- until each time I leave for LeakyCon, and the texts and excitement start flying, is that I AM SEEING SOME OF MY BEST FRIENDS TOO. In the craziness of the year and all the work it’s easy to forget that. And I watch how people say “I’m going home,” and mean it. And I always feel like that guy…
i just saw a webcomic which also happened to be about ghosts and special police who catch those ghosts and the special police were called INSPECTRES!! i cannot help but feel like you have dropped the ball on this one MJ
Maureen I feel like everyone inadvertently makes me feel really inferior for being a girl who doesn't want to wear makeup and I feel like I have absolutely no female role models who don't wear any makeup and it's so alienating and messing with my self esteem and it's not fair and I don't know what to do. I mostly hear other people say it's good for women to wear makeup for themselves, but when they say women don't have to it seems like an afterthought and that they don't really mean it. h..help?
I had to use an image to get the second part of the question in there.
SO, OKAY. I think I will need to break this apart because there are a few things here to grapple with. I’ll get to the easy ones and progress to the more complex part.
The first bit of good news is that there are loads of women who don’t wear make up. I can’t speak to your female role models, because they are a group that you’ve selected. I would hope you don’t dismiss a female role model because she wears makeup, in the same way that I would hope you would feel the same about her if she did not.
Second, I don’t know where you are—I know some places are more into hair and makeup than other places. (The two are often paired.) If you are, MORE GOOD NEWS! Not everywhere is like that!
Third, John saying he liked to wear makeup was just a statement of opinion on his part about a personal feeling on a matter personal to him. That’s allowed! We don’t have to be exactly like our role models in every respect. No one is alike in every respect! Also, I believe John was talking about this to subvert the assumption that men should not wear/like to wear makeup, when the wearing of makeup is one of the more arbitrary things of our culture. Anyone can wear it or not wear it. For some people, the wearing of makeup is a sign of their personal liberation. And for some, the lack of it is the same. John wasn’t suggesting that you should also wear it. He simply was saying, “I identify as male, and I wear makeup, and I am fine with it.” It’s much like saying, “I identify as female and do not wear makeup and am fine with it.”
These are both extremely correct and pleasing statements.
All matters of personal adornment—makeup, hairstyle, hair color, tattoos, clothing choices—these are matters for each person to decide for themselves. There is nothing whatsoever wrong with not wearing makeup! There is also nothing wrong with wearing it! I certainly understand what you are saying about the pressure on women to conform to a certain behavior, and that often includes the wearing of makeup. But you have correctly assessed that you don’t have to. You never have to. Loads of people do not! I SWEAR TO YOU.
I’m kind of a 50/50 person myself. I tend not to wear it most days, but if I am doing something, I tend to put it on. I was in theater for a long time, and I like the pleasing sensation of putting on makeup to prepare to make some kind of appearance. That I’m a woman is irrelevant. If someone told me I had to wear makeup, I’d probably throw mine out the window. If someone told me I couldn’t, I’d buy some. I don’t care. No fixed position is needed on the subject, but if you have one, that’s fine! No makeup for you! Perfect. Lovely!
I know it is a hard feeling when you feel yourself conflicting with some preconceived notion of what men or women are like. This may sound weird, but I am going to suggest that you grab hold of that discomfort and realize it for what it is—the pressure of that message hitting you. That discomfort is you pushing back against obvious nonsense. Keep pushing. This is how we develop as people. And as society!
We cannot control what others say or do. We can only work with how we perceive what others say or do. I am sorry you feel bad about how other people seem to react with your deliciously rad no-makeup stance. But I’ll bet you REAL HUMAN MONEY several people in that group really respect you for it.
I feel like you would hold the baton dressed as a Jedi and scream random quotes from Star Wars while pointing the planes in random directions and John will be in the control room blaring Light saber sound effects every time you move your baton. I don't know the thought just came to me
Laura Aceves photographed in 2009, holding her niece. Berryville, Arkansas — Two days before she died, Laura Aceves stood on the side of the road and frantically dialed the police for the last time. It was early afternoon and the 21-…
One of the most intense and moving articles I’ve ever read on this subject. A hard read, but so very worth it. Please share. This is important, important stuff.
Which authors are you friends with? Like I know you thank Jackson Pearce in your acknowledgments in some books (I have read As You Wish by her and this book is so beautiful!) but do you know other authors personally?
