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Month: June 2014

After recaps announcement and explanation

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Back in the day, when I was recapping 50 Shades of Grey, I thought to myself, “Gosh, Jenny. This is kind of mean. What if someone did that to your book?”

And then I did more research and I saw how shitty E.L. James was to Twihards and how dismissive she was of their contributions to her success, and I was like, “HA HA fuck that bitch, I’m gonna keep going.” And then she was like, “Stop saying my hero is abusive because you’re ruining the good times of all the women who like to fap to boring erotica!” and I was like, “HA HA FUCK THAT BITCH, WHO WANTS TO BUY MY FRIENDS A TRUCK BECAUSE I WILL KEEP GOING.”

Sort of the opposite has happened with me and the After recaps. Since I started recapping the first book, the whole phenomenon has exploded, and I’m seeing a clearer picture of the author behind the book.

And I feel like a total dick. Because here’s a picture of Anna Todd:


I can find nothing about her online presence that suggests she’s ever going to be the next E.L. James. I don’t mean that in terms of sales, I mean that I can’t ever see her throwing victims of domestic violence under the bus, or calling them trolls or witches. And I have been contacted by a staggering number of her readers and fellow WattPad writers since I started these recaps, all of them with stories about how much she’s helped them or nice things she’s done for them. Does that make After grammatically and thematically perfect? Of course not. But as a clearer picture emerged, I saw someone who wasn’t cold and calculating and trying to shake money out of fandom. And I ran out of a little bit of steam.

Let me tell you a tangential story. I promise it will come round full circle. Once upon a time, I was a member of an internet fanfiction forum that “sporked” fics. Like, really bad stuff. For example, the most memorable one I saw on there was one in which Princess Jasmine and the Incredible Hulk… you know what? There’s no good way of doing this without trigger warnings, let’s just say it was disturbing. Anyway, in another section of the forum, they would make fun of people on the internet. Sometimes, it was neo-nazis or MRAs or some shit like that, and that was fine. But then I saw them making fun of this person who was basically harmless. She loved Disney princesses, her hobby was singing, she was just basically this ball of sunshine person, and they were stalking her livejournal and making fun of her. And since I liked basically 100% of all the stuff she was into, I was like, “This is stupid,” and I started talking to her on LJ and we became friends and tada, we’re still friends years later.

The point is, after I got to to know her, I started to see how what those people were doing hurt her. And it was gross, and I felt gross for ever hanging with that crowd. The nazis, the MRAs, those people I had no problem mocking. But this person who was just not hurting anyone and just rolling with life? That bugged the shit out of me. And then as these emails and DMs and FaceBook messages started rolling in, I started to see parallels between the two situations.

So, while I was on my rustic camping adventure of mosquitoey doom (details to come soon), I gave this After situation some thought. I was already pretty iffy on whether or not to continue the recaps, after I learned that the book would be edited at S&S by someone who used to be my editor. We don’t work together anymore, but it still seemed ethically shaky. Maybe it’s not. But it didn’t sit right with me to have that crossed-wires connection thing happening. Adding in the way I feel about Anna Todd and the way I feel about her work, and the difficulty I had in separating the person who seems very positive and cool from her work, I kind of thought, well. Maybe it’s time to pack it in. I came to the conclusion that my feelings toward After were clouded by the bad taste left in my mouth by E.L. James and her shitty behavior, and that was that.

Then I came home to the STGRB bullshit. And I had this horrible moment of, “You’ve got to be kidding me. I have to keep going now. Because if I don’t, they’ll take credit for it.”

And then tonight I sat down to do another After recap that I didn’t have the heart for, and I went, “Fuck those bitches, they don’t get a say in how I run my blog.”

