diversity

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Every story, every poem, every novel counts…

We live in a world where publishing has become as easy as buying a book at Amazon. Anyone who want’s to, can share their work, either for free or for a charge. Yet there are a lot of people, readers, other writers, journalists, and many more who are annoyed or even upset about the easiness of which anyone can publish.  They cry out about technicalities not regarded properly. The scream at misspelled words, at bad grammar and bad style. They complain about how a writer tells her/his story if they don’t go the usual way, whatever that is. They wage war against the unusual and out of the box or unguided and inexperienced. And that’s their right. They have a right to their opinion and to voice it. They have a right to point out all those flaws and to share their findings with everyone else.

Over the last year, I have seen and heard it all. Well maybe not all but a lot. From a one star review complaining about my spelling and grammar, of which I warned, to five star reviews that made my heart swell with pride and joy. Looking back at 2016 and the five books I published, and the countless books I read, I realize something. One of the big topics during the year was diversity, racism, and bigotry. I saw hundreds of posts on Facebook from other authors about how we need to have diversity in our stories, to promote togetherness and acceptance in our worlds of fiction and fantasy.  Something I deeply agree with. Those posts and the events of last year made me realize two things I want to share.

One:

As a writer, good or bad, known or unknown, famous or lost in the multitude of others, we have a chance and a responsibility. The saying, the feather is mightier than the sword, doesn’t come from nothing. There is truth in it. As writers, we have the chance to influence, inform and even shape others. No matter what we write, from fiction to fantasy, from biography to all the non-fictions, we reach people. With our words, we touch their minds and sometimes their souls. With the world we paint, we educate, share our opinions, emotions, and hopes. We let them into our dreams and our fears. With each word we share a part of our mind and soul with our reader. All throughout history there have been writers that inspired. Some ignited a flame inside others, leading to great inventions, pollical change, or rebellion as well as peace. With the stroke of a feather, wars rose, kingdoms fell and societies were reconstructed after being torn down. It’s scary to think about the power one writer can wield by sharing a piece of themselves. Which words will do what, nobody will know until it happened. There have been works that went utterly unnoticed, had been scrutinized and frowned upon, until they ended up in the hand of one person and changed that person. Which brings me to the second realization.

Two:

This will be something many will take as an excuse on my side for publishing my work without a professional edit, especially since I’m dyslexic and mistakes are a certainty. It’s not. An excuse I mean. Publishers, bloggers, reviews and so many others want more diversity especially  infictional work. They ask the writing community to stand up against bigotry and hatred, against racism and homophobia. Something I agree with, yet the same people are often the ones doing everything in their power to suppress the same diversity within the writing community. And no, I don’t mean that they should accept bad spelling of grammar. As often as I read articles about the writing community promoting the acceptance of diversity, I read articles condemning self-publishing authors. What I disliked (hated) the most was when those articles attacked not a specific writer, but the broad spectrum of self-publishing writers. They didn’t attack because of bad editing or poor cover design, neither for endlessly ongoing sentences that simply didn’t seem to end. What they criticized was the way the writer told their story, the style, or the topic or how explicit their sex scenes were. They complained about writers who didn’t study the craft at a college or university. They judged on experience and if that author had ever made it onto a bestseller list or not. They put all writers into a box and those who didn’t fit that box were ridiculed and condemned as bad writers.

The same people who told us to embrace diversity, rejected the very same thing within the writing community.

Writing not unlike painting is an art and as such it is subjective. Where one might find a story boring and shallow, another might find beauty and depth. Like a song doesn’t sound the same to everyone’s ear, a story doesn’t touch everyone’s soul the same way. Some styles are for a brought spectrum of people, while others are just for some. Diversity means a multitude of attributes, different ways of thinking and interpreting. It means many different ways of telling a story, of conveying one’s thoughts. It means stepping out from the box society, rules and holier then thy critiques want to keep us in.

Self-publishing opened the doors for diversity, to be embraced not just by being integrated in the stories written but by accepting the multitude of ways a story is told. Every story, no matter how it is told, has a right to exist, has a purpose and a meaning. Each one has the possibility to inspire and ignite a spark.

