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from white2tea
weekly tea: HERESY
Heresy is described as having a “sprinkling of mischief” and I can see where that comes from. It has a sharp, not-quite-bitter note to it that waxes and wanes with each successive steep, following after that first golden-sweet taste.
It’s a push me-pull you kind of tea, sweet and then bitter and then sweet, one that lures you in with a rich smell and then walks right up to the edge of discomfort. On some steeps, it passes it.
I appreciate this tea more than I like it: intellectually, I know what it’s trying to do, but it’s not the kind of tea I’d reach for when I wanted something comforting or even strictly enjoyable. It’s the kind of tea that keeps me on the edge of my seat, waiting for what’s coming next.

The myth of the genius jerk
I’m thinking about the myth of the genius jerk. You have probably encountered this before. Some man (and it’s inevitably a man) is renowned for his intelligence. He “calls it like it is” and is probably uncomfortably mean. His insight is legendary. So is the sharpness of his tongue. But hey, you have to forgive a little…what do we call it? Cruelty? Sure. That’s the price of genius, after all.
Many of us, in the years 2016 and on, have begun to question whether being a rich jerk really correlates with intelligence. But I look back on things that I thought in the years 2014-2015, and wonder: what the hell was I thinking?
Some of it, I strongly suspect, is because at the time I was reading multiple Steve Jobs biographies—most of them, borderline hagiography. And, to be fair, Steve Jobs may legitimately be a genius. But it probably had nothing to do with his being a jerk.
In my head, I have a contrasting figure to the jerk genius: Sandra Day O’Connor. I worked for her after I worked for someone who completely fit the mold of jerk genius, and that experience left me emotionally wrung out, on the verge of incompetence.
I was used to getting yelled at for the smallest things, and so one day a few months after I’d started working for SOC, she called me and said in a very serious tone of voice: “I have a really important matter to discuss with you.” My heart started racing. I was convinced that I had screwed up something huge and she was going to tell me off.
Instead, she said, “Thanksgiving is coming up, and I want to check to see if you’re going home to family. If you aren’t, I have friends in the DC area who would be happy to host you.” (At the time, she was spending as much time in Arizona as possible to look after her husband.)
I was stunned. I was touched. That—her warmth, her compassion, her human decency—is why I worked more for her than I ever had for the jerk genius who came before.
Are these supposed jerk geniuses getting better results? I doubt it. I don’t think our brains are designed to operate at their best when we’re in fight/flight mode. I knew all that on a very personal level in 2014, and yet I hadn’t internalized it.
In some ways, I think it was because the truth was heresy. Because I’d heard the myth so often that despite seeing it in action, I didn’t believe my own eyes or my own experience. I had to see it not just once, but twice, three times, four times, before I was able to articulate what I disliked about what seemed like a comfortable, given truth.

Mea culpa
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Anyway, speaking of jerks who may or may not be geniuses, here’s the point where I need to put out my “whoops.”
One of the tiny things in Trade Me, one of my contemporary romances, is that Blake is driving a Tesla. I wrote this mostly in 2014, published it in early 2015, and lemme say, it totally made (makes) sense for Blake to drive a Tesla back then: he’s a tech dude who is liberalish and has a ton of money, so of course he’d be driving electric. Since Blake and Tina trade lives on a bet in Trade Me, Tina’s discomfort with having a gadget-y expensive car is actually a plot point, and this means there’s some discussion there about how cool Teslas are.
THAT BEING SAID, I feel like I should have realized that putting real products made by real people in a book can end up backfiring, because maybe the guy who makes that electric car that seems whizbang cool in 2014 will end up neo-Nazi aligned in 2022. 
2014 Courtney very much underestimated the potential for this! 
Anyway having told you that I regret this tiny plot point in the book, will I nonetheless include buy links because I suck at marketing? Yes. Yes, I will.

Buy Trade Me on:

The dead romantics 
by ashley poston
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I’ve been kind of in a reading slump for no particular reason, so I was delighted when I picked this book up and was able to just…read. This is a delightful book in which the heroine (a ghostwriter for a romance novelist) can’t finish her book because her last boyfriend left her not believing in love any more.
By the way: our ghostwriter heroine can talk to ghosts. 
Anyway, her new editor tells her she has to finish it immediately and she’s like “Rude. Hot, but rude.”
Then he gets hit by a car and starts showing up as a ghost around her. It is a romance, it has a happy ending, but this is a book that is very much about processing grief and loving people around you as they are.

Buy The Dead Romantics on:

SEE YOU next week.
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