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View Full Version : Whycome Jenna passed the torch?



Opty
11-18-2006, 09:50 AM
No offense at all meant toward Mac, but Jenna was the progenitor of AW, the main site and the messageboard for so long, I was shocked when she stepped down. It's like Colonel Sanders leaving KFC. Dave Thomas leaving Wendy's. Ronald McDonald leaving McDonald's. Papa John leaving Papa John's. Mike Dell leaving Dell. Steve Jobs leaving Apple (not that that hasn't happened before). Bill Gates leaving Microsoft.

Britney leaving K-Fed.


Jenna = AW

Why'd you give it up, Jenna? It can't just be the baby, can it?

I miss you.

I miss "us."


Mac's doing a fine job, but I was just curious.

writerterri
11-18-2006, 09:55 AM
B-a-b-y

S-t-r-e-s-s






Mac will be the new "=AW", you'll see. She's the bomb. Or she will drop the bomb.

TsukiRyoko
11-18-2006, 10:13 AM
Indeed, I was wondering the same thing.

No worries though Mac, it's still going amazingly well. Though, OP seems to have taken a turn for the perverted, but perhaps thats how we deal with change. ;)

tiny
11-18-2006, 10:26 AM
acuz, that's why

JennaGlatzer
11-18-2006, 11:58 AM
Hey Sporky. :)

First, thanks for the kindness.

Second... well, second is a little story I told on my blog that I'll retell briefly here. During the Great AW Shutdown, I got my first positive pregnancy test. It was our fifth month trying, and I was on the phone with Birol the day before, saying, "This is the first time I'm not sure I want to see a positive test. I feel like it's a miscarriage waiting to happen." The stress I felt during that period was outrageous. I was very worried that these boards were lost forever, I was watching a few vultures use the opportunity to say really nasty things about me ("kick her while she's down" sort of thing), I was losing my lunch over how I was supposed to pay salaries of my two employees along with the new hosting costs and the cost of a tech help guy when we had no site income at all, etc. I fell apart on my lawyer over the phone while telling him that people here had offered to cover my legal costs.

It was at once an amazing experience and one of the most harrowing experiences I've ever been through. I felt like there were thousands of people behind me, pulling for this site to come back, willing to do whatever they could to help. You ever have something that you care a whole lot about, but no one else around you really gets it? Well, this was the antithesis of that. It was like one of those intense moments on Extreme Home Makeover when the family gets to see how their whole community cared enough to help.

But it also felt like a huge responsibility not to let them down, and a tightrope act knowing what I could and couldn't say in public, and... well, it was just rough. And on about the third day of all that, I got a positive pregnancy test. Two, actually, but both were very light.

Anyway, I went for a blood test to confirm it two days later, and it was negative. And I'm never going to know if that was a very early miscarriage, or faulty tests, but it definitely felt like a wake-up call to me about getting my priorities straight. I haven't felt like a great wife-- too many nights where it's, "Can't talk now, the website is down," or "The storefront is broken," or "I have to get the newsletter out," or whatever other crisis of the moment popped up-- and I sure didn't want to feel like a bad mom. When I got my "real" positive test the following month, I knew I had to make big changes.

I can get very emotionally wrapped up in the people and situations around here, and I'm not great at leaving that stuff behind me when I sign off. And here's an example-- I had no contact whatsoever with this guy before he posted this on my blog yesterday:


I'm apparently not the only struggling author you're trying to destroy. But I just thought I'd warn you: I'm not what you think I am, and if you get in my way, it will be a serious mistake on your part. That's all I have to say. Tell your little neurotic minions to back off!

He got banned here for being nasty (I had nothing to do with it) and wants someone to take it out on, so...

This kind of thing happens a lot. I can handle the lawsuit threats from the people who land on our Bewares Board, but the creepy personal vendettas (mostly from people who got themselves banned from here, or PA authors) don't sit well with me. Takes up a lot of my mental energy, and at least once became a real-life threat.

This part sounds silly, but I never meant to be well-known. The better known I became around the writing world, the more people would look for reasons to knock me down, and I'm just not cut out for that kind of fight. Definitely not while trying to get out of my own head so I can learn to be selfless enough to put my family's needs before my own. After a while, I became so negative that I would even see nice threads like this through the vultures' eyes, imagining how there would be blog comments and posts popping up elsewhere to refute anything nice, and that stuff would literally keep me up at night.

