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Too Much Wank to Name
gentleblaze
Saw someone asking for an update on F_FA about my Blaze of Glory and thought I'd share, since I've been advised to make a public record of this for legal purposes anyway. Yes, I am also this anon. Coincidentally, I am also this anon, so the end of this tale is a little sensitive for me.

This is a pretty long story, and I’m not sure if you want so much detail, but I’m waiting on a huge upload, and writing about this amuses me to no end, so.

This will require some background.


Main Players

  • Me: Since I can’t remain anon for this, you should know that I’m angstgoddess003, and years ago when I was semi-relevant to Twilight fandom, I wrote Wide Awake (A ridiculous AU where I use unicorns as a euphemism for orgasms). I am also a professional web and graphic designer who sometimes does web work for fandom friends.
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  • SQID: SnowqueensIcedragon writes a 2 part, 110+ chapter, BDSM schmoop/romance/idek soap opera fic called Master of the Universe . It's arguably the most popular story in fandom right now and had something like 20,000 reviews on ffn before it was pulled and moved to her blog.
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  • jennday: Former mod of [community profile] The_Gazebo who openly detests Twilight and its fandom. She mostly just sticks around to spork fics and weigh in on wank (especially mine) when it comes up.
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  • Twankhard: Twankhard, created in late September of 2010, was an anon-meme’ish blog that I had some involvement in. It’s hosted on Wordpress.com, and posts made there were usually related to authors publishing, archives converting themselves into vanity-presses, reviewer bashing, ego wank, etc etc. All mods, admins, and commenters were forced to anonymity. No high horse'ing allowed.
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  • Twank_Revealed: A sock Twitter account whose sole mission is to expose the people behind the original Twankhard. (lol, this is getting so srs bsns, oh fandom...)
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  • Twankharder: When Twankhard faded away, Twankharder was created. Basically a copycat.
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  • the_gazebo: A closed membership LJ community with 1,000+ members. Mostly used for sporking Twilight fic, mocking Twilight BNFs, and general fandom discussion. The current and former mods of this community are famously not fond of either me or SQID. Or any BNF for that matter.


Part 1. SQID Chats


SQID commissions me to design her fanfiction blog in February of 2010.

While being commissioned to make this blog, SQID and I have multiple conversations regarding her desire to publish her story MotU. I advise SQID this is a bad idea, because:

  1. The story is too big, and it'll get too much negative attention. There's no way to fly under the radar. MOTU is so popular that Stephenie Meyer herself already knows about it. The potential for legal issues, however low, is most evident with this story.
  2. It's over 110 chapters and even with heavy editing, probably won’t make the transition from serialized fic to book form very well.
  3. Because she could write something original (she has novels unpublished, she says) and still get thousands of readers, without any of the aforementioned badshit, and there's no reason not to do so.

During these chats, SQID makes various comments about her thoughts on fandom, namely stuff like... "I don't want to be a part of this fandom," and "I'm ready for my big fat paycheck," and “I prefer being above others,” [paraphrased](1) which I feel is a little offensive to the fandom that made her popular in the first place, and presumably will be the only ones to buy this book at all.

Also during this conversation, SQID displayed continual classism toward me. When I was asked if I'd consider publishing my own popular fanfiction Wide Awake, I said no, and she wondered why this would be, since I'm so poor. I explained that, while I wish others well in their publishing endeavors, I personally wouldn’t feel comfortable with it, morally speaking. I have other marketable skills I’m more confident in.

I won't say how much I charged SQID for the website, but I gave her 80% off my usual fees, because it was fandom-related and I felt funny making profit from my penname as it was. As such, I only charged for direct overhead.

After explaining how she has a "certain lifestyle to maintain" as reasoning to cash in on her audience, SQID then throws me an extra [X amount of money] for making her website, claiming that I'll need it if I'm charging so little for my work...

