Archive for 'i am sad'
What Stace had to say on Wednesday, July 11th, 2012
Guys…what the fuck is going on?
Seriously. What the fuck is going on here?
I honestly don’t even know where to begin, or what to say. I find myself growing more and more disturbed by things I’m seeing lately, on an almost daily basis. Like, to the point where I’m beginning to wonder if perhaps writers and readers simply should not interact with each other at all. Like, to the point where I’m considering withdrawing from the online world more than I already have (which, I’m sure none of you have noticed because you have full and busy lives, but is a bit).
It seems like almost every day we have yet another bag-of-douche acting like a fucking…I don’t even know what a good analogy is. Like a fucking vindictive shithead, vomiting their poo all over the internet and delighting in making other people feel bad. They claim this is justified, that they are Taking A Stand.
Guys…at the risk of Godwinning, reviewers are not Hitler. They’re not Mussolini. They’re not Pol Pot. I’m not aware of a single reviewer who has actually, say, kidnapped an author and tortured them in the basement, no matter how offensive they may have found that particular author’s book. I’m not aware of a single reviewer who has committed mass human rights offenses, or has engaged in some sort of cover-up, or has stolen money from people, or whatever other actions that might constitute, you know, actual activities a serious and definite stand should be taken against. For that matter, I’m not aware of a single book that has bombed spectacularly because some people got upset about it on Goodreads. The books that (appear to have) started this whole mess? Hardly failures.
I’ve been hanging around the online reading/writing community for seven years now (“Lane, I’ve been going to this school for seven years now. I’m no dummy.”). In that time I’ve seen quite a few authors behaving abominably. I’m only aware of one whose behavior was execrable AND whose books were not successful, but in that case, actually, I think the lack of sales has more to do with the fact that her books were utter shit (and even then, there were several poor misguided souls out there who liked them. Which is their right. I just personally thought the books were garbage).
So let’s get this straight, and let’s say it in boldface so there is no mistaking it:
You are not Taking A Brave Stand when you “out” people on the internet, no matter how rude or nasty you may think that person has been. You are not Exposing Their Crimes At Great Risk To Yourself. You are not a Miraculous Crusader For The Rights Of Others. You are not Karen Silkwood. You’re not even Woodward & Bernstein. You’re just an asshole with no perspective, to be honest.
And you should be fucking ashamed of yourself.
I’m ashamed of you. I’m ashamed to share internet space with you. You make me sick to my stomach.
Ever hear the phrase “Two wrongs don’t make a right?” Why don’t you think for a minute about what that means? Even IF–for the sake of argument–even IF we take your thesis as a given: That there is a segment of people online who secretly hate certain authors and delight in ripping them to shreds, and who get off on the sense of power they get from insulting and hurting and misrepresenting authors who they know can’t fight back, and who honestly believe they have the power to hurt the careers of those authors…
Even if we take that at face value…
How exactly is outing those reviewers on the internet HELPING anyone? How are you making yourself look like anything but a miserable, bullying piece of shit? How are you doing anything but making the tension in reader-writer relations–a tension with which I admit to being increasingly uncomfortable with every new kerfuffle–WORSE?
And you’re a fucking hypocrite. Outing people from behind the veil of anonymity. Yelling at people for daring to express opinions while behaving as if every word you type is precious and golden. Deciding it’s your place to attack people you deem “bullies.” (By the way, I’m also not talking about the difference between bullying and what you seem to think is bullying, and how offensive that is, and how I’m tired of seeing people hide behind the buzzword-of-the-day to justify their own complete lack of human decency.)
Honestly, I’m not just angry and sick about this. I am both of those things, intensely. I’m furious. I’m horrified.
But I’m also disheartened. I’m so tired of it all, you guys. I’m just so fucking tired of it all.
You know what? I’ve been on the receiving end of internet rage. I’ve had things I said misrepresented. I’ve gotten hate email–more than once. I’ve found people saying the most vile and hurtful things about me, lying about me. It wasn’t nice. It wasn’t fun. It didn’t feel good. It still doesn’t. I’ve seen it happen to others, too. And I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.
I’m sick of the goddamn internet feeding frenzy. I’m sick of feeling like we’re all trapped on the island from LORD OF THE FLIES.
But you know what? If it’s anyone’s responsibility to put a stop to that shit, it’s MINE. I am the product creator. I am the merchant. I am the content originator. In other words, I am the one with the responsibility to guard my public image, to guard my art, to guard my integrity, and to watch how I represent myself. You could even say–and hell, for the sake of argument I will, even though it sounds egotistical and I really don’t think of it this way–that I have a responsibility to set an example.
