Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Seriously, I Did Not Pitch In For the Flowers

Pin It One thing about me that you probably don't need to know, but I am going to tell you anyway, because, hey, why stop now, is that back in college I was a certified soap crazy.

This was back in the olden days, back in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-nine, back before COMPUTERS EVEN EXISTED. (OK, fine, they existed, but JUST BARELY. The Commodore 64 was not a computer, I don't care what you say.)

My point is that soap crazies of yore did not have access to the websites and blogs and message boards and fan fiction with which the soap crazies of today so happily express their delusions. Instead we had things like pictures cut out of Soap Opera Digest, which we pasted on little index cards and filed in recipe boxes and hid under our beds, lest our roommates find the box and think we were losing touch with reality.

I, myself, was IN LOVE with Jack Deveraux from Days of Our Lives. Not Matthew Ashford, the actor, but Jack Deveraux, the character - not because he was particularly savory, but because of the unrequited love he had for Jennifer, and the angst, and the tension, and the sheer romantic drama of his storyline. I LOVED HIM. I knew he wasn't real, but I figured my fake imaginary boyfriend wasn't real either, and that didn't stop me, so what was the difference?

I had issues, you could say.

I stopped watching the show later that year, because I came home from college and got a life, with real live boys in it, who, as it turned out, were much more fun than imaginary boyfriends, and also, they existed. So that was exciting.

But the show, it has a fond place in my memory, and about once a month or so I check in on the little town of Salem (just to see what's going on, you understand) (NOT because I care) via a few very special friends on the internet who are all new and IMPROVED soap crazies who do things like post sarcastic recaps and blog about important soap crazy issues and slap up you tube clips featuring important romantic moments, not that I would ever watch anything like that, because I wouldn't. I WOULDN'T! (STOP JUDGING ME, I CAN SMELL THE JUDGMENT!)

Anyway, one day not too long ago a soap star came to an internet message board I was reading (even though I don't read internet message boards about Days of Our Lives, I DO NOT EITHER - I read NPR.org and Science.org and NationalGeographic.org and LOTS OF OTHER dot ORGs and that is IT) and her feelings were hurt because the fans on that message board were ripping on her weight. So the fans (NOT ME, THE FANS, THE CRAZY CRAZY FANS) sent her flowers at the studio, and she got them, and posted a very gracious comment. But you could tell she still thought the fans were JERKS.

And the very important lesson I took from that was: Celebrities Are Real People And They Read Internet Message Boards About Themselves, So Try To Be Nice, If You Can. (Super Obvious Life Lessons are my specialty.)

"What does that have to do with anything," you ask?

Man. You're kind of rude. I'm GETTING there. Geez.

I SWEAR, PEOPLE. I'M TRYING TO RAMBLE.

Where was I? {{Wipes imaginary spectacles, puts them back on.}} Oh yes.

Something happened in the comments yesterday that made me start thinking about a relevant corollary: Writers (Even Blog Celebrities) Are Real People Too, With Real Feelings. And if you post your opinions about their writing on the internet, there is a very real likelihood that they will read what you've written about them.

It's odd, this whole internet connectivity thing. I can sit at book club and bash a book until my head explodes and it's nothing but a waste of perfectly good adrenaline, because I'm just Sue from Podunk, Utah. But if I bash an author online, it's possible the author will read it, because now I'm Sue from Podunk, Utah with a blog and an RSS feed.

Look at the Twilight thing. I wrote about my distaste for the Twilight phenomenon in a pretty candid and opinionated way. I would never say that kind of stuff to Stephenie Meyer's FACE, but I felt perfectly comfortable writing those things on my blog because I was fairly sure she would never read it. Unfortunately, if you google "Twilight Sucks" my blog now comes up on the first page of results. Maybe "would you say it to her face" should be the new litmus test for writing about people on the internet, I don't know.

What do we owe people when we talk about them on the internet? When is it o.k. to say something about a writer and something they've written? When is it o.k. to say something about a BLOGGER and something they've written?

If I ever become truly blog famous, I will be crushed (CRUSHED) if people say bad things about me. (Don't get me wrong, it does not dissuade me from seeking for Very Great Blog Fame and Riches. I keep thinking SURELY TOMORROW I WILL BE FAMOUS, and then tomorrow comes and I am still not famous, but still, I MUST PREPARE, and one of the ways I prepare for my fame is by pondering the eventual backlash. (Yes, I not only imagine I'm famous, I imagine there is backlash from the fame. I'm nothing if not specific in my delusions.))

So what I'm wondering is - should publishing on a blog open you up to the same kind of literary critique published authors endure? Are we inviting people to critique us just by posting? What's the line between literary critique and just being rude to a fellow blogger?

What do YOU think the rules are?

I guess I should know about them in advance, since I will probably be blog famous tomorrow.

89 comments:

  1. In 1989-ish I was in love with Jack too! I used to go to a friend's house during our lunch break and we would watch about 45 minutes of the show before we had to race back to school (it was our senior year in high school).

    It is funny to me that you aspire to blog fame because I would drop dead with shock and joy if I ever got the number of comments that you do. I guess fame is relative.

