megwrites: Reading girl by Renoir.  (Default)
[community profile] help_for_ephemere

From the comm itself:

This is a fundraiser to benefit [personal profile] ephemere, with the aim of supporting her in the wake of her losing her job, home, and good relations with her family due to homophobia. The idea of this fundraiser was conceived by friends of [personal profile] ephemere, and is being run with her permission. Funds will go to rent, utilities, food, and medical bills.

We are accepting donations (please contact the mods via PM for more details) & are also running an auction as follows:

The auction will open for offers on Thursday, July 5.

All auctions will open for bids on Thursday, July 12.

Bidding will be open from Thursday, July 12 at 21:00 GMT to Saturday, July 21 at 21:00 GMT (time zone converter).

Please see our FAQ for more information!

Signal-boosting, offering items for auction, bidding, & donating are very much welcomed & encouraged!

So, please, signal boost or offer up something if you can or donate. I can personally say that [profile] ephmere is one of the best people ever! If you've never seen the artwork that [personal profile] ephemere does, or read such searing, true writings that she writes, you need to!

Writers and artists of her caliber come around very few times a generation, and we need to keep those writers (especially the ones who are most at risk) around and healthy and creating joyously as best we can. Trust me, the world is more beautiful for what [personal profile] ephemere creates and for just her being here on this planet with us!
megwrites: Reading girl by Renoir.  (Default)
[personal profile] ilyena_sylph is doing a fundraiser to get [personal profile] killing_rose the fuck away from her abusive living situation. She needs to raise a lot of money, since [personal profile] killing_rose is moving from Alaska to the lower 48, but if you could even donate $5, it'd help a lot. If you can't donate, please, please signal boost.

Fund-raising post here.

Thanks so much.

If you want to copy this post to use as your own signal boost post, copy/past this into your html post creator: NOTE: this code should work on dreamwidth AND livejournal AND any other kind of blogging site that allows html. It's all the same code, you don't have to change anything.

If you want to copy/paste the code for yourself, go here
megwrites: A pair of brown glasses on a worn wooden table with a shadowed white wall in the background. (glasses)
1. Something awesome: [personal profile] ephemere is taking preorders for a book of calligraphy and art entitled Kandila. If you've ever seen the breath taking work that she's posted before, then you already know that this is definitely a worthy addition to any library. Plus, the more you pay, the more extras you get. The basic package starts out at $25US, which I think is more than reasonable for something this beautiful and obviously made with great talent, love, and dedication.

2. Re: The #YesGayinYA thing, [personal profile] deepad has a really, really great post asking for critiques of the books on the list here in her post: "In which I am derailing and contrary and also unsupportive of the Market".

A lot of what she says were things that were really front and center in my mind when I compiling the books for the #buyabiggaynovelforscottcardday list from Twitter and comments. And things that I think are essential to this conversation. And other conversations, frankly. Especially about the US-centrism of the discussion, and about the work that goes into critiques and reviews of books.

I also highly recommend you check out: this post about it from [personal profile] colorblue, who says:

More often than not, I find representation unaccompanied by critical analysis (that takes into account underlying hierarchies) worse than the alternative. The representation of minorities that most often gets past gatekeepers is the representation least challenging and most flattering to the status quo, and I don't see how this will change if it isn't even acknowledged.

And, on a personal note: I'd rather not see myself represented at all than see myself represented in that fashion by major publishing houses, because it hits too close to home, leaves me in the most awful headspace. That said, I've always had access to stories about people somewhat like me, and my privileges have ensured that there are quite a few stories like this (outside the big name US publishers, that is).

The fact is that we don't need to create a glut of literature that is rubber stamped by the establishment and then act like we've done a favor to either GLBT+ youth or the world in general.

Thus, I urge anyone who was checking the Big Gay Book List for recs to immediately head over to deepad's entry and look at the comments and see what people (especially people who are talking from their lived experiences and actual identities) are saying about books that you might think are good - but remaining willfully unaware helps nothing.
megwrites: Reading girl by Renoir.  (Default)
The full explanation and situation can be found here at this link, but the basic story is that a person blogging about the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival (which has been noted for it's anti- trans women and "womyn born womyn" shenanigans before) has put up on their blog a hitlist of trans women.

