Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Letters4Cecilyandeverybodyelse

I wanted to post something upbeat, to balance out the last post...

...but then the shooting and  #yesallwomen happened the day after I got into a Facebook battle (I know, the worst kind) over some basic Feminism 101 stuff. (A friend quoted something thoughtful about women and respect and how we can't actually force anyone to respect us and it slips into a "blame the victim" area really quickly, and the first/only reply was a "What about the mens?!" comment which made me super duper grumpy... and I get righteously verbose when I'm grumpy... and then I got piled on by all the mens, and I felt like a radical failure because I don't think anyone came away feeling more thoughtful or open to critique... though it did inspire me to Facebook message Gloria Steinem and see if I could get an official Gloria Seal of Approval, since one of the white men tried to shame me by saying that Gloria Steinem wouldn't approve of me making a big deal out of this tiny little issue... that they couldn't let go... )

And and and. So tired. So hot. So tiredhot.

I wrote two letters to Cecily McMillan today, the Occupy protestor who was sentenced to prison for hitting someone who grabbed her breast. I suspect that if he hadn't been a cop, she *still* would have been judged guilty by the public.

So anyway. I'm terrible at convincing people who don't want to be convinced (see Facebook fight, above,) so I'm not going to try and explain or anything.

I just wanted to kidbrag a little, because mine are awesome.

ProtestKid made the latest in his #jokes4Cecily series, but LilMan went in a whole new direction with his artistic renderings today. If you can't read 6 yr old, it says, "Dear Cecily's roommate, I'm very angry at the police officer who hurt Cecily's body. And what happened to you?"

A lot of people have said, Cecily got off easy, what about all the other victims of police brutality and our unthinking faith in authority no matter how violent it gets?

And to them, I say, check out my awesome kid who is upset about Cecily AND ALSO is now thinking about the woman she's sharing a cell with, and from there... the world.

So shut up and write a letter to one of the other women (or men, or human beings) that are struggling inside Rikers, or after Rikers. Send it care of Cecily McMillan. I think she's pretty good at sharing.

...And here's my favorite ProtestKid joke, but I totally ruined it by taking a bad picture. It should say, "Why did the policeman wash his clothes before he ran off with the protestors? So he could make a CLEAN getaway."

May all our getaways be clean.

(And hey, if anyone happens to know how I can get an Official Gloria Steinem Badge/Seal of Approval that would be so effng awesome I might actually swear.)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Where Did Occupy Go?

That's what one of the parents asked me, yesterday, as we waited for our children to run and scream and roll out their pent up energy after school.

He's a nice guy, a parent of one of ProtestKid's dearest friends.

And I wanted to scream at him.

Where did it go? Where did IT go? Where did YOU go?

You pleasant person with the nice job and comfortable apartment.

Where were you when cops took the carbon fiber tents down with chainsaws and smashed puppies in the night?

Where were you when the NDAA defined me and my children as "terrorists" for questioning the government?

It's not pleasant and it's not comfortable and without the protection of your attention Occupy couldn't continue to operate in Liberty Square.

But Occupy isn't gone because the problems it addressed aren't gone. The principles of mutual aid aren't gone-- even if you personally didn't benefit from them, other people had reason to thank Occupy Sandy.

Speaking of Sandy, I just watched Parents of the Revolution, a documentary that ProtestKid and I briefly feature in. One of the issues I had with it was the tidy ending the filmmaker tried to slap onto it, with Kirby, a passionate activist, hugging a genial cop after Occupy Sandy brought them together.

One occupier's one hug does not a reconciliation with the violence (both physical and psychological) that destroyed the occupation at Liberty Square make. To suggest anything else is kind of belittling of the struggle every one of us went through to be there and make a stand.

And here's the thing-- we are still struggling. Whether I march or not, I am dealing with the consequences of having marched-- a knee jerk distrust of police, a new set of passionate friends and acquaintances I hold very dear--and as long as I struggle to breathe free, to make a stand, I will occupy that struggle, trying to help others stand up, too.

Wish us luck.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Contest #2 Winner

Deep apologies that I was not able to post the winner of the free book sooner. I spent my birthday sick on the couch, so I'm hoping that burns off some of my bad karma. ;)

!ProtestDaddy picked a random number, and @LavLobster is the winner. I will be contacting her shortly to see how she would like her copy sent to her.

Thank you to everyone who participated.

Cheers,
alia

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Contest #2



A contest! Another contest!

From now until my birthday (March 19th), for each place you post “I want to get a free copy of Alia Gee’s novel, Suncatcher, because… <insert your genuine reason here>” with a link to this blogpost right here-- AND TAG ME/SEND ME A LINK (via comments here or FB or however you want) you will get entered to win a copy of Suncatcher in the format of your choice. (Previous winners not eligible… because.)

This means you can post it three times on Facebook and be entered once—but if you post once on Facebook, once on Twitter, and once on Youtube you get entered 3 times.

Non electronic versions count. If you make a mural on your garage door or rearrange the craft letters at your local hobby shop, just take a picture and email it to me. 

