A friend of mine emailed me over the weekend and I mentioned that it's been a rough summer. It wasn't just stuff that was happening to me, but terrible, gawd-awful things that were happening to many of my friends.
It depresses you when you're surrounded by so much tragedy and pain.
It reminded me of a story about one of the rescue dogs from 9/11. For days after his stint of search and rescue, he was terribly depressed. He wouldn't eat, and he had no interest in the outside world.
His owner had become desperately afraid for him. He'd never seen his dog so upset. He gave him a bath, and rivers of soot and blood washed off him.
The poor creature was hanging on to all those scents and particles of death for days and days. He couldn't get away from it and it was killing him emotionally.
As soon as his owner gave him a bath he felt a million times better. He was finally free of all that pain, death, and destruction.
Lately, I've been feeling like that dog. I just couldn't get away from the bad breaks that kept piling on me like boulders.
To put icing on my misery cake, over the weekend I'd found out The Devil To Pay was in a review contest. It lost. It's also still in a cover contest. Chances are good it'll lose that too.
And yet all this losing isn't bad news.
Many of these contests are based on the popular vote. Apparently, I have a lot of friends--though maybe not as many as others. Over the weekend, I kept getting Google alerts from a host of people tweeting or posting about me on FB or blogs. I was truly touched by so much heartfelt support.
I might not have as many friends as the next guy, but I have intensely loyal friends. You can't get any luckier than that.
But there's a dark side to me. Being the sort who hates to lose, for one slim moment I thought about calling in a favor from a couple of friends who have a wide network of supporters to ask them to get their friends to vote.
I decided against it.
Firstly because it would be a breach of friendship to ask a favor for something they don't care anything about. And secondly, I didn't want to win because I had the most connections--especially on the cover contest. I know, that's what networking is all about, but in this case, I think it's dishonest.
I want the cover to win because it was the best designed. I still think it's the best.
So this is me, on the raggedy side of a drought-stricken world, grateful I have so many good friends, and proud that you think so highly of me.
Like my dog friend of 9/11, I think I'm going to take a bath and try to rid myself of all these bad breaks, and hope the tide will turn soon.
Life goes on, and a contest is just a contest. What really counts is who's still with you when you cross that finish line.
Thanks for being there for me.
Things will get better. They always do.