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We Aren't Doing Better

This blog is a bit of a bait and switch. The title sounds ominous. but the picture is cute. That is my cat Lapis when she was a kitten. Are you feeling less threatened now? I must be a cool dude, a tough guy with a hear of gold, who feels confident enough to share his ugly face, lazy eye, and cute kitten. Maybe this blog post is not going to be so bad after all.

Sorry to reveal to you that, in fact, this is going to be a downer.

You no doubt want to know something about the writer, so let me get that out of the way. I am working on three (four) fantasy (sword and sorcery) stories to put into Tales of The Wicked Boys & Other Stories. Which only has one Wicked Boys piece in it, but hey at least the community will have a story to hang its shingle on.

I am working on a story called Barley Chapel for he Dark Spores Anthology. Submissions open on July 1st and I will be ready for it.

In addition, work continues on River of a Thousand Teeth, Vacuum of Battle, Fane of Dreams, and the newly named MilSF piece, Grim Disciple. The Blood Shepherds and Quasi War are also getting some love. Yes I know, I should focus. Do not worry I am making lots of headway.

Okay, on to the bad.

Twice in the last six months at conventions, incidents have occurred that drive home the point that we are nowhere near where we want to be. If our destination is a place where everyone feels safe enough to be themselves, then that space is more an El Dorado than it has ever been. Perhaps Shangri-La is a better term, though both terms seem rooted in exceptionalist bullshit we are fighting against. Perhaps a straight-forward if bland and cynical description will work here.

That better world is a myth and no matter how long we are on the road, no matter how much traction we get, we are never going to arrive. Its an infinite road of hope, misery, and disappointment. And when my friends, the people I want to help cross the line into that city, keep asking me "Are we there yet?". And I keep saying "Fifteen more minutes." But its a lie. Its not 15 minutes or 15 hours or 15 years.

I won't live to see it.

But follow me down here, especially fellow creatives. Come here and let me tell you how hard it is to be a creative in a world that would prefer the machine create art, cheap art, and leave us scrambling to re-invent ourselves just to survive. You, my fellow geeks, nerds, and creatives know how hard this shit is. Its hard for me, the privileged cis-het-pale person. While I am honored to invited into their spaces, God only knows how hard it is for folks who are not the above.

And yet. AND YET. We prey upon one another like Ferengi. Shit I get it, my behavior has never been good. I can point out my problematic actions. But I learned. I decided that I could be that person or I could use my experience to make a better world. I'm no hero. But what I can do, I will.

But others of you are NOT doing the work. You continue to wallow in your self-pity, creating a traumatic environment that is hurting your friends. And for people who have a hard time finding friends, that is the most self-destructive behavior I can imagine. Once someone is traumatized by your behavior, they can never get that back. Think about that. Is that what you really want? As someone who has hurt people on purpose, that level of recidivism is fucked up. And if hurting your friends, preying upon them, is the best you got, well may I suggest you take the honorable way out and let the rest of us get on with life.

We are dinosaurs. One day I'll be gone and our world better for it. And I hope when I do exit the vehicle I can lean in the window and say to my little girl and my partners and my friends, "Yeah its just fifteen more minutes." And mean it.

Don't worry, I have no plans to relinquish the driver seat yet. I am not going anywhere. I got books to write.

L8r Chummers


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