Writing, publishing, geekdom, and errata.

Your silence gives Nazis and other extremists strength

I've seen a number of people post both that if you don't disavow Nazis then you must be supporting them ...and I've also seen people say that not supporting Nazis that it is the assumed default, and that you don't need to post about it.

Both are true. 

First, social media is not life. I am pretty active on social media and there have been entire controversies that I have missed or not commented upon.

Sometimes that's because other people have already said what I would have (and frequently done so more eloquently than I), sometimes that's because I'm simply too busy with my real life to comment on social media.

So I am not going to presume that people who don't explicitly say so must be supporting Nazis.

At the same time, we cannot assume that silence means disapproval of Nazis - and we definitely cannot assume that silence does not empower Nazis.

Those who are silent very well might disapprove of Nazis (though many of us have had nasty surprises last weekend).  More importantly, there are plenty of studies, from people who researched extremist groups like these for decades, that show that extremists believe that silence is approval. Extremists like Nazis and the KKK assume that not speaking up against them means that you are just quietly supporting them.

So I exhort you to say something. In real life. On social media. Whenever and wherever the opportunity arises.

They draw strength from your silence.

Because while I and your friends and family may know that you would never support Nazis, they are assuming that you do.

Nazis are nazis, no matter how they brand themselves.

You are either against Nazis or you support them.  They do not allow a middle ground.

A few relevant notes:

From Patrick Tomlinson (on Twitter, lost the link):

"Because there's some confusion, fighting for civil rights, and fighting for genocide, are not morally or ethically equivalent positions."

Trump wanted (wants?) to focus counter-terrorism solely on Islam.

This isn't just about race. As Patrick Tomlinson articulately said about the Daily Stormer article about Heather Heyer ( link, triggering):

Nazism isn't just about racism. It is also deeply misogynistic. It is about not just preserving white power, but male domination.

Just look at how these troglodytes talk about an innocent woman MURDERED by one of their number. Look at how they reduce her value to nothing more than the productivity of her womb. How they call her a slut for engaging in the simple joy of human sexuality while they themselves preen about their ficticious "conquests." Look at how they reduce her deliberate, calculated assassination by their compatriot to a mere "road rage" incident as if she'd refused to let him merge instead of being run down in a crowded street while on foot.

Look these people, in the face. See what they really are.

This is not a somewhere else problem. These are people who live among the rest of us. The scum who killed Heather Heyer is from Ohio. The author of that article is in Columbus. Two others photographed there are from Centerville, just down the road from me.

They live in your town.

While the ones photographed in Charlottesville are being identified, there are others who weren't there.

They might be quieter. They might offer false equivalencies or excuses.

But it is simple.

You are against Nazis - no matter how they rebrand themselves - or you are for them.


Several of us have started our own, self-hosted, flash fiction challenge over at a website we're calling Obsidian Flash.  It's on a forum behind a password, so that anything you write and submit is considered unpublished.  Registration is quick, free, and pretty painless.

Seriously, this thing is the perfect thing for you to do if you think writing is hard (or finding time for writing is hard), and especially if you haven't been writing for a while:

1. Challenges like this are great for stimulating creativity.
2. You're supposed to write for an hour (ish); you can make that time.
3. You don't have the time to critique yourself.
4. You'll get helpful feedback from published authors and editors like myself, Donna Munro, Anton Cancre, and more.
5. We are friendly, despite all appearances to the contrary. 

The next challenge is scheduled for THIS weekend.  The prompt will go up this Friday (THAT'S TODAY, FOLKS) at 8pm EST.  Author, and editor Sarah Hans is our flashmaster!

Go sign up now at and we'll see you writing this weekend!

Here are the rules:

1. All stories should be complete, written and posted within 24 hours of the prompt being posted, and can be anywhere from one sentence to 1,000 words in length.  Typically the prompt is posted by 8pm EST on Friday, and stories are posted by 8pm EST on Saturday.

2. You may choose to write your story in any genre.

3. Your story must be built around the restrictions—words, themes, photo prompts, word limits, etc.—provided by the Flashmaster at the beginning of the challenge.

4. Once the participants’ work is posted, the voting and comment session begins and continues until all votes are in. Time limit for voting will be determined on the spot, depending on how many people finish the challenge.  Typically this is within 24 hours of the end of the writing portion, or 8pm EST on Sunday.

5. The winner becomes Flashmaster and chooses the prompt(s) for the next contest.  Also, you get all the Internet Bragging Points you think you can get away with.

Don't wait - get going and register at right now and join us!

Seeing red flags on reality TV in real time #BB19

My amour has gotten me into Big Brother; and in this case, I'm particularly glad.

You don't need to know much about the show - other than that people get "evicted" after being nominated - in terms of setup for these two clips.  You absolutely need to know that Jessica and Cody (you'll know who they are right damn quick) formed a relationship early on this season.  They were both put up for eviction ("on the block") this week, and then Paul - the guy who put them up for eviction - tried to have a conversation with them.

If you can't watch the video, Cody totally got aggressive with Paul, far out of proportion to anything else that was going on. And then something ... interesting ... happened.

Jessica called Cody out on being overly aggressive.  She tried to lay out that his aggressive response not only messed up the work she'd done in the game, but also would be something she simply could not tolerate in the real world (they'd previously discussed dating after the show was over).

Cody's response:  Silence and a total lack of reaction, until he started to say how he wasn't good enough and couldn't say the right thing.  A total pity play.

This is required viewing for seeing a red flag being thrown in real-time, in real life (and just happening to be televised).  Cody never actually answers Jessica's concerns about his behavior, instead redirecting the entire conversation to be about how sad he is and trying to elicit her sympathy.

As two folks on Twitter put it:

It's a decision: Your life and health means less than profit statements

My amour has a prescription jumping from $40/month to $130/month... making the third maintenance medication that she's on that's in that range.

A friend of mine has a generic version of the maintenance medication she's on jumping to $450/month.

Neither is referring to a particularly obscure or new medication.

Both of them are citing prices with insurance.

They aren't the only people I know who have this problem. Not by a long shot.

When I see my friends and loved ones share this information on social media, there's usually two types of replies that show up.

The first suggests workarounds:  physician samples, discount cards, and ways to somehow make things work.

The second is purely sympathetic, for example:  "I'm sorry that's going on."

Both types of replies miss the point. 

They mean well, but still, they miss the point.

Because this is not a "situation".  This is not some act of God, some natural phenomenon.


This is deliberate.  Each and every instance of the price of your medication skyrocketing, every time you're told you can't have the medication that actually works for you, it was designed and crafted by other people.

They try to hide behind charts and graphs.  They try to hide behind the names of corporations and closed board meetings and excuses about shareholders and profit statements.

But someone decided.

Someone - let's say a group of someones, even a whole damn corporation of someones - decided that you shouldn't be able to afford the medications you need to keep yourself healthy.  That you shouldn't even be able to get the medications you need to keep yourself healthy.

They decided your life, your health, was less important than making a bigger profit.

Maybe it's not hit you yet.  Maybe it's affected just a friend, or a loved one.  But sooner or later, all of us are going to be affected by this.

Sooner or later, all of us will discover that to them, our life is less important than a hedge fund making a couple extra bucks in dividends.

Are you angry yet?


Angry gets shit done.