Writing and Drawing Snacks: Betsy James on Incarnation

At one point Betsy was trying, with difficulty, to understand a group of five characters. She couldn’t get the dynamics right, even after writing too much backstory and doing stuff like assigning each of them a symbol—circle, square, squiggle and so on.

She remembered (finally) what she tell students: “In imagination, incarnate as your characters. Be them in their bodies. It’s how we are in our bodies that makes us who we are.”

So, being in the body of each, pen in hand, she asked, “Okay—how would I draw a cat?”

It worked.

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Dawn Vogel on Writing in Shared Universes


Covers by Luke Spooner*

Today Dawn Vogel has agreed to talk to us today about writing in shared universes.

GC: Dawn please tell us about yourself. What do you write? What themes tend to appear in your work? Which writers have influenced you?

I’m a Midwest native who transplanted herself to the West Coast almost 10 years ago. Though I’ve been writing all my life, I started getting serious about it after my transplanting. I write speculative fiction, though I tend toward a lot of fantasy, steampunk, and alternate history. Most of what I write is short stories, but I have published one novella, and my first novel is due out in 2017.

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Chinelo Onwualu on African SF

For the last few weeks, I’ve been grappling with a singular question: Has African science fiction influenced African technology and design? The answer is, well: yes and no. Science fiction and science fact have always been linked to each other, and it’s no different in Africa. The problem is that there just isn’t enough home-grown scientific innovation or science fiction in film and literature to say exactly how the two influence each other. And for a lot of the same reasons.

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Letters: Writer to Writer

Hey Writer,

I participated in NaNoWriMo last month. This is my fourteenth year and fourteenth win. I nearly didn’t make it. My forty-nine year old brother had a stroke and a few days later my ninety-one year old Dad had a heart attack. They are both doing well, but my novel looks like a lovely vase that someone dropped on a tile floor.

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Things We Love: Cat Valente’s Response to Trolls

On November 28, 2016 Cat Valente posted a response to the internet trolls. The upshot being:

Ever since the election, people have been telling me to shut up and go back to Fairyland. Be silent. Be good. Accept. Submit. Stop talking about politics. Stick to fairy tales. (As if fairy tales have ever not been about politics.) Go back to Fairyland.

So I did.

And indeed she did. She wrote a “new” fairy tale. We at Girl Cooties encourage you to read it and have pasted it below in full. She has given the world permission to share this story. Please thank her by going to her site and tossing a few coins in her tip jar.  On her website she also includes download links for pdf, mobi, and epub.

Thanks, Cat!

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