Top Posts of 2016!

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It’s time for the list of the top 10 posts of the year!

This was a slower year for me, mostly due to pregnancy and all that comes with that, so I only wrote almost half of the amount of posts of the previous year.  In 2015, I wrote 93, and this year I wrote an exact even 50.  BUT, even with half the posts, I actually, just barely, got more views and visitors this year than last year, meaning that my posts are bringing in more readers than ever!  Hooray for that!

This year, I had 11,687 visitors to my blog with 16,043 views and ended the year with 118 blog followers.  *cheer*  (To follow this blog, click FOLLOW on the right hand side of this page) 

Without further ado, what were the most popular posts of this year?  Well, not all of them were even actually published on this blog this year – some have remained super popular from previous years, and have lived on with lives of their own all over the Internet.

Sitting at #1, by far, with no competition, and with around 35 hits A DAY is:

Anime Characters by Myers-Briggs Type (with 7,164 individual views this year!!)mami_tomoe_render_by_moeblueberry1771-d5evnl7

This post is also #1 on any Google search for “anime characters by Myers-Briggs type and continually brings in guests to my blog.  Kind of exciting, even if it is very niche.  So if you like anime AND personality typing, this is the post for you.  Identified by name, show title, and picture, I have anime characters from various shows in neat little groups according to their types.  🙂

 

The Day I Met Job (with 996 individual views)PCOS Challenge Infographic

This makes me so happy that it’s #2.  This is the deeply personal testimony of what God did in my heart and life last year after suffering with secondary infertility.  It is also about my best friend and her daughter, an appreciation of my mother-in-law, a nod to a fellow author, and mostly a testimony about a hero of the faith I met last year.  Please read the article.  I hope my vulnerability and sharing of God’s greatness touches your heart!

 

An Open Letter to My Pregnant Sister (with 460 views)beautiful-wedding-tiara

Still going strong.  This is a writeup I did for baby showers that I first composed for my sister 2 1/2 years ago, and have tweaked a few times since to share with other expectant moms.  There must be a need for this, as people continually search for this online and find my site.  🙂

 

Tied with “My Pregnant Sister” is: Setting up the Romance Ship (with 460 views)austenland-holding_13254521245

How fun that my breakdown of the smart secret to writing a winning romance story did so well!  I thought this one was a bit obvious until I read (and watched) many people miss this key point to setting up their relationship story. Thinking I had nothing to lose, I threw my own theory out there, and it did very well!

 

Should Married Women Vote Against Their Spouse? (with 349 views)your_vote_counts

This one was a hot button when I first posted it a few years ago, and it continues to be something people search for and find through my blog. Read at your own risk…  🙂

 

Could You Love This Genderless Person? (with 287 views)5

Maybe it was just a catchy title, but this was a very niche article about genderbender dramas that I posted. A “genderbender” is when a guy dresses up and pretends to be a girl, or vice versa, and the opposite sex falls for them.  I explore this trope and why it means so much to women, and maybe what’s spiritually at the heart of this “forbidden romance” story.

 

In Memory of Victoria Mercy Conte (with 262 views)conte-052

A year and a half after the sudden and tragic passing of my husband’s baby sister, this post, written by *him* not me, still makes the top 10 on my list.  Please read my husband’s beautiful, tear-jerker tribute to a lovely life that sits very dear to our hearts.

 

NAME THE BABY! (with 221 views)namebabygirl02

I’m legitimately shocked that this made the top 10!  Last year I teamed up with lovely author Melanie D. Snitker to do a giveaway and promote each other’s books.  Readers named the baby that her main couple was pregnant with, and we got some great responses.  I need to do more on this blog with fellow authors next year!  In the meantime, check out Melanie’s very successful books on Amazon.

 

Asian TV for the American Newbie Viewer (with 188 views)patemainverted_dvd-f

This is a fun list that I kept on my sidebar.  Always hearing me talk about anime and kdramas but have no idea what’s safe or good to watch or where to start?  Not sure you’d even like Asian TV?  I put together a “starter” list of Asian TV for people who don’t like Asian TV, so to speak.  These are storylines and shows that I think any American could love without feeling too “eastern” in the storytelling style.  Give any of these shows a chance, and let me know if they did not disappoint!

 

And last but not least: Sarcastically Realistic Movie Descriptions – Name That Movie!2a3

This one also surprises me that it made the list.  This was a funny little game I posted on my blog a while ago, and it’s done well recently.  Someone must have reposted them.  If you’re looking for a comedic way to describe popular movies, as a game for a party you’re hosting, this might be the post for you.

 

So which blog post of mine was YOUR favorite this year?  Leave a comment!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Asian TV for the American Newbie Viewer

Want to recommend some anime or J/K-dramas and anime to a normal American who doesn’t know what to make of Japanese or Korean culture? You think they’d love what Asia has to offer, but don’t want to scare them away with too much moe or yokai or plot-lines involving getting kicked out of the family register.

Breaking your typical American viewer into Asian TV

I’m going to suggest anime and k/j-dramas that either have fascinating plots that no sci-fi/fantasy lover could resist, or are understandable plots between cultures. You won’t find any Studio Ghibli on my list because I, personally, found his stuff unattractive when I was first breaking into anime. His heavily Buddhist, strange-creature themes or more simple slice of life films could not be appreciated coming straight out of watching non-stop-action American TV. This isn’t going to make me very popular, but I wouldn’t recommend Ghibli to your average American viewer, personally. My recommendations are clean, relatively family-friendly shows and movies that aren’t so overtly Asian that you lose people. Things you could show your next-door neighbor without being labeled a weirdo nerd.

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Animated:

(Most can be found legally on Crunchyroll.com, and one or two on Netflix.com)

1. Puella Magi Madoka Magica

7facd20f5216202349ad2fc3119e2e5b1329936788_fullYeah, I’m going there.  Honestly, this one has lots of bizarre elements, but the plot is so epic.  It is a deconstruction of the magical girl genre, but totally works as a deconstruction of any superhero genre.  We Americans have been inundated with superhero movies lately, so a show that portrays the real psychological hardships of being a Black Widow or Scarlett Witch? Yes, please. I’ve shown this to most of my non-anime-watching family members, and it’s gone over pretty well.  You’re going to need to sit and discuss a lot of the final episode, however, as it’s big-picture epic with a lot of symbolism.

