reading


Well, Richard Paolinelli decided to offer me a shot at being published by his company because he’s determined that I have a sad, unfulfilling life. He probably won’t understand why I rejected his condescending, passive-aggressive offer, even though I think I explained it pretty well: That’s an interesting telling of this tale, Richard. I was the one who had been insulted and attacked on Twitter. After I wrote a tweet that he didn’t agree with, he said I was a man, he said I was incapable of thinking, etc. He had repeatedly called me names and had made racist & sexist remarks toward a friend of mine. I pointed this out to you and you started making sexist remarks toward me. No, I didn’t respect your friend after he began harassing me. No length of time in the military excuses harassment. I don’t know anyone by the name of Johnny Walker and I don’t have troll accounts. I did put you on a will-not-read and my author-boycott lists, but that shouldn’t bother you. (It also shouldn’t bother you that Anne Rice or Brad Thor is on that list, and I won’t explain why any of them are on the list because it’s not your business. Just know that I keep that list so that I personally know which authors I don’t want to read.) You had already said that you didn’t want me or my friends to read any of your work. I would love to know who your fellow author-friends are, especially if they’re making determinations about my life that are obviously very flawed. One could say that maybe the reason that I’m so busy is that I design jewelry and am the sole caregiver to a mother with kidney failure and a father with dementia, but that would require one to actually put forth a little more effort than just reading a years-old bio on Goodreads. I don’t care that you pity me. I don’t want to have a hand-up or a hand-out from you because I don’t trust you. You have done nothing to make me think that you’ll actually help. If/when I decide to finish my books and try to get an agent and a publisher, then I want to do it on my own. P.S.: It’s Alabamian, not Alabaman. I also posted this on Goodreads:  I didn’t realize that it was consider “trolling” to have a will-not-read or an author-boycott shelf on Goodreads. Here I thought it was my way of keeping track of the books that I will not read and the authors that I will not read. Apparently a particular author who I recently added to that list decided to label it as such and accused me of giving him fake 1-star reviews. (I didn’t rate any of the books.) I really don’t get why he thinks it’s any of his business who is on my will-not-read and author-boycott lists. Whether he’s on the lists or someone else in on the list, it really isn’t his concern. Also, most authors know that it’s not the best idea to publicly balk at being on a person’s author-boycott or will-not-read list. That tends to lead to more people adding you to their lists and to weird scandals a la Kathleen Hale’s reverse Misery stunt. I never give fake reviews. I used one book to explain why I was adding him to the list. I didn’t rate the book because I haven’t read the book in whole or in part. (I’ve been nervous about rating books that I marked as will-not-finish because I don’t want to give a fake rating.) I’ve seen some authors who think that any review under 4-5 stars is fake. That’s not true. Some people just don’t like your books. People are entitled to opinions about your works. They don’t have to be positive ones. And they are entitled to share those opinions with their friends and family members…and total strangers. And a person can like some of your books and still decide to boycott you. Books by Charlaine Harris that I haven’t read are marked as will-not-read. Books by her that I have and have not read are marked as author-boycott because I chose to quit reading her books. That’s a right that I have as a reader and as a consumer. I get to decide how I spend my money and my time. If an author doesn’t like being on that list, then they probably should just avoid looking at the list. I really wish that authors who behave badly would stop pretending like they’re victims when readers say that they want nothing to do with them anymore.

