Hey Word Warriors

It’s been a tough week in politics and I know a lot of people are not feeling all that great about the state of things, but I want to remind the writers out there that our job is twice as important right now. When things are hard people turn to their favorite distractions as a place to escape. While it’s tempting to put down our pens, or to pack up our keyboards, now is when the important work happens.

Remember that those of us who write fiction have a special duty to our readers to give them a story that can help them slay the dragons in their lives and remind them that they, the average person, has been carrying a sword all along.

I know turning on the news, looking at Facebook, or going on Twitter can really be a drain and sometimes it even makes me feel powerless. Yet, I always pause to remember that my power is in my words and in my stories. Our power is always in the words we yield and it can’t be taken from us. As long as we chose to use them.

So word warriors, write that novel, short story, non-fiction essay, that news expose, that journal entry, or that newspaper editorial. Get back to work.

We all have some fighting to do.

❤ Scarlette

P.s.

There is another thing you can do. If you need to contact your Senator regarding the new healthcare bill to express your extreme displeasure, and to request they vote no, you can reach them easily through the Senate switchboard.

You may phone the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. A switchboard operator will connect you directly with the Senate office you request.

Source: https://www.senate.gov/reference/common/faq/How_to_correspond_senators.htm

 

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Is there room for politics in romance?

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My simple answer is yes.

When I began to write this series it was to turn my post-election angst into something  that would take rough political feelings and turn them into story and to mold characters that could fight off the bad and fall in love. I think that now that the world is a little more terrifying we’re all looking for a happy ending. To me writing can help us remember that despite the fear that a lot of people are experiencing right now, there is still hope and love in the world. Romance novels in particular come with a happily-ever-after and are perfect for lifting spirits.

The reality is, the awful things happening haven’t stopped people falling in love. In fact, I think that tough situations like this can help push people together. Politics do play a part in our every day lives and political affiliations are one of the core values we might value in a partner. Politics, whether we like it or not, play a huge part in life and therefore can’t be excluded from romance.

Another reason that I think that there is a place for politics in romance is that there are real world issues in politics that the romance reading community shouldn’t ignore. We can’t in good faith have our sex positive heroines and our steamy sex scenes while turning a blind eye to things like birth control access. I also certainly don’t think we can feature romances with same sex couples if we don’t talk about the real issues of marriage equality.

Romance, from who we can marry, to how we plan our families, is inherently political.

Even if a good romance novel is our escape from the current reality, we owe it to ourselves and each other to not ignore political issues that affect us in this space. Romance novels are a largely woman powered industry: often with women writers and largely a female audience. I think that because this is a female dominated space, it is particularly ripe for showing our support for women’s rights and having a strong pro-woman political stance.

Whether you are a person that uses birth control, or a person that benefits from its existence, we need to be mindful to not ignore important issues. I am choosing to use my writing  to indirectly stand up for these things while still delivering a story that will leave you with good feelings afterwards.

I would also like to add, that I don’t think politics NEED to be a huge part of romance novels, I am simply defending my choice to include political issues as a large part of my current series.

Of course, this is just my opinion. I would love to hear others thoughts on this issue. Leave a comment below!

❤ Scarlette

P.s.

If you’d like to sample the series I’m talking about, you can always get the prequel for free here.

My dog is a better person than I am.

This is a bit of a random blog post, but as I was walking my dogs today I had the realization that my dogs are happier than I am all the time. Today, person after person pointed out my dog’s big goofy grin as she trotted along on our walk. I enjoy my life, it’s actually really great, but there’s something about the way my dog approaches things that leaves me feeling like I have something to learn.

So, I came up with a list of things my dogs do that I wish I was better at:

  1. My dog is excited to see absolutely everyone.
    • I mean, she is ecstatic. It is the best day that has ever happened when she meets a new person. In return, her new human friend is flattered and delighted to interact with her. I on the other hand avoid eye contact and pray I don’t have to stop and chat.
  2. My dog doesn’t care where we’re going.
    • While I worry about route, length of walk, and what time I’ll get back home, she just enjoys the journey.
  3. My dogs will actually stop and smell the roses.
    • Well, and other dog’s pee, but they at least appreciate things around them in a way I should really pay attention to.
  4. She has boundless energy in everything she does.
    • With hops, jumps, excited barks, my dogs lives life to the fullest and she’s always going to invest all of herself in things. I drink coffee to do just about anything (like writing a blog).
  5. Play is serious business
    • It does not matter if there are other dogs, people, or coffee tables with delicate glass in the way. Play happens spontaneously and it is approached like a frat boy on a Friday night. Maybe I don’t wish I was like this entirely, but I should stop and have more spontaneous fun.
  6. When she’s tired, she rests.
    • One of the things that saddens me the most about myself is that I am incapable of napping and bad at taking breaks. My brain is always buzzing, I can never quite get comfortable, and I’ve probably had way too much coffee. On the other hand, I sleep really well at night. I do wish I had the ability to rest without guilt like my dog does. I think she has the right idea.

Did I miss anything that dogs are especially good at that humans might not be great at? Leave me a comment.

