Writing Fiction in a Time of Genuine Crisis, by Patrick S. Tomlinson

Some intelligent thoughts on the power of writing, telling stories and the capacity to fight back and resist being silenced.

Strange Currencies

A funny thing happened to me one year ago today. A random tweet throwing shade at the typical right-wing response to police brutality put me in touch with an editor for The Hill. Today is the anniversary of adding paid political commentator for a national platform to my other job titles of sci-fi author and stand-up comic. Many, many articles have followed, and I’ve added bylines in other venues such as The New York Times.

Which has given me a unique perspective on how to keep writing about spaceships and ray guns while Rome seemingly burns around us.

First of all, Don’t Panic. We are facing a crisis of a kind our nation has not seen since 1861 at the dawn of the Civil War, but no one person is doing all the work. If the Women’s March taught us anything, it’s that the resistance is massive, unprecedented, organized, and…

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This is a disabled parking bay…

Some thoughts on why the Blue Badge scheme is important and why people abusing it should be fined.

The long chain

This is a disabled parking bay. There are four of them at my son’s school. They are close to the school entrance and they are wider than normal bays. Doesn’t it look inviting?

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This is my son Benjamin’s blue badge. I had to apply for it, and pay for it. Many disabled people have to fight for it. It entitles me to park in the disabled bays at my son’s school (and anywhere else) when I have him with me and he will be getting out of the vehicle, or when I will be picking him up and putting him into the vehicle.

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These are four of the cars that were parked in the disabled spaces at my son’s school today. None of them is displaying a blue badge.

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Maybe their drivers aren’t aware that although this isn’t a public road the school still enforces the blue badge scheme? Maybe…

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If Corbyn has no chance, why are Tories spreading #fakenews about him? #GE17

For those who don’t believe the right wing media bias exists, check out the difference between the official Getty Image and the one a member of the Conservative Communications Team has apparently been promoting.

The SKWAWKBOX

In spite of a stellar start to his campaign that has Theresa May in hiding and social media buzzing, the Tory and MSM (mainstream media) narrative is that Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign has no chance of success.

If that were true, you’d think the Tories would be relaxing, taking it easy, waiting for the inevitable to happen.

Instead, they’re going to desperate – and foolish – lengths to smear him, as a recent exchange on Facebook showed.

Suzan Walsh is, according to her Linkedin profile, an information officer for the Tory party:

suzan walshOver the last few days, it appears – if the pictures and account are genuine – that Ms Walsh has been touting a picture apparently showing Jeremy Corbyn receiving short shrift from a resident whose door he knocked on while campaigning:

walsh fake

Others have jumped at the opportunity to propagate the jibe, such as the vice-Chair of the Young…

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On being an ally, and why it’s never us v them

Some wise words to think upon.

Jay Northcote

Sometimes in the queer romance community — and especially when there is something going on that’s caused offence and triggered a heated debate — it can feel uncomfortably like an us v them situation, with cis straight allies feeling unwelcome and unappreciated.

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This makes me sad, because I know that the vast majority of the cis straight authors and readers are doing their best to support the LGBT+ community.

But also, I think it’s really important to remember that it’s not us v them. Those of us who identify as LGBT+ still need to be good allies to each other.

Just because you identify as LGBT+ yourself, that doesn’t automatically give you a free pass. We can still fuck up and make mistakes and hurt people. I’ve done that myself, more than once, and it’s hard to admit that and apologise (humble pie tastes like crap) but it’s necessary.

Saying…

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Safe Spaces

Some important words from author Lane Hayes

Lane Hayes

14358723_10210514457441419_5523324845749074658_nPolitics isn’t one of my favorite topics. It’s always been one of those divisive conversations that can turn a dinner party upside down after a few too many glasses of wine. I rarely if ever talk politics in an MM romance forum. To me this is a sacred place. A safe space where we celebrate the beauty of love. However, the US entered a new era last week. A scary one that threatens freedom and equality, the very premise our nation was founded upon. I’d be concerned no matter what, but as the parent of a gay son, I have an acute sense of worry I haven’t felt since my son was battling bullies in grade school.

We recently had a conversation about “safe spaces” and how the term relates to him as a young gay man living in San Francisco, which is arguably one of the most LGBT-friendly communities…

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