Blessings In Disguise

Celebrating my first paycheck as a professional writer for Tor.com. January 2010

Celebrating my first paycheck as a professional writer for Tor.com. January 2010

So remember that bit in my Year In Review post where I said I was still a writer for Tor.com?

Yeah, not so much.

I was let go a couple of days ago, just after I was let go from GirlGamer on New Year’s Day. It’s not been a good week for me, writing-wise.

And while it sucks, I know that a majority chunk of why I was let go was my fault.

For GirlGamer, there were a couple of times when I didn’t get them their promised reviews on time. For Tor.com, it was a mix of not getting them things on time, and not having pitches/articles I did submit approved, because I’d somehow gotten out of step with what they wanted. For the past couple of months, I’d admittedly become ambivalent about submitting things. I could pretend that this was a huge horrible thing that was done to me, but the fact is that I, consciously or unconsciously, did this to myself.

For a while now, I’ve been telling friends that I’ve gotten a bit burnt-out on writing about geeky things. Yes, I love sci-fi and fantasy and comics…but I love other things, too. And I’ve been writing about geeky things online since 2007. That’s five years of writing about geek pop culture. For the past couple of months, I’ve been having trouble maintaining enthusiasm about that; trouble with coming up with new and interesting ways to talk about the same things. And my editors at these sites suffered the effects, and I’m really sorry about that. Because I know I can do better, and they deserved better from me.

What’s funny is that I’ve been saying that I didn’t want to do geek writing anymore for a while now…so, both these gigs letting me go at the same time was kinda like the Universe saying Oh, you don’t want this anymore? Fine. *yoink* You don’t have it anymore. Do something else.

Thanks, Universe. I GET it. GEEZ! 🙂 Trying to see these two incidents as blessings in disguise; answers to a prayer I didn’t even realize I was making except in hindsight.

There’s been a lot that’s happened lately that’s slapped me in the face and forced me to reexamine what I want, how I accomplish things, and the way I plan. I feel like 2013 is gonna be the year where Life takes off the kid gloves, and I’m gonna have to be ready to deal with it. I will be ready to deal with it. This weekend, among other things, I’ll be preparing a list of outlets to which I want to submit work – diverse ones that appeal to all my interests, not just the geeky ones. I’ll be writing pieces for Al Dia and NerdSpan (By the way, did I tell you I was just taken on by NerdSpan as a book reviewer? Well, now you know!), sites that, while I’ll still be writing about arts and culture, I’ll be able to broaden my scope in that arena. I love that I have the chance to more closely examine Latino contributions to culture, and I love that I now have the chance to write about books – some of them sci-fi/fantasy/graphic novels, yes, but also contemporary literary fiction and non-fiction.

This week or next, I plan on meeting with a writer friend of mine whose hustle and tenacity in freelance writing I hugely respect, to pick her brain about what I can do to refocus my energies and pursue the kind of writing I want to be doing. I also hope to incorporate some of the writing I did for Tor and GirlGamer into this blog – so if you really enjoyed my Doctor Who stuff or my comics reviews, you just might start seeing them pop up here once in a while.

And this month, I’m getting back to my fiction, which is what I really want to be doing in the first place. My specs, pilot, and prose fiction have been ignored for way too long. I have writing fellowships for which to prepare and a fictional voice that’s been stagnating in the shadow of my online non-fiction voice.

And I want to state for the record that I will always be grateful to Tor.com for being the first outlet ever to pay me for my words. It meant so much to me in 2010, and it means so much to me today. The staff there is amazing, and I feel privileged to have worked with them. I’m also grateful to GirlGamer for giving me the opportunity to write about comics again when I’d been missing it, having weaned myself off of comics reviewing in favor of writing about television and web content. HB, you’re an awesome editor. And thanks to Cricket for hooking a sistah up.

Writing Career, 2013 is when I start kicking you in the face. Be warned.

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GirlGamer Posts: End of the Year Comics Shenanigans!

I really need to get better at staying on top of announcing my posts! Especially since they happen every week, so they’re not really a surprise…

Bad Teresa!

