Friday, March 02, 2018

you know they're wrong, I know they're wrong, how the hell can't they see they're wrong??

I have pondered this before, but it's been eating at me. When someone makes a comment that is inappropriate, how would you like the community to respond (and by that I'm asking for me personally)?

I tend to retreat and go silent, which also seems to be the response from most Reiders. In part it's because I'm an introvert and in part it's because I can't be sure if the person is ignorant or deliberately stirring the reef (if it's the latter I don't want to give them air time and create a bigger kerfuffle, but if it's the former then education might be a good thing). I assume you'll deal with things behind the scenes (privately) you aren't happy with (as you've said you've done in the past), or snap at the group in general to remind us about behaviour and rules. Is that a correct assumption? Would you prefer the community (ie me) to be more outspoken or to continue to retreat?


Well mostly I want whoever is making inappropriate comments to stop.
But of course, inappropriate is often in the eye, or keyboard, of the beholder.
And the most flagrant offenders are often the folks who have no clue they've offended anyone.

Here's what we all need to remember: this blog attracts all kinds and stripes of people with opinions that are left of center, right of center, holy, unholy, wrongheaded, ignorant, and generally malodorous. And that's just me.

One of the key elements of being an effective writer (which is something I hope EVERYONE here wants to be) is to remember your audience.

And your audience is not you.

Your audience is often times the anti-you.

If you keep that in mind, and re-read your comment with a critical eye before you post, hopefully we'll all be able to happily splash in the Shark Tank.

That said, I'm not going to land on people for making inappropriate comments. This is not a safe place, there are no trigger warnings. You come here, you're going to see some stuff you don't like.

And I'm going to ask you to either live with it, or address it calmly with absolutely no aspersions cast on character, especially when you're certain the other person is a total cretin.

The world is not our reflection, nor is it an easy place to live in.
The world would be a better place if everyone was like me you, of course.


Do you remember the book The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein? He created a world on the moon where civility was enforced by a pretty strict code of conduct including instant trial and disposition (out the airlock.)

There are days I think that's a really good idea.


But I'm not going to police the content of comments for anything other than accuracy about publishing, word count and frequency.  Annoy or offend enough of your fellow readers though, and you'll find yourself being largely ignored. And the value of this blog is beyond my yammerings and rantings. The value of this blog is the community that has developed here. You might want to assess how much you value that if you say things just to stir the pot.

57 comments:

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

HEY, yuzz guyz gotta problum wit diss?

left of center - ah hem
right of center - huh
holy - amen
unholy – oh boy
wrongheaded – yeh sure
ignorant - duh
generally malodorous – whiff-n-poof
right – my mother
wrong – not my mother
fence sitter – me, pickets are painful

Wanna fight, no, good, lets have a drink.

Kathy Joyce said...

"And that's just me." Hah! Humor and kindness go a long way on social media. So do empathy and editing.

Colin Smith said...

I have been known to speak up when someone says something I think could be offensive. My working assumption is that the person doesn't realize they've said something they perhaps shouldn't. I raise a hand to educate, not so much to scald. Sometimes i get push back, and that's okay. The discussion can be illuminating if done appropriately.

But I would encourage y'all to speak up if someone says something inappropriate. Especially if/when that person is me. ☺

Susan said...

The one day I venture back into the reef... =P

Hi all. I miss you. Hoping to be back in these parts more often. Thanks as always for this community, Janet. It's my favorite corner of the web-world.

Timothy Lowe said...

I'm with Colin - I would much rather have someone stand up and call me out if I've said anything inappropriate. That way, at least I'll know. I'd appreciate the discussion over silent disapprobation.

Snow day here - I'm digging into Sunburn, which came highly recommended. You can read Laura Lippman's first 5 on Amazon for free. I did, then promptly purchased it. Her first chapter is a masterwork in subtext and intrigue.

Julie Weathers said...

