Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Writing { and reading and publishing } ~

Coming up for a Bit of a Air . . .


Healing It’s been awhile—reasons here and here—been reblogging a lot—have a story idea—still not “all well”…

I may have a regular blog post soon; or, I may not—this healing phase is not going smoothly…

I will, however, have a new Tale for my Story Bazaar on February 9th—assuming I’m still alive…

What I’m going through is very hard to articulate—very deep, very confusing, very personal…

I’ve come through scarier times; but, this healing is still way spooky…

Perhaps I’ll do an interim post about the reading I’m doing to help me heal…

Stay tuned………

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Picture Book Believing: Sharing Picture Books with Intermediate Students by Carrie Gelson


Nerdy Book Club

img_4514Stories have the potential to alter our perceptions about our world. We need stories. Lots and lots of them. Picture books, shared in a classroom where writing, thinking and discussion happen, offer countless opportunities for each of us to grow in how we understand each other, our place in our communities and in the larger world.

Stories gift us with much to think about. Challenge what we thought we knew. Offer us ways to stretch ourselves so that we move beyond where we are and do not remain stuck. Sometimes this hurts. Sometimes it is uncomfortable. Sometimes it feels absolutely right.

There is a certain magic contained in picture books. They draw us in. More importantly and more powerfully, they draw us together. Sharing a picture book is about gathering close. As the story unfolds, emotions, thoughts and reactions weave in and around the listeners. New learning is shared learning…

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Worldbuilding for SF and other fiction, reimagined for roleplayers. And pony books. Podcast at Fictoplasm


Nail Your Novel

How do you create a world for a science fiction novel or a slipstream element for a more contemporary story? I’ve done both with my two fiction outings, My Memories of a Future Life and Lifeform Three. So Ralph Lovegrove invited me to guest on Fictoplasm, his podcast for roleplayers.

You probably know I’m fond of stories that flirt with the edges of SF and fable, and we discussed quite a few, some of which are in this thumbnail above. And Ralph has made detailed show notes with the titles and a time stamp so you can jump to exactly the bits that interest you.

Ralph’s podcast likes to explore unconventional inspirations for roleplayers, so I offered him a challenge. Could I convince him that the pony story, beloved of horse-mad kids (and grown-up kids) was worth a look? He was more than game – and it gave…

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Top Ten Historical Fiction Titles to Encourage a Diverse Understanding of the Past by Rebecca Redinger


Nerdy Book Club

When teachers and librarians encourage students to read historical, they not only provide a way to understand the past, they also promote an enjoyment in learning. Historical fiction has not always been used in this way, however. For centuries, children’s literature, and historical fiction in general, failed to accurately reflect and include global humanity.

In the nineteenth century, school textbooks would regularly feature stories to illustrate the individual triumphs of those with good character and civic virtue. These stories taught local history, government, and national identity, but they were often ethnocentric and male-dominated narratives. Things began to change in the twentieth century when the Industrial Revolution and mass immigration from Europe influenced writers to embrace realism. Instead of focusing on the privileged and powerful, they captured the lives of common people as they interacted with both the ordinary and extraordinary. Yet it wasn’t until our current century that themes of…

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“Tell Them Stories” by Jenn Risser


Nerdy Book Club

tell-them-storiesThis tattoo sums up everything I’ve ever gotten right in my life.  It embodies every facet of my little existence:  even the guts it took me to finally walk into the tattoo parlor and let someone mark me forever.  

But this is the power of story.  Story is what sets us free.

The great Philip Pullman wrote these words in The Amber Spyglass.  In order to pass into the light of the afterlife, the ghosts in this book are instructed to, “Tell them [the harpies – and gatekeepers] stories. They need the truth. You must tell them true stories, and everything will be well, just tell them stories.”

These lines not only struck a chord in me, they marked me forever.  During this time, I was struggling to become a mother, was beginning to believe that I might never experience bedtime stories with my own biological children.  It…

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