ballot box

Voting Early Not So Scary This Year

Busy week. I voted early and I drafted the last chapter of Altogether Alien, sixth novel of my Other Worldly series, which alludes to an upcoming midterm election but ends in June. I’ll wait for the next installment to tackle that tricky and usually frustrating and often frightening subject.

Voting early was easy, finishing my latest book was not, for seemingly the same reasons.

Since February I’ve lived in an over-55 community, with the absolute best perk being able to vote at the clubhouse, a five-minute walk from my home. A team of friendly Vegas election workers showed up for two days with ballot machines—the whole shebang. It took mere minutes to cast my vote.

Far preferable to mailing a ballot that creeps like Adam Laxalt and his fascist ilk here in Nevada will likely contort themselves and reality to invalidate. That’s if I actually receive my ballot in the mail because I’m still waiting for the one that never arrived in the 2020 election.

Vastly improved from driving to a polling location, standing in line in the burning sun to vote in a tent where it’s difficult to hear election workers providing instructions and not easy to see after standing in bright sunlight. Which I wouldn’t have had to do if said ballot in 2020 had arrived in the mail like it was legally required and supposed to do.

While we’re on the subject of mail, why is DeJoy who belongs in DeJail still the US Postmaster? Do I have to take care of that issue in my novels too? Real life is simply far less gratifying.

But the best part of voting in my community is no buffoons decked out in t-Rump gear strutting around like rules don’t apply to them, evidently thinking they’re going to convince folks to vote like clueless, racist ignorant twits by the sheer force of their ignominious existence. Not to mention masked (ironic) armed thugs currently terrorizing voters in adjacent Arizona. And don’t get me started on hapless “hand-counting” of votes in Nye County.

It brings to mind the Isaac Asimov quote I use in Altogether Alien, “When stupidity is considered patriotism, it is unsafe to be intelligent.” Gobsmacking, hateful ignorance is very scary indeed.

Unfortunately, these types do exist in my community, but they aren’t hanging out while I’m voting. In my novels, the group they’d be affiliated with is called “HUMANS FIRST!” or HUFI that rhymes with “defy,” but which human hybrids and aliens, fed up with the dangerous ridiculously, refer to as “huffy.”

Huffy HUFI members are against all things alien, and don’t want aliens running for office or voting or owning businesses or otherwise existing on Earth. They don’t like anyone who supports alien rights either, like my Other Worldly protagonist Rowan Layne. Basically, they’re racist, misogynist, often illiterate, greedy, gun worshipping powermongers. Sound familiar? Would you want them hand-counting your vote?

One reason my latest book was difficult to conclude was I did something that went against the grain. I created a group of bad aliens in cahoots with the huffy HUFI. Realistic, because if assholes exist everywhere in the US, they unfortunately exist throughout the galaxy. But I still don’t, and never will, cotton to the idiotic conspiracy that all aliens are out to get us and destroy Earth. Humans are doing that quite disgustingly on their own.

The only thing that makes writing on such a foul subject palatable is I get to control the ultimate fate—or demise—of the bad dudes, which I get creative with in Altogether Alien. Boy howdy do I, with more scintillating justice coming in future books.

Another hurdle to finally finishing book six was having a somewhat active life in my new community, and perhaps due to getting older, the reason I’m here in the first place. It’s hard to maintain focus and juggle myriad characters in a novel when you’re meeting new people and managing a calendar now dotted with meetings or social events, and yoga classes or finally making it to the pool for the first time—just in time for temperatures to drop.

But voting was the most important thing I could do this week, and I’m glad I did—Blue all the way in Vegas, baby. Now I can get back to the business of editing Altogether Alien, coming in early 2023. And attending the Halloween dance at the clubhouse Saturday night.

Should I wear my witch hat and pointy-toed shoes in case there are huffy HUFI roaming about, intent on ruining everyone’s good time by attempting to invalidate ballots and eviscerate the democratic process?

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