mary: ([dc] hrm hrm)
Okay I know that like rule one of Author Club is "don't bitch about negative reviews" (actually that's probably rule 2, I think rule 1 might be "don't bitch about rejection letters") but ugh, okay, it's been more than a week since I read this one review at goodreads and I'm still thinking about it every day and getting stressed about it. Full text behind the cut: Read more... )

It's not that it's a low-starred review, because I've had those before. It's that every criticism is something I'm terribly afraid of -- this reads like a checklist of 'every way in which I always assumed someone would expose me for the shitty hack I am'.

Tokenistic, racist against Indigenous Australians, writes like bad fanfiction writer, bland and non-unique character voices. It's everything I was terrified this book would turn out to be because I wasn't good enough to write it properly, and the last paragraph essentially says 'if someone else wrote it, it'd be good'.

I just feel really sick and sad and stressed out. How do I keep on writing when everything I was afraid might be true, is?

Ugh crying again what fun
mary: A picture of a woman sitting in front of a stained glass window, from Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds (Default)
Dear Mary of Feb 5th, 2002:

Ten years from now you will still be incredibly fucking crazy, fat, fucked up about relationships, appalling with money. You won't have any babies and will feel a thousand times less ready to think about having them than you did just before turning 20.

You'll have some books out but they won't make you any money. Maybe that's okay, because even if they haven't been read by a lot of people, they've been read by some people who gained a lot from them. Knowing that there are people out there who have tattoos, who make art, who want to make up their own stories, who are still alive right now because of words you put together is the most astonishing feeling in the world. It feels even more amazing than the way you're feeling right now at the response to Pretty Good Year.

By the end of the next decade you'll have a bunch of postgrad qualifications that don't mean much, and a job you are constantly terrified of losing, and a mostly-finished armful of tattoos. You don't have the nose ring anymore, believing at 21 that you'd grown up too much for that sort of teenage nonsense. You were so much more grown up at 21 than you are at hours-away-from-30.

Your twenties are hard but there are good things in there too. I won't spoil any of the stuff that's in your future, suffice to say that you make some truly epic fuck-ups, go to some places so dark they will make your teen years look like a cakewalk, and lose some of the people you love most in the world.

And at the end of all of that, you're still here.

So I guess that's a start.

Here's hoping that the Mary of 2022 has her shit a little bit more worked out than either of us do.

You will spend the last hours of your twenties looking up pointy LARP shoes on eBay.

Sorry about that.

Love,

Your future self

Feb 5th, 2012
mary: ([tsn] comic)
Gawker mocks TSN fic, includes excerpt from one of my vampire stories

and it's, like, probably the absolutely least weird story I wrote in that fandom. Which is hilarious to me. Do your homework better, Gawker!

Seriously though this has put the biggest smile on my face, on a day when I really needed something to smile about. I'm finally one of those weird internet fanfiction perverts that the mainstream media likes to mock! Yessssss.
mary: A picture of a woman sitting in front of a stained glass window, from Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds (Default)
Things that remain fucking awesome: people recognising me by my tattoos at MCR shows and introducing themselves. Love it. :D
mary: ([band] killjoys)
I can't get any of my crappy photos off my stupid phone, but tonight's MCR show in Brisbane was truly one of the best gigs I have ever been to, and absolutely one of the best MCR ones.

At one point Gerard said that it had recently occurred to him that this band was for life, that there was no going back, that it was a life sentence for him and that it was for some of us in the crowd but that was okay, because we were all stuck in the same cell.

And I know it's not true for all of you reading this, that a lot of you have moved on and don't feel much for them anymore. But it's true for me. I'll be thirty years old in a couple of weeks and tonight I realised I don't care, I don't care who I'm supposed to be or what grown up is meant to mean, because this is me and fuck the rest.

You keep eternity; give us the radio.