... which would have been very nice if not for constant comments such as, "Well I'll be in DC from 18th and SD from the 21st!!! And yes... I am going to meet readers... the only reason I am going. And I am very lucky cos I can afford to do so". (emphasis me)

She is referring here to DCBBCon, a three day convention in Washington DC that her fans threw especially for her (the same fans whose fandom she doesn’t want to be a part of). Pamphlets(2) given out reveal there was even a gala held in SQID's honor, among other things. This convention was held directly before her trip to ComicCon in San Diego, where she sat on a panel of Twilight fanfiction authors.

At this point, I've had SQID's wealthy lifestyle shoved in my impoverished face so much that receiving her "bonus" makes me basically want to vomit all over my keyboard.

During another conversation, SQID also complains about having to do charity work. The Fandom Gives Back was a fic auction held in the summer, for one week. All proceeds went to ALSF to fund pediatric cancer research. It was entirely optional to contribute stories, and people could also contribute money directly without any obligation. SQID offered to write an outtake, which raised upwards of $28,000 just by itself.

She claims she was only bullied into contributing and “never ever” wanted to do it. (3)

Mind you, I donated The Fandom Gives Back’s real-time auction website. During this particular month, I had worked so hard programming the auction logistics (50 hour coding binges to meet deadline) that my health had deteriorated. I was very passionate about the cause, and to be frank, didn’t appreciate the fandom’s biggest BNF (who was OMG SO WEALTHY!) whining to me, unsolicited, about having to write 25k words of porn for $28,000 while I'm basically passing out from exhaustion.

Later, SQID uses her contribution to FGB to justify her desire to publish MotU. I mean... she raised $28,000, does she not deserve something in return?

This is the bitter point where I save the chat logs.

I know she’s going to publish MotU eventually, and I’m 100% certain that seeing her outtake raise $28,000 for pediatric cancer research had more than a little to do with that. I’m not extremely active in fandom anymore, and the auction website was my last mention-worthy contribution, so I have no problem ultimately revealing these chats.

Furthermore, unlike SQID, I was never looking to cultivate an audience off the Twilight franchise for the purpose of capitalizing off it later, so.

I was ready to wank hard and fast.


1. SQID:
it’s like the old groucho marx joke which I cant remember about not wanting to belong to a club that you’re a member of…
I have to say I do not feel as passionately as you do about the fandom
[negativity exists everywhere, even on Amazon] “true… but I’m sure it’s easier to take with a big fat paycheck LOL
I like my perch…
 
2. From the pamphlet:
"THE BUNKER BABES CONVENTION!
SUNDAY, JULY 18 – THE ICEWOMAN COMETH
MONDAY, JULY 19 – PARTY IN G’TOWN AND SPECIAL GALA IN THE EVENING
TUESDAY, JULY 20 – FANNYPACKS AND TRAINERS
WEDNESDAY, JULY 21 – PARTING IS SUCH SWEET SORROW”
 
3. From SQID:
“And I even did the FGB thing.. which isn't really for me cos I never, ever wanted to do the EPOV”


Part 2. Twankhard (anon blog)

When I was approached about doing the Twankhard blog, my reaction was this:

THAT IS AN AWFUL AWFUL IDEA AND WILL PISS OFF THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE
(when can we start?)

I was totally up for doing Twank non-anon, truth be told. At that point, I wasn’t extremely active in fandom anymore and didn’t have much to lose. I’d already had the Big Fic and gotten the most out of my fandom experience. It was a wonderful place for me, but greedy people like SQID ruined it.

And like I said, I was ready to wank.

But there were issues with doing Twankhard non-anon in my case:

  1. No one wants to hear a BNF complain about other BNFs. What could have been a decent discussion is suddenly seen as a popularity pissing contest. That’s not what it was about.
  2. People would be so busy trying to dig up proof of my own hypocrisy (and I know plenty existed from my wanky past) that they would totally miss the point of the posts.

