A horrifying racist loved my novel! Oh, joy!

NOT A JOKE: THIS POST IS *FULL* OF TRIGGER WORDS. IF YOU HAVE BEEN VICTIMIZED BY RAPISTS, RACISTS, NEO-NAZIS, OR GENERAL INTERNET CRUELTY, PLEASE READ THIS CAUTIOUSLY IF YOU DECIDE TO READ IT AT ALL.

AGAIN, THIS POST IS *NOT* A JOKE.

Okay, so who likes stories involving irony, intellectual dilemmas, and mixed feelings? Check this out:

I got an email this morning which showed a very close and careful reading of my Hugo Navikov book, Space Explosions! Pew! Pew! Pew! The writer obviously liked the book and gave me a playful hard time about there not being any actual explosions in space in the novel. That was great, and I am pleased at my reader’s enthusiasm.

Um … however.

oh-no 
Jesus Christ. Okay, go on.

The sender’s domain name was “nigge.rs.”

Again, that would be NIGGE.RS.

Um … maybe it’s a rap star’s custom domain! Yeah, that must be what it is. Except that would be “nigg.az,” the computer-savvy rapper being straight outta Azerbaijan.

Well, maybe the fellow’s nickname is “Little Nigge,” like, because his given name is “Nigel” or something. Yeah, that’s probably what it is—”Nigel” is a common British name, so the “.rs” suffix is probably for “Ringo Starr” or “Rumpled Scones” or something else very, very English.

So, God help me, I checked.

From Wikipedia:

rs is the Internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for Serbia. The domain name registry that operates it is the Serbian National Internet Domain Registry (RNIDS). The letters rs stand for Republika Srbija / Република Србија (Republic of Serbia).

Now, I don’t think of Serbia as an especially racist nation (y’know, except for that whole ethnic cleansing and genocide of the 1990s, but that was intramural between white people). Also, Serbia is a slavic country and Russia is most supportive of slavic countries. Russia is also infamous for being a wretched hive of bad-hacker scum and villiany. So, even though this email writer liked and appreciated my book, there were several attachments that I wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole (or Pole, since we’re talking slavic countries).

A little digging produced a list of other domains under this top-level domain (which, classily, is “cock.li,” from Liechtenstein, of all places) other than the disturbing “nigge.rs.” Have a look and then maybe have a long, hot shower:

cockWell, that’s certainly classy.

cock.li
cumallover.me (Montenegro, in the Balkans, is right next to Slovakia, a slavic country)

dicksinhisan.us
loves.dicksinhisan.us
wants.dicksinhisan.us
dicksinmyan.us
loves.dicksinmyan.us
wants.dicksinmyan.us
goat.si (I don’t want to know why Slovenia, another slavic country, is home to this one)
horsefucker.org
national.shitposting.agency
nigge.rs
cock.lu (straight outta Luxembourg, for a change of pace)
cock.email
hitler.rocks
getbackinthe.kitchen
cocaine.ninja

Now, as a writer, American, and not-horrible human being, I respect free speech, and no one, at least not directly, is being harmed by a domain name called “loves.dicksinhisan.us.” A dirty joke—and, on occasion, perhaps, an ill-advised ethnic joke—aren’t doing anything to help the world, but they relieve tension among some people and hardly compare to the hate and vulgarity spewed so vehemently by the most privileged people in all of history.

But shit, man. “nigge.rs”? “hitler.rocks”? “getbackinthe.kitchen”? THESE are some of the people reading my books and liking them enough to contact me with evidence that they really did read and like them?

Sometimes I think I should’ve listened to my Dad and become a postal worker. I guarantee I’d be better at it than Mississippi postmaster William Faulkner, who routinely “lost the mail [and] spent the afternoons playing Mah Jong and sometimes going on a round of golf.” (Actually, come to think of it, I probably wouldn’t be better at it, even by Faulkner standards. I hate jobs and they hate me. I also don’t care for golf.)

cock2To their credit, Cock.li is very inclusive. They have not only video games (OMG WHAT COULD THOSE BE?) and “quality discussion,” but also “fags.” Definite LGBT win right there.

I despise racism and sexism. OBVIOUSLY no sane person thinks racial hate, misogyny, and sexual abuse is anything but stomach-turning. Right now I feel like I’m the New Balance shoe company right now, with white supremacists saying it’s the shoe of choice for them, and the company fiercely rejecting the Nazis’ “endorsement.” Of course, NB is a business and thus welcomes all customers interested in their company’s products, but even if they got 100 percent of the white supremacist market due to this and their profits skyrocketed, they would still be sickened and fight unrelentingly against those bigots and hateful organizations claiming their brand as “the official shoe of Neo-Nazis.” I wear New Balance shoes, and I am neither a neo-Nazi nor a white supremacist of any kind, I assure you.

Oh, 2016, you tricky devil! You have brought little but misery to everyone I know, and now I’m getting fan mail from people who love rape and lynching, to help me ring in the holiday season! Thanks, worst year ever!

I reject you, user at “nigge.rs.” Buy my books if you like, and I hope you enjoy them, certainly, but leave this author the fuck out of it.

 

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Lubbock’s sidewalk is literally paved with Buddy Holly tributes

Earlier this year, I finally got the chance to visit Lubbock, Texas, Buddy Holly’s birthplace as well as his home for most of his short, brilliant life. In the depot district, with various cool little pubs and other shops to enchant Texas Tech students, a main sidewalk is made of bricks with the titles of Buddy’s biggest songs. And there are lots of other heartfelt tributes in town, too, if you know where to look.

img_2662
Remember that art doesn’t have to be “good” if it’s done with love. That alone can make it beautiful.

