So, I’ve been pretty peeved lately whenever I read the news.
I’d like to say it would be better if I just didn’t read the news, but it does no good to stick one’s head in the ground, does it? And the people spreading hate and intolerance would just keep on churning the sausage grinder, anyway.
(Oh dear. Let’s see how many metaphors I can cram into one paragraph, shall we?)
What I love to hear is people calling those in opposition to things like the intolerant, hateful legislation passed in North Carolina and Mississippi intolerant themselves. It doesn’t work that way.
You’re not being intolerant when you’re complaining about the boot standing on your own (or someone else’s) neck. Saying otherwise makes you misguided at best and more likely a goddamn liar.
What does this have to do with writing, you ask? I’m glad you asked! “What literature teaches us is empathy. It reminds us to reach out a hand to our neighbors—even if they look different from us, love different from us—and say, ‘Why, I recognize you; you’re a human, just like me, sprung from the same messy place, bound on the same hard road.'”
There are so many wonderful threads in this article: a fantastic bookseller, a Southern author returning to his home to fight the good fight, and a state lobotomized by redistricting and now run by “D+ mediocrities.” I lived in North Carolina for a time, but was too young to grasp anything about it except that I had no friends and this was the state where we lived when we adopted, first Major, our strange and beautiful German Shepherd, and later Rocky, our almost supernaturally long-lived Boxer. They’re both long gone, and so, it seems, is North Carolina’s sanity.
OK, enough about current events. Talking about them makes me either want to eat all the tortilla chips in the house or go on a baking tear. Which brings us to this point: Writers need an escape hatch. We all probably do, in fact.
And related to that, Chuck Wendig’s prescription for burnout: WWYL.
“Your kitchen. Your tacos. Your magic.” Reine Keis Bayoc at SweetArt really is an artist, just like her painter husband Cbabi is. Be sure to check out the rest of her recipes and, if you are in or near St. Louis, run, don’t walk, to her place. And call me because she’s just down the street and I’ll meet you there. Don’t even think about not saving room for one of her cupcakes, either.
Let’s shift gears again: Starships? No, starchips. Sometimes thinking bigger requires thinking smaller.
Go read this: “Normally, you would never choose to go on land. To leave yourself exposed to hungry birds. To be battered by waves and wind. To lose your form. You would never choose this, except for right now.” Observational Bias by Ashely Adams.
Also read a lovely poem by Kayla Czaga at Plenitude: “Naanwich Was the Last Thing”
“No One Stays Good in This World.” And I don’t think that should be the case. And I’m getting a little uneasy about the upcoming Wonder Woman movie, but I remain hopeful.
Lastly, the Lambda Literary Foundation is seeking support for their Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices. I was one of those voices back in 2014, and it was a fantastic, supportive experience. I feel like I will always be an emerging voice in a way, but this experience helped me understand that I do have a voice. Consider giving what you can.