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There's so much, where to begin? Well, it depends. Most of this is Narnia, though there are a few other things, too. To decide if you are interested in "Not My Children's Narnia" (I'm an adult writing mostly adult characters for mostly adult readers) try Under Cover, or the first three chapters of The Stone Gryphon, Part 1 (Oxfordshire 1942), and/or the first four chapters of By Royal Decree. If you don't like those, you probably won't like the rest of it.

Never tell me the word countCollapse )

Guest Post on AD2 by Tess Tebak

I am really excited to introduce you all to another Athena's Daughter's 2 author, Tess Tabak. I cannot wait to read her story, about, wait for it, Judaism, Eastern philosophy, and a zombie apocalypse. Really. Tess is a writer, filmmaker, and co-editor of The Furious Gazelle. She is a recent graduate of Purchase College, where she won the Ginny Wray award for fiction. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. Her most recent film, BEANED, recently premiered at the Williamsburg International Film Festival in Brooklyn.

I asked Tess if she could talk a bit about her influences for her story and how she made the jump from derivative to original fic. 


Hi there! This is Tess Tabak, one of the authors of Athena's Daughter's II. As Ruth mentioned previously, Athena's Daughter's II is a collection of science-fiction and fantasy written entirely by women. I'm thrilled to be a part of that anthology, and psyched to be taking part in this blog swap to get the word out.

My story, "The Miraculous," is about someone who tries to survive in a post-apocalyptic world based on the teachings of Judaism and Eastern philosophy. I learned how to write by emulating the styles of other writers and genre forms. When I was growing up, I wrote some pretty bad parodies of the books I read -- Frankenstein, Harry Potter, Sweet Valley High -- and posted them on Copying the styles of other people and adding a bit of my own voice to it became natural to me. I actually began writing "The Miraculous" as a pastiche of a choose-your-own adventure story about someone who, for some reason, could not leave their house. It was written in the imperative, second-person voice, as in a choose-your-own-adventure, but there were no choices. The character was trapped.

As I wrote, more and more of the story came to me. One big influence on this story is Richard Matheson's I Am Legend. Other horror stories about monsters are really about immediate survival, like King's 'Salem's Lot, but Matheson really explored the horror of being alone for a long period of time. When I read I Am Legend, I desperately wanted to write something that came close to Matheson's masterpiece. One lesson I learned from avidly writing and reading fan fiction for so many years is that ideas themselves are not original; it's what you do with them and how you make them your own that counts. Had I been obsessed with originality, as some writers are, I might have shied away from the zombie genre. When I workshopped this story in my college, one classmate wrote in critique, "You shouldn't have even bothered writing a zombie story," because zombies are overdone. I just don't think that's true. I hope that everyone gets a chance to write their own zombie story.

You can pick up a copy of Athena's Daughter's II on our Kickstarter page. Happy reading!
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Behind on everything but YULETIDE

So I'm just back from nearly 10 days away and 3 time zones and so am behind on absolutely everything, including the December meme, which will probably be more of a January meme at this point. Also, I know that some have written things in response to my prompts and I will get to commenting and such. Thanks so much for sharing your theories, meta, personal stories, and all good fannish things.

So, Happy New Year! May this year be better than the last! I wish you all good things!

Did you get nice things?  Did you have a nice time?  Tell me more?

So, Yuletide. Oh my gosh, a huge thanks to [personal profile] heliopause for getting me through it! Helio was SO supportive.

I wrote one story, and one treat. The main story for [personal profile] parhelion was in Bujold's Chalion. I think my recipient liked it and I had fun doing it.
Communion of Saints (7300 words) by rthstewart
Chapters: 3/3
Fandom: Chalion Saga - Lois McMaster Bujold
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: the Bastard (Chalion), the Mother (Chalion), the Father (Chalion), the Son (Chalion), Lupe dy Cazaril, Bergon dy Ibra, Paginine, Ista dy Chalion, Ser dy Ferrej, Umegat, Acolyte Clara
Additional Tags: Fictional Religion & Theology
Summary: When it is dark enough, you can see the stars. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Saints can find communion but may have to crawl over rough ground to get there.

My second was a treat for Port, writing, for the second year in a row, Mara Jade and Talon Karrde but not Mara/Karrde (that's not a ship I sail on).

