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Okay, well this is something new. I have been accused, in an Amazon.com "review" of The Value of X, of uncorrupting Poppy. To be more precise, one Faye S. Lewis (I'd almost forgotten about her) has claimed that I "upbraided" Poppy for writing erotica and that Poppy took my "advice" on the subject and this led to the changes in her work between Exquisite Corpse and TVoX. The astute Ms. Lewis writes:

Poppy gave up the ghost when she started listening to the voices of her friends and not those in her own head. After Cait Kiernan upbraided her for using sex as a plot point, Poppy has set out to live by rules created for her, rather than by her. There is nothing wrong with a touch of the erotic (watch her chase her tail in a rage if you even say the word in relation to her work now) if it creates the atmosphere and sells the relationship on another level. Sadly, she's taken the advice of a person who once said of sex in literature: "It's like going to the bathroom. You know they do it, but you don't need to write two pages on it."

This is, of course, total gopher twaddle. True, I did once say something like the comment Lewis attributes to me here. I can't recall when or where (this may be a direct quote; I don't know), but my attitude towards extended sex scenes in novels is certainly no secret. I talked about it openly in this journal as recently as this spring, when I was working on Frog Toes and Tentacles. But. To suggest that Poppy hasn't been thinking for herself, that I am somehow responsible for the fact that she's no longer writing "erotic horror" (or whatever) is an insult to Poppy. And it's an absurd insult, at that. I mean, you might as well suggest that Harlan Ellison or William Burroughs or Hunter S. Thompson or Kathy Acker, at some point in their careers, stopped thinking for themselves because some friend or another "upbraided" them for some perceived literary transgression. It has been my experience that Poppy does what Poppy damn well wants, even when it's not in her own best interest. Ms. Lewis is the sort of reader, it seems, who believes authors are writing for them and that, when push comes to shove, the Reader Knows What's Best. Ms. Lewis is, therefore, a fool.

Anyway...

My thanks to tagplazen for an unexpected and wonderful package that arrived here from Seattle earlier this week. A veritable cornucopia of dradness that has been much appreciated. It included: a whoopee cushion, four CDs that we haven't yet had time to listen to (but I see there's stuff by Residents and the Lotus Eaters), a sheet of glow in the dark stickers (stars, moons, Saturns, shooting stars), five identical bumpterstickers which read "Let Them Eat Cake," three very cool postcards depicting various Hindu gods and goddesses, a package of 120 "Topical" ten-commandment stickers, Jogging With Jesus by C. S. Lovett (this is the gem of the bunch), a package of "Fantasy Garden Incense" (20 sticks of a scent identified as "Pussy"), a poster from Crimethinc., and a red "Proud to be Drug Free" pencil (with a well-loved eraser). I mean, wow!

And Spooky gave me a Halloween Pez dispenser today. An embarrassment of riches, says I.

Okay. Back to work. And it's not too late to hit those eBay auctions, if you feel so inclined.

Comments

( 21 comments — Have your say! )
tjcrowley
Oct. 21st, 2005 08:45 pm (UTC)
Who is this person? As someone who knows both of you, I can say for certain that this person knows nothing about either of you.
greygirlbeast
Oct. 21st, 2005 08:50 pm (UTC)
Who is this person? As someone who knows both of you, I can say for certain that this person knows nothing about either of you.

If she's who I think she is, she used to hold court in alt.books.pzb.
blu_muse
Oct. 21st, 2005 09:01 pm (UTC)
Bingo
She is the reason I quit posting and reading that newsgroup way back when. She's horrible. She lives to pick on people and to argue about anything. Nothing she says holds any value with me. She argues to argue.
greygirlbeast
Oct. 21st, 2005 09:03 pm (UTC)
Re: Bingo
She is the reason I quit posting and reading that newsgroup way back when. She's horrible. She lives to pick on people and to argue about anything. Nothing she says holds any value with me. She argues to argue.