I cannot control the behavior of others. I CAN control my own behavior.
Here’s the thing. Have I seen situations where I feel statements or actions of writers have been taken out of context, or overreacted over? You bet your ass I have. Has it upset me? Hell, yes, it has. Has it happened to me, where something said in one spirit was taken in a completely different one? Regular readers know it has (and I won’t even discuss in this post the sexism of that situation, or of this one, though I may do that soon. Suffice to say at the moment that I’m sick and tired of the attempts made to keep women and their opinions in line while no such offense is taken when men say the same things, or of women being yelled at for their “tone” and “attitude” whereas no one does the same at men. Ever visited a heavily male site like Aintitcool? Why don’t you go take a look at the vitriol there, and say something about it? Oh, I know. Because you’re too busy being an asshole about women who dared to step off the very narrow path of behavior you deem appropriate).
But here’s the other thing.
If writers never went crazy and unloaded on readers, if they never did things like try to out them or get their little friends to vote down their reviews or report them to try to get them deleted…if writers never sent nasty emails to reviewers or threatened to name AIDS-infected prostitutes after them (because that is so totally hilarious, yo) or tried to get them banned from websites…if writers never sent emails out to their cronies asking them to write positive reviews of their books or leave comments on less-than-positive reviews on retail sites or blogs…if writers never took to the internet to bitch and moan about those stupid readers who dared to not like their books and what morons they are and how they don’t deserve to live…in other words, if the idea of a writer cheating, gaming the system, and generally acting like an entitled little shit had never occurred to anyone? If all writers behaved with integrity? If no writer had ever behaved as though readers are nothing more than their personal publicity service with some kind of duty to help them promote their work? If no writer had ever behaved as if readers have no right to express an opinion?
Well, gee…if no writers had ever behaved like that, do you think readers would be so anxious? Do you think they would interpret any sort of comment by a writer on or about a review (and keep in mind I disapprove of writers commenting on reviews at all, this is just a general question) as an attack or attempt to intimidate? Do you think all this shit would have started in the first place?
Because I kind of don’t.
The fact is, the burden is on us. No, I didn’t start writing with the intent of being a Public Figure. Yes, I do find it upsetting that writers have to be so careful what we say, not just about reviews but about anything and everything else. But hey, that’s part of the job. And it’s easy to forget that it’s not just writers. It’s not an outgrowth of “celebrity.” It’s an outgrowth of having your thoughts and opinions exposed to a large group of people. Sooner or later somebody’s going to take offense. If you say something to enough people that will happen. That’s just the way it goes. I find it upsetting no matter who it happens to; I wish and wish that we could all remember those people on the other “side” of the computer screen are people, with thoughts and feelings. Maybe they’re having a bad day. Maybe they’re lonely or sad. Maybe they’re just not thinking about everything they say with the gravity Lincoln afforded the Gettysburg Address. People make mistakes. People mess up. People forget their audience, or fail to phrase something exactly, or whatever else. I hate that people are so eager to leap onto others like a pack of wild dogs. I hate that we seem to think the internet means it’s okay to say anything to anyone, about anyone, with no consequences. But you know what? People get carried away, too.
It’s easy to look at the current climate and talk about how ugly it is. And it is. Not all of it, but a segment of it. I know I’m not the only one growing increasingly disgusted by it, increasingly uncomfortable with it, increasingly angry and upset. I know I’m not the only one who’s been seriously reconsidering my participation online. I know I’m not the only one who finds the tendency toward outright glee when someone makes a mistake, the way everyone jumps in to laugh and point, to be highly disturbing.
But the answer is not to jump in and out-disgusting the people you feel are disgusting. The answer is not to forget your responsibilities to other people. The answer is not to create a website so full of vile slime and attacks, a website that deliberately tries to disrupt lives and could potentially incite violence–a website that outs mothers with children in their homes and encourages people to harass them (think about that again for a second: MOTHERS WITH CHILDREN IN THEIR HOMES)–that it turns the stomach and then pat yourself on your smug fucking back like you’ve just Scored One For The Good Guys.
YOU ARE NOT A GOOD GUY.
You are, in fact, the opposite of that.
I’m sorry this is so disjointed, and confused. I’m sorry it doesn’t make my point as clearly as I would like. I’m just too sick and sad and angry and upset and whatever else over this. It is horrifying. HORRIFYING.
I may well discuss this more later.
What Stace had to say on Monday, August 29th, 2011
I really, really hate to say this but…on Friday I emailed the organizers of Dragon*con to cancel my appearance.
