Tuesday, February 11, 2003
Was posting the Stan story merely to be illustrative of the sort of old man who lives around here, or was it to try and make a wider point about the wisdom or non-wisdom of proceeding with war in Iraq? I suspect you meant the former. I very much hope it wasn't the latter, because it's the sort of attack-the-person-not-the-position cheap shot that distracts from the good arguments the peace movement has. I'm still trying to make my mind up one way or the other, and I dismay every time those on the peace side, which I would normally automatically be on, simply shout something like "Down with Bush!" because what I need to make my decision in their favor is a plausible alternative to war that will achieve the disarmament aims. So, I hope that wasn't what you were trying to do there. Perhaps a little Christopher Hitchens next time?

If I'd wanted to post about the war (or not) in Iraq, I would have posted about that. I just thought it was a strange and interesting sort of conversation, that shaped itself into a poem when he left. I'd hate to think of it as an attack on anyone, especially Stan (who finds it I'm sure deeply puzzling and frustrating to have political conversations with me, when, from his perspective, such a normally sensible chap is all wishy washy about things that he perceives as self-evident).

Dear Neil-
You mentioned earlier that you recieved alot of flames about your comment on fan fiction. I know someone who also has a blog and has recently recieved some vehement hate mail about himself and his site. These emails have made him decide not to post on his site for a while- if ever. How do you deal with flames and trolls? Do they affect you or your feelings about your site/ the internet in general? Just like to know, because it's a shame that ignorant strangers can silence an intelligent and creative voice.

On the whole I try and ignore the obvious trolls, and mostly I've managed to avoid the flames. With the fan fiction thing, I was slightly grumpy only because it became increasingly obvious that few of the people writing to complain had read even the whole of the post, and that most of them had obviously just seen one paragraph quoted out of context on other people's websites or journals, and had agreed on what I obviously meant and that I needed to be reprimanded for wrong thinking. But that was more than made up for by the huge numbers of fan fiction writers who then promptly wrote to say that'd read the whole quote and agreed -- or disagreed -- but did it nicely and politely and graciously.


I just heard from Terri Windling -- she's taking the short story I wrote for Tori's tour book, which rejoices in the ungainly title of Pages from a Journal Found in a Shoebox Left in a Greyhound Bus Somewhere Between Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Louisville, Kentucky for the next Year's Best Fantasy and Horror. Which makes me very happy.