Okay, there are those who think that my website is much too big, that I spend way too much time on it, and that I am a hopeless egomaniac. All righty. . . .

The page is big. So? Why is it that because I have a lot of content, it means I don't have a life outside of it?

The page has taken a lot of time to build. So? It is a hobby. I enjoy working on it. And it doesn't take as much time as you probably think it does, especially considering how long I've been tweaking and adding to it.

The page includes a LOT of information about ME. Well, it IS a personal website--most of the content is about me or the things I like. But consider this. I have large instructional and informational parts of my site, like a part that has instructional materials on Paganism, and a long and involved informative essay about asexuality, and even a recipes site. On top of that, while lots of content is personal, it is also entertainment: I make my long fiction, short fiction, and poetry available to the public through this site, and I also have original music, original art, book reviews, book-related fansites, an ongoing webcomic, a huge photo gallery, and interactive forms that let viewers contribute and comment.

On top of that, there is the social aspect; for the parts of my site that involve talking about myself, I think why the hell not? Some people who otherwise never would have met me can get to know me through the site, and they have. My site has caught the attention of people who later became my friends because of some interest we shared. I'm still unsure of why people have a problem with the idea of me presenting myself to the online world in a digitized form.

People seem to look at my page as if I threw it together in a month, spending every waking second typing unimportant b.s. about myself into a computer out of obsession and, well, loser-ness, I guess. And then they say, "GIRL, what the hell is wrong with you? Why do you spend so much time on this stupid thing? Don't you have a life?" In fact, I do have quite a bit of a life, thanks, and much of the site is about that life. It just so happens that maintaining this website is part of that life, and it's fun. And I'll have you know that I've been working on it bit by bit since 1997. This was not a one-shot deal. I did not sit here and plan the entire thing one day. It has been growing since I had an assignment to make a website in a spring semester 1997 music technology class, and it started as one stupid list of links like everyone else's. It just so happens that when I do something, I like to do it right, and in a big way.

I now have some questions for the people who are not yet convinced. For those of you who still think I'm a big loser because my site is so big, answer me this: I hate to respond with backwards accusations, but what exactly do you do in your spare time that is so much more worthy? Okay, so making a website may not be your idea of fun, or it may not be your chosen method of venting frustrations or expressing ideas, or it may be you just don't know how to make a very good site and think those of us who have bothered to learn are hopeless nerds. But at least respect the fact that a website is my idea of fun, it is an acceptable and effective release for me, and it is rather easy for me now that html is a second language for me. I don't think you're a loser if you don't have a site, or if your site is nowhere near as large and in-depth as mine (hey, whose is?). I just get a little annoyed when I'm judged "ohmigod, LOSER" by someone who probably has spent more time watching TV since 1997 than I have on this site.

And not only TV--they watch TV and then they watch reruns of what they already watched and buy the DVD and then watch it again. Do I have a problem with that? No, not really, but notice I'm not the one judging you for it.

I don't watch TV. I don't even have cable. I seem to default to creativity mode instead of passive absorption mode, so soaking up programming is not my first choice of entertainment. I am a producer, not a consumer (though of course everyone who produces needs to consume a little, though I tend to consume and then react if I think my thoughts on the material might be interesting to someone). I am not against media consumption in principle, at all. It just so happens that when I get to choose what I want to do, the first thing I think of is to make rather than take. But I think most people don't even realize what consumers they are, and then they are going to sit there and judge me for wanting to do this instead?

At least I'm being productive and getting my stuff out there--but be my guest, sit on your butt and watch your programs, listen to your music, read your books as much as you want, then call me a loser because I'm actually creating these things and sharing them. I'll be here in my computer chair making contact with the people who are interested in and inspired by my efforts (and yes, they exist in droves, according to the e-mails I get nearly every day). While you're watching your shows, I'll be here putting out material instead of soaking it up. And I reiterate that there's not a damn thing wrong with wanting to absorb, especially if you're not overdoing it; I'm just really disgusted by the fact that people who don't contribute anything are making fun of those of us who are!