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  2. The funniest part about this post is your talk of FUTURE blog fame! Hello!! Whose statistics have you been looking at, woman!!

    There are a number of blogs I don't read because, while they're hilarious, a lot of what the blogger says doesn't sit right with me. I don't think I'd ever mention it on my, or anyone elses blog. I think those things are okay to talk to real live people about (people who exist, like your actual post soap craze boyfriends), but there doesn't need to be an online record of it, now does there? Unless someone is out of line and you want to call them out. That's okay, of course, but doesn't happen often.

    If anyone ever criticized you it would almost certainly be out of jealousy, Sue. Just so you know.

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  3. I was just thinking about Soaps tonight because Susan Lucci is on Dancing With The Stars. I really cried when Jenny was blown up on the jet ski.

    About your question, I always think about the backlash of saying something that isn't that nice (although not in as much detail as you), which I'm often tempted to do. But it's just blogging people. It's not worth it to get in a cyber cat fight - unless you can do it anonymously ;-)

    No really, it's more than I care to deal with, and I would feel lousy about it afterwards.

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  4. The most useful thing I ever learned in college I learned from a last minute substitute art teacher. It was a drawing class and we had to critique one another's work. Every single day, he somehow got it into our heads that our work was just that - work - and not we ourselves.

    You did not post awful things about Meyer herself, and you were honest (and funny - let's not forget funny) about how you felt about her work, and not in a degrading or demeaning way. But it's just that - her work. Not her as a person.

    It's a little tougher for a blogger such as yourself who writes about personal things. The door should still be open to criticism, and criticism of your blog is not exactly the same as criticism of you. And folks who criticize you based solely what they know of you from your blog do not really know you - it's really still just a criticism of your work. (unfortunately...or fortunately...the same holds true for positive criticism)

    And besides, your legions of fans and groupies would silence the backlash. Bring 'em on!!!

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  5. Would that I could be as not blog famous as you are. But I second what grumpy momma said. Writing a blog for general consumption (as opposed to those written just for keeping grandma up with the kids or whatnot) does and maybe should leave us open to criticism. And provided the criticism is pertinent and referring to the post and not the writer I guess it's ok. (I wouldn't know, everyone loves my blog. Snort.)

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  6. Gosh, now I feel bad about all those mean things I've posted about you...

    But seriously, if I ran Blogland, the rule would be, "Play Nice!" The Yarn Harlot addressed this at length on her blog - she said blogging is like being in someone's living room, and if you wouldn't say what you are going to say while that person is in the living room with you at a party, then don't say it.

    But, I really liked your Twilight review. I think it was fairly good-natured, and really, the author is rolling in fame and fortune and probably does not care in the least what you wrote, you insignificant creature, you.

    So, if you just left off the phrase Twilight Sucks, I think you are all right.

    (Says the person who just wrote Wall Street Go To Hell on her blog yesterday)

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  7. How come my pretty avatar does not show up in your comments? Hmmmm?

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  8. I very recently wrote a post about Days of Our Lives. Are you copying my work? KIDDING. But I think you'll enjoy the Marlena quote I included:
    "what kind of diabolical scheme are you trying to perpetrate upon me, you wicked woman!!!"

    I was also in love with Jack AND Jennifer. Ah, the good ol' days.

    Oh! Your question? I'm pretty sure that internet=no rules.
    Sad, but true. Bloggers are fair game. Sad but true.

    But I think you're the Jennifer Aniston of blogging. People rarely rip on her. If they do, they're just jealous.

    I agree with the above comments. People will have opinions about content sometimes. But it's wrong and unfair when the judgment is about the person, rather than the work. Amen sisters.

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  9. sorry, I'm still laughing about someone's comment that a girl blew up on a jet ski. Wow, apparently I have missed out on some quality programming. Seriously, though, the other day in someone else's blog (please forgive me that I did read another person's post), she was ranting -- yes, um there might be a theme about the blogs I visit -- and then I saw an anonymous comment that said, "just face it, everyone annoys you." And something about it was a little bit biting, and maybe personal, and yet maybe truth-revealing. And it made me think (yep, still happens sometimes), "hmmm.... I guess blogging is a little bit like motherhood: be prepared to get feedback you weren't asking for and to learn things about yourself you weren't expecting." So that's my analysis.

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  10. alice6:45 AM

    You're lovely, Sue. And do you know how many hits I get from you? Seriously, you must be reaching blogebrity (is that a word?) status by now...

    I can't weigh in on what criticism is appropriate because I'm the super-sensitive one who weeps if people don't use enough exclamation points to describe me. All I can say is, write as if you know that the subject is reading. Don't write anything you wouldn't say to someone's face.

    (And when you link to an article in a sex website, maybe include a disclaimer...)

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  11. Coming out of the closet here and actually posting to you instead of just reading!
    Yesterday, I posted a really weird posting on my blog because I thought it was funny. But the first thing I did was email my best friend and ask if it was too weird, because heaven forbid if someone that I never met, and would never meet in the future thought me as weird! Why would I care? Because I guess nobody likes to get their feelings hurt. As suburbancorrespondent says, we should all play nice together.

