Friday Fictioneers – …And That’s When it Just Got Offensive…

What a week I’ve had, darlings.

The less said, the better, methinks. Your favourite dilettante shot her mouth off in public, and a couple of people took it very personally (even though it was never intended to be personal).

Some people don’t like to be thought of as sheep, but they are. They go along to get along, and they run with the pack, perhaps not always to their own destruction, but certainly not toward anything different or exciting.

You ever notice how all sheep look the same and sound the same? I lamented (admittedly very loudly) how homogeneous the blogging world was, and yet how people are drawn to that homogeneity, and don’t understand or don’t know what to do with something different.

There were a couple of really loud baaaaaas of protest, and I fear that as these couple of baaaaaas ran away, shunning your favourite dilettante, that they likely led their friends away with them.

Because that’s what sheep do.

What a horrible, rude, metaphor, Helena.

Don’t forget obvious, darling — yes, I know. This picture practically screams out this metaphor, and I admit, I’m taking the path of least resistance this week (and does that make me a sheep?) but it just seemed horribly timely that this photo would show up after the week I’ve had — a week that has caused me to all but withdraw from the internet, because I don’t know where I’m welcome anymore.

That car driving away is making a choice — but it’s a lonely choice, going against the crowd. You get accused of biting the hand that feeds you, or being unnecessarily cruel, or being self-righteous or being a hater — when really what you are doing is just demanding more from yourself, and hoping that people would demand more from themselves, too. I have a friend who I haven’t seen for a while — he used to write on here sometimes — and he taught me a new word — weltschmerz. It’s a German word that means the feeling of not belonging in this world — the depression and malaise caused by the alienation one feels from the world. I feel increasingly alienated from the society we live in — I don’t understand it, and I don’t understand its values.

So I rail against them, and people accuse me of putting myself on a pedestal and kicking out at my equals.

It would seem that I would do much better in life to either strap a piece of duct tape across my mouth or just learn how to baaaaaa.

This is my entry for Friday Fictioneers this week. Each week may be my last. I am in a terribly fragile state right now, so…

Thank you if you’ve made it this far. Of course, you could just comment TL/DR (which means “Too long, didn’t read”) and is quite possibly the rudest thing you could post, but then, the internet seems to be a breeding ground for ignorance, so… if you feel like being rude to me, just put that in the comments and it will be sufficiently hurtful.




copyright Sandra Crook

copyright Sandra Crook

“Where the fuck does she think she’s going?”

“Thinks she’s better than the rest of us.”

“Well, fuck her, then. I can’t believe I ever gave her the time of day.”

“Me, too. I’m going to remove any trace of her. I’m going to remove her name, her face, and anything she ever wrote.”

“The nerve of her. Calling us banal, and shallow. We’re not banal and shallow, are we, dear?”

“Not at all. So where are we going?”

“That barn over there.”

“What’s in the barn?”

“Don’t know, but everybody else is going, so it must be cool.”


100 responses to “Friday Fictioneers – …And That’s When it Just Got Offensive…

  1. I read what you had written as well as the complaints, and they were completely unjustified. How anyone took those comments as aimed their way was confusing. And this picture definitely begged for baaaaas. Well done.

  2. Read it all. Still here. Really liked the sheep metaphor. “Hey you guys, in the barn is a guy who will shave off all your hair and take your kids.” I guess they don’t hear well.

  3. Helena, please don’t leave us. I agree though, that the Internet can be a pretty harsh place and the continuing success of an endless stream of derivative memes just proves that people like to follow the crowd. I hope things get better.

    • Like I said, I feel like every post is my last these day, and it takes more and more effort to continue — but I’ve begun to enjoy myself again in writing, so that’s a good sign.

  4. Loved the dialogue. All too realistic. A perfect match for the photo too. 🙂 (You should have stood your ground this week… if it was worth saying, it was worth sticking around to take the flak on account of it.) Steady as you go, Helena, 😉 every day a new day.

