I’m always complaining I don’t have enough time. I have so much to do and so little time to do it in…and then I stop by Facebook for a few minutes (this is not going where you may think it’s going) and I see someone I care about is being stupid in public. Or someone is being stupid at someone I care about. Or just generally someone needs smacked with a clue-fish.
But it’s the internet. It’s public. Must at least make an attempt at diplomacy, no? Don’t post anything you wouldn’t say to their face and all that? I do try to live by the three rules.
I bend them a bit, though. Maybe I’m not the one who NEEDS to say something, but how do I know? Someone needs to say it, in my opinion. And if I’m going to attempt debate, I need to take the time to be polite, or what’s the point? So I’ve learned to work on indicators. When is there actually a point in saying anything?
Like with the person who was debating funding for public schools in the age of the sequester.
Person: It’s scare tactics. Schools don’t get their funding from the federal government.
KD: *side-eyes, ponders, goes to Google and gets facts to answer person*†
Person: So they’re closing schools. You don’t need that many. The only teachers getting fired are the lazy ones. Good teachers don’t have anything to worry about.
KD: *goes and gets facts on correlation between quality of education and class size, and also how stupid inaccurate an indicator standardized test scores are of children’s learning*
Person: This sequester is Obama’s baby, so blame him.
KD: *remembers history of sequester, from budget fight to “super”committee to all the months and petitions to Congress to get their heads out of their asses and deal with this oncoming issue* *takes a deep breath and walks away*‡
I’m trying to learn when it’s a waste of my time to even comment. To weigh “do I have a chance of getting facts through this person’s perceptions? How many people who might be influenced either way will see this? Do I have sixty gazillion other things I should be doing? Will this bug me all day if I walk away now?”
It pisses me off that people STILL don’t get that austerity measures will only deepen the recession, when we have Europe’s repeated examples in front of us. It makes me angry that people STILL don’t get things like “close the tax break for corporate jets and we can protect education and a whole lot more.” It pisses me off that in the same job I’ve held for ten years with great performance evaluations, my GROSS has gone down the last three years. My net has gone down faster, and my family has been pushed onto intermittent foodstamps. It annoys me that the state is so freaking fearful I might get $20 more than I should that they spend probably hundreds of dollars every month or so to make sure that there isn’t any magically-appearing money coming into my household from God knows where.
But the fact is that some people have wrapped their delusions so tight that not even a glimmer of reality can get in. Arguing with them has absolutely no point, not even illuminating others. These people reveal themselves–I don’t need to do it.
So no. Most of the time, it does not need to be said by me, now or ever.
Deep breath and walk away, KD. Go write a book.
†Between 2011 and 2012, AZ lost over $200m in federal funding for k-8 education, a reduction of about 25%. THEN voters decided kids aren’t worth that extra penny they’d been paying in sales tax.
‡Yes, I’m aware the idea originally came from the White House. It was meant to be a doomsday device–something both parties would work to avoid. It was SUGGESTED by the White House, but adopted by Congress, and has been allowed to continue to threaten and then to actually happen by Congress.
So. I’ve got Queen’s Man headed back to me next week, but in the meantime I don’t have anything to work on. And even once I’ve got Joss back, it’s a polish edit. Getting too creative is a bad idea, as there comes a point in any creative work that one is just messing it up. But I’ve had lots of vacations lately. I need to be working on something.
I don’t actually have a writing project jumping on me right now. Don’t need to get anything ready for the next TDP slot. So there’s no outside imperative.
I should edit, but without the incentive of “ZOMG DEADLINE!” it’s hard to find the energy to do so. I’m just a wee bit burnt out on editing at the moment.
Hence the dithering. My options on the writing front (these are far from all I could work on. Just the ones that occur to me as something I could/should.) (whee, watch my lists and formatting go all weird!)
Fanfic. Some of these have not been updated in five years or more. I’ve always sworn I wouldn’t be one of those fanfic authors who posted stories with no endings, but the fact is that along with all the finished ones, I have some four or five unfinished out there.
