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RE: [Durham-Writers-Group] Book Festival

From: wolf b.
Sent on: Thursday, September 13, 2012 2:18 PM

Wow, I woke up to a mailbox filled with a little mini-drama of nonsense, albeit amusing nonsense. If I am following this argument correctly it began because Peter is prejudiced against the word “awesome. Fair enough, I’m not that thrilled with it either, so I usually only use it in dialog…by the way, I also avoid thuriferous, jockteleg, and mediocrist, among others. I think “awesome” used to be a more descriptive word before it became popular and is now both diluted and bloated…but perfectly valid in both writing and conversation especially to convey an attitude or identity. The Brits have “Brilliant”, Bostonians have “Wicked”, Surfers have an entire page of iconic phrases. It comes down to a writer’s choice. We all write for different reasons…some of us want to tell story, others have more obscure motivations (I always thought Finnegan’s Wake was a sublime practical joke).

Then, somehow the mood declined and the tension escalated. This seems to be the point where Peter began to enjoy himself. I see this on political websites all the time. People began to call him a variety of names, he kept poking the wound and here we are. Call Peter what you like, but to paraphrase Gertrude Stein “A troll is a troll is a troll” (bear in mind that “troll” is not an insult, just a designator, a modern version of “provocateur”. I have several friends quite proud of being “trolls”), and when someone starts trolling, it only stops when everyone moves on. Personally, I don’t care so long as the argument, no matter how inane, pertains somehow to writing rather than attendance or name-calling (on both sides). Ignore Peter or debate, but don’t take things so personally and don’t let yourself get baited into non-productive arguments. If you’re going to be a writer you need to develop a thick skin because criticism is going to be a constant part of your life.

 

 


From: [address removed] [mailto:[address removed]] On Behalf Of Edward
Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2012 2:01 PM
To: [address removed]
Subject: Re: [Durham-Writers-Group] Book Festival

 

I actually joined this group around 2009 out of an interest in writing, not out of an interest in bashing people, including taking untoward offense at expressions of enthusiasm.

And while I haven't been to any meetups lately, I have valued hearing about what's going on.

But I'm reconsidering now whether to continue as part of the DWG.  If I limit the communications I receive from the group, I might as well not be in it--I'm not going onto Meetup.com just to chase down what is happening in my groups.

Any thoughts on this matter out there?

Thanks, Edward

On Thu, Sep 13, 2012 at 12:16 PM, Andrew Carey <[address removed]> wrote:

Excuse me, but I’d like to offer my opinion:

Perhaps I’m wrong, but I think this situation would be easier to understand by thinking of Mr. Dale as a sun. As most of us know, a star’s body is kept in balance by the constantly opposing forces of nuclear fusion and gravitational pull. If we view his ego as the pressure building results of nuclear fusion vying to expand and push out particles within a star and the merciless ‘in your face’ criticisms of fellow writers(though if viewing this from his perspective, I would use the word ‘fellow’ lightly) as the gravitational pull, also occurring within a star, then it seems his issue is that his fusion(ego) is somehow working much more powerfully than the force of gravitational pull(criticisms). It’s possible that he knows that the rapid and unencumbered expansion of a star absent of the power of its own gravity will cause it to lose power and ultimately die out(Though this particular case is impossible within the realm of solar physics, bear with me). I think what he’s hoping is for us to provide the boost of gravitational pull within him that he so obviously cannot provide himself to keep his fusion in balance and therefore keep him alive.

In short, he wants us to ream him for his own benefit. An unhealthy solution, but any attempt to keep one’s ego in check is commendable, no matter how douchey it seems. So bravo Peter, and once you get that ego balance in check, come back and see us.

-Andrew

 

 

From: [address removed] [mailto:[address removed]] On Behalf Of Peter Dale
Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2012 9:49 AM


To: [address removed]
Subject: Re: [Durham-Writers-Group] Book Festival

 

A tirade? A 'negativity-escalator?' Really? This is a book, not garden, club.


And the worth of a critique is measured by an attendance metric? That approximates a Paul Ryan standard of truthiness. Well why not: I'll judge your entire club having attended one meeting...

If I had sensed the straightforward and honest criticism being shown here (ad hominem garbage aside), Eric, had any chance of being the atmosphere at of the meetings, I would have attended more regularly.

But I felt no one was going to rip unceremoniously into my work. Nascent writers need lots of encouragement ...and they need a large dollop of in your face as well (e.g. 'That's very nice, Gladys, but 'write about what you know' is not an excuse for self-absorption nor is it especially good advice to begin with.') The former absent the latter is indeed a garden club.

[said of C. Hitchens] He was needlessly provocative, occasionally obnoxious, and wickedly disdainful of that with which he did not approve

PD

On Thu, Sep 13, 2012 at 1:26 AM, Eric Maier <[address removed]> wrote:

Hi, Peter, 

 

According to the online stats, the only meeting you RSVP'd for and attended with the group was Nov 12, 2008, so to say you haven't attended many meetings is an understatement.  i only point this out to give your comments the proper weight.  If you attended more meetings and actually heard the prose the members write with versus an informal email to the group, maybe you'd be surprised. Email is not normally formal - it is a light medium - so maybe words like "awesome" that appear in emails don't appear in a writer's work. And even if it does, so what? Every author has a different style of writing, a different pace, a different meter. Perhaps a certain word flows better with a story's rhythm then another word. 

 

While I don't condone the negativity-escalators who preyed on your tirade, I can't deny a certain satisfaction in it. I try hard to keep this group free of as much negativity as I can. And I mean negativity, not critiques. They're different beasts.

 

Let me propose a few options for you that will circumvent you getting emails that you don't wish to see:

1) Go to your Meetup settings and turn off group emails.

2) Leave the group - you're not attending meetings anyway - really, what would you be missing?

3) Just let it go. It's not that important.

4) Keep on as you are and I'll help you to exit the group.

 

Thank you,

 

Eric Maier

Organizer, DWG

 

PS - Sorry, Roguefemme, I didn't take this message off-list on purpose. If I have to send more emails about this issue, I'll send them privately. Thanks.

 

 

 

 

Wed, Sep 12, 2012 at 11:45 PM, Peter Dale <[address removed]> wrote:

Petty. I guess the question is, Mara, whether the issue I raised is trivial or your attitude is spiteful.

 

On Wed, Sep 12, 2012 at 11:08 PM, Roguefemme <[address removed]> wrote:

For the love of mercy, could all of you please take this offlist? There are over 340 other people whose inboxes are getting spammed with this petty argument! 

 

 




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