First of all, my dad was back in CCU last week and all this weekend with some congestive heart failure. Just a LITTLE bit. Heh. We’ve all been in Birmingham. They thought it was a heart attack or pulmonary embolism, but it was a problem with some clotting in his graft. They were able to go in and fix it, but…It was scary. He is back home now, and seems VERY GOOD. Even so—If you are a praying sort, we would surely like some.
Second of all, THANK YOU for the big rally round, for the wise advice, for the offers to punch mean people in the genitals on my behalf. It was a good weekend to have all this rallying happening in the comments that kept landing in my phone as I sat in the hospital. You do not even know. Thank you.Third of all, I realized how RELATED Thing the First of All and Thing the Second of All are! I have been publishing novels for HOLY CATS a decade now. This is not the first time a reader has sent me a less than delighted email. In fact, after gods, when the internet was not SO prevalent, I once got a HAND WRITTEN letter explaining with great sorrow and detail exactly why the vile book I had written was going to PUT ME INTO HELL.
It came with a tract.
I treasured it, ya’ll. What a delight, eh?
This mail got to me not because it is any different from any other drive-by YOU SUCK, but because it came at a time when I am so so so worried. It felt like, “OH HEY, are you mortally fretting about some of your most beloved people? Well, scuse me, I just need to give you a quick slap. THERE!”
I know the letter-sender has NO IDEA what is going on in my personal life, but isn’t that the point? Isn’t that why you do not write to strangers to explain how they have failed you from afar?
She behaved badly. Telling people they have behaved badly—you can only KINDLY, and with ACTUAL GOOD INTENTIONS, do that for a person if you love them.
Beloveds? I cannot love her just now. *grin*
Love aside, there were at least four mature, cool, excellent sample letters I could cut and paste from comments, if I so desired, but they might cause a reply, and I no longer care enough to have a dialog. Once I realized the roiling feelings were NOT about her or the letter, my need to answer her at all abated.
FOURTH of all? IF I WERE GOING TO ANSWER? I regret to inform you that I would not take Margaret Maron’s high road, nor would I take Laura Lippman’s cool, professional road, or any of the other smart roads offered. I WISH THAT I WOULD. THOSE ROADS ARE WISEST.
But a glance into the mirror assures me I would not. Instead? I would go down the rabbit hole with Alice, so I cut and paste her answer, to share with you below. Because it is delicious:
I think I see what’s going on here. And look, I’m flattered, but I’m not going to sleep with you.