Warning: Violence and thematic elements in this one.  PG-13

2. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

the_girl_who_leapt_through_time_posterStarts out like a Disney channel show with a little bit of teenage silliness, but quickly turns into a fascinating sci-fi plot.  I really enjoyed this one, and it was the very first anime I ever watched. Only movie-length (not a TV show), this will give viewers a taste of creative YA sci-fi from Japan that makes sense and tugs at their heartstrings at the same time.

Warning: One really stupid sexual line from a side character at the beginning that feels hugely out of place.  There is NO sexuality in the rest of the movie, so one just has to ignore it as bad writing in an otherwise squeaky clean movie.

3. Hotarubi no Mori e

hotarubi-no-mori-e-full-1174801My personal favorite.  Just a beautiful, beautiful little 45-minute film.  Totally an inspiration for the writing of my own book, Lucent Sylph, this movie is tragically gorgeous in every way, and one of my top favorite movies of all time.

Warning: There ARE Buddhist spirits in this one, and Buddhism has something to do with the main plot.  However, one can still follow the movie really well by ignoring this aspect – and, in my opinion, it doesn’t get too weird.  Nothing weirder than Star Wars. Make sure your child is old enough to know that forest spirits don’t exist.

4. Hyouka

A sweet, clean, and pleasant little family show, Hyouka is about an apathetic high schooler who is inspired by a group of friends, including a pretty cute, curious girl, to solve little mysteries for his school. He is intelligent and quirky, and his personal growth as a character is delightful. This anime also has some of the most beautiful animation I’ve ever seen.  Just look at that eye!

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Warning: Japanese hot springs are very popular in anime. There is one episode where the characters go to a hot spring.  No body parts are shown, but one character gets woozy thinking about girls bathing behind a fence.  If you ignore this episode and chalk it up to the writer being in a weird mood that day, the rest is just charming.

There are 22 episodes in this show, and the pacing of the cutesy mysteries might be slow to some.  However, the characters themselves and their interactions make this one a favorite.

5. Kanon

56301Heading the liminal fantasy + break your heart open genres are works by the visual novel company, Key.  (visual novel = interactive computer game story) Many of their visual novels were turned into anime shows. Their best work, in my opinion, isn’t the Clannad series, but Kanon (the 2006 version). It’s not terribly long with a second season like the ever-popular Clannad, nor does it have over-the-top characters.  Instead, each of the Kanon girls have highly fascinating backstories. I was obsessed with this anime, and also watched it very early on in my anime career. The liminal fantasy was modest and subtle, instead of throwing us into a highly elaborate world.  It brought soft elements of fantasy to us, while still focusing on the inter-personal relationships and romance. The story could’ve been set anywhere, and there’s even an English dub (although I don’t think it’s a good one) for the viewer who’s set against subtitles.

The music is gorgeous, the girls are amazing, and you care about their deeply personal and often tragic stories. Highly recommend this one.

Warning: Thematic elements. There’s also a surprise violent scene or two but nothing graphic.  Still definitely a PG.

One character makes a joke about asking another character to buy a pornographic magazine for him.  She refuses.  Again, nothing else is sexual about the entire show, so the line was completely pointless.

6. Patema Inverted

patemainverted_dvd-fTruly gorgeous, imaginative movie, where the sky animation is so amazing you’ll get acrophobia. I showed my whole non-anime-watching family this movie at Christmas and even my dad enjoyed it. They said it was unique and a really entertaining story.

Basically, the world has been divided into two groups of people with opposing gravity, and one girl and boy find each other.  Think a younger Upside Down without all the terrible plot holes and bad pacing.  So much better.

Warning: None. Just a fantastic movie. The plot isn’t even set in Japan, so there’s nothing culturally confusing about it in the least.

7. RWBY

rwby_poster_contest_submission_1_by_vnixxir-d6etrosThis anime-style show is actually American, but is always grouped with its Japanese sisters. The art and graphics in the show get better with each season, but can take getting used to in the beginning. A story about hunters and huntresses in a magic-type school learning to defend their nation while working together.

Warning: Many of the females in this show are pretty immodest, so it might be one I recommend to watch by yourselves, ladies. The first season has silly teenage drama, but when you get to season 2, the plot thickens. By season 3, you’re thrown into an epic story that’s highly entertaining.  RWBY also has some of the best animated battle scenes I’ve ever seen.

8. Avatar: The Last Airbender

avatar-the-last-airbender-free-downloadAgain, this is American, produced on the Nickelodeon channel, but it’s no secret it was succeeded in borrowing a lot of Japanese anime elements.  Safe enough for kids (who can look past the Buddhist-undertones), this show thrilled many adults too. Highly recommend if you’re thinking of breaking into the anime scene but want a safe marriage between something American and something Japanese-feeling.  Poignant characters and huge battles between good and evil, it’s one of those shows where I wish I could wipe my brain just so I can rewatch it with all the delight of seeing it for the first time all over again.

Warning: Some New Age/Buddhist talk – maybe for the older, mature child and adults

 

Live Action (Korean/Japanese Dramas and Movies)

(Most can be found legally on Dramafever.com and Viki.com)

1. Bara no nai Hanaya

172252356144716358_9af14e52_medOne of the most Christian dramas to ever come out of Japan, this is a show with the most selfless male character I’ve ever seen.  In a slow-paced, beautiful display of love (both to his little girl, as well as to the woman pretending to be blind to cheat him), Shiomi Eiji is a fantastic character. I watched this drama a second time and showed it to my mom and sister.  My mom cried every single episode without fail, and then went out and bought the show for herself.

Unfortunately, though, this show is pretty unknown and hard to find.  One would like to imagine the writer was a believer himself, so maybe it wasn’t as popular in spiritually-dark Japan. This is a beautiful Christlike love story in every way.

Warning: There is the most random cross-dressing character that shows up for one quick scene near the end.  It makes no sense and has nothing to do with the story.

2. Death Note and Death Note: The Last Name (movies)

46791113980218_5e2be54e_c2xI don’t recommend the Death Note anime to American newbies, even though it’s fantastic, because the ending goes down a very strange path that frustrated a lot of people, including me. The Death Note movies clean up the ending and change it a bit to make it more tidy and sensible. If you want to get this highly intellectual, cat-and-mouse thriller, but you’re not a purist who needs it in its original manga form with its bad ending, choose the Death Note movies instead.

