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Call Outs

I’ve kind of hit a roadblock with my WIP, so on the way to work this morning I decided I was going to write a blog tonight, you know, do something creative.  I had a theme in mind, and you’ll tell you what it is during this blog, because it’s still in here.  But during the day something else happened and I feel like sharing this.

If you follow my blog you will know that I can come out with some random stuff and the last piece was about the reaction to the latest Dr Who, click here to read more.  Today on Facebook I was ‘called out’ on it, by a white middle-aged internet using male, his description, for the lazy way I’ve approached that and was told that I’m the prejudiced one, because this person doesn’t know a single other person who’s upset by the news.

Well good for him.  And thanks to the other friend who waded in with some salient facts proving my case.  Not that the first friend would know because he flounced out of the conversation.

Now here are some things you should consider if you want to call me out on anything I write:

1. I welcome your comments, especially constructive criticism.  These are learning opportunities and I enjoy the chance to discuss any points.

2. Generalisations are just generalisations, they are not pointed attacks, they are just ways of expressing a point in a readily understandable way.

3. Just because you haven’t experienced it, don’t mean it ain’t happening.

4. This is a blog not national journalism.

5. Call me out, I will respond, that’s what discussions are about – two way exchange on points of view.

6. If you flounce out of the conversation with your male privilege held high remember I don’t have to make you look foolish, because you did it to yourself.

 

But one of the things that was thrown at me was that if I want to ‘get upset’ about discrimination I ‘need’ – yes need – to write about what Trump is doing to the LGBT communities.

Yes, I could do that.  I really could, I could rant for hours on that topic and many other misogynistic and/or downright stupid things that the American administration is doing, but here’s the thing.  I’m an EU – soon reluctantly to be British – citizen and this blog is mostly read by those in the UK.  I do have some Americans followers – and thanks for taking an interest wherever you are – but not many.  Besides, the thing is I don’t have a voice in an election I can’t vote in and most Americans have already realised what a dreadful mistake they’ve made.  Also, ranting against anything is a very negative thing to do and I am trying to make my life more positive.

Do I think people of the LGBT (and the ever growing acronym to LGBTQIA) community deserves a voice? Yes I do. Do I want to actively promote that voice?  Yes I do.  So what am I going to do about that – Well writing this blog was part of the plan.

I believe that people, more than administrations, can make a community what it should be, and I think it’s the quieter ways that will help integrate communities.  But I have a limited reach (hence comments above) and a limited skill set. I’m not a politician, not a great campaigner, nor am I a martyr, nor even a bleeding heart liberal.  Hell, I’m not even a journalist, just a blogger in that respect.

What I am is a writer, and a freelance editor.

So when one of the guys I freelance for comes to me and asks if I’d be willing to give my time and effort to help support the writing community to bring forth some good fiction with main characters who happen to be LGBTQIA, I didn’t hesitate to say yes.

So Jefferson Franklin Editing is offering free and discounted edits to writers who advance the LGBTQIA cause – to help get more LGBTQIA stories into the hands of readers.

Now I will admit that I’ve never had a main character who is anything other than hetrosexual, because that’s what I know.  And I am aware of the very great offence I could cause if I were to poorly portray that community, and let’s face it, if I did poorly portray that or any other community – I’d deserve criticism.  There are in my books some characters who I think are probably gay, but I’ve never made a thing of that, because it hasn’t been relevant to the story.  And now I’ve actually committed that to the page, I think I’m going to have to find a way to amend the situation and try to better present this under represented section of the community.

So if you have a gay soldier, or a lesbian teacher, or a gender-fluid private investigator (oh how useful would that be?), if you’ve a transexual dragon-trainer, or an omni-sexual/pansexual(?) space-traveller, then let’s hear from you.  Mind looking at those I may be a limited in my thinking, so please, please, please, come up with something original to surprise and delight in whatever genre you want.

Here’s the link with all the details – 2017 LGBTQIA Edit Giveaway.  And I look forward to seeing some of your work.

(Right now I’m going to go cogitate just how useful it might be to actually be gender fluid investigator because I can see that could bring up some really interesting plot and action possibilities.)

