Tuesday, April 15, 2008

"I cried when I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet. And then I laughed REALLY hard."

I dig a funny broad. Gilda Radner, Carol Burnett, Amy Sedaris, Dorothy Parker, Jennifer Saunders. I don't for a second believe the hype that women aren't funny. Most of my best girl friends are funny as hell, and they got to be my best friends not by being giving and generous and kind but by cracking my shit up. And then being generous. With booze. And many of the blogs I read are written by funny broads. Hell, on a good day, I think even I'm funny. But then I would, wouldn't I?

That said, humor is, like beauty, subjective. Some people like Jackass. I think people who like Jackass are jackasses. It takes all kinds.
I'll admit, today's review was a bit of a struggle for me. I wanted very much to like Laurie Kendrick. I have a thing for brash Texans, and Laurie is most definitely that.

But today, I think the joke's on me.

First, this is a terrible blog design. It looks like something a mediocre linen supply company in Des Moines would use. There is no personality. None. It's like a communion wafer: bland and you need a good swig of wine to wash it down. The post space is way too narrow. I don't mind that there are no sidebars, but why the hell is it so narrow? It makes the links in the blogroll at the bottom of the site run to two lines, which doesn't do much to showcase them. And the banner says nothing. Well, it says, "grass," and not in a good, "let's roll a peach flavored blunt and scarf M&Ms" kind of way. But what in blue blazes does a dewy blade of grass have to do with this lady? Nothing. Not a damn thing.
There are flashes of humor, but some of the grammatical and spelling snafus are distracting. (Also, I'm disappointed she didn't mention "Grrr. Argh." Is that too new?) She's a humor writer, and some of it is funny (and appalling), but then some of it is just a rambly mess with jokes and forwardy email crap and unoriginal content.

Though she posts consistently and frequently, Laurie makes the same mistake many of our submitters do: her posts are way too long. Edit, people! Look, I know. I love my words, too, and I hate to get rid of any of them, bright, shining, glorious, smart, and achingly funny as they are. But I do. Because I care about my readers, I care that my point is made, I care that I've crafted something for public consumption, and even if it is a stinking turd, at least it's a concise and well-crafted turd. (Yeah, folks. I got up on my editorial high horse again. I can't help it. And it matters. Dammit.)

I think my favorite part of the blog is "A Word from Laurie Kendrick." And this depresses me because, frankly, I know Laurie can do better. I see the potential she's got, but I just don't think she's living up to it. Get a new blog design, stat. Something that has a little of your personality, a little more flavor, especially if you want this blog to be a springboard to publication. Write your posts, ramble all you want, get it all up there on the screen, and then go back with a practiced eye and get rid of all the fluff. And only post when you've got something to say, something original. Lay off the email jokes and forwards because we all get them in our inboxes from our relatives and friends who don't have anything to say to us anymore so they send us jokes to let us know we still matter, but not that much.

Today you get a measly

because I like you and I think you have potential. Don't give up. Just get better. And resubmit when you've revised your design and gotten a little tighter. And I don't mean doing your kegels, although that's always a good idea.

(Also, you're actually being published freelance and I'm not, so I'm beginning to doubt my expertise, here. Or maybe you're not giving us the goods, maybe you're saving that for your paying clients, and if so, for shame. Give as good on your blog as you would on the printed page.)


  1. I agree - wholeheartedly, in fact.

    She's funny, but she strays into that hacky, joke-y realm a little too often for my taste.

    Hey, Calamity: as an editor, the blog-wide trend of posts longer than my christmas list must drive you fucking INSANE, no?

  2. You know, it depends. Sometimes I don't mind a long post at all. I myself tend toward wordiness. But what gets me is when they just don't trim it down to the essential parts. Or at least the interesting parts.

  3. I give it a meh. It didn't hold my interest.

    Though, that first post on that blog scared me. I thought she'd died, and here Cal had given her a bad review. How much would that suck, to get a shitty review post mortem? It's probably wrong that I find the idea of that wrongly hilarious.

  4. I think this may have to be the next quote on our banner above:

    "even if it is a stinking turd, at least it's a concise and well-crafted turd."

  5. I found your review of Laurie Kendrick interesting, to say the least.

    Ms Kendrick has won awards from the AP and Houston Press Club; Her writing won her the Katy Award, Best Feature. She has also won the Radio and Television Directors Association for Best Series (a project that oversaw writing, rewriting and editing).

    She won the Best Feature Francis C Moore award and has also been nominated for an Edward Murrow Award on more than one occasion.

    She has been published by numerous press and magazine outlets and has been a well regarded and highly rated fixture in a top five media market for over twenty years. Given that most careers in media are of the twenty week variety, Ms Kendrick's achievements and recognition are well deserved.

