Humble (?) Beginnings At PnP
Age Rating: 7 +
This writing is done primarily as an entry for the contest being sponsored by Sam Hackel-Butt.
Additionally, it serves as a "Thank You!" to all the fine writers, here at PnP, that accepted me from day one and were most gracious with their comments and praise.
Also, it will serve as a recorded memory of one of the finest years in my life.
And lastly, it will hopefully serve to let any member, new or veteran, who reads this, that they are truly in the company of giants.
Humble? Not exactly. I stumbled across PnP while searching the Web for "stuff" on Sailor Moon. I stopped and looked and checked it out.
I knew enough about computers to at least be able to open an account.
Immediately, the idea of a site that protected it's younger members was very appealing. As I learned later, that protection also extended to the adult members of our community. The idea of a dues-paying membership was also appealing. That went along with my own rationale of "you get nothing for nothing." Simplistic, perhaps, but generally true. The lack of advertising told a story all of its own and the extent to which the site was protected from "phishers" was extraordinary. All of those things are still in place today, by the way.
I knew that my writing and teaching and English and so on background was more than adequate for any website. As I said, "humble?"--not exactly. So my account was opened and I think it was forgotten for a day or two or three. Then, when I returned to do some exploring, guess what had happened? Yup, I had forgotten both my screen name and my password. So what to do? I had to ask Bob Betts for help. To not only dig into the programming, I guess, and recover not just my screen name, but my password also!
Which he did. And he let me know very gently, but very firmly, that what I had done was probably tantamount to the height of stupidity or carelessness--to not have had the sense to write down that information somewhere. Equally, I was further "humbled" by being advised that what he had done was an extraordinary effort on the part of any webmaster/programmer.
The important thing, there, was not that he was trying to impress me with his programming talents. Nor was he trying to embarrass me, even though what I had done was admittedly stupid. He was giving me information on how important it was to make hard copy of something as important as screen name and password. And he did it courteously, and diplomatically, but firmly enough for that humble beginning to mark the rest of my passage through PnP, which continues to this date.
To get some deeper perspectives for this write, I went back to the first works which I had presented here, and read the comments. As well as the works, but especially the comments. Each comment brought back the visions, the emotions, if you will, and all the names and PnP personalities of those who were gracious enough to comment on my works. The truly astounding part of all of that was that an underlying current of courtesy, hospitality, and genuine desire to offer good advice in constructive ways, was offered by everyone. Which included both Jr. Writers and Adult Writers. Some more than others, of course. But all having the same goal--helping a fellow writer. And always offering, not just to me, but to everyone, honest encouragement.
There were some isolated incidents that really aren't worth trying to detail out, but even those--which required Bob's intervention --were handled courteously, diplomatically, and correctly. For everyone, I think.
With this kind of piece, if some support persons are mentioned and not others, then some friends will feel left out. I don't want to do that--make anyone feel left out. You are all important. More, perhaps, than you realize because you have touched my life in ways that left your mark on my soul. That may sound exaggerated, but it's the truth--a truth that every writer, young or old, amateur or professional, poetry or prose, who involves him/herself in the business of communicating with any other writer, recognizes.
This "family" of writers, here, has given me the greater gifts of patience and tolerance. More than were present before, and left me with an even greater desire to offer what I can, as wanted, to especially new writers.
Everything that has happened to me here, has been significant. Not one day goes by that I'm not amazed at how remarkable PnP is, as well as the many writers that I've come to know as friends. I can't begin to write out every significant experience. Being honored by being considered a Gold Writer, being a member of the Commenting Community, recognizing that my works generally find favor among the readers, being a Moonatic, and having some of my works chosen to be the ones to receive the coveted gold star of a Contest winner are all so special.
Bob Betts was and is the person responsible for all this humility to enter my life. Samantha Hackel-Butt, who has always been a supportive member and who has extended equally quiet and courteous advice also needs to be recognized. Beyond those two, everyone on this site has helped in some way to make me what I am now, a year later. It's a good thing that you've done.
Thank you all!