Conversation with Jake

Categories: Authoritative Condescension * Pointless Criticism

[I received this on OKCupid from a man who lives in my state. It began nicely enough.]

From: Jake
Subject: Being Blunt

I am interested in learning more about your writing, and after I am done with this, I plan on visiting your website. You do realize that the link to the Adia song does not work, you have one slash too many. Do you play any musical instruments? I am interested in an email pen-pal friendship. By the way, my email is [e-mail address]. I used to teach Tarot at Pagan gatherings in New England, I said that because I would like to talk with you about religion, at some point. I prefer dogs to cats, and I have many, many books, but they are most non-fiction on religions, anthropology and psychology. I also have a Kindle, and I love and get many books through there. I do hope to hear from you.

[So I answered him back, nicely of course. Though he was wrong that my link for a voice sample wasn't working; there were no extra slashes in the web address.]

From: swankivy

Hi Jake,

Glad to hear you're interested in my writing. Yup, my site's the place to go if you wish to check it out! As for my Adia song, I don't know what you're talking about with "one slash too many"; there are no extra slashes in the address that don't belong there, and everyone else who has mentioned accessing it has not had trouble (and nor do I).

Interesting about the Tarot teaching--I'm not very interested in Tarot myself but it is a useful tool for many things. And I also have many books and I minored in psychology in college. Not sure what you'd like to discuss religion-wise but I'm open to anything.

Yep, musical-instrument wise I would say I'm mainly a vocalist and I can play a little piano and violin, though in school I also learned clarinet, flute, trumpet, trombone, and percussion. (I was a music major for a little while.)

Have a good one!


[He then proceeded to reply to my e-mail without responding to anything we'd talked about so far, oddly, and just started picking up other factoids from my OKCupid profile--including the fact that I marked a preference to not have pets.]

From: Jake

I wonder why you do not like pets.
Do you like RPGs?

From: swankivy

I just don't like animals. I only like them in theory (and regularly give to animal-rights groups like Humane Society, and am a vegetarian for anti-cruelty reasons), but as for actually having an animal, I don't want them around me. I don't like them to lick me, shed on me, scratch me, rub on me, or put their noses on me. And I don't like having to take care of them. So I am not interested in pets.

No, I don't like RPGs.

[It was at this point that he started to sound very defensive whenever he replied to me, and I don't know why. The pattern to respond with an attitude of "I'M JUST TRYING TO SEE HOW YOU THINK, OKAY? CALM DOWN!" began here.]

From: Jake

As I told you, I am interested in learning about the way you think. How are you as an aunt? Do you like movies? Do you have an opinion about Netflix and that sort of thing?

[I find OKCupid conversations that start to feel like 20 Questions kind of boring, but I answered his questions rather comprehensively anyway.]

From: swankivy

Glad you're interested in how I think. I don't know how I'd be as an aunt because I do not have any siblings with children (though I am very close with my best friend who has two children and they refer to me as an aunt; one is named after me, and one was born because I introduced the best friend to the father). I love other people's children but don't want any.

Yes, I like movies if they're good. That sounds like a simplistic answer, but I assure you there's more to it than that. I don't like just going to a movie to watch a movie, and truth be told I'd rather enjoy a book or some music before I'd choose movie-watching. The exception, of course, is if there's A PARTICULAR movie I'm out to see (or one that someone else wants me to watch). I don't have Netflix and would never get it because I don't have any reason to digest movies regularly--with all the books I want to read and communication I want to have and creative activities I want to engage in, something has to give, and for me it's visual entertainment. I never watch TV or movies alone (actually, I don't even have cable television; my college apartment had it for my roommates, but that was almost ten years ago).

[And . . . see how he seems to think my answers to his questions are angry or something?]

From: Jake

I am not criticizing you but I just want to understand, why do you not want to breed/have children? Do you ever feel that sort of love or longing where you think about a person and want to know where they are and what they are doing, or do you tend to remain detached?

[Ahh. The ridiculousness that comes with people assuming I'm cold and unfeeling because I'm asexual. Well.]