I’ll probably post it, actually, if it’s that awesome. ;)

…And if you just can’t wait to get a free copy, you can always buy your own copy right this very instant at your local book store—or from one of the links below.


Please have fun with this. What’s the point, if there’s no fun?

Cheers,
me

Monday, February 10, 2014

Why I Avoid Telling Straight/CIS/White/Male Stories

I read http://www.jimchines.com/2014/01/fiskception/ which is a response to a response to a response...

And I wanted to comment ALL OVER IT... but that would look bad, since I've rarely visited his site and haven't read his books and don't feel like I've earned the right to say "MY BOOK MY BOOK MY BOOK!" all over it.... ;)

But I can do that here, because My Blog...

Here is one reason why I avoid telling straight/white/male/cis stories:

Because I'm not one. And so my personal default, when telling a story, is NOT to write that character.

But let's take it one step further: why do I avoid telling straight/white/female/cis stories?

Because the first time I ran across a good story where the love story wasn't hetero, I was disappointed (and I still have that feeling, sometimes, because *human* and also *greedy*).

Because I want(ed) them for myself, why couldn't *my* team be represented in this awesome wonderful story?

In my defense, I think that first time I was 13.

But the point is, about 30 seconds later I went Oh, is that how people who aren't hetero feel about all the het relationships in stories out there?

Oh.

Oh right.

And then I thought, sometime after that, is that how all the non-white people feel?

...and I've read other things and been inspired by other writers, but I think this was the start. My little sadness, multiplied by all the sads out there... the sads that love the story, but wish it was a little easier to squeeze themselves into it.




And that just wasn't right.




So I work a little harder, think a little longer. It's not even about ticking off boxes, it's about trying to write more interesting characters. I mean, I don't know any default characters in real life... do you?

No, you don't. Every person is individual, has scars and stories that stick to them like quicksilver shadows. People have faults, they aren't defaults.

Every character can have that same presence, with just a little effort, a little extra thought.

If I'm going to work hard to give my characters an interesting world in which to do amazing things-- why not make them a little amazing, too?

...so yeah, that's what I write, and frankly, that's what I want to read, too.

Monday, January 27, 2014

PDA#2 (just putting it out there...)



Public Displays of Affectation
Volume 3.5, Number  2
January 27th, 2014
Dear Gentle Reader,
We’ve made it to number two! The second writing newsletter! Woo-hoo!
The news is, Suncatcher is now available in all electronic formats. Here’s a convenient list:

Here is a joke I found on the internet:
Query: How many Steampunks does it take to secure a patent?
Response: It depends how hard the patent is struggling.
*ba-dum ching*

I’ve spent the last month working on PR and Marketing. One exercise has involved writing down all the places and organizations I’ve been connected with. It’s been surprisingly nice, as I check in with people I haven’t seen in ten or fifteen years, to be reminded that people don’t fall into a stasis field when they drift out of my life. They grow and change and struggle, too.

I want to keep this short, but one other exciting-for-me thing: I’ve started slowly building up my Goodreads profile. If you want to friend me there, please do.

As always, I can be found on Facebook (Alia Gee), Twitter (AliaGee1) and my blog-- http://alia-gee.blogspot.com/

If you have any questions you would like to see me address, privately or publicly, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Cheers,
Alia

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Woo hoo!

SUNCATCHER is now for sale at all storefronts:

AMAZON:

Paperback

Kindle

BARNES & NOBLE:

Paperback

Nook

BOOKLOCKER:

Adobe, PDF and Kindle versions


ITUNES

iBook (for all Mac products)


KOBO:

Kobo


Try before you buy!

The first nine (9!) chapters are available to read for free on the booklocker site:


Friday, January 3, 2014

Snow Day!

Oh the weather outside is...

;)

I had wanted to put up the lyrics of the modified carols we sang (cited in the last post), and I just found my copy of them so I figured I better do it before the pages get lost (again...)

Most of these were created by members of Occupy Astoria LIC, though "Deck the Jails" was cribbed off a Youtube post... So let's start with that one!

DECK THE JAILS

Deck the jails with Wall Street bankers
Fa la etc
We know you're all crooks and wankers
Fa la etc
You behave as if you own us
Fa la etc
You deserve jail not a bonus
Fa la etc...

I'M DREAMING OF A FAIR WAGE
(To the tune of White Christmas)

I'm dreaming of a fair wage
Just like our fathers used to know
Where the polticians listen
And benefits aren't missin'
And no more greedy CEOs

I'm dreaming of a fair wage
Because the one we've got ain't right
While these companies all subsidiiiiiiiize
We can't survive on 7.25

WAGE HIKE
(to the tune of Sleigh Ride)

Just hear those profits jingling, ring ting tingling too
Come on and pay the workers
For all the work that they do
Those bills just keep on rising and debt is through the roof
Come on and work together it's time to face the truth

Raise it up raise it up raise it up it's grand!
Just taking a stand.

