February 25th, 2012

wood cat

less than 36 hours to go in Con or Bust's auction

Bidding in the Con or Bust auction, which helps fans of color/non-white fans go to SFF cons, ends tomorrow, Sunday February 26, at 11:59 EST (GMT -5). (Many of the earlier auctions have erroneous boilerplate saying bidding ends Sunday February 25, which of course doesn't exist. Sorry about that.)

Right now, between the current high bids and a handful of straight-up donations, we have raised only about 65% of the goal of $12,000. While that is more than we raised last year, it will be the principal source of funds for the entire year, not just for sending people to WisCon (which alone consumed $10K last year, so you can see that this is fairly modest relative to the likely demand).

Let's please do what we can in the last day-and-a-half to meet that goal! I've updated the list of potential-bargain auctions; people can browse that, the index, or the tags to find things to bid on. It's not to late to list items for auction, either, if you've got something that you've been meaning to list. And, of course, simple donations are always welcome—con memberships (especially WisCon) can be donated by emailing me at knepveu@steelypips.org, and money can be donated with a credit card or PayPal account through this button:








Finally, fans of color/non-white fans may request assistance to attend SFF cons in April, May, and June through the end of today, February 25; instructions.

Please spread the word!

harry potter, author, parody

Offer: First book on the heroine's journey in myth

Item Name & Description: One 300 pg paperback book, autographed and personalized if desired, and shipped straight to you.

Many are familiar with Joseph Campbell's theory of the hero's journey, the idea that every man from Moses to Hercules grows to adulthood while battling his alter-ego. This book explores the universal heroine's journey as she quests through world myth. Numerous stories from cultures as varied as Chile and Vietnam reveal heroines who battle for safety and identity, thereby upsetting popular notions of the passive, gentle heroine. Only after she has defeated her dark side and reintegrated can the heroine become the bestower of wisdom, the protecting queen and arch-crone.

A wonderful book for anyone who writes about women, especially fantasy



Ever since I used Christopher Vogler's The Hero's Journey to plot my first novel, I have wanted this book. I sensed that my heroine's journey didn't quite fit the outline, and now Valerie Frankel shows why.
--Monterey Bay RWA Monarch News

Frankel's book is so enthusiastically written, so thoroughly researched, and so articulately argued that it leaves the reader anticipating each subsequent chapter, enjoying each exemplary tale, and longing for further discussion...Frankel's work could well claim a place as a key text for analysis of archetype and the heroine.
- Mythprint

Frankel's truly global choice of tales and her analysis of them is outstanding. It is a book to turn to for deepening one's understanding of myths and stories about women and their underlying structures, or more personally to better understand one's own journey or the journeys of the women in one's life. 
- Mythlore


Starting Bid: $15

Notes: I'll get it in the mail right away and am happy to personalize

E-mail: valerie @ calithwain.com

Bidding is now open and ends Sunday, February 26, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. EST. How to bid.
harry potter, author, parody

Offer: Signed Hunger Games Guide

Item Name & Description: new signed paperback and shipping to place of your choice

Katniss the Cattail: An Unauthorized Guide to Names and Symbols in Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games

Author: Valerie Estelle Frankel

Release Date: February 2012

Category: Juvenile Nonfiction / Literary Criticism & Collections

Who was Cinna? What do the hawthorn and primrose symbolize? Or President Snow’s garden and Peeta’s bread? What about Katniss’s last name? Bringing details from myths, herbal guides, military histories, and the classics, English professor and award-winning pop culture author Valerie Estelle Frankel sheds light on the deeper meanings behind Panem’s heroes and villains in this hottest of YA trilogies. In her series, Collins not only weaves a heroic tale of deep complexity but harnesses the power of Shakespeare and Rome to retell an ancient epic of betrayal, violence, and glory on the stage of an apocalyptic future.

From Alma Coin to Wiress you’ll learn about

  • Why roses are a flower of death
  • Peeta’s pearl and Katniss’s salvation
  • How eighteen of the characters are used in Shakespeare’s plays
  • Katniss’s nickname Catnip
  • Effie the saint and Finnick the Irish hero
  • The meaning of “The Hanging Tree”

Starting Bid: 2.99

Notes: Happy to ship this one right away, signed by the author and personalized however you wish. Makes a great gift!

E-mail: valerie @ calithwain.com

Bidding is now open and ends Sunday, February 26, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. EST. How to bid.