Out Today: It came from Metaphorosis…

Metaphorosis runs an innovative and fascinating regular feature called, “It came from…,” wherein they allow their authors talk a bit about the origins of their recently published stories. Today they posted “It came from N. R. Lambert,” where I discuss my near-future sci-fi story, “Business As Usual.”

Please take a look and if you’re inspired to read the story itself, you can find that on Metaphorosis as well. Please consider supporting Metaphorosis on Patreon or donating to Everytown via link at the bottom of the story page.

On Stands Now! Entertainment Weekly: The Ultimate Guide to Wonder Woman

My Princesses Were Warriors

There’s a pattern to the characters that I gravitated toward in childhood. My princesses—Leia, She-Ra, and Wonder Woman—were all warriors. (My princes were the Goblin King and Dr. Frank-N-Furter*—I liked my men in glitter and my women in charge. But that’s a post for another day.) No shade on swooning, dancing, enchanted-sleeping princesses, they had their place and time. But my princesses, the ones I idolized, the ones I pretended to be, aspired to be—they didn’t wait to be rescued, they did the rescuing. They were smart, strong, and yes, occasionally rocked some bitchin’ sparkly headwear. First among these, both in time and in my heart, is Wonder Woman. (Having grown up with the 70s television show, for me, Wonder Woman was, is, and forever shall be, Lynda Carter. Amen.)

Carter’s Wonder Woman was both kind and fierce; and often that kindness would nearly lead to her undoing. But she never let the fight break her humanity—she stayed true to herself. As a kid, especially as a girl, that was a powerful message. You can be strong, fight back, push up, and still have compassion for others, even your enemies, and especially yourself. It was a bit of a My First nolite te bastardes carborundorum.

That ain't no filter, I am as old as the brown linoleum beneath me.

These pictures capture my complete adoration of Wonder Woman. Look at my face! I’ve spent decades trying to regain this girl’s pure, fearless, unabashed confidence.

All this to say, you can imagine how quickly I jumped at the opportunity to write about Wonder Woman for Entertainment Weekly’s The Ultimate Guide to Wonder Woman. If the internet was actually a series of tubes (remember the halcyon days when that was the dumbest thing a senator might say?), my email reply would have left burning tire tracks à la Back to the Future.

Re-watching the old Wonder Woman episodes for these pieces was a trip. Let’s talk about how hour-long episodes of television in the 70s were pretty much a FULL HOUR of programming. Gather round kiddos while I boggle your mind with my tales of a time before commercials gobbled up 1/3 of any given time slot. Also, the pacing on the old episodes was so much slower than the non-stop, quick-cut action scenes we get today. Long shots lazily panning over miles of landscape, extended close-ups of characters thinking. It was jarring to jump back in to modern television pacing after spending a couple of weeks back in the 70s.

Some of the plots were completely bonkers (I got to rank a few of them in this issue). Season 1 was set in the 40s, so lots of WWII themes. But seasons 2 and 3 were polyester-packed and disco-riffic in all their 70s glory. Diana Prince’s wardrobe? Amazing. I still aspire to rock a sleek ponytail and big glasses the way she did.

Despite the many ways the show is dated, Carter’s Wonder Woman still stands up and I’m so grateful I had her as a childhood hero. I hope the new movie can bring that same inspiration to a whole new generation of kids.
 
 
*Forever bless the babysitter who let me watch RHPS when I was nine—most of it went right over my head; Tim Curry did not.

Entertainment Weekly: The Ultimate Guide to Wonder Woman is available at magazine stands, in bookstores, and online.

Up Next: My Nebula Schedule

A super quick post (that I should have published weeks ago, but deadlines, you know…) to say
how excited I am to be participating in SFWA’s Nebula Conference this weekend. My schedule is as follows:

Flash Talks
Thursday, 5/18
3:30 p.m.
Marquis A
Marvel, as I double triple my heart rate speaking in the company of Pablo Defendini, K.M. Szpara, Diane Turnshek, Shanna Swendson, Ken Chiacchia, Jessi Cole Jackson, Bishop O’Connell, Sally Wiener Grotta, and David D. Levine.

Office Hours
Friday, 5/19
11:00 a.m.
Grand Ballroom
My listed topics are “Copywriting, Freelancing, and Cats.” But someone else also listed “Cats” as a discussion topic, so be prepared for this to rapidly spiral out into a #catsofSFWA slideshow.