Show Your Hand (1163 words) by rthstewart
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Star Wars Legends: Thrawn Trilogy - Timothy Zahn
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Mara Jade, Talon Karrde
Additional Tags: Nursing, Humor
Summary: Karrde is injured. Mara tenderly nurses him back to health.

I had in my head the desire to write a whole bunch of romance tropes where Karrde and Mara subvert them. This was just the first, where Mara "tenderly nurses" an injured Karrde back to health. Uh huh. There's always a YT request for Mara Jade plotty fic and that takes time and I really need to think about that and maybe next year.

I received 3 wonderful fics, 2 written by keerawa and another lovely story by glishara.  And I'm so happy that these stories are all doing well and are popular in YT.  It's nice to write something your recipient loves -- and I  loved all my shiny gifts.  It's even better when others love what you did!

All Disasters Out of Season (1103 words) by keerawa
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Elementary (TV), Chalion Saga - Lois McMaster Bujold
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Joan Watson (Elementary), Ms. Hudson (Elementary), Sherlock Holmes
Additional Tags: Crossovers & Fandom Fusions, Alternate Universe - Modern Setting, Alternate Universe - Modern with Magic, The Bastard - Freeform, Yuletide Treat, Yuletide 2014, Misses Clause Challenge, Case Fic, Character of Faith, Canon Trans Character

At first, Curtis Atherton's death appeared a simple suicide. Of course, nothing is simple when the Bastard is involved.

Like a Dragon in a China Shop (2779 words) by keerawa
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Temeraire - Naomi Novik, Sherlock Holmes - Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes & Related Fandoms
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: John Watson, Sherlock Holmes, Temeraire
Additional Tags: Crossovers & Fandom Fusions, Post-Canon, Dragons, Period-Typical Racism, Victorian, Yuletide 2014, Yuletide Treat
Summary:  When Holmes' investigation into a series of murders in Chinatown reaches an impasse, Watson must call upon an old acquaintance for help.

Birthings (1834 words) by Glishara
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Chalion Saga - Lois McMaster Bujold, Temeraire - Naomi Novik
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Ista dy Chalion, Illvin dy Arbanos, Annaliss dy Teneret
Summary:While on assignment in the Archipelago, Ista and Illvin's band finds some truly unexpected spoils of war...

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no, really, I did.  I'm also drunk on sparkling wine and an amazing chateauneuf du pape. 

BUT I GOT 3 YULETIDE STORIES  (and also a rice cooker from my SO and a new set of headphone from my spawn and I thought the prime rib was overcooked but it did taste really good.  Also, wine).

All disasters out of season, http // (an OMG Elementary and Chalion xover)
Like a dragon in china shop (Temeraire and classic ACD xover)
Birthings, (Temeraire Chalion xover)

Really, can you top that?  I am giddy. 

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SO FAR BEHIND, but, let’s try and get caught up!

[personal profile] vialethe wants me to talk about Lucy

corellian_sugar asked about cooking successes and disasters (I’ve been waiting for this one)

Anon wants to know where I’d assign the Pevensies in Hogwarts houses

All about LucyCollapse )

Cooking disasters

that time the sweet potato casserole blew up 3 timesCollapse )

Pevensies get it sortedCollapse )

Phew. Still behind but there’s 3 days worth!!!  Thanks so much!!

Also, Yuletide in.  I'd love to try and get a treat done.  We'll see.  I baked about 14 hours this weekend, managed to miss a Christmas party and my hands are covered in burns and cuts.  I have chocolate in my hair and under my fingernails.

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Guest Post on AD2 by Sarah Brand

Sarah Brand is another author in Athena's Daughters 2, and in her story, Perchance to Dream, Maya has the gruesome task of disposing of the bodies in a terrible plague, but begins to suspect that for some of the victims--including her childhood friend Elise--death may not have been the end. You can see the awesome art for the picture below. I asked Sarah to tell me a little more about Maya and how the story came to be.

sarahs story pic

The End Is the Beginning

I imagine the future a lot. Not just things like wondering which aspects of 21st century culture will be hideously embarrassing to our descendants, although that's always entertaining, but also my own future. I build narratives: fun ones where I find love and win at karaoke and write beautiful novels that sell a zillion copies, and scary ones where I fail at everything forever. But every time I think I know how some part of my story is going to end, reality surprises me.

