The Proper Care and Feeding of the Writers in Your Life – Volume 1

Proper Care and Feeding 1-1

Once upon a time, in a land where the summer sun can kill your soul , on the patio of a restaurant bar where the libations eased the slow heat-death, a discussion took place betwixt a certain writer and a certain beloved person in the writer’s life. The conversation was initially mundane, with rambling whatnots about who would sleep with George Clooney if given the chance and whether or not a proper queso recipe should include diced onion. Then, in a rather alarming development, the dialogue became a wee bit accusatory, and non-sexual passions were enflamed. Nonetheless, some intriguing considerations arose, and I would be remiss in my responsibilities as a writer if I didn’t share this conversation with you.

(Note: Forthwith, the “writer” shall be known as “Hexom”, a character in one of my books, a simple ploy that should give the illusion that someone else has an issue, even though it’s really me. Additionally, the “beloved person” shall be known as “Lydia”, a moniker that is not relevant to any of my friends or family members, even though I am aiming this well-intentioned but slightly-bitchy post directly at 86% of the people I know and love, or could potentially know and love once I review their performance evaluations for the fiscal year.)

Lydia, vigorously stirring her mojito because the stupid mint leaves were a bit cloggy and causing intake adversities with her straw: “Oh my GAWD, I loved that post you did about the animal crackers and the fire hydrant.”

Hexom, not stirring anything because nothing was clogged and the alcohol was mainlining directly to his brain, bypassing inhibitions: “Did you? That is so sweet. But I noticed that you didn’t bother to share the post with your 46 billion Facebook friends. “

Lydia, ceasing the stirring, not sure of the new branch on this conversational trail: “What do you mean by that? I clicked ‘like’, because I liked it. How does that make me a bad person?”

Hexom, setting down his drink and shoving it slightly to the side, because although the concoction had allowed him to breach a topic of importance to him, there was no need to increase the intensity of the breaching: “You’re not a bad person. But as you know, I’m struggling to promote myself as a writer and-“

Lydia held up her manicured hand. “Stop right there.” She first turned to a passing waiter and got his attention by her sheer stage presence. “Could you bring me another drink, please? Something with a little less seaweed? Thanks, dear.” Then back to Hexom: “You’re babbling about one of those writer things again, where I try to be supportive but I really don’t know what you’re talking about, so could you do another writer thing and write it down so I can read it later? Work was a beast today and I really don’t need any more deep thoughts at the moment.”

Hexom hesitated only momentarily, then he reached for his battered laptop bag, zipped it open, rummaged a bit, and produced a thin document which he gently placed on top of the tortilla-chip crumbs that littered the bistro table. (Both of them had attacked the appetizers with a bit more zeal than was really required.) One second later, the waiter plunked down a gallon-size margarita and a fresh bowl of tortilla chips.

Hexom: “I believe that’s your cue.”

Lydia: “I have to read this now?”

Hexom: “Well, in case you have any questions…”

Lydia: “Of course I have questions, the first one being why do you make me do these horrid things when I don’t really want to?”

Hexom: “Because you want me to be happy and would do anything for me.”

Lydia sighed. “I don’t recall ever having that contract notarized, but I’ll play along for now.” She cast her eyes upon page one.

Magical Things You Can Do in Social Media to Help Your Writer Friends Succeed

One. Realize that your writer friends use social media a bit differently than you do.

  Of course, writers will often make social media updates just like everyone else, posting videos of stupid people doing stupid things, or sharing a selfie of the writer in the drive-thru line at Taco Bell, or making a drunken status update that they will delete the next morning and never mention again. Writers are people, too, and they have down time, where they mess around on social media doing pointless things that are entertaining and fun.

  On the flip side, writers have a secondary (and in some cases, primary) reason for utilizing social media. They are trying to build a fan base and promote their work. Gone are the traditional ways for a new writer to get himself published: Find an agent who will promote your work or go directly to the publishing houses and try to wing it with a submission and a smile. (Well, to be fair, there was/is a third way, where you tactically slept with anyone who could help you get a book deal, but that wanton avenue really belongs in another post.)

Lydia: “I’m really bored so far. Does this get better?”

Hexom: “Of course it does. You know I ramble before I get to the point. It’s my signature.”

