Journaling Prompt: Favorite Childhood Show

“What show from your childhood would you love to bring back?”

I’m actually very lucky because one of my favorite childhood shows is actually being rebooted later this year: Sailor Moon! This show has a special place in my heart because it was the first Japanese anime that I watched, leading me to discover many other great shows, movies, and manga from Japan. It was also the first time that I saw lesbian characters portrayed positively (before Buffy the Vampire Slayer brought us Willow & Tara), so it was very important in my teen years. I’m excited to see what the newest telling of this story will be like.

But to really go back to my childhood, I would love to see Ocean Girl come back. My lifelong love of the ocean guaranteed that I would be interested in this show from the name alone, and it did not disappoint! The television series was made in Australia, but I watched it on the Disney Channel when I was younger (which sadly never showed the fourth season, so I’ve never seen the end of the show). It’s a science fiction show about two brothers who befriend a mysterious girl named Neri, who lives alone on an island. (more…)

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Why I Will (Not) Use My Religion in My Stories

I have been religious for my whole life, and my faith is important to me. It’s as much a part of me as anything else, and it’s especially important when I make decisions about how I live. I want the things that I do to honor the gods and show my respect for their creations. You will not hear me talk about this very often, though. My spirituality is very personal for me, and very private.

More to the point, though, I do not think that a story is a good place for religion. Of course there are characters for whom religion is important, and it may affect them in good or bad ways. And creating religions is a personal favorite of mine for world building. A story should also reflect the ethics and philosophy of the author in certain ways. But a story is a very bad place to preach about ideas, religious or otherwise. (more…)

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My Top Ten YA Books (When I Was a Teen)

One of the biggest buzzes in the book world right now is NPR’s latest top-100 list of books. They are compiling a list of the best-ever teen/YA novels, and asking everyone to vote for their favorites. There are 235 finalists, and your challenge is to pick only 10 of them. (To make it a little easier, an entire series like Harry Potter or The Song of the Lioness count as only one vote.)

While I was struggling to get through the list, which has a lot of awesome books on it, I had to think about not only which books I was going to choose, but also why. Which books did I read again and again? Which books changed the way that I saw the world or inspired me to be a different person? Which books are still sitting on my bookshelf, a little worn with time and love, because I dragged them with me through numerous moves and clutter purges? (Some of my books are still in boxes, because a house full of book-lovers will never have enough shelves to support all of our reading habits.)

All of these books were ones that I read as a young teen (maybe a little younger; by the time I was fourteen, I was reading mostly adult stories). There are some YA novels that I’ve read and loved as a grown-up, because I’ve never stopped reading YA, but those don’t make the list. Not all of these are ones that I could vote for on NPR’s list, either. This list is also going to show my age a little (since books like The Hunger Games did not exist when I was a teen), especially since most of them are older books. (I got books from the library, not the New Releases at the bookstore.) (more…)

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