There’s No Reality Show in Your Future

I’ve stalled on that damned book. The author is acting like an ass over on Goodreads, harassing, stealing identities, creating socks as fast as GRs bans them. His bad behavior got me to thinking and here we are.

I never considered the writing of a book to be performance art but lately with all the Badly Behaving Authors multiplying like rabbits you have to wonder how they define being an author.  And then there are the bloggers out for truth, justice and, let’s face it, the fame of bagging the biggest BBA.  It’s sort of like Swamp People, they bait their hooks and wait for the big gator/BBA to come along and bite. Then they grab them by the tail and let them thrash around.

Creates quite a show. Lots of splashing around, lots of screaming and shouting, the outcome of each encounter is up for grabs.  If the gator BBA wins they cruise off to write a triumphant blog about their righteous actions and how the supposed good guys are really the bad guys. If the blogger wins there is a lot of posturing and preening and screencaps of their victory.  Just like hanging that dead gator up and getting a picture.

Everybody involved makes noise and they all retreat and there’s a new episode next week. Or a repeat. Lots of those.

And it can be fun to watch the occasional episode but really, just how many ways are there to trap a gator BBA? Especially one that’s wriggled away before.  After a while your audience can predict the next move, then the countermove, then they conclude that both sides aren’t too swift or are just playing with each other for the 15 minutes of fame factor and they lose interest and go read a good or a bad book.

And deal with all the small shit that is happening to them. Like now. Like Victor Bertolaccini, he’s the author of the book I’m trying to read, he’s the author currently running amok on Goodreads. He’s not worth the time or energy of any of these bloggers of truth, justice, and 15 minutes of fame. He isn’t that big of an internet presence. He won’t get your name on the first page of a Google search.

But don’t you worry, the rest of us can handle Victor and the many more just like him. We’ve been doing it all along. We might bitch a little, okay, a lot. We might complain, rant rave, froth. But we do it. We have each other’s backs. You just have that big ol’ gator BBA. When he/she’s gone so is the show.

So is your “fame”.


Book Reviews

I am reading a book, if you can call it that, that is slowly draining my will to live.  This has to be in the top 5 of Truly Terrible Tomes.  Hmm. I sense a list coming on. A quarter of the way through and it’s about as horrible a piece of fiction as you will find. The author doesn’t think so. He thinks he is among the truly great. No way in hell.

I like to read older books. I have a beautiful book on horses that is close to 100 years old on my TBR stack. So I’ve decided that along with the new I will occasionally review some older most likely out of print book. I have several in mind. I hope you will find them interesting.

Guess I should try to finish this mess. Adding to the fact he can’t write he has an unreasonable love for the exclamation mark and uses it far too liberally. Then there is the poor, abused comma. Next to him I am freaking Shakespeare.

Blood, Sweat, and I Really Need A Beer

“Wait until you write and publish a book, then you’ll know how much blood, sweat, and yada yada yada”. Ah the words that sooner or later every SPA who feels unappreciated and incredibly more talented than you utters. If you are like me that little voice in your head replies, “Oh, really,” cause what that SPA is saying is that nothing is more artistic, more inspired, more difficult than the work of the SPA who is a True Arteeste. His or her literary Art will stand the test of time and if we poor slobs can’t appreciate it now, just wait, future generations will surely weep to be graced with such deathless prose.

First of all, there is art beyond the printed page.  Hard to believe but true. There’s a whole wide world full of artists who work damn hard at their craft and to have someone whine about needing respect from people who have no idea how difficult the creative process really is is insulting. It’s insulting anyway. They dismiss the efforts of everyone  else as trivial. If you haven’t written and published a book nothing you do is of the slightest importance.

Secondly, it sounds like they are saying if you haven’t chosen to write and publish it’s because you have chosen a job where you can slack off and get by with very little effort. Anyone that produces a good to exemplary result works damn hard. They put in the time, the sweat, and sometimes the tears. But that seems to escape them and if it’s pointed out, well, it doesn’t make them happy.

I think we can all agree that we work to get paid and the harder we work, the better we do whatever our job is the more money and respect for our efforts we hope to receive. Doesn’t always happen but in that case we can choose to move on or not.  So when a SPA starts with the yada, yada, yada I have to wonder what they have been doing with their lives.

If you choose to write, whether full or part time, it is your choice.  If you want my money and respect you have to give me a polished, professional product.  A book with plot holes, bad grammar, worse spelling, punctuation abuse, and any number of other mistakes that seem to run  rife through a segment of SPA work is not going to impress me. If you choose to write but you also choose not to finish your work in the manner of professional writers then please do not whine about lack of respect. You choose to write, that means that you also choose to have your work edited professionally, that you check and fix all formatting issues before the book is up for sale, that you have researched and assembled promotional and marketing strategies. Here’s a big surprise for a lot of SPAs, that book doesn’t sell itself. If you choose to not to do these important steps, if you choose to not  to give readers the best product possible because of your choices then please do not whine about how hard you worked and the  lack of respect.

Because that lack of respect starts with you. I don’t care how long it took you to write the next great novel if I have to wade through your unedited and therefore unfinished writing that you expect me to pay you for then not only will I not be paying you, I will be giving you the very same amount of respect you are giving me-precious little.