Today I got dripping, bone-drenched wet in the pouring rain three different times, I climbed over a wooden fence and hiked through a paddock full of cows (all of this still in the pouring rain by the way) to get to a random pub in a middle-of-nowhere suburb two bus rides away from anywhere to watch this stupid band that I love so much.

Their noise and crowds and music make me feel at times when all the rest is numbness.

And I think I wrote the ending of stupid-clusterfuck-sci-fi-novel-that-never-ends in my head while I watched them, and when Gerard howled how wrong we were to think that immortality meant never dying I couldn't help but think of the bit in Cascade when Rose and Dave rise up out of the fire and just

this band

this band keeps bringing me back to myself when I'm lost. They are the light in the dark, the sound in the silence. They remind me that I'm alive and make me feel like I'm not afraid to stay that way.
mary: William Beckett from the Sixteen Candles video ([band] beckett sepia)
Because Amazon is still selling the Wolf House version that I have never gotten any money for whatsoever, my new publisher has been thinking about ways to make the new edition a more attractive prospect to potential purchasers.

At the moment it looks like the route we'll be taking is that each of the new editions of the novellas will include a brand new short story about the characters from yours truly.

I am having huge stressouts that I won't be able to write anything good enough. It's like being faced with fanfic stage fright times a million. What if everyone hates the new stuff OH GOD HELP
mary: ([nge] hyperventilate)
La la la here are some Homestuck stories I really love.

Miracle Child by bramblePatch
The worldbuilding and the development of characters and relationships in this story are some of the best I've seen. And the Grand Highblood has a predatory, ancient, layered orneriness that's like everything that's great about vampires mixed up with everything that's great about more savage monsters mixed up with a literal carnivalesque element. Also I adore Arsast kind of a lot.

Scarlet and Bible Black by paraTactician
The way Rose and Sollux are written in this story is nothing short of astonishing. All the easy characterisation shortcuts are burned away and there's nothing left but the pure and brutal truth of who these two kids are, brittle and clever and stubborn.

The Last Hearing Of Gamzee Makara by schellibie and urbanAnchorite
Terezi's voice -- everyone's voice, but this is absolutely Terezi's tale -- is so wonderful here. Devastatingly so. This is the story of a bunch of kids, thrown to places that no kid should ever have to go, and the things they lose there. And a special note has to go to the illustrations with this story, too, because goddamn. You absolutely understand why Terezi feels the way she does, when Gamzee looks like that.

Hold Your Colour by lantadyme
"The game remakes the world when they win. It forgets one thing." This fic is a shot of pure Dave straight to the heart. And if that description doesn't make you brace yourself for pain, then you're about to learn why it should.

dave striders journal alternatively titled why do i listen to my sister alternatively titled how do i hold all these feels alternatively titled god dammit by radicalnothing
Dave and John are at college. Sleep-deprived, Dave accidently emails John his journal when he means to send an assignment. His pretty sexually explicit journal. About how he feels about John. This is everything that's delightful and lovely about these two incurable nerdfaces.

Space Bro by jumpingjacktrash
A really nicely built, bittersweet, moving, post-game humanstuck story. Sollux remembers. Karkat doesn't.

I am sure I have forgotten a MILLION AWESOME STORIES but this is a starter-list at least?

EDIT: OH SHIT I can't believe I forgot reason reason cannot know by minna. Prolly because I always forget that the post-scratch kids are part of the same story as the rest of them because I am an idiot. Autoresponder is a distinct entity with distinct feelings. Poor thing.
mary: ([dn] turpentine)
If you're a tumblr-er, you've probably seen this post on your dash recently -- it's about a tampon ad full of gross transphobia and girl-vs-girl shitty nonsense.

I wrote Libra a letter of complaint, as did many other people.

And then the Murdoch press, shining turds that they are, report on the story like this -- calling the trans woman in the ad a drag queen, using scare-quotes around the word transphobic, and even invoking that timeless and vomitous phrase "political correctness gone crazy".

I cannot adequately describe the levels of repulsed loathing I feel for all things News Ltd. They are actively vile.