Not just a list, but a list containing their legal names, photos, where they might be at the festival, and in some cases, places of employment. Everything a hateful stalker needs to hunt them down and hurt them. And none of them (so far as I or the original poster know) have consented to this.

In addition, Wordpress is refusing to stick to it's own terms of service when people have complained that revealing such private information without consent is an egregious violation. They are instead claiming that they're waiting until they get a court order to force the person to take down the information.

I just can. not. even right now. I am enraged at seeing fellow women - women who are among the most vulnerable of gender and sexual minorities - not only having their true genders denied by people who think that but for a vagina go we as women, but being put in a position where their chances of being attacked, beaten, raped, fired from their job, or otherwise harmed are increased. And by the by, those chances are already abysmally higher than cis women's chances.

So please, signal boost and make sure that Wordpress knows that this is not okay. That they don't get to decide to enforce the TOS only when they want to. Make sure that everyone knows that it is not okay to deny anyone's gender based on what they were assigned at birth, and that making hitlists and giving away private info is even less acceptable.
megwrites: Reading girl by Renoir.  (Default)
Paranormal writer L.A. Banks is "gravely ill".

I'm signal boosting, and I hope that if you can, you'll pitch in funds to help with medical bills or signal boost to others that can.
megwrites: Reading girl by Renoir.  (Default)
Taken from various sources:

1. [community profile] help_japan and [ profile] help_japan - fandom auctions to help those affected by the earthquake in Japan.

2. A really great page full of links and resources for donations from [personal profile] azuire.

3. And a guide to not saying shittastically shitty things surrounding this tragedy: All these things are insensitive and inappropriate from thesadnessofpencils on tumblr. Please go and read this, because you may think you mean well or it's harmless, but it's not. And maybe you reading this can save a lot of people just that much more hurt.

4. If you think folks from Japan (both living there and living elsewhere) aren't seeing some of the truly offensive, hurtful crap that some people have been saying, tweeting, blogging, etc? Think again and go read this post.
megwrites: Reading girl by Renoir.  (Default)
Two days left in the Butler Scholarship drawing. And five damn good reasons to go buy yourself a ticket, or two, or ten, or twenty.

In case the e-readers that will come pre-loaded with the utterly gorgeous array of fiction from some of the best damn writers that ever graced the written word with their talents isn't enough for you.
megwrites: Reading girl by Renoir.  (Default)
I totally should have signal boosted this earlier, but alas. So here it is now.

The Carl Brandon Society is holding a prize drawing in order to raise money for the Octavia Butler Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Go to the site, buy tickets for the raffle for the e-reader you want - there are three on offer. But best yet? It will come to you preloaded with all these goodies that you see here before you!

N.K. Jemisin! K. Tempest Bradford! Shweta Narayan! Nisi Shawl! Alaya Dawn Johnson! Tobias Buckell! And many more!

It is a veritable smorgasboard of some of the best SF/F writers HERETOFORE KNOWN TO CONTEMPORARY LITERATURE. How are you not completely tempted and squeeing already?
megwrites: Reading girl by Renoir.  (Default)
[ profile] kiviuq is asking for donations of children's books, aged 0-9 in in this entry, for a wonderful program in Canada that reaches out to incarcerated women and their children by letting the mothers record a reading of a book for their children and then giving that recording on CD to their children, so they can hear that voice reading a story to them.

I know that the voices of my mother and my grandmothers reading stories to me, telling me bedtime stories is a memory that is dear to me. I can vividly recall being on my grandmother's giant bed, listening to her steady, measured voice, thick with it's high Kentucky accent, reading me Peter Pan.

I can't imagine what it would be like not to have these memories, that knowledge of being loved and able to reach out and hug my mother and listen to her everyday - but so many (too many) children do, and this is something that can help them.

Please go read, and if you can donate anything, let the OP know. I know a lot of you have kids or children in your life who may have outgrown the books you got for them, and this is a really, really worthy cause.