Basically, an intelligent high school student finds a notebook that claims if he writes someone’s name in it and picture their face, he can kill them on the spot. The highschooler is then forced into a moral dilemma of playing god and goes to battle against the world’s most brilliant – and quirky – detective.

Warning: There are a lot of warnings on this one.  Definitely a PG-13, there is a death god spirit who is pretty scary-looking who follows the main characters around. A very morbid set of movies, I recommend it for the mature viewer.  However, it’s not about blood, guts, and action like you’d have to put up with in America.  Instead, this slower-paced dark show treats the viewer like an intellectual equal by letting you into some really brainy heads. Very well-written.

Do NOT watch “L: Change the World” as it is a non-canon, highly violent side story that I couldn’t stomach or get through.  It has nothing to do with the original plot and should be ignored.

3. Dream Knight

w475oerl_fc8273_c2xIf you enjoyed High School musical, you can put up with the one or two song and dance numbers in this adorable short drama from Korea. A teenager’s dream, a girl has a group of guys magically show up when she’s alone and having trouble in school. The short series takes a very serious and meaningful turn, though, and I was enchanted by how much emotional sweetness they packed into the twelve 13-minute episodes. A really charming liminal fantasy highschool romance that would make sense to any American viewer who watched Disney channel.  I might have squealed out loud a time or two.  *cough*

Warning: (Cute) teenage drama, and a mention of suicide

4. Healer

fullsizephoto531120Have you ever wanted more Jason Bourne coupled with a sweet romance? You got it in Healer.  Having nothing to do with medical illness, “Healer” is the codename of a night courier, basically the Korean version of Jason Bourne, who faces a big moral dilemma when he starts falling in love with the woman he’s been hired to investigate and protect. This Korean drama has it all: action, love, backstory, political evil, mystery, a hilarious computer guru, and outstanding acting. I also had to watch this one through twice – showing it to my husband the second time, and I still enjoy reruns of my favorite scenes.

Warning: PG-13 for the action and thematic elements.  A couple is shown in bed after kissing, but it’s not clear that anything sexual happened.  A few scenes later the young man tells her father they didn’t do anything. Korean shows tend to be very modest, culminating the romance with kissing only, so even while sleeping they are shown entirely clothed and purity is often implied.

5. I Hear Your Voice

ihyv2Imagine if a little boy had the super power of hearing people’s thoughts, and was the only witness to his father’s murder, along with an older high school girl. Now imagine that girl grows up to be a lawyer and the boy a young man whose only goal in life is to protect her so that when the murderer gets out of prison, she can survive.

Mixing in great Perry-Mason-courtroom scenes with a budding “noona-romance” (younger guy with a woman older than he), I Hear Your Voice is a deep, thoughtful, psychological courtroom romance with a fantasy twist.

Warning: Definitely violence and scary characters.  There are a couple of murders and very tense scenes.  PG-13

6. Mirai Nikki (THE JAPANESE DRAMA)

63232769622524244_057fa50c_c2xI repeat again, the Japanese drama from 2012, NOT THE ANIME.  The anime is a piece of disturbing, violent nastiness that I refuse to see, being so revolted by the descriptions of the show I couldn’t sleep at night.

HOWEVER, the Japanese put out an 11-episode drama with the same name that supposedly bears only a slight resemblance to the manga and anime with the same name. This drama was a real treat! Fascinating mystery, kept us guessing the whole time, and, I repeat, CLEAN.  A great clean drama that we could enjoy without feeling in the slightest bit dirty. I highly recommend it to an American breaking into watching Asian dramas.  Just please avoid the anime.

Warning: Definitely psychologically tense and thriller scenes.  PG-13

 

Happy watching!  And remember to watch everything at your own risk.  My recommendation is, by no means, infallible for every viewer.  Do your research and enjoy eastern storytelling!  🙂

 

 

 

What do Lady Gaga, Personality Types, and Rainbows Have in Common?

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The answer to my title is: They’re all in my yearly stats!

This year I saw the best traffic on this web page in all of my years of mc_guime_performing_live_to_5_thousand_peopleblogging!  I had 15, 507 views from 11,248 visitors.  All in all, I had exactly 555 comments.  🙂

People browsed the most from the United States, with Canada at second place, and United Kingdom coming in third.

Readers came from Facebook most often, with Reddit hitting a close 2000px-facebook_icon-svgsecond, and search engines being the third choice.  The most common search terms were “shocking truth about lady gaga,” “hiding” (???  Okay?) and “blonde rj.”

After reading my article, people then were most likely kgpsqbx3to click links that took them to Amazon.com (To buy my books!), or to my best friend’s page at The Simmering Mind, or to Jane Friedman’s description of the “literary novel.” Hello, Jane!  We don’t know eachother, but I hope you enjoyed the traffic!  I loved your article.  🙂

Onto my top 10 posts!  

These are the posts with the highest views in 2015!

#1 Liminal Fantasy and the Stupid Heroineposing20in20a20spider20girl20costume

This was a huge success on Reddit (Click to read the discussion), mainly due to the fact that I simply beefed on a trope of fiction that so many of us are sick of.  It was fun to write and rant all in one!

#2 In Memory of Victoria Mercy Conte

My heart is full thinking about this post making it to the #2 spot.  ❤  MyConte - 052 husband wrote this speech, and then spoke in front of a large gathering at his littlest sister’s funeral.  This was a tough year for the Conte family, and we miss our little butterfly very much.  My husband’s words are tender, compassionate, and yet hopeful – since we know she’s with the Lord.  I hope his writing continues to bless even more people.  ❤

#3 Anime Characters by Myers-Briggs Type

People love Myers-Briggs and people love anime.  This is a combination ofmami_tomoe_render_by_moeblueberry1771-d5evnl7 the two.  It took me a while to find all the pictures and correct spelling of names.  This is an ongoing project, so a link to it sits in the right-hand sidebar of this page at all times.  The majority of Redditors agreed with  my assessment of types, so I’m glad.  I wasn’t terribly happy with how WordPress sometimes insisted on formatting the pictures, but it works.

#4 All Myers-Briggs Humor Posts

I’m going to lump all of my Myers-Briggs humor posts into one place, murder_scenesince they were all in the top 10.  These do very well on Reddit, and are all similar in style.  I do them when I want a comical post in between serious posts.  Find your type!

