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Marissa Lingen

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using my words [Mar. 6th, 2014|10:07 pm]
Marissa Lingen
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I have been trying to find a way to say this that will not make the wrong people–which is really pretty much anyone–feel like I am guilt-tripping them.


I am pretty short of social/chatty email these days except for a very small number of the most usual suspects. While things may have turned a corner in terms of getting adjusted to this med, I am still not to the point where things are what one might call “good” or more to the point “highly functional and able to do things like drive and arrange for social outings and stuff.” So if you are a friend of mine and find that you have the time/energy for social/chatty email, that would be a good and useful thing to do. I would appreciate it.


This is the sort of request that is very hard to phrase for two reasons. The first is that I really, really do not want to nag or guilt-trip. Really. The second is that when you ask something like this and then do not get it, that is not always easy. And I have had the “I would like to hear from you more”/”yes I could do that” conversation with a couple of friends in the past and then not heard from them more, like, at all, and that was with individuals who knew that I was talking to them specifically and personally; a more general request is deliberately not meant to be a burden on anyone (anyone! really!) and yet leaves open the possibility that everyone will be unable to do an email blathering about what they read or what they are thinking about ancient Greek wind instruments or what line of paint color names they have thought of next, and will hope that someone else will take their turn at being helpful.


Still. Things have gotten enough better that I can say that this is a thing that might help make this next bit a little less rough. So I am saying.




Originally published at Novel Gazing Redux

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Comments:
[User Picture]From: txanne
2014-03-07 03:20 am (UTC)
My mom is currently housebound because of bionic knee problems. I'm going to go exploring in Boston (that's my Lenten discipline: look for one cool new thing every day) and send her pictures/thrilling adventure tales. Should I cc you?
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2014-03-07 03:43 am (UTC)
If it isn't intruding/wouldn't shift your content unduly for your mom's sake, that sounds very nice.
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[User Picture]From: txanne
2014-03-07 03:47 am (UTC)
Not for the travelogue stuff, if it goes the way my "LOOK HOW NEAT" letters usually do.
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[User Picture]From: reveritas
2014-03-07 04:48 am (UTC)
You know I wondered if the social/chatty emails were harder on you now that you're feeling poorly. I'm glad they're not! And you don't sound like you're guilt tripping. You sound like you're asking for something if anyone is interested. That's reasonable.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2014-03-07 12:10 pm (UTC)
I did promise you that if they got to be a burden I wouldn't keep doing them, or wouldn't keep doing them quite so often, and I meant it.
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[User Picture]From: sprrwhwk
2014-03-07 06:23 am (UTC)
Not a friend of that water, and never really good at chatty at the best of times, but *waves* anyway.

We still remember and appreciate that you exist! That is, like, 90% of what I would like out of the world that it doesn't give me enough of, anyway.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2014-03-07 12:09 pm (UTC)
Thank you, that's very nice.
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[User Picture]From: sprrwhwk
2014-03-08 08:38 pm (UTC)
Rereading what I wrote, the core sentiment is there ("We still remember and appreciate that you exist!"), but the rest of that para (to me) ends up implying that you don't actually want what you say you want, which is extraordinarily rude of me, and not what I wanted to say at all. I'm very sorry.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2014-03-08 09:38 pm (UTC)
I did not take it that way at all. I took it as well-wishing from someone who is not a close friend. Please put your mind at ease.
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[User Picture]From: sprrwhwk
2014-03-08 10:27 pm (UTC)
Oh, good. I'm relieved to hear that. Thank you!
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From: thoughtdancer
2014-03-07 11:55 am (UTC)
I'm more a friendly stranger, but I'm in a very alone space these days too, so I understand.

I'm terrible at small talk. Mainly because my interests are not the standard ones.

But not a problem, because I love SF/F, and I know you do too. So, what's your favorite moment in any story that you didn't write? Ok, that question's impossible. If you love something, there's never just one favorite. So, what's one of your favorite moments?

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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2014-03-07 12:09 pm (UTC)
So many of my favorite moments are in Lois McMaster Bujold's Memory, when Simon Ilyan's chip is glitching. I should reread Memory soon, because wow, and also ow. I don't have total orderings of favorites, but that's what sprang to mind just now. I hardly ever reread just one of my favorite series, but I'm not sure I'm in the mood to undertake a reread of that whole series, since I am in the mood to undertake a reread of CJ Cherryh's atevi series and Diane Duane's Wizard books, and that seems like a lot of series rereading without adding the Vorkosigan books. Still, the bits with Ilyan and that-idiot-Ivan are so great.
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From: sheff_dogs
2014-03-07 02:39 pm (UTC)
My favourite whatever (food, music, books ...) depends a lot on my mood so it's a variable feast, which I think is fun or at least more intesting to me than having a fixed list. Enjoy the re-reading, I still haven't got all og the wizard books, so many books, not enough time and money.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2014-03-07 03:30 pm (UTC)
I agree, having a fixed list would mean that any night I was not eating satay tofu (or spaghetti, or whatever it was that made #1) was automatically less of a good night than any night that I was. Whereas this way there are so many things that are nice at different times.

