Thursday, January 18, 2007

The write stuff


Ever since I started tapping away at the keyboard, I've fielded harsh criticism and personal attacks as well as sweet sweet praise.

I've been called ugly and old and fat and stupid.

An inflatable lawn ornament earned me accusations of being an egocentric and generally bad mother as well as an ungrateful American.

My lascivious offer to Mike Rowe garnered disapproving sniffs from local literatis as well as kudos from around the world.

I was advised that the graphic associated with this post would likely preclude my acceptance in some elite literary circles. I respect the person who told me this, so I went back and reread the post, which garnered 43 comments. I found it to be more edgy and funny and ironic than I had remembered and I left it alone.

Many people were deeply moved by my recount of a few hours in a morning bar, but some persons associated with the establishment were not. I felt badly about that. I was as honest and sympathetic as I could be in that writing.

I was deluged with praise for my piece on the crossdressing community of northeast Ohio. But the few scathing criticisms I received from inside the community sucked the light from me for days. And it was strange to read people chatting about the work, which they did over here as well.

One man was shocked by my reference to fellatio in this post. I replied to him, "So was my husband."

My years of local political reporting in The BroadView Journal garnered regular complaints from area politicians, who tried mightily to get me fired. Residents loved my unsparing coverage of their antics.

I have been copiously rejected. Even hurtfully so.

Regarding my novel, I've been told the cover is no good and the distribution is no good and the publisher is no good. The thick file I have of handwritten letters and emails from people who loved the book is worth more to me than a million dollars.

I cry a lot.

Now then, to get a good idea of what it's like being me, go to this sappy post, read it and then read the first couple of comments.

I am a writer. This is what I do.

53 comments:

Le Chitelier said...

Okay I am considering myself the first in line for comments because the preceding anonymous jerk doesn't count in my opinion :P

Weee!!!! I'm first!

Anyway, boo on all those people who have criticized you Erin. I think you're a very honest and lovable person, your vulgarity on your blog here is absolutely hilarious while still managing to be tasteful in my opinion. I enjoyed your book very very much and, hey, whose opinion are you going to listen to anyway? A fifty-year-dead chemist with a decomposing brain or all those uptight conservative shmucks out there?

Dongley Shlongford said...

Ahhh, the good old days.
I've dripped a tear in my Don Julio. At least I think that is a tear, who the hell knows. Am I to believe that I have the honor of the first comment on this blog?

There still is that unfinished business of the beaver shot. Not to worry though, as an amateur taxidermist, I see it all the time.

Zen Wizard said...

I can kind of see how the Mike Rowe letter scared people.

(Especially Mike Rowe...)

Norm said...

Our mutual friend Darby -- I cannot refuse him a thing, so when he wrote "Go write about sex with Erin O'Brien" in his blog, I came right over, even though I could not strictly comply with his instructions (damn!). And I am ever so glad I did. What a joy this has been -- I must take salt tablets to replenish what's lost from my tears -- of mirth and otherwise. Don't ever stop.

Please.

Lady Bonds said...

Well, damn you, Erin O'Brien.

I've got deadlines bigger than the hole in my rear end coming up and now you've gone and got me ordering your book.

Erin O'Brien said...

Le Chit: I love you, you dead chemist you.

Dong: When I revisited that post and read your comment, I laughed and laughed--almost as hard as I did the first time I'd read it.

Zen: Funny you should say that. I still haven't heard from Rowe.

Norm: You want to write sex, baby? Why didn't you just say so? It's about time I posted some erotica. Stay tuned.

Lady: Wow. Thanks. Hope you like it.

sleepydog said...

Erin - I might be biased, but I'd still love you to pieces whether i agreed with everything you wrote or not (Usually I do, so I guess the point is moot)

You are, in the vernacular of kids today "Da bomb"

That is all.

Jesus Toast said...