So, this is what’s going on now:

  • I won’t be finishing the After recap project. The recaps I’ve already done will remain up, but I’ll be removing After from the “Jenny Reads” tab.
  • I’ll be recapping something else, instead. One of the charges alleged during the 50 Shades of Grey and After recaps was that I wouldn’t feel so great if someone did that to me. Fair enough. Starting in the first week of July, I’ll be recapping my first book, Blood Ties Book One: The Turning, chapter by chapter. And lest you think I’ll go easy on myself, it is the first book in a series that I cringe to look back on. Tons of problematic content that is going to make you go, “Jenny. JENNY.” And then no one can say I’ve never had a taste of my own medicine.
  • I’ll still be serializing The Afflicted on WattPad. I’ve still got a lot of unanswered questions about the WattPad experience, and I’m a learn-by-doing-er. Doer? Learn-by-doer? Whatever.
  • I will still follow the progression of After from fanfic to book, and any further developments regarding the P2P phenomenon. Because why is P2P happening? Will we ever know?

One thing I want to make absolutely clear about this decision: Nothing STGRB have done or said has led to this decision. Bear in mind that they will take total credit for this, and pat each other on the backs and suck each others’ internet cocks over how they really got to me and I was so threatened, but let me reiterate: there is nothing those people have on me or can get on me that would make me afraid of them, because everything about me is on this blog. I have blogged about naming my vibrator Rupert Giles, I’ve blogged about my suicidal thoughts. If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I frequently tweet about my bodily functions and my bad credit. My entire life is an open book, so there aren’t going to be any nasty secrets to uncover. That ain’t how I live. Let them have their little delusional victory party, because at the end of that day, that yawning emptiness is all they have.

So, in summation: I started to feel like an asshole, the recaps weren’t fun anymore, I’m not going to do them, but guess what I am going to do? Smoke this weed and hit the coloring books HARD, because it’s Saturday night and I live every second like I’ll die the next. TURN DOWN FOR WHAT?!

Fuck You, STGRB 2: Hypocritical Boogaloo

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I’ve never agreed with the general attitude among writers and reviewers that STGRB is a “troll” site and should be ignored because any amount of attention is “giving them what they want.” It’s one thing to apply this strategy to a toddler throwing a tantrum, but we’re talking about grown people who have done actual, dangerous things to strangers out of a demented belief that criticism of authors and their (obviously flawless) books is some kind of crime.

It may seem like two posts in two days about the same group of spectacular morons is overkill, but last night, after STGRB made yet another post about me and how childish, jealous, and unsuccessful I am, a tweep named Shelby contacted me to tip me off about a little discussion going on in the comments section of this STGRB post. You see, Shelby had blogged about some personal issues she was having with a custody dispute in her divorce, and STGRB were all over that.

Allow me to talk behind your back so you can be righteously outraged, STGRB.

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Apparently while I was on vacation, our friends at Stop The GoodReads Bullies posted this shocking exposé about what a horrible, jealous person I am. And they discovered my closely guarded secret by reading a blog post I made in which I said I have professional jealousy. You know. The one in which I explained why writers experience professional jealousy over the recent P2P glut in traditional publishing. But they put together these obscure clues and boy, did they ever show me! They didn’t even have to write their own post, they just used screencaps of the one I wrote! Man, how did they do that? I was being so sneaky and dishonest in covering all that up.

Because the bloggers at STGRB lack any sense of self-awareness about how ridiculous and idiotic they are, I thought I’d do everybody and favor and refute some of their post. They begin with:

Professional jealousy is a topic that has been brought up several times on our blog in reference to some of the bullies. These are the bullies in our lists who are not just readers, but also authors who seek out other authors to harass, threaten, bully, and otherwise destroy their careers. Namely, these are authors like LH, AH, AS, etc. They are the ones who’ve bullied other, more successful authors like Jamie McGuire, Jessica Park, Amanda Hocking, EL James, Anne Rice, etc.

Ah, McGuire, Hocking, James, Rice… all authors whose careers have been cut tragically short by bullying. They showed such promise, yet now languish in obscurity, nary a penny to their names, because they experienced criticism. And as STGRB has warned us– oh! how they have warned us!– any amount of criticism whatsoever endangers an author’s important fee-fees. I remember that time when I made fun of 50 Shades of Grey and everyone returned those books to the store and it ruined E.L. James’s career.