From: swankivy

You don't have to keep reassuring me that you're not criticizing me--it's okay for you to be curious. :)

I like children but don't want any of my own. I don't have a hard and fast reason. Part of it is that I have a pretty serious calling with my writing and I feel like having children would be impractical if I wanted to keep it the way it is. I would either fail to give the child the attention they deserved, or I would end up giving the attention (as I should) and possibly resent it in the back of my mind. As I already have a ton of things that I REALLY WANT TO DO and don't have time for, and as having children isn't something that is pushing me to accomplish like the other things are, I can't see any argument for trying to have children anyway. Even putting aside that I like living alone, don't want a boyfriend/husband, and don't want to have sex or have anyone impregnate me, actually HAVING the children isn't important to me. I think if I was going to be a mother, it should be important to me. Since it isn't, the opposite is true.

I don't often have "longing" that involves serious pain in missing a person. Sometimes I think about other people, sure, and have had a few experiences of really wishing I could be with them wherever they are, but these things are both fleeting and rare. I mostly don't get ENOUGH time alone. And if I miss someone, often calling them or writing them an e-mail is enough for me. I do appreciate and enjoy in-person interaction, but it doesn't have to be that. As long as I can have my interaction with that person's mind, I don't really care whether they're nearby.

From: Jake

The reasoning I reassured you of that is because on here, women tend to act strangely if a man actually does show any interest in them. Have you gotten any of your writing published? If you do not want a boyf friend and if you have no interest in sex, what do you expect from OkCupid? Almost all men are going to have very different expectations than you. What sort of religious views do you have? Which writers do you read?

[This strikes me as a bit ridiculous, because no, women on OKCupid don't "act strangely" if men show interest in them. Most of them are actually there to get that interest, and those that aren't interested in attention generally just don't answer. Something tells me that maybe women are "acting strangely" toward you because you talk to them like they're under a microscope and rapid-fire oddly leading questions at them, man. So, if he wants me to explain what I'm doing on OKCupid, he's going to get an explanation:]

From: swankivy

Hmm, it's odd that women would post their profiles on a dating site and then act like any guy who contacts them is creepy. . . . Well, rest assured I don't feel that way.

I have not gotten my writing published. That is something I want to achieve, and I know how to go about doing it, but it's a pretty hard sell to agents right now. I'll find my place eventually, I hope. I just have to be persistent and patient.

I don't really "expect" anything from OKCupid except that the messages I receive will be respectful and will be for the purpose of getting to know one another in whatever aspect we can. Indeed, most people on this site are here because they want to meet someone they can have a romance and/or sexual relationship with, but since it IS an option in the OKC options to choose that you're ONLY here "for friends" and "for pen pals" and "for activity partners," it's safe to say the site does accept those without that motivation. Therefore nobody should be treating me like I'm guilty of false advertising just because they didn't read my profile or they WISH I was different.

Just FYI, I have met something like eight different people from this site, all of whom are awesome friends and NONE of whom tried to hit on me or expect any romance from me. We ended up friends largely because they are accepting and open of all types of people.

Religious views really don't exist for me--nothing I believe is really "religious," so in most ways I'd be considered an atheist. That said, I prefer to put myself under the Pagan umbrella because I appreciate the sacredness--to use a loaded word--of nature, and I enjoy practicing some of the traditions of the ancients. Mostly just baking and decorating for seasonal holidays.

You asked what writers I read, and just in the interest of saving some time for myself I refer you to my profile. I did indeed go into quite a bit of detail on what books and authors I like, so if you're interested you can comb the list and let me know what you think.


[So the conversation had been not too terrible up to this point, but here's where it starts to go bad. Mr. Knowledgeable here has got a Super Idea on how I can PUBLISH MY BOOKS!]

From: Jake

I have a suggestion on how to sell some of your writing.
I have a Kindle. Are you familiar with it? It is an electronic book reader.
Amazon sells it. Basically, you buy a book on Amazon, in the ebok format, and it gets sent to your Kindle via cell phone network. Amazon has a progran through which authors can submit their books to Amazon to have it sold via the Kindle system.

The other option is to create a blog at a well traveled blog site and sell yoru stuff in PDF format.

[This conversation took place well before I signed with an agent, but even then I knew what I was doing, and I knew way better than to sell my work directly myself if I expected to get a mainstream contract through the traditional channels later. I replied.]

