A sample scene … introducing Nate Carrington

While other stories wend their way through the editing/pitch/publishing process, I am working on a medical thriller and figured I’d share a short scene I’d literally just written. I’m introducing one of the characters in the story, he’s an FBI forensic examiner, 48, and the first scene you encounter him is this one:

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People Have Lost Their Minds

So many people have lost their mind and those of you who are rabble-rousing need a time out.

argue

People sometimes see what they want to see in anyone’s message.

I’m not here to debate politics, I try to leave this blog to literary things and whimsy, however, if you believe that the only way to interpret someone’s behavior is the way YOU personally interpret it, then you’re a flawed human being.

Two well-meaning people can see exactly the same thing and come away with totally different views on what they’ve seen.

So regardless of the issue, if people don’t see it the way you do, that does NOT make them evil, racist, stupid or crazy.

And yes, that even means followers of Trump or Hillary – none of them are necessarily any of those things, but if you insist that they are, even by proxy, then YOU are the problem.

I’ll add fuel to the fire and say that I hate celery! There, I finally did it. I’ve admitted it publicly and I don’t care if it is your favorite vegetable. I hate it. But I know that others can appreciate that it might not be of the Devil and even might serve some culinary purpose – so I accept that. I’ll need to tolerate you celery lovers, even though you’re all possibly deranged – I’ll try to keep my thoughts about your disgusting celery habits to myself.  😆

That is all….

Hello Darkness

Hello darkness, my old friend,
I’ve come to drink you again,
When your grounds are steeping,
Aroma drifts to me while I’m sleeping,
And the vision that was planted in my brain,
Still remains.
Within the sound of brewing.

brewing

Why Diversity In Literature Is Such a Hot Button, and What To Do?

diversity-caricatures

 

Diversity in Literature?

The word “diversity” is a hot button in today’s society, and it is so for several reasons.

Regardless of which side of the political spectrum you’re on, I think the vast majority of people have no issues with differing cultures, religions, and racial profiles of people.

Given that, why is diversity in literature a hot button nowadays?

Simple – it depends on what diversity means to you.

Oftentimes (conservative viewpoints), people see forcing diversity as inherently being unfair because it is an attempt to compensate or balance the scales in an inorganic manner. An example in the real world would be that there is a lawsuit against Harvard by a group of Asian students who find that they needed SAT scores that were about 140 points higher than white students. Diversity leads to bias. Bias leads to racist behaviors.

While others (liberal viewpoints), feel that we must value our diversity in order to work together for the common good of our society/world. Diversity makes a better world by ensuring that everyone is exposed to a wide variety of types of people.

So in one view, diversity yields a racist outcome. The other sees diversity as a means to improve society.

It doesn’t help when you have people trying to force diversity by excluding sets of authors or types of books. http://www.xojane.com/entertainment/reading-challenge-stop-reading-white-straight-cis-male-authors-for-one-year

Hard to imagine two views more separated by a giant chasm, is it?

Given that most people have no issues with the vast majority of the world’s population and the different types it contains, it would seem a reasonable first step to include different types of people in our books. Sometimes, authors don’t give the race or background of their characters much thought. It isn’t overt, but it’s akin to not bothering to mention what kind of clothes they’re wearing. Maybe it didn’t dawn on them to describe it or it wasn’t important in that context.

If you typically write anglo characters without thinking much about it, maybe toss in a few other types, just because. Or if you typically write characters of color, there almost certainly should be some variety in your writing too.

Again, nothing forced – but it’s like paprika. Not a strong seasoning, but adds a little something.

As authors, it wouldn’t hurt to add a little seasoning to our writing. It is a baby step to mitigate some of the nonsense happening in the literary circles. Let’s face it, some of these diversity advocates are rabid (see the above-referenced URL). They need to tone down the rhetoric. However we can make an homage as well.

As readers who are sensitive to diversity issues, it might make a bit more sense to focus on the story and maybe send a nudge/hint to authors containing a message something like, “Gee, I’d love to be able to see more characters in SF/Fantasy that are clearly from the Indian subcontinent. That way, I could identify more with them.” When some subset of readers get overly agitated about certain things, I’d remind them about the old adage that says, “You get more flies with honey than vinegar.” It applies here as well.

Most people who know me would never expect me to write this, but it does reflect my beliefs.

“Why the hell not?” I say.