Dual Survival: Where are the Women Survivalists?

The Discovery Channel is not afraid to put women in survival scenarios as evidenced by Naked and Afraid. Naked and Afraid seems gimmicky at times, but there is practicality behind the concept, especially in showing the world that women are capable survivors, whether they have to work with a male partner, or go it solo when their partner taps out.

Recently, they filmed a series of Dual Survival with two veteran male participants from Naked and Afraid XL. We’ve seen some great teams on this show but they’ve all been men. So here’s my question: Where are the female teams?

I’m going to give the producers the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they’ve been putting their feelers out there for women and no one’s responded to the casting call, or had the right sets of skills to balance one another out. There was at least one person I know of in Naked and Afraid who either lied on her resume, or just had one applicable skill that she oversold (and didn’t put to use during her challenge) so I know that not everyone is up to the task of enduring a survival situation for the purposes of education.

I just can’t believe there aren’t two women out there, each with a set of opposing yet applicable skills and sets of experiences, that could work together long enough to encourage other women, especially kids who are my sister’s age, that may need to use those skills in real life someday.

So I’m putting this out there, to the producers in charge of these survival shows, and to the fans who may agree with me: We need a team of women on Dual Survival. Lets make it happen.

Word Economy at the Library

I need a physical copy of the first draft if I’m going to do any real proofreading. I can’t stare at the screen with the kind of concentration you need for doing a good proofread, but since I don’t have a printer, that means seeking outside services.

The closest place to me that is also the cheapest, is the library in Peabody Institute Library in Danvers. For five cents a page, they may be ten miles away, but it’s where I’m going to go for my printing needs.

All writers are, or should be, aware of the phrase Word Economy. It’s a simple idea. Why use ten words when five will do? It’s a concept that applies to all writing whether it’s two bit blog posts or Soundheim scripts.

In my case, a good proofread can reveal anywhere from fifty to a thousand words I don’t need. That pruning can make the difference between a final draft that costs one dollar to a dollar fifty. Word economy has never applied to me more than when it comes time to print.

At The Book Signing (A Writing Prompt)


Author’s Note: The following piece is fanfiction written in response to a writing prompt. I claim no ownership of the characters depicted here.

“Thanks for coming, Odd Squad.”

“What seems to be the problem,” Agent Olympia asked. Her eyes scanned the bookstore with unchecked enthusiasm, while her partner, Agent Otis, kept a professional level of reserve.

“Well,” the author, who was seated at a big folding table, covered with a nice white cloth, gestured to a stack of books. “I’m having my book signing today. But, oh, here comes someone now. Watch.”

The agents watched as a customer brought her copy to the table, gushing as gave her name.

“Isn’t he the best?” She asked.

Otis smiled, politely, then gaped when the woman disappeared.

“See!” The author shouted. “As soon as I write their name down in the book, they disappear. If this keeps up, no one will want to read my books.”

Olympia said, “I know what’s happening!”

She grabbed one of the books and said, “Can you make this one out to Agent Olympia.”

“What are you doing?” Otis asked.

“Trust me!”

The author reluctantly signed the book as requested. Olympia disappeared instantly, leaving her partner bewildered. A second later, the book store was filled with all of the author’s readers, carrying their books and reliving their odd experience.

Olympia held her copy in one hand, and a gadget in the other, smiling proudly.

“Every time you wrote a person’s name in the book, they immediately became a character. I just went in there and zapped them all with the UnCharacternater Gadget.”

“Wow!” The author said. “Thanks Odd Squad.”

“Happy to help. I can’t wait to read the next one!”

Olympia’s nose was already buried in her copy as she and Otis made their way for the tube location, behind one of the shelves. Another customer came to the author’s table.

“Make this one out to Valiant DeStrong.”

On hearing the name, the author said, “Oh, that’s odd. My main character’s named…”

He looked up and immediately recognized his main character, who had been taken from the pages of his book just as his readers were.

“Odd Squuaaaad!”

Mythology: The Earliest Fanfiction

In the beginning, we didn’t understand our world. So we created gods, spirits, and creatures like elves, dwarfs, and changelings to explain why people died from plagues while others thrived. Why a hunt could yield great rewards one day, and great tragedy the next.

Those myths gave the bards and poets something to work with, to entertain the troops and keep their bellies full.

I bet if we were to take a close look at all of the mythology we’re taught in schools, we would find that most of the stories we heard were originally the ramblings of a soldier drunk on mead as he sat around the campfire with his buddies, celebrating the spoils of pillage.

Of course, some people do worship the gods of old as faithfully as any church goer, but this isn’t about religion or spirituality as it is about these entities as characters in fiction.

No one has a copyright on the Greek gods, or the gods of any pantheons. It’s why we can have Hercules the Legendary Journey and Xena in the same decade as Disney’s Hercules. It’s why Sherrilyn Kenyon can include all of the pantheons of the world in her Dark-Hunter series and Neil Gaiman can write American Gods.

Run wild. Look at the old stories. See what perspectives you can add. Was Hercules really a legendary hero, or was he an overly entitled jerk who needed to learn to work for a living?  What happened to the baby that Isis tried to make immortal, while she was biding her time to get the cornerstone of the house that contained her husband’s body?

However, there are people out there that will pick holes in your story. It’s true, you can have a character named Hades. But if he’s not the ruler of the Underworld, then your character is Hades in name only. And whatever you do, if you have a fully illustrated book involving a character that is a cucumber, do not name him Priapus, no matter how cool you think the name sounds.


Nathanielle’s Bed Time Stories

Here it is. The first episode of my brand, spanking new series. Not to be confused with my brand new spanking series that is incredibly X rated.

The Seed She Was After

Read the text here. 

Please, please, please, like, subscribe, share this with a friend. If you watch it and you like it, maybe someone else you know will like it, too. So this is the extent of my begging.

I hope you enjoy the video.

The Seed She Was After ~ An Original Story

I’ve made some edits and did a little pruning. This will be the next story I read in my web series, so any insights will be appreciated.

Nathanielle Sean Crawford

Even Hades had to smile.

The short sleeves of her simple, well-worn dress, revealed the developed arms of labor’s constant bedfellow. Her face, lined with dignified wrinkles and crowned by short, curled gray hair was a portrait of defiance to the vanity of Olympus. Not so unusual, as many gods preferred a more “down-to-earth” appearance, she was still more pleasing to behold than Hephaestus.

Demeter invited him to sit down. “I’m so glad you came.”

The chairs and table were unremarkable, domestic, factory made. Unlike the gazebo with its smooth marble floor and ceiling of clear glass, vines growing straight from the ground, forming intricate railings and windows that overlooked the vast gardens surrounding them. Flowers of every color grew from the walls, testifying to the dramatic flair that all gods possessed; no matter how human they pretended to be.

All of her servants were busy tending to the orchards, groves…

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Projected Projects

One of the big challenges of getting any project off the ground is needing the assistance of others. But I also recognize that if I don’t give a clear impression of what I want, no one can help me.

So I have decided to take whatever household items I have on hand and use them to make a new web series called Nathanielle’s Bed Time Stories, wherein I read my short stories (and maybe the stories of some others, in time, if they decide that my nasally voice is the marketing boost they need) to camera.

The main goal is views. Views and hopefully comments that add up to more than simple lip service. I know that all feedback is good, but what I aim for is people who will see what I’m trying to do, and help me to make it better.