When I started to blog in 2008, I made new blogging/social media friends, many of them writers.
Sadly, I don’t talk to many of them anymore. It’s sobering.
My friend Rachel passed away earlier this year. She was the first person I bought an ebook from, so long ago. I grieve for Rachel something fierce. We shared common interests, shared problems from childhood, and there were things about Rachel that let her understand me in a way few people do. Baby, I miss you.
Duncan also passed away, and his continued absence is bittersweet. Duncan did the phenomenal cover for the second Lexus book and some art for a novella that I have not announced yet. His artwork is my smartphone phone background. It makes me smile every time I look at it. He was a great guy and sometimes we’d just chat away into the night.
Author Friend 1, who I had a healthy amount of respect for her incredible talent, and I was an enthusiastic fan even before she was published. She got involved with politics and bullied me on Twitter for being an NRA member. I sold all her novels (many of them signed) to Half-Priced Books and never talked to her again.
This was a harbinger of things to come.
Author Friend 2 enjoyed success with a small press, and I learned a ton from her. Sadly, when the small press went TU as small presses are wont to do, she stopped writing and went dark. I sent her a couple of emails to say hello but never heard anything back. I has a sad. This one hurts.
Author Friend 3, she was creative as creative can be, fell in with the wrong crowd and started to say awful things about people I personally knew to be outright lies and slander. We’re not talking drama, we’re talking vindictive meanness. I stopped talking to her. It was about this time I noticed a trend. Can you spot it?
Author Friend 4, I had some business dealings with, but he started to post “you are either with me or against me” on, wait for it, political positions. I used to plug his books, and sometimes we’d collaborate on infrastructure. I don’t anymore.
Author Friend 5 suffered from depression. I wrote a short story for her blog that came in third in her contest. In a low period, she deleted her blog, which included all the lovely comments people left on my story. I tried to get her some help, but she wouldn’t have anything of it, and what is a guy to do? At a certain point, I realized Captain Save a Ho was going to bite me in the ass here, and I disengaged. Man, her stories were great, too.
But at least she didn’t go political, so maybe there is hope.
Author Friend 6 championed the ever-toxic and self-perpetuating Duluth Model of dealing with domestic violence. Her constant men bashing, especially in this area, showed an almost pathological lack of empathy for men. I got sick of her shit, and like I handle all bigots, I disassociated myself from her.
Author Friend 7 is awesome. She is one of the most caring and relentlessly talented people I know. Cassie, I love you!
Author Friend 8 also continues to be awesome. His output has slowed, and so he stopped blogging, but I believe that is a symptom of his cooler-than-penguin-poo day job. Keep on writing, Ken!
Author Aquantence 1 now sells so many books it’s ridiculous. And inspiring! He doesn’t blog much anymore, but he cranks out the books.
Like Author Friend 6, Author Aquantence 2, while not waging a Holy Social Media War on Men, decided to take her vendetta with the more masculine sex to her books. I stopped reading her stories as they became poorly edited and written but managed to hit all the right toxic masculinity canard checkboxes. Just ugh.
I also figured out she was a virgin. It kind of creeped me out.
Authors 3 to 9: I totaled this up. These are authors that I used to follow, repost, and like. And they. Went. Batshit. Crazy. Over politics. Funny enough, and I don’t mean funny ha-ha, their later works don’t sell. And some of them are now on dangerous drugs after Trump won the Presidency of the United States in 2016. I am not kidding, either. Some of them sound as if they are taking lithium.
There we go. I am an imperfect man in an imperfect world.
But I am an empathic guy, and I can spot people who suck over the horizon. I did not intend this post to be a parade of suck. There are highlights in there! Somewhere. And I know I missed several people, and if I did, that means at least you didn’t suck so bad that you went cra-cra on social media for this, that, and the other thing.
Walk with God. And do not fear.