Hello again to Diane, another esteemed blogger from The New Author's Fellowship and a Marcher Lord Select Premise Contest winner for I Am Ocilla. I am curious how that's going, by the way. Any news yet from Jeff the Publisher?
On with today's post.
In college, I was known as The Queen of Cut-off. "Cut-off" is slang for being emotionally unavailable. I form unusually strong attachments to things like animals and cars (oh, my poor Cricket, may you rest in peace, you sturdy green GL-10), yet have the ability to say good-bye to people without really looking back.
This is not necessarily a good character trait. One might actually argue that it is anti-Biblical (that could be read in "stuffy English guy voice," Diane).
In the ensuing years since college, I've come to realize people mean more to me than I thought. I do enjoy them, in limited quantities, and I seem to do better when I have some kind of regular human contact.
Problem: when I say "contact," I mean "face to face contact."
I'm finding the "on-line critique group" experience less than satisfactory. While The Sandbox is helpful and interesting, it's not enough. Neither is The Anomaly. They both fill a need, yes, but something is off.
I don't like the anonymity of it all. I don't like not hearing someone's tone when they say something, or not seeing their expressions (I'm an audio-visual learner, one of the reasons I did so well in school). I don't like relying on emoticons to soften my words or add humor. 70% of communication is non-verbal. Emails are entirely verbal. It's frustrating to me to miss that other 70%.
I don't like that it's possible to "hide in the shadows" and say nothing, or that when you throw something out there into the Net, you don't control who responds.
Perhaps that's it. Perhaps, once again, it's all about control.
My old critique group, inadequate as they were for my genre, were there. I could ask a question and trust that I would get an answer because I could kick someone's behind if they didn't. Not that I would. Despite my books, I'm pretty much a pacifist. I could see from their faces what they thought long before they said it or said some carefully crafted answer that talked around what they thought.
I guess I'm dissatisfied with the distance of the whole email/online thing. The beauty of such communication is you can do it as you have time; the downside is you don't always make time.
Hmm. I sound a little self-pitying today. Must be the cloud-cover.
Praise God, I'm not sick again. Yet. I do have a little cough, but that could just be a hairball.
Stay warm, people. Good to hear from all of you. I'll try to be more positive tomorrow.