#WATWB – Your Monthly Shot Of News That Doesn’t Suck

New year, new you and all that.

It’s December 60, 2020 and things are slowly converging toward normalcy. Our politicians are back to quibbling over funding, hopefully leaving violent attempted insurrection in the past, vaccines are rolling out quickly enough that everyone should be fully vaccinated sometime in 2025, and a group of peasants took to the Internet with digital pitchforks and torches to burn the American oligarchy at their own game.

In other words, still pretty much the same old world. It’s just that it’s trending back to a less bonkers version of itself. Kind of like someone released a patch – World 2.1 – and it bricked the planet so we had to roll it back. Don’t worry, we promise we’ll get the code working this time.

That’s not to say good things haven’t happened. I mean, a vaccine rollout is a great thing and I’m happy with the results of the recent election even if it did feel like we had to move Heaven and Earth to get January 20th.

Normally, these posts are supposed to be about some treacly feel-good story to prove that the world isn’t a giant ball of suck, but I think anyone who just looks around can feel that the dawn of a new day is slowly rising. You can dig through the news these days without feeling that knot in your gut that spells apocalypse and that’s good enough for me.

If you’d like to connect your blog and help spread a little joy (or snark, like I do), it’s easy to sign up. Just ask and ye shall receive. Or go check it out here: here.

Our lovely and talented hosts this month are: Sylvia McGrath , Simon FalkShilpa Garg, Mary Giese, and Belinda Witzenhausen.


1. Keep your post to below 500 words, as much as possible. (Wow, I totally missed that mark this time around).

2. All we ask is you link to a human news story on your blog on the last Friday of each month, one that shows love, humanity and brotherhood.

3. Join us on the last Friday of each month in sharing news that warms the cockles of our heart. No story is too big or small, as long as it goes beyond religion and politics, into the core of humanity.

4. Place the WE ARE THE WORLD Badge on your sidebar, and help us spread the word on social media. Tweets, Facebook shares, G+ shares using the #WATWB hashtag through the month most welcome. More Blogfest signups mean more friends, love and light for all of us.

5. We’ll read and comment on each others’ posts, get to know each other better, and hopefully, make or renew some friendships with everyone who signs on as participants in the coming months.

6. To sign up, add your link in WE ARE THE WORLD Linky List below.

This is a Blog Hop!

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

And now your moment of Zen.

It Didn’t Have To End This Way

Unless you’ve been living on Mars, under a rock, with your fingers in your ears, you probably know the US has a new president. While I, for one, am extremely happy about that, there are millions out there who are less than pleased and hundreds of thousands who feel like they just got punched in the gut. The millions are the regular Republican voters who like conservative ideals. While I disagree with them, I don’t bode them any ill will. The hundreds of thousands are a somewhat different story. And there’s one person to blame for it all.

QAnon, those lovable conspiracy theorists, who believed the country was run by Satan-worshiping cannibal pedophiles suddenly found themselves on the wrong end of a stick Wednesday morning at about 12n eastern time. Yes, that is the moment Joe Biden became the current president of the United States. While many of the QAnon adherents probably have philosophical differences about the role of government, taxation levels, immigration and so-on, their underlying fever for revolution was primarily built on Q’s message that before Biden could be sworn in, the military would swoop in, arrest the Satan-worshiping cannibal pedos and usher in a new age of peace and prosperity.

As the minutes ticked down to zero hour, they got more agitated. Jittery with need. Where was the revolution they were promised? What was going on? Why was Trump on a plane to Florida when he was supposed to be lurking in the DC shadows managing the Storm?

Noon came. Biden got sworn in. The Storm never materialized. And the ranks of QAnon were thrown into chaos.

Now, I was never a Q adherent; the whole thing seemed far too silly for my tastes. Cannibals and pedophiles? Satan-worshiping. It all seemed a little too desperate for my tastes, like over-talking the villain in a bad novel. “He hates freedom. He wants to enslave you. He worships evil. And, and, and, he also eats babies and wants to ban any kind of fun whatsoever. And he hates dogs and kittens.” But to the QAnons, it was all real and they believed with the fervency of the devout. And it had to come as a gut punch when Biden got sworn in and none of what they believed came to pass. It would be liking coming home early one day and finding Jesus banging your wife. Or husband. Whatever. Ugly scene no matter who’s involved in it.

Through it all, the QAnons had stuck to their guns. They lost friends, they lost family, and in some cases – like the riot at the capitol – they lost their freedom. Honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me if there were suicides coming down the pipe. Yes, it’s that bad.

But it didn’t have to be that way. The one person the whole thing revolved around, the one guy who knew with absolute certainty it was all bullshit, could have ended the madness before it left a trail of broken lives in its wake. All it would have taken was for Donald J. Trump to say, “Sorry, none of this QAnon stuff is true.”

The fact that he didn’t speaks volumes about just how much he cares about his most devoted followers.

Book Review – Fate by Ryen Lesli

About a year and some change ago Ryen’s first book, River, found its way onto this site. River was the opening salvo in a series about a young woman plucked from normalcy and dropped into a fantasy setting where she finds out she’s a princess. Some people would say this kind of thing happens with alarming regularity, but I’m still waiting for my tiara. All I’ve got is this lousy paper crown I fished out of the dumpster behind Burger King and my subjects are a bunch of drunks and meth-heads. But, yes, it’s a commonplace story in YA fiction because I think almost everyone looks around and asks, “What is that beautiful house? Where is my large automobile?” It’s a universal thing but, let’s face it, just because something’s been done before doesn’t mean it can’t be good. “A Fistful of Dollars” was an excellent take on “Yojimbo”, even if Akira Kurosawa was less than impressed.

So, put all that aside and focus on the story itself and how it plays out.

Fate, like River before it, is a coming-of-age story set in a world where magic is a thing and our would-be princess absolutely does not get along with her mom. Lesli’s tales do not paint a pretty picture of ballgowns and easy life in the castle where the main conflict of the story is which china to use for the big gala. They’re grittier and Lesli has no qualms about getting into the muck with her characters. And that’s another thing – traditional princess stories focus on the princess and maybe her interactions with royalty and that one cute boy who sells potatoes and is secretly a foreign prince only he didn’t know it because his evil grandmother sold him into potato farming to cover her gambling debts. Lesli’s River – the character, not the book – spends most of her time with warriors and running from demons. It’s a YA romance at its heart, but the story and the character could easily be pushed into the adult world like some kind of awesome new Princess Punk genre. And River would probably be right at home hanging out with the spud-slinging prince of Potatostan, even if he wasn’t a prince. She’s that down-to-Earth.

Fate’s tale picks up almost where the events of River took off. She’s beginning to come to grips her new reality, even as that reality spirals out of control as the main plotline of the series takes off. We’re talking pairing, demons, trapped mermaids, and a whole lot of folk shuffling off the mortal coil. Frankly, as an action writer myself, I was more drawn in by the intrigue and fight scenes, but I understand some people get into that whole “romance” thing and there’s plenty of that to go around, too. All this in addition to River’s fun, snarky character.

So, if you like the idea of a hidden world that you secretly belong in but loathe the idea of glass slippers and chastising the help for minor infractions, check out Fate.

Secrets always lie…It’s only been a month since River’s world was destroyed and she was forced home to the ebb. Held prisoner by her uncontrollable power, River struggles with the long buried secrets of her forgotten past. When the Demon twins sneak into the Banyans clan, hunting for a sacrifice, Cat and Wolf must fight to keep River safe. After one of them falls to the deadly blade of fate, River spirals into darkness, one that brings her face-to-face with the Reaper. River must make a choice. Either drown in her pain or claw her way back to the light.

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