    That said, we should also remember that critisism is nothing more than an opinion. Whether or not someone likes a book or movie or blog - it's just their personal opinion. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Nice to meet you, by the way.

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  12. Hi Sue! I love your blog. You are so funny. I could never write funny things like you do. Maybe you could teach a class some where like "How to have the funniest blog ever 101", or "How to take the internet by storm through funny blogging 201"? I would be the first one there! (Sorry, that sounded kind of stalkerish.)

    As far as comments...I try to follow the golden rule but other people think that they are all natural born critic's. You put it out there and then they think that they can critic it. I guess it just comes with your fame. You can't please all of the people all of the time!

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  13. While I do think posting on a blog we open ourselves up to being critiqued, I think there is way to word criticism without crushing another person. That you can disagree with their ideas, opinions or how they've expressed them and do so in a civilized way.

    But there seem to be those who forget there is a person on the other side. And it doesn't matter if it's in print on the internet or spoken out loud, you can feel a change. It makes you cringe.

    And if by chance you do happen to meet that blogger face to face - why would want to cringe?

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  14. I love Days of Our Lives! I don't watch it anymore, but I still love it! And I love that even though I don't watch it I can catch an episode like once every 2 years and the plots are THE SAME!

    And if you go to NBC.com they have a family tree for Days and it is HILARIOUS!

    As for the rules...I think they should be the same as in real life (and having people I know in real life read my blog helps me keep my rants in check). But I know there are a LOT of people that use the anonymity of the internet to be mean. Sad!

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  15. I think that if you blog, you have to be prepared for some ugliness. You're out there, your stuff is out there, and other people are out there, too. I mean, it would be nice if everybody else was nice, but people are jerks. I've had some really awful things said about me, my writing, and my mothering ability, including going so far as to suggest I might be unfit. Also, I've gotten hate mail, and other mail calling me to repentence. It bothers me, but I've come to realize that it's part of the territory. Sometimes that knowledge makes me want to quit blogging, but then I realize I'm basically a narcissist, and go back to my addiction.

    And if you write a novel? Yowza, you are totally fair game. Stephenie Meyer isn't your friend, you don't owe it to her to like her book. I suppose you owe it to her not to call her ugly and fat (and please don't interpret this as ME saying she's ugly and fat, because I've never met the woman), but you don't owe it to her to pull punches about what you think of her writing. She put it out there--she has to take what she gets.

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  16. I think that commenting is like making conversation; only write what you would say to someone's face. It's your blog, therefore you can say what you want. If I don't like what you have to say, then I don't have to read it. I certainly wouldn't leave a mean comment In essence, I am a guest in your house and I'm going to behave myself.

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  17. I'm never going to admit that I was totally into One Life to Live, General Hospital, and All My Children (in that order) because I wasn't. And that when I am out the check out line I secretly read all the headlines on the ABC soap's book, and my twitchy fingers are secretly reaching to pick it up & caress it slowly as Luke would Laura's face....because I don't do that either.

    I think it's okay to critique work, but why can't people say it in a helpful, positive way? Just saying, 'that sucks' isn't helpful to anyone. Personal attacks online are ridiculous and destructive. There's no place for them anywhere - online or off.

    But seriously, good luck with your blog famousivity. You got 124 comments the other day - I know, I was #124, you rock!

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  18. I agree with the comment above. I think that if a published author puts something out in the world, for profit, then as a professional she is subject to criticism.

    Blogs are so different, people are putting a little bit of their life out there. I think blogs like Huff Post, and other news outlet blogs are subject to criticism because they have a different purpose and a different objective.

    On the other hand, it's a form of flattery...your worth writing about!

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  19. I can't watch soaps anymore because all the people who were my age when I watched it are all becoming grandparents. Babies having babies. It's all so depressing.

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  20. I think there is a big difference between criticizing someones made up story (like Twilight) and criticizing who someone is. When we write in a blog we are opening our personal life up and sharing with the world. I think people need to be a little more careful with their criticism.

    Some would say that we are fair game since we put it out there for public consumption, but that still doesn't make it right.

    I'm sure that blog fame is just around the corner for you, you are hysterical!

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  21. there have been times I have wanted to make a rant post about something that happened in my life. This is my blog about my life after all, but I didn't because I knew for a fact that person read my blog, they would know it was about them and I didn't want to hurt their feelings.

    So I guess I feel the same way about comments, we should all be nice. It's one thing to dislike a book or content, it's another to rip a person to shreds.

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  22. My cousin is a fairly famous blogger, and so I eagerly read her blog post about my wedding, only to find out SHE'D MADE FUN OF IT to the thousands of bloggers read her every day.

    After that I would have said that we shouldn't write anything that we wouldn't say to someone in person...except I haven't told her to her face how much it hurt me. That would break the code of our dysfunctional family, I suppose.

    I'm not sure if we should critique blogs the way we do books. They don't seem like the same thing to me.
    angelawd: the writer gets the last word

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  23. I just had a long post in my head yesterday about this, but I was in the car and my computer sits upon my desk at home... ANy way... The same standards of life apply to blogging: be nice. be kind. keep rude comments to yourself and be prepared to feel like an ass if you bash someone (even offhandedly...)

