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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

"Mean Mr. Mustard, sleeps in the park..."

by Stephanie Feagan

Other than shaving in the dark and sleeping in the park and shouting out something obscene to the Queen, I could be Mean Mr. Mustard, made famous by The Beatles. Of late, I have become a nasty sort, shouting obscenities at idiots on the road (and I note there are always a lot more idiots when I'm in this mood), at the answering machine, at pretty much anything annoying - and I'm in one of those moods where everything is pissing me off.

This isn't a blog about being pissed off, however. This is a blog about how nice people can be, and how wonderful it is to know, even when I get the mean reds, there are lovely people in the world who will remain nice, who'll still be there, being nice, when I climb down off this mountain of poo I've hiked the past few months.

Trish Milburn sent me flowers today. Because Lady Fate, when she doles out poo, really hurls it, and Trish wanted to make the stink a little less intimidating. I have lovely, happy daisies in yellow and white, smiling at me, daring me to stay in this deep funk, reminding me of Trish's friendship and what a lucky girl I am to have her in my life.

Laron Glover sent me a wee trinket, which is, simply, beautiful, and I will treasure it forever. I wish I could show it to you. It's a dangly ornament, which I can hang on my desk, or wear as a necklace, or slip into my pocket and carry about for good karma. One side has a tiny old photo of a woman in a pointy hat and long robes, arms lifted to heaven in supplication. The back has a quote:

Artistic success is not measured by what you get - but what you give: whispers of truth, captured on paper, dispatched from the heart.

Does that rock, or what? It's encased in silver and glass, just beautiful. (Hint: Laron is currently feverishly working on setting up a new business, called Ninth Moon, which will offer all sorts of writerly things for sale, including dangly awesome trinkets like mine. We here at the Wet Noodle Posse will keep you posted.)

Lest you think I'm merely a victim of PMS, or simply crying in my beer because I've yet to sell another book, making a mockery of that RITA win last summer, I should exonerate myself by saying, it's not that. Granted, these things don't help - where IS that Midol??? And WHY won't those editors buy my books??? - but the mean reds aren't because of hormones and nayasayer editors. No, my friends, life has thrown me several killer curve balls in the past few months and I didn't duck.

Lucky for me, I've got backup, catching fly balls before they knock me completely out of the game. I've got an entire Posse riding shotgun, and this is one helluva Posse!

But there are others - people who don't have a clue that what they say, and how they say it, makes my days a wee bit less mean and red. I've spent quite a lot of time traveling BlogLand recently, and in so doing, have met up with some women I never see, who I don't think about on a regular basis, but who I'm reminded are very, very nice people. Women I considered it a pleasure to meet, who I suspect I would hang with, if time and distance weren't obstacles. I've also met a few in my own imagination, only through what they write on their blogs, but they, too, make life a little less crappy.

Here then, is a list of gracious, lovely women and my personal thanks to each of them for being awesome at life:

Dee Tenorio, one of the hostesses at the eHarlequin boards. Dee recently had twins. Dee is a lovely, warm woman, someone I suspect I could ask for the shirt off of her back and she'd give me her bra as well - but Dee, don't! Not while you're nursing!

HelenKay Dimon, who writes for Kensington's Brava line. HelenKay is funny, honest and always seems to 'get it'. I'd like to have lunch with HelenKay.

Sarah Wendell, one half of the Smart Bitches. Sarah is funny, self deprecating and has a baby on the way. If she and I could sit down together long enough, we could solve every problem facing RWA, as well as discover the secret to World Peace.

Angela James, editor wunderkind at Samhain. Also a devoted mama who's gracious enough to share pictures and stories about her baby girl, which never fails to remind me of when my girls were babies. Considering those poo balls I was talking about, most of which came from circumstances in my daughters' lives, this is a beautiful thing. Angie is also on my People I'd Love to Have Lunch With list.

Sybil at The Good, the Bad, and The Unread. I've never met Sybil, wouldn't know her if she walked into my office right now, but from her blog posts, I suspect she would be marvelous to get to know. I'd like to chat it up with Sybil about Romancelandia, and her thoughts on what's not out there that should be.

The Ja(y)nes at Dear Author. Despite Jane's irritation (unfounded, I thought, and she did very graciously say so later) at RWA, and we all know I'm pretty rabid when it comes to defending the ol' RW of A, Dear Author is quickly becoming one of my favorite sites to visit. They have great reviews, and not just the 'big' book releases. I like that, and from all they write, their opinions and perspectives, I already like them - and I've never met any of them.