And believe me, this website may look like it takes a lot of effort but it's only a fraction of what I'm capable of. If you think after looking at this page that I must spend all my time on it, think again. I work a day job, I work several other work-as-needed jobs, I go out with my friends, and I still maintain this site plus several other service pages and two webcomics; I do other creative things, I bake, I write books and talk on the phone and keep my house up . . . AND find time to sleep. Don't even try to tell me I don't have a life outside this box. And at the end of the day, I have something to show for it. It really strikes me as ironic that these people who have produced little or nothing of value in their lives can even consider saying, "But isn't it all a bit pointless?" to me. It isn't pointless just because YOU missed the point.

Still want to tell me to get a life? Do tell; give me some hints on how I could be more productive and worthwhile. Or you could just kiss my ass. Thank you very much.

Any comments left here are PUBLIC. If you are not comfortable with that, mail me directly.

Email address:

Comments from others:

Mikey: Well said and just for the record I think your site is great I love the writings and essays I for one really enjoy what you have put together. I think it shows great talent and a flair for life. I think this is great I hope that it keeps growing, I for one will be sure to express my gratitude towards it and the creative mind that is yours.

Amy: Hey, do whatever you like. As long as you're not hurting anyone or doing anything illegal, don't be fussed with what people say. If they don't like it, they don't have to visit.

Jessica: Well put. Although you got "to the point" you sound like a self concided vein bitch. Yea, I said it. By now you'll want to exit out of this comment and go on to the next. Well thats ok. Shows how much you care about peoples comments. I am the head of the cheerleading squad at a well known college, I am doing accepectionly well in my classes, and I still have time to have a life. I do like that youv'e written 10 novels, and THOUSANDS of page materials. But just lay off of the "YOU" thing. Thank you for taking your "precious" time out of doing whatever you do, to read this letter!

swankivy: Hmm, okay--this girl typed "noneyabussiness@hotmail.com" as her e-mail so I didn't bother to try and check if that was a real address. I'm not sure what made her think that I don't care about people's comments since why would I post a comment box for them if I didn't want them, but I guess I'm just a "self concided vein bitch." (I think she means conceited and vain, but someone who's so busy with the cheerleading squad and does "accepectionly" well in her classes probably can't be bothered to proofread her work.) This looks more like an attempt for her to brag to me than an actual comment on the page, but it's kind of funny and a little related to the subject matter, being that she has so kindly volunteered herself as one of the stupid people who criticizes me over my site. Girl, I still have time to have a life TOO and that's what this page was ABOUT. Duh.

dana: ok ur web page is stupid .... u keep sayin a bunch of crap about ur self but u know what ur ugly so u need to get over it

swankivy: Ahh yes, I see--I need to "get over it" because I am ugly, and that is such a wonderful critique of my page, and there is also that bit about how my page is "stupid" and is "a bunch of crap about [my] self." Yeah, personal websites tend to be about the person who made them. Know what? What the hell are you doing here if you don't want to read whatever I have to say, anyway?

Dieter: I've been a big Ivy fan for quite some time and I am proud to count her as a friend. And guess what! It was actually this web site that made me wanna seek her out. I read her li'l AOL profile, went to the 'site and became a supporter instantly.

lupis: i love you page. I consider that your page is very complete and fun.

Fliq: Your site is awesome and great,I am a big fan of yours and I have no idea why people don't like it...well I do, but thats their problem, they can go eat worms and not look at your site! I hate it when people don't notice that your hobbies are hobbies and it would be even more annoying when your hobbie is on the internet for all to see. ps.(Not that it needs one since the message was only 2 sentences and all...) Yay for people who like faerie wings!

Alicia: I like your site and I don't consider it obsessive. I'm going to make a website, too. It's going to be focused mainly on freethinking and skepticism. Hopefully, it will be as big as yours someday. hehe

Clare: I like your site Ivy. You write very well, and everything is so interesting! And I really enjoyed the stories about the customers at your work, cause I work as a cashier too and it sounds so much like my job. Making sites isn't obsessive, I'm trying to do one too, and anyways, I think you're a pretty cool person!

Siobhan: Hey, i think its cool that you do what you do, i only read this one page where it says think im to obsessed or something its cool what you got going for yourself keep it up, and all those bitches out there this girl who made this page obviously doesnt give a fuck what you think so you obviously jelous she can make a dope page and you cant

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