Back to writing

Hello, readers! Now that the US election is over I’ll get back to posting stuff about writing, which is the entire purpose of this little blog.

It seems I haven’t been consuming modern culture nearly enough- I’ve recently been watching episodes of Luke Cage, and while the hero of Anagama (Seth) is not like Luke in most respects, they share similar superpowers. Now, I thought of Seth in 1994, basing him loosely on the dragon in R. A. MacAvoy’s Tea with the Black Dragon. He didn’t have a name until about 1998 or 1999, when I was driving in the rain in Alabama and I heard a little voice saying “My name is Seth.” I heard it very clearly, and I was alone, no radio on, so I just decided it was my subconscious talking about this nameless character, and I named him Seth.

However, all that backstory doesn’t matter to an agent that reads my work and thinks, “Ah, she is copying Luke Cage!”. It doesn’t help that Seth has aspects which make him vampiric, and vampires are passé.  The time for his story was when stories about vampires were at their peak, and so I think while I will keep working on the story I now figure it will only be a pet project for the dozen or so friends and family members who have copies of Perigee. 

.I still have my story outline for Infinity, which was inspired by my own bipolar delusions, and a few other stories based on other delusions which will turn into novellas. I thought briefly about putting them all in one huge book but really, there would be too much going on. It is possible someone else has thought of elements I use in Infinity, but I am hoping that the percolation through my psyche has come up with something entirely new, not something derivative. It would make an interesting study to see how popular culture consumed by a mentally ill person frames the delusions they have- I wonder if anyone has done a study such as this?

In any case, I’ve been remiss about writing much of anything since last Christmas, on the grounds that if it isn’t good, I shouldn’t write it. This is really the wrong attitude to have. I have more free time now, and while energy is lacking I am hoping that inspiration will give me some. I suppose lots of people face this problem of time/creative energy as they go about their daily lives. I don’t have to make time now, but I do have to stop making excuses.

I really can’t understand – rant

I admit, I’ve never grasped why people supported Trump. He has never appealed to me- sneering, misogynistic, abusive, bigoted, and frankly, so poorly spoken he seems to be stupid. He’s cruel. He’s manipulative. He lies constantly.

I get that his supporters have bought into the narrative that Hillary is “just as bad” (every criticism can be demonstrated to be false, but this post is not going to be about that). So their choice seemed like a natural one- if they’re both evil, go with one you feel will “drain the swamp” or change the world, because you feel the world has left you behind- there are economic opportunities in larger centers that might not be available in your home town, you feel sneered at by late night TV comedians, you feel left out.  So bring it all crashing down.

The heartbreaking thing is that when these people try to explain why they are angry, the reasons have nothing to do with Obama and Hillary. Mostly it’s about a lack of good manufacturing jobs- well, those are gone, the world is different now than it was twenty or thirty years ago, and getting mad at those in power because progress has left you behind instead of going back to school and getting a new kind of job seems pretty pointless. Can’t afford school? Neither can anyone else, and Hillary had a plan for combating that, and creating new jobs, but then- you hated her. Trump won’t be able to bring those old jobs back, and hasn’t even tried- he has a history of failing to pay people that work for him, and he also has his campaign merchandise made overseas, not in America.

I’m sorry, Trump supporters, that you have bought into a pipe dream. Along with the dream of good manufacturing jobs comes a lot of policies and attitudes which are racist, sexist, homophobic, demeaning, inhumane. The new Vice President endorses electrocuting gay people to “cure” them. Maybe you overlooked those things because, to you, Trump was “only joking” and you think he’s such a great guy he wouldn’t actually start throwing your fellow Americans into concentration camps, or force “ethnic” looking people to carry identification papers everywhere, or be stopped and frisked constantly. Maybe you don’t know anyone brown or queer so you don’t care if they are targeted by discriminatory rules or lose their right to marry or adopt children. Maybe when you look at Trump you see a savior, a hero, someone that will stand up for the little guy (he never has before, but who knows, maybe he will start).