How Each Myers-Briggs Type Responds to Finding a Spider in the Shower

How Each Myers-Briggs Type Responds to Endless Videos of Your Children on Facebook

How Each Myers-Briggs Type Would Respond to a Visit from an Alien

How Each Myers-Briggs Type Reacts to a Dead Body

 

#5 Lessons from Job on Infertility

I’m really glad I decided to share my struggles, as it took me quite some 325554_f520time of suffering with this before I felt brave enough to share.  It has been wonderfully relieving to have other people know what we’re going through, and secondary infertility is not talked about very often.  Job is a powerful, wonderful book, and I’ve been clinging to it all year.  Could use prayer, as we still don’t have any answers about why we have not been able to have more children.  😦

#6 Make Your Mami Tomoe Musket for Under $20!BeFunky_IMG_4671.jpg

Believe it or not, this hit my top 10 list!  This is for the cosplay crowd, or lovers of Puella Magi Madoka Magica.  I can’t wait to go to an anime-con and see someone who actually made this musket.  😀  Meanwhile, I’ll be bringing mine, so look for me at Sakura-Con!

#7 Somewhere Over the Rainbow?

Another post about my difficulties from this year, this one with a more general, artistic, lyrical bent.  Again, I’m glad that my excruciatingly honest posts are the ones that get the most views.  If God can use my trials for good in someone else’s life, I can sleep a little easier at night wading through the challenges.  Please pray for my family.  ❤

Rainbow Land

#8 Sakura-Con Friday Part 2!Ruby blur

This is really random that this was my #8 top viewed post.  This is simply one part of an anime convention I went to, complete with pictures of cosplayers.  Maybe someone saw themself and reshared it a bunch of times.  🙂

#9 An Open Letter to My Pregnant Sister

This one still astounds me that it’s hit the top 10 list two years in a row. beautiful-wedding-tiara This is my most-searched-for blog entry, and gets hit by people on search engines almost daily.  I still wonder if people think they’re going to find something juicy, or if there are just a lot of pregnant sisters out there.  🙂 I was able to revamp this devotional a bit and use it in another baby shower this year.  🙂

And lastly…

#10 I’ve Never Told My Kids to “Bow Your Head and Close Your Eyes”

WOOHOO!  So glad this recent post made it on the list of top entries of child_prayer3_679979819the year!  Let’s continue to challenge ourselves spiritually, parents, and fight unbiblical and extrabiblical dogmas!  Let’s fight hypocrisy and be Christians under grace in our parenting.  If you haven’t given this a read, I hope you will do so and leave your thoughts!

Thank you, readers, for making this the best year of blogging ever!  Can’t wait to bring you Heartsick, and The Hotline Girl and 12th Girl (from a new publisher!) – and hopefully good news on a couple fronts – this next upcoming year.  Regardless, God is God and He is good and takes care of me, as evidenced by the fact that I haven’t stopped fighting the good fight, and I have your abundant friendship.  I am so grateful for all of you!  God bless your 2016!!!

 

 

Anime Characters by Myers-Briggs Type

This is my personal opinion, and I will be adding to this frequently.

 I do not promote or advertise any of the anime listed.  Watch all anime at your own risk.

To read my list of anime and k/jdramas to introduce to the American newbie viewer, click HERE.

ESFJ

Riki Naoe — Little Busters

Mami Tomoe — Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Chiyo Sakura — Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun

Komari Kamikita — Little Busters

Shirley Fenette — Code Geass

Risa Koizumi — Lovely Complex

Aoi Miyamori — Shirobako

Osono — Kiki’s Delivery Service

Yuu Tobita — Gakuen Alice

Jun Nagase — Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai

Misa Amane — Death Note

Tamaki Suou — Ouran Koukou Host Club

Rika Shinozaki — Sword Art Online

Hayama Hayato — Yahari Ore no Seishun Rabu Kome wa Machigatteiru

Komachi Hikigaya — Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru

ENFJ

Tohru Honda — Fruits Basket

Yuzuru Otonashi — Angel Beats!

Haruka Kotoura — Non Non Biyori

Akari Shiodome — Nagi-Asu: A Lull in the Sea

Sakura Kinomoto — Cardcaptor Sakura

Yuuta Togashi — Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!

Tsubasa Andou — Gakuen Alice

Kazuya Kujou — Gosick

Ohana Matsumae — Hanasaku Iroha

Kaede Saitou — Yama no Susume

Shouta Kazehaya — Kimi ni Todoke

Pazu — Tenkuu no Shiro Laputa

ESTJ

Atsushi Ootani — Lovely Complex

Hikari Sakishima — Nagi-Asu: A Lull in the Sea

Hiyori Moritani — Kotoura-san

Daiki Tasaki — Kokoro ga Sakebitagatterunda

Hachirota Hoshino — Planetes

Ai Tanabe — Planetes

Ryouko Asakura — Nagato Yuki-chan no Shoushitsu

Sumire Shouda — Gakuen Alice

Ami Kawashima — Toradora!

Meiling Li — Cardcaptor Sakura

Takashi Waku — Bokurano

Masato Inohara — Little Busters!

Mint Aizawa — Tokyo Mew Mew

Michiru Kinushima — Plastic Memories

Weiss Schnee — RWBY

ENTJ

Misaki Ayuzawa — Kaichou wa Maid-sama!

Seiya Kanie — Amagai Brilliant Park

Yuri Nakamura — Angel Beats!

Yuriko Mifune — Kotoura-san

Winter Schnee — RWBY

Shinka Nibutani — Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!

Kanata Futaki — Little Busters!

Hikari Hanazono — Special A

Asuna Yuuki — Sword Art Online

Shizuka Hiratsuka — Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru

ENTP

Sanae Dekomori — Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!

Akio Furukawa — Clannad

Ritsu Tainaka — K-On!

Yoshihisa Manabe — Kotoura-san

Atsuko Kagari — Little Witch Academia

Kyousuke Natsume — Little Busters!

Ika Musume — Shinryaku! Ika Musume

Rintarou Okabe — Steins;Gate

Haruhi Suzumiya — Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu

Toshinari Seki — Tonari no Seki-kun

Hinata Kuraue — Yama no Susume

ENFP

Ichigo Momomiya — Tokyo Mew Mew

Manaka Mukaido — Nagi-Asu: A Lull in the Sea

Rinko Yamato — Ore Monogatari!