Poor Richard’s Attitude




I write a lot, not as much on here as I used to, but I still write a lot. For better or worse, most of the writing tends to be on Twitter, though sometimes it is on Medium or Tumblr. Occasionally, there’s a Facebook post thrown in there. Can you digress in a first paragraph? So Twitter is a major platform for me to express myself. Sometimes I make pithy polls. Typically, the polls get between 2 and 20 votes. Lately, they’ve gotten a few more. When I responded to a person claiming that the Hamilton cast’s rebuke of Mike Pence was a vicious attack, the popularity of my pithy poll was easily attributed to Elon James retweeting it: Which is more vicious:@Sanrenkay @elonjames @maggieNYT — Janet Morris (@janersm) November 19, 2016 Last night, I stumbled across this response on Medium by Tom Steele to a post on New York prisoners being allowed (on average) 11 pads or tampons per month for use during their periods: One has t0 wonder if there is more to this story. 2.8 pads per woman per week, if I read that correctly, is 11 per month which seems like a lot. Some women would be expected to need less and it is hard to imagine many women needing more than that. I fully support providing the basic hygiene products required, like food, clothes, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, towels, tampons, etc… I responded with an explanation of why 11 is an unfathomable number of pads. I followed that up with a screenshot and a pithy poll. Raise your hand if you have ever needed more than 11 pads or tampons for a period. pic.twitter.com/fA38Oeq222 — Janet Morris (@janersm) November 30, 2016 #period #periods #livetweetyourperiod #feminism #reprohealth (please RT) During your period do/did you typically go through: — Janet Morris (@janersm) November 30, 2016 I thought the maximum number of votes would be about 20. As of this moment, there are 8,937 votes in that poll. My mentions have been filled with stories by people who have (or have had) periods of all sorts, whether they’re long, short, or regular in length; heavy, light, or medium in flow; or occur regularly or irregularly. I’ve learned about supportive friends, clueless relatives, and how many people are frustrated by how little they’ve been taught or that they know about their own bodies. I understand all of that because I’ve experienced some of it, and because I’ve seen others go through similar struggles. I’ve gone through moments where I was excited because so many people were sharing their stories1 to moments where I just wanted to throw my iPod at the wall because so many people were sharing their stories. I wanted them to feel free to share them. I love the joking. But I’m confused about how to deal with all of it. When people ask questions, I want to be able to answer them. When they say something funny, I want to be able to laugh with them. When I empathize with something they’ve been through, I want to express it. I’m worried that I’m being rude if I don’t respond. I’m also worried that all I will ever be talking about again is periods. I know it’s only been like 24 hours, and that this will die down. But this experience is just a bit mind-blowing. I worry that Mr. Steele, as annoying as I find him, will be harassed. I worry that there might be other repercussions, and I feel guilty about that. It’s a little weird when I wanted a boycott over his reaction to emotional abuse and bullying, but I don’t want him to have any personal suffering over this stuff.2 He seems like he would be the kind of guy who would laugh this sort of thing off, and maybe he will. Or maybe he’ll learn a little from it. I can hope that’s what will happen, but I will always worry about the possible negatives because that’s what I do. I worry that maybe his Christmas vacation will be spent trying to ruin my Christmas dullness. As I typed that paragraph, 34 notifications piled up on Twitter.3 This is new. This is different. This is weird. This is life with social media…and I really need to learn to stop doing my pithy polls. When Mara Wilson shared it, I fangirled out. Gayle Forman commenting about it made me fangirl a bit, too. I think I have all of her books. ↩What I truly want from both is for him to learn the facts and not promote ignorance. ↩Oy with the poodles already. ↩

Accidentally Popular





“The most important thing to know about Margaretha Zelle is that she loved men. The most crucial thing to know about her is that she did not love truth. When it was convenient, she told the truth. When it was not, or when she found the truth tedious, she invented what might be kindly called “alternative truths”—and unkindly, “lies.” For her, what was factually true never seemed as essential as what should have been true.” – Femme Fatale: Love, Lies, and The Unknown Life of Mata Hari by Pat Shipman via Tumblr Photo credit: FaceMePLS via VisualHunt / CC BY


“The problem the WRP faced in connecting pregnancy to their line of sex-discrimination was this: Even if a man could take care of the kids and the elders, and a woman could join the air force and handle the family finances, only one of them could get pregnant and give birth. RBG and her team had to convince the justices that pregnancy too was a matter of equality—or inequality—and not just something special that women indulged in, off on their own. Even more radically, RBG wanted the Supreme Court to recognize that women would never be equal if they could not control their reproductive lives, whether they wanted to be pregnant or not. That meant the right to an abortion, and it meant the right to be free of discrimination for staying pregnant.” – Notorious RBG by Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik via Tumblr Photo credit: national museum of american history via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC

“The problem the WRP faced in connecting pregnancy to their ...


“The adoring portrayal of an older woman like RBG as both fierce and knowing, points out the feminist author Rebecca Traister, is “a crucial expansion of the American imagination with regard to powerful women.” For too long, Traister says, older women have been reduced in our cultural consciousness to “nanas, bubbes” or “ballbusters, nutcrackers, and bitches.”” – Notorious RBG by Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik via Tumblr Photo credit: allaboutgeorge via VisualHunt / CC BY-ND


“He said he had occasional visions, what some might call hallucinations, but these days he tried to ignore them, a self-preservation technique schizophrenics sometimes use to deal with an illness that can be manageable, but is never curable.” – The Long Shadow of Small Ghosts by Laura Tillman via Tumblr Photo credit: miuenski via VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC-SA

via Instagram “Shortly after John’s arrest, and his diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia, he was put on several medications. He told me he was taking Prozac, for depression, Benadryl, and Risperdal, an antipsychotic. This made it hard for me to know what an unmedicated John sounded like. He said he had occasional visions, what some might call hallucinations, but these days he tried to ignore them, a self-preservation technique schizophrenics sometimes use to deal with an illness that can be manageable but is never curable. He said that the two years following the crimes, the visions were much worse, and his sincere wish was to die and join his children in heaven. “I did not get the sense that John was trying to manipulate me, but I’m not a psychiatrist.” How is it ethical or moral to execute a man with severe mental health issues? How is it ethical to put him in a prison and not a hospital setting?

The man described is on death row, which bothers me.