So here's the thing! Let's talk about people. Not just any old people, but Internet people, cyber people, people who are out there - like the truth! You remember the X Files! Yeah, I wanted to believe, I really did! I mean who wouldn't want to believe Gillian Anderson? And the Smoking Man was a brilliant character, but those aliens were a bit uncommunicative! And that black oily stuff wasn't very nice.
Well, I've sat in my house meeting these people, conversing with them, cavorting with them willy-nilly, and you know what? They live all over the world, in far-flung places like Thailand, Antarctica - or is that the Arctic? I always get confused between the two. One's at the bottom, and the other's at the top - of the world dummy! Hey, I bet you're impressed with my encyclopaedic knowledge of geography! (As an aside, I vaguely remember winning a bird book (that's a book about birds not a book that could fly) because of my score on a Geography test in the first year at Secondary School, but everything went downhill from there).
Anyway, I digress! So, one has penguins and the other has polar bears (see below), but neither of those wonderful creatures are people. Maybe the people from Antarctica are Eskimos (or Inuit) and live in igloos. How can you keep warm in an igloo? Are there modern igloos with central heating and hot running water? Oh well, what about an Internet connection? I suppose they use dongles for a sat-link download via the International Space Station, but what happens when the satellite's elliptical orbit moves out of range? So many questions! And not only that, how will the people get down from the Space Station now they've mothballed the Space Shuttle? Bugger that for a game of soldiers!
So, I was talking about all these wierd people spanning the globe that I've been dancing the tango with. Not only do they stem from a potpourrie of countries and different walks of life, but they're all a cornucopia of ages, they all have a variety of backgrounds, use different Internet browsers, and eat different foods! And yet, we meet in various places on common ground and talk a load of rubbish. Well, when I say rubbish, I don't mean me, of course, but all those other people. Heavens! You should read some of the rubbish they write. Sometimes, I wonder how I stay sane! Anyway, there's a bucketful of wonderful people out there - and when I say out there, I mean in here! Well yes, because they're all in my living room. Now, I wouldn't mind except there's a good programme on the television and I can't see or hear it! Will you shut the noise up and go and stand on the patio!
Now, don't get me wrong, I invited them all in - through Facebook, Twitter, G+, Kindleboards, Kindle User's Forum, my website and blog, and all the other Social Networking sites that any self-respecting writer ought to belong to, but sometimes... These sites are like chatrooms, and believe you me there's a lot of chatting that goes on - especially between certain people of a certain gender - nudge, nudge, a nod's as good as a wink! So, children are warned about these chatrooms, and that's a good thing because there are some seriously deranged people out there, but adults aren't warned, are they? I know, how terrifying is that? I mean, there could be serial killers, stalkers, or chocolate thieves posing as friends or fans of your writing in these places, just waiting to pounce as soon as you close your eyes or become distracted. I know, it doesn't bear thinking about.
But... and here's the thing, let's talk about all the fantastic people who tweet without expecting a tweet back; who follow you because it's the right thing to do regardless of where you're going; who share your book reviews and write on your Facebook wall without any thought of reciprocation; who read your blogs and say nice things about your style, humour, and subject matter; who Like and tag you, congratulate you, and remember your birthday because it's in the public domain and they make a point of finding out and putting it in their calendar. Thankfully, I have no serial killers, stalkers, or chocolate thieves in my living room except the ones residing in my own imagination - Well, maybe there are some chocolate thieves, but I know who they are and I have the CCTV and satellites trained on them. Chocolate thieves are probably the worst kind of low-lifes because they eat the evidence.
One last point about people before I go - fans! Now, I've had emails! I know, you're thinking there's a fine line between a fan and a psychopathic stalker who wants to break your leg because you've killed off a character, but I suppose we all have to pay the ferryman one way or another! They've said things like, "I love everything you've written", "When are you putting a sequel out because I don't think I can wait much longer?", "Have you got anything I can read NOW, so that I can sleep at night without taking the pills?" Well, not the last one, but I've had emails along those lines. Hey, I have fans! Well, one actually. I'm a celebrity! Maybe Ant & Dec will contact me about appearing on the next "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!" or Oprah Winfrey will... Will ya look at that! The minute I get a sniff at the big time, Oprah shuts up shop!
Hi, I'm Tim Ellis - I write a lot and I hope you enjoy what I write.