Know that somewhere in some hole in the wall dive bar in the bowels of Detroit sits a man who loves you from afar, loves you without ever having met you,and who you'll most likely never actually see standing in front of you in the flesh and he is the son of god slightly browned.

Zen Wizard said...

(So is this the second coming of Jesus Toast?)

Lady Bonds said...

Amazon has given itself a month to ensure safe delivery of Harvey and Eck to Paris.

I don't really blame Amazon, I guess...I wouldn't really be in a rush to do business with a nation bloated with irrepressibly impatient, humorless witches.

And no, I didn't just have an unpleasant day with the French Administration.

Jim Winter said...

Erin, if it will make you happy, I am perfectly willing to change my name to Mike Rowe. I mean as a favor to a friend, yanno?

Anonymous said...

Vive l'author!

You go girl. Stay true to your voice and those who resonnate will find you.

love the photo - if only my breasts were that gorgeous!

Erin O'Brien said...

Sleepy: And you are Da Sleep!

Dear Jesus: And unto me was delivered the word and I did hear it and it was good and then the word did move me to sit down at the bar from which the son of God was transmitting his word and I did ordereth a Stroh's beer for $1 and of it I did drink and it was good. Amen.

Zen: (We can only hope.)

Lady: I feel as though my general sophistication level went up two notches based solely on the fact that my book is en route to Paris. Although, I am hoping it will bypass that administration. Eek!

Mr. Winter: How very generous of you. Can we skip the poop-shoveling part and cut right to the good stuff?

Rev. Pink: I am so completely transfixed by your name alone, that I'm about to go on and get religion. I love that photo too. Aw, hell ... wanna just tell people it's you and me and we just LOOK like Sophia Loren and Jayne Mansfield?

Jim Winter said...

"How very generous of you. Can we skip the poop-shoveling part and cut right to the good stuff?"

Only if you let me teach you the alphabet first.

Anonymous said...

Love ya.

And, like Lady Bonds, I have plans to acquire your book. And (swear to Jesus Toast and hope to die) I will. Very, very, soon. It's just I've... Oh... It's been one of those days...

(I swear, this is not a shameless self-promotion. It is 100% shameful. If I had 1/16 of an ounce less shame, I wouldn't have become a squatter in Lady Bonds' blog.)

Karl said...

Wow, I have much reading to do, apparently. Thanks for popping by my place.

Anonymous said...

Again I say, "please oh great Mayan calendar, please be correct — may the gods scrape the stupid people off the face of the earth like a giant loofah."

Or, let something heavy fall on me so I don't have to deal with this adolecent effers anymore.

--30--

jamwall said...

i was watching "dirties jobs" a couple days ago. its a hilarious show.

i must have bridged the gap between you and mike rowe while watching him deal with reprocessed manure.

Anonymous said...

Do NOT...I repeat...do NOT listen to the f'in haters on YouTube. They are all of 15 years old and when they turn 16 no, their mother is not going to let them drive her car. I think you're young sexy sleek and with it. Your blog is cutting edge. I feel brave and bold and powerful when I'm here reading.

jamwall said...

by the way erin, there is a subculture of immense stupidity usually younger folks. kids of our day never were able to hide behind the internet so we had to be civil, unless we were willing to get beaten severely.

i would have even worse things to say about them than they could ever drum up about the fine people who use youtube for speaking their mind.

i heart you erin. i could easily spread you on a cracker!

::kisses::

Anonymous said...

You're awesome... I must read more XOXOX

Erin O'Brien said...

Winter: Okay, fine. But don't tell anyone that I have to sing it in order to get it right.

Duchess: Here at the Owner's Manual, we encourage shameless/shameful behavior! As for your post, you win. That is no way to start the day. Holy, shit, indeed.

Hi Karl. Welcome.

Helen: I love that giant loofah. After we get rid of the doofs, can I use it to buff off a couple extra pounds?