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  24. I agree with some previous statements that Meyer is putting her work out there for profit. If you don't agree with her work thats okay to write about it.

    you keep doing what you are doing. because thats why everyone loves you. you are who you are. and you might get people who are uncomfortable with you putting it all out there because they don't know how to do that themselves. but I think those people are few and far between. every one else all millions that read your blog love and appreciate it.

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  25. Maybe "would you say this to her face" should be the new litmus test for talking about other people, whether blogging or leaning over the neighbor's fence.

    Great post with good thoughts.

    I think it's fine to express an honest opinion online about someone's writing - whether it be style or topic. However, one hurts fewer feelings and makes fewer enemies if one can be respectful and kind while doing it. Rather than state, "It was purely awful!", I'd probably choose to say, "I didn't enjoy that particular post all that much, but to each his own."

    But me - I'm more likely to say nothing if I don't like a blog post. So if I don't comment on one of your posts, you'll know how I feel!

    Kid. I kid!

    This post was another clever, entertaining post with a POINT. I love that kind.

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  26. First, there is nothing wrong with what you wrote about Twilight. You did not attack the author as a person; you criticized her work. Niceness does not obligate you to only speak positively about every book ever written.If you think it sucks, you can say so.

    Occasionally people have written nasty things about me. I'm okay with it, as long as they don't wander into creepy, threatening, stalker territory. If the criticism is accurate, I haven't much business complaining, and if it's not accurate, I can dismiss it as the opinion of a crank. That's all part of writing publicly.

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  27. I feel there's a difference in criticizing someone's book, and its story line, and criticizing someone's weight, which is a personal issue. Also, since blogging is by definition very personal (at least our navel gazing sort!), criticism should be carefully done. We don't need to be mealy-mouthed, but we don't need to be rude either. Common sense and manners, people, that's all I'm saying.

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  28. I agree with what a few other people said so far. Basically, you can disagree with someone's opinion or dislike their work, but don't make it about them. Specifically, don't make it about that person's intelligence, faith, or morals. I got myself into a real mess recently with a too candid post on politics and had people saying all kinds of insulting stuff about my faith and intelligence that was inappropriate-- in my view.

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  29. I (often) have imaginary conversations where I totally tell people what I REALLY think of them, or envision posting anonymous comments on friends' blogs that give my ACTUAL opinion, but then I imagine how something like that could totally destroy someone. So I try to play nice.

    The whole "sticks and stones" thing is totally wrong.

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  31. First off let me get past me judging you for watching soaps and reading boards about said soaps....

    Okay, now I can move on...

    I think if you go public with anything on the internet you run the risk of having to deal with mean people who are going to say mean things. Having a thick skin helps in this situation.

    I live by the rule "If you can't say something nice. Keep your mouth shut and your hands off of the keyboard."

    That said. If someone posts something asking for Constructive criticism then I might say something but it would be constructive. At least in my mind.

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  32. Sue -when I see "naval gazing at its finest" as a link on just about every random blog I ever click on -I totally thing think that counts as famous.

    When people who adore you and your writing and check everyday for a new post -and are complete stranger to you- (like me) I think that could qualify as famous.

    But I really think that the line, when people are allowed to give their honest opinions that might sway negatively, is dawn when you have a book sitting on the shelf at Boarders or Barns and Noble.
    Or when you publish a corny vampire romance that never, never ends...

    (I did like The Host, by the way)

    BUT I think some negative comments are way, WAY out of line. Like what happened to MomBabe. Personal assaults are just wrong.

    BUT THEN AGAIN...

    Considering you are famous...

    there might be different rules for famous people.
    I wouldn't know. (YET!)

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  33. I often write imaginary posts; not mean ones, but very candid ones. About people I know. Or my in-laws. Or what I'm struggling with right now. And then I remember that although all of these are appropriate topics for me to talk about with my husband, but I would die of embarrasment if random person, or inlaw or whomever happened to get on and read it. So I always imagine that whatever I read with be read by whomever I'm writing about. Knowing the Internet, this is probably true, even. (I'm 95% sure that an ex boyfriend of mine reads my blog because I mentioned him once, and I think he looked himself up and now reads it - according to my analytics. So I always think to myself, "What would XXX think if I said this about him (because sometimes I like to tell stories from my past.)"

    I think this still applies to writing official critiques, like about Twilight. I mean that you would never want to say, "How could Stephanie have ever even thought up this drivel? She must be insane!!!" sort of stuff (which you didn't write, of course), and instead focus on legitamate issues you had with the book, "Edward was creepy, etc." Which you did. I think. At least, I remember liking your critique.

    Anyway, I know lots of people have already posted basically what I've said, but I wanted to post so that you'd get lots of comments and feel special and famous, because you already are (although of course it's all relative. I don't think we can ever feel too famous, just like it's hard to feel like we have too much money).

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  34. I don't know if someone said this already.. but, I think you will always be hurting someone's feelings if you are saying anything even remotly negative about their blog/writing.

    It's up to those people to build a tough skin. But I don't have one so don't say anything mean about me, okay?

