Wednesday, August 30, 2017

To honor Doctor Martin Luther King--I still have a dream

A few days ago was the anniversary of the I Have A Dream speech.

I've been doing research about Dr. King. I think that the thing that strikes me so much is his optimism. I have a dream--when things were not changing fast enough for anyone.

I am often despondent about what is happening in my country. This country that elected a good man for president. A good, kind, imperfect man who served our country loyally for eight years is now being followed by the worst president in our nation's history.

And still I don't want to despair.

I went online and I listened to the speech,

And I... I still have a dream.

I have a dream that the people that we elect to our congress and senate will somehow open their hearts and learn that they must represent those who elected them, instead of a party.

I have a dream that the police of this nation will stop being so deathly afraid of people who are black that they reach for deadly force as the last thing, instead of the first thing.

I have a dream today

I have a dream that the people who voted for Trump and the people who voted for Hillary and the people who didn't vote at all will join hands and work so that this country can fulfill its promise.

I have a dream that if (all the Gods forbid) a woman is raped, the only reason someone will ask what she is wearing is to return a lost piece of jewelry.

I have a dream that everyone will be free to hold hands and hug, and kiss, and marry whoever it is that they love without anyone raising an eyebrow or a fist.

I have a dream that it becomes equally dificult for someone to get a gun license as it is to get a license to drive a car.

I have a dream that health care in this great country is seen as a right that needs to be afforded to all and not a privileged afforded to the wealthy few. This includes mental health care and dental care.

And as ever, as Martin said, I have a dream that my daughter will one day live in a nation where she will not be judged by the color of her skin but by the content of her character.

I share his dream. I still believe his dream. I add my own dream to his.

What do you dream?

Monday, August 28, 2017

Microblog Monday - Hurricane Harvey

I had a really good blog post planned for today.

And then I saw the pictures out of Houston.

I remember the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy. I remember sitting up in the night listening as the wind blew around the house and how scared I was.

I remember that the Texas congresspeople voted no on helping after the devastation.

I do not do that.

I have sent emails to my congresspeople that whatever Texas needs to recover from Hurricane Harvey they should get.

For those who want to donate money--please consider local food banks.

For those who can't afford to donate money--please consider donating blood as one of the blood banks are totally underwater.

For those who can donate goods-- please consider the Salvation Army and keep looking online as to the needs.

I hope we can all remember that we are better than the political environment has made us out to be.

And come back on Wednesday or something--then I'll have a good blog post.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

We are, none of us, saints

By now, you might have read the brilliant essay written by Joss Whedon's ex wife. It details the reasons for the end of their marriage. It shows that Joss Whedon, one of my favorite creators, was a serial cheater.

Do I look up to him less? Yes.
Am I disappointed in him? Yes.

Am I about to start trashing him and throw out all my Buffy, Angel, Dollhouse, Firefly, Avengers and any future work? No.

People, it is time we let other people be human. People, it is time to stop shooting people down and then saying "we always knew they'd fall." (HT to Tim Rice for the quote.)

Until and unless something comes out about how he coerced these women into having sex with him, I'm still going to call myself a fan. And for the love of whatever please stop saying that because he was their boss and the power was with him that already implies coersion . There are women who will sleep with powerful men to get ahead. There are women who won't. The choice belongs to those women and the men. Was it his responsibility to not cheat on his wife? Of course. But cheating on his wife, repeatedly, makes him a horn-dog. It does not diminish the quality of his work. This is not Bill Cosby, who drugged these women and raped them. This man--and these women--made choices to not honor his marriage vows.

I'm not saying he's perfect. Firefly took lots of pieces of Chinese culture without having a single main character of Asian descent. I was disappointed in Joss because he could have made damn sure he had some Asian actors and didn't. I'm disappointed in him now, to be honest, but I don't think he's going to be upset because of my disappointment.

People we have to stop expecting perfection from every public figure. I'm writing this on a apple laptop. Steve Jobs was a horrible human being. I don't see people throwing away their iPhones.

Are you Jewish? Are you married? Did you play Wagner's Wedding March aka 'Here Comes The Bride' at your wedding? Wagner was a famous anti-semite and did more than just about any other person in that century to foment the hatred of Jews that led to the Holocaust.

There are egregious cases. I threw out all my Marion Zimmer Bradley books--with one exception--when I heard of how she sexually abused her daughter and others. This included a book I stood on a long line so I could get her autograph. I still might throw out my copy of The Mists of Avalon, but I haven't been able to bring myself to do it yet.

I stopped watching and listening and quoting Bill Cosby. I can't tell you how horrified and sad I was when the news of his behavior came out.

But this news about Joss Whedon? No.
Your thoughts may be different.
But until someone writes a character who is as amazing as Buffy Summers, Malcolm Reynolds, or Doctor Horrible, I'm still going to be on the line whenever his next thing comes out.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Watching the f**king basket - Microblog Monday

So this weekend I went to the Writers Digest Convention.

