Fighting Censorship: CTRL ALT Revolt.

 

66e97ea9f8371e1ba7fb1f7470515d72-bpfullhttp://www.amazon.com/CTRL-ALT-Revolt-Nick-Cole-ebook/dp/B01BKWKBCS/

Once upon a time, science fiction was the genre for the thinking man. Now, some thoughts are forbidden— thoughtcrimes— at least as far as megapublisher Harper Collins is concerned. In ONE CHAPTER of Nick Cole’s book, a Thinking Machine decides that if humans abort their own young, they might react to the advent of Thinking Machines the same way. It wasn’t a major theme of the book. Just a moment. But it had to be censored. Read more about the story here: http://www.nickcolebooks.com/2016/02/09/banned-by-the-publisher/

But there are some things to Celebrate about this sad situation. Nick Cole turned to self-publishing, and his book is now available to the public both in Kindle and in paperback version. As Stephen King, a left-wing writer once said, if you find that they are banning a certain book, READ THAT BOOK. As trad-publishing becomes more and more centralized in just a handful of companies, we need to become indie readers, and not just suck off the politically correct publishing teat.

Another thing to Celebrate is that it is SO easy to fight back against censorship these days. Even if you are a ‘nobody’ as far as the world is concerned. You can just start Tweeting Nick Cole’s blog post (link above) and sharing it on Facebook and blogging about it. For that matter you can Tweet/share THIS blog post. You don’t need to leave your house or even get dressed. Just do it!

This is a post in the Celebrate the Small Things blog hop. You can find the blog hop here: http://lexacain.blogspot.com/2015/01/celebrate-small-things.html

Do you have a Facebook author page? I have one, here: https://www.facebook.com/nissalovescats/        Please visit sometime! There are kitten pictures. And you can share a link to your author blog and I will like it if possible.

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Pius Tales/Declan Finn’s Writing Journey

PiusTalesNissaRecently I got a copy of author Declan Finn’s Pius Tales— a collection of short stories related to the Pius Trilogy, a thriller series based on the idea that some not-so-well-hidden secrets about WW2 Pope Pius XII trigger a lot of murders, escapades and explosions. ‘Pius Tales’ continues in the explosive tradition.

But there is a bonus— a series of essays by Declan Finn telling his writing journey of imagining, writing and selling the Pius series. I always like to see how other writers do their work, since the only writer I actually SEE at work is me and I’m not that ‘normal.’ Though I’m not sure any writers are ‘normal.’ We are probably all just different shades of weird.

The origin of the Pius series came when Finn read a book about Pope Pius XII. And then a lot more books. And discovered that in 1960, the history, at least as regards this pope, changed. Before 1960, Pope Pius was the heroic pope that fought against Hitler and saved mass numbers of Jews from the Holocaust. Afterwards, he became ‘Hitler’s Pope.’

Finn includes in his account how he went from his basic idea to find the proper setting (Rome) and the proper character-group to star in his thriller. And then the fun process of trying to get the thing published.

As for the stories in the book: Tinker, Tailor, Goyim, Spy recounts how character Scott Murphy came to join the Mossad. Even though he’s neither Israeli or Jewish.

“Erin Go Boom” tells the story of how Catholic priest Fr. Frank Williams, SJ, manages to stop a terrorist attack on a St. Patrick’s Day parade without using direct deadly force on anyone.

In “Deck the Maul,” Finn blows up Christmas. Or, at least, a shopping mall filled with angry dwarfs, protesting redheads, and, of course, terrorists.

“Oh Little Town of Bethmayhem” starts off with Sean Ryan dangling a bad guy off the Empire State Building, and segues into Scott Murphy infiltrating a terrorist plot in Bethlehem at Christmas time.

I highly recommend this book. It’s a clean read, so you don’t need to worry about the kids reading it when you are not looking. And it’s got explosions. I like explosions.

Declan Finn’s Books on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Declan-Finn/e/B008I8JO2G

Declan Finn’s Blog: http://apiusman.blogspot.com/

Declan Finn’s FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Pius-Man-a-novel/143750083289


Please consider liking my FB page: https://www.facebook.com/nissalovescats/

Celebrate: How the writer’s Golden Rule helps your writing career.

Celebrate blog hopThis is a post in the Celebrate the Small Things blog hop. More information here: http://lexacain.blogspot.com/

Do you remember the Golden Rule? Many younger people have never learned it. It goes something like this: Do to others as you would have others do to you. It’s a sort of mathematics of human social behavior. If you don’t like getting insulted, you can guess that other people don’t like getting insulted either, so you shouldn’t do it. If you don’t like having your things stolen, don’t steal from others. That sort of thing.