From: swankivy

I don't think you understand what I'm trying to do. The options you suggested are not "publishing" from where I'm standing; I am not "trying to sell my work"--that's the publisher's job. I'm trying to achieve a published novel with a mainstream publisher, not collect very small amounts of money by any means necessary.

I am familiar with Kindle. I don't believe there is a way to submit unpublished books to their program. Regardless, I'm not interested in doing so. Same with trying to sell PDFs. What I'm after is legitimate, traditional publishing, involving a publishing contract and the integrity that comes with it. You appear to be describing an electronic form of self-publishing. I have never considered self-publishing and don't intend to.

People who self-publish are on their own selling their work and marketing it. I am not in any way interested in becoming a salesperson for my work. In mainstream publishing, the publishing house does that. The publishing house submits the book to programs like Kindle, and the author might participate in book signings or promotional events/activities but normally is not actively a part of the marketing aspect of the book. I want to know as little about the sales aspect of things as possible since I intend to focus my efforts on the actual creative process. A publishing house has the means and the expertise to get wide circulation for their products.

I realize you made the suggestions above because you want to be helpful, so I do thank you for thinking of me. But I do want you to understand that I am by no stretch of the imagination desperate to get my work out there by any means possible. I know the path to publishing and how it works, and I am firmly on the path. I am querying literary agents, and when I find one who wants to work with my book, they then try to sell to publishers, taking a cut if they are successful. If any yahoo who writes a book and pays to have it published can distribute a book, it's hardly an achievement, right? I want it to be challenging and difficult, because when I get there, I'll know I've earned it.

Feel free to ask questions!


[As you will now see, this guy does NOT like being told that his idea was not appropriate for what I'm trying to do. And not only is he about to wag his little finger; he is also about to try to assign me personality faults for being so gosh darn unpleasant to him over his inappropriate unsolicited advice. Whee!]

From: Jake

You misunderstood the reason I suggested what I did. The goal is to be a legitimate author. The way to do that for someone who does not yet have an agent is to become a property in which they might be interested. For that to happen, you eitehr have to know someone in the business who will place your manuscript in front of the right person, or you have to create the right sort of buzz. If you could create a following or audience for your work, you would have greater leverage when dealing with agents.

I am curious about the way you view theworld and your inner cognitive processes. Do you often feel othes are not as smart as you? Do you become impatient with others? Do you wonder why you often have to explain things to others which seem rather obvious to you?

[Hey buddy, the fact that I very patiently explained what I was trying to do--in order to give you a better picture of why your advice was inappropriate--is a testament to the fact that I have no problem at all with impatience. Considering most people would have stopped talking to your borderline-hostile ass by now. . . . ]

From: swankivy

Actually I still don't think I've misunderstood, because the mail above still suggests you don't understand how publishing works. The path I'm pursuing does not involve trying to "sell" your work yourself. It also doesn't involve offering it in any way beyond small samples. It is true that both agents and publishers will be more interested in you if they imagine you have a good product to sell, but since it is not kosher (first worldwide rights-wise) to release the product publicly through your own devices if you want it published through a mainstream house later, it makes no sense to say this is a good way to get them interested.

It's also true that agents are not going around reading other people's blogs and offering them contracts, except in very isolated incidents (and in those cases normally it will be FOR the content already released or something similar--and generally not in the case of a novel). Running around on the 'Net "generating a buzz" is not a normal path to publication.

I have a webcomic with a fair enough following, and though I mention it offhand in the "personal" sentence or two that is appropriate to include in an agent's query letter, it isn't a legitimate publishing credit in itself and it is unlikely to make the agents interested. (I include it as a little detail that helps show I'm dedicated and well-rounded.) I assure you that if I query an agent about my novel, they are not going to be any more likely to take me as a client due to my having popularity on the Internet, unless what I am trying to market is something *about* that popularity (ex., if I am a popular blogger and I want to release a book about the content of my popular blog).

When you write a novel and seek publication, it IS true that the publishers will be interested in whether your content will appeal to an audience, so it is good to have some proof that audiences will respond well. But I do fail to see how publishers are going to be impressed with me if I've skipped the usual steps and tried to sell my work directly on my own. That is what self-publishers do, and trust me when I say that many people in the industry consder self-publishing the kiss of death. If anything, it de-legitimizes the author; it makes the publishers think they resorted to doing it themselves because everyone in New York rejected them.