We had some scheduling issues here that made it look like I wasn’t going to be able to go, but I was hope hope hoping, so I didn’t say anything or cancel. Then that stupid hurricane happened and flights were being canceled left right and center. I was supposed to fly standby and it was very clear to me–thanks to the airline rep I spoke to–that I had the proverbial snowball’s chance at making it at any point in the next week, really, much less Sun-Mon-Tues (my original plan), because of all the storm-stranded people who took precedence.
And at some point you start to wonder if the universe isn’t trying to tell you something, really.
So I don’t get to go. And I’m really just…I’m so sorry, and I’m so sad. Dragon*con is the highlight of my year, seriously, and I feel completely sick about this.
Fingers crossed for next year. I’m just…I can’t apologize enough, and I’m just devastated about this.
What Stace had to say on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011
I was just getting ready to do my big excited release-day post this afternoon when I heard that L.A. Banks has died.
That just sucks.
I didn’t know Leslie well; I didn’t really know her at all, to be honest. But I met her at my first RT ever (Orlando 09), at a dinner for St. Martins authors. My good friend Caitlin Kittredge writes for St. Martins, and while we had a different event we’d already committed to, Caitlin asked me if I’d like to tag along with her to stop in and at least say hello to everyone etc. etc.
I was pretty nervous and felt a bit out of place, (like I often do) especially since at that point I only had one small-press book on the shelves. And of course didn’t have any deals in the works with St. Martins. So I just kind of hung back; I met Caitlin’s editor Rose and we chitchatted for a few minutes–she was great–and just sort of hoped I didn’t look too conspicuous.
Then L.A. Banks walked in, with a couple of other people. I think the noise level in the restaurant rose a few decibels, because Leslie was so happy to see everyone, and everyone was so happy to see her, and it was like the party was really starting.
So Caitlin introduced me to Leslie, and I probably blushed and looked awkward, but Leslie gave me this big warm hug and asked me about myself and my work and my upcoming series with Del Rey (Caitlin had mentioned it) etc. etc., and seemed genuinely interested in my answers.
That’s the kind of person we lost today. Someone who went out of their way to make other people feel comfortable and welcome, someone genuinely kind and friendly.
And of course someone who wrote great books.
That’s a loss for all of us. There are so few people like that in the world, and now we’re down one more, and that just sucks.
My heart goes out to Leslie’s family and close friends.
I don’t much feel like promoting my release today, sorry. I’ll come back tomorrow with that one.
Hugs to all of you.
What Stace had to say on Monday, July 25th, 2011
Amy Winehouse died.
I’m sure you all know that. I’m sure this is only one of thousands of posts about her and her death that will be posted today, that have already been posted. But I want to say something about it; I need to say something about it, so I’m going to.
Amy’s music wasn’t the type I normally listen to, but I honestly loved Back to Black. I loved the sixties-esque, bluesy feel of it. I thought her lyrics were stunning and gritty and dark and beautiful, and her voice incredible. And today–all weekend–I’ve watched other people–other women–talk about those lyrics especially, how it felt to them like Amy really opened herself up, really exposed something of herself and how much that mattered to them, and why it mattered to them. They talk about dark times in their lives when those lyrics and that music helped them and spoke to them and made them feel not so alone. They talk about what a tragedy this is, how much they wanted another album, how deeply they identified with the troubled soul laid bare for them in song.
I’m also seeing other people–mostly men; some women, yes, but more men–talk about how they’re not surprised, how Amy deserved to die, how she was a junkie slag, how we’re all stupid if we didn’t expect this and stupid for caring to begin with. Oh, and of course there’s a healthy dose of “Kids died in Norway so how dare you people care about this when something actually important has just happened,” as if people can’t care about both, or as if no one is allowed to mourn the loss of someone who touched their lives because another tragedy with a bigger body count has taken place elsewhere. Like if your grandparent died on 9/11 you shouldn’t have cared or something. Along with that comes quite a bit of “Those kids in Norway didn’t deserve to die and Amy did” or “those kids in Norway had futures and Amy pissed hers away.”
(This post isn’t about the tragedy in Norway, and for the record I am horrified and saddened and deeply troubled by it.)
I find a number of things troubling here, and am kind of struggling to articulate all of my thoughts and feelings on it. I’m troubled at the loss of someone with talent. I’m troubled at the loss of someone who was clearly in a lot of pain. I’m troubled by the callousness of so many of the responses (just, as it must be said, I am by the callous responses many people make anytime any kind of death is reported in the news).