I started to respond to some things and have deleted some comments because it just isn't worth it. I knew the comments being tossed out there were simply being tossed out there to stir crap up. Trust me, I don't need a safe space, but I do value this place as a place that ANYONE can come to any single day and feel welcome. Not all blogs are like that.

That's one reason I like the writer's forum where I hang out. For a time, it wasn't safe for a certain ilk. If you were liberal (isn't every writer?) you're perfectly safe. However, if you were conservative, there was a wolf pack who made a concerted effort to drive you away. I changed my avatar to a picture of a soldier petting a kitten. The pack launched a massive complaint about me being a war monger and tried to get the mods to make me take it down. This was when Will was in basic in the summer between his junior and senior year and it was the first time he had access to a computer to email me. He found the picture and sent it to me because he loves cats. I cried because I was missing him so much and it fit him perfectly.

Really? A soldier petting a kitten makes me a warmonger? I finally gave up the fight and left for several years. The pack drove off a lot of good writers, but their vitriol finally wore out and they left too. I guess they ran out of people to harass. It's different now. Things are calm. People are back to talking about writing and books and reading and it really is a Shangri La for writers.

That's kind of how this place makes me feel, so I detest it when someone craps where they sleep. Even dogs don't do that. I'm going to try very hard not to add to the steaming pile of crap.

Two part post.

Bethany Elizabeth said...

It's also very easy to miss the intent behind the comment. There have been days when I'm a little slow on the uptake and miss the sarcasm in a post.

Usually, I don't address things that offed me here. There are other, gentler commenters here and I trust them (and Her Royal Sharkiness) to address anything really objectionable with tact and grace. Tact isn't always my strong suit. Sometimes the better part of courtesy is just shutting up.

Janet Reid said...

I think Sunburn is a perfect novel. It gets ALL the stars.

Claire AB. said...

This is such a wise post and certainly applicable beyond the blog. Thank you, Janet!

Julie Weathers said...

Y'all may or may not have heard this story before, but I'm going to tell it again. Dad died four years ago April 1. He was 90 years old and was pretty much in control of his mental faculties.

When he was a young man, he was on one of the ships that brought Jewish refugees to America. They were survivors of the concentration camps. He spoke with many of them, heard their stories. On each trip, they would stay up the night before they expected to see NY so they could see the Statue of Liberty at dawn. They would fall down to their knees and cry and pray when they did. They were so thankful and at last felt maybe it was true, they might be safe. He would shake his head when he told me this and say, "People who grow up here don't realize how fortunate they are." We don't.

He'd tell me about the ones who survived the Holocaust, but couldn't live with the pain and committed suicide by jumping overboard. One had been a famous architect before the war. He lost his entire family. He calmly folded his coat. Took off his shoes and placed them neatly on the coat and then put his hat on the shoes and over he went.

Dad went ashore in NY with the passengers and bought newspapers. He clipped all the stories he could find about them and saved them. I still have them. I hope I do if my helpful mother didn't throw them away when she was helping me clean out his house. I had to keep rescuing things from her. Anyway, these stories were important enough to him that he would get them out even when I was a girl and read them to me. "Never forget," he would tell me.

We've forgotten how terrible that was. What was done. We dishonor the victims and the survivors. We toss around Nazi like it's nothing. It isn't nothing.

At Surrey, an author I had planned on buying her historicals changed my mind about her and anything she has written or ever will write ever again. How? In a workshop on villains, instead of seriously discussing how to create a good villain when it came to her, she'd describe Hitler and then jump up like she was scaring you and yell the name of a politician.

The Holocaust is not a joke. I'm sorry she thinks it is.

If I want to discuss politics, I am not going to do it here. I will try not to anyway. I have in the past and it's a mistake. This isn't the place. If someone else wants to, and they will, I'm going to ignore it. It's going to be the sound of one hand clapping because I have better things to do.