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  35. Ideally, we should all play nice. giving opinions on a subject is fine. Personal attacks are out of line. The only blog I read with personaly attacks is "Feminist Mormon Housewives." Maybe just because EVERY comment is someone's personal opinion about a sensitive subject. But they are BRUTAL over there.

    Anyway.

    We love you, Sue. YOU ARE STINKIN' HILARIOUS. You are quite famous, though unfortunately fame and fortune do not always go hand in hand in the blogosphere. Might I suggest copying "Seriously, So Blessed?" She seems to be doing quite well.

    I jest. Copying is naughty. And I think you are MUCH funnier than her. Seriously. I'm considering taking her off my blogroll.

    Oh, goodness. I'm not being nice, am I? Whoops. Hope she doesn't see this. It's nothing personal. (I think I'm a bit cynical this morning. Sorry. The kids have the nerve to fight while I'm trying to blog.)

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  36. In 1989 I had one step above the imaginary girlfriend--a long distance girlfriend, one who I saw a sum total of 3 times in my life but wrote about 8 million letters to and talked to on the phone as often as my allowance would let me. Dark Days, those were.

    Literary criticism, political criticism, blog-rant criticism--it's all good as long as what is criticized is the style, the content, the tone, etc but NOT the person behind it.

    I could use some criticism on my posts. the only comments I ever get are good ones, which really doesn't help me improve the writing. Perhaps the writing is so bad people view it as beyond help...

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  37. I think the anonymity(?) of the internet makes some people think it's okay to act in ways they wouldn't act in society. Which is unfortunate. But I think if you are posting ideas on the internet, you have to accept the fact that not everybody is going to agree with your opinions.

    Stephenie Meyer talks about her final book on her website...she is aware that not everybody likes her stories, but she didn't write them for everybody, she wrote them for herself.

    I think that's the main idea...we need to write for ourselves, and if other people don't like it, they shouldn't read our blog (Except we really want them to read our blog, so we can be blog famous...)

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  38. I think that's what's wrong with having anonymous comments open. People can put whatever the want without the fear that you know it was them.
    However, on your blog, you have a name, so it's okay if you post things about other people. At least, I think so. It's YOUR opinion. You can have an opinion. And if I were to meet Stephenie Meyer, I would say, great books--I read them all--but what the hell were you thinking when you thought up Renesmee?

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  39. I thought you were blog famous.

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  40. I think if you're going to put yourself out there with no real control over who is perusing your blog, you just have to expect that, sooner or later, you're going to get burned.

    Is it fair, or nice, or right? Probably not.

    Long live Days of Our Lives!

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  41. I actually offended an author with my Amazon critique. It wasn't for a popular book or anything interesting, but a few weeks later there was a scathing reply to my 3 star reivew. Yikes! Made me realize the internet is not, like you said, your comfy cozy hometown bookclub. The author can read you bad mouthing her book. Scary.

    We've all had the YOU SUCK comments left on our blog. (I just had one, actually.) While they make you mad and want to tear out handfuls of the moron's hair--they are still good to hear. Constructive critism (and sometimes really rude critiques) help you grow.

    Now I'm dying to know which Days star is getting plump...I haven't seen it in awhile.

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  42. Seriously people, never tell me I suck. Not only because it would not take all that much to convince me, but also because then you will have to read seventeen follow-up posts all about my FEELINGS about that.

    It would... ...not be entertaining.

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  43. So... I am legitimately not blog-famous... but I did a half-arsed review of a book on my blog without saying the author's name (the post was not about the book, I just talked about the book in the post).

    Then the author showed up and commented on my pathetic post.

    Talk about feeling TERRIBLE. I didn't even say his NAME, and he found me. And replied to the aforementioned sortakinda review.

    So, yeah, I am now pretending like I'm in everyone's living room when I post.

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  44. Okay, FIRST of all, when you were talking about "soap crazies" I thought you were talking about actual SOAP. And I was all, wuh?

    Second. Mean people suck and I don't care how much you hate me, you don't have to come to my site and leave your mean comment on my blog. If you hate me, do it in silence. That is all.

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  45. P. to the S. You know you don't really suck. Not even in the "well sometimes she kinda sucks but mostly she's really AWESOME." because you never suck, not even a little bit. Nope, no suckage here. So stop worrying about it. Because you totally rock. And you have pretty hair. I think. Not that I've ever seen you, it's just that the made-up Sue in my head has such pretty hair that I'm assuming it has somehow manifested itself in the real life version......

    and now that I've written an entire novel dealing with nothing in particular, I'm gonna take off.

    P.P.S. Just because I know you like them !!!!♥♥♥♥!!!!!♥!♥!♥!♥!

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  46. Anonymous12:05 PM

    All of you Jack Deveraux lovers can watch the golden days of the Jack & Jennifer love story here whenever you want:

    http://thedeverauxclan.yuku.com/forums/66/t/WATB-Video-Library.html

    You're welcome, and have a nice day!

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  47. Um-I think that bloggers should be critiqued mostly because I don't think I could handle the negativity. I'm self-centered like that.

    Speaking of which-I'm very happy to realize I'm not the only one who *doesn't* watch youtube videos of TV romantic moments and the like.

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  48. Apparently I left off an important word: I think bloggers should NOT be critiqued. My bad. Please don't judge.

