Let’s get back to the active voice…cause shit happens
This morning, while driving my kids to school and my wife to work, we were all loaded into the van, and my wife was in a miserable mood. My twin sons, 7 years old, had just gotten into a huge fight. They fight all the time lately. But this one led to one of them punching the other in the stomach and knocking his wind out. So my wife was livid. She wanted to know what we’re doing wrong as parents and was basically just going off on everyone in the car. I tried to assure her that we’re damn good parents and boys are sometimes just…well…boys.
She wasn’t buying it.
When we finally stopped at a red light, I turned to her, put my hand on her thigh, and said, “Hey, look at me. Look at me. It’s OK. Everything’s OK. Shit happens.”
As soon as I said the words “shit happens” one of the street window washers (remember I live in Central America) squirted soapy water all over the windshield with a loud SPLAT. We both jumped and I believe I might have yelled out, “What the fuck?”
I usually see these guys coming my way and I put my windshield wipers on as a way of saying, “I don’t want my windows washed.”
He got me this time. And there I was scrambling to find some change to pay the guy for a horrible job done. We all just started laughing. It probably doesn’t sound funny to you guys, but to me it was like God laughing down at us saying, “Yep, shit happens. Take that. Now, shut up and stop arguing.”
The mood changed instantly.
Sometimes it’s the little things that make you laugh. I’m telling you all this so that I can dive right into the real meat and potatoes of this blog post.
We all know there has been a lot of negativity floating around Facebook lately, bombarding the author and reader world, kicking up a ruckus. I made a joke the other day about having erotica writers just do an old fashioned Canadian white boy battle rap contest like King of the Dot, just to eliminate some of this tension.
All this nonsense online put me in a bad mood the other day. I wouldn’t say that I fell into one of my depressed states, thank God, but I will say that it made me quite cranky. And I’m not even involved in this shit storm.
But it got me thinking. We spend way too much time in this virtual world of online friends, probably more time than we spend with our families. We bust our asses trying to make this hobby of ours become a full-fledged career. Too much time to spend it pissing in our beds. I’m a writer…and writers write, bottom line. As fiction writers, whether it be erotica, horror, romance, sci-fi…whatever, why aren’t we just sticking to the stuff that we love writing about?
Now don’t go pointing the fucking finger at me now. I’m not saying anyone is responsible. Some shit was said, an opinion was made, arguments were given, names were called, groups were infiltrated, screenshots were shared, verbal disputes took place, people were reported…a lot of other shit I could write about in the passive voice. But think about it, all that shit’s in the passive voice and we should be trying (and I suck at this sometimes) to think in the active voice.
Let’s get back to the active voice. As writers, we should be feeding off each other, helping one another, sharing work, and doing what everyone wants us to do…fucking entertain! We should be actively working to enhance our lifestyle.
My fans your fans, their fans, our fans…they want to be seduced by our words, terrified by our tales, touched by our stories, not driven to anger.
Right now fans are attacking fans, PAs are bitching at PAs, and authors are dissing authors. Can you imagine the shit that could possibly go down at a live book signing, if everyone was to show up at the same one? It would turn into an episode of bully beat down. Now that would be some entertaining shit to see, but let’s face it. The readers, fans, and friends we’ve made aren’t in it to see us acting like whiny bitches. It might be funny to see a little online squabble between a couple of people, but an ongoing feud? What are we Tupac and Biggie? Eastcoast and Westcoast now? Eminem and Nick Cannon bwahahaha. I’m probably the only one who found that funny.
I know what you’re thinking, but I’m not self-righteous. Trust me, I’m an asshole sometimes too. Ask my wife. I’m no preacher. Nothing I say in this post is going to move mountains or part seas. Hell, I got mad on a thread the other day and started going off on someone who I thought had acted like an asshole with a snarky remark. Turns out, I was wrong, and I just didn’t get his sense of humor. So there. I’m a motherfucking douchebag too. I’m us as guilty as the next guy.
But we’re men and we’re women and we’re human. We get angry like everyone else. The problem, I believe, is that it’s going beyond writing. Right now people are losing their Facebook accounts that may have taken years to grow. Some of these people have wives and kids and depend on this medium to sell every single book they sell. I’m pretty sure most of us aren’t making enough to pay the bills with this, but it might help buy school lunch next week. It might give you just enough change to buy stock photos to create new teasers for the next book. It might pay the damn Internet or electric bill just to help you get on Facebook in the first place.
If you ask most writers, even the ones directly involved in all the recent controversy, I bet they’d tell you they just want to fucking write! Writer’s write! It’s what we do. And if you don’t enjoy writing, you need to get the hell out of the way so those of us who do can keep moving forward with this. All this other nonsense is just static.
This is real life, guys. We have to stop fucking with each other and stop attacking each other and leave everybody the hell alone.
There’s so much real world shit we could be complaining about on our blogs. Talk about Trump or Clinton, talk about racism in America, talk about that fucking Pokemon game—talk about whatever, but why waste your valuable writing time on going back and forth in verbal blogger showdowns?
I may not always be a nice guy, but I can tell you that I have zero ill will toward anyone online. I’m the kind of person who, if I hear you don’t like me, will probably write you to see what’s up and how we can squash it. I walked into a boss’s office one day, sat down, and said, “Look, I know you don’t like me. That’s pretty obvious, but our working relationship is horrible, and we need to work together, so how we can we settle this?” Don’t ask me how that ended, lol, but here’s me reaching out to both sides of this quarrel.
Some of you are much more popular than I am. Some of you are USA Today Bestselling Authors. Some of you aren’t. Some of you have a lot less fans than I do. But if I can help anyone of you by sharing your work or giving you a mention, let me know. And I mean that.
Now…why the fuck did I tell you that window washer story at the beginning of this post? I’m not quite sure. Oh…because shit happens. And sometimes, when you’re down and out, and things are really bothering you and putting you in a negative mood, you have to see the little things and find God’s sense of humor in it.
You ran out of toilet paper? Shit happens. Use wadded up newspaper (just roll it around till its soft enough).
You confused the word bizarre with bazaar in your newly published work (I’ve done that)? Shit happens. Fix it and re-upload.
You set everything up for an awesome, epic takeover and three people show up? Shit happens. Treat those three people the way they deserve to be treated. Like they’re the only motherfuckers who showed up for you!
I don’t know where the fuck I’m going with this, but I guess this is me saying SPLAT, you’ve got a soapy windshield. Shit happens. Stop arguing. Now, I’ve got shit to do. Books to write. Or I might just go masturbate. Have a good day.
Thanks for reading!
Chris C. Genovese (C.C. Genovese)