    What Ms Kendrick may not have mentioned is that she has recently been asked do write and produce various documentaries. In addition, her work has caught the attention of various successful screen writers. Where that goes is yet unknown, but when directors of some repute (read: successful) are willing to work around your schedule, that says something.

    Of course, none of that matters if you don't care for her writing. There are artists all over the world who complain that they are overlooked and misunderstood. That said, critique of Ms Kendrick's writing doesn't make her less of a recognized and established writer.

    While critique of her blog design- and even the style of her blog may be warranted, critique of her writing and writing skills have long since been dismissed. She is a proven entity.

    Ms Kendrick's blog is about community and not writing. She does what few other bloggers are able to do- she engages her readers on an almost intimate level, no small achievement. They are as important to the blog as she is. She talks to them, reads to them and engages them. She is their friend and their loyalty is fierce

    This particular review is off the mark, I'm afraid.

  6. Look, I was asked to review her blog, not her life's work. I don't doubt she's an accomplished person with accolades under her belt and talent out the wazoo. My question is, why isn't she showing it more on her blog? I mean, is this the blog of an accomplished and successful writer? Frankly, it doesn't read like one to me. So, either I'm way off base (nuh-uh!), or she should step it up.

    I'm only one person, and I'm sure not the person she's going to pin her career evaluation on, but for what it's worth, I think I've given her some useful feedback here. No?

    Either way, I'm sure Laurie appreciates an anonymous entity jumping to her defense. I have no doubt she's crying herself to sleep over my review. (Just in case anyone missed it, that was sarcasm. I'm fairly certain Laurie can take this review in the spirit with which it was intended: encouraging.)

    And just as an aside, and though I hold Laurie in far greater esteem, Danielle Steel is a proven entity and grossly successful and I think her writing is reprehensible.

    But I'm just one person.

  7. I keep saying I'm just one person. Maybe I'm feeling lonely...

  8. Ms Steele is a financial success. That does not make her a great writer.

    Ms Kendrick has the hardware that testifies to her writing bona fides.

    When it is all said and done, you reviewed Ms Kendrick's blog- not her writing.

    That her blog has a following- for the reasons I mentioned in my initial comment- is similarly not in dispute. Her popularity as a blog destination seems to be in evidence as well.

    You may be right in saying that her best writing is not on the blog, but it bears remembering that her blog is not a showplace for for her writing. Rather, it has become a place of community and a place where people engage and interact with each other.

    Again, I have to admit my surprise at the review. Clearly, you are someone with a 'discerning eye.' I really am surprised that you focused on the one thing the blog is not- a showcase for Kendrick's work.

    As you well know, for any writer, much less a good writer, coming up with home runs every day is an impossible task. It seems to me that Ms Kendrick is well aware of that reality and chose to create a blog that was more than just a testimony to her work.

    She chose to blog for readers to participate in her her endeavor.

  9. This particular review is off the mark, I'm afraid.

    I don't think so.

    I totally agree with Calamity. In fact, Calamity's comments were right on. Laurie's blog may well appeal to the 60+ set, but it doesn't play well here with any of the reviewers.

    Now run back to your anonymous little rock, wordy troll.

    Ms. Kendrick chose to submit her blog to us for review. She got what she asked for, and Calamity was more than fair.

    We aren't going to like every blog we review. Even a brief glance at this site reveals that we can be extremely harsh.

    Ms. Kendrick's blog, as it stands, contains about twice as many words, per post, as it probably should. Were Ms. Kendrick to follow Cal's advice, I have no doubt that her readers would find her even more enjoyable.

    Or, you can just stick your head in the sand and pretend everything is peachy. But that begs the question: Why submit a blog if you can't handle honest and sincere feedback?


  10. A few words I'd have thrown in if Laurie had drawn me (instead of the far more gracious Cal):

    Played out

    We love humor here. But, this blog's humor is not cutting-edge enough to appeal to the reviewers here.

    Okay, well, have fun, and thanks for playing! Y'all take care now, ya hear?

  11. By the way, I did find one funny post.

    It was brief. Laurie should do more of the same sort.

  12. I really am surprised that you focused on the one thing the blog is not- a showcase for Kendrick's work.

    Argh, I just cannot let this be.

    When all is said and done, blogs are about WRITING. They aren't about community, though a well-written blog can indeed create community. There is a literal shitiverse of crappy "community-building" blogs with no real writing on them and no real content on them, and they are a wart on the ass of teh interwebs.

    ON that, all the reviewers here are agreed.

    If Laurie has these writing chops, then it's a shame that her blog represents her skills so poorly. She'd be better off writing less there, of better quality.

    The end.