There was some wonderful nonsense she posted once, some attempt to argue that Silk was a lousy book because, she claimed, used bookstores wouldn't take it for love nor money.
kambriel
Oct. 21st, 2005 08:54 pm (UTC)
Isn't is just amazing when you get credit for "making" somebody do something? It is so condescending to the person in question, suggesting they have no free will of their own.

When I was a teenager, I knew a girl who was caught dating two guys at once. When questioned by one of the guys, she quickly proclaimed that *I* made her do it. Wow, who knew I had that kind of control? (With a wave of my mesmerizing ring... "You must date two men at once, you will date two men at once...") :P
greygirlbeast
Oct. 21st, 2005 11:28 pm (UTC)
Isn't is just amazing when you get credit for "making" somebody do something?

Really. I really don't think of myself as a terribly persuasive person, yet, from time to time, these accusations of coercion arise. I'm a secret tyrantess, bending the world to my malign will.
subtlesttrap
Oct. 21st, 2005 10:36 pm (UTC)
This brings to mind a complicated syndrome of feelings that I have toward PZB, I cherish her and enjoy her new work centering on Rickey and G-Man but I can't help but feel a guttural loss for the ghosts she used to conjure, for the ghosts I fell in love with (no pun intended).

That's why I thank Goddess that we have you, Ms. Kiernan because we need someone who has enough guts to channel and write down the things that scare us the most in a romantic, yet unsentimental way.
greygirlbeast
Oct. 21st, 2005 11:25 pm (UTC)
That's why I thank Goddess that we have you, Ms. Kiernan because we need someone who has enough guts to channel and write down the things that scare us the most in a romantic, yet unsentimental way.

Thank you. Thanks for saying that. But I don't have any more guts than Poppy. We checked once...
docbrite
Oct. 21st, 2005 11:39 pm (UTC)
No reflection on Caitlin or her wonderful books, but the things I write now don't require an ounce less guts than the spookier stuff I wrote before.
subtlesttrap
Oct. 22nd, 2005 12:07 am (UTC)
Don't get me wrong, I know Rickey and G are FULL of guts, that's why I love them so much. In fact I cried on an airplane when I read the last 5 pages of Prime. I didn't mean to add to the whole "Lost Souls Groupie" debate that everyone hates so much. I still devour your work with the same gusto that I did when I was 16 and re-reading Drawing Blood for the 100th time, only now I can actually see myself mirrored more realistically in characters like Rickey.

I consider myself a huge fan and hardcore defender of your new work, so please don't take this comment the wrong way, I was only iterating the silent nostalgia fans like me can't help but to experience once in awhile.
spimby
Oct. 22nd, 2005 03:52 pm (UTC)
Oh, please. Everybody knows you're just rolling in the green and wiping your butt with silk handkerchiefs you borrow from Lindsay Lohan and Danielle Steele, now that you've sold out the hardcore, honest world of SPOOOOOOOOOOKYYYYY books for the easy success of gay chef novels.

You gay, gay whore. Take that.
docbrite
Oct. 21st, 2005 11:37 pm (UTC)
I wasn't even going to drag you into it with the "upbraiding" comment, but since you bring it up ... yes, yes I do in fact write exactly and only what you tell me to. That's why my next full-length book project will be an exploration of the homoerotic relationship between Beavis & Butt-head (RELATIONSHIP, I said, no erotica!!!), as complicated by Beavis' secret desire to wear braids with bows on them and little girls' sailor suits.

Oh, and it will have paleontology in it.

By the way, if "Faye S. Lewis" is in fact the person who used to post several hundred times a a day on my newsgroup, I seem to recall her once telling an admittedly annoying but not actively trolling poster that she hoped the poster's two young children would be anally raped and tortured. Yanno, that's the sort of person I'm kinda proud to no longer have as a fan. It may not be the same woman, though.
greygirlbeast
Oct. 21st, 2005 11:41 pm (UTC)
I wasn't even going to drag you into it with the "upbraiding" comment, but since you bring it up ... yes, yes I do in fact write exactly and only what you tell me to. That's why my next full-length book project will be an exploration of the homoerotic relationship between Beavis & Butt-head (RELATIONSHIP, I said, no erotica!!!), as complicated by Beavis' secret desire to wear braids with bows on them and little girls' sailor suits.

