So, I finished watching Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale and holy shit that was amazing and important. I'm not sure about them deciding to create a second season, but hey, I'll watch it. Again, everyone should see it because the Republicans are apparently using it as a How To guide. [sigh] I also finished Harlots which was really, really well-researched. Even the images in the titles/intro are spot on. I seriously enjoyed it because it definitely didn't merely rely upon sex to sell the show. There's some sex, but it doesn't pull a HBO/Game of Thrones where every episode has an excuse for naked women groaning. The show actually addresses issues women would've faced at the time. It talks about the political and ethical power plays between two madams and does so in an intelligent way. I tried Legion and it's definitely well done, but it was just too depressing for me right now. So, I had to quit. I also got all the way through 11.22.63 and well...I enjoyed it most of the time but it has some serious issues that I got into elsewhere.
Now, I'm watching Timeless.
Today, I think I'll give you a snippet from a point of view you probably haven't read before. Her name is Captain Drake. :)
Good morning, y'all. Sorry about yesterday, but the neck-stabbings (to kill the head bees) wiped me out quite a bit more than they did the last time. I suspect it was because the length of time between treatments. My neck muscles get very stiff--so much so that jabbing in a needle becomes something akin to stabbing a block of marble with a pen knife. (I've the bruises to prove it.) Any way...the head bees have fucked off for a few more weeks. And then we go in for the burnination of the head bee village Trogdor style. Wherein the head bees are evicted for a whole year, and Stina can think clearly for longer than a few weeks at a time. Did I mention migraines suck?
And now, for those links you've been ever so patiently awaiting. :)
Feminist Monday will be delayed today due to a medical procedure involving injections in my neck. (It keeps the Head Bees at bay.) All is well. It went as expected. I just need to take it easy until late this afternoon. I'll post something then.
Sorry about the delay.
Update: it's going to have to be late Tuesday. I'm afraid I needed to take the day to rest.
To paraphrase Terry Pratchett: Sometimes a crime is so big you can't see it because you're *living* in it. I feel Americans are definitely living in a time when vast crimes are being committed by those in power, and sadly, we're all abetting the crimes.
Yesterday while I was on Twitter, Scott Lynch and Michael Damian Thomas brought a couple of articles to my attention. The first is: You know how bad Uber is for drivers. Port truckers have it worse. Much worse. And the second is: RIGGED. Forced into debt. Worked past exhaustion. Left with nothing. Ever wonder how shipping is both expensive and (if you sign up for services like Amazon Prime) suddenly super cheap? This is the answer. The system retailers (like Target and Walmart) use to get shipments from the port to distribution centers as cheap as possible is set up to take advantage of the contract truck drivers. It's not a new system. It's very old, and a century ago they called it the Company Store. It's a vile system, wherein the employee gets more and more in debt to their employer until they're paying to work. The situation gets much, much worse when you consider this fresh statistic from the article Self-Driving Trucks are Going to Hit Us Like a Human-Driven Truck: "It should be clear at a glance just how dependent the American economy is on truck drivers. According to the American Trucker Association, there are 3.5 million professional truck drivers in the US, and an additional 5.2 million people employed within the truck-driving industry who don’t drive the trucks. That’s 8.7 million trucking-related jobs." When you look at the bigger picture, what does that imply about the number of truckers dealing with this situation?
All of this is the reason why I've always hated the concept of "Contract Employee" and forever "Temporary Employment." The attitude that employers don't have to provide benefits (like health insurance) or worry about overtime laws or even provide the employee with the tools to perform their job (in this case, the truck) is standard with the contract employee system. Again, "they're independent business people, not employees" is as old as the fucking hills.
Before I begin, I wanted to call attention to the Book Launch scheduled at BookPeople (Austin, TX) on August 11, 7pm. Hopefully, I'll see y'all there if you're in town. Okay. On to the snippet. Today, I think we'll go with a bit of something from Nels's point of view.
Today is an important date in the United States. It's the date Americans celebrate the process that made slavery unconstitutional and illegal throughout the nation. However, as it turns out June 19, 1866 isn't the exact date of the emancipation proclamation (that was September of 1862--four years before) nor is it the date that the 13th Amendment was ratified (that was Jan. 31, 1865). June 19th is the date that Texans were ordered to comply with the law. The delay was, in part, due to the civil war. It wasn't an instant change either. (For more information, see What is Juneteenth?) I confess, today is the first time I've ever looked up the details. That, my friend, isn't a good thing. [sigh]
Today's videos: I wanted to learn about comic book heroes who happen to be black women. So, I've subscribed to this podcast. (Yeah, I'm late to the party per usual.) I recommend it.
And now... links.
So... Grenfell Tower (London.) I'm horrified, but not surprised. My hope is that no more residents die and that the survivors get whatever they need in order to recover both medically and financially. My hope is that the owners of the building who opted to save 2 pounds per square foot (I understand that's about £5,000 total) by not using regulation fire proof materials during the recent remodel are prosecuted and sued. They chose to risk murdering people in order to save £2 per square foot. The fact that the people at risk were poor was most definitely a factor.
This is why regulations are important. It's why regulations must be enforced. Business must comply. Cutting financial corners until they squeak is not something that should be encouraged. It isn't admirable. Combine a miserly perspective with the "Free Market" and it results in disaster. It isn't good business. In fact, such thinking kills economic growth dead. Business grows via investing.
Greed is a killer. Humanity has known this for quite some time.
Americans shouldn't breathe any sighs of relief. More stories like this one are in our future because the austerity mindset is at work here too. It's being used as an excuse to cut government programs, lay-off government workers, and gut what few advances we've been able to make in healthcare. Our infrastructure is crumbling as a result. When healthcare is cut, people will most certainly die. Largely, the entire GOP platform is about racism right now. They don't care who they hurt as long as they tear down everything Obama did. They don't care about anything else. Straight up. That's their motivation: racism. It isn't really about doing what their constituents want or saving government money. It's that they can't stand that a black man became president and did a brilliant job. It's why they can't seem to put any energy toward building--only destroying.
We're definitely living in an era which will usher in positive changes. Eventually. My hope is that those positive changes come sooner rather than later. May we all learn the lessons we're here to learn, faster. Please. Because so many people are being harmed. Too many.
 You've heard of the Seven Deadly Sins, right? How about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire? Businesses can and do kill their customers and employees, given the opportunity.
I have officially learned how to add files to my website. This means that I've uploaded my work samples for you, Dear Reader, to enjoy. (Or not. But hopefully yes. :)) So, the first chapter of Blackthorne can be found in the sidebar--freshly edited, unlike that in the back of the paperback of Cold Iron. Yeah, yeah. Blackthorne changed a lot over the time it took to write it. It happens.
Now, for those of you who've been with me for the long haul...I've a surprise today. That is, a fresh new snippet from Blackthorne. This time, from Suvi's perspective. So, have this scene--where Suvi meets her spymaster, James Slate, for the first time. Oh, also, SPOILER ALERT if you haven't read Cold Iron.
What with the news becoming increasingly alarming, I wanted to focus on something more upbeat this morning. [glances down at political sidetrack in footnotes] Well, mostly. Heh. So, things I'm looking forward to. Here goes.
Thank you, Netflix. Bright looks wonderful! I can't wait!
The Black Panther trailer makes me cry, I'm so happy to see it. Every time I watch it, I think of how powerful it was for me to see Wonder Woman. Every time, I think of how others are going to feel/are feeling, and I can't help being even more happy. These are the moments when I adore my genre.
is a Science Fiction and Fantasy author living in Texas.