Yui Hirasawa — K-On!

Mikan Sakura — Gakuen Alice

Ayu Tsukimiya — Kanon

Kaori Miyazono — Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso

Sayaka Miki — Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Kiki — Kiki’s Delivery Service

Yui Yuigahama — Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru

Ruby Rose — RWBY

Mikoto Mikoshiba — Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun

Iori Nagase — Kokoro Connect

ESFP

Purin Fon — Tokyo Mew Mew

Pino — Ergo Proxy

Yang Xiao Long — RWBY

Yuina Wakura — Hanasaku Iroha

Narumi Anjo — Gakuen Alice

Konomi Fujimiya — Non Non Biyori

Haruka Saigusa — Little Busters!

ESTP

Satsuki Matsumae — Hanasaku Iroha

Mahiro Fuwa — Zetsuen no Tempest

Sun Wukong — RWBY

ISTP

Spike Spiegel — Cowboy Bebop

Sucy Manbavaran — Little Witch Academia

Faye Valentine — Cowboy Bebop

Makoto Sunakawa — Ore Monogatari!

Ursula — Kiki’s Delivery Service

Qrow Branwen — RWBY

Kumiko Oumae — Hibike! Euphonium

Kyouko Sakura — Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Kazuto Kirigaya — Sword Art Online

ISTJ

Isuzu Sento — Amagi Brilliant Park

Sui Shijima — Hanasaku Iroha

Umetarou Nozaki — Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun

Rin Kaga — Usagi Drop

Daikichi Kawachi — Usagi Drop

Natsuki Nitou — Kokoro ga Sakebitagatterunda

Tomoru Sakishima — Nagi-Asu: A Lull in the Sea

Saitama — One Punch Man

Komari Koshigaya — Non Non Biyori

Mio Akiyama — K-On!

Kyon — Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu

Rumi Yokoi — Tonari no Seki-kun

Satoru Fujinuma — Boku Dake Ga Inai Machi (ERASED)

Yuuichi Aizawa – Kanon

Aoi Yukimura — Yama no Susume

Yoshino Takigawa — Zetsuen no Tempest

Masaya Aoyama — Tokyo Mew Mew

Haruhi Fujioka — Ouran Koukou Host Club

Nodoka Manabe — K-On!

Saber — Fate/Zero

Ren Tsuruga — Skip Beat!

INTJ

Shaoran Li — Cardcaptor Sakura

Lelouch Lamperouge — Code Geass

Daichi Muroto — Kotoura-san

Kaede “Candy Store” Kagayama — Non Non Biyori

Re-l Mayer — Ergo Proxy

Masaru Kodaka — Bokurano

Natsume Hyuuga — Gakuen Alice

Hotaru Imai — Gakuen Alice

Light Yagami — Death Note

Tsumugu Kihara — Nagi-Asu: A Lull in the Sea

Kayo Hinazuki — Boku Dake Ga Inai Machi

Victorique de Blois — Gosick

Aria Hitotose — Shirobako Specials

Minko Tsurugi — Hanasaku Iroha

Azusa Nakano — K-On!

Rin Natsume — Little Busters!

Fee Carmichael — Planetes

Kurisu Makise — Steins;Gate

Yukino Yukinoshita — Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru

Zakuro Fujiwara — Tokyo Mew Mew

Ryou Shirogane — Tokyo Mew Mew

Saena Mogami — Skip Beat!

Hotaru Imai — Gakuen Alice

Katsuragi Keima — Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai

Taiga Aisaka — Toradora!

Himeko Inaba — Kokoro Connect

INFJ

Reina Kousaka — Hibike! Euphonium

Ririchiyo Shirakiin — Inu x Boku SS

Homura Akemi — Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Hotaru Ichijou — Non Non Biyori

Ayato Naoi — Angel Beats!

Suzaku Kururugi — Code Geass

Kenya Kobayashi — Boku Dake Ga Inai Machi

ISFJ

Lettuce Midorikawa — Tokyo Mew Mew

Nagisa Furukawa — Clannad

Itaru Shiodome — Nagi-Asu: A Lull in the Sea

Chisaki Hiradaira — Nagi-Asu: A Lull in the Sea

Lotte Yansson — Little Witch Academia

Takeo Gouda — Ore Monogatari!

Eru Chitanda — Hyouka

Luca Nogi — Gakuen Alice

Kudryavka Noumi — Little Busters!

Madoka Kaname — Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Mikuru Asahina — Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu

Yuki Nagato — Nagato Yuki-chan no Shoushitsu

Ryuuji Takasu — Toradora!

Ui Hirasawa — K-On!

Taichi Yaegashi — Kokoro Connect

Kyoko Mogami — Skip Beat!

Kousei Arima — Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso

ISFP

Tomoyo Daidouji — Cardcaptor Sakura

Mayuri Shiina — Steins;Gate

Kaname Isaki — Nagi-Asu: A Lull in the Sea

Tsumugi Kotobuki — K-On!

Pyrrha Nikos — RWBY

Itsuki Koizumi — Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu

Kokona Aoba — Yama no Susume

Saika Totsuka — Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru

INFP

Rikka Takanashi — Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!

Vincent Law — Ergo Proxy

Ema Yasuhara — Shirobako

Chizuru Honda — Bokurano

Jun Naruse — Kokoro ga Sakebitagatterunda

Nako Oshimizu — Hanasaku Iroha

Miuna Shiodome — Nagi-Asu: A Lull in the Sea

Sawako Kuronuma — Kimi ni Todoke

Mio Nishizono — Little Busters!

Moeka Kiryuu — Steins;Gate

Aika Fuwa — Zetsuen no Tempest

Blake Belladonna — RWBY

INTP

Kanade Tachibana — Angel Beats!

C.C. — Code Geass

L Lawliet — Death Note

Suguru Koshigaya — Non Non Biyori

Hachiman Hikigaya — Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru

Renge Miyauchi — Non Non Biyori

Yuki Souma — Fruits Basket

Houtarou Oreki — Hyouka

Soushi Miketsukami — Inu x Boku SS

Takumi Usui — Kaichou wa Maid-sama!

Yuiko Kurugaya — Little Busters!