Jam: I love that show. As for Rowe:

**big dreamy sigh** (oh yeah, that goes for your cowbell as well)

Corn: It's true about anonymity turning some into monsters. But as hard as the comments are to take, I leave them up because they say much more about the commenter than they do about me. Plus, I really really hate censorship. Thanks for your comments. I try hard on these pages.

Jam: Snotty little snot snots, aren't they? As far as the cracker, everything's better when it sits on a Ritz!

John: Thanks. Keep blowing kisses my way.

Anonymous said...

Write on, Edawg, write on!

Furthermore, sometimes when I log in to Blogger, I mistype my email address and comcast comes out cocmast. Always makes me laugh.

FITZ

Eve said...

People are such m-effers, I swear. I agree with Jamwall Erin... it's easy to be a big pussy and hide behind a screen name somewhere. Screw them!

Is that Dongly I see?

Anonymous said...

Lady O'Brien, to properly celebrate the sanitizing of my palace's nether regions, I have ordered a copy of your book.

All is now well, and your sympathies are much appreciated. Nevertheless, certain members of the court are still mightily distrustful of the plumbing and have gone so far as to suggest that we skip the "middlemen" and simply descend to deposit our "daily bread" (post-digestion) directly on the basement floor, thus circumventing those wretched moments of anxiety between the Flush and the Gush.

Anonymous said...

Erin: You qualify as a homo sapien in this herd of homo economicus. You actually live, breathe, speak, feel, write,and think for yourself...and by example, you inspire others to learn to do the same. You are also a goddess (okay, maybe an errant demi-goddess or sneaky imp), because you humble us through laughter. Keep kicking at the pricks, Erin. Keep kicking. I'll read.

Anonymous said...

Me too, I'll read. Came across this blog today and feel I have stumbled into a treasure trove. Generous and lovely

Tom Bailey said...

Keeping things in perspective and looking on the positive side is great. I hope you cry more tears of joy than tears of pain.

Erin O'Brien said...

Fitz: Regarding your command to write on, Yes sir, Mr. Cocmast!

Eve: How can we possibly NOT see Dongley? He is our lord and our sire!

Duchess: The phrase "anxiety between the Flush and the Gush" can mean so many, many different things.

Fool: We're all in it together, I'd say. My work would have no scale if there were no readers to consume it.

Signs: Welcome to this strange and rollicking place.

Tom Bailey: I sure try to keep perspective. The true joy is the contrast between the successes

dolo said...

I always get like that just before I have a creative leap.The cycle phase of the creative mind imploding on itself is always a hard thing for the artist and for the people around then to witness.


I am enjoying the book ....I am getting the hang of my new glasses and have found some time for myself to read.In fact I'm going to go read some more right now....ah the good life

Anonymous said...

Man, writing sucks sometimes. Makes you very, very vulnerable. I feel ya, Erin.

Absolutely love that pic, BTW!

Anonymous said...

Oh, yeah, I forgot: Don't you dare change a fucking thing! Write what youy want. You are original and unique. THose who don't like it can kiss my fucking ass!

Dongley Shlongford said...

Now I'm getting all swollen and tingley.

Erin O'Brien said...

Dolo: Hola! I love it when someone's reading my book. Puts good karma in my world.

Bug: I think this pic is brilliant. It says so, so much. And hey, I'll come over there and kiss your ass, to hell with them.

Dong: I thought you were always swollen and tingly.

Anonymous said...

Erin my love-
Don't let the morons blow out the big bright Erin-light that burns so bright I see it all the way here in Indiana and bask in it's glow.
I LOVED Harvey & Eck, and will be posting a full review on my blog as soon as I can.
*raspberries* anyone who thinks they can hate on my Erin. Don't make me bring my gang of motley sneering security goons to do some reeducating!

PDD said...

Erin, I cry a lot too.

One thing I have learned is that it is always good to have enemies. It affirms you are doing something right.

I must be doing right all the time...

