Facebook and Blogging Bans in China

My thanks to Nancy Pistorius for informing me of this situation. I wanted to post this and ask for prayers for China’s peaceful development. This is a copy and paste from an unknown facebook user in China:

“FB was banned because of the riots in Xinjian. There was a lot of Western input beforehand and the consensus here is that the riots were instigated by outside agitators. Dunno about your friend, but I am absolutely lost without FB – I feel as though my connections have been cut. We were told it was a temporary measure until things cooled down and are all hoping this is so. However, blogsites,(including my own) which were banned in May have still not come back on.However, the netizens of China are very vocal about the whole crackdown and internal blogs and chatsites are pulling no punches about what they think in relation to these moves. Intersting times.”

Keep in mind the old Chinese curse: “May you live in interesting times.”


Okay, I should take anger management courses. I was so ticked at Bloomsbury, I accidentally deleted my blogroll. My apologies if I’ve forgotten anyone. Please let me know if your blog is missing. It’s NOT intentional!

Check Out Justine Labalastier’s Anti-Racist Rant

Justine Labalastier is an Australian author of young adult, middle grade and adult fantasy. She’s also a delightful person I had the pleasure of meeting in 2008.

I just finished reading her blog for today and I’m pissed. I find the U.S. publishing market’s assumptions (as stated in her blog) both exasperating and nauseating. You know what folks, we have umpteen different cultures on this planet. Get over it! It’s time we value each other for who we are instead of highlighting some as minorities or as something other than white. Regardless of skin color, we all have the capacity to read and think and make purchases based on what we think. Right now, I’m thinking I’ll buy a copy of Justine’s latest, called “Liar” – from Australia.

Win An Agent Critique!

Thanks to Jeannie Lin for posting this. I thought I’d follow suit.

Submit the tagline, title, and first ten lines of your manuscript, and you could win one of two critiques of your partial + synopsis from Barbara Poelle of the Irene Goodman Literary Agency!
The contest is divided into three phases and runs from July 23 to August 10.
Refer a friend, and you could win a box of spa/author goodies!
For more information, visit Dawn Halliday’s website. The link is in this post’s title.

What Is Your Favorite Scene?

This may be a much harder question. Favorite scene of all time, whether you or someone else wrote it. What makes you love it so much? Do you re-watch/re-read it, teary-eyed?

Movies: The first one to pop into my head, believe it or not, is the carbonite freezing chamber scene with Leia and Han in Empire Strikes Back. I love it because it’s got tension and humor. That’s difficult to carry off.

You’re going to think I’m odd, but out of all the many scenes in the A&E version of Pride and Prejudice, I love the first proposal scene and the subsequent trip home where Elizabeth remembers Darcy’s words and expressions. Her garbled feelings are conveyed through the jangle of the horses’ gait and the carriage’s instability. That was a great notion of the director/cinematographer.

Books: Oi. I really don’t know about this one. I love the scene in Gaiman’s Anansi Boys where Fat Charlie sings his way through the obstacles and saves the day. I love the scene in Tigana where Alessan, Erlein and Devin are fleeing outlaws, but by the end of the sequence, they’ve joined the outlaws against Barbadian mercenaries. The whole scene speaks to me of heroism, humor and intelligence, all mixed in with great depth of feeling. Anyone who knows me is aware of how much I value these things in literature.

My favorite scene that I wrote is as follows:

When Jie returned to bed, he slept peacefully.
“Papa!” Jun said. “Papa, wake up!”
Jie opened his eyes. Relief flooded his heart. He was home.
Jun knelt at his side. Jiao brought tea and rice porridge flavored with salt pork. Steam rose from the bowls. It reminded him of the kuei.
Jie sighed, happy because there were no kuei. Twelve years of loss had disappeared. His sons were not dead. It was a terrible dream.
Daylight tried to break through the shutters. Jun laughed and opened the windows. Birdsong rang in the courtyards. Jie wanted to spend the day with his children. A trip to town with his boys sounded wonderful.
“I’m sorry, Papa,” Jiao said. He knelt with the porridge and tea kettle without spilling. He poured the tea and gave it to his father. Jie sipped it, cradling the warm cup in his numb hands.
“Sorry for what, son?” He wanted to treat them to sweets and a night of theatre.
“I’m sorry we’re dead.”
Jie choked. His tea was bitter. The icy cup cracked and shattered. The bright morning darkened to predawn blues. The birds fell silent.
“I’m sorry this is how we have to talk.”
“We wish we could be with you, Papa,” Jun said.
Tears wet Jie’s cheeks. He wanted to tell them, “You are! You’re always with me,” but his lips were frozen shut.
“Take him with you, Papa. He’s part of the family, too.” Jiao’s lips twisted in his sad half smile. He put his hand inside Jie’s numb fingers for a moment.
Stay! Stay here with me!
“Don’t forget, Papa.” Jun said, like he used to if Jie promised him a toy.
“Don’t leave me alone,” Jie pleaded.
“You know you’re never alone, Papa.” Jiao kissed him and was gone. Jun grinned and waved goodbye.
Jie woke. A frigid blanket of air wrapped around him. His eyes were glued shut and gritty with tears, but he could hear Mei’s rustling step. A bird chirruped outside as if testing the morning. He smelled steamed rolls and bacon from downstairs.
Mei put a warm cup of tea in his hands and molded his numb fingers around the smoothed clay.
He could hear her dip a cloth in the basin. She sipped from her teacup. It was familiar and heartbreaking. She wiped the dream away from his eyes, but it stayed in his heart. He’d prayed for guidance. This was the response. He felt heavy with care and older than his years.
Mei always knew when he spoke with their boys, but she never said anything. He appreciated her willingness to wait for their children’s message. She was tender and patient while they shared the basin for washing away sorrows.