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Today, it’s less than two weeks until All the Ugly and Wonderful Things releases into the wild. In the vernacular of my youth, I’m pretty stoked.

I am also starting to fill up my dance card with a lot of events. As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve got events at four Kansas bookstores in the week after the book’s release. More details here.

There are also two giveaways currently in effect. One on Goodreads and the other on Go Fug Yourself. (Please note I pulled the link for that by Googling Go Fug Yourself Bryn Greenwood. Yep.)

So while I’m totally open to ideas about what I should talk about at these events, I’m not very nervous about them. I’ve done a lot of public speaking, much of it involving talking to giggling teenagers about sex. Far more unnerving is the fact that I’ve also got two television appearances scheduled. I used to do some TV spots when I worked for Planned Parenthood, and a few times I made quick talking head appearances when the real PR person wasn’t available. I’ve never actually been asked to talk about my own personal shit on TV, though. Still, I was okay until I read my refresher on TV appearances and was reminded that one should never wear black, white, red, or patterns on television. My closet:

Black like my soul

So, that’s black, black and white, red, black, leopard print, black, and a blue muumuu. After I stared this down for ten minutes, I started to wish that I were going to appear on a German naked newscast. I’m not, though, so pinky swear that I will be on TV, wearing something that isn’t black, white, red, or patterned.

Of course, as soon as I ventured into the world to shop for clothes, these are the things that jumped out at me:

Awww yeah. I love shopping at thrift stores, but aside from reassuring myself that the world is full of truly fantastic prints, I didn’t find anything. Guess that means I’ll have to break the old admonition about avoiding any activity that requires one to buy new clothes.

One thing I do know I’ll be wearing for at least some of these events: these super fantastic Fluevogs.

Fluevog Odettes

 

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Like a lot of people, I have an alter ego on the internet.  I have another blog and a whole other identity which is sorta-secret.  Recently on that blog, I posted about an issue that tends to rouse people’s passions.  Not surprisingly, I got a slew of anonymous comments that were self-righteous, unfriendly, and downright annoying.  I decided I didn’t want the drama, so I blocked a few people from posting.  When that didn’t do the trick, I even deleted a few comments.

It was hard to do.  I felt uneasy about deleting comments, because I believe in dialog.  That said, none of those comments felt like dialog, especially the one from a particularly persistent stalker, who called me an “not a big believer in free speech” and a “fascist,” after I blocked her.  You see why it felt a bit odd deleting that comment?

Personal space

Personal space

As my finger hovered over the mouse button, about to click “Yes, I’m sure I want to delete this comment,” I came to an important realization about my role in promoting free speech on the internet.  I don’t have one.  I’m not a government entity.  I don’t own a news organization.  I don’t host a public forum.  I am one lone person with a very personal blog.

When I deleted those comments, I wasn’t silencing the people who made them.  The internet is a big place and free blogs abound.  The people I blocked were free to go elsewhere, start their own blogs, and post anything they liked, including accusations of my alter ego being a Nazi.

Rather than silencing them, I asked them to leave my party.  Because a personal blog is just that: a party you throw at your own house.  You invite people and hopefully everyone gets along and has fun.  If somebody shows up who can’t play nice, well, you’re within your rights to ask them to leave.  Sometimes people you didn’t invite show up.  You certainly have a right to ask them to leave.

People have opined that if my blog is open-access, I shouldn’t pick and choose who I let comment, but I’m sticking with my house metaphor.  The door to my actual house is visible from the street.  Anyone who walks by can ring the doorbell.  I don’t have to let them in.  It’s my house.  I decide who comes in.  Same thing on my blog.  Act like a jerk and I won’t make the mistake of inviting you over again.

It all reminds me of an incident in the park earlier this spring.  As I walked to work, I passed two squirrels fornicating near the tennis courts.  I stared at them, a little amazed that they were just doing it out there in the open.  The male squirrel stared back at me, continuing to hump his partner, as though to say, “What you looking at?  This my living room.”

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