So! If you get my newsletter or follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you may have heard. I went to Greece.

Greek mythology was the first mythology I learned, and I fell in love right away. The stories were just so strange, and the monsters were incredible. They blew open my imagination in new directions, and it plays a big role in how I write.

So a trip to Greece was high on my travel wish list. (And hey, who doesn't love a good beach?)

The trip was incredible! To share it with you, I'm posting pictures of my favorite moments all week.

Let's start with some classics--top ruins from Athens.

Temple of Zeus

Or at least, what's left of the Temple of Zeus. So many of the buildings from ancient times are still in incredible shape, it can start to feel like it's nothing special. I loved the Temple of Zeus because its partially-standing columns are a beautiful reminder of what an incredible thing it is that anything is left standing at all, thousands of years later.

The Carytids

Slipped right in with the rest of the majesty (and hoards of tourists) in the Acropolis, these four lady sculptures-turned-columns blew me away. There's ionic, doric, and corinthian ... and then there's this. Who are these ladies? My mind craves a story to go with them.

Socrates's Jail

This is where the actual Socrates was brought and jailed before his execution. A little morbid, I guess, but standing on that same ground had power about it. The philosopher has become just a big, vague concept to me. Standing at a place he was known to have been, too, made him incredibly real.

Hope you enjoyed these glimpses into my trip. More to come!

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Hey readers. Hope your summer is off to a great start. I have big plans for travel and lounging by the pool--how about you?

What do all my summer activities have in common? They require a huge pile of books to read.

If you're looking to pad your TBR in prep for summer, I've got just the thing. I've teamed up with several other sci-fi/fantasy authors, and we're all giving away a book for free, including my Third Realm Wars novella, Rain.

Get free sci-fi & fantasy books here

And hey, real friends tell friends about giveaways--why not share Rain and more with your friends? Tweet this.
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1. Medusa is one of the Gorgons.

Gorgons are winged human females with a hideous face and living venomous snakes in place of hair. So if you are aware of Medusa, this should sound familiar.

2. She is the granddaughter of the Earth (Gaia) and the Ocean (Oceanus).

Kinda cool, right?

3. And her parents are Phorkys and Keto, god and goddess of the sea, who represented the seas dangers.

Bonus fact: Ketos also refer to sea monsters.

4. Medusa’s gaze turned men to stone.

Some versions of the myth say this is because of her monstrous ugliness; others because of her incredible beauty.

5. She has two sisters, Sthenno and Euryale.

Medusa was the only mortal of the three. As far as I could find, there is no explanation for this, so I figure it’s kind of like how some of us are just born muggle and others get to be wizards.

6. Medusa’s monstrous form was said to be punishment from Athena for seducing Poseidon.

Of course other versions say Poseidon raped her, so … victim blame much?

7. It’s said her monstrous character followed, as the world turned against her.

A pre-Frankenstein's monster, if you will.

8. In her despair, Medusa fled to Africa.

As she wandered, snakes dropped from her hair. This is how Africa got its venomous reptiles. Still no explanation for Australia.

9. Medusa was ultimately beheaded, of course, by Perseus.

Her sisters tried to avenge her, but Perseus dodged them  by using Hades’ cap, which made him invisible.

10. Perseus, classy guy that he was, continued to use the head as a weapon.

Even after her death, Medusa’s head retained its ability to turn people to stone. Eventually Perseus gave it to Athena, who placed it on her shield.

11. And then she became a symbol.

In classical antiquity, Medusa’s head came to appear on the Gorgoneion, which was an evil-averting device. Not a bad ultimate legacy, albeit from a pretty rough life.

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As demonstrated so very recently by La La Land, artists do tend to enjoy the occasional deep dive into their own wallows.

A writer myself, I’m a total sucker for it. The highs and lows that come with artistry expose our internal quirks and vulnerabilities like nothing else.

Writers are far from impervious to the occasional navel-gazing whim. Here are a few of my all-time favorite books that indulge in some intense navel-gazing.

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There are times when we should all stand up and speak on behalf of something. Then, there are times when the best way to advocate is to step aside and let someone else speak.

African American History Month is one of those times.

So here's a roundup of great articles celebrating African American science fiction and fantasy authors. Hope you're ready to add a ton of amazing books to your to-be-read list!

A Crash Course in the History of Black Science Fiction

Freedom to Read: The 1939 Alexandria Library Sit-In

7 Black Women Science Fiction Writers Everyone Should Know

13 Coretta Scott King Award and Honoree Books to Read Now

This Month (And Every Month), Black Sci-Fi Writers Look to the Future

Read Harder: Read a Classic by an Author of Color

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