I don’t know if you knew this, but published authors run in packs. If you are very quiet, and you stuff your left pocket with foxglove and your right with St. John’s Wort, you can see these authorial packs by the light of a full moon. The proper name for such a grouping is a travesty. So if you have been quiet, and also if you have no outstanding library fines, you will see the insidious dark forms of dozens of roving literature mongers streaming across the suburbs. You shall hear them whispering hoarsely back and forth. If you listen closely, you can hear what they are saying — away away the hero’s journey subtext and meaning a gif of tony stark holding a kitten away away —
You will know me by my antlers.
Do I know other authors personally? I know a travesty of authors, my dear reader. A travesty.
You may have heard about this task force working to fight online sexual violence and emotional abuse in places like Eff Yeah Nerdfighters! and a recent video by Hank Green. We know people have been curious about our work and involvement. We’ve finally reached a point where we can be open about what we’re doing and engage the community.
This is the official blog for YouCoalition, a group working closely with Hank, John, and others to make the communities we love a safer place for everyone.
We’ve put all sorts of information about what we’re up to on our blog for your perusing and feedback. Make your voice heard by reblogging with comments, sending us an ask, or tagging posts you want us to see with #Healthy YouTube. Also, be sure to follow our blog to stay in the loop as we move forward.
We’re very, very excited to begin the heavy lifting together.
I’ve been working on this and it’s awesome and run by the right people with the right hearts, and I’m excited to be a part of it! I am also now tracking the tag #youcoalition and #Health YouTube, and of course following this Tumblr. You should too! More soon.
Start with random IDEAS. Ideas can be anything - Poop is an idea, America, pickles, the number six, a raccoon, anything.
Some ideas will reveal related ideas, i.e. you may think, upon thinking about raccoons, that you have more than one thought about raccoons. Clouds of related ideas that your mind recognizes as related in any way are potential story AREAS. Look for areas that make you laugh and cry.
Draw a circle to symbolize your area, because your story will take the “reader” through related ideas in a path around a central idea. You don’t have to know what the central idea is. It’s probably dumb. For God’s sake, you’re writing about raccoons.
Divide your circle into a top half and bottom half and ask yourself what those halves might be. Like, your raccoon area might become divided into “positive thoughts about raccoons” and “negative thoughts about raccoons.” If the division doesn’t feel charged for you, pick something else, like male raccoon thoughts and female raccoon thoughts, or biological raccoon thoughts and storybook raccoon thoughts. At some point, you will divide your area into two parts that create a personal “charge” for you, like a battery. ”Ooo, I like the idea that there’s a difference between biological raccoons and storybook raccoons, that tingled when I drew that line, I want to know more.” <— that’s my impression of you nailing it.
Divide the divided circle down the middle and pick another charged dichotomy for left and right. For instance, biological/storybook raccoon area could get divided into dishonest/honest.
Now you have four quadrants to your circle, going clockwise: biological dishonest raccoon, storybook dishonest raccoon, storybook honest raccoon, biological honest raccoon. Any point at which you stop feeling charged, go back a step or start over. Maybe you had to get this far to realize you don’t give a shit about raccoons. Please note that at this point, people around you will start to express confusion and frustration, because they thought the idea was fine already. Depending on your mood and standing, these people are called hacks, traitors, parasites, scabs or successful colleagues.
When you find an area that yields four charged quadrants, experiment with protagonists. Easy answer first, maybe I’m a raccoon. So once upon a time there was a dishonest biological raccoon that became a storybook raccoon, which lead to him becoming honest before finally going back to being biological again. Cool? If not, go back or start over. Again, please note that many people will not want you to go back or start over. These people will one day drown in their own blood while you point and laugh with God. Or maybe they’re good people and you just have Asperger’s.
Then you keep dividing the pie, adding “curvature” to the protagonist’s path with the 8 point story structure you can find me blathering about elsewhere online.
Create more characters as needed, give them their own stories as needed.
Repeat every day until rich people give you money to do it for them. Buy a house, become one of them and hire poor people to do it for you. Somewhere in there try to get a dog and a funny girlfriend or it’s all pretty pointless. Speaking of which, I just realized I’m the only one at the office. Thank you for this question.
Here is an actual thing that happened to me yesterday.
I opened my email, only to see that my friends at 826 NYC had written. “Hey,” they said (OR WORDS TO THAT EFFECT), “we’re having our annual SCRABBLE FOR CHEATERS tournament, and Peter Dinklage was supposed to come, but something came up. We were wondering if you would replace him.”
Friends, I had to sit with that one for a moment.