It was really amazing. I met amazing people. (If you're reading this because I gave you my card--HI!!!) I participated in the pitch slam.

A pitch slam is when you go to a room with a bunch of agents. The agents listen to you pitch. They say yes or no and you go to the other. It's not easy for either the writer or the agent. Also if an agent says yes, they might ask for a query, a partial, a full or a full exclusive.

I have read how you are not supposed to do exclusivity. I understand it. However when an agent I pitched said she would like to look at it exclusively for a limited time--I said yes. I did that for the same reason that my friends applied for early decision in college. They had done their due diligence and they had applied for the college they wanted.

Now keeping the college metaphor going some of my friends did not get in their first choice. The agent might not like my work. Then she will tell me so and I will send the partial manuscripts to the other agents (and there were 4!) who were interested in my manuscript.

She wanted it today. It went off today. And now a new waiting game begins.

I'm scared.

This MS has been laboring inside me for longer than I care to admit. It is good. I know it is good. But I'm scared because rejection hurts.

I'm nervous about exclusivity. I'm nervous.

What I am doing is putting this egg in that basket--and watching the fucking basket.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Charlottesville and the racists we know--Microblog Mondays

Like everyone else I'm horrified by what went on in Charlottesville this weekend.

Note, I'm not saying I'm shocked. Racism is as endemic to this country as corn--and just as prolific. I'm reading my friends lists and everyone is shocked--shocked that this is what America looks like now. They're blaming Trump.

Now look, I'm for blaming Trump for anything but people aren't getting this. Trump is now in the Oval Office because of people like this. He didn't create it--he took advantage of it. People are surprised that Trump didn't denounce them harder. It always bewilders me when people are jolted by the fact that a racist was elected to the presidency. Did people really think that when Trump walked into the White House he'd suddenly become a decent human being? Did people think that he would suddenly be an adult? This is a man who has to get two scoops of ice cream while everyone else gets one. He's not going to change.

But other people can. The people you interact with every day--they have changed since you met them. Maybe they've changed for better or for worse but likely they are not the same people you met at the beginning.

Take my in-laws for example. They are majorly homophobic. They think that gays and lesbians are against God and the bible. Don't even get them started on transexuals which they just don't understand--and they admit that. Their church has splintered because of the gay and lesbian issue and my in-laws proudly attend the "non-welcoming" one.

This has understandably led to friction. But I wasn't going to cut off contact with my in-laws. I certainly wasn't going to stop associating with my LBGTQ friends to make my inlaws more comfortable. I kept throwing people together. All of a sudden my mother in law would ask me. "That friend of yours--is she gay?" I said "Yes." and went on with whatever. I kept telling them funny stories about my friends. All of them. Little by little the phobia went away. Little by little they realized that gay marriage didn't hurt their marriage. Little by little they realized they were wrong.

I see a lot of people on my Facebook feed saying "if you think such and such is right, then just de-friend me."  Unlike the hate--I see this on both sides. I'm not de-friending anyone. I will engage when I feel it is called for. I will discuss.

I don't feel that I am helping my friends who are being hurt most by the current situation by closing off my friends who have different views. We won't learn from each other that way. We have to start listening to others before the screaming starts.

I close with my favorite quote from The American President.  It is still so true.

You want free speech? Let's see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who's standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours. You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country can't just be a flag; the symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then, you can stand up and sing about the "land of the free."

Monday, August 7, 2017

Considering the Game--of Thrones --Microblog Monday

This is not a spoiler filled thing on last night's Game of Thrones episode.

However if you haven't watched Season Seven- Episode 3 "The Queen's Justice" there are spoilers. You're warned.

Cersei Lannister is a bitch. Actually that's too nice. She's is a harpy. Actually that's too nice but you get the idea.

Do not f**k with Cersei Lannister because she will kill you in horrible ways. This is truth. Plain and simple.

On the episode in question, Cersei now has custody of the woman who callously murdered her daughter. In her revenge, Cersei gives the daughter of the woman poison--forcing her mother to watch as her daughter dies.

Horrible. Horrible. Horrible.

And yet.

I have a daughter.
I love her more than my own life.
I would give that life for hers without a moment's hesitation or thought.

If someone killed her and I had that someone in my custody--all bets are off. I have a good imagination and I would put it to horrific use to make sure that the person or people responsible suffered as much as I was.

D thinks I don't have it in me. He was amazed that I could think this about myself. Maybe he's right. Maybe my inherent fairness would allow me to give up justice. I also have a problem about making an innocent suffer for the sins of the mother. I give kudos to Lena Headey's amazing acting. She made me feel sorry for Cersei as well as horrified.

And I thought of the people who have lost children to the unspeakable. The parents who sent a child to school and wound up picking them up at the morgue due to the ease of which we have access to guns. That they get up every morning is amazing to me. I think we owe it to the memories of their children to make the world a little safer.

Now let's talk about dragons.