I’ve been thinking about this blog a lot. I never wanted it to be a political blog. This is my personal blog, where I post whatever is crossing my mind at the moment.
I started it at my then agent’s instigation (has it really been that long ago? And how the world has changed) because of course my books were getting close to zero distribution and I could fix this with a “platform.” (This is one of the illusions the publishing world chases. It works, kind of. If say, like VDH what you write are non fiction historical books and your blog talks about parallels between ancient history and today, it works wonderfully. It can also work if what you write is always set in a particular time period and you write about that time period exhaustively. There is probably a low-probability world in which the Shakespeare series did well and I continued to write in that time period and my personal blog has gone completely after my personal obsession with all things Tudor… and that might help the books. This of course presupposes I didn’t kill myself through having to write “literary” stuff, which I can do but depresses me unutterably if it’s the ONLY thing I do.)
Anyway, so my agent wanted me to have a platform, which in my mind was this little wooden soapbox onto which I could climb and start shouting at the crowds of indifferent passersby. The other thing she pushed on me was Facebook which mostly serves to raise my blood pressure, unless I confine myself to cute cat pictures and aphorisms. OTOH it provides a way for people who don’t have my email to contact me and that has been a boon. But I’m at a loss for how it builds the er… platform.
The blog was actually not THIS blog, but the live journal one, and this was back when I was stealthing it: trying to pretend to be a rather standard liberal (and being shocked by how far to the left the other authors were, even from standard liberal) with the idea once I got big I could decloak.
What that meant was that I couldn’t post about anything I cared about. Besides being an intensely political animal in the sense that I don’t trust the critters in power more than an inch out of my sight, and therefore follow politics obsessively, I’m, of course, an amateur historian, an observer of culture, and an American. Since I couldn’t decloak all of these were verboten topics.
Heck, I couldn’t even post about what was going on with the kids, because this included my interface with the public schools, the daily deprogramming sessions “No, the US isn’t an aggressive bully. Here what you need to look up”, the truly bizarre stuff that was built in to assignments like the assumption that race equals culture (and that one broke through and caused a month-long blog war). I couldn’t even blog about my housewifely quirks (I don’t have many of them. I don’t have time for many of them) like the really cool steam iron and the occasional attacks of crochet. The times I tried I got slammed for being insufficiently liberated or something.
So the blog got updated once a month if that, and frankly I think only three people read it.
But the agent kept pushing about the platform, and finally I started this blog and made it a point of blogging everyday.
It is impossible to blog every day without dipping my toes into politics, or at least culture. I tried to not have partisan politics here – and it’s amazing how many people who think they’re far left of center agree with my root statements, provided I don’t mention politics by name, which leads me to believe they think this is a soccer match and not a battle of ideas.
Still, I started getting some following, and the blog community that has grown here is very enjoyable.
But last week I had to decloak politically. I had to do it because I think part of the reason we’re losing is that we’re keeping quiet and allowing the other side to define us. (BTW I find it interesting one of the blogs that linked back to that post said it was of course superfluous for me to decloak since I won the Prometheus. Apparently, they’re unaware that the Prometheus judges the book, not the writer, and has been won by any number of leftists. Again, perhaps the base assumption is that all libertarians are left? Or right? I fail to get it.)
I am for the record a small l libertarian, who would like government out of people’s economic and social life. Saving people’s souls is the business of religions. Saving people from utter disaster is the job of charity. When government gets confused with either of those it ends in tears. Churches become branches of the government, and the government forces compulsive and bizarre charity (did you know there are provisions in Ocare impinging on “your lifestyle” including how you eat? No? Perhaps you should. Considering the pyramid those idiots forced on us as one size fits all, I’d say we’re headed for choppy waters.)
Anyway, having decloaked politically, I found there was a series of politically pertinent posts I could/should make, because the times are perilous. Having done it, too, I don’t intend to keep as strict a hold on my tongue from now on. To be absolutely honest, we’re living in a target rich environment and speaking out about the things that drive me most insane might just keep me from having an embolism.
But my life is not politics. My life is fiction writing with a good bit of reading, while trying to keep my husband’s life as smooth as possible, herding four cats and trying to get two young men a decent start in life in this very hard time for it.
A lot of what I customarily blog about here is writing – how to create universes, what bothers me about universes others create and trends in writing, etc. I think from now on I’ll keep the highly technical how-to stuff for Mad Genius Club (and tell you when I post that there.) Frankly, I think most of my regulars have endured those with a quirked eyebrow.
But I blog about other stuff too, as it relates to writing: the way writing shapes culture, and the way it’s been shaping culture without most people even being aware for the last thirty years; the way writing is changing, with indie displacing traditionals – the we’re escaping between their fingers like sand thing – and the way the elites seem ever more out of touch with the everyday person out here on the streets.
Thinking about that made me realize where this blog belongs and where it should head. As I said in the post about how they can slow down the defeat, but unless they completely dismantle civilization hey can’t win (and I think this is part of their infatuation with the most obscurantist of religions, the fact that this religion has stopped progress very effectively in any place they took over.)
What is happening at the top level of everything from education to culture to politics to entertainment is a stunning, almost jaw-dropping disconnect to what is actually going on in these fields, at every other level and among common people.
It’s as if the future is being born but the people who fought hard to acquire power over the present time are trying to cross their legs and prevent it coming out.
It doesn’t work, and it makes things way more painful. And there is room there for someone who has a tendency to seriously overthink things to highlight where that fight is taking place, and the horrible things that can result from trying, in vain, to hold on to a top-down manner of planning things when all our tech is now distributed and getting more so.
So, this won’t become a techy blog, or a political blog, but it will reflect – often on the way politics is out of touch with the tech and vice versa. I am by nature someone who thinks across fields, and if there is something I can offer it is the distributed perspective of a non-specialist.
Of course, this will require I read even more of that stuff and make notes where I saw things, but that can be done. It will take a little more time, which means I (sigh) might as well institute a subscription mode. I’m noddling it and hopefully will come up with something next week supposing the flu lets up. (It’s better today, thank you, though not completely gone.)
Mind you, there will still be – PARTICULARLY on weekends – occasional eruptions of cute cat pictures (well, I do have four cats) and odd, sometimes sideways thoughts about history and the primary causes of this or that. It can’t be helped. If I’ve been doing any hand work that doesn’t allow me to read – like gardening or carpentry or even ironing – the weirdest ideas come up in my mind… There will also be the occasional rant. Some stereotypes exist because they’re true. When I get angry, the Latin Chick comes to the fore, or as my husband puts it, in the somewhat bewildered tone of a man descended mostly from New England patricians “You do get excitable, sweetie.” So, rants will happen. And there will be another episodic novel, though it might move to Saturdays, once Witchfinder is done. It is – oddly – I think SF technically, but … well… It’s Starship Troopers meets Operation Chaos. It’s still untitled, and it’s going to require I actually research a lot. (Eep) Mostly about special forces.
If you’re okay with that, stick around. My mind works at odd angles, but I try not to be boring.
And there is a lot of room to chronicle the birth of the future and everything that can go wrong along the way.
The Titanic is sinking and before the rescue boat in the shape of a future we can only barely glimpse arrives there’s going to be a long time where we’ll have to do the best we can and perhaps hunker down on the floating grand piano with a bottle of whiskey.
This blog will try to be the floating grand piano. Here’s a blanket. Shortly someone will pass the whiskey around. It’s going to be a long night. But I am determined we shall survive.
And since you don’t want to cross the Excitable Latin Chick, (trust me, even I don’t want to cross her, and she lives in my mind) you’ll do your best…