Do you live in fear?

Hello Readers,

Let me me start by saying I’m tired. Tired of people being jackasses to each other and then turning around and blaming someone else.

I’ve been accused of living in fear for the past six months. Apparently being afraid of a virus that has killed nearly 3/4 of a million people and following health and safety guidelines is living in fear.

Fear is a natural reaction, it’s an instinct that keeps us alive. Fear isn’t a bad thing. I can hear the embodiment of internet comment sections sections screaming, “BUT IT CONTROLS YOU!” Fear can be used to control, and yes it can go to unhealthy levels, but self isolating, wearing a mask, and avoiding risky behaviour is not unhealthy (it’s the opposite).

Tempting… https://leasticoulddo.com/comic/20200813

I understand that some people have legitimate reasons to not wear a mask, that’s fine and I’ll never challenge someone who isn’t wearing one, but I’ll give them a wide berth. However, if you’re refusing to wear a mask on principle, you are being selfish, inconsiderate, and ridiculous. What’s the worst that happens? You do something in hopes that it’ll benefit others and it doesn’t work?

More recently I’m seeing a lot of memes about how more children are stolen and sold than died of Covid, or how this one kid died because someone shot him but it’s not getting the same media attention.

One travesty doesn’t mean another isn’t important. People can, and do care about more than one thing. It’s unfair and reductive to compare them. Only a fool says “Car accidents kill more people than cancer.” Same applies here.

In an article in Science Mag, they describe the “sheer breadth of complications linked to COVID-19 is mind-boggling“. Over and over again, science has said that this virus is dangerous and I will treat it that way.

Another argument that’s been passing around is that “the flu kills people every year, should we take the same precautions for it?” My answer is yes. Wear a mask during flu season or if you feel sick. If you have a choice, don’t go to work sick. We should be pushing for mandatory sick days.

We as a society need to overcome the foolish notion that taking sick days is a sign of weakness or laziness.

Wear a mask, wash your hands, and be safe,

Éric

Dear Dragon – École à maison

Dear Dragon,

What a wild year. It’s been quite a historic and interesting time. I’ve been lucky to work from home and be with you, your Mum, and Adrien full time.

You’re clever, stubborn, and passionate. You’re also an extremely social kid and this has been tough on you.

Last February you visited your école. This is a new virus and there are all kinds of worrisome side effects being reported. It’s possible the threat of that and the threat to your grandparents is over-exaggerated, but we don’t want to take the chance.

With Mum working from home and the travel business being a little slow, we are in the perfect place to help you learn from home. We haven’t decided exactly what we’re doing. It’ll depend on what the école has planned.

Mum has some fantastic ideas and I hope you get as excited as mum has been about her ideas.

Overall, I’m not too worried. You’re already a little ahead and we mostly need to build on what you already know and encourage you to learn more French. Again, I’m sorry for not speaking to you more in French.

We’ll see what happens. The year is only three quarters done and has lots of surprises left for us.

I love you little Dragon,

Papa

Dear Dragon – École

Dear Dragon,

You’re no longer a baby. On Wednesday we went to visit your future school. You’ll be going to a French Public school and from the look on your face when we visited, you’re going to love it.

I’m nervous about a lot of things; snacks and lunches, you making friends, dealing with buses, you learning more French. I feel I’ve failed you as a francophone parent, but hopefully the school will help and I’ll start speaking to you in French more once you understand. (I spoke to you in both, but once you understood English I just stuck with that.)

One of the teachers took you to get a paper and a crayon when we visited the class and you never looked back. I have a feeling that we could have left and you wouldn’t have noticed. I’m glad you’re so independent. I’m still nervous. You’ve never spent more than a few hours without someone from the family and well… I know I’m being silly. (I’m starting to understand how Marlin from Finding Nemo felt.)

We still have six months before you go to school but when you do, it’ll change our whole lives.

You’ll love the social interaction though. I sometimes feel like we don’t stimulate your socialness enough. Sorry KYD, your parents are introverts.

Every stage you grow is wonderful and scary to me. This one just feels bigger, probably cause it has so much more paperwork.

