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What Stace had to say on Tuesday, July 26th, 2011
Self-exposure II

(This is a continuation of yesterday’s post, for those who haven’t seen it.)

So anyway. Yes. I’ve seen lots of people being very nasty about Amy Winehouse.

But here’s what today’s focus is. I’ve also seen so many comments about the music and the lyrics, and the fact that Amy kept fighting, kept putting herself out there. How much it mattered to people, how much seeing their feelings mirrored mattered to them and how much it helped them when they were feeling down. And it made me start thinking about what art is, how it can touch people, and what the responsibility of the artist is, if any.

Obviously in this I can only speak for myself. I certainly can’t call myself a great artist; I do the best I can yes, and I work as hard as I can to put something of myself, something as important and meaningful as I can, into my work. I try to make it matter; certainly it matters to me. Regular readers may recall (alliteration is fun!) that I blogged about this whole genre-fiction/personal-investment-in-art thing before, here and here.

You guys may also recall that several months ago I decided to stop writing about writing/publishing–to step back on the blog in general, really–after something I meant as a general piece of take-it-or-leave-it advice, a small part of a much bigger cautionary tale about the realities of the internet and being published in a world where the internet exists and you’re expected to use it, was taken so much more strongly, so much more intensely, than I intended, and I became the center of something of a kerfuffle for writing what so many of the people who disapproved of what I wrote also said and have said: Be careful what you say online, because the internet is public and whatever you say can and will be misinterpreted, talked about, picked on, and dissected, and you personally will be harshly judged and criticized for it.

Anyway. The response I got shocked me; I was attacked on blogs and websites, I was attacked on Twitter, I was attacked in email. My words were mischaracterized to the point of being unrecognizable. I was made fun of and called names. A piece of advice I gave specifically to aspiring writers was taken as applying to readers and reader-reviewers, which especially shocked me since I’ve always been very vocally supportive (to the point where it’s cost me friendships) of the rights of readers to say whatever they like about whatever book(s) they read, and had tried in my post to make very clear that I wasn’t speaking about them and I certainly wasn’t saying anyone didn’t have the right to say whatever they wanted about a book.

Long story short (too late) I was stunned and hurt, and frankly, I’ve been stunned and hurt by the internet a few too many times in the last year or so; not by comments about my books but by comments about me personally. It’s frankly terrifying to find people you don’t know, who don’t know you, making fun of you on Twitter and inviting tons of other people who you also don’t know and who don’t know you to join in. It’s awful to get nasty comments and emails not about what you said or wrote, but about what they were told you said or wrote. It’s awful to ask a few innocent (you think) questions of someone, and find people calling you names and talking about what a huge bitch you are and how everyone hates you because of it. It’s not fun to make a general comment somewhere, something that would have passed without comment a year or two before, but for which you are suddenly accused of massive ego and arrogance. It’s upsetting. It’s painful. I’m just one person, one who fucks up on occasion, one who’s acted on impulse and later regretted it, one who’s made mistakes, one whose words can be misinterpreted no matter how clearly I and hundreds of others think they’re phrased. One who isn’t perfect just like none of us are perfect.

It just wasn’t worth it, to keep being attacked like that. It made me rethink a lot of things; it made me decide to take a step back, because I was tired of feeling like there was a big target on my back and people were just waiting for me to say something else they could pick on and attack me over (note: I doubt they actually were, but it felt that way). I was tired of being made to feel bad about myself, of seeing people discuss how I was a bitch, an asshole, an idiot, an unprofessional cunt with a terrible reputation (no one I actually work with or have ever worked with or who even knows anyone I work with or have worked with said this, by the way; I have to admit the source on that one made me roll my eyes). To be perfectly honest, I’ve had a difficult time writing anything this last year or so, and part of me wonders if that isn’t because subconsciously I’m tanking myself so I don’t have to go through all of that again.

But seeing all of the comments from people, from other women, this weekend about how much it meant to them to see another woman putting herself out there, being herself no matter what kinds of shit she got for it, about how that inspired them and gave them strength…that’s made me rethink things a bit.