I find myself thinking back to when Kurt Cobain died. I personally never cared for Kurt Cobain or his music; in fact I strongly disliked both. But I remember well the way his addiction was handled in the press, and I remember that the response to it was one of sadness and concern, the response to his death one of shock and mourning. I remember how the public discourse seemed so much to be about worry and support. And now I remember the response to Amy’s addiction was scorn and disgust, and the response to her death–not everywhere, it must be said–seems to be more of the same, with a healthy dollop of “she deserved it.” I don’t remember people calling Cobain an ugly whore because of his addictions, or discussing how if he touched them they’d want to bathe with bleach, or wondering why anyone in their right minds would want to be anywhere near him. I don’t recall, when River Phoenix died, people saying he deserved it. So why the vitriol against Amy Winehouse? Is it easier to dismiss and shame her because Ladies Don’t Do Such Things? Why is it okay for talented men to be fucked up, but talented women aren’t allowed? Why are men with addiction problems forgiven and hoped for, but women are condemned?
For every person discussing what a vile person Charlie Sheen is and has become, there are many willing to pay huge amounts of money to see him ramble. And that’s now, after the shit around him finally reached an un-ignorable level. Let’s not forget that Charlie’s had addiction issues for years; let’s not forget how many women have accused him of domestic violence. How much shit did we hear about him when those incidents happened? It was a quick news story that then disappeared, and when his name came up we didn’t hear much about it. If it was mentioned it was in a cheery “Those problems were totally overblown and are behind him now” sort of way. He was called a “partier” and a “lothario.” Now how many times in the last couple of years did you see an article about Amy that didn’t focus on her addiction problems or mention the violence in her relationship with her husband in a snide and condescending manner? How many comments to those articles didn’t focus–in Charlie’s case–on how much the commenter hoped his troubles really were behind him, and how many of the comments in Amy’s case weren’t about how ugly and skanky she was? How many times was Amy’s behavior chuckled about as if it was just normal and fine, how many times was she fondly called a “party girl?”
Googling things like “Amy Winhouse slut,” “Amy Winehouse slag,” and “Amy Winehouse disgusting” brings up millions and millions of hits all about–yes–how Amy was a slut, a slag, and disgusting. “Amy Winehouse disgusting” brought up over nine million hits, largely Facebook groups, blogs, videos, websites, whatever, devoted to how disgusting Amy is. “Charlie Sheen disgusting” brings up two million, and even on the first page you can see the difference; they’re calling his behavior disgusting, not him, or they’re quoting Denise Richards. I realize doing a few Google searches is hardly a scientific study, but I do think it’s telling.
Sure, there’s a difference. Charlie’s fame didn’t come from singing about/talking about drugs and alcohol. I know that, and I know that’s part of the response I’ll get about this post. I guess the implication there is that–my old favorite–Amy shouldn’t have mentioned it if she didn’t want to be judged, and Amy asked for it when she sang about things that had meaning for her. Of course that can’t really be argued with; every artist knows that creating art for public consumption means opening oneself up to public criticism. That’s the name of the game, and of course everyone has a right to their own reactions to things and to express those reactions. My comments or concerns aren’t about that so much as the fact that we seem to be much gentler and more forgiving when it’s a man whose problems we’re discussing rather than a woman. (It’s not just publicly either; when I asked about this online I had a girl who’d entered AA at a young age remark on how different were the reactions she got from the reactions the men she knew in recovery got. They were tortured and cool; she was a dirty slut.)
(We can say the same thing about Britney Spears, actually, a young woman who had a public breakdown while we all watched. When Britney was a sexy virgin everyone loved her; the minute she gained a few pounds and showed evidence of stress people started stoning her in the public square. Part of this is simply the way of the world these days. As I said Friday, it feels like our culture has devolved to the point where other people aren’t seen or treated as human anymore, but merely artificial constructs created for our entertainment, and we delight in going online to say whatever clever little cruelty we’ve invented in our vicious little heads, then sitting back smiling at our own pithy disregard for other people’s feelings. After all, we’re perfect, aren’t we, so obviously anyone dealing with problems we don’t ourselves deal with or not living their lives the exact same way we do are inferior in some way, and thus deserving of our scorn. I digress.)
This is getting very long, so I’m going to hold off on the second part and post it tomorrow. It’s about my own feelings about blogging and putting things out there, and all of that. So for now…that’s all.
