still processing (11/16/16)

free-speechI know that I promised a blog post for this past Monday, more fleshing out of my thoughts and concerns in the aftermath of the 2016 Presidential Election. I know also that it’s now Wednesday, and even this is not the promised post. It’s coming, it really is. It’s almost finished! But I had to take a step back.

I’m no less concerned than I was a week ago. I’m no less angry. I’m no less hurt. I’m no less disappointed. I’m no less intent on being vocal and active. I’m still planning and researching, writing and speaking, and doing an insane amount of reading. But I had to take a step back.

Why? Why the step back? Why not run at top speed, maintaining pace?

I stepped back because I want my thoughts to be honest, well thought through, and logical. I needed to work through some of my initial blind rage, and do some planning. I’m saying things that plenty of people don’t want to hear in the first place. I’d better do it well, and factually, and in a way it can be received if at all possible.

That I’ve now done, I stepped away for nearly a week, and now more posts will be forthcoming.

I’ve no idea if they’ll be helpful, or matter to anyone. But this is my voice, and I’ll attempt to use it.

Another note: My NaNoWriMo 2016 participation has come to a standstill somewhere around 7,000 words…and at the moment, I have no idea if I’ll be able to resume.

…because I know you…

mjblog2Donald Trump as president of the United States scares me. I’ve been open about that both online and in my personal life. There are things about his (mis)understanding of the world that are terrifying. I’m working on a piece to dissect some of the thoughts floating around in my mind, but for today I’d like to address a very common disavowal that I’m seeing all over the internet the last few days.

There’s an ongoing (and important) thread of conversation related to bigotry and discrimination around the Trump election. Some people (myself included, admittedly) believe that some of the support he garnered came from people and groups who hold hate very close to their hearts – be they racists, homophobes, xenophobes, misogynists, or whatever else. Trump’s own words are troubling, and a variety of the individuals and groups that support him are even worse.

The disavowal I keep seeing, which prompted me to this writing, is this (in essence) – “I know Trump has said some troubling [bigoted] things, but I’m no racist…I’m no bigot…he got my vote for what he’ll do for America, but it has nothing to do with hate.” Many of his supporters claim to support him in spite of the hatred he’s expressed for his fellow human beings.

Here, however, is my problem:
I grew up with you; I went to school with you; I attended parties with you; I’ve had long conversations with you; I’m related to you; I’m your friend from long ago – your words ring hollow because I know you.

  • You are a racist – I’ve heard you drop racial slurs like rain from the sky. I’ve heard you spew stereotypes about minorities for years. By definition, you are a racist.
  • You are a misogynist – I’ve heard you belittle women, make jokes about women, and question their civil rights and ability to make their own wise choices. By definition, you are a misogynist.
  • You are a homophobe – I’ve heard you use slurs against homosexuals in casual conversation, surrounded by people you don’t even know. I’ve heard you rail against them, with hate in your eyes. By definition, you are a homophobe.
  • You do despise the LGBTQ community – I’ve heard your racial slurs here, too. I’ve heard your outright disdain for fellow human beings, all based on how they live their life, who they are, and who they choose to love. By definition, you do despise the LGBTQ community.
  • You are a xenophobe – I’ve heard your diatribes about immigrants, filled with (until now) idle threats and hatred. Your thoughts are encapsulated here – you irrationally fear, to the point of hate, people who are different than you are in any way. By definition, you are a xenophobe.

I refuse to sit by and listen as people lie about the reasons they support this man. I refuse to sit by and allow him to destroy the freedoms that so many people now have, yet were refused for so long. I refuse to sit by and allow the civil rights of my fellow Americans be taken away.

I’ve lived in Mississippi for most of my life, so I know well what the America of Donald Trump looks like. It’s heartbreaking and it’s evil and it’s filled with hate – and this will not be the America of today.

[This post isn’t for everyone, not by a long shot – not everyone I know is the “you” in my post. But some of you are; alas, perhaps even many. So if this post bothers you or feels directed at you…maybe think about it. The only way to heal is to first realize that a cancer exists.]

[There are also plenty of reasons to be terrified of a Trump presidency outside of the topic of this post – some of those will be explored in my post on Monday.]

NaNoWriMo2016 and more

shield-nano-blue-brown-rgb-hiresWell, I managed to miss a few days already this week on my blog…but I don’t know that I’m even aiming to post something daily. I’m still working through how I’d like to utilize this site, so I didn’t miss anything. That’s a much healthier way to consider things.

Here are a few thoughts for today.

I’ve been doing much more writing recently, and am ecstatic that I’ve been able to do so. Just an idea of what I’m working on now:

  • an article on relationships/patriarchy/acceptance [which has grown far beyond the scope of the initial proposal, and will either morph into a series of articles or a larger piece for additional publication],
  • a new novel [more on that below],
  • a short story on memory,
  • various poems,
  • posts for this blog,
  • and soon, though not quite yet, my final edits to my first novel.

As you can see, I’ve had something of an artistic revival, for which I am very excited. My fiance has also been supportive, helping me hash out concepts and ideas, reading as I write, and offering feedback and potential edits, which not only helps the work improve but also helps keep me inspired. Something important is happening…and I am thrilled.

Yes, you read correctly in the list above, I am finally working on a new long piece of fiction. It’s an idea I concepted several years ago, tentatively titled “Trying, Again. Peytor’s Story.” I won’t reveal much about the actual piece at the moment, but the story of how I got started…it all boils down to NaNoWriMo. National Novel Writing Month. This is an annual event, in November of each year, which I’ve participated in two times previously. I hadn’t planned on trying this year, but yesterday, as I saw other writers post about it, I began to feel inspired. But I had no project on hand that would fit the NaNoWriMo model. So I pulled out some old ideas, and one particular concept clicked. It’s perfect for a number of reasons. The project is begun, and I’m happy to finally be working through it. Hopefully I’ll have some interesting excerpts to post over the course of the month.

What is NaNoWriMo? You can get plenty of information on their website: nanowrimo.org. In brief, to quote said website: “National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30. Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought about writing a novel.”

I plan to include my NaNoWriMo word-count on each post this month. At this moment, I have 1,190 words.