Kristin Nelson at Nelson Literary. if I didn't have an agent I adore, I'd be bugging the hell out of this woman to take me on. She's smart, generous and a 'nice' girl. :)

Ann Wesley Hardin knows way more about me than she should, considering we're not best friends or anything. Funny part - BEST part - is that she likes me anyway. I have a special spot in my heart, just for Ann, even if she is an old bat.

Cat Cody, aka Arianna Hart. She's funny, enthusiastic, and let's face it - she never met a stranger.

Christine Feehan, because she was way beyond kind at my first ever booksigning, at RT in St. Louis. And because her daughter is lovely, and anyone who can raise a daughter so lovely is very special.

Marilyn Puett, who I met on the Desireables list, eons ago when I was trying to write a Desire. She was the first to review my first book, and she said she loved it, which meant I loved her. Subsequent meetings with Marilyn only intensified my belief that she is a genuine, wonderful woman.

Maria V. Snyder, who sat by me at the awards last year and argued that I was going to win. "No, you are," I said. "No, you," she insisted. She was right, and was gracious and fabulous when I came back to my seat. I see she's up for a RITA again this year - I wish her good luck!

Dionne Galace, aka Bam. This woman is funny, and she doesn't pull any punches. She also likes burritos - add her to the lunch list.

You know, this list could go on and on - hundreds of women I've met through the years, faces that come and go, but real people who leave a little bit of themselves with me, whether in person, or through what they write, who make my life so much richer.

When life gets sucky, and mine currently sucks out loud, it is, most truly, heartening to think of kind people, lovely women - sincere souls.

And I keep reminding myself, it's not what I get, but what I give - and that makes all the difference. Would that someone, somewhere might think the same of me - I'll know I'm a real big success.

What about you? Are there people in your life who make your day a little brighter, a little less sucky, and they don't know it?


At 6:23 AM, Blogger Diane Perkins said...

Like you, Stef, there are just too many people to mention. To me, the real gift "RW of A" has given me is the gift of wonderful friends and a community of wonderful people. I suppose there are those who are unpleasant to know in the romance writing world, but I can't think of any at the moment. My mind is filled with kind, generous, fun, intelligent, gutsy, and loyal women.

At 8:37 AM, Blogger Trish Milburn said...

This post is a great reminder for us to be thankful for all the great friends in our lives.

I'm glad you like he flowers. I hope they're making you smile. :)

At 11:10 AM, Blogger Mo H said...

Well, you for one! And the rest of the posse. Believe me, reading your post today was truly uplifting and much better than my other web browsing of late--melanoma poo, as I will now call it.

At 12:21 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Great title and wonderful post, Stef. Pretty cool that you can dig your way out of the poo long enough to write such a great post! What great people you have supporting you...and flowers and a necklace to boot!

I hope things turn around soon. And I'm sure you have made a difference in many people's lives. Thanks for the post, since it reminded me to think of all the people who do make my days brighter!

At 6:55 PM, Blogger Kiki, aka Esri said...

It's always helpful to count your blessings.

Sorry you've had poo, and I hope it's going away.


At 11:07 PM, Anonymous HelenKay said...

Thank you so much! The feeling is totally mutual. In addition to being a fan of your books, I'm a fan of yours. I hope all the pooh stuff goes away and the rest of the year shines for you.

And, yes, before your ask, it is true that I have a goggle addiction, I need a 12 Step Program. It was just so nice to come across something so lovely with my name attached to it :). Trish is right, this is a great reminder for all of us.

At 9:53 AM, Blogger Dee said...

Stef--I only now got this since I've been nose to the grindstone all week, but wow. What a lovely thing to find on Mother's Day. You're always welcome to my shirt, lol. I'm pretty sure you'd give me yours if needed, too. :)

Many hugs!

At 8:48 AM, Blogger Ann Wesley Hardin said...

I just found this post -- A day late and a dollar short as usual.

You're on my list too, babes. I don't know why cuz you're a freakin' nut and everyone knows I'm perfectly sane, but we don't get to choose who our hearts warm up to, do we?

I hope by now things have gotten better for ya. Feel free to email me to grouse because I've had two years from hell myself. Real hell.

I'll leave you with my favorite mantra from Sir Winston Churchill: if you're going through hell, keep going.

Keep the faith!


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