Archives for February 2010

February 26, 2010

I have been sitting here for 15 minutes trying to think up a witty title for this post and I can’t. So I’ll just link you all to this Google search about not me. Note the spelling correction notice that Google kindly provides.

As a person who constantly is having to correct people that there are in fact absolutely zero “i’s” in my whole name, I find this greatly amusing. In fact, I screen-capped it for posterity because I am full of myself:

Screen cap of a Google search for "Cindy Otty" where a suggestion is given for the proper spelling of my name

Wisdom via Maureen Johnson and John Scalzi

I realize of late that this website has delved into Book Reviews and the Etcetera. I apologize to those of you who frequent here (or just dropped in) who wish to read my pithy statements on anything other than books or are itching for some adorable Yara photos1 but I wanted to share this tidbit and then I promise I’ll get this blog back on track.

Maureen Johnson has a most glorious and informative blog post about how authors should deal with negative reviews. I’d read it awhile back, but was reminded of it today on Twitter and thought I’d pass it along. I especially love her point about how anyone can (and probably will) review anything. Moreover, there isn’t some magic test one must complete or set of credentials one needs acquire before being bestowed the prestigious ability to write a review.

EDIT: The most awesome John Scalzi also has a terrific blog post from a few days ago regarding owning and accepting one-star reviews. He posts a few snippets of some of his one-star reviews and notes how it’s important for authors to understand that no matter how awesome they may feel their work is (and may well be!), not everyone will like it and in turn they probably won’t keep quiet about it. I do absolutely adore Scalzi and how thoroughly mature he is about, well, everything. This is yet another wondrous example.

Anyway, I highly recommend taking a peek at both posts if you have not already been checking out these great blogs. And certainly feel free to browse through the rest of both of their sites while you’re at it.

With that, I’m really forever and truly done. *mwahs!*

  1. Stay tuned! Portraits are coming soon!

I Weep for the Trees

Via Goodreads I discovered Chloe Neill when she was having a giveaway for Firespell. Didn’t win it, so added it to my wishlist1 and some kind soul must have snatched it up for me (thanks, anonymous person!) because in today’s mail was this:

Mass market paperback book resting on top of the gigantic packaging it was shipped in

I’m completely amused at how ridiculously out of proportion the packaging is to this wee mass market size paperback. Granted it isn’t the first time I’ve had this happen, but I am pretty sure this is a record extreme in my experience. I just can’t get over all that wasted paper!

  1. Similarities in book discovery and friending to another author are purely coincidental. Though, do work in my favor with regards to her allegations that I added her for some motive I’m not privy to.

I believe this is where I say: “Burn!”

Oh, so much happened today to amuse me. Just oodles of fun reading thanks to the Intarwebs and their love affair with drama. Or more accurately wank.

It’s not even worth the energy to type it all out because in the end, I do believe, this comment ends it all [emphasis mine]:

I’m an editor at one of the better-known publishing houses in North America, and the office was abuzz with this situation as an example of a deal-breaker when looking to sign on new authors. Ms. Malone’s excessively immature reaction to what was actually some very gentle criticism guarantees that she has no future in print other than with vanity presses. Believe me, we do use [G]oogle.

I just wanted to let you know; feel free to include this tidbit in your blog. :)

I’d also like to give a shout out to Goodreads, who not only responded to me personally about the attacks posted on their website and sent to me in a private message, but they subsequently removed her as a Goodreads author. A no-tolerance policy for personal attacks is exactly why I am so proud to be a librarian on the site.

Lastly, I want to extend a very warm thank you to Kat Richardson and Sam Hilliard for being awesome enough to let me vent about this to them on Twitter. You guys are full of win and that has nothing to do with how amazing your books are. (The books are just an added perk.) And to everyone else who was so supportive and kind about this, I sincerely appreciate it and dearly thank you as well.

I heart you all so much. :-)

Pity

For those that keep an eye for these things, I want to announce that I gave R. Malone written permission as of just a moment ago to repost my review of her book and my post in response to her message. I have requested she properly attribute me this time — and I will be checking. And that is all I’m saying on the matter.

Instead, I want to talk about pity.

I don’t really have much experience with it — giving or receiving. I think pity is a waste of time; empathy and sympathy are much more productive emotions. The way I see it, pity is not just feeling sorry for someone, but looking down at them for what you feel sorry about. Pitying someone really is a backwards way of making you feel better about yourself. That person being pitied has some negative attribute about them that you are inwardly glad to not have yourself.

Being blind I know there are people out there in the wide world who pity me. They’re the people who think it’s totally amazing that I can manage to dress myself in the morning with clothes that match and would be shocked into disbelief to know that I’m currently pursuing my second and third graduate degrees. They’re the people who use my own disability as an excuse for things, especially when it is completely not applicable. They’re pretty much everything that I despise about the world wrapped up in a person. And the worst part, they actually think they’re in the right!

But I’ve rather thankfully never had the opportunity to meet this head on. Ignorance drives me quite literally crazy with fury, so I’m sure that I wouldn’t handle it very well. Of course, as I’m sure most of you are fully aware of, I’m not exactly lacking in self-confidence or self-esteem. I don’t think I’m the greatest person in the universe, but I’m kind of sure I’m at least a little awesome. Sometimes. Even when the world seems bent on trying to prove otherwise, I can generally let it go. And so while something might get under my skin and pester me, it’s never the end of the world. It’s just another one of those things.

I’ve also learned through a lifetime of being blind and more than a dozen years working guide dogs that people will inevitably believe what they want to. They see what they want to and make their own conclusion. And no matter how intelligently you try to explain to them what really happened, they will still believe what they wish to. In fact, if anything the arguing just makes them dig their heels in more. Challenging a belief is like the worst taboo in life, even a stupid or insignificant belief. I think sometimes the more illogical a belief is, the more that person will fight to maintain it.

If life has taught me anything in my three decades it’s that it is hardly worth it. The people who matter are those that expect to be challenged in their outlook on things; they thrive on learning and growing and in turn they help you learn and grow, too. Those people are way more awesome than I’ll ever be, by the way.