Tag Archives: black girl nerds

Versatile Blogger Awards (Part 1: Blog Recommendations)

IMG_20131017_213750On Saturday, I found out that Christina Zarrella had awarded me a Versatile Blogger Award! Needless to say (but I’ll say it anyways), I’m so flattered that she thought of me when selecting her nominees! Christina’s blog, Turbulence in the Veins, talks about her journey from homeless teen to Yale grad, offering some incredible insight into the struggles she faced and overcame on the way and talking about issues faced by those in similar situations to hers. To be honored by such a blogger was immensely flattering, and I hope you’ll all check out her writing. She has a memoir, of the same title, on the way. Thank you so much, Christina, for your kind words about I Wrote This:

Rachel Lynn Brody’s blog is always informative – whether on tech/blogging/writing topics and tips: http://rlbrody.com

Part one of winning a Versatile Blogger award is nominating another 15 blogs – so here are my nominations (in no particular order)!

  1. Sare Liz Gordy (Inspiration, One Day At A Time) www.sareliz.com – Sare and I have known each other for years; her blog, which she updates with regularity, is always a window into her attempts to view her world with clarity and self-knowledge. Whether she’s posting about migraines, Feng Shui or finding enlightenment, her blogs are always a focused reflection of the world around her.
  2. Tony Noland (Landless) http://www.tonynoland.com/ – A Twitter acquaintance who I’ve known for a while now, Tony’s blog is a combination of his self-publishing exploits, flash fiction and the occasional DIY project. His sense of humor is always evident in his takes on everyday life.
  3. Jamie Broadnax (Black Girl Nerds) http://blackgirlnerds.com/ – Jamie and I have been chatting on Twitter for some time now, and her blog is a phenomenal resource for all things nerdy. She runs a weekly podcast of the same name, and both outlets dig into comics, culture and more. Through Black Girl Nerds, she’s built a phenomenal community that’s well worth checking out.
  4. C.D. Reimer http://www.cdreimer.com/ – This is actually a combination of three blogs, where C.D. posts about writing, Silicon Valley and poetry. His writing blog is incredibly informative and often offers helpful insights into the process of self-publishing.
  5. Johann Thorsson (On Books & Writing) http://jthorsson.com/blog/ – Icelandic author Johann Thorsson writes short stories and novels (mostly in English). His blog is a collection of book reviews, photographs and excerpts from his essays for megasite Book Riot. As an added bonus, those who follow him on Twitter often get to see, via photo, how jealous we should all be that we don’t live in Iceland.
  6. JC Rosen (Girl Meets Words) http://jessrosen.wordpress.com/ – Jess runs a few different book- and writing-related discussions on Twitter. She’s always supportive of writers and willing to chat about their work, and always able to give an encouraging word. Her blog includes flash fiction on diverse topics and write-ups of the different things she’s reading.
  7. Emily Suess (Suess’ Pieces) http://emilysuess.wordpress.com/ – One of my first Twitter acquaintances, Emily also runs a copywriting business – and when I met her, had taken on the beheamouth of online vanity publishing services to try and help new writers avoid unethical treatment. Seuss’ Pieces has been retired and archived to this URL, but still contains plenty of advice for beginning writers.
  8. Melanie Ardentdelirium (Lovely Like Beestings) http://lovelylikebeestings.wordpress.com – Mels is a Twitter acquaintance whose blog tackles issues of both mental health and Roller Derby. Her topics cover everything from broken bones to sick cats, all with a frank edge that gives you a real taste of her personality.
  9. Jo Clifford (Teatro do Mundo) http://www.teatrodomundo.com/  – Jo, my former MFA supervisor, is also a well-regarded, talented and prolific playwright in Scotland. Her blog is both a resource for understanding what it means to be a playwright in today’s world as well as a rich collection of ruminations on personal experience.
  10. Sarah Hartley (StoryGirlSarah.com) http://storygirlsarah.com/ – Sarah is a New York fashionista in the truest sense of the word, with her signature mod/vintage look stamped across her fashion and design work. (Did I mention she’s responsible for the cover of Hot Mess?) Follow her blog and on Instagram to get the full impact of her creative and clear-headed style.
  11. E.M. Thurmond (Count My Stars) http://countmystars.wordpress.com/ – While it hasn’t been updated in some time, E.M. Thurmond’s blog tells the story of an aspiring TV writer in Hollywood. From interviews with women writers to accounts of her own experiences developing her career, it’s a place where readers can find insight in the crazy maze of trying to make it as a screenwriter while staying true to your goals and ideals.
  12. Vossbrink and Kukurovaca (Hairy Beast) http://hairybeast.net/ – These two twitter acquaintances are quick-witted on Twitter, and the depth of analysis on this blog dealing with photography and culture will change the way you look at pictures. Well worth checking it out, but carve out enough time to really immerse yourself in the subject matter. You won’t regret it.
  13. Debbie Vega (Moon in Gemini) http://debravega.wordpress.com/ – Another blogger I found through #MondayBlogs, Debbie covers writing and pop culture. She participates in a lot of themed blog events, like “The Great Villain Blogathon,” and offers anything from advice on how writers can improve their craft to her perspective on popular films.
  14. NYPinTA (Talking to the Moon) http://www.nypinta.com/blog/ – Film, music, theater, travel and television all get their chance in the spotlight on NYPinTA’s blog. Her clear and direct writing style lets you enjoy her experiences as if you’d been there.
  15. Hugh C. Howey http://www.hughhowey.com/ – I read Hugh Howey’s Silo Saga last year, and was blown away by his intriguing dystopian vision. Since then I’ve had the pleasure of chatting with him once or twice on Twitter, and the thing I love about his blog is how generous he is with his advice for aspiring indie authors. As someone whose self-published stories went from blog entries to Kindle novels to being picked up by a major publisher, he’s walked the road many indie writers want to follow on, and he offers a lot of insight along the way.

