Posted May 6, 2016on:
I’m sure by now, most of you have heard about this.
I’ve made a few public comments, I’ve sent a number of private e-mails. My brain processes this kind of stuff very slowly. And these announcements especially have been a challenge for me to process, because I’m not sure how to categorize them. Retirement? Loss? Like a friend moving away? Like a party ending? Graduation and everyone scattering? All of the above? So much feels.
But the overwhelming emotions I am feeling right now are gratitude and responsibility.
I have so much gratitude for John, JP, Kristin, and everyone else at SFSignal who took a chance on me. They gave me a place and welcomed my sometimes weird voice. Thanks to SFSignal, I’ve gained other opportunities I otherwise would never have had. Opportunities became stepping stones, which became introductions, which became other opportunities. SFSignal is where I *became*, if that makes any sense. It’s where I blossomed. We all throw around the word community, and the phrase the SFF Community. I didn’t know what that word meant, until SFSignal.
So, gratitude. I wouldn’t be the person I am without SFSignal.
The biggest, best, and least talked about opportunity I had through SFSignal was being able to pay it forward. New author I’m excited about? New short fiction magazine that’s doing some cool stuff? Someone is editing an anthology I wish more people knew about? I could give those people a voice at SFSignal, through interviews, book reviews, columns, and Mind Melds. I could make sure projects I believed in got a little more attention. Talented blogger? Let’s get them a column or a gig as a Mind Meld coordinator. A responsibility grew in me, a responsibility to pay it forward. And maybe that’s how you know you’re part of the right community, part of the right online family – because everyone’s passions and positivity rub off on you. I wanted to be my best self for the people whose support and guidance helped me become who I am. Also? it’s awesome to pay it forward.
When John and JP decided it was time to shut down SFSignal, what a lot of people heard was “goodbye”.
Underneath the sads, and the feels, and my exploding twitter feed, what I heard wasn’t “goodbye”, but “you’ve graduated”. Now I, and all the other SFSignal irregulars, get to take what we’ve learned to our other communities and online families. I blossomed at SFSignal. And now I’m full of seeds that can be planted anywhere.
Schools over. It’s time to see what we’ve all learned.
And in case you’re wondering, I have no plans to go anywhere. I’ve been a bit slow lately here at LRR, but I’m still here, quietly and happily doing my thing.