On Stands Now! Entertainment Weekly: The Ultimate Guide to Wonder Woman

My Princesses Were Warriors

There’s a pattern to the characters that I gravitated toward in childhood. My princesses—Leia, She-Ra, and Wonder Woman—were all warriors. (My princes were the Goblin King and Dr. Frank-N-Furter*—I liked my men in glitter and my women in charge. But that’s a post for another day.) No shade on swooning, dancing, enchanted-sleeping princesses, they had their place and time. But my princesses, the ones I idolized, the ones I pretended to be, aspired to be—they didn’t wait to be rescued, they did the rescuing. They were smart, strong, and yes, occasionally rocked some bitchin’ sparkly headwear. First among these, both in time and in my heart, is Wonder Woman. (Having grown up with the 70s television show, for me, Wonder Woman was, is, and forever shall be, Lynda Carter. Amen.)

Carter’s Wonder Woman was both kind and fierce; and often that kindness would nearly lead to her undoing. But she never let the fight break her humanity—she stayed true to herself. As a kid, especially as a girl, that was a powerful message. You can be strong, fight back, push up, and still have compassion for others, even your enemies, and especially yourself. It was a bit of a My First nolite te bastardes carborundorum.

That ain't no filter, I am as old as the brown linoleum beneath me.

These pictures capture my complete adoration of Wonder Woman. Look at my face! I’ve spent decades trying to regain this girl’s pure, fearless, unabashed confidence.

All this to say, you can imagine how quickly I jumped at the opportunity to write about Wonder Woman for Entertainment Weekly’s The Ultimate Guide to Wonder Woman. If the internet was actually a series of tubes (remember the halcyon days when that was the dumbest thing a senator might say?), my email reply would have left burning tire tracks à la Back to the Future.

Re-watching the old Wonder Woman episodes for these pieces was a trip. Let’s talk about how hour-long episodes of television in the 70s were pretty much a FULL HOUR of programming. Gather round kiddos while I boggle your mind with my tales of a time before commercials gobbled up 1/3 of any given time slot. Also, the pacing on the old episodes was so much slower than the non-stop, quick-cut action scenes we get today. Long shots lazily panning over miles of landscape, extended close-ups of characters thinking. It was jarring to jump back in to modern television pacing after spending a couple of weeks back in the 70s.

Some of the plots were completely bonkers (I got to rank a few of them in this issue). Season 1 was set in the 40s, so lots of WWII themes. But seasons 2 and 3 were polyester-packed and disco-riffic in all their 70s glory. Diana Prince’s wardrobe? Amazing. I still aspire to rock a sleek ponytail and big glasses the way she did.

Despite the many ways the show is dated, Carter’s Wonder Woman still stands up and I’m so grateful I had her as a childhood hero. I hope the new movie can bring that same inspiration to a whole new generation of kids.

*Forever bless the babysitter who let me watch RHPS when I was nine—most of it went right over my head; Tim Curry did not.

Entertainment Weekly: The Ultimate Guide to Wonder Woman is available at magazine stands, in bookstores, and online.

Up Next: My Nebula Schedule

A super quick post (that I should have published weeks ago, but deadlines, you know…) to say
how excited I am to be participating in SFWA’s Nebula Conference this weekend. My schedule is as follows:

Flash Talks
Thursday, 5/18
3:30 p.m.
Marquis A
Marvel, as I double triple my heart rate speaking in the company of Pablo Defendini, K.M. Szpara, Diane Turnshek, Shanna Swendson, Ken Chiacchia, Jessi Cole Jackson, Bishop O’Connell, Sally Wiener Grotta, and David D. Levine.

Office Hours
Friday, 5/19
11:00 a.m.
Grand Ballroom
My listed topics are “Copywriting, Freelancing, and Cats.” But someone else also listed “Cats” as a discussion topic, so be prepared for this to rapidly spiral out into a #catsofSFWA slideshow.

Panel: Work-for-Hire
Sunday, 5/21
10:00 a.m.
Marquis C
Liz Argall, Ken Chiacchia, Jody Lynn Nye and I discuss work-for-hire writing.

If you’re at the Nebula Conference this weekend, please stop by and say hello!

New Story Up at Metaphorosis

metaphorosis_2017-01I’m so excited that Metaphorosis Magazine published my story, “Business as Usual,” today. Normally, this would be where I’d talk a bit about the process of writing the story, but the wonderful folks at Metaphorosis will be publishing a post about that on their site in the next few months. So instead, I’m going to talk a little about the many people who help me take my stories from ideas to finished pieces. Basically, this is a giant THANK YOU post. The Oscar speech I will never give…probably.

  • Critique readers!
    Much is said about the loneliness and isolation of writing, and…it’s all totally true! Yaaaay! But after the writing, things can (and should, in my opinion) get a lot more communal. Every writer needs critical readers. These hardy souls will not only sift through the word sludge to help you find the gold, they will also point out all the typos you can no longer see (through those puffy, teary eyes–writing is fun!). Luckily, I married such a reader; Jon generally does the first pass for me (usually at 2 a.m. which seems to be when I finish first drafts). Then it goes to my insanely talented crit group; and then to a few trusted writer friends.
    I believe there is such a thing as over-workshopping a story though. So make sure you find readers who will be honest, focused, and constructive with their feedback. A yes-man is not a good crit reader. [As for where to find good ones? In my experience, taking a workshop, class, or joining a local writing group is a great way to meet fellow writers (and to trial run them as critique partners). There are also countless forums and groups online to team up with other writers, and ::an introvert’s shudder:: you can even meet potential crit partners in real life at conferences and conventions.]
  • Great editors!
    Metaphorosis Magazine‘s editor, B. Morris Allen, was clear and communicative about every step of the process, answered my questions quickly, and gave incredible feedback on my story. I’ve been in the world of words long enough to know that not every publication experience is like this, so I’m really grateful for this one.
  • Friends!
    They keep me going when nothing else will.

So thank you all, please go check out the story when you have a chance. If you like it, consider supporting Metaphorosis on Patreon or donating via the Everytown link at the bottom of the story page.