I fell in love with fiction long before I started writing.
My mother and I would make a weekly trip to the Sun Valley Library and come back with stacks of books. I always had Nancy Drew or Trixie Belden books, because I liked the idea of solving mysteries, but I ventured into Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov with the discovery of Star Trek.
I started writing fiction when I was eight years old, inspired by a friend who was writing a school play. My stories were wanted I wanted to see in books: people like me–girls–having adventures. That’s in my stories today: women having adventures.
Maybe even solving a mystery.
Private First Class Linda Maye Adams, U.S. Army
And I’ve had adventures of my own. I enlisted in the Army and ended up going to war. Story adventures are much more fun!
I just follow the front of the story like an explorer and see where it takes me.
Contact me at LindaAdams900 AT outlook dot com.
Five stories of futuristic women, from an artist who makes a first contact in “Sky Hair,” to the private who finds herself in hot water after aliens eat her officer in “Rejected by Aliens.” In “New Robot Smell,” a female soldier has to choose between the military and her life. In “The Scientist’s Widow,” a detective tracks a woman she thinks murdered her husband, and in “Theater Ship,” actors defend a planet from an alien invasion.
Available from your favorite bookseller.
Robotech was a cartoon series that I watched in the 1980s. It was, at the time, a stunning story because it wasn’t just about blowing aliens up or selling merchandising, but it was about characters in a tough situation.
And way cool battles for the action woman.
It had three parts to it. The first, and the best, was the Rick/Minmai/Lisa series. Nothing more spectacular than how the humans won the battle in the final part of the story. Next up was the Dana series, and followed by the Rebel series. The later two felt like they were added on … you know, where the first story was finished and told but did so well, they wanted a sequel.
I rewatched more recently–post military– and found myself cringing through the first part of the series because of fact checking issues.
I’m generally not picky about research details that aren’t quite right. Sometimes you have to change things to tell the story the way it needs to be told. But I found myself cringing over the way the military was presented. The military ranks were all over the place, enlisted were disrespectful to the officers, and officer/enlisted romantic relationships (gets you in to big trouble in the real military).
I could have ignored some of the rank issues–because I have done that for many movies and TV shows (notably Law and Order this morning had an Army captain with a rack of medals only a general could have). But Robotech was so sloppy in that area that it made it hard to revisit the good story I remembered.
Now Robotech being brought back as a comic book retelling. Cool art. And at least one of the same problems.
I know everyone’s image of the military is what we see on the news and in film. It’s one of the reasons I did the Writer’s Guide to Military Culture.
Link takes you to all formats.
I didn’t know it’s been twenty years since the Harry Potter books came out. We didn’t even have ebooks then, and that’s hard to believe now.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
I didn’t read the first book when it took off, primarily because the reviews–rightly so–said that the girl characters didn’t get much attention. I grew wanting to see girls have adventures in books and mainly seeing them stand by while the boys had all the action.
But once the series started really getting attention, I went back and got the first three books. Went each book in one day. They were so good, they triggered a reset. After I hit that last page, I had to go back and read it again because I wasn’t willing to let it go.
I haven’t had too many books like that.
Unfortunately, the above assessment about Herimone was true. She was smart, intelligent, and Harry got most of the adventures. But I later read that J.K. Rowlings wanted to make Herimone the main character … and it wouldn’t have sold to the publisher.
That’s why I’m indie publishing.
The Price of Commercial Success
Invariably though, the naysayers wandered out and sneered with contempt at the books. Somehow, the elite readers think that even if the writer is a good storyteller, if the books aren’t to a standard they set, they’re no good.
Where does this stuff come from?
We have movies competing with books. We have iPhones competing with books. We have internet games competing with books.
So naturally we’re going to shoot down a successful book that got people in to read more books instead of doing something else?
Is commercial success really that bad? It’s missing the entire point. The books got people to read, and we need more like that.
Especially with girl characters.
I’ll be “writing in public” here starting July 2, with a short story going up here for two weeks. Originally it was supposed to be on another site with three other writers, but the technology isn’t there yet (or no one would think someone would be as crazy as us).
My goal is to write one short story a week, so that means going from idea to story to done in one week. And this, with a full time job and working on a novella.
Last October, I went gluten free, dairy free, and sugar free. Also as processed-free as I could manage.
It was partially due to timing. I’m lactose intolerant, but not allergic to wheat or anything like that. But my mother died at the same age I’m at now, following a lot of health problems, ending with cancer. She might have been predisposed to some of it genetically, but when I started looking at how we ate when I was growing up, I wondered if that contributed to it.
But it was also a growing change. I ran across some old Jack La Lanne videos, started exercising, and got some of the books he’d written. He didn’t just talk about exercising in those books, but also eating. More vegetables!
I was reading a Washington Post article that mentioned the book Eat Fat, Get Thin. It’s a horrible title. Makes it sound like many of those diet books out there. But there was enough about it in the article, that I bought it as an eBook. Instant book! Most of it talks about the diet industry, which makes a lot of money keeping us fat (as well as the drug industry, the exercise industry, and probably a few others).
So I thought, “Why not?” It wasn’t like it was crazy eating. It was just more vegetables, more fat, no dairy, no gluten, no sugar, and no processed food.
I grew up with lactose intolerance. My mother had it years before it came in to the public view. She had a terrible time of it. We used to get her ice cream cakes for her birthday, which we couldn’t do any longer. She had trouble traveling because airline food had dairy. And everyone pre-made food source seemed to put it into everything.
