Tag Archives: My Superpower

My Superpower: Chris Caldwell

16 Aug

My Superpower is a regular guest column on the Skiffy and Fanty blog where authors and creators tell us about one weird skill, neat trick, highly specialized cybernetic upgrade, or other superpower they have, and how it helped (or hindered!) their creative process as they built their project. Today we welcome Chris Caldwell.

 

I’ve always been fascinated by illusion and transformation; the concepts of changing a thing into something new, and something appearing to change but remaining the same, go hand in hand. My stories The Beekeeper’s Garden (Fiyah, Spring 2017) and Serving Fish (Fantastic Stories of the Imagination, People of Color Take Over Issue 2017) explicitly deal with illusion and transformation as they apply to the experiences of marginalized people. I am a skeptic who deeply wants to believe. I know the magician is palming the coin while still hoping she has conjured it from the ether.

My superpower is seeing through illusion. Not in a grandiose way, I don’t wave my hands to reveal that the handsome youth has really been a middle aged venture capitalist all along. I’ll irritate friends at the movies by figuring out plot twists long before I’m supposed to (“They’re the ghosts!” “I think he’s making this whole thing up!” “They’re really in modern times!”). I’ve used insight as a mental health worker to help people who are frustrated and feel unheard get to the bottom of what need they have that hasn’t been met. Throwing a surprise party for me is usually an exercise in futility. It isn’t infallible by any means. There are people and conditions that completely confound my insight, and days where maybe the moon has entered the wrong sphere and every observation I make falls flat. But for the most part, it’s served me well: allowing me to discern true friend from false, and helping others navigate closer to the shaky ground known as the Truth.

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My Superpower: Jay Swanson

9 Mar

My Superpower is a guest column on the Skiffy and Fanty blog where authors and creators usually tell us about one weird skill, neat trick, highly specialized cybernetic upgrade, or other superpower they have, and how it helped (or hindered!) their creative process as they built their project. In this case, we’re hearing about the superpower best suited for the protagonist of Into the Nanten.

“Of all my accumulated powers, I think my ability to influence the perceptions of those around me is the most useful — especially with regards to how they feel. It’s subtle, really, this capacity to touch the mind and leave no trace. It’s almost like an aura, one you’ll never truly leave should you enter it. Continue reading

My Superpower: E.C. Ambrose (Elisha Rex)

22 Jul

My Superpower is a regular guest column on the Skiffy and Fanty blog where authors and creators tell us about one weird skill, neat trick, highly specialized cybernetic upgrade, or other superpower they have, and how it helped (or hindered!) their creative process as they built their project. Today we welcome E.C. Ambrose to talk about how the power of hiking in the rain relates to Elisha Rex.

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In addition to being a novelist, I am also an adventure guide, and it was this second career which led me to a surprising super-power, one which, as a child, I would never have dreamed of possessing: hiking in the rain.

One of the great joys of being a grown-up, and a self-employed one at that, is, in most cases, I can do whatever I want — or choose not to do it, and most of the time, it works out just fine. As a child, I had a great aversion to rain: I would hide in the toybox to avoid having to go out in the rain. But as an adventure guide, hiding in the toybox, no matter how appealing it sounds, is simply no longer an option. Adventure Camp doesn’t stay inside when it rains.

Writing the third book in an on-going series is a similar situation. Continue reading

My Superpower: Beth Cato (The Clockwork Crown)

6 Jun

My Superpower is a regular guest column on the Skiffy and Fanty blog where authors and creators tell us about one weird skill, neat trick, highly specialized cybernetic upgrade, or other superpower they have, and how it helped (or hindered!) their creative process as they built their project. Today we welcome Beth Cato to talk about how the power of wielding cookies like shurikens relates to The Clockwork Crown.

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My superpower:  I wield cookies like shurikens.

Well, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration. I’m nowhere near as subtle as a ninja. The thing is, I love baking. I love to feed people the stuff I bake. The kitchen is my dojo. I do the full stay-at-home-mom-and-writer gig. I can only sit at the computer for so long. I need to stand up, move around, let my mind find free space to wander over plot problems. Continue reading

My Superpower: Heather Rose Jones (The Mystic Marriage)

18 May

My Superpower is a regular guest column on the Skiffy and Fanty blog where authors and creators tell us about one weird skill, neat trick, highly specialized cybernetic upgrade, or other superpower they have, and how it helped (or hindered!) their creative process as they built their project. Today we welcome Heather Rose Jones to talk about how the power of root cause analysis relates to The Mystic Marriage.

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You might not think that the same superpower would come in handy both as a fantasy novelist and as an industrial root cause investigator. But I have a preternatural ability to maintain multiple competing unfinished causal structures in my mind, feeding facts into them bit by bit until a pattern emerges from the swirling chaos, the contradictions fall away, and what remains is—if not the only truth—then at least one possible truth that is consistent with the facts. Continue reading

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