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Mississippi Personhood Amendment

Originally posted by james_nicoll at Mississippi Personhood Amendment
Originally posted by soldiergrrrl at Mississippi Personhood Amendment
Originally posted by twbasketcaseat Mississippi Personhood Amendment
Originally posted by gabrielleabelleat Mississippi Personhood Amendment
Okay, so I don't usually do this, but this is an issue near and dear to me and this is getting very little no attention in the mainstream media.

Mississippi is voting on November 8th on whether to pass Amendment 26, the "Personhood Amendment". This amendment would grant fertilized eggs and fetuses personhood status.

Putting aside the contentious issue of abortion, this would effectively outlaw birth control and criminalize women who have miscarriages. This is not a good thing.

Jackson Women's Health Organization is the only place women can get abortions in the entire state, and they are trying to launch a grassroots movement against this amendment. This doesn't just apply to Mississippi, though, as Personhood USA, the group that introduced this amendment, is trying to introduce identical amendments in all 50 states.

What's more, in Mississippi, this amendment is expected to pass. It even has Mississippi Democrats, including the Attorney General, Jim Hood, backing it.

The reason I'm posting this here is because I made a meager donation to the Jackson Women's Health Organization this morning, and I received a personal email back hours later - on a Sunday - thanking me and noting that I'm one of the first "outside" people to contribute.

So if you sometimes pass on political action because you figure that enough other people will do something to make a difference, make an exception on this one. My RSS reader is near silent on this amendment. I only found out about it through a feminist blog. The mainstream media is not reporting on it.

If there is ever a time to donate or send a letter in protest, this would be it.

What to do?

- Read up on it. Wake Up, Mississippi is the home of the grassroots effort to fight this amendment. Daily Kos also has a thorough story on it.

- If you can afford it, you can donate at the site's link.

- You can contact the Democratic National Committee to see why more of our representatives aren't speaking out against this.

- Like this Facebook page to help spread awareness.


Okay, everyone - I've now officially given up on getting a response from Alessandra @ Out of the Blue. It's a shame, but I've put her name here plenty of times and given her what I feel is a fair chance to respond, and I don't intend to chase her anymore.


What this means for you? I've picked a NEW Shadows on the Moon ARC winner out of the hat. Well, actually I picked one and it turned out to be one of the bloggers who *already* has a review copy, so then I picked another one. And the winner is (drumroll please):




Cue wailing and gnashing of teeth from all the other blog readers/followers. I'm sorry, you guys - especially for those of you who I know were really crossing your fingers for this. But Lady Luck is a Fickle Mistress and maybe it will be your turn next time. Shannon, please email me through my profile to give me your address so that I can post your prize out to you, as per the picture below:



FYI: I'm implementing a new policy with regard to competitions. I don't want to get too grumpy about it, but for every giveaway/competition I've done there has always been one winner who apparently doesn't read this blog at all, even though they're an official 'follower', and who forces me to send them multiple emails before they respond. It makes me a bit miffed to have to go to all that trouble to give people their free stuff, so...yeah, not doing it anymore.


From now on, I will give any winner seven days, not including the day of the draw, to get in touch. If they don't I pick another winner. That seems fair to me.


Anyway, congratulations, Shannon! And happy Monday to everyone else.


Monday Writing Statistics:


  • Pages of FrostFire that have been revised/polished: 135
  • Words that have been cut from last draft: 1,400
  • Pages of FrostFire yet to be revised: 158
  • Estimated final word count: 84,000 (almost the same as DotF)
  • Deadline: 13th January 2011 (3 days left, eek!)

Off back to work with me - for I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.


Hi everyone! First of all I need to welcome a new member of my family, Kiki the Coffee machine. Regular blog readers have glimpsed the horror that is me without coffee; to say that it is vital to me would be something of an understatement. However, up until this point I'd been drinking mostly instant with a scattering of Starbucks, and feeling strong pangs of envy whenever I saw vlogs of other authors and their coffee makers. After a year of procrastinating over buying a filter coffee machine, I finally gave in and bought Kiki just ahead of the tax hike. Here she is, installed in my kitchen in all her cherry red glory. I've not quite dared try to operate her yet. She's just so *shiny*. I'm hoping that she'll help keep me productive in the coming year.
On Wednesday the subject of music came up in the comment thread, and I decided that I'd do a little round-up of music that I've found useful for stimulating the writing part of my brain. I ought to make it clear that this isn't necessarily my favourite music, or even the music that I listen to the most just for fun (though some of it is!). It's music that gets me into the right mood to write, or helps me to write a specific kind of scene, and often I'm not even sure why that is.

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2010 ROUND UP, 2011 GOALS

Before I move onto the main point of this post, I just want to give a link to my review of N.K. Jemisin's THE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINGDOMS.


I adored it and I'm recommending it to everyone. However, for anyone under sixteen, this review comes with a warning: there's some kinky sex stuff in here, therefore your parents may not approve (that never stopped ME from reading stuff when I was under sixteen, but I thought it best to mention).