What Stace had to say on Monday, January 31st, 2011
You know, I don’t even really want to discuss any of the stuff that came up last week anymore. I’m sick of it. I’m sick of having my motives questioned, sick of being told I’m lying about them, sick of being told I’m a petty vindictive bitch, sick of being called a hypocrite, sick of being told I equate bad reviews with mean and thus obviously can’t handle reviews at all, sick of being yelled at for my “tone,” sick of being told I’m obviously egotistical and self-centered, sick of being referred to and treated like the Will Hays of the publishing world or something, or like I think I’m the freaking Black Gate of Mordor and you must get through me personally to be published so you better do exactly as I say, or that I told anyone they “wouldn’t get published” if they didn’t follow my advice, which is the biggest pile of bullshit. Since when is “another writer might not want to blurb you” equal to “forget about being published ever, bitches?” FFS. I was even told by one non-writer that I was making all women writers and the entire urban fantasy community look bad.
And in fact I was/am seriously considering either giving up the blog altogether or going back to what I’ve been doing the last few months, which is basically just making the blog about me personally and not really expressing any opinions at all. Because quite frankly, it’s not worth it to me (which funnily enough was the point of last week’s posts, too). Watching myself get slammed all up and down Twitter and all over the internet and finding nasty emails in my Inbox is not worth it. Being thrown into the center of some kind of huge swirling controversy simply for sharing my experience as truthfully as possible and giving a bit of advice which people are free to take or leave–advice I wish someone had given me, advice that was just meant to be helpful and friendly, something to think about, since the subject came up (publicly, not privately as some people seem to think)–isn’t worth it. I have too much going on in my life, frankly, and don’t need to be screamed at and torn apart by a bunch of people I don’t know, who don’t know me, who’ve never even heard of me before or read any of my work but who nonetheless feel qualified to call me rude/egotistical/self-centered/weak/scared/vindictive/fake/hypocritical/oversensitive/advocating dishonesty, and feel perfectly justified in doing so as loudly and as often as possible, even though my post was nothing personal, and aimed at no one in particular.
(Yes, I got some nasty emails about UNHOLY GHOSTS right before its release, too. That was quite upsetting. That was also worth it, because it was about my work; my art, and that matters deeply to me. This isn’t, and doesn’t.)
Of course, what’s happened is the perfect example of why I said “Be careful what you say because people will misinterpret it/take offense when none is intended/attribute motives to you which aren’t yours/claim you’re ‘protesting too much’ when you try to explain that no, that really wasn’t your motive.” That reaction is exactly what I meant, everyone. Go ahead and tell me again why I’m wrong to suggest caution in your online dealings unless you enjoy being attacked. I don’t mean that to be rude, I’m just pointing it out.
Anyway. I was going to give it up. And I’m still considering what I might do. But meanwhile I had this post planned, and have told people to expect it, and a few people have encouraged me to go ahead and post it, so here it is. I guess I really can’t be attacked more than I have been, or made to feel worse, or made to wonder any more what the hell I did that was so wrong that I deserved that kind of fury.
One of the most interesting comments I saw last week and throughout the weekend were the number of unpublished writers, or un-NY-published writers, talking about “helpful” reviews, and how great it can be to find reviews that give “constructive criticism.” (Those are actual quotes, btw, not me being sarcastic.) How they would never feel bad about any review because it’s all feedback and that’s so valuable and they learn from it.
And it got me thinking. What do I learn from reviews? What have I learned from my reviews?
Well…not a damn thing, to be honest.
Before you get all up in arms again, let me make a couple more things clear. I love readers. I love reviewers. I will and have stood up (many times) for the right of readers and reviewers to say whatever they like, in whatever way they like, and have said over and over that reviewers are great and I’m grateful for them, and that I wish the tension that often appears to exist between writers and readers wasn’t there. I do often read my reviews and I almost always enjoy reading them, even if the reviewer didn’t like the book.
But enjoying them and respecting them isn’t learning from them. I don’t. And here’s why. Read the rest of this entry »
What Stace had to say on Thursday, November 18th, 2010
In work work work, oh yes. I plan to have Downside 4 finished by the beginning of next week, hopefully sooner. I’d actually expected to have it done already, but a plot twist came out of nowhere and necessitated some more words and some changes. This is a really twisty one, which is fun; I’m hoping everyone thinks it’s fun, at least. BFF Cori is enjoying it, so I’m trying to reassure myself with that, because she wouldn’t like it if it was awful.
I got an email this morning letting me know that A GLIMPSE OF DARKNESS, the story-in-the-round from the Suvudu blog (me, Lara Adrian, Harry Connolly, Kelly Meding, Lucy Snyder) is up for Kindle pre-order on Amazon now.