Words with Fiends-Review

fiendIt’s not always easy to review a work by someone you know but Matt Schiariti makes it easy. Words with Fiends is good, very, very good. While I am not a reader of the horror genre this is a nice, understated little study in mental torture.

Matt has created a main character, Morgan, who I have absolutely no sympathy for. A man who has no problem being a good guy, doing the right thing if it isn’t too much work, if it doesn’t inconvenience him. You can see that Morgan has had no problem coasting through his life on the straight and narrow until something catastrophic happens. Then the real Morgan emerges and he proceeds to damn himself by making all the morally wrong choices.

Matt’s first published story, Hollow (Be Careful What You Wish For) , is included in Apocalypse 13 by Padwolf Publishing, which I have a copy of so now I’m going to have to dig it out of my Kindle and see what else Matt has been up to.

Reading Words with Fiends is a choice you won’t regret.

A Man of Few Words-Book Review

If you like flash fic or want to give it a try, I highly recommend this book. Stephen Thompson gives you a staggering 50 stories on anything and everything.

I bought this book because of the first two sentences of the first story, “Use It, or Lose It.” And that short story, that very short story, that too damn short story is worth the price of the whole book. As far as I’m concerned Thompson just threw in the other 49 as a gift. Each story is followed by a short (of course) explanation of where the story idea came from. Some of these are as interesting as the story itself.  Some I liked, some I loved, and the story that probably Thompson considers the funniest, “Coming With Forks”, I hated.  I would say that I think Thompson might have included 10-15 too many stories, I felt a trifle overfull by the end.

I won’t be reading any more flash fic, for me it’s just an exercise in frustration but this man is so good at it that when I saw he had a second book published I almost bought it. I still might. I can’t think of a better recommendation.

The only things I would have him improve is the order of stories, in Words they are thrown together and I felt bumped and bruised from the abrupt changes of tone. Some stories need no explanation and would have been better without. Fifty is just too many.

And I would love to see something longer, a traditional short story, a novella, anything-please.

Eve Thomas and the Inconvenient Truth

Dear Eve,

Try as you might you can’t escape the truth or change it. The truth stays the same, no amount of smoke and mirrors makes the slightest difference.

Once upon a time when I was young and dinosaurs roamed the earth there was a man. There always seems to be a man, doesn’t there? Well, there we were and everything was fine and looking like forever but then he accepted a job out of state and soon after things began to go wrong. I don’t know exactly what happened but he became something very wrong. Then the phone calls started. And the threats. He never once raised a hand to me or even threatened to, he threatened himself. If I didn’t do what he wanted, say what he wanted, something bad would happen to him.

I was young and didn’t have any idea how to handle this and it went on for months. My body started to fail under the stress, I underwent any number of physical exams and tests to try to find out what was happening to me. Then I met Gloria, herself a survivor of abuse. She knew looking at me what was wrong. She asked, I explained and then she said, “If you stay in this you will die. You have to choose and soon.”

So I thought about it on the way home and realized there really wasn’t a choice, I was only responsible for myself. Then I waited and when the next call came and he started talking about maybe crashing his car I asked him why he was telling me this. I told him that only he had the ability to save himself or not and not to call back if this was all that was left of our relationship. He called again in a few days and when the manipulation started I stopped him and told him it was all on him, not my problem any more. I received no more calls.

It took years for my body to recover and still it reacts to stress somewhat like it did. Lucky me. Yes, lucky me because I came out of all that with a highly developed bullshit detector. Oh, sometimes it takes me awhile but sooner or later a tone or a phrase or even just a certain word in a certain place in a conversation and I know, I know.

You can’t hide what you are Eve, you can’t manipulate me. You are what you claim to hate most-an abuser, a manipulator. For you, the truth must be an annoying inconvenience. Doesn’t matter what you say, it matters how you say it, it matters how you act. You can nip a little here, add a little there, delete this, claim that. It doesn’t make any difference, the truth is. It stubbornly resists editing. Eventually, usually at a most awkward moment, it makes an appearance in all its unedited glory. Every petty lie and bad action exposed to public scrutiny.

And so here you are, today’s little tempest in a teapot, trying so hard to claim what your think of as your well-deserved 10 minutes of fame. The thing is, tomorrow there will be someone else, someone new who’s outrageous behavior will eclipse yours, then where will you be? I have friends and acquaintances who support me and wish me well but you have only those people who attach themselves to the next storm, the next source of fleeting notoriety, they feed on your hysteria, encourage you to act out, and move on to the next person who screams louder than you. You are their entertainment, you are the person they are using.

You can’t make me something I’m not. You can’t remake the truth. I am not your victim, I will never be your victim, I am not threatening you.

The truth shall make you free…

I am a free woman.



Reviews are what I wanted to do here so hopefully by Monday, if not sooner, my reviews for Stephen Thompson’s A Man of Few Words and Matt Schiarti’s  short story, Words with Fiends  will be posted. Thompson’s collection of his flash fiction and Matt’s short horror story are outside of what I normally read but both caught my interest.

Of course I am working on my cathartic, spleen-venting Bedtime Story. I guess it is working-I haven’t kicked a fool for days. I miss doing that. If there is anyone reading this, have a good Friday.