Here I am spending hours and hours this fleeting summer in the preparation of new editions for Nostalgistudio of all three FAMEPUNK novels so far, immersed once again in women's tennis as a subject while simultaneously scanning its current state for promotional opportunities, ways to ride some surge in fandom into wider view. And what I see is so very far from promising anything of the sort, it might as well be a cloud of antitheses, when all but the seventh of the top ten ladies' singles seeds goes out in the first week. It's disgraceful and won't win fans--quite the contrary. Overpraised princesses wilting under a single round of pressure: no one wants to applaud that. To my personal horror, women's tennis has become the New York Mets. One loss, then two, then two others; they achieve something lemming-like, these super athletes in mostly identical dresses swatting forehands long.
A little scare just now when I sat down to write a fresh entry and found myself signed out of my Blogger account after two years away. I could see my two little old sites still reading "me" but couldn't enter to refresh them, this one and Reading Les Miserables at Work out of my control only drifted there, like junked space stations, relics. I sat bewildered. Then I thought, Would it matter? What if What is Famepunk? ended randomly, years out of date, out of carelessness? Couldn't it go on that way, an old attachment, always linked? Old and dead, yes--but would it matter? With a lynch-pin of my creative life (even if it hasn't looked like one lately) not just threatened but gone, snatched away, rationalizing like crazy, I kept calm. My mind formed ideas for going on without it, unencumbered by women's tennis blogging. But I was self-disgusted. I felt the loss I'd brought on myself through inattention. In the end I tried another sign-in, the right one. I'm grateful to be back.
Ostapenko versus Kasatkina. These are the outsidery finalists in this year's Charleston green clay tournament. Neither player seeded, none of the top ten seeds made it to the semifinals. Women's tennis continues down the path it's set itself.
Paying too much for not playing, paying too much attention to "storylines" over substance. And pampering, primping, pimping, party-dressing its "stars" for consumption--by whom? Who is even watching the WTA now? They haven't got a broadcast contract, they'd rather pay their executives than shell out for coverage. Who would want to watch? The outfits are all alike and all equally horrible. Meanwhile a virtually all-male coaching galaxy hovers over the enterprise sucking up cash and leaving blasted confidence.
As an outsider myself, I salute the young players (and the older over-the-hill but not players) who are looking at this situation as the opportunity it is. Good for Ostapenko! Good for Kasatkina! Good for Mirjana Lucic and Jo Konta and Elena Vesnina, good for the underdogs, all the "ovas" the others might mistake for nonentities. I'm not watching them either, but that don't mean a damn thing.
Sales update: All Famepunk books are now $2.99 each across all digital platforms. Writing update: I'm in year four of a book that takes place in the Soviet Union around the time of World War II; it isn't a tennis novel. But it will be good! Stay tuned for more about it.
For the duration of the 2015 US Open ALL THREE volumes of Famepunk are ON SALE FOR HALF PRICE at Smashwords. Will there be another calendar year Grand Slam winner in women's tennis--the first in 27 years? While you wait to find out, you can relive the last time with a strong dose of fiction in Part 2: Middlemarch. It takes place on The Tour in 1988.
Since last November, so for a year now, I've been working on a novel that takes place in the Soviet Union during the Stalin era. It's not Famepunk, in other words. I'd hoped to have finished it by now so that I could return to writing "the tennis novels" but it will take a while longer. And it will be good, I think!
Meanwhile, to celebrate the relaunch of my main website under its new name--liz-mackie.com--I'm posting an excerpt from the upcoming (someday not too long from now) Part 4 of Famepunk, which will be called Against Theodosia. This is the COMPLETE chapter excerpted in the "coming soon" scene that's included at the very end of Part 2: Middlemarch. It takes place around Thanksgiving in New York City (so, seasonal) in 1990, and it's called "In the Cubbyhole."
The picture here is from New York City in 1990 (except, summer) to set the tone. I had those shorts! The Cubbyhole is a lesbian bar in Greenwich Village which MAY OR MAY NOT have existed as I've depicted it in 1990; I thought it had but lately heard otherwise.
Picture source is Ann Bannon's site; here is a link, she is a hero of mine. Another interesting site I've found lately, also on Blogger, is devoted to Lost Womyn's Space and it's worth a long visit.
Happy Holidays dear readers--for me it's back to Odessa, 1941...