Friday, January 24, 2020

My Own Personal Bad Ass Mom
A while ago, fellow ATB Blogger, Mary Fan, mentioned she would be organizing and editing the next anthology published by Crazy 8 Press. I'd already participated in two previous Crazy 8 anthologies (Love, Murder, and Mayhem edited by Russ Colchamiro; and Thrilling Adventure Yarns edited by Bob Greenburger) and was looking forward to participating in another. Mary always has brilliant anthology theme ideas (see her Brave New Girls anthologies about girls in STEM based adventures). I knew her idea for Crazy 8 Press would be an impressive one. And I was right.

On the Crazy 8 Press blog, Mary explains her inspiration for her latest anthology:

"Dead moms are a long-established trope in stories, especially in sci-fi/fantasy. Mothers are, culturally speaking, meant to be nurturing figures who protect and coddle, and one of the easiest ways to force a protagonist to strike out on their own adventure is to get rid of the safety net that is Mom...
...When you look at stories—and the way we talk about stories—there’s this sense that when a woman becomes a mother, she ceases to be the heroine of her own story. Instead, she’s relegated to a supporting role for her children, who are now meant to be the center of her life and the only reason for her existence...
...Here’s the thing, though: Moms aren’t defined solely by their offspring, any more than dads or other parental figures are. A heroine doesn’t stop being a heroine because a kid came into her life—she’s still a heroine, but now with a kid."  
When I first heard about the theme for this anthology, I pictured a rough and ready adventure woman who also happened to be a mother. I thought I'd write a pirate who raised her kids to embrace the family business. That story refused to come out of me, though, no matter how hard I tried to write it. Instead, my heart insisted I write about a less aggressive mother who was dauntless in a softer way. 

I kept thinking of my own quietly bold mother who, over the years, I've come to realize was brave and daring by forging a full-time career in STEM fields--biology and computer programming--at a time when women (especially women with children) generally weren't, and still aren't, proportionately employed in those fields. She did all that while remaining fiercely devoted to her family--I can see so much of her influence in the way I've approached balancing my own family and work life. She showed me a woman can work, pursue hobbies and passions, and still have a fulfilling family live.
Mom kayaking the Hulela River in Kaua'i, Hawaii

Along with my dad, my mom has traveled back and forth across the country chasing adventures from Florida, to Alaska, Puerto Rico, St. Johns, and Hawaii. She's always been a pretty good piano player, but she taught herself to play Clarinet a few years ago and regularly performs for her church congregation.

She's also a craftswoman in many ways (cooking, baking, drawing, painting), but she's especially adept in "fiber arts". She knits or crochets almost daily, and it's obvious her love and care
One of Mom's recent projects
goes into each project--she gives a bit of herself in everything she makes, and that must carry some magic in it, right?

And that's how I came up with the idea for my story: 

The Art of Crafting Resistance

It's campaign season in Faffton and an uncanny, silver-tongued stranger has come to town with plans of winning the election for Mayor. He quickly charms the locals into giving him their support, but Lucy and Grandma Winnie soon discover his political plans threaten the beliefs and traditions they both hold dear. Lucy and Grandma Winnie team up to craft a grassroots resistance that fights back with truth, common sense, a lot of yarn, and a 
little bit of magic. 


Art by Sean “MunkyWrench” Eddingfield, design by Streetlight Graphics. Mary says: "And no, it’s not poorly cropped. Those words are intentionally too big for the frame. Just as the idea of a mom is too big for any box."



Mary's currently in the process of setting up a Kickstarter campaign to help fund this project. Follow Mary on social media to get updates: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

And just to give you an idea, here are some potential kickstarter rewards:
  • Copies of E-books from authors contributing to the Anthology.
  • Tuckerizations (naming a minor character after a kisckstarter backer or their loved one) 
  • One-time mentions (a kickstarter contributor is named once a story -- as a cameo character, street name, company name, planet name, etc.)

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