Pro: Finish them, and people stop threatening to hunt me down.
Pro: In December 2011, I said I’d do these in the new year. Keeping promises matters.
Con: I don’t really have any interest in working on them. I want to finish Hits, Chaos, Star, and Spoonful of Sugar, but I don’t particularly want to write them.
Pro: It’s the book actually right before Joss’ (which is coming out in April, who needs chronological order?) (Queen’s Man, buy early and often!)
The third Hiro book
Pro: I wanna!
Con: I don’t actually have any idea how to fix the mess I left our heroes in, and I probably won’t figure it out until/unless I clean up some of the mess that is the glorious and will-be-amazing second book. That’d be…editing.
Con: See editing.
Of course, what I probably ought to do is editing. Here, again, there are Lots of Options.
Damsel in Distress (Dream’verse)—it’s my first NaNo, and the first story in which Joss appears.
Pro: It’s also a Taro and Rafe story, so it would find an easy home with those already familiar with Taro, Rafe, and Joss.
Pro: It’s a lot of fun.
Con: It’s my first NaNo, so it’s a mess.
Con: It’s editing.
Donte’s story (Dream’verse also)
Pro: Of my Dream’verse stories, it’s probably the one in the best shape.
Pro: I love the story.
Con: it’s still editing.
Con: Don’t really wanna work on this.
Con: I’ve found many of my fans among the m/m readers out there, and Donte is straight. So’s his girlfriend.
Con to that con: Do I want to be choosing my projects based on character orientation? Not really.
Con to that con: It would just be choosing my next project, which is slightly different from choosing to write/not write based on orientation.
Eve’s story (Dream’verse)
Pro: Eve is the beginning of the Dream’verse. She’s the foundation, and much of it revolves around her.
Pro: Eve is always fun.
Con: Her book is a big mess. Her novel is my first completed, later split into two novels. The first of those is actually Ben’s story, and I’d have to figure that one out before doing Eve’s, and I dunwanna.
Con with all these options: I’m a little burned out on the Dream’verse too.
(I notice I dunwanna do a lot of things. This is fairly typical of me. It’s better than wanting to do all fifty some things I could be working on? I think?)
So. Editing that is not the Dream’verse.
Hiro I and II need editing.
Pros: I wanna. I do wanna work with Hiro.
Cons: I’m not sure I want to move into another universe, for the same reason I’m not sure I want to move away from the m/m readers by doing Donte. (Pro to that con: Hiro is VERY m/m.)
I think the magazine that was going to serialize Flame I is probably never going to make it online. I could edit that. It’s neither m/m nor Dream’verse, but it is fun…
And from there we wander. There’s so much I could work on.
Bleh. I’mma go play more Words with Friends, finish a beta, and pick something to work on tonight.
I started reading an article yesterday in which the writer railed against everything from profanity in blogs (somehow relating this to Fight Club) to indie authors calling themselves “indie” when all self-publishing is crap. Apparently the only novels that are self-published are the ones not good enough to be traditionally published. And when I say railing, I mean “waxing vitriolic and flat-out mean.”
Another writer, another article, an indie author ranting against the people twisting her arm and threatening her kneecaps if she doesn’t price her books at 99 cents. Except no one has actually promised bodily harm. Apparently it’s a trend she feels she shouldn’t have to buck. Everyone should know better. You are insulting all of literature ever by letting anyone soil your precious words with their common eyes so cheaply.
This is not rocket science, people. Don’t like 99 cent ebooks? Don’t price yours there, and don’t buy them. Don’t like profanity on blogs? Don’t read those blogs. Don’t like self-publishing? Don’t self-publish. Don’t like gay weddings and happy happy people? Don’t get gay married, and don’t click the links in your Twitter stream. (Me, I have been self-medicating the cranky with pictures of delighted people who have waited years to be treated like people. Have you seen these?)
Don’t like ranting articles on stupid stuff? Click away (which I did, quickly.)
Why must we jump on each other for harmless things that don’t really affect us at all? And how about leaving a little room for people of differing opinions?