I'm too grouchy to engage with yappy comments that are only there to stir crap.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Yeah, I tend to ignore comments that I disagree with because that has nothing to do with the topic we are meant to be discussing. Unless it is the topic. Then I will speak up according to how many spare limbs I have hanging about,

I find in person, I can always find common ground with any reasonable human. On a blog or any social media, sometimes the human gets lost in the vitriol. And so I ignore. No reason to feed the beast.

Julie Weathers said...

Today is Texas Independence Day. On February 23, 1836, The Battle of the Alamo started. It ended thirteen days later on March 6 with the defeat of the defenders by Santa Anna's army.

We know what happened before and during the battle because there were survivors.

The Travis letter.

The Travis speech. No help is coming.

Celia Reaves said...

Hello, fellow Reiders. I'm coming back to the Reef after too long spent lurking but not posting. I can't agree strongly enough with the consensus that this is a great place to interact with other grownups of the writing persuasion. Grownups often disagree and are sometimes disagreeable, but try to avoid temper tantrums and bullying. That's what I like about the Reef. Thank you, Janet, for creating such a place, and maintaining it not so much by fin and tooth but mostly by being an example we all try to live up to.

Julie, I very much appreciate your reminder of what we take for granted here in the US. Let us never forget. It's part of the reason why, though I'm known in my local groups as a stickler for the details of grammar, I don't let people call me the "grammar Nazi." Call me "grammar guru" if you must, or "grammar queen," or "pain in the ---," and those names I'll accept with a smile. "Nazi" just does not sit comfortably on me anywhere.

nightsmusic said...

I don't comment much anymore since I'm no longer working and not on the computer until later in the day. I find I have nothing to add because most comments here cover things nicely.

I will say referring to today's post, I am a moderate. That's a very hard thing to be in this climate. Damned if I do, damned if I don't. I find comments at times across the interwebs where I hang out to be just plain nasty lately. Things a person would never say face to face gets spewed in the comments section and it's accepted. While that is not the case here, or at least, I've never seen that here, I've found that some trigger me so badly on those other sites, I type a scathing reply replete with condemnation, vitriol and a host of other equally nasty rhetoric. I read it through, polish it to within an inch of its life...and then I delete it, never pushing the publish button. I feel better and I've gotten it all out of my system. Too bad more people aren't like that.

I appreciate this group, this little family. Too much so to purposely post something that offends. I realize it happens inadvertently to all of us, but I truly try not to do that and would hope someone would tell me if I ever do.

*and that's what I get for not reading this one through first...

Bonnie Shaljean said...

Your audience is not you. Your audience is often times the anti-you…
The world is not our reflection.


Words to live by. This is going up on my fridge door, right alongside the immortal
"When you're sitting down, all toilets are gender-neutral."

Claire Bobrow said...

Great post today - thank you. I'm so glad to be on this writing journey with you all, and like Colin and Timothy, hope you'll nudge me should I steer into inappropriate waters.

I'm about two-thirds of the way through Sunburn. Sooooo hard to put it down, but there are stacks of picture books to be read for ReFoReMo, too. Which is not a bad problem!

Cecilia Ortiz Luna said...

I'm also reading Sunburn th
is blizzardy weekend. Then the 5th Tana French book. My family will have to subsist on pizza and KFC the next few days.

John Davis Frain said...

Cecelia,

If you've got pizza and KFC and a copy of Sunburn, you can lean left or right and I'll agree with you wholeheartedly. Just don't spill gravy on the pages. We'd be offended.

RosannaM said...

Rushing off to have taxes done-ugh, but wanted to welcome back Susan. I saw you were featured in Writer's Digest! Whoo hoo! A virtual clink of champagne glass!

Karen McCoy said...

I'm with you, Celia. As a fellow grammarian, I'm also resistant to the other "N" word.

Recently, I was talking with someone who advocated for a "brave space" rather than a "safe space" so that people could feel comfortable saying what they needed to say, rather than feel like they needed to censor themselves. I am happy to say that I've found a very brave space in this blog community, and even when we disagree, we are civil and logical about it.

