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If you’re a social justice activist and we’ve been having an exchange on social media, it’s probably ended in a number of ways. If you’re reading this then you’ve not immediately labelled me a variant of misogynist/bigot/racist/homophobe and blocked me. I applaud you for that and being more open to dialogue than some.
I’ll limit this response to one possible context: you’ve told me that I should read more before I reply to you or express an opinion on our topic of discussion. This is usually based on one of two assumptions:
1. I hold the opinions I do because I am ignorant of the context/issues involved and if I simply read more I would see the world and the topics discussed as you do. Because, what reasonable, caring, intelligent person could do otherwise?
2. You haven’t quite worked out where I am coming from and are one step away from labelling me a misogynist/bigot/racist/homophobe at worst, or a cold-hearted, privileged, white he-devil socialised into prejudice and hatred of women and minorities by the colonial patriarchy. One slip, misunderstanding, or inconvenient fact will, of course, see me blocked. Disparaging comments about me may, or may not, be exchanged about me behind my back with others sharing your world-view, after-the-fact.
If you’re an SJA and have read this far, count me impressed. I’d like to offer a third possibility: I am not completely ignorant or uncaring regarding social and economic disadvantage facing some individuals and sections of society because their life circumstances are less favourable than some of mine. Nor am I a vile person without morals or an ethical/ideological framework through which I perceive the world and act. It’s just my viewpoints and beliefs differ to yours. Continue reading
‘You’re never going to meet my standards, little boy.’
First, a confession: in order to write this review, Grammarly Inc. provided me with a free upgrade to a premium account. However, I remain unbiased for three reasons:
- When I attempted to use Grammarly Premium over a year ago to help proofread my novel, I gave up on it. I’m only now revisiting the software and it has a lot to prove.
- I’m not the kind of person that can be bought with a freebie.
- It’s taken me so long to get around to this review, my year’s free upgrade ended halfway through writing it. Luckily, I finished the Premium testing last week, but this review has only been checked by Grammarly Basic. (After reading my prose, you may decide Grammarly Premium is an essential purchase after all.)
As one of its most established players, Grammarly is the Old Dear of the automated grammar checking business and is used by students, legal eagles, and writers. I wanted to find out whether it was impossible to teach the premium edition to suck eggs or whether she’s an awkward ol’baggage only fit to bury. Continue reading
Last year I wrote a post on my blog about why I consider John Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’ the greatest story ever told. I’m not going to repeat the reasons why here, if you’re interested then please visit http://thecultofme.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/paradise-lost-greatest-story-ever-told.html. In today’s guest post I want to examine how this wonderful story influences my own writing and how I stand on the shoulders of giants. Continue reading
So, I’ve finally been inspired for my new story. Have I made progress? Yes, some, but not as much as I could have done. Halfway through week one I contracted a serious case of procrastination—the writer’s equivalent of cooties. In fact, I doubt any conscientious keyboard-monkey will read this post for fear of catching it, but I hope some are brave enough because I also share the cure that worked for me. Continue reading
I thought being married to/a partner of a writer would be an odd experience, and I needed a test subject to confirm my theory. So, without further ado, I’ll hand over to an expert on the subject, and the one person without whom my writing wouldn’t happen – my wife.
Of course, every “writing couple” are as happy as this cheesy 80’s pair.
Next week I’m on holiday, and this got me thinking… My online writing friends are an unusually mobile and outgoing lot; some of them like to travel, even when they don’t have to. As anyone knows, spending more time on social networks than penning words is essential for the serious writer. But when you are on-the-go, how do you keep writing and hooked up to the intravenous drip-feed of tweets, posts, and comments that we all need so desperately? Today’s interconnected technology would appear to provide the answer, but other’s experiences have found it wanting. In this post you will find the solution—innovation isn’t dead—read on and be amazed! Continue reading
So what do you do when your creativity goes to sleep? How do you respond when readers tell you that your character’s actions and speech are inconsistent and erratic? How do you smooth out those kinks in your plot? When your creativity implodes, rolls over and dies; or when it’s buzzing along so fast on turbo-charge that your characters morph and change faster than Play-Doh being pummelled by a hyperactive four-year-old; when your plot has more holes in it than a rusty cheese grater—it’s time to stop writing, give the right side of your brain a rest, and reach for your internal Mr Spock. Continue reading
Since I self-published my first eBook in March this year there has been around 200,000 books added to Amazon’s Kindle eBook store; that’s over 65,000 new titles per month. If my guess is correct, then this may only be the start and the floodgates have yet to open. Continue reading