...and here I am, stuck in the middle*. Or at least that's how I feel.
Lemme back up a bit and esplain** some things.
First off, I'm generally a nice person who would like everyone to just get along (and if they can't, expects them to at least fake it). Second, I get really uncomfortable when people fight - physically, verbally or internetally (not a word, but you get my drift). Third, this general discomfort brings on a huge case of my favorite defense mechanism: Escape / Avoidance.
Recently there have been several dust-ups and hullaballoos circulating the internet in reference to science fiction writers (who's too traditional in the gender stereotypes, who's hosting whatever conference, blahdy-blahdy-blah). I don't really give two hoots. I don't care about the sides. I don't care about the issues. I just like to read books. I just like to write books. I don't really want to know who pissed in whose Wheaties or who made who cry or who's an ass and who's a whiner. I just want to open the pages of a story and get lost inside.
As a writer, I really don't want to know or get involved. Just typing this could get my agent-hunting ass in trouble.
But I'm actually writing this as a reader.
As a reader, I want all the people involved on both sides of these things that you're making me really really not want to buy your books. And since two of my favorite authors are on opposite sides of most of these things, you're really bumming me out.
When I open your books, I want to get lost in the wonderful stories you invent. Now, instead of getting lost, I have a running refrain in the back of my head that so and so is acting like a jerk and the other so and so is acting like a baby. And the memories of all the wonderful things they've said about each other come bubbling up, RUINING my reading experience.
Which, if I remember correctly - you know, as the writer part of me - is exactly the opposite of what you're supposed to be going for.
Maybe most readers aren't privy to this crap because they aren't also writers. Maybe it's only a small percent of the populous who feel the same way. Hell, maybe it's just me. But for my sake, and the sake of others like me, knock it off. Play nice. Cuz right now, I feel like I'm in the middle of a custody battle and instead of choosing one side or the other, I'm saying "I don't want to be with either of you".
Which kinda sucks since you both having books coming out that I really would've like to read.
And no, I'm not calling either of these people Jokers or Clowns... but if the song fits, play it.
*For those of you who don't get the reference, the post's title is from a 1972 song called "Stuck in the Middle".
** Channeling Inigo Montoya for a moment there.