More than once, our blog readers have made the comment that professional jealousy plays a HUGE role in this bullying and we at STGRB have to agree. However, we’ve never shown you actual proof of this fact until today.

Yeah, well, their blog readers also once rejoiced that they’d vanquished me by getting Blogger to slap a content warning on my old blog, even though the content warning was put there by me and had been there before whatever demented little crusade they thought they were waging even happened. I’d even made a post explaining that in order to abide by Blogger’s new TOS, I had put that content warning up, but clearly the changes in the TOS were affected by six or seven logic-impaired morons at an “anti-bullying” bully site, so they won! Good for them!

What I wrote in my post obviously doesn’t reflect the feelings or opinions of every single author who ever disagreed with STGRB. I know this because there are soooooo many people who disagree with them, it would be impossible for me to make a statement on their behalf without at least some kind of informal town hall meeting wherein we could vote to a consensus as to what would go into that, er, statement. Lost where I was going there. I feel like I should stop and clarify for anyone from STGRB that is reading this that in the paragraph after the first quote I was exaggerating for humorous purposes. I need to make that clear before they run off and make a post about how I really, truly believe that I’m powerful enough to destroy author careers. Because they cannot grasp irony. I do know they’re reading this, by the way, I’m not paranoid or flattering myself:

Now, ever since Jenny Trout was banned from Anne Rice’s blog a few weeks ago, we’ve been keeping a close eye on her.

Huh. Well, that’s a weird fucking thing to say. I feel like I should check my body for electronic tags or something.

If you all don’t remember that wonderful episode, we covered it in Anne Rice Bans the Bullies. Basically, Anne left a link on her Facebook page to our blog post covering Carpet Bomber #9, Nenia Campbell. Upon hearing of this, Jenny Trout, along with several other of her bully friends, hopped on over to Anne’s Facebook page, harassed her, and tried to get her to believe lies about about our website in order to discourage her from supporting us.

Pictured: Jenny Trout, along with several of her bully friends.
We were like, “We’re coming for you, Anne.”

Now, in Jenny’s recent blog rant on author Anna Todd and Anna’s immensely successful book, After, Jenny Trout not only harshly criticizes Anna’s book (or more appropriately, her manuscript) for very minor, very fixable problems, she insults Anna personally, coming very close to calling her a plagiarist.

Whoa there. Wait a minute. In the blog post they’re referring to here, I say that 50 Shades of Grey is borderline plagiarized. I’ve never made plagiarism allegations toward After, but a reader commented on my blog that they found plagiarized content in a chapter. I never called Anna Todd a plagiarist. While I may have come out of the gate hard about Anna Todd, the post featured on STGRB isn’t a personal criticism of Todd as a person. In fact, since I’ve learned more about her, I’ve found her to be the anti-James. She sincerely appreciates the fandom who boosted her to this success, and she expresses gratitude to them for it. I respect her for that, but that doesn’t mean I can’t also have problems with publishing acquiring fanfic, with the poor quality of the manuscript, or with some of Todd’s statements about her writing process.

I don’t know, STGRB, you’re fucking up a lot of your post. You must not have been keeping that close an eye on me.

They go on to scold me for suggesting After is remotely similar to any other book and attempt to educate me on how blockbuster novels are launched. Obviously after spending two years following the 50SoG phenomenon, I’ve never given the subject a thought. And then they offer some advice:

GET OVER IT. STOP comparing yourself to other people and their career success.

I was kind of comparing everyone currently struggling in the business to this situation, but that’s still advice, I guess.

START focusing on yourself, your writing, and your career successes no matter how small they are.

First of all, that is most back-handed compliment-style advice I’ve ever seen. “No matter how small they are.” What gives them the impression that my career successes are small? Or even, that they’re small to me? And what makes them think I’ve survived a decade in this job without focusing on my writing and my career? I’ve heard this “focus on your own writing/career” thing for a while now, ever since I started blogging about 50 Shades of Grey, and it’s never quite made sense to me because… this is my career. This is my writing. Yes, I write books, but without the blog and the readers who have found me through it, those books wouldn’t be nearly as successful as they are. So… I kind of am focusing on my writing… it’s what they’re so pissed off about.