But how does that apply to writers? Well, imagine this situation. You have a new book coming out. And there are a handful of writers, most a bit more successful than you, who:

1. Go out and buy your book.

2. Write reviews of it,

3. Who post things on their blogs about the book.

4. Who Tweet about it.

5. Who share it on their Facebook pages and in a couple of appropriate Facebook groups.

How could you make that happen in the real world? Well, you take steps 1-5 and do them for other writers. Now, it won’t earn you much gratitude from the big-name writers like Stephen King or even the lesser-selling writers who are published by the big publishers. And even self-published and small press writers might not notice all the help you are giving if you don’t get to know them first. What you need is to develop a circle of just the right kind of writer friends— writers who are at a similar place in their writing lives, for example. Writers who write in the same or similar genres, or at least appreciate your genre as you appreciate theirs. Writers who understand your point of view— an angry atheist writer and a devoutly religious writer are not a good match, or an erotic romance writer with an Amish romance writer.

Here are some steps to finding your circle of writing friends:

  1. Network with other writers. You can do it by blog hops, or by joining FB writing groups that have actual conversations in them. Show interest in other people’s books and book promotion problems, don’t just write about your own. Make sure to join some specialized groups— mystery writers, science fiction writers, writers with Asperger’s Syndrome, feminist writers, women-against-feminism writers… Just make sure that the group is active and the members aren’t 100% absolute writing beginners.
  2. As you network, look for other writers that seem friendly. If they have FB author pages, like the pages. If they seem interested, make a friend request.
  3. Read the books of these writers and review them. Let them know, somehow, that you have done so.
  4.  Periodically share things that they post on their Facebook page.
  5. If you are on Twitter, follow these friends there.
  6. After a while of trying to be friendly and helpful, see if they are responding. Do they ‘like’ or comment on your Facebook posts? Do they ever volunteer to read some of your work? Do they ever share your Facebook posts or retweet your Tweets? If they are becoming responsive friends to you, you can begin considering them as part of your personal circle.
  7. Continue to do steps 1-5 above for all the friends in the circle. Don’t count the things you do for them and the things they do for you.
  8.  When you have done things for your friends, you might, on some occasions, ask them for favors. Make sure you say that you understand if they can’t do it.

After doing something similar to this for some time, even though I am not a person accustomed to having friends, I have a few good author friends that will help me out sometimes as I help them. Having friends like this may seem like a ‘small thing’ to readers out there who don’t have Asperger’s Syndrome. But for me, it’s a cause for big celebration.


Blogging ‘Where the Opium Cactus Grows’

Today I have started blogging the contents of my first poetry book, ‘Where the Opium Cactus Grows.’  I did not know how to promote my book in 2010 when I published it. So I decided to blog about 1/2 of the poems in this book, and see what happens.

jungle spiders

she was raised among the cannibals
in borneo or was it new guinea— no matter
her father was an avid anthropologist
right up to the day he was eaten
the cannibals don’t kill you
of course but if you die
you shan’t go to waste
he always joked &
he was quite right actually

she was raised among the cannibals
and the chief’s chief wife doted on her
taught her all her best recipes
and the secrets of ruling a cannibal husband
she learned her lessons well
all her husbands said so

she was raised among the cannibals
and that could explain
quite a lot

(c) 1990 Nissa Annakindt
Where the Opium Cactus Grows on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Where-Opium-Cactus-Grows-Annakindt/dp/0557939135/

 

IWSG: Will all our voices still be heard?

Insecure Writers Support Group Badge

This is a post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. Join them here: http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/p/iwsg-sign-up.html

The world of writing has changed. If a big publisher doesn’t want to publish your work, not because it’s bad, but because you don’t fit into their image of what a writer should be, think and write about, you have options— you can self-publish. That makes some of us feel that we are utterly free and can publish whatever we like, no matter what our point of view is on such matters as politics and religion. But that freedom may turn out to be quite restricted.

You may know that the publishing world has become more consolidated. Instead of dozens of independent publishers, there are a handful of publishers with dozens of imprints each. Many of these imprints were formerly independent publishers.

Does this matter if you are self-published? It might. Because the firms we use to self-publish— CreateSpace, Lulu, Smashwords— are also major publishers likely dominated by let’s-all-think-alike progressives. If you are a successful self-published author but don’t fit in to what big publishers have determined is mainstream enough, there is always a chance that someone might decree that  something you have written is ‘hateful’ or ‘extreme.’

Being careful may not help. During my Youthful Marxist Phase I wrote a sarcastic phrase ‘bullets and ballots mean much the same thing.’ The Communist that ran ‘Struggle’ magazine failed to recognize the sarcasm and rejected that poem on the ground that it was far too ‘extreme’ even for full-on Communists. Anyone can run afoul of these accusations, especially those who are independent thinkers.

Some may feel that the solution is to sell out. Be what the big-boy publishers want a writer to be, even if you are self-publishing. Write another me-too commonplace novel even though it’s something you don’t even want to READ much less write. But that seems to me to be just another way to sell your soul.