  5. I’m with Sandra on that one – you lack that vicious killer streak to give that shot when needed. Some comments I saw directed at you were so pathetic it was ridiculous.
    But let’s look at things another way: I think youä’re just building up for another book, just getting yourself into the right fragile frame to write it. I read parts of Dilettante and thought it looked smashing – better than I thought it would be, so there’s one for me when I get my kindle finally. But seriously, at least you are going all the way; committing totally and feeling the pain. Its like that Nicholas Cage line in Moonlight I like so much – love don’t make
    things nice, it ruins everything, it
    breaks your heart, it makes things a
    mess. We’re not here to make things
    perfect. Snowflakes are perfect. The
    stars are perfect. Not us. We are
    here to ruin ourselves and break our
    hearts and love the wrong people and
    die! The storybooks are bullshit.
    Come upstairs with me, baby! Don’t
    try to live your life out to somebody
    else’s idea of sweet happiness. Don’t
    try to live on milk and cookies
    Yes, probably meaningless, and not literately connected. Anyway, my story this week was certainly influenced by our self-inflicted demise from facebook..perhaps a very wise choice.

    • Oh, I think you’d be surprised about my vicious killer streak. I definitely used it in private, which is where it belonged. Being publicly called out wasn’t worth the ire. I feel I responded well enough, but in the end, walked away sighing.
      There’s definitely another book coming, and it’s almost finished the first draft. My thinking, though, is that when this is done, I may close the book on Helena altogether and start something fresh. I’m not going to stop writing, I just wonder if this dilettante hasn’t outlived her usefulness.
      Yes, my social suicide attempt seems to have failed — but it does leave me feeling a bit wounded.

  6. NO! DON’T GO!!!

    Okay then, did my screaming get your attention? Good. Now then, let’s be reasonable about this…

    So you pissed a few people off. So they gathered up the rest of the sheep in their little cliques, but not before leaving some steamers behind. The reality? You’re better off without them.

    I’ve only been blogging a few months, but in that short time it’s bloggers like *you* that has given me the courage I needed to keep going. You are kind, well intentioned and passionate. All of that shines through in both your writing and interaction with those of us who follow your blog.

    The truth is people are sheep. Too often the mob mentality rules the day, especially out here in the Wild West that is cyberspace. While there is a line that should never be crossed, it’s all too often hidden from view. But your opinions and your stories do no, should not and are not, crossing any kind of terrible harm inducing kind of line. If someone doesn’t like what you have to say on *your* blog, then it’s their problem. Not yours!

    I should probably point out that I don’t even know what prompted this post. Apparently I’ve missed something. But I have full confidence that you broke no laws and didn’t do or partcipate in anything that caused anyone else physical or mental suffering. Being offended by written content is not the same thing as actually being harmed.

    Please Helena, don’t quit because a few rogue sheep are disgruntled. Please.

    Sending Hugs now. Big ones!

    • Thanks for the hugs, darling. I’ll take them, cyber or otherwise.
      I think it all started with a simple post on Twitter, where I admitted that for months I’d been trying to be one of the popular girls, when in fact, I remembered that I hated the popular girls! Thus began my descent and eventual social suicide attempt on that ever so public forum, Facebook. (I’m no longer there, so don’t worry). I broke no laws, except, like you say, the laws of the clique, and if I’ve offended someone, I need only remember that I’ve offended a stranger, and that they’ve been offended by a stranger. We are all strangers here, and what’s truly strange is how easily we let strangers into the most intimate places of our lives. To quote Edward Norton’s character from Fight Club: “Strangers with this kind of honesty make me go a big rubbery one.”

      • Awe, you’re welcome. Facebook is just plain brutal! I don’t have my own account, but I do share one with my husband. We are very selective about who we befriend and it has been used against me personally. (By my out-laws, of course.)

        I can’t honestly say that I don’t feel hurt when somewhen says something nasty to or about me. I actually get my feelings hurt quite easily, but then…then I remember that not everyone is like that. I come across people like you, and so many others that reach out, extend a hand and welcome me and all my annoying habits. Yes, we’re technically strangers. And yes, we will probably never meet in-person. But for all the things wrong with the internet, the real, living human beings behind the keyboards, are truly what is making the planet a global society.

        Now, if we could just vote the nasty one off … 😉

        p.s. I’m very happy to hear you’re not in that dark place anymore, and that you will keep on blogging! 🙂

  7. If you find you don’t fit into the world that surrounds you, flip them a birdy and build your own world. As my favorite poem says:

    Out of the night that covers me,
    Black as the pit from pole to pole,
    I thank whatever gods may be
    For my unconquerable soul.

