Quick Note: Hello, dear readers! It has been some time since I have traversed the pages of my blog with anything new. But I'm back from the purgatory I have been in as I revamped Fractured Dream, and I'm ready to become a blogging member of society again. So here goes!
I recently watched Wonder Woman (finally!). She is by far my favorite super hero. I first began watching Linda Carter kick butt as the Amazonian heroine when I was only four or five years old. But I can remember how much I wanted to be like her. I would run around outside, imagining I was her. When my older friend Megan came over to play, I'd let her be Wonder Woman and I'd be Wonder Girl. Us girls have to share the power, after all.
The movie was as amazing as I hoped. Am I silly for getting choked up a bit watching it? I'm a bit overly sentimental at times, it's true. What I found empowering, was that this movie was finally made and the rave reviews it received after its debut. It just seemed to encompass the entire female power element.
In literature and shows, I am drawn to the powerful female. I believe Wonder Woman inspired this in me at such a young age. Quite frankly, a fictional character helped set me on the path to becoming the proud feminist I am today.
Since then, many women, both real and imagined, have continued to be inspiring forces. Super heroes come in many form such as in mothers (Hi, Mom), literary figures (RIP Maya Angelou), political figures (you rock, Kirsten Gillibrand), historical figures (Thank you, Susan B. Anthony), and so many more. But fictional characters have also had a huge impact, whether they represent the fictional or non-fictional narrative. They don't all wear capes or take down men twice their size. They use their words, hearts, intellect, and voices. My writing is a part of my voice.
I have always been drawn to strong female characters, in all components, and I will continue to write women and girls with that spirit in mind and hopefully discover new worlds to weave for them to save or survive in. Because I believe in the power of the fictional character. In our minds, she comes alive. <3
So I recently dreamt I was back in school again. But it wasn't the normal, oh my god I have to take a test dream. Or have you had the ones where you're back in school but you're a full adult and teachers are telling you that you never really passed? I'm sure some wise sage would say that one has something to do with confidence levels.
At any rate, I dreamt I was back in college as an undergraduate during my first two years when I attended Monroe Community College. I recently went back there only because the Children's Book Festival was being held there. (As a side note, I got to meet Jane Yolen and James Howe! #fanwomaning). So perhaps that's how that time in my life eased its way back into my brain. I haven't been inside that building since I was 22, afterall.
But let us delve into the symbolism of dreaming about school. According to DreamsCloud.com, there are a number of reasons I could have been dreaming about going back to school. Here are a few reasons:
"Being in school may be bringing you back to a childhood memory that needs to be addressed. The grade you are in may indicate the time of life the dream is set in or the level of maturity you are at in the dream."
"Being in College may be a reference to your college days or a relationship from that period; may represent a lesson to be learned; or it may suggest you are experimenting or trying something new, as college students often do."
I've thought about this for a bit and I've come to this conclusion. I'm a mom and I'm a freelance writer and editor, and I also write fantasy. My life for some years now has been dedicated to my son and my writing, figuring out social media for my author platform, and building our home and family. All good things. But I've felt the need for a long time to be more active in society. I work from home and, while I haven't ever lost my passion completely for issues, I've become apathetic, distracted, too busy with other things. Given the aftermath of a stressful election season and the uncertainty of the next four years, I've felt compelled to be the outspoken me once again. The me who deeply cares about issues that I stayed away from for some time now, too afraid to make a ripple. I had ideals that I wanted to make happen. And that girl became loud in those first years of college, and she's the woman in me now who believes dreams have meaning and acting in the name of human rights always and forever, is a must.
Continue to dream with me, for hope begins with dreams.
“Yes: I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.” ― Oscar Wilde
It was Friday, pizza and movie night with my husband and son, when I got the instant message from my marketing manager ... Did you see the latest Booktrope announcement? I knew before looking, I'd had a feeling that I hadn't taken seriously. I should have.
When my publisher, Booktrope, announced they were closing late last month I was instantly awash with a mesh of emotions that sent me straight to the wine. Once I was sipping some Apothic, the movie forgotten, by me at least, I waded through the confusion, anger, disbelief, and fear among authors and team members that accompanied the announcement in Booktrope forums and teamrooms, I felt my anxiety rise. Some people showed their best colors, others their worst. I tried to show my most reasonable, supportive, and kind face in the midst of widespread panic.
I'd been wanting to try different avenues of publishing for a while. I've read that some of the most successful authors are those that are diverse among platforms and publishers, which I deemed a good way to go about this crazy publishing business. But I'd also planned on publishing with Booktrope for a long time to come, as long as they'd have me anyway, so I wasn't ready for my books to not be available come May 31. I'm in the middle of writing a sequel after all! Booktrope was my first book home, and ice cream soon followed the wine chased down by intense uncertainty. What would I do next?
