Skip to content

Trout Nation Posts

Jealous Haters Book Club: Handbook For Mortals Chapter 14 Wheel of Fortune or, “Fifty Shades of Mac”

Posted in Uncategorized

Hello, everybody! Things are still hectic over here at the Trout House, but I’ve been stealing bits of time here and there to work on my true passion, which is, surprisingly, not calling and canceling accounts for a deceased person. Who could have guessed? No, I’m talking about my passion for ripping bad books to shreds. It soothes me.

Before I go too far, I want to thank everyone who has donated money to us in the wake of this unexpected death. I won’t go further than that because Mr. Jen wants to thank you guys directly via video (when he’s able to do it without choking up) and I don’t want to steal his thunder. But you guys have really saved a huge chunk of our asses. Disposing of someone’s body and material life is expensive, even when you go super basic.

As of right now, posts here are going to be thin on the ground. I’ve got two novels I’m trying to get out while also doing death-related responsibility. But I’m so glad to at least give you guys this, and thanks for sticking around!

Okay, so, in Lani Sarem news, someone was very, very busy. Or, the people someone hired on Fiverr to write five-star reviews for Handbook For Mortals. From February 12 to February 14, over fifty unverified reviews flooded into Amazon for Handbook, all proclaiming it a wonderful book, a great read, that it should be made into a movie, or, in one case, just “A,” which fifteen Amazon customers found helpful. These reviews are being called out and roundly mocked on social media (and in the comments on my previous recap), as they’re clearly purchased. Next time, Sarem should consider writing a better book and getting good reviews that way.

But what do I know?

Over at Switzy Thoughts, Amanda J. Surowitz describes her experience in Sarem’s “How I Navigated The New York Times List” session at the Agile Writer’s conference in Virginia earlier this year. Sarem apparently spared some time to slam Phil Stamper, one of the key figures in uncovering Sarem’s scam, and continued to insist that because the world of publishing isn’t run like the far superior music industry, it’s broken.

With that, let’s go see what Shitbook For Shortles has in store for us this time.

Hiatus After Hiatus After Hiatus…

Posted in Uncategorized

I promised I’d be returning this week. I did not realize that my husband would find his mother dead in her apartment on Thursday afternoon. She hadn’t been feeling well, so he’d gone by after work to check on her. She’d died in her sleep the night before. She was only sixty-nine years old.

If you’ve been reading my “Worst Person I’ve Ever Met” series, this may interest you: “Sam’s” father was the medical examiner who showed up. One might have thought that would be the cherry on this shit sundae, but alas, it is a mere sprinkle. The complications that have been left behind are numerous. There is the time, money, physical labor for the monumental task of funeral costs, closing accounts, or cleaning the apartment. Mr. Jen and I have found ourselves the beneficiaries of several new full-time jobs.

The costs associated with even a modest funeral are astronomical. Some of you who heard the news on Twitter sprang into action and raised $600.00 to help us with the cost. We are so incredibly thankful for those contributions, as we are finding ourselves wiped out.

The worst part of all of this seems to be the numb practicality. Of course, my husband is grieving. But I feel nothing. Nothing but irritation and anxiety at the situation and at the number of things that require our urgent attention…later. Because everything waits on offices opening on Monday, death certificates arriving, signatures obtained from uncooperative parties. Hurry up and wait builds a wall between grief and the people who are supposed to be processing it.

I’m not going to promise that I’ll be returning next week. I have no idea if that’s possible. At the moment, we’re sifting through a lifetime of disorganized paperwork–here, a vital record from the retirement office, there a printed-off email joke from 1998–and sorting through useless brick-a-brack we feel guilty disposing of because it was precious to her in life. And the one person who should be allowed to step back and just not have to deal with anything other than his emotions is my husband, who absolutely will not get a chance to do that until all this other stuff is done.

For now, I’ll just say that updates will be sporadic and I’m sorry. Hopefully, it will only be in this immediate aftermath and not for weeks.

The Sickening

Posted in Uncategorized

Hey everybody! As many of you are aware, there is a deadly strain of flu picking people off in the U.S. right now because the collapse of our government apparently wasn’t providing enough excitement or something. I’ve been trying to fight something off since a bout of mild food poisoning last week, so I’ve elected to take the rest of this week off and spend it sleeping as much as possible. I’ll be back next week, hopefully not with the flu.

Jealous Hater Book Club: Handbook For Mortals Chapter 13, The High Priestess or “The Big Skew”

Posted in Uncategorized

How is it possible to have more Handbook For Mortal news when the book isn’t even like…a thing? Well, I don’t know, but this is where we are.

Jeremy West brought it to the attention of Twitter that Lani is using “#1 New York Times Bestseller” stickers on copies of Handbook For Mortals:

A photo of someone (possibly Sarem) holding a copy of Handbook For Mortals with a big gray sticker on it proudly declaring it a New York Times and USA Today bestseller. The sticker uses the logos of both newspapers.

If you notice, the logos of both publications are reproduced exactly. I’ve reached out to the New York Times for comment, but they’re presumably out of the office on a nation-wide hunt for the three remaining Trump voters they haven’t profiled yet.

Sarem also told author Claribel Ortega that the film version of Handbook For Mortals will be out this year. If you’re familiar at all with big budget, effects-heavy fantasy movies you will know that is not enough time to accomplish a good one, even if the movie released on December 31 because the project is still “in development” according to IMDB.

Now, let’s go to the recap. Oh, and again, warning for just an unsettling amount of racism. Just, a staggering amount of it.

The Worst Person I’ve Ever Met (Part 6) “The Red Squirrel”

Posted in Uncategorized

Missed past installments? You can find them here: part one, part two, part three, part four, part five

In this installment, I will cover several of Cathy’s claims about diagnoses she’d received from “a doctor”. Having an invisible illness myself, I hate when people try to prove that patients are faking their symptoms. This, however, is Cathy. You’ll have to forgive me and everyone who knew her for doubting. Mea culpa.

There are also mentions of suicide in this post.

Jealous Haters’ Book Club: Handbook For Mortals, Chapter 12 “The Sun” or “Art Imitates Life.”

Posted in Uncategorized

Before we begin, I thought I should mention that when I took my hiatus to tech a show, it’s a show directed by someone who actually did work for Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas.

And I wear show blacks. Although, technically they’re just black leggings and a black dress because I’m a dresser and not climbing up scaffolding or anything like that.

Still, I thought you would all appreciate that.

Also, for our next selection, it’s gonna be a book about a writer who wins the lottery.

Heads up, there’s a racial slur in this recap and an examination of why Sarem feels she’s special and gets to use it.

The Worst Person I’ve Ever Met (Part Five) or “The Last Five Years”

Posted in Uncategorized

Since there hasn’t been an update to this story since last year (ha ha, get it, because it’s January now?), you can refresh your memory or jump in for the first time with part one, part two, part three, and part four.

I also apologize in advance for my horrible poetry from 2007, which you will be subjected to in this installment. Please still respect me once you know how terrible I am at it.