thatrcooper: (geoffrey fuck you by iconsftw)
In response to recent events, and my political posts all over the place:

There are a lot of people who feel that writers, like artists and actors, should stay out of politics. Usually, people worry about them driving away fans, I think, That is a real possibility. Fans have plenty of other options if you displease them.

But I don't like that argument. For one, art is always political. It doesn't exist in a vacuum. It's a product of its time and place, and the experiences and worldview of the person who created it. Just as how it's interpreted by fans is also political and based on their experiences and worldviews. And I know, this is genre fiction--romance--so calling it "art" feels a little silly, but each m/m romance story is still a written document. It's still a creation. It's something that could survive to another time and be examined by people wanting to discover more about our time. So I'm just gonna go ahead and call it art. :)

It's art, and it has meaning to the people who write it, and to the people who read it. You can't pretend otherwise. You can't, for example, have women claiming m/m helps them explore their sexuality but then also claim m/m is meaningless. It's art, and every choice made by the author of an m/m story is political whether they realize it or not. The age of your protags, their body types, their races, their choice of how to label themselves, their economic class, their freedom (or lack of freedom) to express their desires, their state of being Out or not to their families, even if they are a goddamn werewolf--it's political. Writers are making a political statement, even with the smuttiest smut, or the fluffiest fluff piece set in a coffee shop. Readers are making political choices when they choose certain books over others.That's just the way it is.

Beyond that, although certain people like pretend otherwise, m/m romance is a genre about an actual real life community of actual people who are in actual danger of having their rights stripped away. M/m books have readers (and writers), male and female, who are a part of that community and are in terror right now. And a part of me feels like, if you write those books, but you aren't standing up for those people now, then you cannot be writing books I want to read.

So yeah, if you follow me on Facebook or Tumblr or on my fledgling Twitter, I am probably annoying the shit out of you with all my political posts. (Especially if you live in another country.) You might decide not to follow me anymore because of that. Or you might decide my views are too much for you, so you never want to buy my work again. That sucks for me, but it's your right.

But I can't shut up right now. I'm a nervous wreck, and swinging wildly between anger and despair as I read every day about new horrendous injustices being ordered by Evil Orange Tiny Hands and his friends, and I'd love to just ignore everything, or keep my opinions to myself. But I can't. It's not in my nature. And frankly, if you've been reading my stories, that should be pretty clear by now. :)

I'm not saying people in this community have to start shouting about Cheeto Voldemort the way I am and others are, but I am thinking that sometimes, for what I said above? The reverse is true. Sometimes not voicing your opinions or offering support in a time of crisis can cost you fans too.

So anyway. tl;dr. Sorry not sorry for all the political posts, but thank you to the people who donated and participated in both of my anti-Tiny Hands and the Axis of Evil charity drives. You guys are awesome! Also in a little bit, I should have a new story out, and part of the profits are going to go to charity again. Stay tuned!
thatrcooper: (elizabeth hug by someone)
I have been going through... things... so I apologize for not being around much. The fun part of being crazy is that I get to say things like that and y'all have to be understanding about it. But yeah, life, seriously. (When you are playing "I am a rock" by Simon & Garfunkel over and over again it's maybe time to emerge from your fortress deep and mighty). I am working on being a person again, just in time for the holidays.

In writing news I finally got something from Dreamspinner about A Boy and His Dragon. I assume if I'm just getting the cover specs sheet about the artwork that it won't be coming out until January at least. But I don't have a definite date yet so bear with me.

Meanwhile, I should reformat that short story I did a while back and hopefully get it up on Smashwords soon. And I still want to do something for the food bank Second Harvest for Thanksgiving. I don't know what would raise the most money. I was thinking of maybe writing something in small sections and posting a new section every time someone donates to Second Harvest (even a dollar) or takes a picture of themselves putting cans or boxes of food into a donation bin at their local grocery store. You know, holding your story hostage until people get fed. Something?

I really need that secretary my third grade teacher said I would need in life now. Plz. I also need to channel my inner Will and go dancing. I haven't in over a year and that is just wrong. If only I had friends...

Ah well. STORIES. Let me think of some.
thatrcooper: (stephen by aixsponsa)
Guys. Guys, there is drama going on. So much that I'm aware of it in my little corner of nowhere where I hide and write silly things about librarians and twinks who can't cook and gamblers and such. I'm not going to call people out, because I don't do that unless I am very, very sure of what I am saying and absolutely certain that the people involved deserve it (and that I am ready for the backlash/shitstorm that always follows), but I have been reading it all and wow, wow. Once again the internet has forgotten that it is run by Real People.

You know, Real People. The ones who read and review stories and who create websites and yes, who also write books. Those are all Things That Are Done By Real People. (And if I need to define Real People *sigh*, then let's say that they are living, breathing people, just like you or me, with responsibilities and jobs and tissue in their pocket for their allergies and sisters who bug them about getting out of the house more and some tasty tequila and lime in the pantry calling their name. Real People...with feelings. If you prick them, do they not bleed?).

The thing with this cray internets of ours is that though it *never forgets*, it also allows for a *lot* of anonymity. And it's a hell of a lot easier to do things we wouldn't do in real life when we aren't looking someone in the eye when we do it. That includes things on both sides of this particular fence, things from potentially plagiarizing (or at least possibly just being unoriginal) to flat out publicly accusing someone of something without knowing all the facts, legal or otherwise.

It's a lot like reviews to me. Years ago when I used to review, the rule was that you *could* go intensely negative if you truly felt the book deserved it, but you had to remember when you did that it had a lasting impact on both you and the author reviewed. I'm not talking sales. I'm taking about what putting out (sometimes unwarranted) negativity does to your name and reputation and what it does to someone who may or may not have written a shitty book (or done a shitty thing) but who might have learned and developed and gotten *better* if the review had been less about being funny and harsh and more about the book itself. Sure, you can call the main characters douchebags if they are douchebags, but what exactly are you adding to the debate, to the creative process, to the community you are a part of? Not to mention that the author's reaction should always be in the back of your mind. (And if I have to explain *that* I will, but honestly, *sigh* again? That means- Did you say that to shock them? To make others laugh? Or did you really feel that, and if so, why? Please 'xplain.)

Acts, words said, thoughts posted, these things all have repercussions. You might not feel them right away in imaginary, anonymous internet-land, but they exist. Stolen ideas (whether this is the case or not) hurt readers and cost authors their audience. They create a sense of betrayal that affects not just the accused or the guilty but everyone around them, including everyone in their field. And public accusations (baseless or not) are not things to be taken lightly and certainly aren't something to be done in the heat of the moment. They can ruin careers and lives and if not that, then at the very least they can ruin someone's joy in something that *should* be joyous.

So yeah, my thoughts, such as they are. A drop in a vast ocean. OR, tl;dr--the next time you are going to write or post something on the internet, imagine you are looking in the face of the person you are writing about, and imagine they are looking back at you.
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