Now compound that with the stress of knowing that stress is really bad for a pregnancy! So I'd stress myself out about not being stressed. ("Stop feeling stressed right this minute or else you could kill your baby!" "Oh. Okay.")

In the back of my mind, I knew this day would come, and I knew it would either be Mac or Amy to take over-- Mac being the person who "gets" these boards and the people on them the best, and Amy being the person who knows the newsletters and the site the best. So now they're working together, along with Charlie, which makes me really happy, because I know it's the right team, and I know they'll love working together.

Mac cares just as much as I do, and she's damn tough. For a lot of other people, handing them the reins to this site would be like, "Here, let me hand you a nervous breakdown." But it's really, really hard to rattle Mac. So that's what let me leave the helm without regret, and know that it would still feel like home.

I bet that was a much longer answer than you actually wanted. Maybe I should have stuck to Tiny Terror's response. ;)

Opty
11-18-2006, 12:17 PM
Thanks for sharing that with us, Jenna.

I feel like I should write you a poem.

Like, an "ode to Jenna," or something like that.

But, for some strange reason I feel like it's been done before.

;)

oswann
11-18-2006, 12:21 PM
I wrote a great one. I need to dig it out.


Os.

oswann
11-18-2006, 12:23 PM
I wrote a great one. I need to dig it out.


Os.


I found it.


Jenna, Renee, Joy.....
You are all so...
and...
Just let me....
and...
...in the night.



Okay, so maybe I remember it better in my mind than on paper. It's actually terrible.
Os.

GPatten
11-18-2006, 04:13 PM
Maybe I should have stuck to Tiny Terror's response. ;)

I zay Iz noze budez buiznez Y anywaz. http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v67/pattengr/OldSeaCaptain.jpg

K1P1
11-18-2006, 04:38 PM
Jenna, just so you know, I found AW because of the good things that were said about you and it during the shutdown. I was searching for information on agents and reading about scams and I ran across a blog (Making Light maybe? I can't remember) where they were discussing the situtation through posting comments as it happened. It was like watching a breaking news story unfold. I was fascinated and wanted to find out how it came out.

Then it occurred to me that what was being expressed was more than anger, more than incredulity. It was passion for AW and for you and the others who were working so hard to get it up again. I needed to find out what they were so passionate about, so, with trembling fingers, I typed in "www.absolutewrite.com" afraid that it was dead, afraid that the screen would go blank and the dreaded error 404 would appear. But it didn't. Somehow you'd gotten AW up and running again and everything was back to normal.

I even searched the forum for the end of the story, for an explanation of how you'd done it, but I never found it. Everyone was way beyond that--it was old history by early August.

I found the information I was looking for right here. I asked my clueless questions and got polite answers. Now I'm passing on those same answers to other new and insecure members looking for information. I figure every time I do it, it saves you and the others who've been here for years from the tedium having to repeat the same answer you've given a thousand times. And every day I seek something out here at AW that I don't know anything about, and I read about it.

I know how much criticism affects me, even when I know it's justified. I could say, don't let the jerks bother you, but I understand that you can't just let it go. So I'll counter it by pointing out and reinforcing what you already know: the tens of thousands of people you've helped and informed through Absolute Write. I hope it was worth it, but it does sound to me like it was time for you to move on when the work and the worry exceeded the joy in what you created here.

TeddyG
11-18-2006, 04:51 PM
Jenna...you know how I feel as I posted it in Cobwebs Of The Mind (http://teddygross.blogspot.com/)and you read it. But I will say this...

Try not to get caught up in the comments left on blogs. I use moderation not so much because of spammers (which is my official reason) but due to the sometimes incredibly anti-semitic threats I get. And though I know it is hard, just try and let it roll off your shoulders. There is no end to the stupidity of people in this world.

Huggis
11-18-2006, 04:53 PM
Arg! Teddy be tellin the truth. I be one of those stupid people! Arg!;)

Rolling Thunder
11-18-2006, 04:58 PM
Wow, that's a wild story, Jenna. I know what you mean about pressure though. I finished a lawsuit with a multimillion dollar company just a few months ago and there were times I thought about throwing in the towel. But, I got through it and came out on top (not money wise but on principal). You've left AW in good hands and you get to enjoy it just as much without all the troubles that go along with it.

