The Debt Women Owe Carrie Fisher by M. B. Weston

When Carrie Fisher passed away, I lost my childhood hero. This death marked the passing of a woman that had a profound effect on my life and the lives of countless women.

My parents took me to the theater to see Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back when it first opened. I was four. All I remember was watching Darth Vader Force-choking Captain Needa to death and the other characters dragging his body offstage. By the time I was six, however, I was begging my babysitter to let me watch Star Wars (my generation’s official name for A New Hope) on our new, high-tech VCR. I grew up watching and rewatching Han, Luke, and Leia save the galaxy, and Star Wars became my favorite movie series.

I never truly realized how Carrie Fisher’s portrayal of Princess Leia shaped my generation’s view of women. I grew up thinking it was normal to watch a woman not only fighting in a rebellion but actually leading it. I watched Princess Leia wield both a blaster and authority. For me, this was how the world worked. I never thought twice about how my gender might affect my career. I was going to go to college and become a lawyer and then maybe even the Attorney General. It never occurred to me that my gender would get in my way, and Princess Leia’s character developed part of that belief. (I ended up choosing writing as a career instead of law and politics. I got to keep my soul, and that worked out well.)

The Force was strong in Luke and strong in Leia, and I never thought that odd. I wonder how many young girls of my generation grew up, as I did, believing in themselves without worrying about their gender because of the way Carrie Fisher played her role. I’m sure many boys my age grew up watching Star Wars and figured a woman in leadership was normal as well.

While I give most of the credit to George Lucas for creating the character and the storyline, I must also give Carrie Fisher credit for her portrayal of Leia. She made Leia feel real. She made Leia’s accomplishments seem normal. She yelled things like “Into the garbage chute, flyboy!” and “Will someone get this big, walking carpet out of my way?” and made us all think she was awesome. Very few actresses could have pulled that off, yet she did it with grace, dignity, and a blaster that fired red killer lasers.

I honestly believe none of my writing, especially my character Gabriella, would be anything like it is now without Star Wars or Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia. I also believe that the way she gave Leia’s character legitimacy helped pave the way for my generation of women.

We are indebted to Carrie. The best way to repay that debt is for each of us to finish Leia’s work and become whatever we want to be without a thought of our gender. May the Force be with you, your highness.

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How to Distract a Sci-Fi/Fantasy Writer in Ten Easy Steps by M. B. Weston

In case you are wondering how a science fiction/fantasy writer can sit down at a computer for an hour without producing anything of value, check out this list:

1. I am really annoyed with this chapter. It’s not flowing…
2. I wonder how my blog did today? Let me check…
3. Oh! I think need some chamomile tea. :::makes tea:::
4. I should check my Facebook/Twitter/Instagram notifications.
5. I am getting so distracted! I need someone standing behind me with a whip.
6. :::breaks into song::: “Where there’s a whip, [crack] there’s a way…”
7. Why didn’t Peter Jackson do The Hobbit like Bass and Rankin? #headdesk
8. I should update my social media status about my pathetic ability to stay on target.
9. “He’s too close!” “Stay on target.” “I can’t shake him!” “Stay on target.”
10. Why did George Lucas insist on directing Episodes 1-3 himself? #doubleheaddesk.

Hmmmm. I think I need some chamomile tea….Well, enough distractions. Time to get back to the writing. I think the monster is about to appear.

Family–Freedom–Frontier

 

calmityxlgOrphaned by a brutal raid on a colony ship, young Kylee is alone in the universe. But she finds a new family in the form of a professional bounty hunter, a psychopathic alien, a professional duelist, and a big game hunter, his wife and their twin sons. They’re an odd mix…but family is what you make it. And when one man’s greed threatens the entire Frontier, Kylee and her new family stand in his way. Helped by a smuggler-turned-gambling magnate and the surviving members of the Fifth Acadian Militia, they’re about to teach a few lessons about whit it means to be free, and maybe get a little payback along the way. Doc Smith style space opera with a sizable helping of H. Rider Haggard, Calamity’s Child delivers larger-than-life characters, exotic settings from deep space to the veldt of a new Africa, and enough action to satisfy a two-ton homicidal alien.

Doc Smith style space opera with a sizable helping of H. Rider Haggard, Calamity’s Child delivers larger-than-life characters, exotic settings from deep space to the veldt of a new Africa, and enough action to satisfy a two-ton homicidal alien.

The real currency of the Frontier isn’t guns or money.

It’s loyalty.

http://darkoakpress.com/calamity.html

Welcome Intergalactic Travelers!!!

marexlgCome on in and enjoy the Mare Inebrium. We have a large facility and are sure we have something that will meet your needs and exceed your expectations. In the top floor of our building we have a very fancy restaurant with lovely views of the city spreading out into the far distance. The floors above the main bar contain various restaurants, shops, meeting rooms, and we even offer hotel rooms for the discriminating traveler.