For those U.S.-ians, mailing may be a little more expensive to Canada for you, but even just one book in a padded envelope, sent via media mail (the slowest/cheapest rate for shipping the USPS offers) can be useful. Luckily, children's books tend to be smaller and lighter, so you could send more...just saying.
megwrites: Picture of books with quote from Cicero: "a room without books is like a body without a soul" (books)
Author Cindy Pon is giving away seven awesome books with protagonists of color. On offer are Justine Larbalestier's Liar and Ursula K. Le Guin's A Wizard of Earthsea, plus others.

Yeah, this right here? Affirms my love for this lady as an author and a human being in general.

I definitely encourage you to enter the contest if you want. The rules (from the author's blog post) are simple:

you know the rules. tweet, fb status, LJ, blog
about this contest and link back to my post.
please also comment here with that link! i’ll
choose a winner at random some time on wednesday,
this contest is open everyone! good luck!
megwrites: Reading girl by Renoir.  (Default)
You definitely need to go read this post about the whitewashing of the new covers of Cindy Pon's "Silver Pheonix" and "Fury of the Phoenix" books from [personal profile] inkstone. And then, you need to go buy the book in it's original cover if you can. I certainly am. It's book time.

Oh, and for those who don't want to deal with the Amazon monster:

Powell's has the on sale, original covered hardback. NOTE: The paperback version, however, is the one with the NEW cover.

Barnes & Noble has the hardcover for $15.38 and the paperback version for $8.09, though I wouldn't trust it's availability. (ETA: NOTE: These WILL eventually have the new covers, and while the art on the website is still the original cover, you might not get that version. Check when ordering!)

If buying the book isn't an option for you, you can request the your library get a copy of it if it doesn't already stock it. You can also, if you feel like signal boosting, link to [personal profile] inkstone's post, or you can post a review of Silver Phoenix and mention about the new covers. All these things would be helpful. I know people have different things they can and can't do.

So that's the signal boost. On to your promised ranting with a side of teeth gnashing! I recommend reading inkstone's link first. Much better than mine! )
megwrites: Beast, from Beauty & The Beast looking coiffed and unhappy. (beauty&thebeast)
S.E. Smith has a really, really fantastic post up at FWD about Coming Out In A Dangerous World, talking about mental health, ablism, and the publishing industry.

Ou mentions me by my LJ name ([profile] fiction_theory), and I think I should explain a bit that a few days ago I posted on Twitter about being quite fed up with the ablism in the publishing industry, particularly when I see things like this: 10 Lies Agents and Editors Tell You, if you look at the URL (though not the blog title) there is the addition: To Protect Themselves From Crazies.

To quote:
Which is why you’re going to be able to take it when I tell you that agents and publishing editors lie to you routinely. And it is beholden upon all you non-crazies out there to take it graciously, because if the crazies were allowed to run riot there’d be no agents or publishing editors out there to work with the rest of us, at all.

This kind of language, this use of that word, this way of using "crazy, "insane", "nutso", conflating mental illness with acting unprofessionally or rudely, or just in a way that certain people don't like is very common - and it's taken to be somehow clever or delightfully snarky. I can't begin to count the number of blogs from professionals in this industry that have done this, or have said someone is "off their meds".

The irony being that this kind of language is often used by someone lecturing others to act professionally.

Then there are posts like this one from Robin Hobb/Megan Lindholm: "This is Your Brain on Drugs", saying things like this:

And maybe the difference is that I’ve never let her use the brain drugs that so many of her fellow students use. From second or third grade on, many of her friends have been on drugs for ADD, ADHD, and whatever other initials apply. The most common one seems to be Ritalin.


Here is my reasoning. You have to be who you genetically are. Part of my scattered focus is related to my artistic temperment. (Artistic temperment is sometimes spelled ‘t e n d e n c y t o m a n i c d e p r e s s i o n.’) It means that I can end up with two cups of warm coffee on my desk (and who drank one of them already?) or with twenty pages of good text after a wild and exuberant evening of just talking to myself and playing the stereo too loud. I think it is just how I am wired and a part of who I am. I gave up fighting it years ago, and instead I’ve enjoyed it. There are devastating lows and breath-taking highs to my moods and through it all, I keep writing. Life’s a roller coaster for me. I’ve come to accept that. In retrospect, I’m glad it was never medicated away, even though my recollections of my twenties are tinged with a lot of darkness.

