About The W.A.R. Blog and Why We Do This

Like the mentally conflicted origins of superheroes in the comics, our origin also began as the result of a long and drawn out bloody trauma initiated by anonymous fantasy writers resident on the tacky forum board known as Absolute Write. It began one day quite suddenly. A friend's email alerted us. "Have you googled your name or your business lately?" We did so and there, fourth place in the search results, was a link to Absolute Write and a little comment below the link: "Bewares, Background Check, and Recommendations." My wife and I did a big HUH??? Bewares? Background check? Who was background checking us and what right or qualifications did they have? And how did this link jump so high on google? What bothered us from the start was that their wording presented us as something potentially ominous. After all, the word wasn't "review" it was "beware." Why did anyone have to "beware" of us?

We clicked on the link and there it was: nearly two pages of incredibly negative and misinformed snarky comments by at least seven different Absolute Write members, all of whom appeared as anonymous creatures, stones, cats, and whiffs of vapor, and all with signatures promoting their self-published or e-published fantasy books, the kind of books with the stock covers and predictable hack titles, and all of their venom fomented at the top of the first page by a ridiculous floating fairy thing that called itself "Hapisofi." Apparently this Hapisofi thing ruled the forum, for the other posting creatures were engaged in agreeing with everything she said and trying to outdo each other with acts of sycophancy.
The Hapisofi Thing
To our horror, the Hapisofi fairy leveled a diatribe at us and our business. She used every means at her disposal to make us look like fools and frauds. She commented in such a manner as to create a totally false picture of who we are and what we do. She seized on select bits of information, left others out, issued forth with three outright lies, insulted us personally in the nastiest way imaginable, and spun her own fantasy world wherein we were the villains and she was the hero. She crowed and lied while being cheered on by her Absolute Write elves and booger trolls. Other mods joined in after page two, including side commentary in the nature of "they deserve it" from Medievalist (Lisa Spangenberg) and someone named Macallister Stone (Melodi Sherman), and on from there.

My wife and I made the enormous mistake of believing we could straighten things out by going on the forum and telling the truth. When I say enormous mistake, I am not even close. The things and floating fairy Hapsofi surrounded me like a pack of starving dingos running down their dinner. No matter what facts we pointed out, or links or references, it was all shot down in the most arbitrary and hostile manner. The snarking stones and cats and vapors began competing with each other to deliver the most biting comments while the Hapisofi dodged in and out with cheers for the others. It was exactly like those highschool bully forums you read about all the time. Could these things actually be fully functioning adults? What was their problem? Why did they relish such an unfair scalding of people they had never met? Didn't even one of them stop to see and realize how unfair it all was?

We knew all was lost when a statement made by Macallister Stone, the owner of Absolute Write, bascially declared us guilty by virtue of our resistance. We were termed sockpuppets, and worse. We were then banned from the forum while Stone, Hapisofi, Medievalist, and others swung their big machetes for another page or two. The creatures surrounding them said, "Good job!" and "Thank you for warning us, Hapisofi!"

In the aftermath of that horror, we sought legal counsel. We were not in the States at that time, but managed to talk to a few attorneys via email. They agreed that these anonymous things had commited acts of per se defamation against our business, but first we had to find out who they were, and to do that we had to track down the real owners first. There was also an issue of our possible "public figure" status which allowed these Absolute Write people to practically get away with murder, as the saying goes.

As time went on, we did lots of research on these Absolute Write things, and discovered that we were not alone in our desperation. It seemed like hundreds of others were posting their terrible experiences with Macallister Stone and her cadre of attack dogs. One website refers to them as "the infernal snake pit of Absolute Write." We could not agree more.

We've also learned that the intent behind Absolute Write was a good one, but after Macallister Stone's government took over, the dark clouds moved in. She feeds a world of negativity and hostility that few people can imagine possible unless they've been through it like we have.

After bonding with a number of other anti-Absolute Write forces, we are working to create a joint task force of people who have one goal: to pull the fangs out of Absolute Write by any legal means necessary and to reveal the ongoing fraud they perpetrate by claiming to be a source of good information for writers. On the upper level for Melodi Sherman, the owner, it's about selling click-through banner and google advertisements, and in the forum trenches, it's about e-published writers trying to sell their books by getting visibility in conflict threads, or about amateur writers kissing up to the others in hopes of gain. In other words, there is no reason to be fair or good. If Absolute Write were run by good people, they would have contacted us and requested an online interview and discussion in their forum, allowed us to present our side and take questions while moderating in a way that respects everyone.

