Urban Fantasy 101 – Allegory Overuse (ft. Laurell K Hamilton’s Anita Blake series and JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series)

Content warnings: this installment of Urban Fantasy 101 contains very brief mentions historical acts of oppression (largely in vague terms), sexual assault and pedophilia in Laurel K Hamilton’s Anita Blake series, as well as more indepth references to anti-Black and anti-Native racism in the same series.


Allegory Overuse

There’s nothing wrong with a good allegory.

At all.

Unfortunately, there’s this thing that happens where writers use an allegory that mimics or calls back to real world oppression that constantly rubs me the wrong way

Keep in mind that I actually don’t mind the use of allegories in fiction. In fact, I think they can be useful. Some of my favorite works of speculative fiction focus on supernatural figures dealing with oppression due to what they are, after all.

However, many writers who use allegories then kind of overuse them at the expense of portraying nuanced representations of actual or “real world” oppression.

Whatever your reasoning, chances are that if you’re a paranormal romance, urban (or general) fantasy, or science fiction author, you’ve used an allegory that mimics or calls back to an instance of real world oppression.

However, there’s definitely a lot to be said about the very many authors who think that that supernatural form of race-based oppression is the only thing they have to do. They don’t think deeper.Read More »

More thoughts on freelance writing and “writing for exposure”

Earlier yesterday, I wrote a series of tweets about why online journalism’s push for writers to work “for exposure” is terrible and the reality of what life is like for someone who does it. (Thread starts here.)

Here are some more  (bitter) thoughts.


There’s something so very upsetting about the idea of online journalists (amateurs, newbies, and professionals alike) working “for exposure” as a rite of passage with no token payment or help with getting further along in their writing career.

Writing for exposure means that you get to spend hours, days, and even weeks of your time working to put out an article or essay that you aren’t getting paid for. This work comes on top of your day job or your education and can in fact take time away from things that bring you the money that you need to live off of.

And I think it’s wrong that journalism as an industry has conflated “earning your due” with “working for free”. Now it seems that freelancers that don’t want to or can’t write for free are “lazy”. They’re seen as trying to get over the established idea of building your brand and then building your bank account.

But here’s the thing:

When you work for exposure, the companies you’re writing for or that you want to write for aren’t seeing that you deserve to be paid for your writing. They’re not. What they’re seeing is someone that they don’t have to pay to create content for them and they won’t pay you unless they absolutely have to.Read More »

News for Patrons!

I keep forgetting to update patrons (and people who might want to become patrons) about what’s going on on the my Patreon page. So here’s what’s gone on recently and what you can expect in the future!

Currently:

If you’re a patron, you have early access to a giveaway I’m hosting so you can get your entries in before the giveaway officially opens tomorrow. Note that episode two of Nerdery Squared has a code for you to input that’ll give you extra entries as a bonus for being my patrons!

Next, Episode one of my podcasty thing Nerdery Squared has been opened to the general public. Episode two, mentioned above, has a lot of yelling about fandom & shipping, how DC’s Trinity are being portrayed, and my dissatsfaction with representation in the book world.

March’s Urban Fantasy 101 post: WERELIONS AND TIGERS AND BEARS! OH MY! is up for readers in PDF form!

What’s also up is the reward for $10+ Patrons: the prologue for The Consort an M/M/M romantic fantasy that revolves around the unwanted incubus Iirin and his arranged bonding to two of the Tals (earth/nature divinities) in his home country’s God Quarter.Read More »

[Snippet] My Favorite Kind of Night

Over on Twitter I’ve been talking about some erotic fantasy that I’ve been writing for the past week and change. I’ve decided to provide a relatively safe for work snippet of the story so far as motivation for myself and to see if it sounds interesting to readers.

When this is done, it’ll be a sexy story about a mage who works in retail and the two pretty preternaturals that wander into her job one rainy night. One’s a big cat shifter and the other is a genderqueer sex demon (a concubus). I’m hopefully going to be able to get this published somewhere (or self published) but we’ll see.

Anyway, here’s a brief (safe for work) snippet from “My Favorite Kind of Night”:Read More »

Patreon – Past, Present, and Future

Patreon

Hello folks!

It’s January 1st and 2016 is stretching in front of us, full of possibilities and endless hope. I know that I’m excited to see what the year brings me. Right now, I’m rethinking what I put out for Patreon subscribers and how I’ll be managing my time and content output especially with graduate school starting in less than two weeks.Read More »

Update 12/17/2015

I just put the finishing touches on my own Grayson post’s first draft and am working on commission work for the rest of the night but I have a few things that y’all can look forward to coming up in the next week or so:

  • A Wizardverse Yule story (if you don’t know what my Wizardverse is, I’d be happy to explain and share links to the stories)
  • A wintery temptation valley story because lesbian westerns are the best kind
  • A “Year of the Spy” post with the top things I learned/had reaffirmed about the spy genre in 2015 (goes up on Patreon tonight and everywhere else on the 31st)
  • The second fandom & race essay
  • The Grayson post (currently 7000 words of snark, frustration, and cussing, this is not a scholarly post)
  • Problematic Fave – Orson Welles. Because I love him.

There’s other stuff of course, but I wrote this list on the fly while not looking at my actual to-do list so prepare to be pleasantly surprised over the next two weeks!