It’s obvious that I don’t agree. I would love to be proven wrong- so prove me wrong. Donate to the ACLU, or your local mosque. Do something kind today instead of accusing me of being a whiner and a sore loser. If Hillary had won, many of you planned to riot, and none of you lost any rights or privileges under Obama. How exactly did you “suffer” under him, and why was any of that his fault and not the fault of the global economy?

Your choice for President reminds me every day of my abusive ex husband. I remain to be convinced that he is anything but a tyrant, and it remains to be seen if it was foolish to give him even more power. I am not optimistic.

Don’t give up, America

Early on November 9th I watched Donald Trump win the US Presidential election. I was shocked- I truly thought Hillary Clinton, who is better in so many ways, would win. I thought rationality and good manners would win. I thought appeals to voters’ higher natures and a vision of America that is just, tolerant, and inclusive would win.

I admit, it has been hard for me to watch Trump succeed- I am a domestic abuse survivor and sometimes things he would do or say would bother me- a lot. They would haunt me.  The smug, bullying, abusive man who is so certain of himself and his worth despite showing no signs of integrity brings back a lot of memories. However, he’s been elected, and it’s been pointed out to me that the reality I live in now- unsure of whether the legal and government systems put in place will protect me, unsure of whether tomorrow or the next day someone will target me for abuse, unsure of whether my neighbors approve of and support this kind of abuse (maybe not overtly, but tacitly) is the kind of America people of color live in. All. The. Time.

I grieved yesterday- I think America would have truly shone under Hillary- and then today and the next day and all the days after that I’ll start doing my part to make America a safer place, not just for me and people like me, but for everyone.

There are lots of things to do. Get involved in local politics. Write to your senators and congresspeople about issues you feel passionately about, or call them. Organize groups to write letters and call. Organize petitions and protests. Make donations to organizations that stand up for minority rights or for women’s health care, LGBT+ rights and equality, fair and humane immigration, refugee rights. Say something when you see or hear about injustice- most bullies back down when they are confronted in real life, though we all know online they seem to gather courage. If you have white/ethnic/cisgender privilege, as I do, it seems only just to use that privilege to speak up for people that are marginalized or mistreated. Apparently pro-Trump supporters now feel it is OK to harass minorities, and heartbreaking stories of abuse in public spaces and in schoolyards are circulating the internet. Don’t stand for it, if you’re white. Don’t just watch and blog it later- say something. Stop it in its tracks.

I’m going to start by  writing each and every senator and congressperson agitating for the approval of Merrick Garland to Supreme Court. I’ve also learned that a climate change denier is tagged to run the EPA- his name is Myron Ebell and he’s made a lot of foolish comments about the climate so far. I plan to make calls and write, to him and anyone else I can think of, about this issue even though I know it may be a quixotic gesture. I have to try.

Through my tears, I started looking into volunteering for Planned Parenthood and I made a recurring donation to the ACLU. Most Americans agree with me that these organizations do important and valuable work, and I won’t listen to the hate-filled folks that want to trample on minority rights (Stop and Frisk doesn’t help reduce crime and it harasses people of colour unduly– I’d like to see all those smug white pro-Trump folks on TV endure that kind of treatment in their home towns for long) or refuse to let women and their families and doctors make the right decisions for themselves. I am part of a nationwide group called the Pantsuit Nation on Facebook, and I’ve read so many heartbreaking tales of women who were forced by medical complications to choose- if their right is taken from them not only will it not save babies (they die anyway) but it causes immense suffering to both mother and child, for no reason. Anti-choice protesters seem to think that all women asking for an abortion skip in there blithely and don’t give a shit about human life, that we don’t take it seriously, that we aren’t torn to shreds about our choice. I will always fight against that stupid, dangerous stereotype. And Planned Parenthood is often the only source of medical care (they are not an abortion factory-style assembly line!), since they provide a lot of free or low-cost care for reproductive health and contraception. If you’re against contraception, you’re pro-abortion.

I’m also heartened by the fact that Donald Trump is an actor, and was a Democrat three years ago. I am hopeful that his bizarre, misogynist and racist sentiments were just an act to get elected. That they could get him elected makes me sadder than I can articulate, which is why on the 9th I grieved. But today- today I pick up my computer and I get to work.