• strict warning: Declaration of FeedsImporter::copy() should be compatible with FeedsConfigurable::copy(FeedsConfigurable $configurable) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/includes/FeedsImporter.inc on line 94.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsNodeProcessor::map() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::map($source_item, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsNodeProcessor.inc on line 319.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsNodeProcessor::setTargetElement() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::setTargetElement(&$target_item, $target_element, $value) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsNodeProcessor.inc on line 319.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsFeedNodeProcessor::map() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::map($source_item, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsFeedNodeProcessor.inc on line 227.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsFeedNodeProcessor::setTargetElement() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::setTargetElement(&$target_item, $target_element, $value) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsFeedNodeProcessor.inc on line 227.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsUserProcessor::map() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::map($source_item, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsUserProcessor.inc on line 195.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • You must include at least one positive keyword with 3 characters or more.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_display::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_display.inc on line 1877.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_display_block::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin_display::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_display_block.inc on line 193.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_field_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_field.inc on line 641.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 82.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 585.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 585.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 609.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_boolean_operator::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_boolean_operator.inc on line 128.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_style_default::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_style_default.inc on line 25.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 135.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 135.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Declaration of content_handler_field::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/cck/includes/views/handlers/content_handler_field.inc on line 208.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 745.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 770.

Friends, Countrymen, Take Up Your Words!

Flickr Creative Commons: Wonder woman0731
It’s been a strange August full of strange happenings.
It started when I packed up my gypsy wagon once more and moved from Chicago to North Carolina with an unintended pit stop (i.e. dead car battery) beside a nuclear power plant. Did I mention it was the dead of night in West Virginia with everything closed the following day? Soon after, Charlottesville, Virginia, was set upon by white supremacists. My husband is a UVA alumnus and we dated through our undergrad years, so I have a romantic devotion the town, its students, and community. It broke our hearts to see it tainted with hate and violence. Immediately following, the sun and moon aligned in the first solar eclipse in 99 years. All in a month.
Prophetic much? I came close to telling my builder to scrap the house plans and dig a bunker. Then I remembered that living in fear is exactly what our enemies want—whether they come from within (supremacists) or without (terrorists). We can let the internal and external devils govern our actions, or we can seek some semblance of understanding so as to respond discerningly. Words are our power, friends.
As men and women whose lives are dedicated to the craft, the responsibility falls on us to be facilitators of a positive language exchange. Antagonistic rhetoric is too readily accepted today, indirectly and directly. It’s become the only way many know how to communicate. But anger and fear only fuel the beast.
Make no mistake: we are angry; we are fearful. But as guardians and proprietors of words, we understand that there is grace, knowledge, and a defined intent to every written and spoken element. This is the credence we give to spending hours deliberating over each a and the that make up the sentences and paragraphs and pages of our chapters. Words matter.
Once expressed, words resonate through the chambers of the world we inhabit and through the chambers of ourselves. We believe them— believe in them. So we must choose wisely, now more than ever. This is not the time for ignorance or flagrant tweets. 140 characters have the power to unite or destroy a nation.
Let’s be clear about the truth of language: words see no color of skin, religious affiliation, age, or sex. They supersede time, wealth, and political powers. They are steadfast as the mountains yet fluid as water. Our sacred texts even refer to them with veneration: In the beginning was the Word… They are to be honored and applied with due diligence. Anything less twists their nature and makes them void.
Silence is not an option either. I’m ashamed to confess that I tried that in the past. During the volatile election year, I had a well-meaning family member counsel me not to publicly express my personal beliefs. She warned me that it would never reflect my true heart. I’m guilty of caving to the pressure. I didn’t want to offend family and friends on either side of the political divide.
Charlottesville changed me. It was indisputable proof that polite passivity is its own kind of culpability. It allows malevolence to seed around us. We must write courageously. The conversation has been started whether we want to be part or not. It’s the writers’ duty to share perspectives.
I write fiction. On a daily basis, I put my Sarah-ness in a box and step into the shoes of other people, invented characters, historical figures, neighbors, friends, etc. My aim? To gain wisdom. I may not agree with the other individuals’ reasons and actions. I may never find clarity on the situations they faced, but it is my job to decipher intent—to root out the humanity. What I find may be ugly and horrific. Writers must be prepared for that. It’s part of the trade. We must be prudent in how we handle our subject matter.
We’re taught in craft classes to be an objective eye to the subjective universe. Not to cross author-narrator-character lines. Show, don’t tell. Use exclamations sparingly. Avoid red herrings. Trust your readers’ insights to prevent overwriting and didactic prose. Trust your readers, we tell ourselves when we want to write our own opinions into the story. Because we have a yearning to ensure that the world hears our message. But like all things, there is a time and place. Now is that time.
The moon has eclipsed the sun. The signs are clear. We must unite as writers to take back our noble, our good, our mighty ordinance. Love, truth, respect, understanding: these are the words that need declaration. Those who raise discriminate fists need reminding of the words on which this country was founded:
We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
It is an unalienable right, endowed by divinity. So it is written. So I believe. So I write.

