4th of July Dragon’s Call Giveaway!

TotallyTawn:

Books and dragons. The perfect combo. Enter to win!

Originally posted on A.D.Trosper:

The 4th of July marks the birthday for my nation (well kind of, but its the official day anyway). So as way of saying Happy Birthday, United States I’m doing a giveaway of Dragon’s Call.

What’s in the giveaway? 

Two complete, signed, paperback sets of Dragon’s Call books. (U.S. residents only)

Two free audio copies of the first book, Embers at Galdrilene (open to everyone)

Two free full sets of the e-books.  (open to everyone)

Full sets include: a copy each of the prequel A New Beginning, and the novels Embers at Galdrilene, Tears of War, and Ashes and Spirits.

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How do you enter?

Well, I’m going to do this a bit differently this time. I don’t really want to do Rafflecopter so instead, there are only one thing you need to do to enter.

1. Comment on this post telling me either why you love dragon stories or (if…

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Good Gravy, A little Help Here?

I hate shopping.  I particularly hate shopping for clothes. This is because the fashion industry has joined ranks with the diet industry and, through the insidious use of media, has waged a secret, evil war on my self confidence.

Before you start fitting me for a nice jacket that buckles in the back–I say “fitting” because, depending on the brand, I could be anywhere from a Medium to a Women’s XXXL– please be so kind as to indulge me in a little game.  All you have to do is match the shirt I’m wearing in the following pictures to the size listed on the label.  Easy, right?

One of these shirt is a Large, one is an XL, and one is a XXL.  Which is which?

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No makeup…
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No photoshop…
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All woman, baby.

Here are the tags in the same order that I am wearing them.

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Tightest.
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Best fit.
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Loosest.

How is it, you may ask, that the tightest frikkin’ shirt is also the one listed as the largest size?!  I know why.  Because it is a “ladies” 2XL.  It is not a shirt for a man.  It is not a shirt for a woman.  It is a shirt designed solely to fit some fictitious “lady,” who, it seems, is now under the false assumption that she is much larger than she thinks she is and should probably eat nothing but rice cakes and water until she’s beautiful again.

Still think I’ve got my tinfoil hat on too tight?  Take a look at the quality of women’s clothing in comparison with men’s clothing.  That Ladies XXL up there is made of thinner, less sturdy material than the other two shirts.  But don’t take my word for it.  Go to any clothing store and compare sizes, workmanship, and materials for yourself.

Then, compare the prices.  It seems insane to me that while women are still paid less than men for the same work, we are charged more for inferior clothing, health care, and even something as innocuous as a haircut.  In 2015.

While you ponder that, I’ll be over here eating my daily allotment of rice cakes, brushing up on my curtsies, and plotting the downfall of the fashion/diet juggernaut of evil.  M’lord.

Dragons, Excitement, and Fortune

Yes, I am fully aware that I am cheating by catching up with my A to Z Blogging Challenge by throwing three letters together like a shame omelette.  As I have not officially signed up to take the challenge, I’m going to give myself a pass this time.  And probably next time.  And the time after that, I’m not gonna lie.

Just how do the words dragons, excitement, and fortune go together, you may ask?  Like this:  I will be signing my books (dragons), all of which will be available for purchase (fortune), this May at Anime Central (ACen) in Chicago (excitement)!

When Darkling Drake was released, I had the incredible experience of having my first book signing at Wizard World aka Chicago ComicCon.  I expect this one is going to be just as much fun now that I have three titles to offer, including my latest release, Dragon Defender: A Pirate Princess Adventure.

If you’re in the neighborhood, stop by and visit with me in Artist’s Alley.  I promise I don’t bite.  Well, not hard anyway.

Censorship

I got into an internet argument today about censorship.  Well, originally it was about the Clean Reader app that blocks “offensive” words in books and replaces them with a “cleaner” version but it suddenly devolved into a discussion of the merits of trigger warnings.

