During my blind rage over the ridiculous behavior I've been witnessing (once again) from M/M Romance writers in the past 24 hours I conveniently remembered that I in fact have a blog that two or three people might still read...So I figured why the hell not go on a rant about just how disheartening and silly this whole thing really is for me.
I am not disheartened about GRL, nope I will be going to that like I have for the past two years. I am not disheartened about reading M/M Romance (although the quality has been lacking as of late) no not that, I am disheartened about the harsh , cruel and self-serving way that people have been acting just so that they can hear themselves talk.
So this week's cause for outrage amongst the M/M authors is the fact that GRL has capped the number of writers that can be featured at the retreat and participate in events and the signing. They have also reserved a few spots for authors whose presence readers expressed as highly desirable. Well I should fucking hope so!!! Since that is what we frigging asked for!! Those of us who went to the retreat last year filled out a survey after we left Albuquerque and REQUESTED that the number of authors be more manageable this year...Not only that...The GRL organizers graciously asked us for a Wish List of the authors we hope to see in future retreats. I, like other attendees filled it out and made sure to include the people I would like to meet. Because the truth is I am only interested in seeing and talking to the authors I love, there are very popular authors I could care less about, I'm happy for their fans who get to see them but I want to see MY FAVORITES, and so does everyone else, so the LOGICAL thing is that the authors that make it are those that the readers mostly want to meet.
Furthermore, would the fact that some of my favorites are featured authors make GRL a better experience for me? HELL YES! Would it be nicer not to walk around 73 writers I could care less about to get to the ones I want to see? AGAIN YES! That doesn’t make me MEAN it makes me a rabid fan wants to get the most out of my GRL experience. Am I grateful for the fact that the GRL team understands the concept of service and enhancing the experience of those of us who faithfully will go to the retreat and has taken these things into consideration? FUCK. YEAH.
The stuff that I read on Facebook and Twitter was just embarrassing. I was embarrassed as a devoted fan of this genre. I was embarrassed for the writers that were posting this stuff who obviously suspended all common sense and were oblivious to how petty and angry they seemed. I was embarrassed for the GRL organizers who BUST THEIR ASSES to make GRL a haven for our community to come together and celebrate the stories we love and the people who make this genre thrive. Mostly though I was embarrassed and sad for us as a community, because it is a shame that people would go out of their way to belittle and to cut down the efforts that are being made for us even have a place to gather.
GayRomLit is an amazing thing. A gay romance retreat for readers, authors, publishers to gather, safely and celebrate. When I became a fan of M/M Romance I never would have thought that there could be an event like that for me to go to, to meet all the people that I had met online or get to not just meet but chat, eat, drink, PARTY MY ASS OFF with some of my favorite authors who also turned out to be wonderful people as well as fabulous writers. I couldn’t have imagined it, but Ethan Day, J.P. Bowie, Carol Lynne and all the others authors who have made this event for us did, and all I can be is thankful for their vision and hard work. Putting together and event like that is HARD FUCKING WORK it takes a year of planning, HOURS of logistics and organization, of headaches, changes of plans, arguments, SWEAT, BLOOD and TEARS, so that when we the guests arrive we can check in to our room, grab our "Welcome Bag" and go ENJOY. This event was given to us as a gift, for the readers for the authors many of whom do this anonymously and can have GRL as a place where they can get the accolades they deserve for their work, and to be anything else but glad that we have GRL is ungrateful and petty.
Petty is the way that writers have been behaving. Instead of contacting GRL organizers privately for clarifications to go on FB and condemn them it's PETTY. To malign and accuse them of discriminating is WRONG, to make it about themselves is SILLY. For a publisher (LT3 and Storm Moon Press) to choose yesterday, a day that was already so full of negativity, and use that conjuncture to launch and boast their own event at the expense of the trouble that the GRL organizers where dealing with is the height of bad form. They should be ashamed of the way they handled that.
I know this will all blow over and that by the time it is all said and done the people that have gone beyond overboard with the online vitriol will wake up with a moral hangover, and will register. I am confident that GRL in the end will be the weekend that it has been before, one of the biggest highlights of my and many others’ year. I just hope that in the future as a community we can learn to take a step back and have a bit more grace and dignity whenever something does not go our way.