Which reminds me, BE A SEX-WRITING STRUMPET has been out on Kindle for a while now and still has zero reviews, even though it’s been selling. Won’t someone please give it a little love? *whine whine*
And one other little link, to an interview with me done by Apex Magazine. The interview is here. I was given the questions a couple of months ago, and was frankly rather stunned by that first one, but after some discussion, myself, my editor, and my publicist decided it must have just been badly worded, because the interviewer seemed so nice and friendly, and had been quite enthusiastic about the series when speaking to my publicist. Fool me once, shame on me; I’ve certainly learned my lesson in that. I’ve never before had an experience like that, where I take considerable time away from my writing to do what I think is a nice thing, and have it turned on me so roundly; I haven’t been set up like that, and I don’t care to have it happen again.
This isn’t about the review, of course; you all know how strongly I feel everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and to the expression of that opinion. I’m not remotely bothered by hers. I am, however, bothered by the fact that I was blindsided like that, and that I answered those questions with a view towards helping someone out, being nice to them, and giving them the benefit of the doubt, only to find out that there was an agenda there. This has happened to me once before, you may remember; I did a podcast interview with several other people (including my friend Jackie Kessler; this is also how I met Simon Wood, who is a really cool guy) about the Harlequin Horizons thing, and found out after it aired that the host’s questions weren’t as innocent as they seemed, and that he turned around and reamed Jackie, Simon, and I because we were “elitists.”
But again. A lesson learned is a lesson learned. Next time I get an interview that starts with a question that makes me feel slapped, I’ll cancel the interview instead of assuming the interviewer didn’t mean to be so harsh; clearly she did mean to be just that harsh, and clearly there is a degree of amusement there in being that way to my face and making it appear as if I don’t understand what’s happening.
The only reason I’m mentioning this at all is because I often get interview requests through the site, and I try to accommodate them; in fact, I’ve never turned down an interview request, or a guest blog request, I don’t think. Unfortunately I’m not going to be able to be so open with them anymore, especially if I don’t know you.
So from now on, if you want an interview with me, please submit your questions along with the request, and let me know what if anything will be appearing along side it (a review, a discussion, whatever). If you have submitted such a request in the last couple of months and haven’t yet gotten a reply, please re-submit. I’m trying to catch up on emails but with the book in the final stretch I’ve barely had time for anything else; I’ve been doing around 5k per day, plus edits etc.
The good news is I’m pretty pleased with how it’s shaping up, and I’m hoping you all will be too, since your opinions are the important ones.
And here’s a snippet! A snippet which will hopefully make you smile, in which Chess and Terrible are about to do some nocturnal investigating for her latest case. Remember it’s just a tiny snippet!:
Her car rattled and bumped its way over every little rock and patch of uneven ground, banging Terrible’s head on the ceiling once. “Shoulda brung my car.”
“No we shouldn’t have, and you know why we didn’t.”
He sighed. Heavily. “’Stoo small.”
“Every car is too small for you.” Her smile this time was genuine.
Instead of answering, she slid the car up to the door and shoved it into Park. “Come on.”
What Stace had to say on Thursday, September 23rd, 2010
Yesterday I learned, through my fellow League of Reluctant Adults members, that Jennifer Rardin passed away on Monday. She was only forty-five.
Jennifer was a Leaguer for a while (she left due to time commitments not too long ago), and as such was someone I spoke to in emails on a semi-regular basis, someone I “knew,” in a bit more than just the general casual way so many of us writers know each other. She was funny and kind and smart, obviously someone who cared deeply for her family, her friends, and her readers; that came through in every email she sent to us and every discussion she joined in, even the ridiculous ones (which let’s face it, most of the conversations at the League are).
I am terribly saddened by this news, as are all of us at the League. We’ve lost a friend, someone we laughed with and cared about, a vivid and talented lady. Jaye Wells wrote a lovely tribute on the League blog here from all of us, and Nicole Peeler has another lovely one here.
If you’re a fan of her books, or someone who met her, and would like to leave condolences for her family you can do so here or on her website (linked above). I’m sure the messages being left are a great comfort to her family, and I urge you to take the time to let them know that her life and work touched you in some way.
I have some other updates and stuff to share, but I’ll do those tomorrow.
What Stace had to say on Thursday, September 9th, 2010
Yep, I’m being lazy, and although I’ll be posting this Thursday morning it’s actually quite late Wednesday night as I write this, and I got barely any sleep last night, so I’m quite tired.
And because I’m quite tired I have very little to discuss. It occurs to me I should mention Dragon*Con. I had a wonderful time at the con, I really did. Friday I got to hang out with Caitlin and my family, in addition to sitting and chatting in the bar with a number of other people whose names I’m not going to mention because they probably don’t want to admit they were actually in public with me, ha. No, actually, it was just a lot of people. But I think a great time was had by all.