An unpublished author can contact agents with query letters or can contact the publishers themselves (those that allow unagented submissions), but making the content available on one's own isn't part of the process. "Buzz" for this kind of work is very unlikely to get you a contract, and suggesting that I "have to" create a buzz in order to get a contract is . . . well, wrong. If you look for legitimate publishing resources, I assure you that "make your writing available through PDF" and "sell it yourself through Kindle" will not be on the suggestions list unless the resource you're looking at is a self-publishing company. Again, not my thing.

I don't know why you think you have to "know the right person" in order to get published, either. Could you tell me what your sources are for your advice here? Have you researched or attempted publication yourself? The process starts with a query letter (of which I have written many), either to an agent or a publisher, and as I'm working on the agent aspect I am targeting them. I write them a letter and according to the specifications on their entries in writers' resources I might also send a synopsis or an outline or sample chapters, but often they just want the letter. If they are interested, they write back and ask for more. And if an agent decides they like your product and want to work with you, they offer you a contract with their agency, after which they shop the book around to publishers they think would be looking for a book like this. If one likes it, they offer you a deal. That's pretty much it. I know how to approach this process and I am not lost in a shuffle with no way to break in. I've actually gotten pretty far in the process a couple times, though the final answer for the most promising one still didn't involve a contract.

As for your questions:

Do I often feel others are not as smart as me? Not unless they aren't. Do I become impatient with others? No; patience and attention to detail are two of my strong suits. Do I wonder why I often have to explain things to others which seem rather obvious to me? This seems a non sequitur, since it operates on the assumption that I DO often have to explain obvious things to others in order to wonder why that is. That's not the case, though, so I can't answer that; I gladly explain things when asked, but don't find myself frequently misunderstood or left wondering why they can't get something "obvious."

Did YOU ask the above questions because you assumed the answer to all was "yes"? I ask because it seems they were asked with an attitude that sought to pin a certain mindset on me and make me look at it. But you've misunderstood if you believe I countered your suggestions with good reasons because I think other people don't have the ability to understand me and can't have patience with explaining things to them. I think I did a rather thorough job explaining to you why I didn't think your suggestions were practical for me, and any attitude you might be attaching to my response would be a projection or an assumption.

[I'm sure you can imagine that this explanation wasn't well-received either. Bring on the personal attacks and shaming!]

From: Jake

I actually know very well how publishing works. I have a number of close friends who are non-fiction authors, and a few who are editors in NYC in the fiction business. Why do you suppose no publisher has yet picked you up or decided to publish any of your works?

[Ooh! Nonfiction authors! The exact kind of people I said DO sell their work better with a buzz! And you also know editors in New York, and all about how they spend their days on blogs looking for someone to offer a contract to! Nooooope.]

From: swankivy

1. Nonfiction is a different ballgame than fiction, and I touched on this above when I said that "creating a buzz" is only useful if someone wants to publish you for something you've done while creating that buzz. It is not the same thing, as I said, as throwing your content around on the Internet when you want to publish a fiction book.

2. Having editor friends in NYC doesn't mean you know about the literary agenting market. I asked about your experience because what you are describing as a suggestion for me is nothing like how the process works for the product I am offering.

3. No publisher has "picked me up" because I have yet to acquire an agent. I have only written two books which I thought were publishable, and consequently, only two for which I have pursued a literary agent. On the first one, I queried seven agents and four were interested, responded by requesting my sample chapters. Of the four, one wrote back and started talking marketing while requesting the rest of the book. She ultimately decided not to work with me because the book was quite long and she said she didn't know the editors for it. Publishing a long book is next to impossible for a previously unpublished author, so I decided to try to avoid shooting myself in the foot with it. I wrote a shorter novel next, and that's the one I'm currently querying agents for. It's not exactly a tale of long, fruitless failure. Just one that also hasn't yet resulted in success. It's silly to claim I'd be published by now if I deserved it--or to claim that I need to follow the advice you gave me in order to achieve my goal. It's common knowledge that most major successful authors still encountered rejection after rejection. And if you can point me to a well-known fiction writer who made the bigtime due to starting off in PDF-peddling, please do let me know. I've never heard of such a thing and it's counterintuitive.

