I was alerted by a notification of a message I received this morning @ 8:36am by @Mac1, I was delighted to check it out. Until I read it...
I am saddened that you “thought it may be fun to create your own conspiracy.”
I am saddened that you felt the urge to present a Prose challenge that trivializes the deaths, injuries, shootings, the Capitol insurrection, division, and mob mentality borne of conspiracy theories.
Many years ago, as a journalist, I encountered a woman who preached that fluoridation was poison, a communist plot to dull our senses and allow Russia to infiltrate and take over U.S. communities. She was considered on the fringe. Yet her letter-writing campaign apparently planted doubt, because the issue was defeated multiple times at the polls. And to this day her community does not have fluoridated water.
I wonder if that woman would have a greater following today due to social media and “fun” challenges like yours.
So, forgive me if I do not participate in your “conspiracy workshop.”
It bothered me, though I know it shouldn't have. I thought about this all day, and decided to respond here as my entry, in the public, instead of behind the message walls. So, @Mac1...My response.
Firstly, I would like to thank you for your interest, and concern regarding my first-ever challenge on Prose titled “Conspiracy Workshop.” Prose has been a community that I have rapidly come to love and support due to its diversity in many different writing styles, the quality of inspiring writers, the various perspectives and nuances in storytelling, and the encouragement to celebrate all kinds of people in sharing their unique and special gifts. That includes me, so thank you @Prose. So, in support of that, and being a lover of “free America”, (the old one), I also welcome your input and opinion regardless if I find it skewed and/or misguided.
Secondly, I appreciate you bringing something to me that you obviously are passionate about and seem to want to explore further in conversation. So, let’s do that. I understand what you are saying, and respect where you are coming from, however, I feel that you are analyzing this prompt with an incorrect-emotional bias instead of looking at it rationally. Perhaps it is merely the title that heats your oven. Maybe it’s the just the overall theme that ignites your fire. I am unsure exactly what it is, but I feel you may be triggered by something that is out of my control. Maybe your inflammation had been brought on by events from your past, and if so, I am sorry for that.
The intent of this prompt was two-fold. One, I wanted to start contributing to the community in other ways besides just writing my stories, and having other writers liking it. This year, I am working on giving more to others than I take, and seem to have been getting a positive response from it. Therefore, I plan to continue my efforts. Two, I wanted to do something different and frankly relevant to what is going on now, especially in the news. On every screen we can see new train derailments involving toxic poisons or causing environmental disasters, and are being connected to a “movie" tempting the same type of events, which was created just months before. On every social media page we see governments shooting down UFO’s or Chinese Spies, or whatever they were... We are still waiting for the updates. There are plenty of events daily that incite a question of authority, or bizarre coincidences that need more exploring. So, I thought this prompt would be something unique, creative, and different, as there are many great writers on here already submitting many amazing prompts, and I wanted mine to stand out and sound interesting.
I guess it did, to you.
Look, I gravitate toward being a Post-Apocalyptic-Dystopian-Thriller writer, though I love all genres. Very recently, as early as yesterday even, I partook in some off-thriller prompts. But, to be clear, Conspiracy Fiction is literally a Sub-genre within “Thriller,” or “Crime." You may not enjoy it as much as I, and that is OK, your American too, sorry to assume if you are not, but one could literally name drop a few authors in this space, and become a millionaire just by the mention. Agatha Christie, Tom Clancy, James Patterson, Hell even Stephen King are authors that have made a living in this type of space and have written many stories involving some sort of “Conspiracy” within them. I really don’t see the overall issue here considering “Thrillers” are a common and obviously popular form of storytelling which is defined, and built upon stories that trivializes the deaths, injuries, shootings, even the capitol insurrection, division, and mob mentalities of people.
Like I said earlier, I understand. I have easily observed how vulnerable “Humans” especially “American Humans” are to these things, but I don’t think avoiding the next great story, or a meaningful discussion about government corruption, exploring what would happen with our countries future if things going horribly bad, or anything that suggests or practices suppression of one’s voice, or his/her written words for that matter is ever going to be the answer. I feel that people have the right to choose, have the right to create new stories, and have the right to make their own minds up about those stories, but the temperature that your message emits is getting close to 451 degrees, and that's not in Celsius. And that is even before a story has even been written.
Lastly, I just want to explain to you my perception of this event that you have created for me today. Just because it wasn’t said in your message, I feel that you insinuated or inferred the idea that I should take this down, and it is in my opinion that you exhibited a form of “Cyber Bullying.” There was a message behind those words that I feel you were saying, which I could not get out of my head all day, while at work. It tore at me, bothered me, made me feel insecure, made me feel like I did something wrong. Made me question myself. It made me feel like I was going to lose something, like my new writing family. It made me feel like I should take the post down.
That’s bullying and that’s wrong. You went out of your way to explain in detail, why you are NOT participating in my challenge, instead of just leaving it alone. I will not speculate why I think you did, but I do feel the mere fact you did do it means that you intended too secretly push me to hit the delete button. You wanted to do it in secrecy and behind the curtain, which is why it is here, out for all to see. I hope I am the only one you have bullied online, but if not, I would rather speak about this publicly so others are aware, and maybe past victims, can speak out too.
So, @Mac1, I respectfully, honorably, and wholeheartedly accept your choice to not participate in my “Conspiracy Workshop.” Hell, I even support it. Thanks for you time and thanks for your input. All opinions are welcome to me.
On a side note, I follow you, and find your pieces great, insightful, well-manicured, and polished. You are a great writer, and I hope to continue to read more from you soon.