Monday, May 03, 2010

and the heart says write a fucking post in autowin, like now!

I've spent most of the weekend reading. Not books or anything important like that really. Well, I did read an essay from Zadie Smith's book Changing my Mind called "The New Direction of the Novel" and I did re-read Emily Gould's And the Heart Says Whatever; or at least my favorite pieces of it.

It comes out May 4th but she sent me a galley in January (I think) so I ate it in January. Since the first reading I have been reading bits and pieces of it again, here and there. And I did another formal re-read about two weeks ago to prepare to write about it.

I spend a lot of time preparing to write about things, but then I never have time to do said things until the last minute, because every minute is the last minute for something else! I'm not sure if there's a way to describe in words how fucking busy I am, and how much shit I could/should be doing at all times, and how I have invented a totally rewarding but also completely logistically impossible life for myself, which is strange, how it just happened and all of a sudden here I am in my life, where all the minutes fly away from me like blackbirds. Like bye bye birdie, It's exactly like Bye Bye Fucking Birdie!

It's difficult to figure out exactly what to write about And the Heart Says Whatever on my cutting-edge relatively-literary-minded immensely popular website Autostraddle.com because my number one feeling about the book is "omg me too" which I think, given the nature of the book and the inevitably bitter criticism it's going to get (Emily Gould makes people violent or whatever) (she's a lady, writes about herself without apologizing for writing about herself, is pretty etc) (yeah i don't know either) is redundant and maybe irrelevant. But it's also the most relevant thing I ever could say about the book, particularly because if you're the kind of person that might be interested in reading about all the ways my life has been similar to Emily's or my feelings have been like Emily's feelings, then you're definitely the kind of person that will like the book, and should get it.

So I decided to work on two pieces about it; a relatively straightforward review for Autostraddle (which'll be, clearly, so "autostraddley" that it's actually unlikely to be straightforward at all), and the same for this blog but with more of the incoherent rambling that I've convinced myself you all must enjoy if you're still reading this space after all this time.

I was also writing something else for this blog, totally unrelated, which I'm confident I'll finish on some yet-to-be-seen night in the future when I magically have free time. I actually haven't had free time since... I dunno. It's hard to remember what life was like before this. Well, it's not. It's just hard to figure out how to let my life evolve, rather than frantically darting about like my life is clay comets I must catch and mold consciously, each one further away from the last.

I've been really fucking busy. Like really fucking busy you guys. This thing that I do? This thing that I do is fucking hard. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone, it will eat you alive! I have been eaten alive. I am currently running Autostraddle from the inside of its stomach. It's funny that people don't realize that I write most of the website myself. I'm trying to stop doing that. There's been a lot of general behind-the-scenes stress as well lately, which is exhausting and in my opinion really unnecessary.

In any event, I'm very proud of us. Of our amazing team.

Alex too. Is everyone proud of Alex? Let's all be proud of Alex. Due to her amazing infographics, she's going to be on a panel at BlogHer as an EXPERT on how to use visuals to make blogs interesting or something.

Don't worry Emily Choo, I love you most of all (I link to that quote b/c that's how I imagine saying it out loud, not b/c the situation or emotions are similar, so really I should link to a video clip, but who has the time).

I'm also really proud of me and everyone who I work with and talk to every day and everyone who's still involved with the project and still giving as much if not more energy to it now. I'm proud of our consistent quality, our community, our growth rate, the important things we talk about and how we refuse to play stupid SEO games, as The Awl said they attempt to do when reflecting on the spirit they were founded in. I'm trying to own my feelings like Sady Fucking Doyle right now btw, is it working? I'M PROUD OF MYSELF AND ALSO OF YOU. please donate $$.

[Also, if you haven't started watching Julie & Brandy in Your Box Office, which is the show that I'm editing for Autostraddle, starring Julie Goldman and Brandy Howard, then you really should because I'm proud of that too. I KNOW IT'S VIDEO AND YOU'RE SO FUCKING LITERARY. Try it! Also we're doing this Queer Feminist Roundtable thing this week, maybe you will like that too.]

