This year has been pretty strange so far. The world is a giant trash-fire, but there’s been great news for my friends in terms of their writing careers. It can be hard to reconcile the two things, holding sadness and joy in my heart at the same time, but I’m learning to just kind of roll with things.
I’m so incredibly excited for my writing friends. Two of them are self-publishing their work, and it’s awesome to see their stories out in the world. One just got published with a small press this past week. And two more have signed with agents. My heart is filled with pride for their successes, and I can’t wait to see more stories from them!
As for my writing… I’m still tootling along. I’m putting my writing career dreams on hold for a while, though, because I’ve decided to take the plunge back into academia. I was accepted into a PhD program which starts this fall, so while I’m planning on writing here and there, school will be my life for at least 4-5 years.
I have a goal to finish the novel I’m working on before heading off to school in ~3 months. Not sure if I’ll meet that goal, but we’ll see! Moving planning has been taking up a huge chunk of my time.
And next weekend, I’m off to a haunted weekend full of ghost hunting and metaphysical talks. I’m pretty excited about it!
So, lots of changes and exciting things coming up in the next few months. Life is funny because I never know what it’ll throw at me next.
A few weeks ago, I noticed that a woman I sometimes interacted with on Twitter had gone silent. I saw that her account was still up and thought maybe she was just taking a social media break. I looked forward to her return and thought nothing more of it. But I was wrong.
Julie Lonewolf, a delightful woman I enjoyed talking with, passed way from suicide last month. I learned this when her cousin took over her account. As devastating as her death is to me, I can only imagine how her family and friends feel.
What’s worse is that her death seemed to have been spurred on by harassment by certain people in the writing community. Julie’s cousin posted receipts of the harassment on a blog. You can find it here, but huge trigger warnings for racism, suicide, and bigotry. Please read with care.
Our community, the YA community, needs to stop accepting bullies. And I mean the actual bullies, not the victims defending themselves or calling out bad behavior. We need to stop rewarding problematic behavior. We need to stop allowing bigotry to flourish. We need to be better allies for our fellow writers of color. We need to stop allowing them to bear the brunt of the harassment because we white folk have the privilege to look away.
Because when we fail to do all of those things, the stakes are high.
Rest in peace, Julie. You are missed.
I tend to write here only when I have something to say and lately… that just hasn’t been the case.
But I’m still alive and kickin’ and hoping all of you are having less existential dread than I am.
On a personal level, life is good. I have two new projects going. One is a new book and the other is top secret for now. They’re both going swimmingly.
How is life for you?
I am proud of my country and Mexico for making a major step towards equality on Friday. It was an amazing feeling coming home from work to the news that same-sex marriage is now protected and recognized by federal law.
The fight for equality for everyone is far from over, but it feels good to celebrate this win right now.
So, I raise my glass to my LGTBQIA+ brothers and sisters and nonbinary folk who now have access to the same rights as those others have enjoyed. This is a step in the right direction!
Love is love. ❤