education

Political Writings: Boycott Indiana!

I’ll keep this shorter and sweeter than most of my (sparse) political ramblings.

Governor Mike Pence of Indiana and all of the close-minded, right-wing members of the Indiana legislative houses who made the Religious Freedom Restoration Act become law, you guys can go straight to Hell.  Oh, wait, I don’t need to say that, because your bigoted actions have already written you a one way ticket there.  Isn’t it great when my job gets done for me?

In an actual constructive aspect of this, let me say that, while not very impactful as I am one man, I will have nothing to do with any business that supports or enforces this law.  I would encourage everyone else, especially if they actually live in Indiana, to do the same.

The one positive take-away from the immediate aftermath of this horrible, despicable Act is that it is heartening to see such a full-spectrum backlash against it.  Hopefully, it will make the forces that enacted this law be wary not to try it anywhere else … though I understand similar legislation is being considered in a dozen other states.  Do your research, friends, see if this is being brought up in your state’s legislative bodies.  If it is, make your voice known.  Maybe the next one will be dead on arrival.

So, to sum up:

  1. Go to Hell, Mike Pence and friends.
  2. Boycott Indiana businesses and groups that support these small-minded wretches.
  3. Find out if they are trying this in your own neck of the woods.
  4. Spread the word and fight back.
Advertisements

Writing Is A Bad Habit: Entertainment and Fiction, Siamese Twins?

My current Starving Review book is a long one and, while I intend to get a review up tomorrow, I can make no guarantees.  In the meantime, let me regale you with a little bit of thinking I had over the past week.

What is the purpose of fiction?  At its core, what is fiction ‘about’?  What is the common thread that all fiction should share, do you think?

I can only speak for my interpretation, but I would propose to you that the core purpose, beyond any and all other things, of fiction is to entertain.

That isn’t the *only* thing a work of fiction can do, naturally.  A good piece of fiction entertains, educates, enlightens, and many other words that start with ‘e’.  However, and consider this carefully, why would you read a work of fiction if it didn’t also entertain you?  If you aren’t also seeking entertainment, be it fun, thrills, comedy, mystery, drama, or a million other ways to find enjoyment, why are you picking up fiction?

Surely, if one wants pure education, spiritual enlightenment, or religious insight, wouldn’t that one be better served going straight to the factual or philosophical sources?  Yes, I am taking the stance that religious texts are not ‘fiction’.  They are very real for those of their faiths.  Yes, I know that often stories and small pieces of fiction are often included in many otherwise ‘non-fiction’ works.  However, those small fictional bits are not your draw.  You don’t read a math book for the intriguing word problems, right?

By that line of thought, then, why write a piece of fiction unless you fully embrace the need to entertain?  I have read pieces that overwhelm the actual fictional story with heavy-handed philosophy or political subtext or historical arguments, forgetting that crucial need to entertain first.  It’s really annoying as I have also read fantastic, fun volumes that, while fictional, also deliver deep, meaningful insights and themes ALONG WITH their entertainment.  It can be done!

If you ignore that need to entertain first, what most often results is the people you really want to reach with your message never get it.  They never get far enough in the book to absorb it.  They simply give it up, writing off your work as heavy-handed and overly preachy.  If you do remember to properly weave your themes along with an entertaining yarn, however, you can have the world eating out of your hand and learning a bit in the process.

Until next time, good luck and good writing!