An Important Letter from Writer Richard Russo

To my mind, writers should always support one another. I’ve seen a lot of that, but I’ve also seen some of the other–jealousy, back-stabbing, etc. With the idea of support in mind, and in light of these rapidly-changing times in the publishing field, please take a moment to read this appeal from Richard Russo.

Thanks.

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Writers supporting other writers. From left to right: Dan Foley, Melissa Crandall, John Valeri, Terry George, Stacey Longo, and Kristi Petersen Schoonover.

NEA Funding Cut is DEFEATED

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The face of satisfaction

I was away when this became news, but received this email from Mary E. Rasenberger, Executive Director of the The Authors Guild:

Thanks to the outcry of our members, artists, and supporters of the arts around the country, the Grothman Amendment to slash NEA and NEH funding was soundly defeated in the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday by a vote of 297 to 114. Representative Grothman (R-WI) introduced the amendment Tuesday night, saying “I thought I would take just one little bit of this spending and kind of come down a little more on Donald Trump’s side.” He voiced support for Trump’s plan to completely defund the organizations, arguing that it isn’t the federal government’s responsibility to provide arts funding; rather, the arts should be supported by private organizations or local government. During the floor debate, Representatives on both sides of the aisle spoke out in support of the NEA. Representative Calvert (R-CA), who chairs the House Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, argued for the importance of NEA funding, describing an art therapy program for military veterans that has helped them recover from PTSD.

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Fiscal Year 2019 Interior Appropriations Bill, and in it approved $155 million for the NEA, an increase of $2.2 million over the current funding level. While artists can breathe a (temporary) sigh of relief, the fact that this amendment was brought to the House floor after the organizations’ funding had been approved is a sign that we must all remain vigilant to ensure that these important cultural institutions, and the arts in general, continue to be supported by our government.

 

Sexism Pisses Me Off

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“We are not amused.”

Okay, so it’s no secret that I have a problem with blogging. I don’t mind it as a means of communication, but the idea of doing it regularly when I really don’t have anything worthwhile to say just seems like a waste of not only my time, but my readers’ time as well. So I don’t do it, and I’ll likely never have a slew of followers because of it, but I’d rather go for content than quantity.

This article from The Authors Guild makes me angry. The gist is that if a woman wants to earn more at her writing, she should publish under a male name. This nonsense has been going on for years, and I’m horrified (but not surprised) that it still stands.

Okay, so we all want to make money. But my sister-writers, if you give in to this, you are part of the problem. We need to help women writers be recognized on their own merits, not hidden behind a male name.

Do you agree? Disagree? Let me know.

Article Published in JEMA

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I’m very pleased to announce that my article “Return of the Elephant Man,” appears in the most recent JEMA,  Journal of the Elephant Managers Association, Volume 29, Number 1. The article is based on a portion of my book The Man Who Loved Elephantswhich tells the story of Roger Henneous and his 30 years working with elephants at Oregon’s Washington Park Zoo (now the Oregon Zoo).

Ursula K. Le Guin

Just this week, I was reading No Time to Spare, a collection of essays by Ursula K. LeGuin and found myself thinking how much I would like to meet her.

On Monday, my window of opportunity closed forever.

Rest in Peace, dear lady. Thank you for your many words. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and laughter and for being honest with your readers. Thank you for Ged, and for Catwings. Thank you for so much.

And there’s this, from the first news article I read of her death:

“At the 2014 National Book Awards, Ms. Le Guin was given the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. She accepted the medal on behalf of her fellow writers of fantasy and science fiction who, she said, had been “excluded from literature for so long” while literary honors went to the “so-called realists.”

“She also urged publishers and writers not to put too much emphasis on profits.

“I have had a long career and a good one,” she said, adding, “Here at the end of it, I really don’t want to watch American literature get sold down the river.”

We’ll miss you, Ursula.