I feel that the Wizard books manage to keep general quality up and also vary somewhat, so there is no point at which I can say "if you hit this point, you've really gotten to all the good ones." I have appreciated that advice about some long series that do that, but this is not one. So on the one hand, yay series! and on the other hand, sigh for the time and money.
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From: thoughtdancer
2014-03-10 02:03 pm (UTC)
I agree as well, which is what I was getting at about it being an impossible question.

But it does get to be an interesting one. I realized when I read it that I've not read any of Spider Robinson's Callahans books in ages, and they make me laugh so very hard.

In particular, I was thinking about when the Lucky Duck was introduced. The car accident is completely impossible, hilariously written, and tonally perfect for the series.
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[User Picture]From: aamcnamara
2014-03-07 02:35 pm (UTC)
Do social letters count toward the same metric, or are emails better(/easier/whatever) for you these days?
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2014-03-07 03:24 pm (UTC)
I did just get your letter! They are different for me because hand writing things and computer use fall into different times/areas that might be problematic (but are still worthwhile), so I appreciate both.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2014-03-08 09:39 pm (UTC)
I have confidence that many fine chattinesses will ensue at Minicon, but this sounds like a good example of one.
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[User Picture]From: sartorias
2014-03-07 05:29 pm (UTC)
e-mail writing chatter? (Easier on my hands! :-))
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2014-03-07 05:48 pm (UTC)
Definitely!
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[User Picture]From: prettymuchpeggy
2014-03-07 06:52 pm (UTC)
Oh, you, Scandasotan, you, asking for company in the best format for you is never bad and should never involve guilt of any sort. Guilt is should only be involved in the third or fourth such requirements request in two days. I will endeavor to write.
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[User Picture]From: blue_hat_guru
2014-03-08 02:07 am (UTC)
*hugs*
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[User Picture]From: finnyb
2014-03-08 02:16 am (UTC)
E-mail is about the only sort of social contact I am ever up for; if e-mails from a gal you only met for five minutes at World Fantasy in Toronto back in 2012 would help, I'm available.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2014-03-08 04:22 am (UTC)
I didn't go to World Fantasy in Toronto in 2012. Did we meet somewhere else at some other time? Anyway, I am up for book chatting or whatever on email if you like. My email is on my lj profile.
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[User Picture]From: finnyb
2014-03-08 05:29 pm (UTC)
It is possible we did, yes, or that I am confusing you with someone else; people, and figuring out who is who, is not my strong suit. Book chatting is excellent.
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[User Picture]From: thanate
2014-03-09 02:33 am (UTC)
I have possibly used up most of my socially chatty e-mail abilities for this week-or-possibly-month comparing notes on 1-year-olds with my friend whose son just turned 1 today, and besides I have not got your e-mail. And partly this is because while I can do chatty e-mails when I get into the right mode, there is not a lot of time when I ought not to be doing things that are either a little more baby-inclusive or useful. But a) I will congratulate you upon your renewed abilities to drive and suchlike (yay!) and b) if you would like to message me your address, I can send you a real actual piece of paper with something on it. Possibly not too chatty & lettery, but with silly pictures and/or something of interest.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2014-03-09 02:37 am (UTC)
I do not have renewed abilities to drive. But I will send you my address anyway.
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[User Picture]From: thanate
2014-03-09 02:41 am (UTC)
I misread that entirely; very sorry.
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[User Picture]From: thanate
2014-03-09 03:28 am (UTC)
& now my brain is composing socially chatty e-mails to you while I need to go to sleep so I can go back to not having a cold. Brains.

We shall see if any content survives to when I'm more awake.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2014-03-09 03:31 am (UTC)
Brains indeed. I sympathize.
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[User Picture]From: rosefox
2014-03-09 05:59 am (UTC)
I feel like our emails are always about our shared wobbles. That is an excellent and valuable thing but not all there is to life. Perhaps we could start swapping recipes or book recs or something.

Also, where you write

I am pretty short of social/chatty email these days

I think instead of email you mean energy? Because otherwise it sort of contradicts the rest of the post.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2014-03-09 11:44 am (UTC)
I meant that I was not receiving it. And would like to. And while the advice one often gives small children is "you have to be a friend to have a friend," I actually have been sending it. The thing is, I have a number of social email correspondents, apart from emails that have a particular focused purpose, and they all operate with their own periodicity, and that is a fine and excellent thing. Except that within the last month when I could really use email was when many of my correspondents hit lulls on their end for whatever reason.

I now know that at least a few of them were holding off because they didn't want to "bother" me when I wasn't feeling good. For some people this might be a good way to handle asynchronous communication, but for me it's really not, because then the email is there and I can get to it when I get enough energy, and in the meantime it's nice to not have fallen off the radar of almost all persons I know simultaneously. Email is not the same as dropping by or telephoning, where energy is demanded at that exact moment.

And yes, swapping recipes or book recs or something would be most excellent.
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[User Picture]From: rosefox
2014-03-10 07:21 pm (UTC)
Ahhh! All becomes clear.

How do you feel about IM?
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2014-03-10 11:52 pm (UTC)
I am pretty terrible at IM. I have good IM protocols with alecaustin, and that's about it. Otherwise I never know when I am allowed to wander off and when the other person is allowed to wander off, so the asynchronous nature of email tends to work better for me.
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