For instance, I didn't think I was going to sell "Perchance to Dream," my story that appears in Athena's Daughters 2. In fact, this odd little apocalyptic story accumulated quite a few rejections. It did receive an honorable mention in the Dell Magazines Award in 2011. One of the judges, Sheila Williams (the editor of Asimov's), offered to show all the finalists where she would have stopped reading if we had submitted our stories to Asimov's for publication. I handed her the manuscript and she pointed to a spot halfway down the first page.
I edited that spot before sending the story anywhere else, for the record.

Like me, Maya—the main character in "Perchance to Dream"—thinks she knows how her story is going to turn out. She's lost her best friend Elise not once, but twice: first thanks to a high school crush that Elise didn't return, and then again, finally, to the plague that's devastating the human race. Maya herself is immune to the plague, but to her, that just means that she has to burn the bodies as everyone around her dies.

Without giving too much away, Maya is wrong. The end of everything she knows is still a beginning, and while this new beginning doesn't diminish her losses, it does give her hope, and the courage to keep going.

No matter how dire the present may seem, or how flimsy our hopes for the future may feel, every day, we are creating our futures—building the next world. I'm so happy that this small slice of my future-imagining will appear in Athena's Daughters 2, and for those of you who back the project, I hope you enjoy the story.

Sarah Brand writes young adult science fiction and fantasy. When she's not writing or working at her day job, she enjoys karaoke, ice cream, Tumblr, and organizing things. She is a graduate of the Alpha SF/F/H Workshop for Young Writers. Her website is

* * *
The kickstarter is going so well and we've had lots of authors added on.  There are many options for contributing and thank you so much if you decide to help by pledging to the publication or spreading the word. 
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Guest Post on AD2 by Janine Spendlove


I'm really happy to have Janine K. Spendlove guest post over here for the launch of AD2.  I met Janine at Awesome Con earlier this year and then we connected again at Origins.  She loves Susan Pevensie, Mara Jade, and River Song, and encouraged me to submit a story for consideration to AD2.   Janine is a KC-130 pilot in the United States Marine Corps. In the Science Fiction and Fantasy World she is primarily known for her best-selling trilogy, War of the Seasons. She has several short stories published in various speculative fiction anthologies, to include Time Traveled Tales, Athena’s Daughters, and War Stories. Janine is also a member of Women in Aerospace (WIA), BroadUniverse, and is a co-founder of GeekGirlsRun, a community for geek girls (and guys) who just want to run, share, have fun, and encourage each other. A graduate of Brigham Young University, Janine loves pugs, enjoys knitting, making costumes, playing Beatles tunes on her guitar, and spending time with her family. She resides with her husband and daughter in North Carolina. She is currently at work on her next novel.

And so, on to her post...

* * *

First off, I’m pleased as punch to have this opportunity to guest post on this blog, and even more so to get to co-edit Athena’s Daughters 2 with the very talented Maggie Allen. This is a project that we are both very passionate about and are thrilled by how strong this anthology is—every single story in it is fantastic, and Athena’s Daughters 2 runs the gamut of emotions and story lines. Most of the authors in this anthology have not been published before and I’m so happy that their voices will be heard. Please be sure to check out the kickstarter for Athena’s Daughters 2 here and pre-order your copy today!

And now, my blog post:

How I Write What I Write

What am I working on?

I’m currently working on various projects, to include putting together and editing Athena’s Daughters vol 2 with Maggie Allen, writing a graphic novel (a first for me, and I’m super nervous and excited), a military sci-fi retelling of Pride and Prejudice, and a somewhat secret project that will come to light this winter.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Weeeeell… I write in many different genres (aside from my fantasy novels, my last two accepted submissions were horror stories, and before that, military sci-fi). But, based on what reviews of my YA novels have said though, it seems that people are surprised/happy to see that my War of the Seasons trilogy deals with the reality of losing loved ones/the grieving process, and a romance that is gradual and “realistic” (not “love at first sight”), and not central to the plot of the story. Ultimately it seems the reoccurring theme in comments is that readers care less about the actual story I’ve written, and more about the characters and their relationships/entanglements (which, obviously, need a story). Guess I should work on making my actual stories better.

