I want to start this statement with racism is WRONG.
I signed the petition for Courtney Milan because what happened to her was wrong. I don’t know her personally. But the procedures should not be weaponized to quiet a voice that is pro-diversity.
I am also against micro-aggressions in any form. The closest I saw was when a member of one local group asked for a conference to not be on Yom Kippur, a High Holiday. As someone from Miami I get it’s like having a meeting on Good Friday when this good Catholic school girl was taught that was not the day for laughing… Jesus died. Yom Kippur is the day of asking their version of the same God for forgiveness of sins and that should be as respected as one of the 2 major Christian holidays. (They didn’t put the conference on Christmas or Easter.)
Diversity means we all get to learn new things. To me that’s awesome. I love learning. I also love to talk to just about anyone.
Now with that said, I was shocked Christmas eve when everything hit twitter. I’ve met the president-elect who changed the rules and didn’t have the qualifications to be president. He’s charming, full of himself and yeah I heard him state little lies that didn’t matter as he was funny. Do I believe he was wrong… heck yes.
But in some ways what’s great is that the racism was revealed to all of us. I now understand I need to vote for people willing to spearhead and I’ll do what I can to be part of a group that includes everyone. (In real life for politics I’m voting Andrew Yang because while I don’t agree with all his positions and don’t know the feasibility, I like people who listen and want to do what they believe is best. I like him and he has my vote… I had 20 candidates to choose from on the democratic field but I’ve always been centered and had tons of republican friends all my life. I also grew up in Boston which is basically democratic headquarters and as I taught government I can say 80% of us vote the way our parents voted and our peers. There was only one side growing up but I always found my die hard Texas republican friends and I agreed more than we disagreed on anything. So please don’t post political hate as I only have love for you and all my friends and fans, no matter your opinion.)
Now with all that said I need to talk about the positives of RWA. When Amazon wasn’t doing the math for my royalties right, RWA helped with a phone call. When Feelena Hopkins went to Amazon and claimed she owned the word ‘cocky’ and took down all books with the cocky name on it… RWA got those books back up in hours and represented the hurt authors in court… when people dream of being traditionally published, RWA connects people with the editors and agents… when I first wrote my first two manuscripts no one has ever read, it was at RWA I learned how horrible they were and how to be a better writer. I also moved from Florida, to Denver to Pittsburgh and I don’t know where I’ll be in 3 years next, BUT… I want to belong to that group too.
RWA is a national voice that romance authors can benefit from. I went to nationals every year. My first one I heard Nora Roberts talk about how the swimming pool for authors was always full and hard to navigate, I was mesmerized. I now have a group of friends where we go and have a great time while learning.
Anyhow I see dissolution talk happening and I refuse to sign that. I’m not giving up. Does nationals need fixing, YES! But I’m a wide eyed optimist who writes happily-ever-after. I refuse to be part of destruction. I’ll go to NINC this year probably instead for a national conference, but I’m voting to stay part of an organization and vote for the leaders who rebuild. If I can help, I will, though I don’t think I can fly off anywhere right now for long unless RWA is paying for child care.
I’ll end my two cents with love because I met so many great people at RWA through the years and I refuse to be angry all the time about everything. I’d rather be part of the solution where I leave the world better for my children to live in. So anyhow if you’re reading this, I hope you know I love talking to you and love learning from everyone. People are more alike than dis-alike.