    In the fell clutch of circumstance
    I have not winced nor cried aloud.
    Under the bludgeonings of chance
    My head is bloody, but unbowed.

    Beyond this place of wrath and tears
    Looms but the horror of the shade,
    And yet the menace of the years
    Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

    It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishments the scroll,
    I am the master of my fate:
    I am the captain of my soul.


  8. You had an opinion ? How bloody dare you ? Please bear with us, you are my favorite black sheep. ❤

  9. Missed the drama as I’ve been in NYC this week and behind on blog reading. I did mean to chat with Guap last night (we met for dinner) about the whole drama-y vibe of the blogosphere — but we didn’t end up spending much time talking blog-things (which is pretty awesome, I think).

    The situation you describe sounds very high school clique-ish — and I’ve witnessed it before here on WP. Makes me sad.

    Then again, not really. Fuck ’em.

  10. How did I miss this drama?

    I don’t know why the internet makes people think they can do and say things they would neither do nor say to someone’s face. At the end of it, you have to be true to yourself and write what makes you happy, and who cares about the rest of it? You be YOU.

    • Always! And if I get tired of being me, I can always dream up a new me.
      By the way — that post about MTM working so hard to promote you — damn near broke my heart — all my best to the two of you lovebirds.

  11. Helena, I’m sincerely sorry that you’re enduring such cruelty. Clearly, these people are shaken by your unconventional honesty and authenticity. Sometimes when people hear something that brings forth a truth they don’t wish to acknowledge, they’ll run from it or beat it down, without taking the opportunity to reconsider themselves and perhaps learn from a different viewpoint. Now, I don’t know specifically what insults you’re referring to, but you’ve never stricken me as a self-righteous or a hater. I’ll admit I’m intimidated by you, not because of the way you’ve treated me, but by the depth of your talent, to which I feel I may never accomplish. They say that we weren’t born to fit in, but I can completely agree that the life of a black sheep, or a stumpy goat in my case, can be quite lonely and discouraging. Please keep your head up and don’t quit. Clearly from these comments, you see that you have so many supporters, and the power of our admiration largely outweighs what nasty things people might say or do because you “offended” them. By the way, haven’t they heard the saying that we choose how we react to situations? Anyway, my deepest sympathy for your situation, but if it’s any consolation, this was an entertaining story. Also, now I can appreciate even greater the thoughtful comment you left on my story. Not sure if this will brighten the mood, but I grew up on the farm, and one time I swear I hear a sheep actually say my sister’s name (Skye). I hung around hoping it would say mine, but I had no luck. Also, I had my own sheep that I named Pickles, which I rode around the farm (I was quite little back then). Take whatever time you need to recoup, but please never give up. You’re an inspiration.

    • I fear I’ll not do your comment justice in my response, so I’ll just say thank you so much for taking the time to pour out your support and encouragement. Give it time, it’ll blow over, and maybe — just maybe — I’ll get my wish and people will judge me on the merit of my writing and not on how well I play the game. Thanks again!

  12. Hmmm, you and I have had one slight difference of opinion, but we are both entitled to our own opinion, and you are entitled to say what you want where you want, I believe it’s called freedom of speech or some such thing. I missed out on the latest bit. We might not always see eye to eye, but you are a damn good writer and you would be missed you know, yes even by me.

    • Oh, Jackie — I didn’t think there was any ill will between us! Yeah, we had one disagreement, but I thought we handled it like adults. I have great respect for your writing, and I’m proud to hear you call me a damn good writer.
      Much love!

      • Well, I know you are going through a hard time and I want you to know I’m in your corner if you need me. We all could do with a bit more honesty sometimes. So don’t give up lady. Oh, and we did handle it like adults! The way things should be handled.

  13. Damn, I missed the shooting the mouth off… and the comments. I personally prefer my sheep black.

    I liked your dialog and could almost pick out the two in the photo doing the saying.

    Love your cover art, btw.

  14. I read this after I’d replied to your comment on mine. Weirdly apt 😉 As someone who is still searching for her own voice in writing. I bow to your own incredibly versatile, creative and talented ‘accent’. Always forgive, never forget and always be you, because ‘you’ is incredible 😉

  15. Your story really, really made me laugh this week. It also made me want to see what’s going on in the barn – what does that say about me???
    As for the other stuff, today’s news is tomorrow’s chip paper, as they say – not sure what the digital version of ‘tomorrow’s chip paper’ is, but that.

