Content warning for discussion of a false suicide attempt at the end of the post. If you or someone you know may be struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can call or text the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 any time day or night, or chat online at 988lifeline.org.
The Christmas tree is out by the woodpile and the decorations are stored until next year.
We didn’t really put up much outside, and we were behind schedule when we did. I think I’m going to plan on doing the outside stuff a little earlier. It’s been kind of a Thanksgiving weekend thing for a while, but that’s traditionally been the weekend of The Game, more often than not, and that means we don’t really have the time on Saturday to do it. Plus, Nutcracker rehearsals take a lot of my weekend time around then. And Middle Son has started a rumor that I might be attending The Game this year. We’ll see.
Speaking of decorations…I want to add to the outside decorations we have. I’ve been threatening to make some mini-trees for several years now. They’re typically made with tomato cages wrapped in lights, though these days, there are a number of options for lights. I’ll probably stick with the old-school “dumb” LED lights for those trees and run them with a simple controller. All I want to do is cycle through the colors. We live on a road with a 45 MPH speed limit, so it’s not like I’m going to do a music-synched show.
Third Son headed back to Ohio Monday morning after picking up a horse for the farm where he works. He was going to drive his own truck down, but the farm was working a deal on a horse out of OKC, so they had Third Son drive down in a farm truck with a horse trailer. He picked the horse up Sunday, and headed out bright and obnoxiously early Monday morning. When he got in Sunday night and we checked out the horse, I asked his name. Third Son said, “They told me everything about him except his name.”
One last football comment then I’m done for the season.
ROLL GREEN WAVE!
I was freaking ecstatic to see Tulane pull off a come-from-behind win in the final seconds of the Cotton Bowl Monday. I didn’t actually see it because I was at the store with Grandson. I followed it on ESPN and Oldest Son texted updates in the final minute. Just a storybook season for the Green Wave. I wish my mom and her family siblings had been around to see it.
As I was looking through the directory where I store my Storyworth files, I found myself skimming through the journals I’d written over the years. The earliest I found was a couple of entries from 1997. My journaling efforts could be charitably called “spotty.” There’s the 97 file, then one that covers 1999-2001. One file each for 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2007, and then…nothing. Those are all in my cloud storage. On the hard drive on the big laptop, I’ve got eight or ten files from when I was intending to write my memoirs. I spent close to an hour going through some of those files, and wish I’d done that before I got serious about Storyworth. I’ll probably go back and add to some earlier entries.
In those journal and memoir files, I haveabout 4,000 words written about parts of my Army enlistment, so I started editing that down for a Storyworth entry. I’m over 5,000 words now. So much for editing. I’m justifying it by reminding myself that I have to set the stage for a few of the stories, and write out acronyms that I’m using, and so forth. Plus, this entry is covering two-and-a-half years of my life that I remember a lot about, so I’ve got plenty of detail to use.
Writers Behaving Badly
I learned a new word this week: pseudocide.
An independent romance writer who supposedly died by suicide two years ago announced her resurrection. Susan Meachen reportedly died two years ago, according to a post by her “daughter” in a Facebook fan group. She returned to her Facebook account Monday, claiming she really had made an attempt due to online bullying. She went on to say that her family made the decision to tell everyone online that she’d died, apparently to throw the bullies off her scent. As a result, a number of other authors found themselves bullied despite a lack of evidence tying them to the “crime.”.
The authors I know who are talking about this are just aghast that someone would do something like this, and then resurrect themselves so blithely. BookTok and BookTwitter are not treating her kindly. Some people made donations . Other writers put together an anthology and sent the proceeds to her “daughter.”
According to a Reddit post, while she was supposedly deceased (I guess the SEO-friendly euphemism is “unalive”) she still maintained a TikTok account, and may have created at least two pseudonyms. One of those pseudonyms “took over” her fan group.
In an exchange with a book reviewer who’s covering this, Meachen claimed no one ever asked for the donations. She further said that if anyone had a problem with things given or sent to her daughter, they should take it up with her. That whole exchange sounded to me like she’s already trying to control the spin, doing whatever she can to avoid legal consequences over what’s happened.
She’s blaming her family for doing this to try to protect her. But the Reddit thread suggests there were looming financial and legal issues. She apparently owed money or book covers to other writers. She may also have been facing copyright issues from Disney over using their IP in covers she sold. The Mouse doesn’t play around when it comes to IP protection.
I’ll be very curious to see where the legal side of this goes. It’s technically not illegal for someone to pretend to have died, or for your family to claim you’re dead, provided there are no attempts to defraud or escape legal consequences for other issues. Does accepting donations count as fraud? Maybe not. But if I give you something because I think a family member has died, are you under any obligation to disabuse me of that notion? Morally, I’d say yes. I’m not sure what the legal answer is though. Time will tell, I suppose.
Thanks for reading! Feel free to share a thought in the comments. Sign up for my infrequent newsletter here. Find some of my other writing at The Good Men Project, too. Subscribe to the blog via the link in the right sidebar so you never miss an update here, either. You can also add my RSS feed to your favorite reader.