So it wasn’t as easy as me just signing my name to the blog. It would have defeated the whole purpose. I could have gone through some long, convoluted thing of making a sock, getting it into the community, and using it as a fall, but meh. I’m not that invested.

The general mission of Twankhard was to highlight various wanks in the fandom and cultivate an anon-based discussion on them. As stated continually, it wasn’t meant to be serious. We only wanted to mock others’ egos and inform the community of which stories were being pulled to get published. The blog posts themselves often smacked of mockery, while the real discussion happened in the comments.

Like most things, I was too flaky to offer any really significant involvement, but I will say I did the technical work, wrote a little (less than I should have), and was in charge of answering emails. I won't go too far into this, since the other parties don't deserve to be outted and treated similarly to someone who had a fraction of the involvement they did.

Needless to say, this blog caused a lot of controversy. Just like any anon/hate meme, it’s blamed for all of fandom’s problems. Personally, I finally had an outlet for all my SQID and publishing-related frustration, whereas stating an opinion under my penname would have caused a circus bigger than the fairgrounds.

Twankhard was active for a few months, but the other two maintainers and I got too busy to keep it up, so it sort of faded away. There’s a rumor going around that we were forced to quit after receiving a C&D notice.

This is, of course, utter bullshit.

Twankharder.wordpress.com was recently created in light of the original Twankhard’s absence. I have no idea who’s running this one and am not involved.

Part 3. SQID Publishes



In March 2011, it’s announced that SnowqueenIcedragon is publishing Master of the Universe through TWCS Publishing House, a fanfiction-archive-turned-vanity-press (not to be confused with Twilighted/Omnific, the other fanfiction-archive-turned-vanity-press).

Well, we know where this is leading.

I had been gearing up for this. I've been in fandom long enough that I've learned to pick my wanks, and this was the one I wanted.

The morning I found out about MotU being published, I tweeted to my 6,500+ followers, “I’m possibly about to commit fandom social suicide, but I just want you all to know, it’s totally worth it.”

I had a lot of plans for those chat logs from Part 1. I talked to a few of my fandom friends about it, even told my significant other, and not one of them advised me against it. I got encouragement all around. Actually, I was sort of shocked. People are always trying to talk me out of wank, and here’s the biggest grudgewank I’ve ever knowingly, intentionally executed, and thumbs up abound, let it out.

One idea was to make a huge LJ post with gifs and the entirety of the chat logs. I decided not to do this, because 1.) I didn’t want to invest that much time, and 2.) I wanted to protect the privacy of our business arrangements and anything about Icy’s personal lifestyle, and just blacking those out would have caused too much speculation.

So I decided to just tweet select lines of the chats. Short and sweet, arguably out of context, but not really enough to save face when in-context.
Okay, fandom. Ready? Lettuce play “Guess that chat log.”

“Well don’t tell anyone – I have visions of being interviewed by Time Magazine for revolutionizing publishing…”

“I have done it as a sort of exercise.. to see if I could … and I think I have proven that I can… I now want to capitalize on it…”

“I have to say I do not feel as passionately as you do about the fandom”

“it’s like the old groucho marx joke which I cant remember about not wanting to belong to a club that you’re a member of…”

even when you publish it on amazon, theres still gonna be negativity “true… but I’m sure it’s easier to take with a big fat paycheck LOL”

show them theres a person behind the penname and not just some lady sitting on a perch — “I like my perch…”

“I’m not sure I feel part of the community…”

“they’ve been able to read it in its entirety. And I even did the FGB thing.. which isn’t really for me cos I never, ever wanted to do [it]“

These are all quotes from two separate chats during April & July, with @Sqicedragon, during discussions about publishing motu. So if you think she gives a crap about the very fandom that gave her popularity, I’m very sorry to say. You’ve been punked.

/blaze of glory. I’m out. Stop perpetuating arrogance. Give your kindness to people who won’t take advantage of it.
After making these tweets, I left. I never planned to look back. That was pretty much it for me, and I knew it.

