Friday, April 15

apathy and an update

First, Canada is having an election and I have strong feelings about it.

My vote is already cast (I'll be away from my riding on election day and in Mexico for the advanced polls, so I mailed the damned thing in), but I know it won't make much of a difference. That's partly because I don't live in anything approaching a swing riding - the vast majority of my civic neighbors buy into the "me first" concept. The Okanagan Valley is a pretentious area full of rich retirees.

It's also partly because of our electoral system here in Canada, which is similar to the one used in the US, uses a "first past the post" benchmark to decide winners. It's more obvious in Canada where the multi-party system allows a party with only 35% of the national vote to form the government, but that system is whack. I long for reform that would include some of the representational and preferential innovations used in Europe. Canadians are told that we're apathetic, but I think this brilliant (and short) TED talk manages to nail the problem. I don't think that institutionalized systems to promote apathy are endemic to only Canada either.

The good news is that, if those controls are enforced strongly and long enough, things like what's happening in North Africa happen, and masses revolt against tyranny. The sad part is that it has to get pretty bad for a long time to get people desperate enough to act like that.

Anyway, with Canada going to the polls and the US already ramping up for 2012, please watch. Please vote. There's more we have to do than just vote. but that's the very least we can and should do. Until real change comes, we can at least be active mitigating the damage.

And and update on the WIP. I have about ten chapters left to revise and my pace is good. I think I'll be done on Tuesday, which will leave time for mailing and printing copies on Wednesday for my beta readers. The manuscript is changing, evolving, but not getting shorter, so I think I'll still be looking at a 175k-word behemoth to try to query. I dunno, maybe the beta readers will find some serious fat that I don't have eyes to see.

Or not. I think I'm truly past worrying about trying to fit into categories of marketability or conform to the guidelines. I think it's good. I think it's almost the story I wanted to write, close enough to make me smile at unexpected moments and have to take occasional breaks to catch my breath. But I'm biased, aren't I?

It's like in politics: If we have an opinion, chances are, we're biased. That's a hard thing to avoid. Maybe it just can't, and shouldn't, be tried. In a civil society, a real democracy, disparate views could be shared, discussed, argued even, and still there would be respect. The absence of respect in modern politics is as glaringly obvious as the presence of it is when I think about the readers and artists that are helping me make the WIP a reality.

Anyway, my iced matcha latte with almond milk is ready now. Back to it. Hope you're well...