I'm an avid explorer of fancy writing spaces and spend a large amount of my time curled up in the parlors of Orlando-area hotels, writing LGBTQ-centered material. I came out to my family via self-publishing my first novella, Starstuff. Having survived that (whew!), I continue to write to help fill the Internet with positive portrayals and stories of varied LGBTQ characters.
Hooray for gay.
Describe your desk
My desk is a mess consisting of a laptop, tea mugs, receipts, kitty fur, and my writing buddy of the day. My writing buddy is usually a book or action figure that has recently inspired me. My current buddy is Anna from Frozen. She captivated me with her easy humor, charming smile, adventuresome spirit, and love for her sister. Right now she's sitting on my printer, offering her silent encouragement.
When did you first start writing?
When I was around 9 or 10 I sat down and began to type out my first novel. It was right after I finished "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone". The moment I put that book down I knew I wanted to write stories.
One mistake cost Iguru his career, his pride and his very identity. Now an outlaw, he's after one thing: to reclaim it all, even if he has to change history itself. There's just one thing standing in his way: a beautiful blond who holds the keys to the past in his hands.
Far in the future, Ajita lives in a steel-cold institution called School, where the humanity of Students is all but erased. While her thoughts remain trapped during the day, at night Ajita experiences strange and wondrous visions. Can her dreams of the past help save mankind's future?
Myrha wins a poetry contest for a free vacation to Lieval: a world supposedly made of beaches, babes and barbecue. But when guests start disappearing, it quickly turns into a world of mayhem, mystery and muscle-munching zombies!
Wonderful combination of mythology and technology; the set-up is exciting and the mermaid culture is believable (and the names are awesome!). My favorite part of the book is the beautiful descriptions that take a land-born reader into the cool, tumultuous depths of the ocean. Ballantine is wickedly talented in brevity, and gives each mermaid a distinct personality with a few, carefully chosen sentences.
I quite liked the ending, a turn from the original tale. It was a great interpretation of her ascension into the air.
There is one thing I wish would have been explored more in depth: the development of Lorelei’s ambitions. The question that plagued me was: why Roan? Why was he so different and inspiring from the men she had killed in the beginning? Why was he (an enemy) and the Above, worth so much sacrifice? I got vague impressions that she was bored with life under the sea, but it would have been lovely to see it illustrated more clearly.
Overall, I would love to see more of this mermaid steampunk universe. It’s definitely strong enough to stand on its own as a separate entity from the original by Andersen.
Like helping a babe first wading into the pool, this author gently grasps your arms and pulls you into the culture of tango dancing. Dance communities often have their own culture, quirks and peculiarities and Swan does a fantastic job of describing many kinds of social aspects (like the cabeceo), plus variations a dancer could encounter. This book is a bit like a tourist guide to dancing tango, to know how to fit in at different locations and how to look for partners.
There are no illustrations about steps and moves, but Swan describes them so well and so physically, you’ll feel like you’re already doing the moves with a phantom partner. Tango, as he is careful to repeat, is less about learning steps, and more about tuning into your partner’s body language and creating a beautiful partnership. This book also gives a great emotional introduction to dance, like the connection partners feel and the way to avoid hurt feelings at dances. This isn’t strictly an instruction manual. It’s a social guide, introduction and “lead” (if I may use a tango term) to this spectacular form of dance.
I highly recommend it if you’re considering taking a class; I also found it great for research purposes, since I’m curious about dance. While it is about sex and culture, the book could be secondarily categorized as a handbook or personal guide.