Certainly I’m not a big star. I don’t have one-eighth the following or audience Amy Winehouse had. Not one-tenth of one-eighth. I’m pretty much nobody (which frankly makes the overblown responses to me doubly confusing; I see bigger sellers–bigger names with bigger followings–than me say all kinds of things that go basically unnoticed, it seems. I certainly see male writers saying whatever they like and not being slammed all over the internet for it). I still don’t understand why anyone really gives a shit what I have to say, why anyone needs to pass it on and gossip about it. If you disagree with me that’s fine, but why the attacks? Why not just shrug and go about your business? Why am I so important to you–why is anyone so important to you–that you need to make a huge issue out of it? I’m not Glenn Beck making disgusting comments comparing the murdered children in Norway to Hitler Youth and I’m not anyone with any real influence in policy-making or decision-making in any organization or industry; I’m just a writer talking about my experience(s), or asking a few questions, or making a comment about something, while freely admitting they may not be the same as the experiences of others, explaining the reasoning behind the questions, and acknowledging that others may have different opinions, and nothing I say is that big a deal.

But maybe I don’t have to be some sort of huge name to still make a difference. I started doing things like posting at Absolute Write’s Bewares forum (years ago now) because I wanted to help aspiring writers avoid some of the traps I’ve seen others fall into, and avoid the traps I myself fell into early in my career. I’ve tried to take a stand on certain issues, and step into certain issues, because I always figured, you know, I’d rather they attack me than someone else. If Puny Epublisher A is going to start making their ridiculous “blackball” threats, I’d rather they make them at me (to whom their threats mean absolutely nothing) than someone just starting out who doesn’t actually understand how ludicrous those threats are, or who might be genuinely hurt or scared. And I still feel that way, even after seeing those comments about me, even after seeing my name dragged through the mud by someone with a personal vendetta because I dared to ask a couple of questions. Yeah, I’ve gotten some nasty emails in the past year or so. I’ve also gotten hundreds of wonderful emails from readers who love my books, to whom my books mean something. I’ve gotten dozens of wonderful emails from other writers who I helped.

So here’s what this enormous long post is actually about, if anyone is still reading. I’m thinking I need to put my money back where my mouth is, and quit trying to protect myself. I’m thinking that if I expect or want my work to mean anything to anyone I need to put myself out there, and keep doing it; I need to be myself and keep making it mean something. I’m thinking that maybe if more of us do that we can build our own little world, we can create something strong and good, and we can bring a little more happiness and acceptance along with us. A little more understanding and forgiveness.

The thing is, I see this blog as a way to communicate with my readers–those who’ve read my books and came here to learn more about them, and maybe a bit more about me, if they want. I think my books, especially the Downside books, have a lot of me in them already, really; if you’ve read them you probably already know something about me, you probably already know me to some extent. I think if you like the books chances are you’ll like me; I think if you don’t like them chances are you probably won’t, and if you disapprove of them you probably disapprove of me, too.

But everything I write here is addressed to my readers, really. Maybe that’s the wrong way to look at it; maybe I should be worrying about those people who stumble across the blog and see something about me or the books for the first time. It probably is the wrong way to look at it, to assume that the people reading your blog are already familiar with your work. Certainly thinking of my blog as a place where I communicate with people who are already aware of my work has gotten me into trouble before.

So what do I owe those readers–what do I owe you, when it comes to the blog, and what do you want to see? What do you think the purpose of a writer’s blog is, and what do you expect from it?

