Yes, I have started a Patreon account to help aid me in my pursuit of creating art I care about.
More community support will give me the freedom, above all else, to say ‘no’ to projects that don’t serve me in my long-term goals.
Warning, I’m talking about my old hat, specialty: abuse culture and patterns.
There is a very eyerolly thing going on, with an extreme minority, within the SFF and writing community for upping sales and collecting social media follows that I just can’t abide by.
I can’t even!
There are some within the community (if you’re in the community, you can guess who I’m talking about. If you aren’t, don’t worry about it, bud) that feel the only way they can garner followers on social media, or book sales, or just blanket narcissistic supply is by breaking social contracts…instead, you know, by writing good stories and earning their audience.
Firstly, what do I mean by social contract, you might ask? Well, I’m referring to that unspoken code of public conduct that all of us generally well-adjusted adults abide by. It’s what keeps us from cutting in lines, blowing our noses on other people’s sleeves, cursing at children, saying obnoxious things that could get our asses kicked in mixed company…hell, it’s what keeps us from kicking people’s asses when they are obnoxious in mixed company.
With that clear
Let’s be clear about one thing, this breaking of social contract has nothing to do with ANYTHING ELSE other than attracting narcissistic supply and book sales. It’s not about what they say it is. It’s got nothing to do with the false outage. It’s DSM, textbook narcissism or pathological behavior.
Anyone who willfully breaks the social contract is an abuser. (And, yes, don’t be gaslit, they are not innocently messing up, or just odd, awkward guys.) They are purposely shitting on commonly understood rules of social decency for attention. They aren’t a safe person. They are unstable. This goes beyond just being an asshole, they are predators hunting for supply. …and if you get wrapped up by them, you are the abused, whether or not you are on their good side.
These types of people have two people in their lives: enemies they overtly abuse and try to control, and sycophants they covertly abuse and try to control (more successfully).
As a victim’s advocate and abuse expert: I see you, boo. I know what you are. 🙂
Just be aware, if the first thing that pops up when you Google your name is the controversy you’ve manufactured and not your books, you’re doing this whole writer thing wrong. You are in a short line to having even your most tolerant supporters abandoning the dumpster fire that is your public persona.
Be aware: if you think the way to publishing fame is by harassing, breaking social contracts, and being an Internet troll, you have a personality disorder, not a publishing career.
I think I’ve said all I can only this topic. I’ll hold my peace from here.
So yesterday I was thinking about an upcoming piece I’ll be writing for LitReactor and chuckled at the amount of reactions I’ll surely get. You see, I’ve been doing the columnist thing for almost a decade. It all started back home with a monthly political column. By the time I stopped writing it in early 2016, I’d received four death threats. In any case, I tweeted this: “Everyone who’s gotten angry at one of my columns should hear the stuff I don’t even bother to pitch.” The result was almost immediate; a bunch of authors said they wanted to read it. I’m all about making my friends happy, so here we are. Thank the writing deities that we have crazy, brave venues like CLASH. Let’s get started, shall we? Here are ten types of authors who can go fuck themselves (God I’m good at making friends!):
1. Authors who hate…
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I’ve been thinking a great deal lately about the subject of personal standards, and more so the issue of judging others by one’s own personal standards.
Firstly, let me define what a personal standard even is, exactly. To put it directly, it is a set of principles in which everyone uses to process their own experience and interpret the meaning, or quality, of their actions, and their impact, in the world around them. Everyone’s personal standards are unique and different to themselves. To put it more simply, it is the rules by which each person conducts themselves in society.
Vague? Yes. But it is supposed to be. Personal standards shift from person to person, according to their experiences, culture, rearing, or worldview. Blanketly, personal standards are inherently personal. (Duh!)
Now, what I’m really wanting to blog about is the concept of judging other people by our own personal standards.
When I was about seven or eight years old, I was alone in my 1st grade teacher, Sister Davita’s classroom with her. She was helping me during recess with my horrible reading skills. (Yes, I was a slow reader!) That day, I was counting through a handful of sticky, crumpled $1 bills and loose nickels on my lap, when it struck me that I really needed to go to the bathroom. So I asked my dear Sister if I could be excused, and she nodded a yes. So, I unloaded my money onto the corner of her desk and went to the restroom.
When I got back, Sister had a soft smile on her face and said, “You really are such a good little girl!” I was confused, and shy…so I just to nodded in agreement. She continued, “You see, children always judge others by their own standards,” she said. “and here you are leaving all your money with me and walking away. You didn’t even consider that your money could get stolen, did you?”