  13. Oh lordy, here we go again: anonymous points from a faceless wonder.

    Look, let me say up front that Calamity needs me to speak for her like I need to bounce rocks off my skull, but, seriously, the aforementioned mark-missing seems to be more of an anonymous affair.

    I LOVE how Kendrick "chose" a blog for reasons of participation, to partake in the community-aspect of blogging...and yet submitted her blog to be reviewed by us, absolute FREAKS of writing. Look at ANY OTHER review we've done and take a long, hard sniff of the point I'm cooking up here.

    Calamity didn't so much dig the writing, neither did I, and, wait for it, neither did Lovebites. Kendrick could win varying Greatest of Everything Until The End of Time writing awards all day, every day, and nothing about that changes the fact that the writing on her blog is pretty lacking. Aren't blogs for reading?

    It's kind of like arguing that a CD looks good, and could SOUND good too if only the artist gave a shit...but since they sound good elsewhere, we should just enjoy looking at that CD, reveling in the camaraderie that CD-looking brings.

    So, in closing & speaking entirely for myself, please, anonymous, use your vast holier-than-thou skills for good instead of evil; maybe get huffy at the crap cards you're getting in solitaire or something.

  14. I think Laurie appeals to the wordy set. Even her anonymous defender is wordy. Wordy, wordy, fucking wordy. You're right, Calamity, "A Word from Laurie Kendrick" is the height of her humour. The rest of it, well, is wordy.


  15. ...and, evidently, Ms. Bites beat me to the punch.

    Have I told you I loved you today, my dear? Or that "even if it is a stinking turd, at least it's a concise and well-crafted turd" would fill the above-banner nicely?


    Well, I do & it would.

  16. Lookie here, Anonymous. If I, as a first-time reader, one who spent a good couple hours reading Laurie's site and compiling this review, can't tell from my visit the things you're pointing out to me? Then doesn't it follow that either a) my skills of perception and artistic appreciation are lacking (I won't argue the possibility), or b) Laurie hasn't given the blog her best.

    What in sam hill am I supposed to review on her blog if not her writing? Isn't that what a blog is? Am I to read through every comment, every reply to a comment, to get to the good stuff? Color me confused, because if I'm not supposed to review her writing I'm pretty much stumped. I mean, I reviewed her design and her writing (Not the writing that exists somewhere outside of the blog, but the stuff on the blog because why would I know about writing external to the blog? It's certainly not played up anywhere on the site that I could tell.); what else is left?

    I'm so confused. And alone. Hold me?

  17. Though it may be unrequited, Calamity, I love you.

    Booty? Aw, hell, I love you too.

    So full of love...kisses all around!

  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

  19. Oh, jeez. I just went and read her response to my review. Why is it that people who submit here can't seem to take constructive criticism very well, hmm? Did I say she was unfunny? No. I said the funny got lost in the extraneous crap! Now is that bad? I ask you.

    And now she's gone and had to pull the "I make a living being funny, so you don't know from funny, jackass unpaid blog reviewer who wishes she were funny." Hmph.

    Why do they submit if they don't want to hear it?

    And I'll just close this up by saying that back in the day I submitted my blog for review and I got ripped. So there.

  20. I get she's an excellent writer with tons of opportunities coming her way, but her blog didn't grab my attention at all. I can be a very wordy and boring person, too. And even I couldn't make it through some of her posts.

    I'm a new reader to this review site, but I remember comments from an earlier review where you guys questioned the need for validation by "published" writers. Maybe everybody likes a good spanking every once in a while? Or maybe you guys just rock.

    Either way, I actually think Calamity was perfect in her review, and if I submitted my blog and recieved the same one, I'd be thrilled she pointed out specific positives and spoke of my potential! Not to mention how quickly I'd be ready to take in the REQUESTED advice!

    Love bites, what was it we said about anonymous commenters? Yeah.

  21. Thanks for the laughs, Love Bites and Nutjobber!

    Actually, I'm a bit less anonymous than you might imagine. Like some of you, I am a blogger that has achieved a modicum of success- or rather, that would be unlike you.

    Both Ms Kendrick and myself are indeed different from you. We can write and we get paid for it. We are well regarded and busy so in fact, we are in a position to turn writing assignments. Now, I'm sure you did well in your high school papers and maybe even had something published in an 'alternative' paper (after some requisite begging and pleading). In the end however, you just don't have her bona fides anyway you cut it.

    The proof is in the pudding- it is you and not she that are talentless hacks and poseurs. Kendrick has been successful at this game for a while now. If you were, your responses would have been written differently, from the perspective of someone who knows what successful writing is all about.