Um...Mac? Ignore that last line. Running this is a cakewalk. Really. Honest.
(Damn, hope I didn't scare her now)

CBeasy
11-18-2006, 05:41 PM
Jenna, do you ever plan on picking the reins again as the leader of AW? I'm just curious, if you don't I'm sure we'll be fine, for Mac is an excellent leader.

GPatten
11-18-2006, 07:15 PM
Jenna, do you ever plan on picking the reins again as the leader of AW? I'm just curious, if you don't I'm sure we'll be fine, for Mac is an excellent leader.

It might be a good idea to pass the reins around from time-to-time within her group who can handle it, so to relieve the stress.

K1P1
11-18-2006, 07:18 PM
It might be a good idea to pass the reins around from time-to-time within her group who can handle it, so to relieve the stress.

Yep, I second that. But it's probably not practical to do it on a rotating basis. Ultimately, there has to be someone responsible, and if it's too easy to pass on, there could be problems.

preyer
11-18-2006, 07:30 PM
good that you've got your priorities straightened out. being a business owner, i can relate to a lot of things you said. we're *still* working on getting pregnant. as far as i know my wife isn't just yet, but then again i should probably stop buying 'barnacle bill's build-yer-own pregancy test kit mix (popsicle stix not included).' congrats on getting preggers. :)

my question is, where the hell did the name 'absolute write water cooler' come from?

SpookyWriter
11-18-2006, 08:48 PM
Perfectly understandable Jenna. I remember years ago with I worked at Intel and was putting in eighties plus hour work weeks. My wife had to manage the family while I was pursuing what was not only my career but what I enjoyed. After a couple years, I realized that I was not only harming myself physically and mentally, but my wife and kids were being ignored. I eventually left and thought that by taking a less demanding role with another company life could return to normal. It didn't happen that way because the damage was already done. We divorced a year later and I know the beginning of our downfall was because I spent all my time and energy away from my immediate family.

So, I do know some of what you're saying and feeling. I also know that my replacement was the best possible candidate Intel could find. I know that Mac is also the best possible individual to run this place. Never had a doubt about that...nope, not for a minute.

I echo the sentiments that your personal touch was and continues to add greatly to AW. I'm just glad you didn't walk out the door and never look back.

eldragon
11-19-2006, 07:36 AM
Jenna, that was a nice post.

I had no idea (why would I?) that people would threaten you personally, but of course, that makes sense.

Birol
11-19-2006, 08:12 AM
El, sometimes, the people we ban take it very personally. I had one, a long time ago, track me down through IM to tell me what a horrible person I am. The one Jenna referenced above, I banned. He left a message for me to find on another site I'm associated with, too.

Jenna's had the added fun of dealing with individuals listed in B&BC, too. Given the pending arrival of her darling daughter, I don't blame her for wanting to step back for 18 years or so.

billythrilly7th
11-19-2006, 08:19 AM
Jenna, thank god you gave it/sold it to the IMO truly right person;(I've never used a semi-colon, and I don't know if this was the place to attempt it or when it should be used, but what the hell)Mac.

Like when Willy Wonka gave the chocoloate factory to Charlie.

We all knew that our candy futures would be in good hands.

That's how I feel about the change, as much as I hate change.

SpookyWriter
11-19-2006, 08:20 AM
That's how I feel about the change, as much as I hate change.I could use the spare change, buddy. Thanks

Sean D. Schaffer
11-19-2006, 08:34 AM
Wow, Jenna! I never realized just the kind of junk you had to go through to keep this site going. I knew that people could be vindictive, but for the life of me, I never knew they could be so spiteful.

I should have, though. When I was with the non-legitimate publisher that had my original book for three years, the first two of those years I myself was a completely arrogant individual--still am to some extent, but I'm learning, at least--who wanted to see anyone and everyone who spoke against the publisher that had so graciously (insert sarcasm here) allowed me to be published, exposed and humiliated before the entire world. I remember trying to research people so I could expose the liars I thought they were.

Were it not for my first experience with learning that AW was far more than a big anti-my-publisher parade, I can very much imagine myself having given up my writing aspirations by now. I am ever so glad that you were willing to be so kind to me personally, even in the face of my arrogance toward many of your members here when I was a member of the PAMB.

I guess I never stopped and thought the kind of strain this job could take on you. Even though I am saddened by the fact you are no longer at the helm, I am glad you have left it in such capable hands as MacAllister. Like someone else said, she's a tough lady. I cannot think of anyone I would rather see take your place as the owner of AbsoluteWrite.