So, will our voices be heard? I know that there are a lot of people in the publishing world that would not particularly welcome my voice. I am a prolife Catholic Christian, a person with Asperger’s Syndrome, a chaste-and-loving-it lesbian, and a conservative-libertarian. They won’t know whether to call me a hater or claim to be ‘liberating’ me.

But I have something in me that is not easily silenced. Perhaps it’s just my Asperger’s Syndrome which makes me not know when to shut up. Perhaps it’s just that I want to be myself since I don’t know how to be anyone else. Will anyone hear my voice? If I don’t keep trying, I will never know. I hope that all who read these words will also keep trying, and being true to themselves. Don’t conform, create!

My Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/nissalovescats/


Poem of the Day

Here’s one of my own poems that seemed appropriate.

msm

the place was full
of fences
to let us know
where to be

fences
meshing
in our minds
to keep us in
main
stream

(c) Nissa Annakindt

from my book ‘Where the Opium Cactus Grows’, 2010 edition. The title of the poem, ‘msm’ refers to the mainstream media. Just in case you didn’t guess.

If you can read this, it means you have read this post all the way to the bottom. Thanks! Please leave a comment, and, since you were kind enough to read my post, feel free to link to your book (if you have one) and perhaps give a short (1 or 2 sentence) summary of what your book is about.

Are Utopias Dystopic?

the-hunger-games“Dystopian” fiction is hot right now.  A dystopia is a government/system in which things are bad. Usually one cause is an all-p0werful big government which attempts to control all aspects of its subjects’ lives, and which deals harshly with dissenters.

Dystopian fiction is a form of futuristic/science fiction literature set in a dystopian society. In ‘YA’ literature (fiction for kids from about 9-14) dystopia is a popular theme right now, as in The Hunger Games. There is also dystopian fiction for grownups, such as Richard Bachman’s The Long Walk, Daniella Bova‘s Tears of Paradox, and Marina Fontaine‘s Chasing Freedom. Real-world dystopias include the Soviet Union, Mao’s China, North Korea, and Nazi Germany.

The word ‘utopia‘ tends to claim to be the opposite of dystopia. But I believe that isn’t necessarily true. A utopia is often a top-down society in which the wise king or political leader imposes his vision of a perfect society on his sheep-like people. It’s a perfect society— for the king. But for the ordinary citizen of a utopia, told what crops to grow, how and when he can sell them, when and why to marry (if marriage is allowed), what religion he is to follow (if any), it’s very little different than living in a dystopia. In either case, freedom is lacking, in order to ensure that everyone gets to live the ‘perfect’ life. The leader in both a utopia and a dystopia is doing what he does for everyone’s good- or at least he thinks so.

A real utopia is impossible to achieve outside of heaven, and it’s only possible there because God has the power to change the nature of the inhabitants of heaven so they no longer have the capacity to do violence to one another, steal, seek revenge, and so on. In the real world (except for heaven) people are messy. They don’t all want the same things, and mostly, people want to be left alone to do things their way.

The real opposite of a dystopia is not a utopia, but a free society in the traditional Constitutional American sense. Certain rights were guaranteed, such as freedom of religion, speech, the press…. But there was no big-government out there trying to micro-manage personal relationships, or to ensure that both the industrious and the lazy enjoyed ‘equal’ prosperity. Local schools were organized by local communities, and were there to serve the families that used those schools, not to indoctrinate a younger generation to reject the religion, practices and politics of their parents.

In the US of today, the concept of personal freedom is vanishing. If a person thinks all vaccines are wonderful things, he is not content to use the vaccines himself, he has to demand that 100% of the other people use those vaccines too— even if they have moral objections, as those who won’t use the measles vaccine based on the fact that the vaccine is created using the fetal tissue of a newly conceived child killed by abortion.

Likewise, some people believe that the ideology taught in the public schools is true and wonderful, and so they want 100% of children to experience the indoctrination. Alternative schools such as the Catholic and Lutheran school systems much teach the same ideology or be sued out of existence, and homeschooling— even though it produces better results— must be banned.

One use for utopian/dystopian fiction is to issue a warning about the real world. Some authors may choose to warn against dissenting against their own particular form of faux utopia. Others warn us to fight the loss of freedoms we now experience, lest a dystopia come into being. If you prefer the second sort, you might like the Facebook page ‘Conservative Libertarian Fiction Alliance.’

Conservative Libertarian Fiction Alliance: https://www.facebook.com/PageCLFA


ChasingFreedom


Poem of the Day

The Emperor’s Garden

Once, in the sultry heat of Midsummer,
An Emperor caused the miniature mountains in his garden
To be covered with white silk,
That so crowned
They might cool his eyes
With the sparkle of snow.

Amy Lowell (1874-1925)