raising the drawbridge

wouldn't you know it? just as i'm settling myself into a rhythm here...getting comfortable with how *i* want to do this bloggy/interwebs thing, i've contracted a troll.

i say that like it's some sort of hideous disease because that's precisely what it feels like.

it would be easier(?)* if this were just some random creature of the internets -- something i could just shrug off and ignore -- but this is a real life person who has developed a seething hatred of me for having something she doesn't.

intellectually, it's a bit sad, really. i mean, the world is quite full to the brim with hatred and vitriol, do we really need anymore?

on an emotional/psychological level, however, i'm not doing quite so well.

if you've been in my world for any length of time, you know that i'm a very private person and have struggled A LOT with having an online presence. but the fact of it is, if i wish to grow an audience for my books (and i do) then i need to have one. whether i'm indie published or traditional, you still need to exist in the online world.

anyway - so just as i felt like i was finding my way in a manner that felt Good and Right forΒ  me and my naturally hermity nature, this happens.

suddenly i'm horribly aware of how much of me -- of my family and home -- is out here for all and sundry to see and spew venom upon. i'm feeling very exposed and vulnerable and while i'm all about taking the risks, i'm not so cool with this particular variety of vulnerability. especially when this person lives relatively close.

so.

fighting the urge to disappear entirely, i've done/will do a couple of things.

thing #1: i've set my Instagram account to private (great for discoverability, i hear) because despite blocking and reporting said personage, they must have created another account and persist in leaving more charming comments.**

thing#2: for the next short while, i'm going to unpublish the blog portion of this site. instead, i'm going to be blogging to my TinyLetter. it'll be the same sort of thing i write here, it'll just be in your digital letterbox instead - nothing trying to sell you anything, no pressure or obligation.

so if you can't bear to be without me for the foreseeable future, make sure to sign up. :) i seem to have settled into a Sunday writing routine so that will continue.

i'm hoping this sad individual will eventually get bored with my lack of response to the comments.....and get tired of calling a phone that doesn't get answered. or maybe they'll seek out the help they so desperately need. or not. at this point, i have zero fucks to give - i'm too upset about the whole thing.

as you can imagine.

so, there you have it. i'll leave this post up for a few days then will leave a holding page with the link to the TinyLetter.

right, see you in a bit, yes?

~m.xo

*is dealing with this sort of thing ever easy? i think not.

**i will say this for Instagram -- and also Facebook, because they are one and the same -- they are swift and brutal with the blocking. although i got charming previews of the semi-literate toxic commentary, the comments themselves never made it through after this person was blocked. even after they tried to be clever and create a different account. IP address, you gormless half-wit . :) so i feel pretty safe in that regard. but it's a horrible feeling to see that sort of thing sitting on the screen of your phone. needless to say, notifications are now off.