I’m just saying, there IS a resemblance. On the other hand, there are worse people to look like than Pebbles Flintstone, right?
Frankly, I’m with Simon here: I think Sanjaya is in his own universe, and it doesn’t really matter what anyone says. Let your freak flag fly, and all that. Even Gwen Stefani seemed flummoxed by him. It’s like that crazy cousin you have, who shows up at family events full of drama, or trying to sell everyone on some pyramid scheme, or wearing something totally inappropriate, and everyone’s so used to it by a certain point that you just sigh, and pass the potato salad, and don’t even bother commenting on it anymore. Yeah, so he has the Pebbles-hawk going. That’s nice. More deviled eggs, anyone?
(Disclaimer: I am not saying that I, in fact, HAVE any cousins like this. It’s just, you know, an example.)
In other news, I’ve spent the last couple of days catching up on my emails, which got entirely backlogged as I went laptop free for the weekend. Among them was one from a very angry mother, whose daughter was apparently reading—and enjoying—my books until she came across a word that offended her (it began with an F, for clarity’s sake) at which point she decided to stop reading it. Now, that’s her choice, and it’s not my place to judge her either way for her decision. The email did not say which book it was, although I have a feeling it might be This Lullaby or even Just Listen. I am not entirely sure, though. But it did say this, in closing:
I was very angry at you and the choice you made by including four-letter words in your “teen”books. Don’t you think these kids are subjected to enough vulgarity in the world today without you adding to it? Shame on you! Ms. Dessen, I don’t know about your household, frankly that’s none of my business, but we don’t use the “f” word EVER. I also don’t understand why you feel the need to use foul language in your books. You may say, “Well,it’s just the times we live in…” I say, whatever excuse you use just doesn’t cut it. We all choose what we say and how we act. You chose incorrectly. We choose now to dispose of your books. Yes, they may have some redeeming value– but at what cost?
Well, this is a good question. I can’t begrudge someone for putting my book aside because a word in it offends them, but at the same time I’m not going to change the way I write simply to insure this never happens, because then I’m not writing my books: I’m letting someone else have a say in something that is really very much all my own, and needs to stay that way. I will say that if my editor points out that she thinks something is gratuitious or unnecessary, I have been known to rethink it. But I also believe you get into dangerous territory when you start trying to please EVERYONE, whether it be in life or on the page or anywhere else. It’s just not possible. So I have to do the best I can, trust my gut, and write the way I believe I need to write. If that makes someone upset, then I respect that. But I can’t change solely because of it. And I guess that reader is the cost that I pay. Which is unfortunate, but that’s just how it goes.
Still, those kind of emails stress me out, as no one likes to be shamed by a stranger. Maybe I need to take a cue from Sanjaya, and just not care what anyone thinks. Put on that faux-hawk and step into my own personal universe, oblivious. Sounds nice, right? I think I might like that, for a little while anyway. Potato salad, deviled egg? Don’t mind if I do…