things change

First of all, busy? You don't know the word. Okay, you probably do. I'm psycho busy, in no particular order:

  • Writing the final scene of THE LOST PRINCE (Katriel kicks ass. She has really grown on me, my first girl character who really got under my skin. She's teaching me a lot about the way I want to write women--like women that I know and like.)
  • Four weeks worth of critique. This is pen-on-page work and probably is over 200 pages. It's due Tuesday. (Yanno, when that cartoon character owes me money for a hamburger.)
  • The rest of the Hold File for Electric Spec. Gah, those stories are gooood.  A couple fewer this time at 18, but still. Just a bit of reading. 

Stacia Kane has been writing posts about helping writers, even if they maybe haven't been the nicest to her before, or not, sometimes, and watching what you say to who when. What you say, and what you don't say, is on her mind. It's on my mind too.

I've been in the public eye for awhile now. We all are, really, more than ever. A lot of people like to call Publishing a small world. Well, duh. The whole world has become like a small town, gossipy and knowing. But I've been around longer than most folks who are shocked a couple of months in that Facebook is "violating your privacy." If you put yourself out there on the Web, like I've been doing for years, it's a lesson you learn quickly. I will never forget the first person who came up to me at a con and said, "I know you. You're Sex Scenes at Starbucks." This was well before any pictures of me broached Internet waters, back when my real name and SS@S had the same six degrees of separation as everyone else on the planet. They'd just talked to people and somehow put it together.

(Now, of course, people know my real name and no one calls me Sex any more, to my face or on the blog, which sometimes makes me nostalgic and a bit sad and makes me miss Jack and Greg, my partners in crime online in those days.)

And then I published my first story, which some people who knew me but don't know the genre called "leading edge" (um, not so much) and others cheered.

And then I sat on my first panel as an editor, where people not only apparently wanted to hear what I had to say, but asked me questions, too, like I knew something.

And now it's fairly common that people know who I am at conferences, me, the mostly unpublished, the one with the odd erotica and a penchant for robots and an association with a little magazine called Electric Spec.

And I started wondering if what I've said here over the years matters, and if it would piss people off. True, I'm not conservative socially, and have a "thing" against it. I'm all for gay marriage and not so much for abortion, but I sure don't think other people should get to make up the minds for people facing scary pregnancies. I think people should have about whatever gun they like, though I have nothing against background checks that make sense. I write some gay characters. And also straight, and even a couple of bis, can you pick them out? And I'd like to write people with fetishes and deviancy and I have a book all picked out for them: where they can live and be themselves in a world where no one judges.

People who don't like my politics or my social conscience wouldn't read me anyway and probably wouldn't come to Sex Scenes at Starbucks. And if they did, they'd be disappointed cuz there's so little sex here. And coffee.

Speaking of the name, I've even wondered, should I grow into "something," if Starbucks would come after me at some point with a cease and desist order for using their name. Except part of the ploy, me being a SF writer, is the duplicitous name referring to Starbuck, too. And there's other symbolism behind that name that has little to do with coffee. Even though I'm kinda tired and could use a mocha about now.

But still. Still we must be thoughtful and wary. I entered the public eye and found myself. Now I've realized, adolescently, that I also must temper myself on occasion. You'll hear my views on ePublishing and pPublishing (which is what I think paper publishing should be called). You might pick up my opinions on editing and the Short Story Market as a Whole.

You won't hear me tag names. You won't hear me mention companies. Writing and publishing is a business, a small business, people like to call this "hobby" that draws billions of dollars. I don't sit in the con bar and slam writers or editors or agents. Nor do I like every single person I meet. But it's not right and unfair to pick out someone to pick on, especially if I might someday want them to pick me up, as it were. And it's just mean, too, and I'm not mean.

(Stalkers: I can be; I just choose not to be.)

We're all people, at the end of the day. Even us weirdo writers. We're all people. And the minute we start saying what we think, in the written word, out loud, other people start to listen.


Erica Orloff said...

Well said, Sex, uh, Bets . . . uh Starbucks. :-)

I will never forget meeting a fairly well-known author before she was well-known, and her (found out later FALSE) persona was sweeter than pie and oh-so-gracious. And then holy crap did I find out she was just vicious. And her best pal in the blogsosphere is equally two-faced. And what struck me is they are this way about people they don't really KNOW. They just like to pontificate, I guess, and hear themselves talk or see themselves "talk" in print. "Pronouncements" in which people speak in absolutes are absolutely the biggest turn-off for me. I don't think there is ONE "truth" other than this: Be kind.

Beth Partin said...

Lovely post. Really enjoyed it.