Weekly word count: 3 314
I've been mostly working on edits for Division this week, but there's still some progress for Until Proven Guilty. My next deadline is the end of March, when I need to have Division ready for the line editing process.
I've also been reading and listening to the accounts of those who have left RWA in the last month. A lot of them are people and authors whom I greatly respect and the stories they're sharing are troubling. Attempts to raise awareness of the diverse origins of RWA and the romance genre blocked. Constantly having to cover the same points over and over again: that white privilege does not mean white people have not struggled (only that they have not faced an additional barrier based on the colour of their skin), that complaints which focus on a speaker not being nice instead of the substance of their words are tone policing, that authors of colour or disability or LGBTQIA+ should not be placed in separate but equal categories for awards and that there are many talented authors who are not getting fairly judged because they or their characters are marginalized.
It sounds exhausting and greatly underscores the fact that many of those who have left have spent a lot of time and effort trying to fix a system that has resisted them at every turn. So I can understand the choice of saying "That's it, I'm done" and I respect that. I believe that if they had believed there was any chance of improvement, these individuals would still be in the trenches.
I am choosing to stay in RWA for now, despite the fact that I am deeply troubled by what I'm hearing. The main reason that I am staying is that I want to hear the audit results. I'm no longer particularly hopeful that RWA will be able to continue as a trade organization and advocacy group.
Part of me wants to believe that the resistance is pure backlash, the last dying gasp of institutional racism and a small number of bigots who know they are on shaky ground and about to fall. However, it's hard to believe that in a world where spewers of hate get elected and are praised for their attacks on minority groups. Realizing just how deep the hatred goes is very unsettling for me and makes me feel very small and vulnerable. (And I'm not the main target, so I imagine it is much worse for those who are visible minorities.)
I do not and will not support institutions that protect and support hatred and exclusion.
Moving on to better news, we had Kerri Buckley from Carina Press speak to ORWA this weekend and I had the chance to pitch Best Face Forward to her. It wasn't what she was looking for but she asked for a synopsis and three chapters to send to Harlequin Special Edition.
I did a Tarot draw before leaving to pitch and I drew the Knight of Coins, which is a card indicating slow and steady progress and an incipient breakthrough. Fingers crossed it turns out to be prophetic.
Last week's draw was the five of cups (loss and grief), the five of coins (poverty) and the six of swords (brighter days ahead). It was an expensive week paying for my son's braces and my other son's summer camps. But not enough to shove us into the poor house.
This week's draw pulled the Lovers for the past. The Lovers indicates a significant decision was made, one with major implications. Next was the King of Cups for the present, which usually indicates someone who gives emotionally important and relevant advice. The future was the the Chariot, suggesting a difficult time dealing with opposing forces and a struggle to maintain balance.
Two major Arcana in one draw suggests it's going to be a memorable or significant week. Guess we'll find out.