Language and Light

“If I’m confused, or upset, or angry, if I can go out and look at the stars I’ll almost always get back a sense of proportion. It’s not that they make me feel insignificant; it’s the very opposite; they make me feel that everything matters, be it ever so small, and that there’s meaning to life even when it seems most meaningless.”

from A Ring of Endless Light, by Madeleine L’Engle

The Christmas I was sixteen I wrote a letter to Madeleine L’Engle.

Like most people, I encountered L’Engle’s writing first in A Wrinkle In Time and its sequels as a child, but I went on to read almost her entire bibliography of more than fifty books my junior year of high school.

My favorite was A Ring of Endless Light. I considered it the most important book I had ever read; the intensity of my feelings about it defied articulation. I considered it almost another Gospel. It conveyed the essentials of everything I believed to be true about life, death, God, and the soul with beautiful imagery and simple, transparent language. Madeleine L’Engle was the writer I most aspired to emulate, and her characters were the people I most wanted to be like. The first book I published I intended to dedicate to her.


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Companion Piece: Women Celebrating the Humans, Aliens, and Tin Dogs of Doctor Who

Hey guys! Do you like Doctor Who? Intelligent, thoughtful essays about women’s contribution to science fiction and television? Or maybe just my writing? I mean, I assume you like my writing at least a little. I’m not being cocky, but you are reading this blog. I assume no one’s holding a gun to your head.

(If someone is holding a gun to your head, I’m so, so sorry. Be strong. I don’t post very often.)

For the very first time, in the very near future, you can pay money to read words that I have written! Specifically, words that I have written in co-operation with my dear friend Liz Barr (who also co-edited the book. We wrote “The Heroine of Her Own Story”, which examines Ace and the seventh Doctor’s relationship over the course of seasons 25 and 26 in the light of a YA narrative. There are also tons of other fascinating essays, as you can see by perusing the newly released Table of Contents.


The book isn’t properly out yet, unless you’re going to Gallifrey Con in LA in February, where you can get preview copies. This is just a foretaste of things to come. It isn’t stopping me being excited, though, and it shouldn’t stop you either!