24 comments to “Self-exposure II”

  1. Nigel
    · July 26th, 2011 at 10:31 am · Link

    This is quite a profound statement of sorts. While I tend to like the first Downside book and not the later ones, I would never relate that to a disliking of you personally as a writer, or fathom how anyone could.
    I feel bad about Amy Winehouse, bad that the way she died governed the general response from the public. Death is universal, but because she died presumably as a result of an addiction and not in a circumstance that demands respect (like an act of terrorism in Norway) some of the public respond to her death with razor-like satire. It’s a shame that anonymity brings out the worst in us, especially as it’s so readily available online.
    What I expect to see on a writer’s blog is insight into the mind of the writer I am interested in. I want to know the nuts and bolts of the incredibly good book I just read. In terms of advice to writers, how do we construct realistic characters without drawing on real people? How do you as a writer come up with plot lines? How do you identify plot holes? What do you do to solve said plot holes? How do you become better technically as a writer? Your thoughts on Self-taught vs University Degree learning as a way of becoming a fiction writer?
    And finally, what are you reading? We want to know your thoughts on whatever you are reading at the moment so we can engage on a conscious level as fellow readers.

  2. Shannon Johnson
    · July 26th, 2011 at 10:35 am · Link

    I love ya Stacia, ignore the idiots, dont ever stop putting yourself out there, dont ever be afraid of who you are and your opinions are just that, yours. It kills me when people get bashed for their opinions, by those who are also giving their opinions. And im writing all of this from my phone with a 2 inch screen, from my bed because i was so moved to rush to your defense that i couldnt wait to get to the computer. Dont ever let people make you feel bad for the things they say. They have a right to their opinion, even when they are dumbasses. Lol 😈

  3. Jillian
    · July 26th, 2011 at 11:12 am · Link

    Personally I don’t think you owe us anything. But as someone who reads this blog regularly I really enjoy learning more about you and your take on things as person. After all that’s what made me want to seek you out.

    I read the Downside books and loved every second of them. I am not a shiny happy person and I don’t connect well with shiny happy characters. (Not that I’m all gloom and doom either.) That made Chess an easy character to become attached to, I understood the self-loathing that drove a lot of her actions. But the best part of those books, for me, is you the author. The person who bled life into the story. I finished those books and thought – Man that really clicked for me, I wonder what the author is like. I hoped that what I found in the books would a genuine piece of the person who created them. And it was, which utterly delighted me.

    I think that when people put their own vulnerabilities out there, share their pain through art it becomes a candle in the dark for others. I liked Amy Winehouse. Her music spoke to me. That awful low that comes from clutching a mostly empty bottle and realizing you’ve screwed yourself over, again. She put it out there and I’m grateful. It was a confirmation that while I feel like an Outsider I’m not alone. Someone somewhere has felt that way too.

    I get that candle in the dark sense from your books and blog and that’s why I come back. You’re not like everyone else, you’re you. And I like that so much better than the plastic-ness I’ve seen from others. Not naming names (because it’s rude) but I’ve had a past experience with an author that really turned me off as far as wanting to know them as a person. I wrote to an author telling how much I loved Character X. That the darkness was something I related to and it was nice not to feel alone in it. The author politely told that if I really felt that way I ought to seek help because obviously there was something wrong with me. I was hurt to be honest. I hadn’t said anything like “Yeah I drink a bottle of whiskey every night.” I just pointed out my connection to the ‘I don’t fit in the box mentality.’ It felt like the author was saying they’d never felt that way so please got in line and be ‘normal.’

    IMO you should write on the blog what you’re thinking. I want to read your opinion about real-life. I want to read about your thoughts on writing and other books. Because I’m interested in you. And if people don’t like it, why are they reading it? I can’t imagine you go around putting a gun to people’s head forcing them to read your blog. (Though that would be kind of funny… “Read it! Read the blog!” I digress…)

    Nothing will ever please everybody and some people really do just hunt for ways to be mean. I say ignore them. After all, isn’t it better to be like for you are? So keep putting yourself out there, there are people like me who really appreciate it.

  4. Amy
    · July 26th, 2011 at 11:24 am · Link

    Stacia, hang in there. You know how much I admire you. Sometimes it’s easy to be bold and sometimes it’s tough. It means a tremendous amount to me, personally, to see another woman who loves her art and is confident about who she is NOT sugar coat her image. You don’t need to. I appreciate all the advice and help you’ve given to me, and am behind whatever you do with your blog and online image. Thanks for being true.

