…I’m feeling a little left behind this morning.
Yesterday was eyeball injection time, the big number two, and it hurt lots more than the first time up to bat. Not during, mind you, but after. I came home, fell asleep – but woke up a short while later feeling like someone was sitting on my face, and with a thunderous headache. And…everything smelled like – crap.
So, I opened my eyes and found Heidi with her ass on my forehead (she’s a light Springer, so no biggie), and a really ‘Yuge’ thunderstorm rolling across the caldera (hey, I think it’s time we all started speaking Trump, or at least thinking about it…). Heidi is, by the way, the only dog I’ve been around who farts – loudly. I know dogs are masters at firing off ‘silent but deadlies’ – but Heidi can ‘step on barking tree frogs’ with the best of ’em – meaning humans generally, and males in particular. I make no claims to Grand Master status in this area but feel reasonably certain I can more than hold my own, but Heidi has it down…she can run me right out of the room.
But not, please, while sitting on my head. That’s uncool.
So, it’s the morning after. Skies still cloudy, a few posts to get some stain on – if the weather cooperates, and a new deck/snow fence to build before the snow comes. Things yet to do, I guess I’m saying, yet I really am having a hard time today, hard to write, even to think. Avastin is a nasty drug. It hurts. It was part of the cocktail used to fight Erica’s breast cancer a few years ago, and I was aghast when I saw the side effects in her legs and ankles. And this stuff is being shot into my retina? Really? Why am I doing this?
Which leads me here, to right now. The Comments Section over at Literotica – huh?
I’ve never been very good at handling these things, good comments or bad, so for good or ill I tend to read them and move on. One story posted back in ’09, The Soul of Perception, degenerated into a slugfest between the Literotica faction of the National Rifle Association and everyone else, which, frankly, left me disoriented. Disoriented when hate mail arrived in my in-box. I pulled back, way back, as I am, if anything, strenuously apolitical – at least publicly. What saved my bacon was other readers who stepped in to clear the air – and who also kept me posting at Literotica. I’m not sure why, but I’ve felt from the beginning it’s better for me to not get drawn into these kinds of arguments, to avoid being painted, incorrectly, I think, with one political tar or another. That story wasn’t an opinion piece, by the by, but synthesized my experience with that of several physicians I know (or knew). One reads about the atmosphere of hostility enabled by the web’s veils of anonymity, but experiencing it firsthand was not so much troubling – as humbling – like “I wrote a story that pissed people off that much?”
And I just read a couple from yesterday, for By The Sea, Gently and The Dividing Line. Someone made the connection between the end of the Dividing Line and the end of my own personal anthem, Awaken. Gratifying, and RightBank’s spot on comment about the ending of Gently. That story came to me driving back from Steamboat one day last week (hauling 4×4 rough cedar posts, of course) and I dashed in and wrote it that afternoon. Out of nowhere, out of the blue…and that thing set some sort of personal record for the number of people who read it in a weekend (like ten thousand), but what got me was the comments made.
A couple of snide ones, the Comatose commenter has been laying into my stories for years now (yes, authors are privy to these things), but here’s the point of this ramble. By and large comments were supportive and appreciative, but after reading comments for A Walk By The Sea I can see a trend emerging. Some people are saying “there’s no happy ending,” so the meaning I take from this is supposed to be: “write happier endings”? One fellow emailed, laying out a very personal scenario and asking me to write a story around these expectations/fantasies.
Maybe there are writer’s who develop an audience and cater to it – that makes one kind of sense. Maybe they even make money writing, which seems odd to think that’s even a remote possibility these days, but that doesn’t feel right to me, either. When a story comes I try to be true to that idea, to the spark of the idea as it emerges, the arc that comes to me as I drive or sit listening to the wind in the trees. I’d like to think what I write, what I have to share about life, attracts readers, and not that I need to cater to an audience. I’d say it’s unlikely I’ll ever make a dime writing, but that’s okay. In the end, I reckon it’s the connection between my words and your impressions that matters most.
Anyway, sorry for droning on (it’s the headache), and thanks for dropping by. Again, I’ll just post a few progress notes from time to time until the longer pieces I’m working on take shape.
Happy trails – and keep your powder dry. November 8th is looking kind of bumpy.