly at us and says “I can’t save them all.” but she still looks determined to try. On the next page where we start to flash back to the past, the shot is framed similarly, but Natasha is turned away from us.  Her hair seems to be carefully combed under her beret.  Snow falls on Russian in the background.

The first panel seems full of movement and action that is about to happen, but the second panel is still and Natasha is a passive participant.  I thought it was amazing way to visually tell the difference between the two states Natasha is in, in respective parts of her life.

I’m a big fan of spy stories and Black Widow, so this comic series continues to be a favorite of mine.


Well Written Female Characters: A How to Guide, Part 2

Last time I covered ways to get you started on writing well written female characters.  Today I’d like to give you a few more tips and some exercises to help you look critically at the characters you’ve constructed.

I’ll get right down to it.

1.  Take your female character, and flip her gender, just as an exercise. Do any of her traits or plot points feel horribly out of place? Now, women are not men, but sometimes flipping the gender of a character can bring out some things that are possibly lacking or really wouldn’t work.  Clearly there are some gender differences that are influenced by things like culture, but sometimes this switch can point out cultural biases on what is feminine or masculine behavior, that may not really serve making the character a full fledged person.

The other thing this can do, is point out that you might not have given the female character as much to do, or as interesting a plot/backstory as her male counterparts.  I’ve read a few stories about plays where they had all the genders flipped, so men reading the female parts and women reading the male parts.  The women were thrilled, because they felt like the male parts were so much more interesting and had more to do.  The men by the end of it complained that they were bored and didn’t feel like they had much to do.

If you fail to give the female characters interesting and active things to do, there’s a good chance those characters are not going to connect with your audience, male or female.

2.  Is she just as capable as your main character, but instead of carrying the arc, she’s supporting/training the hero/main character?  So this a theme that keeps popping up in a lot of film and media.  You have a female character, she’s sassy, strong and smart, just as capable as her male counterpart.  He tends to blunder a bit through things, but she’s there to pick up the slack and guide him toward meeting his full potential.

If she’s able to get the job done on her own, please don’t make her babysit a bumbling would-be hero.  She might be your protagonist.  Maybe she needs to be the one taking the lead, and her male counterpart is actually the quippy sidekick.  We see a bit of this in movies like the Lego Movie.  Which I still loved.  I mean Elizabeth Banks and Chris Pratt?  How could I not love it.

3. Use the Bechdel test.  It amazes me how many times I’ll watch a movie or read story where there are 4-6 males characters and maybe 1-2 female characters. The men speak together a whole bunch about a bunch of different things, but the female characters either don’t speak to each other, or only talk about the men.

That’s the basis of the Bechdel test.  It was originally for film, and here’s what the movie has to have in order to pass.

– 2 female characters, both of them have names.

– At some point the female characters speak to each other.

– The conversation they have can’t be about men.

Please be aware, it’s a rather low bar to set for female characters, but you’d be surprised how many movies/books/stories/comics don’t pass this test.  It doesn’t take much to pass it.

4. Also use the Sexy Lamp test.  So, this test was coined by one of my favorite comics writers, Kelly Sue Deconnick.  I actually got to hear it first at a writing workshop that she taught that I was lucky enough to attend.

It’s even more simple and an even lower bar than the Bechdel test.

If you can replace your female character with a Sexy Lamp, and the story more or less still works, you need another draft.  There’s also a slight variant of this test, which includes if you could put a post-it with information she shares on the Lamp.  So for instance, if she just stands by and then tells the hero “Oh, no, if you don’t stop the magical influx, everyone will die!” and that’s her only contribution to the plot other than standing around looking good…It’s time to go back and fix your story.

Hopefully by looking at these 4 tips, you can see if the female characters in your story is active and independent, as well as relevant to the plot, or if they need some work.  I was supposed to talk about tropes in part 2, but that is likely to be covered in part 4, since a lot of it is touchy material that I want to spend a bit more time with.

Next time, I’m going to discuss how you can make your female characters varied and break out of common character types that women tend to fall into.  Basically Strong female character does not equal well written female character.  Now go forth, and write better!

photo credit: We Can Donut – Chicago via photopin (license)

Weekly Comic Review: Black Canary #1

I’ll be honest, it’s been awhile since I’ve picked up a DC title.  I followed Wonder Woman after the New 52 reboot, and a few issues that Catwoman was in, but other than that, my DC reading has sadly lacked.  I’m trying to change that, especially with all the awesome things I’ve heard about some of the new DC titles like Gotham Academy, Bombshells and Convergence.  I got to listen to Marguerite Bennett talk a little about Bombshells on the Arc Reaction Podcast (I believe the interview with Marguerite is in the Denver Con 1 episode), and it made me giddy to see it when it comes out.

