Bullies!

October 12th, 2010

While I was on vacation last week (it turned out to be super nice, by the way) I had a lot of time to think about all this bullying going on.

And I started wishing someone would do a poll to find out how many authors were bullied as kids. I bet the number would be really high.

Because a lot of us write about it. Almost every book in the Allie Finkle series is about bullying or being bullied. The Princess Diaries series, too. Some people think girls don’t bully, but as this article in last week’s Sunday Times showed, they most certainly do. Even cats can be bullies!

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These are my friends’ cats, JJ and Howard, who are neutered males. I believe JJ just walked over and sat on Howard because Howard doesn’t really know what is going on most of the time, and is quite fluffy and would make an excellent pillow. (No cats were actually harmed in this photo).

I, like Kandi on the Real Housewives of Atlanta, have always tried to let my haters be my motivators, and then gotten revenge on my bullies by writing about them (not on Facebook! I’m talking about writing for a living, and making money from it).

I realize this won’t solve your problem if you are being bullied NOW (like Howard in the photo above).

But like Howard, all you have to concentrate on doing NOW is surviving, so you can get your book or whatever published LATER.

Another tip is always to be sure to change the name (and hair color) of your tormentor when you publish your story about him or her, so you won’t be sued by your bully the way Eminem was when he published a song about his.

Although Eminem won when the three-judge panel unanimously decided it was “apparent that a reasonable listener would not take the song lyrics about the defendant literally.”

Still, you don’t want to run the risk of having to give money to your bully! And why stoop to his or her level? Always try to rise above it whenever possible (I had one bully I used to wish a cheerful “Good morning!” every day. This kind of behavior often confuses bullies. Also highly recommended, as later this bully decided we were friends. We were NOT friends, but she stopped tormenting me, so this worked).

A lot of people find solace writing about their bullies in their diaries, which is also good therapy, and why I Tweeted and Facebooked over the weekend about how we had to get Mortified, the movie, made. Mortified is a book series containing REAL LIFE diary entries, often about bullies (but sometimes about even more hilarious things). Because of YOU all donating, they met their minimum goal.

You amaze me. No, really. YOU AMAZE ME. But the more we give, the BIGGER they’ll be! So tell your friends ($10! $20! Whatever)!

I can’t WAIT to see this movie. Perhaps there will be more about Drake, the worst bully of ALL TIME!

(FYI, Drake is NSFW. Obviously! He’s a bully!)

And this still makes me laugh every time I see it, although I’m not sure Shane and Diego count as bullies.

I personally think it’s VERY important for funny movies (for instance, of people reading from their childhood diaries) to get made, because there is so much sadness (and bullying) in the world.

So it would probably be a good idea to go see the movie It’s Kind of a Funny Story starring Zack Galifinakis. I did one of my very first author appearances ever with Ned Vizzini, the author of the book this movie is based on. He was doing one of HIS very first appearances that day, too, so we were both like, “WHAT ARE WE DOING HERE???” (Only Ned probably had more reason to feel that way, since he was like 19 or something at the time. Literally.)

Anyway, Ned is totally funny, so do yourself and your school a favor and “Demand It!” Bring Ned to your school (with Funny Story star Keir Gilchrist) to speak about mental health (open until 10/17/10).

I think it’s very brave of Ned to volunteer to do so many school visits. The last time I did a school visit, it was kind of scary, because I asked the class what kind of “rules” they could think of (because Allie Finkle likes rules), and a little boy raised his hand and said very gravely:

“A good rule is don’t go near cliffs, because then you might fall off the cliff, and then people at the top of the cliff might throw rocks down at you.”

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After a moment of (on my part, stunned) silence I replied that I thought we could all agree that this was a very good rule.

It was also later revealed to me that another rule is that boys have penises, and girls have vaginas.

School visits! They are very tricky. Especially if the smell of schools fills you with memories of your bully. But I try to be brave.

Here are a few quick other things that are going on, unrelated to cats, bullies, or cliffs:

There’s a spooky Halloween charity auction! All proceeds go to Doctors Without Borders! Bid on books by Melissa Marr, Kelley Armstrong, Richelle Mead, and many others (including me)! Click here to see the list of authors, then follow the links to find out how to bid!

I read some books while I was on vacation! One of them was by Daniella Brodsky, who had a book made into a TV movie starring Hillary Duff (HOW COULD I NOT HAVE SEEN THIS?)

I hope they turn Vivian Rising (the book I read) into a movie, too! It was a super fun read with everything you could want: romance, fortune telling, and a makeover (of the soul)!


If you read one book, make it VIVIAN RISING by Daniella Brodsky.” – SHAPE Magazine

Another great book I read was called THREADS by Sophia Bennett. Here is the US title and cover:


This book won’t be out in the US until January 2011

At a certain point very early on in this book I got scared it might have a sad ending (there ARE some bullies in this book!), so I had to peek at the end, as I always do. But then I accidentally dropped it in the bathtub and the pages glued shut so I couldn’t peek and I had to wait FOUR DAYS for it to dry out enough for me to finish it, ENDING UNSEEN, and find out what happened (100% amazing).

So you can tell I was into this book. Highly recommended for all ages!

(I promised myself I wouldn’t say this, but I’m going to: This book would make an excellent bat mitzvah gift book. GAH! I SAID IT! BUT IT’S TRUE! Although there is no bat mitzvah in it.)

I sort of have bat mitzvahs on the brain though because this weekend while I’m in Texas I’m going to be missing the bat mitzvah of a VIFF (Very Important Friend of the Family), Shai, and I feel really badly about it because I got the dates mixed up, and I said I would come to her bat mitzvah, but now I can’t.

I’m so, so sorry Shai! I will pick up something really cool for you in Texas (only not Threads because it is not out in the US yet. Also I realize bat mitzvahs aren’t about the gifts).

Maybe a bat from the bat cave in Austin for the BAT mitzvah? Only maybe not because that’s a really bad joke and I think it’s probably illegal to transport bats across state lines.

Oh, well, that’s it for now. Just remember, if you are being bullied:

SURVIVE.

Remember you are not alone.

Try to rise above it.

But WRITE about it (just not on Facebook).

And don’t forget to change your bully’s name in the song or book or screenplay you are writing if it gets published, so when you’re rich later like Eminem, you won’t get sued!

And in the meantime, watch funny movies (or read funny books)!

More later.

Much love,

Meg