Archive for 'blah blah blah'



What Stace had to say on Friday, September 4th, 2015
On Happy Endings

A while ago I was wandering around the IMDb page for “The Departed.” I imagine it won’t be much of a surprise to many of you for me to say that I fucking love The Departed, but just in case: I fucking love The Departed.

Anyway. As is my wont, I had a look through the discussion threads for the movie; there is often fun to be had there, even if it’s of the “Really?” sort. (Example of fun: A thread on the Unforgiven page suggests that maybe William Munney moved to San Francisco, where, in order to put his criminal past behind him forever, he changed his name to Callahan. Seventy-some years later, his great-great-grandson Harry becomes a cop. Silly, maybe, but I thought it was fun.) The discussion I saw is either no longer there–since IMCb has started ruthlessly deleting discussions after a short period of time, which is very annoying–but it was basically somebody sniffing snootily (say that three times fast) about how The Departed sucks, because they had to add some dumb happy ending to it and Americans always have to ruin movies with their stupid endings that imply the world isn’t a miserable shithole. Dumbasses!

(I note that in the current discussions there’s a discussion which will be the subject of another post in future.)

Many of us are probably familiar with these wet-blanket sneerers at happy endings, since anyone who’s spent any time in the “book world” has seen them. I bet you have. You know, the ones who insult women’s fiction as a category and the genres within it as “stupid trash” because the endings are usually happy and that’s just dumb because what idiot wants to read a book where the characters are happy in the end? Really, what sort of moron enjoys it when things work out for other people? Don’t the readers of those genres, or of any books where the ending is anything less than an apocalypse of misery and death, know that in the real world things don’t always end happily? How stupid do you have to be, to enjoy reading something uplifting when you could be spending a nice afternoon being reminded of the world’s inhumanity and that that no matter what you do, you’re likely to end up screwed (in a bad way)? Dumbasses. People who like books with happy endings or movies with happy endings are clearly barely above a dog in terms of intellectual capacity, and also are cowards who bury their heads in the sand.

Can you tell from the above just how much these misery-gut thought police annoy me?

I don’t think there’s much purpose behind pointing out that, as bad as things might be, in the real world things often do work out for people. If in the real world people never got married and spent their lives together, then maybe we could agree that books in which the protagonists do exactly that are “unrealistic.” But they do. It happens every day. I’ve been married for over fifteen years, and while we’ve had a few less-then-perfect periods–as most couples do–we are still quite happy together. I’m aware of more than a few others, who’ve been married far longer, and are still pretty happy to spend time together.

But it’s not just romances/stories with strong romantic elements, I hasten to point out. Again, this all started (partly) with a discussion of The Departed, where the term “happy ending” fits loosely at best. The complaint there seems to be that revenge was gotten, or at least vengeance was served. Thinking people know that just because vengeance was served doesn’t mean anyone is happy; the dead certainly do not come back to life. To say that’s a “happy” ending makes me wonder just how much you hate people, and if you will ever consider your personal revenge on humanity complete.

But honestly, the point is not how mean people who sneer about happy endings are and how they probably kick puppies in their off hours. (No, really, it’s not.) And–honestly, again–I don’t insist on them in everything myself, and have been known to enjoy plenty of books and/or movies where the ending is ambiguous or downright unhappy. I’ve even hated a few happy endings which I felt were tacked on or unearned or just plain shitty–I’m looking at you, Natural Born Killers.

But in general. I don’t think turning up your nose at a story with a happy ending (and anyone who enjoys it) while drawling about how much better it is when stories are realistic, like real life, man, not inane and sappy (as if real life is not inane and sappy sometimes), and how stupid it is for people to like happy endings and how American movies should be more like European movies because they’re real and nobody is ever happy in them and nothing ever works out in the end. Which, wow, sounds fun, but also, can we please get over the idea that it is somehow intellectually superior to wish ill on others, and that it is some kind of virtue to expect everything to be shitty and horrible and that doing so makes you a person of fine and elevated tastes far beyond the average in some fashion?

