Our topic at the SFF Seven this week is politics and – no, wait! Come back!!
Politics in FICTION, okay???
We’re asking how politics and the political landscape of the world flavor the outcome of stories. This is my particular catnip as the political landscape of my books is always as important – if not more so – than other facets of the worlds I build. I even teach a workshop called “Worldbuilding: Political Systems in Conflict
.” Why politics? Because they are about the conflicts that affect an entire society – and societies beyond them, too. As we’ve all learned from the political turmoil of recent years, politics affects the bedrock of our lives, our very rights as sentient beings. Come on over to learn more.
This week has seen a landslide of member resignations from RWA members. Former presidents Leslie Kelly and Dee Davis, working with acting executive director Leslie Scantlebury – all people I like and respect as effective leaders – offered a plan to help the current skeleton board restore RWA. They were refused and Leslie posted the news and her member resignation on Twitter. Other amazing authors and leaders like Beverly Jenkins and Kristan Higgins have resigned their memberships, too. RWA has posted severely reduced registration rates for the National Conference in July – an event I once built my calendar around – and all I can envision is a ghostly empty hotel with echoing hallways where thousands of my friends once gathered.
It’s all so difficult and heart-breaking, and it feels like a microcosm of the greater political landscape in the U.S. and the world.
At the same time that I’m grieving these losses, I’m preparing a workshop I’ll be giving (remotely) to the New England Chapter of RWA (NECRWA): The Taoist’s Guide to Staying Sane in the Writing Business. I’ve been making plenty of notes on how to reframe the presentation to include handling the great disappointments RWA national has been handing us.
In fact, I think I should just change the presentation title to “The Taoist’s Guide to Staying Sane in an Insane World.” Really, that’s what it all comes down to. The avalanche of news can rock our boats to the point where we take on water and capsize. But we do have control of that – something I have to continually remind myself. Even though RWA has felt like a framework that has supported me these last dozen years, and though it’s easy for me to conflate the success of my career with the well-being of RWA, I have to remember those things aren’t true.
I take a moment to gaze out the window at the snow-covered landscape, at the mountains in the distance, always there through storms and the rise and fall of the light. Setting up my good camera on the tripod, I get photos of the moon caught in the bare winter branches of a tree against a peach sky.
My boat stabilized and serene, I sail on.
Jackson likes to sit outside my office window and stare at me. I have no idea why. If I offer to let him in, he’s not interested. I suspect attempts at kitty mind control.
Before I go much further – and though I don’t often mention my contemporary romances here – I thought I should point out that my WITH A PRINCE takes place during U.S. Thanksgiving. Which is this week for us! So if you or someone near and dear who loves romance, are looking for a seasonal read. This is a fine choice. There’s cooking, the actual feast – and dinner table drama complete with hashtags. It’s very fun.
And because it’s Thanksgiving, this week at the SFF Seven we’re all talking about our three favorite charities, those ways we give back and share our bounty. Come on over to find out what mine are!
This photo didn’t come out in focus – too dark – but I’m sharing it anyway because the moment of this full supermoon rising through clouds in Santa Fe during a penumbral eclipse was absolutely incredible to see. My wonderful friend, Anne Calhoun, was visiting. We climbed up onto the roof and watched the sun set and the moon rise. Neither of us got great photographs.
Too much magic, maybe,
But you’re not here to listen to me talk about friendship, moonrises and magic. Or maybe you are. If you know me or follow me on social media, you’ll expect this sort of thing. If you clicked on a link because you found the topic interesting, you’re maybe wondering when I’ll get to the point.
Eventually, my new visitor!
Because this week’s subject is Hot Topics & the Author’s Social Media Voice, it seems the perfect time to point out that the these three things – voice, social media, and an author’s response to hot topics – are inextricable. I unpack this over at the SFF Seven.
Yesterday, on July 2, 2016, Elie Wiesel died. He was a Nobel Peace Prize Winner and a celebrated writer who brought to life the realities of the Holocaust. I’m over at the SFF Seven, talking about Wiesel and whether writers should discuss politics.