And, of course, she’s right, it never occurred to me that anyone, let alone my teacher, would ever rob me.
“That’s how I know you aren’t a thief. You wouldn’t ever take anything that wasn’t yours, would you?” she asked.
She was right. I wouldn’t. At that age it never occurred to me that I should. Stealing was wholly unfair, wrong, and my Catholic guilt wouldn’t allow it. She was right also that it wasn’t even a thought to me that anyone else would, or could bring themselves, to rob me in return. Why would they? Stealing is what bad people do, and I’ve never met a bad person. Stealing is wrong, and I just knew that everyone else knew that, after all! The innocence of a child? Naive? Maybe, stupid? Whatever it was, it just never occurred to me that others could be thinking or feeling things different from myself.
Sister Davita then gathered up my money and handed it to me and said, “But, from now on, always make sure you keep your valuables secured and don’t leave them unattended. Not everyone is a dear-heart like you.”
That stuck with me, not everyone is like you. One of my first lessons in empathy.
And this is the cornerstone of personal standards, and the concept of judging others by our own personal standards.
You see there’s something inherently childish about judging others by our own standards. Most children take people at face value. Most children don’t have a laundry list of nefarious plots. This is why we worry about kids being wisked off the playground by grinning strangers with promises of free candy and a pool full of puppies to play with. We try to break children of the delusion that everyone is as innocent as them quickly, and for their own safety. We teach them a sort of self-preserving emathy–we encourage them to think about what if people weren’t as nice as them?
But what of adults who judge, for better or worse, others by their own standards?
My thought is that this behavior is an arrested development of sorts.
For good or bad, whether you are dealing with a naive mark that takes everyone at face value and suffers scams and abuses because of it, or if you are dealing with someone who assumes everyone is lying to them because they themselves are pathological liars, you’re dealing with the same issue. Arrested development. Childishness. An under developed sense of empathy–empathy being the mechanism by which we identify other beings as being separate minds from our own, with their own personhoods. (I’m not speaking of sympathy, to be clear. Sympathy is feeling for others. Empathy is understanding how others feel.)
Judging others by our own personal standards is in a real sense denying the other person’s individuality, or right to personhood outside of ourselves. That in it of itself is the core of mental abuse–denying others their personhood.
I say this because I’ve come across an issue in my own life that’s sort of pissed me off. Without names being named, there are a couple of people in the greater convention circuit that ascribe to a polygamous or polyamorous lifestyle. I’ve got no judgement for the choices they make in their personal lives. Boon to them.
However, I had become acquainted with a monogamous married couple a long while back and fallen into a mutually nurturing friendship with them. My husband gets along swell with them too. Boon to us.
Now the problem is that a few people who are not monogamous have the assumption that we must be “wife swapping” within this friendship. And, even gotten a little jealous that I’ve never thought of wife swapping with them in light of this revelation.
But, they are misaken. I’m not polyamorous. I’m not a swinger. I’m monogamous. I’ve no interest in complicating my marriage. I’m perfectly happy with my arrangements as they are. This is what I want. And, no, I’m not required to give anyone a justification to why I prefer my life this way. Just as I’ve never ask polyamorous people I’ve met to give me an account for why they live the way they do. Nor, do I deserve to have anyone chatting at cons about how they think me and so-and-so might be having an affair because look how much time they spend together!
The inability to not judge others by your own standards has caused certain people to misinterpret genuine affection between friends, as sexual. They assume it must be sexual, because why else would anyone spend that much time together, or be that giving to one another, or that supportive, if they weren’t getting sex out of it?
This is appalling to me. It’s also under selling the value I place on my friendships.
This is arrested development. This is being so myopic, and blind in your own worldview that you can’t exercise empathy long enough to realize that not everyone thinks, feels, or wants what you want. Empathy is a skill that requires introspection. Thoughtfulness, and practice–you can get better, sharper, in empathy if you use it. Unused, and you’ll never see beyond your own experiences. But, so long as you stand behind the veil of your own personal standards, you can never peer out and realize the people around you aren’t you.
But, with all that being said, I hope for each and every one of my readers to have the self-awareness to embrace and practice true empathy–to not be clouded by their own worldviews so harshly that they can’t see others, truly.