We are unstoppable, another world is possible
We are unstoppable, another world is possible

Profits soaring and workers calling boo-hoo.
You know you're hoarding profit,
It's time to stop it you fools!
$15 dollars an hour that'd be cool
Come on it's lovely weather for a wage hike together with you.
Lovely weather for a wage hike together with you!

SEVEN TWENTY FIVE
(to the tune of Winter Wonderland)

CEO's make a killing
Average Joes aren't willing
to keep getting paid
the minimum wage
We can't survive on $7.25

Workers gripe, you ignore them
Profits soar, and you hoard them
They don't trickle down
You watch them compound
We can't survive on $7.25

In the boardroom you can count your profits
and pretend that we're a family
We'll ask for a raise and you'll say, "No, man!"
If you could you'd have us work for free.

Gone away to the islands
One percenters are stylin'
The 99 sweat
to pay for that jet
We're still makin' $7.25

LET IT GROW
(to the tune of Let it Snow)

Oh the minimum wage is frightful!
But here's something insightful:
$7.25's too low!
So let it grow, let it grow, let it grow!

How long can you keep pretending
Your bonus is never ending?
Tell all of the CEOs,
Let it grow! Let it grow! Let it grow!

When it finally trickles down,
How we'll love going out on the town!
If you double $7.25, Maybe we all can survive!

The economy's slowly dying,
And the one percent's denying
That the minimum wage is is low, so
Let it grow! Let it grow! Let it grow!

PAY A LIVING WAGE
(To the tune of Do You See What I See?)

Said the 99% to everyone
Do you see what I see?
Do you see what I see?
Workers rights eroding everywhere
Do you see what I see?

A working class that's going nowhere fast
While the 1% thumbs its nose
While the 1% thumbs its nose

Said the working class to the CEOs
Pay a living wage!
Pay a ilving wage!
We can't survive on $7.25
Pay a living wage!
Pay a living Wage!

Your profits soar
Your workers you ignore
Have you no concern for their plight?
May we turn this wrong into right
May we turn this wrong into right!

YOU DIRTY BUM
(To the tune of Little Drummer Boy)

Mister CEO, your time has come
Now we all know just where your money comes from
You steal it from your workers (a-and then some)
Because the  wage you pay is the minimum
the minimum
the minimum....
They deserve much more than that little crumb,
You dirty bum...

Why are you paid such a ridiculous sum?
You make three grand an hour, that's criminal, chum
But you can't fool the people you're stealing from
You think you're very smart but you're pretty dumb
You're pretty dumb
You're pretty dumb....
And we're gonna raise that wage minimum,
You dirty bum.

IT'S TIME TO ASK FOR MORE
(To the tune of Auld Lang Syne)

May old slave wages be forgot
and replaced by something more.
We can't survive on $7.25
It's time to ask for more.
It's time to ask for more, my dear,
It's time to ask for more
We can't survive on $7.25
It's time to ask for more!

...If there are other versions you think are awesome, please add them in the comments.

Cheers!
(Edited to add: http://www.thomhartmann.com/blog/2013/12/fight-15-isnt-just-fast-food-workers <-- for why this is relevant, timely, and not just about McDonalds)

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Belated Jingle Bells

ProtestKid and I joined with several other Occupy Astoria friends a couple of weekends ago to serenade workers at our local McDonalds, Taco Bell and other fast food restaurant chains on Steinway. It was organized at the last minute but we still had enough people turn up that we were able to fill the establishments with our rousing songs.

The only place we got grief was at the McDonalds, where someone (a shift manager? He clearly believed himself to be an authority figure) told us to leave... but we still finished our song and left under our own volition.

Some people just stared at us, and some people smiled. I got one very quiet, "Good job" muttered at me by a passing customer and nobody heckled us.

I enjoyed caroling to the staff and patrons, but my favorite part was caroling on the street corner, and singing, "Deck the jails with Wall Street bankers! We know you're all crooks and wankers!" outside an HSBC branch.

My least favorite part was when ProtestKid asked me what a wanker was. (For the record, I said it was a really rude word for a jerk, and he shouldn't say it at school.)

Afterwards, I asked ProtestKid a couple of questions.

Me: Why did you want to go caroling (for the 99%)?

ProtestKid: Because I care about people! And I don't want anyone to suffer because of the 1% not noticing them and not giving them human rights. Caroling is a good way to convince the 1% to actually realize, 'Oh, my workers are underpaid. Better make up for that!'

Me: How did caroling make you feel?

PK: I felt really really good. I only got a little nervous when we found the cop in the bank.

Me: How did you think people around you felt?


PK: A lot of them smiled. The cop looked a little scared and tense, ready to pull off an arrest.

Me: Anything else you want to say about it?

PK: I also liked singing the songs. ... I want to be a man of many talents; I enjoy singing when there's a chance and it doesn't embarrass me. And singing with the rest of Occupy Astoria, I didn't feel embarrassed, I felt special.

I have to say, I really like the idea of singing truth to power.

Happy New Year
from the Protest Family