Lydia: “Is your signature going to be on the bar tab? Because if it is, I could probably focus more.”

Hexom, sighing: “Yes, I will pay for whatever beverages your soul requires for you to finish reading this thing. Keep going.”

  In the modern literary playing field, publishing houses, as is the case with many professions, have gone through some dramatic changes. Mega-corporations have swallowed up the smaller prey, spitting out anything that doesn’t have a huge profit margin. We no longer live in a world where a dedicated single reader in a publishing house can stumble across a jewel in a pile of unsolicited submissions, race to a senior editor and proclaim “we have GOT to do this one”, and next thing you know Harper Lee is winning awards for To Kill a Mockingbird.

  So the majority of struggling writers are left with only two options:. One:  Give up on the Big Guys. Find a tiny little publishing company that tries to keep the faith by taking a chance on an unproven, fledgling writer. (You still have to prove your worth, although on a smaller scale, and the degradation of rejection somehow seems not quite so soul-shattering.) Or Two: You take the plunge into the fascinating but mind-numbing world of self-publishing.

  Sadly, on top of the American economy being whittled down to a handful of conglomerates controlling everything (thank you, Republicans), there’s an additional and perhaps more important game-changer when it comes to the publishing industry: The explosion of digitally self-published “books” that are overwhelming society as we know it. Granted, it’s nice that we have websites and applications that allow basically anyone with a laptop and an Internet connection to cobble together a story and then blast it across the airwaves. Trouble is, this easy-enabling has resulted in a mind-numbing deluge of tripe that would never pass muster in your sixth-grade English class, assuming that you went to a school where scholastics had more importance than the football team taking state. It’s crap.

  And this crap is cluttering up the intake valves that lead to validation from the “real” publishing industry. No wonder the remaining employees at the publishing houses, trying to balance quality writing with the need to keep their job, look at you with disdain when you mention that you are “self-published”. This doesn’t mean anything nor does it win you any kudos. A quick search on Amazon will lead you to hundreds, even thousands, of “books” that should never have seen the light of day. This is one of the truths of modern digital society:  Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

  To make a long story short-

Lydia: “Too late. Just like my next margarita.”

Hexom: “It’s on its way. I just signed over my life insurance policy to the waiter. As long as he doesn’t work for the Koch Brothers, we should see some positive results.”

Lydia: “Did you tell him that I only want salt on half of the rim?”

Hexom: “No need. We’ve gotten blitzed at this place enough times that your salt expectations have been scribbled on the ‘Daily Specials’ chalkboard. We are actually in a bar where everyone knows your name.”

Lydia: “Really? I need to get a picture of that for Instagram.”

Hexom: “We’ll do that in a minute, promise. Keep reading.”

  -we no longer live in a world where you can simply write something of worth and then hope that someone recognizes the worthiness. It’s not going to happen, unless Ellen DeGeneres, or at least one of her staff people, happens to stumble across one of your obscure posts on an obscure blog that nobody is reading because there are roughly 4 billion blogs in the digital stratosphere. Before anyone ever gets to your writing, they have to get to you. And that means you, dear writer, must suck it up and whore yourself on every social-media platform on the planet.

Passing waiter: “Did I hear a request for a whore? Because I’ve gotta  guy, and he doesn’t ask questions.”

Hexom: “Thanks for the down-low intel, but I think we’re good. Wait, I believe Missy here might need another beverage, based on the way she is using that straw to remove any trace evidence that her glass ever contained any alcohol.”

Waiter: “Is she the one on the ‘Daily Specials’ board?”

Hexom: “When is she not?”

Missy/Lydia, tossing her straw to the side and inadvertently dinging a passing pedestrian who was only trying to pick up his dry-cleaning: “Did he just call me a whore?”

Hexom: “Don’t act like it’s the first time, we’re sisters here. More importantly, you need to keep reading.”

Lydia: “But I’m so bored. Can’t we do something that’s about me?”

Hexom: “And that right there is what this post is all about.”

Lydia: “Me not getting what I want?”

Hexom: “No, me not getting what I need. Turn the page.”

Two. Clicking “Like” on a blog post that is shared on Facebook is not the same thing as going to the actual website and clicking “Like” there. There’s a big difference.

Lydia: “I always click ‘Like’, on everything that you do in Facebook. How is that not helping you?”