    In that regard, Calamity has that awareness. Her defense of her work does not include ad hominums. She presents her arguments with degree of cogent thought, unlike yourselves. Real writers exchange ideas, not insults. While she and I may disagree, even strongly, it is the ideas and not the personalities that are most important. Clearly, you do not understand that.

    While she won't say it, I will- you aren't even in her league and unless you are in Middle School, your future as writers or working in any kind of work that any requires even a modicum of analytical skill is doubtful at best. Do not feel let down- the world needs plumbers and waiters.

    Here's another bit of reality: Just because you think you have talent does not mean you have talent. Just because you have an opinion does not mean your opinion is relevant.

    You may have won self esteem trophies in grade school, and mommy and daddy may applaud your 'talent' but that's not how it works in the real world.

    It's easy to write shit and fuck and even easier to repeat same, over and over. Idiots do this all the time. That is why very few people who write shit and fuck over and over don't get published. They are boring. You'll know you have reached a level of some intellectual maturity when you come to understand that repeating the words shit and fuck are not indicators of intellect. It does appear as if you have a ways to go. Good luck with that.

    When it's all said and done, Calamity will end up writing. Someday, she may even ask Ms Kendrick for advice and opinion on how the game is played (Ms Kendrick has helped more than one writer get published). She may not be a writer in the Kendrick (I hope not- she ought to have her own voice!) style, but in the end, it's about ideas and not personalities.

    Best of luck to you, Love Bites and Nutjobber.

    I have more to say, but I need to get back to organizing some work. I have two editors and deadlines to deal with who pay me a couple of bucks a word.

    Ask a real writer to explain that to you someday.

  22. Before you fall all over yourself defending Laurie (who hasn't posted over here and so I assume isn't as up in arms about my review as some people) and casting aspersions against our characters, she did submit her site for review. She had to be aware of the kinds of things we look for, and I know for a fact (based on her comment on a blog I frequent) that she fully expected, and I quote, "reaming."

    So, thanks for your ire and your sticking up for my (decent-but-not-as-good-as-Kendrick's) writing abilities, but it seems like your invective might be misguided.

    I may be just some rube spouting my opinions without the benefit of a byline, but she did ask for it.

  23. Calamity, my remarks were not directed at you. They were a response to Love Bites and Nutjobbers.

    As an aside, you aren't a rube.

    You may want to move uptown.

  24. I just find it funny how defensive everyone is. There is a lot of jealousy here and that is just sad. I read Kendrick's blog and an interview she did with an online friend. She was real, raw and open. Her comment about this review was nothing but a comment, and if she chose to mention the fact that she gets paid for her work, well it does make some people upset that they are not. She did link to your site and review, and it brought me here. I otherwise would never have found your blog. I can ask for your credentials, as a critic, but you seem to be doing well regardless. Live and let live, there is something for everyone on the net. Your readers are pandering for your approval, and as a critic I guess that is what you want. Or is it? All I know is that there is a lot of negativity on a blog that is supposed to be helpful. Funny is not a uniform equation. Thanks for letting me share my opinion.

  25. You know, Veronica, you do have a point. And honestly, Laurie herself has been very gracious.

    But personally? I'm not jealous. Nor do I expect pandering. What I expect is for people who submit here to know what they're getting into, to recognize that we're not being incendiary just for the sake of it (ok, maybe a little, but that's just gloss for effect), and we really do take time to formulate cogent reviews. Some blogs we like. Some we don't. We're four (sometimes five) people with fairly distinct ideas about what makes a good blog, and those are pretty much illustrated on our FAQ page. Sometimes, people surprise us. Mostly, they don't.

    Are we successful bloggers? Depends what you mean. I don't have a book deal, nor do I expect one. I don't have scads of fans, although I do have quite a few seemingly dedicated readers/people I pay to like me. I am not bloggerati by any stretch of the imagination. But, I blog often and well, I think, and my design is accessible and easy on the eyes. And that's it, really. The rest is about the writing. And that you either do or don't like, up to you.

  26. Also? This was actually a fairly decent review, all told. You should see some of the crap we have to rip into. Where's George when you need him?

  27. Oh, you’re still playing, anonymous? Good, because I have a question for you:

    Imagine, just imagine, that I was a working writer myself, and not just ANY writer, though, but a novelist with an actual, god’s-honest-truth book-deal - go ahead, I’ll wait.

    Caught up? Solid.

    Now, imagine that you WEREN’T imagining anymore, and that my fucking foul mouth is what will be paying the bills around The Nutjobber Estate...would that change your opinion of me, and of us by extension?

    Should it?

    No, it really, really shouldn’t...in fact, it’s a shame that you seem to think that you & Ms. Kendrick being "busy" writers means, somehow, that I’m not because I abuse the word "fuck".