And, if one Reider says something that another thinks is incorrect, the community can see both sides of the argument in the comment feed--something that grows ever more rare in internet spaces.

Cecilia Ortiz Luna said...

JDF: Pizza and KFC are just for the hubby and kids so they will leave me alone for two days. I normally stock up on breads and cheeses and coffee and gnaw away at them in the dark while I read. Books and comic books are sacred in my house, everyone is trained to read at a certain angle to avoid spills. We're also not supposed to bring books in the bathroom. We have magazines for that:)

Melanie Sue Bowles said...

I can only echo all the good comments about the Reef being such a terrific place. Claire, Yes. It's great to be on this journey with good people.

Julie, Wholeheartedly agree with your input about the flippant use of the word Nazi. Celia, Grammar Guru. Love it.

Cecilia, "Everyone is trained to read at a certain angle to avoid spills." HA! Excellent.

Kathy Joyce said...

I also appreciate this community, and I thank Janet for preparing the soil and watering and fertilizing our writerly aspirations.

Regarding appropriate topics, I usually learn a lot when I stop and examine why someone's words bother me. It dismays me how often my reactions are "knee-jerk" even though I like to think of myself as an enlightened person. I'm adding more examination of reactions in my characters too. It makes them richer.

Mora Green said...

I'm gonna poke my head out of the bushes for a second. I think it's worth asking yourself what makes you think you're in the position to educate anyone. I still come to this blog after many years because I don't feel like the environment is highly polarized here, unlike some places (looking at you, Twitter).

Self-disclosure. I used to be a hardcore liberal and ~educate others who displayed ~ignorance. Then I went and worked in a hospital in an impoverished area of NYC with extremely high levels of poverty, addiction and mental health problems. My opinions swung so far to the right that it took a year to be okay with myself again. These days, I shut up about it other than with people I know feel the same. But back when I was still upset and had to talk about it, people who never spent one day in the trenches would jump up and try and correct my "ignorance", assuming that I was just a bigot who haven't read enough progressive blog posts on the Internet. So who is right: me in my burnout, or the other person in their inexperience? I say they're both legitimate opinions, and we should be able to talk about them and live with them without jumping down each others' throats to "educate".

Adele said...

Macrocosm: Diversity is a wonderful thing. It makes all of humanity stronger, more flexible, more adaptable. New thoughts are wonderful things - they expand our horizons and take us where we haven't been before, even if we didn't much like them when they first showed up.

Microcosm: People are going to say stuff you don't agree with. Let it be. Maybe today just isn't the day when you can see their genius. Maybe their thought is that thing that will make us all stronger in the end. Maybe they're saying hateful things ... well, those things are out in the open now, it's good to know who thinks what and why they do, it points the way to move forward.

Mini-microcosm: I quite enjoy swimming in the reef, even when it gets a little bitey.

Sherry Howard said...

Belly laugh for the am: that’s just me! When Janet quits agenting her new career will be clear!

morganhazelwood.com said...

I've had no issues here, but I know I'm only here sporadically.

On other sites? I practice what I preach - I praise publicly, and Private Message them, politely addressing any concerns I might have about their recent posts. If they listen to me, great! If not? I'll just back away, unless it's actively abusive. [I had a uncomfortable conversation on Twitter's DM this week. But I'm not managing their career...]

whipchick said...

The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress is one of my favorite books and def my favorite Heinlein :)

Sherry Howard said...

Janet's mention of Sunburn triggered my memory of a recent post that mentioned a couple of great novels to study. I ordered Sunburn right now before I forget. Because I forgot the others already and can't find the post. Anybody?

Sam Mills said...

"...inappropriate is often in the eye, or keyboard, of the beholder."

Ain't that the truth. There are topics I'm so passionate about, I'm not only flabbergasted by the opposite opinion, I'm almost more flabbergasted when folks claim they're neutral. How can you not care?? BUT there are probably topics I'm completely apathetic about which somebody else would find impossible to ignore.