I was being asked to replace Peter Dinklage.
THAT Peter Dinklage.
Who is Tyrion.
Who is an international superstar.
Because, when you can’t get Peter Dinklage, who do you think of? THIS GIRL, THAT’S RIGHT.
I hate Scrabble with a mad passion, but I love being Peter Dinklage and I love 826 NYC and I love cheating, so I said yes SO FAST that my email traveled BACK IN TIME to before they even asked me.
Then i recruited Robin Wasserman, because she went to Harvard and is actually GOOD at Scrabble.
Then I had another idea. “I need a shirt,” I said to myself. “A shirt that says REPLACEMENT PETER DINKLAGE.” So I called up Alan at DFTBA and Jordan from LeakyCon and within 20 minutes Jordan had done the art and Alan had set up the shirt at the store.
I AM ASKING FOR YOUR SUPPORT. Not for me—well, for me, I like to win—but for 826 NYC, which is an AWESOME writing charity that does tons of great work. You can help in TWO WAYS:
- Pre-order a PETER DINKLAGE REPLACEMENT shirt from DFTBA. Everything I make from this pre-order I am giving to 826 NYC. This shirt is AWESOME. I asked Jordan to distress the letters so it looks like a bad iron-on job. It’s SWEET. And no one will have any idea what it means. (We’re sending a shirt to Peter Dinklage, so you can have the same shirt as PD, so that makes you coole.) Seriously, no one will know what the hell this is. You should get one.
This is the shirt:
- Just donate to our team, PETER DINKLAGE REPLACEMENT. It’s fast and easy, and helps us CRUSH our opponents and gets money for 826.
THE SHADOW CABINET IS COMING OUT IN MARCH AND THIS IS WHY
Let me get this started WAY UP TOP here with the headline. THE SHADOW CABINET, the third book in the Shades of London series, is now coming out on MARCH 5, 2015. That’s in the United States. Dates in other countries will follow, and I’ll post them as soon as I get them.
Now, this book was supposed to come out in September, and now it’s March. WHY????
If you’ll indulge me, I’m going to tell you a little about the year 2013, as I experienced it. And a bit about publishing, and about being a human person.
Starting in 2010, I developed a few problems with pain and excessive tiredness. I just thought I was having an odd ache or two, and just sleepy, or possibly lazy. By mid-2012, though, it had gotten bad. I was often woozy on my feet, and the pain was, at times, kind of extraordinary. It capped off at LeakyCon 2012. Once I had done my job and it was over, I felt all my energy leave me in a big WOOOOOSH. I tried to get up for the final breakfast and ended up having to go back to bed immediately. I went to the doctor that week and just casually laid this out, and he was like, “OKAY, WHAT? WHY DIDN’T YOU SAY THIS BEFORE?” And he did an ultrasound and found that I had a large mass in my abdomen. (It wasn’t cancer. It was LADYSTUFFS. But I’m not going to BORE you with the details.)*
This is approximately things went, as I look at my calendar:
November 2012: Surgery scheduled, but Hurricane Sandy hits instead. Surgery canceled. Out of house for a week with no heat, water, or power. Live with Libba Bray. Get two root canals. Oscar decides it is time to move to US as clearly I will be swept out to sea unless something is done.
December 2012: Get surgery. Think will be up on feet within a few days, but not really how things work. Took more like three or four weeks.
January 2013: Get infection, which knocks me down for two more weeks.
February: Fly to England to help Oscar pack, then go immediately on tour for release of Madness Underneath.
March: Oscar moves over. Go immediately on tour with Cassie Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan.
April: Went to Houston and LA for more touring/conferences. New apartment opens with more space for two people, away from famous neighbor in 8A. So, we move, even though, at this point, as you can imagine, I’m a bit worn. Also, still dealing with some post-surgical stuff that starts to abate by this point. Told by my physician to stop moving boxes or my insides will fall out. Continue to move boxes.
May: Unpack and settle into new apartment. A lot of LeakyCon planning. So much LeakyCon planning. (I run the Lit Track along with Robin Wasserman, and the planning phase goes on all year, but really heats up the month before the conference and is basically an everyday thing by that point.)
June: Go to England with Oscar to see family, do appearance. Spend a week writing with Cassie, Holly, Sarah, Jen Lynn in Cornwall and finish up Bane Chronicles stories. Then…LEAKYCON (a non-stop week in Portland).
July: GET PUPPY. Other stuff, but once you have a puppy it’s ALL JUST POOP AND WEIRD SLEEPING.
