FtBCon – Ashley’s schedule

Life is always easier when you’ve got a schedule to follow.  So here’s mine for the weekend.  I am in on 5 sessions, talking about a variety of subjects from YA lit to video games, but all to do with media and culture.  Which is good because I have a degree that makes people think I’m qualified in that.

TImes here are in EST, but if you go to the site they’ll be in CST.

FtBConscience

As of right now this is a solo talk, but I have feelers out for anyone who might want to join.  If you’re an expert on YA lit, let me know.

Although much of the bestselling YA literature in the last few years has featured female main characters, ofttimes the portrayal of these characters is problematic in terms of gender stereotypes and lack of minority characters. This is a discussion of the ways YA literature succeeds and fails and why it needs to change.

I feel like so underqualified to be on this panel.  I play ukulele cover songs on YouTube and love to sing karaoke.  And I’m on a panel with an actual musician with records and such.  Yep.  Imposter syndrome big time.

Join us to hear a few songs and have a casual chat with ukulelist and FtB blogger Ashley Miller, and Australian singer-songwriter Shelley Segal. In 2011 Shelley published An Atheist Album, and she has played at the Reason Rally, the American Atheist Convention, Women In Secularism and other events. Panel facilitated by Brianne Bilyeu

Jason Thibeault, Russell Glasser, Brianne Bilyeu, Ashley F. Miller, Avicenna, Tauriq Moosa.  Religion and morality systems in video games are often grossly oversimplified, to the point where choices are entirely binary and you’re often forced, as a gamer, to do things that you might otherwise find appalling, like working in service of a god or gods. How are these heady topics handled in the slowly-maturing video game industry? Who’s already doing this stuff right? How can these topics’ treatment be improved?

Jason Thibeault, Avicenna, Brianne Bilyeu, Ashley F. Miller, Rebecca Watson, Lynnea Glasser. Women make up 45% of the gamer population, a number that’s constantly climbing. And yet, female protagonists in games are few and far between — and when games are exclusively fronted by female characters, they get far less marketing budget than their equivalent male-led titles. Why?

JT Eberhard, Rebecca Watson, Heina Dadabhoy, Ashley F. Miller, Hemant Mehta, Xavier Trapp.  TV, Movies, Comic books… our popular culture is soaked in depictions of religious people, but what about atheists? How are atheists portrayed in the public sphere? How can we do better? A panel of atheists gets at the real issues.

 

 

20 good posts for a new blog on writing

I have a friend who is thinking about doing a weekly blog about writing for a newspaper.  She started IMing me because she wasn’t super confident about what she should write about or how someone went about doing a blog like for real people, not for like friends.  (Her example being that she couldn’t post things like “I found a picture of poo on the interwebs”)

So I came up with a list based on a few things.  1. People like lists 2. People like hate 3. People like advice.  Copied from the IM window.

1st post has to be who you are and what you write and why
2nd could be a focus on say a particular genre and what makes it unique (she is focusing on a YA Sci Fi story)
3rd post about how to pick a topic or location that you’d be good at writing, so that’d be about research and why it’s set wherever
4th post about the difference between YA, kids and adult fiction
5th post about an author or person who gets YA literature absolutely wrong (I picked YA over SciFi because SciFi authors get torn apart fairly regularly)
6th post about if it’s possible to separate the author from their work (See Orson Scott Card)
7th post about struggling with the second act
8th post what to do when you have several different endings that could work
9th post about creating a world that is different from modern earth
10th post about something full of rage and hate — maybe how online fiction isn’t taken seriously, or you know, something angry
11th post should address different mediums and how to write for them (short story, long fiction, online, print, TV, film etc)
12th post should be about an author you loved and inspired you to get into writing with some heartwrenching bs
13th should be about whether it’s OK to include messages or to write “message fiction”
14th should be a response to reader questions, which you may have to make up
15th should be about how there’s not enough respect for minority of your choice in fiction at large
16th make fun of Mary Sues
17th 10 ways writing is like poo
18th 10 ways author-you-hate’s writing is like poo
19th a controversial opinion piece like how coming out stories are boring or how cancer made my life better stories are bullshit
20th what’s hardest about writing for you coming up with ideas, or plotting or whatever and how you get around it

Finally, a parody post where you just put in different options that another blogger could simply highlight to tell their story “How my minority status/disability/difficult childhood helped/hurt my writing career”

I will now consult her blog, should she start writing, and check things off the list if she uses them.  Maybe I’ll write a couple too…