I've lurked, de-lurked, and re-lurked over the years. When I'm irritable I read the daily post and avoid the comment section entirely. I'm sure there are community dynamics/discussion histories that zoom over my head since I'm not a regular, so hopefully I haven't blundered over any lines other people think are clear.

On a humorous note, I'd say the ability to voice opinions here without being personally attacked *does* make it a writer safe space, but definitions may vary. I'll call it the Neutral Zone instead. Or International Waters. The only law that matters is captain's law!

Lennon Faris said...

I always love the crossed-out phrases.

Also I love this community. Sometimes comments do rub me the wrong way, but part of me finds them amusing (like the odd relative at the reunion). The mean-spirited ones are the only exception, and they are so few and far between.

Happy writing, folks!

John Davis Frain said...

Yes, Lennon, the crossed-out phrases are the best. It's like when someone leans in and says, "I probably shouldn't say this, but..." You never listen more intently!

I often wish we could do cross-outs in the comments. I mean my own, not you smart people's comments.

Friday afternoon, and I'm about to tip the Julie Weathers Unofficial Sand Timer for an hour and a minute (it came with extra sand!)of uninterrupted writing. I don't think any humans outside of many folks here would understand my level of excitement.

Keep writing, y'all.

Sharyn Ekbergh said...

When Janet or someone else here recommends a book I usually add it to my wish list. I'm reading Prince of Thieves by Chuck Hogan which I think came through Janet.
Added Sunburn to my list. I appreciate book suggestions!

roadkills-r-us said...

Is anyone else ready to start a campaign to write-in Janet for POTUS in 2020?
I got to that point even before her recommendation of one of my all-time favorite books.

One Of Us Has To Go said...

Have tried not to get involved so as not to stir... but am unable.

Julie, we have NOT forgotten about the Nazis, how horrible it was and what was done!! In Germany, there are lots of places to remember.

And, trust me, I (as a German) am regularly made not to forget. Have lived in Zurich (Switzerland) and been told "You are all Nazis". Lived in London, talked about Germany beating England in soccer... Sudden response "But we won the war!"

During the soccer World Cup 2006, I was afraid to cheer for my team and shout "Deutschland".

Nobody in Germany puts up a national flag in their garden or in front of their house (like in America - probably Texas!). Nobody.

Lived four years in Paris, once said in a bar as I listened to their music "Oh well, I don't actually like Oriental music". Response: "Are you Hitler?"

My parents weren't even born during the war, my great-grandfather resisted the Nazis and didn't join their party, which was obligatory - I am kind of pretty proud of that/him.

Germany don't have a holiday on remembrance day, we don't wear poppies so as not to offend all of you. But I'd love to join in and remember.

We have not forgotten. We don't want to forget! We'd love to undo what's happened, we're ashamed of it!
We've not forgotten, the word Nazi is NOT tossed around. But we'd also love it if it didn't haunt us everywhere we go. It's painful for you but sometimes also for us (I'm actually very emotional right now...).

I got caught in the damn terrorist attacks in Paris in 2015, ran for my life and then escaped to Canada. One thing that I appreciate here, I am honest with you, is that I am not linked to the Nazis (so far).

Colin Smith said...

SUNBURN is now on my list too. :)

roadkills-r-us: No way am I campaigning for QOTKU on the 2020 ballot. Nothing to do with her politics. Everything to do with getting Janet to become my agent. Now, that's a campaign I can get behind. ;)

The Sleepy One said...

I'm curious if the OP meant political comments or legit bad advice. I'd never try to "educate" someone over a political opinion. But I can think of a recent instance when someone said something objectively wrong--that an entire genre was played out/not selling--and someone who writes and publishes in that genre explained why that's incorrect.

Adele said...

roadkills, are you trying to get sent to Carkoon? (That's what happens to people who suggest extra work for Janet. I'm pretty sure being POTUS would be extra work.)

