September 23rd, 2011

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Hiding in Fear

Even with the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" this is what it means to be queer in America.  The economics of fear is mighty and oppressive.  If you're so very lucky to have a job at all, you might have to hide your orientation for fear of being fired.  No right to a job.  No right to make a living, to pay bills, to not starve.  That means no real right to be yourself.

And still there are queer people who fought for the right to fight for their country in the armed forces.

Somehow, I'm not entirely convinced the country deserves them.
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What Is "Poke a Bigot in the Eye" ...?

I want to talk about an activism technique that I call "Poke a Bigot in the Eye."  Recently there has been a flurry of obnoxious, failtastic incidents including:
* "straightening" gay characters in young adult fiction
* sexism in comic books
* homophobia in Orson Scott Card's rewrite of Hamlet
I also got to talking with xjenavivex about an article she's developing on Internet trolls, a topic closely related to bigotry and oppression.  It seems like a good idea to describe the technique for general reference.

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Making Cover Art Happen

Following haikujaguar's post about cover art in danger, marina_bonomi posted a thoughtful essay about digital cover art and this poll about creating a gallery of licenseable cover pictures.  The latter was something that marina_bonomi and I discussed in comments below the original art post: gathering portfolio pictures and other things that aren't custom work but could be "adopted" for use as book covers by authors or publishers.  marina_bonomi is hoping to get further input on who would like to use such a site and what people think it should be like, if it existed, so please leave your comments on the poll post. 

If you are an artist, an author, or a publisher then these discussions are touching on issues probably important to your work.  The marketplace is changing.  We need to look at the blockages and problems, then talk about how to fix them so that the market works fluently for people in today's world.  There's no going back to what used to be -- we have to discover what will be, and make it so.
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What I'm doing with my Kajones_writing credits

This is an update of testing the new system of credits at kajones_writing.  So far I'm the only tester we've got.  It would be really cool to have at least a few more people trying this out.  It doesn't take much to earn credits, and what you can do with them is nifty.  See the list of how to earn and spend credits.  Linking, commenting, and friending the account are all easy ways to earn 1 credit.  Bigger stuff gets you more.  Goodies start at 3 credits, which will get you a piece of bonus material OR a 1000-word story OR one month of character adoption.

I had a bundle of credits to spend, mostly from spotting typos and boosting the signal.  The big thing I picked is the top of the list: naming a permanent structure in a chosen setting.  I established Echoes of Alexandria, a bookshop in the Donor House series.  I love books.  I can't make a real storefront, but I can make one in fiction and maybe that will help remind people why such places are precious.  Something else I chose is a set of four stories about John Good Road, the Lakota vampire.  I'll get my prompter copies of those, and then they'll be available for sponsorship.  I love chromatic fiction, and I really enjoyed the first story about this character so I want to keep supporting him.