Book Review: How To Be a Heroine

how to be a heroine cover

I don’t write a lot of in-depth book reviews these days. Part of it is practical: with three kids home for the summer, a novel due by the end of the year, and assorted smaller projects, there just isn’t time. I do always give a star rating on Goodreads; Amazon is a non-starter these days, given their arcane rules for … Read More

Guest blog: Curious Research and Sightings of the Modern Day Faery

Twig the fairy

At this year’s Pagan Unity Festival (a.k.a. PUF) I met Kiki Dombrowski, who conducted a workshop on the history and persistence of stories of faerie folk. She was also kind enough to write a guest post for me about this very topic. *** Faery sightings are not so out of the ordinary after all. Tales of real life encounters with … Read More

The Music of Release Day

Long Black Curl cover

So today, the third Tufa novel, Long Black Curl, hits stores and devices. The pre-release reviews have been good ones, and that’s always a comfort. But the finally judgment really comes from the people who buy it. Hopefully, you. Like Wisp of a Thing, the prior novel in the series, this book also features song lyrics by contemporary indie artists. Here’s … Read More

Interview with Melanie Stone and Nicola Posener from Mythica

Melanie (L) and Nicola behind the scenes

Two weeks ago I reviewed Mythica: A Quest for Heroes, the first in a projected five-film epic fantasy series.  As well as being a great little film, it was notable for having two female characters as the driving forces of the story, with neither sidetracked into any obligatory romance.  The two actresses who played these roles, Melanie Stone and Nicola … Read More

Interview: the writers of Carmilla

  Carmilla, J. Sheridan LeFanu’s 1871 novella that predates Bram Stoker’s Dracula, is a seminal work of genre fiction.  It introduces the idea of the lesbian vampire, something that later writers would expand into its own genre (check out Hammer’s The Vampire Lovers for a fairly faithful, if overtly sexed-up, version).  It’s also surprisingly contemporary in its writing style.  So … Read More

Movie Review: Mythica, A Quest for Heroes

Marek (Melanie Stone) and Teela (Nicola Posener)

Back in 2011, I stumbled on Arrowstorm Entertainment’s Dawn of the Dragonslayer, a low-budget fantasy epic that had the look of a much more expensive film. But what really got my attention was the care given to the performances: leads Richard McWilliams and Nicola Posener really dug into their characters, and director Anne Black gave them the time to do … Read More

Dramatics Interreptus

Timmy and Lassie

My younger son turns seven in about a month, and the other day I realized that I was about that age when I realized just how important stories were to me. My parents left me to stay with friends of the family for an afternoon; I have no memory why. But while I was there, I started watching the TV … Read More

Seeing It a New Way

unnamed-2

In my teen writing class at the Mount Horeb Public Library last week, we segued into discussing Catcher in the Rye, and one of my students made the following observation (which I’m paraphrasing): Some of my friends have said that, since the characters in the book were rich, Holden’s problems weren’t that significant. But in so many other books I’ve read, … Read More

A True Story of Frog-Gigging and Disappointment

Frog Gig on Stick

I wrote the following piece for a memoir class taught by Michelle Wildgen, best-selling author of Bread and Butter and You’re Not You (soon to be a movie starring Hilary Swank). When I was a kid growing up in rural Tennessee, my dad determined that I would follow in his footsteps and leave a trail of dead small animals behind … Read More

The Great Rock and Roll Secret

Herman Brood

Suppose the great rock single had flickered over the airways just once, on the night you had passed out in the back seat?  Probably not, but still…rock and roll has always had this sense of possibility.  –Dave Marsh, Born to Run: The Bruce Springsteen Story, page 93 I originally read the above quote in the 1980s, when the first edition … Read More