Tragedy Fuels

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I don’t understand why murder happens. I guess I’ll never comprehend the need to take someone else’s life or harm another. There has to be a better way: a solution that doesn’t require violence. It must be hard to be in the military, never questioning orders, carrying out what must be done for safety’s reasons. It has to be even more difficult to be a police officer in this hour of non-stop media always pressing, pressing, pressing for an answer — even if that response is not accurate.

I don’t understand why we need to over-rationalize the assholes. Popularity seems to excuse the jerks while loneliness provides a justification to target villains. Sometimes? An asshole is just an asshole. Period. There is no answer for it other than that. I am tired of folks questioning the accuser saying: “Well, are you sure they were an asshole?” When are we going to start asking the assholes of world to change and tell the victims it wasn’t their fault. Do we really have to wait until violence happens to act? Is death the only way we can show that something is wrong?

I don’t understand why some find it necessary to bully their way through life, either. I especially don’t understand why anyone would dare to harm a child — any child — nor do I “get” the whole idea of exerting your life’s ways on another. Provided you are not harming anyone else, who cares if your hair is pink? Or your pants too short? Or your stripes too plaid? Oh, I’m not holier than thou. I joke about “bad fashion” because I love art so, so, so much. But clothing is the absolute least on my radar of “very important” things. Trust me.

I look at what happened on Friday, what happened all last week, and I have to seriously wonder why it’s even a question that we should arm civilians with more elaborate weaponry (and no training) than the police. Where did this come from? This need to find newer, easier ways to kill? To arm Joe Citizen and not require a background check? Even if Joe Citizen has a history of violence? Mental illness? Perhaps the questions we should be asking ourselves should be related to preventative diffusion: affordable health services, safer methods of restraint, and conflict resolution.

I take no issue with responsible gun control or ownership. I take zero issue with responsible hunting, with responsible protection, and with responsible living. But, as a humanist, I have no patience for the over-justification of abuse (domestic, animal, or not), the devaluation of life, and the easy access of tools that allow people to harm another.

I am appalled at the way the media handled this particular incident. I wanted to be a reporter when I grew up. (Also Indiana Jones, Amelia Earhart, Mozart, Marie Curie, and Shakespeare, but that’s another story for a more appropriate time.) The thrill of daily news, the investigation required — all that pissed away. The facts in this story have been so twisted and so ridiculously mishandled some of these people should either be fired or sued for libel. The wrong names were shared. The wrong pictures were offered. Worse, once again we are glorifying the murderer and not talking about the heroes — the everyday teachers — who risked their lives for their students. What happened to the need for truth? Ethical reporting? Who protects an eight year old who just watched/heard their classmates die from a nosy reporter? Who watches the press?

I could go on and on, but there is nothing I can do. My words will not get through to anyone because these are the same questions others have said and they are now added to a chamber of echoes. I hope that this time, this time, is the last shooting. I hope that this tragedy will set a fire under people to push for basic common sense, human decency, and living responsibly.

For myself? Since I wasn’t directly affected by this tragedy, there are only two things I can do. First, I can ask my state senators to strongly consider repealing concealed carry or reinforcing what’s required to carry a gun. (A “lovely” policy that was installed by our guv’nor.)

And second? Deal with my mixed emotions the only way I know how — through Art, in all its mixed forms.

    Mood: somber
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: sigh
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: Too much frakking sitting in a car.
    In My Ears: “Luke and Leia” from Return of the Jedi Soundtrack.
    Game Last Played: Dragon Age: Awakenings
    Movie Last Viewed: The Hobbit
    Latest Artistic Project: Holiday gifts
    Latest Release: “The Dig” The Lovecraft eZine Issue No. 19

[New Release] “Tailfeather” in Apexology: Science Fiction and Fantasy

Apexology: Science Fiction and Fantasy CoverHi everyone!

I am thrilled to announce the debut of my dystopian science fiction story entitled Tailfeather in Apexology: Science Fiction and Fantasy. Set in a far-flung future, you learn why Maria undergoes a series of invasive surgeries to become a cybernetic bird for the U.F.S. military. This is the second story that has been published in my ever-expansive setting and I’m happy to be a part of this collection. You can read a little more about the setting’s high concepts in my post entitled Writing the Future, the Slow Creep of Ages.

The anthology is available in digital for $2.99 on Amazon.com, DriveThruSciFi.com and by buying direct from Apex Book Company.

I hope you will do me the honor of supporting my work.

Special thanks go out to fellow author Stephen Blackmoore whose dark fantasy novel City of the Lost debuts in January 2012 from DAW.

Take a peek at the table of contents below! Happy reading!

