I had a strange e-mail.
How could I, I was asked, stab Betty in the back like I was doing?
That confused me and I read on.
The e-mailer has me betraying Betty as a friend, as a woman and as a Black woman because "you write with Ava and C.I." At first I thought, "Well I could write with Betty." Because I've got nothing against doing so and we do talk on the phone and share things.
But I wasn't betraying Betty by not writing with her, I was betraying Betty by grabbing her spot because it should be her writing pieces with Ava and C.I.
I thought the e-mail had no standing at all but wanted to call Betty and make sure because maybe I was missing something and I had hurt her?
But she knows what's going on and maybe the person worried about Betty doesn't.
I write with Ava and C.I. when the three of us tackle radio (which we plan to do this weekend).
In addition, I will gladly hop in anytime they want to invite me.
Recently, I don't even remember what the piece was, the three of us did something at Third -- I think on the women running.
But why wouldn't I grab that chance?
"The Vagina Strikes Back! (Ava and C.I.)" Did you ever read that?
In 2008, that blew me away. It still does. I love Ava and C.I.'s writing.
And the chance to write about women with those two?
Oh, hell yeah.
But the reason Betty didn't participate recently was that she had been at her folks and was tired -- I think it was a holiday weekend -- and didn't want to. She knew she could have but she really didn't have the energy for it.
If I knew what article it was, I could also tell you if it was something I had been talking about with them -- that's another way I get brought in. If I'm already having a conversation with them about something and they're going to write about it, they're going to invite me in.
Each year, at the end of the year, I do a movie post with Stan where we look back at the movies of the year. Am I going to be accused of betraying Betty for that too?
I'm glad Betty's got a very big fan. Betty's a great writer, she deserves lots of fans. But I'm also aware that I am Betty's friend and I wouldn't try to hurt her. Nor has she been hurt by what I've written with Ava and C.I. or with Stan.
Have I worked with my husband and Wally on their site?
I may have once, but I don't think so.
That's because they're tossing jokes and I feel left out. That's not slamming them. They have been doing their joint-posts for some time. They are very good friends (and Wally is a great friend to us both) and they joke and laugh and they ahve their own process. And I feel like an outsider (though they don't intend that).
But you are aware that several times a year Betty does a joint-post with those two? And that they ask her to do joint-posts even more than that but she's usually busy.
I love it when Betty does a joint-post with them, she brings a different energy level to the humor and I can always tell you what her big contribution was.
And I've never felt, "Betty's betrayed me! She wrote a post with Wally and my husband!"
The truth is that when you work with another member in the community, it gives you a chance to shine and show what you can do to an audience you might not have normally.
And on those movies posts? C.I. reposting it at The Common Ills? We get so much more views as a result of that. I do check, I'll ask Jim, "How many views do we have?" And we're still getting views on last years, like 40 or so a month and that's long after we broke 15,000 -- at The Common Ills. Here? I had 757 views by last month and that was it.
But when Betty and Stan do joint topics (as they do many nights), it's a chance for them to increase their reach and it's also a way for them to become stronger writers by learning from each other.
I can't tell you how much I have learned from Ava and C.I.
And, hello, half of what they write isn't in the sentence. Those two are amazing, there all these little puzzles and anagrams and all these other levels to their writing that some pick up on and others never to notice. You don't need to notice it to appreciate the writing but there's all this hidden stuff that they put in too for people who are looking for it.
But I love Betty.
I would never hurt her. To the person who is afraid that I have, I did check with her and I have not hurt her. It was sweet of you to worry about her, honestly, but she's fine.
I'm lazy. Here are the people I mentioned in this post:
The Third Estate Sunday Review's Ava,
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ,
and Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends,
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"