13 Oct

Twitter Quitter

Funny how you use one hashtag on Twitter and people who never had anything to do with you before descend on your blog comments and inbox en masse to criticize your life choices. Gosh, I’ll miss it so much!

Since my last tweet apparently wasn’t self-explanatory for some, allow me to elaborate. I decided independently yesterday morning that I’d had enough. I deleted the app from my tablet. I was shutting down the app I use on my laptop when the boycott hashtag popped up, so I did my small part to support the sentiment.

It has since become evident that a lot of people don’t know what a boycott is (or pretend not to so they can make snide comments). The point of boycotting a social media platform (or a store or a television show or anything else) isn’t to make a devastating sacrifice on the part of the protestors—the point is to hit the wallet of the business being boycotted.

If you think Twitter isn’t a business because it doesn’t sell anything, I have some bad news for you. When a business lets you use its product for free, you are the product it’s selling, and advertisers and investors are buying you. (How Does Twitter Make Money?)

Let’s just say, for lack of better data, half of Twitter’s 328 million users are women. If their inventory of people was cut in half (by, for instance, a sustained boycott), their business would be destroyed. They would be forced to make changes to get those 164 million users back or lose everything.

That’s obviously not going to happen for any number of reasons, but as a hypothetical, a boycott could be an effective agent of change.

But I’m actually not boycotting for a day. I won’t be back on Saturday. I’m simply done.

My decision isn’t in response to a single incident. I’ve had to block over 70,000 accounts to make Twitter almost bearable to use, and that didn’t all happen this week. This week is just the final straw on a back-breaking load that’s been building for years. What I saw this week was brave women coming forward about abuse, being exposed to an outpouring of additional abuse, and Twitter maintaining their commitment to doing nothing because, hey, you say stuff in public and people gonna people, babe.

I would never advocate women being silent. I’m not going to be silent. But I’m not doing my speaking on their shitty, abusive platform and contributing to the “engagement” stats they use to generate revenue. Twitter no longer gets to use me as an asset to sell advertising while rape/death threats, Nazis, and abuse bots run unchecked and those being attacked get suspended because their attackers are organized and report harmless tweets in sufficient numbers to trigger an algorithm. (More about Twitter’s longstanding love affair with abusers and bots.)

I’ve never seen anyone become enlightened on Twitter. You’re either preaching to the choir or attracting the attention of people thoroughly entrenched in their hatred of you, so there’s nothing to be gained from “debating” your humanity and right to exist in that environment.

What I have seen is good people spiraling into depression as shitty people harass them. I’ve seen good people driven into setting even their business accounts to private. I’ve seen good people disappear without a trace.

It’s a dumpster at this point. If the trash wants it, the trash can have it. There are innumerable better places to have those important discussions, free from the stench of the garbage barge.

This isn’t much of a statement. I’m a terrible Twitter user. Nobody’s going to miss me and my riveting tea-tasting adventures. I’ve blocked as much of the platform’s data-gathering as humanly possible, so I wasn’t even a high-value marketing asset. I’m quitting for myself. That’s one less place I have to encounter bullshit from every side when I’m just trying to have a good time, and there’s a teeny tiny kernel of satisfaction that however many views I contributed to the Look How Prosperous We Are Report is now reduced to zero.

That’s it. I’m not trying to convert anybody. I wouldn’t have even mentioned it if it hadn’t attracted such a flood of diarrhea flowing from the source of the problem.

Comments will be off for a while until the fetid tide goes back to the loving embrace of its unmoderated abyss.

15 Jun

Someone Asked: What and when?

What comes after What Comes After Dessert and when will it be out?

The plan is to release New Book on November 1, 2016. (This is, of course, subject to change due to unforeseen disasters or miracles that occur in the meantime, but that’s the date I’m aiming for.)

It’s about lousy marriage proposals, the horrors of wedding dress shopping, a duchess, and an enchilada.

It’s about a one-night stand that turns into just a fling that escalates like a dumpster fire into a situation all parties agreed from the beginning was not the desired outcome.

It’s about being trapped by an image of your own making and being set free when one person is able to see you differently.

It’s about other things, as well, but you’ll have to wait to find out what they are.

13 May

Status Report

“How did he call her a noxious weed and not get a drill bit in the larynx?”

About two minutes ago, I finished handwriting the rough draft of New Book (code named The Duchess and the Enchilada).

There is a LOT of work to be done (starting with typing 332 handwritten pages…), but it is now officially A Tangible Thing rather than a nebulous intention that exists only inside my imagination. Were I so inclined, I could put it in someone’s hands and say, “Look what I made!”

(I am many, many drafts away from such an inclination, but my editor has been forewarned.)

I don’t keep good records of writing milestones, but I feel like I was at a similar point last year with WCAD. So I’m going to go out on a scrawny, rotten limb and predict this one will be published at a similar time, somewhere around November 1.

You can sign up for new-release notification in the event you’d like to be notified when the new release becomes available. (That’s all it’s for. After the “verifying you weren’t signed up against your will” email, you’ll hear from me once a year, tops.)

Now I sense the spectre of my old nemesis, Dreadline, glaring at me like the Eye of Sauron.

Anybody have any superstitious anti-jinx rituals to share in the comments? Asking for a friend.

21 Sep

New beginning, new blog

WCAD is the first novel I’ve written since 2010. Five years is an eternity in writer years. Some writers can crank out twenty books in that time. That represents a whole career worth of books for most other writers. However you measure it, it’s a long time to be away.

It was a learning period for me. Most relevant here, I relearned storytelling on a foundation of “wow, this is good” and “I wish this book wasn’t on my Kindle so I could throw it against a wall” as opposed to the old “you can’t do that” and “you will do it this way or you will send back your advance and starve” school from which I last graduated. I’ve gotten closer than I’ve ever been to writing what I want to write. For the first time since the first time I had a book published (the only previous book I wrote off the leash), I’m not embarrassed by the final product. When I emerge from the mandatory post-release depressive episode, I might go so far as to say I’m proud of WCAD, but I can tell you already, lack of shame is a huge evolutionary leap for me as a writer.

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