I love you baby Dragon,

Papa

#PuppyGate or How the Hugos lost my Respect

Hello my Imaginary Friends,

I’ve talked about the Sad Puppies before but as it turns out they’ve escalated. I planned on writing a long essay about the subject but giants have started to enter the fray. I’ll leave a plethora of links at the bottom of this post for those that are interested.

What are Sad/Sick Puppies

The Sad Puppies and Sick Puppies are groups of Science Fiction and Fantasy fans that are sick of what they call “Social Justice Warriors” corrupting the pure essence of genre fiction. Or in some cases they say they are about promoting authors that would normally never get on the ballot on their own.

It almost sounds plausible. Almost until you hear that the second architect is Theodore Beale (AKA Vox Day). If you don’t recognize the name you might recognize the movement he founded called GamerGate. The association of Beale alone makes me not trust them.

Their members can’t seem to come up with a consistent explanation. Some range from, “I miss science-fiction that was just adventure and not social criticism” to “too much emphasis has been put on pushing agendas in science fiction when good books are being ignored”

What did they do? / #PuppyGate

They legally, if not ethically, created a slate of authors that they believed should be nominated and then voted as a group to make sure they made the ballot. Meaning that between 2 to 5 of each category in the Hugo’s are Sad Puppy candidates (That’s out of 5 by the way).

Read about both sides below.

How it makes me feel

This is the first time since I’ve decided to become an author that I’m glad I haven’t been published and that I’m not involved in this world. Had I heard about this kind of thing when I started I would have never tried to be published.

I try to include diverse characters in my books. It’s not always easy but it’s a reflection of our world and should be done. I want people to read my books and relate to some of the characters, not just white-straight-men but everyone.

I want politics in my science fiction and fantasy. I want social issues to be reflected in what I read and write. Anyone who tells you there weren’t social or political ideals in classic science fiction needs to go re-watch Star Trek, Re-Read Asimov, and get their heads out of their asses.

Are the awards broken? I have no clue but I think they might be. This may turn them into a political party style event, that would suck considering that tactic doesn’t work well for regular people even in politics.

What Now

I had dreams of maybe someday winning the “Triple Crown” of Science fiction (Hugo, Nebula, and Campbell Memorial Award). Now that I’ve read up on them and followed the politics, not to mention that a lot of the authors I greatly respect haven’t won all that many awards means I’m not sure how much I care anymore.

This whole debacle has soured me on these sorts of things.

I’ll settle for someday living off my writing. That’s all I really need. Anything more is bonus.

Further Research

Here are all the links I promised and some of the better explanations:

And in the spirit of showing both sides:

And finally if you’re willing to dedicate the time, here are George R.R. Martin’s thoughts on the whole thing:

 

To Borrow Ajay Fry’s tagline, “See you in the future”,

Éric

NaNoWriMo Part VI

Just under twelve hours before NaNoWriMo starts and closer to twenty four before I do, and I’m really getting nervous. I’ve been reading others blogs and other websites. It feels like everyone’s written an outline and planed their story. I have nothing ready except for Genre and Mood. I guess that’s something but reading that some people have their plot points set out worries me.

I’m getting a lot of support from friends and family and that helps settle me down. However every time I think about it my heart starts thumping and I get a little giddy.

My biggest problem is going to be not editing myself. I’ll often write a paragraph and then re-read it, over and over again, fixing little issues. I usually miss the homonyms, cursed things! If I can write straight I think I can average 1000 words an hour. That means an average of 2 hours writing daily. Gah! What have I gotten myself into?

Alright let’s see what I have decided so far with everyone’s help.

Genre: Modern Fantasy, with elements of Sci-fi and Detective/Filmnoir
Mood: A strange balance between Gritty and Absurd.

The first chapter will definitely introduce us to the characters, probably in the style of a Disaster story, jumping back and forth between characters and media.

I’m thinking of maybe writing journal entries that will introduce us to the world but not have anything to do with the main characters. Sort of a mini Auto-biography spread out through the book.

Other then that I have nothing; hopefully when I look over the polls, inspiration will hit harder then a crazed duck who thinks I’m a loaf of bread.