And, may you all find friendship that’s so lit that gossips think you might be swingers. ❤
On Friday, a book jumped to the #1 spot on Amazon, out of nowhere; it quickly became obvious that the author had used a clickfarm to gatecrash the charts.
The Kindle Store is officially broken.
This is not the first time this has happened and Amazon’s continued inaction is increasingly baffling. Last Sunday, a clickfarmed title also hit #1 in the Kindle Store. And Amazon took no action.
Over the last six weeks, one particularly brazen author has put four separate titles in the Top 10, and Amazon did nothing whatsoever. There are many such examples.
I wrote at the start of June about how scammers were taking over Amazon’s free charts. That post led to a phone conversation with KDP’s Executive Customer Relations.
Repeated assurances were given that the entire leadership team at Amazon was taking the scammer problem very seriously indeed. But it was also stressed that the…
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Just a rant about bad reviews, why you shouldn’t read them, and one take on (one of the many reasons) why you should never respond to a negative review on any site:
I was in a conversation with a fellow creative the other day. He was getting really twitchy about a handful of bad reviews he had gotten on one of his self-pub books. Despite having a zillion-and-one 4 and 5 star reviews, these couple of 1 and 2 star reviews were messing with him.
I think most grievous to him was the content of the reviews. The reviewers had a few harsh opinions–some even verging on troll-like behavior–regardless, a few things were said that are stuff most people wouldn’t have the balls to say to some one’s face.
This post might piss a few people off. I’m not sure I care, especially in light of what I consider the most dumbly veiled misogyny I’ve seen in years. Sorry, but this post is a rant. I apologize if it is less diplomatic than my previous posts.
To put things in context, I’m writing this post is response to some bullshit I’ve seen circulating in social media lately. There has been a lot of discussions about whether or not certain females within nerdom are actually nerds/geeks/what-have-you, or just rotten posers.
I’m jumping this post off of my least favorite thing about writer’s groups.
As a disclaimer: I, personally, do believe, and attend writer’s groups. I have about two or three I frequent, participate in, submit to, etc.
I believe in them! They are great! They serve me!
Everyone who wants to write fiction seriously needs to be a part of a writer’s group, or regular workshop, in my opinion. Join one!
Now, back to the complaining:
The following is a re-blog of a guest blog post from my sister aikido blog. Lynn Seiser sensei has been very gracious and generous with both his Aikido experience and psychology expertise. The following article is about a subject that I’ve found most useful in moving forward in my own aikido practice, and in both my professional and personal development. I know I have a quite a few readers who suffer from PTSD, whether it is combat related, or, more than likely, abuse related–so, I hope this article finds you well.
All due credits for the following article are given at the bottom of this post. ENJOY!
This article was inspired after a conversation with Ryan and Maggie at Wave Man Aikido in Jacksonville, Florida. We were discussing a new program they want to start working with veterans. We got onto the topic of actually how to de-program and re-pattern the brain and how Aikido could be a useful vehicle and context for that change. Like Aikido, often the principles and processes are a lot easier to explain and understand than they are to put into application and practice.
Breathe in, relax the body
Breathe out, calm the mind
Let Go and Flow
Sigmund Freud (the father of psychoanalysis and modern talk therapy) stated that changed was based on making the unconscious conscious so that we could have some new insight into what was motivating/driving us and have the option to change.
Rational emotive theory is a cognitive approach that states a similar ABC theory. First there is an external activating stimulus or event. This is followed by our cognitive beliefs or thoughts about it. Finally, there are the consequential actions we take. We may not be able to change the external environmental event, but we can change our beliefs, perception, and conceptions about it.
“She is a thief. A thief is not an honest person.”– Theresa Klein
The following is the second in my “Justice in Fantasy” musings. In the first in the series, I talked about sex-offenders in fantasy and their character development (or lack of development). I think I’ve made it a point in this particular series of posts that I would focus mostly on how I see others molding criminals, their effective believably, and tropes.
In this post I want to confront the thief.
I think when most people think of the thief in fantasy settings their minds instantly go to the trope: plucky, devilish fellow with a heart of gold. The word thief by itself, within fantasy, conjures images of Robin Hood: noble, fast-taking, greased fingered men who pull one over on the rich for the greater good, the people. It isn’t hard to see why readers love the thief. He is the little guy. The every-man. He’s been stomped on by the establishment, and instead of revolting into revolution, he manipulates the system and robs the robber barons blind! Who wouldn’t love that? The thief represents justice! The little guy finally getting his!