This story has touched me, so I want to post it here for you guys to see. A 14 year old girl stands up against the Taliban and is shot for her bravery. Here’s the video just in case the embedded video doesn’t work. Brave Teen Girl
Here’s an excerpt from the article:
Malala Yousufzai’s courageous blogging against the Taliban set her apart from other 14-year-old Pakistani girls.
Growing up in a region once dominated by the Islamic extremists, she knew the fear associated with the word Taliban.
One of her fears came to pass Tuesday, when gunmen sought her out and opened fire on her school van, leaving her seriously wounded along with two other classmates…Last year, Malala told CNN she feared “being beheaded by the Taliban because of my passion for education. During their rule, the Taliban used to march into our houses to check whether we were studying or watching television.”
This little girl had to hide her books because some sick people are afraid of educated girls. Malala has more courage than many of the adults in our world, I hope she makes a full recovery from this vicious attack.
I’ve been pretty busy for this month; but here are some brief updates:
After The Darkness: Episode 2
The second episode in this science fiction series is done! Yay! It’s now in the editing phase and will be online by June 11th. I am so sorry for the delay!
The short story “The Shelter” is now available on Nook in addition to Kindle. You can also read a long excerpt at Wattpad. The follow-up novel is coming along quite well and we’re on target for a Fall publication date.
When I wrote “The Shelter” I was terrified of writing something that would offend a lot of people. But then my old writing mentor’s words rang in my ear, “Bleed on the page!” Bleeding on the page is when a writer creates something without censoring themselves. And it is in this spirit of non-censorship that I wrote “The Shelter.” Why was I initially afraid of my own words? Well the truth is that so much of today’s dystopian fiction chooses to avoid tough issues around growing up, especially when it comes to issues concerning girls. Issues like poverty, sexism and sexual exploitation are often avoided or treated in such a way that the end result can only be compared to magical thinking. Because of this I knew that my story might be viewed as extreme.
Last Spring I was reading a YA novel that’s been compared to Hunger Games, while the book was well written I found myself unable to continue reading. Why? Well, some of the storyline just did not ring true for me. How can you have a dystopian story about a teen girl living in an oppressive society who is jailed by a brutal ruling class; but she doesn’t even face the threat of sexual assault? I know that it’s YA literature and you don’t want to depict graphic upsetting images; but come on let’s be real here. I’m not saying that every dystopian story about a young girl in an oppressive society has to have some type of sexual assault issues, all I’m saying is that oppression and rape usually go hand and hand in the real world. And if you try to completely avoid even the slightest innuendo about how sexual assault is often used as a weapon in an oppressive society, I think that you’re cheating your reader, especially young readers.
Sometimes Childhood Is Hell
Sometimes childhood really is hell. There isn’t a week that goes by that we don’t hear about some tragic story about a young girl being killed or exploited, especially in undeveloped countries. A matter of fact, some people in this world have so much hatred of girls that they try to kill them for doing something as wonderful as going to school. Look at the recent story about Afghan schoolgirls being poisoned. How terrible! Are these men who did this just naturally spiteful and sexist? No, I don’t think so. But I do know that when a society has collapsed the worse in some people is bound to come out. But the hell of childhood is not confined to some far off lands. We can look right here in the United States to find children facing challenges most of us can’t imagine. Right now, we have cities and towns in this country that have collapsed. Municipalities are returning roads to gravel, cutting back on public services and many citizens are finding themselves unable to survive financially. Some of those people turn to illegal means to survive, many of those people are children. Did you know that there are millions of underage girls (and some boys) trafficked in America’s booming sex industry and that the number is growing? Girls are especially vulnerable in collapsed societies because there is no rule of law that will wield it’s mighty force to protect them. If you add poverty into the mix, girls have even fewer rights in societies that are in the process of imploding.
Why The Dark Side?
For the past few years I’ve had a very strong desire to tell stories about young girls living in dying societies. How do they survive? How do they cope? Who will become their allies? I didn’t want to tell these stories in a milquetoast way. I wanted to write it honestly and authentically. It feels good to know that I achieved that authenticity with “The Shelter ” and I hope that I’ve also reached my goal with my new novel New Hope City which continues Sunni Brown’s story when she’s 14 years old. If you want to receive updates about the about sales, new fiction and other things related to my work please sign up for my mailing list.
Welcome to my blog! If you’ve just read “The Shelter” and clicked that little link in the back of the book it brought you here to my little home. Okay, so it’s not exactly my home — let’s say it’s my virtual home. Fair enough? Right. Here’s a little about me. I’m a writer. But you knew that already. Well, I’ve been writing since…since forever. For the past six years I’ve been working as a ghostwriter and before that I worked for newspapers, magazines and even wrote stage plays and scripts. I have a few awards under my belt and even did a stint at an advertising agency. It was quite an experience, I’ll say that much. For the past two years I’ve been preparing myself for the great leap into fiction writing on my terms. What does that mean? It means writing about things that matter to me without considering markets and trends. “The Shelter” is a short story prequel to a novel. The novel follows the life of a teen girl faced with poverty and societal collapse. No, this is not a YA novel. This book is written for adults. A matter of fact, I wouldn’t recommend that anyone under the age of 16 years old read the short story or the novel. I deal with strong themes and I don’t censor myself. While I personally have nothing against YA literature, I prefer to read books for adults even if they have teens or children as main characters.
So that’s enough about me for now. If you want to receive updates about the novel or other books by me please sign up for the newsletter: http://sunhimistwalker.com/about/
Wow! I have to say I am very surprised to find so many people downloading my short story The Shelter. It’s ranked #77 in the Amazon store as of this moment. So many told me that people didn’t like short stories that I just assumed only a handful would grab the story. I’m glad my assumption was wrong. Well, The Shelter is still freefor the rest of today if you want to grab a copy. The free promotion has ended. Feel free to sign up for updates on the novel here: http://sunhimistwalker.com/about/ The novel will follow Sunni Brown’s life from the age of fourteen. Well, I should get back to work. Have a great day everyone!
Wow, six days have passed since my last post here? Well, I’m still in editing hell for my novel; but I did receive my first scifi episode back from my beta reader. Yay! Hopefully, I will upload the first episode of the scifi series this week and make some significant progress on my novel. Wish me luck. Back to work!
It has been three years since I started writing my scifi series “After The Darkness” and I am finally finished with the first episode. It’s kind of embarrassing. Honestly. I mean I am a professional writer, so why has it taken me this long to take care of my business. And yes, taking care of my business means more than just ghostwriting for others so I can make a living. It means writing MY fiction so that I can make a life. I have won several awards for my fiction writing and I still have been putting off the big leap. No more. 2012 is my year to do great things in fiction. I have written the first episode of an ongoing scifi series and now I am working on editing my novel. But that’s not all. I am making a commitment to write at least four other works of fiction in addition to the novel and the series. I can do this. I did the calculations on my word count and in the past six years I have produced 21,000 words a week — at least — for clients. Why can’t I do that and more for myself? There is no reason why I can’t do it, that’s why I won’t have anymore excuses. I’m making that pledge today!
There has been a lot of talk recently about the changes that have taken place over the last two years in the business side of publishing.
Today, I have a fascinating guest post from indie author Matthew Iden who examines how the digital revolution may be changing the very way we write (and, ultimately, the way we may be compensated for that work).