And when this year runs out in a few hours, I know that I touched some people with my stories, shared some of my soul with them and maybe inspired them in some way. I go into the next year knowing that I will do it all over again, with new stories and those already published. But most of all I know that I and many others, embrace diversity not just with our writing but with our acceptance of other writers who go down the same road. There is nothing more diverse than the writing community.

The Diaries of Kairie Lawless now available

the diaries of Kiarie Lawless 5 front smallThe Diaries of Kairie Lawless are inspired by the 2016 elections in the USA. As is the character of Lando Rud. However, the story itself is only slightly political.

Mostly the book is about what the future might look like if a person hungry for power, with the ability to manipulate gains control of a country, desperate for change. I chose America because at the moment they are in that danger the most. However, the same story could play out in most European countries as well. Actually, in countries all over the world.

Humans are habitual creatures, any social change has always come the hard way to us. As is evident all throughout history. The greater the change, the greater the violence with which it was born.

And as with all the other changes in history, there was and is again a slow build up. In the last 50 – 100 years, the call for human rights, equality and acceptance of diversity has grown louder and louder as well as more forcefully. For example: When my husband was a teen, there were people belonging to the LGBTQ community, but it wasn’t talked about. It was ignored. It didn’t interrupt the habitual life of those not belonging, making those part of that community the outsiders. The ones not able to show, act and behave as who they truly were. The same goes for women, who had to fight for their right to vote, work, own property. Their need for equality disrupted the habitual day to day life. Now they are everywhere. People with colored skin, those part of a different religion, and many different sexual lifestyles forced their way into the habitual life of all who considered themselves normal.

To me, diversity is and always has been a good thing. But I grew up with a mother bound to a wheelchair who showed me first hand that there is no difference in capability. Yet, for the same reason, I have always seen how hard it is for far too many to truly accept diversity, instead of just acting as if they do.

Humans have another habit, one that will one day lead to their destruction. Blame… When times get rough, economics down, and unemployments and crime rates up, we are looking for someone to blame. Another thing you can find all throughout history. You combine both habits, and what you get is an explosive combination. A deadly combination. Especially if there is a person who knows how to exploit it.

As many times before the world is on the edge of such a combination and in danger of having it exploited. That’s what The Diaries of Kairie Lawless is really about. The changes of the past century have brought forth greatness. My children for example, grow up in a world where diversity is known, spoken about and; at least in my house, accepted. However, at the same time they grow up in a world were old fashioned thinking and values, create a rift as big as the Grand Canyon. Don’t get me wrong I have nothing against people with faith, or belonging to a religion. As long as they keep in mind that times have changed since the Bible or whatever scripture they follow, was written. Religion itself is a good thing, but just like a weapon it can be a danger in the wrong hands or minds. Sadly I more often find religion in the wrong hands, then in the right ones. No matter if Christian, Hindu, Muslim or any other believe group.

Our world is slowly splitting into two sides, those who feel like someone not believing the same way they do, having the same sexual orientation as they do and so on, are a threat to society. And on the other side, those who belong in that category and want nothing more than be who they are, without having to hide.

If nothing else, the elections this year showed that rift, this gigantic split and the willingness to blame. It doesn’t matter if Donald Trump wins the elections, he has already won in other ways. He widened the rift, made it more prominent and he made obvious how many are willing to push others into that rift. Born out of the hatred and bigotry, The Diaries of Kairie Lawless were born. Telling you the story of a kid that grows up as that hatred takes on shape, forms into an entity and by the time she reaches adulthood has turned into a living weapon.

The world has been at this point many times before and each time it ended with bloodshed worse than the last time. I don’t like bloodshed, and I believe that even the vilest mind, would hesitate to push that button that will completely destroy our world. However, there are things worse than death.

This book tells of that world. One were being part of what makes our world diverse, is a crime. Where tolerating, supporting and accepting diversity is just as much a crime, if not worse.Where labels become names and designations. It tells of a world that is far too possible and should never come to pass. But most of all, of one woman willing to sacrifice everything to fight that world.