Okay, onwards! Normally at this time of year I like to sit down and take a bit of time to think about the events of the past twelve months. I turn everything over in my head, all the good things and the bad, and try to figure out what I did right and wrong. In the past obviously this has been a private thing, but I thought this year I would share it with you and maybe stimulate you all to try doing the same thing.


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Hi everyone - I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas break and that those of you who are back at work, school or college aren't having too hard a time adjusting. As for myself, well - since I was relentlessly baking, wrapping, cooking and entertaining relatives throughout the Christmas period I'm actually giving myself a little break NOW to recover from all the exertion, although I intend to start work on revising FrostFire once more at the end of this week.


I have a couple of intriguing reader questions to answer on Friday, but today I'm just putting out a call to the final winner of the Shadows on the Moon giveaway: Alessandra @ Out of the Blue. She's the only one who hasn't gotten in touch with me to give me her address yet.


I understand that many people are, like me, a little tired out and not entirely on top of their normal internet routine at this time of the year, but I hope you'll get in touch with me as soon as you can, Alessandra. The sooner I have your address, the sooner I can send the package out.


In the meantime, I'm ploughing through The Women of the Underworld Series by Kelley Armstrong and enjoying them a great deal, although I prefer her Darkest Powers series just a little, probably because Darkest Powers is YA and the characters don't have to keep stopping to have sex in order to justify a 'romance' label (sorry, kids, but one day you too will be skim-reading or skipping sex scenes because they're boring - it's how you know you're getting old).


If anyone has anymore questions on writing and publishing that they'd like me to answer in Friday's post, toss them in the comments or send me an email through my profile. It's going to be a bumper post, so the more the merrier. Take care, everyone.


Hellooo, blog readers! Here at long last (and yes, perhaps a little later than I said, Megha) is the announcement of the great Shadows on the Moon ARC giveaway winners (whoot, applause, cheers, screams - okay, calm down, I'm not Britney Spears. Geez)!


The three winners will each receive a copy of an uncorrected advanced proof of Shadows on the Moon, which is a Cinderella retelling set in faerytale Japan, and won't be officially released in the UK until 4th July 2011. Goodreads synopsis below:

Suzume is a shadow-weaver. She can create mantles of darkness and light, walk unseen in the middle of the day, change her face. She can be anyone she wants to be. Except herself.

Suzume died officially the day the Prince's men accused her father of treason. Now even she is no longer sure of her true identity. Is she the girl of noble birth living under the tyranny of her mother’s new husband, Lord Terayama? A lowly drudge scraping a living in the ashes of Terayama’s kitchens? Or Yue, the most beautiful courtesan in the Moonlit Lands?

Everyone knows Yue is destined to capture the heart of a prince. Only she knows that she is determined to use his power to destroy Terayama.

And nothing will stop her. Not even love.
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The winners will also get signed bookplates, scented Japanese paper fans and any other goodies that I can find.



Today I listed all my followers and the names of everyone who had left a comment on the SHADOWS ON THE MOON GIVEAWAY: REVISED post. I was about to use the random number generator, but then I realised I'd already written all the names down anyway, so I just picked three from a hat. Yes, the famous sparkly red hat.


*Drumroll please*



WINNER NUMBER TWO: Michelle at Clover Hill Book Review!

WINNER NUMBER THREE: Alessandra @ Out of the Blue!


I'm so happy for you! Please contact me as soon as you can through the email in my profile, so that I can get your addresses and get these prizes posted out for you.


Commiserations to everyone who entered and worked so hard to drum up blog traffic, but did not win. I know some of you were so excited about this and you're bound to be disappointed. Rest assured that if I can cadge any more ARCs or review copies, I'll put together another giveaway, because if it was up to me I seriously would give you ALL a copy. But remember that it's only six months until this book comes out now, and even if you don't live in the UK you can still order it through Amazon here or The Book Depository here. Free shipping!


Those of you who have book reviewing blogs can contact my publisher to ask to be put on the list to recieve a review copy in February - and in addition, Shadows will hopefully be taking part in the UK Blog Tour a little later as well, so people will have a chance to get their hands on an early copy then too.


Finally, a massive thank you to all of you, amazing, faithful readers that you are. Your comments, interest and support for the blog makes every bit of work associated with it worthwhile, and I wouldn't trade you guys for any other group of followers in the world. Finn also appreciates your love:



I'm sure Hero and Echo do as well, but they were both out playing in the snow today, so we'll just have to take that on faith.


Credit to Lauren of I was a Teenage Book Geek

Well ho ho ho, faithful readers. It's Christmas Eve, and I now announce the Shadows on the Moon ARC giveaway....CLOSED.


As you can see by looking at the Followers in the sidebar, we've not quite managed to reach the 200 mark, and since Christmas is tomorrow, it doesn't look like we're going to either. But I'm still impressed and awed by everyone's hard work in pushing up the total so far so fast. And this means that although I will *not* be putting up a YouTube video of me singing the blues (phew) I think it's only fair that I should give away the copies of Shadows on the Moon that I put aside for the purpose earlier on.


So using a random number generator, I shall pick three winners from among all my blog followers and all the people that commented in the SHADOWS ON THE MOON GIVEAWAY: REVISED post. I'll announce them on Monday, when the Christmas festivities have calmed down a bit, and post them out in the New Year.


