January 14th, 2009

writing carnival

real magic can never be made by offering up someone else's liver.

Please read this linked post before proceeding. This post has been closed to new comments.

As this is an open letter, I believe it deserves an open response:

You're right.

You're pretty much right categorically and without exception, and I'm sorry to have mislead you for a moment into believing I think anything different. I will say that the book of mine you threw across the room is, in part, actually intended to address the point you make about it, but I obviously failed for you as a reader in doing so, and I'm sorry.

That racism serves a story is never an excuse, especially if the racism is unexamined. There's a fine line to walk, of course, because it's also racist to make people of color sacrosanct in fiction. The only long-term solution I am aware of is saturation: getting enough characters of color out there that each one stops being special by virtue of their color.

When I said that sometimes it helps to write as if somebody "happens to have" a particular background, what I meant was not that anything else is the default. I meant that the character needs to be a person first, rather than being a stereotype or a token. A person, in other words, not an archetype or a stereotype or a role. 

It's a hard thing to talk about, to explain, and we've seen enough evidence already this week that the same words can sound very different to different people.

My intention really is not to earn brownie points. It is, hopefully, to do something about your pain and lack, and my own pain and lack, and the pain and lack of my friends and family and random strangers on the street.

If I check in with friends to see if I'm making mistakes, it's because I would rather be part of the solution than part of the problem, and obviously I'm not doing it well enough yet.

ETA: Think VERY CAREFULLY before you comment on this post. And make damned sure you are being both polite and respectful of others when you do. Or I will close comments.

Oz has spoken.


deepad's essay, here, is also excellent.



(I do wish people would stop assuming I'm straight.)

  • Current Music
    Blitzen Trapper - Black River Killer
lion in winter broken because you're bri

nota bene

The high tech cat litter trays with the absorbent pad under the fired clay litter are awesome. They work, the cat doesn't track litter, and they don't smell.

Do not, for the love of all that's holy, forget to change the pad for two weeks. Do you know what two-week-old cat urine smells like?

I do.
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    sick sick
criminal minds hotch and prentiss tennys

young girls, they call us the diamond dogs.

Well, a huge comment thread did not successfully prevent me from revising the harpy story today.

I still think it's a disappointment and probably an artistic failure, but I'm at a loss as to what else to do with it at this point.
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    the Polecats - John, I'm Only Dancing
bad girls marlene make my day

2012

So as I was driving home from the climbing gym tonight (two ascents and downclimbs of a new 5.4 or so on the slab wall, the second ascent no-hands except the one step that was too high for me to make; a resend of a 5.7, and a flameout on an unrated route I've done before which I think is a 5.8--also, they rated a route I sent on the slab a while back as 5.9, which makes it my second 5.9. yay!) I was thinking about Hillary Clinton, and how if she is confirmed as Secretary of State it will be the second time in US history the third and fourth people in line for the Presidency will be women.

And I was thinking, you know, she's going to be awfully close to too old in 2012, nevermind all her family baggage. But after last year, for the first time, I am really starting to think I might see a female president in my lifetime.

And then I thought, I wonder if the Republicans would be smart enough to run Condoleeza Rice....

And then I thought, oh, hey.

President Michelle Obama.

Yeah. That improved the driving in traffic a lot.
sf star trek horta/spock

wish i were ocean size. they cannot move you and no one tries.

Patrick McGoohan & Ricardo Montalban, rest in peace.

I never loved The Prisoner (I know, I am an inadequate human being), but I did love Danger Man. And Mr. Montalban was not merely a fixture of every sixties spy show (and thus much beloved of me,) he also managed to turn every one of them into even more of a festival of homosocial discourse slashfest than they were on an average day.

And I say that as somebody with perpetually out of focus slash goggles.

Now I wait in superstitious dread for number three....
  • Current Music
    Red Hot Chili Peppers - Deep Kick
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