  16. I missed all the drama, but I hate that it’s aimed at you. I do not like when other people throw things in my face that I want no part of.

    My (admittedly trite) advice r.e. the world “these days” is to ignore it… you’ll be in plenty of excellent company if you completely check out of the magazines, TV channels, and radio stations that have nothing to offer you, and stick with what you love.

    As for the pack of sheep… I have a sheep costume you can borrow, if you’re feeling wolfish. 😉

  17. Sounds like I missed an opportunity to into fight, H, I’ve been awol myself recently and hit n miss since. Sadly I think the herd mentality is as strong as ever amongst even those who would declare themselves free thinkers, unfettered by convetion…as long as they’re with their mates. Reminds me of Brian’s speech from that little 1st century Palestian 2nd story window where he declares in exasperation, “Youre all individuals!” and the lone reply from amongst the throng says “Im not.” Stay you and keep feeding into the sheep, I say…to me as well. Respect Red

    • Sometimes you just have to step back and stop trying to please others and remember that the reason you do this is to please yourself. I’m writing a story right now (took a diversion from that other story to let Jessica out of the basement for a spell) that I’m super excited about. It’s horrible. I mean, just terribly creepy, and quite possibly brilliant. That’s when you know I’m having fun.

      • Yes, have fun Lovely, it’s invigorating, helps put the sheep into perspective too. Write on, I say, write on!

  18. TL/RIA (too long/read it anyway:-) )

    Loved the sheep dialogue! (I’m pretty sure I’ve never, ever said or written those exact words before.)

    Sorry for your online woes. Hope the complainers find a way to disappear more quietly….

  19. Okay. First of all, I had no idea what “TL/DR” meant. So, thanks for that. And secondly, I get a little giddy when I see your name pop up in my reader. I don’t comment much because I’m just a little intimidated by you (in a good way, not in a scary nun way), so I read (and enjoy) and then type and delete three times in the comments section before I give up.
    I’ve missed the public brawl, but all I have to say is this: if someone doesn’t like what you have to say, they don’t have to read it.
    Bitches be bitches (and sheeple be sheeple). Please don’t give up.

  20. I do that challenge, too, Helena. Personally I would have used the sheep metaphor. People who complain and accuse, and feel slighted are usually seeking attention. Had a friend like that. I told her she is not the center of my universe and I don’t talk about her, so get over yourself… Don’t give them anymore attention, Helena. They live for that. You are cool, a great talent and don’t give anyone power over you to cause you to leave. Hang in there. And that’s the truth and I’m sticking to it. Lucy

    • I think I’ve dwelt on it long enough, and am just ready to try to rebuild my online presence. I was ready to throw in the towel this time last week, so…
      Thanks for the encouragement.

  21. Dear Helena,

    Definitely not too long to read. 😉

    As host of this herd of cats, I hope this won’t be your last post. I appreciate your active participation more than I can say.
    Mr. McShane would applaud you.
    I’m keeping my comment brief, but there’s a lot to read between my lines. Thoughts and prayers coming your way.
    I’m not going anywhere.



  22. While reading your story I was reminded of an article I read during the week about one of the kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls who managed to escape. She tried to get the other girls to come along with her but most of them were too scared. I know this an emotive subject and I am not judging those girls for their reaction in a terrifying situation. But I do admire those who got away. It takes courage and self-belief to be the one to break free, and it also takes vision to know it’s the right thing to do.

    With regard to the issues you wrote about before your story, I was not aware of any of that,nor have I seen the comments in question. However I would like to say that since joining Friday Fictioneers I have really enjoyed your stories and the confident voice with which they are delivered. Personal attacks in any shape or form are hard to take and can be very damaging no matter how strong we are. I only hope the wounds do not run too deeply and that they heal soon. Sending you hugs xo

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to write. I would hardly count myself courageous, but I understand what you are saying. Again, this outpouring of support has been overwhelming, and has put things in a better perspective for me.

  23. Dear Helena,

    I’m with Jan (TL/RIA/GID {Glad I did) and the many other readers who’ve all said “please don’t go, you’re an excellent writer and a small piece of goodness would fall to the floor of our collective worlds and clatter into silence.” I’m paraphrasing.