Honorable Mention:

Maybe it’s cheating to bring up a blog I help contribute to, but this list wouldn’t be complete without including Calming Brits & Irishmen. My friend @aboleyn started this Tumblr as a way to cheer me up after my back injury, and since then it’s gained nearly 4,000 followers and turned into a sort of Post Secret for Anglophiles. In addition to the meme-like photographs with calming sayings that we started out posting, we now answer anywhere between 3-15 “asks” a day – many anonymous – from followers dealing with upsetting issues from studying for exams to dealing with breakups, mental health issues and the deaths of family and friends — all through the medium of animated gifs of some of our favorite British and Irish personalities. Apparently the brings a smile to many peoples’ days, and if you’re looking for versatility, the topics it covers run the gamut of human experience.

There’s a second part of the Versatile Blogger Awards – sharing seven things about yourself – but as this blog is already topping 1000+ words, I’ll save that for a second part. Stay tuned tomorrow to learn more about me.

I’m currently seeking beta readers/advance reviewers for my upcoming collection of sci-fi and speculative fiction stories, SHORT FRICTIONS. If you’re interested, please click here to find out more. 

After the Geeks: On Arriving Home from Geek Girl Con

I got home early this morning after a whirlwind weekend at the 3rd annual Geek Girl Con. I already wrote about Saturday morning here — now for the rest of the weekend.

Saturday afternoon and into Sunday were intense – and intensely awesome. While I took audio recordings of most of the panes I attended, I wasn’t able to upload them all to Soundcloud and am still looking for alternatives, so will come back and add links if and when I can find a better way to share the sounds. (They’re in a weird file format on my phone or I’d just upload them directly to the website.)


We talked a lot about this on the BGN Podcast Sunday afternoon, but I have literally pages of notes from this panel in my green spiral notebook. Panelists the Shanghai Pearl and Chaka Cumberbatch offered tremendous insight, led by moderator Dr. Andrea Letamendi. Topics discussed included plus-size cosplay, cultural appropriation in the burlesque acts of Dita von Teese, how it takes more to build something than tear it down, and how to have the confidence to keep speaking out against oppression after you’ve been attacked for your opinion.

