I'm getting ready to have company this week---out of state and out of country. Dear friend, Australian author Valerie Parv, came to the US for the RT Convention in LA. She'll be here at the end of this week. Soooo excited. Also coming, bestest friend in the whole wide world Sherry! Susan from Alaska, Tina from Washington, and Grace and Esther from Utah. We're having a "Batreat"---in regular English, that's "Bat Retreat." We all met in the eHarlequin community years and years ago and frequent a thread known as The Bat Cave.
Kids were on Spring Break last week, and long about Tuesday, Valerie, in LA for the conference, called and asked me to come be her guest Thursday at the awards ceremony. Seems she was getting a Pioneer Award (for authors who've been slugging it out in the romance genre since it really took off back in the MUMBLEMUMBLE's) and could bring a guest. What a fabulous time. Awards, then a marvelous dinner (which, yes, involved some adult bevvies), checking out the revolving lounge at the hotel (I didn't really need to be in a revolving lounge, my adult bevvies did the trick nicely)...We talked until the wee hours of the morning, woke up and talked some more before I had to dash home. I've met Valerie in person only once before, back in '08 at the San Fran Romance Writer's of America conference (well, before it started)...and it was quite a charge to see her again. Chatting on IM is a poor substitute for being in the same room.
That purty much takes care of the writing side of life. The Batreat is going to be a blast, and after it's over, I'm going to find my writing groove again and just Git 'R Dun.
So...on to what else is on my mind. With all the ruckus around Congress passing a budget and the Planned Parenthood rider that looked to be a major sticking point, I was greatly cheered to see an article that discussed what Planned Parenthood Actually Does. So I took a chance and shared it on my Facebook page.
Caused quite a discussion.
I don't mind discussion. I love it. How else am I going to make informed decisions? What I do mind is the hatred. It gets me every time. Sure, everyone is entitled to their opinions. Nothing better than a spirited and lively adult conversation. It's so stimulating, yanno, to hear other sides of the issue and engage in a meaningful dialogue that hopefully everyone can gain something from---new insight is one of my faves. Hyperbole doesn't do much for me, doesn't convince me to seriously consider the other point of view, especially if I'm not truly believing what's being said. And especially if I perceive my values/morals are being called into question. Not stated outright, and is very likely my very own perception of the comment, but regardless of the intent of the commentator, what it boils down to is how it's taken by the reader. (Which, incidentally, is a good thing for writers to remember.) Yes, some of the comments were that fantastic. However, without proof and no way or time to go find any, I decided the best response was a reasoned/reasonable one based on personal experience and---I hope---open-mindedness. A potentially insightful, educational conversation for all parties turned into an ideological war of words. We exercised our freedom of speech, and yanno, I am very glad to live in a country where such conversations can take place. No, I didn't come away convinced of the other person's view point. She very likely didn't come away convinced of mine, but I'm proud of the way I handled it and delighted (very much so) with the response sharing one link engendered.