Why do I write what I do?

For War of the Seasons I had some grief and loss that I needed to work through. For most of my short fiction it’s either because a “what if” popped in my head or, again, I have some strong feelings about something I need to address (ie, my last mil sci-fi story was about PTSD, and the after effects of returning home from war – something I feel is infrequently seen in speculative fiction). And honestly, sometimes I write a story simply because someone asked me to.

How does your writing process work?

Ehhhh… I guess it depends on the story? But very loosely, it goes along the lines of:

1- Idea or very generic subject pops in my head.

2- I discuss said idea or subject with my husband and/or a few choice friends.

3- Idea (subject is now an idea) bounces around my brain housing group for a while. This could be days or years.

4- Research idea. Get more ideas.

5- Idea bounces around brain housing group some more.

6- Outline the story.

7- Do more research.

8- Start writing.

9- Research.

8- Writing.

10. Research.

11. Writing.

12. Finish story & send it to choice friends for feedback.

13. Receive feedback and do nothing for a while.

14. Do not touch story for many months so that when I return to it I have fresh eyes. Work on other stories.

15. Return to story armed with feedback and edit/revise.

16. Edit/revise.

17. Edit/revise.

18. Finish, send back out for feedback, then edit/revise again.

So basically, that. Or some permutation thereof.

Thanks so much for stopping by! Please be sure to check out the kickstarter for Athena’s Daughters 2!

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About Athena's Daughters 2: Maze running executioners, menopausal super heroes, psychic scientists, and precog nuns, apocalypse ... These are just a sampling of the diverse ladies that will enthrall, excite, and entertain you in this anthology of science fiction and fantasy stories written by women.
We made our first goal today and now it's on to the stretch goals, and we just added a story to the anthology,

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And we're live! Athena's Daughters 2

Please check out our Kickstarter!


The video is amazing! A $22 donation gets you a Penny Blossom
AD2 Penny Blossom

Do check out the amazing list of women authors and contributors. This is a very diverse bunch of writers and contributors and their stories are equally diverse. Really, I mean that. 
Here are some hints based upon the Silence the Library Twitter feed this morning

Tough choices by the First Lady after a climate apocalypse, by Rori Shay

Only a blind girl is unaffected by a sorcerer's hypnotic gaze by Alison McKenzie .

Tiffani Angus asks, Can a 112 year old time traveler save the woman she loves?

What if the phoenix wasn't a myth and wasn't even a bird by Janice Croom

A terrible plague where death may not be the end by Sarah Brand (Sarah will be guest blogging here shortly and talk more about her story)

Judaism, Eastern philosophy, and a zombie apocalypse by Tess Tabak

Elizabeth Bridges asks, Can a captive precognitive nun save others like her?
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For Cofax -- a blast from my past

For [personal profile] cofax7 
So, I really wanted to write something original and new, involving Leia Organa, Dana Scully, and Susan Pevensie and Agent Carter discussing career planning at Peggy's retirement party at a B&B on Chincoteague Island where they all bitch about getting lost in the Pentagon parking lot and maybe a dead body turns up. But that's plot and story and I just didn't have time. So, let's add that to the to-do list.

What I offer instead is something from a very, very long time ago, when I was deep into writing X-Jedi 2 -- a Star Wars/Xfiles crossover with Han, Leia, Luke and Mara wandering about DC with Mulder and Scully, dancing the macarena, smashing blue crabs, visiting the LGBs, blowing stuff up, going to a shooting range where Mara and Leia tried a slug-thrower, and trying to find Mulder's lost spooky. I wrote it with the incomparable Ginef and JackieeC and you can still find the story in odd places on the Internet though as far as I know we never archived it anywhere. This was written after XJ2, and was posted to the Club Jade listserve and expresses enormous fan frustration with ridiculous plots and no RST. It might be have been a collaboration with Ginef and Jackie, or it might have been just me. So, Cofax, I hope a line or two gives you some amusement this day. It does assume, alas, some familiarity with the character of Mara Jade and spoofs the end of The Last Command.

X-Jedi 3 -- the clone's name was MuulderCollapse )



Cross posting problems -- entry is here for now,
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