Open Letter to Wendy
Sometime last summer, when I first started posting on Randy's forum Of Cabbages and Kings, I promised you that I would remain your friend. Up until now I have felt bound by this promise and have continued to support you, though sometimes with a great deal of unease. I considered it my moral duty to keep my word. Over the last couple of days, I have revised my opinion on this. What you have posted on various sites across the internet has twisted the truth to such a degree that I no longer want to be accomplice to it. I will say straight away that this decision is based exclusively on your own posts and the way you have been dealing with the situation.
I hardly know where to start, but maybe the current situation is as good a place as any. A little while ago, I read your blog posts (http://wendwriter.blogspot.com/) where I found things like this:
"It occured to me that posting stuff praising other people instead of simply pushing my own stuff adds as much to my bumpage as anything else"
This confirmed to me something I had suspected for a while, namely that your various projects like the Archives of Excellence or the Golden Quill Awards are not really about promoting good Fanfiction, but about promoting yourself. It is interesting to note that on the Archives of Excellence website you claim that the purpose of the archive is
"to showcase the best writing on the internet."
A look into the archive shows that it lists twenty-seven stories by Wendwriter. This is quite mind-boggling. You have written a few fairly nice stories, but with the best will in the world I would not have called any of them to be among "the best writing on the internet", let alone twenty-seven. My suspicion that you were more interested in promoting yourself than in making a contribution to fandom was originally based on this observation, and the blog posts confirmed it. I feel sorry now that I suggested some writers I regard highly for the Archives of Excellence, because it would appear that you have listed their stories with the intention to "add to your bumpage."
When this became clear to me (about a week or two ago), I decided not to nominate any stories for the Golden Quill Awards, because I did not want to make other authors instrumental to your self-promotion project. I did, however, not object to Aerwen nominating my story The Measure of a Man. After all, I went into the situation well aware of the self-promotional nature of the contest, and I did at that point in time still try to support you. But I never contacted you to accept the nomination (the situation came to light before I had got round to it), and I did not even know that somebody had nominated Orcs at School until I saw it on your Archives of Excellence LJ.
I withdrew my stories from the awards, because I had seen the message you had sent to Aearwen regarding her nomination of stories by Thranduil Oropherion Redux (Randy) and Nieriel Raina (NiRi). What I mainly objected to was that you gave as a reason for excluding them from the awards that they were allegedly
"people who behave abusively towards me."
You did not give Aearwen any details about what that abuse was supposed to have consisted in, thus denying her the opportunity to check up on those allegations. You also said you wanted to keep this issue private. It made me wonder to how many other people you have sent and/or intended to send in the future message of a similar content. What you effectively did was to make unproven allegations against people behind their back.
When Aearwen made this message public, you responded in the same manner I have observed in you on previous occasions:
First of all, you dismissed the person who had called you out on your behaviour:
"I've gained a new hater" (http://wendwriter.livejournal.com/)
No, Wendy. Aearwen is not a hater. She is a person who is appalled by your behaviour. That is a different matter entirely.
Secondly, you made unfounded allegations about her motives:
"This, I presume, is to discredit the Golden Quill Awards." (http://wendwriter.blogspot.com/)
Aearwen has a much more plausible motive – that when allegations are made against anybody, they should be made in the open where the people concerned can reply to them and where other people can make up their own mind whom they want to believe. And because it is not fair to advertise an open awards scheme that is not actually open.
Thirdly, you claimed to have learned all manners of "lessons" (http://wendwriter.blogspot.com/). However, the reader who looks for any kind of self-examination will find no such thing. Rather, you reiterate things you've said before, like
"And when someone's got a blind spot on the issue involved, don't bother to waste your time - just leave it altogether. They won't listen. Any attempts to make them listen are guaranteed to end in disaster." (ibid)
By this you imply that the person who objects to your behaviour has a blind spot – either a bias or a lack of understanding. You exclude the possibility that the person's complaint might be justified. By the same token, you have dismissed the administrators of an archive whom you contacted to denounce your alleged abusers, but who did the sensible thing and paid no heed to the allegations.