Panel: Work-for-Hire
Sunday, 5/21
10:00 a.m.
Marquis C
Liz Argall, Ken Chiacchia, Jody Lynn Nye and I discuss work-for-hire writing.

If you’re at the Nebula Conference this weekend, please stop by and say hello!

Out Today! The Powerpuff Girls: Superhero Crime-Fighting Games & Activities

9780399542732-1This was such a fun project! When I started working on
The Powerpuff Girls: Superhero Crime-Fighting Games & Activities, only the very earliest roughs of the reboot were available for research/reference. Animation is a world that’s always fascinated me, so it was pretty cool to see how those shows come together from a behind-the-scenes POV. Also, even without the final art, the episodes were FUNNY (“Painbow” was my favorite)–a testament to good comedy writing.

Most of the activity books I’ve worked on have been much more about coming up with puzzles and games and less about writing. (No shade on puzzle and game creation–I love that part, too.) But with the Powerpuff Girls, I was delighted that there was room for a bit of story to run throughout, packed with as many puns as punches. The art and design is gorgeous (of course), props–as always–to the art team.

A bit more from the Penguin Random House site:

The Powerpuff Girls are back, and even better than before!

Play along with Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup in this action-packed, full-color Powerpuff Girls activity book with stickers! Help Blossom read maps, color in crime-fighting scenes with Bubbles, and play silly games with Buttercup. Saving the day with the Powerpuff Girls has never been so much fun!

The Powerpuff Girls: Superhero Crime-Fighting Games & Activities is available in stores and online:
Northshire Bookstore
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
IndieBound

On Stands Now! Entertainment Weekly: The Ultimate Guide to Star Trek

8b31be10f9d4Super excited to have written two pieces and a list (I think the young people call it a “listicle”) for this special edition of Entertainment Weekly, Entertainment Weekly: The Ultimate Guide to Star Trek. My favorite of the three pieces–if I had to pick–is “Who’s Your Captain,” in which I rank captains based on who would make the best wingman (or woman), road trip buddy, life partner, etc. Any job that requires you to re-watch your favorite Star Trek episodes is a fairly wondrous thing. So I reeeeeally enjoyed researching and writing these pieces, as well as being a small part of the bigger 50th anniversary celebration.

I could write for weeks about how Star Trek was ahead of its time in so many important ways. But other deadlines loom. So instead, I’ll leave you with this quote, often attributed to  Gene Roddenberry. I couldn’t find a solid source for this one, but thought it was an appropriate sentiment for this horrific week and very in-line with Star Trek‘s remarkable legacy.

Star Trek was an attempt to say that humanity will reach maturity and wisdom on the day that it begins not just to tolerate, but take a special delight in differences in ideas and differences in life forms. […] If we cannot learn to actually enjoy those small differences, to take a positive delight in those small differences between our own kind, here on this planet, then we do not deserve to go out into space and meet the diversity that is almost certainly out there.”
Gene Roddenberry, (maybe)

Entertainment Weekly: The Ultimate Guide to Star Trek is available at magazine stands, in bookstores, and online.

Out Today: The Star-Spangled Banner

Happy Flag Day! In a bit of publishing synchronicity (that I’m certain was no accident), The Star-Spangled Banner is out today. It’s a Level 4 Reader in Grosset & Dunlap’s Smithsonian series. A bit about the book from their site:

The original Star-Spangled Banner that flew over Fort McHenry, Baltimore, in 1814 and inspired Francis Scott Key to write the words that would become the national anthem of the United States, is the showpiece of the Smithsonian! In this lively nonfiction book, young readers will read about the story behind the flag, the song, and how the Smithsonian cares for this most precious national treasure.

 
Researching this book was a tremendous amount of fun–I learned so much about the flag, the anthem, and the extraordinary efforts the Smithsonian Institute has made to restore and preserve the Star-Spangled Banner. Did you know that Francis Scott Key was a lawyer? Or that the Star-Spangled Banner was bigger than the house in which it was sewn?  Or that almost 200 square feet of the flag were lost to snippets cut for souvenirs? There are so many fascinating facts in the flag’s story–I hope that kids (and those reading with them) will enjoy learning about the Star-Spangled Banner as much as I did.

You can buy the The Star-Spangled Banner here:
Northshire
IndieBound
Barnes & Noble
Amazon