Tuesday, December 31, 2013


You might have noticed that I made a couple of changes around here.

I resisted putting my photo online for a long time, and part of me still wishes that there was some magical way to avoid that.  I wish I could stay in the part of the Internet where we have to judge each other only on our words, because there's no name or voice or body to let us shortcut our reason by saying "oh, of course - s/he's one of those."  But that would mean never leaving my computer or going to any events ever, and I'm not willing to do that.  So now you can enjoy me as I exist in carbon-world: as Yet Another Squishy White Woman.  (And a damn fine example of the species, if I do say so myself.  Shout-out to all my fellow SWWs!)

I resisted using my given name for similar reasons.  It's hard to spell and pronounce and remember, for one thing.  But more than that, I always felt like the scariness that is writing and inviting the whole world to read it almost requires some kind of spandex-clad second identity, so the slings and arrows of outraged readers fall not on Bruce Wayne, but on Batman.  Because he can handle it.  Because he's Batman

Well, I've written what I've written, and I look the way I look, and I probably ought to get comfortable with owning all of that.  (Though I'll take it as a favor if y'all still call me Tex.)

But I'm not gonna lie, you guys.  I am scared out of my mind way more often than I'd like to be, and it's not just pre-publication jitters.

--I'm scared of putting my picture up, cuz I've seen what people do with them (especially if you're a gal who starts having unwelcome opinions.)

--I'm scared of using my real name, cuz I've also seen how clever the Internet can be in digging up your personal information and delivering the rape-and-death threats right to your doorstep.

--I'm scared of going to cons as anything but an attendee, because I've heard all the horror stories about creepers and stalkers, in addition to the more garden-variety "how 'bout you have a nice big glass of shut up and sit down, little lady" social misdemeanors.

--I'm scared of the regular old "your books suck, you suck, and you should probably just go die in a fire" reviews, comments, and hate mail that seem to be par for the course these days.

And you know what?  I bet that is not a drop in the freaking ocean compared to the racism, ableism, and homophobia that I'll never have to deal with. 

Anyway, none of this has actually happened yet.  And when it does, it won't be anything that hasn't happened to hundreds and thousands of other people.  It won't be anything that I didn't accept as a risk when I decided to get into this gig.  After all, if you play outside long enough, sooner or later you're going to scrape your knee.  For me personally, the thrill of the playground is worth the risk.  And I'm incredibly lucky to have made it this far.

I guess mostly I'm just going to miss this version of me.  The one who's never had a nasty encounter, who can go to cons all starry-eyed and bouncingly enthusiastic, who's never had to find out what does or doesn't qualify as justification for a restraining order or a harassment complaint.  There's already so much "except for..." in my love for SFF fandom and Internet culture in general, and it's going to suck to have to add to that.

Well, here's to 2014: the year I get out there and get dirty.  Bring it on.

Hold your head high, take a deep breath and sigh
Goodbye to Sandra Dee.


  1. I'm so curious seeing as I'm living in your past, as in, I don't have my face up on my blog, facebook, or twitter and I'm looking to change my name again next year (Shay Dee is too common!)

    Did you have to show your face and did you have to use your real name?

    I find my full/real name has too much misspelling potential and I've never felt the need to show my face. But what's your experience? Did you want to "come out"? Or was it advised?

    Happy New Year by the way!!! :D

    1. Happy New Year to you too! (And I love your new name!)

      The picture thing was advised by the Internet generally - basically because we Earthlings connect much more powerfully with people whose faces we can see. It's like there's some part of your lizard brain that sees a photo and thinks, "HEY, you're a bipedal hominid too? What are the odds?!" and so you become more distinct and memorable than if you're nothing but text. (This is also why book covers are a must! It's not like they make the story itself any better, but they communicate SO much information to our pattern-thirsty brains that a coverless book would never, ever be able to compete. And man, you just gotta be competitive on all fronts!)

      The name was advised specifically by my editor, who feels like it's important not to hide women's contributions to SFF under neutral/masculine names. I agree with that, though it took me some soul-searching and angst to arrive there! Will send you more on this soon - you have such a splendid wealth of options, madam, and now is the perfect time to consider them!

    2. Thank you for the compliments!

      And yes, I agree with the editor there. It's nice to have more women in that area, we mainly seem to dominate YA. I've not delved into why but I may just do and then post my findings.

      I will definitely consider those options as you've both made a strong point in terms of breaking out.

      Speak soon!

  2. It is scary to think of all the horrible things that other people can throw at you, but if you just focus on that, you'll miss all the good things people are saying as well. Good luck with this step and have a happy new year.

    1. Aw, thanks, P! That is some good advice right there. The negatives do feel more potent sometimes, but I guess in the end they only have as much power as we give them. (And happy new year to you too - I know you will do great things in 2014!)

    2. Indeed..It's a nightmare you know.

  3. You know, I've always used my real name on my blog and I've never, ever, not once, had a problem. Probably because my wee blog is so unpopular that the nasties haven't found it yet. There are some days when I wish I had an anonymous blog (just so I can whine about my in-laws and idiots at work) but for the most part, I'm good with it! Good luck with your changes. And by the way, I'm a squishy white woman too!

    1. Heeey, fellow SWW! And man, that is so good to hear - you are brave for being so up-front and open about it! I'm so glad to hear that it's worked out well, but I wouldn't ascribe that to unpopularity. Your prudent silence about those other people in your life probably has a lot to do with it too. In any case, I will take a page from your book, and hope to have equally happy results!

  4. Wow! First, I hope your foot is feeling better after your accident (just caught up on some back reading) - having had two back to back car accidents my heart sped up as I read your post. I wish you a speedy recovery and that goes for your car too.

    Now, as to this post, again wow, I think your last line is the icing on the cake of reality - "get out there and get dirty" - that's what this thing called life is all about.

    Out here in the world of the unwashed, unknown and downright mysterious it is definitely a look-over-your-back kind of place. But, given a wee dash of common (often uncommon these days) sense and a smattering of consciousness we can navigate the dark tunnels of this cyber world and come out relatively unscathed and untouched by the grime.

    I've used my name carefully; when I feature a photo with me in it (which is seldom) I make sure it is not face on (I hate photo recognition) and I make sure I use the smallest resolution possible thereby rendering it blurry when enlarged (yup, overly cautious, hahaha)

    So I get where you're coming from - but I do welcome the real you out here and let's face it - you're a sharp puppy and will most certainly have your "don't piss me off" pants on when dealing with the riffraff - which, by the way is given way more hype than they're worth.

    I look forward to the ongoing evolution of Tex!

    Cheers, Jenny (aka Pearson Report) hehehe

    1. Aw, Jenny - you are so full of worldly wisdom that I'm amazed you still have room for breakfast!

      I tell you what, though - the longer I look around, the more profoundly appreciative I become of people like you who have been out in the real world, racked up mileage, gotten scratched and dented and still not lost your love and luster. If I can get as far as you have and still be as cheerful and generous as you are, I will count that as a huge win!

  5. It's such a tricky thing, Tex, and it IS scary out there (I've been following Anita Sarkeesian's stuff, but I had no idea things had gotten to that level of vitriol. Disgusting.) So it definitely takes guts. That being said, I'm glad you are "representin'" as a woman who writes! Great post, thanks!