Sunday, June 26, 2016

Let's talk about Xenophobia

So, Brexit.
There are a lot of reasons why people voted to leave. There are going to be a lot of consequences.
But one thing that is showing up is a lot of "Foreigner Go Home" sentiment.

We're seeing it here too.
Understandable. Humans are violent, xenophobic, tribal monkeys. This is a given. Early in our species it was a survival trait. But that time has been over for thousands of years.

Now, here in our current election cycle, Trump talks about deporting all the illegals (meaning anyone with a Hispanic surname), marking and deporting all the Muslims.

There are some in his camp who are for shipping all the blacks to Africa.

Someone forgot to give Trump the Atwater Memo.
 You start out in 1954 by saying, "Nigger, nigger, nigger." By 1968 you can't say "nigger"—that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff.  You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.

Trump has been saying it. He's been putting out the divisions, without any of the coded economic language. He's not saying "let's cut food stamps." He's saying "Let's send them all home."

The question is, once the Muslims and Mexicans are gone, and the blacks (50 million of them) are being rounded up for transport to Africa, who is next? Who do the followers come for next?

I've had a quote from A Man for All Seasons ringing through my ears as I think about that.

William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!
Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
William Roper: Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that!
Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!


"And when the last civil rights law is down, and the mob turned round on you, where would you hide then, all laws being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from sea to shining sea, Man's laws not God's! And if Trump cuts them down and his mob are just the ones to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that blow then?"

Because when all the Muslims and Hispanics and Blacks are gone, they will inevitably come for women. So even you actually think forced transportation and relocation of 50-60 million people  is a net good, remember that it will come around on you.

And this is why Xenophobia, such as we're seeing in the wake of Brexit, such as we're seeing at Trump rallies, is a feminist issue.

Friday, June 17, 2016

My Household or Polyamory while multiple

My mother used to give me static about not using the phrase "family" but rather referring to them as "my people" or "my household."

I never felt like explaining the concept from Supernatural: Family don't end in blood.

I get odd looks when i mention I have two husbands.

I am legally married to Mudd.

27 years ago, this August, we stood up in Rolla Bible Church, said our words and signed our paper.
27 years, good and bad, 4 kids. 6 moves, a near fatal accident and several nervous breakdowns.







Last Samhain, I Accidentally Married Gabriel. (fair warning that goes to TV Tropes)

We had walked the labyrinth, separately. I found him in the middle and took a while to recover. (apparently I was putting out candles just by walking past them) He held my hand and we walked out. In his religion, and that of my ancestors, that is enough to be married.

So, I have a second husband. And I am his Waifu.




The rest of my household includes:
My two younger children.
My girlfriend (our exact relationship is very complicated. I'm her big bad boyfriend, and she's my girl, and sometimes it gets more serious, depending on which personality is out when.)
Gabriel's husband
Their houseboy
A lesbian couple
Three Extra kids who do not live with any of us.

We're a big rambling S-group. And I am adjusting, jealous Scorp that I am.
Relationships vary depending on who is prime at any given time. The hazard of being married to someone with multiiple personalities is that you're always in a poly relationship.


Monday, June 13, 2016

Let's talk about Hate

Yesterday, I awoke to the news that a shooter had killed 50 people and wounded 53 more in a gay nightclub.

Later in the day, I got news about a man who was pulled over for a speeding ticket on his way to LA Pride, and arrested for a car full of rifles and bombs after neighborhood watch reported him for peering in windows. He said he was going to Pride..

The narrative around the men was achingly familiar to anyone who watches news.
The first, being Muslim, was labeled a terrorist. (he did call 911 and claim to be Daesh, but Daesh did not take credit until after the event. It was grandiose self-inflation on his part)
The second, being white, was labeled mentally ill.

They were BOTH garden variety homophobes.
The only difference is they believed their religious rhetoric more than most and decided to act on it.

~~~

I asked myself why I was so angry about it, so afraid. It's hundred of miles away. I didn't know anyone. And these days I'm only marginally involved in the community. Not like the early 2000s when I was volunteering at the Center twice a month.

Then I remembered:

Mudd was recently featured in an article in the local GLBT magazine. Photos and all.

Olivia and her friends, and most of the local gay youth group went to a showing of Rocky Horror on Friday.

They will both march in the Pride parade come October, and I will be watching.

My household goes to Perpetual Transition every Monday night.

We are all targets.

~~~

I thought too much yesterday.
I figured the Right Wing would be salivating.
They get fifty dead queer PoC, which they would consider an objective good in itself, that they can pretend to care about and Muslim to blame for it.  (The LA event would have been much more problematic for their narrative.) I write political thrillers and that would have been a master stroke of plotting in my opinion.

And Ted Cruz, who has connections to Kevin Swanson, a pastor who called for the death of gays, tweeted about his "thoughts and prayers."  Hence the "pretending to care" part.