I wish you all the best with your baby girl. I hope you have a wonderful time raising her. You're a good individual. Thank you so very much for being my friend.

Medievalist
11-19-2006, 08:58 AM
It might be a good idea to pass the reins around from time-to-time within her group who can handle it, so to relieve the stress.

It's a nice thought, but ultimately, the site owner is the one people will go after.

Keep that in mind as Mac forges on; she's going to get lots and lots of grief, so toss a kind word her way.

Jenna, you've been marvelous, and a true role model and mentor. I hope you have smooth sailing ahead, and that you'll remember you always have a place here.

Shadow_Ferret
11-19-2006, 10:21 AM
Jenna's leaving? :cry:

PeeDee
11-19-2006, 10:41 AM
Jenna, you can send your unkind commentators over to me. They can yell at me all day long. I delight in it. :D

Actually, since you've stepped down from running AW, I've noticed you've been posting more. I like that.

Opty
11-19-2006, 10:50 AM
Her rise in post count is directly related to my rise in post count, not the fact that she handed over the reigns.

Our love is eternal.

PeeDee
11-19-2006, 10:52 AM
So, to make her feel more comfortable, do you wear a set of reigns in the evenings?

'Cause if you do, that is whack.

louisgodwin
11-19-2006, 11:05 AM
I even searched the forum for the end of the story, for an explanation of how you'd done it, but I never found it. Everyone was way beyond that--it was old history by early August.



Here ya go! (http://rogerjcarlson.com/Forum/writerforum/forum_posts.asp?TID=460&PN=1)

JennaGlatzer
11-19-2006, 03:21 PM
Nice linkage, louis! :)

Maggie: Thank you so much for telling me that. I can spiral into negative thinking sometimes, and it's good to be reminded of the positives!

PeeDee: I just finished up with all my major book assignments, and no longer need to do the newsletters, all at once... I have no idea what to do with myself!

Spork: No, that doesn't mean I'm taking suggestions. :D

Shadow: Nope, not leaving. But Mac owns the site now. We sorta switched positions.

Preyer: Good luck! Well, the main site has always been called Absolute Write, and when I added a message board, I figured that's like talking around the water cooler in an office, so...

Ian: Thanks, hon! Right back at'cha.

CBeasy: No, I don't plan to pick up the reins again, but if Mac ever needs to step down, we'd probably just switch back. Unless she decides to give it to the next logical choice in line: haggis' evil twin huggis. :D

Medievalist is right... I really have felt your support all along, even when you didn't know about things that were going on behind the scenes (it's generally not a good idea to aggravate lunatics and sue-happy scammers by going public with everything they do), and that helped a lot. I know that Mac is already starting to feel that support, too... the gopher avatars, for one thing :) . That's about the best thing you can do, to bolster someone who you know is going to endure some tough stuff over this place.

I say this part with no disrespect intended to other sites, but there are many other writers' sites (most, in fact) that won't risk what we do. The Bewares board is mostly what I mean... but I also mean that there are many site owners who'll just back down to anyone who threatens them with anything. That's an easier path, but it's felt important here not to do that. So Mac goes into this knowing that she's going to have the same sorts of threats and things that I have all along, and she's willing to do it in spite of that. Which means she deserves extra helpings of love whenever you're dishing 'em out!

Unique
11-19-2006, 04:47 PM
....pity the fool that messes with Mac. She'd just hire tiny terror if she got bored fighting them off .....

Susie
11-19-2006, 06:20 PM
You did a great job, Jenna and I know Mac will too. Sure sorry you had to go through those things, but very happy for you and Anthony. And, so glad you'll still be here. :Hug2:

Christine N.
11-19-2006, 07:45 PM
Mean people suck.
Scammers and sue-happy people suck.

Jenna Rules! I mean, well, Mac actually rules here now, but, well, you know...

SpookyWriter
11-19-2006, 08:48 PM
Which means she deserves extra helpings of love whenever you're dishing 'em out!I'll do my part for Mac and keep an eye out for whenever PeeDee gets too stretchy. :D Seriously though, I agree and think that we need a Mac appreciation day. Soon? And we can send bi-weekly nice things to say while she's getting a handle on the situation.

Good job Mac!

WackAMole
11-19-2006, 09:04 PM
I had no idea it could be that nasty runnin a place like this. It gives me a little deeper understanding that I didnt have before.

This is quite a close community of writers. You guys are amazingly supportive of each other.

