Acquiring the Acquaintance of Mr. and Mrs. Ellison by A Fan

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paul
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Postby paul » Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:12 pm

David Loftus wrote:Hmmm.

Margot Kidder has substituted for Barbara Eden. . . .


Now, if we can just get Elizabeth Montgomery. :twisted:
The medium is the message.

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David Loftus
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Postby David Loftus » Tue Oct 21, 2008 9:55 am

David Loftus wrote:Hmmm.

Margot Kidder has substituted for Barbara Eden. . . .



Not that there's anything wrong with that, mind. Kidder was plenty hot in her day, Gwyn. She's just had some tough times in more recent years. I was just a little startled by the startling switch in hair color and went back to read your introductory post. Ah, a natural brunette. Of course.
War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus

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Postby Moderator » Thu Dec 11, 2008 10:18 pm

HAPPY BIRTHDAY GWYN!!!

(Or, if you don't read this 'til after midnight: Happy BELATED birthday!!!)


8)
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

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Postby Gwyneth M905 » Thu Dec 11, 2008 10:41 pm

Thank you most kindly, Steve! :)

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The Dreaded Slaymaker
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Postby The Dreaded Slaymaker » Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:05 pm

Gwyn, I just recently joined in and logged on, and I'm slowly making my way through the posts. I just read yours, and good lord, your story sounds like mine. I read Ellison Wonderland when I was 12, and shortly thereafter began to write Harlan long rambling letters about his writing, my life, my desire to meet him, etc. - in short, crazy stalker stuff (hey, I was 12 - what did I know?).

When I was 19 I landed a job as a riding instructor in Bermuda. About a month before I left home, I picked up Alone Against Tomorrow, and there, in the introduction to "Are You Listening?", was a phone number. On the off chance it was really his, I called it - and swallowed my tongue when he ACTUALLY ANSWERED THE PHONE! After fum-fuh-ing and burbling for a minute or two, I asked him if he wanted to come live with me in Bermuda (you may laugh now). He graciously declined.

The first time I met Harlan was at the DragonCon in Atlanta in, I think, 1989 or 1990. He, Susan and some friends had just finished lunch and were coming out of the cafe - I walked up and introduced myself, he said, "YOU"RE Slaymaker - you and those letters!" and he grabbed me and hugged me. He then walked me out with an arm around me, and explained that when he got my letter saying I was coming to the Con, he and Susan got out all the letters I'd written to him and read them. He wanted to know how I could look so normal and write so crazy.

That weekend was a cathartic experience for me. After some prodding from Harlan, I finally figured out why I had reacted to him and his work the way I did (long and boring explanation, I'll spare you).

There were a couple of other meetings but they weren't the surreal experience that first meeting was. If you're interested I'll tell you about them sometime, but I don't want to try your patience any more.

I've been away from Ellison Wonderland for some time now, so please be gentle. I'll settle in soon.

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FrankChurch
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Postby FrankChurch » Tue Dec 23, 2008 8:43 am

Slaymaker, gotta love that name.

cynic
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Postby cynic » Tue Dec 23, 2008 11:17 am

to The Dreaded Slaymaker,
i think everyone here likes stories.
please tell us a story.

gwyn,HAPPY BIRTHMONTH!
mike

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The Dreaded Slaymaker
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Long and Boring Explanation of Why I Stalked Ellison

Postby The Dreaded Slaymaker » Sat Dec 27, 2008 4:08 pm

OK, here's a story:

Earlier I had said that after some prodding from Harlan ("you look like a perfectly nice woman - what's wrong with you?"), I did some serious self-examination and came up with what seemed like a reasonable explanation.

I am a WASP. In fact, I'm so WASP I'm lucky I have a sense of humor. Those of you who know the breed know that upper middle class white bread families tend to be a bit on the suppressed side - everything is Pleasantville. Thus I was not allowed to show anger - ever. And I had a lot to be angry about. Like the majority of women out there, I was molested at a young age - once at 4, once at 5, and once again at 9. Of course I told my parents the first and second times, but I was made to understand that it was best that I forget it happened and not ever talk about it, and so when it happened at 9 I just tucked it away and didn't say anything.

Which is not to say poor me - I forget what the exact statistic is, but something like 85% of women are molested before they're 12 years old, so I'm in the majority (and it is one of my proudest achievements that my daughter, now 23 and married, is in the 15% who never was). My point is that I had an awful lot of anger in me that I was not allowed to express.