There was a lot of anti-immigrant sentiment--even though the shooter was American. There was a lot of anti-Muslim sentiment.

I tend to ask the latter: How can you tell? Or shall we just murder all 3.3 million in the US, plus all the ones who look Middle Eastern but aren't Muslim, in the name of our fears? Because genociding religious groups is not good publicity.

My father opined that they're all crazy and we need to be out of the Middle East entirely. I reminded him of Dr. Jezbi and Dr. Ahmed, both of whom had saved my life and my hearing.

~~~~

And people ask why I live by the axiom "Straights hate Gays." They think it's sad, that it doesn't give allies enough credit.  Maybe it doesn't. But it means that things like this never surprise me.


And now, I think I need more chocolate. It's the thing after Dementor attacks. And this one has been a lulu.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Bits of news

I've been working hard at the day jobs lately, but here's what is going on.

1) Hard Reboot is out as an audiobook
Dark erotic cyberpunk with strong BDSM content. Patrick Blackthorne, our narrator, sounds creepily like Darren in places.



2) We are in for Memphis RenFaire, KC Renaissance Festival

The Fall Death March runs as follows:

Aug 20-21 and 27-28, Memphis RenFaire: The booth will be staffed by a rotating crew to keep us healthy

Sept 2-4 Mephit FurMeet.  Mostly staff. I may be going to my 30 year HS reunion

Sept 24-25 Kansas City Renaissance Festival.

Oct 13-16, Festival of Souls. Staff. I won't be going.

Nov 6-8 ConTraception. This is the final outing for Inkstained Succubus for the foreseeable future.

Dec 10-11, Kris Kinder Market, KC.  This is a tentative SCA event


3) Anthony and Glad Hands are still scheduled for reissue.

And I have to go clean stuff for a yard sale.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Decisions and going forward.

It's not much secret I'm burned out. The thought of doing another convention makes me want to hide in the bottom of the closet under a pillow fort and refuse to come out until someone guesses the password. The password changes at random intervals.

Most of my publishers have gone under or will be reverting my rights withing a year or so. The thought of editing and self publishing my entire oeuvre makes me want to open my wrists with my teeth. And my dentures are nowhere near sharp enough. I'd have better luck sawing with the edge of my Otter Box.

So I have done some hard thinking and decisions have been decided.

1) I am taking the year off from writing and publishing. I did one short story and that's it. That's what I have. The Word Hoard is mostly empty. There are a few loose pieces of  Was and The and a lone Defenestration rattling around at the bottom.  Since 2004, I have written 17 novels, 3 nonfiction Children's books (and two half done) nearly 100 short stories and a non-trivial number of blog posts.

Nobody is holding their breath for the next Angelia Sparrow. I figured that out 5 years ago. It just took a while to sink in.


2) Inkstained Succubus will close, at least for the foreseeable future, on Dec 31 of this year. All rights will revert on that date. The crew has mutinied. And the Art Department is in the Brig with no drawing privileges until June.


3) I am not doing any shows until August. That gives me 3 months to get the stock up for this next exciting venture. I've had a lifelong dream of being a RenFaire merchant and it really kicks off with the Memphis Ren Faire.

FurMeet, KC RenFest, Festival of Souls and ConTraception are also on the schedule. We'll look into other for next year. Hoping for Estrella and Lilies War.

Thanks to all who helped with the crowdfunding. We're up at Etsy with some things.
https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheCarpentersWyfe


4) My social media presence may drop as well. Crochet takes both hands. Do not look for content at Facebook. It is and always has been the repost spot for LJ, Blogger, Tumblr, Pinterest and Twitter (and everyone else's walls too).  Here at Blogger, be warned I prefer LJ.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

One Day left

All contributions will be credited at the next higher perk Level.

Ebooks $1

$25 gets you a paperback, an audiobook, an ebook AND a tarot reading.

Become a character in the Eight Thrones Saga, just $100 instead of $150.

$150 gets you a custom paddle ($80), the character, a box ($25), a hat ($25), the tarot reading ($20), a paperback ($15), an audiobook ($10) and an ebook ($5). A $180 value, for $150, plus, you become a part of the story. Priceless.


Ren Fests, Pagan events and SCA

At first glance these things all look very similar. A bunch of weirdos all dressed up, doing something strange in a wooded area. While an ordinary person might go to a renaissance faire, they would never dream of joining the SCA or becoming pagan.

And there are reasons for this.


Paganism is a lifestyle. It is a religion and something you do every day. It changes your world-view and alters how you act. It brings magic home on a daily basis. There is little room for magic in Joe Ordinary's Life.

The SCA can range from hobby to lifestyle (FIJAGDH or FIAWOL). It can be something fun you do on weekends, a chance to wear pretty dresses, learn a new craft, eat new and exciting food. Or it can devour every non-working hour until you're rushing from Baronial meeting, to guild meeting to fighter practice to event planning session to household craft night with never a chance at any other sort of life. Again, Joe Ordinary, with a job and mortgage and kids, isn't interested in living like that.

But the Ren fest, that's a little bit of magic, one or two or six weekends a year. That requires no great time commitment from Joe, just a day of pleasure. He gets outside. He watches some really bad comedy shows ( While I was on holiday, I shot two enormous grizzly bears! And I had them stuffed./Mounted?/No, just shaking hands), some pretty decent music shows, the belly dancers, and maybe some artisans making things: a blacksmith, a basketweaver. He has a bit of cider from an ancient style press. He eats a turkey leg while watching the jousting and pretends he is lord of all he surveys for the afternoon. And then he goes home to his ordinary life, satisfied he's normal, feeling virtuous for having donated to the arts, either directly to performers or indirectly (the RenFest was, for years, a fundraiser for the KC Art Institute) .

As a merchant, and I have sold to all three, these are HUGE differences.

Pagans may or may not have money. They don't tend to be the most financially prosperous, much like the SF convention community, with whom there is some overlap.

When they buy, they buy something that fits into their whole life. They buy shawls, and scarves and hand-warmers. They buy boxes and jewelry that speaks to them, and wands. Ritual clothing is also a good bet.

In short, they buy things they don't know how to make, and kind of need. Something they will use frequently.

