Should Have Written It in Spanish

For a while there, I was doing pretty well at this life thing. I got my planner out every day so I knew when things were due. I worked on my homework every night, and I started projects early so I could be sure of meeting the deadline.

Then a story fought me, like no story in a very long time has. And I couldn’t do what I usually do, which is to throw my arms up and let it win, come sneaking back at it a few months or years down the road and bash it when it wasn’t looking—no, this story had to be done on deadline.

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Guest Post by Rabia Gale – Beyond Farm Boys: Different Kinds of Fantasy Protagonists

Siri Paulson here. I’m excited to introduce you to Rabia Gale. As a fellow indie SF&F author, she’s good at thinking outside the box, and she’s here to discuss books that do exactly that…


The good-hearted farm boy (or sheep farmer’s daughter or assistant pig keeper) destined to save the world is a fantasy staple. And as much as we love these wide-eyed youngsters and enjoy their journeys, it’s nice to see a different kind of fantasy protagonist from time to time.

Someone, say, who is not as much of a blank slate or fantasy trope. Luckily for us, the genre has grown enough to include a more varied cast. Let’s dig in and see what other sorts of leading men and women fantasy has to offer us. 

The Older Protagonist

Time was that the only role an older person could play in a fantasy was that of Wise Mentor. Now, people beyond the age of thirty can find themselves in starring roles. Such is the case with Master Li in Barry Hughart’s fantastic China-inspired Bridge of Birds and Sam Vimes, Commander of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series.

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Date with a Padded Cell (or, Why I Love and Hate Autumn)

I have always loved autumn — the fall colors, the crisp air, Halloween and Thanksgiving.  It’s also a time of great reflection for me, as I tend to get more introspective and a bit depressed.

I can’t really explain it.  I don’t believe I have Seasonal Affective Disorder; however, ever since I can remember, autumn has had an association with death for me.  I know what you’re thinking: well, of course, you moron!  Winter’s coming!  Of course there’s death!

But wait, that’s not what I’m talking about.

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High School English Redux

High school English was my least favorite subject, bar none. I hated it. I hated it so much that I didn’t even take it senior year, even though you had to have four years to graduate (luckily for me, my children’s theater class–where we went and performed at elementary schools–counted).

Seems weird, right? An author who hated English?

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Revisiting High School Dreams

Recently I had the chance to reconnect with many of my high school friends. We’ve stayed in touch in the 15 years since graduation, through university and beyond, but our once close-knit group has drifted apart. Most of us see each other a few times a year, when the out-of-towners come back.

We don’t tend to reminisce, but recent events have made me look back at the years and memories we’ve shared.

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