Heroines in YA fiction

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It is disturbing that in YA, often the female hero’s main redeeming characteristic is that she is “selfless.” Yes, there is no greater love than to lay down your life for your friends, but women need to be valued above what they have to give to others. What about solving a problem without violence? And why is life the “go to” sacrifice? Why is death even on the table?

There is a better way.

Bella asks the Volturi to kill her. 
Katniss volunteers to become a Tribute. 
Tris gives herself over to the Erudite. Alone, these actions seem noble, but these heroes are still playing by the establishment’s rules.

Why don’t we break ‘em?

Show me the anarchist, pacifist, peacemaker. Give me the daisy, lovingly placed in the mouth of an AR-15 instead of an arrow piercing the attacker’s heart. Write a dark hero that will not abide by death on either side of the war.

WWII novel “Why Aren’t You Sweet Like Me?” FREE on Kindle today for Christmas!

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Merry Christmas everyone!
My publisher, the Sunbury Press, has made my WWII historical novel free on Kindle today! Tons of great reviews, so please go grab a copy. Or 5…

You can even gift it to that WWII buff in your life, you just need their email address! And if you don’t have a Kindle, you can still read it with a variety of Kindle apps for your phone, tablet, or computer! Just scroll down and I have the links available on my Memorial Day post. Have a beautiful Christmas Day.

FREE Kindle download of “Why Aren’t You Sweet Like Me?” by Carrie Nyman

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

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Since I’ve been very busy with books and the craziness below Pikes Peak (seriously, Colorado? Go home…you’re drunk), I’ve been neglecting my poor blog (sorry!)

So I thought I’d share the poem that named this little dalliance of mine. Enjoy!

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Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question. . . 10
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap, 20
And seeing that it was a soft October night
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate; 30
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions
And for a hundred visions and revisions
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair— 40
[They will say: "How his hair is growing thin!"]
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin—
[They will say: "But how his arms and legs are thin!"]
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all;
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons, 50
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;

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I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
So how should I presume?

And I have known the eyes already, known them all—
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways? 60
And how should I presume?

And I have known the arms already, known them all—
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
[But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!]
Is it perfume from a dress
That makes me so digress?
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
And should I then presume?
And how should I begin?
. . . . .

Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets 70
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows? . . .

I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.
. . . . .

And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep . . . tired . . . or it malingers,
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis? 80
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter,
I am no prophet–and here’s no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.

And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while, 90
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”
If one, settling a pillow by her head,
Should say, “That is not what I meant at all.
That is not it, at all.”

And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while, 100
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—
And this, and so much more?—
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:
“That is not it at all,
That is not what I meant, at all.” 110
. . . . .

No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.

I grow old . . . I grow old . . . 120
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think they will sing to me.

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown 130
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

T.S. Eliot

Addiction

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I wasn’t really prepared to see this at my grandfather’s funeral on Saturday, but I’m glad I did.
This is my father’s. He died of a drug and alcohol overdose the day I turned 24. We had a memorial service in Denver without his remains because the toxicology testing took weeks. My family scattered his ashes in Montana the next year though I was unable to attend. They placed this plaque next to my uncle’s (who also died as a result of drugs and alcohol when I was 15).

Cory Monteith died from an overdose this weekend, and though he accepted his addiction and sought help, he still succumbed to his demons. Please do not allow this to happen to you.

I know that addiction is a disease, but it is also a choice.

If you have a problem with drugs or alcohol, tell someone who loves you. I watched my dad destroy himself from the inside and it still scars my little heart. Please ask for help.

You are far too important.

P.S. My grandfather was a sweet, careful man, but he suffered from alcohol-induced dementia for years. He was gone a long time before I said goodbye.

Last hours to get “Why Aren’t You Sweet Like Me??” for FREE on Kindle!

Ends at midnight! Go grab a copy ;) http://www.amazon.com/Why-Arent-Sweet-Like-ebook/dp/B007EV9CP2/ref=zg_bs_157059011_f_33

“But I don’t have a Kindle!” you say.

Well, then you can get a Kindle app to read on your tablet, iPad, smartphone, or computer here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/ref=kcp_pc_mkt_lnd?docId=1000426311

Thank you for all your love and support. You’ve made writing novels what I needed it to be (and that’s why my second project is done! woohoo!)

FREE Kindle Download for 4th of July weekend!

Free Kindle for Carrie Independence Day

My publisher is making my WWII novel available for free on Kindle this weekend! It’s based on the true story of Honey and Don, and has won many fans and excellent reviews (and it’s free until Sunday night! yea!) If you love old-fashioned love stories with a historical/military bent, you’ll love Why Aren’t You Sweet Like Me??

Update: Currently sitting at #39 in Historical Fiction!