New interview link!

I'm over at Pam Witte's Ink and Angst blog today for an interview. Find out how old I am, the best writing advice I ever got, and what kind of advice my villains give.

Ink and Angst Interview

(Also, I'm closing comments on this post in a shameless attempt to get you to comment on the interview. Because Pam is awesome and should have ALL THE COMMENTS.)

Thank you, have some cute.

As I continue the countdown to moving (SIX DAYS LEFT, OMG), and try to get all the repacking, mailing, emails done, etc, I would like to take a minute to say thank you.

Thank you for sticking with me and reading my crazy blog and cheering me on this whole way. You guys are amazing and you make me happy.


So whatever you're doing and wherever you are today, just know that I think you're awesome and I would give you a hug if I could.

But since I can't, have some cute kittens.




And a boxing Siamese cat.



And this:


Happy Sunday!

Do not forget.

Warning: This is not going to be my usual cute-animals-Thanksgiving post. Sorry about that.


I'm sitting here this morning looking at pictures of some of the casualties in Gaza, while my mother-in-law and brother-in-law discuss which Black Friday sales are worth going to, and my father-in-law asks me how many mashed potatoes I want for dinner.

On my Facebook wall, people are posting food photos and cheerfully listing all of the things they are thankful for. Meanwhile, in so many places, like Gaza, there are people who live in fear and grief, on a level I have never known and cannot begin to comprehend.

Me, sitting here in my soft sweatshirt, typing on my laptop and drinking coffee. Outside the window, the only sounds are leaves drifting across the pavement and the occasional sounds of cars. No missiles, no screaming. Nothing like the pictures I see on my computer screen.

The disconnect is mind-numbing.

On my Twitter feed, someone has created a hashtag for people who are alone during the holiday, so they can hang out and have someone to talk to. You don't have to look halfway around the world to find sadness and pain. You may not have to look outside your own neighborhood.

I'm not trying to ruin anyone's holiday/eating/shopping fun. Lord knows the world needs all the joy and laughter it can get. But thankfulness is often such a shallow concept, a word we toss out once a year, listing our blessings like a fill-in-the-blank project.

Thankfulness should be something that drives us to our knees, and something that drives us to action. We should be humbled and grateful, we who were fortunate enough to be born in a world that made it possible for us to be safe and warm when so many others are not. And we should look for opportunities to be generous with the lives we've been given.

So please, remember. Remember the other people in the world.

Hold your family tight, but do not forget the people who've lost their loved ones.

Eat and enjoy your dinner, but do not forget the people who go hungry.

Play computer games, clip coupons, go about your day. But do not forget that you are fortunate beyond measure, that for every person who has more than you, there are hundreds, thousands, millions who have far less.

Be kind, be gracious, be humble.

And do not forget.

The post previously known as "Untitled." (Or Miriam writes about fantasy and forgets the title because her brain is toast.)

I was going to post this yesterday, but fell asleep. :)

Las week, I had the honor of visiting with one of the local junior high's Nanowrimo group. It was a blast. The kids loved to talk about what they were working on, and we talked about how to get out of stuck places and solve different story problems. I had so much fun.

I also was asked to give a small talk as well, and since a lot of the kids were writing fantasy, I thought some fantasy tips were in order. And because I'm SUPER adult these days, (ha) I made a handout, which I thought you guys might like. 

So here it is! 


Miriam’s Five Tips for Writing Fantasy
(Or Science Fiction.)
(Or Pretty Much Anything, Really,)


1. Read a lot of fantasy.

     a. Reading helps you learn the genre.
     b. Reading gives you a respect for what you’re writing.


2. Learn from other genres.

     a. From historical novels—worldbuilding
     b. From literature—voice and language
     c. From romantic movies/books—character building
     d. From mysteries/Thrillers—plotting and suspense


3. Characters need love too. (and I’m not talking about romance.)

     a. Your characters should be as well-developed as your world.
     b. Action should never take the place of growth.
     c. The more fantastic your world is, the more authentic and grounded your characters need to be.
     d. Characters still have to solve their own problems.
         i. Magic can’t fix everything.
         ii. Not all problems are external.


4. You can make your own rules, as long as you keep them.

     a. Fantasy is not a license to do whatever you want.
     b. Unlimited power is boring.
     c. No deus ex macina.


5. Do something cool and HAVE FUN.


So that's the outline. What do you think? Anything you'd like me to elaborate on in my next post?

Moving, moving, omg moving.

I've been putting this blog post off, partly because I'm so overwhelmed and partly I think because if I put it in the blog it will be real and then maybe the universe will explode or something.

Okay, maybe it's not that much of a big thing.

We are moving to Portland.

We didn't intend to move to Portland. After Dan graduated, we moved back to Boise, Idaho, the place where we had started our married life. We wanted to live here and work here and build our lives in this place where we had so many memories and so many friends.

But it didn't work. Dan couldn't find a job, I couldn't seem to find my footing and neither one of us really felt like we fit. We were living with my in-laws, who are gracious people, but it wasn't home.

Then it happened. A chance conversation with a friend, an opening in another town and a job offer we couldn't--and didn't really want to--refuse. And now we're off to Portland at the end of the month.



Perhaps I am afraid to say "I'm moving to Portland" too loudly or too excitedly. Because I am a storyteller and I know that while defeat is never permanent, neither is victory. Because I am a pessimist and an anxious person, and because this is such a big thing, a thing I was not expecting and have no plans for.

And I'm going to miss Boise. I'll miss my bookstore job and my friends here and the comfort of always knowing how to get where I want to go.

But part of me is SO excited. I've wanted to live on the West Coast for a long time, and when you add in the wonderful proliferation of local bookstores, the proximity of one of my best friends and the fact that I might actually be able to become a full time writer...

It's a bit like a dream come true.

Which is kind of scary.

Am I alone in this? Does anyone else get scared when unexpected good things happen?


How I came to write a South-Asian inspired fantasy....

... is the topic of this guest post I did on Soumi Roy's book blog today!

Why South Asia?

Go forth and read! (And comment.) (If such things interest you.)

found at animals.nationalgeographic.com

Happy "The Election's Almost Over" Day!!

I've been pretty obvious about my dislike of politics and the political climate. I've been online less, and less interactive, and all the political posts and stuff I've had to wade through in my news feeds has been a big part of that.

HOWEVER.

At eight o'clock tomorrow morning, I'm planning to be at the polls when they open. I'm going to vote before work to make sure that I have time to participate.

I may not like politics.

I may be grumpy and cynical about the system.

But I'm going to vote anyway.

Because a long time ago a lot of people worked very hard to make sure I could.



Because I believe my voice is important, even if others are louder.

And because Hank Green said to.

So go vote if you can. It's important.


For everyone not in the U.S. today, Happy Tuesday! Have a baby otter.

found at cuteoverload.com

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Fabric art in the header by Carol Riggs.