    I have come to love you, the person I read here more often than you might think given my recent absence from FF. Your voice is sharp and clear and your thoughts are incisive and thought provoking. I hope my voice added here will convince you in the dark moments to ‘come baaaaaaack’.

    You have entered my world and won’t be forgotten, will be missed, and better not go. (Call me Shadrach, the rest of the gang Meshach and you Bettanotgo. Got it?)

    Your story was perfect and the intro spot on.



    P.S. I got a call from Rio the other day. The inn keeper in the favela we stayed in wanted us to know they’ve put up a plaque in our honor. Very cool. Now, back to work. A hui hou. D.

    • To be honest, Doug, all of this outpouring of love has been a little embarrassing — and I mean from all of you, not you in particular.
      Lovely, but embarrassing. I come from a cruel home, and love is not something I’m used to or comfortable with.
      I think that I work in cycles, and this is just another cycle of hitting bottom only to rise up like a phoenix — to not to sound pretentious, but the simile is apt in this case — I feel stronger than ever, and am reminded of why I write in the first place. I’m not looking to impress those who I don’t respect — there’s a reason I don’t respect them. It’s that balance of wanting to find a niche and wanting to be noticed.
      Thank you, as always. What more can I say?

  24. I missed all the “high school clique” drama. This is very upsetting; in that you were a target for haters. I admire the way you are not afraid to speak your mind, and I wish you could teach me your gift.

    There will always be narrow-minded people who have no desire to see outside their own insular box. You can’t change them, and you certainly don’t want to join them. Keep doing what you’re doing. You have many followers that love you. You actually are the popular girl, for all the right reasons. I sincerely hope you’ll be here next week. 🙂

    • Thank you, Lisa. All this outpouring of love has given me a better perspective. I will be here as long as I’m inspired — in the meantime, I just posted a twisted fairy tale on my blog you might enjoy — it’s only about 400 words or so — too long for Friday Fictioneers, but… I think it’s pretty funny.

  25. Helena, I’m old enough that I don’t give a darn what others say or think about me. The only person I worry about pleasing is God. I live in India and am different from most others but it doesn’t bother me one bit. I told my children when they were younger that not everyone is going to like you and it may have nothing to do with what you’ve done. It’s their problem not your’s. People can be like chickens in a barnyard. They’ll pick on the one that’s different and peck them to death. I don’t have a Facebook account and don’t want one. I understand why authors have them. It would be a pretty boring world if everyone was the same. You have a talent that’s been gifted to you and you were meant to use it so keep writing by all means. 🙂 —Susan

  26. Excellent – all of it! I find myself there all the time! I refer to them as lemmings instead of sheep! I cannot tell you how many times I was told “you have to play the game to fit in.” Why should I play games? I tell people that I say what I think and don’t always say what is considered “the right thing,” but I have to be true to me! Hugs to you darling girl! Loved this piece! ^..^

  27. I liked the rap and I liked the story. My weltschmerz. was much relieved after reading it. Unfortunately my schadenfreude was not! One could write volumes on the impact of the internet, much of it negative, and you’ve hit on many of them here. Well done, young lady!

  28. It might be fun one day to pretend there’s something really cool going on and see how many people take the bait 🙂
    Please stick around. You say it like it is!

  29. Sometimes we just have to have thick skin and let the cruel words bounce off. Like the Ricky Nelson song says, “You can’t please everyone, so you might as well please yourself.” Looks to me like there are more people for you than against you. You’re not the first to be publicly attacked and certainly won’t be the last. Shake it off and move forward.

  30. Dear, dear, dear. I know you’re already past the FB drama but if you want to know how I feel, just select a random sample from the preceding comments and you’ll derive a representation of my thoughts within acceptable margins of error. Life is short. Time is precious. Don’t waste yours on sheep or lemmings or strangers who don’t have a clue (or give a fuck) what/where/who you are. I believe I’ve said this before (but maybe not), you don’t owe anyone anything. You determine where (if anywhere) you want to go with your writing, with your characters. If Helena retires someday, so be it. Just as long as you keep writing, all is good.

    • As I told Doug, all this outpouring of love and support began to get embarrassing 12 comments ago. I’m in a state of perpetual blushing. Who knew that people actually liked my brash behaviour and preposterous personality? Now head over and read my Twisted Fairy Tales — it’ll give you a much needed laugh to begin your day!