Urban Fantasy 101 – Issues of Immortal Morality-

Welcome to Urban Fantasy 101, where we look at Dos and Donts along with discussions about good and tropes when writing Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance stories. Later on there’ll be themed book reclists (AKA – Required Reading) and eventually we’ll even include guest posts from/interviews with published authors writing diversity into these genres.


Urban Fantasy 101 - Issues of Immortal Mortality.png

It’s been a couple of years since I read the last Southern Vampire Mysteries book from Charlaine Harris or watched the show, but one thing that really made the series difficult to consume (aside from well… a lot of other stuff with regard to sexual content) was how the vampire Bill Compton was originally a soldier in the side of the Confederate Army.

I don’t know about you, but I find it extremely difficult to sympathize with or even like a character that fought on the side of the Confederacy. It doesn’t matter what he does in the present day story or even if they’re a current crusader for justice. They were a part of something horrible in history and chances are, that they weren’t forced into it.

I still remember watching those first few episodes of True Blood and just frowning at the way that the townspeople in Bon Temps were fawning all over Bill. I felt so uncomfortable. It wasn’t only the fact that he was a vampire in their tiny town that had them losing their minds, but that he was old enough to have fought in the Civil War – on the side of the Confederacy.Read More »

The Kelpie in the Canal – Now Up On Patreon

The Kelpie in the Canal.png

At first, when Danae sees the horse in the canal, she thinks that she’s dreaming.

This is one of the stories that is going to show up in my fantasy collection sometime in the early parts of next year. Set in South Florida, along the same stretch of road that I would walk along when coming home from student teaching, this story is set to be humorous with an edge of intensity.

Hope you all enjoy reading the story!


 

This story is available only to monthly Patreon subscribers at the $5 level for anyone interested in reading the story and supporting me in my endeavors as a writer. It comes in .PDF, .MOBI, and .EPUB formats so that you can read on whatever device you want!

[Fan Fiction] Waking Up to Reality

Waking Up To Reality (3303 words) by MxStitch
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Teen Wolf (TV)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Isaac Lahey & Scott McCall & Stiles Stilinski
Characters: Scott McCall, Stiles Stilinski, Isaac Lahey, Braeden (Teen Wolf)
Additional Tags: Sequel, Future Fic, Aftermath of Torture, Emotional Hurt/Comfort, Friendship, Humor, Injury, Healing, Background Relationships
Summary:

The morning after the events of The World Is On Fire, Isaac wakes up to gaps in his memory and a sour taste in his mouth.

On edging away from fanfiction to original works

I’m writing less and less fan fiction lately.

Obviously. I mean, I went from writing dozens of pieces of fan fiction a year (I went from writing 400k words a year to less than 70k) to less than twenty in 2015.

Something’s changed.

Part of it can be that fandom, the ones I write for at least, has changed. Many of the people who read the stuff I write aren’t there anymore because they’ve moved on to other fandoms or they’re just too busy. The new folks maybe aren’t interested in what I write or they don’t feel up to communicating as much, so if they’re there, I don’t know it.

Maybe it’s because my ships, tropes, or kinks aren’t super popular anymore and people just aren’t reading the type of content that I’m putting out so I’m putting out less content in response.

Either way, I’ve noticed that I don’t really even think about writing fan fiction lately outside of commissions and the rare burst of creativity.Read More »

Snippet – Mastermind

This is an older project I’m picking at after a few months on the side. Mastermind is  a science fiction and (eventual) romance story that focuses on a nonbinary telepath (or Mastermind) named Jare, zir detective partner Lucien, and Thalia, a gorgeous heiress in need of their help.

I really need to work on this some more because there’s so much potential to it so hopefully I can find what makes this click. If you have thoughts on this snippet, feel free to share them!


 

Read More »

December’s Patreon Plans Are Up!

If you’re supporting me on Patreon (at any level) and want to keep up with what I have planned for December, I have the list up for what’s heading your way along with some news on my upcoming SECRET project.

December is going to be a pretty busy month in terms of writing and hopefully, it’ll be a pretty rewarding one for my followers.

Patrons, you can check the  list out HERE ON PATREON! (Everyone else? You’ll just have to be pleasantly surprised when content rolls out here!)

🙂

Update – 11/18/2015

For the past few days, I haven’t been sleeping for very long. I think that I got 4 hours of sleep the day before yesterday and three the night before. Something out there just really wants me to be wide awake in the wee hours of the morning and it’s been hitting me something fierce.

One thing being awake endlessly is very good for, is working on new things to write. I’ve been busy jotting down story ideas and new article ideas at night so when I’m here rolling around during the day, I’m also actually working. Sure, I’m still a bit hazy since sleep deprivation works against me during the day, but no matter what, I’m reading. I’m planning. And of course, I’m writing.

What’s great is that right now I have a pretty good idea of what I’m getting up to for the rest of the month. So I’m going to force myself keep writing and checking off things on my checklist. Read More »

Snippet – Saw Palmetto Sacrifice Chapter 1

With all the Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance I read, I think it makes sense for me to tackle the genre and try to put my own spin on it. Saw Palmetto Sacrifice is what happens when I look at what I don’t like about the two genres (ceaseless heteronormativity, skimpy representation of characters of color, and cultural appropriation as the main offenders) and try to subvert the genres’ most frustrating tropes and themes.

It’s kind of on a break for now as the Gothic Romance project and my freelance writing take the front seat, but I’m so very fond of it. So this snippet comes from the first chapter and gets us into Alex’s head.

Enjoy!


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