~~~

SCA folk seldom have money. It all goes to play the game. If they buy, they are buying something they cannot make. They shop for their persona first and then their ordinary life. And SCA folk are all crafters. Most sew, most do several other things. Wood, leather and armor are the best bets here. And under $20 or over $200 was the rule I heard years ago.

They are buying game upgrades.

~~~

Ren Fest shoppers fall into two categories.

The first wants something a little unusual to have after the fest, a reminder of the fun they had, that isn't too intrusive. A tiny bottle with glitter that glows in the dark (a bottled fairy), a flower crown or hat to hang on the side of the mirror and smile when they see, a plaque with a witty saying, or a CD by a musician they enjoyed. These things fit their lives. make them smile and bring them back the next year.

They want souvenirs.

The second kind wants to be a part of the show. They will buy clothing, pouches and other items to fit their idea of themselves. This is the corset, sword and chain-mail bikini crowd. They tend to be teens or college students and often end up in the Faire or in the SCA.

They want, like the SCA folk, game upgrades.

I have opted for the Fest crowd because it goes with my painful lesson: You can't sell things to broke people. People come to the Faire to spend money. People go to pagan events for the rituals and their friends and classes, and to SCA events for the fighting or classes or competition or feast. Shopping is extraneous in these venues.

So, we go where the money is,.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Three days left

Donate during these last days and I'll boost your perks to the next level. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/air-harborage-and-fuel-or-storage-and-improvements--2 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Death again

I am a servant of Hermes Psychopompous, Hermes the Soul Guide. I am the Crone. Death is a part of life and it is the part I am responsible for. That doesn't make things any easier when I am called to work.

Death leaves holes. Holes where people used to be, in physical space, in mental space and in our hearts. Places where they should be. Laughter or words you listen for that never comes. Empty spaces, where someone no longer is.

Those holes aren't neat and cauterized. They're raw and bleeding, and they hurt all the time, and more often if you think about them or poke them.

Some people leave great gaping wounds, whose raw edges seem to fade very little. Some people leave smaller holes, easily healed, like a new piercing. But they all hurt and the holes never go away.

And someday, when our hearts are nothing but lace, all holes held together with thread, we go and leave the same holes in another.

Today I got word that a new hole has formed in my life, the third in sixteen months.

An online friend, from the con circuit, opted out of this life, his pain and burdens too large for him.
His family is medically fragile and his name is being held until the family can be told.

We only met once, but we had talked many times online. He was smart, funny and very similar to me in many ways.


We were on a panel and talking about the big drama in any zombie movie, when someone has to put down a zombified loved one.

Everyone blinked when I said it was a very real moment and many of us have to do it in reality. I gave the example of Mom, when we opted to end the minimal treatment she was getting and stop letting her be "alive," so she could move on into death. Millions of people "pull the plug" on their loved ones every day.

My voice cracked as I spoke. And his hand was on my back, steadying me until I could finish my thought.


My friend, may you pass softly.
May you find healing in Mother's Cauldron of Rebirth.
May the burdens you could not carry here vanish in the light of the Summerlands.
May your family and friends be comforted.
May you return to us swiftly, for your work is incomplete.

But dammit. Not a large hole, still a raw one.


Monday, March 28, 2016

Crowdfunding Special: offering a little boost




Today only, Monday the 28th, I will bump the first $100 in donations. 

That means, if you contribute at the $5 level, I will match your donation and bump you to the secret $10 perk. If you contribute $30, I bump you to $50 and make you a hat.

$100 of my own money, 12 hours at Michael's, 10 secret shops. 7.5 hours training Sears associates. That;s on top of the money and time and sweat already in the shop.


The link to the secret $10 perk level.