Rachel's Blog

Fri, 24 Sep 2004
Whining Writers

First Anne Rice was so incensed over angry reviews of her book Blood Canticle posted to Amazon.com that she offered a refund to anyone who returned the book to her. Then Buffy novel writer Yvonne Navarro posted a similar rant to her own website in response to the same issue: supposed fans who can't spell and find fault with her book. Neil Gaiman has something to say about receiving negative reviews, "If ever I do something like that, please shoot me."

Edited to add: Rice's comments and others have been removed from Amazon so don't bother looking for them. Apparently she is not holding to her promise of refunds and is returning books to senders, and Something Positive gets in on the debacle.

Mon, 20 Sep 2004
Joneses lower the bar

As we are the a Jones family I feel it is my duty to lower the standards for the sanity of party-hosting parents everywhere. From now on it won't be a case of trying to keep up with us. Now you will have to slow down, go low key and dig out your recipe for Honey Joys. (I always preferred them over Chocolate Crackles.)
Abbey's first birthday is approaching and I'm very tempted to do next to nothing. She's not going to remember it. We don't even know what we're going to "get" her. (Again, nothing is tempting.) Discussions with other first-time parents recently has steeled my resolve to keep it calm. Parties for this age group are just social occasions for parents and family anyway, but with masses of gifts for a bemused baby.
She had the best fun yesterday with a large paper envelope and some election propaganda. I'm sure I can turn that into a party theme.

Sat, 18 Sep 2004
Hear Me Roar

These stories are all from today's Age and Sydney Morning Herald:

Woman stands by her guilty son. He is charged with leading his two nephews and another teenager to invade a home, tie up two people and gang rape their daughter. Why is his mother the focus of this story? Becuase she is innappropriately forgiving? Because she has the gall to blame "the system" instead of feeling guilty like we all think she should? How about some focus on the crime? The girl spent three days in hospital, but I bet that over a year later she's not feeling better.

Woman charged with infanticide after drowning her five-week-old daughter. She was depressed, but there is no mention of the child's father or any other family or friends. What a great society we are cultivating here where the only source of help this woman thought she had was an anonymous helpline. I keep saying I'm suprised this doesn't happen more often.

MP fired after driving in an unregistered vehicle while suspended. Yes, women are humans too. Some of us are exceedingly stupid.

A woman in Romania tore off her husband's testicles when she thought he was having an affair. Was he guilty? Why is her self-esteem so low that she resorts to violence to be heard? Or perhaps this is not an overreaction at all. Perhaps he is a repeat offender who kept breaking promises to change. Or maybe she has a mental illness. Maybe we all do.

Young women are writing candidly about their sex lives and people are buying their books by the hundreds of thousands. This is because people are voyeurs. And as it is marketed as literature it is acceptable voyeurism. But, you have to realise, young women don't have anything else to write about. Just like in Puberty Blues whole identities are built around sexual encounters. These methods of connecting with other human beings may be degrading, but sometimes it's all you've got. Or it could be pro-sex neo-feminism. What would I know? I've never read any of these books and I don't want to.

Thu, 16 Sep 2004
NaNoWriMo et al

Planning on completing NaNoWriMo this year. It's not like I do anything during the day. Fifty thousand words should be a cinch. And then, next April, I will have a go at Scott McCloud's 24 Hour Comic challenge. Also saving up to take a Zero G flight ($US3000). I'll check back in on that one in about a decade.

Wed, 08 Sep 2004
Go hug a tree, you young poet!

If you're as sick as I am of election issues revolving around the tolling of a freeway (rant forthcoming) then you might want to check out these sites covering the media-unfashionable issues you (or I) actually care about.

Artsvoter.com - Whitewashed by artshub - a subscription-only job hunting commercial venture.
Vote Environment - Pulped by The Wilderness Society, look for their campaigns in a marginal seat near me.
Election Tracker - A youth perspective. Youth being less than 30. This one's run by the vibewire mob, a not-for-profit.