    Oh, and I DO, anonymous; I beat the living shit out of that word, and I do so with such glee that it bedazzles and confounds friend and foe alike.

    Also a shame? Knowing that writers absorb criticism about as well as I do a razor-blade Frisbee, and yet those "paid" to do so STILL pull themselves down to our level to see what we think of their blog...why would you ask us? Me, I’m still living on Cheetos in my mother’s basement, hoping and praying for a day when a snooty "big-time" writer comes along to take me under their wing, to show me the sights and, yes, even the sounds of how to make it in the real world, ‘cause THEY KNOW, man, they know...


    Good thing you brought your professional-opinion to the table, Big Pants, because I just might have forgotten to check the pedigree of the next author I review, and you can only IMAGINE how embarrassed I’d be if it turned out that they were being PAID for their drivel!

    Little ol’ hack-writer me? Well, I’d just DIE!

    Anyway, thanks for playing!

    Oh, and a little head’s up: the phrase "I’m a bit less anonymous than you might imagine" doesn’t actually carry the weight of what it says when you remain anonymous, does it? In fact, it doesn't actually make sense at ALL, does it?

    Well, I guess it's the effort that counts.

  28. Well I for one would like to thank Sir Anonymous and Ms Kendrick for providing such wonderful comment fodder. Good blogs or people who take fair and constructive criticism make for boring comments.


    (drum roll for the ellipses please)

    Thank you. Both of you. I really mean it.

    And I'd also like to give Calamity a hug. And go out for a beer with her, just so she doesn't feel alone.

    I don't even like beer, but I'd do it for you, Calamity. Heck, I'd even put on clothes first.

  29. maybe I'm a bit dehydrated or something and just not 'getting' it, but, why ask for a 3rd party review if you don't want to hear it?

    Having never heard of her before, I quite liked it, there's obvious intelligence, quite dry humour, and I like a bit of wordy ramblings myself, but the 'needy defence' has just made me go limp.


  30. Why on earth would anyone think that they are going to find sickeningly sweet helpfulness on a blog with a web address of: http://iwillfuckingtearyouapart?? And a figure of death in the background? Hello?

    What are they going to find here? The truth. Undiluted truth. The good, the bad, the ugly.

    Many people find the truth helpful.

    Others prefer rivers in Egypt.

    My personal blog was ripped lo many moons ago (god, it's been about two years now). I cried.

    Then I made it better. I fucking hated those reviewers (and their review was far less helpful than Calamity's above). But without it, my blog would have remained mediocre.

    Live and learn...or not, as you prefer.

    I'm not defensive. We do what we do, and we have no lack of people asking to be reviewed, including quite a few published writers.

    When Laurie HERSELF asked for a review, she was opening herself up to the possibility that we might not like her. Some people can deal with that, others can't.

  31. But, can I just offer up a round of applause for anonymous? Having at least one crazy person a week makes this blog far more interesting for all of us.

  32. Jesus H. Tapdancing Fucking Christ!!!

    I like Laurie - I read Laurie every day - but goddamnitt I wouldn't read one more sentence of anonymous' works if you threatened me with waterboarding. I'm damaged from reading their essays here.

    The pseudo-intellectual-holier-than-thou-attitude made it intolerable. Throw another 'big word' in there to demonstrate how much of an academic you are, why don't cha? Newsflash: if you were accomplished and self confident as you were trying to proclaim, you wouldn't holding up those editors and pushing those deadlines to deal with the mediocre players of this review site.

    I hope you realize that regardless if you're Truman Capote incarnate, you come of as nothing but a sheer asshole, and that the intended defense of Laurie fell short in lieu of all your babble.

    "Here's another bit of reality: Just because you think you have talent does not mean you have talent. Just because you have an opinion does not mean your opinion is relevant."

    Ditto, fucktard.

  33. Isn't that what I just said?


  34. This thing about getting paid: I could probably, in a bizarre set of circumstances, for sex. The blogger who I am reviewing tomorrow gets paid for stock photography. Paris Hilton gets paid to sing. The key here is that none of the three are worth a galloping goddamn at what they could or do get paid for. It's a stupid fucking measure for quality.

  35. Dude, I give a fairly unbiased, tame, unscathing, and in fact encouraging review, and this is what happens? Man.

    I am now, variously, childish, a community college dropout, an idiot, someone full of rage, immature, talentless, stupid, foolish, full of myself, a coward, slow, a target, angry, grasping, foul-mouthed, arrogant, and hormonally-imblanced.

    All for a review that someone requested, knowing full well they were going to get criticized, and who actually took the review with grace and humor.

    Wow. I should give Kendrick another star and her commenters some fingers of doom. Because whatever she's doing, she's creating some rabid, and I mean rabid, readers.

