Blind Item - Eyes and Ears Seem to be Everywhere

Another blind item landed in my inbox, and each one is more interesting than the next. You like the blind items?  Hate them with a burning, itchy passion? Let me know.

On to the item of limited vision:

This NYT Author’s deviltry won’t come as any surprise to many of her colleagues, as sources say she’s not made many friends in the way of authors, reviewers, or, according to some fans who attended a recent weekend, members of her own fanbase.

The scene: a restaurant, a relatively mellow mealtime during a recent conference. The Author is chatting and, given the gradual increase in volume, possibly arguing with her companions when the waitress approaches to take their order. The Author doesn’t stop her conversation, and waitress is standing, waiting, ignored, for some time. One of the companions at the table invites The Author kindly to relax a moment so the waitress can take their orders.

Commence ruckus at the table: loud crashing and smashing noises and even louder “Goddammit!” as she stands up. By this time, the restaurant is silent and staring, but the still quiet does not give The Author any pause. She hollers at her companions that she will not relax, and that this brash companion has no business telling The Author what to do. The Author then makes her way quickly out of the restaurant.

The waitress, who was understandably shocked and a little embarrassed, tells our source of this fury-tale that The Author’s companions made attempts to apologize on The Author’s behalf and begged that the waitress excuse The Author’s rudeness. But The Author overhears this smoothing-over and bellows from the doorway to a very attentive audience of both her own party and everyone else at every other table in the restaurant that no one should dare apologize on her behalf. Then, The Author departs.

The audience is silent, until a curtain of conversation descends upon every table, each person uttering a variation of, “Did you see that?”



General Bitching...

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    blind item readr says:

    But who is she? Why would we care unless she was:
    1. a character in a book
    2. a character we’ve heard of in real life.
    3. in other words, someone we know or had heard of.

    And this “blind item” thing. Is that a common way of putting it and I missed the whole new phrase? Did it used to be called gossip?

    This internet thing and all its new new phrases. So perturbing to always be saying HUH?  That’s the biggest part that drives me itchy burny crazy.

  2. 2
    blind item readr again says:

    I’m still fuming about the whole milkshake thing. I drink your milkshake! I missed it entirely. A whole massive phenom came and went, affected millions, became a catchphrase and was scorned as passe….all in a less than a month. And no one told me heads up. So embarrassing to be left behind wallowing in cultural ignorance.

  3. 3
    Dechant says:

    Cripes, my whole cast was on that “I drink your milkshake” thing for three months solid. “Uh, guys? That… wasn’t in the script… ah, buggrit.” *throws script in air* And so forth.

  4. 4
    Dechant says:

    As for that blind item, oh, tell me that was Laurell K. Hamilton… :-)

  5. 5
    Linnet says:

    Personally I’m not a fan of the blind items, especially after reading the various shades of the whole armpit-camera story. (It sounds like gossip to me also.) However it is your website so if you keep posting them I’ll just ignore them/ go somewhere else.

  6. 6
    lizziebee says:

    Awww who doesn’t love a bit of gossip, and especially when it comes to bad behaviour in public – the person in question did it to themselves! I don’t mind them :)

  7. 7

    Am sooooo wondering if this was a cerhtain ahuthohr.  Can’t you tell us who???

    Security word: respect18.  Hahahahahaha!

  8. 8
    Nora Roberts says:

    I love gossip.

  9. 9
    Lorelie says:

    I like blind items.  I’m like that.

    But mostly, while reading this one, I find myself wondering why the waitress just *stood* there.  The Author was definitely in the wrong but a muttered “I’ll be back when you’re ready” and a quick departure by the waitress would have been timely.

  10. 10

    For whatever it’s worth, I prefer attribution with stories like this.  If an author misbehaved in public, in a manner that may reflect badly on other members of the romance writing community because of the conference setting, then I’d like to know that.  However, if it’s simply hints and innuendos, it comes across as mean-spirited gossip.

  11. 11
    Jesbelle says:

    I’ll be honest: I enjoy gossip. It may be shallow, but it sure is human. People like drama, and I’m not going to condem it when I like to read about it too. However, I do allow that there are people who are much nicer than I am, and don’t find joy in this kind of thing. :)

    As for the vajayjay-armpit of death, the truth came out very quickly. Perhaps there’s an equally reasonable explination for this one. Even so, glad I’m not the only who thought of LKH though…

  12. 12
    Eeyore9990 says:

    Yeah, I’m betting money that was LKH. 