Oh, and it will have paleontology in it.


KEWL! DRAD! I HAVE TRIUMPHED! BWA-HA-HA-HA...

No problem. You may drag me into the fray anytime you wish.
the_final_woman
Oct. 22nd, 2005 09:30 pm (UTC)
I keep reading this as "You may drag me into the fey anytime you wish."

It's probably just as true....
greygirlbeast
Oct. 22nd, 2005 09:55 pm (UTC)
It's probably just as true....

Definitely.
maedb
Oct. 22nd, 2005 12:43 am (UTC)
Considering how comical the sex act is, if you are taking two pages to describe it, you are either a) writing a comedy, or b) writing fantasy in its purest sense. Neither of these is necessarily desireable in a murder mystery, horror story, or ledger sheet.
setsuled
Oct. 22nd, 2005 06:49 am (UTC)
To be more precise, one Faye S. Lewis (I'd almost forgotten about her) has claimed that I "upbraided" Poppy for writing erotica and that Poppy took my "advice" on the subject and this led to the changes in her work between Exquisite Corpse and TVoX.

Why does that sound so kinky?

True, I did once say something like the comment Lewis attributes to me here.

I think I recall it from your old phorum. I also remember docbrite at one point saying (I think in her blog) that she mainly didn't write sex scenes of Rickey and G-Man because she sensed they (the characters) would be somehow embarrassed or something . . . It made sense the way she said it, and anyway it was pretty different from your argument.

"It's like going to the bathroom. You know they do it, but you don't need to write two pages on it."

You know, I think I've secretly wanted to write something like that.
greygirlbeast
Oct. 22nd, 2005 06:50 am (UTC)
You know, I think I've secretly wanted to write something like that.

Ironically, one of my favorite novels, Ulysses, contains a rather lengthy toilet scene.
tagplazen
Oct. 22nd, 2005 03:43 pm (UTC)
That's cool it arrived, right after I dropped that off you posted about your PO box changing and I went, "Oh shit."

That Jogging With Jesus is just so whacked, I figured that you'd be one of the few people that would recognize the sheer genius of the thing. And the strangest part is, that's the third copy of it I've found. Maybe Jesus wants a jogging partner?

PS: I wouldn't advise sparking up that incense, we tried it just to see what "Pussy" smelt like. If that's what they're getting, I'd swear off sex forever.
greygirlbeast
Oct. 22nd, 2005 03:55 pm (UTC)
That's cool it arrived, right after I dropped that off you posted about your PO box changing and I went, "Oh shit."

Yep. It got here just fine.

That Jogging With Jesus is just so whacked, I figured that you'd be one of the few people that would recognize the sheer genius of the thing. And the strangest part is, that's the third copy of it I've found. Maybe Jesus wants a jogging partner?

I'm thinking the illustration on the title page would make a great T-shirt.
spimby
Oct. 22nd, 2005 03:48 pm (UTC)
"Jogging With Jesus by C. S. Lovett"

Oh, Lovett's AMAZING. I used to have a big collection of his books (if you don't have Help, Lord, the Devil Wants Me Fat! find it now. I really love his weird theological stuff, and the completely baffling graphics and charts he uses to try to explain them. (One of his books has to do with the precise divisions between soul, mind and spirit, according to him, and where in the body each resides and what kinds of access God has to each and etc., etc. I think it's Dealing with the Devil. HI-larious, and the illustrations are beautiful.) It may interest you to know that Lovett is considered borderline or all-the-way heretical by a lot of fundamentalists, essentially because he's one of those fringe Christians who just makes his theology up whenever he gets the urge.

I read that thing in Poppy's journal yesterday and would have replied there except she don't take replies. What a bunch of poo.

( 21 comments — Have your say! )

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