It’s not. I promise. And you’re not either, Joe Misery. There’s nothing virtuous or clever or special about thinking it sucks when other people find happiness, and that’s what you’re doing when you get all grumpyass about happy endings: You’re saying that it’s wrong–it’s dumb or it’s naive–to take pleasure in the joy of others (because in its essence, taking pleasure in a the happy ending of a story is really taking pleasure in the joy of others, isn’t it? Being glad that things worked out for them, that they overcame their obstacles and found happiness at the end? We don’t smile and sigh because the protagonists ended up miserable and alone and it’s made us feel better about our own shitty lives of existential horror–at least, we don’t if we’re decent people and the characters are, too [I make no apologies for being glad when hideous evil characters get what’s coming to them]. It’s nice to be pleased when other people are happy. It’s virtuous and good. It’s kind. It indicates that you have positive human emotions instead of being riddled with envy and hate and rage.

And I have to admit, it’s that last part that always crosses my mind when I come across some “Why do you people want a happy ending, you simps,” person. Why don’t you want one, man? What is it about things working out okay for other people that you find so offensive? Why do you want people to be unhappy? Is schadenfreude so noble that you want to pat yourself on the back for it, really? Do you think you’re actually imparting some earth-shaking wisdom by reminding people that things aren’t always great for everyone all the time? Or are you really just stomping on the only joy someone might have, in the middle of a shitty patch–the only joy to be had by someone whose life could very well be a hell of a lot worse than yours, by the way, Mr. or Ms. Emotional Bully?

Of course the world can be a cold and miserable place. We all know that already, and don’t need you to tell us. That’s why we need happy endings. And happy endings aren’t just about fooling us into thinking things could work out for us, too, or whatever. They’re about reminding us that they sometimes do, and that even when things look awful and we’re at our lowest, there could still be something good around the corner. It’s like playing the lottery, but everybody wins. That’s a good thing. And it doesn’t deserve anyone’s contempt.

(Note: Yes, my tongue is slightly in my cheek as I write this, and I’m not referring to people who disagree with a particular ending to a particular story or even people who simply prefer ambiguous endings. I’m talking specifically about people who feel the need to insult others who do like happy endings, and who act as though there’s something especially clever or cool about not liking them; that’s what I take issue with. Also, about halfway through this post I began feeling like I was writing some sort of obscure porn about massage parlors; the double entendres are just everywhere, aren’t they? But it couldn’t be helped.)

What Stace had to say on Wednesday, April 6th, 2011
SULKATHON 2011

So…I’m not going to RT. I’m staying here. And sulking about it.

Staying home seemed like a good idea at the time, really. RT is expensive, and LA is far and I’d have to fly and I hate doing that. I hate it a lot.

But I also do love LA, and my friends are there, so now I’m feeling like a big blah, and I want to be having fun with my pals too.

So last night on Twitter I came up with something all we shut-ins can do. SULKATHON 2011, where we prove we can have our own damn fun all by our damn selves.

How to participate? It’s easy. Just use the Sulkathon hashtag (which has been shortened to #SK11, which I happen to think works out pretty cool). Then do something on Twitter or on your blog or whatever, and post the link with the tag (or do a chat with the tag if you like).

I have a few authors agreeing to play along; they’re doing chats and giveaways. I plan to give away some books myself, too. I know my lovely friend Yasmine Galenorn is doing a giveaway on Friday, I believe.

I’m putting together a schedule now. This is a really, really loose thing; I don’t have the time, honestly, to set up a really full schedule, and besides, we need lots of time for sulking and bitching about our dull shut-in status.

So. If you are an author who wants to play, leave me a comment and let me know what you’d like to do. If you’re a reader/blogger and want to do a post on your blog about something book/reader/whatever related, let me know. I’ll keep updating this post with info.

Here’s what I have so far:

Today, 4/6: Sulking until 8 pm. At 8 pm or so (schedules are loose at Sulkathon, because really, who cares? It’s all worthless anyway) we’ll do some chatting on Twitter, perhaps, about why being at home drinking by ourselves and writing in our jammies is so much better than having fun with other human beings. I may also give away a signed book or something.