[I later did acquire an agent--actually, not just one agent, but TWO, because a second one picked up my nonfiction. I know what I'm talking about, obviously, because I got where I wanted to go. But the fact that I had yet to succeed at the thing I knew very well how to do was apparently proof enough that I just don't know what I'm doing. He continues, again trying really hard to assign me personality problems and communication issues instead of addressing my content:]

From: Jake

There is a funny sort of lack of emotion in the way you write. It is as if you have a separation of some sort. You also have a slightly hostile critical quality in your communciation. Are you aware of that?

[Well why would I be critical at all? You've only given me terrible publishing advice in an unsolicited manner, and then refused to listen to me when I said it was inappropriate, right? Everyone loves being talked down to! Why the heck would I object? Better ask leading questions attempting to assign me a Problem!]

From: swankivy

If someone's approaching me to disagree with things about which I know plenty and challenging my credentials, I don't tend to be particularly warm and friendly to them. Take from that what you will, but you haven't even scratched the surface of what I'm capable of in communication. I can get a lot more hostile and critical if someone is openly critical of me, but if there's nothing of the kind in my communication with someone, it's a whole different ballgame. But if you think you've got me pegged as an unemotional, harsh and bitter person because I've reacted negatively to your approach, I guess there's not much I can do about it. Feel free to judge as you will.

[But oh noooo, he's not done.]

From: Jake

It is the way you responded. You were condescending and judgmental. I do not think you are bitter. I do think you have an impairment in interpreting social cues and communicating. I sort of suspected that from the biographical material I read on your website. I understand the nature of your impairment, and so I know you meant no malice or aggression. I also know that due to the nature of your impairment, you would not be able to understand any explanation I might provide for what you did or why.

[And there it is! He's been implying all this time that I am "disconnected" and "cold" and "unfeeling" and "separated" (and trying to tie it in with my asexuality), but now he's said it more or less outright. At this point I was surprised to see it, but I believed he was implying that I was autistic since he zeroed in on communication and social skills. Though that's a really awful way to tell someone you think they're autistic ("the nature of your impairment"). Ugh. Nice how he built in a clause saying I am not equipped to understand the explanation he might make, too, so he doesn't have to try. People who try to assign other people conditions and disorders to explain why their rudeness isn't being tolerated are really very boring and annoying folks.]

From: swankivy

Meh. I don't think I really have anything else to say to you if you're going to say I respond to your poorly conceived communication the way I do because I have a social impairment. It's just not worth it.

[So you've seen it here first, folks: a rare example of swankivy shrugging and giving up on somebody. AND THEN EVEN THEN, HE WASN'T DONE.]

From: Jake

Wow! You sure like assuming things. This is the third or fourth time you did that in our communication. I suspect you have some degree of Asperger's. That is really the only thing that could explain the way you write and communicate. If you do not have Asperger's, you are an incredibly obnoxious, and condescending creature who thinks she is smarter than everyone else.

Either you are impaired in interpreting social information or you are rude, or you are arrogant. Perhaps, you are a combination of all three.

[Gross. He's basically comparing Asperger's with being a jerk and that's just low. Especially since IF HE ACTUALLY BELIEVES I DO HAVE ASPERGER'S, he has still said I'm obnoxious! Wow, it couldn't possibly be anything wrong with you sidestepping everything I say to you and coming back to ask leading personal questions, could it?]

From: swankivy

Um . . . you said I have an "impairment" and that it is to blame for my not understanding you. That's specifically, deliberately stating that you think I am socially impaired. I just used different words. It's not an assumption of any kind--or did you not just specifically express that you think I can't interpret social cues or communicate properly? Yes, please do explain how it's an assumption on my part that's resulted in me saying you think I'm socially impaired.

If I am not receiving the message you want me to, take a look at what you're typing. Your mails to me have generally been clipped and disconnected, and you avoid answering my direct questions when I ask for your reasoning about something that wasn't clear, simply moving on to the next question. Point out one assumption I've made--and give me a clear explanation of why it's an assumption, not a reaction--and I'll be impressed.