    I think I need a rabies shot now for all the bites I've taken over this one.

    And now, back to my life of mediocrity and bile. I have to go steal money from children and infect people with ebola. My work is never done.

  36. Dudette, I would totally give you a hug if I could reach.

  37. Actually? I would contend that Anonymous and Laurie are one and the same. The phrasing and voice are almost identitical. Laurie is writing for two editors this week, so is Anon. Anon is intimately aquainted with every award Laurie has ever won.

    And, having used my deductive reasoning skills, let me follow up with another word to the wise for mainstream journalists trying to break into the blogworld:

    It isn't the same.

    There are quite a number of bloggers who've broken into the mainstream by publishing books. Good blogging, if nothing else, requires the same diligence and discipline about writing that writing for hire does.

    But, name me one mainstream journalist who's effectively "broken into" blogging. I'm willing to bet my left titty that you can't. They just don't. No matter how hard mainstream journalists try to take themselves to the blogosphere, it is rarely a successful attempt. There is something about the professional writer trying to extend their voice to the readers online that always ends up sounding stilted and hackneyed. They are just two different media types, and effective crossover between the two does not often occur.

    Maybe part of the problem is that in the mainstream, journalists get paid for producing quantity: "Give me 1,000 words and I'll pay you $2k."

    But, that's not why bloggers blog. Good blogs aren't marketing tools. They aren't about extending a published author's reach. They aren't about creating a community about a known quantity.

    Bloggers blog because they HAVE to. How many good bloggers do you know that have incredibly good reasons to stop blogging, like being dooced, and yet, they can't STOP THEMSELVES FROM BLOGGING. Blogging can cost people their careers, their relationships, it can wreak havoc on their dating life, and yet they can't stop themselves. It's an addiction.

    Bloggers are more like novelists than they are like journalists. They have a different kind of story to tell, and thus, journalistic and standardized media strategies don't work as well in the blogosphere. If you read any of the GOOD bloggers we've reviewed here, you find that they have several things in common:

    1) A unique voice.
    2) A unique story to tell, even if it is just about trying to be a mom.
    3) A unique way of telling their story.

    Blogging, unlike journalism, where the journalist is an observer telling someone else's story, is intensely personal. It's voyeuristic. It's a personal journal.

    And perhaps it is that divide, the inner voice and personal experience of seeing the world through another person's eyes, rather than seeing it in the third person, that journalists and mainstream media people who have blogs can never seem to cross.

    A mainstream media person talks about he and she. A blogger is all about the ME.

  38. In short...real writers and bloggers write not because they're paid to, but because they HAVE TO.

    Journalists? They're just hired guns.

  39. Right between the fucking eyes.

  40. The more you have to say Love Bites, the clearer it becomes that like clear thinking, writing is not your strong suit.

    Even the most casual observer ought to be able to distinguish between a male and female writer.

    Given the clear and unambiguous reality that you are unable to discern gender voice, only highlights your incompetence as a credible reviewer.

    Your 'deductive skills,' like your writing skills, are nowhere in evidence.

    Further, your critique of me is without real merit. An examination of your 'skills' as opposed to my own can be summed up easily.

    *You engage in name calling as an argument.
    *You initially engaged in ad hominem attacks, as if what you think of me has any credibility on the validity of mt arguments.
    *You attacked the tone of my argument- again, not addressing the ideas of my argument. If the worst thing you can say about my arguments is to criticize my tone, you're not saying much.
    *You remarks toward what I have to say are contradictory in nature- which is fine, if you were able to present evidence to my errors.

    On the other hand, my replies to Calamity are counter argumentative in nature. My disagreement with her included reasoning and evidence. Her responses for the most part, included the same.

    I presented ideas that I thought would refute her own. She did somewhat of the same to my assertions.

    Now, since you are so comfortable with ad hominems, let me respond in kind: Your later comments attempted a more credible critique of me. That said, like your 'deductive skills,' your arguments fall flat. You make a compelling case against public school education. While you won't make it as a writer or thinker, I would certainly nominate you as the poster child for private schools.

    Still, you might have a future at Hooters. If you could master not screwing up the orders, you might be able to take center stage reviewing pickup lines. That might be right up your literary alley (if accompanied by wearing wet tees. The Hooters patrons, like you, are very discriminating).

  41. Oh, anonymous, please stay a while and play. I can tell I'm going to have fun with you. ;)

    I do have great boobies, for what it's worth. Calamity can vouch for that. I could indeed work at Hooters.

    And you know what? The blog of a self-respecting Hooter's waitress would be more interesting than Laurie's blog.

