It's like a train wreck---I keep trying to turn away, but can't.
I stated earlier that I'm not going to defend myself, and I won't. All opinions are valid, and I appreciate everyone sharing them.
There were many folks who emailed me rather than posted. Thank you as well. Here's the final tally:
26 people think I'm fine with how I'm doing things. Thanks for the support, but if I'm hurting people's feelings, that isn't fine at all. I'm not concerned with the people who view me peripherally and find me obnoxious. Someone once said, "The people who don't like you are never going to like you. The ones who do like you will forgive you."
But if I did hurt your feelings, it wasn't intentional. And again, I apologize. My goal is to be entertaining, not to traumatize my peers.
7 people think I'm the anti-christ, and should be put to death. Fair enough. Even though I'm sure he doesn't want my endorsement, I'd like to express my appreciation to Charles Benoit, who had the cajones to rip me a new one and sign his name to it. Very cool. I much prefer someone saying that to my face than talking behind my back. If you can stomach standing next to me, I'll buy you a beer at B'Con 2006.
8 people think I need to tone it down a little, or maybe more than a little. You may be right.
7 people urged me to seek help for a drinking problem, and one even offered to sponsor me in AA. Thanks for the concern. I did a little Googling, and according to this test http://www.habitsmart.com/chkup.html I have a low dependence on alcohol. I also lack any of the symptoms of alcohol addiction. B'Con was the first time I've gotten annihilated in public since college.
4 people asked me for blurbs, even while in the midst of all of this controversy. I'm way behind in my reading, but dammit, I will read your books, and if I like them I'd be thrilled to blurb them. Thanks for the vote of confidence.
2 people complimented me on the fact that I helped raise $8000 for charity at the auction.
Why is it when I act like a loudmouth on a panel and drink too much that's grounds for excommunication from the mystery world, but when I work my butt off and do some good, no one cares? Rhetorical question.
I think that is all that needs to be said. Personally, I'm sick of hearing about myself---which may be a first. But here's a caveat to all who read:
The mystery community is pretty tight, but not so tight that secrets can't be kept. I've learned that there are people who have disliked me for years, and I've never known.
I'm not alone in my ignorance. If you think you're universally liked, guess again. People talk. Gossip. Bitch. Moan. Complain. Point fingers. There are people who don't like you, and chances are you'll never hear about it.
Watch your glass houses, folks.
Love and success to all, even to the ones who can't stand me.