In other news, today is my first day back after the holiday break, at my job where I have to closely read Murdoch papers every single day of the year. It's like garbage collecting, only grimier. BLEH.
mary: A picture of a woman sitting in front of a stained glass window, from Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds (Default)


Sad Batman wishes everyone a magical holiday season.
mary: Comic-book image of Gerard saying 'A gazelle' ([band] gazelle)
This evening I went downstairs to put my rubbish out for collection, and when I came back up there was a note taped to my front door from my neighbour, pointedly requesting that I put my rubbish out every week, as I had missed last week.

(Let the jury please remember that last Monday night I had just been discharged from hospital and wasn't actually thinking about whether it was a recycle week or not.)

So I went in my flat and scribbled a quick and hopefully not too passive-agressive message on the back of the note, thanking her for the reminder and explaining I'd been sick and wishing her a happy holidays.

I step out across the landing to tape it to her door,

and my front door blows shut behind me.

WHO DOES THAT EVEN HAPPEN TO?

Luckily Eris and her dad live just around the corner from me, so I toddled over there in my t-shirt with no bra under it and pants and no shoes (at this point I was just grateful that I was wearing pants for this malarkey). Some dudes in a car going past yelled out, because apparently there is literally no level of casualwear too casual for hooning at.

Eris's dad drove around to Erinna's to pick up her spare key to my place, and I sat and watched Black Books with Eris. Black Books was the first show I watched after moving to Melbourne, on my first night in my first sharehouse back in 2003. It still feels a little strange to me that the strong-willed little Eris-toddler I met then is now this strong-willed little Eris-preteen with a brilliant creative mind and a kind of morbid sense of taste. The passing of time is wacky.

Anyway I am now safely ensconced in my flat once again, and the moral of this story is: never engage in a note-war with your neighbour because nobody is going to emerge the winner and you might have to walk around in bare feet when you want to be on the internet. Or possibly the story is that my friends put up with way too much vague airhead bullshit from me.

--

In other news, Mixtape is now in paperback for those who want a hard copy. Could people who have read it please please please leave an Amazon review? My publisher is really keen to get as many up there as possible. It would mean a bunch to me.

I'm still so blown away that people are being so kind about it. I thought for sure this would be the awkward duckling nobody liked. I'm overwhelmed.

--

And lastly, here is a picture of Mindless Self Indulgence with Insane Clown Posse



Now your life is richer.
mary: ([band] lltpb)


E-book now up for sale, paperback coming very soon!

(That photo is one the publisher sent me, and lookit lookit it's a real thing loooooooook I MADE A THING)

If you have read it already, could you please leave a review at Amazon?

If you haven't read it already and can't afford to buy it right now, email me (mizmary@gmail.com)and I'll send it to you -- all I ask in return is that you review it when you're done.

Guuuuuuuuuuuuys I made a booooooook.
mary: A picture of a woman sitting in front of a stained glass window, from Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds (Default)
Being sick is rubbish and I'd like a refund.
mary: A picture of a woman sitting in front of a stained glass window, from Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds (Default)
haHA well scratch that 'I didn't get sick this year' thing in my resolutions roundup!

After a few days of feeling run down and headachey, on Sunday night I was treated to a migraine of epic, you-now-have-aphasia water-on-your-skin-makes-you-throw-up you-are-still-too-hot-when-literally-blanketed-in-ice proportions.

I tearfully emailed Erinna asking if she could come over in the morning. She and Erin came over immediately, and Audrey heroically put up with near-inocherent texts of pain from me until they got there.

Three hours of semi-conscious crying and moaning and screaming later, Erinna and Erin make the executive decision that it is time for paramedics. The dude who answered the call advised me that I should go to the Williamstown emergency room when it opened in the morning (yes, the emergency room is closed from 11pm-8am. Trust me, this is not the first time this has presented an issue in my life) but that my blood pressure was too low for me to be at risk for a stroke.

