PostHeaderIconWeek of 22 - 28 April 2017

Week of 22 - 28 April 2017


Welcome to my weekly update. 

This Week

Major Project: 

This week I've been primarily working on Hunt for the Dymalon Cygnet, the follow-up to Dance for the Ivory Madonna. This is the part of a book that's the least interesting for spectators: my progress generally consists of "I wrote this many words today" and not much else.

Still, I think the book's going to be good when I'm finished. Stay tuned.

Other Project(s): 

I'm planning a number of future projects. There's Five-Eighths Below the Line, a major book in the Hoister Family cycle. I'm making notes and wrestling with plotlines for a sequel to The Curse of the Zwilling, with a tentative title of Evil of the Mawkluk

I also did last-minute editing and formatting for the next episode of The Rule of Five, which will be available to our Patreon supporters on May 1. In this episode, Milos and family arrive, Val Millat reaches out, and Nalani confronts Uenuku. Then, Nalani tells a bedtime story.

I was also busy with the usual scanning books, working on my Legion of Super-Heroes site, various publicity & marketing tasks, and refining my husband's Esty shop.


Upcoming Appearance(s): 

Obligatory Cute Hamster Picture

Currently Reading


Feet of Clay

Lately I've encountered a fair number of people who are dismayed to find that an artist whose work was important to them—as one person said, "a writer whose words reached me at just the right time, and saved my life"—to find that this artist has some major character flaws.

One person was having trouble coming to terms with the fact that their meaningful artist sheltered and enabled a relative who was a child molester. Another person learned that an artist whose work they loved had racist beliefs. Still another person was shocked to find that an artist who helped define their entire field engaged in casual misogyny and unwanted sexual advances.

I have sympathy for all these people. It is a shock to discover that one's heroes have feet of clay.

If I have any comfort to give, it's that this realization is a common human experience...which is why "feet of clay" is a cliché; it comes up so often.

It might be the first time you find out that your parents aren't perfect. It might be the first time you catch a beloved teacher being unfair to someone else, or using curse words, or smoking in the teacher's lounge.

Perhaps you have this experience when you find out that a politician you admire is caught accepting bribes, or that a trusted friend spread gossip about you, or that someone you like betrayed a secret. 

Sooner or later, experience and maturity show us that everyone has feet of clay. That no one is perfect. That just as we, ourselves, have our weaknesses, so do others have theirs.

In the case of artists, there's always a temptation to turn away from the artist's work. That's understandable. In my life I've met many of my favorite authors; in some cases I've been so disillusioned that my opinion of their work has been spoiled, and I can no longer read that author's work. In a few of those cases, time has given me enough perspective that I've been able, decades later, to return to work I once loved.

(To be honest, sometimes I meet a favorite author who increases my opinion of their work.)

If you're in that position, let me offer a word of advice from nearly 60 years of life: don't burn your bridges. Don't throw away that author's books, erase their music, burn their paintings. Just put the work away. It meant something to your younger self—and as we age, we have a tendency to look more lovingly on the things of our younger years. You might be glad you saved those old paperbacks or pictures.

Some people, on learning that a favorite artist has feet of clay, react by spreading the word to all. That's understandable, too. You feel betrayed, and you want to punish the betrayer by ruining their work for others. You want to spare your friends from having the same painful experience. You don't want your money, time, or good will to support something you feel abhorrent—racism, child abuse, misogyny, cruelty to animals, environmental devastation, or other evils.

It's natural to want to organize boycotts, to shame those who still profess to like the artist, to demand that past accolades be rescinded, to correct the historical record so that everyone will know the artist as the miserable excuse for a human being that they truly were.

If you're at that point, let me ask a favor. Instead of expending all that energy toward the artist who betrayed you...please consider using the same amount of energy promoting a different artist, one who's more in tune with your moral imperatives.

I ask this for two reasons. First, for the sake of new or otherwise obscure artists who need your support and promotion. Let good work drive out bad.

Second, for your own sake. If you spend your energy and involve yourself with bad things—even to denounce them—you will be doing violence to your own soul. But if you spend your energy and involve yourself with good things, then your soul will heal quicker.

Thanks for listening.

Thanks to

Steve Grey