I could self publish, which seemed to be the avenue the majority of my fellow authors were planning on taking ... I thought about it, agonized, called my sister to whine. But when it was all said and done, I knew I wasn't ready for that. I wanted the support from a publisher, I always had. First and foremost, I knew I had been given one blessing with the news. After having spent eight years writing Fractured Dream, I could barely wait to set my first book baby free back in 2014. Looking back, I see mistakes I made as a new author, ones I've been wanting to fix. I believe so strongly in this story, I spent years building the world, and with the second one getting closer to being done, I knew I really wanted to re-edit Fractured Dream and make it better. So that is what I'm choosing to do. Unfortunately, Fractured Dream is going to disappear for a while. When I'm ready, I'll be looking for its new home along with the second book in the trilogy, Shattered World. And it will be back, I promise!
As for The Reaper's Daughter, I'm happy to announce as of June 1, fantasy publisher Dragon Moon Press will be my second book baby's new home. I'm excited to join this new publishing family and I have a good feeling about it.
Once I'm done editing Fractured Dream, I'll be back at the bit, finishing up Shattered World and continuing to work on a Sci-Fi YA Romance I'm feeling very passionate about.
For now, both titles are available at discounted prices until May 31! The Reaper's Daughter is currently 99 cents and Fractured Dream is $2.00.
Now that the dust has settled, I'm truly thankful for Booktrope. They made me a published author and realized a dream I've had almost since I could read. I got to work with and meet some amazing people, made friends with kindred souls, became a book editor, and was given the opportunity to be immersed in a community of like-minded individuals, those who love to write, read, and breathe words.
It's life and it goes something like this:
"Look on every exit as being an entrance somewhere else.”
― Tom Stoppard
I've hit the book jackpot. Or at least it seems that way as I get underwayredecorating my office. Battered bookcases now gleam new and white, while piles and piles of books are there for the reading. I always dreamed of a huge library someday, featuring every book I ever owned. The truth is, I tried that in my office and it's been a perpetual disaray as bookshelves were doubled up on and books were crammed in as tight as they could go. So I put my foot down in the name of decluttering in this newly brightened space. I forced myself, as painful as it was, to put the R.L. Stine Fear Street books into a box. Yes, I'm really that much of a book hoarder.
I cut it off at putting Babysitter's Club on my shelves — I have all the books still, though, but they're rightfully in boxes — but anything I read from my early double digits and up was fair game and could have been found on my shelves up until the other day. My large V.C. Andrews collection also went into that box along with Stephen King and Anne Rice. I still love them, but I've been over my horror phase for a long while. I will not be re-reading Gerald's Game, which I read when I was around 12 and have been traumatized since. I have to give Stephen King credit, the images are still clear as day in my head. Likewise for Anne Rice, I still shudder at some of the scenes she painted in Taltos and I was a young teenager when I read that as well. Meanwhile, I have a whole series of books in there I have no recollection of ever reading. But that's the fun part! Because I can re-read them and it's as if I've got brand new books to devour. Books that made the shelf cut are my fantasy collections, anything by Alice Hoffman, Neil Gaiman, and Tanya Huff, my chicklit, and any non-fiction (Bill Bryson, you make me laugh so) and literature. And of course any newer YA, House of Night, Harry Potter, Morganville Vampires, etc. And there's more. A lot more.
That brings me to the hardest part, when I made myself put my Christopher Pike books in that box. While most of his earlier stuff was just really good teen horror, I feel to this day that a lot of his later books were brilliant. There was a lot of science-fiction and spirituality threaded through his later works that I remember really connecting with as a teen looking for YA that was a little deeper. It's been a long time since I read them, but I'm thinking when I have some reading time open up that I might do a special series on re-reading Christopher Pike books. Were they as great as I remember them? A friend of mine recently read a couple of the books from his Last Vampire series and said she was disappointed by it because she felt he didn't portray a feminine viewpoint or voice well. So I'm interested to see what I think of these books in my mid-thirties. I consider them a guilty pleasure given I read them when I was an adolescent and again in my twenties and plan to read them now in my thirties. I'll have to Wickipedia that man and see if he's written anything new.
Until next time, happy reading!
One of my son's favorite books is a flip the flap Superman book, called My First Superman Book. He's on his third copy. We got the first probably right after he turned one, and he delighted in pulling the tabs and looking underneath the flaps. To be fair, he loves all flip the flap books—I'm sure most toddlers do—but this one in specific was especially special. But being so little, he also loved to tear, and number one was soon in shambles beyond repair. I kept the pieces that are intact and stowed them away thinking they'd make cool framed pictures at some point.
Then we moved onto number two because he just really liked that book and I had ended up giving him a Batman book in the same series. This one too met an untimely end, but he was a little more careful with it. The third time around was last Christmas when he was two-and-a-half and able to understand the rules: Don't rip it. I'd have to say he's doing pretty well with it, although a little worn in some areas, he's taken care of this one. But my point isn't the Superman book or even the Batman book, it's the Wonder Woman book, also in the same series, that I also bought him more recently. I knew it existed and I kept thinking how I wanted him to understand that women could be superheroes too, so I ended up buying it for him.
