I know what you’re thinking: “Uh oh. There aren’t any pictures in this post. That’s never good.” But wait! Before you leave for peppier climes, read this one important bit: Over the next few weeks, I will be importing a lot of posts from the old Blogger site to this one. I’ve already imported three, as those of you who read SBBN through an RSS feed already know. The dates on many of these will remain the same as on the old blog, and being backdated means they won’t show up on the front page. However, they will show up as new posts on the RSS feed, so you may get spammed. I’ll try to be responsible with the imports, but after playing around with the import/export functions, I can make you no promises.
And now, very exciting updates about all manner of interesting things, i.e. the part you can skip:
1. The Projects: About a year ago, I abandoned basically all SBBN projects and other various items I was working on. It wasn’t a permanent abandonment, and most of those posts I’m bringing over from the archives are the Bette Davis and Marie Prevost projects, which I am determined to continue, though Marie will be in a limited capacity.
2. Limited Marie: I’ve never made an official announcement, and now is as good a time as any, I guess. I have been working on what will eventually be a book on Marie Prevost. Now, the kicker is that two separate people — at least I think they’re separate — have contacted me wanting more info beyond what I’ve posted. And because I’ve posted so much information they now are going to write a book on her based heavily on my blog posts. They, of course, want all my subsequent (and as-yet unposted) research for free.
That’s the main reason I haven’t been posting anything for the Marie Project, because there were some obvious decisions I had to make. It was a choice between making this an online only project or going forward with a book idea. Just to be clear, I firmly feel that anyone at all can write as much as they want about Marie Prevost. That’s the absolute truth. I don’t have dibs on the topic. Yet I do think people who want free research out of me or are taking my posts as their own (though the latter is mostly spammers) are acting unscrupulously.
However, I have to protect all the time, money, and effort I’ve put into this, and sadly that means I must stop sharing what I’ve learned and save it for the book. The Project will continue, though no more personal information about Marie beyond what is already out there will be posted. Even if I’ve seen some of the more difficult to find films, I won’t be posting about them beyond sharing pictures and maybe a short blurb.
As a rather humorous protip, though, I would like to point out that a vast majority of the information out there about Marie is wrong. Even some of what I’ve written is wrong, not that I knew it at the time I wrote it, but subsequent investigation revealed errors. Anyone who wants to write about any halfway obscure movie star is going to have to do more than read a few of my blog posts or shell out $20 for a couple of old Screenland Magazines.
3. Speaking Of Money: I write a hell of a lot of stuff, both online and on the book, and I am paid for very little of it. Research costs a lot of money; you’re buying information and paying for access to online archives. Not only that, but regular blogging costs, even if it’s just hosting fees and bandwidth.
It has been a trying few weeks here at Casa de la Stacia. After my husband and I returned home from the only real vacation we had in the 22 years we’ve been together, about a million unexpected and expensive things happened. I was fired (the company was breaking a few laws, the Department of Labor got involved, people got fired). It’s a huge blow, because I worked in a field that is being phased out, so jobs are scarce. Also, I am not employable on any real level, at least not for the kind of jobs found in small-town Kansas. Those who have read SBBN from the beginning know I’m gone for days or weeks on end because of my health; coupled with a lack of advanced degree, I have no chance of being qualified for anything in this town that I could physically handle.
It wasn’t merely getting fired, though. My husband’s company shut down (without pay) because of a few catastrophes during the last month. A cat became expensively ill and my husband is about to undergo another round of very pricey medical tests that our shithole insurance will not cover much of.
Amidst all this though is the realization that, for this one brief moment, I have the opportunity and the time to actually work on making money from my writing. This is not a chance I can pass up. I can’t explain it really, at least not in a quickie post like this, but I put everything in my life, especially my writing, on hold for decades and it can’t wait anymore. Writing and analysis and research are the only things I’m moderately good at. I absolutely have to try to make money at them, though fuck knows how I’ll do it. It’s not for lack of trying, but it is a very difficult field to get in to, plus sometimes I really suck at this.
You have no idea how much I would love to be able to write fiction, which isn’t easy at all, let alone an easy field to get published in. But with fiction I’d have a chance of getting some crazy stupid luck and selling the movie rights to my hot Archie-Bunker-on-Optimus-Prime slashfic to Universal Pictures for $47 million. You don’t get that chance when writing books about silent movie stars that debunk the one salacious thing everyone wants to hear about. You don’t sell movie rights to essays on Neil Diamond taking hotel keys from young blondes in Vegas, or garner a three-book deal after writing about the transphobia in Freebie and the Bean. Sure, there’s a market for that sort of thing, just not a paying market.
That’s why the tip jar has made an appearance on the sidebar. I know no one has any money right now, but if you can spare a few dimes, I would appreciate it greatly.
4. And Now To Ruin Any Sympathy I May Have Generated: The Neil Diamond posts will begin again by the end of the year. I am absolutely dying to get back into the research, hole up in my house with a bare 100-watt bulb burning over me as I suffocate under a mound of late-60s teen magazines and listen to live performances until my eardrums pack up their suitcases, put on their fedoras and storm out of the house.
I keep apologizing for this Diamond thing and putting it off because I know it irks some of you, though I don’t know why I keep apologizing because I’m not doing it for you, I’m doing it for me. That is perhaps a shitty thing to say, but it’s the truth, which I assume mitigates some of the selfishness. There are things going on with Diamond that I have to write about, though, enormous issues of celebrity and fame and commercial art and personal life versus public life and PR image and the role of the critic. Neil Diamond is the perfect subject matter for this, at least for me, for right now. It’s not that I don’t like his music, because I like quite a bit of it, but ultimately I see Diamond as an infinitely interesting guy who also happens to sing.
5. There Is No TL;DR Summary, Except Maybe This One: Blog posts will be moved over and might spam your RSS feed, the Bette Davis Project will continue, the Marie Prevost Project will continue in a limited capacity so I can hoard all my research for myself, I’m going to try to make a living from writing, but also I’m broke so give me your unwanted pennies, plus Neil Diamond posts are happening and bite me if you don’t like it.
The Halloween pictures will continue tomorrow, and now that I’m finally over that virus the Phantom Creeps will finish up, too. After that, there are a lot of ‘thons and theme weeks and articles for Spectrum I’ll be doing at the end of this month. Expect the importing of posts and everything else to start in November. Thanks for reading.