#UpbeatAuthors: Outlasting Your Enemies

There have been times in my life when perseverance involved keeping my head down, doing what I needed to do,  and reminding myself I could outlast my enemies.  Enemies are legion: bad bosses; nasty co-workers; crushing debt; non-life-threatening illness; rent increases; traffic jams; raising teenagers.

I just remind myself that this, too, shall pass. Then I hang in there.



#UpbeatAuthors: The Road to Publication

The month’s #UpbeatAuthors topic is perseverance. When I think of perseverance, I think about how long it took me to write a book a publisher felt was worthy of publication. I think about other authors, who never gave up, whether it was to sign contracts with traditional publishers, small-press independent publishers, or who decided (sometimes after decades of rejections) to self-publish.

Members of my RWA chapter have come and gone. Several of us stuck around until the industry changed. The others must have been hobbyists, because they surrendered.

A few of my friends haven’t had contracts renewed. Or their lines have closed. Instead of giving up, they’ve sought new ways of getting their work to their readers. Or they’ve decided now is the time for me to reinvent my product the way I want it done. And they are succeeding.

Because they hung in there.




#UpbeatAuthors: Tolerance & Stereotypes

My children attended an “inner city” high school I don’t think they ever thought of it in that light, though, unless the media made a big deal about school performance. They’re both proud alumni. They were active in band, chorus, drama, National Art Honor Society. Both got into good colleges with no problems. There were advanced placement classes available–maybe not as many as in some of the wealthier suburban districts, but some.

They attended religious education with students from some of those wealthier suburban districts and were stunned when they were asked, “Aren’t you afraid? Don’t your school mates come to school with weapons?”

“Where did they come up with that?” X-Chromo asked.

Stereotype. Inner-city school with minority students = danger.

I was working in local TV at the time and was part of a committee that decided which Public Service Announcements (PSA) would air on our station.  This was not long after Columbine. There had been a few other school shootings. One organization sent us a PSA deploring gun violence. The problem with the spot was that all the “students” with guns were black. The assistant news director–who happened to be a black man–and I both immediately vetoed the spot. For the same reason. The people who put the spot together used stereotypes to scare people, when in fact every school shooting at that point had been done by white kids.   After vetoing the spot, I went on to list a bunch of local situations in schools that had all been perpetrated by white students.

I am glad my children grew up in a multi-cultural environment. Their friends are of many races, colors, religious backgrounds, and sexual orientations. They’ve moved beyond tolerance and even past acceptance, to normal.



#UpbeatAuthors:Happy Constitution Day


We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence* promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

(*yes, the word is misspelled in the original, hand-written version.)

This is tolerance.

First Amendment (Bill of Rights)

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for redress of grievances.

This helps define tolerance.

Tolerance is a key to the American vision, which is why it is part of the Constitution.


#UpbeatAuthors: Tolerance

I recently had a chance to speak to a person I see only once a year. Spence* is a great guy. He always asks after my son, whom he’d met years ago when Y-Chromo was a child. Spence got married since I’d last seen him. He’s been with Ronald* for ten years, and they finally tied the knot. Spence was practically giddy when he introduced his husband to those of us who see him only in August. I’m very happy for them.

Just because their lifestyle isn’t my lifestyle doesn’t make them wrong or me right. If I judged people because they are different than me, I would miss out on having a lot of wonderful people in my life.

*names changed