He took it to his pre-school class recently and his one teacher looked up at me and said, "This is awesome." If he wanted to wear pink, I would let him too. He also thrust a pamphlet into my hand about a dance class at school, and when I asked him if he wanted to take it, he confirmed with a "Yeah, yeah," and several nods of his head. He's been taking the dance class for a couple of months now. When I went to buy him jazz shoes, the woman at the shoe store asked me if I was looking for a girl, all the while my son's hand was in mine and he was standing next to me. I was happy when I went to a different shoe store and the woman didn't bat an eyelash when I told her I needed dance shoes for my son. Boys like to dance too.
There's been stories where parents didn't tell friends what gender their baby was because they didn't want to push the child into gender roles. I'm sorry, but I think that's a bit over the top. Girls and boys ARE different. That doesn't mean one can't do something the other can and vice versa. But we're built different, we have different hormones, we have strengths that sometimes stereotypically play out. Sometimes they're the same strengths, sometimes they're different interests. But there is no shame in being different. There's also no shame in being the same.
In many ways, my son is so very much a "boy"—the dirt-love, the wrestling, the bad guy comes to take down the good guy play, the rough housing with daddy and the dog. . . I didn't put Hot Wheels in his hands until he expressed a deep interest in cars. But, his number one wish for this Christmas is a doll house. His pre-school teacher recently told me he was caring and kind. If I can raise a kind, caring, happy, self-aware and loving human being, then that's all I care about. Purple, pink, blue, cars, doll house, Superman book, Wonder Woman book . . . As long as he can be himself triumphantly, then I feel like I'm being a good mom, gender roles or no gender roles aside. He still knows he's a boy. It's a part of his growth, understanding that there is a difference. But I also don't specify whether an interest he has is "girly" or "boyish." If he wants to play dolls, go ahead. Build huge Lego towers, have fun. His father will say, "He has your heart." OR "He has my sense of humor." But there's no dwelling on where our son's interests lie. It's just about letting him have the freedom to discover who he truly is. And it's one of the most joyful aspects of parenting. So here's my poetic ode to his growth since I couldn't quickly find a poem that fit the scenario. I'm a writer, but I've never claimed to be a poet, so if you know of one better, please share.
A child stumbles and picks up the step
Walking has happened and running is next
He grows to love play, little cars run into trucks
Sesame Street happens and, at fun, Elmo is the best
The 'choo-choo' sounds from his thin little lips
Puckers, however, come from the same popsicle kiss
Wonder is written in the bright of blue eyes,
As Auntie's old dollhouse comes as a surprise
He runs fast and twirls strong
He wrestles 'Puppy' and sings songs
He likes to be the good guy of the day
He likes to dance and keep Mommy in sway
He likes to play, and it doesn't matter if it's with Peppa or Jake
He's just using his imagination or dreaming from beyond the frosted birthday cake
He knows girls are just as strong as boys in this world
Because no one has told him there's those who've thought otherwise at all
Fractured Dream (The Dreamer Saga) is currently on sale for only 99 cents! But the deal ends on Nov. 5! Here's the synopsis if you're unfamiliar with the title:
Have you ever wondered where fairytales go once they're created?
It's been eight years since Story Sparks last had a dream. Now they're back,
tormenting her as nightmares she can't remember upon waking. The black
waters of Lake Sandeen, where her Uncle Peter disappeared decades
before, may hold the secret to Story's hidden memories, or a truth she'd
rather not know. On a bright summer afternoon, Story and her two best
friends, Elliott and Adam, take a hike to the lake, where they dive into
the cool water and never reemerge. What they find is beyond anything
they've ever imagined could be possible, a world where dangers lurk in
the form of Big Bad Wolves, living Nightmares and meddlesome witches and
Now Story must remember who she really is and somehow stop
two worlds from ultimate annihilation, all while trying not to be too
distracted by the inexplicable pull she feels toward a certain dark-eyed
traveler who seems to have secrets of his own. The fates of the worlds
are counting on her.
Here's what people have been saying recently:
"She has an incredibly vivid writing style that allows you to 'see' what you are reading. The worlds she paints with her words are very imaginative."
"Oh man, this book was a winner for me. I couldn't put it down in between jobs. I even told some of my patients about it. I don't know why but even from the beginning I was hooked."
"I loved the characters, the world building, and especially the back stories. I was really bummed when it ended and I can't wait for the next one."
Get it on Amazon here.
K.M. Randall writes fantasy and paranormal for both a general and young adult audience. Her debut novel, an epic fantasy called Fractured Dream, launched in June 2014, and her second book, The Reaper's Daughter, launched May 2015. Randall also published Fairytale Lost, a prequel to Fractured Dream, as an exclusive on Wattpad. She blogs about dreams, female heroines, and activism and its relevancy to the literary and fictional world. And when in the season, sometimes she just likes to talk about Halloween. She is currently hard at work on the second book in the Dreamer Saga series, Shattered World.