  5. ZombieJoe
    · July 26th, 2011 at 11:44 am · Link

    Honestly when Stacey Jay had blogged about the media frenzy and negative comments, I stated that Chess and Annabelle were ranked among my most favorite characters for their flaws. Their issues was what made them real for me.

    While I have never suffered addiction, I have known those who have. And while I was no fan of Amy Winehouse, as a person she deserved a chance to break free of the troubles she was facing. As an artist, she had an incredible tool to let people have a glimpse in to her troubled world.

    As for people attacking you for the their views on comments you left, there is nothing that can be done for that. Far too many people suffer from cyberspine and think that the disconnect of the internet gives them free reign to act like spoiled, entitled douchecanoes.

    There is the flipside though. Had you not been putting yourself out there, what are the chances that some of your readers wouldn’t be your readers now? I know that I picked up Personal Demons because of the things I was hearing in Twitter. Hell, Mark was damn near taunting me for a year (without knowing he was) before Unholy Ghosts came out. Between that contact and the fact that you simply walked up to my wife and talked to her at RT because she looked like someone you should know is why I picked up your books.

    And while I liked the demon series, Downside has shadowed it for me. Chess feels more real to me. She screams of someone who wants to avoid the whole sticky mess of real life and does so by diving into a dangerous level of addiction. You want to see her come out of it okay. You root for her the way you would root for a friend or family member going through the same addiction issues.

    You may not consider yourself a great artist, which means you possess humility. I think that Downsides is not only one of the best series I have read, I think it offers a glimpse into a tortured life and speaks to many people… just like some music does.

    And if anyone thinks they are entitled to verbally harass you on the internet, send them my way. I have an antler topped walnut cane they can meet the business end of. 😉

  6. BernardL
    · July 26th, 2011 at 12:14 pm · Link

    I’ve always enjoyed the myriad subjects you’ve written about over the years here. I’ve profited from the writing tips you’ve given, including an e-book contract I would have never gotten without your blog series on ‘be a sex-writing strumpet’. I never gave it a second thought when I disagreed with you about something. I didn’t know the trolls got to you that much this past year. Having read the ‘Downside’ books a couple times now, I’d advise channeling ‘Terrible’ for future troll handling and just keep on keeping on. You can’t please everyone, and in reality you wouldn’t want to even if you could. :)

  7. Roxanne Skelly
    · July 26th, 2011 at 12:56 pm · Link

    So here’s what I try to remember with respect to negative comments.

    Negative folk tend to be more vocal than those who agree with and support you. Assuredly, for every negative comment you get, there are ten people sitting on the sidelines who support you.

    Most of what people say is really about themselves. If someone criticizes you personally, they’re probably insecure and are looking for someone they can ‘be better than.’ At least you’re honest about exposing yourself, and don’t use the words of others to do so.

    People attacking you are making the “Ad Hominem” logical fallacy. They should be discussing the ideas not the person. Call them on it and steer the discussion back to the ideas.

    Unfortunately, there are those who take this to the extreme. A friend of mine just got a death threat for expressing some criticisms of religion. Maintain some boundaries, especially with respect to information like your address, phone number, etc.

    And unfortunately, there are those who take this to the point of ‘hating’ you even if they’ve never had any contact with you. You know, the gay bashers, muslim bashers and so on. Be safe.

  8. Miss Bliss
    · July 26th, 2011 at 1:03 pm · Link

    It’s always a risk to be in the public eye. Artists risk more than most. The internet has shown that people are still quite viciously uncivilized when they don’t have to own up. I appreciate any artist that is willing to interact with his/her audience directly via the internet. It’s not easy or always rewarding for the artist. But it seems that there is always a segment, usually a large segment of the people who participate in that interaction who benefit greatly. It’s a gift. So thank you. I feel honored to have any interaction with you that you are willing to have with us. Because as someone said earlier, you don’t owe us anything. I appreciate your writing and it does seem clear that a good portion of your world view is IN the Downside books. To me that makes you a potentially very interesting and complex person. Thus I am interested in what you think about the world in general and writing in specific. I am interested in your writing tips and advice and suggestions. I am VERY interested in what you like to read and what music you like to listen to. Seems like a good place to practice discussion, respect, courage, compassion and lots of good fun.

