Arrrgh! I keep writing and rewriting this, because someone posted something fabulous about one of my stories, and I get totally discombobulated and emotional for a while when things like that happen. It’s one of my great failings as a human being. I’ve always been seriously awful at knowing how to handle large doses of kindness.
Example: A very sweet woman recently e-mailed me to say that she keeps a copy of “Peculiar Rhymes and Intimate Observations” next to her bed, because reading it makes her smile. She also said that, all day long, she’d been singing one of the awful, silly songs that were in it. Can you imagine how that feels? Answer: Amazing.
When I published “Peculiar Rhymes,” people were so incredibly kind, so generous with their time. They sent out tweets and Facebook posts galore. They wrote about it, reviewed it, helped promote it and had absolutely nothing to gain in return. It damned near did me in. When this kind of goodness is directed toward me, I become all melty and confused. I blubber, though I hate the word “blubber.” My heart starts doing the Harlem Shake and I find myself at a loss as to how to handle it. I think you get the messy picture.
Publishing the “The Watch” was terrifying. Not that I didn’t think the story was decent, but because the subject matter is so difficult and sad. I was a wreck the day I rolled it out. I wasn’t sweating bullets–these were more like cannonballs. That night, I received an e-mail from a dear blog buddy who told me that he liked it so much that he’d bought two copies as gifts for friends. I was so overwhelmed that all I could do was reply with something eloquent like, “Thank you. I can’t stop crying. I have to go now.” Which, you know, makes a great impression.
This doesn’t even dot the “i” at the tip of the iceberg. I could write pages devoted to the goodness of Internet folk. But I’m trying to keep this a little on track, because when it comes to this subject, I can get easily derailed. Actually, I already have.
It’s just that I’m extremely thankful for so many things (Seriously, I have an 885 word essay sitting here about Amadeus buying me an avocado). It’s a multi-layered, complex kind of gratitude, and for such a wordy gal, I often have difficulty expressing it. It mooshes my mind.
So, with this huge, poorly-written preamble, I’ll get back to the point, which was that aforementioned post. When I published “The Watch,” I put out a call for reviews, and boy, did I get a doozy from The Bead Den. I sent this blogstress a free copy, but I’ll be damned if she didn’t buy it anyway. After she read it, she sent me a wonderfully detailed critique that would rival that of a literary critic, and of course I cried like six babies when I read it. If that weren’t enough, she wrote about it on her blog. And oh, what she wrote. Here’s Part One. Part Two is here. She even composed the photo above to accompany one of her posts, and I’ll bet you four dollars she made that watch band too. Oh my gosh, here I go again. Waaahhh.
One of my greatest joys is finding out that something I’ve written has impacted someone else–that it’s made them laugh or cry or just think about things in a new way. But there’s a special joy in knowing that someone has deeply related to a story, and Beadie’s done just that. I think her posts tell more about her and her strength of character than they do about “The Watch.” What an incredible person she is. I’ll never be able to thank her enough.