Feed Your Warrior Spirit

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We are more powerful than we know. Call your members of Congress, give them all of our concerns, that is why they are there. And nourish your soul.

Let’s Rock Our Warrior Spirits

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Picture taken in CA. I apologize for the graphic language, but this is a time for truth, not pretending this isn't happening.

Picture taken in CA. I apologize for the graphic language, but this is a time for truth, not pretending this isn’t happening.

I was going to write about how my NaNoWriMo is going today, but that was before Trump appointed Steve Bannon, a literal nazi, not a hyperbolic nazi, but a literal nazi who told his wife he didn’t want his daughter to go to a school that had too many Jews. A man who, for a living, oozes Jewish conspiracies about banks and Hollywood and probably horns.

I’m not sure about the last one.

Nazi flag flying outside a San Francisco home.

He’s a man so racist he could probably make George Wallace blush, wherever George Wallace is, and I hope it’s hot. He will be the Leni Riefenstahl of the “administration,” peddling propaganda to an apparently perfectly willing media.

For anyone of the “wait and give him a chance,” camp, what chance are we to give him? Trump has made his allegiances clear with his heavy praise of Russia, Russia’s admitted involvement in his campaign, and Russia’s possible hacking of voting results. Consider this: Hillary Clinton only won counties in Wisconsin where the counties used solely paper ballots and no electronic voting machines.

He is working with a GOP that disenfranchised likely Democratic voters to decrease the likelihood of a Democratic win. Let’s go over that again. The GOP itself has utilized its gutting of the Voting Rights Act, which prohibited these tactics, to try to maintain control when they don’t actually have the number of voters to maintain control.

Take that, democracy.

In Wisconsin, again, 300,000 voters were disallowed votes due to the new voter laws. Trump “won” by a margin of 27,257 votes. And remember what I said above? Hillary only won in counties with paper ballots?

Yeah.

Meanwhile Trump has condemned the protests springing up all over the nation, all over the world. Our very basic constitutional rights are at risk. If we allow this “election” to stand, without any investigation into possible hacking by Russia or domestic parties, without investigation into the voter suppression tactics, without investigation into Russia’s admitted influence, we lose our country.

Let us not forget the partisan actions on the part of James Comey and the FBI, who also denied Trump’s ties to Russia to the New York Times, only to have Russia confirm them after the election.

Meanwhile Hillary Clinton has won the popular vote by the largest margin of any candidate that has ever “lost” the electoral college. All of these things add up to a very strange election, strange enough that we need to know it was legitimate.

And Trump is so ill-prepared, so uncomprehending of the job of President of the United States, he had no idea he had to hire the staff of the West Wing. He doesn’t want to work weekends, and wants to commute from New York or move the capital.

He said that if Roe v. Wade is reversed, women can just go to another state. No matter your position on the issue, this man does not understand the impact of Supreme Court decisions.

This is not a partisan issue. This is an American issue. In America, we believe in fairness. We are borne from democracy. We believe in the sanctity of our elections. We demand at least a minimum of competency. And you better believe that if there was this much evidence that the candidate I supported may have rigged the election in her favor, you’d be reading the same post.

We are entitled to congressional hearings. We are entitled an investigation from the Department of Justice. And the Electoral College must really consider all of these issues when casting its votes. That is why it exists; to prevent an unfit candidate from taking office. It can consider possible impending impeachment.

Conspiring with a foreign government is, of course, grounds for impeachment. As is fraud, but that is a separate issue that will be watched closely as Trump’s trial progresses.

Now that you are as depressed as I am, or hopefully as upset and angered as I am, what can you do?

  • You can sign this petition to ask the Electors to reconsider casting their votes for Donald Trump.
  • Contact your Representatives and Senators to initiate hearings to investigate these issues in order to preserve democracy and the integrity of our elections. Call, write, tweet. Feel free to adapt any part of this post into your letter, if it helps.
  • Sign this petition asking the DOJ to file an injunction preventing the Electoral College from voting until an investigation is complete.
  • Find and join a protest.
  • Tell everyone, and I mean everyone, about your concerns. Bring it up in line at the grocery store. Tell your friends on FB and twitter. Use your First Amendment rights. We may not have them for long.
  • Share this post. However you want to share it, share it. Educate. Make sure people understand this isn’t about party politics. This is about the autonomy of our government and democracy itself.

We, the People, are the strength of this nation. We are this nation. The Trumps and the Bannons don’t own it yet. But make no mistake, if they gain control, they will treat it like they own it, with a disregard for the law and the Constitution this country has never seen.

