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Archives: Stories and Poems

Aurors: The Fist of Mars

Aurors: The Fist of Mars

tumblr_nuzm30bCzI1u5rgl3o1_1280I wrote a Harry Potter fanfiction. A 65k+ word fanfiction. Because I don’t know, but it was fun.

Aurors: The Fist of Mars starts months after the Battle of Hogwarts and is canon to the epilogue. It follows Harry, Ron, and other members of the Department of Magical Law enforcement as they attempt to pick up the pieces in the aftermath of the war.

Ships: Romione, Hinny, and just a bit of Hannah/Neville. Also Oliver Wood features strongly in this fic.

I’m putting it online for free because I just want people to read it. I was inspired by CONjuration last year to get back into fan fiction. Years ago I used to spend much of my free time doing online Harry Potter role-playing, and so writing this story felt like visiting an old friend.

I hope you like it. You can follow its continuing updates on Tumblr, Archive of Our Own, and Wattpad.

And now back to editing my next original novel. Here’s chapter one to get you started:

The Olympia Heights Comic

The Olympia Heights Comic

ETA: All problems with the site have been worked out. You can view the comic at

We’ve had a little stumble launching the Olympia Heights comic. My hosting provider has been slipping considerably over the past few years, and last night’s issue was timed horribly because an issue with our previous site design wasn’t discovered until launch. While I wait for customer service (it literally could be a week, it was last time I dealt with them) I can’t do anything. I’ve been through all of my steps to troubleshoot and now a server admin is required.

So what about the Olympia Heights comic? Well, the site just keeps shooting off 500 Internal Server Errors, but that doesn’t mean you can’t read it. The comic is also being updated weekly by email. You can sign up here to get the new 2-page spread in your inbox on Fridays.

Get it in your inbox!


Below I’ve attached the starting pages so you can read them now. Hopefully once I get the kinks worked out the rest of the comic’s run will go smoothly. This is why I’ll be hosting my fanfiction on Tumblr.

Essay: The Safest Seat In The House

Essay: The Safest Seat In The House

The following essay was written for an exam for my Literature For Young Adults class this spring. The exam question was about censorship and asked students to discuss three of the books we had read during those six weeks to discuss in the essay. Please keep in mind that this was written in a thirty minute window and I haven’t touched it since (save to type it here). My response, which received an A, expresses how I feel about banned books and young readers.

Books are tiny windows, ways of viewing lives. It doesn’t matter that these may be works of fiction. In fact, in many cases, fictions wield more power. Books offer a way for readers to experience all that the world has to offer and all that the world has to take away. While it may be the instinct of parents to shelter their children from the darkness in our world, it is a mistake to shelter them from darker literature. These windows to the darkness offer children a valuable experience at a safe distance. They are allowed to see and understand without being victimized in reality. Censorship of these works does not remove these negative experiences from our world, but instead it leaves children unprepared to manage them.

To a casual reader, Albert Camus’s The Stranger may seem like a horrible little story about a callous man who kills someone and is executed. Meursault is not a paragon of our western Christian values by any means. He is an atheist who lies to please others and sleeps with a woman he does not love. He certainly is not what most of us would raise our children to be. Yet, we can see ourselves in him. He floats along the path of least resistance. He does not engaged in life and friendship, but instead goes through the motions and exists. It is this kind of living that brings him to the beach with a gun in his pocket and an enemy in his presence. Thus, Meursault becomes an example of how anyone who does not make their own decisions can become a killer. He teaches the reader that we have to care about life. Men who just go along with the actions of others can be just as guilty of evil as those who actively seek it. So many teenagers go through high school agreeing with what’s cool and doing the minimum that is expected of them. How easy it is to lose control of your own life when you don’t care!

Another excellent cautionary tale is Steve Harmon’s story in Monster, by Walter Dean Myers. Myers shows a shocking, violent, nightmarish life behind bars. Steve listens as his cell mate is raped in the next bunk; this detail could have been spared, but it is important. Prison is not just a way to earn street cred. It is hell. It is important for Myers’s readers to see this. As with Meursault, we see how easy it is to go along with things, to end up involved in a murder by taking the easy route. Monster tells its readers to think for themselves and, more importantly, to think it through. Steve did not think about how his part in the robbery could lead to murder. Steve’s lack of forethought lead him to a living hell.

Of all of the works we have covered in Literature for Young Adults, Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak may be the most important. It is important for the victims to know that speaking out is the only path to healing. It is important for young men to know what rape is and what it does. It is important for communities to understand how this crime shatters lives and how we tend to miss the signs and cries for help. I have actually seen news coverage of a Shelby County mother protesting the use of Speak in schools. She saw it as disturbing, but did not see its value because her daughter had not been raped. In truth, one in five women in America have been sexually assaulted. It is important for us all to understand so that we can fight that startling statistic and help those who are already part of it.

Ignoring our problems won’t make them go away. Fiction gives us the power to discuss real life events through a layer of removal. Fiction provides a safety net to our children so that they can learn about the evils of our world without fear of falling. Taking these works away won’t solve our problems. They did not create the problems; they are a response to our world. They are weapons and armor, tools for teenagers to equip themselves with as they prepare to face the world ahead. Stripping away these tools will only leave them vulnerable.

Brand Name Does Not Inspire Confidence

Brand Name Does Not Inspire Confidence

Back in my undergrad studies, I had the brilliant idea to write a modern Greek comedy. The play itself was full of superficial Greek mythology jokes, but was scrapped because it lacked heart. Some day I might revamp it. Today, after a conversation in my graduate Young Adult Literature class about teen sexuality, I recalled something that I did like about my play. I decided that I needed to share.

The play, in the true style of an Aristophanic comedy, was a series of episodes strung together by choral interludes. This form of Greek Drama was later mimicked in my Olympia Heights series. The poems, written in Sapphic stanzas of 11, 11, 11, and 5 syllables, are the odes, the interludes. Rhiannon Frater, author of The First Days, said in her Goodreads review of The Pantheon:  “In fact, the flashback stories were so beautifully written I would read a whole book just with that writing style.”

The odes I wrote for this play, Oops! I’m Oedipus, were far less classically structured. The one I am about to share, I know by heart. I hope that it gives you a little chuckle on this cold, damp, Thursday morning (and I envy you if you’re somewhere that isn’t cool and wet right now).

It’s a funny thing, to give the name
and thus transfer the ancient fame–
To liken a condom to the Trojan horse,
should bring the consumer much remorse.
If you thought about the age-old tale,
the metaphor should make you wail,
for the wooden horse seemed friend, not foe,
as the people of Troy did not know
that once inside the walls of Troy,
the horse would burst and– boy, oh boy!
Greek seamen burst with a rallying sound
and burned the city to the ground.
So a contraceptive of this name
would seemingly be all the same.
Then who should trust the Trojan brand
to protect the consumer and withstand?

Happy Thursday!