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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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New Year Off To A New Start

Well January went unexpectedly well.

On the 5th I got a letter from a publisher asking to see the full manuscript of one of my crime novels, Dead Happy, book one of the Murder Tydfil series, so fingers cross for that, I should hear something by the end of this month (February 2015).

Then on the 17th, I got an email from Xchlyer publishing, telling me that one of my short stories has been accepted into an anthology to be published in May.  This is a steampunk piece, the first steampunk piece I have ever written, and I’m dead proud of it, thoroughly enjoyed writing it.  When I sent it off, I was rather hopeful that it would be accepted. Mind you, who’s not hopeful when making a submission?  But there again, I had passed it under the eyes of several friends, so I’d had a fair bit of reader feedback before I submitted and knocked the worst of the rough edges off.  Have been working with the editors to polish the story, so fingers crossed it’ll be as perfect as a story can be when printed.

On the 16th I’d had a quiet text chat with the guy I do the freelance editing for, about one of the websites he writes for, asked for an intro, got it and on the 18th agreed some submissions with the guy who runs the site.  I made my first submission on the 19th and since then I’ve had two articles published:

Both of these and future articles will be available on www.warpedfactor.com, a site for the geeks amongst us. I have a further three articles accepted for publication in February.

It’s all unpaid, but it’s interesting and looks good on my writer’s resume. I’ve also managed to get a great website up and running, well okay, a mate of mine managed to get it up and running, but it’s mine to maintain and keep up to date.  So if you want more info on me and what I’m up to, find the links to anything I’ve written, take a look at www.gailbwilliams.com.

Then, in a rather surprise turn of events, I had an email on the 25th January.  Now the email itself wasn’t the surprise, I was expecting it as it was the results of a recent poetry competition run by the Swansea and District Writers’ Circle, results to be announced on the 4th, the surprise was that I won!  Poetry is not my thing and I only made the submission to ensure that there were a decent number of entries to judge from.  I would have been happy not to have ranked at all, so winning was a welcome surprise and a huge bonus.

So I’ve had a great start to the year and I hope it continues.  Who knows; maybe 2015 will be the year my writing really takes off.

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