Month 11, Day 10

Month 11, Day 10 of this Writing in Public challenge.

First off, thank you everyone for the kind comments, both privately and in the comments section, on that last Sacred Cows chapter. Really appreciated.

And as I figured, that post made some people mad, so got a few nasty ones as well. Standard troll stuff.

This post tonight is going to be a short one since I am about four hours ahead of my normal blog time. Long day. And the internet is about to go down here. (Scheduled because of the stupid construction on the highway below us.) So I figured I would get this done and posted and then if I stay up and get more work done, I can add to this after the internet comes back up.

Rolled out way early today at noon, (like someone who gets up at seven in the morning getting up at 5 instead) and made it to the WMG offices by 1 p.m. to meet the movers.

I am not allowed (for various reasons) to pick up a box, but I stuck with them and looked in every box to make sure we were getting things to the right places. We got about halfway done with the moving in 5 hours, so they will be back tomorrow to get the other half. They moved a massive amount of books, and as another writer who had stopped by at one point said, I have some of the strangest and coolest stuff.

Some of this has been mine, like the six or seven Staples file boxes full of watches, but some of it I got in that large estate three years ago from my friend Bill.  I have never really even looked in some of the boxes from the estate. I still don’t have a clue what’s in many of those.

So even though I didn’t do any real lifting of anything, by 6 p.m. I was exhausted. (Part of that might have been from turning in two books yesterday and then getting up early. You think? (grin))

So Kris came by and we went out for dinner, then I got home around 8 p.m. and crashed out with the white cat for an hour.

Then slowly, from 9 p.m. until midnight, I worked on the last of the crossover workshop stuff, getting it all done for the week. Then downstairs to sit and watch television for a time.

Now it’s almost 2 a’m. and the internet is about to go off. Back maybe, or this might be it for the night.

(I’m back for a fun picture of the night.)

Kevin J. Anderson put together a great collection of stories by many of us who had spent Christmas together in Eugene. Each Christmas Eve I would cook a large turkey dinner, then we would go to another house to open $1.00 gifts, then we would go to another house to read stories to each other we had written for the night.

A great time. And the picture below is a fun one. I am pretending to pass out from too much turkey. Debra Gray De Noux is pretending to pump my stomach while Kevin J. Anderson and Kris look on in puzzlement. I love the look on Kris’s face. (grin)

I think either Nina Kiriki Hoffman or Jerry Oltion or Dave Bishop took the picture. Also at the parties were Jerry and Kathy Oltion, Dave Bishop, Ray Vukcevich, Kim Antieau, Mario Milosovich, Robecca Moesta, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Chris and Steve York, Kent Patterson, and once Dave Wolverton (Farland). Among others I am sure I am not remembering.

In the book Kevin put together last year jumping from these fun Christmas Eves, there are stories by Kevin J. Anderson, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Rebecca Moesta, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Debra Gray and O’Neil De Noux, Jerry Oltion, Kathy Oltion, Kent Patterson, Ray Vukcevich, and Kim Antieau.

Picture has to be around 1988 or so.

Picture Christmas


Totals For Month 11, Day 10

— Daily Fiction: 00 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 14,100 words

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 14,700 words

— Blog Posts: 500 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 4,600 words

— E-mail: 47 e-mails. Approx. 1,200 new words. E-mails month-to date: 354 e-mails. Approx. 8,100 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 0 Covers

For projects finished in the first nine months and links to the posts, click on the Writing in Public tab above.

For projects finished this month and where you can read them, click continue reading below.

Stories and Projects Finished This Month So Far

In order of production with the most recent at the top.

— Finished and turned in July Smith’s Monthly #10.

— Finished the book Killing the Top Ten Sacred Cows of Indie Publishing. It will appear later in June.

— Finished the introduction to July Smith’s Monthly #10.

— Finished the short story “Skiing the Graveyard of Souls.”  It will appear in July Smith’s Monthly and then in a stand-alone form at some point after that.

— Finished the novel Heaven Painted as a Poker Chip: A Ghost of a Chance novel. It will appear in July Smith’s Monthly and then in a stand-alone form in October.

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9 Responses to Month 11, Day 10

  1. Wendy Rathbone says:

    You mentioned “troll” comments/emails (which you rarely mention but I figure it happens) and I wonder if you’ve ever done a post or might think of doing an essay (Sacred Cows or otherwise) about the subject of how writers might deal with that and other negativity (bad reviews, etc.) I know a lot of writers who deal very badly with the troll situation and make it even worse for themselves. I often don’t know what to say to them because it’s a terrible thing and I understand their outrage and a need to address it, but often from hindsight I see that ignoring them is the best path. But telling someone “Just ignore it” is like invalidating their very real (and justified) feelings.

    I know people who have literally taken down their books (from online) because of trolls. I know people who have quit over it. I know people who cut out certain venues for their books because of them.

    Maybe this could actually be an essay about how to deal with social media in general. When is too much too much and it’s better to remain quiet? When is the right time and wrong time to spout opinions/anger/rants? Is polite and invisible the best way? Or should an author work on a public persona? Does it come to a point where we need pro public relations help?

    • dwsmith says:

      Wendy, the only advice I have for trolls is not engage, and eventually they get tired of their one-sided conversation and go elsewhere. It is called having a thick skin, and if I didn’t have a thick skin, I would have been gone a long time ago from this business.

      The problem comes in that you can’t allow yourself to ignore decent and right criticism at the same time. I have what I call a “bell” in my head and when someone says something, in a polite way, that I have done wrong, and I hear that bell ding, I know they are right and I need to address the problem with me. I always thank those people. Those are kind people trying to help, not trolls.