This gentleman’s opinion, if I’m interpreting it correctly, appears to be that trigger warnings are a form of censorship because they force an author to censor their own work in the event that a stray word would make someone feel “slightly uncomfortable.”  His used the example  of college professors being mandated to use trigger warnings for certain classes.  My opinion is that a warning of potentially harmful material is not the same thing as a product that actively alters the words in an author’s work.

Unfortunately, the discussion devolved from there, and to be fair, I was the one who initiated the downward spiral of nastiness, as his even tone and elegant turn of phrase began to filter into my mind as condescension.  In my defense, I was on my phone which automatically made having any kind of reasonable discussion a hundred times more difficult, but I took offense to his assertion that trigger warnings have become a matter of faith in the same manner as black cats and broken mirrors.  One can’t argue with faith, so why bother?

And then I typed this:  Maybe because your accusation that my viewpoint is superstitious nonsense triggered me.

Yes, I was trivializing a serious subject with flippant use (which I should not have done), but I was also reacting emotionally.  I have experienced a traumatic event, and I would definitely appreciate the kindness of a warning that gives me the choice to proceed or not as I see fit.  This is not coddling or censorship.  The material doesn’t have to be altered or hidden from me by any arbitrary set of rules, I just want a heads up.  Is that too much to ask?

What I found most disturbing about the entire conversation was his viewpoint that because people are already misusing trigger warnings, it’s next to impossible to know what will trigger an individual, and psychologists assert that avoidance is a poor way to deal with a traumatic event, that we shouldn’t even try to create a way to alert people to potentially harmful content.  While one person may be triggered by a particular color, which is obviously impossible to foresee, there’s a pretty good chance that a graphic description of a gang rape would trigger a victim of sexual abuse.  Yes, that person should definitely seek professional help, but what if they can’t afford it?  Or are too embarrassed, the trauma is too recent, or whatever their own personal reason might be for not getting help?  As for those misusing trigger warnings, stop.  Just stop it.  You know who you are.

At the end of the day, my internet argument was a good thing because it made me consider something about which I didn’t originally have an opinion.  It also reminded me that even though I become almost incoherent when I’m upset, my feelings do count and I have every right to express them, just as you have the right to choose not to agree with me or even read what I have to say.  That’s not censorship.  That’s a perk of being an adult.

Bravado

I am a big fan of the fake-it-til-you-make-it philosophy.  As a teenager, I learned that if I looked like I knew what I was doing, no one would question whether or not I possessed a hall pass.  For me, that same bravado has also worked in a myriad of other social and professional situations.

For example, I have successfully given the impression that I had been paying rapt attention to a  lecture delivered in the most mind-numbingly boring staff meeting this side of the Andromeda galaxy, bluffed my way through a surprise FAA inspection, and even scored an author interview.

Bravado?  I say, “Bravo!”  You are whatever you imagine yourself to be.

Quit Procrastinating!

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I have attempted NaNoWriMo in the past.  I thought it might be a great way to get myself in the habit of writing every day.  Alas, I fell behind in the first few days and gave up completely not long after that, just like every April A to Z Blogging Challenge I’ve tried.

But I did learn a few things in these attempts.  First of all, everyone has their own method of writing.  Some people are plotters, using post-it notes, storyboards, outlines, etc., to create.  Others are pantsers, allowing the story work itself out as they write by letting the characters lead the way.  There are also writers who have their own combination of these processes.

Along those same lines, I’ve heard that writing every day is the only way to be a “real writer.”  I disagree.  I don’t write every day, yet I have two–soon to be three–published books.  Am I not considered a real writer?  However, when I’m not physically writing, I am working out how my stories progress in my head.  That’s my process.  I also edit as I write, which makes it near impossible for me to keep up with the daily word count required to successfully complete NaNoWriMo.

For some, NaNoWriMo is exactly the shot in the arm needed to get your first draft complete.  Others, like myself, need to write one little piece at a time, which is why I adore writing for BigWorldNetwork.  There is no wrong way to do it.  Only your way, whatever works for you to get the job done.

So, in the spirit of encouraging anyone who may or may not be participating in NaNoWriMo, I wanted to share some of the images I use as my laptop’s screen saver to inspire me.  Happy writing, my friends!

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