Don’t be an A-hole

In this great country we have freedom of speech. We have the right to express ourselves. We have freedoms and rights up the wazoo.

That having been said, my question is:
Just because we can do something, we have the right to, should we?

I recently had a conversation with a teacher about a thirteen-year-old student that physically lashed out at another student for calling her fat. When you first read that you may think, well that sucks that she was called fat but hitting is excessive. But what if I told you she was called fat in front of the whole class, twenty-five students, and they all laughed at her? Does that change your perception a bit? So the teacher called her parents to tell them what happened. So I said, “Did you call the parents of the name-caller too?” The teacher said no. Hmm. She explained to the so-called “fat girl”, that in life people are going to say things you don’t like and you just have to learn to deal with it.” I think that’s the wrong message.

I write for young adults. What they say to each other matters. What they post about each other matters. So what I say to them or about them matters. What I say about other adults also matters because the young people I write for, and live with, are always watching, online and in person. Always.

Should you punch everyone in the face that talks crap you don’t like? No. You’ll go to juvie or jail. But on the flip side of that, let’s make the name callers accountable too. Let’s hold each other accountable.

Social media is BANANAS. I live in the Northeast but because of the internet I have the opportunity be friends with all sorts a peeps all over the world, young and not so young 😉 Bananas!

But it’s not all love and sunshine through these cable wires and satellite dishes. It’s gotten a bit ugly out in cyber world. This past week I have read some awful things written about a YA author. I do not wish to comment other than to say just because you can write something doesn’t mean you should.

I’m not talking about censorship. If I want to write about a gay, purple-shoe-wearing, elephant-riding, hippo, that’s my right and you can’t tell me not to. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to read it. But written opinion about an actual person is different.

YA and MG authors write for young people. We tell them NOT to be bullies. We use examples of cyber-bullying that results in suicide for plot lines to drive home the fact that words matter. What you say counts. You can’t just swing your verbal blade and not care whose head gets cut off or whose guts spill out onto the floor. Well, you can, but that makes you an asshole. I prefer not being an asshole as much as possible.

So here’s the thing. We teach by what we do. So if we’re online being creeps to each other what are we teaching the very people we write for?

I’m no angel. My mother is probably saying a rosary and making the Sign of The Cross in my name right now as you read this. My anger has gotten the best of me more than a time or two. I can do better. But the big balls that are displayed in the hit and run posting, is not cool. Not cool at any age at any time.

Calling someone names and getting a class of twenty-five to laugh at someone sucks. Calling names on the internet where thousands if not millions get involved is beyond sucky.

I live with two amazing teenagers. My husband and I tell them every day; don’t let the assholes get to you today because there are a lot of them out there. My husband says “jerks” because his potty mouth is not as extensive as mine.

My point, without getting too preachy, is let’s not be the assholes. Young, youngish, and old as dirt, we can all do better.

PEACE…Spread it like fertilizer and watch the love grow.

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#PITCHARAMA, JESSICA MARCO PI

#PITCHARAMA

Hi All! This post is for a twitter writing contest. You can find the details at aussieownedandread.com and on twitter #pitcharama.  You can also follow my progress on twitter @jeannieintrieri. Good luck to all participants! This is my story and here’s my pitch:

 

Title:                     JESSICA MARCO PI

Author:               Jeannie Intrieri

Genre:                  NA

Word Count:      59,000

SYNOPSIS

Jessica Marco, a twenty-four year old private investigator, is working on a kidnapping case when she discovers her sister’s piece of shit husband is the kidnapper. He unfortunately gets away by throwing Jess off a small cruise ship where the transfer of money for victim was supposed to happen.

While on the kidnapping case, Jess gets a call from a friend who runs a local funeral home where Fat Sal’s arms and legs have been stolen two days before his scheduled wake. Everyone knows you can’t pull off a wake without arms and legs. They’ll be screaming, serious freak-outs and old ladies fainting at the casket. Who the hell needs that? Jess takes on the case to save her friend’s funeral home from ruin.

Her personal life is just as crazy as her work-life with a mother who steals her laundry, a sister who’s done too much plastic surgery, a grandmother who’s paranoid about the “chill” because that bastard’s always trying to get someone sick and a hot cop/sorta boyfriend.

Her life goes from bad to total goat-balls when her investigation ties both cases together and puts her in the middle of a medical black-market organization that’s killing people for their skin and organs. With millions of dollars at stake, they also have no problem killing anyone who gets in their way.

If Jessica is successful in solving her cases, everyone, except the piece of shit husband, gets to live happily ever after. If she fails, she and everyone she loves will lose their life…and their skin.

TWAS THE LAST NIGHT OF 2013

Twas the last night of the year and what do I see?
A pile of rejection letters staring at me.

Oh, woe’s me. I fill up my glass, plop down in front of the fire,
hoping for an idea, a thought, something to inspire.

But the clock is ticking and the kids start to shout,
“Are you done with your writing? It’s time to go out!

I think to myself as I start to smile,
the thoughts that are coming may take a while.

With pen to paper I sit and the words begin to knit.
With any luck it won’t be complete shit.

The fire is popping and I am not stopping.
The main character is talking, her love is walking.
There’s flying and spying and oh God, someone’s dying!

I scribble and scratch to keep up the with cast.
Who knows how long this creative genius will last?
I can barely read what I wrote;
does that say “he grabbed a chicken” or “he dusted a goat?”

It’s not important now. I’ll figure it out.
Maybe the bad guy fights with a trout, or grows a snout, or maybe it’s best for now to just leave him out.

Yes! It’s brilliant! Stupendous! Magnanimously great!
The poetic words are flowing.
All night I keep going.
Now I can show them. Now they’ll see.
THIS work that I’ve done is why they must sign me.

I smile a triumphant smile, a smile of relief.
2013 will NOT end in defeat!

I’ll send the query tonight before the clock strikes twelve.
My new agent will call me with a contract to delve.
She has an editor lined up and ready to buy, and the movie, well, she knows a guy.
The foreign rights? Oh, they’ll sell too.
“Just sit back and collect the money, that’s all you have to do.”

My very own giggle wakes me from sleep.
An empty glass in my hand, pen at my feet.
No words on the page. No agent has called.
No movie. No guy. Oh, for the love of God, WHY?

The horror! The outrage! How can this be?
I raise my fist to the sky but then have to pee.
While nature is doing it’s natural thing, I think to myself
and the words start to sing.
I have them, they’re here, each little pearl.
I haven’t forgot. I go to work with a whirl.

I start with the rejection letters and throw them into the fire, they’ve done their job which of course was to inspire.
Never give up. Never stop trying. The only thing to keep me from getting published will be dying.

So another year begins with me typing away, and just as it should be day after day.
I’ll write down the dreamy dreams in my head.
I’ll write about wondrous things I’ve heard said.
You can’t hear them or see them till I put them on a page, but when I do, it will bring you to tears, laughs and rage.

Take heart all my brothers and sisters of the craft,
May you prosper, may you write,
May your 2014 take amazing flight.
Put pen to paper and fingers to keys,
May your words bring tears, laughter and bended knees.

Peace to all, and to all a goodnight!