Snopes will never be able to tell extra feature: hiding from real suffering at the Hilton

My friend Sally got a couple of revoltingly bad reviews and a fair number of good reviews. She didn't get many meh as far as I can tell. Sally and a bunch of other writers I know have the luck to attract passionate hatred and love.

They sell a lot of books. Do they sell even more than the pure love reviewed books? Maybe. My first book got a lot of pure lovin'

Anyway, when I read miladyinsanity's meh reviews of my books, I thanked her and then asked if maybe next time, if she wasn't going to adore my stuff maybe she could be a little meaner.

Then I decided, heck, if she doesn't want to rip me a new one, maybe we could get into one of those really putrid blog wars that make people curious enough to show up in droves to read the fight. Hey! Yes! Let's get into it and drive traffic to our sites! She didn't actually agree, but by then I'd had a glass or two of wine. I rolled up my sleeves and went looking for her. I was gonna call her names and make sure we got more blog traffic.

Didn't work, naturally. I can't keep up the ire. More passion? Later, maybe. But it's kind of discouraging--start a lovely name-calling battle and no one shows up.

But I do wish there was some way to figure out if:
1. books that get a lot of HOLYCRAPTHISSUCKS reviews get better sales than a combo of this is good/okay/meh reviews. (we can call it Ben's Wildflower Syndrome)...
1a. especially if the reviewers moan about the gratuitous sex scenes.

2. there's a relation between the stir caused on all the little online sites (did you read what that author wrote about that reviewer?!) and the sales to the curious blog-hoppers.

* * * * *

Yesterday I didn't want to leave the only refugee I'd brought to the big conference by herself, so I hung around for a while. This time I remembered to grab a piece of paper so I could recall the name of the conference. Here we are. Crossroads II: Community-Based Collaborative Research for Social Justice. Mostly it seemed to be about how to accurately measure misery**. Oy, there's a lot of misery to measure. ****

Human suffering displayed with big posters! Workshops! Good coffee! Things for sale! Burn-out case that I am, I skipped the first two, and went for the second two. Ajisa wasn't around, and I abandoned Fatima for a while (she was trying to talk to a fellow craftswoman, an Iranian. Neither of them speaks the other's language and their English sucks. They pulled out pictures of their families and voila! they didn't need my company for a little while. And let's face it, Fatima thought she needed my support but she's one of those people whom everyone adores just because she's so sweet. It comes through in any language).

I found some Hmong people from Laos selling their quilts. These are the story pieces that are beautiful and fairly disturbing. Colorful embroidered little pictures of people and animals. And then you look and realize that oh, that cute little guy has a gun and is killing all those cute little people. I bought one, vastly underpriced at $40.

I've seen and heard about these before. The story cloths are the only way they can tell their autobiographies All of the quilts are pictures of a particular person's or tribe's journey--because they're refugees, you know the journey is not going to be a happy one. Mine has helicopters and a woman giving birth in the jungle and as usual the Mekong river with little drowning figures.

I'm going to go to yet another one of these events in a couple of weeks. If you want to give me $40 plus shipping, I'll buy one for you. A much prettier than usual way to remember...remember what?.... how lucky we are. so far This isn't mine, but it's fairly typical. I found it here.
**since I didn't actually go to any workshops or even read the rest of the paper I grabbed, I could be wrong.
****I'm not wrong about this one.


  1. I'm here to tell you that I'm not afraid of the fans that you're trying to send over to my blog!

    I want to know to, actually. Then I can make a decision as to whether I'll add more vitriol to my bad reviews. LOL.

  2. what an awesome post on story quilts - i haven't seen many, but they're pretty amazing.

  3. Yeesh. You are in one weird mood of late. So are a LOT or writers. There isn't even anything interesting politically to debate.

  4. naw, not weird because when it comes to that war thing, I never change. The peasant's view of it, always.

  5. Kate, seriously you'll buy and ship one of those quilts? I'm interested. Email me and tell me where to send $$$ and how much you need for shipping.

  6. rosie--
    Got one.
    Email me your snail mail.


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