A Thought Too Long For Twitter

I know the Florida cops seem a bit sketchy in the Trayvon Martin case, but I gotta say – between Spike Lee exhorting his Twitter-followers to go harass the wrong Zimmerman, forcing an elderly couple to move, and a bunch of racist assholes hacking Trayvon’s email address (and changing the default passwords to the charming “niggerniggernigger”), it seems that the private methodologies aren’t any better.
Look, I don’t know what happened between Trayvon and Zimmerman.  I’m watching the news, but the news is frequently fucked and often provides the wrong evidence – those of you too young to remember the OJ Simpson case as it went to trial won’t remember the tons of “breaking news!” that turned out to be absolutely false, and that was in the days before Twitter gave rumors lightning-speed.
Now, I have my suspicions about what happened, but that’s why I want a full court investigation.  With due process.  And lawyers reading all the evidence in to be debated by professionals.  And procedures to make sure that fairness on all sides is mandated.  I don’t necessarily trust myself to be fair and objective.
This is why there are courts.  In the aftermath of a murder, there’s going to be emotions spilling out on all sides, both on the side of the murdered and the person accused of murder.  And just as I want Texas to grant the benefit of the doubt to its death row cases, I want the benefit of the doubt to go to George Zimmerman.  Specifically because I do believe he’s guilty, and I don’t necessarily trust that a bunch of long-distance reporting will get me the information I need to determine what really happened (or at least not enough to feel comfortable making calls that will affect the rest of his life).
This is why we have all the systems in place to force an objective look at it.  Because as humans, we’re all flawed.  Hopefully, between the existing rules and enough public outcry, something resembling justice will happen.  It often does.

A Year Deep In Kink: A Semi-Retrospective

So I started doing my “sex blogging” over on FetLife (theFacebookOfKinksters) about a year ago, when I started exploring some of the dominant sides of my sexuality.  Which, despite Fet’s often-depressing adherence to “traditional” sexual roles (OH GOD HOW MANY LEATHERY MASTERS AND WAIFY SUBS DO WE NEED?), has turned out to be a good idea.  I’ve made some nice friends there, and gotten some really useful advice when exploring some delicate stuff that I’m not ashamed of but don’t want to throw out to the world without an invite.
(There’s a fuzzy line between “being dominant with female partners” and “being a misogynist asshole” that’s often entirely based on context between a partner who’s agreed to things, and this blog is often very context-free.)
That said, I wrote somewhat of a retrospective today called “The Once and Always Vanilla,” where I discuss the changes that have been wrought in my life over the past year, and where I may (or may not) be going, and how I may still have the label “Vanilla” on Fet.

“You are so not vanilla any more.”
It’s been about a year since I set out on my exploration of BDSM, and my whole life has shifted to fit that. Even my “vanilla” sex now has overtones of kink to it – more hair-pulling, slapping, a bit of brutality in the softest of places….

If you’re interested, get an account and check it out.  And if not, pass on.  Not everyone wants to know what I do behind closed doors… but I can crack ’em a bit for those who want to watch.  (In case you’re interested, I also wrote up some erotica, some essays on fire play, and a few others that I didn’t link to, but they are still there.)

The Bat-Signal

Okay. So apparently, Gotham City has a big ol’ spotlight with a bat in it that they turn on when they need Batman.  Cool.  I get that.
What do they do if there’s trouble during the day?
I mean, clearly they don’t have some other means to contact Batman, like a drop-off cell phone or something, because if they did then clearly they’d just use that and not tell everyone in Gotham where Batman was going to be in twenty minutes.  Because if I was a criminal, I’d just line that rooftop with explosives and then burn it when Batman showed up.  So clearly, this is their best bet for getting Batman to come to them, and they accept the risks of, say, Deadshot the Sniper showing up every time they activate this big glowing “BATS IS HERE” bulb.
So that means that for twelve hours of the day, and on cloudless nights, the cops have zero way of contacting Batman.  This seems like a pretty obvious workaround for criminals.  Just plan your crime at noon, and you have a nice solid eight-hour window to escape.  Assuming you have to commit your crime in Gotham at all, of course, it’s the one town with Batman, you couldn’t go to Pittsburgh or Cleveland or some other Batman-free zone to do your dirty work?  But hey, just work your dastardry while the sun’s out and Batman – who, apparently, is so disdainful of police radios that he requires a huge fucking night-light before he deigns to show up – will stay in hibernation.
You know what I’d do if I was commissioner, and had to have a big ol Bat-signal?  I’d double up.  Bat-Signal at night, Bat-Blimp during the day.  A big ol’ transparent blimp with a bat painted on it that casts a huge shadow across Gotham City.  Of course, there’s a good chance I’d do this because I’d want to say, “What?  The bank depository has been broken into?  RELEASE THE BAT-BLIMP!”  But that’s me.

