Magick for Terri

This blog is mainly just serving as a website for my work at the moment, and any big updates on what’s happening in my writing life, as I rarely have time to keep it as a personal blog any longer.  Here’s one of those big updates I just mentioned though.  Not for myself, but for someone else very special in my writing life.

Right now, there’s a fundraiser for Terri Windling, who’s undergoing health and financial problems at the moment.  For those not in the know, Terri is one of the most influential and generous editors/artists/writers in the field of fantasy fiction, starting in the late 70s and 80s, when she introduced the concept of contemporary/urban fantasy, which is now ever so popular.  She was the woman who made it happen.

She also selected my first professionally published story, “Plenty”, for the Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror back in 2000, and has been a champion of my work ever since.  I’m donating a manuscript critique (short story or first 40 pages of a novel) to the auction to raise funds to help her in this time of need.

The auction holds tons of treasures you should check out.  Stuff from Kelly Link, Catherynne Valente, Elizabeth Hand, Nalo Hopkinson, Cassandra Clare, Holly Black, Cherie Priest, Charles Vess, and many more folks who want to help Terri.

Please check it out by clicking here to go to the auction site.  The spotlighted auction items are listed on the left sidebar, but there are other items up for grabs in the feed for the site, so do forget to peruse the posted items in the center of the page either.

Let’s make some magic happen.

Thanks (and more from me in a couple of weeks when the fall semester is over),


When we are like Anne

“Despite everything, I believe people are good at heart.”

I’m so glad Anne Frank could believe this.  It’s a testament to her own goodness.  It is not a testament to human nature itself, though.  It tells us more about Anne than it does about ourselves.

I don’t believe it.  I don’t attribute my disbelief to my own goodness, but to what I have seen of humanity, including what was going on around Anne, after the fact, and would like to say, You know what?  People are still very eager to do away with other people who are not like them.

Anne, you are a beautiful star.

But people? In general?  They are not.

When we are exceptional, when we see those unlike us as ourselves, despite our differences, THEN we are as beautiful as Anne.

When we are unable to do that?  We are ugly, inhumane, and disturbing.

I speak about this in relationship to the writing of fiction.  Is it worthwhile to speak of that which is good about us?

It is.

But there is a stronger push against, a resistance, to writers who speak about our ugliness, that which is disgusting in human nature.  And the more we resist it, the more I wish to represent our ugliness.

It should not be forgotten.

It should be the thing about which we are most uncomfortable.

It should be the thing we talk about more than anything.

Until we have done away with it.

Then, let us speak of our goodness, as Anne would.  But when our goodness has been won, an earned virtue.

Okay, we can speak  of our goodness, which we would not want to lose.

But not at the expense of acknowledging that which comprises our darkness.

Otherwise, we are living within an ideal, what we would like to think about ourselves, not about reality.

And even when we write fantasy, we should be speaking to reality.  The reality of the story.

Otherwise, we are making ourselves feel good about ourselves without reason.

Earn it.

That’s all.

Earn it.


Author Nicola Griffith has blogged a call to action, which you can find here, in regards to a woman dying in the hospital whose same sex partner and children were not allowed by law to see her or receive any updates on her condition.  The hospital was later sued and the state awarded the hospital the win.  Complete insanity, complete and utter discrimination, all made somehow legal.  A woman died alone without the ability to see her loved ones, her children, because she was a lesbian.  That’s it, that’s all.

As another writer, Jeffrey Ford, states in his blog, “I’m sure many of those enforcing this law think themselves “good Christians,” but that’s the problem with too many Christians these days — they know all the dogma but forget about Christ’s most important message — Compassion.  There were also those involved, no doubt, who let the stupid Law grind itself out because they couldn’t think through to the point of how heinous it is.  I didn’t see anything about this case on the news — just endless stories about the publicity stunt with the kid in the UFO.  Sometimes I just get disgusted with America.  The open and government sanctioned persecution of gays in our culture shows us at our absolute worst.  Here we are in the 21st century and this situation, instead of getting better, is a Civil Rights crisis.”

Go read Nicola’s blog first, then blog about this crime yourself.  Yes, that’s what it is:  a criminal act justified as legal by an unfair, discriminatory legal system.