  • The Best of Both Worlds – STEM Careers in the Humanities

Moderated by Suzette Chan, this panel included input from Hsiao-Ching Chou and Nazila Merati regarding how those of us without advanced degrees in the sciences can still find work in STEM fields. Apparently there’s a lot of call for people who can write a paragraph…or even a sentence…that gets a complex scientific idea across to an audience of laypeople. We talked a bit more about this on the podcast as well, particularly given Jaz’s background in engineering, and I got a chance to plug HOT MESS: speculative fiction about climate change as an example of how writers and artists can contribute to conversations about the sciences. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to soundcloud the entire panel, but you’ll get a good idea of the tips, etc., that were given from the link above.

  • Black, Latina, Girl, Geek

A really positive panel from Aquala Lloyd, Emily Berrios and Tiffany Janibagian about what it meant to them to grow up as geeks, and how geek culture in places like Panama and Puerto Rico differs from geek culture here in the US. This was the first panel I attended where there was a lot of discussion about video game geekery, too, and it was exciting to hear about how the next generation of geeks are growing up in an atmosphere of wider acceptance than those who came before.

2013-10-20 10.01.29Sunday morning brought this panel, where my Twitter friend (and now real-life con lunch buddy!) Barbara Caridad Ferrer spoke along with Corrina Lawson, Karen Harbaugh and Katt S, again moderated by Suzette Chan. I don’t consider myself a romance reader (though I’ve enjoyed both Outlander‘s first book and every Georgette Heyer novel I’ve been able to get my hands on), but after this panel and a chance encounter with Corrina Lawson in the airport late Sunday night, I have a list of which books to read and am looking forward to getting started.

  • Bringing Your Writing to Life with the Spoken Word

This was a last-minute addition to my panel schedule, and I’m really glad I went. Panelists Gwendolyn Jensen-Woodard and Julie Hoverson ran this session as a Q&A, and it was full of advice for both writers and performers who want to get into audiobooks and podcasts as a way to spread their work. I was convinced; I’m going to start looking around ACX and seeing what I can find that might fit a few of my current projects.

A con isn’t all about panels, and Geek Girl Con had great peoplewatching, art and merch opportunities – as well as chances to mingle and network with other like-minded folk. Here’s a gallery with some photos of sights around the convention:

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On Sunday afternoon, I joined Jaz (@ANappyNerdGirl) for our appearance on the Black Girl Nerds podcast, where we discussed the convention, its attendees and how it felt to spend the weekend celebrating our geekiness in a safe space. Oh, we also had trolls call in. They were cut off quickly, but they were pretty obscene, and while they didn’t get to me or the others it was a pretty graphic example of just how badly some people behave when they perceive someone else’s celebration as threatening their privilege.

The con closed with The Doubleclicks playing “Nothing to Prove” to a room full of con attendees – most of whom sang along.



All of which brings me to the “after” part of this blog entry’s title. I went, I listened, I learned – now what? GGC ’13 gave me a lot to think about, and I’m sure the effects will be percolating and expressing themselves in my work and interactions with others for months to come. I want to look into some of the information from the STEM careers in the humanity – and the acronym STEAM (Science, Technology, Arts & Math, as I learned on Sunday). I have a pile of books to read and notes to parse. I’ve already approached a few artists about cover commissions for upcoming books. I met new people. I had a blast. I’m already looking forward to 2014.



Hey, Seattle – Here I Come! #GeekGirlCon


Tomorrow, I’ll be winging my way across the country to Geek Girl Con 2013 in Seattle, WA. Which means that tonight, I’ve been getting ready to travel.

