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Month: March 2022

Visualizing a Character

Visualizing a Character

By Jan S. Gephardt For a novelist, visualizing a character – bringing them into focus, learning who they are, and what makes them tick – is absolutely essential. Readers don’t read our books because they fell in love with the plot twists. They don’t seek out a book because they love murder, or war, or the scientific concept that makes a book “science fiction.” They read our books because they fall in love with our characters. At least, we writers…

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Inequality Lies at the Root

Inequality Lies at the Root

By Jan S. Gephardt When you get right down to it, inequality lies at the root of Women’s History Month. Imagine if there were no historic, male-centric preponderance of lopsided favoritism. In that case, all months would be equally devoted to the historic achievements of all gender identities. But there’s not. So, here we are. Certainly, the same could be said for Black History Month, as well as the Black Lives Matter movement. (Of course “all lives matter,” but there’s…

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It Has to Make Sense

It Has to Make Sense

By Jan S. Gephardt Along with the rest of the world, I’ve been watching with horror as Mr. Putin’s army invades Ukraine. It appears to be a senseless act, mindless in its wanton brutality. I’d never get away with this in a story, is a thought that has frequently recurred. In fiction, it has to make sense. Putin was warned, and with each new development, he’s warned again. He had ample opportunities to turn back from this course. Now his…

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Lady Bird and the Wildflowers

Lady Bird and the Wildflowers

By G. S. Norwood It’s March in Texas, and that means wildflowers — specifically bluebonnets. For the next two weeks, roadsides and fields will be covered with our beloved state flower, a hardy lupine that loves rocky soil and early spring sunshine. Fields of bluebonnets cover the hills of the Texas Hill Country, often peppered with clumps of Indian Paintbrush. People take pictures of themselves, their sweethearts, their babies, and their pets in bluebonnet pastures. Senior citizens who take up…

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The First!

The First!

By Jan S. Gephardt I’ve lived long enough to realize that, in this century, “the first” is always bittersweet. Certainly, “The First Ever!” is exciting. There’s a sense of breakthrough, a sense of entering a new frontier, a new future in which the possibilities expanded. I remember The First American Woman in Space (Sally Ride). The First Woman Supreme Court Justice (Sandra Day O’Connor). The First Black President of the United States (Barack Obama). I was one of the three…

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