Wednesday, August 25, 2010

My Big Fat American Contest

So I've become international. Thanks to the internet and the magic of WiFi and all that jazz. I have 'met' people from all over and I must say that is grand. But I also must say, it's confusing. See, the man works in Aerospace, he has to learn all kinds of cultural stuff for his business. Such as never show the bottom of your foot to someone of African origin. Or make sure your "peace sign" is pointing the right way. Etc. etc. etc.

When I was growing up I had a tendency to um...fall down. Drop the ball in sports. Have my head in the clouds which often meant I landed on my ass. I was called (affectionately) unco (as in uncoordinated) and spaz as in one who falls down a lot. No malicious intent. I know the word can mean other negative things but I have never (and would never) dream of using it in a negative way. So, when I named my press, Spastic Girl Press, I used that term. But I am international now. And though I try hard not to let people dictate my words, thoughts or behaviour, I also would never want to offend or hurt anyone. Period.

Thusly, I'm renaming my press. Ironically, I'd been thinking about it for a while, but tonight I got an email that put a RUSH JOB stamp on that particular project. The problem is...I can't come up with a name I love.

Here's where you come in. Name my press. Grand prize? $25.00 USD (must have a Paypal address to collect) and a free download per month for a year. If I have the right to send it to you, I will.

So, going forward, I want to say, that title was directed at me. It was an affectionate tag I've carried for years. However, I don't like sobbing against my husband. I just bought new eye cream and it was working. I like my pretty blue eyes unpuffed. So help me name my press.

All you have to do is comment here. The contest will remain open in the sidebar when I put up new blogs. Please make sure for every comment there is an email where you can be reached. No limit on comments (just don't get ridiculous okay? ;) )CONTEST IS OVER.

p.s. I am the final judge of course. I mean...duh.


  1. Wah, no, see here's the thing. It's not that anyone would have thought you were poking intentional fun at people with special needs.

    It's more the casual use of vocabulary that was once used for people with special needs medically - now becomes routinely pejorative. So spastic meaning klutzy is still... how do I put it... there's an underlying denegration that we infer without even thinking about it, I suppose. It's everywhere. Endemic. We all do it.

    In Ireland and England, it's been the teenage boy thing to describe anything pathetic or stupid as 'gay'. Weary mothers and teachers battle against this, but to no avail.I've a friend and a brother in their twenties who still do it. It's a habit, and they don't really get what's wrong with it, cos they're not homophobic. See the analogy?

    Anyway! Enough sermonising. Ideas.

    How about something more SuperSommer, like 'Tastic Girl Press? No more downputting :)

  2. Sommer,

    I'm sorry to hear you aren't sticking to your first choice. I like you went with your gut and personalized the name.

    When I think of you I think of blond hair and smiles and wine and Supernatural and wrestling contests in the mud for Sam Merlotte and Otter Pops and tiny plastic cocks (which I still have.) You make me laugh. Your novels inspire me. You make me want to write. I love your book, Blank. I remember letters you used to write me and pictures of your dog. You're such a Sweet Shebang. Sweet Shebang Press, baby.

  3. Smut Girl Press? It's not too far from Spastic Girl, which I have to admit I really, really like. I mentioned Smut Girl Press, though, since you already have built in google results for smut girl. You'd be able to keep that traffic. It's just a thought. :0)

  4. Sommertime Press.

    Where the writin' is easy! (I sense a great theme song, though probably not one in the public domain...)

    And I know you might prefer a name that is less personal. I'll think of some. But I couldn't resist that one!

    sharazade1001 at gmail dot com

  5. Oh, and still with your name, I also like Sommerotica Press. I wish I had your name! ha ha.

    ~ Shar
    sharazade1001 at gmail dot com

  6. At the risk of sounding dismissive of other people's feelings, I think people (generally) need to worry more about solving real problems than they do about picking nits...was that a soft enough way to say they should "get a life"? As the parent of a special needs child, I find no offence in the name, but I fully support and respect your reasons for changing it.

    It is a lovely name, Shar. Sunny and fresh. But to other things!

