Will You Help Forge a Gender Equal World?

Do you celebrate International Women’s Day? This year March 8th is the day. A day to remind us that gender has been used to justify abuse for centuries. It is sad we must have such a day across the world and in the United States. It takes hard work to forge a gender equal world. To remind us all that an inclusive world is a world of respect and kindness and diversity. #ChoosetoChallenge This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is Choose to Challenge. It asks that we all be alert to and challenge gender bias. We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world. From challenge comes change, so let’s all choose to challenge. Internationalwomensday.org Anisa Nandaula’s spoken poem about the theme is short and powerful. Take a listen. We who are privileged to live in a society with freedom of speech can choose to speak up or remain quiet. Speaking out isn’t comfortable. But we need to remember that our current freedoms came because someone challenged the status quo—challenge common beliefs. Because someone stood up […]

Does Writing Dark Stories Affect the Writer’s Soul?

Recently I read a fascination discussion on Facebook. A reader wanted to know: does writing dark stories affect the writer’s soul? It’s a question that deserves an answer. I hope you find my answer interesting. Presumptions There are several presumptions in this question. The first is that dark stories are bad for or a danger to one’s soul. The second is that fiction can affect one’s soul. The third is that writers have souls. And the final one is that the writer should think about his or her soul while writing.  Are Dark Stories Dangerous? To whom? To my soul? Short answer—no. Longer answer… it’s fiction. I’m old enough and wise enough to know reality from fiction. Right from wrong. Dark stories are dark because we need to deal with the demons of our imagination and our realities. The stories that have a happy ending where good overcomes evil reassures us. Stories that have a not so happy ending show us possibilities. Help us remember that evil is evil and doing wrong has a cost. Can Dark Fiction Affect Your Soul? Everything you do, say, act out affects your soul. If you understand and can differentiate between fiction and reality, […]

Too Many Are Hurting

It’s hard to know what to write when the world around you is in so much pain. Today’s post about my progress or lack thereof, or a book review seemed frivolous. Too many are hurting in the world—in my country. Cellphone Cameras The ubiquitous nature of cellphones and their cameras shines a light on a lot of things. Much of it is good. Too much is not. For crying out loud—if you are watching an abuse, you had better be calling the authorities first—police? If you’re watching police brutality? Calling more police might not be the best idea. But have a plan! You can call news reporters, the local ACLU, the mayor, an attorney, a local prominent activist, your white allies! If you’re not white and don’t have white allies? Make some. If you’re white, become an ally! The Abuse of Minorities It doesn’t matter if you’re black, brown, yellow, or red. We all bleed the same. We all feel fear, hurt, and anger. White folk—we’ve shunned our responsibility for far too long. Too many are hurting. It’s time that we step up and support our brothers and sisters. Not with violence or even with anger, though it’s not inappropriate to […]