This was my stepdaughter’s, and my daughters’, first Dragoncon, and they were pretty awed by the whole thing. We left them at home on Saturday–that being the most crowded day, usually, and yeah, it certainly was–and wandered around ourselves. Ended up–surprise!–in the bar again. I did a little interview for a very nice girl named Day, and my friend Shannan came along, and somehow the conversation turned to a video I saw online once of a couple discussing their bestiality and how they really love their pet miniature horse. Hey, I just saw it, okay, I wasn’t in it or anything. And I wasn’t talking about it like it was a beautiful love story or something. It just came up in conversation, as these things are wont to do if you hang out with weirdos like me and my friends.
The point of my mentioning it is, apparently on Sunday people were hearing that I actually had a bestiality porn video on my phone, and was showing people. So there goes the rumor mill! I’m waiting for the tale of how someone caught me shooting up in the bathrooms or something to get out. Because, um, of course that never happened! Ha ha! No, not me! (Of course I’m joking. It totally happened. Ha! See what I did there? Oh, I am a card.) No, really, honestly, of course it didn’t happen, because I didn’t shoot up anything in any bathrooms because I am not a shooter-upper, but such is the nature of rumor that I’m expecting more outrageous stories about me, is all. My agent says that’s a good thing, because obviously if people need to talk about you you’re doing something right, and he said something else that was really wise and reassuring but I don’t remember now what it was. Anyway, I find the whole thing both terrifying and amusing, so we’ll see which of those wins out.
On Saturday too we hooked up with our pals Chris and Mike, and went for drinks in the restaurant, and then to home.
So Sunday I was pretty well exhausted. To the point where I started drinking around two pm just in order to stay awake. You know, hair of the dog and all. And it worked; I did in fact stay awake. I had a panel at 5:30 that my children got to come and see, which was pretty cool; they waved at me a lot and I waved back, and they really wanted to wear costumes so they were Wonder Woman (Faerie) and Batgirl (Princess). Sadly, hubs had to take them all home shortly after that panel ended, leaving Caitlin and I all on our alones. We didn’t end up in the bar that night, well, not the Hyatt bar where we’d been. Instead we had dinner with more friends, two very awesome ladies, and then we hooked up with other friends and hung out in the lobby area by where the comic artists alley was, drinking from the little bar there and looking at costumes and generally having a gay old time.
And that was it. We came home. Had considered going back Monday but I was exhausted and felt like absolute crap. Yes, all that vodka caught up with me on Monday; I was capable of movement and speech and all, but I certainly didn’t feel like my chipper self, and the thought of dragging my ass down to the Marta station, and from there on the train down to the con, and then around the con, just didn’t appeal. So I didn’t get to see the dealer room at all this year, which was again a disappointment since I wanted to get myself something. (Of course, it also meant there was no repeat of last year’s corset issue. And I admit, part of me wondered if that booth wouldn’t have a picture of me taped up somewhere with a warning not to let me anywhere near the store. Now I’ll never know, sigh.)
What else shall I mention, in my lackadaisical blog post? My stepdaughter went home this morning, so it’s been kind of a downer day here, which sucks since Caitlin is here. And then she leaves tomorrow which makes me sad too. And all my Dragoncon pals, of course, have already left, which always sucks.
On the plus side, though, work on the 4th Downside book is coming along nicely. Work on the t-shirt designs and other things is coming along nicely, and I’m quite pleased and enthused and I think you all will be too, at least I hope so. I have the deleted scenes from CITY OF GHOSTS and a list of other updates and tidbits ready to be added to the site, along with more really cool reader-made stuff that I think you guys are going to love. And I’m going to do a list of research books, and sort of suggested reading/things I read, for those who want to learn a bit more about that stuff. So I’m quite excited about the next wave of updates. And as always, if there’s anything you guys want to see on the site, let me know, and I will do my best. (And if you’ve done anything like wallpapers or artwork or something along those lines and would like to share it on the site, let me know that too.)
Oh, and several of you asked questions in the comments on my little “How Babies Are Made” series. I will get to them as soon as possible, and give you what answers I can, okay?
I think that’s it for today’s lackadaisical blog post.
What Stace had to say on Friday, June 18th, 2010
It’s 1:50 pm (yes, I know that isn’t morning. So what?). I’ve been ready to go back to bed since ten.