Black Canary 1 was written by Brenden Fletcher, Annie Wu did the art, and Lee Loughridge was the colorist.

First of all, can I just say I LOVE the art in this issue?  I really enjoyed Annie Wu’s art on Hawkeye, and here it fits perfectly with the tone of the comic.  It’s slightly gritty, but still very sleek.  I like that, because you get the hard edged representation of the Black Canary band, but it still feels very feminine to me at the same time.  Also, the colors in this issue really accented the art.  There are bright pinks, dark purples, and the colors change as the tone of the story changes.  It really helps guide the reader tonally, because the can just look at the page and get a vibe for what is about to happen.

Similar to The Carol Corps, which I reviewed last week, Black Canary is taking a character that we’re familiar with, but she’s in a very different setting.  She does by “D.D.” and the name of the bad is actually Black Canary.  She’s wearing her classic leather jacket and fishnets, but now there’s more of a punk rock vibe to her.

This issue does a great job setting up the story and leaving breadcrumbs for reveals that will most likely happen in the future.  There are mysteries about D.D.’s past and the past of one of her bandmates, Ditto.  There are people coming for Ditto, and over the course of the comic, D.D and her bandmates make a pledge to protect her.

I really enjoyed seeing a character I’m fairly familiar with, in a different space entirely.  I also liked that it’s a band full of women.  It’s a very different sort of team than we’re used to seeing in superhero comics, but it’s a team all the same, and that’s clear by the end of the comic.

D.D. also defends a group of 3 women from danger at one point in the comic, and though we don’t explicitly know what the danger was beyond a group of scary looking guys, it’s a good moment.  We see D.D. jump from the stage, and put herself directly between these women and the danger.  After things settle, they thank her and ask about where she got her boots.  That moment probably stuck out the most to me in the comic, since often when we see people thanking a hero, they are gushing with hero worship.  This felt more like appreciation and connection.

I’ll definitely be picking up future issues of this comic.  I want to know more about D.D.’s past and the past of her bandmates.  All in all, it was a very intriguing read, and the art complimented the story perfectly.

Well Written Female Characters: A How to Guide, Part 1

Women tend to be vastly underrepresented in many sides of popular media, including video games (a recent study found that only 10-15% of primary and secondary characters were female) and movies (see: Bechdel test).

So to me it’s really no wonder that some writers find it difficult to write women that either don’t fall into familiar tropes or are more than 2D slightly cartoonish representations of women.  From an early age, girls are taught to identify with their boy counterparts, especially if they like stereo-typically “Boy” things.  Boys are more taught to shy away from “girl” things, and sometimes they are even perceived as weak or lesser for liking such things.

None of this is okay, but at the same time, it’s understandable that some writers feel like it’s hard to write female characters and write them well.  I’m a woman, I grew up and live with a female perspective and there are times even I stumble into bad tropes or poor characterization with my female characters.

I could continue to talk about why the problem exists, but I’d rather focus on how to fix the problem.  Here are some beginning steps that should help you write better female characters, and really, better characters over all (A lot of this advice could be extended to writing all sorts of characters that may have different life experiences than you have).  Because after all, women are just people.  Like everyone else.

1. Look at the women in your own life.  Write down some of their character traits.  Analyze why each woman is different and look at the similarities they share as well.  Sometimes taking traits and mannerisms from real people can help make your characters more real as well.

2.  Watch/read/enjoy media written by women about women.  This is not me saying go watch a bunch of chick flicks.  Find stories written by women in genres you enjoy and see what they come up with.  A lot of times people assume that women only write and want to read romance, but there is so much more out there that women enjoy writing about.  Planes, trains and automobiles.  The awesome thing about the day and age we’re living in, is that more and more women are in different genres and different types of publications.  I’m a huge comics fan, and right now the gettin’ is good.  I’ve got a lot of voices from both men and women to read from.

3. Also talk to the women in your life.  Talk about their experiences, ask them about what it was it was like being a teenage girl if you’re writing a novel about a teenage girl.  There are times that my husband and I talk about our youth, and it’s amazing to see how different our perspectives were, and even how different they continue to be.

