Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Graham and Jillian by Cesiah Asturias

Isn't this wonderful? Cesiah Asturias drew this. She's also done art of my other Khamsin warriors, which I plan to post in the future.

I'm so much in admiration of artists. And this rendition of one of my favorite couples from THE PANTHER AND THE PYRAMID is right on target. Thanks so much, Cesiah!

Family issues still keeping me on tetherhooks, but things have settled a little. We passed by a huge hurdle with the family member's surgery, so that is a big blessing. Now it's wait and see. Still stressful, but it's teaching me to take one day at a time.

Sometimes that's all you can do.

Today I mailed out a proposal to my HQ editor, the proposal for The Shadow Wolf. I'm proud of myself for finishing this in the midst of all the drama in my life, and even prouder in how I revised this story. I read it over last night and said, "Oh wow!" I really like it and I'm crossing my fingers my editor does as well. There's a touch more horror/suspense in it than the last Nocturne, and I think it will be fun to write the full.

I also asked for a major deadline extension on that book. I realized how badly I needed one after last week. My editor is great, and fully understands, which is wonderful. I have two short projects due by August, and that's going to keep me busy all summer.

In the meantime, I'm on Facebook, finally. I capitulated, when a friend told me others I know are organizing a reunion. So I joined. It's funny, this whole social networking thing. I joined with the intention of keeping up with my "real" friends and now I have "social networking" friends. The viral marketing/technology arena makes me wonder, sometimes. I'm fascinated by the internet and all the wonderful possibilities that open up for people. I love connecting with people across the world with just an email or a page on a social networking site.

At the same time, I'm very much aware of the hazards of the internet; flame wars, the cattiness and cruelty that can arise when people aren't accountable for what they say. I'm thinking of that poor teenager who killed herself after her ex-boyfriend sent her nude photos to others. She'd "sexted" him the photos of herself, and after they broke up, he sent them to other girls, who called her a whore and a slut.

I read some stuff where people were actually blaming the victim. Come on, people. She was in a relationship with a guy. She trusted this guy. The guy broke her trust and it had devastating consequences.

There should be some accountability and responsibility for such behavior.

I'm not in favor of the "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all" school because that's restricting free thought and freedom of expression. But where do you draw the line?

Let's use the example I run into as an author of romance novels. Reviews, such as those on Amazon, can make me wince, but I shrug them off. Unless they're vindictive or personally attacking me, I think even negative reviews are good. Freedom of expression. Readers should be able to say what they think about a book (I just wish they wouldn't post spoilers. ouch).

The internet has opened up a wonderful medium of expression for readers. They can discuss books, find new authors they like, talk about their likes and dislikes, etc. Connect with other readers, and the authors they like as well.

At the same time, if you post something on the internet, either on a blog or Twitter or Facebook or Myspace or Amazon or anywhere that is a personal, vicious attack, then wth??? What's your purpose? The problem with communication over the internet is that it's too easy. You can couch yourself in safe anonymity if you wish, and remain free from accountability even if you use your real name. You don't have to take responsibility for your actions because there are no consequences, other than being lambasted online or shunned.

It's not like face to face communication or being in that person's presence.

In face to face communication, you can see expressions, hand gestures, and hear tones that can be key in helping to discern what someone else is expressing. You can't do that in email or on the internet, which can be a dangerous thing.

I wish more people, before they posted, would really ask themselves, "What's the purpose of this comment/observation? Am I doing this to make a valid point that would serve a real purpose, or am I just blowing smoke up someone's butt or dancing around to get attention?"

Maybe if people thought before they spoke/wrote, there would be less nastiness and horrible consequences like that poor girl's suicide.


Mary Ricksen said...

Bonnie you are such a good soul. Your heart is so big and you are so talented. What a pleasure to know you!
Best of luck with the new series. Can't wait!

Gillian Layne said...

Bonnie, I've been sending friends your way on Facebook. I hope you enjoy your time there! I am sporadic about visiting, but I like the reminders posted when someone is blogging there.

Bonnie Vanak said...

Thanks Mary!

Thanks Gillian, for sending friends my way on Facebook. It is fun!