September 13th, 2010 / 2:20 pm
Behind the Scenes & Snippets

Have you ever kissed another writer’s ass or falsely bestowed praise in hopes of getting something in return or making friends? Did it work? Did it make you happy? Feel free to respond anonymously.

120 Comments

  1. boomba

      so…. he didnt take the time to answer an insincere email from someone who actually disliked his work, instead concentrating on the petty task of moving to another state?

      you’re right man, what an ass…

      he should have totally given you his time, because your getting a reply from a writer you dont actually like and whose work you have never actually supported in any meaningful way (like buying a book or something) is your god given right, yeah?

  2. Steven Augustine

      (fuck, fuck… if one of my trolls finds out about that metaphor… )

  3. deadgod

      [Mock-Troll-Fertilizer Troll-Repellent alert]

      The fireman of your full disclosure is wrestling with the hose of your regret.

      The pinched nozzle of your self-deprecation is concentrating the water of your integrity on the fire of your embarrassment.

      The firetruck of your literary ambition is getting ticketed by the police chief of your superego. (The fine and points against the license of your id will be vacated by the traffic-court judge of that teacher who had a crush on you.]

      Down the street of your crocodilian tears, kids are playing in the spray of the fireplug of your impacted metaphors.

  4. Steven Augustine

      (o.m.d.g…..)

  5. deadgod

      Edit: the traffic-court judge of your memory of that teacher who had a crush on you.

  6. jereme

      ASS
      WORSHIP
      PARTY

  7. jesusangelgarcia

      ditto OMDG…

  8. jesusangelgarcia

      I know what you mean, St. Augustine. I once heard Palahniuk read in draft form his now-infamous story about the intestines and the pool, and I felt the same way. He had this great line, something like… “and then my sister found out she was pregnant,” and this, after the brother in the story’s been masturbating in the pool and she goes swimming a lot. Stupid, yeah, whatever, but it was hilarious. The problem, for me, though, was he didn’t end the story right there. He wrapped it up with another paragraph, which I felt was unnecessary. So yeah… I hear you on #1. And #2 is a riot. Thanks for sharing! We should all share our best worst lines. Anyway, I just told your exquisite metaphor to a workmate. She’s still laughing. Oh yeah, and here’s to last laughs!

  9. Steven Augustine

      (fuck, fuck… if one of my trolls finds out about that metaphor… )

  10. deadgod

      [Mock-Troll-Fertilizer Troll-Repellent alert]

      The fireman of your full disclosure is wrestling with the hose of your regret.

      The pinched nozzle of your self-deprecation is concentrating the water of your integrity on the fire of your embarrassment.

      The firetruck of your literary ambition is getting ticketed by the police chief of your superego. (The fine and points against the license of your id will be vacated by the traffic-court judge of that teacher who had a crush on you.]

      Down the street of your crocodilian tears, kids are playing in the spray of the fireplug of your impacted metaphors.

  11. Steven Augustine

      (o.m.d.g…..)

  12. deadgod

      Edit: the traffic-court judge of your memory of that teacher who had a crush on you.

  13. jesusangelgarcia

      ditto OMDG…

  14. Owen Kaelin

      Umm… you don’t understand, Anonymosis.

      1. I didn’t tell him I disliked his writing. Why would I tell him I disliked his writing and expect a kind response? You’re so silly, Anony.

      (Then again, I didn’t tell him I liked his writing, either — that’s not in my character. So, I don’t know, maybe if I’d lied and said I liked his writing then he would’ve responded more kindly.)

      2. When you send a writer a kind email asking a simple question: kind writers respond kindly. I’ve done this many times. Friendly people are friendly when friendly people email them. There are people on this very blog I’ve forged friendships with by email. When people email me, in capacity as editor of either the Excavation Project or the Gone Lawn Journal: I respond kindly as well. I happen to like it when people are nice.

      3. How in the world would he know whether or not I ever bought a book of his? I didn’t tell him a word about any of the books I own.

      4. He lived in the Boston area then; he lived in the Boston area afterward; he lives in the Boston area now. In other words: his response was a careless lie just to avoid being nice to a fellow Bostonian who sent him a nice email.

      Any more misunderstandings I should clear up?

      Just to add: I’ve met a couple other writers, in Boston, who’ve met him and came away thinking he was a jerk. …But I wanted to find out for myself. I’m a curious person by nature . . . sometimes it turns me into a fool and bites me in the ass, as illustrated above. In this case, as sometimes happens with me, my curiosity drove me to test my — and others’ — prejudices. I prefer to think of people as good rather than otherwise.

      Of course, when people are consistently a jerk to me or others: it’s pretty hard for me to come to the conclusion that they’re actually not jerks.

  15. Owen Kaelin

      Umm… you don’t understand, Anonymosis.

      1. I didn’t tell him I disliked his writing. Why would I tell him I disliked his writing and expect a kind response? You’re so silly, Anony.

      (Then again, I didn’t tell him I liked his writing, either — that’s not in my character. So, I don’t know, maybe if I’d lied and said I liked his writing then he would’ve responded more kindly.)

      2. When you send a writer a kind email asking a simple question: kind writers respond kindly. I’ve done this many times. Friendly people are friendly when friendly people email them. There are people on this very blog I’ve forged friendships with by email. When people email me, in capacity as editor of either the Excavation Project or the Gone Lawn Journal: I respond kindly as well. I happen to like it when people are nice.

      3. How in the world would he know whether or not I ever bought a book of his? I didn’t tell him a word about any of the books I own.

      4. He lived in the Boston area then; he lived in the Boston area afterward; he lives in the Boston area now. In other words: his response was a careless lie just to avoid being nice to a fellow Bostonian who sent him a nice email.

      Any more misunderstandings I should clear up?

      Just to add: I’ve met a couple other writers, in Boston, who’ve met him and came away thinking he was a jerk. …But I wanted to find out for myself. I’m a curious person by nature . . . sometimes it turns me into a fool and bites me in the ass, as illustrated above. In this case, as sometimes happens with me, my curiosity drove me to test my — and others’ — prejudices. I prefer to think of people as good rather than otherwise.

      Of course, when people are consistently a jerk to me or others: it’s pretty hard for me to come to the conclusion that they’re actually not jerks.

  16. rk

      when i see writing i like i let the writer know i thought so. it used to be i wouldn’t do this because i didn’t want to intrude or because i didn’t want the writer to think i was playing for their attention or favors. but a friend of mine told me that every writer he ever met could probably use that little extra sign that it isn’t all silence and failure and now i try to send a note whenever i can. if someone responds or doesn’t respond to a note or if we strike up a ‘friendship’ doesn’t really matter to me because the gesture is the gesture.

  17. rk

      when i see writing i like i let the writer know i thought so. it used to be i wouldn’t do this because i didn’t want to intrude or because i didn’t want the writer to think i was playing for their attention or favors. but a friend of mine told me that every writer he ever met could probably use that little extra sign that it isn’t all silence and failure and now i try to send a note whenever i can. if someone responds or doesn’t respond to a note or if we strike up a ‘friendship’ doesn’t really matter to me because the gesture is the gesture.

  18. Janey Smith

      Nutella crepe.

  19. Janey Smith

      Nutella crepe.

  20. Donkeyfeet

      I just saw how this activity is proliferating on Facebook, especially on the pages of literary journals. So funny to see who gives a “thumbs up” or comments with a phrase containing the words, “I like” (there is actually a separate class in many MFA programs that teaches students to ass-kiss). The truth? Writers mostly hate each other, but we feel compelled to be nice in public. Great question by Blake – so relevant.