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August 7th, 2005



This is Angeline Hawkes-Craig and she just spammed me.

It came in a short email that, completely unsolicited, arrived in my inbox as an invitation to a yahoogroup. That was why I opened it. Inside was a yahoo generated invited to AHCUpdates, sent to me by aloucraig@yahoo.com, which indeed, might not be Hawkes-Craig, but probably is, what with the craig bit at the end and all. Still, I thought, as I looked down the group name, maybe this is just some group for messages. A forum. I like a good forum and this happens every now and then... but wait, no, this is not the case. Baffled, I read that it was an "invitation to join Speculative/Horror Fiction Author Angeline Hawkes-Craig's monthly newsletter. This is NOT a chat type yahoo group, only a monthly newsletter with updates on Angeline's fiction releases and news."

And then I thought, "Who the fuck is Angeline Hawkes-Craig?"

But I was ignorant and uncharitable, because it turns out that she's a Texas based writer of speculative fiction who was once a member of Sigma Tau Delta, a sorority out at East Texas State University. Well, fucking A! That changed everything! We've so much to bond over, Angie! You don't mind if I call you Angie, do you? I mean, we're practically best fucking buds now, Angie, as there's nothing I like best than a generated and impersonal email from a complete stranger. And, when you couple it with my absolute love for little groups that people can be part of, especially those sorority sounding ones in the States, why, I just think it's going to be great joining your group! I hope it's like Legally Blonde, Angie. I really do. I never saw the sequel, but that was just the community I want to be--

Oh, wait, you're part of the Horror Writer's Association.

Shit.

I bet you haven't been in a Ricky Martin video, have you?

That really brings me down, Angie. Really down. I had my pants open. I was waiting for the bikinis and nudity.

Still, I'm a writer, you're a writer. I'd never spam some complete stranger to join my list and get updates for an author I had never heard of, but you've published a whole lot more than me and you're obviously a genius. Well, I'm an open minded guy. I won't react badly because I was spammed by a person and not a bot and lash out with all my pent up spam rage. That should really be a term, you know. Spam Rage. I like it. But anyhow, just yesterday I was told how open minded and welcoming I am to complete strangers who are horror authors and who try to convince me to buy their novels. My friends always say, "I tune off the moment they say their book is about a horrifying tale involving stem cell research, governmental psychic intrigue, and the coming of the Anti-Christ. Saint John had no way of knowing the incredible advances of modern medicine. What we know, based on his visions in the book of Revelations, is a message rendered incomplete by these recent medical developments. What John knew concerning the last days only scraped the surface ... the truth is even more terrifying. The possibilities are endless...

"I mean the stupidity, that's what tunes them out, you know? They just think, 'oh, God, burn out my eyes so I can never witness such a horror.' And they see that the book with its cover that looks like it has been illustrated by a retarded child with a pair of monkey paws crafted onto its arms and think, Shit, how is it that anyone could expect me to pay money for that?"

But I'm not like that.

I'm understanding, you see. I know it's hard to look like a professional author. It takes time and effort and the occasional bit of spam. I know, I know. But at least you didn't fall into the trap of claiming that you have awards that are nothing but contests you've won. That shit drives me insane because, as someone who has a BA in composite english language skills, and who has been a High School teacher, you'd know that winning a competition is not winning an award. You'd know that the two are, in fact, quite different, with one being a contest that you enter, and the other being--occasionally--a peer orientated judgment of work that has been published in a particular field. Totally different. Money can change hands for both, but in contests you pay to enter, not bribe to win. It's an important difference and it's strange how people don't often see that, but not you and me, hey, Angie? We're on the same page here. That's why you sent me this email, isn't it?

I'm so glad you spammed me, Angie. To think this beautiful relationship might have never begun... why, I just choke up with the thought. Truly, spamming is love.