I completely understand the whole insecurity bit that you have spoken about in your previous posts. I'll let you in on a little secret...I haven't yet submitted my screenplay to a particular someone, mainly because this person is a work collegue, and it scares me to bits having this person read it and come out not liking it. And submitting the script is not for no good reason; should this person like the script, this person can do a lot with it if you know what I mean.

But I am a pussy.

You are becoming quite the controversial writer my dear Erin O'Brien, and I wouldn't change a single ounce of it!

PDD

josh williams said...

Erin I live one state from you,so if you need help I can dull your adversaries with my...uhhh wit? Hmmm I am unsure or the spelling because of the demon booze...I got yo back, but now I go bed now. Your protector JW

PDD said...

Oh, and I love the photo!

Anonymous said...

I've been rejected more times than a hooker with with an STD in the form of an sxtremely red sore...

I cry very little.

Instead I will bottle it up and one day explode. ;)

Steve~

Anonymous said...

You are a woman. You are just a woman. I understand you, but still you are just a woman.

Erin O'Brien said...

Renee, Hey! I know! Bring the goons around and we can all tip back a bunch of beers!

PDD: It is true that I'd hate to be the sort of writer that writes nice little things people read and smile at and forget. Fuck that. I mean, really: fuck that. On the screenplay, I know how hard it is to show yourself. You will do it when you're ready. Good luck, girl.

Josh: My Protector! Now that's an accomplishment. Here, lemme pour you another ...

Hi Steve: Bottle it up and bring it on over. Yous and me'll have a good snort of it and laugh at all of them.

Authoress: Easily the most accurate statement here. Welcome.

Henri Banks said...

hey you you are my friend to so listenup what i made for my friends
http://www.art-chaos.de/music/thanx.mp3

Crashtest Comic said...

I fart waaaaaaay too much!

www.crashtestcomic.com

Erin O'Brien said...

Henri. It's pretty simple. I love you. Now then, here's a direct link to your "thank you" song, which I loved as well.

My good Mr. Crashtest. This marks a banner day for me. This is live-action spam. That is to say, you have found my blog and decided it was popular enough to leave a comment that will hopefully draw traffic your way. I know this is not an automated comment. You were surfing around, trying to find good blogs to spam and mine made the cut. That is effing beautiful! But I have to tell you, guy, your bait comment sorta sucks. If you want to lure these effers over there, you're going to have to do a little better than that. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

I read Harvey & Eck and I think it's wonderful, an awesome read. I loved the story about the morning in the bar too. I love most of the things I've read by you.

Now where's that beaver shot?

Anonymous said...

Erin, you know that I adore you to death. :)

Libby Spencer said...

Every time I leave this blog I'm green with envy at your skill at turning a phrase. I've loved your work since the moment I arrived and I adore your wit.

The businessmen know squat. You're a great writer.

Erin O'Brien said...

Thanks Toby. I need all the help I can get today.

Bostic: I think being adored to death would be pretty good way to go.

Libby: Thanks. Too bad it's the businessmen who get all the money, though.

josh williams said...

I read then reviewed on Amazon.I enjoyed your Novel.Normally Amazon pays me fat cash for reviews, I did this one gratis. Why? Cause I believe in you, write on...JW

Dorothy said...

Erin, I agree with Sleepy Dog...you are da bomb. I have sent more people over here to look at your rejection video than you would believe. I really see good things for you...the waiting game...ah...the waiting game...but you are building up such a great fan base, not to mention your Amazon rankings make mine look pi-ti-ful...you're doing great girl, believe it.

Erin O'Brien said...

Josh baby, I gotta coupla ideas how I might repay you, baby.

Hi Dorothy! Thanks, thanks and thanks. I'm sure glad I'm building something. As for those Amazon ranks, those things will drive you crazy. Write on, girl.

Hugh said...

If you are considered old, ugly or stupid, then we the rest of the world should be so lucky as to be in you company. I loved the things i read and was impressed not only wiht your picture but with the content of your message.

Love the blog! said...

Screw 'em all!

I love reading your posts, especially when you admit to masturbating. Super Hot!!