This is a big deal because (some say) of the avarice of Buddy’s wife of 173 days when he died, Maria Elena Holly Diaz. Say what you will about the woman who has sued to get paid for anything with her first husband’s likeness on it, she has never flagged in keeping his memory alive. Also, Buddy loved her, so she can’t be all bad. But my point is that it’s hard to get a Buddy Holly anything going in Lubbock or anywhere else with Maria Elena always holding her pocketbook open.

In any case, a great exception is 62 bricks on Buddy Holly Avenue between 18th and 19th streets, each with a song title of Buddy’s solo hits or ones with J.I., Joe B., and Niki (sometimes known as “The Crickets” ). They are engraved bricks on a well-trod sidewalk, so the foot traffic and rain and gum have effaced some of them almost to unreadability, but others are as crisp as they must have been when they were set down. Continue reading

It’s November! Time to start your novel!

Hey, Cats and Kittens!

It’s November 1st, the kickoff of National Novel Writing Month! You can write a novel draft any old month, but when you do NaNoWriMo, there are resources a-plenty to keep you inspired and working toward your most excellent goal:

  1. If you are a Vegasite, come to the Green Valley Library (on Sunset & Green Valley) for my talk and interactive workshop tonight at 6pm! (The video may be streamed live if I can figure out how to do that, but at the very least, it will be uploaded onto YouTube immediately after.)
  2. Ehrmagerd, SO MUCH of helpful stuff at NaNoWriMo.org! I love to use the word-count tracker, because then I can watch my slow but unceasing progress toward SUCCESS!
  3. And this initial message from the NaNo folks to Vegas-area writers, which I am including in its entirety below. It lists writing meet-ups for the next week in the Valley, but no matter where you are (within reason), there is a meet-up close to you, I guarantee! Just look on the NaNoWriMo site and you shall find like-minded writerly types!

Good luck, godspeed, and get going!
Sean


NaNoWriMo

And so it begins! Have you started writing yet? If not, that’s okay. You have the whole rest of the day to get a good start on your novel. If you need some help and inspiration, we have at least one write-in every single day in November. Yep, you heard right. Take a look at the next seven days worth of write-ins:

  • Tuesday 11/1 – Panera Bread (Lake Mead/Tenaya) – 6pm – 9pm
  • Wednesday 11/2 – The Writer’s Block (Downtown) – 6pm – 7:30pm
  • Thursday 11/3 – Bruno’s Pizza (Southwest) – 5pm – 8pm
  • Friday 11/4 – Buffalo Wild Wings (North LV) – 10:30pm – 1:30am **21+ only
  • Saturday 11/5 – Wetlands Cafe (Southeast) – 9am – 2pm
  • Sunday 11/6 – The Writer’s Block (Downtown) – 12pm – 3pm
  • Monday 11/7 – Moe’s (Downtown Summerlin) – 5pm – 8pm

The Las Vegas Romance Writers are also hosting a write-in on Saturday, November 5th from 10am to 1pm. They have reserved space at the Sundance Grill in Silverton Casino. They have a lot of fun stuff planned and it’s a great opportunity to learn more about their group. Check out the LVRWA website for more information: http://lvrwa.org/

As always, click here to check out the regional calendar for full details on every write-in, including addresses, menu links, and descriptions. The calendar is your soulmate. The calendar is always there for you. Our regional forum is getting lots of activity right now too, so make sure to stop by.

Now that you know where to find us, let’s get to our weekly pep talk. Our amazing head volunteer, Kyo, has written a fabulous day one pep talk for you. Take it away, Kyo!


Right now, you’re probably feeling pretty excited about your story, and with good reason! You are a pioneer, about to explore the furthest reaches of your own imagination. Adventure awaits! Maybe you’ll discover a whole colony of plot bunnies, or maybe you’ll just pick one and follow it to the very edge of the galaxy. There could be a whole new planet out there, one just waiting for you to invent people who can look up at new stars and marvel at how they got there. Like space, the possibilities are endless!

However…at some point, you’re going to run into problems. Maybe you’ll run out of fuel in week two. Maybe you’ll follow that plot bunny right into a dead end or an asteroid field of “this doesn’t work”. Maybe you’ll get lost. Maybe you’ll struggle because you’re certain that you arent the first person to write this story or this character. Maybe real life will contrive to ground you before you ever really get going.

Don’t give up.

That excitement you feel right now is a rare element, and it can power you through even the toughest times. Hold on to it, and remember the things you love about this idea right now. Let that excitement and love power you this month as you reach for the stars and for 50,000 words, and when that’s not enough, it’s okay to send out a distress beacon to your fellow Wrimos. We may not be able to go where you’re going, but we can cheer you on, offer advice, and remind you that you can do this. Think of us as your mission command: we can’t help you unless we know there’s a problem, but once you radio in for help, we’ll do everything we can to help make your mission a success!

And, if all else fails, remember this: if you only wrote one word, that’s still one more word than you had yesterday. Imagine your words as steps on an alien planet – each one gives you the opportunity to learn something or discover something new, and there is so much value in that experience! Don’t be ashamed if you fall behind or if you can’t finish. Be proud that you began! The most important part of being a pioneer is the willingness to try. Don’t forget to celebrate that part of yourself!

Today is the first day of your journey. Where will you go, and what will you discover? What vast new reaches will you explore? What will you learn? Anything is possible, fellow Wrimo. Anything. Are you ready? 3…2…1…blast off!


Thanks for reading, and we hope to see you soon! Happy writing, Vegas Wrimos.

Rachel & Vicci
vegaswrimos@gmail.com
Regional Forum | Regional Calendar