Do you see how judgmental, dismissive, and hurtful that is?

ADD and ADHD are, apparently, not actual disorders. They're just initials. And these children didn't have ADD or ADHD, they were just "on drugs for ADD or ADHD".

If you're a person who has these conditions, you don't really have anything according to this article. You're just quirky and scatter brained. Medication is just looking for an easy way out, looking to take "brain drugs", altering yourself, cheating at life.

When you (or a child you make decisions for) have a mental illness and make it known that you're being treated for it, others sit in judgment. Because in our society, we still think it's okay. It's all right to speculate, to demean, to make it our business. It's all right to judge the decisions made, in this case, these families and their children about their own well being.

It is not okay. It is never okay.

It is not okay to talk about your own experiences and expect that everyone else's are just the same, and to shame them and brag about your own LUCK in not needing them to function. It is not okay to tell people that if they seek medications to help them live the life they want, that they are cheating by altering themselves, because to alter yourself in a way that gives you more function is unacceptable

Also? Such a statement is absurd and offensive to not only the disabled, but to transpeople, to recovering addicts with family histories of addiction.

Psychiatric medications (not "brain drugs", thank you very much) are often just as life saving as insulin for diabetics. To shame someone about taking medication to save their life and improve the quality of it is inexcusable.

If you're a person who doesn't need them to function, that makes you lucky. Not better, not more honest, not more real, not more "natural", not harder working - just lucky.

I know there are plenty who would accuse me of looking to be offended, except I don't have to search for these things. Every time I click on a link to "advice from an agent" or "tips for dealing with editors" or "my opinions about life by Big Name Author" - there's a good chance it'll be right there waiting for me.

It'll be there when someone encounters a person who is socially awkward or rude and labels them as having Asperger's or Autism, stereotyping that social difficulties are the only symptoms of these disorders and that to have them is automatically to be unpleasant to be around.

It'll be there when someone conflates being fastidious or nitpicky with having Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, trivializing it, when this disorder can make daily life miserable for those going untreated.

I've posted before about why the use of the word "crazy" can be hurtful and offensive, and why it reinforces the attitudes and stereotypes that oppress people with mental disorders or disabilities. There's also a great series on Feminists With Disabilities called the Ableist Word Profile and I highly recommend going and reading every single post and really, really thinking about it.

It makes me tired and angry very often when I see these things from people in the business I want to be in, people that I may one day find myself working with. It worries me that if they find out about my own history with mental illness, if I should need medication in the future, that this will mean they won't work with me because I'm "one of those crazies", no matter how professionally and respectfully I act.

I'm tired because there are better words for what actually is being said. If someone is rude, call them rude or inconsiderate, insulting, impertinent, disrespectful. If someone is being unprofessional, say that.

There's no reason to bring the language of mental health into these discussions this way. There's no reason to call someone "crazy" if they send you a nasty response to a query rejection or don't follow guidelines or post something you don't like. Calling them "crazy" or "off their meds" is wrong, and it is just as unprofessional and rude as anything that person might do.

ETA: Changed pronouns referring to S.E. Smith, as I wrongly gendered ou. My deepest apologies. I obviously made a wrong assumption (cisprivilege fail!) and am deeply sorry and will not be making it again. I obviously have cisprivilege issues that need working on.
megwrites: Reading girl by Renoir.  (Default)
In case you hadn't already seen it linked hither and yon (as it rightly should be):

On Wiscon... by [personal profile] deepad.

This is how satire is done right. To wit:

My school didn't have a single white person in it. I was always warned to be careful about US-ians, because they would try to sell you corn syrup Coca-Cola and capitalist free-market ideology and sexually promiscuous movies with dead or evil black and brown people. And when I am surrounded by large groups of them, even when they are well-meaning and friendly and nice and interested in the same books I am, I still have an irrational fear that they might colonise me.
megwrites: Reading girl by Renoir.  (Default)
This powerful, powerful post in response to Charles Tan's essay by Ephemere entitled No Country For Strangers is something I think everyone, and I mean everyone, who is a writer, a reader, a fan, or just a human being should be reading and re-reading. Bookmark this and return to it frequently.

