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Friday, April 17, 2015

400,000 Milestone

There's a number floating in the Noosphere, and no, it isn't a DBZ quote, but for all of you in the know, it is ONE MILLION.

Yes, that's right. One Million means a lot not only to Goku, but to writers as well. The theory goes, "If you're an aspiring writer, don't expect to become even remotely competent until you write ONE MILLION words."

It sounds arbitrary and demeaning, right? So I thought, too, but there it has a certain logic. I appreciate it.

This is the time to work out all the kinks in your writing. To get over the self-important nonsense that you dreamed of championing. To get to the point where you actually want to be understood and encouraged by your progress. This is the point where you feel like you're no longer a beginner. This is the point where you can start taking yourself very seriously.

Well, I've just made it to the 400K mark, which means I'm still unprofessional and still unpaid, but I do have the weight of momentum behind me and a dedication to sitting down every day and making something come alive. It feels very good. Hell, it feels fantastic, but I'm not going to assume that I'm a competent writer. Not yet. I'm going to keep working at the craft and discover even more interesting vistas in my novel writing.

Most of this will never see the published light of day, of course, but I still feel as if I've broken through to a WHOLE NEW LEVEL! Da, da, da, daaaaaa!

Maybe one day I'll be about ready to take on Frieza. Without the filler episodes, tyvm. ;)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Puppygate Fallout

I'm usually pretty even tempered, and after much internal debate, I've come to conclude that it is time to put my money where my mouth is, perform some mystical alchemy therein, and produce origami that shoots lasers.

I.e., I'm joining the World Science Fiction Convention as a supporting member so as to make sure the dream of the Hugo does not die.

It takes every one of us, every day, to ensure that the things we cherish remain untarnished. The Hugo is an idea and a standard by which some of the brightest and most open minds in the world reach toward. It is political in the sense that we all gather together and make something bigger than we are.

There are people who decided to game the system because they could, and thought they should. There are people who are reacting to it by trying to take away the prize, either by "No Winner" or by removal of entire categories. There are many sides to the debate, and a lot of it has degenerated into mudslinging and personal attacks.

This is not who we are.

We are people who dream for the bright future, even if we see only horror and pain in the stories we read and we write. We live in our ideas because we're fundamentally optimistic, no matter how degraded the arguments may become.

I sat back, silent, reading thousands of books and becoming a better person for it, but now, when I see such an award being dragged through the mud, I decided to open my mouth and let my feelings be known.

I love the Hugo and everything it stands for. I have never 100% agreed with all of the nominations or the winners across the board, but that doesn't matter. I've loved the journey and every nomination and every dreamer who has thrown their hands at a keyboard or a pen to write and give us their heart.

I will not sit by and do nothing.

I may have given up on elections. I may have given up on nations. I may have given up on everything my culture has ever told me I should believe. But I have not and will not give up on the Hugo.

Since I learned, today, that one of the nominees for best novel of the year, Marko Kloos, withdrew his novel from consideration because of the pall hanging over this year's award, I've ironically felt galvanized. His decision was both brave and heartbreaking, and he isn't the only one to have done it over this year's Puppygate, but he is the first to do it after the nominations for best novel were out. I respect him and hate the circumstances that caused it.

Regardless, I will still consider him for a Hugo when I vote, albeit as one of the illustrious Hugo Losers, but he will be one in a long line of beautiful authors of whom I shall cherish forever.

I am choosing to value him and the award despite the controversy. I hope everyone chooses their conscience in this matter, with both heart and mind intact.

We are only as good as we make ourselves. We are women and men of ideas. Are we saying that we aren't capable of rising above this? If so, then I won't believe it. We are the ones who write the future into existence, and giving up on this is tantamount to giving up on ourselves.

Peace, people!