Politics and Publishing: Reflections on Indiana’s new law

My publisher, Post Mortem Press, is attending a book fair next week. It’s in Indiana, which just passed a “religious freedom bill.” Since the publisher and writers, including myself, were already committed to going, we will follow through. However, I was proud when my publisher posted on Facebook that it would be the last event he would attend in Indiana due to the passage of the new law.

I don’t usually discuss politics on my site, since it is by nature a contentious subject and I don’t have enough readers to tick off some. However, this is important.

I hope that those who support this law understand the impact it will have and what it suggests. For one, Catholic pharmacists can now refuse to fill birth control prescriptions or ring up condoms. It is also a challenge to any who wish to refuse service to the LGBTQ community based on their deeply held religious convictions, to uphold ALL the principles of their religion. There will be no cafeteria style choosing of which parts of the dogma you can choose. For instance, if you are Catholic, you should stop using birth control. (I give these examples since I was raised Catholic.) Proprietors and others must abide by every rule of their religions in order to claim the rights in this bill or else they are hypocrites and the law is nothing more than a discriminatory law dressed in holy clothing.

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International Conference of the Fantastic in the Arts

Last Wednesday through Sunday, I was an attending author at the International Conference of the Fantastic in the Arts, my favorite conference to attend. I have met wonderful people there over the years and it’s always a pleasure to see them at our annual gathering and catch up on their lives and writing. And as usual, I met a few new people who are also really cool. I hosted a reading by Greg Bechtel and John Kessel. I read with Mike Allen and Ellen Klages. I also read poetry and hosted a poetry panel.

Which brings me to another announcement:

I have edited a poetry chapbook titled Words for Worlds featuring regular poets from the ICFA poetry panels. It contains work by Bruce Boston, Bryan Dietrich, Donna Hooley, Sandra Lindow, David Lunde, Donald Riggs, Marge Simon, Mary Turzillo, Gina Whisker, and myself. It’s a great little collection of speculative poetry. It is published and available at Porkbelly Press.

Quarter Reads

I saw that a friend of mine had posted a story to Quarter Reads so I decided to check it out. The site charges a quarter to read a short story. There is, however, a five dollar minimum purchase to start reading though. But that’s a lot of stories you can read. 🙂

Here’s my story that was inspired by working at the directory desk of the Cincinnati Public Library back when they still used real phone books to look up numbers. You can can get a tease for free. 🙂

“Phone Voodoo.”

Looking for a good book?

My good friend Stephen Leigh has a new book out today!

Here’s the news:

TODAY IS RELEASE DAY!  THE CROW OF CONNEMARA is a contemporary Celtic fantasy set primarily in Ireland. Picking up threads from ancient Irish mythology and folktales, this story is fantasy, drama, and tragic romance all at once, a tale caught in the dark places where the world of ancient myth intersects our own, where old ways and old beliefs struggle not to be overwhelmed by the modern world.

Colin Doyle is third generation Irish-American musician, whose interest is traditional Irish music. Maeve Gallagher is an Oileánach, an ‘Islander’ on Ireland’s west coast, outcasts treated with suspicion and disdain by the locals, who think them responsible for wild and strange happenings in the area. Colin’s and Maeve’s lives will soon intersect and intertwine. Colin will discover that Maeve has been involved with his family for far longer than seems possible, and Maeve will have to make a life-or-death choice in order to achieve what she wants for her people.

Romantic Times said: “Leigh’s latest is an intriguing mix of old Celtic Fae mythology and a contemporary drama of finding yourself… Leigh is a master at building an entire world, not just the bare bones required by the plot.”