And I quote:

So (and I address this now to the theoretical audience of those on the other, privileged end of the inequality) if you, as a white person, are afraid of writing about us: then be afraid. Carry in your heart the fear of doing further injustice to a people into whose blood oppression has become so incorporated that our institutions and our media echo with the dual strains of self-loathing and adulation for those who are not us. Live with the anxiety of questioning your assumptions about a people that is not more American than America, not a race composed only of tourist guides and call-center agents and overseas foreign workers and shoe-crazy society matrons and celebrity politicians, not your "little brown brothers and sisters"; whose richness and diversity and pursuit of individual identity all too often escape the surface view to which most observers are confined. Confront your blind spots and your privilege in having the luxury of overlooking this inequality because you aren't disenfranchised by it.

I cannot begin to express how righteously right that essay is, how it is a deeply spoken truth. It is something that we privileged writers (including and especially me) need to listen very, very carefully to. Because that listening thing? This is the time to sit down and do it.
megwrites: Reading girl by Renoir.  (Default)
[ profile] sparkymonster has a completely RIGHT but horrifying post on A lesson in good vs. bad irony thanks to Amanda Palmer.

WARNING: deeply triggering images of hate crimes, lynching, and disturbing imagery. The last image in particular really hit me in the gut. As I said in comments, I literally threw up in my mouth. Which is pretty much the only appropriate response to something like that.

The post arose from Amanda Palmer (yeah, I know, right? Apparently, she's going for an epic Round Two Of Assflashing) making this statement on Twitter in response to Lady Gaga's "Telephone" video (spelling and punctuation hers):

ironic product placement is only ok if you take no money & beyond that give all the income to something ironic. like the Klan.

[ profile] sparkymonster does such a spectacular job of taking Palmer to task and laying out, bit by bit, just how outrageous and painfully wrong that statement is that I can't add to it. Just go over to that post (if you're able to do so) and read it.
megwrites: Reading girl by Renoir.  (Default)
I copied and pasted this from [ profile] rachelmanija's LJ, per her instructions and explicit permission:

[ profile] helptheproject is a fandom auction to benefit the The Virginia Avenue Project, a free afterschool arts and academics program. 100% of participating children graduate from high school. 95% go on to college. 98% are the first person in their family to go.

Due to budget cuts, unless we can raise $15,000 by mid-March, we will lose our centerpiece program, the One-on-Ones. In this program, professional actor/writers write a short play to act in with the kid they're paired with, rehearse it with them in a beautiful countryside summer camp, and then return to Los Angeles to put on a show. This program has been running continuously for 20 years - let's not lose it now!

Please help save the One-on-Ones by spreading the word, bidding at the auction, and/or offering something for people to bid on. Click on the "offered" or "seller" tags on the right-hand side of the page to see who's got an auction up and what people are offering. The local gift and treat boxes and baked goods look especially good...

I've been the stage manager for the Project for the last fifteen years, and have watched the kids gain confidence, grow up, and, in one case, make it to the White House!

Go and offer what you can to help. Bid if you have some money (the stuff there looks TOO AWESOME FOR WORDS), and if nothing else, signal boost. Let's get the word out about this!
megwrites: Reading girl by Renoir.  (Default)
I've been watching the news about the devastating earthquake in Haiti and I've been collecting links for aid and relief efforts through the morning.

Doctors Without Borders/Medicins Sans Frontieres, which is an international organization that gives medical care internationally, regardless of religion, race, or politics. They're a good organization, and they're secular. So those of you who have philosophical or ethical difficulties giving to religious or religiously founded organizations can know that.

Author [ profile] kateelliot has suggested giving donations to Partners In Health which, as she says, "has been doing excellent work in Haiti for years now".

The International Red Cross is calling for donations to help their efforts in Haiti. You can give a $10 donation to the Red Cross by texting "HAITI" to "90999".

