Jenn Reese Writer, Artist, Geek

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New Anthology Essay: “Swashbuckle My Heart”

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From Booklist: “At the heart of the collection are contributions that plunge deeply into dark recollections...these essays bear out how superheroes are powerful psychological receptacles, helping us define the crucial strength we need to survive—a sentiment which will be of great value to many soul-searchers...There’s ample insight to be found here, not the least of which is that superheroes have...

Movie: Captain America: Civil War

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I loved Captain America: The Winter Soldier so much that I fully  expected to be disappointed by Captain America: Civil War. I wanted another Cap movie — particularly one where he pals around with Black Widow and Falcon again — not a movie overstuffed with Iron Man and a bunch of dudes from the Avengers. Much to my surprise, I loved it. The Good Stuff The characters all acted in...

Story on PodCastle: Sea City Six

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Last year my flash story “The Sea City Six: Where Are They Now?” was published in that marvelous ‘zine Flytrap. (You can read it there for free right now. ) But if you prefer to listen to your stories, I have good news: “Sea City Six (Where Are They Now?)” is in the latest episode of PodCastle, Flash Fiction Extravaganza: Great Power, Greater Responsibilities, read...

New T-Shirt Design: Jane Austen’s “My courage always rises”

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New T-shirt design! This one is a typographic treatment of a quote from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: “My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.” I’m thrilled with how it came out. I chose a brown shirt for my sample, but it works on many other colors as well and comes in a number of different shirt styles. See the “My Courage Always Rises” T...

My Very Own T-Shirt Designs

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One of the birthday presents I gave myself this year was to finally start designing t-shirts and putting them online… not necessarily to sell to other people, but so that I could start wearing more of my own stuff. [Edited to add:] If you’re interested in any of these designs, you’ll find purchasing options here: –> 100% Star Stuff –> I want to believe: Mermaids...

The Wonder of the Launch Pad Astronomy Workshop

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Last week, I attended the Launch Pad Astronomy Workshop in Laramie, Wyoming. Here’s the description: Launch Pad is a workshop for established writers held in beautiful high-altitude Laramie, Wyoming. Launch Pad aims to provide a “crash course” for the attendees in modern astronomy science through guest lectures, and observation through the University of Wyoming’s professional telescopes...

Thoughts on X-Men: Days of Future Past (Spoilers)

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Note: This post contains spoilers for X-Men: Days of Future Past. Also note: I grew up reading the X-Men and for most of my life, they’ve been my favorite superhero team. I’m invested in this. X-Men: First Class made me incredibly angry and sad, and I hoped that X-Men: Days of Future Past would not show such obvious disdain for woman and people of color. And it doesn’t! But...

Launch Pad Astronomy Workshop

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This summer, in a galaxy far, far away (aka Laramie, WY), I’ll be attending the Launch Pad Astronomy Workshop! Launch Pad is a workshop for established writers held in beautiful high-altitude Laramie, Wyoming. Launch Pad aims to provide a “crash course” for the attendees in modern astronomy science through guest lectures, and observation through the University of Wyoming’s professional...

Stuff I Love: The Kat, Incorrigible Trilogy

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One of my favorite middle-grade series of all time is Stephanie Burgis‘s Kat, Incorrigible trilogy, and the third book, Stolen Magic, is now out in paperback! Book 1: Kat, Incorrigible — Indiebound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble Book 2: Renegade Magic — Indiebound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble Book 3: Stolen Magic — Indiebound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble I’m not...

Graphic Novel: Cairo

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I’ve read so many great books so far this year, and the most recent is one of my favorites: the graphic novel Cairo written by G. Willow Wilson and art by M.K. Perker (Vertigo, 2008). Cairo interweaves the stories of six people (well, five people and a jinn) in a tale of magic, adventure, and romance. I found all the main characters likable almost immediately, a pretty amazing feat...

Video Game: Tomb Raider (2013)

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I have an archaeology degree because of Raiders of the Lost Ark, but Lara Croft isn’t far behind Indy in the “archaeologist of my heart” department. I played Tomb Raider a lot when I was younger, but just got around to playing the 2013 franchise reboot game this year. Tomb Raider is an intense and riveting first-person (Edited: It’s actually third-person in gaming...

2013: Favorite TV Shows

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Because of my surgery and recovery time, I watched a lot of TV in 2013, and had a chance to catch up on entire series that I’d previously missed. Top 5 TV Shows that I discovered in 2013 (Listed alphabetically) Community: Oh, Community, how did I ever live without you? You and Parks & Rec are now my favorite two comedies of all time. I hope season 5 returns you to your former glory...

