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January 23rd, 2019

05:42 pm: In which I am interviewed…

Me at tea last June, Picture by Virginia Johnson

I have been interviewed by a lovely lady, who asked intriguing questions. The interview was great fun and we talked about many writing topics and a few other things, too.

See the Interview here!

 

Originally posted to Welcome to Arhyalon. (link)

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December 15th, 2018

01:32 am: Pride Goeth Before the Mansplaining

We hear a great deal nowadays about outrage addiction, how Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sights, combined with fake news, fuel a wrath-based addiction in a large portion of the populace.

What we seldom address is that this faux outrage we are all indulging in is not true wrath. It is pride.

True wrath is when you hear something that truly strikes you to the core, you rush out, and, perhaps you do something stupid, on the spur of the moment—usually something you regret later.

Wrath is often like wine. It goes to your head, but you feel differently when you cool off afterward.

Pride-fueled anger is something quite different.

Pride-fueled anger often works like this. We see a thing. It doesn’t particular raise a reaction in us. We have the following thought: Oh, yeah! I can stick it to those jerks in the opposition if I rub this in their face. Makes them look like a hypocrite!

Then we get angry. Only our anger is really our pride goading us. Our words often speak of virtue and rightness, but our motives are bad.

Worse, while people on either side of a single issue might not see it, because they are both fueled by outrage, to those who step back and regard the situation calmly the pride and false anger is obvious.

In other words, everyone not sucked in knows our outrage is fake—that we are just puffing ourselves up.

Outrage addiction is feeding our pride, and it is growing into a monster.

I was thinking something similar today in regards to that word I dislike so much, “mansplaining.”

1)             Mansplaining is an ugly, unpleasant word.

2)         Women also do plenty of annoying things. It has taken us over fifty years to get men to overlook these things and treat us as equals. If we stop acting in a business-like fashion and start going after them, they will take their gloves off as well—and we will soon be back where we were fifty years ago.

3)         It is true that some man do the behavior that leads to this term out of arrogant pride—but usually, when I see this behavior, it is some gentleman who is not very good at social interaction trying to express something he cares or share something knows about.

And he doesn’t just do this to women. He talks this way to everyone.

What is the ideal reaction to someone under this last set of situations?

Going out on a limb here, I dare say that the answer is kindness.

In order to be offended by a man—or anyone—speaking in such a fashion, we, the woman listening, have to believe that his speech is attacking our pride.

That he is belittling us.

Otherwise, objections to mansplaining would not so often be accompanied by faux-style outrage.

If we do not see what the man is saying as an attack on our pride, we would not be bothered by it.

 We would either hold up our hand and kindly say, “I already know all about this. Thanks.”

Or we would listen and ask a few thoughtful questions in an effort to encourage the speaker to feel more at east with social interaction.

Because kindness.

One of my hobbies is reading Near Death Experiences (research for a future fantasy book). I have read hundreds, possibly thousands of such experiences.

I have read NDEs by atheists, Christians, Jews, and more. They all tend to have many elements in common.

One element often found is the Life Review. It works, according to these experiences as thus: The person sees their whole life flash before them. There are others there, but all the judging of whether it was good or bad is done by the individual themselves.

The thing they are judging—the thing they are looking for—is not how well they played the game of life or how far ahead they got in the world, but…how much love was expressed.

Just that. Whether or not they expressed self-less love.

Now, you may believe the reports of NDEs, or you may just consider them a kind of analogy about life. But either way…

Every time we interact with others, we are being given an opportunity to love, an opportunity to treat others with thoughtfulness and kindness.

When we accept this opportunity, we win.

When we fail to accept it, we lose.

No matter how much we may seem to win in the short term, we lose in the long term. Both us and everyone around us.

Do some people talk down to us because they are arrogant idiots?

Yes.

Should this excuse us being arrogant in return?

No.

Not if you believe in Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Worse, those men who actually are arrogant, who actually do despise women, are going to keep on despising them.

The men who rush around trying not to “mansplain” are the ones who either were not arrogant to begin with or who have another less admirable motive for trying to please the ladies.

So next time you feel someone is explaining something you don’t need to hear, don’t call him names. Just gently find a way to let him know…or, if he needs the support, just listen and thank him—even if you already knew.

