I've been writing a bit about race and racism lately, but one thing I haven't mentioned is how this could influence a novel. And, since my blog is primarily about writing, I figured it's something worth discussing. Many people feel that they need a racially diverse cast of characters to reach the modern reading audience. … Continue reading Does it matter if your novel is “Multicultural”?
I realized that I've been looking at racism a lot from an artistic and a personal viewpoint. But this doesn't always cover all there is to be said, so I wanted to look at it more philosophically. In the light of all that is going on in our country, there are many questions we have … Continue reading Affirmative Action and Our Hearts
I grew up watching LeVar Burton in "Reading Rainbow" and later, in "Star Trek" alongside Whoopi Goldberg and Michael Dorn. Skin color was about "significant" as pointed ears or angled eyebrows; it might set you apart and make you more interesting than the rest of the population, but nothing more. And I thought racism was dead. … Continue reading The Year I Learned What Hate Was
In the aftermath There is silence More tears than words. What can I say? What do I know? Never should this be Never again Never And yet it repeats Another city Another death. Murder dresses as self-defense And though we mourn And press all the right buttons, Like all the right pages, Do we … Continue reading Black Lives…We Need You
On occasion, I run into books that aren't novels. They may be clever, well-written, or even interesting, but they don't fit the category of being "fiction," in the novel sense of the term. So I wanted to discuss three things that make up a Not-a-Novel. The Focus: The whole point in a novel is to … Continue reading Are You Writing a Not-A-Novel?
I never felt That my life mattered more Or that I was better than you. When I met you, I didn't feel pride or anger, Disdain or contempt. I was mostly...just curious. And I still want to understand How you see the world, What ways we are different And yet the same. But lately, voices … Continue reading Do You See Hate in Shades of White?
I recently came across an ad that showed a picture of a young woman, a celebrity, I suppose, though I’d never heard of her, and the caption read that so-and-so was half black. And I wondered, why was this was supposed to be so interesting? If race really doesn’t matter—if skin color is supposed to … Continue reading Off to the Races
When I was in college, I began the first book of my sci-fi fantasy series; at the same time, one of my professors was in the middle of writing her own novel. With her background in cross-cultural studies, though, her characters represented a very different demographic than mine, and it worried me. I wasn’t trying … Continue reading Writing the World as You Know It