  42. Love Bites? You're so dead on here.

    As a *ahem* paid writer, I've written many bios, and as soon as I saw Anon's first comment, I knew it was Kendrich. I've written many a bio, and I know a bio-for-publish when I see it. And that? Was a bio. Bios are HARD to write, and most writers keep the meat of theirs on hand, at the ready for copy and pasting. The truth is, nobody knows that much about another person, I don't care what kind of fan you are. And it was incredibly, ironically, wordy. Kind of like this fucking comment. When in Rome....

    It baffles me how quickly people turn from reviewer-lickers to anonymous spewers.

  43. p.s. there is no way anonymous has a penis. People with penises don't post anonymously, unless their penises are miniscule.

    For the record, ^THAT was ad hominem. If you are going to throw Latin at me, make sure you actually have a working knowledge of the term.

  44. Oh, and one more thing.

    The esteemed Katy Awards?


  45. The Biter truly has sensational tits.

    And, maybe I've been duped, but I don't think Anon is Kendrick. I've emailed with Kendrick, and this doesn't really wash.

    But I could be wrong -- as so very many people seem to point out these days.

  46. Oh, Maggie. Brilliant detective work.

  47. I can attest, first hand, to Maggie's sleuthing ability. She is a regular cyber Nancy Drew. I think we should have one on staff!

  48. This made me laugh. Wow. Way to prove us wrong, Miss Laurie.

  49. I'm a fierce stal-- I mean, Googler. No doubt about it.

    But I can't take credit for that link, somebody gave it to me when I was bitching about not winning the equivalent in my state. ;)

    And actually, before the scandal, the Katy's really was one of the highest regarded awards in journalism. And she very well may have deserved it. And I haven't even checked out her blog yet, so I'm not trying to bash her. And I misspelled her name up there and it's killing me. And I'm sure she's a lovely person.


    See? I can't do mean.

    Dammit. DAMMIT!

    But if she is anonymous? Then I don't feel bad for being mean. Because that's just cowardly. And even people who can't do mean grow some balls once in a while and post comments they're scared to post. Even if they sort of take them back later with whiny kiss-ass comments.

    It is so hard being me.

  50. Magpie, welcome to my world. I can't commit to mean. Unless it's George, and even then I feel guilty.

    But seriously, do me a favor? Go check out the blog. Because you are a funny broad who gets paid for writing, and I value your opinion. Did I get this wrong?

  51. OK, you know what?

    I take it all back. She is not your Anonymous. I know who he is. Yes, I have a sickness. I am stepping away from the computer for a while. A LONG while.

    (After I honor Calamity's request because she is my One and Only.)

    God help me. Seriously.

  52. Maggie, don't leave me!

    And don't leave us hanging. You've got my email -- use it! lol

  53. Yes, I have a sickness.

    No, sweetie, don't think about it that way. You have a GIFT. A gift that you are obligated to share with the world, by all that is sacred.

  54. Considering my blog is scheduled for tomorrow or the next day, it would probably be wise for me to shut the hell up right now.

    But nobody has ever accused me of being wise...

    I thought Calamity gave a fair and gracious, if somewhat critical review. It was supportive and encouraging. It was much nicer than some of the skewerings I have seen on here and at least she got a single star.

    But Laurie's reaction to the reiview was pathetic, IMO. If she is as wonderful as she claims to be, the occasional criticism should not bother her. And there is something vaguely pathetic about using the "well I get paid and you don't" defense.

    That being said, I do sort of like her blog and will probably start reading it regularly!

  55. Mindi:

    Does it help if I tell you that your reviewer wrote and submitted your review on Monday? Your review will have nothing to do with your comments here.

  56. Mindi, we like bravery here. :)

    That being said, I do sort of like her blog and will probably start reading it regularly!

    Humor me (no pun intended). If Laurie cleaned up the design, did some reorganization, and laid off the jokes you find in email forwards, would you be even more inclined to read?

  57. LoveBites:

    I'm not worried. As someone else said: when you submit your blog for a review by people who have "I Will Fucking Tear You Apart" right in the address, you can't expect your review to be delivered by a ButterflyAndKittenGram

    Mine will be what it is. nothing more, nothing less.

  58. Calamity:

    I may have to modify my statement that I will be reading her regularly. I realized that I based that statement based on the links provided in the review to her "good stuff".

    But you asked, so.....

    her design flat-out sucks. However, being a "Wordpress.com" person (AKA: too cheap to pay for one) myself, I know how limited she is with design. That being said, the template that she picked has to be one of my least favorites (aside from that stupid dancing girl one and the one with the milkshake).

    I don't want to scroll to the bottom. That's just a waste of space. I like ONE sidebar.