"It's common in Fanficland for mods to look the other way while people are being harassed, as long as it is taking place elsewhere, and not on their particular sites. The idea that this might be WRONG has never occurred to them" (http://wendwriter.blogspot.com/)
"after a hard day's trolling and cyberbullying, monsters like to toddle off to respectable websites and pose as decent people. The website owners often appear to connive at this, which helps to isolate the victims." (ibid)
And here we come to the heart of the matter. Regardless of what a person says, you always find a way of twisting things round in such a way that you can dismiss their statements. If mods tell you that they're not interested in your private feud, you call them connivers. Because in your view you are, always and everywhere, a victim. And to uphold that claim you redefine terms like "bullying" and "trolling" to suit your purposes, i.e. to make them not applicable to the nasty things you used to do :
"Flaming isn't something I'd consider trolling, provided it's a one-off hit and run thing, and the flamer gives a reason for it, such as lousy writing or something." (http://wendwriter.blogspot.com/)
So, you don't consider flaming to be a form of that notorious cyber-bullying that you have allegedly been a victim of. Excuse me, but since when do the perpetrators get to define what counts as bullying? I think we should ask the opinions of those inexperienced writers who you and your friends Flame Rising and The Battling Bard have flamed, sporked and otherwise humiliated. You claim to be a victim, but you have, as a sporker, flamer and administrator of the "Sin Bin" been a major bully. You have also been the friend of the most notorious bully on ffn, Flame Rising, whom you tried to sell to me as a "decent person." And yet you have the nerve to post this:
"personal integrity [...] that's a prerequisite for getting time of day off me."
So, anyone who doesn't agree with your view of things apparently lacks personal integrity. You are very quick to dismiss people with comments like this:
"The only people who take them seriously aren't worth paying attention to. And now I've got my own websites that I can run free from interference from them. And I've been nominated for the MEFAs. How cool is that?"
The irony of this paragraph is that you have dismissed me – for I am taking "them" seriously – as somebody not worth paying attention to and in the same breath brag about having been nominated for MEFA. Who nominated you for MEFA? It was me. I came to regret that also when I found out that you had contacted the MEFA administrators with a view to giving Randy and Ignoble Bard a bad name there. The moderators did not take it seriously, but of course, there's always one last argument:
"the mods are matey with the trolls" (http://wendwriter.blogspot.com/)
By this you imply that everybody who does not agree with you has been influenced by your alleged abusers.
"I NEVER have problems with people who are not friendly with those individuals. In fact, we all get along very well." (http://wendwriter.blogspot.com/)
This is simply not true. I can give two examples of people who have been appalled by you without ever having exchanged a single word with your alleged abusers. These are just two examples, I am sure other people could provide more.
The first example is my very good friend Morthoron, who, on my recommendation, visited your forum Can We Talk (http://forum.fanfiction.net/topic/29692/1971069/5/ , post 231 onwards). He engaged in an animated debate with a few regular posters about an incredibly harmless topic: the weather in Imladris and Lothlorien. The debate was lively and all participants clearly enjoyed it. However, in the middle of the debate, you suddenly posted this:
"Thanks *name removed* The PWNage was necessary because I resent people being disrespectful to my posters."
The disrespectful thing Morthoron had done was, according to your own post, using the phrase "Yet you seem determined to deny." The regulars responded by saying that they had found nothing offensive in Morthoron's behaviour. This led to your comment,
"Morthoron is still welcome here."
However, after such a welcome, Morthoron decided not to visit your forum again. I can't blame him. He had joined into the conversation bona fide, introduced himself as a friend of mine and done nothing else than bring forth an erudite argument, and instead of saying as much as hello to him, you hit him with "PWNage."
