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Point of View: It Matters What We Do, and that We Do It

artist - deposit photos

I recently saw a disturbing quote from Elon Musk (I know – is there any other kind?): “It’s hard to say exactly what that moment is, but there will come a point where no job is needed,” the tech billionaire said. “You can have a job if you want to have a job — sort of personal satisfaction — but the AI will be able to do everything.” I normally try to keep this column (and my life in general) a Musk-free zone, but I think he’s getting at something important here. We are moving into an era where it’s … Read more

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Point of View: The Importance of Listening

man listening - deposit photos

Last weekend, we attended Placer Pride. It’s one of the smaller local Sacramento area prides, but it’s also the most vibrant. It was launched just two years ago in a fairly conservative county, and the people who come to the festival are always thrilled to have us there because we provide something they have in short supply. This year, for the first time, some of the haters found the event too. Three young white men stood at the edge of the park with a bull horn and speaker (right behind our author booth, as luck would have it) and spent … Read more

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Point of View: The Wonderful, Terrible Act of Writing

meme

I realized long ago that it’s possible to hold two entirely contradictory thoughts in your head at the same time, both of them equally valid. For instance, I can hear about a fellow author’s success – let’s say they won a contest that I also entered my own book into (and lost). I can be thrilled at their success and sad for my own loss. Both of these things are valid, and one doesn’t negate the other. That’s how it is with my relationship with writing. There’s nothing I’d rather do than be writing, and there’s nothing I wouldn’t do … Read more

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Point of View: The (Questionable) Wisdom of Writing Four Things at Once

Man with lots of ideas - deposit photos

My therapist thinks I have ADHD tendencies. That’s a fancy way of saying that I’m happiest when I am multitasking. I love round-robining through three different things at once, doing a bit on each until I wrap all of them up with pretty bows on top. Another way of saying this is that I’m a high-functioning ADHDer. I’ve learned to work with those tendencies, and to make them work for me. This came up again recently in my writing life. I’ve been stalled out on my latest WIP, my first “Forever Cycle” novel that seems to have me stuck in … Read more

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Point of View: Getting Old is Not for Sissies (Like Me)

Very old woman hands

OK, so those are NOT my hands. But sometimes it feels like it. I’ve been confronted with the specter of getting older lately in a number of unsettling ways. The first time it happened was at the dentist, two years ago. They took my blood pressure, which turned out to be abnormally high – to the extent that the dentist didn’t feel comfortable working on me. But it wasn’t my BP. Not exactly. It was the way I was suddenly transformed – in their eyes – into a frail old man who needed help to limp my weak and failing … Read more

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Point of View: Revisiting the Past

River City OG

Eight and a half years ago, in late September 2015, I started out on a new writing adventure. It was just three months after the now infamous Golden Escalator Ride, and the world still seemed mostly sane. I decided to write a blog serial tale – a circle of friends story about found family, with just a dash of magical realism. It spring-boarded off my novella Between the Lines, and featured a wide cast of Sacramento characters, patterned on people and places I know well here in the River City. The serial ran every week without fail for just under … Read more

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Point of View: Being On Brand

brand

In just two more days, I’ll be releasing my book about indie writing, sharing everything I’ve learned over the last seven years. You can preorder Suck a Little Happy Juice here. I’ll be sharing some of my most popular columns that are now in the book to whet your appetite… Every now and then, an author should give some thought to their  “brand”—the sum total of how they are perceived in the world as an author. I had reason to do so recently because of a few unrelated events. First off, in a con panel on “going mainstream,” we discussed … Read more

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Point of View: The Eight Phases of Writing

writer, frustrated - deposit photos

In a little over a week, I’ll be releasing my book about indie writing, sharing everything I’ve learned over the last seven years. You can preorder Suck a Little Happy Juice here. I’ll be sharing some of my most popular columns that are now in the book to whet your appetite… Almost every author goes through phases when writing a new work, especially a longer one. Although the details may vary a bit from author to author, the broad strokes are probably very similar. Here are mine: Phase One—The New Journey: This is the honeymoon phase. The story is fresh, … Read more

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Point of View: I Wish I’d Known…

regret - deposit photos

In less than three weeks, I’ll be releasing my book about indie writing, sharing everything I’ve learned over the last seven years. You can preorder Suck a Little Happy Juice here. I’ll be sharing some of my most popular columns that are now in the book to whet your appetite… Every writer has a list of things they wish they’d known when they started. Writing is a craft, like any other, and each mistake teaches us something new. Here are a few things I would tell my younger self if I could, knowledge that would have made my writing journey … Read more

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Point of View: The Last Run, or Where It All Began

The Last Run

About five years ago, I had a conversation with one of my gay sci-fi friends, Jim Comer. Jim continues to this day to insist that faster-than-light (FTL) travel will never be possible, and the discussion encouraged me to write a novella about a colony world serviced by supply runs from Earth that were constrained to less than the speed of light. I threw in a lesbian pairing, some semi-sentient plants, and a cool colony village built on a series of basaltic ridges above a swift-flowing river. Little did I realize that I had set the stage for a world that … Read more