    Huh, security word: became37.  Not yet, dammit!  *clings to early thirties*

  13. 13
    corrine says:

    This was the most entertaining thing of my morning by far. I love blind items for every occasion. Keep ‘em coming!

    The first name that popped in my head regarding the above is Deborah MacGillvray, but that’s just because I’d like to blame everything on her after her hijinx.

  14. 14

    Eh, color me curious.  I’m shallow.  I admit it.

  15. 15
    Bernita says:

    “Gossip” is, after all, a form of intelligence gathering – and therefore valuable.

  16. 16
    SB Sarah says:

    If an author misbehaved in public, in a manner that may reflect badly on other members of the romance writing community because of the conference setting, then I’d like to know that.  However, if it’s simply hints and innuendos, it comes across as mean-spirited gossip.

    You should see my face, Darlene. I have this expression of, “HUH!” because I’m not caffeinated by a long shot (ha!) and I never thought of it that way. Fascinating. My point in posting blind items was to point out that any author, even namelessly, makes the writing community look poorly as a whole with poor behavior, and it doesn’t matter who it is so much as the fact that it happened, it was beyond silly, and it does in fact denigrate everyone else who acts like a professional when the occasion calls for it.

    Case in point: I went to a session at RT led by Linnea Sinclair, who could read the phone book and I’d listen with both ears because her voice is rockin like Mexican chocolate, about things writers do that prevent them from being published, but the title was more along the lines of “how to piss your editor off and never see the printed page.” I thought it was going to be a session about behavior, though it turned out to be a more nuts & bolts session, dealing with doing what agents/editors ask for (e.g. don’t send a full m/s if they say they want queries/partials, etc) – which is important. But I was curious: is there a behavior level that will cause publishing folks to no longer want to work with you? Does online mishigas or real-life mishigas create situations where the trouble is more trouble than its worth? And doesn’t that denigrate the writing community on the whole?

    I look at some of the more dramatic kerfuffles online, and I wonder, is there fallout professionally when folks don’t act, well, professionally? So the blind items were really meant to say, “It matters if you act like a douchebag,” but how much is variable, since everyone’s line of demarcation varies. Mine is very very deep, in that it takes a WHOLE MESSY LOT of asshattery to make me as a reader say, “I am so not ever buying your books again, ever ever ever.” Very few authors have crossed that line with me.

    Also, I love the puzzle part and enjoy trying to figure them out wherever I find them online.

  17. 17
    Jane O says:

    Okay, I may like gossip, but I’m a bit chary about believing it. I can think of any number of situations in which this author’s behavior may have been perfectly understandable. For example, suppose she just found out that someone she thought was a friend had been smearing her with blind items?

  18. 18
    Meg says:

    blind item readr—Blind items have been around since the Regency (and even earlier) as a means of circumventing strict (particularly British) libel laws.  By not giving a name, the publisher is able to claim that they were not speaking about a given person.  Blind items usually include details which, while not entirely unique to one person, usually indicate very clearly who is meant.  The New York Post (bastion of journalism that it is) runs such a column on Page Six at least once a week.

    Although……blind items from books would be fantastically amusing.  :)

    I’m personally a fan of gossip—part of the reason I come here is for the behind-the-scenes talk about what authors are really like and what goes on in the publishing world.  Besides, gossip like this keeps people accountable for their actions in public and the way they treat those in the service industry.

  19. 19
    DS says:

    Well, blind item as far as I understand is one that hasn’t been vetted for attribution so it’s insinuating by nature.  I have no problem with them. 

    And I have to admit I thought of LKH at once. 

    I have a lot of sympathy for the waitress.  They put up with a lot of crap for little money and don’t deserve to be treated like a piece of furniture by anyone.  Good on her companions for trying to maintain a little decency in the face of the author’s lack of discretion.

    I, by the way, always drag the people I am mad at into a private area and give them a dressing down in a very low, vicious voice.  Much more effective.