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  49. You are already famous, silly.

    If you write a book, prepare to have your book critiqued. Period.

    If you write a blog, you leave yourself open to different sorts of criticism. Rules would be great, but I doubt they would be enforced. Hopefully meanies click away, but who knows?

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  50. Anytime I shoot my mouth off on the internet it leads to trouble. Like an author finding a review that I hated so much that I wrote "by the end of the book you wish everyone was dead."

    Or a restaurant thinking I said they stunk, when that wasn't what happened at all. That was a huge mess and took awhile to clean up.

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  51. dude
    i was just thinking today "should i watch days" then i thought "no they're all old people on there now. where are the jack and jennifers?"
    loved J&J!!!

    love you!!


    and twilight did suck. and if steph reads what you wrote i think her ba-millions will help her feel better. just like yours will you when you're ubber famous.

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  52. Now I just want to google Twilight Sucks and see what comes up.
    I like to search for things I've written about sometimes, and see if my blog shows up.
    Is that weird?
    I think being bashed comes with being famous. It's just one of the prices people pay for choosing to live that life.
    But, I agree, we should be nice...in public.

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  53. Well, first I think we all have to face the fact that we write blogs for one reason: so people will think we're funny or smart and say nice things about us. It's true. So those who criticize another's blog (except for heated discussion ones like politics or abortion or Twilight) are defeating the purpose of blogging, I think.

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  54. There's a special place for those that violate the blogging code of honor.
    Thumper said it best, and I might be paraphrasing here:
    If you can't type somethin' nice, don't type nothin' at all.

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  55. I have no idea what the rules would be, other than if you weren't invited to a blog then you should probably be nice while you're there--kinda like if you've come to a person's home. You don't normally invite yourself to someone's house and then insult them there, do you? Probably not.

    I recall the wedding of Jack and Jennifer (you recall when he couldn't talk and we were all so worried that he wouldn't be able to say "I do"?). My mom and I were visiting an ill woman in the hospital and I made them turn the channel in her room so we oculd watch the wedding. Yeah. I'm such a sweetheart.

    And THEN they named their daughter Abigail and it was at that point that I knew my name would no longer be somewhat unique in any way. Growing up the only Abigail I'd ever met suddenly changed to being one of millions. It was a sad day for me.

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  56. Blog publishing and/or famous blogger blah-blah-blah....

    Days of Our Lives is the real issue here!

    I used to watch or record and watch FAITHFULLY for years...my faves? Patch and Kayla, Pete and Melissa, Bo and Hope.
    But I had to quit when Marlena became the devil.
    That was when my intelligence became insulted (and not a moment before)!
    I'll admit, I will turn it on once in a blue moon...just to see if anything has changed, the answer is always "No. No it has not."

    I already know you are blog famous. For a fact.

    The Golden Rule applies everywhere.

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  57. My biggest issue is when people post mean comments as ANONYMOUS. If you are going to state your opinion (especially if it condradicts mine ;)) then AT LEAST have the courage to say it without hiding!

    I don't mind a good discussion either--in fact I LOVE great discussions--but keep it nice and respectful.

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  58. The internet is just another venue to showcase my own thoughtlessness. I have actually managed to offend people just by typing out some nonsense on my little blog. You are right I'll bet Mrs. Meyer has read what you wrote - whilst google-ing herself. Having said that I beg you NOT to stop saying what you want to say. Do not censor anything because I am loving every minute (or word rather). And I pledge my allegiance to read your blog until your are famous or infamous and beyond.

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  59. Singing/mumbling a sad little song about being late to the party... I think it's okay to disagree with people's points-of-view and say so but not do it in a way that rips out their guts and tap dances on them. I'm a big fan of civility so if I am going to rip on something mercilessly, I obscure its identity. But actually, I never do that because I'm way super nice.

    Oops. Nope, I'm totally lying. I rip. I just don't name names. But I don't rip often and I say way more nice stuff and I totally name that stuff.

    That's how I roll.

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  60. I think any form of publicity whether it be writing, blogging, acting, singing etc. is due it's own extent of criticism and we as writers/bloggers/actor/musicians/etc. are required to suck it up as part of the price of fame. (Whether "famous" or not.) I personally, love when people say what they are thinking, as long as they say it tactfully. I'd rather you tell me my writing needs some work than lie to my face and tell me I'm an excellent writer and you love my work.
    BTW, just found your site and I love it!

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  61. Hi. My name is Jillene. I was told about this post by Kristina (Pulsipher Predilictions). I made a post today about a childrens show called Yo Gabba Gabba. I merely mentioned that it drives me crazy BUT I still let my daughter watch it because it is her fav. show. This anonymous commentor went to town on me and then in turn went to town on my friend Mary.

    I think we all have a right to our own opinion. It's called FREE AGENCY. There is my 2 cents about this subject.

    On the Days thing--I started watching when I was in 6th grade but like b. I stopped when Marlena became the devil. I will check in now and again--they are starting to bring back some of the oldies but goodies like Patch and Kayla.