Wyclef Jean - a Haitian himself - has an organization, Yele Haiti which is gathering donations and has done a lot of reputable work there. You can also text and give $5 (which, if I understand correctly, is tacked onto your cellphone bill so no need to give out credit card numbers or write checks if you don't want to!). Just text "Yele" to "501501".

Actress Olivia Wilde (Thirteen from House as you may know her), has pledged to give personalized videos to anyone who gives over $200 dollars. The details are on her Twitter page: @oliviawilde.

I know that it's after the holidays, a lot of us are struggling financially and have bills to pay, but if you can just spare a couple of a bucks, please do. If you can't (I know some people are struggling just for grocery money or funds for medicine), try to pass on the word to those who can. If you've got a blog, twitter feed, livejournal, website - a link to the Redcross or the text message donation numbers could really help.

Every little bit really does count. You may not feel like your little five or ten dollar donation is worth much, but trust me, a bottle of clean water or clean clothes or a dose of medicine or a meal or a blanket really does count, especially to the person who receives them.
megwrites: Reading girl by Renoir.  (Default)
This post Why I'm Afraid To Go Outside Sometimes written by my friend [ profile] latimer84 in response to the assault on a gay man in Butler, NJ really breaks my heart into a million piece.

It also enrages me because once again, if a gay man is assaulted he's obviously at fault because he OBVIOUSLY was making overtures towards a straight man and brought it on himself. Our culture has become frighteningly talented at victim-blaming. Never mind that in some places, just breathing the same air apparently counts as unwanted flirtation to some Neanderthals.

And yes, if you do that to a human being because they complimented you on having a nice coat - you disqualify from humanity and are a cave-dwelling, mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging Neanderthal as far as I'm concerned.

There's no excuse for this. Let's say that this man did make a pass at someone. You know what you do when someone makes a pass at you and you're not interested? You polite say, "Sorry, not my type, dude" and walk away. Now if that person keeps harassing you after that, you call the cops or walk away or get help.

But at no point do you to send somebody to the hospital, even if they were hitting on you. Even if he stood up on the table in the goddamn restaurant and shouted, "Hey, you wanna come home with me, sexy!" - that doesn't give you the fucking right to do that to anyone. Ever.

There is no such thing as gay panic. There's just straight bigotry. There's just some really horrible straight people who see that GLBT folks dare to exist - and even more gallingly, exist proudly and openly - and feel they have some right to do something about it.
megwrites: Reading girl by Renoir.  (Default)
First with the bad this time:

Science-fiction author Peter Watts was detained and beaten at the U.S.-Canada border. Quoting from the article:

When Peter got out of the car and questioned the nature of the search, the gang of border guards subjected him to a beating, restrained him and pepper sprayed him. At the end of it, local police laid a felony charge of assault against a federal officer against Peter. On Wednesday, he posted bond and walked across the border to Canada in shirtsleeves (he was released by Port Huron officials with his car and possessions locked in impound, into a winter storm that evening). He's home safe. For now. But he has to go back to Michigan to face the charge brought against him.

This is completely unacceptable and a clear violation of civil rights. There's a defense fund for Dr. Watts and donations can be sent (according to the BoingBoing article) via PayPal to

Another good link is here about the incident, [ profile] pecunium, Root and Branch. Definitely worth you reading. Because having a different president doesn't mean that all the ugliness of the old administration is gone.

And for a bit of good. Today is Agent Appreciation Day! While I don't have an agent (but would dearly like to), I definitely enjoy seeing people share the many wonderful things their agents do for them as writers.

I may not have an agent, but I know that I've received a lot of great advice, help, and pointers from agents who went out of their way to be extra kind, even when rejecting me. They didn't have to be, but they were. I'm much better for it, and hopefully am sending out a stronger manuscript than I had in hand a year or two ago.

As a writer? I can say that such advice as "you give away too much information in the prologue" is worth it's weight in gold coming from an agent - and for such advice I'm thankful to so many. And yes, that definitely does include Colleen Lindsay. I disagree vehemently with the things she says online sometimes (still do), but I won't deny that her help was invaluable in shaping up the Tower!Guy manuscript. She didn't have to go out of her way, but she did. I'm sorry there's not a day to say "Thank you even though I'm not your client" - because I'd like to do that. I imagine I'm probably not the only unpublished nobody she's reached out to, and if you're someone who's benefitted from her free-of-charge, keen-sighted hardwork, I'd recommend sending up a flag.

