Thursday, June 09, 2011

Love It or Leave It...and Hush Up About It

I am Southern. My mother preferred I wear lace, sashes, petticoats and bows. Instead I raise chickens and keep a nail file in the shower to dig the garden dirt from under my nails. While I had cousins who were debutantes, I wouldn't be caught dead in a white tea-length dress and gloves. But I belong to the South with all its beauties and warts. All its bigotry and graciousness. Football tailgating, whitetail deer hunting season, and bourbon on the back porch. So when someone un-Southern moves down here and makes noise about our ways, I politely, in my most polished passive aggressive manner, ask them to take their opinions back to whence they came. Same goes for those who left and nag from afar.

We belong to a culture of bashing, and that environment serves to keep me at my lakefront home, in peace. Television pundits yell and rudely overtalk each other and even their guests. Bloggers curse about what is right: self-publishing or traditional, ebooks or print, Bix Six or independent, literary or genre.

I'm rather disgusted lately the way people are so unaccepting of a writer's options.

I do not read sci-fi, but I can admire others who do. I haven't thrown six ebooks out on Amazon, but I marvel at those who have. I want to traditionally publish, but I'm all for smart writers who self-publish and make money doing it. But I refuse to take a harsh stand and say that erotica is wrong, that sci-fi is for nerds, that ebooks are for those who can't publish otherwise, or literary fiction is dead.

You do your thing, and let me do mine. Then let's pat each other on the back when we do well.

I Wish You Enough: Embracing Life's Most Valuable Moments...One Wish at a TimeBob Perks runs a little site called I Wish You Enough. I love his feel-good stories about life. I can open his email messages and time slows down as I'm allowed to enjoy a basic, do-the-right thing story. I'm addicted. He also published a book of the same title through Nelson, Thomas, Inc.. Through short, inspirational stories about everyday people, author Bob Perks reopens our eyes and hearts to the abundance all around that we so often take for granted. Yep, he sure does.

Anyway, a recent story of his mentioned joining a Facebook page about his hometown of Kingston, PA. He visited the Facebook site often, hoping to connect with folks and share memories of a place he recalled in a nostalgic and positive light. But people complained, remembering only the bad. Bob eventually unfriended the Facebook page, disappointed.

I saw ungratefulness, arrogance, and some people I never really would have liked anyway. That wasn't my Kingston. Maybe that saying is right..."You can never go home again."  Hopefully they won't. I'm old fashioned.  I believe in my hometown. It was the foundation of who I am today and who I will become in all my tomorrows. 

Find your niche, style, voice, publishing venue or marketing gimmick. Embrace it. Love it. Make it yours and be glad you belong to it. Be proud and happy about your decisions.

But do not take shots at others for their choices. Because you decide to move away from Kingston, PA, doesn't mean you have the right to criticize it and the residents who continue to enjoy it. Not only do you show your nasty side, but you take serious energy away from the path you've chosen.

If we all faced forward positively, I get giddy imagining how well people might get along . . . and succeed.


Sarah Tokeley said...

I find it sad that people often choose to say something mean when they could say something nice for the same amount of effort and feel better about it.

Sioux Roslawski said...

I've even heard of people who speak negatively about people's neighborhoods to the people when they are in the people's home. It's the same with writing. If romance is your "neighborhood" that's great, even though it's not a community I belong to. Horror is your "block?" Not mine, but I'm not going to speak badly about you just because we live on different blocks.

The old saying still is applicable: If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.

widdershins said...

A giddy Hope, now that's something to work toward!

I agree completely. I'm going to chug along at my own pace and get where I want to in my own time, with those who I choose to travel with. The rest is window dressing.

Not that I don't have strong opinions on all sorts of stuff. I do. And if I can make my point then I will, but not at someone else's expense. That just uses up way too much energy better used for other things.

BECKY said...

Hope, I I usually do with your posts!! I hope you have such a fabulous weekend that there's tons of dirt to dig out from under your finger nails! :)

Karen Lange said...

Amen. We need to do this, agreeing to disagree as necessary, and in the nicest way possible.

Donna Volkenannt said...

Very well put! Same thing goes for people who've fallen away from their church then criticize those who still believe.
Donna V.

Julie Nilson said...

This reminds me of a lot of the mothering blogs out there--everyone's out to criticize any choice that's different from their own: The nursing moms nag the formula feeders, the stay-at-homes mock the working moms... It's just ugly, especially when we should be trying to support each other. We need to realize that *most* people are making those choices that work best for their needs/wants/desires and those of their families, and if those choices are different from ours, that doesn't make them *wrong.*

Hope Clark said...

If we stop and think about it, few people are totally wrong. And nobody is completely right. We can all learn what to do better and what to avoid. We can set the example by pursuing our choices while applauding others successful in theirs. Everybody likes someone like that.