Cussedness Corner

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

Echo Chamber

Dagstine was just the straw that broke the camel’s back and it was connected to the thread that he started about the Locus article  (Paula Guran and Mamatas etc.).

Things had been setting up for months for trouble.  Mostly not connected to Dagstine.

The phone went sailing out the back patio window on the second floor.  However, Mike, I did once put a plate of brownies through a wall.  I was aiming at my ex-husband’s head.  He ducked and the brownies made a huge hole in the wall.  I don’t know if I have told the “Tale of the Brownie Brick” in this blog or not, if not ask and I’ll share it.

I am fundamentally unable to cry.  I seize up and stop myself every time I start to.  I swallow the urge back and beat it down until it is gone.  I think that pattern of behavior is more common to men than it is to women.  Maybe if  I were capable of letting myself cry about things, it would not build up as bad.

I promised myself when I left my ex-husband, that I would never cry.  I can probably count the times I have cried since 1995 on one hand.  One of them was when I finally told someone what had happened to me.  Their response was to tell me to stop sounding like a victim, so I never again cried when I talked about the dark stuff of my life.

Another time was when my dog died.  That was two years ago.

But I associated tears with weakness.  After I left Jean, I was determined never to be weak again.

Enough digressions.

I wanted to get more than one of my series revised and dusted off to bring them out from Daverana.  I had not taken a good look at them (with the exception of the lycan novels) in several years.  I intended to get a bunch out at the same time as quick as I could so that I could meet the requirements to get our books carried by Fictionwise.

It took me months to come out of that bad depression that consumed me from last October to this January, and had a few niggling strings continued to  hold onto me.

The trouble began several months ago.  One of the editors on my various series…

I should just have tossed them all at Steven.  My bad, but I did not want to overburden him.  Up until now I have been lucky.  Debbie Moorhouse, Karen E. Taylor, and Steven Beeho, all understood what I had been trying for and my books benefited from that.  My vision remained intact.

I especially wanted to make certain that there were no inconsistencies that had developed over the years that I have been writing these novels in their interconnected world.

Anyways, one of the editors on my 3 series that are undergoing revision and updating contacted me on IM, alarmed at the piss poor quality of the books (or at least that’s my interpretation of events).  It bothered me a bit and a lot of my insecurities cropped up.  But I had not had time to have a look at the edits.

Several conversations in IM later, over a space of months, it became more and more apparent that s/he did not understand my vision at all and was demanding changes and alterations that violated the entire cannon of novels set in Daverana.  Then I finally looked at the edit on the first book and it was like being smacked upside the head in just enough ways to set off my old emotional injuries — I got bitten in my wounds so to speak.

I tossed the edited books at Steven and asked him to remove all of the stuff this editor had done that were inappropriate and edit them himself.  But by then I was heading for a break.

Now we come to the echo chamber effect.

You see, nothing happens as a result of a single incident.


Dagstine has been gunning for me a long time.  I guess I kind of gave him the opening to hit me with a comment/series of comments on Shocklines about ‘ghettoes.’

He jumped onto the bandwagon there to jump me for using the ‘term’ ghetto in connection with genre publishing.  (I will save that for another time).  Ramsey Campbell smacked him down.

Dagstine knew very well, because he has spent years combing through my blogs about the ruckus 5 years ago that was set off by a series of posts on my LJ.  That was the debut of my use of the term ‘ghetto’ out where the horror community could see it.

Science fiction and fantasy authors have been discussing the ‘ghetto’ aspect of our genre since the 1960s when I was a teenager.  It is not something new.

So then he went and dredged up Paula Guran’s article and Mamatas’ reaction to it.  I don’t think I need to point you at the connection here to me.


When Jane Letty finally threw in the towel and closed her agency, there was a lot of crying involved on her part.  Tears have always affected me strongly.  Even though I rarely permit myself to cry, I still intensely feel them back there trying to get out.

I made a thread at Odark about it.  By then I was in wounded animal mode, because I loved Jane dearly.  I offended everyone including Brian Keene.  Although Brian later demonstrated that he had an inkling of what had happened, and we were able to make up our differences.

I had a long talk with Rich Ristow about Odark two nights ago on the chat channel at Warcraft.  And, the reverberations in the echo chamber got bad.