Morthoron, though, is a strong personality, a brilliant writer, and well able to look after himself. My second example concerns someone a great deal more vulnerable, a fourteen-year-old girl called Rianiel. She had naively done what others have done before her, namely started to post a rather clumsy Boromance. For this she was viciously flamed by your declared friend Flame Rising and sporked by you on Deleterius (a site which you until very recently – about three or four weeks ago I saw it last - advertised on your ffn profile with the motto "I spork therefore I am"). When Rianiel, with some support from me, revised her story and posted the improved version, I asked you to give her an encouraging comment, pointing out that she had done exactly what you claimed to intend with your flames and sporks, namely improved her writing. You left her a fairly bland comment (http://www.fanfiction.net/r/4334594/0/2/) and then never bothered to comment again. You offered her neither an apology for sporking her, nor did you help her with her writing. I helped her with her writing, and to my delight she received an Honourable Mention at the 2009 MEFA for her series of vignettes of soldiers going into battle. Rianiel has never heard of Randy, NiRi, Aislynn and Ignoble Bard. I very much doubt she would agree with you that you "get along very well."
There is actually another person who has been appalled by your behaviour long before she ever had any contact with the people you call "The Creepy Crew." That person is me. I was appalled by your elaborate apologetics of flaming, but at the time I became involved with you, you were beginning to give up on it, so I was satisfied with that. I believed what you told me about people who had been trying to chase you out of fandom – believed it without checking the facts, I have to confess to my shame. But one day you sent me a message in which you rejoiced about a series of misfortunes that had hit the "Creepy Crew." You attributed it to the wrath of God, which offended my religious sensibilities, but even worse was that you did actually rejoice. You rejoiced that someone was possibly losing his eye-sight. I wish I had kept that message for evidence, but have alas lost it in an inbox disaster some time ago. But I remember it very well. It chilled me to the bone. After that, I was sceptical of everything you said.
Still, I tried to support you. It was obvious to me that you have some very serious issues and I hoped that I would be able to steer you into the direction of moderation and common sense. I supported you in every way I could: I reviewed your stories, I added you to my favourite author list on ffn (even though the quality of your writing is not on a par with that of the other authors on my list), I posted on your forum and recommended it to others, I suggested people for the Archives of Excellence, I participated in last year's Golden Quill Awards, I nominated some of your stories for MEFA. I did everything I could to try and turn your mind towards more positive and constructive interactions.
However, I was appalled yet again when I found that you had banned a young poster from your forum for no other reason than that she had asked for concrete information about the "feud" between you and the "Creepy Crew." It was then that I began to investigate the matter. You gave me links to Randy's forum so that I could see for myself how he and his friends were "slagging you off." (http://forum.fanfiction.net/topic/56768/17856866/1/) I checked out the link and reported back to you that I had seen nothing particularly offensive, though I had noticed that people were being sarcastic and obviously pissed off with you. I asked you to specify which posts you had meant. Your answer was along the lines of, if you can't see it for yourself, then I can't help you. You were not able to specify what your grievance was.
This is another interesting twist. Because you cannot actually produce any evidence for your allegations. You accuse Randy, NiRi, Aislynn and Ignoble Bard of having stalked, bullied and trolled you, of having spammed your forum and your review boards with offensive messages and images. The fact is that these things have been done to you (and to them !) by an anonymous person. You cannot expect the world to believe that Randy and his friends are guilty of this simply on the basis of "because I say so." Everybody who knows of your flaming, sporking past will understand that there might be quite a number of people on the internet who bear a grudge against you. It could have been any of them.
A side-effect of this incident was that I began to post at Randy's forum, for no other reason than that I had seen interesting threads there. Within hours, you contacted me in a panic and asked how I could be friends with your enemies. I told you that I failed to see what your grievance with these people was and that Ignoble Bard in particular had become a good friend of mine after we had started corresponding about writing-related matters some time ago.