My parents had a friend, a German fellow who went to school with a certain Adolf Hitler. Yes, that one, and his fellow students were well aware that he had it in for them. The night his party gained power, they just got in their cars and headed for the border, knowing they'd be dead in a day if they stayed. I like this story because all too often we forget these were real people with Mums and Dads and people who knew them. Yes, I do know it all ended badly, but if you lived in those days the story was a lot more textured.



E.M. Goldsmith said...

Janet would NEVER run for president. That would be a massive step down. She’s already Queen of the Known Universe. Why would she want to be president of a tiny little part of one teensy bouncing ball in her universe? Please.

Colin Smith said...

Elise: Besides, it would get in the way of her ultimate goal, which is, as we all know, to become my agent. :D :D :D

... it was worth a try... ;)

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Colin Well, the universe needs more writers. It most certainly does not need more politicians which is why our queen is a literary agent and not say, Marie Antoinette.

Julie Weathers said...

One Of Us Has To Go

I'm sure you haven't. Frankly, I think Germany's pendulum has swung so far the other way people are being made to feel they should be ashamed of their country and who they are and pay for all eternity. Wrong.

I'm not going to get into what I think of the current situation in Germany, but I do have friends there, so I am not another ignorant American forming my opinion from news bites.

It's like someone launching into me for my ancestors owning slaves and I owed them? What? My dad's side of the family emigrated from Denmark in the late 1800's legally through Ellis Island. They may have, I suppose somewhere down the line when they were Vikings they may have or may have been slaves, but that didn't have anything to do with the south so leave me out the collective guilt trip.

Who HAS forgotten is the crop of Americans who march freely and call anyone who disagrees with them a Nazi or fascist and they don't even understand what the words mean. Someone needs to be teaching history in our schools.

AJ Blythe said...

Sherry, thanks to Janet and the Reiders here I have a TBR pile that is years long. Reading time is precious so I'm making a determined effort to focus on reading in my genre and ignoring recommendations from here. Of course, after so many of you singing the praises of Sunburn...*sigh*.

Mora Green said...

One Of Us Has To Go, hey, just wanted to say, I hear you. WW2 is my favorite bit of history, specifically the Eastern Front, and I've always been very curious about the German side of things. Not the Nazis but the regular people who were there. I'm sure you know that miniseries that came out of Germany a few years ago, which the creators meant as a way for people to talk to their family members who were silent about their experience for decades. And yet I bring up that series and people are like, Oh, what is it, an "it-wasn't-our-fault" kind of thing? And then it got shit reviews because "how dare you" basically.

I read a lot of memoirs of German soldiers for novel research, and they never failed to surprise me. Even if the novel never gets published, glad I read them. Thank you for sharing.

One Of Us Has To Go said...

Thanks, Mora. It was a lot about propaganda. My grandmother once shook Hitler's hand as he paraded through her small village. She thought she should never wash her hands anymore.

But her father soon knew better. He was able to understand English and secretly tuned into the BBC (British radio). It was a VERY dangerous thing to do but he needed to know the truth.

He didn't join the party. But the whole family was scared of the Nazis, even though nobody was Jewish. People, particularly in villages, got 'found' if they hadn't registered with the Nazi party.
My grandma told me she begged her dad to join. For their safety.

She also told me how they hid a young Russian soldier in their cellar and fed him with soups. They weren't pro-Russian, just pro-human. That soldier was so scared of fighting. He kind of broke down.

And I remember how my grandma said: "If the Americans hadn't come quickly, we'd all have died!"
She meant dying from starvation. The Americans came and flew over destroyed Germany and dropped tons of flour.

I love America ☺.

Germans actually also have a reason to celebrate the end of the war... and to remember. But we don't. Because we know that others have a (at least objectively) better reason. (We don't officially remember the good German people who were made to join the front and died - not to offend the others. They are kind of forgotten. My grandfather got captured. He wasn't a Nazi.)

