APOLOGY: Hurt feelings all around, my bad (as they usedta say)

I only have a few minutes before I have to go do my tutoring and then run an errand, but this is important.

I’ve just discovered that I may have hurt several kind people’s feelings with one of my recent posts about the help and consideration I received over at Edittorrent. When I made my post, I concentrated only on the one somewhat puzzling (to me) grammar comment I got and completely neglected to mention that the other feedback (about how the opening line created the expectation in some readers that it would be a family saga, that even a mention of a trope such as an angel might imply that this would be the focus of the story, and many other invaluable things to learn that I would NEVER have thought of on my own) was VERY HELPFUL. The impression got back to them that it hadn’t helped me and that I hadn’t appreciated all the comments (even the ones I was still probing to understand), and that is NOT the case.

I don’t know where they got the impression, unless it was just from my continuation on that thread. Over here, in one reply to Pamela, I expressed some frustration with the way critiques in general work (saying, in effect, that when you say “Look at this” people almost feel obligated to find SOMETHING wrong, even if it gets blown out of proportion by the end–if they *don’t* find a major problem, they don’t say that.) I kind of forgot I wasn’t just talking to one FidoNet friend there–but it’s flattering to know that people keep up with my comments threads, as I thought they were ancient history within a day or so of their posting. I’ll get back to this in another entry later today, but suffice it to say that I wasn’t talking about Alicia or anyone in particular when I vented to Pamela.

I never intended to upset anyone or hurt feelings. I always question what I’ve heard and probe at it by discussing it or trying to explain what I was going for and so forth, and that may not have been appropriate here–although I believe that several people on the comments thread didn’t mind my blather, and two of them actually did come up with a good alternative to my sentence that didn’t add a lot of words and didn’t change the feel very much (the same way that Fairieem did in a comment here.) This seems to have come across all wrong. For that I am heartily sorry. In our family, we are the Bickersons . . . we’re like the characters in the old sitcoms who question everything and bicker and so forth, but we’re used to it. We’re accustomed to explaining ourselves and getting fine-tuned responses. I suppose that may contribute to the way I handle feedback. (I thought that when I titled the entry here “GLOAT,” it might register that I was pleased to have been chosen for analysis. Oops.) I don’t believe that I was rude or nasty on their site or here, but if others heard it that way, may I ask what I can do to make it up to everyone?

I am hoping that the increased traffic to their site is pleasing to them, at least. I realize I didn’t make the typical response of saying that everything is immediately clear, but I don’t believe in a false front. If I think that additional discussion of a point will help me or someone else, I usually pursue it. Maybe that gets me into hot water, but it often brings a lot more information and help out into the open, too. I’m not going to go over there and say anything, at least not right now, because I’ve GOT to run, and I don’t know what it would be; I may be mistaken, anyway. But I didn’t want to be the cause of unhappy thoughts (well, at least not as far as I can prevent it–too bad about my poor victim–er, student if she hates factoring polynomials. *grin*)

Let’s give a big hooray for those who are brave enough to put their work up for scrutiny (I’m not including myself, because I’m not brave, just crazy) and another even bigger hooray for those who try to help them by giving a close reading and feedback!

Now, off to the pre-algebra/algebra wars.


Author: shalanna

Shalanna: rhymes with "Madonna" and "I wanna," and is not a soundalike with "Hosanna" or "Sha-Na-Na." Aging hippie with long hair, husband, elderly mother, and yappy Pomeranian. I've been writing since I could hold a crayon. I started with fiction, which Mama said was "lying." “Don’t tell stories,” she would admonish, in Southern vernacular. “That's all in your imagination!” When grownups said this, they were not approving. So, shamed, I stopped telling stories for a few years--rather, I stopped letting anyone read them. I'm married to a fellow computer nerd who doesn't really like hearing about writing, but who reads sf/fantasy and understands the creative drive. I'm actually a nonconformist/hippie still wearing bluejeans and drop earrings and the Alice-in-Wonderland hair with headbands and sandals. Favorite flavor is chocolate/orange, favorite color is either Dreamsicle orange (cantaloupe) or bubble-gum pink, favorite musical is either Bye Bye Birdie, Rocky Horror, or The Producers . . . wait, I also love The Music Man. Is this getting way too specific and irrelevant yet? Obvious why I don't sell a ton of flash fiction, isn't it? To define oneself, I always say, it is good to make a list. How about a booklist? Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird Frank and Ernestine Gilbreth, Cheaper by the Dozen C.S.Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (all the Narnia books) J.R.R.Tolkien,The Hobbit/LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy Gail Godwin, The Odd Woman F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby J. D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye (before dismissing it, actually read it) George Orwell, 1984 Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle Donna Tartt, The Secret History Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn James Allen, As A Man Thinketh Mark Winegardner, Elvis Presley Boulevard James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times The Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum Winnie-the-Pooh/House at Pooh Corner, A. A. Milne Peter Pan, J. M. Barrie The KJV and NIV Bible (each translation has its glories)

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