Let’s shed our sadness and rock our warrior spirits.

Loser of the Election? Democracy

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rip-democracyYes, I’m going to talk about the election. This transcends politics. This transcends where you fall on the scale, red or blue or for you middle-grounders, purple. This transcends budget squabbles.

This election was about democracy. And democracy lost.

Most of us spent yesterday reeling over the concept that voters endorsed virulent hatred. Virulent hatred got the government stamp of approval. Hello open discrimination, goodbye even the veil of politeness. And that was sickening.

If you don’t think that was sickening, or you think that disgust over someone enthusiastically accepting the support of the kkk* and nazis* is nothing to get worked up over, this is where we part ways. Feel free to unfollow my blog, and go live your existence smug with the thought that you can be free from the tyranny of being polite and treating others with respect.

If you’re still with me, or if that last sentence made your stomach twinge, and you now understand what you’ve done, then stay with me. And commit to your own growth.

And so we continue.

How Trump won exposes the naked contempt of the GOP for the very fabric of our Constitution. Voting is a fundamental right, and yet, after the gutting of the Voting Rights Act by the Supreme Court — at the behest of members of the GOP — states were free to enact the kinds of laws specifically designed to stop certain voters from exercising that fundamental right.

You know who used to use those laws to prevent people from voting?

The kkk.

You know who utilized those laws to capture the electoral college while losing the popular vote?

The candidate supported by the kkk.

But the responsibility lies with the GOP itself, as it also used redistricting to minimize the likelihood of Democratic candidates winning the majority of districts while increasing their share of Representatives. Instead, the GOP created incredibly strangely shaped districts to increase the odds of GOP wins in the majority, while concentrating Democratic votes in others. Some of the biggest offenders?

Florida, North Carolina and Ohio.

Those states ringing a bell?

Add to that North Carolina GOPers actually bragging about how they curbed the votes of black voters, and the success of their voter suppression tactics, and you might see what I mean.

No matter what your point of view, no matter how you feel about Social Security or defense spending or health care, if you believe in the Constitution, you have to support the right of everyone to choose their government.

Everyone.

Not just the people who vote like you. Because that is not a democracy, it is a power grab. It is a coup. It is a subversion of the will of the people all tied up with a heaping helping of authoritarianism.

This election proved that democracy is far more delicate than we realized, and the GOP hates it far more than we realized. Even now, peaceful protests, filled with citizens who are exercising their First Amendment rights, are being characterized as “riots,” or, according to one terrifying man with too much authority, the protesters “radical anarchists.”

For exercising their First Amendment rights. And I hear this man is up for a cabinet position. As Director of Homeland Security. You know that branch of government that decides who constitutes a threat?

Chew on that.

And we haven’t even gotten to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s involvement in the election, which Russian officials just confirmed.

So here we are, at the mouth of the tunnel to a very, very dark place. We have lost control of the “Government of the people, by the people, for the people.” And we may never get it back.

 

 

*[Refusal to capitalize kkk et.al. is not a typo but an editorial choice.]

A Country that Would Bully a Child in a Wheelchair

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Today I was planning on sharing with you the pictures I took from the Cubs World Series parade. And at some point I will. Granted sooner would probably be better for my views of said pictures, but some things are more important than views.

If you follow me on Twitter, you know I’ve become pretty vocal about politics. I’m actually very political, but I keep it off of my blog. As long as you treat others with kindness and respect, no matter how they differ from you, everyone is welcome here.

But that’s why this post is necessary. Kindness and respect. During this election cycle, I’ve seen a side of my fellow Americans I naively thought had died decades ago. A seething mass of hatred and anger, of suggestions of violence doled out as punishment for existing in a different kind of body, for exercising the constitutional right to vote, for exercising the constitutional right to free speech or for freedom of the press.

It gets so much worse, though. Here’s the thing I just can’t shake.

I’ve seen a candidate for President of the United States mock a person with a disability on a national stage. And when I thought it couldn’t get more horrendous than that, that same candidate ejected a child with cerebral palsy from his rally. A child who needs an electronic device to speak. A 12-year-old child in a wheelchair.

Apparently the crowd even began pushing/kicking the chair. Imagine that, being a child in a crowd like that, a child who does not have full control over his own body, and the crowd starts to interfere with your only means of autonomy.

