July 21, 2007

Nope: Not in Bed With HP

It's a slow news day, but I've just discovered a couple of gems:

Stories for Children Magazine is a small, free children's story ezine, associated with KidMagWriters.com that just came on-scene in April of 2007. They feel that love of reading in adults is fostered by having access to good stories as kids.

SFC is having a contest for all ages - this means that kids can enter, too. Simply go to their site and look over the contest rules and information, and also at the illustration story-starter upon which all stories in the contest must be based. Then, ready, set, write. The story will need to be between 500 to 750 words.
New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez (aka A-Rod, for those not in the Yankee-lingo-know) has written his second children's book. Okay, so having it come out the same day as the last Potter book might not have been as auspicious a day as it could have been, but apparently... apparently he's gained quite a fanbase and not just for his sports prowess. Since I haven't read either of his two books, I will... just... hush. But, HMMM!
Occasionally, I flit past Smart B**ches Who Love Trashy Novels because it is tear-spillingly funny with its mockery, snideness and generally snappish rants. Mainly, I went by because I had to do a little happy dance that Cybils Nominee and YA author Caridad Ferrer won a major coup with the Romance Writers of America® (RWA®) for Adios to My Old Life, and I wondered what our Trashy Chicks thought of it. Happily, they were proud of Caridad's RITA™ for Best Contemporary Romance, but bewildered by how many people got all ugly about it. "YA is a category. It is not a recommended level of maturity for participation in online discussion," their site says. Indeed.

It says a lot about us, in the kidlitosphere, that more often than not, though we get random spam, we rarely get the nameless, ugly attacks under the guise of discussion in our comments. Some might condescend that we're all too nicey-nice, and we don't get f-bombed because we don't say anything of real substance in our reviews, and that this is all a space for gossipy author-worship, but I think it's something deeper than just milquetoast 'play nice'ness. Any thoughts?


Liz B said...

I haven't had any real problems with comments on my blog veering from debate to bashing. That said, I've read some things I take offense at either in other blogs or in other blog comments...and I sit, count to ten, and ignore it.

Why ignore? Because I don't want to get into a battle, either on blog or in comments, when written communication is so limited and, basically, there are some arguments one will never win.

I also believe that responding fuels the fire; ignoring it makes it disappear.

So overall, I feel the "grown up" way to handle trolls & flames is to just ignore it; don't raise to the bait. What's solved by things that basically get into, for example, "you're an idiot for xyz" with a response of "no I'm not" "yes you are" OK, how long will that go on? And at the end of the day will it change anything? Nope; just a lot of drama. Plus, "worst case scenario" is that the writer didn't say what you thought they said and now the person responding looks like a flaming troll.

Now, an honest debate? That is of the good.

And I like to think that most kidlit bloggers can tell the difference between a real conversation and just hot air.

Now that I've said that, somewhere, a battle is about to start in comments....

LindaBudz said...

I tend to avoid controversy on my site, for a few reasons (and I think this would be true of a number of bloggers and perhaps particularly kidlit bloggers:

(1) The mission of my blog is not to introduce conflict or controversy but more to simply educate and entertain. Probably results in less traffic, but so be it.

(2) If I reach my goal of publication, I may someday have kids finding my blog and I prefer that they find content that is clean, civil, lighthearted, etc.

(3) Conflict avoidance is my general MO anyway (though I have been known to speak my mind in the comments on certain political blogs that have no relation to kidlit).

I have found in general that kidlit writers are genuinely supportive and kind.

tanita✿davis said...

We have had random spam, but one truly virulent attack that we agreed to go the 'cut back the tinder' route with and we just deleted with no acknowledgment. I think you're right, Linda - most of us are here to share, not necessarily to create a following of a particular theory or point of view. We are all just here because we love this stuff.

Which makes for nice company.

Liz B said...

Check out Smart Bitches latest post about this whole thing. Check out the posts they link to. http://www.smartbitchestrashybooks.com/index.php/weblog/candy_sarah_and_jane_respond_to_costumes_bloggers_and_the_600_comment_kerfu/

tanita✿davis said...

Oh, WOW, Liz, isn't this getting ugly!?!?

I'm shocked Nora Roberts got involved, and a little icked out that anyone felt the need to comment at all. The outfits -- were -- TAME. Seriously tame.

It interests me how bloggers are being targeted -- again -- as being these evil and awful people who will do JUST ANYTHING to make real lit'triture look bad. It is frankly astounding.