And the girl in the corner said boy I want to warn you It’ll turn into a ballroom blitz. – The Sweet, “The Ballroom Blitz“
This story‘s harder than “Burning Girls” also by Veronica Schanoes. Harder in that its words are sharper, uglier, darker, but also because it’s more honest, which makes it harder to process. “Burning Girls” is a fantasy, a reminder that “Jews were here” in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire and in the history of the New York City. It reimagines Rumpelstiltskin as one of the lilim (demonic children of Lilith). It takes a familiar story and makes it Jewish. Read On
She’s just a girl, and she’s on fire… She’s living in a world and it’s on fire – Alicia Keys, “Girl on Fire“
“This is no place for a girl on fire.” – Katniss Everdeen, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, based on the book by Suzanne Collins.
Veronica Schanoes‘s “Burning Girls“, available for free on Tor.com, isn’t the story I expected it to be. I should have picked up on the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire reference earlier than I did. I was more interested in the other reference, the lilim and the significance of names, and I was thoroughly curious about Schanoes’s reference materials. I need to get my hands on them, stat. In spite of the cityscape cover, for some reason I was expecting something more in the vein of Elizabeth George Speare’s The Witch of Blackbird Pond. Read On
Lately, I’ve been losing sleep, dreaming about the things that we could be… – One Republic, Counting Stars
Counting stars. Lucky ones, that we’re not living in The Reich as imagined by Harry Turtledove in “Shtetl Days.” But also gold ones, on the coats of men like Turtledove’s Veit Harlan, or worn by Billy Joel in memory of pogroms past and a white supremacy rally in Charlottesville that never should have been.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the Judenstern (Jew’s star), and how a symbol of religious and cultural identity got turned into a badge of shame. I’ve been thinking a lot, too, about who did that and why, and the way the Trump administration makes scarlet letters and gold stars and pink triangles things of the present instead of things that never should’ve been — at least not the way they are. Identity and identification aren’t the same thing, but suddenly they seem to be, at least in the sense that without documentation — of citizenship, for example — an immigrant doesn’t exist, or becomes illegal. Or in the sense that dark skin is used identify a young man as Other, a monster, and in the eyes some with authority, that is his whole identity as well. Read On
DMing, or dungeon-mastering (sometimes GMing, game-mastering, and, honestly, I just had to look up what the difference is. Apparently, DM/Dungeon Master may be trademarked, if reddit can be believed) isn’t as easy or cool as Matt Mercer and Chris Perkins would have you believe. Actually, neither of them ever says it’s easy…
The truth, at least for me, started out a lot more like Grumpy Cat, where I screwed up 90% of everything, didn’t like the remaining 10%, and debated having the giants throw rocks so everyone would die. For an introvert (even a closet introvert), herding players for 4 hours can be nearly excruciating. Read On
So, hey, first things first. Alisa Schreibman is the same person as Allie Berg. Allie’s just a pseudonym for those super-racy romances I probably won’t be writing many more of.
“Hamsa, Hamsa, Hamsa, Tfu, Tfu, Tfu,” is a story I wrote that was included in the anthology, Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling that was published last year when I was too crazy to post about it. The kick-ass cover links to Amazon, where you can buy it. The title up there links to Apex Books, who published it, with all the other links where you can buy it. Read On