Cussedness Corner

"My work may be garbage but it's good garbage." Mickey Spillane

Whispering Spirits

Whispering Spirits is run by Diana Cacy Hawkins.

I don’t know her well.  But she has been kind enough to run stuff about me on her board.

I have known for months that she had published works by Dagstine, and I tried to ignore it.

Rusty’s post forced me to take a long hard look at it.

I can’t and won’t change my stance about not subbing material to a magazine that has stories in it by Dagstine.  It would be a violation of my personal ethics.  In the end, it is really irrelevant since I rarely write short fiction.  I have only written a single short story in the past two years.

Dagstine singled me out for abuse long before I even knew that he existed.

Publishing Dagstine does not make Diana a bad person.  I’m not going to fault her here, except to say that I think she could have found far better writers than he is.

I don’t have a clear course of action here.

My initial reaction at this point is to lunge into kamikaze mode and have every thing concerning me and mine removed from her board.  But I’m going to try and restrain myself.

I’m going to take a day and think about it.


12 comments on “Whispering Spirits

  1. RHFay
    October 9, 2008

    My suggestion – let it go. Don’t fault an editor or publication simply because they happened to publish something by an author you’ve had terrible run-ins with.

    I’ve certainly had works published in the same venue as Lawrence Dagstine, perhaps even in the same issue. I’ve even talked to him briefly one or twice on forums. Am I, therefore, now tainted because of it? Does this now put the publication of my poetry collection in jeopardy yet again? (Maybe I’m taking it to extremes, but I hope you can see my point. It can be taken to extremes if taken way too far,)

    At some point in all this you’ll have to decide you’re a better person than Dagstine. Take the high road.

    Believe me, I understand wanting to just cut off contact with a place because they associate with someone who might be a jerk. Been there. Done that. However, it might not always be the wisest thing to do.

  2. cussedness
    October 9, 2008

    Richard, your poetry collection is in no danger. I have the contract in hand that you sent me and I’m going to get it into the mail as soon as Natalie gets back from New Hampshire. I would never punish an author for being in a zine with him.

    I don’t want to punish the publisher either.

    It is simply impossible for me to be in the same zine with a man who has spread lies about me, including calling me a crack whore, a stupid cripple, and batshit crazy. I have no problems posting on boards that Dagstine frequents because I see no point in cutting my nose off to spite my face.

    Diana’s forum is not very active, but it is a nice place.

  3. 50footant
    October 9, 2008

    If ya let him drive you away from places, then he’s winning. Get published in the same magazines and post on the same boards, but never drop yourself to his level. Simple as that. If he picks up that you’re avoiding being in the same stuff as him, then you’re handing him a weapon to use against you.

  4. RHFay
    October 9, 2008

    Recently I actually posted a few of my personal ghost stories on the Whispering Spirits forum. I would love to see more activity there, since the subject of ghosts is near and dear to my heart.

    I can certainly understand wanting to avoid places Dagstine is published in based on priciple, but I think it does indeed empower him.

    Then again, if you don’t really write short form stuff, it’s a bit of a moot point anyway.

  5. Kaolin Fire
    October 9, 2008

    Indeed, one could argue that by not submitting to venues he publishes in, he is that much more able to publish there.

    But it’s easy to just take the ground that “I only publish where the surrounding contributions elevate mine with their beauty” and ignore everything else. Sometimes it’s not so good to ignore the everything else (such as the blow-up with Helix SF).

    I think your frequent posts re: the legion of nitwits paint the picture vocally enough (painting with words? ha!).

  6. Michele Lee
    October 9, 2008

    My example is PS Gifford. I’m on a writing list with him. He’s published on the same level and in lots of the same places as Lawrence, but his action are FAR from being a nitwit. He’s always been a sweetie in my interactions with him.

    However, you’re right in that he’s not just a nitwit, Lawrence has actively been belligerent and hateful to you. But I don’t think it’s right to put an editor in the position to pick between you because of that. Besides, most of the places Lawrence has been published are, fiscally speaking, below your career level, correct?

  7. khazar
    October 10, 2008

    If you let them dictate where you’ll publish, they win.

    Now consider this delicious morsel:

    One day, YOU may be publishing THEM.

    And won’t that taste sweet!

  8. Sovay
    October 10, 2008

    I a glad you aren’t just berserking this time mom.

  9. susie hawes
    October 10, 2008

    Lots of good responses, and great people, but folks, you forget; the readers like to see you.

    You. Your work, and personality, are important to them. If you avoid them by avoiding venues because of who your TOC buddy might or might not be, then it’s the readers who lose out. If the work is good, and Whispering Spirits is, then submit.

    I’m so looking forward to seeing your up coming poetry volume from Daverana, Richard. Please let me interview you sometime? Pleeeeeze?

  10. cussedness
    October 10, 2008

    I want to thank you all for the fine comments. I have been persuaded to take a different approach to dealing with the situation and I am working on a new blog post about it. It’s going to be a long one, so it may take me a while to do it.

  11. RHFay
    October 10, 2008

    “I’m so looking forward to seeing your up coming poetry volume from Daverana, Richard. Please let me interview you sometime? Pleeeeeze?”


    I would be honored to be interviewed by you. You can get a hold of me via e-mail through the contact page on my web site:

    Or, you can probably get in touch with me through one of my blogs as well.

  12. susie hawes
    October 11, 2008

    I’m gonna try to do an online conference next week, but expect an e mail. 😀

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