After I had made it clear that I had no intention to share your hatred of these people, I encountered a new phenomenon. It was the story aimed at me. Almost every story you have posted since last summer dealt at some point with the topic of "turning people against other people." I began to grow very tired of this phrase, but I said nothing. I wondered whether you could possibly think I was too stupid to notice, or whether on the other hand you expected me to notice and approve of it? No idea. The last of those stories aimed at me was "Past the Dimrill Gate," which I could, if I wanted to, read as a twenty-thousand word insult of my intellectual abilities. I overlooked that, though, and dutifully read and reviewed every chapter. When you asked me to cast a critical eye on the finished story, I struggled through the whole thing again and pointed out the various plot holes, the poor motivation, the out-of-character dialogues. I still didn't mention that I had understood what the story really was: a thinly veiled rant about my continued friendship with Randy and Ignoble Bard. That, Wendy, is the reason why the story falls flat. It's not really about Tolkien's world. It's just about you. Just like pretty much everything you ever talk about is you. When Dawn Felagund gave you the very sensible advice to adhere to the established standards for Fanfiction awards, your reply was
"Okay, what's in it for me?" (http://wendwriter.livejournal.com/)
A person who wants to make a constructive contribution to fandom does not ask "What's in it for me?" But as I have established earlier, making a constructive contribution to fandom is apparently not your true purpose. It's about you and your "bumpage."
I've been so busy with bumpage and all, I've completely neglected my stories! [...] I'm in the middle of a new story for the LOTR Community Challenges "Say it in a letter" challenge. I know! But it was only meant to take a couple of hours to knock out and post." (http://wendwriter.blogspot.com/)
And yet, in the same breath you claim
"I do take my writing seriously" (ibid)
Which, I presume, is why it's only supposed to take a couple of hours to knock out? But yes, a lot of your stories read just as if that's how they came into existence. You would be better advised to invest more time and energy in the quality of your writing than in hate campaigns against other internet users. You have accused Randy, Aislynn, NiRi and Ignoble Bard of stalking you, trolling you, spamming you, and goodness knows what else. You have to date not been able to produce any evidence for this. But you have, open for all the world to see, called them "monsters," tried to "turn people against them" (MEFA and MPTT administrators, for example) and invested much time and energy in trying to taint their reputation. BTW, I read the posts on your forum that led to the original spat between you and Randy and the LJ conversation that followed. (http://wendwriter.livejournal.com/7879.html , http://randy-o.livejournal.com/12063.html, http://randy-o.livejournal.com/12063.html) I hold Randy and Aislynn blameless in this matter. And I read that you called them "Fred and Rose West." And you call them abusive?
"Where do you draw the line on unacceptable behaviour?" (http://wendwriter.blogspot.com/)
I have no idea where you draw the line. I draw it here. Your behaviour is unacceptable and I do not want my name to be associated with you any longer, because that makes me accomplice in your hate campaigns against others.
So, have I finally "turned against you" as you predicted last summer? No. I wish you no ill. I'm just tired of you. Goodness knows I've tried to make you see sense, but I have failed miserably.
Have "they turned me against you"? No. In fact, Randy, Aislynn, NiRi and Ignoble Bard have always respected that I was planning to remain your friend. They never tried to influence me in that matter. What has influenced me and led to my decision to part company with you is your behaviour and your behaviour only.
Do I "fail to understand"? No. I understand very well. I have well above average intelligence and three academic degrees. It is because I understand quite precisely what's going on that I have finally decided to give up.
Do I use "double standards"? Yes, I did, actually. I accepted, for nearly two years, behaviours in you that I would not have accepted in others. Because I felt sorry for you and thought I could somehow help you. But I have now come to the point where I don't want to have these double standards anymore and I will assess you by the same standards I apply to everyone else.
Do I have a "blind spot" in this matter? Well, I used to have one, during the entire period of time when I took your word for it and believed whatever you said. It is because I have removed that blind spot that I no longer believe you.
I have no hope whatsoever that you will take my views seriously. I also have very little hope that you will understand what the cause of the whole problem is. But I will invite you to reflect on a number of questions:
-Why has nobody, absolutely nobody stood up for you in this scenario?
-Why does your blog have a total of zero comments?
-Why do you get into trouble with people everywhere, on the internet, at work, even with good old Caledonian McBryne?
-Why are the only people who are still happy to be involved with you those who you diligently "keep out of it", that is, keep ignorant of what is going on?
-Is it really possible that the whole world is wrong? Can it be that we are all, all mistaken and you alone are right? Does that sound plausible to you?
Please try to think about these questions. I believe you have very, very serious problems and you need help. I wish with all my heart that you will find it.