Anyway, over at GirlGamer.com I’ve written about a Halloween comic for Christmas, and celebrating the best of 2012 by celebrating one of my comic heroes…

Halloween Eve cover

First, check out my review of HALLOWEEN EVE (Image), an adorable one-shot comic written by Brandon Montclare and drawn by the fabulous Amy Reeder.

EXCERPT:

Eve works in a Halloween store…and she hates it. Especially around Halloween. Costumes and make-believe just aren’t her bag, despite the well-intentioned nudging of her co-workers, including Raymond, the guy in the store who has an obvious crush on her. When her boss forces everyone to wear costumes at work on Halloween, she’s hugely pissed off about it. What’s worse? She has to close the store on Halloween eve. What’s a cynical girl to do?

For the full review, CLICK HERE!

Saga Alana Marko kiss

Next, check out my post on my comics highlight of 2012, Brian K. Vaughan and his wonderfully weird creator-owned ongoing comic, SAGA (Image Comics)!

EXCERPT:

Vaughan reminds us what comics are really about. They aren’t about blockbuster movies or social media. They’re about weird people getting together to enthuse about weird stories that you can’t find anywhere else. They are a medium unto themselves and a community that can be warmer and less snarky than we’ve allowed it to be lately. It’s about people sending each other weird s@#t in the mail.

For the full review, CLICK HERE!

Wow. I just realized that the two comics I reviewed most recently are both from Image and both feature female protagonists of color. Has the world gone topsy-turvy?! Go Image! 🙂

Happy New Year indeed!

GIRLGAMER POSTS: Catching You Up On INKED!

Poor little neglected blog! Don’t worry, I’m back to take care of you…

I’ve had some GirlGamer.com posts go up since I last wrote, so I figured I’d pimp those out to the comic fans out there! Check out the links below:

Werewolf of NYC 1

THE KICKSTART: The Werewolf of NYC: A piece I wrote about my talented friend, artist Edwin Vasquez’s, latest comic project, The Werewolf of NYC, and its (now successful) Kickstarter campaign.

Adventures of a Comic Con Girl cover

INKED: The Adventures of a Comic-Con Girl: I have too many talented friends doing amazing things! This piece is about my pal Dana Braziel-Solovy’s first comic, The Adventures of a Comic-Con Girl, which is now on Issue #3.

And my most recent INKED column at GirlGamer, which posted today:

Saucer Country #10 cover

INKED: Saucer Country: My review of the Vertigo series, Saucer Country, written by my Older Brother in Writing Across the Pond, Paul Cornell.

Now, get out there and buy some comics! Support indie titles and local comic shops!

Getting Back In the Game (and GirlGamer Posts)

Me a month ago.

October and the beginning of November were a bit insane for me for a number of reasons. I experienced the beginning of my first “busy season” at my new day job, and had to prepare and work a networking event. I devoted October to volunteering for the Obama campaign (FOUR MORE YEARS!). Thankfully, that wasn’t a waste of time. 😉 I helped plan and hold callbacks for two lead characters on RETCON. I helped another boss find participants for a film shoot. And somewhere in all of that, I forgot to write things. Or rather, I didn’t forget, I just didn’t have any energy left.

I also let a lot fall through the cracks. I have a bad habit of taking on a lot, not knowing my own limitations, and not asking for help. I’m trying to be better about that. Lateness was also an issue, particularly for the day job, but not exclusively. It seems I am my Daddy’s girl, bad habits and all.

Last month (and the beginning of this one), I was reintroduced to my flaws. This isn’t me being self-deprecating or holding a pity party. It’s me acknowledging the things at which I could be better. Everyone’s got them. For me, it’s learning how to say “no,” how to ask for help when I do take on too much, how to be more forthcoming with information sooner so that people around me aren’t blindsided by sudden changes in my focus, momentum, or ability. Basically, as gung-ho and positive as I want to be, I have to remember that positive doesn’t mean invincible. I can ask for help and acknowledge my shortcomings, and still be a positive, enthusiastic person. They’re not mutually exclusive. Lately, I’ve been feeling like my brain’s been spinning as I’ve been stuck in one place. Now would be a great time for that to stop.

