Thursday, August 3, 2017


So I have this cousin, according to 23andMe. There’s a strong physical resemblance, so I don’t doubt it. There are a few interesting similarities: we’re both adoptees, we’re both animal lovers, we both like astrology and our birthdays are close in proximity. We both have law-related careers.

And we’re both authors, but very different kinds of authors, which is why I pulled the rip cord. Her latest book is an autobiography, which has lots of five star reviews. I’ve read it and would not give it five stars. She’s written a lot of books, plus she’s a musician, with a self-published album of piano music where she covers songs like Free Bird.

Watching her rack up friends and followers and 5-star reviews was interesting, particularly since I’m a slacker with none of same. I’ve had a few people come up to me and tell me they really like my stuff but so far I’m reluctant to hustle reviews out of them, even though I’m well aware That’s How It’s Done. According to the How It’s Done wisdom you have to capture peoples’ emails, and regularly bombard them with ads, and friend them on Facebook, and engineer yourself a healthy selection of five-star reviews. I've never liked doing things How It's Done. Maybe my perspective will change someday.

As far as I’m concerned, the point of writing is to attract people with like minds. My cousin is aggressively marketing to her people and I'm going about it in my way by being more quiet and targeted. She’s going for quantity, I’m looking for that one fan that’ll drop my name into the whisper vortex at the right moment. 

After a few brief weeks of being in the fascinating situation of having a wicked nemesis relative, she did something that crossed one of my personal lines, and no, it wasn’t entirely about politics but they played a part. I took a machete to the relationship, which was a little tough because I was curious about some of these other cousins she’d assembled in this huge group. I’ve got lots more 23andMe cousins though, and the others that I’ve Facebook-friended seem really nice and probably wouldn’t trip any of my interpersonal boundary triggers in a million years.

It was interesting while it lasted! Maybe I’ll write about it someday. 

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