4.  Remember that strength isn’t just physical.  At 46 my mother lost my father, her husband, to pancreatic cancer.  Prior to that, they had been married for 23 years, during which my father at times struggled with Bipolar disorder.  Many marriages where one person has Biploar end in divorce (Some stats say about 90%).  Now, she’s a little thing that I stand a good 5 inches taller than, I wouldn’t consider her to be stereo-typically strong (at least, not like Jean-Claude Van Damme Strong).  But that woman has endured and supported the people she loved.  I strongly believe that her strength and support is one of the key reasons my father was able to live a happy and productive life, including completing Medical School and two medical residencies.  Strength isn’t just being able to lift something, or fight someone, and I think with a lot of women that emotional strength shows more often than physical.

So, there are some things to get started.  In Part 2, I plan to talk about some common tropes, especially ones that are seen in comics books and other forms of fiction writing.

photo credit: Davis Sewing Machine Co. via photopin (license)

Weekly Comic Review: Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps 01

Normally I’d like to do this review on Thursdays, so it gives readers a chance to pick up the comic, but it’s been a bit of a crazy week for me, so here it is a day late.

This week the spotlight is on: Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps issue 1 by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Kelly Thompson, with David Lopez on art.

Be ye aware, SPOILERS AHOY!  If you haven’t read the comic yet, wait until after you have to read this review.

Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps is part of the Secret Wars event that Marvel is currently doing, so it’s a departure from the storylines we’ve previously been following with Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel.  That’s not to say there aren’t a few familiar faces.  Helen Cobb is a member of the Banshee Squadron and we also see Carol’s tenacious and adorable side-kick Kit, all grown up as the Thor of Hala Field.

With the multiverse destroyed, all that was left was Battleworld, which is ruled by Victor Von Doom.  Doom is more or less seen as the god of their world and in typical Doom fashion, he’s taking credit for everything.  The sky, the sun, the moon, even Captain Marvel herself is a “Gift from Doom.” From what we see in this issue, both the Thor Corps and the Carol Corps are directed by Doom and his minions.  They are expected to carry out his will unquestioningly.

Also, science is blasphemy.

Which I kind of loved, since we even have people in the real world that believe that sort of thing.

But of course, one of Carol’s companions, Bee, gets her research on anyway.  She questions Doom’s teachings and though all her other squadron mates know about it, Carol only discovers it in this issue.  Carol sees the logic in Bee’s argument that something is amiss, and when they are sent out on their next mission by Baroness Cochran, she decides to investigate further.

Investigating further happens to mean that she ends up diving for a ship as it’s blowing up, as we may have come to expect from Captain Marvel.  That is something I really liked about this issue, that even in this world, it’s very clear that Carol is still Carol.  She’s still going to follow her moral compass, even if it puts her at great risk. She’s always been the self sacrificing sort and that’s no different in this new series.

For a moment, we’re left to question whether or not Carol made it out, but of course she did.  She’s also saved the life of one of the men on the ship her squadron blew up, and based on his look, I’m sort of hoping it’s James “Rhodey” Rhodes.

There were a lot of military tones to this, which is something we know Carol has a background in because of her Air Force days and have seen hints at it before, but here, we see Carol totally in that element.  I thought that was very cool, and you can tell that the authors have a familiarity with the subject matter and how things run for a group like Banshee Squadron aka “The Carol Corps”. DeConnick has done something similar in past issues of Captain Marvel, when Carol time traveled and met the original Banshee Squadron in World War II.  It was awesome to see the past team, but it’s even more awesome to see Carol leading her own team.  I also liked that each Carol Corps member is distinct and has her own sense of style.

I love the art style that Lopez has for this band of ladies.  Sometimes in comics women can look a lot alike, and therefore can be hard to distinguish.  In this comic, each of the characters has a very different look to them, so it’s easy to tell which character is which.

The panels with targeting systems were also very cool, since it gives us a really good indication where Carol as she is flying with her Squadron.  Something I haven’t really seen elsewhere in a comic, recently.  It was a very nice touch.

I also like this because there’s diversity on Carol’s team, just like there are in the real world Carol Corps (Meaning the fans).  My personal favorite from the Corps was “Maggie ‘Mackie’ McMorrow, Call Sign: Big Mack” because I see a bit of myself in her, at least in appearance.  But the fact of the matter is, having several ladies, all who look different and possess different personalities, leaves a lot of room for representation and characters for female readers to identify with.  Not saying dudes can’t identify with ladies, they totally can, but it tends to be lady representation that lacks when it comes to gender.

