My resignation from RWA, and from Calgary RWA (CaRWA)

To Whom it May Concern at RWA,

Today, February 18, 2020, I am resigning my membership in RWA. Please remove me immediately from your membership.

I have been a member in good standing since 2011, and a member of my local chapter (Calgary Association of RWA) just as long. I have volunteered at the local level for most of those years, either on the board, maintaining the website, or currently, as the diversity liaison.

I cannot in good conscience remain a member of RWA, as it is quite apparent that RWA is not willing to create a safe and inclusive space for its marginalized authors, whether they be people of colour, queer, or disabled, at both the national and chapter levels of the organization. RWA has continually demonstrated that it is a white supremacist organization, enabling bigotry of all types, and I cannot remain a part of such an organization at any level. I despise that my membership fees have gone towards an organization that has stifled ethics complaints by members, engaged in racist acts against Black authors and other authors of colour, demonstrated that LGBTQ2S+ authors not being paid by Dreamspinner Press are not important enough to receive assistance, censured authors striving for DEI, including Courtney Milan, and has so completely disregarded its own bylaws and procedures.

The continued lack of information and lack of reform in RWA are unacceptable. I cannot see RWA managing to include DEI at every level of its organization, and as a queer author, I am no longer willing to exert any effort or emotional labour towards this when my basic rights and humanity are not recognized.

Regards,

Alyssa Linn Palmer

To the members of CaRWA,

As of today, February 18, 2020, I hereby resign my post as Diversity Liaison, and resign my membership in the chapter. I have been a member since early 2011, and have volunteered for many of those years, whether as the website person, on the board, and most currently as the diversity liaison.

Partly I am resigning due to the actions of the national organization of RWA, which has demonstrated time and time again its allegiance to white supremacy and systemic bigotry, and its continued lack of will to eliminate such bigotry from its organization. I am also resigning because it has been demonstrated to me that many members of CaRWA are also unwilling to eliminate bigotry from their thoughts and actions.

As diversity liaison, I tried to bring knowledge of the value of diversity, and the need to decry racism, homophobia and ableism. I also tried to support those with low income by spearheading a Perseverance Fund. I see now that I was not strong enough to be effective, that I still bent to protect the sensibilities of the “nice white ladies.” And yet, with the recent survey in January, I was shown that even these lukewarm efforts were unwelcome, that members felt that my efforts were “shoving these issues down their throats,” or “too political” and that members just wanted to “focus on writing” and that they were feeling “attacked” or unable to post “for fear of being criticized for what they post.” Or, indeed, that they “didn’t need to learn about diversity because they work with diverse clients.”

That members felt comfortable sharing their explicit homophobia and other bigotry in this survey indicates to me that CaRWA is not a place for me, a queer author with chronic illness. I do not think that there is a possibility for true diversity, equity and inclusion in CaRWA, as there are too many members who take offense at even the possibility of such things.

I am unwilling to continue to expend my emotional and physical labour to support a group that does not share the same inclusive views.

Regards,

Alyssa Linn Palmer

Happy release day to City Kitty & Country Mouse!

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Cover for City Kitty & Country MouseI’m delighted that this book of my heart, the sweet yet hot love story between high-flying lawyer Kitty Kerr and artistic organic farmer Lucy Shen is now out in the wild, waiting for you to read. 

This book started with names. Lucy was first, the name coming from the English middle name of my friend Nina. Lucy also has her last name, Shen. It’s a tribute to Nina, one of my best friends, lost too soon. I’d like to think she would have been tickled pink to find out that in another world, she’s part of a tender romance, and is an organic farmer with a kickass talent at welding sculptures from old farm parts. <3

Kitty’s name came second, well, almost third, because I named Lucy’s farm (Country Mouse) first. And then I thought, what might be sweet yet cute but to have a Kitty for the Mouse? (I’m also a big cat person–see my Instagram, lol–seriously, cats for miles.) Then, I needed a bit of opposites attract… and Kitty became a lawyer. Corporate law, at that.

And then, I read the book Chop Suey Nation: The Legion Cafe and Other Stories from Canada’s Chinese Restaurants, by Ann Hui, and dug into some history of Chinese immigrants in Canada, and that’s when the restaurant pop-up idea started to percolate. (It also gave me an excuse to buy more cookbooks and experiment in the kitchen, something I highly recommend!)

So, if you’re in the mood for a tender yet hot romance between an anxious lawyer and a dedicated and hardworking farmer, this is your book. Fortunately, it’s been released on Bold Strokes Books, and it will be released on Amazon, B&N, and other retailers like The Ripped Bodice on February 11th. Take some time with Kitty and Lucy, and find out what they get cooking.

Kitty Kerr is a high-flying lawyer when her career plans are derailed by the luscious blackberries from Lucy Shen’s Country Mouse Farms. Kitty can’t get enough of the fruit, or of Lucy. Suddenly, she’s wanting things she never dared to want—Lucy, and the life on the farm. But how will being an artisan cook/farmer fit with her legal ambitions and city habits?

Between her beautiful farm and her sculpture, Lucy’s life is set. Falling for a big city lawyer is not part of the plan. Even as Kitty helps make her dreams of spotlighting her farm’s produce in restaurants a reality, Lucy’s terrified that she and the farm aren’t enough to keep Kitty interested in love and the simpler things in life.

Pulled in two different directions, will the city kitty and country mouse be able to make it work?

(And many thanks to Tammy Seidick for that gorgeous cover! Doesn’t it make you just want to devour those blackberries?!)