Because when we women let pride overcome our reason, we come over as…

Let’s just say that there are A LOT of words for what women are like when they do unpleasant things, and we don’t need to be using those either.

 

Originally posted to Welcome to Arhyalon. (link)

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November 20th, 2018

01:02 am: Superversive Press presents: Starquest!

Visit the Starquest Indiegogo 

About a year ago, on a car trip, my sons started talking about what they would have done for Star Wars episode 7, 8, and 9. They had some good ideas! I wrote them up into an outline, and John took the first third of the outline and turned it into his now famous post:

"Review of the Movie We've All Been Waiting For"

Starquest is that story–expanded–and put into a new background with space pirates, alien races galore and yet, you guessed it, space princesses. The first series will be written by John, but Superversive Press hopes to be able to publish Starquest books by other authors as well and a few are already interested.

You can see the Indigogo campaign here–click on each perk to see what it includes.

Here is the excerpt of Episode One (the first book):

STARQUEST is a space opera extravaganza to be published by Superversive Press.  The first series will be by author John. C. Wright. If all goes as planned, other authors shall join him soon.

The working title for the first episode is THE PHANTOM PRIVATEER VERSUS SPACE PIRATES OF ANDROMEDA. That title should tell you what we have in mind.

In PHANTOM PRIVATEER, Lancelot Lone of Star Patrol must infiltrate and destroy the Space Pirates of Andromeda, before their chief, Captain Ahab of Nastrond, obliterates the peaceful planets of the Miaplacidus star system, using an ultimate terror weapon known as the Blood Moon.

Lone is captured, tortured, and is left for dead, but escapes due to a miracle, or, rather, due to an ancient legend come to life again. Star Maiden Lirazel — one of the disciples of mysteriously missing Jaywind Starquest, the last Templar of the Galaxy — uses her mysterious power to save him.

Lance, now thought dead, dons the Infinity Mask, an ancient artifact of a long dead race, and assumes the disguise of his remote ancestor, the first pirate hunter, a nameless figure known only as the Phantom Privateer, to renew his remorseless war against Ahab and his bloodthirsty space buccaneers!

Meanwhile, Lirazel, outcast student of the Arcadian Order of psychics of hidden planet Mira, defies her superiors and seeks through the stars for clues to the horror that obliterated her homeworld. Believed by no one, Lyra is alone, save for an unseen spymaster called Shadow Fox. Is her quest the same as his? The pair form an unlikely alliance.

The sinister forces behind the pirates Lance hunts, funding them and supplying them with black tech, are already weaving other webs to snare our gallant heroes  – in Andromeda, things are rarely what they seem — but thrilling future sequels will tell those tales.

Comments

Originally posted to Welcome to Arhyalon. (link)

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October 21st, 2018

04:47 pm: Two Opportunities for Free Stuff!

We have two giveaway opportunities at the moment. Enjoy them and feel free to share them with friends!

The first one is Silver Empire's Narnia Giveaway. This one collects emails that will be used for, among other things, Superversive Press's mailing list–in return for a chance to win some cool Narnia gifts!

Check out the Narnia Giveaway for more information!

The second one is Fall into YA — an opportunity to download 65 free YA fantasy books and samples from Book Funnel. (My novel, The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin, is one of the books featured.)

See the Fall Into YA promotion on Book Funnel.

Comments 

Originally posted to Welcome to Arhyalon. (link)

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October 5th, 2018

09:38 am: Guinea Pig Writers Needed!

The Art and Craft of Writing

a Superversive Writing Class

 

For some time, Superversive Press has been talking about putting out a writing course–a series of videos or podcasts. This class would be based on my Writing Tips, my The Three Things I Tell Everyone–my collected information gathered from my years as a professional editor, and on The Art and Craft of Writing, a class I taught last fall.

However, before we can do this, I have to put words on (electronic) paper and figure out what it is that we want to say in each class.

To encourage myself to do this, I am thinking of offering a writing course this November. The course would be specifically tailored to help people doing NANOWRIMO or revising a Work In Progress. The details are as follows.

