Passion Plays: Brand Loyalty

Widdershinsmask Among the ButtercupsNEWS: Is Pluto a binary planet? Depends on who you talk to. We now know Pluto has a whole bunch of moons, Nix, Hydra Cerberus and Vulcan. (and maybe even more, as well as a couple’a ring systems) And then there’s Charon. First observed in 1978. Charon doesn’t orbit around Pluto. They orbit around each other! In my book that makes them/it a binary planet.

It must be noted that the IAU (International Astronomical Union) didn’t approve of Charon’s upstart ambitions and dumbed it down to just another of Pluto’s moons. This is the same IAU who, in 2006 decided Pluto was just another lump of rock in the Kuiper Belt and downgraded it from Sol’s 9th planet to a dwarf planet.

Charon the ‘moon’, is not to be confused with Chiron, the minor planet/asteroid orbiting between Saturn and Uranus, first observed in 1977 and subsequently reclassified as a comet – but also officially called a minor planet.

Still with me?

Thankfully, all those chunks of rock, and other awesome sounding cosmic stuff, don’t give a tinkers cuss what the hominidae on the third chunk of rock from the sun think.


On to the object of today’s P.P.

For more about P.P.’s, here’s the link to the inaugural Passion Plays post

I used to be loyal to all sorts of things because that’s the way I was brought up. Working class Brits both my parents. You made do with what you had, didn’t make waves, and did as you were told, which usually entailed doing and using things the way your parents had, and their parents before them.

That blind loyalty only lasted until I was old enough to make my own decisions about Life, the Universe, and Everything.

The other day I did one of those on-line surveys. It was about some product, I can’t remember what, but what stuck in my mind was the way the questions were worded.

To paraphrase just one of them: Would you be willing to pay more for a brand product, rather than a generic or store brand? The rest of the questions were variations on the same theme … the short answer is, no.

Longer answer: Hell, no!

If a brand is going to charge more just so someone can swan around with it’s logo prominently displayed on whatever they just bought, or pretend to feel superior to others who haven’t brought that brand then it’s time to look for an alternative. Lets face it, not one product in our overstuffed consumer society is truly unique.

There are always alternatives.

P.S. Style, personal preference, and belonging, however, are completely different kittens in completely different kettles.


“All stories interest me, and some haunt me until I end up writing them. Certain themes keep coming up: justice, loyalty, violence, death, political and social issues, freedom”Isabel Allende, writer


A little Dame Kiri perfection on this almost Spring day. (sorry about the wide screen distortion. I couldn’t find another clip without it)

The Next Big Thing

Widderlake WillowTree

Widderlake WillowTree

Many thanks to Jennifer, of ‘Cosmic Driftwood’ fame,  and her post ‘The Next Big Thing, – 8 degrees F Style,  wherein she picks me to be ‘it’!

This is how it’s supposed to work …

1 – Thank and link to the person who picked me – Done

2 – Pick someone to be the next ‘it’ – There are quite a few folk who read my blog that I know have a Next Big Thing on their horizons, so, you’re all ‘it’.

3 – Answer these questions:

What is the working title of your new project? Where do your ideas come from? What genre do you write? Cat-person or dog-person? What’s a one-word description of yourself? Will your work be self-published or traditionally published? How long does it take you to write a first draft? Whose work would you compare yours within your genre? Who are your favourite writers? What else might pique a readers interest?

Done? – Not so much.

In fact not gonna do it at all. Well … sort’a, kind’a, because I have to preface it a bit, ramble on, take a few steps sideways, and doh-see-doh along another pathway.

I’m outlining another novel. A big, challenging stretch-Widder-as-a-writer novel, that, no matter how hard I try, refuses to be shoehorned into a SF genre. (in this case, SF stands for Speculative Fiction)  I could add gratuitous SF but that would be cheating.

It’s not going to be a SF novel.

This got me to thinking about branding.# How I brand myself as a Writer, and how I’ve branded this blog.

That subtitle, up there, just underneath the name of my blog, is my brand.

“Writing Lesbian Science Fiction and Fantasy since the 20th Century”.

Which translated, means; I am a Lesbian. I am a Writer. I write Science Fiction and Fantasy, and I’ve been doing it for quite a while.

I’ve ambled along those lines with my posts as well. Occasionally writing about something I’m passionate about, (ranting) or what’s happening in my life, my writing, my world, and I’ve brought almost everything back to either writing or SF stuff.

These things won’t change, but I’m about to add another layer to what I post. Not so much changing direction, more like shifting the goalposts, my brand, a little.

What that layer is, I’m not exactly sure. It’ll evolve as I go along. These things usually do.

With this new novel, (working title: ‘Dedication Page’) I’m officially branching out into other genres … which caused me to have long internal, and external, conversations about using ‘Widdershins’ as my nom-de-voyage for these alternate adventures … but that’s another story.

As for those questions at the beginning of this post? I’ll answer the one that a pair of intensely staring yellow eyes is strongly advising me to answer … cat personcatpersoncatperson!

P.S. I’m going to do a little interior decorating too!


“My name became a brand, and I’d love to say that was the plan from the start. but the only plan was to keep writing books. And I’ve stuck to that ever since”John Grisham, author, lawyer, politician


# Excellent post about branding at ‘The Creative Penn’: Branding for Writers: An Essential Step to Building Your Author Platform

# And the lighter side of branding from Holly Robinson in HuffPost Canada