Hexom: “Oh, it does, there’s a possibility of exposure, which writers need. Thank you for doing that. But when a potential publisher is reviewing a possible client, they are going to go to that writer’s website (which the writer should have, by the way) and review the stats. If there are no followers and no interaction, then the publisher can justifiably assume that there’s no fan base. Why take the chance?”

Lydia: “I don’t really like where this is going, with you telling me how to act on Facebook.”

Hexom: “Then you probably won’t care for the next item.”

Three. If you took the time to like your writer friend’s post about a blog update, take it a step further and share that post.

Lydia: “Oh God, now you’re really pushing it. That means it goes into my feed. Everybody can see it, and you know I have quality-control issues.”

Hexom: “So… you’re embarrassed about my posts? Is that where we’re at?”

Lydia: “No! I didn’t mean that. You’re twisting it around. I love your stories!”

Hexom: “Then let people know that. Share the damn thing.”

Four. Whenever possible, make a comment.

Lydia: “That’s pretty vague. I comment on people all the time. It’s part of my skill set.”

Hexom: “And you do a very good job of it, vocally. But what’s important to me, and all writers, is that you actually type those comments out so that other people can see them. And then maybe those other people will do some investigative clicking of their own. See how this works?”

Lydia: “I don’t think I appreciate how you’re making me look simple in this narrative. I’m very supportive of my friends. But you have to understand that what’s important to you is not always evident to people who are not in your position. Social media can take a lot of time, and there’s only so much you can do.”

Hexom: “So you have the time to share a video about baby goats running amuck or take a quiz to let you know which ‘Golden Girl’ you should be, but when someone close to you, someone you know is struggling to make it as a writer, posts a link to a piece they have written, you don’t have five minutes to do what you can to help that writer succeed?”

Lydia, pausing in the slurping of her salty libation: “You sound really bitter.”

Hexom: “I am, a little. I just don’t get it. Why wouldn’t my friends and family want to help me succeed?”

There was a slight commotion at the clever wrought-iron gate leading to the restaurant patio wherein we were ensconced, and suddenly Oprah was pulling out a chair at our table and taking a seat. “You seem troubled, Hexom. Let me offer some advice based on my 400 years as a talk show host, where I had to listen to a lot of people babble about personal dissatisfaction. I think the root of the problem here is that your friends and family don’t know what you expect of them, and therefore they are incapable of meeting your expectations. This can lead to emotional turmoil, potential drug usage, and vague but vindictive late-night posts on social media. Have you taken the time to share your personal feelings with your loved ones?”

Lydia, unsuccessfully trying to stifle a salt-scented belch: “What she said.”

Hexom, not really wanting to be polite but fully aware that there was a contingent of reporters hovering just outside the clever gate: “Why, thank you for that insight, Oprah. I appreciate you taking the time to… fly here from wherever you were and proffer counsel. But that’s exactly what I’m trying to do with this blog post. Express my true feelings, but in a quasi-fictional manner that doesn’t name names and involves alcohol, so I can make my point but still distance myself from any political or familial fallout.”

Oprah: “Well, okay then. It seems my work here is done. I’ll have my people get in touch with your people and they can work out whether or not it would be advisable that we meet again. Be sure to order the stuffed-shrimp appetizer. There really aren’t enough words in the English language to fully describe the exquisiteness. Ciao.” Then Oprah went back out the clever gate, at which point someone named Gail cracked a whip and a contingent of minions proceeded to do things that would make Oprah happy.

“Excuse me.”

Lydia and I both shifted our eyes from the over-mentioned gate to the waiter now at our table.

“There’s someone in the audience who has a question.”

Lydia: “Wait, that sounds like something someone would say on a TV show. Are we taping this? My agent never said a word, the twit. I’m not prepared. I need a stylist to fluff my naturally-curly locks.”

Waiter, gently patting Lydia’s hand: “The cameras are only in your dreams, sweetie.”

Hexom: “I don’t know if I can deal with yet another person who has an opinion.”

Waiter, patting Hexom’s hand, confirming that he was one of those people who relish touching things that don’t belong to him: “Why don’t you just see what she has to say, and then you can commence with the judging, hmm? She’s right over there, at Table 4.”