How To Become A Real Writer

The greatest gift the Clarion workshop gave me is that it made me feel like A Real Writer for six weeks straight.  That was the longest continuous period of feeling like a Real Writer I’ve ever had.
I say this today because of an absolutely beautiful post by Justine Larbalestier, which lists all the times when Justine knows she will have made it as a writer.  Which is wonderful, heartbreaking, and true.
Truth is, I don’t feel much like a writer these days.  Yes, I have this lovely Nebula nomination… but I also haven’t had a story accepted in four months despite having eleven stories darting from market to market.  I haven’t written that much, because I’m mentally planning a novel and even though I’m creating characters in my head I’m not actually knocking words on the page.  And my novel is still waiting, precipitously, for near-certain rejection by agents.
Yet I’m still doing pretty well.  It’s just I have to look for evidence to remind myself of my Real Writerhood when I’m mapping out my next novel and realizing it’s too much for me and oh God I’m not sure I can do this.  (And I think, honestly, that’s every novel for almost everyone.)
The thing that Justine’s post highlights so well is that it’s hard for many of us to feel like Real Writers because even the best writers keep getting evidence that we’re not Real.  All those rejections and bad reviews hurt… And that’s part of the deal you took with this crazy career.  Four months without a story sale?  Heck, I’ve had nine-month dry periods.  Jay Lake had ten years, for Chrissakes.  We all have our deserts to cross.
The truth about being a Real Writer is that it’s not about paying attention to the external factors, which will never really set you free.  You’re a Real Writer when you apply ass to seat, write, finish, and send it off for someone who might publish it.  (Or if you’re a self-publisher, to a lot of people who might purchase it.)
All those other hallmarks Justine mentions?  They’re temporary highs, fleeting triumphs that will make you feel confident and strong for a day or two.  Then it fades.  And you know why?  If you’re a good writer, you’re always stretching, writing off more than you can chew because you know the only way to get better is to do new things.  Constantly.  And that means you don’t really have many moments where you go, “Yeah, I got this” because you’re always reaching out for greater emotional depth, better prose, more entanglement.  You don’t feel confident because you’re brave enough to move beyond where you know and to boldly set out for What You Could Do If You Tried.
Then you send that new-as-scabs talent out for someone to potentially ignore, reject, and even hate.  This is a brave thing.  This is what makes you Real, even if you may not necessarily feel that Realness thrumming along your heartstrings.
But hey.  If you’re writing regularly, and doing your best to get it out to an audience, I will tell you true: you’re a Real Writer.  Take pride in that.
Now get back to work.

Your Linkdump, My Embarrassment

I’m too tired today for a real post, so let’s have a linkdump of silly stuff that I’ve been meaning to bring to your attention.
The first is the most recent – our girlfriend Bec brought my attention to Epic Rap Battles of History (or, as those in the know call it, “EPUH WHA BAUHS HITTUHRY!”), of which I think these are the three best:
Darth Vader vs. Hitler

Justin Bieber vs. Beethoven

Dr. Seuss vs. Shakespeare

Of the three, I think the winners are Hitler, Beethoven, and a very close call on Shakespeare, who was being thrashed thoroughly in the first round until he staged an epic comeback in the second half.  (Though I do wonder how classicist Kat Howard would weigh in.)
Another weird video for your pleasure: Vytautas Mineral Water is Earth’s Juice! Sent to me by my pal George Galuschak, I’m not sure whether to thank him or slap him. Then again, I’m pretty sure George would GIVE NEGATIVE FUCK!

Lastly, when I was very sick (which explains the extraordinarily unkempt hair even by my standards), I began emulating emoticons for the amusement of my friends. Why shouldn’t you share this wonderment?
Okay, that third one should probably be :p and not ;p, but as I said. I was very sick.