Wish you could buy this author a cup of joe?

Now, thanks to tinyCoffee and PayPal, you can!

 
 
 
 

About Sarah McCoySARAH McCOY is the New York TimesUSA Today, and international bestselling author of The Mapmaker’s Children; The Baker’s Daughter, a 2012 Goodreads Choice Award Best Historical Fiction nominee; the novella “The Branch of Hazel” in Grand Central; and The Time It Snowed in Puerto Rico.

Her work has been featured in Real Simple, The Millions, Your Health Monthly, Huffington Post and other publications. She has taught English writing at Old Dominion University and at the University of Texas at El Paso. She calls Virginia home but presently lives with her husband, an orthopedic sports doctor, and their dog, Gilly, in Chicago, Illinois. Connect with Sarah on Twitter at @SarahMMcCoy, on her Facebook Fan Page, Goodreads, or via her website, www.sarahmccoy.com.Web | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | Google+ | More Posts

"If you can't annoy somebody, there's little point in writing. "
Kingsley Amis

Random picks

  • Recent past has been increasingly adventuress and outrageously new. Ideas that rocked our world, theories that put us on the map of world were characteristically untrue to any set of existing rules. Online universe does not hold anything as critical and a matter of life death situation. The reason behind is to make other participants explore courageously and bring their own expertise to provide a wholesome experience.
  • Many people learning English as a second language can get several words wrong. The surprising thing is that even native English speakers can commit such errors. There are many top 10 lists on common misspelled or confused words in English.
  • Self-doubt. Most writers - even established authors -- face it at some point as they write a book - then repeat visit it throughout their writing journeys. You know this voice. It may whisper or rant words like: That's too vulnerable or difficult for me to write. My writing is not good enough to complete a book. Not universal enough. I am sure to fail. Welcome to the world of the writer - of most creative people. I have come to see it as one of the writing rites of passages every writer and creative person faces at some level - no matter how successful you are. Check out these three doubt...
  • (See what I did there?) The shit-eating-grinner pictured here is responsible for knicking Jonathan Franzen’s glasses and has got himself some ink in GQ. Where does he go from here? Next up: getting tased at a Tony Blair reading. “We stumbled across this event whilst in a cab on the way through to Kensington and when stopped at the door, not quite dressed for the occasion, a bit of wavy hand rhetoric was enough to let us through into the private party. We sat drinking excessive champagne for a while and talking to some of the guests there until I realised just how dull it all was....
  • Sponsored yearly by the Art House Co-op (The Brooklyn Art Library), the Sketchbook Project (for a fee) sends out a blank sketchbook to be filled by participating artists. If completed and sent in by the deadline, the book will join others on a tour around the US and then be housed at the Brooklyn Art Library.Each book will be given a barcode so it can be cataloged into The Brooklyn Art Library

Recommended sites

Most recent titles

Fast fact about writing

In some languages, as in English and French, the modern freezing of spelling has removed the writing more and more from pronunciation and has resulted in the need to teach spelling and the growth of fallacies like the "silent" letter (a letter is really either the symbol of a sound or it is unnecessary).