August: Oh my god we have a puppy. WHAT HAVE WE DONE. The August schedule is all word counts and puppy training.
September: Much the same as August. These are the months of 2013 that were the most relaxing and also when I began to realize that I was running on fumes.
October: UK tour (which I get sick during and lose my voice), week of appearances in Vancouver (with a bit of a voice). Zelda (the puppy) begins to develop what will be ongoing medical issues.
November: Now writing book in every second of every day. Find out about World Book Day! Have to write novella, now. Stop everything.
I was writing — both on the new novel and also all the kinds of things writers write as part of the promotion for their novels — throughout all of the above, and doing all the other parts of my job. (The actual writing of books is only part of the “author” job now, something I will be talking about in a FUTURE POST. Finding time to write amidst all the admin that needs doing can be weirdly hard.) But those events were the highlights (and what’s written on my calendar).
By December, the problems that lead to the surgery in the first place began to reappear. The condition I have is an ongoing one, that’s not unlike garden weeding. You cut it out and it comes back, and then you cut it out and it comes back, etc. This came back a bit quickly. When I could no longer pretend it wasn’t happening, I went to the doctor. This confirmed it was back, and I was scheduled for a series of tests, the last of which was on Tuesday. I found out a few weeks ago that another surgery is inevitable. The question was and is when that surgery will happen. And I’m totally going to be okay. It’s annoying, but there are SO MANY WORSE THINGS TO HAVE.
I informed my editor at Penguin that—ha ha ha! —-this was happening again. This wrinkle meant I might be about two weeks late on getting the book in, but by this point, two weeks was a bridge too far. Books are seasonal, and there was no time left. So, the book was preemptively moved to allow me to take care of myself, to tour when it comes out, and do everything properly. It was really good of them, and I am deeply appreciative.
Now, why did I tell you all of that? Why did I list what sounds like A SERIES OF COMPLAINTS? It’s not. Much of the above was FANTASTIC! Almost everything about it was lucky. I love writing and I love touring and I have a medical issue that is completely manageable and the resources to get care. I have a wonderful Oscar and a wonderful Zelda. Someday I’ll finish moving into the apartment (that never quite got done—when we go Zelda all progress on that front basically froze). I’M NOT COMPLAINING. I’M EXPLAINING. I SWEAR.
I feel deeply responsible to everyone who reads my books. You are the reason I am here. I LIKE YOU. And I left the end of Madness Underneath on SUCH A CLIFFHANGER that you are owed a decent explanation as to why you have to wait for THE ANSWER.
For my part, I thought I was chugging along just fine. In retrospect, I know I wasn’t. In the end, my body just threw down a roadblock that I couldn’t ignore. I don’t mind this at all. And like I said, it’s not that bad. But it pays to listen, sometimes, and remember that the first job is to be human.
Otherwise, how would we write?
All that being said, THE BOOK IS COMING and I have some VERY good news to share very soon. And I thank you for sticking with me.
THE BOOK IS ALMOST READY FOR YOU.
IT HAS ALL THE ANSWERS YOU REQUIRE.
PLEASE READ IT.
READ THE FIRST TWO (THE NAME OF THE STAR AND THE MADNESS UNDERNEATH) MAYBE IF YOU HAVE NOT IT WOULD BE NICE WHY NOT TRY THEM WHY NOT??????????
Hey, I'm sorry if this is super weird, but you're beautiful, and I wondered if you'd ever thought about doing any topless pics?
Thank you for your kind inquiry. If you do not mind, I will impart some gentle advice to guide you in further communications.
Weigh the probability. I am an author of books for young adults. Does it strike you as likely that I would go casting about in my public tumblr box for people to take photos of my chesticular bookends? Normally, I find questions about books. And while everyone likes a change now and again, there is such a thing as too much change. If you were to work the numbers, what do you think the actual chances were that I was going to reply in the affirmative? Were they high? If they were, it seems within reason that you might have been in a similar condition. No. The chances were never good. So either you are an eternal optimist (and we certainly need optimists), or this was written with some other intent in mind.
I realize you didn’t come to me looking for advice on how to communicate, much in the same way that I did not come to you looking to have topless pictures taken—but here we are together. Let us make the most of it!
The key to any effective letter is this: know your audience! Everything stems from that critical piece of knowledge. You had a moment of self-awareness in the first part of your sentence. Pause there and reflect. Asking women you don’t know (or often those you do) if they want to take some topless pictures is almost a guarantee of weird. This is why Hallmark doesn’t make a “how about some topless pictures?” card. You hovered on the edge of wisdom, and you retreated. Do not retreat, my friend.