  20. 20

    Kind of sad – I thought of three different authors when I read this, and wondered if it might be one of them.
    Conversely, had you written a blind item about an author who was funny, warm, helpful and open, who reportedly handed a fifty dollar tip to the waitress, my mind would be crowded with possibilities.
    So we’re doing okay.  I don’t let a few bad-tempered, ill-mannered, full of themselves divas spoil my impression of romance authors.
    I just avoid them like the plague and don’t buy their books.

  21. 21
    blind item readr says:

    So the phrase “blind item” has been around since the regency? Cripes.
    Gossip or whatever it’s called has been around since the start of communication.

    I expect “blind item info” is something men exchange and “gossip” is the word applied to the same sort of conversation among women. Seems like the standard sort of divide.

    About the incident? I’m fascinated and have read it at least three times, looking for more hints. Definitely time for a life.

  22. 22
    Silver James says:

    I, too, thought it might be LKH, but then reread it and an author who appears beyond her prime ((IMHO) with the initials AR was racing for the finish line in my brain. I have no clue if she even left the Delta area for Pitt for the event.

    Gossip is gossip and as long as folks don’t take it as gospel, I’m good with it. And as we all saw in the Case of the Masquerading Vajayjay (Ooooh…I see a whole new line of Nancy Drew meets the Gossip Girls books here) – but I digress – In that instance, we all learned the truth of the matter quickly.

    Perception is an interesting critter. Just read witness statements sometime. No two are ever the same and if they are, a good investigator will start looking very hard at those witnesses as possible suspects.

    spaminator: degree45 – Just what I need, mega deodorant for when I write those McSteamy lurve scenes. (No intent to plagerize or infringe on copyright here…That nickname just makes me giggle.) (and I LURVE the edit feature to catch my typos!)

  23. 23
    Eliza says:

    I expect “blind item info” is something men exchange and “gossip” is the word applied to the same sort of conversation among women.

    What?  I’m on a celebrity blind-item mailing list (secret shame!) and most of the posters there are female.  Blind item just means you don’t use the person’s name, that’s all.

  24. 24
    Chrissy says:

    I’m with the contingent who believe we have a right to know because of how it reflects on all of us.

    Also… honestly?  I vote with my credit card.  If you are a pratt I refuse to pay your utilities with my own hard earned cash.  Being a trophy wife is not picnic!  (That was a joke… I am at the library in a hoodie, jeans, and a baseball cap.  The only kind of trophy I might resemble is a bowling trophy.)

    Anyway… LKH did come to mind.  I stopped buying her crap already, though.

  25. 25

    This qualifies as “none of the bullshit” ??

    Bleh, crap I don’t care about and time I’ll never get back.

  26. 26

    Whatever, I like the conference gossip.  And really, for “not caring” about what you guys post, a lot of people are wasting their time commenting about how much they don’t care.

    In any case, I immediately wondered if this had any relation to the woman who shouted, “DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?” at her waitress at the Pittsburgh hotel.

  27. 27

    If this is an appropriate time for general bitching, I don’t like the new subheading font.  It’s harder to read.  When I haven’t visited for a few days or so, I tend to skim the headlines and that kooky font is too twisty for my reading pleasure.

  28. 28
    Randi says:

    Well who knew about blind items!? Now I know and interestingly, Dangerous Liaisons (the book, not the film) is all written as a blind item. huh…

    For the record, I like the blind items.

    I thought LKH too, but somehow it didn’t seem in line. Wouldn’t Jon-boy have been the one to raise the stink, while she aloofly stood in the background? Anyway, verrrrrrrrrrry interested in who the author is….

    moment17: I hope there are 17 more blind items!

  29. 29
    Wryhag says:

    Oooo, I love reading about misbehavior.  I’m too old to misbehave, so these stories give me a vicarious thrill.  Besides, even if I did misbehave, nobody would give a rat’s patooty—except maybe law enforcement, whose attention is far more unwelcome than bloggers’.

  30. 30
    Jackie L. says:

    I’m with Shiloh—wading pool shallow.

    However, DS, I am personally acquainted with five (count ‘em—5) EMTs—like less expensive paramedics—who quit being EMTs to work in the food service industry.  They all say they get more money for less flak.

    Shows you what’s important in the good ol’ US of A today.

Comments are closed.

↑ Back to Top