Kyuubey — Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Itaru Hashida — Steins;Gate

Yuki Nagato — Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu

Liminal Fantasy and the Stupid Heroine

“I have the ability to tell the future.  I don’t know why or how, but I have it.”

“And what are you doing with this ability?”

“Selling peaches at a roadside stand and going to your Podunk school where I have no friends.”

– Any liminal fantasy book anywhere

BEWARE: Spoilers abound

I really like liminal fantasy.  Truly.  It’s like the marriage of realistic, issue-driven drama that I write and read, with the fantasy that the rest of the world writes and reads.  It’s a win-win compromise for all parties.  Something for everyone.

The definition of “liminal fantasy” is that the fantastic element is part of the normal universe and, though they may not like its effects, everybody seems to just accept it.  When literary fiction (click for definition) does fantasy, it’s usually liminal.

Common examples of this are the anime show Clannad: After Story.  It’s about as slice-of-life as anime comes, except for magical lights that can reverse time and change the course of the future at the end.

Freaky Friday is another one.  Here we have a normal world, normal teenager, and a normal mother (Well, as normal as Jamie Lee Curtis can be!), who suddenly find themselves with their bodies switched.  There is really no explanation for the magical occurrence, and you know, by the end, that it will never happen to this pair again.

Mary Poppins – involving one woman, a nanny, who can bend the laws of the universe a bit just for a chimney sweep and two kids, and who disappears into the air by the end of the movie

The Lake House – where one mailbox at one special glass house has the ability to send letters back and forward two years into the past or future

Click – a magical remote control lets a man mess with his life

Zapped – a dog training app lets a girl control all men

Death Note – a high school guy gets a notebook that lets him kill people by writing their name inside while thinking of their face.

You get the point.  Liminal fantasy is fun, because it takes a human being in his or her natural element, and gives reality a little twist.  It’s fun to think about what it would be like to have a little bit of a superhero power, or to watch people stumble around comically when their bodies change.

I just finished two recent liminal fantasy novels: When (by Victoria Laurie) and Ask Me (by Kimberly Pauley).

In When, Maddie can see the date when someone will die on their forehead.  In Ask Me, Aria has to answer any question she hears – even if it’s not directed at her – and has to answer honestly, meaning she often predicts the future.

Both girls are painfully, painfully shy, timid, and not very bright.  Unfortunately, both authors have to add the “smart trope,” which states that all main characters are geniuses.  Both girls get good grades, one is interested in an Ivy League school, etc.  This “intelligence” is pointless to the story, and utterly unbelievable.  Neither girl can figure out the murder mystery right in front of them, neither use their gifts and special abilities for much of anything, and neither girl can even make a friend if her life depended on it.  They are stuck in the proverbial box in the most painful way possible.

The main character is a super genius. Like, a SUPER DUPER genius. Mega smart. The smartest. Everything comes quickly and easily to them, and everyone wants them to be the center of their secret government organization or rebel movement. Maybe they’re even the youngest captain of a starship EVER. Be mindful of not making things too easy for your protagonist, whether it’s through super powers or super smarts. – YA Common Cliches by maybegenius.blogspot

The problem that can occur, with most liminal fantasy, is The Lazy Plot, otherwise known as Absent Worldbuilding or Lack of Ripple Effect.

A girl can tell the future by being asked questions she has to answer?  This is world-changing.  Not only would the government want to snatch her up, but she’d be a big commodity to anyone.  Forget solving small town murders.  She’s the next super detective, stopping crime completely.  Death Note does this well, with Light Yagami becoming a super villain and the secret dictator of earth – or at least Japan.

But American YA fiction falls completely flat usually.  Instead, our superhero protagonists spend their days barely scraping by (Aria can’t even afford a cell phone or new clothes, and Maddie spends her days trying to stop her mother from drinking herself to death, telling fortunes/death dates in a dinky back room).  They have no goals, dreams, or ideas of how to use their talents.  These are no Peter Parkers.  Otherwise we’d have another Marvel movie.

It is clear that the author desperately wants their story to involve average high schoolers in average situations.

Therefore, she has to dumb her entire world down – especially her in-the-know protagonist and the protagonist’s family members.  In order not to become a crime-fighting Spiderman alter ego, but to keep things simple and close-to-home in a teenage romance mystery, the main characters have to not only be as dull as dirt, but pretty self-absorbed as well.  Keeping their secrets to themselves, painfully shy, over-the-top introverted, and full of confused, angsty teenage thoughts, the girls fail to deliver.

The entire world fails to deliver.  Whether it’s FBI agents and police officers who are too stupid to do their job correctly, to love interests that suddenly take an interest in the main girl, to best friends who give lame small-minded advice, the entire world in the YA liminal fantasy novel is unbelieavable.

My epic-fantasy author friends work at it from the reverse angle.  Instead of saying, “Wouldn’t it be neat to have a small town girl solve a murder mystery with this ability?” and forcing their entire world to bend at their whim to make that one scene happen, these authors create entire worlds from the ground up.  Some have put in many, many years (even a decade) – thinking of you, Bethany, Abby, Heidi, Heather, and Nikki – to create languages, politics, cause and effect, and characters to make their speculative fiction as believable as possible.  Their characters act like human beings.  There aren’t plot holes created in order to keep their teenage protagonists stuck in high schools where they are misunderstood and disregarded.

I respect my fantasy author friends!  I like to write realistic, non-fantasy stories to keep things as believable as possible, and I’m not sure I could do what they do.  To me, realism and humanity isn’t worth compromising, even to entertain.  I respect the great undertaking that is creating a new reality in your fictional story that truly works!

The liminal fantasy books I recently read can be enjoyable on a mere mystery level, as long as you suspend belief enough to realize that the whole world has dropped about 50 IQ points.  If you can put up with the selfish, reclusive inner fears of the main characters, you might enjoy one of these stories.

However, in these novels, the only characters, who have these sorts of realistic, intelligent thoughts and bigger ideas, are the bad guys.  If the author merely took time to give her characters some creativity and brains, no one would still be stuck in Podunk town going to high school.  They’d be out changing the world, which would instantly take it out of the slice-of-life genre.   Therefore, the goals of the liminal fantasy writer can often be mutually exclusive.  You either write realistic YA teenage drama, or you write fantasy.  The two rarely work well together.