I also owe thanks to other agents who rejected the Tower!Guy novel and gave bits of feedback, even if they were a sentence or two on how they felt about the protagonists or the plot or the setting. Or heck, even just some advice about the market and about who is and isn't looking for my type of book.

Like I said, you wouldn't believe the benefit of having someone say something as simple as, "Your plot slows down in the middle" or "Your protagonist cries too much". Not always easy to swallow, but they help you hone in on where you need to improve that book and whatever books you write in the future.

So to those many agents who have been so kind, who I have not thanked personally because it would clog their already crowded inboxes - I salute you.

If you do have an agent that's done you a good turn, go and add their name to the list. We need to recognize the good guys and gals in this industry.
megwrites: Reading girl by Renoir.  (Default)
There's still time to make Tu Publishing a reality. For those who don't know, Tu Publishing is a small, independent press for multicultural genre fiction for children's and YA books. I've said before and I'll say it again, I love YA but it is a genre, especially where SF/F YA is concerned, in dire need of diversity. Such projects as Tu Publishing are definitely steps in the right direction. They're looking for $10,000 by December 14th. They already have $6502. You can donate via your Amazon account, which is even more awesome. It's the 11th so that three whole days to help out!

I know that right now a lot of us are struggling with limited funds, so coming around asking for money for a start-up small press may not seem like the best thing when there are thousands of other charities just as deserving. But by my math, that's $3,498 they need. If 3,498 people could just chip in a dollar. A single dollar, they'd get there. If 700 people (approximately) could chip in five bucks, they'd get there.

And if you can't chip in money - which a lot of us can't this season for various reasons, and that's okay - you can always help spread the word. Retweeting, reposting, and linking are free as the wind. (Thanks to [ profile] ecmeyers for the links).

And now for something less good. The NYTimes, in a moment of spectacular foolery, though that this list of gifts for POC would be a good thing. (Thanks to [ profile] karnythia for this).

What amazes me is that several human beings who ostensibly possess some common sense looked over this list and thought it would be all right to publishing on the website. It wasn't just the one person. Oh no. Several people conspired together - probably patting themselves on the back - Which leaves me baffled. On what planet is this a good list? On what planet is this not a big ol' gift-wrapped box full of CRAP.

How do you not see the condescension and aversive racism and just plain ol' boundary issues with a white person handing their unfortunate POC friend a copy of The Conversation: How Black Men and Women Can Build Loving, Trusting Relationships by Hill Harper? Or handing hair and cosmetic products to a non-white friend as though somehow you, as a privilege white person, can instantly have insight into the kind of cultural pressure put on people of color concerning their looks by getting them a gift? Never mind that you, as a white person, probably have no idea how to navigate any other hair/cosmetic products that aren't geared toward us pinkish, caucasian folks. Never mind that giving hair and cosmetic products (unasked for) to someone you're not very intimately acquainted with is creepy and crossing a boundary.

Oh, NYTimes, I'd say I'm surprised at your failure, but I'm not. I'm just sorry that your fail is so public and so saddening, because it is. And I'm sorry that so many people have yet another instance of racefailing shoved at them - because they really shouldn't.

Oh, 2009, I'm glad you're nearly over. Because I'd really like if the Year of White People Failing could just never happen again ever.

And a special finger-waggle to fellow White Women Authors who have made 2009 so atrociously failtastic. Seriously, my fellow white ladies, can we please deal with our shit and stop making other people's lives difficult already? And if you think I'm not including myself, I am. I have a lot of work to do before I can begin to consider myself a good ally - and part of that starts with understanding that being an ally is an action you take, not a title you earn. That it is still, after all this time, NOT ABOUT ME.

So maybe we - as white women who should know better - can look back, see that we've done a lot of failing, soul-search on our own time and in our own damn spaces, dry our White Women's Tears and do better than we have been. We can't fix the past, but we sure as hell can and must do a lot better in the future.

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