So, I’m taking steps to change things, and I’m getting my head back in the game. 🙂 I’m not going into the details here. I just hope that the result will be self-evident.

Art by Ron Chan, from the Husbands web comic. (Dark Horse Digital)

To get the ball rolling, let me catch you up on my most recent writing! Here are three pieces of mine from GirlGamer.com:

INKED: Dark Horse puts “Husbands” On the Web…Again – my piece on the new Husbands web comic, based on the hit web series created by Brad Bell and Jane Espenson.

INKED: “Real” Krypton Found in Action Comics #14 – my piece on the most recent issue of DC’s Action Comics, where Superman finds out where his home planet is with help from none other than famed astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson!

INKED: “Billy the Vampire Slayer” – my review of Part 1 of the “Billy the Vampire Slayer” story arc in Buffy Season Nine from Dark Horse,with a story by Jane Espenson and Drew Z. Greenberg that was scripted by Espenson.

And there’s more where that came from, Kids. Stay tuned!

And to those who were affected by my muddled, frantic brain last month, I’m sincerely sorry. You deserve better from me, and I’m going to try to be that – even if it means I have to say no to you sometimes.

GirlGamer Post: “INKED – The CW’s “Arrow” Misses the Mark”

I missed last week over at Girl Gamer (expect an extra post from me coming soon), but I’ve come back this week by talking about the latest mainstream adaptation of a comics property. Check out my review of the premiere of the CW’s new show, Arrow. (SPOILER: Green Arrow’s abs are the best thing about this show)

EXCERPT:

I don’t know what should make me angrier: the fact that the CW’s Arrow features yet another Latina maid (with a horrible accent of indeterminate origin), the fact that Oliver Queen’s special abilities seems to come from magical, mystical Asians (when in doubt, get Asians to teach you parkour…or something), or the fact that the CW insists on casting actors that have one look – The Vacant Stare – through which all emotions are expressed as blandness.

For the full review, or to make a comment on the post, CLICK HERE!

GirlGamer Post: INKED – Dark Horse Keeps Things In Motion With “The Strain”

My latest INKED column at GirlGamer.com takes on not only a Dark Horse title, but the strange medium of “motion comics” itself. Check out my review of the The Strain motion comic, produced by Dark Horse and presented by Geek & Sundry.

EXCERPT:

Motion comics.

They’re a weird little hybrid of an art form, aren’t they? I mean, why are they “motion comics” rather than just animated shorts? Well, for one thing, there’s minimal animation. In most motion comics, the the camera pans over the artwork, but the characters and objects in a scene don’t move much. Motion comics are basically like audiobooks, except that you have the added benefit of some visuals. This approach is sometimes successful (Marvel’s Spider-Woman motion comic written by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev) and sometimes not (Marvel’s Astonishing X-Men: Gifted, where whoever voiced Wolverine sounded like they took up smoking to play the part), but it is interesting to me to see how creative motion comics can get given their seemingly limited range.

For the full review, or to leave a comment at the post, CLICK HERE!

GirlGamer Post: INKED – Womanthology: Space

Whoa! This is kinda late, huh? All the better to snuggle up with before bed.

You know you snuggle up with my comics reviews before bed. Don’t lie.

Here’s my latest at GirlGamer! My INKED review of Issue #1 of Womanthology: Space, which came out this week!

EXCERPT:

Like Womanthology: Heroic, Womanthology: Space is a mixed bag, with some stories stronger than others, as is to be expected  with any anthology. “Scaling Heaven,” both as far as the writing and the artwork, is the strongest of the bunch. Everything from the concept and dialogue, to the layout and the beautiful, painterly quality of the art made me wish that “Scaling Heaven” were a longer, more in-depth comic about a renewed fascination with space travel. It reminded me a bit of Warren Ellis’ Orbiter, and I would love to see the story of “Scaling Heaven” fleshed-out into an Orbiter-length graphic novel and published by IDW (*hint, hint*).

To read the full review, or to leave a comment at the post, CLICK HERE!