Lennon Faris said...

One Of Us Has To Go - Your words remind me of our topic from the other day (writing about unspeakable things). Your stories don't surprise me but they certainly show something I don't normally read about and they are truly heartbreaking. I am so glad your family was/ is pro-human. Me, too.

kdjames.com said...

This post reminds me of one of my favourite XKCD pieces: https://xkcd.com/386/

Pretty sure the first time I commented over here, after lurking for years, was because Janet said something about writing and I truly disagreed with her. I think (hope!) I was respectful and civil, but I know I was fairly emphatic. And the leeway to do that, to disagree, is something I've always appreciated about this forum.

There are times it sounds a bit like an echo chamber over here, and that can be irritating in its own way. I enjoy the occasional dissenting opinion and respect the fortitude it takes to be that lone voice in a crowd. As long as it's about the topic, not the person.

I've learned a lot from people here whose viewpoints and experiences are very different from mine. It would be a real shame if people felt constrained or judged into silence for fear they might be deemed "inappropriate" for having a unique opinion. I look forward to hearing what everyone has to say.


Craig F said...

I'll toss in my name as, probably, the number two most disliked vommenter. This is a very diverse community and there are different world views for each of us. Mine is just mine and has a different perspective than yours.

I have no idea how my perspective is different from yours but I am sure it is. What I like most about this blog is that the vommenters almost always consider their response before posting it.

Like in most things, emotion sometimes gets in the way of consideration. The past few weeks have been particularly trying for me and will be that way for a while more. I hope you can deal with it. If not, too bad.

On off topic vomments: I would love to be able to celebrate positive things with all of you, but bad things happen. I will commiserate with those as much as possible. Try not to brand those who don't share your view of the world too quickly.

One Of Us Has To Go said...

Lennon, 💗.

BJ Muntain said...

KDJames' link: https://xkcd.com/386/

kdjames.com said...

Craig!! I don't dislike you at all and I don't get the impression anyone else does either. Stop that. As for the recent violence in your state, I have no words. Well, none that would be appropriate to express here, as they're filled with rage and despair. That doesn't mean I think you shouldn't express your feelings here. It's natural to share grief with friends. I haven't responded to that, and I'm sorry. My silence comes from a place of feeling helpless to make it better, not disapproval or dislike.

BJ, thank you. I'll admit to being lazy (and in a rush) earlier.

Ginger Mollymarilyn said...

Ooh, John D. Frain, I can't help but think what's going to happen in your extra minute! It seems so fortuitous. The magic lies in those extra minutes.

Ginger Mollymarilyn said...

Craig F - You have a typo. I think you meant the #2 most-liked commenter.

Julie Weathers said...

One

There is a famous German pilot and I can't recall his name now, but I have to admire him. He got terribly sick flying, but forced himself to get over it and eventually became Germany's top ace. He developed maneuvers and training programs that were new to flying. The Nazi party was doing away with Catholics and he put protection around his bishop who he also had marry him and his wife. There was a lot of pressure for him not to do that, but he insisted.

A boy he went to school with was Jewish and he managed to transfer their family business to someone else so they wouldn't lose it and get them protection. They were boyhood friends and they remained friends regardless of politics.

Nothing is ever black and white. There are always layers of stories.

Julie Weathers said...

Sometimes reading these comments is like this.

Bonnie Shaljean said...

One Of Us - but everybody else, too:
Have you read The Book Thief? It's written from the standpoint of the ordinary German population and how they suffered, from their own government as well as from the official Enemy. The author, Markus Zusak, was born in Australia but seems to have based the central character on his mother.

Its style is highly distinctive (a good example of "voice" for you) and it permanently rates as one of my all-time favourite books. Ever. Do read it if you haven't already - it really is the picture worth a thousand words.

One Of Us Has To Go said...

Thanks, Julie. Thanks, Bonnie.

Oh yes, Bonnie, you're the one who explained to me what "voice" is, I believe :).