Until I picked up that first Harlan Ellison book, and suddenly, my anger had a voice. Harlan was angry, and I could vent my anger vicariously. And so I became obsessed with Harlan and his writing. I collected his books, I wrote him letters, and I plotted ways to meet him.

That continued until I did meet him. When I finally figured all of this out, I wrote a story about it, called "Mr. Thorne, would you come live with me in Bermuda?", which was accepted for publication but never published, as the magazine went under before it happened. I didn't try to get it published again, which I probably should have, but I'd moved on to other things by then. It also had an "Inner Child" in it, which, by the time I got the rights to the story back, was an over-used cliche. I had planned to send the published story to Harlan, but...oh well.

So that's my story. Reading Harlan's stories has been one of the most positive and liberating forces in my life, and I am forever grateful to him for keeping me sane until I could take over and do it for myself.

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The Dreaded Slaymaker
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Postby The Dreaded Slaymaker » Sat Dec 27, 2008 4:14 pm

That's assuming, of course, that I am actually sane...

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David Loftus
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Postby David Loftus » Sat Dec 27, 2008 5:39 pm

Thanks for sharing your story.

Sounds like you've been provisionally successful in managing to take care of yourself, which is pretty much the most important thing people have to learn in this life.

Many never do.
War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus

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FrankChurch
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Postby FrankChurch » Sun Dec 28, 2008 12:27 pm

We don't like sane people--be you.

Sane is Bush and Cheney.

paul
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Postby paul » Mon Dec 29, 2008 11:05 pm

What David said. Stay strong, keep writing.
The medium is the message.

Gwyneth M905
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Re: Acquiring the Acquaintance of Mr. and Mrs. Ellison by A Fan

Postby Gwyneth M905 » Thu Oct 29, 2009 12:42 pm

Dear Sara,

THANK YOU SOOO MUCH!!!! :D I'm eternally grateful to you for demolishing (politely and eloquently) Eric Walter on my FB account re: Health Insurance Reform.

I wish I had never "friended" all those high school folks who found me. We just have nothing in common. And there's so much about my life that I *don't * want them to know, that I'm dying to kvell about.

I've converted to Islam, folks. Before any jaw drops, let me say that I'm happier and mentally more stable than I have been in a long time (I have bipolar disorder, for those who don't know).

The Muslim prayer practice, which is a combination kata and koan five times a day, brought me in. I'm studying the Qur'an and sunnah. And learning some Arabic too, which is impossible NOT to learn if you convert.

So that's what's new around my apartment. Lori can tell you about my headscarf fashion statement--LOL---I still haven't gotten the knack of wrapping a hijaab and alternately look like the Little Match Girl or Lawrence of Arabia as portrayed by Peter O'Toole after a bender. ;)

I wore a burka out in public, but I think it freaked people out. It was a really funny experience, but one thing's for sure...it makes it a hell of a lot easier to get an empty seat on Muni when you're wearing one. I think the next time I go out I'll wear a Darth Vader mask *under* the thing and then take it off on the bus....hmm I'm having way too much fun with this. ;)
I want to learn the ways of the Force and become a Jedi Knight, the same as my Father.
STAR WARS (1977)

Gwyneth M905
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Re: Acquiring the Acquaintance of Mr. and Mrs. Ellison by A Fan

Postby Gwyneth M905 » Thu Oct 29, 2009 12:53 pm

Post Script: For my Webderland friends who are also on my FaceBook account: Please don't reference the fact that I am now Muslim. There is a Klan presence in my hometown, and my elderly mother and uncle live in a small rickety wooden house on the south side of the railroad tracks. There isn't much tolerance or understanding, and I fear for their safety should the "word" get out.

If anyone has any experience dealing with similar situations, I would appreciate any advice.
I want to learn the ways of the Force and become a Jedi Knight, the same as my Father.
STAR WARS (1977)

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David Loftus
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Re: Acquiring the Acquaintance of Mr. and Mrs. Ellison by A Fan

Postby David Loftus » Thu Oct 29, 2009 5:29 pm

I'm kinda surprised you've had problems down there, Gwyneth. There are a fair number of women running around in burkas up here -- especially students at the university a couple blocks away -- and there's really no hassle that I've seen.
War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus


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