I tend to be condescending when other people try to put themselves in a position from which they think they can judge me or interpret my behavior--like you've just done above, for example, by claiming I must have Asperger's Syndrome in order to write like I do (unless, of course, I'm just totally obnoxious). No, you don't have enough information or experience to interpret my behavior, though it's fine if you don't like how I communicate. I don't think I have much choice but to look down my nose at someone who tries to put me in a box I don't belong in based on their own limited experience.

I tend to be very specific and clear with my writing style, and when someone's intimidated by it, they occasionally assign me faults like bitter loneliness or an elitist attitude. It doesn't happen too often, but there are some types of people who have trouble communicating with me, and it's often because they try to read between the lines messages that I have not put there.

Take for example the place where this conversation went south for me, when you offered me advice on how to publish my writing. Neither of the suggestions were useful (one because Kindle--as far as I know--does not accept unpublished books, and the other because unpublished novels being marketed by the author in PDF form before publication is not part of any traditional publishing journey that I've ever heard of), and I explained to you why the suggestions weren't appropriate in clear, descriptive language. For some reason you came back from that to insist that your advice WAS appropriate, and gave me even wilder justification that made no sense to me. So I questioned your credentials--and apparently, I was right to do so, as you seemed to think listing friends in practically unrelated businesses bolstered your right to offer very wrong advice. Now, you're saying it was *condescending* or *elitist* of me to suggest that you don't know what you're talking about when you apparently don't know what you're talking about? I did at first thank you for trying, though I do think something you might want to consider is that most people don't particularly like unsolicited advice. It'd be one thing if I'd been whining to you about not being able to get published, but I did no such thing. Furthermore, I did my homework, and when one does one's homework it's easy to see who hasn't. I don't think it was inappropriate of me to call you on it.

As for Asperger's, no. I was a rather introspective and sometimes shy child, and I do have a different way of thinking, but so do most creative and eccentric types. I have more friends than anyone I know who's not a celebrity, and with the vast majority I have no communication issues whatsoever. The central tenet of Asperger's is that its "sufferers" may have issues anticipating what another person might think or feel, and may have trouble interpreting others' actions or emotions. I've never had this kind of disconnect with other people in general, and the only time somebody gets the cold shoulder or the shutdown from me is when I sense judgment, disrespect, dishonesty, or accusation from their actions.

You don't really seem too interested in examining your own behavior during OUR gap in understanding--you're just blaming me for it. I didn't think it was necessary to treat your mails to me with kid gloves or apologize for anything I was saying, so maybe because I was *critical* (with, in my opinion, good reason) of some things you said that were WRONG, now you're getting sulky that I pointed out your mistakes. In your opinion, would it have instead been the proper thing to do if I just nodded and smiled and let you go on thinking "sell your novel through a blog site in PDF form" was good publishing advice? I'll admit I can sometimes be honest to a fault, but it isn't because I'm a social failure. It's because I'd rather hear the truth myself, and in general, if someone can't take the truth, I'm unlikely to get along with them. One of the biggest things I hate dealing with in other people is when they're caught up in lying to themselves and others, and expect me to respect it.

I'm not sure why you keep coming back to this "You think you're smarter than everyone else" nonsense, either. I don't think it's wrong for me to act like I'm as smart as I am, but it doesn't have anything to do with you. Does it really make you that insecure that you keep bringing it up, as if I'm on some infantile quest to knock other people down to look smart? I once met a guy on here who accused me of using "dictionary words" to make myself look more intelligent. I was honestly surprised. I hadn't deliberately looked up any words or attempted to include "smart-sounding" language in my communications to him, and it made no sense to me why a person would do such a thing. I certainly hadn't and wouldn't. But apparently to some people intelligence is threatening. I don't know if it is to you, but this "YOU THINK YOU'RE BETTER THAN ME!" b.s. is not in my vocabulary.

Incidentally, unless it's for sex or some ridiculous meetup based on sex, almost all of my communication on OKCupid has been from people who are energized and inspired by my profile, excited by my passion, and delighted by my openness and honesty. It's very weird when someone like you looks at the same material and sees social difficulties and emotionlessness, or expresses such insecurity and unhappiness with the way I speak. I'm usually very well received, though in person it's usually a little easier because text doesn't come with any facial expressions and they can't tell when I'm smiling or sometimes if I'm being sarcastic or silly. Your interpretation of my writings isn't unique, but it IS rare. I suppose there are sometimes people who operate on incompatible wavelengths, and if you're interested in trying to get around that roadblock instead of blaming me for both a broken transmitter and a broken antenna, we might be able to have a conversation again. If not, I'm fine with agreeing to be incompatible.


