The title says it all. After several weeks of enforced absence from the keyboard, I’ve been released to very limited work. Because of that, I’m trying something new this morning. I’m using handwriting-to-text conversion on my iPad Pro. It is slower, mainly because I’m trying to make sure the conversion isn’t too for out in left field. Fortunately, the latest update to the OS makes this much easier than before. So, with that said, let’s see if I can get a post done.
One thing being away from the keyboard has done is give me time to do some brainstorming. I’ve made notes on current projects and figured out what needs to be done to get them from brain to page. I’ve planned the end of one series and begin world building on another. How I’m champing at the bit to get to work.
J’ve also done a great deal of reading. Some has beenresearch related. But most of it has been for fun. That includes rereading John Ringo’s Black Tide Rising series. It might seem a bit strange to be reading-about a zombie apocalypse right now but let’s face it. Much of what we’re seeing right now isn’t much different. The zombies might not be stripping down in the middle of the road and feasting on anything they can. Instead, they passively accept without question or thought-what is being said. They accept the closure of our businesses and sequestration from loved ones even as politicians and so-called celebrities flaunt the rules.
What I love about the BTR novels, especially the original ones, is the spirit of of the main characters. Forget the criticisms of the main characters, especially Faith. Look beyond those complaints to what she and others represent. Hope. Faith. Determination. The willingness to do waters was necessary not only to survive but to rebuild the world.
That is something too many would prefer we all forget. These so-called advocates of change want to erase history. That’s bad enough. Making matters worse, there are authors—and I use that term loosely—who advocate no longer teaching literature if it includes books written more than 70 years ago. It’s not because the language might be difficult to understand. It’s because our laws and values have changed.
In other words, no Huck Finn because it portrays slavery and uses language no longer acceptable. No Shakespeare because he portrays anti-feminist ideals, violence, etc., etc., etc. Our kids are too delicate and their sensibilities too fragile to hear what the world was like and to be able to see how far we’ve come==and in some cases how far we still have to go.
The fact that a so-called YA author is applauding this sort of idiocy, as well as other authors, is beyond me. Do they not understand that means in 70 years or so their own works will no longer “qualify” to be taught? (Or, presumably, stocked in libraries or bookstores) This lack of foresight, not to mention the way they have determined they know what is best for the rest of the world, seriously pisses me off.
Because of that, it has renewed my determination to write. Not only to write but to write characters who are flawed. Characters who might say or do things they might not mean later. Characters who will, hopefully, learn from their mistakes and grow. I want to write characters who may despair but who will not give up. They fight for themselves, for their loved ones.
People aren’t perfect and never will be. But we can and do learn and change. We do it through experiencing life, not by having it hidden from us.
If I had to choose between being an insane little zombie killer like LT. Faith Marie Smith from BTR or any of the sniveling, politically correct and too fragile (and dumb) to live heroines in much of trad publishing today, I’ll choose the insane little zombie killer or any member of her family or cadre. They are at least doing something.
So I will do my part, small as it is. I will do my best to write books that entertain, that show people aren’t perfect but they do their best, no matter what their situation. Sure, they might despair. They might want to give up and, in some cases do, but they try.
And they don’t follow the line of lemmings as they all jump off the cliff.
Featured Image by currens from Pixabay
But Amanda, everybody else is jumping off the cliff! I don’t want to look bad in front of them.
Just tell them you’re hanging back to make sure everyone does it right and that you’ll join them after you’re sure all the others have had a turn. Remind them you’re showing how you aren’t using your privilege and are helping those who might be less “inclined” than you to make the sacrifice. VBEG
Good to hear from you.
I keep remembering that the Zombies of Haiti were undead slaves of a “dark” sorcerer. 😦
Nobody will be reading that YA “author’s” books in 70 years because they will be forgotten….
Eh, who cares what happens after you’re dead? The people who set up Social Security KNEW it would go bankrupt — but not in their time!
The plan that was promoted for the enabling legislation was for the SS money to come from a payroll tax, which was to be invested in bonds and stocks as a pension fund, and payments would be made out of the profits from that. But it didn’t work out that way. All that lovely, lovely money was too much to resist.
Yep, Congress saw all that cash just sitting there earning interest and “borrowed” it to do good works, replacing it with government bonds backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government.
Of course the Social Security cash flow went negative a couple of years back, meaning more is being paid out than comes in from the payroll taxes. The difference must be paid by cashing in some of those bonds.