During the period following my Jane Letty meltdown on Odark,  they savaged me on a regular basis.  It hurt, because I had liked a lot of those people.

It became clear that I had become a pariah in the horror community.  My dark fantasy was relegated to the category, fantasy.  My use of horror icons, such as vamps and lycans, did not make it dark fantasy in their book, just fantasy.

My gritty writing and storylines did not make it dark fantasy, just a misty gray unappetizing mess.

Then came the alt attack in 07 that left me exhausted on many levels, and I had been led to believe that it was being carried out by members of Odark.

I learned last year that it was Dagstine who did it, not Odark.

Daverana Enterprises

We’ve been having trouble getting money through to my account to pay artists, editors and LSI.  The international banking system decided to have a brain fart and returned the money I was sent by my financial backer as “unable to find beneficiary”. Oh, joy.

For a few weeks, I lost my faith in both the banking system and my backer, but that’s another story.


My main spot for relaxing has been on World of Warcraft.  That’s where I hide out when I need to de-stress, decompress, and detoxify my problems in the Real World.  However, it became the source of a lot of drama as key members left my guild in high dudgeon.  So I had no place to relax.

Adding it all together.

Now, pour all those flavors of agony into a bowl, mix well, and what you have is a cake that is too bitter to be eaten once it has been baked by the memories of other dark times it managed to provoke.

I threw the phone out a second floor window, cut up all my cards (bank, medical, credit and so forth), cancelled my paypal account and prepared to basically cease to exist.

Now I am trying to put it all back together.  Natalie got me a new phone yesterday and some groceries.


9 comments on “Echo Chamber

  1. Mike Brendan
    April 9, 2009

    Those must have been really rich brownies! 🙂

    Seriously, sounds like things have been rough all over. Hope you’re feeling better and that things will calm down for you soon.

  2. cussedness
    April 9, 2009

    Very rich brownies. LOL

  3. CritGit
    April 9, 2009

    Seriously, feed me brownies and I’d crit for ever!

  4. kaolin fire
    April 10, 2009


  5. cussedness
    April 10, 2009

    Okay, you have forced me to this. I am going to tell (or retell as the case may be) the Tale of the Brownie Brick.

  6. 50footant
    April 10, 2009

    Glad to hear you are doing better.

    I’m working hard to get shit fixed.

    God I wish I had my punching bag still. I have a LOT of stress I want to bleed off.

  7. C
    April 11, 2009

    I am glad that you were pulled from the quicksand in time – very, very glad!

    I wonder if the planets went into some weird alignment of something, because I spent Thursday afternoon through 4am in severe pain. Migraine felt like I had Nitwit’s screwdriver in my head, my stomach felt full of broken glass and I had parallel lines of roofing nails along my spine. All the pain made me keep throwing up, and -boom!- The Black Veil hit me hard. In addition to the depression and insecurity (“Omg! I’ll be 33 next Thursday and I have accomplished NOTHING!”) came the fear that I was spiraling back into the condition that had me at my most useless from 2001 to 2007… when a person is on morphine for pain, or at least when I am, I can not write. I can not even read or finish speaking a sentence because the opiates make me constantly nod out. The fear that I was heading back down that path was immense – not only would I never accomplish any of my goals or aspirations, I would lose the few friends I have, along with time (I have only a few vague memories of those past Pain Control Years.) So, I spent 16 hours screaming, crying, breaking things and eventually handcuffed myself to a table until Hubby got home, so I could not reach a knife or one of the guns.
    All that, just to let you know that I empathize greatly, even though our experiences are different. Pain is pain.

  8. susie hawes
    April 11, 2009

    I threw the phone out a second floor window, cut up all my cards (bank, medical, credit and so forth), cancelled my paypal account and prepared to basically cease to exist.



    you may have to talk me down from the ceiling. Hello? You have 7 of my books!

  9. cussedness
    April 11, 2009

    Have no fear, Susie! The 50ftAnt, the Critgit, and the Bodi have matters well in hand.

    Natalie is prepared to knock me down and sit on me if I get crazed out again.


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This entry was posted on April 9, 2009 by in Janrae Frank.

Janrae Frank

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