When: Month of November

Subjects to include:

Description, Mood, Genre, Setting
Adding senses
Backstory vs. Revelation
Adding Exposition

Plot we’ve got, quite a lot
Strong openings
Two Strings
The Trick
Payload

Writing Three Dimensional Characters
Dynamic Characters
Goals and Motivation
The Foil

Heart and Soul – adding emotion
Interior dialogue
“Pink” passages

Cost: $25

This class will be a text-based class with simple exercises designed to help improve style, characters, plot and more. 

Slots will be filled on a first come, first served basis.

Comments

 

 

 

Originally posted to Welcome to Arhyalon. (link)

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August 29th, 2018

01:12 pm: DragonCon Sale!

In honor of DragonCon, the Books of Unexpected Enlightenment are all on sale:

Free on Friday, August 31st and Saturday September 1st:

On sale Thursday, August 30th to Tuesday September 3d

(Book Three is on sale in the UK as well)

Originally posted to Welcome to Arhyalon. (link)

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July 20th, 2018

11:01 am: Can We Pray About the Weather

I have an article in the Journal this month (writing as LJ Wright).  Enjoy!

 

Can we pray about the weather?

By L. J. Wright

From the July 2018 issue of The Christian Science Journal


“I don’t even know how to pray about that!” a friend complained recently when discussing a current world issue. “How could my prayer affect something so … big?”

I had to smile, because I remembered a time when I would have given the same answer: Pray about world peace, world hunger, an epidemic, troubling weather patterns? What would be the point? Things like that don’t change. Even if they did, how would I ever discover that my prayers had done any good?

As I’ve persisted in my study of Christian Science, however, I’ve realized more and more that we can pray about larger issues, and, more importantly, we can reasonably expect results. I have learned that I can and should pray about many of the larger issues of today. While I do not always receive a confirmation of the efficacy of my prayers, at times I have seen evidence of God’s grace in action.

One of the issues many people are concerned about today is the weather. Mary Baker Eddy felt strongly that Christian Scientists should pray about the weather, and some reminiscences by her household workers tell what she said about how to handle the weather through Christian Science. For example, she is recorded as once saying, “The weather expresses our concept of it and can be handled as any claim if you do not hold it as something apart from you, governed by some other power or almanac. God governs all. This is the way Jesus stilled the tempest” (We Knew Mary Baker Eddy, Expanded Edition, Volume II, p. 287). Among these reminiscences are also testimonies of storms being dispelled by Mrs. Eddy’s prayers (see, for example, We Knew Mary Baker Eddy, Expanded Edition, Volume II, pp. 213–215). 

I love praying about the weather. I often pray for a sense of harmony between man and nature. I reason that “God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). Therefore, nothing can exist that is harmful or inharmonious. This means the weather must be in harmony with the needs of nature and also with humanity. One cannot be left out to favor the other.

Read the rest…

Originally posted to Welcome to Arhyalon. (link)

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June 28th, 2018

06:01 pm: LibertyCon, Here We Come!

John and I will be at Liberty Con in Chattanooga this weekend. In honor of this, all my books are on sale:

Free 

(June 29th to July 1st)

$1.99  

$2.99

$3.99

Comments

Originally posted to Welcome to Arhyalon. (link)

June 26th, 2018

11:36 pm: Of Mice and Men Without Chests

I am posting here an article from another site that is on a common theme with my article The Goals of the Superversive

Of Mice and Men Without Chests

By ANNA GITHENS

At first glance one might surmise that the title of this article alludes to the characters in John Steinbeck’s classic. Truthfully, while reading Of Mice and Men I grew to like the characters and found myself empathizing with some of their hardships. A good author is able to pull his readers into the world of his characters. While C.S. Lewis’s metaphor “men without chests” could be ascribed to the characters in Of Mice and Men, a more critical concern at hand is the impression the novel has made on young readers for more than a half-century. What has been their take-away? How has this short, yet harrowing, novella affected the hearts and minds of readers and our overall culture? Why does it continue to be one of the most popular required reading selections in middle schools and high schools across America?

In case you are not familiar with Of Mice and Men the story concludes with an act that has been described as “mercy killing.” One of the main characters, Lennie, a mentally disabled man who is like a big, clumsy, guileless teddy bear unaware of his own physical strength, accidentally breaks the neck of a young woman—who happens to be his boss’s daughter-in-law—on the ranch where he is living and working. George, Lennie’s closest friend and caretaker, finds the body and after some deliberation with his friend Candy, decides to shoot Lennie in the back of the head since the deceased woman’s husband and other men were coming to kill him. What’s also implied is that George wished to spare him from what he feared would be either a brutal death or a life of imprisonment and suffering.