Now, I’ll admit, I’ve wanked a lot. But this particular incident and Twankhard aside, it’s never been with malicious intent. It’s usually me saying too much and regretting it later, or simple ignorance, or people misunderstanding me, or being held accountable for something because I’m under too big a microscope.

This was not the case with SQIDWank. I knew going in I was being a spiteful person, and I accepted that with all the casualness of a shark in a crowd of sharks. I knew there’d be no going back from it, no explanation, excuse, or contrived rant I could have given to save face, when even I knew it was classless and tacky. I also realized I’d have to cop to my involvement with Twankhard.

Meh.

I gave no shits.

(and it was so totally worth it).

SQID, who felt showing the chat in-context would exonerate her or something (not sure, but it really didn’t—I’d been sort of generous in my choices of quotes on Twitter), posted the full transcripts on her blog, password protected (she’s since removed them). Which was truthfully a pretty dumb idea—I mean, she had the higher ground. Way higher. She was practically (publishing aside) on a fucking mountain.

After that, it was more like a squishy pile of dirt.

I was actually relieved, not going to lie. I’d anticipated something like that might go down, so I might have intentionally left the worst quotes out of my twitter wank, so she would have to choose between coming off even douchier by showing it all, or letting me have the last word.

I.

Know.

Right?



Part 4. This is why we can’t have nice wanks


Around the 24 hour period following SQIDWank, my thinly-veiled involvement with Twankhard is somewhat revealed. It didn’t really matter much to me, because I’d already told everyone I knew, and like I said before, I didn’t have much of a problem doing it un-anon in the first place.

It wasn’t really a massive secret by this point, and I’d already left, so what do I care, right?

But the thing is, no one was entirely certain whether this was fact or speculation, and since I did the whole… don’t look back at the explosion thing, I hadn’t confirmed or denied anything with the bullhorn of my Twitter.

During a discussion of the aforementioned events happening on [community profile] The_Gazebo, someone replies in response to the speculation and wants to know if I really was involved with Twankhard.

jennday’s ears start ringing (she can’t help herself), and even though she’s not active in fandom at all whatsoever, she decides it’s her place to weigh in. Not just with a “yes” or a “no” or a “fuck that c*nt”, but with what’s so clearly solid proof.



All of the black squares and red text is mine. You’ll see a very piss poor attempt on the screenshot creator’s part to block out my last name using fuzzy black (but ignoring the other 4 instances of it on the right), and highlighting my town of residence with yellow. In all, this post has my IP address, my country, state, city, and zip code, my full name, the name of my company, and the name of my current employer.

You all know from this thread the general gist of my LJabuse report. The LJabuse team just got around to deleting this post last night.

This is the point I decided to delete my twitter account. I’d planned on doing it the night before, during my SQIDWank, but I wanted to keep it public for a good day or so, so people could read the quotes. Before deleting, I made a tweet thanking Jennday and The_Gazebo for being spectacularly guano and spreading my RL deets, because that’s not creepy at all.

Response from all involved parties goes something like: LOL That’s what you get! You can dish it out, but you can't take it! They then change the title of their community to “All your addresses are belong to us.” Which, again, creepy? Nahhh.

Also Note: Aside from a handful of one-line quotes from a chat, I've never compromised anyone's privacy. On the original Twankhard, we wouldn't even post tweets that were protected. Privacy is something I've always taken seriously.

The following day, I received three calls at my place of employment (which like any company is clearly listed in any directory) that are definitely fandom-related harassment. I call my local authorities to file reports on the incidents, which as you probably can guess, are taken a little more seriously than they had been with LJabuse, but not much.

There is plentiful glee in this particular circle on [community profile] The_Gazebo in regards to my leaving fandom, which in turn amuses me, because they don’t realize that my leaving had nothing to do with them and was entirely due to SQIDwank and also very much planned.

