To the left

For me, this election has been very revealing and helpful. Here are some jumbled thoughts I wanted to share.

For starters, I’ve come across many new leftists whose work I’ve started following. I found most of them on twitter – it’s a useful medium if used correctly, I swear!

I’ve also largely given up on the Democratic party. I can no longer support a party that is so wedded to the very institutions that oppress us. I’ve been a D-voting independent since I turned 18, but voting blue gets harder and harder every election.

I’ve supported Sanders, and even though the primary has been over for a while now (realistically, anyway), I’m grateful he continues to run. He’s hardly a radical and is not without fault, especially on foreign policy (he voted against the Iraq war, but in support of a number of other military actions), but he is the best major democratic candidate in a long time, and the party would do well to follow his lead.

One thing about the Sanders campaign that has not been adequately covered by the pundit class is how young and diverse it is. People have focused so much on those pesky Bernie Bros that they fail to see that the Sanders/Clinton divide in this primary has been generational. Young people support Sanders, older voters go for Clinton. Please do not erase minorities from the Sanders coalition.

The older I get, the more of a leftist I become, and the more reluctant I am to claim the “liberal/progressive” label. I’ve been on the socialist end of the political spectrum for years now, and this election season has only pushed me further to the left. It’s not a bad place to be, really.

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Learning to play the guitar

For years now, one of my life goals has been to learn to play the guitar. It’s my favorite instrument to listen to, regardless of genre – ranchera, metal, acoustic, classical, etc.

Some years back I bought one of those “starter packs” that come with the guitar, a little amp, and some accessories. It was a right-handed guitar. I was worried that there were not enough lessons and tips for left-handed guitarists (which there aren’t, sadly) online, so I decided to try to play as a righty.

It didn’t work out so well. My hands never felt comfortable and it was a frustrating experience. So then I decided to play the guitar as a lefty – by turning the guitar upside down and changing the strings. This was much better, and I made some progress with the basics.

I drifted away from the guitar after a while, though. If I’m being honest, it was because I’m comically impatient and I didn’t feel I was making enough progress.

But now I’m back at it again, and this time my commitment is solid. I decided to go with an acoustic guitar, so I checked online and found myself a cheap yet solid left-handed acoustic. It feels very natural in my hands and I can’t wait to get started learning.

This time it’s gonna happen!

 

Racists for Trump

I got a chuckle out of a recent SNL skit lambasting Trump’s racist voters. The skit is accurate and rather tame, really, but it’s bold and edgy by the show’s standards. It’s a good sign that they are now willing to point out and mock the hate and absurdity that comes from Trump and his supporters. Still doesn’t excuse them inviting Trump to host the show last year, though. Much of the blame for Trump’s rise can be put squarely on the media’s shoulders. In their fevered chase for ratings, they’ve given a platform to some of the most hateful and damaging elements of America.

Reading the Canon

 

As I was reading Vonnegut’s Hocus Pocus last year, one thing that soon became clear was that I did not enjoy writing the recaps. I would be reading the book and instead of really enjoying it I would be thinking stuff like, how am I going to describe this particular scene on the blog? What do I say about this character? It quickly became more of a tedious chore than anything else, so much so that I finished the book but never bothered finishing recapping it (by the way, I do recommend¬†Hocus Pocus).

So from now on, the plan is to enjoy the books first, then write a simple, concise summary.

 

 

Just write, man

It has been almost a year since I’ve last posted anything. The reasons are numerous, yet ultimately not important. What is important is that I am once again ready to get serious about my writing.

In the coming days, weeks, and months, I plan on making steady progress on my fantasy fiction. There are also plenty of topics I want to write about. One good thing about my extended hiatus is that I have plenty of ideas swirling around. Now I just need to get them out.

 

Short story rejections in 2015: One

The story I submitted to SFF mag Strange Horizons was rejected a while back. It was my first rejection of the year (and first ever, really). It was not surprising; I like the premise but the story was simply not ready and I feel I rushed things. I’m going to work on it and then submit it elsewhere.

I also submitted a poem to Guernica. I’m proud of the way it turned out, but I know the odds it of getting accepted are slim.

And while I’m on the subject of fiction submissions, I have to say: I wish it didn’t take so long to have your work accepted or rejected. I understand this is selfish, and I understand that lit mags are drowning in submissions and are doing the best they can. It’s just…having to wait weeks (or often, months!) to learn of your story’s fate is a huge pain. For that reason, I’m planning on only submitting my stories to places with relatively quick response times.

<Insert comment about impatient millennials wanting everything right away>