I had plans for a post this week, on Nanowrimo and some things that are working for me, and some things that others say work for them but have never worked for me.
Then the election happened, and everyone around me-My boyfriend, my coworkers, my friends- have been in a state of panic. I’m one of those people who pushes through emotions quickly and then deals with them once the crisis is over. I’ll probably have a meltdown at some point, but my brain is still trying to sort solutions out instead. I lived in TX under G.W Bush, and I never felt threatened, so don’t mistake this for some kind of hippie liberal can’t-handle-losing BS. Because no matter how much I might have disagreed with his policies, he wasn’t intent on discriminating against wholesale groups of people simply for the color of their skin, who they love, or what religion they practice. (And so far, even aside from his horrific campaign, he’s already trying to put a known white supremacist as a key member of his staff. I have no doubts that this will lead to suffering for MANY people I care about.)
I’m rounding up phone numbers to call officials, and I’m spreading that to my (very queer, very liberal) officemates. A couple hundred people who spend their days trying to help people who will be very screwed. I’m jaded enough to not think it’ll do much good, but I’m the type who has to do SOMETHING, even if it doesn’t add up much. I’m also donating to the ACLU and Planned Parenthood with some of my editing money. This post took me WAY too long, because I kept having to edit out long, personal anecdotes about WHY I am going to be way more political for the next 4 years than I have ever been. Why we’re getting our passports, just in case, and why I ordered pepper spray. Along with new sneakers.
I’m mostly getting through listening to a very empowering playlist:
Vixy & Tony-Burn it Down
Vixy & Tony- We Are Who We Are
Olivia Holt- Phoenix
Katie Grey- Revolution Katie Grey- Revolution
Daya-Sit Still, Look Pretty
Sara Bareilles-King of Anything
Writing has been going relatively well. I’m ahead (at about 26k), but with the election and results eating several days of count, I’m not as ahead as I was. I’m working on a nano project that started, in a very different form, as my first Nano 13 years ago. Then, it was a romance/fantasy, with alien creatures and betazoid+X-Men powers, and demons that weren’t really. It was a meandering mess, but I loved some of the elements, and always wanted to do it in a way that would showcase them better. This time, it’s a fantasy with a strong woman in a complex, diverse world. Will I show it to people? Maybe, after I go back through and edit it. But right now, it’s escapism, and idealism, and I need that. I’ll layer the complexity in edits.
But from now on, my personal writing projects will all have:
And I will do my best to not screw it up. Am I going to be perfect? Nope! I will do what I can to avoid harmful representation, including paying for sensitivity reads if I decide to seek publication. Before I even so much as query. Because right now, we need windows, and mirrors, and kaleidoscopes. We need hope, and we need pressure to be better, because the world around us isn’t going to make it easy on any of us. I don’t expect to always get it right, and I will listen to those who take the time to tell me when I’m doing it wrong. If my fantasy world can use magic, why can’t they have a mainly black/hispanic court? They know our world, it’s a portal fantasy, so they can play up the tropes, or adopt outsider ways, as they see fit. There are factions that don’t approve of how others take on outsider ways, and factions who think the outsiders have the right idea. And in their reality, the truth lies somewhere between both, and they’re both wrong and right to different degrees.
If I pull the complexity off, I will be very happy. We live in a world that wants simple, binary solutions. The world isn’t ever that easy, but I just hope we can avoid turning into a dystopian YA novel, or worse, a post apocalyptic horror show.
In the meantime, lovelies, take care of yourselves. Push yourself as kindly as you can to create, to be that better world. Don’t let yourself become complacent to hate and othering of people who aren’t just like you. Because no matter what differs on the surface, we all love people. We all want what’s best for those we care about. What we think is best for them might differ, but we cannot be complacent against injustice.
“Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
― Robert F. Kennedy