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  62. I got a mean anonymous comment JUST THIS EVENING and I am totally obsessing about it! The person called me a "jealous bitch", albeit on a post which certainly could be construed as both jealous and bitchy. I was being REALLY harsh about a VERY popular book - and for me, that's where the dividing line is, I guess. If a book is a phenomenal best seller, the author may dry her tears over my critisisms into a big pile of adoring fans and millions of dollars. Me ANONYMOUSLY writing mean things about another blogger (well, writing mean things abotu a blogger at ALL, but especially anonymously), though, would just make me a jerk.

    And yes, I totally flinch whenever I see an anonymous comment come in - but if I turned off that, real life people who read my blog couldn't comment. So some people are mean. Oh well.

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  63. DOOL's former lover7:07 PM

    Dear Anonymous who posted the link for the golden days of Days,

    Do you know of a link where I (or "someone") could watch the old Bo and Hope, Patch and Kayla, Shane and Kimberly, Liz and Niel and Tony and Anna menage a quad (or whatever)? Not that I would ever go there....but some of sue's readers might.
    fondly,
    me

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  64. That's a great question and was on the fore-front of my mind for 2 minutes when someone left a "hateful" comment on my blog (over a restaurant review OF ALL THINGS).

    I think... ... I ain't got nothing. Still, it's a great question.

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  65. adhis, I had to check out what you were talking about. That was an fabulous comment Parker made. Fabulously so absurd and over the top, it was entertaining! My favorite part was not being good enough if your last name isn't on the Mayflower roster. Doesn't get much better than that.

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  66. I'm with the rest of them--blog famous--hello?! Who else gets like 80 comments on every post?

    Back to your post--I was puzzled when you started talking about soap crazies. Soapmaking is a hobby of mine (I'll give you a bar next time I see you) and I was sitting here wondering how we soapers had gotten such a bad reputation. I guess you have to be a little crazy to have a hobby that involves ingredients that can blow up your house, but still...

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  67. I think you have to be a little crazy to have a hobby where you have to CLEAN UP after making SOAP.

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  68. I think you must be pretty famous if I always have to decide whether to take a half an hour to read all the comments first, (and then have nothing left to say,) or just comment away regardless. I'm going for the comment-away approach this time.

    I once posted a critical review of a movie produced by locals, and though probably only a few people have ever seen my negative review, my stats tell me that once in a while someone finds my review when Googling the movie, and I cringe a little, since it could be someone affiliated with the movie doing the searching. I probably even know some of the people who made the movie, through a few degrees of separation. (Oh, well. The movie really was pretty lame. And what does my opinion matter, anyway?)

    There's a certain famous blogger -- maybe I should say THE famous blogger -- who, although she always has her avid defenders, I think does open herself up for public criticism because she opens the door on certain topics, and because she can be so rabid in her own criticism of others. I've many times been tempted to leave snarky comments on her blog -- but I always stop myself, because, a) to do so would be to publicly reveal that I read the blog, and b) as all the other fans/commenters would be quick to tell me, I don't have to read the blog anyway if it annoys me so much. (What can I say, I'm attracted to train wrecks? But also, she's a fabulous and funny writer when she isn't writing on topics about which she's (pardon my French) an idjit.) (None of the above is talking about YOU, although you are IMO as funny as she is.)

    I did (watch out for convoluted vagueness to follow, not to mention pursuit of further tangents,) once leave an anonymous comment on the blog of someone I'd linked to from the above blog, and who, based on his blog, I had decided was really quite a jerk, but I did it in such a witty way that he actually conceded, in a response, that while my criticism was cowardly and all wrong (of course, in his view,) that if you want to take someone down, that was a clever and effective way to do it. It was a weird little moment of cowardly glory for me. But I think if I had it to do over, next time I would just click away from the jerk-ish blog. Maybe. I hope.

    Getting back on topic, (and here I'm probably going to retread all the comments I didn't read,) I do think that people who create works meant for consumption by the public (including bloggers) do open themselves up to public opinion. At the same time, I do deplore the prevailing tone of snarkiness or even cruelty on the internet (and in public discourse in general,) and wish our society in general would keep a more civil tongue in their heads (or on their fingertips,in this context.) I do really try to stay away from anything that starts to feel mean (even if I do think of great lines of attack towards certain aforementioned bloggers.) But it's a fine line, and sometimes I really enjoy a strongly-expressed opinion, too (as long as it's in agreement with mine.)

    Oh, did you say you wanted a full-length opinion essay in your comments? You're welcome!

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  69. Shoulda read the other comments first. :) Lots of wisdom there.

    I was another one who at first thought you were talking about crazy soap-making hobbyists. Adhis' last comment is the funniest. -- kinda like the one that makes fun of quilters for cutting up fabric into little pieces only to stitch it all together again.

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  70. Okay, I have to comment again.

    I've gotten into debates with people about comments. I've even had to finally close them down because they've just gotten that vicious. For the most part, I just let it all play out. If you disagree with me, GREAT! We don't have to hold hands and sing kumbaya. Different opinions are great! That's what makes the world go round! And I appreciate your view. Honestly, it opens up my eyes and makes me see things differently.

    BUT.

    When instead of disagreeing with what I say, or what I feel, and you attack me personally? I will be offended. I will be mad. I will delete your comment.