I hope this makes everyone happy. Please now return to your regularly scheduled Christmas fun.

Writer's Pet Appreciation Day

Today, inspired by Astres' post on her adorable new(ish) cat Dexter, I decided to hold Writer's Pet Appreciation Day. Because as any writer will know, there are times in our lives when no one understands us except our faithful dog, cat, ferret or tarantula.


In the past I've posted a few pictures of my adorable dog Finn (otherwise known as Finbar Finley Finneas Finbarrsson the third). I got Finn during a period when I felt very depressed and unhappy. I was convinced that getting a dog would improve my life. I was probably right: a dog WOULD have improved my life. But a yipping, bouncing, insane puppy with more energy than a squirrel on steroids? No.


I spent the first two months that Finn lived with me thinking I had made the biggest mistake of my life and feeling more depressed than ever. The fact that he never let me get more than an hour's sleep didn't help. But then suddenly, sometime during month three, I started to have fun. I realised I had found an amazingly clever and devoted friend who was always happy to see me. At about the time I taught him to 'high five' I fell in love, and now I wouldn't be parted from him for all the Brazil nut toffee in Thornton's.


Me: "Finbar! What should I do? I finished my Big Secret Project chapter and synopses and I don't have to start baking for Christmas until tomorrow and I feel all weird and loose-endy!"


Finn: "Use the Force, Zolah..."



This one is after his second walk of the day. In such cold weather I fold the towels over the radiator in the kitchen so that I can easily melt any frozen snow out of Finn's long, curly ears, or the fluffy fur between his toes. But Finn likes to think of it as a bespoke spa treatment. He's been known to lie down in the towels and roll around, resisting all attempts to get him out.


Finn: "I shall not be moved."


Me: "Right, that's it. You're going on a diet!"


Finn: "I shall be in the living room."



Five minutes later in the living room...


Finn: "What? YOU were sitting here? But this is my seat. And look how cute I am. Can you really say no to this face? Hmmm?"



Okay, moving on from Finn, let's give some attention to my two feline pals, who I've never featured on the blog because they are notoriously camera shy. They do not like the camera-thing that goes flashy flashy in their eyes. I had to bribe both of them with pieces of cheese (yes, cheese) and catnip treats to get them to stay still long enough for the photographs.


First of all is Echo. She is a rescue cat who came to me when she was two and half years old, and spent the first week hiding under my sofa and behind the bookcase, emerging only when food was on offer, rinse, repeat. Frankly, after a while having a silent black cat silently slipping around the house started to creep me out. However, when she finally did decide that my adopting her wasn't part of a nefarious plot to turn her into catfur mittens, she turned out to be the dopiest, sweetest little cat in the world. She's called Echo because any noise that a human can make, she will happily echo back at you. If you open a door for her, she says 'Meeeankoo' which sounds uncannily like 'Thank you'.



Echo says: "Oh Gawd, not AGAIN with the flashy flashy thing. Hasn't this human worked out yet that I don't like having photos taken? I always look fat!"


Me: "Come on, you're not fat! You're precious. Look at your cut little white paws! Do you know how many cats would kill for paws like those? And your whiskers! They're the finest whiskers in England!"


Echo: "What, really? Well, if you saw so...How do I look now?"


Me: "OMG, you're so FLUFFY! It's adorable!"



Echo: "And you're really SURE I don't look fat? Make sure to get my profile in this one! It's slimming."



Next up, Hero. Hero was also a rescue cat and came to me when she was eight months old (my mother named her for the Shakespearean heroine). She was possibly the friendliest little cat I've ever met. If someone sat still for more than thirty seconds, she'd be snuggled up to them, purring like an out of control electric toothbrush.


However as she kept growing, and growing and GROWING (she's one of the largest female cats I've ever met, and built along the lines of a Swedish supermodel) she began to display the fact that she was a serious One Woman Cat. She followed me from room to room, supervised me in the bath, ran to say hello when I came home from work and only consented to sit on *my* lap. Anyone could stroke or snuggle her, but if anyone else attempted to pick her up she'd go stiff as a board and dig her claws in with every appearance of terror.


This is probably explained by the fact that her previous owners were a pair of teenagers who abandoned her in a box by the side of the road, may suffering be upon them with swift wings.


Hero says: "U bringz cheese?"




Me: "Who's a beautiful girl, then? Who's the most beautiful girl in the whole world?"


Hero: "I am, of course! I don't have self-image issues, like that other cat. Hand the cheese over. And stop trying to sneak the camera out, I can SEE what you're doing."


Me: "Please let me take some pictures. The world deserves to enjoy your beauty. All you have to do is stay still for thirty seconds. Have some more cheese."



Hero: "Okay, cheese gone. You can go too. I'm having a nap now. Unless you'd like to stroke under my chin? No - wash your hands first! I don't want cheese all over my fur."



So these are my cuties, without whom, I am sure, I could never write a word at all. Do you have pets, and how do they help you in your day-to-day life?

Cross-posted from http://thezoe-trope.blogspot.com