I do not wish to presume Mr. Steinbeck’s intentions when he penned Of Mice and Men. The purpose of this article is not to focus on the author or characters in his novel per se, but on the culture we have created, which has ensued, in large part, from what we put into our minds.

St. John Paul II’s 1995 Encyclical Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life) warns of an emerging culture “actively fostered by powerful cultural, economic and political currents which encourage an idea of society excessively concerned with efficiency.” He alerts us further to “a culture which denies solidarity and in many cases takes the form of a veritable ‘culture of death.’” In Pope Francis’s recent apostolic exhortation, Gaudete et exsultate (Rejoice and be glad) he expresses grave concern for “the vulnerable infirm and elderly exposed to covert euthanasia” and “the dignity of a human life, which is always sacred and demands love for each person, regardless of his or her stage of development.”

Presently, 68 percent of Americans believe in physician-assisted suicide (up 10 percentage points from last year), now legal in seven states. The Down Syndrome abortion rate has increased to over 90 percent in Iceland, Denmark, and Australia, prompting Special Olympian Frank Stephens to speak out in defense of his life. Interesting that the character Lennie in Of Mice and Men was mentally and physically challenged.

Recently little Alfie Evans lost the battle for his life since the British High Court ruled he should be taken off life support. Despite the fact that he was granted Italian citizenship and offered treatment at Vatican-owned Bambino Gesu Pediatric Hospital, the judge ruled, “this would not be in his best interest.”

Perhaps some responsibility for our culture of death lies not only in our selection of literature but also in how less-than-ideal literature (or what many consider to be less-than-ideal) is taught. A book that appears to oppose meritorious ideals can also be used to champion them. There is a flip side to every story. For example, a teacher could pose the following questions to her students:

  • What would be your ideal ending to Of Mice and Men?
  • Do you think George did the right thing? Why or why not?
  • What if the authorities saw that Lennie had a mental illness and they understood he was not entirely at fault?
  • What if George was able to defend Lennie and got him the help he needed?

When you take someone’s fate into your own hands you are haunted by the “what ifs” for the rest of your life. It’s doubtful that the modern day teacher would be so inclined to seize such an ideal opportunity to open up a discussion on morality. Her potential loss of a job in this politically correct climate in our schools precludes her from doing so. Nevertheless, questions should be presented to encourage students to think outside the box of secular relativism and venture into the infinite beyond.

Read more…

 

Originally posted to Welcome to Arhyalon. (link)

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May 22nd, 2018

08:56 am: Twilight Giveaway

Hello all,

I ams participating in a mailing list builder with the excellent small press, Silver Empire. This includes a giveaway package of cool Twilight bling for one lucky winner. 

Win! $200.00 in Twilight goodies!

 

One Lucky Winner!

Prizes include:

Twilight Forever: The Complete Saga [Blu-ray + Digital], The Twilight Saga White Collection, TEAM EDWARD Except when Jacob is Shirtless on Adult & Youth Cotton T-Shirt , The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide, Twilight "Eclipse" Bellas Engagement Ring Prop Replica, CafePress – Mrs. Cullen Mug – Unique Coffee Mug, Coffee Cup, New Moon: The Graphic Novel, Vol. 1 (The Twilight Saga), Twilight: The Graphic Novel Collector's Edition (The Twilight Saga), Twilight Movie Poster w/Bella & Edward 24 X 36 Poster Print, Barbie Collector The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II Bella Doll

(Editions may not be the exact ones pictured.)

Prizes awarded: May 31, 2018 12:00 a.m. CDT

How do I participate?

It's simple. Sign up for our mailing lists.

Click the link:  https://silverempire.org/giveaways/twilight/

We don´t sell/share your data. You can unsubscribe to the individual lists as soon as the giveaway is over, but we hope you will stick around.

 

#Win the Ultimate
#Twilight Prize Pack!
#AmReading
#Giveaway

 

 

Originally posted to Welcome to Arhyalon. (link)

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