Over all, I really liked this comic and I’m excited to see where things lead from here.  It’s the first title I’ve read that falls under the Secret Wars hub, and that actually makes me excited to see what other people are doing on other Secret Wars titles.

Capturing the Muse: Writing for the uninspired

When I first started writing, I thought I had to be “in the zone” for my work to be truly good.  The muse had to be talking to me and the words had to flow from my fingers like water in a stream in spring.  Now, don’t get me wrong, when things flow it feels amazing, but if you wait for the muse there is a good chance you could be waiting a while.  My perspective on this didn’t change on its own, but thankfully I found something that helped me realize why waiting for the muse was a bit futile.

I went to a writing workshop and the teacher recommended the book “The War of Art” by Robert Pressfield.  In his book, Pressfield talks about how the professional shows up for work and does their work.  Even though we as writers often think of ourselves as artists or creative minds, we still need to treat writing or creating like a job, if we expect to make money off it.  Don’t get me wrong, I know people who can’t wait to write, who spend their day fully inspired and mill out thousands upon thousands of words a day and make it look very easy.

I am not one of those people.  I have to fight to make myself sit down and do my work.  I have to fight my mind to stay away from all the distractions of the world.  But I’m good at getting organized and keeping to a schedule when I’m committed.

So now, every Monday I make a list of my goals for the week.  I also know what I need to get accomplished by Friday, and I know when I’m going to work.  I’m lucky enough to be able to commit myself full time to writing, but if you’re working another job while you try to build a writing career, it’s still important to set goals and set aside time to get your “work” done.  Even if it’s just a half hour a day, that half hour will get closer each week to where you want to be.

So don’t wait for the muse.  Get to that desk, kitchen table, notebook at the library, and do your writing.  If you do it regularly and show up, you’ll be surprised how often the muse decides to join you.  When you’re regular, she’s more likely to be as well.

And go back and read work you wrote when you weren’t necessarily “in the zone,”  there’s a good chance it’s just as good as when things are flowing.  The zone really is just perception.

So get out there, and keep writing.  Muse be damned.

photo credit: _______ ____ _ via photopin (license)

Denver Comic Con, Part 1: The Panels

I’m home from Denver Comic Con!  And now it’s time to share with you what awesome things happened and what I learned.

Even though this post is about panels, here’s one of the awesome cosplay shots I got from the convention:

Credit to dashboardmessages.blogspot.com for taking this great photo!

So I got brave and I took business cards.  I only handed out three, but hey, it was more than I’ve done in the past so I’m counting it as a win.  I met some of my favorite creators and I cosplayed.  All in all it was just a great experience.

I attended quite a few panels this time:


WITH ACTUAL WOMEN!! So this was a flash panel put together in 24hrs, and presented on Monday.  It was done in response to a panel done on Saturday that was called “Women in Comics” and only involved men, none of which were actual comic creators.  I’ve seen a few people go “Well, one of them was a professor and he was recounting comic history which he’s an expert in.” but TRINA ROBBINS was upstairs and literally she is a comics historian who is THE expert on women in comics and a comic creator.  All they had to do was walk upstairs and ask her to appear.

Instead, they apparently did a lot of mansplaining.

But the panel with the actual women was fantastic. It featured Trina, Amanda Conner, Joelle Jones, Marguerite Bennett, Hannah Means-Shannon of Bleeding Cool and two more women who sadly I did not write their names down, but were awesome!   Crystal Skillman put the whole thing together and I am so glad she did.

They talked about how “What’s it like being a woman in comics” is a level 101 question and how they wish people that interview them would dig deeper.  I can’t relate on a creator level, but I can relate to the fact that I am exhausted with being asked why I like geeky things, or treated like I must be new to them.  Nah, I’ve been here.  Even if I hadn’t been, you don’t get to gate keep me.  Marguerite was absolutely inspiring to me more than once.  I’m sort of new to her work, but she talked about how sometimes she writes from a place of revenge, or to give girls a role-model or a hero.

She also mentioned a time when she went to a writing summit and was the only woman among 29 men, and how that felt, and how she didn’t want her nieces and the little girls she knew to have to go through that.  It resonated with me so much, because it is very much in line with what I’ve felt about the work I want to do in this world.

Trina Robbins was amazing.  You could feel her fire and her fury and it was also very inspiring.

