The topic this week is open, which usually means we should discuss what’s been on our minds lately.
I have a variety of things on my mind, not all of them related to writing.
The current situation in the Middle East…
The terrible fires in Australia…as a Southern Californian with my own experiences regarding wildfires, including once being trapped on the freeway with fire all around, I feel so much sympathy and empathy. The sheer scale of what’s going on there is terrifying and nearly impossible to comprehend. One scientist called it an “ecological Armageddon” in the NY Times. I hope the world starts to really understand what global warming means for civilization and for the animals sharing the planet with us and takes more action than lip service.
New York Times Best Selling Author author Kylie Scott, who is Australian, provided a list of resources for those who want to help in her tweet stream. Follow her in twitter and/or here’s the link to the tweet thread: https://twitter.com/KylieScottbooks/status/1213252322874126336 OR here are two of her recommendations: To help with the relief and recovery efforts made possible by the @redcrossau
https://redcross.org.au To help wildlife victims from the fires, donate to WIRES: https://wires.org.au/donate/now⠀
My heart goes out to all my friends, fellow authors, readers and everyone else in Australia in this terrible time. And to the helpless wildlife (and domestic animals lost) in the path of these fires.⠀
As a general remark, I firmly believe we have to stop denying climate change and start taking drastic measures now if we don’t want to be part of the next mass extinction event.
And third, this tragic and infuriating situation going on with the Romance Writers of America is very much on my mind, though obviously it’s on a smaller scale than either of the first two. But in some ways, romance is my world. As a CIS-het presenting white woman, I’m trying to be an ally to the AOC and LGBTQIA communities.
I withdrew my two books from the RITA’s. I wasn’t signed up to judge this year but if I had been, I would have withdrawn. Until the larger issues facing the organization are faced up to and resolved, I see no point or purpose in supporting a contest. Set the contest aside. There are HUGE, fundamental organizational problems to be addressed and dealt with. I think the way the current Board and especially the President are conducting themselves and treating the entire membership is appalling, insulting and reprehensible. The Staff has to come in for scrutiny here as well, given some of the reports I’ve read from other members.
I can’t believe the self-inflicted damage the current RWA leadership has levied on the organization.
(For an excellent and pretty exhaustive timeline of the RWA events, go here. Author Claire Ryan is doing her best to pull all the events together in a readable format, with links to tweets and letters and etc. I applaud and appreciate her efforts.)
I’ve been heartened to see the statements from authors such as Nora Roberts, Jill Shalvis and J. R. Ward. I’ve been happy to see the growing national news coverage of this has in general been what I consider to be fair. I appreciate the efforts being made by many individuals to get RWA through this catastrophe and survive. I want to be supportive in whatever ways I can be.
If RWA can be saved at all. The situation has become so toxic I think the outcome is in serious doubt.
I appreciate the leadership of my local Chapter and my online Chapter speaking out and calling for change, audits and self-examination, and reaffirming their commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Leaving my Chapters would be the hardest thing about letting my RWA membership lapse.
I honor the commitment and passion of members leading the efforts to cope with this latest travesty and to salvage the organization for the future…but it honestly may be too late. The reputation of the RWA is deep in the muck and mud and deservedly so.
I’m only retaining my membership at this point so I can be an ally and cast my vote in support of those trying to drag the RWA back from the cliff it seems determined to die on.
So somewhere in all these turbulent times I’m still trying to write LANDON, my next science fiction romance novel and tell a positive tale of the interstellar future and a Happy For Now ending (because this book is part of a series and there’s a lot still to happen in later books). It’s been a challenge this week to detach from the real world problems large and small.
Hang on to your hats – clearly 2020 is going to be a wild ride!