Jenna, terribly sorry to hear what you went through, but on behalf of all the lonely writers out there, thanks for putting such a wonderful place together.

Writing IS lonely at times. It seems that not a lot of people physically around me really GET why I write. I dont have a lot of people to learn from needless to say. But here, WOW, I found that. I've learned more in the short time I have been a member about writing than I ever imagined.

For every bastard out there that pointed a dirty finger at you, there are 10x that many of us that are really appreciative of places like this.

Thanks to all of you!

Tracy
11-19-2006, 09:21 PM
Hey Jenna, thanks for sharing such personal stuff - it's not easy to share our vulnerabilities and insecurities, but I appreciate that you did this. Disgusted to hear of the awful messages you have received, I'm not surprised you're happy to take a break from that.
Enjoy the rest of your pregnancy, and your new baby!

Haggis
11-19-2006, 09:26 PM
CBeasy: No, I don't plan to pick up the reins again, but if Mac ever needs to step down, we'd probably just switch back. Unless she decides to give it to the next logical choice in line: haggis' evil twin huggis. :D



:Jaw:

Sean D. Schaffer
11-19-2006, 10:21 PM
Jenna's leaving? :cry:


She's not leaving entirely, if I understand correctly. She's just transferred the ownership of the site to MacAllister. Jenna is still staying on as a mod, though.

Unique
11-19-2006, 10:38 PM
:Jaw:

better him than you, eh?
I mean, why would you want to deal with the madness?
You aren't THAT crazy.

dclary
11-20-2006, 01:28 AM
I'm buttering Mac up to become the next in line for the throne.

:D

SpookyWriter
11-20-2006, 01:45 AM
I'm buttering Mac up to become the next in line for the throne.

:DShe's already wearing the throne. ;)

Rolling Thunder
11-20-2006, 01:48 AM
She's already wearing the throne. ;)

Wearing the throne? Started on the cocktails early again, huh, Spooky?:D

SpookyWriter
11-20-2006, 01:53 AM
Wearing the throne? Started on the cocktails early again, huh, Spooky?:DSitting or wearing...errr...still the queen bee...:roll:

Birol
11-20-2006, 02:03 AM
I'm buttering Mac up to become the next in line for the throne.

:D

How crazy do you think this place is going to make her?

SpookyWriter
11-20-2006, 02:15 AM
How crazy do you think this place is going to make her?What was the question again? :D

dclary
11-20-2006, 03:13 AM
How crazy do you think this place is going to make her?

Pretty damn...

;)

SherryTex
11-21-2006, 10:17 PM
Growling at the unkind posts towards Jenna, wanting to imply improper thoughts towards those moronic individuals, wanting to write messages in Clorox on their lawn or oreo the car or do some other very immature thing to express displeasure. Will have to content myself with eviserating them in fiction. We'll miss you but it's better we miss you than you miss your little girl.

Good luck and all the best. Thanks for starting this great site!

Birol
11-22-2006, 12:42 AM
Oreoing a car is best done during periods of freezing temperatures, don't you agree?

(Not that I have any personal experience doing such a thing.)

Shadow_Ferret
11-22-2006, 01:06 AM
She's just transferred the ownership of the site to MacAllister. Jenna is still staying on as a mod, though.

Geez. So now I have to pretend to like Mac?

Kasey Mackenzie
11-22-2006, 01:32 AM
Jenna and Mac are both pretty spiffy in my book. And Jenna, you have SO made the right decision, both for your mental and emotional health, as well as the well-being of your burgeoning (belly) family. Having gone through a pregnancy scare of my own just last year, I can empathize with how scary that must have been for you. I'm glad you'll still be posting, but take care of yourself AND that bouncing baby girl.

SherryTex
11-22-2006, 01:51 AM
Yes Birol, and clorox works best in the Summer, (not that I have any experience with such things) will have to come up with strategies for the Spring and Fall. Giving the IRS a call in April, leaf blowing extra piles daily on his or her lawn in Autumn, ordering pizzas to be delivered around 2 in the morning, putting their phone numbers on the please call list for charities, political parties and telemarking, there are just so many many ways....

expatbrat
11-23-2006, 08:25 AM
Jenna thanks for sharing. I had the same questions too and like many others had no idea that running this could be so stressful.

You have SOOOOOO made the right decision. Big hugs to you mate, I think you sound like damm good people!

moblues
11-25-2006, 02:18 AM
All I can say is thank you.




Mike