That’ll go on for an hour or so, at least with me there. I’ll come back around 11 for another hour of chatting and drinking cheap beer before I get to work for the night. And who knows, maybe I’ll do another giveaway.

Tomorrow, 4/7: Some readers have indicated they’d like to give themselves manicures/pedicures. If you’re one of them, set up a time in comments, if you like, and I’ll amend the post to reflect it. The rest of us may continue to sulk, with some whining about being left out thrown in for flavor.

Once again we’ll converge on Twitter for the evening; L.A. Whitt/Lauren Gallagher has promised to do a giveaway, so we’ll see if she’s up for doing it then.

Remember, you don’t have to do a chat, and you don’t *have* to be on Twitter. If you want to do a blog post or something–preferably a sulky one, but we shut-in losers aren’t picky–and have it included, just let me know.

Yasmine’s giveaway is on Friday, I believe, and BronwynK has a giveaway happening at her blog on that day, too. I’ll update as I have more info. Friday night also seems like perhaps a good night for the corset party, in which we all put on corsets and post pictures of them.

I’d love to do some panel-type chats, as well. Perhaps on the downsides of being a writer? That could fit the theme. Any ideas are welcome. Again, leave them in comments and I’ll update here as I can, and don’t be afraid to use the #SK11 hashtag (it’s been pointed out that if you look at it fast, that looks like SKULL. Also very cool).

So come sulk with us, this week until Sunday. Do a blog post, do a giveaway, start a chat topic, whatever you like, and let me know it’s happening, and I’ll post it here.

Let’s at least try to have some fun, huh?

UPDATES:

Michele Lee has posted some funny images on her site in honor of Sulkathon.

Erotic romance fantasy author Mima is giving away some backlist books on Twitter; check this post for details.

…I know there are more but I can’t find them.

What Stace had to say on Monday, January 10th, 2011
All the News

I turned in Book 4 last night, at about one in the morning (I would have kept it until this morning, but we’re having this storm here and there were some predictions that the power could go out etc., so I didn’t want to take a chance). I’ve suggested a title that my editor seems to like, and my agent seems to like, although I can tell he’s not super enthusiastic about it, so we’ll see.

Final word count–this is after my edit, there’s still at least one more edit to come after my editor gets a look at it–is 122,920 words. That’s about 13k more than CITY OF GHOSTS, and that’s pre-epigrams (I add those in editing).

I’ve done a re-read of it and while I’m never happy with them–I feel this one is particularly dull–even I have to admit that at least the writing is good, which pleases me. So we’ll see what happens from here.

As I’d predicted/intended, it’s much more Lex’s book than anyone else’s. But don’t worry, Terrible fans, he’s still in there, and the next book will be extremely Terrible-heavy.

Anyway, there we go. I have a short to write which is due February 1st for a different antho–and I’m going to do a non-Downside story for this one–so I’ll be working on that, and at some point in the next week or two I’ll start Book 5. Which also does not have a title yet.

Neither of them have a release date. I promise, as soon as I have one I will tell you!

Later tonight I think I’m going to have the hubs take some pictures for an updated author photo, which is kind of scary. I hate the way I photograph, to be honest. And my current photo is, I believe, the best picture ever taken of me. So that’s going to be hard to top. Of course, if I don’t get one I like as much I’ll just keep that one, but we’ll see. It snowed here last night–the “winter storm,”–so I’ll have a snow-covered tree in the background, which will be pretty cool, I think.

I’ve had a lot of questions lately about the Downside Market. I’m working as hard/fast as I can to get all the designs transferred to Spreadshirt, and to come up with some fun new ones. Now that the book is turned in I’ll hopefully be able to get it up and running soon, maybe not with all of the designs in place–a few of them are too small for Spreadshirt’s qualifications, and I’m waiting for resized versions–but with enough, and in enough color choices etc. So again, if you have any suggestions or ideas for something you’d like to see on a shirt, don’t hesitate to say something!

So later I may very well be posting some pictures, and later in the week I’ll be doing some more relevant posts again, but for now that’s it.