Who is Dee Dreslough, and why is she doing this?

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Title: Who is Dee Dreslough, and why is she doing this?
Creator: Dee Dreslough
Date(s): late 1990s
Medium:
Fandom: Dragonriders of Pern
Topic:
External Links: Who is Dee Dreslough, and why is she doing this?
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Who is Dee Dreslough, and why is she doing this? is an late 1990s essay by Dee Dreslough.

It was linked to P@rnBurned Track - Dr@gonriders of P@rn.

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Excerpt

I have no qualms about showing my true colors. I am Dee Dreslough. I do fantasy art. I used to do fantasy art and run several online clubs based on a certain person's books and I made the terrible, awful mistake of using art done in this genre to advertise my commission services. She, rightfully, had me stop doing that.

However, it was how I was approached, and how I was hardwired to react, that was traumatic. A simple, non-threatening letter saying 'Stop doing that' would have worked fine, and I would have been able to remain in fandom, continuing to love and live in that society. I had corresponded with that author several times directly, and felt that I was at least an acquaintance. She had always been friendly and we had friends in common via her fan groups. See my rant about lawyers sending fans letters... :)

Rather than just dropping me a line to correct myself, she had her lawyer contact me instead, which I'm sure cost her some money. Just an email note to me would have been free, and still would have worked. If she'd said 'Dee, jump out your window, please', I probably would have done it. I was the typical psycho fan. And, we had friends in common. She could have had one of them contact me. However, she chose the legal-lawyer route, probably because my website looked 'slick and professional' and she thought I was Raking in the Bucks! Heh...she thought she was dealing with someone with a corporate mindset, or at least someone who had a strong psyche and a full set of marbles. How wrong she was. :)

In the letter, I was threatened with a six figure settlement, and that other people would be sued as well on my behalf for using my artwork. The shock of this rough treatment was too much for my 'fragile psyche' to handle. :) Rather than just correcting myself and moving on with all my activities -- muds, fanclubs, etc. I got angry. I shouldn't have, but I couldn't help it. I was actually MORE willing to fight because of the lawyer letter and the threat to my family's finances, and those of 'my' fans who had been using the artwork. It all seemed terribly unfair, and unnecessary. I had spent 8 years promoting her books! I'd spent 8 years working on programs and convincing people to buy and read the books so we could all have a good time! I'd spent hours and months doing art for free for her fans...The only reason I started charging at all was to halt the massive demand for art based on her genre, so I don't think I was hurting her profits somehow. No one else was filling the need. Basic economics: if the demand gets to high, raise the price. Well, for months, the price had been $0. I couldn't keep up. And, since I wasn't profitting, I figured it was okay -- like fanclubs that charge for printing and mailing costs of their magazines. I wasn't even making back my costs.

Problem is, I didn't ask for her okay before I did so, and I should have. That was my undoing. Of course, I didn't ask because I'd been told by other club leaders that 'She doesn't like to be bothered with emails' and I believed them. I was an idiot. I should have trusted my instinct and just mailed her, even if I wouldn't have liked the answer. That may have been why I didn't email -- only God and maybe my therapist know. It's certainly a valid hypothesis and I don't discount it.

I got into such a froth over it all, I had to leave all my activities -- eight years worth of clubs, writing, drawing, helping others, programming MUs... It was a huge part of my life, and it was all so unnecessary. When you spend that many years doing something you love night after night, and then within a matter of a month you lose it all, it takes a toll. And, depression set in. Yes, suicidal depression. I have had traumas in my past, and this was just the straw that broke this camel's back. Now, it was my choice and my genetic and life-programming that had me fly apart at the seams. If it wasn't this event, it probably would have been something else major in my life. I am one of those people who is wired to have problems; I'm ridiculously sensitive to what I feel, and what others feel. It makes me a good artist, and a sensitive person. It's my tradgic flaw; my greatest strength and my greatest weakness at the same time.

I'm hoping my ability to feel what others feel and to share my feelings can help people who need this support group.

If you're reading this and you don't understand, then good for you. You're lucky. May you never go through what I went through. But, if you have a great job someday that you love, and you randomly or unfairly get fired -- or if you love someone and they cast you off after 8 years of relationship, serving you with divorce papers via a laywer rather than just saying 'It's Over' -- then you'll get a bit of the feeling of what I went through. It was like having someone in my life die.

I miss that fandom. I miss having that author as my hero. I always will. And, I still love the friends I've made through that activity and I wish I could make more friends. I wish it had all been handled differently -- I wish I hadn't been an idiot -- but what's done is done. Now I have to figure out how to go on. And so, this support group...

Footnote: I was not raking in the bucks, btw: I made $130 in 6 months. This didn't pay me minimum wage, and didn't cover my cost of online connection (let alone web hosting) for that time. I did not profit. I never have from my art. And, I sent back every cent I made to the people who paid it when her lawyer contacted me about my mistake. Rich Artist is an oxymoron in almost every case. However, I digress...

References