Tonight, I had a wonderful experience:
a friend warned me about the flakiness
of the Internet and the risks of trusting
people I haven't met in person but am
trying to work with on my new project.
Most of these I have met through email
and then through phone calls, just not
in person. And I'm not exactly so great
with computers or hip to technology.
So, having been spooked by my friend,
who meant well but, also, warned me that
the writers I'm counting on- many being
quite well known people- might simply
blow me off, or leave me high and dry
when it came time to deliver their work.
After all, that could be true (conceivably)-
what do I know?- I never did anything
like this before. So I decided to check.
I came home and emailed almost all
of the people about whom I had even
1% doubt- not based on their character,
just on the fact that we only made contact
recently. And even though my deadline
isn't until February 1st, I wanted to know
how responsive they'd be if I reached out
and asked for an update because, after all,
I have responsibilities to Cleis Press,
my publisher, and they've been great.
Well, so are the folks whom I emailed!!!
Guess what, Internet? Guess what, plasma?
There really are Human Beings on the far
side of that screen! Within a few minutes,
I got replies from almost every person-
all sweet, all totally supportive- friendly,
perfectly willing to share what they have
and communicate more, whatever I need.
Okay, there's one exception. A good guy
to be sure, but one dealing with an illness
in his family. And I kind of knew that he
might not, ultimately, be completely solid
as a creative collaborator because of that
fact. So he send back what the British call
"a wobbly." But this was the exact purpose
of the experiment: to see who's really there
and who might not work out.
So ask me if I'm happy! Go on. Here I am-
on a Friday night- emailing over a dozen
busy/creative/well-known people- feeling
slightly uncertain as to if they're really there
for me, if they'll pony up. And almost every
one replies within a few minutes. One even
offers me a lead for a still-vacant/unassigned
chapter in the work underway.
This is the kind of thing which makes me trust
that this work is flying along on "angel wings."
I really can't claim credit for that; it's larger than
me, larger than anyone. It's all about the power
of Truth using us all as its vehicle. I bow to That.
And, it seems, so do the incredible contributors
to the anthology. They proved it tonight.