2013: Favorite Movies

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TOP 5 MOVIES OF THE YEAR (Listed alphabetically) Beasts of the Southern Wild: Magic realism starring an amazing Quvenzhané Wallis. I missed seeing this in 2012 but couldn’t bear to leave it off this list. Casting By: Brilliant HBO documentary about two of the unsung heroes of Hollywood, casting directors Marion Dougherty and Lynn Stalmaster. A must-see. Frozen: Never thought I’d be...

Journey follow-up: Flow, Religion, and Storytelling

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In response to my post about Journey, my friend Ted pointed me at two articles about the game, both of which proved fascinating: “Seeking the Light” at the Brainy Gamer, about how: Journey elegantly conveys sapta bodhyanga, or the Seven Factors of Enlightenment in Buddhist philosophy: Mindfulness Investigation Energy Joy or rapture Relaxation or tranquility Concentration Equanimity...

Video game: Journey (PS3)

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I’d been hearing great things about a PS3-only video game called Journey, but knew almost nothing else about it until I sat down to try it out last week. Three hours later, I’d finished the game and been profoundly affected by it. You wake alone and surrounded by miles of burning, sprawling desert, and soon discover the looming mountaintop which is your goal. Faced with rolling sand...

TV: New Shows, Fall 2013

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I love watching pilots of new TV shows, seeing how the writers set up the characters and relationships, the world-building, and the larger stories. Here are some of my winners and losers among the new shows for Fall 2013. NEW SHOWS I’VE GIVEN UP ON The Crazy Ones: Sarah Michelle Gellar is great, but the rest of the show is a snooze and way too homogenous. Some nice chemistry between Gellar...

Book Release Day! MIRAGE and POISON

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The second book in my Above World series officially makes its way into the world today, but before I get to that, I want to talk about Bridget Zinn and her YA debut Poison, also releasing today. Bridget died from cancer in May 2011 at the age of 33, before getting to see her debut book published. I never had the opportunity to meet her, but I think I would have liked her. Her bio says: Bridget...

ICEFALL, Norse Mythology, and Me

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I have no intention of becoming a book reviewer, but I do want to start talking about books that I’ve read more often. Instead of a review, you’re likely to get a ramble about the book, my emotional state while reading it, or whatever tangents I feeling like exploring. The first book I read in 2013 was Matthew J. Kirby‘s Icefall, and I absolutely loved it. Do you like vikings...

2012 Faves: Games and Visual Media

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Trying to compile these entries has taught me that I need to keep better records of my media consumption each year. Let me give it a go anyway… Videogames Portal 2 One of my favorite games of ALL TIME. I love logic puzzles, and the collaborative mode of this game had me scratching my head then whooping with joy every time I solved a new challenge. LOVE LOVE LOVE. The single-player mode also...

Thoughts on Les Misérables

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I saw Les Misérables four times on Broadway when it first came out. I have listened to the soundtrack hundreds — if not thousands — of times, and used to be able to sing the entire thing from start to finish. And yet… I didn’t like the movie. [Spoilers follow.] I’m struggling to say exactly why I didn’t like it. The theater production is magic. You get chills...

The Norton Award and Middle Grade Books

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This post is part of the Norton Award Blog Tour. The “Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy,” given annually by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), is actually an award for both young adult and middle grade fiction, despite the official title. If you look at the list of Norton Award finalists and winners since the award’s creation, you’ll see a...

The Norton Jury on the Norton Award: Why It’s Important

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This post is part of the Norton Award Blog Tour. Although the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult* Science Fiction and Fantasy relies on nominations from SFWA members just as the Nebula Awards do, the Norton also employs a jury of qualified volunteer SFWA members to help round out the ballot and ensure that outstanding works are not overlooked. We’ve asked this year’s jury to share their thoughts...

Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities by Mike Jung

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I have no interest in reviewing books, but I love sharing the joy when I find a great one. Today I want to talk about Mike Jung‘s debut middle-grade novel, Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities [Indiebound, Barnes & Noble, Amazon], recommended for ages 8-12, but easily enjoyed by everyone. Excerpted from the official blurb (with spoilers extracted): Vincent Wu is Captain Stupendous’s No...

Thoughts on BRAVE (Spoilers)

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I just saw Pixar’s new movie, BRAVE. It’s been at the top of my must-see list for a long time because although Pixar makes excellent movies, they’d never made one starring a girl or woman before. I couldn’t wait to see Merida, an amazing archer with wild red hair, save the day. First, I must say that the movie is gorgeous — absolutely stunning. It’s the first...

Jenn Reese Writer, Artist, Geek

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