Stop and Think

Writing Beneath A Glass Ceiling: A Guest Post by SFF Author Anela Deen

Posted by on May 25, 2017 in Stop and Think | 2 comments

Writing Beneath A Glass Ceiling: A Guest Post by SFF Author Anela Deen

Today I’m happy to welcome Speculative Fiction author (and friend!) Anela Deen to the blog. You may remember Anela’s name from my review of her fantasy novel A Ransom of Flames, which I quite enjoyed. Today, Anela joins us to reflect on her experiences–and the experiences of women generally–when writing or working in a field dominated by men. Be sure to scroll all the way down to nab a free copy of Deviation, the Sci-Fi short at the heart of this post!

Every author will tell you critique groups are essential to the writing process. We need other writers to go over those passionate scribbles and point out the spots that need work. I tend to use online groups because you get a variety of readers and people seem to lean more towards honesty if they aren’t sitting face-to-face with each other. I’ve found them to be full of well-meaning writers looking to support, encourage, and improve each other’s art…that is until I asked for feedback on a Sci-Fi story I wrote.

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A Heritage of Seeking Refuge

Posted by on May 18, 2017 in Stop and Think | 12 comments

A Heritage of Seeking Refuge

These last few months have really brought home to me a few things about my family. We are privileged, so, so privileged and I feel both grateful and slightly guilty for that reality. We also have a recent memory of being refugees. I am grateful for this as well, even as it changes my lived experience in ways I am still coming to understand.

Both my grandparents on either side of my family were forced to flee India during the Partition between India and Pakistan, as both countries threw off the yoke of colonization (Bangladesh was there too, as East Pakistan at the time). There were refugees of all backgrounds fleeing in pretty much every direction, and the point of this post is not to point out atrocities committed by one side while glossing over the other, nor to suggest that only one group of people were victims. The point is simply that these are the stories of my family.

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The Bird Whisperer Speaks: Or, How to Help Baby Birds

Posted by on Apr 28, 2017 in Stop and Think | 4 comments

The Bird Whisperer Speaks: Or, How to Help Baby Birds

The other day, a friend messaged me to say she heard I’d saved a robin. “No, no,” I responded (more or less). “It was a crow, and a very long time ago.” Well, her son had been chatting with my daughter and he’d been adamant it was a robin, but no doubt that was a mix up.

It took me a moment, and then I went, “Oh yeah, there was a robin!”

About three minutes later, I went, “There was also that blue jay, once, in Washington DC.”

And, oh my goodness, I am only now remembering the baby pigeon we raised on our balcony! We actually set poor old Poopo (pronounced poop-o, as named by my mother) free, and he flew back to us after getting beaten up by the other pigeons. It was pretty brutal. We nursed him back to health, and the second time he flew away, he seemed to do fine.

So on this fine spring evening, I’ve decided to make it my business to address you, not as an author, but as an amateur bird whisperer, with a few fine points on what to do if you happen to find a young bird stranded on the ground. Because it happens this time of year. And you could be the one to save that little creature’s life. And that, my friend, is a wonderful thing.

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Disability in Fiction: Wrapping Up and Looking Forward

Posted by on Feb 27, 2017 in Stop and Think | 0 comments

Disability in Fiction: Wrapping Up and Looking Forward

This marks the final post in the Disability in Fiction blog series–and what a fabulous two months it’s been! From finding new reads (and people to follow), to gaining needed perspective, to grasping the impact of ableism and the power of art, the authors of these blog posts have brought so much forward to be considered. (For those just finding this post, there are links to the full series at the bottom.)

As I wrap up this series, I find myself looking at the world around me, and my local context here in the US, and seeing the impact of ableism, discrimination, and/or simple lack of empathy.

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Ableism in Fiction – A Guest Post by Erin Hawley | Disability in Fiction

Posted by on Feb 20, 2017 in Stop and Think | 1 comment

Ableism in Fiction – A Guest Post by Erin Hawley  |  Disability in Fiction

Growing up as an avid reader, I never came across any disabled authors or characters in literature. Before the internet, I only had access to my small-town school library. Seeking out books with disabled characters never crossed my mind; disability was something that I had and not part of my proclaimed identity as it is now. For most of my childhood, abled was the norm, even though I’ve been disabled my whole life. I was the only visibly disabled person in my social circle, and I wasn’t aware of invisible disabilities as a concept.

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Art as Activism – A Guest Post by Anarcha Quinn | Disability in Fiction

Posted by on Feb 13, 2017 in Stop and Think | 2 comments

Art as Activism – A Guest Post by Anarcha Quinn | Disability in Fiction

I warm welcome to Anarcha Quinn today as she shares with us a post on the power of art in the current day context here in the US–although I believe that you will find this post easily translates to anywhere in the world. It’s a vitally important post, and I’m so glad to be able to share it with you today.

For many of us, the places and the spaces we inhabit have changed monumentally since election night. Where we fit. Where we sit in society. How our fellow human beings care for us or don’t — all of that has been shuffled. Reshuffled. Even shaken down to the core.

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