Lousy sleep–it’s too damn hot to sleep–and lousy dreams. Then, as I’m wandering the internet this morning I find an article about the upcoming Toy Story 3 movie, which reminded me of Toy Story 2, which I hate and can’t watch.
“But, Stace,” you say, “how can you possibly hate such a sweet little kid’s movie?”
I’ll tell you why. Because it’s awful and sad and tragic. Sure, it’s fun for the first hour or so. Look at the toys, aren’t they funny, Barbie is an idiot slut, la la la. Then we meet Joan Cusack’s character, and then we hear her tale, and they sing that song about how life was beautiful when that fickle girl loved her, and we see that fickle girl abandon her by the side of the road and go off with some boy, because all women will eventually abandon everything for a man, and by that time I’m sobbing and on the beginning of a depressive shame spiral that will only end in a lot of vodka.
I can’t possibly be the only one who feels like this, can I? Who sees that and starts remembering all of my toys, the stuffed animals and horse statues and Weeble-Wobbles and stuff, now lying broken and abandoned in a ditch somewhere, alone and scared, at the mercy of the elements, sobbing and spending their entire eternal toy lives wondering what they did that was so wrong, and why I forsook them so coldly? And wishing desperately I would just appear and hold them one more time?
Seriously. I have enough shit on my conscience. I don’t need that, too.
After reading that article I literally cried for ten minutes. Why don’t you just play a recording of Helen Reddy’s “Candle on the Water,” to complete the childhood misery deluge? (See, I have this theory about “Candle on the Water.” I believe that while we as children thought it was a sweet song, and maybe kids today still do, you cannot play that song to any adult over the age of, oh, thirty, and expect them not to dissolve into tears. Seriously. We should look into this as a weapon. Whoever owns the Helen Reddy records owns the world.)
Did I mention the hideous, oppressive heat, and how it makes me half-convinced that the earth is just about to burst into flames? And saps every bit of energy out of me, and makes me slow-witted and sad? I hate the damn sun. I hate the damn heat. It makes me ill (literally; I’ve always been really sensitive to heat).
And then, something was crawling–well, I say crawling, but what it was in fact doing was racing–up my arm, and across my lapdesk. I–acting purely on my killer animal instincts–killed the thing with a spiral notebook. And guess what? It was a spider. It’s bad luck to kill a spider. Like I need more of that these days, right?
Sigh. So this day is not shaping up to be a great day, but let’s hope it improves. And it actually has a bit, because I popped over to Twitter to drown my sorrows and found a new review of UNHOLY GHOSTS, which, coupled with the one I got in my email this morning, makes me feel much cheerier.
From All Things Urban Fantasy, 4 out of 5 bats:
Any series that is described as “a cross between Ghostbusters and Escape From New York” is going to get my attention, big time. Of course that also means said series is going to have a lot to live up to. And in one of the wonderfully rare cases, UNHOLY GHOSTS does exactly that. It’s cool and twisted, just the way I like my urban fantasy.
From Book Chick City:
I’m so excited about this book – I LOVED it! I haven’t read an Urban Fantasy this good in quite a while…The writing is perfectly paced, I didn’t get bored once and everything slots together at the right time. The plot is just brilliant and had me engrossed until the very last page – I didn’t want to put this book down!
So let’s hope my slightly cheerier feeling lasts.
How about you? Looking forward to a good weekend, or a dull one? Does the heat make you feel oppressed and trapped beneath the weight of all the world’s misery too? Do you like Toy Story 2, and does “Candle on the Water” make you cry?
What Stace had to say on Friday, May 7th, 2010
Some of you may have heard that the Waxman Agency, a legitimate, highly respected literary agency with an excellent reputation, has decided to open an epublishing imprint of its own. No, you didn’t read that incorrectly. It’s an agency deciding to set up a publishing arm.
This has, as you can imagine, sparked a bit of controversy in the literary world.
I’m going to blog about it, because I feel like I should. But I’m not entirely comfortable doing it, to be honest. I don’t like doing it. I am, to put it mildly, in a bit of an moral dilemma here, and I need to decide if my ethical standards are really that strong, and I’ve decided that they are. I’ve taken a stand on this situation in the past and would be a hypocrite not to do the same again; I’ve presented myself–and worked hard to make myself–someone who helps other writers and offers advice, and I would be a hypocrite not to speak out now.
Here’s the thing. Waxman is, as I said above, and excellent agency. I know a few people–one I consider a good friend–who are repped by Holly Root there. Holly is a fantastic agent. Her clients love her, and she does a great job for them. And up until yesterday I had no compunction at all recommending her to any of my friends who were looking for representation.
But I can’t do that anymore, and that makes me sad.
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