Amanda Conner has also convinced me to check out Harley Quinn again, because she spoke about how the new comic is about more than her being just “Joker’s Girlfriend.”  I’m a HUGE Harley fan, but in recent years, I got a bit frustrated about her being defined by the men in her life, and it was nice to hear that it sounds like she has gotten away from that.  I can’t wait to pick up the series.

– Women in the Geek Industry

I felt like though I had heard the message before “Don’t wait for permission.  Just do it.”  They also talked about dealing with hate on the internet and that you just have to put yourself out there, while being authentic and passionate.  They also re-iterated a sentiment I’ve seen from many female creators, which was find your girls and hold onto them.

– Kieron Gillen

I got to listen to Kieron talk about his work, both upcoming and in the past.  It was so great to here him talk about Phonogram, which has a dear place in my heart.  He was also asked about the diversity in his comics, and he talked about how he wanted comics to reflect what he saw in his life.  I thought that was such a good way to communicate how it is simple to include diversity and it shouldn’t just be seen as a checklist.  I also got my books signed by him the day before and he showed me his lunch, which just made me giggle up a storm.  I greatly admire his work and I’m so glad he was so kind.

– En Garde: Writing Action  

This was a very good panel that talked about how fights work, and Jim Butcher broke them down to the simplest formula: Stimuli-> Response.  Stimuli -> Response.  He also said something to the effect of writing an action scene is like lifting the engine block of a car, simple but simple should not be confused with easy.  AND one of the greatest things I got out of this was it’s easier to beef up something you’ve written lean, than it is to take away from something you’ve written thick.

– Indie Comic Creators

This panel was 3 creators that were local to Colorado, and they discussed their process and such.  Mostly I wished I lived closer to Denver to talk face to face with more artists, but they also recommended some places online to network.

– Beyond Bechdel: Queer Femmes and Women in Comics

They talked about the importance of representation and how we’re getting a lot more good representation of in comics of late.  They also talked about how sometimes a character gets coded as queer (like Black Widow) but there really isn’t any good indication that this is for a fact true, or in any way really represented in the comics.  I also liked when they touched on what is and isn’t objectifying and how we “know it when we see it.”

– Developing Systems of Magic

Jim Butcher was supposed to be on this panel, but he didn’t make it.  The other three authors were good, but since I wasn’t familiar with their work and they primarily used it as an example, it was somewhat hard to grasp some of what they were speaking off.  I did like this: “The ability to solve problems with magic should be proportional to the reader’s understanding of magic.”  The Q&A of the session also became “I’m writing a novel and I don’t know how to make this magic work” over and over again, which was a little frustrating, because I don’t feel like you should be asking published writers to do your footwork for you.

All in all, I was really pleased with all the programming I was able to attend.  We cosplayed in the mornings, and I still feel like I got so much out of the stuff I checked out.  I also liked that it had a definite comic and writing focus, which was sort of lacking at Salt Lake Comic Con.  SLCC does have writing panels, but it doesn’t seem like they’ve gone out of their way to get current creators of comics at their show.  I’m hopeful that 2015 might be different, but I’m definitely hoping we can make it out to Denver Comic Con next year.  Who knows, maybe at that point I’ll have enough created to have a table of my own.

Teeth, Nails and Pain

This piece was originally published in the anthology “Strangely Ever After” by the Pacific Review.  It was filled with lovely stories and art about fairy tales that did not quite end happily ever after.

Teeth, Nails and Pain

By Aubrey Lyn Jeppson

I knew he was a wolf when I met him. The hunger in his eyes was evident, the gleam of his sharp teeth should have frightened me, but it did not. It drew me in, and even though I had heard a thousand times that those teeth would tear me to bits, I ignored it.

I wanted the adventure and the danger, and I thought I could teach him how to be a man. If I was kind enough, sweet enough, gentle enough, surely he would not simply want to devour me like he had all the other girls.

At first I thought I had been successful, that I had tamed the wolf. He was sweet, protective, and careful not to cut my delicate flesh with his sharp claws.

When other predators would vie for my attention he would stare them down, a low threatening growl coming from his throat. And they would run. Oh how they would run. I saw this as a testament of the wolf’s love for me, that he would keep me so safe from those that might take me away from him.

His true nature took months to reappear and even then it crept back like a slow crawling vine, starting at my ankles and then twisting upwards, winding around me. I loved him then, a foolish devotion. I tried to love him more, to be more obedient, to bend to his devious ways in a hope that I could again change his nature.