We glanced at Table 4, and I instantly regretted it. The young woman waving back at us in a spastic manner was covered in enough Goth makeup that it wouldn’t surprise me to learn she had just crawled out of the La Brea Tar Pits and ordered a pastrami on rye. In contrast, her head was topped by a jaunty beret and there was a cloud of clove-cigarette smoke wafting from her table to ours. Great. Not only did we have a stalker, we had a stalker with a split-personality, unable to decide if the voices in her head are from a 1980s album by The Cure or from a jazz club in 1950s Paris. I was not in the mood for this impending pain parade.

Gothette/Mimette didn’t care. She leapt to her feet, grabbed something from her table, raced to our table, took a seat, placed the something on the table, flipped it open to reveal a backlit keyboard, positioned her fingers over said keyboard, and then looked at me. “Please continue.”

Hexom: “I thought you had a question.”

Lydia: “Well, I have a question for her.” She glared at Gothette. “Do the people who are supposed to be watching you realize that you have managed to escape?”

Gothette looked from me to Lydia and back. “Oh, I’m sorry. Sometimes I get so excited about things that I forget to explain to other people what I’m doing.”

Lydia: “Like when you do your makeup?”

Gothette, patting Lydia’s hand, because that was now a symbolic theme in this story: “You poor thing. You must have had a very troubled childhood to become so truculent.” She looked at me. “So anyway, I was over at my own table, innocently eating vegan nachos, when I inadvertently caught snippets of your enticing conversation. I couldn’t hear everything that you had to say” [glares at Lydia] “because someone kept interrupting you, but what I did hear was fascinating and I want to interview you for a blog post.”

Hexom, warming slightly: “You want to write about me?”

Lydia: “That’s rude of you. I think you should leave.”

Gothette: “I have 74,000 followers.”

Hexom, turning to Lydia: “I think you should leave.”

Lydia: “I am NOT leaving this table. I don’t care what anybody says, especially Breach Birth over there.”

Just then, our waiter came rushing up and patted Lydia’s hand. “Girl, you are not going to believe. Oprah hasn’t left yet and she’s doing street interviews in the parking lot. She’s looking for people who want to break into show business and I thought of you and-“

Lydia knocked over three people as she thundered her way out the clever wrought-iron gate.

The waiter patted Hexom’s hand. “Oprah’s been gone for an hour. Just make sure you leave me a good tip.” Then he went to go see if he could find a radio station that wasn’t playing a Taylor Swift song.

Hexom: “Okay, Gothette, please proceed with the interviewing.”

Gothette: “Actually, the name is Alice. But anyway, here’s the deal. My followers are very dedicated, but they have very short attention spans. We can’t get too far off topic, like you’re doing with this blog post.”

Hexom: “But I’m known for my long blog posts.”

Alice: “Known?”

Hexom: “Okay, point taken. We’ll keep it short and sweet.”

Alice: “And be sure to phrase your answer in a block of text that can be easily cut and pasted, because most pseudo-bloggers are lazy and that’s all they ever do, cut and paste. And you only get one answer, so work it.”

Hexom: “One? How is that an interview?”

Alice: “My blog posts are only two paragraphs. Research has shown that most readers never make it past the two-paragraph mark, especially those people who are speed-scrolling through their feed and only clicking ‘like’ on the posts where they think they can get a courtesy return ‘like’. So why waste the time typing anything longer that two paragraphs?”

Hexom: “This doesn’t feel right.”

Alice: “74,000 followers.”

Hexom: “Use me as you please.”

Alice: “Great.” She whipped out a microphone from somewhere, the movement was too quick to truly discern the source of origin, shoved the connective end into a USB port on her clove-scented netbook and then shoved the business end into my face. “Ready?”

Hexom: “As much as I can be.”

Alice: “I’m here live with the up-and-coming novelist Hexom Breen, author of the obscure novels Screaming in Paris and Unexpected Wetness. We are discussing how important it is for friends and family members of aspiring novelists to do everything they can to support their loved one. Hexom has some thoughts on how social media can do just that. Hexom?”