With that, I must offer my regrets. But I do not want to leave you without recourse. Have you heard of the author Nicolas Sparks? Perhaps you could make a similar inquiry to him? Or would that not be appropriate?
“This is Logan reminding you: if you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask which seat, just get on. Sheryl Sandberg said that. So don’t leave a message. Go get on that rocket ship. Or, leave a message. Your call. Your decision will tell me a lot about you.”—Logan Echolls’ voicemail on Veronica Mars Movie’s closing credits. (via mikss)
Many of you already know about some of the recent events concerning various YouTube performers and allegations of sexual misconduct. When I read about this (and it seems to come and come right now), I thought, “I have nothing to add to this.” So I just watched. And was sad. And also heartened by the fact that a really serious, progressive conversation as going on.
But then I read a piece about these events (it was in the Daily Dot, the link is here). This quote stuck with me.
“Looking at the responses from Alex Day, the Green brothers, and the cofounder of DFTBA records, one begins to notice something missing from the conversation: female voices. Among the various sex scandals and the resulting blog posts from friends and coworkers, it’s vanishingly rare to hear from any woman who isn’t speaking from the perspective of a victim or fan.
It would be grossly inaccurate to say that there are no women in the amorphous online community that surrounds the vlogbrothers, DFTBA Records, Tumblr fandom celebrities and geek-culture bands like Chameleon Circuit. But when it comes to the kind of devoted fan community one finds on Tumblr, most of the Internet celebrities who end up with “idol” status are part of the same demographic: cute, nerdy white guys who write and vlog about things like Doctor Who, YA literature, feminism, gay rights, and Internet culture.”
I thought about this a lot. Aside from Melissa Anelli, I didn’t see any women speaking about it from entirely outside the sphere of events. And that did bother me. (Though I want to add: I think Hank Green made an excellent video on this topic. I hope it gets a million views.)
So, because that gap is there, and because I have the benefit of being older—I thought I might widen the focus a little and talk about my own experience and maybe how we got here and where we can go from this point. Because there are many, many places to go.
I’m about to get personal, and also, if you have any issues with stories of a sexual/abusive nature, just be aware that I am about to list some. But if you can bear with it, maybe go through, because there is a rainbow on the other side.
I was recently reading David Sedaris’s latest book, and in one essay he brings up the fact that as a teenager, he had the sudden and off-putting realization that all of his sisters had been approached by men in cars who had exposed themselves to them while masturbating. And I stopped for a moment, because something in my brain said, “Well, of course.” It happened to me when I was 14, stuck outside of school on a Philadelphia side street late one afternoon when my mom had forgotten what time our holiday concert practice was over. I was lured to the car when the man mumbled a request for directions. I seem to remember using a string of expletives and most likely my middle finger, then I spent the next 45 minutes debating whether or not to knock on the convent door and ask to be allowed to stay inside until my mom got there. In the end, I angrily paced the sidewalk until she got there, furious that it had happened, thinking up new, as-yet unheard of curses. I wanted him to come back so I could key his car into the next century. I wanted to go home.
I said nothing to my mother.
In my protected life, largely devoid of danger, I have been:
- Physically grabbed twice on city streets and pulled along by a stranger until breaking loose
- Groped on the street (no count on that)
- Groped on an airplane over the course of several hours while crossing the Atlantic until I told the person responsible (who had by then come to sit next to me on the plane) that I had a TERRIBLE SICKNESS (I had mono) and coughed in his face until he retreated. Then I leaned over and coughed over the seat on him.
- Ground on the subway. (Look this one up if you don’t know it.)
- When answering an ad for a nanny while working abroad in London, lured to a remote location by a much older man, where it was revealed the entire interview was a false pretense. I was then offered money in exchange to be a live-in sexual partner (the salary would include “three times a week, some dinners, and clothes.”) This episode ended with me jumping out of a still (slowly) moving car.
- Given GHB (or similar) at a party by someone who then followed me as I left (as I realized there was something wrong and I was losing consciousness). He attempted to lure me to come back with him to his room, and I kept conscious long enough to continue walking away. I got to where I was staying and locked the door before passing out, fully dressed, coat on, on the floor for five hours.
- And one other incident I prefer not to go into, of a more serious nature. (Don’t panic. I just prefer not to, and it’s my prerogative not to. I am sure you understand.)