So far I’ve thrown clothes into my bag, pulled them out of my bag, freaked out about not having a headshot, had my roommate offer to help me take a headshot, done my hair and makeup, taken a headshot, removed the makeup (the hair got to stay), piled up printouts of the projects I want to work on on the plane, read panel information, set aside “comfy travelling clothes,” talked to the friends I’ll be staying with about our plans for non-Con time and realized there’s not really anything in the house that I feel like eating for dinner.

I checked the forecast and am excited about Seattle’s ambient temperatures. In case you didn’t know, I’m a cold-weather-loving human being. Can’t stand the heat. I’m so excited about having a weekend of sub-70s temperature I can hardly stand it. My hair is also excited because it hates humidity. My skin is ALSO excited because on top of hating humidity, it’s still recovering from my Epic Sunburn and wants to be somewhere cool and not terribly sunny.

My brain is excited, because it gets six hours (give or take) of flying time each way, which means time wherein I cannot watch TV or surf the internet, and because on top of the very exciting project that SareLiz announced today on her blog (OMG DID I TELL YOU I HAVE AN EPIC EPIC NEW PROJECT KICKING OFF WITH A NANOWRIMO ATTEMPT AND I HAVE NEVER ATTEMPTED NANOWRIMO BEFORE?).

(I also have a really exciting feministy science fiction space play to work on as well, and I finally got my hooks into the story on that one properly earlier this morning when a line floated through my head: “If it looks like a lifeless cesspool and it gives the atmospheric readings of a lifeless cesspool, we’re obviously going to think it’s a lifeless cesspool.” I don’t know what it is about that line but it’s cracking me up. Then again, I have slightly more context on it than anyone reading this, with the possible exception of the piece’s director, who may or may not have a look at this page when it pops up on his Facebook feed, so if you’re not currently cracking up, don’t worry because by the time I’m done with this play you will be. No really, more on this another time. Back to Seattle and the con.)

Here are my goals for Geek Girl Con:

– Have an awesome time
– Soak up every amazing minute of panels, interactions and experiences at the con.
– Keep my phone more or less charged throughout the day (haha…yeah, I’m definitely funny.)
– Buy more coffee from the awesome coffee place my friend took me last time I visited.
– Hang with friends and let my freak flag fly. 😀

And maybe write a blog or two. But we’ll just have to wait and see how that works out. Kind of like the headshot – I sent Jamie over at BGN three different ones to pick from.


Tune in Sunday at 4pm PST/7pm EST for the Black Girl Nerds podcast, where I’ll be hanging with other con-goers and host Jamie, giving the rundown on the whole experience. 



Geek Girl Con & a Podcast Appearance!

geekgirlconThis time next week, I’ll be coming at you from Seattle, WA and Geek Girl Con.

The conference is focused on celebrating the female geek, and I’m super-stoked about the panels I’m going to be checking out. Geekdom and Race, Women and STEM careers and Romance as a Feminist Genre are just a few of the ones I’m looking forward to – plus there are opportunities to see Bechdel Test Burlesque, costume competitions and more. Those attending will also have the chance to hear Jane Espenson (Husbands, Once Upon A Time), Denise Crosby (Tasha Yar from Star Trek: The Next Generation) and others speak, as well.

On Sunday at 7pm EST/4pm PST, tune in to hear my thoughts on the con during the Black Girl Nerds podcast. I’ll be appearing with Jaz from the LxL – League of Extraordinary Ladies – and maybe even a surprise guest panelist from the con. From the BGN site:

GeekGirlCon celebrates and honors the legacy of women contributing to science and technology; comics, arts, and literature; and game play and game design by connecting geeky women world-wide and creating community to foster continued growth of women in geek culture through events.

Attendees Rachel Brody and Jaz will be featured on the podcast to provide us up-to-the-minute information about the event and how important this con is for nerdy girls.

–  Black Girl Nerds

If you’re free, I hope you’ll listen to the podcast and call in to discuss Geek Girl Con with us next Sunday afternoon (October 20th). If you can’t listen to the live show, make sure you download the podcast after the broadcast after it airs!