— Clark Gregg (@clarkgregg) December 11, 2013
Just had to save this for posterity. I’m not creepin’. Not at all.
First off, Happy Thanksgiving Day for us U.S. folks. That’s all I’ll say on it, since we’re already plenty flooded with holiday crap and Black Friday/Cyber-Monday jibberjabber.
Secondly, a disclaimer – the things I’m about to say here in no way are meant to indicate that I agree with, or think it’s okay for authors to behave poorly toward readers. Also, this might get long.
I flopped out of NaNoWriMo this year. The Beard *might* get finished and into editing by Christmas, but it also might be a Valentines release or something. Also, the radio silence thing. I mean, not that many people, if any, really notice or give a crap at this point. But, I figure, while I have a blog, may as well at least pretend, right?
It’s not writers’ block. I have a ton of ideas and I have all of The Beard mapped out in my head. But – ugh, just sitting here facing this, my stomach is turning a little.
Turns out, I have Anxiety. And it’s rarely rational, and often not even conscious. Meaning, I just went through the past almost-two weeks freaking out that I might be having a heart problem. Thank the universe for those Any Lab Test places, because I could actually manage the cost of blood work this time, along with a trip to my doc. Everything checks out normal (knock wood). Describing in detail the shit I’ve been experiencing, doc says it’s anxiety. Therapist says it’s anxiety, and that no, it doesn’t always have rhyme or reason. Sometimes your body just misfires chemicals.
Unfortunately, it does get triggered by stupid shit, like feeling down about my writing motivation. And following my previous methods of lighting a fire under my ass just made it worse (ie, reading writer blogs, chatting with other writers, etc.). So, it’s Radio Silence for me for a while longer.
However, this brought a little perspective to a subject that seems to rear its head every few weeks or so around the book/blog-osphere. That of reviews and reviewers ‘bullying’ writers. Of course, I guess it could apply to any sort of cray-cray that occurs out there. But it was this post by Janet (or Robin?) at Dear Author that got me thinking (this time, anyway).
To be honest, not a lot of anything new can be said about the book-bully debate. It’s a tired topic, yet it comes up time and again. However, Janet’s piece begins by drawing a questioning parallel to food reviewers, Anthony Bourdain (god, I love that man), and critics of Jamie Oliver, and how no one complains about “foodie bullies.”
The thing is this (and please, PLEASE remember my disclaimer above – I am in no way defending or taking the side of the whole “bully” misuse team): Writing is a nutjob job. Even if you take away the special snowflake airy fairy bullshit about characters being personal voices inside an author’s schizoid head, even if you toss out the, ‘my stories are my baaaaaaybeeeees’ crap, it’s still an intensely personal, EXTREMELY lonely job. Add to that, the fact that most artists are artists because they have, well, that kind of fucked-up psyche that makes them creative and also opens them up to all sorts of insecurities and imbalances, and well, fuck.
I guess what I’m saying is, is it any wonder that with the internet being what it is, you have so many writers losing their perspective and freaking out on readers/reviewers?
Writing means spending a boatload of time in an ocean of uncertainty. Actually getting anything written means pulling yourself away from the distractions of the internet and DOING THE WRITING – that one thing is hard. Doing it well? Even harder. Doing well, getting it done and edited and PUBLISHED? Really damned hard. Getting it read and purchased enough to make a living so you can do it all over again? Really FUCKING damned hard. Further, unlike any other profession, artistic or otherwise, when it comes down to it, writing is a solo endeavor. Yes, you can have editors/agents/publishers if you can get on the trad route. But even then, it’s still mostly in the author’s hands. Is it any wonder there are some out there who just – don’t handle the internet well? And it is the internet – because it’s soooo easy to rattle of a blog post, comment, status update, or tweet; as a vent, distraction, or a plea for some kind of human contact that might understand or support the author plight.
Now, lest you think I’m just here to whine about how harrrrrrrd it all is, that’s not my point. My point is, fuck dude – everyone’s just human. And no, it’s NOT the same as working in food. It’s not the same as anything, except maybe painting or something.
I guess what I’m saying is that when shit like this crops up, someone needs to be the person who just decides to be bigger and turn away. It doesn’t matter who is in the “wrong.” What matters is that everyone is human, everyone screws up, and everyone has their battles. Some might never “get it,” and be forever trolling review forums instead of writing their damned books. But honestly, if the tables were turned and I was a reviewer getting bitched at for a negative review (actually, I have been there), my response? “LOL, okay.” Because someone in that state isn’t going to change, no matter how many Dear Author posts go up.
