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White people, do not do this

21 Jan

This past weekend, that hateful “March for Life,” wherein right wing organizations and schools bus people in to DC to march for the “right” of men to control the lives of anyone born with an uterus, took place concurrently with the Indigenous Peoples March.

One of the schools that sent teens and chaperones to march this year was Covington Catholic High School, an all-male private school in Kentucky. There are long and terrible threads on twitter¹ with personal stories of survivors from both the school and the all-girls school across the street, which Covington assholes have nicknamed “whore school.” Charming boys, no?

At one point, a fairly large group of kids from Covington was facing off with four older members of another hate group, the Black Hebrew Israelites, and things were tense and likely heading to violence, when Omaha Elder Nathan Phillips, on his way to closing the Indigenous Peoples March at the Lincoln Memorial, intervened, placing himself between the two groups–and becoming the target of the white kids’ ire, once they were deprived of their original target.

There is video² and a plethora of articles about this harassment. There are interviews with witnesses AND with Nathan Phillips. Go google them.

There are also people defending the “boys” or rather, specifically, the white male teen wearing a MAGA hat, smirking with hateful disdain to the face of an elderly Native man.

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Making lists, checking them twice.

27 Aug

This post has existed in draft form for…well, yikes, almost two full years. Something came to light yesterday, that made me come back to it. And you, lucky readers, get to read my thoughts.

As I’ve mentioned before here and elsewhere, I do have a list of authors who, in my opinion, behave badly.¹  And, since my time, emotional labor, energy, and money, are limited, I quite simply refuse to even try their work. It’s still, at least in this small area, a free country.

By the same token, I have a much, much, much longer list of incredible people who are authors who will always get my support.

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Writing diversity: sensitivity readers

23 May

Originally posted to the Literature forum at MyMedia. I have imported a few
of those posts here under the Publishing tag, if you are interested.

While it may seem, particularly when reading the “classics”¹ and the ‘great literary fiction masters’¹ that there is a default in characterization (heroes are straight able bodied white cis males, and most often, of Anglo Saxon descent), the reality is that people come in many more flavors than that.

In the past few years, readers who do not fit this ‘universal’ characterization, have started seeing themselves represented in the fiction they pay good money to read, in still small but increasing percentages.

All good, right?

Except, not all representation is good representation.

If the one homosexual/non-binary/non-gender conforming character in the work is written as a deviant.
If the one person of color is either a criminal or a victim.
If the one immigrant speaks broken or no English.
If the one female character with speaking lines is there exclusively to either be killed or rescued.
If the one neuro atypical person is either a savant or an idiot.

In short: if whatever diversity is there, consists of clichés, that representation is more harmful than the outright absence of anyone who doesn’t conform to the white, straight, male characters of yore.

Enter sensitivity readers.

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Class action against ARe and Lori James

14 Jan

I just learned, though an update at Writer Beware’s blog, that a class action has been filed against All Romance eBooks and Lori James, in Florida (where the company is/was registered).

In layman’s terms (sorta–IANAL, after all), the point here is that when a business closes its doors with barely four days notice, and basically refuses to disburse commission monies (royalties) for products it sold, this breach of contract is grounds for legal action–and, with any luck, a criminal investigation may follow.

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All Romance eBooks

30 Dec

Update at the bottom

This year, ye gods!

I wrote about this retailer sudden and (so far) unexplained closure at Karen Scott’s blog, but I’ve been keeping an eye out for more information.

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Ellora’s Cave sued again, this time by Fifth Third Bank.

21 Dec

A while back, Christina Brashear of Samhain, sued Ellora’s Cave, including Tina Engler and her mother, because something didn’t smell very fresh with their accounts.

After the defendants dragged their asses for years, the presiding judge handed down an epic slap,¹ and ruled for the plaintiff. (Whether or not Brashear ever saw a penny is unknown).

This time, Fifth Third Bank is suing them, apparently over the infamous, gaudily decorated bus used at conventions.

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Ellora’s Cave: last gasp?

4 Oct

(See updates at end)

It’s been just over two years since Ellora’s Cave sued Dear Author and Jane Litte/Jen Frederick, over “The Curious Case of Ellora’s Cave.”

For those not in the know, that piece was based mostly (I’d say, 90 to 95%), on public records–from liens placed on the company by Ohio/Akron, to published pieces on traditional media, to the CEO’s own communications with authors, editors, and other employees, and with Jane Litte/Jen Frederick herself.

Still, Jaid Black/Tina Engler didn’t much like what the piece said about her, and so, a lawsuit for defamation was filed in late September 2014.

Between then and now, shit happened. And more shit happened. And then the suit was settled.

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