We all need to rant at times. I’m not calling anyone wrong. Please, please, don’t comment to call me a hypocrite based on some post you could easily go find on my blog probably. We are, none of us, perfect. Which is one reason I didn’t link to either ranter above. Another is that it’s really much easier to just be kind wherever possible.
Websplosions happen. I don’t claim to understand it, but no matter how close the community, how tightly bound the members, I think I can confidently say that sooner or later, websplosions happen.
I’m a member of a community that I truly thought had a lot of trust and caring invested. At the moment I’m a pariah. From the way people are reacting, I really was inflammatory, hostile, and condescending.
The problem is, no matter how often I look at the conversation, I don’t see that.
Whatever. I’ll figure it out. Or I won’t. I was just thinking it might be nice to toss out some tips for dealing with the inevitable, that maybe, if I’m lucky, won’t leave me sitting alone on my damned island with the smoke of burned bridges all around me.
Rein in the nasty words.
One way the internet differs from the real world is that it’s pretty easy to distance yourself from the issue. You can just…step away. Get up from your computer and go take a walk. People you care about going apeshit all over your ass and you don’t get why? Walk away. Check your (RL) mail. Don’t respond yet. Whatever is going on, it will be easier to deal with if the phrase “sideways molester of under-aged fence-posts” hasn’t been tossed around.
Try to keep talking in one place.
So maybe after your walk, you’re a bit calmer but still not ready to just let it all slide by, let it go the Ephemeral Way of the Internets. You come back and people are flipping out on the forums, your IM is going mad, and Twitter is all a-flutter. You decide you can’t just ignore–you have to engage.
So do it. But maybe (and for the record, I blew this one big-time) you can keep your own input all in one place so people can see where you are coming from and maybe have a chance of understanding why you said what you did.
This is incredibly hard if people are flipping out at you in private. Try “I’m hearing that…” and vague it up so you’re not reporting a private conversation? I don’t even know. I’ll tell you what–you tell me how the hell to handle this one. But I’ll tell you how not to.
Don’t take your bitching to Twitter.
Odds are kind of good that your friends are following you over there, or at least can find it. Don’t go over there and start whining that your friends are all idiots and also you question their relationships with fence-posts. There’s also the fact that you probably have more followers than just the asploding community on Twitter–so complaining there is widening the conflict. The more people involved, the worse it’s gonna get.
Yeah, Twitter asks “what’s happening?” That doesn’t mean you have to tell.
Keep lines of communication open.
Ignore them for a bit if you must, but don’t close them down. Stay off Twitter, don’t open the emails until you can see straight, fine. But don’t block/ignore/quit things. Not yet. It’s always a route you can go later if you feel the need.
Remember the internet is both transient and permanent.
Even if you delete it fast because you came to your senses, you can pretty much bet somebody got a screenshot. If anything, the stuff you delete will probably be remembered far longer than the stuff you left in place (dependent on a lot of things, of course, but I’m betting on Murphy in this one.) So write it if you must. Save it if you like. But for the love of God and little green fishies, don’t post it until you’re sure. And then wait another day.
Also, never, ever delete something with comments. Just…don’t. The internet really doesn’t like that.
So I’m planning on moving the blog. And thinking about doing a lot of things. In the process, I am running smack into one simple and undeniable fact–I don’t really know much of anything. Upload to my FTP? I can do that. Edit CSS? If you tell me exactly what to do. Remember what a domain is, and a DNS, and figure out what I need to do to get seven years of blog moved?
Nope. My internet-workings foundation makes Swiss cheese look solid.
I got WordPress for Dummies from the library, and when that wasn’t enough, I got PHP and MySQL for Dummies too. Still not enough–they are too specific. But when I scoot about the internet trying to fill in the holes in my learning, it’s too confused. What I’m learning doesn’t stick. You try teaching yourself something when you have to run off to find the definition of every third word, and those definitions contain more words that you don’t know.
I have so much to do right now. Why can’t someone just pour this all into my brain?