Ever since reading about this incident, it has haunted me. The adult targets of irrational hate, we can fend for ourselves, as we have for centuries. We can fight back through the system, and when the system fails us, we create our own systems, and we survive.

But we are talking about a child with a disability who was bullied and intimidated not only by mob of mouth-foaming adults, but an actual candidate for the highest office in this country. How can we accept that?

We, the adult targets of hate and non-targets of hate alike, have a responsibility to that child, as we do to all children. Even if we can’t prevent bullying by peers, we can decree that adults bullying children is not acceptable.

The best way to say that is to refuse to elect a bully as our next president.

I’ve found this election so sad, as I’ve learned how many other Americans are willing to fully embrace hatred, or turn a blind eye to hatred, or flatly deny the blatant hatred in front of them exists.

Please don’t be such an American. Please vote for an America where everyone has value.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

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I’m Polyauthorous and I’m Proud

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RadioKirk, Wikimedia Commons

RadioKirk, Wikimedia Commons

OK, first things first. You know that neat little widget which is supposed to update my word count when I change it on the NaNoWriMo site? Well, it doesn’t. It just stays on the same number it was when I put it up. So either I’ll have to figure it out (any WordPressers resolve this issue?) or let it go.

Hmm, changing the widget seems to have worked, but we’ll see after I update today.

Now, on to that title. You may remember how I said that I had two ideas, and I thought I might try to work on both? Seems a little crazy, right?

Well, I did.

I think it’s possible to love more than one manuscript at a time. And here’s the thing. They’re different in tone, different in subject matter, and they (probably) occur in two different worlds.

It wasn’t nearly as difficult to switch as I thought it might be, I did the bulk of my writing on one (2200 words) and then, much later, added 1000 to the project I started on November 1.

Sidebar. To resolve all future confusion (I’ll be honest here, I mean my future confusion), we’ll call the project I started on day 1 WIP A, and the one I started on day 2 WIP B. Cool? Cool.

So yesterday WIP B was the one that drew my attention, the one that I sank into more readily. Today may be the opposite, and I’m going to give myself the freedom for that. When the going gets tough, the two-WIP way of life may become questionable, and we’ll cross that bridge and all the other assorted cliches.

But I’ll tell you this: NaNoWriMo is doing its job, because I am back to getting words on a page, and that is battle number one.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

 Sign up for my spamless newsletter!

 

No, I probably won’t blog about NaNoWriMo EVERY day

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Monkey-typingBut heck, it’s still new, it’s Day 2, and I have writing to do.

The first two were unintentional, but it just seemed wasteful not to finish it out.

Anyway, with a little bit of, hmm, how should I put this, uh, I think the word is procrastination? Maybe? I finally got myself settled, sat down and wrote. And the floodgates opened.

Not so much on the project I finally chose — something entirely new, by the way — though I hit 2030 words. But it felt like working out after a long, long hiatus, where the breathlessness is oppressive and your muscles won’t follow your brain.

I actually had to take a breather during my word sprints.

But before I went to bed, the seeds of something else planted themselves, and like bamboo, sprouted quickly. I know I have the tendency to be distracted by something new and shiny, but this morning I was drawn to the second project.

So here’s what I figure. NaNoWriMo is really about putting in the motivation to write. So if I put words into a fiction project (as opposed to a fictional project. I swear these WsIP exist!) I am going to take those words and put them in my wordy bank.

I suspect that one project will end up being more compelling than the other, but we’ll see! How’s your NaNo going?

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

 Sign up for my spamless newsletter!

So. Yeah. NaNoWriMo Day 1

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Well, I’m on that NanWriMo train. Or probably more accurately,  looking at this year’s badge, spaceship. My current word count?

0.

Haven’t decided yet what I’m writing. I have some old works-in-progress to finish, and I can’t help but think that getting them done would be, what we call in the writing game, a good thing.

But there’s always that allure of a fresh, new, uncharted story, one with just an amorphous beginning and a million possibilities to get to the end. It’s responsibility or frivolity, finishing versus starting.

One of the magical things about NaNo is that it instantly shifts writing to a priority.  There is no “I should” or “why don’t I.” You have to get your words in, that’s the point. So to what project do I give that priority?

I even posted a twitter poll to get an outside eye.

It landed 50/50. Note to self: never do a poll with two options again.

It’s pretty symbolic of my approach to writing lately, spending so much time thinking about what I should be getting done that the words don’t hit the page. NaNo puts an end to that.

As soon as I begin.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

 Sign up for my spamless newsletter!