Bitter Well Now Live on Amazon

A family patriarch is murdered at an isolated ranch compound on the Edwards Plateau. The killer must have been a family member or the father’s golf-digging girlfriend. Nacho Perez, Private Eye, find the killer, in the process stirring up family bitterness and nearly getting killed.

Bitter Well Cover

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Showing as Opposed to Telling

Aspiring writers often get the criticism that they have merely told something as opposed to having shown it. I certainly got the criticism and occasionally still do. When first heard, the point can be hard to grasp. It took me a while to internalize what it meant.

I thought of the showing-telling dichotomy recently when I prepared for a critique session. The work, written by another member of the critique group, is an excellent example of showing. I pair it below with how a less skillful writer might tell a reader the same point. The latter I wrote myself for the purpose of contrast.

If you read the two passages juxtaposed below, you’ll quickly grasp what showing means and why it is better than telling.

Telling:

He loved his son deeply, and his son returned the affection.

Showing:

I pass her, pass whatever clutter there is, whoever else is here I don’t care, and reach for my son. He throws himself at me utterly recklessly, knowing that I will never not catch him.

Ah, the smell of him. The warmth. The softness. The strength in those little arms that clutch my neck, the fingers that pinch my skin, the head that butts my nose in his eagerness – and mine – to wrap him in my arms. It is only in the distant background that I hear my wife laughing.

Go forth and write likewise. I’ll try to do so as well.

 

Proving Consent in a Yes-Means-Yes Environment.

I’ve posted on this issue before. But the issue won’t go away, and the due process problems continue to arise. Although the linked article is from the UK, we have the same problems in the US.

Now we see that someone has written an app intended to evidence consent to sexual activity. As the discussion in the linked article notes, however, the app does not, and cannot, deal with revocation of consent.

No-means-no

To solve that problem, any agreement, whether digital or written, needs to address what I addressed in the Sexual Activity Consent Contract I proferred in the previous post. That contract offers, as an option, that the parties contract for a voyeur to be present during all activity so as to be a witness whether anyone revoked consent.

SACC 1

SACC 2

SACC 3

SACC 4

Admittedly, this contract is intended to be tongue-in-cheek. But to the extent there’s a problem with it, it’s probably not comprehensive enough to address the complex issues it concerns.

Rape is properly criminal and must properly continue to be punished as such. But to reduce the nuances of human sexual interaction to legalisms is absurd. If you disagree with that, read the above contract, noting (a) how absurd it is to expect a couple to sign such an agreement and (b) how inadequate it is to address everything that might come up.

Whither common sense, folks?

Oops. Need I be fearful that calls for common sense are a tool of the patriarchy?