Burning the Midnight Oil at Both Ends of the Candle: One week to go on my last work trip of the year. I am very, very tired of being away from my family, and manning the night shift doesn’t help my frame of mind. On the plus side, I’ve had quiet time to write, and cool evenings to run.
I’m making steady, if slow, progress on The Seer, my sequel to The Muse. Though I don’t expect to finish the first draft by month’s end, I’ll be past the halfway point, with the finish line visible in the distance. I have to keep reminding myself that novel writing is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s also all-consuming. I’ve been absent from my regular online writing forums, and mostly marking time on my blog. I’ll have to bow out again on this month’s CSFF Blog Tour, too. It seems I always have to drop a ball or two to keep the rest of them in the air.
I Have Seen the Future, and It’s 1984: For a country that enshrines freedom of speech in the First Amendment to its Constitution, we sure do spend a lot of time censoring ourselves. The recent brouhaha involving some blog comments from sci-fi writer Elizabeth Moon about the proposed Islamic Center near the 9/11 Ground Zero in New York resulted in her ouster as Guest of Honor at next year’s WisCon feminist SF convention. I hate to see this sort of thing happen, particularly in the speculative fiction community. If the people writing about our future think suppressing controversial speech (or at least, speech they don’t agree with) is a good thing, that’s worrisome. George Orwell’s 1984 was supposed to be a cautionary tale, not a cultural guidebook.
Ms. Moon is a writer of some note, so I’m sure she’ll survive this, and as the saying goes, there’s no such thing as bad publicity. Some folks are already counter-protesting by purchasing as many of her books as they can find.
As for myself, I’ll continue to keep my private political opinions mostly private, not that they’re awfully coherent anyhow.
On a related note, at Rebecca Miller’s A Christian Worldview of Fiction, there was a back-and-forth about “adult content” such as coarse language, explicit sex, immoral behavior, etc, and its appropriate use, if any, in Christian fiction. I elected not to weigh in, but I blogged my position on the language piece of this issue here a while ago, and I think it applies to the broader issue of portraying “warts and all” humanity as a Christian writer.
Is tailoring your writing to the needs of your audience the same as censorship? Beats me. I do think there’s a big difference between self-censorship and a suppression of language and ideas which is imposed by external agencies. It’s the difference between freedom and tyranny.