Twankharder decides to weigh in as well, with just as much dismissal over the importance of my privacy.
Note: RE - The MSNBC article mentioned in the Twankharder post with my RL name. I’ve been lobbying to have this article edited for months, and have only just recently made a little headway with contacting the right people. That said, many people also share my RL name, but when given in conjunction with my town and place of employment, it kind of narrows that down to me.

[community profile] The_Gazebo is closed membership and I’m not sure if posting screencaps of it would be against any rules (if not, let me know, and I’ll go apeshit PrtSc).


Part 5. Fucking hypocrisy, how does it work?

During the GazeboWank, an ex-friend of jennday's makes a few tweets, wondering how Jennday might feel if someone happened to share the same personal info about her as jennday did about me.

jennday sends this person the following Cease and Desist letter:

It has come to my attention that you have made threats to release my personal information on twitter [links to tweets].

I provided you with my personal information during the course of a friendship that commenced in 2009 and has subsequently ended. I have never consented to you providing that information to others and am extremely offended that you would threaten to publish my information.

I have obtained legal advice, and the advice of the NSW Police Force, and have been advised that should you publish my personal information, I would have an action at common law for damages and injury caused by your actions. Given that we both reside in New South Wales, I would have no hesitation at pursuing a claim in this regard in the Local Court.

Further, I have been advised that your actions would constitute a breach of s 471.12 Commonwealth Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth). Posting my personal information would be for the purpose of menacing and harassing me and causing me offence. I note the maximum penalty for this offence is two years in prison. Should you post my personal information I would have no hesitation in making a complaint to police.

I was also advised by the NSW Police Force that should you act upon your threats that I am in my rights under the law to place a complaint against you, which will result in a Personal Violence Order (PVO), at the least.

Your behaviour is malicious, threatening and offensive. I would ask that you immediately desist from threatening to publish my personal information.

Should you publish my information, I have no hesitation in pursuing a civil claim against you for damages and making a police complaint in regards to the criminal matter.

That cacophony resonating through the empty streets of my Podunk town?

That would be the sound of my laughter.



In Conclusion…


Ah, I had a good run and went out on (mostly) good wank, gentlefail. I did love my fandom for the most part, and it had some amazing people. For years, I didn’t let the bad apples ruin the whole bunch. It was a great experience, my first ever attempt at writing. I'm taking a new hobby from it.

But when I no longer had motivation to keep my mouth shut and my image clean, it was bound to end up like this.

SQID is still publishing MotU, and I have no doubt that sales from this book will be significant (see: DCBBcon and Gala). I’m certain she’ll maintain her lavish lifestyle and continue to operate under the delusion that Twilight Fandom is actually SQID Fandom. Maybe Meyer will take legal action, maybe not. I don’t regret sharing our correspondence, however. I’m sure it didn’t do much good, and I’m certain the biggest portion of her stans ignored it completely. But if there’s even one person who thinks twice about her motivations now, it’s worth it to me.

[community profile] The_Gazebo (which, aside from Jennday’s small group of franz, isn’t really full of awful mean baddies) will continue to be run by people who hate Twilight and its fandom, but will continue to saturate themselves in it, for whatever reason.

Fandom goes on.

I did learn a lot (this was my first fandom), and I’m able to reflect on my wanks with equal amounts humility and amusement. I know where I’ve gone wrong, and I know where I’ve gone right.

Grudgewank? Wrong.

Charity? Right.

So I’m not entirely deluded. I give myself a firm C-, I’m only human after all, and let’s face it, I can change my screenname and move on to my next fandom without issue (unless anything ever comes out of that RL harassment).

Since I’ve not looked back, I don’t know what’s being said by whom, and I don’t really care. I’ve made no public comments regarding these incidents following the deletion of my Twitter account. I’m sure with some enthusiastically vain googling, this will be found by someone in the community and shared for the purpose of mockery.

So I'm disabling comments here, because that will drive them batshit.

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