Apexology: Science Fiction and Fantasy Table of Contents

    Dedalus and the Labyrinth – J.M. McDermott
    The Imagination Hospital – Guy Hasson
    Ride of a Lifetime – Patrick S. Tomlinson
    The Komastu – Jennifer Brozek
    Stinker City – George R. Galuschak
    Tailfeather – Monica Valentinelli
    Temple of Regrets – Maurice Broaddus
    Haunted Empire – Deanna Knippling
    And Night Swallowed the World – Paul Jessup
    BollyWorld Gods, Bubonic Men, and the Cyberpunk Samurai – O.M.R. Anwar and M. Zak Anwar
    Coming Home – Gene O’Neill
    Extremum – R. Thomas Riley and Roy C. Booth
    Ride the Wild Wind – Gill Ainsworth
    In Her Image – Michael A. Burstein
    Unicorn Gold – Alethea Kontis
    Gemphalon – Elizabeth Engstrom
    G-O-O-D-B-Y-E – Nick Mamatas
    Covenant – Lavie Tidhar

Announcing Redwing’s Gambit, a Novella for Bulldogs

Love science fiction? Have a soft spot for origin stories?

I am thrilled to announce I am polishing the final draft of Redwing’s Gambit, a novella about a Bulldogs! RPGnewly-formed crew for the Bulldogs RPG from Galileo Games. This story is about an ensemble cast who has been hired to transport a high-profile politician from one end of the galaxy to the other. The only problem is: there’s a saboteur on board and they’re way out in deep space.

Written as a science fiction mystery, Redwing’s Gambit is the origin story for the ship’s crew and clientele. The plot was designed to help readers get to know these characters and offer a glimpse into the expansive Bulldogs! setting. Oh, and there will be a little ass-kicking along the way.

The novella will debut Fall/Winter of this year. A firm publication date has not been set.

Announcing Strange, Dead Love for Vampire the Requiem

At GenCon: Indy, White Wolf 2011-2012 release schedule was announced. One of the projects on the list is a supplement for Vampire: the Requiem entitled Strange, Dead Love.

I’m happy to share with you that I’m one of the writers! The project is developed by Russ Bailey with co-developer Eddy Webb. Jess Hartley and Filamena Hill will be penning the other sections of this romantically-inclined supplement. Filamena will be coordinating podcast promotion for White Wolf bloggers, so please keep that in mind.

Here’s a little more about the product in Russ’s own words:

Strange, Dead Love will be available in PDF and digital print first, via our partners at DriveThruRPG. It will not be a standalone book; there just wasn’t room in the schedule to do a new Vampire core. However, it should be fairly playable with one of our quickstarts.

This is definitely a book for people who like vampire romance. We’re talking more epic emotions and dark action than the usual Requiem blood and asphalt. We’re focusing on being true to genre, much as we did with the two Mirrors sci-fi books. — Russ Bailey on Google+

To be blunt: I am thrilled to be on this project because this is a subject matter I’m familiar with. For the last, few years I’ve been going to a romance writer’s group where many talented people have been diving in and really educating everyone on the subject. It has been a great experience because they talked about things I never would have thought about. How relationships need to be plotted out. How there’s a difference between writing about sex and establishing intimacy. How there’s more than one emotion in any romance.

There’s been some mention of Twilight and similarly-themed properties in player discussions. I can tell you that this is not a book about Twilight, this is a book about vampire romance. Twilight is one type of romance — and it’s not for everyone. Believe me, there are many flavors. Kind of like ice cream, only…

Well, you get the idea.

Please, please do NOT hold me to any specifics. This project is in development.

First Ever Net Neutrality Legislation has Passed

Today, I watched the FCC hearing on Net Neutrality before they took their vote. I listened to speeches, both for and against the order, and I heard the vote.

I still don’t know what to make of this, especially after hearing Commissioner Baker say that the order was drastically changed yesterday and delivered to her at 11:30 p.m. last night. What’s more, is that this order might not stick:

The net neutrality measure is the federal government’s first move to regulate broadband access. Questions remain, however, over whether the agency has the legal right to serve as the nation’s watchdog over Internet access. Last spring, a federal appeals court said the FCC overstepped its authority by sanctioning Comcast for blocking access to users of BitTorrent’s peer-to-peer sharing application. — SOURCE: FCC passes first net neutrality rules

Already, both sides of the fence are reacting. FCC Breaks Obama’s Promise is just one of many articles on the subject.

So, my answer is: too early to tell, especially since this order excludes mobile. Once this gets caught up with legal, it could be months or years before this gets sorted out.

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Looking for Monica’s books and games that are still in print? Visit Monica Valentinelli on Amazon’s Author Central or a bookstore and game store near you.

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