If nothing else, our congress has succeeded extremely well in giving drunken sailors a bad name. Thing is, drunken sailors when they run out of money find somewhere to go and sleep it off. Congress just keeps trucking on in the belief that their house of cards will not collapse until they are safely retired somewhere safe from the consequences of their own actions.
Apropos of nothing in particular, the current US National debt stands at $27.5 trillion.
I’ve seen that kind of behavior before… by people who knew they were facing bankruptcy, so they took a handful of credit cards (which were likely part of their problem to begin with…) and went terminal buying sprees. “I’m not going to pay it back, so let’s go SHOPPING!”
Amen. I skim the jacket synposes of YA books on occasion. Ick. Gay, minority teen meets ghost and falls in love. Gay minority teen falls in love and challenges [badly stereotyped ethnicity here] family. Outsider tries to become insider and discovers that witches really exist and are the good girls. The only one that looked at all interesting was about the gal who is trying to help her dad run their Chinese restaurant while her mom gets crazier and crazier, and the rest of the family is in denial. The characterization sounded much better in that one. But will any of these last like _Johnny Tremaine_ or _Tom Sawyer_ or _A Wrinkle in Time_ or _The Secret Garden_? Probably not.
Tsk, tsking at the lack of diversity here. Do you mean to say that there wasn’t a single YA book with a transgender hero/heroine/herx? I am shocked!
There might be. Those just didn’t make it onto the YA Pick Of The Month table.
Actually, that one about the Chinese restaurant sounds too realistic, as the Chinese wife approaches menopause….
(Of course, I have never seen anything like that at all…)
I had forgotten about Johnny Tremaine. It is one of the few assigned reading books that I loved.
Do they not understand that means in 70 years or so their own works will no longer “qualify” to be taught?
Part of me thinks that they don’t care; in 70 years, they’ll be dead, so why not force the schools to teach their books now so they can get the cash from the school districts while they can still spend it (we’ll ignore the fact that the vast majority of that cash will be going to the publishers, and with creative accounting the authors will be lucky to get enough to eat off the McDonalds dollar menu).
Another part of me thinks that they genuinely believe that their works, unlike those of previous generations, are perfectly inclusive and contain no immorality that future generations could possibly object to.
You guys can decide which part is the cynical part. I’m honestly not sure.
It’s the later. When you’re practically perfect in every way, then you set the standard that all others will follow or be punished. Time and change will not erase your perfection, only burnish it.
Yeah, it’s a completely insane viewpoint but what can you expect from people who’ve been told that their mere existence merits a gold star?
He/She can’t possibly be right. they’ll never stop teaching Of Mice And Men and The Scarlet Letter… how else will they be able to make high school juniors and seniors hate reading?
Heinrich Ibsen and _Lord of the Flies_. Among other “Great Works. “
Dickens. Melville. Hawthorne. Chaucer. Stories set alien cultures, written in outdated and/or foreign English dialects, full of unknown words and concepts, where even the plots were often a mystery… mostly with the common thread of “not much happening, and that exceedingly slowly.”
Even then, it looked like their selections were made to deter students from ever voluntarily picking up a piece of fiction for the rest of their lives. And it seemed like it was remarkably successful. I know several intelligent, knowledgeable people who were burned badly enough by that garbage that they would rather dig their eyeballs out with a spoon than read a novel.
OTOH, I’ve read books I enjoyed before, and again (long) after, in English class and I HATED THEM.
Except Shakespeare. But expecting every writer to be as brilliant as Shakespeare is folly.
And as ever was, those who refuse to learn from history will condemn themselves and their children to repeat the same mistakes over and over again ad infinitum.
characters who are flawed. Characters who might say or do things they might not mean later
I’m very much of two minds on this. Perfect characters are not far from Mary Sue characters, but the distinction between “flawed” and “annoying piece of garbage” can also be narrow.
Good intentions gone awry are one thing (the entire Expeditionary Force series is based on cleaning up the unforeseen consequences of the previous book’s choices). There’s an entire genre (Romance) based on misunderstandings. But I have disliked anti-heroes since I first encountered Thomas Covenant.
I understand what you are saying, but there is a slippery slope in there. Flawed characters who try to improve or work around their flaws are one thing. Flawed characters who oblivious to it and just keep being flawed are another.
Oh. Thought of an example. The guild guy in Star Dogs needs to die a horrible and painful death as soon as possible. Ideally, it’s in the prologue of the sequel. Well, ideally, it would have already happened, but second best is the next prologue.