Transcript from the Shapiro Awards Gala 2017 at the University of Toledo

I had the honor of speaking at the 2017 Shapiro Awards Gala at the University of Toledo, my alma mater. The gala is held annually, serving as an awards ceremony for both the Shapiro writing contest as well as the English department’s awards for student achievements across many categories.

When the department approached me about speaking, they asked me to talk about how writing and literacy have influenced my personal and professional life. As a born-and-raised Toledoan — like many UT students — who transplanted elsewhere in the US for work, I tried to think about what I needed to hear when I was an undergrad, and what advice I could give students who might be worried or discouraged about the future.

Below are my written notes from the original script I wrote in preparation for the Shapiro Awards. Some of my eventual additions are included in brackets.

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Some of the coolest women in SF/F are moms

My newest at The Portalist lists 8 of my favorite moms of speculative fiction:

These women come in many forms, from the women who raised us to the teachers and role models we’ve found in the world around us—even in fiction.

While I couldn’t possibly fit them all on one list, here are eight genre fiction mother figures I’m grateful for this Mother’s Day.

Find out who else (besides The General) is on the list, and tell me about some of YOUR favorite moms in sci-fi.

Tohyo Game’s conclusion is screwed up

I mean, seriously screwed up. In the best way I can think of.

Anyone else who was anxiously waiting to find out why Shuusuke was the votekeeper of the previous game will find at least some level of satisfaction as detectives investigating the deaths at the school learn more about what’s going on — and what’s been going on — in the opening pages of the manga. After the Volume 2 cliffhanger, I almost flipped a table when the tension was resolved so easily, but that opened the door for the rest of the story.

Find out what else I had to say about Volume 3 of Tohyo Game over at Girls in Capes.

Horimiya, Volume 6 takes the slice-of-life romance in a new direction

My latest review of the Horimiya manga series is live now at Girls in Capes:

Volume 6 opens with other characters, but largely explores the nuances of romance as a teen. Not all of the characters could possibly end up with a happily ever after — like another manga I’ve reviewed — yet the story reflects some very real experiences that teens have when pursuing and entering relationships.

Volume 6 covers some pretty interesting and different topics, but please note there are some mild spoilers in my review!

Love is in the air – so check out some OTPs on The Portalist

Valentine’s Day? Valentine’s Day.

Love is in the air—even if we’re only interested in the love consuming our favorite science fiction and fantasy novels’ characters. No matter if the Hallmark holiday gives you good or bad vibes, we couldn’t resist the chance to celebrate our favorite swoon-worthy romances.

This was a ton of fun to write, and I have to own up to my favorites: Ron/Hermione, June/Day, and Moon/Jade. (Leia and Han are up there, too, but I love them absolutely most in the movies!)

Anyway, make sure to check out all 12 couples in the article up on The Portalist.