So, what are you going to do? Constantly bitch and moan about other people’s success and sit in your corner of the room with your arms crossed and a scowl on your face?

Photo on 6-6-14 at 3.53 PM #2
Yes? That’s kind of my thing.

OR are you going to be an adult and choose to be happy with yourself and your life and your own success regardless of others who are doing better than you?

Neither, bitch! I’m going to decorate this sick ass DIY lawn gnome and I’m going to completely disregard the instructions on the package! WHAT NOW STGRB? WHAT NOW? Photo on 6-6-14 at 3.53 PM

Here’s what the people at STGRB, and basically anyone who sang me that same tired song during the 50SoG recaps, are missing: when I, or any other author, gets frustrated, experiences professional jealousy, or is in general disappointed with the P2P phenomenon, it’s not because we’re not spending enough time on our own writing. In fact, it’s the opposite; we’re wondering why we’re spending all this time in the first place. And it’s not just jealous wannabe losers like me who are fed up with the fanfic trend. Plenty of authors who are more successful than I am (and don’t worry about me, STGRB, because I’m doing just fine with my “small” successes) are rolling their eyes at P2P deals. You can be successful, appreciate what you’ve done, and still think the industry does shitty stuff. And you can do it while still maintaining your own career.

If you’re a regular commenter here, you might have been featured in screencaps in the STGRB post, as well, because STGRB has a bone to pick with you, too, damnit! You’re all jealous! JUST JEALOUS! IN A POST ABOUT PROFESSIONAL JEALOUSY! HOW COULD YOU?!

The only thing about their post that really bothered me was when the author of the post, Johnny B Good, made the following statement in the comments:

In her post, Jenny does complain about publishers, but if you read the rest of her blog, she has a very unhealthy obsession with Anna. She is constantly talking about her and ripping her book. She is so green with envy, it’s sad.


Blog, not blog post. Check out the rest of her blog. In other posts on her blog, you’ll notice she has an unhealthy obsession with Anna. It’s jealousy.

Another commenter, Tweedle Dum, chimed in with:

She has an obsession with Anna because they all have an obsession with successful fanfic. Jenny T. is not the frist person to stalk a successful p2p author.

Now, hang on a second there. The “stalk” word is out, and the “unhealthy obsession” word, as well. I’ve made seven posts on this blog about anything to do with Anna Todd and After, out of six hundred and eighty posts total. That means my “unhealthy obsession” takes up a whopping 1.02% of my entire blog… so maybe we need to think twice before linking my name with “stalk.” And I think it’s pretty ballsy, on top of that, to say some shit like, “we’ve been keeping a close eye” on someone, then criticizing them for having an unhealthy obsession.

I guess what I’m saying on this one, STGRB, is, come get it. Continue making posts about me. Lord knows I had fun last night reading your post in an over-the-top, melodramatic voice, and with my crippling daddy issues, it’s not like I don’t appreciate the negative attention. Every time you make one of your laughable little “gotcha!” posts, I’ll probably blog about it to make fun of you, and I’ll have a good time doing it. But eventually it will get boring, because you’re boring, and you’re never going to find anything on me that I wouldn’t have admitted to, anyway. Which is exactly what you tried– and abysmally failed– to do here.


Merlin Club S02E08, “The Sins of The Father” or, “I Wish They Weren’t Sisters”

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Merlin club is a weekly feature in which Jessica Jarman, Bronwyn Green, and myself gather at 8pm EST to watch an episode of the amazing BBC series Merlin, starring Colin Morgan and literally nobody else I care about except Colin Morgan.

Okay, I lie. A lot of other really cool people are in it, too.

Anyway, we watch the show, we tweet to the hashtag #MerlinClub, and on Fridays we share our thoughts about the episode we watched earlier in the week.