Eventually I was conscious enough (and had my eyes completely covered against debilitating light sensitivity) to sit up with Erin and Erinna for a while. Erin read from a Vampire in Waikiki which is probably the only instance of 'Relax' by Frankie Goes To Hollywood being used as the songfic basis for a sex scene that I will ever encounter.

I eventually fell into exhausted sleep at around dawn, and when I woke up we ventured to the emergency room. Cue five more hours of crying and melodrama-ing from yours truly (being super-sick turns me into the most pathetic creature in the world, all I can do is flail and apologise and grumble and cry), a drip to rehydrate me because I hadn't been able to keep down any water, bloodwork and a CT scan to make sure it wasn't anything sinister triggering the migraine, and a final diagnosis of.... a migraine! Likely brought on by stress.

The important part of this whole story is that my friends are fucking champions. Audrey and Erin were both absolute stars putting up with me and being there with a funny word and support when I needed them, and I want to extend special heartfelt love and thanks to Erinna. Not only did she stay with me two nights running, often while I was incoherent and screaming and couldn't stand for her to touch me at all even as I begged for more ice packs, but while the hospital was running tests she collected my mail, dealt with my internet provider when my modem died (thank heaven that didn't happen 12 hours before, god) and bought a temporary replacement prepaid modem so I'd have internet at home while I was recuperating, and stocked my kitchen full of my favourite kind of cereal, vitamins, gatorade, donuts, tofu steaks, and apple juice.

I cannot ever thank you enough, Erinna. You have been every kind of comfort, at a moment when I needed comfort the most. I love you. Thank you.
mary: ([band] lltpb)
Yesterday I was as sick as a sick dog. I'm still sick today but have dragged myself to the office because we are understaffed and deadlines do not care about swollen glands and achy muscles and killer earaches. Bleh. A co-worker who had this bug says it lasts about three weeks, which I hope is not the case because a day of it and I'm well over feeling this rubbish. Three weeks would be a supreme suck.

Yesterday was also when I received the ARCs of Mixtape from my publisher and threw them at people's inboxes. So it was one of those surreal days, where I was lying in bed half-asleep and feeling dreadful, and whenever I emerged from my daze it was to find incredibly sweet emails and tweets and texts from people in the midst of reading.

Trying not to think too much about the fact that it's out in the world.

In other news I played with greasepaint the other day, in my continued quest to cosplay a clown troll from a webcomic. Suspect this will not work in my favour should Gabe or HeyChris ever in the future again accuse me of being a juggalette.
mary: Edward biting Bella in her dream ([twilight] bella dreams)
It's trite for me to blame all the problems I have with writing at the moment on my medication level. There are other factors as well, because there are always other factors. But I knew before I increased the dose that it would be more difficult for me to produce creative work with more effexor in my system.

That's why I started dropping back my dose, back almost two years ago now. I wasn't comfortable with the numbness I felt, and even more than that I hated the way that fiction had become a struggle.

Right now it's not just fiction that's a struggle. I have all these thoughts that I want to articulate but they skitter away when I try to sharped and order them. I don't like this. I don't like it at all. But on the lower dose, I wasn't any more creative than I am now. I was too miserable to be creative.

I wish I knew the answer. I wish I felt more optimistic that there was an answer to know at all.

On brighter topics, last weekend I went up to Sydney to stay with some of my favourite people for a couple of nights. They have a gorgeous chilled-out little home of sunshine and a sort of boho rock-and-roll peacefulness that was absolutely lovely to spend time in. We ate haloumi pizza and stayed up late and slept in late and went to see Breaking Dawn, sitting in the back row so nobody could kick us when we wisecracked and laughed.

That movie is so terrible-fantastic I can't properly explain it. I legitimately enjoy the first film, but... well, a good way to explain the difference between the first film and where the series goes after that is to say that there's a big difference between having a teenage girl do an internet search for vampire mythology because the strange boy in her class seems to fit the symptoms, and having a vampire dude do an internet search for demon babies because his wife is having one. And then he uses the image-search function to look at Henry Fuseli's The Nightmare. Which, uh, isn't actually a picture of a demon baby, Edward, you stupid chump.