 

 

 

 

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The 300

 

After yesterday’s rant I got another Twitter follower.  This happens occasionally, but what is odd is that for months I was stuck at two-hundred-and-ninety-something.  I’d be at 293, then up to 298 and I’d think, “yes I’ll get the three hundred any day”, but the next check I’d be back to 291.

Then suddenly, I jumped up to 305 followers and I’ve been up there since, now on 330.  Okay, these are no heady heights as twitter follower numbers are concerned, but for someone who is actually really uncomfortable in social situations, this is the kind of networking I can do.

What is odd, is that I still don’t know why this follower up and down happens.  We, guess I must bore or offend some people so they unfollow me, but what do I do to get followers?  In my day job I work constantly with large datasets and do lots of statistical analysis, but I can’t find any particular links between my tweets and people following or unfollowing me. I do always try to thank people when I notice they followed me, it’s the polite thing to do.

It’s the same with my blog, this blog.  I have followers (36) and the stats tell me that I’ve had 355 visitors, so people aren’t sticking around, which is fine, I don’t follow as many blogs as I read either.

The point is that I can’t find a reason for it, what interests other people?  What attracts them to reading me? And that raises another issue in my head.  If I can’t find what people are interested in on my twitter and blog, how can I be sure what I write in my books is something people will want to read?  Answers on a postcard, please? (or in the comments since it’s easier)

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2014 Review

When I started this blog, I had no particular idea what I was going to say or do with it, just talk about what I’m up to, there’s been a few rants along the way, but hey that’s life.  One of the things I was hoping was that it would help me be more positive about things, and it has.  Instead of spending the year thinking, “Oh I’ve done nothing again”, it’s made me look back each month and appreciate that actually I have done stuff, I have achieved things.

So as we start the New Year, I thought I’d have a review of what I’ve achieved this year.

Of course, where I have to start is what did I say I’d do this year?  Look back on my blog and you’ll find I said the following:

So what at the plans for 2014?

  1. Get another book published.
  2. Write a monthly blog and a weekly Facebook update  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gail-Williams/261748000603425.
  3. Enter at least 6 competitions this year.
  4. Finish the romance book.
  5. Write book two of my Murder Tydfil series.

So did I do it – actually no, which is more depressing than I hoped this blog would be.  I got 3 of the 5 done, which is 60% and I think that just about gets me a ‘B’.  So where did I fall down?  That would be points 1 and 5.  Every agent and publisher I sent something to has rejected my books, some with some good feedback, but let’s face it, the only feedback any of us wants to hear is “Yes, I’ll take that one”.  Then there’s Murder Tydfil book 2, I’ve started it twice, but it’s just not working, so after a grand total of about 50,000, they’ve all ended up in the bin.

My blogging actually went really well, excluding this post, I’ve done 16 blogs this year, slightly more than my target, and they’ve been more positive than I would have expected, even the one about depression wasn’t that depressing.  So I’m proud of that.  Similarly I’ve got into updating my Facebook status a lot more frequently too.  Added to that, I’ve started to use Twitter much more, which I find an interesting medium, the restriction of 140 characters makes you really think about what you write.  Every word must count.

I started the year having won the Topsy Evans prize for literature, which I didn’t expect.  I entered way more than 6 competitions this year, and was very fortunate to be shortlisted for the CWA Margery Allingham Short Story Competition.  Additionally, I’ve been placed in a number of internal competitions for the Writers’ Circle.  I also had two World War One short stories published in the anthology “Unforgotten: The Great War 1914 – 1918”. I’ve got one short story on the go at the moment, for a submission to an anthology, which I’m hopeful for, but won’t hear about till 2015.

I did write a full romance book, supernatural romance as it happens.  It’s been edited and sent off to a publisher, still waiting to hear, but that’s not unusual.

Added to all that I also edited 10 full length novels, and never mind how many shorts and chapters.  And I managed to keep down a full time job.

Don’t forget, it you like crime thrillers and want to read a full manuscript, “Foreshadows” is still available.

So all in all, I feel 2014 was a successful year and I hope 2015 will be as good if not better.

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