  9. BelleWitch
    · July 26th, 2011 at 1:41 pm · Link

    i have only read Personal Demons, (I get most of my books through a trading site) and I loved it.

    As a Feminist Witch, many years now, I have come to believe that some words are spells. I caution my sons that to engage in negative cyberjousting is a waste of time, and that it just might come back to bite them, or the World, in the ass.

    I do not live in a bubble and am not some sort of fruitcake. I am a woman in Recovery and know all the sexism involved in that. My life resume also includes a son who is a recovering heroin addict. The Craft and our Matron Goddess helped us confront our problems head on, and strenghten us every day.

    I do not think I have ever listened to Amy Winehouse, but I was rocked by the deaths of Janis, Jimi and Jim. I do not need to be familiar with an artist to feel the pain. And Stacia, that is why I read your blog yesterday and commented on Twitter.
    And this is why I am opening up to You and your readers today.
    It just feels right, and positive, and we could all use more of that.

    Her Blessings,

  10. Savannah J. Foley
    · July 26th, 2011 at 3:03 pm · Link

    Wow, I must have totally missed that huge kerfuffle, but I haven’t been on Twitter much lately. I’m so sorry all that happened to you, and I think you’re pretty kickass so I’m going to keep reading your blog.

  11. Gabryyl
    · July 26th, 2011 at 3:15 pm · Link

    You don’t owe anyone anything. This is your blog and you should use it as you wish. I missed the drama you’ve written about here but frankly I say to hell with them. Keep being you. No one else can, after all. :)

  12. Tamlyn
    · July 26th, 2011 at 8:27 pm · Link

    As others have said, you don’t owe anyone anything. I want to see on your blog whatever you want to write – I kept reading after I came here originally because I enjoyed the personality that came through your blogposts. If there’s something I’m not so interesting in, I’ll just skip over that post (it hasn’t happened yet. You even had me wanted to wear nail polish… me. It’s a wonder I even know what nail polish is). So just keep being yourself.

  13. Michele Lee
    · July 26th, 2011 at 9:27 pm · Link

    You don’t owe anyone those things. BUT I know who you are inside, and I also know that all the anger and negativity equals out when that one person emails you and tells you they could never come forward, never publicly say anything, but you doing it gave them the strength and courage to face up to their own situation, or you gave them hope that they weren’t alone.

    I think you have to take it on a case by case basis and fight for the things you really want to fight for and let the things that don’t seem worth it pass. But feel neither obligated to ignore, nor battle.

  14. Elisa Jankowski
    · July 26th, 2011 at 10:37 pm · Link

    Here’s the deal: you are never going to make everyone happy. Ever. I personally love to hear about the personal life tidbits (especially vacation updates!), craft advice, weird but true happenings in the public, whatever. It’s fun to get a glimpse of the lives of my personal rock stars, who are apparently similar to mine. BUT, I don’t always feel like reading all those things ALL the time. So you know what I do? I go read something else.

    what I’m trying to say is write what inspires you and try not to worry too much about what everyone else thinks. It’s not a bad idea to gauge general consensus in comments, but life’s too short to stress about it. When in doubt save the drafts until you’ve thought it over before hitting send.

    • Hillary
      · July 27th, 2011 at 12:40 am · Link


      Maybe those of us who have your back need to be a little more vocal. I’ve never seen you be anything other than intelligent and earnestly helpful to others online, and I suspect if anyone thought they saw otherwise, it’s because they were looking to pick a fight.

      I enjoy your rants as much as your nail polish colors, so whatever you’re feeling, I’m sure I’d be happy to hear about it.

      Be seeing you around.