    Just because I have a public blog. and I choose to share my thoughts, it doesn't give you the right to rip me a new one. Especially when what you're saying has NOTHING to do with ANYTHING I've written. I don't get it.

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  71. Haaaaaaaaaa! I totally loved DOOL when I was younger. In fact, I watch part of yesterday's episode (it's been about 6 months since I last checked in). You are totally awesome!

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  72. Anonymous12:26 PM

    you can bash anyone you wish if you ask me, but PLEASE, say one nice thing about your dog, or give it to someone who will love it.

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  73. Huh. That's an odd request.

    I don't have anything nice to say about the dog, but I WILL tell you that after he bit my daughter we sent him to the shelter, where after the mandatory ten day quarantine, they adopted him out to a kid-free couple who was thrilled to get a free pedigreed dog. So there ya go.

    We are PERMANENTLY petless.

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  74. I'm an ABC fan.

    I agree with Jen on the Edge. Your blog, your place. If someone doesn't like what you have to say, then quit reading. And then to leave an anonymous comment? Come on! Own up to your insult.

    Keep it coming Sue. I like what you write.

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  75. I have never been in love with a soap opera character, but who hasn't been in love with a television character here or there? Let's see, for me there's been Zack Morris, Jess Mariano, Elliot Stabler (I love a man who would not hesitate to lay someone out in defense of his woman or an innocent child), Jim Halpert... I'll stop there to avoid revealing my true pathetic-ness.

    And, uh, you ARE blog famous. People talk about your blog in real life- people who have never met you.

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  76. I don't know how I stumbled on your blog... but the fact that you can get 75 *gasp* comments on one comment makes me think you are already famous! I love the things that you right about. Thanks for the candid thinking on ideas that everyone should think about!!!

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  77. Sorry this has nothing to do with your smelly blog.

    I just wanted to thank you for keeping the blinds open and turning on the closed captioning last night during Project Runway, I really appreciate it.

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  78. I've had people blog about what I said/did in real life--not in nice way. That's definitely out of bounds.

    A blog is public but I agree it's like inviting someone to your living room. When you're reading a blog you're that person's guest and should act like one. You can sure disagree--in a tactful and loving way.

    That's why it's lame when people complain about a blog being too positive or pollyanna or whatever. Sure, sh*t happens, but who wants to air it in public?

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  79. I suppose that in putting your words and thoughts out there, you are leaving yourself open to comments and criticism. Whether you pay attention to it is your own thing. I guess. I dunno.

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  80. I feel like I need to leave a comment about having a thick skin, etc, but what I really want to talk about is this: how did those Days fans sign the card? "Love, the fans who think you're fat" ? Maybe that's why she still thinks they're jerks.

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  81. I can't read all those comments, so maybe, well surely, someone else said this, but here goes. I think that a blog is your OWN opinion, and seeing as I am one of the many that got C's in Highschool on an OPINION paper b/c the teacher didn't agree with MY OPINION, I don't think it is right to bash someone for their blog. technically they aren't getting paid, that much, and it isn't like a job, well even dooce, we shouldn't bash HER as a person, just b/c we don't agree with something she says! Our blogs are just that OURS! We can say what we want, and should be able to do so without fear of someone being mean or a jerk to us because of it! say what you will about me behind my back, but dont say it to my FACE!

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  82. I AM STEPHANIE MEYER. How could you SAY those things about me?! How could you DO this to me?! How?! Did I not DAZZLE you?! Am I not SPARKLY enough for you?

    You have hurt my feelings. I feel like living in constant rain and dreariness. I am moving to Forks.

    (bwahahaha)

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  83. I hope you do become famous, because your writing is so stinking hilarious, that it should be published and available for all to read and learn from your witty funny-isms.

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  84. Dang. Just when I was loving your blog I happened upon this post. Total GH fan. Don't think we can be friends anymore. Oh. Wait. We were never really friends.

    But I guess I still love your blog.

    Sincerely, your new fan,

    Danielle

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  85. Oh, and I agree with everyone else. You're already blog famous. How else do you account for dozens of total strangers every day waiting on pins and needles for you to post something? I feel famous just linking your blog on my own for criminey's sake.

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  86. yes, the answer to your very long winded question is, YES. If you blog and put stuff out there, people will read it even people that don't know you or your sensitive heart or the way you might be just kidding about something, anyway all they can do is take what you write at face value and like the rest of the world they judge it. (Whew, long sentence) So don't get upset, do what I do, In my imaginary world I think of them all as uneducated dolts that wouldn't know a well written blog if it bit them on the nose. For what it's worth I find you entertaining.
    Roxanne

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  87. I try to follow Thumppers fathers rule from Bambi. "Thumper, what did your father tell you?" from mom rabbit when Thumper was teasing Bambi. His response-"If you can't say nothin' nice, don't say nothin' at all."

    I watch too many old disney movies?

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  88. Who didn't love jack? Granted I was 7 or 8 at the time but I used to watch Days of our lives with my baby sitter and then in secret by myself... shhh don't tell..... Evil Stephano!

    I hope Stephanie Meyer doesn't hate you too much... That might be bad... she knows vampires.

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