Month: July 2017

Author Interview: Melissa Cuevas

No Wasted Ink

Author Melissa Cuevas describes herself as “A little scatterbrained, but hopefully quite creative.”  I will vouch for the creative side!  Please welcome Melissa here on No Wasted Ink.

Author Melissa CuevasMy name is Melissa Cuevas (pronounced kway’vis…the Spanish word for caves). My father was career military so I grew up moving every few years. I was born in New Mexico and have lived in Idaho, the UK, Arizona, Utah and Texas. That made it very difficult to keep friends, so I spent a lot of time reading by myself. I am married and have two adult children. I have lived in rural Southwestern Wisconsin for the past twenty or so years. I play video games, write fanfiction, cosplay and attend the occasional convention.

When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve always been a reader, and the thought of becoming an author seemed like a way to go. It was the dream…

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Going Medieval

Going Medieval

The Nerds of Color

I’m always amazed at how many people are so quick to argue that people of color did not exist in Europe during medieval times or that black people, for instance, weren’t around during the Greek and Roman eras. And to include said PoCs during such time periods would be unrealistic and another example of shoving a PC agenda down our throats OH-EM-GEE.

This usually comes up in medieval fantasy stories. Like say for instance, Guinevere in BBC’s Merlin. Actress Angel Coulby caught heat for daring to be a beautiful powerful black queen.

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How Much Do You Know About Irony?

Nicholas C. Rossis

You may remember some of Reedsy’s awesome creations such as Writing Dynamic Characters and Third Person Limited vs Omniscient PoV. Well, Ricardo Fayet and his team have done it again with a long-form post detailing the three main kinds of irony in literature, and how authors can use them to add more suspense, depth, or fun to their novels. As usual, they have illustrated it (literally) with a few memorable scenes from Harry Potter, The Hobbit, and Romeo and Juliet.

Reedsy’s post covers the following subjects:

  • What is irony?
  • Dramatic Irony
  • Situational Irony
  • Verbal Irony
  • And even a fun quiz!

Here’s a quick summary, but I do advise you to head over to Reedsy and read the whole post whenever you have a moment. And while you’re there, check out Reedsy’s free writing course: How to Write a Novel!

Learn What Irony (Really) Is and How To…

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Author Spotlight: J.S. Frankel

Author Spotlight: J.S. Frankel

(Almost) Average

In my year long quest to bring you new and “new to you” authors, I’m please to present young adult fantasy author J.S. Frankel, author of The Titans of Ardana (and many other YA Fantasy novels).

Hi, J.S., thanks for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

My real name is Jesse Frankel, but I never cared for it, so I go by my initials most of the time. I was born in Toronto, Canada, a long time ago, and grew up there, attending university and graduating with an Arts Degree, which is about as useful these days as an empty beer bottle.
When I was twenty-six, I moved to Japan to teach ESL (English as a Second Language) and never really went back. I got married a long time ago, and my wife and two sons make our home in Osaka. I teach English…

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Living in Space


A fan of science fiction, like me, enjoys reading about space travel in space operas and other fictional adventures where humans leave the planet. But, occasionally, I wonder what kind of experience it would be to actually travel in space.

To answer this question, I’ve gone to astronaut training websites, and read experiences of actual astronauts. I was surprised to learn that there are issues around, eating, sleeping, exercise, cleaning, and dealing with bio-breaks.

First up, some food will be different. All meals that aren’t solid, like fresh fruit, will be stabilized by being drained of liquid. Think of freeze dried food, or MRE’s. Drinks will be sipped through a straw, to reduce the chance of spillage. Even the taste of food might be different. Remember your air is recycled and your stomach has to accommodate to space travel.

Next, sleeping might seem surprising at first. To keep from drifting around the cabin, you will probably fasten your body into your sleeping bag. Remember to strap your head in, so your neck muscles aren’t working all night against a swinging head.

Clothing only presents one small problem; with no loose water to wash in, you might want extra pairs of underwear. Plan on having a big laundry day, upon your return to terra firma. Other types of ablutions face similar hurdles. You won’t be spraying liquids around, so wash your body with damp towels and wipe yourself to clean up. You can use soap, but don’t let stray bubbles float around. Liquids can get into operating systems where you can’t clean them up. You especially don’t want to cultivate any unplanned bacteria in your living environment.

Exercise becomes even more important in space. The human body is working 24 hours a day against the force of gravity. In space, without gravity, the muscles, and tone will be quickly lost. Each person will need a daily regimen of exercise to keep the body fit. If you are short, congratulations, you may gain a few inches in height. But, you may feel weak as a baby when you step back under full gravity.

Also it seems, when first leaving the planet’s surface, much of the blood will rush to your head. Your head and stomach will be unstable for a few days. It might be a challenge to avoid throwing up. You head will suffer, until you can pee some fluid away. Which brings up another issue. To get rid of bodily waste, you will need to strap yourself to the toilet, using a vacuum sucking tube to pull the wastes away from you.

So, are you ready take off into space? There are a few considerations, but fortunately, some people can do it. Think about these details the next time you crack open a space opera.

I made a quiz to test your suitability for space travel, take it here:

Links: An Astronaut Reveals What Life in Space Is Really Like Life in Space