The exception is when the liminal fantasy element is negative, and not a desired ability.  I can see how body-switching wouldn’t be anything but awkward, undesirable, and comedic.  No one would be out saving the world as a man in a woman’s body – that is, unless you become a counselor!

Or how about the fantasy element in one of my favorite books, Ella Enchanted (NOT the movie)?  Ella has to follow every command given her.  That’s something I’d want to hide and be selfish about in order to protect myself, if it were me!

Still, even if your character was cursed, I’d think anybody with half of a brain would want to go dissect it and figure it out.  WHY can I see death dates?  WHY do solar panels and water damage make my phone app control human beings? WHY does this nanny show up with a talking umbrella?  Where’s the science, people?

Maybe I haven’t learned how to shut off my brain yet and just be entertained.  🙂

Pictures of Lucent Sylphs!

I wish I could commission a glass artist to make an exact representation of a Lucent Sylph.IMG_5933

I did my own drawing, and the girl on the cover is also close, but I would love to be able to hold a glass sylph, circulatory system and all, in the palm of my hand.

They are about 4-6 inches tall, and weigh 2-4 ounces.  They are female in personality and voice, but their body is flat, basic, and without curves.  They don’t wear clothes, as they have no need, and you wouldn’t want to cover up their pulsing heart that takes up the center of their chest.  That heart is a measurement of how much love they are getting.  You have to keep tabs on it at all times.

2D - Copy

Lucent Sylphs cannot recreate an entire human body with bones, flesh, other internal organs, or even our size and stature, due to being from a 1D dimension that is intangible.  Our world is a very physical one.  Sylpha is an emotional world.  To take on a physical body at all is a challenge.  Being transparent, five inches tall, and easily susceptible to changing emotions is the best they can do.

You can turn your own pictures into something that sort of resembles a Lucent Sylph. This link will show you how: http://www.wikihow.com/Invert-Colours-in-MS-Paint

Basically, you just open up a picture in Microsoft Paint, a program found in your start menu.  Click on the “Image” tab and look for “Invert colors.”
You will want to look for a picture of yourself that is dark.  The darker the better, to create a lighter look when the picture is inverted.  If you find the right picture, you can create a somewhat glassy look – although you’ll be missing the circulatory system.  Maybe if you wrote light green lines all over yourself it would turn into red veins.  🙂

Here are some examples of pictures I have inverted.  Have fun! (And keep sharing posts on Twitter, G+, and Facebook, or following this blog, to be entered to win the glass fairy figurineLucent Sylph: A Short Story, comes out in SIX days!!)

anime-sarafenix-35238496-1400-1050This one is my favorite!  (Anime drawing)

41b9ecd3ab501f8e6a051dae87702b47

File Name : DSC_0152.JPG File Size : 2.2MB (2326887 Bytes) Date Taken : 2003/07/22 06:23:49 Image Size : 3008 x 1960 pixels Resolution : 300 x 300 dpi Bit Depth : 8 bits/channel Protection Attribute : Off Hide Attribute : Off Camera ID : N/A Camera : NIKON D1X Quality Mode : FINE Metering Mode : Matrix Exposure Mode : Aperture Priority Speed Light : No Focal Length : 120 mm Shutter Speed : 1/4 second Aperture : F5.6 Exposure Compensation : +0.7 EV White Balance : Incandescent Lens : 24 - 120 mm F 3.5 - 5.6 Flash Sync Mode : N/A Exposure Difference : 0.0 EV Flexible Program : No Sensitivity : ISO125 Sharpening : Normal Image Type : Color Color Mode : Mode I(sRGB) Hue Adjustment : 3 Saturation Control : N/A Tone Compensation : Less Contrast Latitude(GPS) : N/A Longitude(GPS) : N/A Altitude(GPS) : N/A

This one, unfortunately, looks like it’s clouding over from neglect  😦

IMG_0889Unfortunately, I don’t post my face online, so you’re just going to get my feet and hands above  😛

Have fun turning yourself into glass!

Getting excited for next Saturday?  Please spread the word!  😀

Sakura-Con Friday Part 2!

Remember to check out my Facebook party here!  2000_x_3000_pixels

My next blog tour stop will be Monday, over at 16sundays.wordpress.com.  Stay tuned!

Continuing with cosplay pictures from Friday at Sakura-Con!  (Faces blurred to protect anonymity.)

BeyondBoundary blur Mirai Kuriyama from Beyond the Boundary

SteinsGate blur

Kurisu and Okabe from Steins;Gate

Schoolgirlmadokacast blur

Homura, Madoka, and me from Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Schoolgirl Sayaka blur

Sayaka and me from Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Ruby blur

Ruby from RWBY

Nisekoi

Chitoge from Nisekoi

MamiKyoko Blur

Mami and Kyoko from Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Code Geass blur

Suzaku and Lelouch from Code Geass

Chobits blur

Chi from Chobits CC blurC.C. from Code Geass

Sakura-Con Thursday-Friday Part 1!

As promised, in between blog interviews for The Hotline Girl, and while still inviting you to come to my free Facebook party on May 2nd, so I can give you stuff, I’ll also being posting cosplay from Sakura-Con 2015!

(Remeber, also, that I’m giving away a free copy of The Hotline Girl to one person among whomever subscribes to all five blogs on my blog tour.  If you missed the first one, go here to Homemade Mythology, subscribe, and comment to tell me about it.)

Because I’m pixelating my own face (No pictures of RJ Conte exist online for the public’s viewing – and I’m proud of that!), I’ll pixelate the other cosplayers faces as well, out of respect.  If you find yourself, and want me to post a picture of your makeup as well, and don’t mind your face being visible, I can re-upload the picture.  🙂

On Friday, I was Tomoe Mami, from Puella Magi Madoka Magica, in school attire

Mami Pixel

Remember the musket I made?  I got to use that too.  😀

Mami Pixel 2

With Mami’s book bag  🙂

Mami Pixel 3

My husband came as Okabe Rintarou

Okabe Blur

Okabe Blur 2

Now for some of my favorites on Thursday and Friday that I cam across at the con!

Toph from Avatar: The Last Airbender!

Toph

Madoka and me – both of us from Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Madoka and Me

Sayaka and me from Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Sayaka and Me

Me battling Charlotte!

Charlotte

Bye, Bye Cinderella, Hello Anime, and a Blog Tour!