Then, there weren’t any alternatives like almond milk or coconut milk.
I went largely dairy free the year before because of a book I read that said dairy was a mucus maker. I couldn’t quite give up cheese. I did see an improvement in my sinuses, though I still got the winter cold.
I was also shocked at how much dairy is still added as filler. With all these people with sensitivities, you’d think some of the manufacturers would change the recipes. No! All they do is add a disclaimer that it contains milk.
Even vitamins had dairy in them. I had to watch out because I’m also lactose intolerant, and a vitamin might claim it was dairy free and still have lactose. It’s been a lot about reading labels.
I still occasionally have some cheese, but it’s usually in a pre-made salad. That’s not a deal-killer for me. Gluten on the other hand …
I thought that dairy was added to everything. Gluten is added to a whole lot more.
I now stop outside the door to check the restaurant’s menu. There are a lot of restaurants that sell manly sandwiches or pasta. It gets added into sauces, used as a coating for meat, and is pretty much in all deserts.
I went on the cruise back in February and even found the food there pretty limited. Breakfast wound up being nuts (really! I was on a cruise and eating a bowl of nuts for breakfast every day). Lunch was always a challenge because they had a big pasta bar, and anything that wasn’t pasta had gluten in it, or was at least suspicious. Dinner was better because I ate it in the dining room, and that seemed more flexible.
Even the gluten-free magazines aren’t a big help. They replace it with:
- More dairy.
- More sugar.
- Gluten free bread
It’s like we’re spinning around in this crazy circle!
This one’s been hard for me. I still crave bread. I wouldn’t mind having desert once in a while, but most of them hit the double-whammy of dairy and gluten. And boy, I miss pizza!
This one’s been easier, simply because I’m not buying premade food. I’m also reading labels. And not having dairy and gluten is a sugar killer because I don’t have a lot of deserts available to me to start with (though I’ve nipped at the Trader Joe’s gluten free chooclate-chocolate cookies on a occasion).
The result? Since October, I haven’t had a cold, or the flu, and I haven’t needed allergy medicine in prime pollen season.
I got into see the Wonder Woman movie last weekend. I got the tickets online in advance, and the theater was nearly already sold out (but at least my seat wasn’t in the front row!).
I won’t give any spoilers away, but the movie doesn’t something that most wouldn’t have: it assumed that women wanted to see the movie, and it was made with that audience in mind.
Most movies are made with men in mind. Get the men into the theater and they’ll bring their dates, wives, and families.
But it effectively leaves women out of the experience. The movies have things that appeal to the men, but little for the women. Usually the studio will toss in a romance for the women, but it’s still a movie for men.
But Wonder Woman … she’s a hero. And she has adventures that feel like things that women would do. There’s a stunning battle of the Amazons, who should be outclassed by the Germans with the guns, and win the battle through cunning and pure skill. But it’s skill that’s available to women, not taking a man’s skills and giving them to a woman.
The studio waffled on the movie after it was made, thinking it wouldn’t be a success. How do you spend $150 million and then want to write it off before a movie even premieres? It scared the head honchos because it wasn’t made to fit the men’s experience.
Several years ago, I was writing a Civil War thriller, which was pretty much Most Dangerous Game. Man Hunts Man, or in the case of this story, man hunts man and women. A professionally published male writer reacted extremely badly to it like I had offended him personally.
I’d like to think that he believed the men in the story would be short-changed in favor of having the women.
I’m all for equal opportunity. Everyone gets into trouble and has to be a hero, no matter their gender. Part of the fun of a really good story is having all the characters participate to the best of their abilities and have agency.
Thirty years ago, Lily Chun saw a UFO in the desert and the memory disappeared into a child’s fantasies. But after a dream called to her, she’s back out to the same place, drawn by the emptiness of the life she’s abandoned. A chance meeting with a stranger convinces her that maybe there’s a reason to be here now, and it isn’t just to see aliens.
Available from your favorite bookseller:
Coming in July, I’m going to do a writing in public project. The concept of “writing in public,” comes from science fiction writer Harlan Ellison (if you haven’t read his books, he wrote Star Trek’s “City on the Edge of Forever”). He sat in a window of a store, typed out a story on a manual typewriter, and stuck it on the window so people passing by could read it.
And then published them as is.
It’s scary as heck, and it’s why I’m doing it. My creative brain is all excited, and my critical brain is going “Are you nuts?!”
This one’s going to be online, on another site. More details to follow.
Image credit: © Kaspiic | Dreamstime.com – Business Woman Using Laptop Computer On The Beach Photo
Meanwhile, here’s my research topics for the week
Jupiter Trojans, Charles Richter, Movement magnitude, rookery, sea lions, Palsgrid v. Long Island Railroad, Rockway Beach, Four Pests Campaign, knitting and spies, Battle of Messiner, creeping barrage, standing barrage, box barrage, mining (the weapon kind), no man’s land, hooah, cactus curtain, Manchukuo Imperial Guards, White Horse Tavern, marine debris, ghost nets, Great Pacific Garbage Pit, sea mark, lighthouse, Oayen Earthquake, moral matrix.
I’m largely picking these at random, based on whatever I see that day. I’m not looking for anything specific, but just trying to fill in my knowledge with different topics.
Juliette is an undercover princess, working as a boatman in the military. The worst of her concerns is what work detail she will be on next … until a messenger brings word her father, the king, is dead at the hands of his brother. Now he’s coming for Juliette and she’s running out of time.
Available from your favorite booksellers: