De-Gothening Update (Also, Asshats)

No pics, but here’s a quick update on what’s been going on with the Mundane Makeover:

- Utility room is 98% done. It’s been decluttered and cleaned. The only thing left to do in there is clear a high shelf, and that just involves a stepladder and a hand-broom.

- Workshop is at 50%. Decluttering is in progress. Dump runs have been made. So much stuff has been sorted.

- I am so fucking sick of totes and papers I could scream. I thought the beige paint was the worst of this de-Gothening thing. I was wrong. It’s the papers. Apparently our method of dealing with junk mail and anything that needed shredding over the last *mumblemumble* years was to shove it all in a tote or box and put it downstairs where we would “go through it later.” Well, guess what? “Later” is “now,” and I have vowed that THIS WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN. EVER. NEVER. I have put the shredder by the front door (under the entryway desk so the cats don’t play on it, in theory) and am shredding the junk mail AS IT COMES IN. Every time I get one box or tote finished and think that’s the last of it, we come across another one. Talk about demoralizing. That battle rages on. (There’s a tote full of papers waiting for me in the living room as I type. I am cheerfully ignoring it for the moment. It will die soon enough.)

- We decided to paint the stairwell Fucking Beige Navajo Sand. It just makes a nicer transition and covers up this one area that just WOULD NOT take the white paint, despite the sanding and everything we did to prep it. So that’s done.

- The outside trim around the windows is painted, as is the garage door. It needed a couple spots touched up, and we had the paint, and one thing led to another…it looks nicer, now.

- Many runs to the storage unit have been made. I have some pics to share with you later on that.

- The yard sale plans are in full swing. The pile of sale crap is vast. I have price stickers and new fine-point Sharpies to battle it later this week.

Now for the asshats.


Seriously? Why? I mean, I know there’s a great amount of fun for some people in wrecking things other people make (because they’re douchebags and it gives them some sort of jolly to watch people clean up their mess, and these people are THE REASON WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS), but seriously? Dude. Go play in the freeway, or with a blender. The fuck is wrong with you?

And that’s all I have for now.

Mini De-Gothening – Touch-ups

So remember the whats-its in Part Trois?

This thing:

Remember how the kitchen trim (all of it – around the windows, doorway, everywhere) just wouldn’t cover that well and needed a third maybe even fourth coat?

Well, I have things waiting to go back on the whats-its and a valance to hang and a blind to install…but all that was waiting on the trim getting that touch-up coat. So, tonight I did that. I didn’t take any pics, because I’m lazy and didn’t remember to until just now writing this post, but rest assured it looks much nicer, and tomorrow when it dries (maybe Wednesday, as we have stuff to do tomorrow) I’ll install that blind and put the curtain rod and valance back up. That window has never had a blind – we’ve never bothered. It’s the kitchen window and looks out into the neighbor’s yard, and their house is several yards away, so privacy wasn’t ever an issue. Now, though, we’re trying to sell, and people like privacy. A blind can be opened or shut, lowered or retracted depending on the person’s preference, and that’s just helpful all around. Plus the neighbors (who bought the house next door last summer after a long time on the market after the previous owner died) put up a little horse-trough-thing filled with bamboo plants and stuck it right in front of our kitchen window, so I’m thinking they might have an issue with my window facing their house. I hope they like the blind I’m about to install, and it gives them some kind of peace that I’m not standing at my kitchen sink watching their huge-ass TV through their picture window. (Seriously, why would I do that? I’d have to actually give a shit what they’re doing/watching/eating first, and I’m one of those people who not only hates reality TV, I pretty much hate reality in general, so…yeah. It’s part of the reason I’m a writer, for fuck’s sake! Reality sucks ass!)

Also today we took another load of things to the storage unit, all of it from my office. This room is next in line to be painted, (or maybe the cat room/library – it will depend on which space gets cleared first, and at the moment they’re pretty much neck-and-neck) so the decluttering is in full swing.

Speaking of, I’d better get back to that. These totes ain’t gonna pack themselves, despite my wishes.

The De-Gothening Part Six

No, really. “Six” in French is spelled exactly the same as it is in English, only it’s pronounced “sees.” So this is part six.

Click their names to see parts Un, Deux, Trois, Quatre, and Cinq. You can also click on the “adventures in remodeling” tag to see the collection of horrors on the same page. Also why I label these posts in French.

Got all that? Onward to Part Six, then! Continue reading

The De-Gothening Part Quatre

I’m labeling these DeGothening parts in French because it makes the process sound way more sophisticated than it actually is. Also, American slang for “excuse my cursing” is “pardon my French,” and there’s a lot of profanity involved in this endeavor. So there you go. Onward!

This week it was time to deGothify the Dread Foyer. Why do I call it this, you ask? Because not only was it black and silver, it was also the first room you take in upon entering the James Household. Of course it should be the Dread Foyer; every lair should fill a person with dread upon entry, otherwise it’s not a lair! Cross the threshold at your own risk, abandon hope ye who enter and all that…you get it. Continue reading

The De-Gothening Part Trois

Part Un here. Part Deux here.

*sigh* It continues. I am…there are too many words for what I am. Most of them to do with horror and disgust. And profanity. Lots and lots of profanity.

However, in between all the disgust and horror and profanity, I have learned something. Well, a few things, actually, but the one I want to talk about here is kind of neat. Continue reading

The De-Gothening Part Deux

It continues. It’s a process. You can find Part Un here.

So, once again, my lovely friend S. came to let me cry on her shoulder because BEIGE OH MY GOD IT’S FUCKING BEIGE I CAN’T help me paint my living room. I should mention something here about my friend S. She LOVES to paint. I mean, LOVES IT. Give her a paintbrush and a can of paint and a blank wall and she will be happy for days. If it weren’t for her, I’d put this de-Gothening off forever. No, really…she’s the driving force behind this. Well, that and the fact that it’s nearly June and I want to get my house on the market and the realtor is waiting for my call and I hate my annoying barely-out-of-diapers neighbors who have kids of their own and party every fucking weekend and have little yappy dogs that get under the gate of my fenced yard and poop and drive my own non-yappy dog crazy and there’s so much to do…. So, yeah. S. is freakin’ awesome. She’s helped me out so much. I feel totally lazy compared to her, even though I’ve been busting my ass working on something almost every day (I make it a point to do something to get this house ready for sale every day possible). Usually in the garage that’s been stuffed full of crap the last *mumblemumble* years since we’ve been here, so it’s Not Visible Progress Unless You Go In There, but hey…it’s progress! S. also brings me gorgeous pastries from this amazing bakery in the city when she goes up there. Her yarn stash is beyond epic. I aspire to her greatness in many ways.

Friend T. has also been instrumental in this endeavor. Friend T. has The Truck of Awesome. It hauls many, many things to and fro. A good number of trips have been made to our local dump waste transfer station thanks solely to T. and his Truck of Awesome Which Hauls All The Things. There will be more Hauling Of The Things once I obtain an offsite storage unit for Things I Want But Don’t Need To Show Prospective Buyers. Like the *cough* twenty-plus twelve gallon totes of books ready to go in the library *cough*. While awesome to behold (I will take a pic before we haul them to the storage unit), prospective buyers will be coming to see the house, not our literary addiction.

But! You’re not here to read about my Friends of Coolness. You’re here to see the pics of the de-Gothening. *sigh* But…but I don’t…

Please don’t judge me for the normalcy you’re about to see. This isn’t about me (I WILL NEVER GET USED TO SAYING THAT OH MY GOD). This is about selling the house to people who want one, and making it look nice for that.

I’m stalling, aren’t I? All right. *takes deep breath* Pics below the cut. Click if you’re brave. Continue reading

The De-Gothening of Dina

Well, my house anyway. Not me, personally. I will never not be me. Long story…lemme sum up:

Last year sometime, He Who Enables My Crazy and I looked upon the neighborhood and the many changes it has gone through in the last *mumblemumble* years we’ve been here and decided it was time to move. Now, we are both aware that neighborhoods grow and change, and we’ve been here a significant amount of time. What was once a quiet street in an out-of-the-way part of a small town has become noisy and crowded and busy. Both of us are former military brats, and eighteen months was the longest either of us had ever spent anywhere while we were growing up, so the fact that we’ve been in this house for as long as we have is utterly amazing. For people who were accustomed to uprooting everything every other year and moving to not just a new house, but a new location entirely, settling down was a foreign concept. This is likely the reason we’ve stayed in our little house on our quiet street for so long, and the neighborhood just grew around us while we went about our lives.

The time has now come for that to change. We’ve been poking around online looking at houses here and there, but nothing really serious. We know we’re going to move. It’s just a question of when and where. First things first, though, and that means selling our current house. Toward the end of summer last year, I spoke with my realtor. I’ve known her for *mumblemumble* (Look, she SOLD ME THIS HOUSE, okay? I’m just as surprised as you that she’s still in the game, but I’m so glad she is, as she’s awesome.), and she gave us a list of things to do before we list our property. Many things on that list include undoing things I’ve spent the last *mumblemumble* doing to make this house mine. Every room is a different color, and that’s not going to fly with potential buyers (especially my black and silver foyer). So…yeah. In order to put this house on the market (I’m hoping to do so by June at least. It depends on how fast we get things in shape.), we’re going to have to de-Gothify it. (MY LITTLE BLACK EVIL HEART IS BREAKING, OKAY? I WEEP AT THIS TO-DO LIST!)

So, well…*sigh*. Please don’t judge me for the mundane you’re about to see. This is not about me. (YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW HARD THAT IS TO SAY. It was even harder to accept.) Cut here for pic!spam. Continue reading

Of Spammers and Asshats

Last night before heading to bed, I check my email. This arrived, subject line “Hi Dina, how are you today?“, along with the little paperclip icon that indicates an attachment.

Now, normally, I don’t even bother looking at such things. I don’t open emails with attachments, or with idiotic subject lines like that, but something…I don’t know what…compelled me to open it. Go on, laugh. I don’t mind.

Finished? Onward then.

Here’s the email [sic], with specifics redacted, as I don’t want to give any undue attention to this spamming asshat:

Here is a book that you might consider reading and reviewing for me.

I have just published < REDACTED > at 21000+ of mostly dialogue and very descriptive and erotic in nature.

I am working on another 2 series also ..
< conveniently provided links to Amazon and their blog >

Now, this email rubbed me the wrong way for various reasons. Mostly in the “Oh HELL NO YOU DO NOT SPAM ME WITH YOUR SELF-PUBBED BULLSHIT” way, but I’ve learned to let things sit for awhile before writing something in anger. So I let it be for a day, and wrote back today. Here’s my reply (again, particulars redacted):


I think perhaps this email has been misdirected, for surely it was not intended for me. I am a writer, not a book reviewer of any kind.

However, perhaps this email was intended for me. I noticed a few days ago you added me on Google Plus. It often happens that people add me there because they are friends or fans of my work, but it seems you have added me for another reason – because I have “writer” in my profile. With that in mind, let’s assume this email was for me. As such, I will address it line by line in reply. My responses will be in red (ETA: italics for this blog post) for your convenience.

On 4/15/2014 12:26 AM, < SPAMMING ASSHAT > wrote:
> Here is a book that you might consider reading and reviewing for me. Actually, no, I wouldn’t consider reading and reviewing it for you, as you have sent it to me unsolicited. This means “I did not ask you for it.” This is considered extremely rude in the writing community – it’s rude in general, known as the “hard sell” – and only serves to set you apart as an unprofessional salesman and alienate your target audience, which, by the way, I am not. Why would a paranormal writer wish to read and review erotica?

> I have just published < REDACTED > at 21000+ of mostly dialogue and very descriptive and erotic in nature. This sentence is incomplete. You have just published what? I am guessing you mean “book,” but at 21,000+ (I am guessing again here that you mean “words”), it’s actually a novella, which is anywhere from 20,000 to 50,000 words. Also, if all you have to say about this work is that it’s “mostly dialogue and very descriptive and erotic in nature,” you might want to look into how to pitch a novel. There are a hundred websites out there that will help you figure this one out.

> I am working on another 2 series also .. Here you conveniently provide me with links to your work. I cannot begin to describe the absolute rudeness and audacity of this action. Not only have you sent me your work unsoliticted (some refer to this practice as “spamming”), you have also shown me where to purchase your work, with three links to various incarnations of Amazon, and one to your blog, ostensibly so that I may keep up with your progress because I am bound to be so enthralled by your work that I will wish to keep tabs on you. As I said…this is beyond rude.
> < POPULAR BLOGGING PLATFORM LINK REDACTED > Really? And you want me to take you seriously as a professional author? Also, “< REDACTED >” is synonymous with “basic,” which you might want to look to in you’re not of a mind to call the intelligence level of yourself or your audience into question. FYI.

Then, after all of this, you attach a free PDF copy of your work for my reading consideration, in the hopes that I will not only read it, but review it for you as well. < REAL NAME >, I don’t work for Fiverr. I will not be giving you a review of any kind, ever, for anything. You have just guaranteed that with this email. I will, however, remember your name, and know to steer clear of you from here on in. (All links are broken to get around spam filters, because I want to ensure you get this email, so take out the spaces and replace [dot] with a period.) [ETA: link restored for the purpose of this blog post)

With this email, you have just done the complete opposite of what you hoped to accomplish. You have ensured that I will never, under any circumstances, have anything to do with you or your work. Now, maybe this is an innocent error. Maybe you just read on some idiotic self-publishing site or forum that this is the way to do things/get sales/promote yourself. Listen to me very carefully - THIS IS WRONG. This is very, very wrong, and you are only hurting yourself as a writer by doing things this way. This, by the way, amuses me, because you refer to yourself being somehow above other writers in one of your Amazon reviews. My views on self-publishing aside (which you would know, had you actually investigated who I am instead of just mining G+ for writers), your behavior is exactly what gives self-pubbers the reputation they have.

If you want to ever be taken as a professional writer of any sort (and there are professional erotic authors out there), you will stop this idiotic spam attachment campaign immediately. Most people will delete this kind of thing without reply. I have taken time out of my evening to answer you, in the hopes that you will educate yourself and stop being such an ignorant douchebag asshat. (Again, if you'd bothered to investigate me at all, as I've done with you, you'd know I am an evil bitch who does tolerate bullshit like this from anyone.) Please be advised that I will be writing a blog post using this email (with details redacted, as I won't be giving you any kind of promo whatsoever) to illustrate what NOT to do as a writer. I thank you in advance for your shining example of douchebaggery. I am also as of this moment blocking you on G+ because of this email.

Here are a few links of my own in return for those you kindly provided me (again broken to get around spam filters):
[ETA: Links restored for the purposes of this blog post - they were originally broken in the mail]

On “the hard sell.” Please read this and pay close attention to it –

On wordcount –

On how to be a professional writer –

How Not To Be A Douchebag Author (bookmark this site and keep an eye on it – it’s full of writing advice weekly, though they are on hiatus this month)-


P.S. It’s spelled “Vader,” not “Vador.” His Lordship would Forcechoke you for your misstep. Though I suppose it’s better than “< OTHER USERNAME REDACTED >.” Are you seeing a pattern here, < REAL NAME >? The Internet is forever, and Google is an amazing tool.

Dina James
Chronicler of the Paranormal

Spamming Asshat didn’t take too kindly to my reply. They wrote me back with various – I can only call them “illiterate,” despite them considering themselves a writer, as they clearly have no reading comprehension whatsoever – threats and comments, culminating in them posting the above email, my address and all, on their own blog. I’m not really sure what that was intended to do. Show I’m a bitch? That’s kind of obvious.

All I did was call them out on their spamming. They did the rest. I won’t repost the threats and other charming responses this individual sent, but thought I’d put this here as an example for other self-published writers of what not to do.

Hear that, writers? DO NOT SEND YOUR STUFF TO RANDOM PEOPLE UNLESS THEY ASK FOR IT. See the links above. (I’ve restored them so they work for this blog post.) DO NOT SEND YOUR STUFF TO PEOPLE YOU HAVE NOT RESEARCHED. They could be someone offended by your work, or an evil bitch like me, or not a fan of self-publishing, or whatever! Research people before you send them anything. This spamming asshat just mined G+ for anyone with “writer” in their profile and sent them their book out of the blue FOR NO REASON OTHER THAN TO GET REVIEWS/GENERATE SALES. This is SPAM. DO NOT DO THIS.

And so, as promised, here is your cautionary tale about spamming people with your shit.

The end.

ETA April 19: Apparently our lovely spammer did indeed follow through with their threat to spam their mailing list (which is looking like it was collected via mining social networks for certain keywords), as I’ve heard from a writer previously unknown to me that they were spammed with my name and reply mail. So there’s that.

It has also come to my attention via a friend that our dear spamming asshat has ragequit the internet. Checking the folder I filtered any of their future spam to, they had indeed sent me the same message this blog post from a book reviewer details wonderfully – So, despite “threatening” to remove me from their “friends list,” they apparently kept me on it. Big shock there. This “threat” *cough*butthurtragequit*cough* was apparently true as well, though. Their webpages and profiles have indeed been deleted, as well as both of their blogs, and the links to their books are no longer working. I guess I wasn’t the only one to tell them to call them on their asshatery.

A Reward and A Dare

I was updating the perks at the Evil For Julie fundraisers. I saw the numbers.

Dean Holy Shit Eyes

$3330 [ETA April 16 - $3425] for the Writer Edition.

$6705 [ETA April 16 - $7545] for the Reader Edition.

If my math is correct (and unlike Tony Stark’s, it usually isn’t, but I digress), that puts us at $10,035 $10,970 for both campaigns.

You know, when we were pulling this together and deciding on a target number for our goal, I made the comment that if we raised $10,000, I would make a video of me dancing like a freak (I can’t dance…no, really, I can’t. I just wiggle my butt and flail my arms.) at various Oregon Coastal landmarks within driving distance of me.

I said it sarcastically. Because, you know…$10,000? Yeah, right. We’d be lucky to make half that, but we decided to go for it anyway. $5000 was lofty. $10,000 was laughable.

Sarcasm or no, I said it, in front of witnesses. As such, the video will get made. It will be finished and uploaded sometime in May, after all this is over.

Just so you know, I made another comment about our fundraiser goals, and this one is on the Internet, WHICH IS FOREVER.

The price? $50,000. The perk? I will karaoke Wilson Phillips’ “Hold On,” get it on film, and post it to the Internet.

Try reaching that one, evildoers. I DARE YOU.


ETA: Upon conferring with my enablers, I have agreed to do the same with Air Supply’s “All Out of Love” at the $25,000 mark. Because Dean Winchester. BRING IT.