  31. Right, first things first. I had noticed that you hadn’t been around and was only wondering this morning how things were ‘chez Helena’. So, now I know.

    Don’t let them get you down! Do. Not. Yes, there is a huge amount of homogeneousness on the web, in fact everywhere. The internet is full of people – and offline, people crave sameness – that’s what has led to conflict after conflict after war in the big bad world.

    Do. Not. Disappear.

    As a ‘different’ kind of gal myself, I admire your difference, and your ability to call it as you see it. That’s courage, in the face of adversity. And that is on top your struggles with your own black dog or similar heavy-weight creature, which I can totally appreciate.

    Keep. On. Going. Whichever way you please.

  32. Ah.. first thing – I really love the diversity of the group here.. or what is a good story.. after the drama you might remember I rewrote my story and yes I thought it got better.. being able to absorb some level of criticism while still stand your ground.. what I aim for is variation.. sometime gory murder, sometimes poetry, sometimes humor.. I feel like that sheep that sometimes run with the flock and sometimes write the opposite direction, or even get lost in the woods.. your story was very appropriate .. and please stick along.

  33. That last line is brilliant and a comment on the herd mentality. Your blog is pretty unique so I guess you are doing fine anyway.

  34. Terrific dialogue and story. I don’t want you to leave Helena. I love what you write. No matter your state, fragile or otherwise. You are fabulous darling. I come back to your blog to learn more about the craft that we adore.

    I am not a sheep either. I think I made a few comments agreeing with you. There’s no need for me to tell anyone about where I’m going or what I’m doing. I write stories. They often originate from my status updates. I’ve had to block people from my news feed that tell my mother that I post too much. Fuck that, I’m 46. Tell me I’m doing something wrong, I’m either going to block you or post even more.

    I hope that you continue. I would miss you so much if you go.

    Love, Renee

  35. Hey, people are who they are and you’re gonna run into that sooner or later. Or, as Yenta said in Fiddler On The Roof, ” ‘People.’ If God lived on the earth, ‘people’ would break his windows.” Nice writing!

  36. I hesitate in “liking” this post because it makes me sad (and angry) that people have made you feel this way. You should know that when the sheep baaaa you are doing something RIGHT! Be who you are, say what you believe, express yourself without fear, for those who judge you are only judging themselves.

  37. Dear Helena, I love your writing! You are, to me, one of the most interesting and talented writers I have ever read. I don’t know what all the hub-bub (is that a word?) was, but I always thought you were the “Leader of the Pack” and the top of the clique. Please don’t quit writing, you make this club interesting and I love the way you talk “Dahling” and all. You are so clever and you are a Dahling! I have always tried to fit in and inevitably someone will call me out about something – then I feel like a big zero for quite a while before I shake it off and realize it’s not me – it’s them. You are classy! Love your writing, and I’m going to go read your 400 word story right now. You are so multi-talented and I’m so very sorry that some idiots were rude to you. Don’t give up! Please! Nan (I lived on a chicken farm throughout high school and college. 🙂

  38. Helena, I’m not sure all what you’re referring to. I’m out of the loop, as they say. I guess I’m not a sheep then! But I feel terribly that you’re feeling isolated and upset. Remember it’s just the internet and take a deep breath! I loved this piece. Don’t let anyone take you down.

  39. Must admit I’ve never come across TL/DR before. Your style of writing this week is very direct and cutting but still managed to thrown in the dry humour at the end whilst making your point. Nicely done!

  40. Well, m’dear, you might as well say it because somebody needs to. If it makes you feel any better, I had a similar week during which I told off a batch of writers in a critique forum. I got sick of hearing about how many published works this one and that one has now and how, naturally, that must mean that these writers shit marble. Frankly, if you do shit marble, then you don’t need to be participating in a critique forum, do you?

    The great thing is that I felt tremendously better after speaking the truth, and I didn’t irk anyone who didn’t need to be irked. So, all’s well at least from my vantage point here in the middle.

    As to your flash for the week, neatly handled, Helena. The use of profanity in the conversation works to pack a punch.

    All my best always,

  41. Everyone else said it so well, and SO much sooner, so I will just add my support: F’em if they can’t take an honest opinion, and keep on sharing your unique and talented voice. Please.

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