      But out there, for anyone with a level of visibility, are trolls, people who get their jollies out of paying more attention to someone else than themselves and have a need to pull others down to make themselves feel better. Kris and I got used to them way back in the late 1980s with Pulphouse. They weren’t called trolls then, but both my magazine (Pulphouse) and Kris at F&SF had what we called “nut case files.”

      So you are right, this would be a good post in the New World of Publishing series, which I will be getting back to. Thanks! But the key is to not block out all criticism, just the stuff coming at you from people who have no desire to help you.

      Thanks, great idea.

  2. Is Kris’s hair purple? Or is that an artifact of the photo? Great picture, looks like you all have a lot of fun at Christmas Eve.

    Trolls will be what they are. I’ve enjoyed and learned a hell of a lot from all your blog series, and from Rusch’s blog as well. Some people need to learn how to take a deep breath before pretending to be an expert.

  3. Joseph Bradshire says:

    Agree with Wendy above Dean. I hear a lot of people having problems with this. If you’ve not grown armored to the constant barrage of hate and vitriol out there it can be so horrible. I’m of the opinion some people cannot grow that armor. I’m an attorney, I catch a lot of hate. For years. In person I can deal with it somewhat, on the web I just cannot.

    I’ve taken down a couple of blogs over it, quit facebook twice as well. I just don’t handle the negativity. I started a totally different, completely neutral blog doing story reviews, comics and movies and such, we’ll see how long I last with that. Trying to be tough, I will surely need to disable comments. At the minimum.

    I know I won’t ever have an online presence because I simply just cannot deal with some stranger being mean to me anonymously. I’ll walk around the house practically yelling what I should say to the person, trying not to respond, trying not to feed the nasty troll. It’s so weird, but it’s so real. Many think there is something that should be done, demand change from the various outlets. Those types tend to not understand that most people aren’t bothered, not even a little.

    Dean you seem to have mastered this issue. I’d love advice on it. People that seem to have mastered it seem to just have never had much of an issue in the first place, so their advice just ends up being, “you need to have thick skin” or some variation of “get tough” and “ignore it.” I’m telling you for some that sort of thing is TOTALLY IMPOSSIBLE. Why? I don’t know.

    And I’m not even the most sensitive.

    • dwsmith says:

      Joseph, Kris and I were actually talking about this at dinner tonight. It tends to always be a respect issue. In one form or another. I have well past a hundred novels published in traditional, more indie, I’ve been an editor for numbers of companies and a publisher. And I’ve made my living at all this since 1987. And yet someone with two short stories published and one novel will scream at me about how I don’t understand and how much I am hurting publishing. Not kidding.

      A large part of this is our culture. Experience and respect are not looked at as good things by a large part of the population of this country anymore.

      As for how to deal with it, honestly, when I started off, I was just like you. Some bad review or some comment at a convention, would set me off and kill a ton of my time and energy.

      Then one day I realized simply that I was the one killing my time and energy. I was letting the “terrorist” win. (grin)

      So now I welcome great discussion and people who disagree with me. That I learn from. But people without respect, who start off yelling at me and calling me names I automatically assume are dumber than posts and if I spend one instant more dealing with them, I am lowering myself to their level. So the only time I spend is to hit “delete” or I move on when I see it online.

      You know, I have spent my entire career not reading or caring about reviews, good or bad, and still made a great living with my writing. So I laugh when someone tells me I have no reviews, or my reviews are not good. I judge by how a book sells over a couple year’s time. Then I fix what I can fix, meaning location on the shelf, blurbs, and covers.

      And how do I deal with trolls. I honestly don’t care. I’ve made a living at my writing since 1987. What have they done?

      That tends to put everything for me into perspective. But it is hard when you are first starting out. That I do know for a fact and with vivid memories of altering my behavior and losing time because of some idiot.

      Wait until you have a bunch of assholes do an entire parody issue of your magazine in a mean and nasty way. You haven’t seen trolls until you’ve seen that.

      • Joseph Bradshire says:

        Dean your armor is over 100 novels thick. :-)

        I too was talking a friend about this. Disagree with me on a legal point. Fine. Even when I’m wrong, I love that. You don’t like the game I made (I make video games and board/card games as a hobby) this is also fine. Even if you are a jack wagon about it, the assholes don’t penetrate my armor. So I thought I was tough.

        Some how with my writing I am not tough. Self esteem issue? Too new to be confident? I’ve let negative feed back shut me down for weeks. “screw this I can make more money as an attorney anyway…” as if $$$ was the point. Sheesh.

        I have to remind myself. I choose this. This is what I like. Haters gonna hate no matter what.

        PS: Parody magazine? Was it at least clever? Can you laugh about it now?

        • dwsmith says:

          Joseph, they are hitting you in what you love, so that makes it more difficult to stop. But since you know how to do it with legal and in the gaming, take heart that you will be able to train it with the writing given time. Just blame yourself every time one gets through and you waste time and that helps the training.

          And no, that parody magazine wasn’t cut, wasn’t funny, just meant to be harmful and hurtful. Nothing at all to laugh about. And you would be shocked if I told you the professionals who did it.

  4. Chong Go says:

    I didn’t comment on your post because it seemed like everything had already been said, by much more articulate people, but I thought it was a very nice, wide-eyed look at how sales work. I suspect the antidote was too much for some people who think they have to swing for the fences. Getting on base, be it singles or walks, is what wins games.

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