Oh my dear, sweet, all-forgiving God. Oh most gracious ruler of the Universe, whose will brought forth the worlds and whose love enfolds them still. Why do You permit me to agree to these things?
I’ve told myself over and over: Do not respond positively to a review request. I’ve reminded myself of the horrors that have always ensued. I’ve lamented the lost time, the bruised egos, and the weeping and the gnashing of teeth. Yet every so often I find myself saying, “Oh, sure, if you’ll read and review one of mine.” What follows has always been a season in Hell.
It’s happened again. Correction: I’ve let myself in for it again. Yes, yes, I know: I have only myself to blame. Still, please allow me this cri de coeur. Only thus can I detoxify the urge to hunt down the requestor and murder him in his sleep.
Why can’t I learn? Why can’t I just chuckle cynically over the solicitations, then delete them and move on as if they’d never arrived? Is it a misplaced notion about what it means to “love your neighbor as yourself?” Or is it some as-yet-unexpunged puddle of optimism about my fellow indies, after so many disappointments over so many years? The former might be excused under the “he was just having a senior moment” paradigm, but for one who styles himself a Curmudgeon Emeritus, the latter would verge on unforgivable.
But I’m committed. I must read this steaming pile of offal all the way to the end and find something gentle to say about it. I’d rather seek out the perpetrator and force him to take four years of Remedial English. After that, I’d compel him to read five hundred well-written fantasy novels – out loud, while I listen. But that’s probably a felony in this state. Anyway, my pastor would not approve.
Pray for me, Gentle Reader. I’m so close to doing something untoward. Faking my own death comes to mind. But it would be rather difficult to keep writing and blogging after that, so…
Just pray for me. Great God in Heaven, what a fool I am!