Tag Archives: systems

Warning to writers










While you are worrying about whether beta readers will steal your ideas, there is a more genuine threat on the horizon.

When offered a publishing contract, please do all your research before you sign. There are a number of fakes and scammers out there, as well as good-intentioned amateurs that don’t know how to get your work to a wide audience. I won’t tell the heartbreaking stories here – there are too many.

Being published badly is worse than being never published.

It can destroy your career and your dreams.

The quick check is to google the publishing house name + scam or warning.


But, to be sure, check with these places first. They aren’t infallible (nothing is) but they can help you protect yourself. They are written and maintained by expereinced writers, editors, publishers and legal folks.

Absolute Write: Bewares and Background Checks

Preditors and editors

Writer Beware

and the WRITER BEWARE blog

Keep yourself and your work safe.

This is really important, so if you are a writer or have writer friends, or you are a writing blog, please reblog it.

Just to let you know, PublishAmerica changed their name to America Star Books.


Also applies to many so-called freelance sites that are just content mills, and may not pay unless your work is used, even if the contract seems designed otherwise.

Listen, reading these is like legit reading horror stories.  When it comes to publishing your writing, always, always, ALWAYS do your research.  Not only will it help you avoid scams, but it will also be likely to help you land a much better fit for an agent/publisher/whatever.  Knowing more is never going to hurt.

Omg!!! Thanks for the warning! Writers— reblog!

I’ve heard stories like this that are scarier than horror stories. This is an all time worst nightmare for a writer. Everyone reblog and make sure you keep your work safe! 

Always, ALWAYS check Writer Beware. Let me also recommend Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s blog about contracts and contract scams for authors in her section Business Musings.





Ok—so everybody (including me) always says that white supremacist heteropatriarchal nationalism is “structural”—that we have to deal with the “structure” in order to make changes.

But nobody (including me) ever says exactly what that *means*. what does “structure” mean and what does “structural” mean and  what does “we have to get at the root and change the structure” mean? (This is all the US).

Well, I’ve been discovering—“structure” means:

Food disbursement (or: how do we access a basic survival need): grocery stores, co-ops, resturants, farmer’s markets, etc. (closely connected: farmers, seed companies, etc).

Burial systems (or: how do we access a basic human dignity): burial plots, funeral homes, coroners, paupers burials, etc.

Birthing systems (or: how do we access a basic human dignity): hospitals, birthing centers, “home,” (i.e. apartments, houses, 99% of the time, in this case, “home” is NOT a shelter or other homeless/abuse survivor site), prisons, etc.

Housing systems (or: how do we access a basic survival need): houses, apartments, public housing, condos, gated communities, etc

Energy systems for heating, cooling, cooking, etc (or: how do we access a basic survival system): energy companies (i.e. untilites companies), oil corporations, etc.

Energy systems for travel (or: how do we access a basic human right to movement): oil corporations, the big three, trains, FAA, etc.

Information systems (or: how do we access the basic human right to policy information and *demystification of that policy information* about the systems we live under): public libraries, the FCC, Comcast, Time/Warner, Disney, Google, Viacom, etc.

Attempting to be installed as we speak:

Water disbursement systems (or: how do we access a basic survival system): soda corporations (i.e. CocaCola, Desani (which is I think belongs to Coke).

If you look closely at how each of these systems work (and there may be more, but I am choosing right now to keep this discussion down to basic human needs/dignity), you see that the basic concept within each of them is “to control how disbursement of particular “service” will happen.”

And you see that unequivocally, in every single area: 

Poor people,
Non-white people,
Non-cis people,
Disabled people,
Non-straight people,

have the *most* trouble accessing, navigating, acquiring any of these systems. (And I understand that using “non-X” as a descriptor is problematic, I am using it as a way to show that for each identity, problems with access play out in a different way—but they all *play out in a problematic way*).

The choice to opt out of these systems: i.e. bury your own dead, grow your own food, etc is there on a very limited basis—but usually it is only available to those with access to a high level of resources (e.g. hipsters). Poor people CAN and DO find themselves “off the grid”  but this is almost always due to unjust and unequal problems within existing structures (e.g. segregation, inaccessibility, etc). BUT—this is also how many communities of color have managed to create successful community driven economies, and it is how many social justice organizers (most notably in places like Detroit), have been able to recognize an oportunity existing in the most dire circumstances (i.e. defining “resource” as community knowledge rather than money).

Also: the ability to “opt out” is heavily monitored and restricted by the catch-22 inherent in all of these systems: you must have money to access them more easily—but you can’t get that money unless you spend a vast portion of your life working within them. thus, through the strict monitoring of “time,” most people are unable to “opt out” of systems as they don’t have the *time* to grow their own food, bury their own dead, etc.

These systems are how you get the triangle system we live under and how some of us benefit from things and others don’t and how .01 percent of people at the top control everything and *benefit* from the privatization. Privatization does not create *independence*—but *dependence*. people are heavily dependent on the benevolence of corporations for jobs—and almost totally dependent on them for the actual service they offer.

This is one of the top ten things I’ve read on Tumblr. 

If you just scrolled past the wall of text above to see what I said, then do be aware that what I said was, “back up, silly, you missed the good stuff”

Some people might claim that my mother has no idea how systems of oppression work. Some might also claim that her focus on survival means she has internalized the system’s logic so that she oppresses herself. But get this: my mom has a different—but extremely deep—understanding of how systems of oppression work. She interacts with them daily, fighting to survive despite structural disadvantages. Working class laborers don’t need a physician to know that they’re straining their bodies or an economist to know that they’re being exploited. Most of the time they don’t even need organizers writing articles about “the struggle” to know that it’s there and it’s theirs. The lived experience of these oppressions is not only real, it’s indispensable. No movement is legitimate without it. We don’t do justice to mothers like mine when we alienate them by privileging analytical understandings of systems of oppression.

Ngoc Loan Tran, “My Movement Mom” (via thatcoolaunt)

After months of escalating protests and grassroots organizing in response to the police killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, police reformers have issued many demands. The moderates in this debate typically qualify their rhetoric with “We all know we need police, but…” It’s a familiar refrain to those of us who’ve spent years in the streets and the barrios organizing around police violence, only to be confronted by officers who snarl, “But who’ll help you if you get robbed?” We can put a man on the moon, but we’re still lacking creativity down here on Earth.

But police are not a permanent fixture in society. While law enforcers have existed in one form or another for centuries, the modern police have their roots in the relatively recent rise of modern property relations 200 years ago, and the "disorderly conduct" of the urban poor. Like every structure we’ve known all our lives, it seems that the policing paradigm is inescapable and everlasting, and the only thing keeping us from the precipice of a dystopic Wild West scenario. It’s not. Rather than be scared of our impending Road Warrior future, check out just a few of the practicable, real-world alternatives to the modern system known as policing:

Churches refused to bury the victims’ remains. Their deaths were mostly ignored and sometimes mocked by politicians and the media. No one was ever charged. A joke made the rounds in workplaces and was repeated on the radio: “Where will they bury the queers? In fruit jars!”

Before Orlando, the biggest mass killing of LGBTQ people in the United States was an arson at the UpStairs Lounge in New Orleans in 1973 that left 32 people dead and stirred up little sympathy from politicians, media or even the families of those lost. (via thepoliticalnotebook)