[But of course, he bangs on with the "no no, you DO have a social problem and cannot communicate properly!" schtick. Surprise! Oh and a "well you see child, you'll one day have to accept that you won't be able to get published" comment, too.]

From: Jake

You confuse being honest with being emotionally blunt. There is a difference. Often people do confuse honesty with stating how they feel regardless of teh social consequence. You are not really honest. You merely lack filters and confuse being verbal with being in contact with your feelings. What I find so intruiging (at thsi safe distance) is how you had an emotionally excessive reaction to some simple things I have said. I did read your biography and most of your writings on your website. I understand why you won't ever get publish by any mainstream publishing house. I also understand why you need to beleive that one day you will get picked up by someone. Perhaps a house that publishes fan fiction, some small speculative fiction house that wants to pbranch into what it thinks is literature might pick you up. I am just curious about your bizarre violent responses. It is fascinating.

[Hehe. Now this doesn't happen very often. Usually people either try to fit intellectual and/or asexual people into the "lacking emotional human qualities" box (like he has for most of this conversation) OR they try the "hysterical female" approach and tell me I'm too emotional to be able to logically have this conversation. And this guy did them BOTH! That seriously almost never happens! Oh, he tried so, so hard to hit me where it hurts by saying I'd never be published, which I guess is just his own emotional projection that he's hiding behind. Hooray!] From: swankivy

Your response to me is probably one of the weirdest things I've ever read.

I suppose you can think what you like about my "obvious" disconnect with my feelings and the future of my writing career. However, you've demonstrated several times already that your interpretations of me are based on assumptions and are disconnected from reality, and that you'd rather attack me for supposed rudeness than address the facts I keep bringing up (e.g., your clear lack of knowledge about the publishing industry).

I don't find it very interesting, entertaining, or worthy of my time to have a conversation with a borderline troll who's talking to me like I'm just a fascinating specimen, and I certainly don't appreciate your attempt to knock me down by insulting what you think matters to me. In case you haven't noticed, I've got no confidence in your knowledge of the publishing industry, as you've demonstrated several times that you don't know how things work (and have "cleverly" avoided answering my direct questions about whether your "sell PDFs!" method has ever succeeded for anyone). Considering I don't even write fanfiction, your ramble above became even more incoherent when you suggested a "house that publishes fan fiction" would be my only hope. Is it just that you felt so hurt that I'd question your credentials (even though you don't have any) that you're trying to kick me in the proverbial nuts with "YOU'LL NEVER GET PUBLISHED, SO HA!"? It's an extremely low and filthy thing to do to try to push someone's buttons, but it's especially weird when I know you are not knowledgeable about the publishing industry whatsoever, and YOU know it too.

As for the difference between honesty and "having no filters," I think you might (again) need to take a look at yourself here. You're reading my precise, fairly formal language as if it means I've got a stick up my bum and can't be friendly, and that's your own interpretation issue. And then you go and tell me I'm rude, obnoxious, and probably have Asperger's (which is a form of autism), followed by "wow, you assume so much, did you know you do that?" when I said you'd called me socially impaired. Ah, and of course, instead of addressing THAT, it's more attacks, more "this is your fault, ah, you're so fascinating as long as there's this glass wall between us because YOU'RE violent and I'M a paragon of how communication should look." Your style is to sidestep everything I ask you to justify--*extremely* intellectually dishonest behavior--and now you've got it in your head that I'm the one who's not any good at communication. That just takes the cake.

You've been offensive, immature, and judgmental, and I don't have room for that kind of b.s. in my life. I don't want to talk to you anymore.

[And, children, I finally blocked him. And that was the end.]

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Comments from others:

J.: Jesus Christ. The "autistic people don't have emotions" stereotype rankles me, as I am autistic. Some of us can pass for neurotypical, and have "regular" conversations, but we aren't cold and unfeeling, and people who think that way harm the public perception of autism.

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