Ferrett, At Various Places About The Internets

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 13.266% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

I wrote an essay for The Good Men Project the other day on Penny Arcade, called Why @Cwgabriel Will Keep Being A Jerk (And That’s Okay).  The excerpt is:

If you’re at all inclined towards women’s rights, the name “Gabe from Penny Arcade” (a.k.a. @CwGabriel) should inspire an instant face-palm.  Not only has he been magnificently intransigent on the Dickwolves controversy (top tip: if you’re going to apologize, don’t take it back), but his belligerent statements on transgendered women were cringeworthy.  Which, given that his bawdy humor has made him an idol to millions, is a little terrifying.
Then, on January first, a heartfelt blog post.  He admitted he had become the kind of bully he loathed, and vowed to change.  It’s a magnificent blog-post, full of honest self-introspection and a merciless examination of his behavior.
I’m here to tell you that Gabe still has a few feet left to stick in his mouth.
Before 2014 ends, I’m pretty sure we’ll see at least one more collective Internet head-desk, courtesy of an insensitive statement by Mr. Krahulik.  Which is not to say that Gabe doesn’t mean well, but… well, he’s had the epiphany.
The epiphany is not the solution.

Also, if you’re a fan of my fiction writing (or are attempting to, in which case I laud you), I had an essay up on the process of writing my story The Sturdy Bookshelves of Pawel Olizewski, which was published at Intergalactic Medicine Show last month.  The essay, which can be found here, has some bits like:

The hardest thing to get about this story was, weirdly enough, the voice. Because the initial draft was 2,800 words, very tight, and almost character-free – more like a news report than a story, focusing on Pawel. I soon realized a tale with no character arc is really hard to do unless you’re Ted Chiang, and so I wrote a 5,000-word version of this which focused on the Nameless Narrator (or, as I took to calling him, the NN) but lost a lot of the oddball details that people found compelling. It felt bloated, and the NN really isn’t interesting enough to carry the tale.
Yet I loved the internal arc of this – and why wouldn’t I? If you think about it, the tale is really about me spending twenty pre-Clarion years writing and making the same old mistakes over and over again, hoping like heck that I’d somehow ignite my inner spark. Yet I struggled to find a narrative tone that matched. People loved this one, asking about it more than any other Clarion Echo story that I’ve written – “Did you finish it? Did that one sell?” – but I didn’t feel I’d really nailed it yet.

The story itself (still available to read) got a nice review from Tangent Online, which said, “[His story] leads to some interesting thoughts on the nature of work and art and is a fine story in its own right.”  Which was nice.

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