    She's wordy, but so am I. I don't mind wordy when it is amusing and written in a light-hearted manner and is a "quick read". I do mind "wordy" when it is written in a "see how well I write and how many big words I know?" way.

    I'm still a new enough blogger and my children are still too young for me to be spending too much time reading a single blog. I want to get in, have a quick laugh/cry/jaw-drop and get out.

    As for the email forwards: yeah - they need to go.

    That's just my opinion...not a writer, not a professional critic. Just a mom with a blog who knows what she wants from other blogs

  59. I'm late to the party on this one, but I'll throw in my unpaid opinion anyway.

    Since when does payment equal quality? Fer chrissakes, billions of people pay for McDonald's to increase the size of their asses everyday, does that make it quality food? A wise man once said that there's no accounting for taste.

    Now get over yourself, please, and bitch at someone who cares.

  60. On my worst days, I'm a wordy fuck.

    On my best days, I'm a wordy fuck.

    But as much as I really try to find fault with this site, after showing up naked to the party and wildly out of touch at Bookcrazy's review, I can't hate you at all.

    That said, I'll say this. Reading anonymous' comments is fucking brutal.

    You can't be genuinely condescending in type if you don't own a thesaurus. She used clear(er) three times in as many sentences.

    I'm pulling the "Bitch, plz!?" card. I thought I was royally out of touch, but that perception just got fuckin defenestrated.

    ~ Driz

  61. Well, I'm thoroughly chastened.

    These grapes are sour, y'all.

  62. Gosh that would hurt SO MUCH MORE if:

    1) Laurie herself hadn't submitted to us, thus lending us her own credibility. *zing*

    2) If the blog that reviewed us wasn't such a steaming pile of poo..

    You can color me...amused as hell.

  63. Please, don't throw us into THAT briar patch, y'all. We HATE it when shitty blogs attempt (poorly) to heap loads of crap on us and stir up controversy online.
    We are practically addicted to schadenfreude, y'all.

  64. Gotta give him props for:

    a) His name is Nigel. That's just plain classy.

    b) The image of the demented old dude he used as his rating system.

    ~ Driz

  65. Please. He's either British, has bad teeth, and wanks himself to sleep every night alone. Or, he's a metrosexual married to a frigid controlling bitch who owns a greyhound. I'm going for option 2, given the pale blue background.

  66. with the exception of the greyhound, that's me...

  67. Oh, hell; I go away for a day and miss 60 some-odd comments...

    To top it off, anonymous comes back to attack Lovebites but not ol' Nutjobster? The indignity of it all! Yes, she's pretty, anonymous, but let's spread the bile around a little bit, huh?

    As for this Nigel character, well, I think the point of knowing an anonymous-commenter's indentity is outweighed by the hope that that same anonymous would sack-up on their own - we need to hunt down anonymous fucks like I need three more pancakes...though they ARE tasty.

    Look at Driz: I recall his being vociferous in his defense of his buddy's review, but also owning-up to the misunderstanding of who requested what after the fact.

    Driz: a solid, stand-up dude.

    anonymous (whom, I assume, has been unmasked by Maggie?): a douchebag of such overblown self-importance that, while it kills me to do so, I may have to turn in my membership-card and quit the Egomaniacs Anonymous club that I hold so dear.

    Weep for me.

  68. I'm a solid, stand up dude until about 1:30 in the afternoon. After that point, I'm usually an intoxicated, slovenly mess.

    I submitted my blog for review today. Along the same lines, I also shot myself in the foot and tried to drown myself in the sink.

    Should be fun. *highfive*

    ~ Driz

  69. We do love a masochist, Driz.

  70. p.s. I love that we are so irrelevant that Laurie had to spend at least a half hour, minimum, writing a comment on her blog about how irrelevant and childish and profane we are. And how, in the scheme of things, we just don't matter. And how I left her a comment that was caustic that she managed not to post because she's cowardly like that.

    And how she hopes it will all just die down, but yet, she doesn't, because the link has given her so much traffic.

    Why is it that I find all of this so fucking hilarious? Especially the assumption that I'm a fat 20-something. Heh.

    This blog reviewing thing is so boring until you hit someone right between the ego, then it's fantastic.

  71. Wow! As the result of a genetic merging of two writer's (Per Anonymous' definition) I am compelled to mention that all this discussion is a really high compliment to both Ms. Kendrick, and y'all at "Ask".

    All free publicity is good publicity, after all. My parent's would chuckle gleefully if their writing caused this much scorn and derision. Well, my Dad would.

    Tangentially, why do people choose to comment anonymously? Unless you are a judge or politician and it is against your oath of State to comment on something, just take off the mask. Sheesh.

  72. He does it because he lacks the cajones to deal openly with criticism.


Grow a pair.