Anyway! Yes, so. Breaking Dawn. Then we went to the Harry Potter Exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum, which was wonderful. I really am going to get an Expecto Patronum tattoo, eventually. The feelings I have about the third novel are not feelings I properly express when I try to talk about it, suffice to say I will probably always seek out a little bar of dark chocolate on days when I am feeling especially bleak and unhappy.

We did karaoke that night, which remains a pleasure I will only ever enjoy with this particular bunch of ladies when we get together for nonsense. It takes a particular hue of friendship to sing Adam Lambert and Savage Garden songs at the top of one's lungs with ten other people in a tiny soundproof room full of cupcakes and alcohol.

It was a really, really lovely weekend, and made me appreciate just how full my life is of good, worthwhile things.

The sun's coming up right now, and I can hear the birds outside. Audrey's asleep in the other room and I want to remember how to write things and I'm scared that I won't ever be able to again. I'm so scared. But, for now, most of the other stuff is going pretty okay. I'm glad the higher dose of meds helps me see just how good I've got it, all told.
mary: A picture of a woman sitting in front of a stained glass window, from Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds (Default)
So at the end of last year I mapped out a set of resolutions for myself. While 2011 isn't quite over yet, it's close enough to the finish line that I thought I might as well start to take stock of how I went.

What I warned at the start of the original post -- as well as being massively self-indulgent and otherwise content-free, I should also warn for potential triggers related to weight loss, self-harm, and discussion of money/budgeting -- equally applies here.

Mary's resolutions for 2011: Recap and roundup )
mary: ([band] lltpb)
I have about ten more spaces for advanced readers left for The Devil's Mixtape.

What being an advanced reader means is that sometime in the next couple of weeks, my publisher will email you an electronic copy of the novel, and instead of paying in dollars, you get to pay for it by doing short reviews for Amazon and Goodreads when you've finished reading.

Here's the blurb for the book in question:

In 1999, Ella arrived at school with a cache of weapons and a plan to use them. Years later, she sifts through accounts of other violent young women, writing letters to a little sister who had to grow up in the aftermath of that day.

In 1952, Sally was a runaway, hitch-hiking around Australia with a strange girl named Amy. Each outcasts in their own way, the pair navigated a landscape scarred by old memories and tragedies, searching for a place that felt like safety and home.

And in 2011, Charlotte was a music journalist on tour with a band, listening to their stories of loss and hope as she tried to shape the world into a narrative that made sense.

Demons, heartbreaks and the redemptive power of art are all thrown together one after the other. The result could never be anything but the Devil's mixtape.


And in case you missed it, the cover art looks like this.

Email mizmary@gmail.com to add your name to the list. You'll be doing me a huge favour and you get a free book to read. Everyone wins!
mary: A picture of a woman sitting in front of a stained glass window, from Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds (Default)
I need volunteers who would like to read The Devil's Mixtape and then review it for Amazon and Goodreads.

So if you'd like the opportunity to read my new novel free of charge in the next couple of weeks, drop me your email address to mizmary@gmail.com.

It has thrills and suspense and all that great stuff! Woo!
mary: A picture of the Fifth Doctor and Adric from Doctor Who with 'you're not my read dad' written on it. ([dw] adric five)
- I saw Darren Hayes in concert last night and I cried and I cheered and it was beautiful. I love him so much. So much.

- Little Star by John Ajvide Lindqvist is one of the best and most horrifying and most touching books I have ever read. It's Let the Right One In meets Judy Bloom meets American Psycho meets American Idol. I am very glad I read it AFTER writing Mixtape.

- Speaking of Mixtape, I have been given permission by my publisher to post the cover and it is fucking coolbeans. Audrey is way better than my books deserve. Heart heart.

- I wrote Homestuck fic. Karkat/FEELINGS is my otp.
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