Saturday, January 18, 2020

The RWA Debacle: Don't stop writing over this

January 18, 2020

Well, I did it to myself. I was curious about the big bru-ha-ha at the Romance Writers of America. I used to be a member of the RWA way back in the day. When I got my first acceptance back in 2003, I thought it was the thing to do. I joined and it quickly soured for me. 

Back then, Yahoo groups were the Big Thing. I was writing science fiction I called Star Trek With Sex. I joined the RWA's Yahoo group. Wow. Talk about some snobs. There I was, the newbie, and I asked a simple question. Instead of an answer, I had multiple offers from multiple "sister" writers that the answer was found in their book. All I had to do was go buy their book. Wow. 

I knew right then and there I did not belong. 

In those days, the RWA talked about writers supporting writers. I didn't get it until after I paid my dues the support was only supposed to be financial, not professional. There is one well-known best selling author that to this day I will not buy her books. I won't even mention her name because I don't want to promote her in any way, shape, or form. Seventeen years and I'm still not over how nasty she was to me. I doubt I was the only one.

While I'm not surprised in the least that the RWA has imploded, I find I'm saddened by it. I'm sure there are writers who did find camaraderie within its ranks. I envy them. It's true that LGBTQ writers have been marginalized but it was my choice to write m/m romance. The RWA did, at one time, qualify romance as being between one woman and one man. It seems that to some, all love is not equal. Too bad for them. 

The best summary of what has transpired (that I've found) is located here. It lays out the timeline of events, but if you read between the lines, you see more. One of the questions that occurred to me is, has political correctness become censorship? A second thought was are we now supposed to write our stories to appease personalities who are not counted in our readership? 

Name after name after name is dropped. Organizations weigh in. Fault after fault after fault is exposed and what do we learn? Not much. Not the important things, anyway.

Ancient words warn of passing judgment because when we judge we condemn ourselves. A very, VERY well known and respected author has spoken on the situation.  Her response is here. We can barely speak aloud today lest we offend someone. This author ends her letter by apologizing for any offense she may have caused in her writing over the past decades. I'd love to be able to ask her if she's sorry for the times she has lived in, that being the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and now the new millennium. We write through the lens of an imperfect self living in imperfect times. Utopia is a dream, not reality. Should we whip ourselves for that? I think not. 

Whatever good the RWA may have done in the past has been tarnished beyond reclamation. There's not enough TarnX in the world to put the shine back on it. I wonder what the individual chapters will do. Will they be able to stick together to support each other? Will those members be forced to "pick a side?" If that happens, those groups may splinter beyond repair and who benefits from that? 

The big take away, for me, isn't that the RWA imploded, it's how long it took. Had this happened ten years ago, the names would have been different, but the end result is the same. People put in power or authority who make decisions for others invariably make decisions that benefit them first. 

For those who may be questioning whether or not to continue writing, this may be the tipping point that silences their voice. I think that would be a shame. 

KC Kendricks
www.kckendricks.com







Thursday, January 2, 2020

Back to writing, back to work

January 2, 2019

It was back to work at the day job today. My time off over the holidays settled a few things for me. I'm definitely ready to retire. My birthday is in about six months, and that may be the cut-off point. We'll see.

I think what has tipped me over to the "do it" side is, among other things, the current work-in-progress. I sat down one of my days off and banged out over one-thousand words. It was wonderful to discover I could still do it. I did a mock-up of the cover which I am afraid to post for fear of Internet pirates getting it. I've yet to officially purchase the stock so the mock-up has watermarks but when has such a thing stopped a thief? Never, that's when. 

Oh, what the heck. I'll risk just a bit of a tease with one of our hero's eyes. As I said, I have to go buy him to make the final cover. I use the watermarked copies to do mock-ups and decide on what I'm willing to purchase. It's not just about writing the story these days. Not like it was ten years ago.  

This story was one I dropped a few notes about onto a sheet along with about a chapter of prose and saved in an ideas folder. Our heroes are in the archeological field. Inside a tight-knit community, gossip travels fast. One of our guys is set-up to take a fall, and now, a few years later, he has the opportunity to redeem himself. Redemption is a theme I like to work. 

Who am I trying to kid? Settling back into a routine of working during the day and writing at night seems like a hassle. It has worked for me for many years but the world does turn. During the holidays, I found a different routine that suits me better at this stage of life. 

I'd get up around six, take care of Deuce, get coffee, and then read through the current WIP from the beginning. I could fix what needed fixed and have the story so far firmly in mind. When the spousal unit finally crawled out from between the covers, I spent some time with him. Maybe we ran errands or maybe we did nothing much. Around one o'clock or so, he was ready to read or watch television. I retreated to my sunroom office and worked until it seemed like it was time to contemplate dinner. Afterward, I had a choice of TV or going back to the computer. 

Talk about no stress. No wonder I could bang out a thousand words a day. Yep. This writing gig is what I'm supposed to be doing now. 

KC Kendricks
www.kckendricks.com





Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Happy New Year 2020

January 1, 2020

It's quite a dilemma for us old-timers
A new decade and difficult rhymers
We well remember the old Y2K
The night Father Time held our computers at bay

We made it through then and 
we'll make it through now
We've not lived so long 
we're taking our bows
We say twenty-twenty like 
it's perfect eyesight
Even when we object 
with all of our might

It's happened again without 
our permission
We went to bed a teenager and woke
with something altogether different that's
going to drive us crazy before it's done with us.

So on we go with a laugh and a smile
Cheered to have traveled this many miles
And while it's true we may shed a few tears
We're still happy to welcome another New Year

KC Kendricks