Hexom: “Thank you for asking, Alice. Well, it’s important that family members and friends, even digital friends that you’ve never physically met, do everything that you can to help out a writer that you admire. And even if you don’t know the writer, if you enjoy their work, you should help them out. Click on like buttons, click on share buttons, click to go to the writer’s website, if they have one. And make comments whenever possible. It might seem unimportant, these little clicks and comments, but in this new playing field where millions of people are vying for attention on the Internet, every single action you take might be the one click that helps someone achieve the dream of writing for a living.”

Alice hit a button on her keyboard that made a vibrant red dot on the microphone fade. “That was nice. This post should be up by the morning. But you know how it goes…”

Hexom: “97% chance that no one will ever read it, no matter how much effort you put into it.”

Alice: “Exactly. I got lucky, which is really what the publishing industry is all about these days. Still, keep the faith. And don’t stop trying. And now I’m going to head back to my table and try to figure out the exact tags I should use on this post so the search engines will find me, tags that rarely have anything to do with the actual content. But that’s how the business works.” She gave me a fluttery little wave as she left, and I regretted the Tar Pits comment, not the first time I misjudged.

The clever wrought-iron gate slammed open, followed by Lydia clattering through and reclaiming her throne, signaling our waiter that she was parched. He promptly scurried to our table. Lydia babbled. “Oprah talked to me for hours. And she took pictures. I really think she might do a write-up in her magazine.”

Hexom: “That’s really swell. You should post the pictures. I know it’s important to you, so I’ll be sure to click ‘like’ and share it with all my friends.”

Waiter: “Honey, that wasn’t Oprah. It was a drag queen named Sal.”

Lydia, sighing: “Damn. Why does this keep happening to me? I have really got to start looking for an Adam’s apple when I meet new people.”

Waiter, placing a fresh margarita on the table in a glass the size of a Buick: “That sounds a bit genderphobic, poodle. But speaking of people saying things that they shouldn’t, look who just arrived.”

We all turned toward the clever gate…


Stay tuned for Volume 2.


18 replies »

    • I’ll be honest: It’s been a very difficult struggle, at least for me, especially when some of the people who are close to me make comments along the lines of “are you still doing that blog thing”? Hello? I’ve written literally thousands of posts for several blogs and I’ve self-published two books. What part of all this does not say to you “this is more than just a hobby? It’s what I want to do for a living, can you help me out just a little bit?”

      I’m realistic, though, and I get that friends and family are not necessarily going to understand. They don’t know the business and they may not grasp that, in social media, which has now become the cornerstone self-promotion avenue for independent writers, every single click a person makes could be the potential click that gets the ball rolling. And there’s the argument that your friends and family alone are not enough, that you have to reach beyond the comfort zone to build your fan base.

      And yes, there’s the annoyance factor. You don’t want to badger your friends to the point that they get irritated and intentionally choose to not help you out because they’re sick of you harping about it. That’s a possibility. And we’ve all seen those people in social media who make every post about themselves, and it IS annoying. I don’t want to be that person. Still, you have to wonder why someone you love, or at least know well, would not support you. Perhaps I’m naive.

      Sorry for the rambling. I usually try to be much more jovial and light-hearted in my comment responses. But I think we’re on the same page, and we are both looking for answers. My strategy for now is to keep doing what I’ve been doing: Try to get the attention of my friends as gently as I can, wrapping my serious concerns in a humorous package like I did with this post and hope the message is received. Of course, they have to click on the post to get the message, and therein may be the problem. Naive, Part II.

      Anyway, you keep trying on your end and I’ll keep trying on mine, and we’ll get together every so often and compare notes on what worked and what didn’t. Sound good? Writers have to stick together. I’m not a fan of competition. I’m a fan of cooperation. ALL of us should succeed.

      Thanks for stopping by. Talk to you soon.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I agree on all these points. You have to walk a fine line. When I started my blog, I promised my FB friends I wouldn’t be “that” annoying person, yet I talk about my writing all the time. It’s not that it’s all about me, it’s just writing is very important to me! It confuses me greatly why friends and family aren’t more supportive. I don’t get it!

