Isa: Thank you! :) I'm delighted, especially because your poem in Stone Telling partly inspired/challenged me to try this (this being, to imply a story unknown to some readers in ways that let them figure it out / draw the poem's implications from it)! ( http://stonetelling.com/issue11-nov2014/yap-climbs.html for anyone reading along! I don't seem to be able to make the link button work.)
It IS a magnolia yes! She's the ent(wife) queen of Berkeley. Also Amal, you know I couldn't have got it right without youuu <3
That sounds like a wonderful panel! Tossing one in -- Cat Valente's "The Orphan's Tales" books are an interesting take on a Heroine's Journey. The outer layer's a maiden's journey, but all sorts of different womens' stories populate the inner ones. They keep subverting this notion that the stories ought to be about men and that womens' stories end with getting their men.
Jha: belatedly, thank you so much for this. What you're talking about is what I really want to see, and do -- and it's driving some of what I write. And you've helped me put it into words. I write (broadly defined) steampunk, but I write it in *my* voice. And I want to figure out steampunk costuming, but not if it means being a bad imitation of a white girl :)
As a kid, I moved between times when travelling between India and the US and wherever I lived at the time (Saudi Arabia in the mid-eighties, The Netherlands in the late eighties and early nineties...). In India, I still saw typewriters, sticky black carbon paper, and the special xerox shops where you could also make long-distance calls. In Saudi Arabia I played computer games. In The Netherlands we got our first family CD player. Between that and reading science fiction, I got pretty confused about where real-world technology was at (for example, brain surgery, gene modification, cryogenics, and sex-change operations were all in the same category -- the "I think they do that now -- do they do that now?" category.) I'm still a bit confused, honestly. Some of the new cell phones don't quite read as real, but at the same time I'm surprised we're not wearing sunglasses that project information on the screens. (Er. Do we do that now?)
This makes me want to write about a fantasy world filled with strange marsupials. Some of which I might even make up, but really, who needs to? The real ones are pretty odd.
I've been reading more short fiction as I've grown older, but I'm not sure it has much to do with age. More with the Datlow/Windling anthologies, which got me hooked.