Join us. Help us. Enough is enough. We want justice for ourselves and everyone else. Even if you believe we're full of it, that's fine. Do the research, learn the truth. It's all out there.

Thank you.

The W.A.R. Blokes

Mac Attack Declares Squirming Grubs, Lunatic Con Artists, and Lying Little Cowards Not Fit to Lick Shoes!!!

The W.A.R. blog has been officially scarred and made an even more important part of the Absolute Write JEER (Justice, Exposure, and Efficient Resistance) movement. Let us have our fun. We have happily logged some real Mac attack stuff on our post regarding the Viable Paradise Writing Workshop run by Old Hack, Congenial Sage, and Hapisofi Teresa.  We couldn't be more pleased. Thank you, anonymous poster person, whoever you are. We prefer to believe you are Melodi Sherman or Lisa Spangenberg herself, and it's easy to believe since the venom and nature of the insults is remarkably similar to horrible things uttered by the duo on a frequent basis.

All those who critique or dislike Absolute Write cyberbullying are squirming grubs, lunatic con artists, or lying little cowards not fit to "lick their shoes." The shoes btw are those worn by Mac and Hapisofi Teresa, according to the poster who at first pretended to be an alum of the Viable Paradise workshop.

Thank you, anonymous poster person! Please return with more insults asap. We hear your hatred as applause.

As a matter of fact, it has given us just the amount of extra stimulation to inaugurate "Hunt for Mac Summer" in 2014, an extra push to identify the business or residential address of the people who own Absolute Write so that they or their members may be sued for defamation, or arrested for violating cyberbullying laws.

Mel Sherman Reveals her Sock Puppet ID Used on Absolute Write

Looks like Melodi Sherman, alias Macallister Stone and the real owner of Absolute Write, forgot about this public post on AboutMe.Com. Her business, Snohomish Pastures, is located on Ebey Island in WA, near Everett. Snohomish Pastures as a business is unlisted. As others have pointed out, no license, no taxes paid, and so forth. More found here on Forums Review. Please join us in locating the exact business address for purposes of serving subpoenas, and further legal action including potential prosecution of cyberbullies currently resident on Absolute Write forums.

Click on photo above for a larger image.

Adult Cyberbully Culture and Digital Narcissists Unleashed at Absolute Write

We find the adult cyberbully culture at Absolute Write to be a cross between Ann Coulter and National Enquirer. Coulter fits because she is a narcissistic and incredibly snide accuser who plays a game of creating her own reality to suit her needs; and National Enquirer works because it never stops attempting to degrade and humiliate people.

From a study on high school and college cyberbullying that applies perfectly to the juvenile and hostile culture nurtured by adult cyberbullies at Absolute Write: http://studentaffairs.arizona.edu/assessment/documents/CyberbullyChapterFinal.pdf

Cyberbullying: a broad range of behaviors or actions in which a person uses technology in a way that is perceived as aggressive or threatening to another person.
"The popularity of social networking sites ... has been blamed for fostering a culture of digital narcissism in young people (Keen, 2007). Suler (2004) described a phenomenon called the online disinhibition effect , which refers to greatly diminished internal censorship when communicating in cyberspace. He said, ‘‘People say and do things in cyberspace they wouldn’t ordinarily do in the face-to-face world. They loosen up, feel less restrained and express themselves more openly’’ (p. 321). This effect can be either benign (e.g., appropriate and meaningful self-disclosure) or toxic (e.g., destroying someone else’s reputation). The tendency to exhibit a more narcissistic, aggressive, and uncivil persona in the digital world is also described by Aboujaoude (2011), who proposed that a more dangerous e-personality exists parallel to our nondigital selves."
Does the above describe the cyberbully culture at Absolute Write led by Melodi "Macallister Stone" Sherman, Lisa "Medievalist" Spangenberg, and her cohorts such as Hack Doyle and Hapisofi Nielsen-Hayden, several of whom are exposed on this blog?  The answer is an enormous YES.

"Toxic" is the key word to describe the e-personalities of the AW bullies. "Entitled" is another.
"By hiding behind anonymity, the bully often feels safe from detection, and thus is more willing to make false or mean-spirited comments ... Cyberbullying, unlike face-to-face bullying, can happen any place and at any time, and has the capability of reaching an audience that can number in the millions."
And what type of personalities engage in such behavior? From a poll of study participants:
"They also expressed the view that in cyberspace, people who are less powerful in the real world can become the most powerful in the virtual world, providing an opportunity to exact retaliation and revenge that would elude them in the real world."
One has only to read our blog posts and put two and two together. It's all here.

Snideness Becomes Stacia Kane - Bottom Lister Author Still Hopes for Sales on Absolute Write

Stacia Kane, an Absolute Write regular, has been a phone psychic, a customer service representative, a bartender, and a movie theatre usher. She wears a lot of black, still makes great cocktails, likes to play music loud in the car, and thinks Die Hard is one of the greatest movies ever made. She believes in dragons and the divine right of kings, and is a fervent Ricardian. Her books have been repackaged time and time again by major publishers, but sales still sag to the bottom list, and yet, she persists. If you're not sure why, here are some of her favorite quotes from her books on a dating website. And if this bio of Stacia Kane doesn't say it all, there is more below.

From the mouth of author Stacia Kane:
"And you’re a fucking hypocrite. Outing people from behind the veil of anonymity. Yelling at people for daring to express opinions while behaving as if every word you type is precious and golden. Deciding it’s your place to attack people you deem “bullies.” (By the way, I’m also not talking about the difference between bullying and what you seem to think is bullying, and how offensive that is, and how I’m tired of seeing people hide behind the buzzword-of-the-day to justify their own complete lack of human decency.) Honestly, I’m not just angry and sick about this. I am both of those things, intensely. I’m furious. I’m horrified."
It's Stacia Kane herself taking a stand. Hooray. Okay, but? Is this the Stacia Kane who hangs out perpetually on Absolute Write, in the very midst of some of the worst bullying online? Not only allowing the bullying with her silence but also assisting it with her own shrewd style of pseudo-reality creation? The answer is a huge YES, it is her, one and the same. And her fans in the comment section couldn't be more supportive. It's always educational to watch an author, even a bottom lister like Kane, get her butt kissed--and by some Absolute Write regulars.
Our opinion of the hero Stacia Kane, however, is more like the one posted over at STGRB, a site decried and insulted by her whenever possible:
Stacia is known around the web as being quite a nasty troll when it suits her. She loves jumping into the fray whenever there’s a war going on, stirring the pot, then jumping out again. She’s one of those people who love causing trouble, which is the reason trouble always finds her. Avoid her at all costs. I’ve had my eye on her for years, and she’s bad news. She has a negative reputation for a reason.
Stacia is a bully-instigator. She also propagates the bully mentality by validating the bully views, even if she doesn’t have the whole story. I think she does this to try to get more book sales and get more popular with goodreads reviewers. She’s a bit of a snake to put it nicely.
But these comments can't be taken at face value. We had to go and search out a lot of Stacia Kane posts on Absolute Write. And guess what? The posts above are totally correct. With failing book sales and a sagging career, Stacia Kane repeatedly injects herself into popular conflict threads on Absolute Write, i.e., the kind of threads that draw the most readers. Unlike the many thinly disguised bullies on AW, she is careful not to openly lie, however, she is a master of the lie of omission, and the art of making misleading statements. If she were getting divorced and accused her husband in court of yelling at her abusively, she would leave out the part about having first allowed the dog to pee in his soup without telling him. Then she picks and chooses whatever abstracted bits of reality suit her purpose, and in a way that is sneaky and cunning.

For example, when she's out to trash whoever or whatever, she creates a false impression by picking and choosing bits of information guaranteed to make her victim look sorry or pathetic or downright bad. If she wished to trash her local plumber for refusing her offer to have a martini after work, she might go to Yelp and say, "He showed up with dirty hands and a wrench. I got the bill for 1345.00 and he vanished." She would naturally leave out the part about his other tools, his van, the fact that he washed his hands before entering her house, and the big part about the enormous amount of extensive work he did to restore and refit her pipes; and yes, he "vanished" because the work was done and he moved on to his next job. Stacia is so good at this type of character assassination she could blacken the Buddha himself.

In exchange, she gets loads of page views for whatever "fucking" ghost book she is pushing, hoping against hope someone will buy them. And they do.  An example of one of her fans is below on Youtube. If you want those types of fans, then author Stacia Kane is a great model for you, and perhaps, a reason to hang out on Absolute Write and chase her down to read you ms or give you tips on writing sex scenes.

One of the Kane-ettes. A good example of Stacia Kane's reading public:

James D. Macdonald of Absolute Write - Writer or Sort-of-Writer or No Writer At All?

"She is the prose lady ..." He's the plot guy. She's Hack, he's Sage. He calls himself the "Congenial Sage" and he tells new writers on Absolute Write how to write. But according to the clip above from the Viable Paradise website, he isn't an actual writer. He's "the plot guy." Btw, there is no other instance of this revelation on the web, though this quote by him above says it all. And are his plots really good or just mediocre, or awful? You have to judge for yourself. If you go to Amazon and choose one of the books he and Old Hack (Debra Doyle) have disgorged, you'll see a big divide between reviews by his friends and sock puppets and those by real readers. A good example is a poor book about a boy who goes to wizard school (yawn):


Is this fair? Might some of the incredibly positive reviews be legit? You decide. And do you want these two telling you how to write now? Maybe. Maybe not? Hack and Sage bill themselves on Absolute Write as accomplished authors. Okay. They are the expertise available on-site that Melodi Sherman and Lisa Spangenberg (AW owners) are always crowing about in marketing copy. As a matter of fact, Hack and Sage are on the boards over there so often that they've amassed many thousands of posts, well over ten thousand. But how do real authors have time for hanging around notorious cyber-bully forums? And why would they want to? Perhaps if they hadn't spent so much time there grinding other authors, presses, and business professionals into raw submission they might not have become bottom-listers (in terms of sales) at Tor Books for the past several years?

Only speculation. Only their therapist and editor knows for sure.

It might also account for why Hack and Sage formed their own self-publishing company known as Madhouse Manor (look up the books found in the next link on Amazon) to churn out their latest masterpieces. Great covers too:


Maybe sales are good, maybe they are not. We just wonder what accounts for the sour expression below? Say hello to James, the Congenial Sage. If you want to be a "writer" like James or Hack, go to Viable Paradise Writing Workshop where you will learn the abc's of doing it their way. After all, they started the workshop and they have a right to tell you whatever they wish, and maybe they will hint at what great authors they are.

Viable Paradise Writing Workshop With Absolute Write Bullies. What Could Be More Fun?

Big Ominous Minds Pondering The Use of  "Angrily"

As we have seen in posts below, Hapisofi ranks as one of the worst cyber bullies on Absolute Write, and as of today, Old Hack has been voted the absolute worst cyber bully on Absolute Write. But here, in this rare vintage photo taken at the Viable Paradise Writing Workshop, we have Old Hack (Debra Doyle) and Hapisofi (Teresa Nielsen-Hayden) holding sway over the assembled science fiction writers. This is the only photo of its kind that we know of and thought to share it so that you can begin to put a face on the people who spend the greater part of their lives unfairly exercising power over others using bullying tactics. It's a wonder for some that these women are adults, not vicious foolish teens on Twitter or Facebook, but for those of us who have been scarred by them, who have had to answer for their lies, who have been banned and humiliated for daring to disagree with anything they say, it's no wonder at all. And by the way, they actually believe they are entitled to do what they do. That makes them all the more, dare we say, evil? Perhaps that is too strong of word, for some.

Anyway, some time ago, a friend known to us posted a brave note about the bullies on Absolute Write, including one about Hapisofi on AgentQuery.Com and he wrote to tell us he heard the post was going to be taken down by an AQ mod who was friendly with Lisa Spangenberg (see our posts below) on Goodreads. He made a copy of the posts which began as a post by a writer confounded by the high cost of the Viable Paradise Writing Workshop. As it turns out, he was right. The entire thread was removed because it was critical of Absolute Write, the Viable Paradise workshop, and the Nielsen-Haydens, including Teresa's husband, Patrick, a managing editor at Tor. Here it is, the bully workshop for science fiction writers, as presented in this post that once existed on AQ:

Apples or Snakes? Leaders of Paradise
I am debating the huge cost and potential red flag issues associated with Viable Paradise Writing Workshops in science fiction. I am going to be in the Martha's Vineyard area in fall and was considering the Viable Paradise Science Fiction and Fantasy Workshop, but given the enormous cost of $2000.00+ which does not include any transportation or incidentals or the separate application fee which I found a bit unusual, I put on the brakes and thought to ask around to make certain I wasn't tossing over two thousand to the winds. I am hoping someone here has had direct experience with the workshops. First, I followed their link to writers who have published since attending the Viable Paradise writer workshop. The clear marketing implication is that all of the writers on this list, and there are scores, would not have been published in these many online journals (many of which are ridiculous) if it had not been for the lessons learned at Viable Paradise. As someone who once dabbled in marketing departments, I found this to be transparently sleazy, and I was further put off when I read some of the work by these writers and found it to be amateurish, not at all the quality one should find in a national SF/F publication. I thought, if these are the cream of the crop from Viable Paradise, what kind of instructors did they have? OMG! Viable Paradise can't possibly be responsible for every bad story that gets published after someone attends their workshop, but best not to advertise it!

After I checked on the credentials of the instructors, I found these to be hit and miss also. I looked on Amazon.Com and found many reviews of the Viable Paradise faculty work, especially James D. Macdonald, to be negative. The reviewers were universal in their review of the senior SF faculty member's work,
James D. Macdonald as mediocre and unimaginative--and has a co-writer working with him. What is he writing then? The worst parts or the "best" parts of the work? And I've heard strange rumors re a female instructor, one Teresa Nielsen-Hayden (a link to her really bad writing), who was formerly a Tor editor who I understand was let go for reasons of health, and who now works in a book/convenience store in Brooklyn, but I am not going to repeat the details because it is hearsay and could be sour grapes of some kind. I was not there, but it is true I found that many of the faculty live on an Internet chat board called Absolute Write--famous for biting off heads on a daily basis. Everyone is so afraid of them. I've been told the Viable Paradise faculty have several pseudos each on Absolute Write? Could it be true? It all sounds crazy, but I am sure though that some of the instructors at these workshops are not bad people or involved in malicious flame wars against others. It doesn't make sense that all of the faculty would be involved. Who has the time anyway?

I am generally leaning against not attending; perhaps too many red flags for this
Viable Paradise Writer's Workshop, but I am waiting here for someone to tell me differently. If anyone has been there and learned how to write fantasy or science fiction and can demonstrate it helped them, I am willing to listen. I really do want help and it would be convenient to attend the workshops in the fall. If I could focus on those members of the faculty who are useful and avoid the crazies, it might be fun and productive. I just don't want my head bitten off by former Tor editors because I questioned their opinion on something. And it anyone there really a decent writer? If so, who? Is there any proof?

Btw, did anyone ever have their book published by Tor or any other major SF publisher as a result of networking and studying at Viable Paradise? I can't find any evidence.


Margaret Spengler

Absolute Write - The Bad Review Pattern - How Many Does it Take?

To anyone reading this blog. If you are neutral or undecided on the issue of Absolute Write bullying, then go to Google. Type in "absolute write reviews" and see for yourself. Scores and scores of bad reviews.

Absolute Write has more stinging bad reviews than any writer, author, workshop, or agent website on the Internet. In point of fact, it has far more bad reviews from more sources than all of the aforementioned put together.

Whether it's a bad restaurant, crooked car dealership, or rip-off vanity press, you see bad reviews collect in significant numbers over time, and on multiple websites. The pattern is always the same.

This same pattern reveals Absolute Write for what it really is.

Make your own decision.

Lisa L. Spangenberg - Tyrant or Beer Blogger?

Lisa Looking Friendly - Is She?
Medievalist is what she calls herself on Absolute Write. She likes Medieval things. You might ask yourself after running afoul of her: "Does she wear chain mail thermal underwear?" As the major admin and live-in partner of the AW owner, Melodi Sherman (aka Macallister Stone), Lisa Spangenberg slugs it out with the best of them on AW. She is rather like a crude knight, punching in faces with iron gloves, whacking off sockpuppet heads with her broadsword. She was once believed to be Macallister Stone, i.e., until our beloved sister site, Absolute Wrong, proved that Melodi Sherman was the big boss, not Lisa.

Nevertheless, we've witnessed Lisa at her best, or worst, on Absolute Write on countless occasions, supporting any number of trumped up lies, misconceptions, and unfair conclusions leveled on hapless people assigned by AW mods to Room 666 in Hell. And not only that, but she isn't a fiction writer. That's right. She mods around AW supporting and throwing out advice re writing, for fiction writers, but she isn't one. She couldn't plot a novel or get a short story published to save her life.

But look at her picture here! Look! She appears sanguine, at ease, ready to hoist a brew with the gang. Is this possible? Can such a witch goddess of public figure actually be a nice person? Possess a genuinely sweet persona when not carving livers on Absolute Write? When not humiliating and degrading fellow human beings for all the world to see?