The Diaries of Kairie Lawless and my point about labels

I usually don’t publish the synopsis before I even finished writing the book, but considering what happened in Orlando, the outrageous laws put in place in some states to protect the “normal” people from those “bad LGBTQ” people and  post eligibly congratulating Trump for having told everyone that this would happen (wonder how he knew) I will post it. Why? Because the story was inspired by many of those things, not only from the past few months or years, not just from what happened in the US but throughout my lifetime and the countries I lived in.

Being labeled is not a new problem, not a new fashion or a recently developed hatred. It’s a mental attitude passed down for generations, almost like a cancer that never got cut out. Yet I always believed that the more advanced we got, the more we understood why things are the way they are, that it would get better. I truly thought that one day we would grow above it. Seems I was more than just wrong, I was galaxies far off. So I wrote a book, painting the world as I see it come to pass if we don’t turn around quickly as one race of human beings and smarten up. I apologize to the American People that I used their country as my stage, but sadly you have the guy running for president that inspired a lot of it. And just like him I know how to exploit the idiocy of others.

 

The Diaries of Kairie Lawless

Kairie Stone grew up surrounded by love and understanding, was taught to show compassion and not to judge people for anything but their actions. When Hildo Clithump becomes president of the United States of America her world slowly begins to change. She wasn’t blind, but the changes were subliminal and many that weren’t directly affected didn’t notice. When her best friend takes her life, and another gets beaten to an inch of his life, Kairie opens her eyes and is shocked at what she finds.

Only her realisation comes too late. As Hildo Clithump’s chances of re-election dwindle he ensures his world will come true and declares martial law.

Kairie’s world shatters when everyone is forced out on the street, their ID’s confiscated, and anyone who is considered other taken away. Her parents resist and get killed in front of her, she gets taken, labelled, sterilized and her name changed to a designation, Agnostic. From that day onward, Kairie is a Zero. Nameless, faceless, right less and isolated from all others.  Only when her greatest enemy turns out to be her protector things begin to turn around and Kairie discovers the power of being a Zero. Her goal to destroy this new regime under Clithump and free those labelled.

 

I am not religious, but I respect anyone with faith as long as that person doesn’t use it to hurt others. I am not part of a specific political party, but I respect anyone who is. As long as they don’t use it to hurt another. I don’t care about skin color, heritage or the country someone was born in. Unless they use it to rectify their hatred and violence.

The problem is not religion, is not skin color, is not sexual orientation or any other label a person can be given. The problem isn’t the label, its how we think of those we label and how we act towards them.

I gladly be called white, female, agnostic, hetero sexual, dyslexic, and handicapped as long as it isn’t meant as an insult or used to attack me. As long as it isn’t said in order to separate me from what I am when you take all those labels away, HUMAN.

In my story a label is used to make a person other, to differentiate between lower and higher humans, those worth and those unworthy because they are not the norm. But who decides what the norm is? Society, a President, the military, God, or each person for themselves.

Be the person that doesn’t label, that doesn’t judge by anything other than the actions of one person. No more hatred, no more killing. Let go of the labels.

the diaries of Kiarie Lawless

 

 

 

 

 

 

Readingsample The Diaries of Kiarie Lawless

The Diaries of Kairie Lawless

I started a new series and it’s coming along, sadly not as fast as I wish it wild simply because I have so many things to do lately. Still I thought I treat you to the epilogue and first chapter of it. It’s still the draft version, unedited and raw, so don’t expect much. Still it is enough to give you an idea of what the story will be about. It’s the first of a three book series, telling the story of how the world went to hell and back. It’s a story that picks up diversity and intolerance of those diversities. Maybe it’s the way I grew up with a mother that is handicapped and a father who became handicapped during my childhood, but to me diversity, people who were different, were never something to look down at, or see as different. When you boil it down, we are all human, suffering the same struggles and fears, asking the same questions about the universe and searching for their answers.

Happenings like the signing of LGBT laws with the farce of protection or Donald Trumps call for a wall and all the other things going on in the world make me fear what will come of it. This series is a representation of those fears taken to an (hopefully) extreme.

Readingsample The Diaries of Kiarie Lawless