Thursday, December 15, 2016

Make the World a Better Place (Guest Post by Liz Stratton, Host of "Spare Me!")

Another quality post brought to you by Steve!
Let's give a warm welcome to today's guest, who has a guest of her own! - SK

Hey, kids! Hello-
My name is Maren Bradley Anderson, and I want to thank everyone at Across the Board for letting me guest post today. Sometimes I am asked to write about something specific in a guest blog, but these nice people gave me free reign to write about whatever I like.

Today, I’m allowing the main character in my novel CLOSING THE STORE, to write to you. Liz A. Stratton is the host of "Spare Me!," a daytime talk show, and is the Presidential Candidate for the Women’s Action Party. (She’s also fictional, but don’t tell her that.) As you might imagine, she’s a little upset about the election, but at least she’s upbeat about it. This is her blog post below.
Follow Liz’s adventures in the novel CLOSING THE STORE, in which she calls a sex strike (yeah, you read that right) to end a war and maybe win an election. 
Dear Reader,

My esteemed biographer, Maren Bradley Anderson, has asked me to write some blog posts in order to promote our book, CLOSING THE STORE.
In CLOSING THE STORE, we document my campaign’s attempt to win an election and end a war by holding a sex strike. That might seem a little extreme to some of you, but know that sex strikes have worked in the recent past. All you need is a group of very concerned women (and men, too).

But maybe a sex strike isn’t for you. Perhaps you are a reader and/or a writer, and you want to make the world a better place. In that case, try the following:
1.  Read some books. I know that sounds silly. I mean, if you are reading this blog, you are a reader or a writer, right? But reading makes people smarter, more compassionate, and better problem solvers. So, the more you read, the better person you become.

2.  Read more books.  I mean, read books you wouldn’t usually read. Be as diverse in your reading as you can. Read books by and/or about people who aren’t like you. This is key to understanding each other better.

3.  Give books to kids. For all the reasons above, but with so much more impact. Kids learn about the world beyond their backyard and immediate circle by reading. Compassionate books help make compassionate humans.

4.  Write diverse, compassionate books for kids. We need more picture, Middle Grade and YA books with people who are not from the dominant culture. Kids of color. Kids from immigrant families. Kids in wheelchairs. Kids who are deaf or blind. Kids who have lost a limb. Kids who have two mommies or daddies. Kids who live in other countries. Kids who speak more than one language. You get the picture.

5.  Write a diverse story.  Write a story with a sympathetic character who isn’t like you and doesn’t believe the things you do. Even if you never publish the story, the act of writing a character whose point of view isn’t just like yours exercises your empathy muscle. And empathy is what will make the world better.

6.  Interview someone who argues the opposite side of an issue you care about. The trick here is that the goal of the interview is to learn why that someone believes she is right. This means you have to listen to that person in as non-judgmental a way possible.

7.  Make a friend with someone outside your social circle. Maybe WAY outside. However, never say, “my (insert racial/ethnic title) friend, Joe, says…” That’s one of those micro-aggressions/faux pas that make progress and understanding difficult.

8.  Write a letter to your congressperson. Seriously, they only respond to paper letters and actual phone calls. Find him or her here.
If you can keep reading and writing with the goal of increasing understanding and empathy, we will make the changes we are hoping our government will make for us.
Do you have another idea of something constructive to do? Write it in the comments below.
Now, go change the world.
Liz Stratton

About Maren Anderson:

Maren Bradley Anderson is a writer, teacher and alpaca rancher in Oregon.  She teaches English at Western Oregon University and novel writing to new authors. She fills her days caring for alpacas, playing with her kids, and reading books that make her laugh. She has written two plays for the Apple Box Children’s Theater, and her poetry has appeared in "The Timberline Review." Her novels FUZZY LOGIC and CLOSING THE STORE are available online and through your local bookstore—just ask the clerk to order them for you.
 Find Maren on Facebook, Twitter, or her website.


Liz didn’t mean to start a sex strike...

but she’ll use it to end a war and win an election.

Liz Stratton is running for President of the United States to end the unpopular war in Mesopotamianstan.

Everything goes as planned until the ­first debate when Liz’s competitors patronize her. She loses her temper and declares that if every woman in America withheld sex, the war would be over in weeks.

So women all over the country actually “close the store.”

Now the fun starts.


Kimberly G. Giarratano said...

*Adds to TBR pile* I want to hear more about the alpacas. I have lots of questions. Awesome interview!

Gallus Gallus said...

I have answers about alpacas. Ask away!

Unknown said...

Great post! Welcome!

Carrie Beckort said...

Great post! Thanks for stopping by, Maren... er, I mean Liz. :)

Cheryl Oreglia said...

Love your style Maren, timeless advice, and a great reminder that the best gifts are books! Love it! Thanks for guest posting.

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