Have you ever met someone who appeared sane until you start talking politics? Recently, I made a comment on a friend’s facebook post. A mutual friend chastised me. We had a back and forth, nothing extreme. We simply defended our opinions. I thought it was over.
Not so much.
The next day, I get a private message from this woman telling me I’m full of hate, I’m a racist, and I’m angry. As you can imagine, that made me angry. I am not a racist, and I do not have a problem with legal immigration. Had I known I was feeding fuel to a liberal fire, I would have ignored this seventy year old woman who acts like a child. She went on to tell me that everyone in my writer circles calls me a flake, but wouldn’t tell me who. Nobody likes you. Why don’t you crawl into a hole and die?
When I pointed out that we could disagree without resorting to name calling, she amped up the insanity and called me more names. Needless to say, you cannot reason with someone whose opinions are based on feelings, and not logic. I am so offended, I want to call her out on fb and expose her bullshit, but she’s not worth the effort. She is a good actress, though. She’s hosted me at her home several times, all the while pretending she didn’t despise me. I’m saddened at the loss of of someone I thought was a friend and mentor, but I’m grateful to know what lies beneath her mask.
In the seventh grade, a drug dealing, frizzy red-head with an acne problem, made my life a living hell. Michael C. capitalized on my shy demeanor, lack of self-esteem, unwillingness to defend myself, absence of a tight circle of friends and the extra thirty pounds I carried around my middle. His taunts, and those of the kids who willingly danced to his flute, gave birth to scars that I continue to stumble over some thirty years later. Why I let this awful person and his minions metaphorically pound me into the dirt, I don’t know. I am happy to say, no therapist has ever financed an inground swimming pool in an attempt to help me figure it out. Instead, Karma helped me to turn those scars into something worthwhile. I pour the wounds into my writing, let my characters wear them, then overcome. I find it cathartic. He did something good for me. He gave me the tools needed to create characters people can relate to. I would like to think over the years, Michael C. has received his own karma. Perhaps a neighbor with a lawn mower, or chain saw wakes him each Sunday before seven am. Or even better, that his acne never cleared up. (Insert diabolical giggles here)
Three years ago, I joined the Houston Writer’s Guild, and read ten pages of my first draft of KEEP AWAY. When I’d finished, most of the retired English teachers were bleeding from their eyes, and a few members rushed for a wastebasket in which to hurl their last meal. Through the Guild member’s guidance, patience, and willingness to share their knowledge, I’ve learned quite a few things. I am no Jane Austen, but I am vastly better than when I began. Members no longer cry out in anguish, or run out of ink while critiquing my work. Now they applaud. I’m kidding, they don’t applaud, but neither do they get a look on their face that says: How do I say this kindly? Writing is a journey. A road I have thoroughly enjoyed travelling, and one I wish to continue on for the remainder of my life.