I really have led a very protected life. These things I describe? Are really quite common. Gross, right? And I was born into relative privilege, so there are so many women facing so much worse. (Also, gender is irrelevant here. These things can and do happen to anyone. But the numbers for women are higher, and I am getting to that.)
Why did I just make that list? Why did I drop this series of bummers on you? I’ll tell you.
The idea is this: things just HAPPEN to girls, and it’s part of the fabric. We often don’t even mention them. Or maybe, we DIDN’T. Not so much. Because it was just understood that there was a certain amount of shit we were going to have to go through, and the only possible responses were to: OVERPROTECT US, or BLAME US, or NOT BELIEVE US. Because what the hell else do you do? (When I have described these things, often matter-of-factly to men I now know in adulthood, they tend to sit there and boggle because so many SIMPLY DO NOT KNOW how very common it all is.)
I’ve seen many of you commenting about these recent events and saying that you want to give up on your community of friends, that you’re confused and sad and disappointed and what is going on and how did this even happen?
To the case at hand…
It is important to note that in cases of abuse and exploitation—gender is irrelevant. But it is also worth noting that the cases we are talking about now are all about girls—usually underage—being taken advantage of by males, a bit older, with some celebrity. I spend a lot of my free time* trying to start discussions on the nature of gender in book publishing, as that’s where I work. As a culture we do tend to give the nod to men more than women—as voices of authority, as objects of adulation, as examples of excellence and the standard bearers of quality. This is not a vast conspiracy, but a long and deep rooted habit that is taking time to unwork. But one of the steps to unworking is to realize that it’s a thing. THIS DOES NOT MEAN YOU CANNOT OR SHOULD NOT HAVE MALE HEROES. It does mean that we need to explore, on occasion, the nature of the adulation.
In these recent cases, the adulation turned into sexual exploitation, something that’s not new in any respect. BUT! What is new is the focus and awareness that’s been brought to the subject. Take heart, and take notes. And watch Hank’s video, because I think he really nails it. The idea that sex and romance is a chase—a wild, violent chase in which one party must submit—is problematic in the extreme. When discussing any kind of sexual contact—if you’re not talking from the same level, it’s not a discussion, and it’s not healthy. If you are offered the chance to have some kind of sexual contact with a “celebrity” (of any water) ask yourself this: do I feel like I am less than this person? Is this person doing me a favor? Is this person LIFTING ME UP because I am SO LOW and they are so AMAZING and they can do ANYTHING and I am A WORM and must put up with it to keep this AMAZING THING.
Those are the wrong answers, and it means it’s not a healthy relationship.
And if you’re a minor and this person is an adult? Please listen to your Auntie MJ. You may be thinking, “But this case is different! We really love each other! [Other person] is not like the others! I’m not like the others! This isn’t weird! We’re totally a couple!”
You’re not a couple. You’re a victim, and you need to get out of there and tell someone what is going on. I know there may be a pull inside of you—a pull so strong—toward this person. You may think this is going to work out. It’s not going to work out. I am not trying to kill your dreams, but to get you to a place of safety, as you are currently not in one. ACTUAL ADULTS KNOW THAT IT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE TO HAVE SEXUAL CONTACT WITH MINORS. Adults that do not follow this rule ARE PREDATORS. There is a reason it’s illegal. It’s not just some idiots trying to ruin your good time. YOU WILL ONLY BE THANKFUL LATER THAT YOU GOT OUT OF THERE.
And don’t let this mislead you into thinking that you should give up on all the things you love, that there’s a dangerous spider under every rock. There isn’t. And if we all move into this conversation and make it a public one, and make it a healthy one, only good can come.
I can tell you this…I’ve been, like I said, in some of these dark corners, and I’m here, right now, a FULLY GROWN LADY, and I’m doing awesome. None of those bastards slowed me down. If anything, I stepped on a few of them to get to you guys. I love your enthusiasm and I love your fandoms and I love how you embrace all of these new, great things—these songs and stories and people. There is no reason to give up. None at all. NOT EVERYONE IS BAD. That’s one of the lies that these kinds of incidents breed. If you need help, HELP IS OUT THERE IN DROVES.
Do not be afraid to tell someone. It’s the only way it stops.
Those of us who have crashed on the rocks—well, we climbed the rocks and built a lighthouse. And we keep the lights on for you, and we will always be here, and the light will remain on no matter how great the storm. And when the storm is over, we will still be here.