Where Memory Lane and Rejection Road Meet

My house has too much stuff in it, so I went through my possessions to decide what needs to go. Finally, I came across my Big Box o’ Rejections.

When I first started writing, I decided to save all my rejection letters as a way to keep myself motivated. But now that rejections come electronically and are almost exclusively form letters – and now that I have a lengthy publications list – I don’t feel that I need it anymore. So this box has got to go.

The box itself contains rejections, old drafts of stories from writing workshops, and a few magazines and newspapers where I got my first publishing credits. As I sorted through old letters, I got the most enjoyment out of reading some old rejection letters from my high school days, when I wrote articles for Dragon Magazine.

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American Government in 2021 and Beyond

Yes, I’m about to launch into a talk on politics. If you’re sick of the topic or just don’t care what a nerd on the Internet has to say about the United States government, go ahead and skip this one. I’ll go back to screaming about comic books and role-playing games next time around.

So, here we are at the end of the term of President Donald Trump–three words together that once seemed so far-fetched that they were a joke on The Simpsons. The past four years in the United States have been largely defined by political divisions, racist policies, and a frightening lean into outright fascism. They culminated in an attempted coup at the Capitol Building that claimed lives. This is not the first time this sort of thing has happened, and I’m sad to say it won’t be the last time. But maybe we can prevent it from happening again for a long while. Maybe we can even learn from it as we move forward?

I don’t really feel like trying to prognosticate about the future of the United States and its elected representatives. But January 6, 2021 is going to be a defining moment in American history, as will the immediate aftermath of the insurrection. As the chapter of President Trump comes to an end, I’d like to take a moment to reflect and get my thoughts down. As the incoming President Biden vows a return to normalcy–whatever that means–I think taking a snapshot of this moment in history that I can look back upon will be very useful in the days to come.

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The Anatomy of Nerdrage

2018 marked the year I burned out on fan forums on the Internet. I always knew those places bred negativity, but I also like to communicate with nerds about nerdy things. Unfortunately, the deadly seriousness with which some people treat their hobbies eventually made me something of an Internet recluse.

It didn’t help that I familiarized myself with the controversy surrounding The Last Jedi, that Pathfinder announced a new edition, that the Hulk got punked by Thanos in Infinity War, or that Doctor Who introduced a female Doctor. Change hit all my areas of interest, and that always brings a wave of negativity with it.

But the big question is: Why? Why do people take entertainment so seriously? Why does it seem so much easier to focus on the negative rather than celebrate the positive? And what can fans do to create better discourse in the future?

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