Didst thou take Offense?

I sure hope so because that is exactly what I was going for. Every so often life serves up some karma so hot and fresh that it is a genuine crime to not partake. Three years ago or so I finished writing my first complete book and I had asked a number of people close to me and whose opinions I valued to give it a read and provide me with some feedback. Everyone I asked agreed eagerly to give it a shot and promised to let me know how they viewed the book and to give some constructive criticism so that improvements could be made. What I got was exactly nothing. Not only did nobody give me any worthwhile feedback, they didn’t give me any feedback at all. Because none of them ever bothered to read the book. Not even a chapter. Not entirely sure they even finished the damned title before moving on to something else.

So the other day one of these very same people was lamenting that they had nothing to read. They had, it seems, finished a book that several people had recommended and now was left with no new reading material. I looked at them and said, “If only there was somebody close to you that had, oh I dunno, written a book and asked you to read it. Maybe you could read that. Or any one of the six other books they have written since that time. That might be nice. To do something you said you’d do three years ago. Maybe that.”

They of course laughed because I am arguably the funniest person anyone has ever had the good fortune to run across. But then they ran and tattled to somebody else that I had hurt their feelings. Now it is important to mention that the person they told this to was also somebody I had asked to read my book three years ago to provide me with some constructive feedback. See where this is going? Instead of two people realizing they had hurt my feelings and continued to do so with every passing day that they didn’t click the friggin link and read the accursed book, they had joined forces to feel persecuted. Isn’t that lovely? So glad they found something to bond over.

Honestly I cope with rejection all of the time. My daughter does a bang-up job of tolerating my nerdy endeavors because she has a lot of those same tendencies herself. That is my only audience. One of the players in my game checks in every so often because they are rather into the current story, “Slinker Slayer Kobold Squire” and I had an old school acquaintance that enjoyed “Fight Swear Loathe”. Otherwise I pretty much just wait for random Google searches to direct hapless people into my blog where I can blindside them with minutiae from my game world.

I feel worlds better knowing that I got under somebody’s skin by reminding them that I still await constructive criticism for a book that has been done for three years. Anytime they wanna put down the Nabokov and give my writing a shot I’d be pleased as can be. There isn’t as much filthiness, but it isn’t banned in any midwestern school districts, either.