This is one of my favorite #writing quotes:
One of the stories trending on Twitter right now is The Matrix. That, in fact, it is a trans allegory. My transwoman bestie had told me that a while back. But today the director Lilly Wachowski confirmed that.
Obviously, my Trouble Texas Style tests that belief to the limits. I am taking on some sacred cows ripped straight from the headlines:
- Corporate corruption
- Rape trauma/#metoo
- Human trafficking including sexual exploitation of women and children
- And yes, the elephant in the room, racism.
And I am just getting started.
What you may not know is that it took almost a week to get the first chapter of Ready to Run approved. I know that was not an easy decision for Laurel or Manu. But one that I respect and appreciate.
And overall, the reactions from readers have been incredibly supportive and positive. I have only gotten a couple of ‘those’ emails. But one of them stuck with me…
The topics don’t offend me – what is offensive is you are probably going to push your ideology in the story…
I read the stories for entertainment – and you write some great stories. Please don’t get on a platform to push your political firestorms. We all have our beliefs and don’t need to be indoctrinated by your beliefs while reading your story.
What left me ‘gobsmacked,’ as they say here in the UK, is that I have been doing just that for years.
Sergeant Mike’s Miracle tour is not simply about the way we treat our veterans, but about finding hope. And might I point out…it, too, deals with racism, especially in small-town America.
Ægir’s/Njörδur’s goes on ad nauseam about the ills of modernity and the value of a simpler lifestyle.
My Apocalypse series (The Arrangement/Solid Ground and Rings of Fire) are about the environment.
And Nothing Done In Love can ever be wrong? That is too obvious to even address.
As Alan and I discussed when I got that email, even simplistic wank-fodder has a message – that there is nothing wrong with sex or a specific act.
With this one, in particular, I was not certain whether to be disappointed or complimented. Obviously, this person has read my other stories and enjoyed them. How could they have missed the messages in those?
As for indoctrinating, I am against that. Period. Full stop.
The purpose of a writer is to raise questions, to encourage civil debate, and especially to foster self-reflection. And a good writer does all that while entertaining. Maybe a great one does it without you even knowing it?
Not that I am claiming to be either good or especially great.
Nor do I claim moral superiority. We are all flawed and prejudiced. I am, too.
What I do resent though is the assertion that I am forcing anything on anyone. No one makes you read my stories.
I got that from the only other one of ‘those’ emails that began obviously with the words, ‘I’m not a racist.’ But then went on and on about how wrong my portrayal of Will was. How black men don’t take care of their women or children.
News flash – my WHITE sperm donor abandoned his children, paid child support only a handful of times in eighteen years, and made no attempt to see us. And how many rich, white men fight to reduce the child support they owe?
Off my soapbox now…and back to the point…
This person was angry that I entwined an interracial love story with the others. That they could not read Trouble Texas Style without also reading Ready To Run. I am not certain I would agree with that.
I don’t want this blog to sound like a broken record. But this is another of my favorite quotes:
“Better to write for yourself and have no public than to write for the public and have no self.” Cyril Connolly, The New Statesman, February 25, 1933
The truth is that from the Epic of Gilgamesh to Homer’s Odyssey to Shakespeare’s Macbeth to Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin right down to Margaret Atwood’s A Handmaid’s Tale, writers have messages.
Some writers may not even be aware they have. I was not when I first started writing. In fact, this is another of my favorite quotes:
So, please don’t think I’m preaching or trying to force my idealogy on anyone. I’m not. I am merely a fellow traveler on this path we call life. Writing is one of the ways that I discover who I am and what I believe. It is merely that I share those journeys a bit more publically than most.
Okay, time to get off here and go have a conversation with two other mothers…in my head. So I can transcribe that all for you in the next chapter of Tight Fittin’ Jeans.
Goddess bless and enlighten us all…before it’s too late,