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Writing Workout

Writing Workout

It’s gratifying to watch someone enjoy something I’ve created—whether it’s a pot of chili, a quilt, or in this case, an engaging story.  My personal trainer, Dawn, is one of my beta-readers for Counteract, and we’ve grown accustomed to discussing plot, characters, and revisions while she makes […]

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Duck and Cover

Duck and Cover

This propaganda film was shown to schoolchildren in the 1950s, and inspired the opening scene in Counteract.    

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Everyone’s Children Should Join The Resistance

Everyone’s Children Should Join The Resistance

Members of The Resistance, this one is for you. As you read the statement below, think carefully before you agree with what it says. Your future might depend on it: We need to cast away the thought that children “belong” to their parents, or that parents “belong” […]

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Comparison of Lord of the Flies by William Golding and Gone by Michael Grant

Comparison of Lord of the Flies by William Golding and Gone by Michael Grant

Lord of the Flies (1954) and Gone (2008) share a common theme: that the human impulse toward civilization is not as deeply rooted as the human impulse toward savagery.  Both novels explore what happens when children are left without any adult supervision. In Lord of the Flies, […]

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Comparison of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and Matched by Allie Condie

Comparison of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and Matched by Allie Condie

Today I’m comparing two books that, at first glance, might appear to have nothing in common. And I’m going to try to do it without spoilers…we’ll see how it goes. As I wrote in an earlier post, I believe YA dystopian literature can serve as a bridge […]

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Twisted Versions of Perfection

Twisted Versions of Perfection

Dystopian novels are combination horror stories and cautionary tales, set against twisted versions of perfect societies. Dystopian heroes are discontented—they don’t fit in, and often lack the self-awareness to realize why. Teens (like the little ol’ seventh-grade version of me) who aren’t yet ready for the heavy-hitting […]

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This is a song about a car…

The band Rush’s anthem Red Barchetta was inspired by a short story entitled “A Nice Morning Drive” by Richard Foster, which appeared in Road and Track magazine in November, 1973. The short story, set in the “future world” of 1982, opens with Buzz preparing his beloved MGB […]

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The Year of My Dystopia

The Year of My Dystopia

I spent seventh grade in a dystopian haze, haunted by thoughts of totalitarian regimes, privations, curtailed personal freedoms, ubiquitous surveillance technology, and nuclear war.  Oh, and those awful utilitarian jumpsuits everyone had to wear. And why, you ask? Well, it was like this… Back in the 70s, […]

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Fallout

Here’s a cheery little propaganda film about nuclear fallout and how people can best protect themselves from radioactive particles in the air. Fallout is a major problem for the characters in Counteract, because the chemical weapons in their world are literally hanging over their heads, and can […]

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I Have Something to Say

If you know me, the title of this post might make you laugh. I’m never at a loss for words. Some might even call me annoyingly chatty. But for a long time, my inner storyteller was silent. I always intended to be a writer. In third grade, […]

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Resist: Book Two of the Resistance Series won a Silver Medal in the 2016 International Wishing Shelf Book Awards
Resist was named Best YA Fiction 2016 by the Texas Association of Authors Book Awards