Friday, May 13, 2016

I'm Too Old for This Shh...

About a half-hour ago, I had a run-in with a bizarro author by the name of Vince Kramer. He’d been on my friends’ list for quite a while, but I really didn’t know much about him. Until tonight. Here’s how it went down...

A friend asked me to expand upon my disability (as some of you may or may not know, I suffer from a rare condition of the eyes known as retinitis pigmentosa, which causes one’s vision to slowly, and sometimes rapidly, deteriorate). In turn, this friend confided in me about his lupus diagnosis and how the disease has affected his life. For a while, we had a back-and-forth about our conditions and I found it rather therapeutic. Hope he did, too.

Not long after, I decided to peruse my Facebook timeline, something I almost never do, and I came across a lengthy rant by this Vince Kramer, who expressed how hard life can be when you’re tall, good looking, blond, and well-built. How frustrating it can be when you’re so often wrongly seen as a “womanizing jock asshole” when in reality, you’re actually quite “shy and nice.”

In all honesty, my stomach turned at this. I suffer daily due to my vision loss, as does my friend due to lupus, and this Vince Kramer is whining about being too pretty? Really?? So, I left what I thought was a completely harmless, albeit snarky, comment that read as follows: “And I thought all those starving children in Africa had it rough.” Minutes later, he sends me a DM which read:

“That's a fucking retarded thing to say. Are you fucking retarded? I mean, what the fuck does that have to do with anything? You're an asshole.”

I was initially struck by how inarticulate the message was (this guy’s a published author??). Second, I thought that maybe if I explained things a little better and maybe even apologized for my surly remark, he just might see things from my perspective. But—and I’m sure this’ll come as no surprise—I couldn’t respond because he blocked me. Womp womp.

This has been quite the learning experience, I must say. Suffering daily with diseases like lupus and ailments that cause one to lose a large percentage of their vision is one thing, but when you’re a handsome, broad-shouldered guy who is often judged solely on his appearance, all else simply pales in comparison.



Monday, May 2, 2016

Shattered Goals

About six or seven years ago, I sat down to write a list of things I’d like to professionally accomplish. I wouldn’t call it “a bucket list,” as it doesn’t contain feats of mental and physical strength, like jumping out of an airplane, or climbing Everest. It’s merely a list of around a dozen plateaus I’d hoped to reach as a professional scribe. I’m proud to say I accomplished some of these goals and prouder still that I haven’t accomplished others.

One thing I’d always wanted was to win a Bram Stoker Award for my efforts in fiction writing. I’ve wanted one of these awards so badly and for so long that I printed out a picture of one and tacked it to my cork board as a reminder to work harder and continue plugging away so that maybe I could one day achieve this honor. In the world of horror fiction, having “Bram Stoker Award-winning author” before your name really means a tremendous lot. Or at least it used to.

Another in my list of goals: becoming an active member of the Horror Writers Association. I have no real excuse as for why I never joined. I suppose I continued to allow life and personal projects to get in the way year after year. Needless to say, I’m beyond grateful to never have had any association with the HWA, or the Bram Stoker Awards, especially after some pretty horrific events have been brought to light.

I will not rehash these stories here, as they are not my stories to tell. For those of you unable to quell your curiosities, some minor Internet sleuthing will undoubtedly answer all of your questions. So much has come out about the HWA, the Stokers, and some pretty high-ranking members that I admit I’m ashamed to have ever wanted any part of such a crooked organization. All this time I believed to grasp that brass ring and reach a higher strata occupied by so many authors I’ve respected and admired over the years, these were the steps I must take. Oh, how wrong I was.

I have no interest in winning a Stoker, no interest in reaching this higher strata if being a part of this upper echelon means being what some of these truly detestable people are. So as not to confuse the issue, I want to stress that thee are, in fact, respectable members of the HWA and not everyone involved are of questionable morale. There are enough, however, for me to believe that they are, in fact, corrupt. Therefore, I shall continue to keep my distance.

For now, I will remain dedicated to my craft and keep hoping that one day this dedication pays off. Whether that means landing a contract with a major publisher, acquiring the interest of literary agents, or winning an award presented by a more respectable organization remains to be seen.