Leslie J Linder

Welcome to my home base!

My writing tends to encapsulate elements of social justice, animal rights, Neo-paganism, and fiction genres like horror and sci-fi. You may be wondering how these interests interconnect. It’s pretty simple, actually.

Neo-paganism is a modern religion that is inspired by the past, but innovated by the present. Much of its ancient inspiration comes from earth-valuing, magic-practicing cultures. The religion advocates the personal responsibility of each individual. While my journey through this faith has been multi-faceted and complex, I can say that I tend to base my own ethical practice on the inspiring leadership of vegetarian pagans, including Hesiod, Ovid, Porphyry, Pythagoras, and similar. Their beliefs in the Transmigration of Souls demanded that followers value all life equally, regardless of species. So my Neo-paganism is easily linked with animal rights and veganism.

But, how can anyone possibly connect horror with veganism? Quite easily, it turns out. To me, horror and sci-fi are playgrounds in which the thoughtful writer/reader may contemplate important ethical touchstones, such as pacifism versus predation or inclusivity versus exclusivity. When I write a horror story, I am exploring the chain of cause and effect unleashed when a protagonist is a predator, or is pursued by one. Who gets consumed, and who is the consumer? What are the consequences? These basic questions are crucial to social justice and human rights, as well. In truth, they always have been. Margaret Cavendish and Mary Shelley were two early authors within the sci-fi genre. Both wrote about sexism and speciesism, among other things. And when you dig into the stuff, art is always a commentary on its times. Almost as often, it is a catalyst for social change.

Here’s one more example. The header shown above is a public domain image of silent film star, Theda Bara, publicizing the 1915 film “A Fool There Was.” This movie was based on the vampire poem by Rudyard Kipling. The image of the femme fatale (literally called a “vamp” during the flapper/suffrage era) as an unnatural, horrific woman who is bent on destroying men, is a prime example of how these genres always have and always will reflect social anxieties in any given era. Not only anxieties, but hopes. Can we defeat the monsters? Can we create bold, new worlds?

Whether I am writing a wacky fiction piece or obsessively analytical non-fiction, I am always rooted in these basic topics and quandaries.

Please keep an eye on my social media for upcoming releases of poetry, short stories, articles, and books. And forgive my time spent laboring up the learning curve of WordPress. I promise I’ll get there, eventually.

In the meantime, my blog on the Witches & Pagans website is called Ahimsa Grove, and can be found at: http://witchesandpagans.com/pagan-culture-blogs/ahimsa-grove.html

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leslie.linder.56


Be careful out there, kiddies.