‘Painting Dragons’ is now in paperback!

Painting Dragons was released last month for Kindle. Now, you can also get it in paperback. This groundbreaking new work is about gender stereotypes in fiction. I hope you’ll take a look and recommend it to someone who might be interested.

Painting Dragons

Reflections: Skull Photo

I am pleased with today’s photo of an empty tattoo studio in Bogotá, Colombia. A painter has left an easel with a canvas showing severed heart valves growing from the top of a pink skull. The skull appears to be held up by a living hand, and there is an urban background. My own reflection is caught in the mirror. A passing taxi, and the elevated platform of the bus station behind it, are reflected in the mirror and in the window glass.

The photo plays on the theme of reflection. The absent artist is reflected in their work. I am reflected in the mirror designed for that purpose. The taxi, also reflected but more accidentally and transiently, connects my body and the artist’s work.

2018-11-09 pink skull.jpg

‘Painting Dragons’ is born

Painting Dragons book cover image

After decades of research, the book was ready. I put myself into the book, and I accepted the help of editors, an artist, and a coach, without whose assistance I could not have finished this project.

Painting Dragons: What Storytellers Need to Know About Writing Eunuch Villains

This book is free for Kindle today and tomorrow (Oct. 21 and 22).

Painting Dragons book cover image

This book is about how castrated men are often portrayed as monsters in fiction. I ask: What’s the “evil eunuch” stereotype, and why do novelists reproduce it? In this book, I explore the stereotypes that fashion these cruel, warped characters and encourage fiction writers to change the game.

I would like you to see the book and work your way around and through it. I would like to hear your opinions. Please download the book and post a review. (Remember, it’s free today and tomorrow.) Please share the link to this book with someone who needs to know about it. The book is no longer mine. It is for all of you.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

A flower with legs

Photos of a small yellow spider in an alcaparro tree. Bogotá, Colombia.

The bud has legs?

A yellow spider on a tree with yellow flowers.


Another view of the yellow spider.

The tree is alive in multiple ways.

A closeup of the yellow spider.

I Want to Reply, But I Don’t Want to Squabble: On Avoiding Online Fights

I see what you said, and it is unacceptable.
It threatens my worldview.
It breaks apart the extended community as if we are rope unspun into threads, twisted between careless fingers, returned to bits of dry grass.
I might have to make a comment.
But I see I will not change you.
I need not make the same comment eight times.
The more I say it, the more you will think you have won when I stop saying it.
You are not “entitled to your opinion” if it is wrong, but I cannot explain why it is wrong, because the given box in which I must challenge your metaphysics is the size of my thumbnail.
I am not entitled to have you endorse my opinion, either.
I believe I am entitled to my opinion because I believe my argument is sound.
I believe I am entitled to enjoy today without listening to how you invalidate my experience.
I may have to make a comment to feel that I pushed back against the darkness.
Hear me out.
(Unless you are a bot who has no ears to hear.)
Hear how I make my home on a rocky cliff of ideas where you leave me pointed sticks to build my nest and claim all the soft grass as yours.
You claim that it is yours and has always been yours.
If I were to invite you to my nest, you’d see it is also lined with grass. I’m not as primitive as you may think.
But you’re not invited over.
I have left one comment. This is just to say: I hear you. You are wrong.
I wish there were a symbol that meant: Now I let go of you. You cannot bait me further.
I am not a fish. You are not a sailor.
Neither of us is a shark.
With equanimity and an open heart, I reveal my sacred face to you, I do not let you touch me, and I set you free.
There is a palace where we are reconciled and at peace. There is a day on which we help each other decorate the ballroom with the same silver-green grass.
This box is not that palace, and today is not that day.