Responding to Trolls – Part Deux

            -This episode is filmed in front of a live studio audience-

This post is mostly for me, but if you’re here reading it: Hi! I must warn you, I’ve recently been informed that I am less than adept at writing. I would like to address a few things in this post. That’s what bloggers do, sometimes. We blog shit, just for the sake of not keeping stuff all bottled up inside. Right now I feel like a bottle of diet coke that just got dropped on the floor, and if you open me, I’ll spew everywhere.

Sit back and sip your tea or coffee as I regale you with opinions that don’t matter, horrible writing, definitions, and a small story filled with childhood nostalgia.

Worry not, my darlings. I’ll have my dear friend, a real life author – he’s published and everything- proof this before I post it, so you don’t get sucked into some sludge pile of dreadful content. Just to be on the safe side, you may want to get your boots ready. I seek not to deceive you.

Let’s talk about words for a moment. Dreadful things, they are. I was informed yesterday that I have the reading comprehension of a two-year-old. That hardly seems possible. I’ve never met a two-year-old who could read, but I digress.

Words. I was also informed yesterday that “INDIE Authors” are “Assholes with opinions but no real talent”. There’s not a band-aid in the world large enough to cover that wound. I’m kidding.

“Indie” is a short word for “Independent”. It’s a common term used in the film industry, the music industry, the art world, and also, the author community.  It is not reflective of our talent. We’re a self-sufficient, collaborative village of sorts. It’s much like the barter system from the past, but rather than trading crops and goods, we trade skills.

We, the authors, read each other’s works and give feedback. There are those of us who edit for one another. We have friends who are “Indie” artists who do book cover designs, and so on and so forth. “Indie” simply means that we are Independently owned and operated; or in this case, self-published.

The term “Indie Blogger” can be thought of the same way; meaning we blog independently, as opposed to blogging for a magazine or newspaper. It’s preferable this way.  We have ultimate power over our own personal works of art.  Okay, I guess I shouldn’t call my writing “Art”, since it would make the man himself, Stephen King, vomit in his mouth a little bit. Call me Van Gogh! Okay, don’t. I have both my ears.

I was told that I’m not a real author, though the literal definition of the word is exactly what I do. Where am I published? This website, which was called a “piece of shit”, so far. There’s a poetry book floating around somewhere with some of my poetry in it, though I was twelve when that was published, and it’s under my real name. I don’t suppose that counts.


I love story time!! I wish I were a real author so I could tell real stories. The book that I’ve been slaving over isn’t a real story. I made it up. I was called a bad person yesterday, simply because my opinion differed from someone else’s. That was my terrible attempt at segueing into this story I promised you, by the way. It features my brother, who is six years older than I am. Brothers often don’t know the severity of the impact they have on their younger siblings. Travel back to the 90’s with me for just a moment. [Insert Time Travel Music Here]

Imagine, if you will, the pitter-patter of little feet smacking against the tile floor, as three children run eagerly to the garage-turned-bedroom just beyond the kitchen. The eldest of our pack, T, is home from work. My other brother, same age as me, and myself want to play video games. Our tiny, younger sister wants to be wherever we are, so she can tattle on us to our mother the very second we rip the head off one of her barbies. She enjoys playing Nascar and Need for Speed with us, until we speed past her and turn our cars around, ramming head-on into her car. “MOOOMMMMMYYYYY!!!!!” Younger siblings are SO annoying! Anyway, my brother and I run across the house and start beating on T’s door while chanting, “T! Open up,” until he finally opens it and greets us with love. 
“If you don’t stop knocking on my damn door, I’m gonna kick you both in the face.” 
“Play video games with us,” we say.
“Play guitar for us,” we beg.
“Can we play your drums?” We dare ask.
“I put a spell on ’em. If you touch ’em, EVER, your fingers will turn into snakes and eat away at your arms until they fall off.”
My brother and I look at each other and run across the house screaming, “MOOOOMMMMMM!!!!!!!” 
T then looks at the youngest of us and shares a sacred smile with her that only they share, and he grants her passage into his super-cool bedroom, where he puts the head back on her barbie. Younger siblings are SO annoying!!

Fast forward from that memory to somewhere around 2010. My brother, T, and I were at a Chinese Buffet for lunch. He was in his thirties by then, and a worship leader at his church. I was in my twenties. I was about to tell him some big news, and he was about say the smallest of statements that would resonate with me forever. A statement about being a good person, and a bad person.

As we seated ourselves at a window-side table, T looked at me with intent. He knew that if I’d called him for a lunch meeting there was probably something important to be discussed.
I waited until his mouth was empty so he wouldn’t spit out his Dr. Pepper, or choke on his Bourbon chicken. 
“I have a girlfriend. I like girls.” I’d had to force it out.
“I’m in love with a girl.”
T put his elbows on the table and rested his head in his hands. “And you want my approval? Is that what this about?”
“It’d be nice.”
“I love you. I’ll always love you. You’re my sister. I don’t support it, and I absolutely don’t approve.”
“I’m still a good person, T.”
“No. No, you’re not. You’re not a good person. I’m not a good person. No one is a GOOD person. All we can do is TRY our best to be GOOD people and we’re all BAD people sometimes. Everyone fucks up. Good people do bad things and bad people do good things. Don’t sit here and say you’re a good person.”

I’ll end that conversation at that point, but there it is. I was called a bad person yesterday, and that conversation is what’s been in my head ever since. We can try to be good people all day, every day. At some point, we do something that others perceive as bad. So if I’m a bad person for trying to do good shit, I guess that’s how it’s going to be.

I hate to lead you into the pits of despair by closing out this blog, but I’ve got work soon.

I fully understand that some of the things I’ve written about lately are sensitive matters. Some of those things have been misconstrued, and that’s fine.

I am well aware that there are people with opinions the same as mine, and those that differ.

I am more than willing to engage in discussion about anything I’ve written. I’ve done so several times. If that is something you would like to do, you can reach me here: Contact

I can also be reached on twitter here: KJ Marshall

If you’ve got a question, or something to say, take into account that differences of opinion are okay. There is no need for name calling(which I HAVE been guilty of doing in response to someone requoting every single one of my tweets).

There’s no need to insult one another. A man emailed me yesterday. He knows someone I wrote about personally. We exchanged several emails asking each other why we were on the side that we’re on. Did we end up changing each other’s minds? No, but we did end the exchange trying to see the other’s point of view, and through the exchange we came to respect each other, even though as of now, we still disagree. So…

It’s possible to have a conversation without getting high and mighty and angry.

I hope you guys all have an excellent day.  I intend to, because tomorrow is my birthday and I’m off of work; which means I’m able to write my shitty, non-real, lack of author talent stories.

-KJ Marshall



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