June 7, 2020
Covid continues, protests and writing groups!
In The News
In the last month, Covid 19 news has largely taken a back seat to the civil unrest and political controversy being spewed all over everything. Social media feeds are full of often controversial opinions. Graphic and disturbing images are everywhere. It is unavoidable unless you can actually live without your social media platform of choice or any given news program. And you know what? Good!
I am not saying, in any way, that I am a fan of the pain and suffering that is going on. I do not support evil, bad guys, fascists, murderers or whatever you want to call them. I do support the beautiful solidarity of everyone that is coming together to speak out. It happened before in the early 1860s (American Civil War) and was sort of won; and in the first half of the 1900s (American Civil Rights Movement) and was largely quashed and silenced by the established powers that were. The powers that be are attempting to quash it again, but they aren’t as powerful as they think they are. I guess what I am trying to say is, this time around, there are more of us trying to do good than there are of those trying to maintain the bad, and that is a wonderful thing. In all sincerity and love, I hope that this time will be the last time it must be done.
In Covid-19 news, because there is still some happening, most of the U.S. has decided to pretend it is all over and is running around without masks and ignoring the fact that the numbers in many areas are still climbing. It’s not over, people. I am lucky enough that my day job is with a company that is taking every precaution to guarantee the safety of its employees. We are each valued individually as integral and foundational members of the team. My husband works for a company which, by contrast, would allow the customers to lick him in the face if it would get them a sale. The day I go confidently screaming into the world of full-time, self-employed, stay-at-home author, my husband is going to be my first hire just so we can flash the finger at the company he works for now.
My current writing project, Book One of the Andran Company, stands now at 82,709 words. That means, in the last month, I have written 20,902 words toward my goal. That’s not lightening speed. BUT that is decent progress. I spent some time with a particular scene, feeling like I just didn’t get the point of what was happening. This is bad for the person writing what is going on… So I persisted and deleted and wrote and deleted and then, out of nowhere, the characters finally spoke to me. I was persecuting the wrong character. Once that became apparent, everything began to fall into place and the words flowed freely once more. I expect to wrap up the draft of this book this week. I hope.
Social, Media and Otherwise
I have been putting more effort into trying to be active and effective on social media. Twitter seems to be my most comfortable SocMed platform, but I am making the effort to be at least a little active on Reddit, Facebook and Instagram (ubrielbryne20). I have started sharing some quotes from the book with graphic backgrounds and generally interacting with the online community in a more concentrated manner. In other words, I am trying to put myself out there a little bit. I even claimed my sub on Reddit. Check it out! r/ubrielbrynebooks.
The Reddit sub is where my new writing group is meeting each week. I am very excited about that. The other writers in the group all have eclectic writing interests and tastes, so the feedback promises to be helpfully diverse. I also enlisted three Beta readers to give me feedback when the book is ready. Things are starting to feel like they are moving in the right direction.
I still can’t take the show on the road, what with people dropping like flies from Covid and people rising up in righteous protest. It just isn’t time yet. Once it is, I have a trip to Indianapolis planned that was put off when all viral hell broke loose. I am very much looking forward to being able to schedule that again. I am afraid that will not be able to happen until 2021, but we will see.
I have planned to attend several protest events in my home town and each time, something beyond my control has prevented it. Mostly, my car has misbehaved. I am beginning to suspect familial sabotage out of fear for my safety, which while sweet and endearing of them, makes me want to hog tie them and ask WTH they are thinking.
I write sci-fi and fantasy. I read sci-fi and fantasy. I support the listing of apes, porpoises, whales, dogs, pigs, etc., as non-human persons for the purposes of extending them rights under law. I have never believed myself to be prejudiced or racist and have been ostracized by some members of older generations for speaking out against that behavior and speech. Hell! I am not even a white woman. I am multi-racial, but I look white to most people. I have been treated in society as if I am Caucasian, of northern European descent. Everything I thought I knew about issues of racism in our society has been, finally, pointed out to me as a drop in the bucket to what racism really means to those who must endure it.
I have never been afraid of a police or sheriff’s vehicle behind me in traffic. I have never been afraid that I would not be afforded due process of law or denied access to medical treatment because of my complexion. I have been chased, threatened, called vile names and refused service in businesses because of my complexion. I have had my feelings hurt and been scared, but not for my life or liberty. I cannot be certain that I understand entirely now, but I definitely understand better. I hope the rest of us listen to what the protesting activists are saying.
I am so grateful that I was able to hear them.