I guess, in other words, don’t feed the trolls, no matter what side you’re on. Plain and simple.
On that note, I go back into my cave. I need a break from self-imposed ideas/ideals so I can just focus on why I started writing in the first place. As to which book that will birth first, who knows? I suppose that’s one of the perks to being a nobody, not even a little fish in a big pond, but just a tiny little tadpole!
Support small business this holiday season. Also, get your piano tuned. It’s time.
I’ll just leave this here.
Happy Hallowe’en/Samhain/All Hallows Eve, y’all!
What can I say? My inconsistency is as regular and predictable as the tides. In all seriousness, though, I’ve had to step up the game on my dayjob work. My evening hours have been largely writing actual story stuff, and setting up a website for my piano business. Hopefully once that’s wrapped up, though, I’ll be able to get my head more regularly involved with an authorial blog presence.
In the meantime, I wanted to share with you my latest music find, one that’s just perfect for today: The Parlour Trick. Clicky click on that and check out the samples on their website, and buy their album, A Blessed Unrest. It’s so luscious and haunting and spooky and lovely, it just makes me sigh with happiness when I listen to it. The Parlour Trick is the kind of musical project I wish I could be part of. So good.
Also, I am going full-force into NaNoWriMo this year, more as a means of jumpstarting my daily word count than anything. However, my WriMo project to finish is The Beard, which means you should keep an eye out for the 2nd Beldenbrook Downs book towards the end of this year. In the meantime, I’ll be introducing a new side series of free little smutlets from the same storyverse, called TenShots. The first of those will be coming out in the next week. I will be posting those TenShots here for online reading, but they will also be available for download via Amazon, Smashwords, All Romance Ebooks, and other eBook outlets.
Looks like there are kids coming to the doors, finally, so I’ll leave you with a couple of hotties, Halloween-style:
Last weekend I took several days to house- and pet-sit for my mom, so she could visit with my brother (and go sailing with him on his boat in the beautiful weather, damn them both, but not really).
Mom lives in the mountains. Not where I grew up, although I grew up in the Blue Ridge mountains. And while I always claim Boston as my “home” - the first place I ever really felt at home and comfortable, something about those mountains always sings to me. And right now? Right now I’m in none of those places.
We live in the ‘burbs because it’s cheaper and more comfortable than living in a tiny place in the city. We also live in the ‘burbs because it’s evidently convenient to the city. And yet – we never actually go to the city to do much of anything.
I’m tired of the noise. I’m tired of the asshole drivers. I’m tired of the self-entitled jerks, be they trophy wives or soccer moms or lawyers or hipsters or whatever – for some reason, the rude and self-centered vibe spreads across all walks of life where I live.
Spending a long weekend in the mountains and rural areas, where valleys and fields and forests stretch and sprawl more sweetly than the suburban strip malls of where I live now – I don’t know, it just gave me that boost to set some long-term goals that I’ve been putting off for a while.
I hate it here. The one thing firmly holding me to this area went out of business a few years ago. Everything else is potentially mobile – dog, piano, husband, piano business, writing. I want out. And whether that means downgrading to some smaller suburb with less sprawl in a more rural and more beautiful area, or upgrading in geography (but downgrading in size) to the family digs in NYC (neither of us want that, though), I’m now looking ahead rather than trudging along with my head down, stuck firmly in a location I do not want. It’ll take a while (years), but I/we can do this. Especially after realizing, in the mad rush of tax-filing, I made about half what I should have made last year. Some of that’s on the economy. A lot of it is on me.
Being self-employed is a bitch. And if that wasn’t hard enough, I had to go and decide to build a “backup plan” out of writing – an even more dubious and fickle source of income. NOT that one should bet on writing for money. But it sure would be nice to have enough success to keep that ball rolling, to have it as a backup, so that when the time comes to relocate, I’m not biting my nails about starting over from square one as a piano technician with no other means of income.
And again, ALL of this is 100 percent on ME. Being self-employed *and* a disorganized, hedonistic, artistic-creative lazy fuck is a shitty combination, to be certain. My bed – it’s just so damned comfortable, you know? But something about setting that long-term goal, of saying, “my income last year was completely unacceptable, even in this shitty economy,” of realizing that I am no longer too mentally exhausted to even consider packing up, selling my house, and starting over again somewhere new – it’s the push I need.
