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Let’s Stop Pretending #MeToo Applies Only to Women

Let’s Stop Pretending #MeToo Applies Only to Women

There comes a point in time when enough is enough, and I have just reached that point on the issue of sexual harassment.

The tipping point was a blog post by an author I respect who chose to single white men out as the ones who’ve had their heads buried in the sand all these years.

No, sorry. That’s just more propagandic malarky which, deliberately or otherwise, obfuscates the crux of the problem.

Sure, white men have been just as guilty as anyone else (note the broad inclusiveness there) of not knowing what to do when they encounter harassment directed at others. They’ve been just as guilty as anyone of turning a blind eye, or quietly whispering warnings where no one can hear, or worse, of assuming “everybody knows.”

Guess who else is guilty of ignoring, perpetuating, and silently condoning sexual harassment?

WOMEN.

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Looking for America

Looking for America

I'm on my way home from a spontaneous road trip, embarked upon last week due to an itchy restlessness I couldn't shake. I haven't been on one of these in a while. The last one took me to the very same place I ended up in this time, along a very similar route, almost exactly one year ago.

I tell people I'm a free spirit, but maybe traveling this journey twice in two years is the beginning of a routine, or maybe it's a sign; maybe there's a reason I'm drawn to this particular area. Both could be equally true.

Sometimes I like to drive and be surprised by the journey. This time, I set out for a particular destination. I've been to parts of the Outer Banks in northeastern North Carolina before (the beginning of Say Yes was set near Kitty Hawk), but I'd never been to Wilmington or the beaches in southeastern NC. 

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Poverty Isn’t a “Black” Issue

Poverty Isn’t a “Black” Issue

Note: This post was originally published on my author blog on 15 January 2016.


I recently stumbled across an article on Gateway Pundit titled, “Tavis Smiley: On Every Leading Economic Issue Black Americans Have Lost Ground Under Obama.” In it, the author, citing sources without linking to them, states that, for various recent time periods:

  • Minority household income has fallen by nine to ten percent.
  • Non-white families’ net worth has fallen by around 20% while white families’ net worth has risen slightly.
  • White households were thirteen times wealthier than black households.
  • The black unemployment rate in 2014 was 10.1% while black labor force participation had dropped.

Whether the author was cherry-picking data or not really has no bearing here. Poverty has always been a larger problem in non-white households. What most people completely miss is that the poverty rate of minorities isn’t a “black” issue or an “Hispanic” issue: It’s an everybody issue.

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Random (Holiday) Acts of Generosity

Random (Holiday) Acts of Generosity

Note: This post was originally published on my author blog on 16 December 2015.


I was having a little trouble coming up with a topic for today’s post. I kept thinking, what in my life is going on that people could possibly be interested in? All I got was a big fat empty in my brain, which is saying something, as it’s usually chock full of ideas.

During a break from writing (The Vampire’s Favorite), I dropped by Facebook and found this heart-touching video shared by the Fairview, Tennessee, Police Department.

Now, wherever I turn these days, it seems folks are denigrating the South and Southerners. We’re racist. We’re backwoods hicks. We’re knee-jerk reactionaries with too many guns and not enough good sense.

Frankly, I get a little tired of those attitudes. I’ve met people from all around the world and trust me, Southerners are by far the best folks I’ve ever met, and certainly among the most kind and generous.

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Reasoned Arguments against Gun Control

Reasoned Arguments against Gun Control

Note: This post was originally published on my author blog on 11 December 2015.


In light of recent shootings, many are calling for tighter gun control laws, ignoring the basic fact that laws already in place did nothing to stop those shootings in the first place. It is therefore irrational to think that more legislation will solve the problem. As Jacob Sullum wrote in a recent post for Reason, “Autonomous Terrorism Calls for Autonomous Defense,”

“The perpetrators of last week’s attack in San Bernardino did not have criminal or psychiatric records that would have legally disqualified them from buying guns. In fact, one of them passed background checks when he bought pistols from California gun dealers. Obama’s recommendation of “universal background checks” in response to the San Bernardino massacre is therefore a non sequitur.”

Sullum goes on to note that other restrictions, including banning rifles and restricting firearm sales to those on “no fly” lists, are equally unreasonable.

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Black Friday Is a Product of Freedom

Black Friday Is a Product of Freedom

Note: This post was originally published on my author blog on 26 November 2015.


Today is one of the most revered or reviled days in shopping history, depending on one’s point of view. Bargain hunters awake early on this Friday after Thanksgiving to crowd stores, searching for holiday gifts at special prices, while the not-so-savvy sleep in and do their holiday shopping online.

It’s easy to let Black Friday’s overt consumerism reflect negatively on Western society, capitalism, and the free market system (or a mostly free market system, as we have in the US). It’s also easy to forget one simple truth: Without the individual freedoms recognized and protected by our Constitution, this official start to the holiday shopping season would not exist.

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A Random Act of Kindness

A Random Act of Kindness

Note: This post was originally published on my author blog on 20 November 2015.


This photo, captured at a MARTA station in Atlanta by Redd Desmond Thomas, recently went viral. The photographer overheard the woman in the red coat ask her husband to help this earnestly dressed young man with his tie. The husband, likely used to his wife telling him what to do, patiently bent and showed the young man how to tie a tie.

This random act of kindness went viral, and I’m not sure exactly what that says about modern, Western society, or even the whys. Was it because kindness is so rare in the US? Or maybe because we’re so inundated with horrifying news on a daily basis, this simple act was a welcome antidote?

Or was it because the elderly couple was white and the young man black, and the act took place in the South, a veritable bastion of racism according to any and all?

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Missing the Point

Missing the Point

Note: This post was first published on my Lucy Varna blog.


The Romance Writers of America recently announced the finalists for its 2015 RITA and Golden Heart Awards. I had two reactions to this. The first was, oh, great, look at all that stellar competition. I’m hoping to enter one of the books I publish this year in the 2016 RITAs, so when I look at the finalists lists and see which authors I’ll potentially be up against, my heart sinks just a little bit. I mean, look at that list. Nora Roberts writing as J.D. Robb. (She actually has a whole RWA award named after her. Seriously.) Carolyn Crane, a fellow indie author, won a RITA last year. Jill Shalvis, Julie Miller, and on and on. These are some really great writers. Someday, I hope to be at that level, too.

My second reaction was, wow, look at all the new-to-me books to read! Because I’m a reader and any time I see a list of novels in one of my favorite genres, I’m gonna take a look.

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Presentism and the “White Default” in SciFi Romance

Presentism and the “White Default” in SciFi Romance

Note: This post was originally published on my Lucy Varna blog.


The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.
--L.P. Hartley, The Go-Between

I read a number of blogs each week covering everything from politics to science and history to crafts. Many of those blogs are geared toward writers and readers, specifically in those genres I enjoy reading, like Science Fiction Romance.**

As with many genres, this one has been infiltrated by well-meaning people who take a cock-eyed view of the world. This bothers me particularly because these people indulge in the sort of presentism that historians loathe: They judge the future by present values and problems. 

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