Thursday, January 03, 2008

The Cult of Phaze

Of all the damned ridiculousness.

Backstory: A day or so ago, Mrs. Giggles, a reviewer who's achieved a certain notoriety, posted a blog about Phaze in Verse, the EPPIE-nominated poetry anthology. I wish I'd saved it now, because she has this tendency to make things disappear. Ah, wait. I found it quoted on a message board:
There are people who enjoy reading poetry, but I am not one of them. The only poetry for grown-ups that I can appreciate are those by WB Yeats, but that's because he's kinda cute in the photo on the cover of the collection of his poems that I own. Even if the poem in question is supposed to be erotic, it goes right over my head. I guess I'm just not that kind of literate/artistic people. I only like rude poems found in kiddie books, but that's about it, I'm afraid.

But hey, don't let me stop you from enjoying things like Phaze In Verse. It's an EPPIE-nominated thing, after all. For the life of me, though, I can't imagine what kind of poetry one can write about a publishing house. Sonnets of appreciation for getting published? Sordid haikus about the orgies that went on in the recent company Christmas party?

By the way, is it just me or Phaze's publishing roster when it comes to erotic stuff comprise mostly folks from Literotica?
Yeah, it's a little snarky... but, really, not too objectionable. (In truth, maybe 10% of Phaze's roster of 120+ authors has Literotica roots, if that. I take the blame credit for that, as I enthusiastically encouraged some of my Lit colleagues to submit their work to Phaze. I also took one of the earlier Coming Together anthologies to Phaze. It will be released in print on the 7th, by the way. *grin*) I looked at the initial post as a positive, in general. Free publicity with a link directly to the buy page. A couple of Phaze authors posted clarifications and suddenly, we're a coven of creepy authors for wanting to set the record straight.

A cult, mind you. I'd say that comes dangerously close to libel.

Seriously, what gives? Cults don't allow their members to speak out. (Oh, wait -- that was another publisher -- one that blacklisted authors who didn't behave.) Cults don't let their members belong to other cults... erm, publishers. (Damn, close to half of Phaze's roster has work also published elsewhere -- with its blessing, even.) Cults don't let their members go without a fight. (I can attest that no one's a prisoner at Phaze.)

Rather than wonder why so many of its authors are willing to voice their support, it's just assumed that we're under some collective spell. In these times of epublishers going tits-up at the drop of a hat, it's easier to cast aspersions on one that's regularly paying its authors, dealing above-board in all its activities, and putting out quality work that's consistently achieving positive recognition from independent industry reviewers. Uh huh. (Don't step in that hypocrisy!)

I added the following comment (as close to verbatim as I can recall):

Note to self: Clarification now qualifies as defensiveness in the blog-o-sphere.

Note to Emily: That comment was beneath you.

Note to Mrs. Giggles: Thanks for the free publicity.
The next thing you know, that post was pulled and the following appeared:

This is officially a Phaze-free zone

After some thought, I've deleted the last two blog entries because the whole drama is pretty stupid. So, if you have missed it, email me and I will let you know what you missed. Of course, my POV is no doubt biased, but that's okay considering that the folks involved are a bunch of humorless twats.

I'm not going to mention the publishing house ever again. I am not going to buy anything from there, not that I ever did much of that in the past anyway, and I am not going to even write down their name because the very action seems to bring out the creepy cult determined to make mountains out of molehills and assume that I am attacking all of them personally. This is not the first time I found myself dealing with the cult, mind you, but this is the last time as I'm not going to waste any more time on them, their books, or anything else they have to sell because they just weird me out with their delusional self-importance and selective-reading.

I made a mistake of assuming that a select few of the twits there are the cult members but now I'm convinced that all of them must have drank the Kool-Aid.

Whatever. Let's just move on.

Okay, now that I have think about it, the above is really most immature and mean. I stand by my point that I am not going to mention this publishing house unless I absolutely have to because of the drama the mention inevitably generates, but it is not fair to lump in the publisher for the unfortunate creepy coven that write for them.

So, let me revise my point: I still have nothing against Phaze - come on, are you kidding? I don't even know who owns that business, much less harbor any personal agenda against that person! - but I think some of their authors should do well to get over themselves.

Sorry for the drama, feel free to email me to send me some jeers if you are embarrassed for me as much as I am feeling quite embarrassed about myself at the moment, but if you don't mind, I'm going to put the whole drama behind me.

No comments for this entry, folks. I'm having a headache as it is and I really want to put the whole thing behind me.
Thus ends my participation on Mrs. Giggles' blog. When it comes to defensiveness, she and a few other dr'oggers have a serious pot/kettle thing going on. No more for me. I believe in my publisher, its staff, its authors, and the work it produces for a variety of solid reasons -- and I'll gladly tell anyone who'll listen. Those folks aren't listening.

~ ~ ~

P.S. As I was drafting this post, the following Google Blog Alert appeared in my inbox:
Because I am going to touch on Phaze, what with experiences in the past have taught me that some of the authors from this place are very zealous in defending the house, I am...
Of course, when I clicked the link, the post was already gone. Figures.

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