❤ Scarlette

A Free Gift

Hey lovely readers,

I’m currently editing book three in the Alternative Series and getting it ready for publishing. In the meantime, I’d like to offer up the series prequel for free.

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If you sign up for my newsletter, through this blog or through the free book, it will put you on my newsletter where I always post when my books are free for download. Last release date I put the whole series up for free!

Here’s the link.

Enjoy!

❤ Scarlette

National Library Week!

In the chaos of my book release this week I almost forgot to post about National Library Week, which would have been a terrible mistake.

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I, like many authors, owe a lot to libraries.

They provided me with enough reading material as a child to keep this voracious reader constantly entertained. If I hadn’t had access to my school library I don’t think I would have been able to read as much as I did. I had books, but not enough for the speed with which I read and the way my reading level increased so quickly.

They helped me through school. Without access to special collections in my major I never would have completed my studies. Not to mention I didn’t have my own computer in college for a few years, so having access to the computer lab was essential to finishing my education. Plus, I read every Michael Crichton book in the collection for fun as well.

I got my first real job after graduate school at a library. I was kicked off my parents insurance the month I turned 27, but by some miracle my hiring and health insurance through work kicked in leaving me without a single day uncovered. From that point on libraries supported me in my post graduate life.

To this day I do most of my reading from my local library, which I cherish. I even spend time writing in my local library branch when I want a change of scenery.

I still see the incredible things that libraries are doing, the many roles they play in our communities and how essential they are.

We need to fiercely protect our access to libraries and demand that they continue to be funded.

So THANK YOU libraries. A special thank you to the library systems I currently use: King County Library System and Seattle Public Library System. Thank you, and all the libraries that have been in my life for all you’ve done for me, and people like me, my entire life.

❤ Scarlette

P.s. If you need something to read and want to support an indie author, the first few books in the Alternative Series are currently free on Amazon here.

Book Release and Free Books for All!

I’m super excited to announce that the second book in my Alternative Series, Alternative Paths, is now available on Amazon! For today the prequel (a short novella), Alternative Desires (book one) and the brand new Alternative Paths are available for free download on Amazon!

I’m really excited to offer these to people that follow my blog and I hope you’ll take advantage. If you’re feeling really generous, I’d love it if you shared, or leave a review.

Get them here!

❤ Scarlette

Book Questions

This isn’t my normal thing, but I thought that after a couple of intense weeks of writing and editing I’d have a little fun. Enjoy!
1. DO YOU GET SICK WHILE READING IN THE CAR?

No. I’m one of those really lucky people who can read anywhere.

2. WHICH AUTHOR’S WRITING STYLE IS COMPLETELY UNIQUE TO YOU AND WHY?

Charlie Holmberg of the Paper Magician Series. I love how she describes things. I think that it’s a skill I don’t focus on enough and I find it compelling.

3. HARRY POTTER SERIES OR THE TWILIGHT SAGA? GIVE 3 POINTS TO DEFEND YOUR ANSWER.

Look, I’m guilty of loving both, but I’ll pick Harry Potter in a contest.

Why?

Harry Potter showed the power of love, that standing up and defying authority is a duty, and that books and knowledge will always save the day. How can I not pick that?

4. DO YOU CARRY A BOOK BAG? IF SO, WHAT IS IN IT (BESIDES BOOKS)?

Knitting.

5. DO YOU SMELL YOUR BOOKS?

Honestly, not enough.

6. BOOKS WITH OR WITHOUT LITTLE ILLUSTRATIONS.

Either. Although most books I read lack illustrations.

7. WHAT BOOK DID YOU LOVE WHILE READING BUT DISCOVERED LATER IT WASN’T QUALITY WRITING?

I’ll have to steal the answer of the person I stole this from, Twilight. I’ll still stand by and say the story is captivating, but the writing is a bit lacking.

8. WHAT IS THE THINNEST BOOK ON YOUR SHELF?

A photobook

9. WHAT IS THE THICKEST BOOK ON YOUR SHELF?

A book about computers that is not mine.

10. WHEN DID YOU GET INTO READING?

As soon as I could read words. I’m super grateful for that.

11. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE CLASSIC BOOK?

Wuthering Heights. I’ll admit that I never had an intense interest in the classics.

12. IN SCHOOL WHAT WAS YOUR BEST SUBJECT?

Science.

15. IF YOU WERE GIVEN A BOOK AS A PRESENT THAT YOU HAD READ BEFORE AND HATED, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

Be nice about it. They gave me a book, I can’t be mad. I might start heavily hinting on books I like better though. 🙂

16. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WORD?

Grit

17. ARE YOU A NERD, DORK, OR DWEEB? OR ALL OF THE ABOVE?

Nerd.

18. VAMPIRES OR FAIRIES? WHY?

Vampires. I loved them before Twilight and I’ll love them for probably forever. #notsorry

19. SHAPESHIFTERS OR ANGELS? WHY?

Shapeshifters, but only because Angels sound too boring 😉

20. AND FINALLY: FULL ON ROMANCE BOOKS OR ACTION-PACKED WITH A FEW LOVE SCENES MIXED IN?

Full on romance as long as it’s not in the super christian/amish/mormon categories. I like a little more heat to my romances.