I must have touched a nerve with my previous blog, at least the bit discussing manners and polite communications. I have received more feedback on that small rant than I have for all my writing combined. It's clear from the comments that my experience with rude, even vicious attacks from people who claim to be educated and gifted writers, is hardly unique. It seems as if amateur, first-time posters are attacked to see how we respond. I bite back. I didn't see a rule in the TOS that said that I, as a first time amateur poster, had to bow down and kiss the ass of "authors" who have an inflated sense of their skill. I don't care if it's Annie Proulx -- rude attacks are not acceptable.
A lot of the comments I've received are along the lines of "Don't let the jerks discourage you" or "Don't let them scare you away, most of the people here are nice." I'm not going away. The kind comments I've received far outnumber the rude and crude. It occurred to me rude, nasty attacks are the kinds of things the very insecure resort to. Any established author who's threatened by me, an amateur without much formal education, has much bigger issues than whether or not I'm worthy of the title "author". I'd suggest they reassess their view of themselves.
Speaking of manners and being polite, I do get a fair amount of feedback on my story offerings from the three other sites I post on. Any time a reader is moved enough by my writing to contact me, then I take the time to write back thanking them. It's important to me; it's basic manners. I hope I never forget those basic manners my mother taught me before I ever set foot in elementary school.