He no longer meant to protect me, but keep me as his territory, his possession. I did not realize that the wolf had succeeded in what he had intended all along, he had captured his prey, and caged me, by convincing me to walk willing into his trap.

I tried to escape, to claw my way free of the bars he had put around me. To slip between those bars and find my way out of them. There were times I nearly found my freedom and then I would hear his whispers. Pleas of love and devotion and dedication. Threats that no one would want a girl who had been caged, no one would want a girl who loved wolves. Words that would twist my insides until I locked myself inside again.

The color seeped from my cheeks, the light in my eyes began to dim. My cloak which had once been the fiercest red was now grey and tattered. At first I did not noticed my own transformation, just the loss of what I had once been. Though the cage he had coaxed me into took my vibrancy, it reminded me of what was left behind it. Teeth, nails and pain.

My teeth had grown sharp, and my nails looked more like claws, and the pain gave me reason to use them both. Though others had likely died in the cage, or lost their way…I had become a wolf. I had become like him, and I knew that was how I would escape this cage.

This time I did not slid between the bars, my escape was not some quiet, meek act. I held the lock of the cage in my hands, and crushed it between my palms. Even if his words swayed me, I could not again be held within that prison. And the words did come.

At first tender, loving words. Promises that we would be together forever, and face the world as wolves at each others side. And then the low growl of anger, of possession. The reminder that no one would love the wolf I had become, no one could care for the thing he had created.

He was mistaken about that. Not that no one could love what he had created, but that his hands hand been the ones to transform me into a wolf. I had been a wolf all along, somewhere deep inside. When I had required the strength, the teeth, the nails, and had the pain to feed that predator within, it was made manifest. Before he could continue his tirade, his pleading, I acted on instinct.

I gobbled him up.

Perhaps little girls should not fear the forest or the wolves at all, for pain can transform them into something just as deadly.

You can find “Strangely Ever After” available for purchase here:

The Valkyrie

This piece was originally written and performed at the Burnal Equinox at Burn2 in Secondlife. It was something that I became inspired to write as I studied about my ancestry and where I came from.  I have Scandinavian ancestors on both sides of my family.

The Valkyrie

By Aubrey Lyn Jeppson

My grandmothers were Shield Maidens, Pioneers, and Suffragettes.


They were strong.

They were warriors.


But now, I am told the war is over.

The battle is won.

I am equal.  Women are equal…to men.  Girls equal to boys.


We have found our balance…But…


But I scream….

Like a girl.

But I throw…

Like a girl.

But I run…

Like a girl.

But I do battle…

Like a girl.


If I am equal, if my daughters will be equal, then why are they told that they are the lesser?

Why are girls synonymous with frail, feeble, fragile?


How can I be strong when I am born to be weak?


Strenght is not just swinging a sword.


Strength is endurance.  Strength is enduring…

“You’d be so much prettier if you smiled.”

“No, honey, let me explain this to you.”

“You’re pretty good at games, for a girl.”

“You’re getting angry, are you on your period?”

“Why do you serve your cousins some pie?  Or help out in the kitchen?”


So I endure…And I fight.

My hands are strong, but so is my mind

and I find my balance on the sharp edge of my grandmother’s sword.


And I will do as my grandmothers did.  As my mother did.


I will become the Valkyrie my ancestors believed in.


A beautiful, strong and wise maiden.


I will scream battle cries like a girl.

I will throw my spear like a girl.

I will run and face injustice like a girl.

I will do battle like a girl.


I will use my strength to guide the souls of the weary and wounded in this life,

to lift the spirits of those that stumble and become fallen.


The will not break me because I am strong, brave and courageous…

Like a girl.

Camp Nanowrimo 2015

It’s a official!  Camp NaNoWriMo has started and I am a camper, ready to put words to the page!  For those of you that don’t know, Camp Nanowrimo is an extention of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).  NaNoWriMo takes place each November and each participant tries to write a novel during the month (50,000 words).  During Camp Nanowrimo, each person sets their own word count goal.

My goal is still 50,000 words, and I will be working on both writing a new novel and revising the novel I wrote last November.  This means I’m hoping for at least 25,000 new words and 25,000 revised words.  Secretly I’m sort of challenging myself to double that goal but we will see how this month goes!  I’m also working on the first draft of a serial story that I hope to publish on Wattpad.

Falling back in love with writing has been one of the greatest things I have experienced this year, and it makes story telling that much more enjoyable!