    Here are my suggestions for names:

    - Random Acts of Smut
    - Smut Happens
    - Come Get Sommer
    - Cool Sommer
    - Button Press
    - Downstairs Press
    - ’sup Press
    - Hotterotica

    I do tend to overdo things.

  7. Oh, I adore Sommertime! That is delicious! I was trying to cheat. I went and looked up rhymes. And damn, I got this:

    There are many words in the English language which rhyme with the word summer. Some of the words which rhyme with the word summer are the words brummer, bummer, comer, drummer, dumber, dummer, hummer, kummer, nemir, plumber, plummer, somer, sommer, strummer, summar and midsummer.

    So you'll be hearing from me in a little while — I've just got to work Sommer Strummer and Hummer all together. Hmmm. Maybe I'm not going to be able to name your press, but I might get a story out of this. I think I saw the word plumber in there, too!


  8. Um, it was me that sent Sommer a note about the word 'spastic'.

    I didn't intend to cause any brouhaha. It's hard to translate, but 'spastic' is on a par, perhaps, with 'retard'. It gives a bit of a jolt to a UK reader to see it used as the name of a press. Perhaps not so much in speech or in context of other text, but isolated as a title, it's a bit odd looking to say the least.

    Willsin, it hadn't hurt my feelings, not at all. I sent it as if the situation were reversed, I would want someone to tell me. This kind of mistranslation happens all the time, of course it's not intentional, of course not. Nobody would have imagined that. That's not what I was flagging.

    It was a tip/note to a friend, that's all. Not an international incident. Kofi Annan can go home. I'm really sorry if I caused you upset, Sommer. That really wasn't my intention. Next time I shall hold my tongue.

  9. Sommertime is gorgeous!
    I'm in the UK and for what it's worth I never thought for a moment that you were being pejorative of people with special needs - I know that the US connotation of spastic is much gentler and more affectionately 'teasing' than it is over here. All the same, I think you're doing the right thing.

  10. Here goes my two cents, uh maybe with this recession it's now ten cents? lol

    Love Sommertime Press -- great suggestion, perhaps tweak it to SommerTime Press.

    I'm with Cora, why not call it Smut Girl Press? You've been Smut Girl for ages.

    Well none of this babble helps me win, maybe I need more coffee to think clearer. If inspiration strikes, I'll be back. lol

  11. Keep 'em coming folks. You have load of time. Re above Nikki's email *I am not upset* with anyone. I was upset at the situation but I have started to mend what I saw as broken so I'm all good.

    The only way I could think to put a positive spin on it and make it a good thing is a contest. Then I can choose from all your creativity (and be lazy) and have a brand spanking new press.


  12. Nikki, "spastic" is probably used in a similar fashion here in Australia as it is in the UK, although it has gone out of fashion lately, mainly replaced by "retard" and the ilk. The nature of that type of word is a matter that's obviously close to me, and I was probably hasty in commenting. I actually find the use of those words harsher in casual conversation than I do in print or even in the title of a company. Because in conversation, things can be said which are not properly thought out, but it takes a far greater amount of thought to name a product/manufacturer/press.

    On the subject of things not being properly thought out...reading my comment back, I realise it was at the very least mildly inflammatory (probably worse than that). It should have been better worded, and for that I apologise. I don't pretend to speak for anyone else when I give my own views (which was where I was trying to go with the "but I fully support and respect your reasons for changing it"). I do think there are bigger things to worry about, but from your comment I think you were already on that page yourself.

  13. I agree with Smut Girl. I thought I was being all original until I read other peeps comments! Late to the party, as always... :)

  14. Wiener Press! (Sorry)

    I'm really glad you're changing the name, thank you! As a Brit, I can't help wincing every time I see 'spastic' (even though I know the word is fairly innocuous in the States).

    Wikipedia has a fascinating entry on the different UK/US connotations, including refs to Blue Peter, a hugely influential childhood telly prog. It's interesting to look at how culture impacts on meaning in such subtle ways - no 'outsider' would ever be able to guess at it.

    Anyway, kudos to Nikki for drawing it to Sommer's attention, and to Sommer for completely rescuing the situation by bringing it up for debate - and introducing some fun!

    I love SommerTime. But I think Wiener Press should be a *very* close second.


What sayest thou?