        Liked by 1 person

        • For me, the “confusion” about the lack of support goes back for many years. I knew I wanted to be a writer from basically the day that I reached the point where I really grasped literature and the power within the words. I was a super geek, this weird little kid that would wander out of his bedroom and slap down my latest scribbled missive. Nobody in my family got it, nobody knew what to do with me, and it’s essentially been that way ever since. Luckily, I had a string of English teachers during my school years who DID get it. They encouraged me, they rewarded me in a way that writers yearn to be rewarded. That aspect has always been with me. I know that I can turn out a good piece, here and there. So the current circumstance, with the mystifying lack of support in social media, is nothing new. You deal with it. But still, it would be nice for my non-writer friends to look through my window and see the same sunrise, however fleetingly…

          Liked by 2 people

  1. I’ve always wanted to write a post like this, but I just haven’t been brave enough. Kudos to you.
    “Well when are you gonna write your OWN book?” Was what was said to me by friends and family after I told them that I had been published in a collection of stories along with other writers. Not “well done,” or “good for you.” After that, I decided not to mention blogging or writing to any of them again. As for social media, you said it all.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Lily, it’s not really about bravery, although I really liked your first line, makes me feel like I’ve somehow done something worthwhile. I’m actually a very low-key person when it comes to “speaking the truth”, as it were. I know what I can do, I know that I have valid points and valid things to share, but most of the time I temper my writing with this guilt-laced need to not offend anyone. It’s a product of my childhood, an unhappy time that doesn’t bear scrutiny at this point but suffice it to say that I was incredibly chastened, daily. But I have always admired those writers who stake their claim and own it, and I’m doing my best to follow in their footsteps, one post, one chapter, at a time. It’s scary. But we have to go there to be real writers. And if your friends and family don’t want to follow, don’t want to give you a hand, well, it hurts, but validation eventually becomes not what you expect, but what you manage to achieve, despite it all…

      Liked by 2 people

      • It is a little about bravery. I know so many bloggers who feel the same way, but don’t mention it for fear of being seen as complaining. I guess the one thing we all have in common, is not wanting to offend. (I know, weird huh, consider the sometimes crudity of my posts) I’ve reached the point where I am no longer bothered by whether friends and family read/like/follow my posts, it gives me free reign to write what I want without having to censor myself. It’s the reason why I moved from Blogger where I had a large number of followers, to WordPress a few months ago. I am finally owning it and I’m glad that you are too. Whether that translates into more people reading and thus sharing it with others, time will tell.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Okay, I’ll accept a small merit badge for bravery. 😉 Something with a Velcro-backing that I can easily rip off my writer’s smock during moments of low confidence. But I agree, most of us don’t want to offend, which seems to contradict what some of us write in our stories. A writer generally has an introspective personality. We sometimes overthink things, and that leads to acceptance issues both with our own behavior and the reaction of our “perceived” audience. It can be a challenge moving beyond illogical parameters and just focusing on the writing. It sounds like you’re getting there. I’m a few paces behind, but making an effort. It’s personally interesting that the above post is about my dissatisfaction with how friends don’t support me in Facebook/social media, yet I haven’t even bothered to post the blog link in Facebook. Maybe I’m getting somewhere. Baby steps.

          I also find it interesting that you moved from Blogger to WordPress. I did the same thing. I resisted the move for years, despite “in the know” fellow bloggers telling me I needed to do such, for a number of reasons. I was just used to Blogger, I knew the functionality, it was a comfort thing. Then I took some time off to write books, my Blogger blogs went to hell, traffic-wise, and when I decided to return to blogging, it was an obvious opportunity to start fresh. So I did.

          I will say that the WordPress community is much more supportive than in the Blogger world. There just seems to be a real desire, for the most part, to interact and help each other succeed. And I don’t think I would ever have had a conversation like this in that previous arrangement. Anyway, raising a glass and wishing success to both of us, that we can learn when to care, when not to care, and when to just write and let it happen.

          Liked by 2 people

          • You are so spot on Brian. We do sometimes overthink things that leads to acceptance issues and thus affects our own behavior and possibly the way in which we then write. Again, that’s another thing that I am slowly overcoming.
            It is interesting that you haven’t posted the blog link to Facebook. Especially as I think it’s quite a significant post in terms of how a lot of bloggers may feel.
            As for the move to WordPress, sometimes it’s a pain in the proverbial derriere and I’m pretty sure that it was invented by Satan himself. But community wise, It is very much how Blogger used to be, full of community spirit and people who don’t view you as a rival but a fellow writer. (though I use the term ‘writer’ very loosely where I’m concerned)
            Raising and clinking my glass to you in return and sending a small Velcro backed merit badge.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent. Brave. Informative. Oft hilarious as always. And lastly, but MOST importantly, IMPORTANT. Hope the people I’m thinking of read and understand. As well as everyone else lol. *bravo*!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks ever so much, Lady Tiffany. I hesitated before posting this on Facebook, worrying about the backlash, but I’ve really got to move past that need to please all people. It’s not healthy. And I do hope the people we’re thinking of get the message. But it’s okay if they don’t, I’ve done what I can. Now, on to more important things: Any idea who is about to come through the clever wrought-iron gate?


