Amara Gale

I'm a Midwestern author and blogger. In 2010, I started a blog about anime under a different name. But by now, my interests have branched out considerably, so I wanted to create a second account here on HubPages. I plan to write about all sorts of topics, because I am a lifelong learner and I want to share what I'm studying and learning with others. I'm also interested in storytelling, and as an author myself, writing content of interest to other authors.I like fantasy, sci-fi, horror, and manga, but that isn't all I read - I read a lot!

As far as academic topics I like, it's mostly in the liberal arts fields like psychology, literature, linguistics, history, anthropology/sociology, archaeology, art history, film & media studies, and things related to those. I'm also interested in discussing arts and crafts, primarily painting, cosplay/ costume design, wood crafts including whittling and wood burning, drawing, both traditional and digital, animation, makeup and beauty artistry, and so on. I have a two-year certificate in Graphic Design, and I studied Art History but dropped out as a fifth year senior for financial reasons. I'm currently studying up on photography and may be blogging about that as part of the learning process. When it comes to history, since I like fantasy so much, I am heavily interested in medieval studies in particular.

Also, as someone with a few different mental disorders and mental health challenges, I may be blogging about those issues from time to time. I have PTSD, major depression, and social anxiety disorder.

I am not sure I should be labeled autistic, but I have many traits in common with adult women on the autism spectrum. I know that adult women present differently and challenge many psychologists' and researchers' assumptions about neurodivergence. This ongoing conversation fascinates me because I might very well have been autistic, and failure to be diagnosed as a child due to psychologists' biases may have caused me many of the problems I don't understand about my own childhood. Chiefly, why I felt so alone, why it was so hard to make friends, why I was often being bullied or beaten up and rarely knew why.

I am working on a collection of personal essays entitled Mean People of the Midwest, which may partially be shared on here as a preview for the book. This book will be about my aforementioned problems fitting in and being bullied in schools, but also about many major social ills plaguing the Midwest region of the United States. These include, but are not limited to, political corruption, relgious hypocrisy, using vague terms like 'values' and 'niceness' to disguise a more sinister agenda, defining 'family' as a nuclear family that is headed by a heterosexual couple with traditional gender roles, the fact that stigma against divorce and single motherhood is still a thing, racism and sweeping historical racism under the rug, bullying while still maintaining a facade of niceness, home owners associations and respectability politics, tone policing being used to stifle activists and people who complain, drugs, religious hatred and intolerance, religion in politics, money in politics, and people pretending to be non-political when that's actually code for conservative. Among other things! (Oh yes, there's more.)

Many of these are not unique to America's "heartland", but are either human universals or are prevalent throughout American society. But I choose to focus on the Midwest because that's where all my personal connections with these issues happened, and I want to tell my story, while connecting it to the larger story of the history and culture of the Midwestern United States. For example, my grandfather owns a pair of lederhosen he never wore openly, a great symbol for how most white Midwesterners are of German descent, but since two World Wars made that uncool, we're now left with only an identity as "white" and English-speakers.

I'm also a fantasy author, I have one book out so far, called "The Pain of Magic". This is largely a response to me being frustrated about Dumbledore not having a gay lover within the text of the stories in which he takes part. I was also fed up with chosen ones, dark lords, child/teen protagonists (never adults), and black and white morality. So I wanted to tell my own story about a magical academy, taking the parts of Harry Potter that inspired me, leaving behind what I didn't like about it. And I'm happy to have done that now more than ever, because I ceased being a Harry Potter fan forever when I read J.K. Rowling's transphobic tweets and sadly learned that she has been taken in by a particularly transphobic strain of feminist ideology. I am bisexual and married to a trans woman, so obviously this impacts me personally very much. I cannot financially support bigotry and lies, so I won't. Now I'm happier than ever that my book is a response to many of the failings I perceived in the Harry Potter franchise. (Link to my book below.)