  15. E
    · July 27th, 2011 at 4:00 am · Link

    I follow you on twitter, but I haven’t been on for a few weeks and I had no idea that bullshit was going on! That makes me so fucking mad, you always go out of your way to explain yourself and your opinions on any subject you discuss so for some assholes to twist your words around and jump on some ban wagon of bashing you is ridiculous and disgusting. Keep fighting the good fight girl! I know it is easier said than done but you can’t back down to bullys, they are cowards don’t let them win. You are an amazing artist and I can’t wait for more of your books!!!! -(and blogs)

  16. Aniko
    · July 27th, 2011 at 6:25 am · Link

    Like others here have said, you don’t owe us anything. This is your blog and you have the right to be yourself and write about anything you want to. Personally, if I’m interested in what you’ve blogged about, I’ll read it. If not, I’ll skip it. Simple :smile: I would never presume that I have the right to tell you what you should or shouldn’t do. Regardless of what you blog about, or whether I agree with it or not (I pretty much do, though), your books are completely separate and those I always love! Keep on being you and don’t be concerned with the opinions of people who don’t even know you. Unless you like those opinions. In which case, go ahead 😀

  17. Betsy Dornbusch
    · July 27th, 2011 at 11:21 am · Link

    I made a couple of commitments to my god awhile back (lo these 35 years ago) which center on honesty. I find it very difficult to be honest with myself if I’m not honest with others; I’m a chameleon by nature so it’s something I have to guard against.

    But it’s a decision every person has to make for herself, as an artist as well as a person. You don’t owe the world anything; Art starts with the artist first. But I do enjoy the blog and it feels plenty frank to me.

  18. kyahgirl
    · July 27th, 2011 at 1:53 pm · Link

    I feel so sad hearing about the abuse you’ve put up with from the public. I’ve told you before that I love what you write so that’s not what this is about.
    You mentioned Amy Winehouse and her tragic death and the media frenzy against her. All I can think about is the discussion I had with my daughter (she’s 12) about it. We talked about how so many people in the entertainment industry get chewed up and spit out in the wheels of the industry. She’s too young to have seen Britney Spears as a new star but she was aware of all the ‘big news’ with her shaved head etc. Instead of falling into that finger pointing and dissing trap I told her what an amazing and beautiful gift that woman has and how its tragic that her life has become such a painful circus but that she keeps on trying. Same thing with Amy Winehouse, she kept on trying. i try to help my children see the humanity in all of us and not sit in judgment because we all have lots of flaws and weaknesses.
    Maybe all those people that are filled with bile and spewing it all over the place have never had the chance to really learn to be open minded and tolerant and appreciative of what each person brings to this planet. Now, I don’t mean to sound like a preachy person because I’m not that way. But, I hope you can take some comfort in knowing that there are lots of people out here who are not casting stones and shoveling shit at you or anyone else. you have a a beautiful gift and I’m glad you share it with us.

  19. Karen
    · July 28th, 2011 at 8:04 pm · Link

    I don’t think you anyone anything. That being said, I’d like to say I missed your regular blogs.And I’m sorry that people attacked you like that. Its so easy to be rude and offensive to someone when you’re not looking them in the eye, and the internet is just ripe with people who don’t practice common courtesy. (I worked as a customer service rep for 15 years, so I have a lot of experience with rudeness.)

    I want to tell you why I come to your blog regularly…

    At first it was because I read your books and I found them so unique and interesting, I was curious to see who wrote them. That’s not what’s kept me coming back, tho.

    I have to explain a little about myself to have it make sense. I’m mom to a 16 yr. old with Aspergers. Life, for me, is chaotic and stressful. It’s also isolating. Its amazing how many people avoid you when you have a child with a disability (not that I consider Aspergers a disability, just a difference – but its a difference that makes our lives non-traditional and at times painful to be around). So, I haven’t been able to hold a job for the last 16 years because I’m on call 24/7 for my son. My friends all bailed years ago. My family is far away and most of them don’t like to take off their rose colored glasses anyway.

    I read to stay sane. My socialization (this is so pathetic) comes from reading blogs and responding. (Oh, and the lovely cashiers at the local grocery store.)

    I worship my son. He’s an amazing kid. But frankly, after listening to why Linux is the ultimate operating system for the billionth time, or enduring a day-long monologue on why Megaman is the ultimate game, I need to finish off my day with something I find interesting.

