Good question. I certainly haven’t been here. I haven’t done much with my writing career either. The Provo conference from my last post was an unmitigated disaster that destroyed my confidence. I did submit a piece to a writing contest, but it was a dystopian piece. What does that matter you ask? Even though the rules said they take all genres, every single winner was lit fic. Every. Single. Winner. But that’s a soap box for another time (Literally. See my June 1,2019 post for that soap box).
So, what have I been doing if not working on my writing career? Like everyone else, I’ve been surviving Covid-19. I remain convinced I had it last December, so the physical health concerns haven’t been as significant as the mental health concerns. I’ve always been an introvert and I love working from home. But there have been days when I have felt like I’m living life in solitary confinement. I joined the tech team at my local house of worship; that has helped a great deal. But hey, lockdowns are hard, even for the introverts. After spending all day at my desk for work, I don’t want to sit down at the same cramped desk all night. This last year has meant lots of long walks with my dog, watching the coyote try to hunt the raccoon that lives under my gazebo and reading. Lots and lots of reading. I bought my daughter a copy of Orwell’s 1984 for Christmas because that book isn’t mandatory reading anymore. I’m currently reading The Gulag Archipelago from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Both seem appropriate given our current political situation.
One of the places you won’t find me anymore is Twitter. I’ve deactivated all my accounts. There’s a wonderful quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. that explains why.
“Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him.”
We all know Twitter is a hate-filled swamp that often calls for violence against people who dare to believe against the mob, and with recent events it’s now a censored hate-filled swamp. But it’s not the censorship (though that has made me happy with my decision), it’s the cancel culture and the hatred. Kind and supportive people in real life become vengeful, self-appointed paladins over there. What I loved yesterday I should cancel today because someone I don’t even know takes offence at a tiny aspect. Uhm… No. I’m supposed to understand that your argument was sarcasm in 280 characters? Let me think for a moment… No. “Anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.” Truth, Master Yoda speaks. Twitter, I have left.
So where am I at this start of 2021? For now, you will find me here until I can re-evaluate social media. I will probably get an author Facebook page and probably a Goodreads page up at some point. But with the speed of social media transformation, particularly now that full-on censorship is prevalent in America, I would like to take some time and strategize my presence.
I have a goal of touching base with you here once a week. It will not be 100% edited, more of the rough draft of ideas that come out of my brain. It is my hope that through genuine conversation, we can expose ourselves to other viewpoints and find common ground. A symphony of different voices is preferable to an echo chamber. Weird metaphor aside, please join me in this. I prefer dialogue to monologue.
I will get some of my flash fictions that aren’t submission material posted here. That’s only difficult because I don’t know how to run a website, not because I don’t have the material.
I will write and edit one short story that I can pitch every month so I can reach a wider audience. Want to help keep me accountable? Please give me your thoughts in the comments section. January’s story is 3/4 drafted, I need to finish it and get it off to beta readers.
So, that’s where I am. I hope you are navigating these most difficult of times with faith, love, and some good literature.