On Sunday, I addressed how I was feeling in a post explaining why friendly ribbing after posting my novel cover’s mock-up was wearing on me. I try not to be cynical, but the support after posting that was beyond what I expected. Thank you.
Since I called out the issue, I wanted to also address the response. Too often problems get all the attention and no one gives appropriate consideration of how the problem is then handled. The response was beautiful and everything that I love about this community. Thank you (again).
After a fun stream of Guild of Dungeoneering for a larger than normal crowd, I showed my book cover and a few hours later, I wrote the post on my website to explain that it wasn’t a great feeling to put myself out there and feel dismissed from friends, then I screenshotted the crux and hopped into bed, trying to ignore my anxious feelings that I had overreacted or that I hadn’t but would be seen as having done so or that I’d reacted too soon or that this could be an unfortunate turning point for me and a community that I genuinely love. It wasn’t.
When I woke up, I had 20+ Twitter notifications. People who clicked the heart, people who typed <3, opinions on the cover both visceral and in-depth. There were direct messages and even apologies from people who hadn’t done anything but wanted to know if they ever had or what they could do to help me feel comfortable. It felt like I was being taken seriously, which is what I wanted. No one questioned the post or suggested I was overreacting or anything I had pessimistically suspected might happen. The Hoomans, some whom I rarely get to chat with except during big gatherings, just accepted that I wasn’t feeling great about the night before and tried to reverse that even if it meant going out of their way. I screenshotted everything to remember it. Please know that even if I didn't respond, I saw it and I appreciate it.
Still, I wanted some distance to relax and it was my last day in the States before flying to Korea, and the last day with my dog which was unfortunately drizzly and we only got a few short spurts through the neighborhood and park, and I had packing to do. I responded to a few people but mostly stayed off Twitter.
The next morning, I was stuck in the Springfield airport waiting for security to show up for work so I could go through and wait on the other side of the metal detectors. I used Snapchat for colorful Snapsterpieces, mostly hooman themed as I wanted to say I’ll always love this group but I didn’t have a great way to type it so instead I drew little in-jokes as people responded with their “safe travel” wishes, and I thought that’d be that, this quiet return to form.
Then a lot of notifications started rolling in. And I drew more. Being awake for 21 of the past 24 hours, I thought everything I drew was hilarious. I responded to people. Talked. Laughed. And everything felt… different but good again. In a way, it felt like overcorrecting, like people were being too nice, almost kid-gloves nice, but whether that was true or not, I appreciated the sentiment motivating the conversation and we quickly had long chains about accidental boners, what marijuana looks like, butts butts butts, and how there weren’t enough molars (never enough). Some typical hooman discussion. And it kept me on Twitter all through my Chicago layover, even when Captain Bob drove us on a tour about the airport’s runway before getting more fuel and delaying us two hours, and it kept me happy.
I honestly thought I’d have to stay off Twitter due to travel and limited internet while I got settled, but I made about 60 tweets in 6 hours. Then I landed in Korea where I slept in an airport jjimjilbang (spa with a sleeping area, common place for cheap sleep)and had airport WiFi the entire time so I kept tweeting and responding. Then I showed up in Yeosu and immediately had an apartment as the guy I’m replacing is currently staying with his girlfriend.
It worked out that I could be on Twitter as much as I wanted. And after the wonderful response, I wanted to be on Twitter a lot.
It’s hard to express how much all of it meant to me. The direct support after the initial post and the general warm feelings the day after and all the usual love--thank you. Thank you to anyone who tweeted, hearted, or even just read it. Thank you for listening and accepting how I was feeling.