[edited for typos]3/5/2010 . Edited by Thranduil Oropherion Redux, 11/25/2010 #1
Awesome, Virtuella. Glad I wasn't the only one who noticed Wendy had no comments in her blog- I lol'd heartily when I saw that.
It really amazes me how far people will go to prove that others are wrong, and not them, in spite of all the evidence.3/5/2010 #2
I give this fic a 7 out of 10. The memorandum form of your presentation and the Sue character you write about seems to have been modeled on the devil from C.S. Lewis' Screwtape Letters, save your character is not nearly as subtle. Unfortunately, I had to take points off because your Sue was far too over-the-top for my tastes. In fact, such overtly narcissistic behavior seems to have been lifted directly from the Wikipedia definition of Narcissistic Personality Disorder:
1. has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
2. is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
3. believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
4. requires excessive admiration
5. has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
6. is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
7. lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
8. is often envious of others or believes others are envious of him or her
9. shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes
I would add as a 10th variant an acute persecution complex.
Don't get me wrong, Virtuella, your writing is very strong and the indignation you display is palpable and believable; however, your Sue character was simply beyond the pale. Tone the character down a bit and she will be more believable. I can hardly wait for the next installment. Hopefully, she will be banned, like Morgoth, beyond the Door of Night.3/5/2010 #3
LOL. Thanks for making me laugh. Do you think I'm a bit less like Mother Theresa now?3/5/2010 #4
Milhist's addendum: When you told Bard Kat was posting with the "Creepy Crew" (quotes deliberate), causing a chain of events that resulted in the destruction of a forum I rather enjoyed, you also managed to tick off one of the people who had been on your side and who actually kind of liked you. That would be me. I'm sure you don't care, but I thought I'd mention it.3/5/2010 #5
LOL. Thanks for making me laugh.
I live to serve thee, m'lady.
Do you think I'm a bit less like Mother Theresa now?
You are still my patron saint of fan-fic. You see, that's the difference between you and I: whereas you wrote a gut-wrenching and thought-provoking open letter, I would have just said 'fuck off' and called it a day. ;p3/5/2010 #6
I live to serve thee, m'lady.
You know, I really love you sometimes for making me feel like a medieval princess. :P3/5/2010 #7
And Morth's right. You wrote a better letter than I ever could've. Less vitriolic, anyway.3/5/2010 #8
Milhist, you will not be surprised if I tell you that Wendy has mentioned your name to me as part of a list of people who have been "turned against her" by Randy. Because we none of us ever make up our own minds. No, were just being turned and turned, like a peppermill.
*Considers deleting the phrase "turned against" from the English dictionary*3/5/2010 #9
I actually rated a mention in there? Now that's surprising. I would've thought she didn't care.
If she'd looked at the forum she would've figured out that I am something of an independent actor. As are all the others here.3/5/2010 . Edited 3/5/2010 #10
You know, I really love you sometimes for making me feel like a medieval princess.
Yes, but that has both good and bad aspects to it. You see, in a few years I will have to pack you off to a nunnery.3/5/2010 #11
No, were just being turned and turned, like a peppermill.
And ground to a fine powder by Randy's relentless badgering, then sprinkled on various foods to add a little spice. ;-)3/5/2010 #12
And ground to a fine powder by Randy's relentless badgering, then sprinkled on various foods to add a little spice. ;-)
And then sent down the toilet after we'd been chewed up and digested.3/5/2010 #13
has mentioned your name to me as part of a list of people who have been "turned against her" by Randy.
There is such a list? Can you share? just curious...3/5/2010 #14
That would be interesting...3/5/2010 #15
There is such a list? Can you share? just curious...
No doubt a check of the forum participants would do nicely...3/5/2010 #16
I've been in that mess from the beginning, bowing out every once in a while until Wendy would do something else to rile people up. I finally said my apologies to her for trolling her review board (remember when she threatened us with the FBI?) and for my words to her as Purity and Light (which she blamed on Randy and got him banned from the FP...and Mike.)
I too, used to make excuses for her, even playing the mediator at one point, trying to patch things up between her, Randy, Aislynn, and Mike on my LJ. Then I got frustrated with her lack of sense, her delusions. I used to despise her, loathe her even for how much drama she caused over a simple comment about Faulkner.
