Banned Books Week!

September 30, 2009

September 26 through October 3 is Banned Books Week. Sponsored by the American Library Association, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the Association of American Publishers, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and the National Association of College Stores, this nationwide celebration of the freedom to read and the right to self-expression began in 1982, when there was a sudden upsurge in challenges to the books made available in classrooms, bookstores and libraries.

For more on Banned Books Week and ways you can affirm your own right to read books of your choosing, please visit this site.

Of all the many freedoms we enjoy in this nation, none is more precious or more vital to the health and survival of our democracy than the right to express ourselves and share our ideas with others. Book censorship strikes at the very heart of our liberties.

So read a banned book today. You might enjoy it. You might learn something.

A New Post About Ideas

September 28, 2009

Today’s post can be found at http://magicalwords.net, the group blog on the business and craft of writing fantasy that I maintain with fellow authors Faith Hunter, Misty Massey, and C. E. Murphy. The post is called “Where Did My New New-Shiny Come From? Beats Me….” and it’s about story ideas. I hope you enjoy it.

Today’s post can be found at http://www.sfnovelists.com, the group blog on speculative fiction that I maintain along with a group of over one hundred published authors of fantasy and science fiction. The post is called “What sports Can Tell Us About Writing, and What they Can’t.” I hope you enjoy it.

Today’s post can be found at http://magicalwords.net, the group blog on the business and craft of writing fantasy that I maintain with fellow authors Faith Hunter, Misty Massey, and C. E. Murphy. The post is called “With Worldbuilding, Every Detail Counts,” and, as you might surmise, it’s a post about worldbuilding and the background work I do when developing a new setting for my stories. I hope you enjoy it.

A Little Publicity For Me!!

September 18, 2009

Hi there, all.  Hope you’re gearing up for a fun weekend.  As you do, please visit the examiner.com site to find the write-up of a recent interview I did.  Hope you enjoy the article.

What if Joe Wilson Was Right?

September 16, 2009

Okay, let’s try this for a moment: Let’s suppose that the premise underlying Congressman Joe Wilson’s unconscionable outburst during the President’s address to Congress last week has some truth to it. Yes, I know: FactCheck.org points out that the bills before Congress all contain provisions that would prevent any Federal health subsidies or benefits from going to illegal aliens.

But Republicans counter that illegals might slip through cracks in a system that doesn’t have enough enforcement mechanisms to make those provisions effective. And, they say, illegals might also receive emergency room care that would wind up being paid for with Federal funds (as opposed to the current system which pays for all ER visits — by citizens, legal residents, AND illegal aliens — by increasing insurance costs for all of us).

And Republicans might be right about this. There, I said it. Joe Wilson might be right.

So what? What’s the alternative? Are we actually going to adopt a government health care program that denies all medical care to illegals living in the United States? Are we going to turn away the the sick and the wounded from our hospitals if they can’t come up with documentation? Really? Is that what we’ve become? Is that the America in which any of us wants to live?

Many of those who are in the country illegally right now receive health care at ERs. You and I pay for their care through higher health care premiums, and public health costs that are passed along to taxpayers. Given Wilson’s outburst and the ugly xenophobic frothing at the mouth of the Glenn Becks, Rush Limbaughs, Sean Hannitys, and Bill O’Reillys of the world, this is clearly unacceptable. So what should we do? Stop more people from entering the country illegally? Yes, of course. Deport those who are here illegally now? Yes, fine. But what do we do tonight, at the hospital in L.A. or Phoenix, New York or Chicago, Miami or Atlanta? What do we do with the young Latino kid who shows up at a hospital with swine flu or meningitis? What do we do with the farm worker who is having chest pains? What do we do with the little girl in the barrio who shows up with a gunshot wound after being caught in the crossfire between two gangs? What do we tell the father or wife or older sister who brings a loved one to the hospital, desperate for help?

“Sorry, but we would rather let her die than pay for her treatment.”

I don’t think so.

Here’s the point, and there’s really no way around it. We have a choice as a people. We can make our health care system so restrictive that we endanger lives. Or we can try to make health care as affordable and accessible as possible, even if it means treating the sick and injured among those living in the shadows. We can be correct and cruel, righteous and arbitrary. Or we can be humane. We can do our best to avoid rewarding illegal behavior, while also being flexible and generous enough to look past the law and see the humanity of those who are suffering.

Personally I think it’s an easy choice.

Today’s post can be found at http://magicalwords.net, the group blog on the business and craft of writing fantasy that I maintain with fellow authors Faith Hunter, Misty Massey, and C. E. Murphy. The post is called “Befriending Your Characters.” I hope you enjoy it.

Joe Wilson’s War

September 11, 2009

A follow-up to yesterday’s post, for those of you who might not have read all the comment threads.

While Joe Wilson is being lionized by Rush Limbaugh and other wing-nutters for calling his commander-in-chief a liar (Wilson is veteran of the Guard), others are digging a little deeper into Wilson’s background and finding out all sorts of cool things.  Turns out, Ole Joe is not only a disrespectful, loudmouth thug.  He’s also a hypocrite.

Check this out:  http://blog.newsweek.com/blogs/thegaggle/archive/2009/09/10/joe-wilson-s-dirty-health-care-secret.aspx

Last Night’s Speech

September 10, 2009

I’m not going to go on and on about Obama’s terrific speech last night, nor I am going to spend too much time or energy dissing Congressthug Joe Wilson, the imbecile who called the President of the United States a liar, in the House Chamber, while Mr. Obama was actually correcting conservative lies (When you follow the link, the facts about illegal immigrants and access to health care — the issue that provoked Wilson’s outburst — is pretty close to the top.  Scroll down to the reference to “Page 50″).  I will say this:  I found it amusing listening to NPR this morning and hearing Republican Senators and Congressmen complaining that Mr. Obama had been “too combative” and “too partisan.”  This after a summer of Republican attacks on “Obamacare” and the use of phrases like “Death panels”, “Socialized medicine”, “Huge government takeover of health care,” and the like.  The President is being too partisan?  Too combative?  No doubt they’d prefer a President who will roll over and allow them to do anything they want with health care legislation, a President who will ignore the fact that Americans elected him by a large majority and gave him equally large majorities in both houses of Congress, based in part on his promise to reform the health care system.  During the campaign, Republicans tried to portray Obama as an inexperienced naif who would be steamrolled by foreign leaders.  Turns out they were wrong.  This man won’t be steamrolled by anyone, including Mitch McConnell and John Boehner.

Two links for you.  One is a great YouTube video that I found at the blog of my friend Christopher Rowe.  Very entertaining.  The other is aterrific article about last night’s address by Paul Begala.  Enjoy!

The new issue of Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show is up, and I am this month’s guest columnist.  My article is called, “Speculating on Fiction’s Name,” and it’s about how we think of and classify fantasy, science fiction, and other sub genres of speculative fiction.  I hope you’llvisit the site and enjoy the article.

While I’m promoting such things, I thought I’d also mention that the story I published in IGMS last year, “Cassie’s Story,” is now up on my website, and I’m also running a new book contest.  I’ll hope you’ll check out my site, poke around a little, and try to win a book.

Thanks!

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