Voting Reform: Single Transferable Vote

I’m going to cheat with this post. Rather than follow up my voting reform post with another big bunch of words, I’m going to let the guy who introduced me to this solution do the talking. His nom de guerre is CGP Grey, and the following videos, in order, are mandatory viewing. They will show you why our current voting system is broken, and how we can fix it. (Seriously. If you do one thing today, watch these. Stop reading my books if that’s what...

They didn’t feel heard. I don’t feel heard. This is a problem

One of the biggest conundrums I’ve been wrestling with from the 2016 election is what lesson to draw from the Democrat’s defeat, especially when it was fueled by bigotry. That’s not all it was fueled by, but it was a definite, even critical, component. Many of Trump’s voters didn’t feel like they were being heard by the “elites” in Washington, and that may very well be true—but how do you respect that feeling when it was so tightly intertwined with bigotry? Moreover, how do you appeal to...

What the hell do we do now?

Quick update, for those who haven’t been following the news. The CIA has reportedly concluded that, not only did Russia interfere with the US election, it did it not to increase distrust in our system in general, but specifically to elect Donald Trump. This is based on the conclusion that not only was the Democratic National Committee hacked, but the Republican National Committee was hacked as well—and that information was not released. This is among other preexisting evidence that it was Russian agents...

30

Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me~ (P.S. Want to give me a gift? Buy my books if you haven’t (WSR, FH), leave a review on Amazon if you have (WSR review, FH review), and tell people about them either way. Having more people read and enjoy my books is the best gift I can think of. That and beer, but my friends have that covered. Thanks!) (P.P.S. This went up at my exact birth moment, 8:06 am CST. See Mom, after...

Dancing with the fear

The other day, one of my bosses expressed admiration at what I do as a salesman. On one level: good. I love it that he thinks what I do is special! That helps me keep my job. But on another level, and this is the one I espoused to him—not sure that’s true. What I do as a salesman isn’t all that different from what he does as a brewer, and I know that because sales isn’t all I do....

Daily 14: Results of the experiment

So comes to an end the two weeks of my daily blogging experiment. Time to examine the results. First of all, the critical question: will I continue blogging daily? No. The one risk I was most worried about is that it would get in the way of my fiction writing, and while that didn’t happen as much as I feared, it did happen more than I find acceptable. Were I like John Scalzi, a full-time writer of one type or another (mostly fiction...

Daily 13: Knowing the cost, doing it anyway

There’s a trait I share with my mother and older brother. It’s one I’ve long known about, though it’s been thrown in stark relief as of late. Here’s the story of how I first learned of its existence: When I was in high school, I wanted to put a CD player in my car. (Showing my age.) I mentioned this to my dad, and he said to wait and that we’d work on it soon. I was usually a respectful enough teenager, as far...

Daily 12: 25 hours a week

  I was talking with my roomie earlier, and we were discussing work. This is a frequent topic, since I work too damn much. While we were talking, he mentioned a recent week where he worked 25 hours, and said how nice it was. He said it was about perfect, since he got all his work done and still had time to relax. I corrected his math. He probably did 25 hours of paid work, but add in chores, errands, commute, exercise, and everything else...

Daily 11: The risk of naming early

I’ve learned a lot about naming over my time as a storyteller. Here’s the biggest tip: don’t name anything until you absolutely need to, use placeholders instead, and when you give characters/chapters/books their placeholders, make sure they’re flexible. It causes trouble down the line otherwise. I’ll give you some examples. The biggest one is that my upcoming book is not Book 3 as far as my notes are concerned. It’s Book 2. That’s because I reasoned that full-length, continuous novels should be...

Daily 10: Rewatching Frozen

I’ve been down the last couple of days. Work has been kicking my ass, chores and errands keep piling up, and I haven’t had much time to relax. I’d love to be writing my next book, I even had some time to work on it today—but I don’t do well with half measures. I long for a day when I can wake up leisurely, go through my morning routine without hurry, and then get lost in the worlds I write for hours...