    …so I read your blog (as well as a few others) because your posts are interesting and relevant and insightful and intelligent and whether I agree with everything you post or not, I enjoy hearing what you have to say.

  20. Eedamme
    · July 29th, 2011 at 5:08 pm · Link

    I’ve missed your advice and tips, Stacia. I follow authors’ blogs for talk about the craft of writing, the experience of reading, and a real-world look at the publishing industry. The insight of writers like yourself, on both craft and industry levels, is invaluable.

    The sad truth of the internet is that no matter what you say, no matter how inoffensive your subject may seem, someone somewhere will find fault with it, and will probably feel free to spew vitriol about it. If you can’t avoid that (and I don’t think you can) then you might as well keep blogging about what you really want to anyway.

    Most of us are here because we love the books, the characters, and the world you have created. I want to hear about them, about what’s coming, about what makes you, their author, tick. I want to hear about how you write – I loved reading the updates on the Downside books from a few years ago, it was so cool to watch the progress of the story as it was being written.

    Anyway, this is why I visit your blog, because I respect you as a writer and I respect the advice you give. I hope this means a few writing-related blogs are coming our way – and you never know, writing about writing might help you get through the block you said you’ve been having.

  21. Marie
    · July 30th, 2011 at 1:31 pm · Link

    I loved this post. By the end of it, I was nearly in tears. One reason was because of your renewed determination to be completely open and honest about who you are, but another reason was your comment about how we can create our own corner of the world. That struck me as so true. The internet is a huge place, and just like the rest of the world it’s filled with both good and bad. And just like in the real world, you have to make conscious decisions to create your own part of that.

    In a way, that’s also what made me so sad hearing about Amy Winehouse. What a waste it all was. What she could’ve accomplished. I realize it’s not always as easy as making the “right” decisions; I just get frustrated when a life is lost in a way that feels avoidable. (And so young!!)

    I read all the wonderful comments on this post, and it made me think more about Chess as well. I probably judge her in some ways for her drug use. In my case, I think it’s because I’ve basically had no contact whatsoever with drugs in my life. I empathize with her, and completely understand why she uses. Still, it frustrates me. In other ways, I admire her. This might be completely wrong, and me reading into things that aren’t there, but the feeling I get from Chess is always that she still has hope hidden away somewhere. It isn’t just fear keeping her here; in spite of her drug use numbing her to things, she still prefers life. She has a purpose; she has something she’s good at; she has people who care. And she still cares. She manages to blame herself for a lot of things that aren’t really in her control, and that weighs on her, but it also makes her want to fix things. She doesn’t give up. I love her for that.

    When it comes to what we want to see from the blog… I agree with what many have written; I think most of us simply want to get a little glimpse of who the writer is. I suspect a lot of people want to get writing advice, and reading those blog post are interesting to me too, even though I have no plans of writing anything in the near future. :-)

    Like you said, I think it’s difficult for a writer to decide how to write on his/her own blog since it isn’t simply a personal blog, it’s also a marketing tool of sorts. On the other hand, as a reader it can be nice when you get the feeling that the blog has a more personal touch, a communication between the reader and writer, not just a place for announcements of new books.

  22. Tina R
    · August 1st, 2011 at 8:59 am · Link

    Yay! Glad you’re back. I love hearing just small snippets of what is going on in your life; be it nail polish choices, moving issues or thoughts on world events.

    I’m only an avid reader, not a writer or in any way want to become a writer in the future (I know where my talent does and doesn’t lie!) so I sometimes zone out the more technical writing blogs you have done but I bet your aspiring writing fans love them! So keep going! :)

    Your true fans are going to love you no matter what.

  23. Allie
    · August 8th, 2011 at 1:35 pm · Link

    *total author crush*

    Stacia, sincerely – fuck ’em. I remember clearly the advice you are referring to and it was good advice, not just for writing but for life in general. Not only that, but it came from a good place. I had no idea the amount of shit you took for it.

    You rock, your books rock, your fans love you to bits – don’t ever change 😉


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