She is worse than TBB, FR put together. At least those two didn't hide behind a saccharine shield of gooey goodness. They were candid with their intentions. Wendy's surreptitious little contests, her praise, her recommend threads, her motives for joining archives and then tapping the mods on the shoulder, whispering about Randy, Mike, NiRi are bona fide stalker behavior. I think she should have helmed the Creepy Crew; she certainly meets the criteria.
As for all this, I'm sorry to all who's been dealing with her constant bruised ego, her unending preservation over what Randy did, what Mike did, what NiRi did -- most of which are all a jumbled mess of events and assumptions she's twisted in her mind. It's getting really old and frankly, sad.
I wish she'd let go of her hate. Life's too short.3/5/2010 . Edited 3/5/2010 #17
Did Maiafay and I just agree on something?3/5/2010 #18
The only things you and I don't agree on are religion and certain lifestyles. That's it.3/5/2010 . Edited 3/5/2010 #19
Ehhh, point. We might not agree on politics, though.3/5/2010 #20
To be blunt, whether we agree or disagree on a subject is not germane to the current topic.3/5/2010 #21
There is such a list? Can you share?
It's not an official list. She just said, they've turned other people against me before, for example X,Y,Z. If I recall correctly, the other two were Katie and Silver.3/6/2010 #22
That's just silly. Empy and Silver both are quite smart and have minds of their own.
As far as I can see the members who post here are of different temperament and have varried interests and opinions. But one thing is common among us- we can process the factual data and come to our own conclusions about the matters in hand. "Because I say so" is not what makes us believe anything.3/6/2010 . Edited 3/6/2010 #23
RC, this is exactly what Wendy denies. If she admitted that people could come to their own conclusions and take Randy's side, that would mean to admit that there are objective reasons for doing so.3/6/2010 #24
I get that..3/6/2010 #25
Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that you didn't. I'm in the habit of paraphrasing - probably a job related tic...3/6/2010 #26
|Thranduil Oropherion Redux
And ground to a fine powder by Randy's relentless badgering, then sprinkled on various foods to add a little spice. ;-)
And then consumed with some fava beans and a good chianti.3/6/2010 #27
|Thranduil Oropherion Redux
And now, my own addendum to the open letter:
Wendy, if you do the right thing, the adult thing, and make your awards open to all stories that comply with the stated criteria -- non-slash, family-friendly, well-written stories in any fandom -- despite your personal feelings for the author, then I will do the right thing, the adult thing, and decline any nomination of my stories. You had a chance to put your sporking and flaming past behind you and become a serious member of the fandom community. So far, you have not performed admirably, but you still have a chance to change.
You ask what would be in it for you? Not all that much, considering I had been maintaining silence pertaining to you for quite some time now. I can't get any quieter. But it would earn you the respect of those who are watching.3/6/2010 #28
Wendy, if you do the right thing...
Randy, it's not going to happen. :(
Quoting you- know- who:
Please note: Cyberbullies and trolls of every stripe are barred from participating in my awards programs and other online activities. People who make targets of other people and work to ruin other people's reputations are not welcome on any of my e-spaces.
Someone with a sinbin talking about cyberbullies !
I have NO desire to associate in any way with people who behave badly towards anyone, anywhere. People who refuse to accept that are welcome to set up their own awards. It's not hard.
What about yourself M'am? Since this clears the field for people who don't usually win awards to get something, it should free them up a bit. OK- This sentence confused me- Does it mean that the supposed bullies are better writers and if they are out , it would clear the field for the rest of them? Not trying to make things worse but, couldn't ignore this part. :P3/8/2010 . Edited 3/8/2010 #29
|Thranduil Oropherion Redux
Someone with a sinbin talking about cyberbullies !
*cough* A quote about motes and beams comes to mind.
OK- This sentence confused me- Does it mean that the supposed bullies are better writers and if they are out , it would clear the field for the rest of them? Not trying to make things worse but, couldn't ignore this part. :P
Yes, I think she might have rephrased that. ;)3/8/2010 #30
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