I'm still scared & sad a lot of the time, when I'm alone, because I think that humans are generally supposed to become more financially stable as they get older, but I was much better off at 18 than I am at 28 (so much debt you guys! so much debt! and no income!), and, and basically things have gotten progressively worse since about 2004, with the exception of the first few months of 2007 before my life fell apart and started getting worse again. Then as soon as I had money I gave it away anyhow, so there you go.

This weekend a lot of my surprisingly popular tumblr followers have probs wondered where are the photos of Kristen Stewart, what's with all this fucking text. Because of all this online reading that I've been doing that I mentioned in the beginning of the blog post. So I quoted some things.

I think I've been reading a lot this weekend b/c I've been thinking (because of Emily's book) a lot about writing on the internet and discourse around cyberculture, the future of publishing et al. Also I've been sort of trying to like, change some things about how I live my life, or something, and I think I needed time for reflection. I was hoping this "reflection" time I imagined having this weekend because I can't afford to leave my apartment would be "writing time," but instead it has been reading time. Reading BLOGS, honestly, mostly, when I haven't been doing Autostraddle work. Which I felt guilty about (whaaat?) and therefore wrote/am writing this post, to feel better.

These are some things I read this afternoon that I liked, in addition to The Economist's special section about the future of television and online television, which is not available online, dangit:
Is that okay? Are you still here? Are we still in love? I'm still broken on the inside, but you'll have to keep that between you and me for now, because I have to act "as if" right now. Just right now though. You know one day I'll tell you everything, right? I never did, really, because I couldn't. There are only two or three things I know for sure and that is one of those things; one day.

32 comments:

Amy said...

Life is good. Not sure what's going to happen this summer or next winter, but here's hoping that something good comes my way. Congrats on the success of Autostraddle, and pulling that someone recognizes they need to give you cash dollars for awesomeness.

Vikki said...

"Two or three things I know for sure, and one of them is that to go on living I have to tell stories, that stories are the one sure way I know to touch the heart and change the world." - Dorothy Allison

One of the best quotes ever. I believe in the power of stories and words. You're doing an amazing job.

Anonymous said...

i was worried that all of your "autostraddling" was taking over your life/"autowin-ing" time...but i'm glad to see that this is not the case =]. love your blogs, your site, your mind, and your courage to put out all of your feelings.

Rachel said...

Riese, I totally fucking appreciate the fact that you live and breathe Autostraddle. It's hands down the greatest thing to come into my life in several years. Reading it over the last year has been a joy and now being able to contribute makes me feel all squidgy inside. It's pretty romantic and disgusting, really. But I don't know... do you get told how appreciated you are? I don't know if I myself have ever mentioned it, so I'm doing so now. So thank you. You've done a really amazing thing (which I'm sure you know, right?) and having it in my life is like having a million best friends. <3

Indelible said...

The plague of Real Life & its disruptions against the rhythm of writing... it fucking sucks.

Maybe that's why I became a teacher, even though sometimes I sort of don't like my job-- at least I have my summers and little disruption to my writing, then.

You are kicking ass with Autostraddle.
The writing will find its way in.

Rachel said...

riese i will like you forever, even if you don't pay me, even if you didn't link to my blog but you did. i am going to read the heart says whatever literally 100% because of you.

PS so so proud of alex!

kaydee said...

I'm proud of everyone. I actually discuss how proud I am of Autostraddle all the time even though I don't know any of you. Like out loud.

Also, I think you saved my life in 2007. I love everyone.

Danielle said...

I just went to autowin because it's in my favorites and I use the link at the top to get to autostraddle, when I know I should just make autostraddle a favorite (really, I know I know) and SUPRISE a post! Excellent. I love this. Just this. Thanks for writing.

saint modesto said...

xoxo

See Me said...

I so, so appreciate Autostraddle and all the work you do to put something so awesome into existence. Oh and Alex too!

It's more than a website it is a big group of friends and I think that is why I like it so much. GREAT JOB.

alyson said...

Man I've missed this blog. Recently I've been coming back to it and reading older stuff.

I absolutely loved this post, it's enough to tide me over for a very long time. Every word and feeling was brilliant.

I was so glad to see some links at the bottom to things you've been reading. I think I've missed that the most about this blog. I mean, I still get to read your writing over at autostraddle. But...I'm going off track and I'm in class so I shouldn't be doing this anyway so I'll just leave it at that and not bother to say anything witty or entertaining.

