Writing, Playing, Staying Sane with POTUS

I am writing again in a big way, and it feels REALLY good. Turns out deep ideas were percolating in the background the last few weeks, and they’re coming out on the page in a way that is exciting, literary, fast-paced. Turns out I’m writing a YA thriller with a magic realism twist. I’m playing with form and style, and the topic is important in light of this election, a girl searching for and defining truth in the wake of a classmate’s rape, coming up against the many opinions of her small town neighbors. Conspiracy, mystery, playing with words so that I wring every last meaning out of them…

It’s a good distraction from politics, while staying active in the current political landscape.

I need to be involved in politics, and so I am in a variety of ways. I’m actively contacting reps and supporting friends’ individual efforts, donating to nonprofits, protesting, and supporting my community. I’m trying to stay focused one a few important issues, and not get distracted by mass and flash executive orders that I believe are meant to distract and confuse voters (even though the entire administration is one big, bad distraction).

So I’m also reading a lot, because sometimes the best motivation is realizing that writing is truth, and powerful, and doesn’t have an expiration date. Sales of 1984 have jumped since the election. Doesn’t hurt to revisit other harrowing times in history, even imagined history (or not so imagined). Philosophy and science fiction, nonfiction. Zines, poetry, (some) newspapers. So many avenues to truth.

I also continue to write because more voices and topics need to be represented in YA fiction. Through writing, I meet a diverse group of other writers, young and old, and we support each other with editing, feedback, encouragement, asking the tough questions to get closer to the heart of our experiences, shared or otherwise. Hugo House continues to be a home base for Seattle writers, and just being there ensures that I’m in contact with some of our most vocal citizens.

Besides my volunteer work with Hugo, I’m taking a class there with my friend, YA author Stephanie Kuehnert. She’s an excellent teacher, and the class is filled with enthusiastic writers, some published, some new. Great energy to be around, and a weekly deadline never hurts. It reminds me that one doesn’t have to sacrifice one’s entire life and become an activist to make a difference. Art will always be an important part of resistance, and if I can support that resistance through other’s work, and through my own, that is also an important part of staying buoyant, to swim above the muck will undoubtably continue to flow from Washington for quite some time. So much for the swamp, eh? I suppose it’s time to jump off, call my reps, and brush up on the laws of impeachment. Happy Monday.

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