Just got back from SAKURA CON!!! 

Anime convention in Seattle, WA.  I got to use the Mami musket I blogged about.  I plan on posting pictures of my cosplay, as well as my favorite other cosplays I saw during the 3-day weekend.  The convention was a blast!

I’ll get the disappointing stuff out of the way next:

The last novella, in the list of three novellas I had planned on putting out this year, is going to be postponed for now.  I bit off more than I could chew.  😦  With lots of travel coming up, three weeks where I was without my laptop due to needing repair, being a full-time mom of two toddlers (one of which told me, with tears in her eyes, that I was too busy 😦 ), and a Bible study leader – among other things – I just can’t get it done.  Going to need to take a break after The Hotline Girl and The 12th Girl in Heaven’s release parties.  I’m hoping that no one is greatly disappointed in me, as I feel like bowing low sorrowfully to all of you.  I really liked my Cinderella twist, so I hope to write it some day, but, as for now, I’m just going to focus on The Hotline Girl and The 12th Girl in Heaven (the latter, of which, is almost done!)

Please come to my Facebook party to win prizes and celebrate The Hotline Girl’s release to the public on May 2nd!!!

Link here: https://www.facebook.com/events/554267938010284/557374554366289/

As for the good news!

I’m going on a blog tour! 

These wonderful people have agreed to host interviews of me (or my character Arabella Rose!) during the month of April.  So I will be writing on their blogs instead of my own, hoping to catch some of their regular readers’ attention, as well as send all of you to new blogs that will hopefully interest you!

Please check out these fantastic blogs.  Every single one of them is interesting, and it’s nothing short of an honor to get hosted on them.

The schedule, for the blog tour, is as follows (but I will still post on this blog on these dates to give you an excerpt and remind you where to go to read the whole interview):

Wednesday, April 9th (In two days!) – http://homemademythology.com/ (Interview)
Tuesday, April 14thhttps://16sundays.wordpress.com/ (Interview with relation to Myers-Briggs and being an ESFJ)
Thursday, April 16th http://lanternleafpress.com/ (Interview)
Tuesday, April 21st – http://heatherfitzgerald.net/ (Interview, of one of The Hotline Girl’s main characters: Arabella Rose)

Wednesday, April 22nd(?  Stay tuned for any changes) – http://simmeringmind.com/ (Article on romance in young adult fiction)

Stay tuned for pictures of cosplay, on this blog, in between these interviews!  😀

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

I was nominated by Nikki Noelle at Inevitably Revised.  I’m so honored!  Nikki”s fantastic writing abilities are only succeeded by her masterful editing skills.  She has a way of understanding, dissecting, reviewing, and assessing prose, as well as encouraging good writing to flourish.  She is on my street team of beta readers, and I appreciate her input immensely.  If I could nominate her for this award again (Not sure how this works!), I would!

The Rules

  • Post the award on your blog
  • Thank your nominator, of course!
  • List 7 facts about yourself
  • Nominate up to 15 other blogs you are inspired by
  • Post the rules so people know them

Seven Facts About Me:

  1. I can forget anything I want to on command, and, by exerting effort, “box it up” in my brain. I value innocence above almost anything and have forced myself to forget much junk over the years, to my great advantage.  🙂
  2. The anime girl in the above banner is supposed to be me.  I have long blond hair, and I dye the bottom six inches pink.  🙂
  3. I never forget a song if I’ve heard it like twice. I can never tune out music either. I taught piano and voice for ten years, all the way up until this year (when I moved across the US).  Before I had kids to pay attention to especially, if you were to take me to a restaurant, we sat there for around an hour and a half, talked, had a good time, etc., then later that evening, I could give you a playlist of what songs played – and in what order. This is why I’m extremely picky about music. I can’t tune it out. Music is an experience, not background noise.
  4. I have synesthesia.  This influences my writing.  🙂
  5. I never, ever, ever cry in movies. That’s an emotional response I keep switched off when watching TV because I just don’t get crying about fictional people/events.  There are plenty of real life things to cry over.
  6. I am 5’6″ and have short, fat feet. They’re a 7 1/2 double wide.
  7. I like certain kinds of anime a lot (PG-rated!), but LOVE all things Korean.  K-drams, K-pop, and Korean fashion.  Someone take me to Seoul!

Nominees: 

Bethany A. Jennings at The Simmering Mind – Speculative Fiction, parenting, and Christian living blog.  Bethany has a way with words that will touch your hearts and interest you in new ideas all at once.

Heather L.L. Fitzgerald at The Tethered World – The Pathmaster!  A motherly, yet peer writer.  We all love her.  She’s sweet, encouraging, supportive, and fun.  Her first book is coming out soon!

Abby Jones at A Gentle and Quiet Spirit – ISFJ!  Finding other sensor authors is unique.  I enjoy Abby’s love of the harder topics.  She shares that same interest with me in that way.

Ann Voskamp at A Holy Experience – Ann is quite the bestselling authoress now, so, Ann, I don’t know if you’ll see this, but your blog is immensely encouraging.  Your speech is beautiful and your writing deep.  You have been influential in my life!

Tim Hong at TX Father of Seven – Tim is politically savvy, economy-conscious, and an outspoken libertarian.  I’d rather get my news and info through him than anyone else.

Heidi Joelle at Homemade Mythology – Heidi’s savvy thoughts on her faith and on writing speculative fiction is always fun to read.  She just published an (adult) short story!

Rebekah Shafer at Lantern Leaf Press – “Lady Rebekah” is a brand new, spunky blogger and friend.  We hit it off immediately due to being so similar where it counts: we think in sentences, love to be around people, and talk Myers-Briggs personality types.  Seriously, what is better than that?  😉  Check out her first novella.  She’s got another one coming out soon!

Mirtika at Mirtika Writes – Mir’s clever, dry wit and business sense have inspired me immensely.  She’s the reason I’m writing these three modern retellings of fairy tales.  Her ideas are right-on, and she says things few have the guts to talk about.  I look up to her.

Caleb Lawrence at Merely This – Used to be one of my piano students – now has grown into a young man whom I respect.  We share a love of Japanese things, and I have seen him grow in so much wisdom and insight.

Ryan Christoffel at Beholding Christ – On the pastoral staff at my former church back in Texas, Ryan’s thoughts are God-focused and profound.