      • Well. I *am* waiting, not-so-patiently, in anticipation of who this person might be. When I think of those who ‘say things they shouldn’t, the list is longer than my leg. Which, I realize, isn’t too terribly long given that I’m a short human. But we can talk about that tomorrow. You know, when the sun comes out. Bet your bottom dollar!

        Liked by 1 person

        • You might be surprised who it is. At the same time, you are fully aware of my glorious ability to get distracted by shiny things for weeks on end, so it might me 2017 before I come up with the next installment in this series. (Note to my new blog followers: I’m just kidding. I will definitely, mostly likely, probably, maybe have the next volume up before the next Equinox.) But one Big Reveal I can share is that… oh dang, Oprah’s people are calling on my mobile. Something about me not paying for her shrimp appetizers. Gotta run.


  3. Next thru the gate? I would expect Barbara – I’ll let you decide which one, there are a few that would fit deliciously into the growing dialogue and … sharing of ideas. Not being on Facebook, I can’t “share” it in that respect, tho I have posted a short note on my own blog with a link to this page. It positively has to be required reading for anyone who wants a smile in their day, a lilt in their walk, and perhaps a apologetic cough or three. But I have so much enjoyed this write! And it’s long enough, wide enough, to require me to return at least two more times to read again. I have a feeling this is one of those things you glean more and more from each pass you make. It’s as close to perfect as a soul can get… I can hear them, hear the constant drone of background conversations, practically smell the salt on dear Lydia’s breath…. This is a glorious read – I am positive I’m going to enjoy roaming the wilds of your pages.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You have me in a bit of a quandary here. Normally, with such glowing comments as yours, I would respond in kind with profuse thanks, tinged with a surface-level “aw shucks” veneer covering my inner giddiness. But I could see in my notifications that you had made an additional comment on another piece, so I greedily raced off to peruse that before responding to this one. During that journey, I discovered that you also have some lovely things to say about my little world on your own blog. Thusly, we had a cornucopia of pleasant developments that I simply must react to with style and thanksgiving. Therefore, I must ration my gratitude amongst the flowers you have planted or I’ll end up depleting my repertoire of ways to say “thank you” and risk falling into that dangerous and shameful zone where I repeat myself and come off as a bit simple.

      So, for this first response, let’s do a reenactment of my thought process when I received notification of your initial contact: “Hmm, someone named Marcus has just made a comment. Marcus? That sounds familiar. Didn’t I just follow someone named Marcus? I’ll have to check. Let’s see what he has to say… Oh… Oh my… This is a GREAT comment. He can ‘practically smell the salt on Lydia’s breath’. He gets so many bonus points for that. Wait! He did a pingback! I don’t care who he is, I love him and we’re now best friends.”


      • I’ve always wanted a best friend. I should add there is no way I could see you as ever coming off “a bit simple”. But your “reenactment” of your thought process gave me a smile – and for this early in the day, you can consider that high praise. And as for my comments and “ping-back” etc etc etc – they are honest and heart felt. Reading your posts hits the heart of what I’ve always thought a “true blogger” was – what I always thought I would be but never got to. Thank you for the comment that reads like your posts – like “you”. Wait … is that like BFF? Tell me we’re not sliding that far 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        • Uh oh, I may be in a bit of trouble with the “true blogger” badge. I do try to be professional, but I also throw some things out there sometimes that are just absurd and silly. (Perhaps I need to go back to the silly posts and add “Proust” as one of the tags, just to give the whole mess a cache of deep thought.) And yes, the BFF angle does reek of unregulated sliding, but I’m happy to report that yesterday’s school-girl crush has modulated itself to more respectful and chaste level. We can decide later if we should get promise rings. 😉


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