Our main bar is quite large, with room for several hundred patrons at once. The walls are decorated with paintings and mirrors that can shift to show either reflections or discrete views inside one of our many themed bars. Our displays of alien artifacts are scattered about tastefully throughout while the full bar itself is up against the back wall of the main room. Our main bar features literally hundreds of varieties of beverages to meet any tastes no matter how exotic.

If open spaces and large crowds are not to your liking, then please patronize any of our wonderful themed areas. If you prefer with a bit more of an adventurous edge, please join the many Space Rangers and other militaries from around the galaxy in our Red Dog Saloon. If you desire a more private and civilized setting, please join our “gentleman’s club” at Piper’s and our small ballroom is the perfect place to take in a musical or theatrical performance. For you truly celestial types, deities, writers, artists, and other beings of enormous power, you will enjoy the Pantheon Room.

http://darkoakpress.com/mare.html

Author Interview: Natalie Silk

Dark Oak Press has just released science-fiction author Natalie Silk’s newest novel in the Stars’ Fire series: Part one of a Power Gathering. She was kind enough to give us an author interview about her own writing process and her books.

What genres do you enjoy writing? My favorite genre to write is, of course, science fiction. My focus right now is science fiction for girls; but I’m developing a short story that’s alternative history

Tell us about your latest book. My next book is the next in the Stars’ Fire series. Dahliea now must live like any other thirteen year old girl on Earth. She learns to enjoy shopping at the mall and a few secrets.

What inspired the story? Where did you get that first bit of “ah ha” inspiration? When I was twelve, I had a dream of five monks wearing a triangle-shaped pendant with a red stone in the center. One of the monks told me that, “You’re not ready,” and I woke. I had subsequent dreams of a girl with a pendant and I wrote them all down. Thirty seven years later, Dark Oak published Stars’ Fire.

What does your writing process look like? Are you a plotter or a pantser? I do a combination of things. Since I’m very ‘old-school,’ I write out a draft with paper and pen and then use my trusty lap top (I’m not that ‘old-school’). The first draft is all action punctuated with some dialogue and looks like ‘word hurl’. The second draft looks a little less as if I threw words onto paper to see what sticks.

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)? I think having to write on paper is a little strange compared to all the electronics available.

What are you working on at the minute? I just completed my second draft of my fourth book. I’m letting it cool a little bit so I can write an alternative history short story.

Natalie SilkHow important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend? I just love Asian and Latin names, such as: Sophia, Xavier, and Li.

Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy? I stay away from love and racy scenes since I write YA. I’m in no mood to be greeted by an angry PTA mob on my front porch.

When did you decide to become a writer? I wanted to be a writer since I was ten.

Why do you write? Writing is such a great hobby; and hopefully it’ll turn into a really great part-time career.

Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why? I was wanted to meet Ernest Hemingway (preferably when he was on an upswing).

 

starsfirexlg

What advice would you give to aspiring writers? Don’t ever, ever (and I mean ever) give up.

How can readers discover more about you and you work? I invite readers to come and talk to me at conventions and on my Facebook page: Natalie Silk, Author.

Be sure to check out Natalie Silk’s first novel in the series, Star’s Fire!

Get your Summer Party on Intergalactic Style!!!

marexlg Come on in and enjoy the Mare Inebrium. We have a large facility and are sure we have something that will meet your needs and exceed your expectations. In the top floor of our building we have a very fancy restaurant with lovely views of the city spreading out into the far distance. The floors above the main bar contain various restaurants, shops, meeting rooms, and we even offer hotel rooms for the discriminating traveler.

Our main bar is quite large, with room for several hundred patrons at once. The walls are decorated with paintings and mirrors that can shift to show either reflections or discrete views inside one of our many themed bars. Our displays of alien artifacts are scattered about tastefully throughout while the full bar itself is up against the back wall of the main room. Our main bar features literally hundreds of varieties of beverages to meet any tastes no matter how exotic.

If open spaces and large crowds are not to your liking, then please patronize any of our wonderful themed areas. If you prefer with a bit more of an adventurous edge, please join the many Space Rangers and other militaries from around the galaxy in our Red Dog Saloon. If you desire a more private and civilized setting, please join our “gentleman’s club” at Piper’s and our small ballroom is the perfect place to take in a musical or theatrical performance. For you truly celestial types, deities, writers, artists, and other beings of enormous power, you will enjoy the Pantheon Room.

http://www.darkoakpress.com/mare.html

Being different is dangerous!

starsfirexlg

Dahliea Gherac desperately wants to be accepted by her schoolmates and wishes that she was like every other S’Renen, but she’s the sheltered daughter of a politically powerful father and from a wealthy and prominent family. She’s chased by the media, bullied by her peers, and worst of all, she is treated as an oddity because her mother is a blonde-haired, fair-skinned woman from Earth.

She must cope with daily life and her world’s impending confrontation with the Union. Then Dahliea learns that she is a pawn in the dangerous game of world politics. As her world descends into war, she may be her people’s only hope!

http://www.darkoakpress.com/starsfire.html