It also helps to have friends who are setting good examples, btw. (On that note, my dear Rhys Astason has started her new series, The Ingenue over at the Asylum. She’s also gotten herself on an early wakeup schedule, which, silly as it might sound, is a huge inspiration to me as well, and I am trying to copy her now.)
And last but not least, it also helps to get a little impartial encouragement. Like this review of The Switch over at BDSM Book Reviews. My first ever blog-based review! And it was lovely! Thanks, BDSMBR!
Also, since I mulligan’ed this week’s humpday toolbox hottie, have some serious-ass smolder:
And here I was worried I was going to blow my load with this whole Wednesday Toybox thing.
Look, I’m not about kinkshaming (seriously – if you looked at my browsing history…). I mean, I could go on about why some of us find tentacle porn to be hawt. I could even link ya. So, I was feeling all clever and shit when I decided this week I’d find some tentacular toys to share. Instead, something strange happened. I got… grossed out.
I think it’s maybe because these are inanimate objects and just… no. I got nothin’. Instead I’ll share my horror, and if anyone out there actually finds these toys stimulating or arousing, please – sound in and share your experiences so maybe I’ll feel better:
The Tentacle, by Whipspider Rubberworks (I do love their name and concept of “insertable silicone art” and “interactive sculptures”. Also, there’s no denying these are imaginative and crafty. But I get a little heebied about all those cracks and crevices, too.)
There’s also this SQUID dildo. Called the Squildo. I just – no. I mean, again – kinks for all and it’s okay. And clearly a lot of work goes into these. But I just keep picturing those little tentacles sprouting out and jiggling around and… well, I guess it’s the opposite of what *I* find hot about tentacles. I’m just confused. Maybe I need some alcohol.
The least freaky tentacle find (in my opinion), was another glass dildo. Maybe that’s just because I like glass. But I would actually consider the Icicles Number 24. I’m not sure that counts, though. Yes, it’s tentacle-ish, but it’s glass, which is like the opposite of fleshy.
Soooo… yeah. Maybe better luck next week, friends? I was serious, though, about anyone who wants to check in with a different view of tentacle toys. Inquiring minds need to know.
Okay, now that’s done, I gotta pull out the Fassbender. Dynamic, dangerous, and deliciously bad, this man just makes my blood go all hot. I’m sure my mom would disapprove of him, saying, “he has mean eyes.” But, mom, that’s exactly part of his allure! Can’t you just picture him, all cruel and intense and oh so wickedly yummy at the same time?
I’m feeling a little dubious about today’s toybox picks. Maybe I’m just in a cynical mood or something, but they both seem a little silly and / or overpriced. Then again, this isn’t a review series so much as a look around at what’s out there. That said, let’s take a look first at the Leaf company. More vibes that don’t look like vibes. Leaf seems to be going for the ‘nature’ (as opposed to natural) look. I can’t help but imagine someone with too much money (or an endorsement, *cough*) making a big, goofy, greenery ‘arrangement’ out of all these abstract, curvy toys.
Here’s something I thought was pretty clever – Restraint Tape that only sticks to itself. Exclusively for sexytiems. However, at $40 a roll, it doesn’t even specify just how much of this stuff you’re getting. And, looking at the rest of the Kiki De Montparnasse website, I’m seeing a lot of painfully overpriced shit. Like the Lelo Soraya vibe isn’t already breathtaking at a msrp of $199, they’re trying to sell it for $350? Don’t get ripped off by shiny websites, people. (The model they’re selling is available on amazon for $140) Oh, on second thought, a simple goddamned search on amazon reveals that you can get 65 feet self-sticking restraint tape for $6.05. Don’t get ripped off, kids.
Finally on to the hotties. I have mixed feelings about my hottie pick this week. I’d originally thought I’d share my new mini-crush on Sleepy Hollow’s Ichabod Crane, Tom Mison:
But the truth is, lately I find myself more and more fascinated with the straightlaced, mature-geek, tightly-reined hotness of Agent Phil Coulson:
…what? Can’t you just see him completely unraveling in the bedroom? Personally, I think he’s probably super-dominant and crazy-kinky. Oh, yeah.
must… not… fanfic…