Just...letting you know I'm still here and I absolutely love this blog. Going to read the 4 or 5 tabs I now have open thanks to this post.

Oh and I watched Julie and Brandy in your Box Office just last week and absolutely loved it. So funny. So basically I spent a few hours catching up then re watching then making my girlfriend watch them all at least two times. So.

Daphne said...

I should not be commenting on ambien. So I won't. For now.

Bridget said...

rock it out lady! rock it out!

Anonymous said...

Though I love love the "autostraddle" this "auto" is still where my heart lies. And I think yours too. This is where the real Riese or Marie was born as the blogger and writer. We know you are uber busy, but anytime you write here I will be here in a sec to read and reread again and again. Thanks
J

crystal said...

I'm also proud of you & Alex & Autostraddle, I don't want to know a life without these things. Now I'd really like to read And The Heart Says Whatever, not 'cause I'll go 'omg me too', not at all, but I want to hear everything you're too fucking busy to talk about, or as much as I can. xx

El N said...

Stay gold, Ponyboy.

caitlinmae said...

I tell people about you all the time. Like once almost every conversation that doesn't have to do with film or work-- "hey i know these women with this really incredible blog..." From the years reading autowin, knowing the greatness you-as-writer were destined for, the start of the Auto-Empire is like the outline of an exclamation point, like... GET EXCITED, this is here and it's going to be HUGE and that outline gets thicker by the day.
That being said, the idea that you-as-you is getting worse and things are piling on is disheartening- even if they are wonderful things that are IMPORTANT and MEANINGFUL for other people.
So... your hard work and agita are well worth it, because you are creating something amazing. But you should still come first, because you-as-you is what enables the amazing. I know you don't have time to breathe much less do anything else but it was great to see Alex a few weeks ago and catch up- and if you'd ever like to grab a coffee (no sugar) I'd be very much down to pay for it and eliminate $4 of impending debt.
thank you for writing here. I miss it.

Spin said...

Hey! You don't know me, but I've been reading teh Automatic Win blog since, well, it first started winning queer blog awards back in the day . . . and I just wanted to say that I love the work you're doing with Autostraddle.

Congrats.

^__^

Anonymous said...

my heart says take a fucking nap autowin, like now!

We're still in love. Sorry about the money and time xoxo

Daphne said...

Announcement: Every last penny I ever win from the lottery or anything alike, I will donate to Autostraddle.

I'm serious.
That's how much I love all of you.

a;ex said...

*happy sigh* - I love this place, these people and their encouraging comments. Love.

Michelle said...

you should write for a daily paper cos youre good

prettyisa said...

How funny, there isn't really a place to say how wonderful autostraddle has been on the site itself (at least not one I've noticed and thought to use. probably because I am a bit of a jerk). But it is wonderful and I read it every day and I am about to go down your list of books I should read and thank you thank you for putting so much time and effort into it all the time. It's all so fabulous that it's hard to remember that there are a small number of actual people who put forth all of that energy to keep it going.
And, since I am lazy, how do we send money? I would totally give you at least as much as I give NPR (which isn't saying much, but still).

LittleTink said...

you are loved.

riese said...

aw, it's Little Tink!

LittleTink said...

hiii! it IS me! i hope you are having a beautiful day :)

Rebecca said...

This is really off topic but I felt like it would be better to comment on this post rather than an old one 'cause you might not read the comment but anyways I only just happened upon your blog a couple of days ago and I thought I'd tell you I really like the way you write. Like it's just really fun to read the words I'm not quite sure why. I'd totally buy a book by you.

Mercury said...

still in love. <3

riese said...

aw.

merc.

<3
<3

dewey said...

Oki so i know you posted this almost like a month ago buuuuutttt, i wanted to comment anyway cos its here, this blog...yayayayayay!! :D x x

Roxy said...

it's such a shame we don't tell the ones we love and care about how much we really appreciate them as often as we should! anyways, you're great. autostraddle's great. autowin's great. i hope you recognize your own greatness and help yourself get better, not worse! and anyways, your day will come :) agreed though, this is all definitely something to be proud of!

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