I still have one more chapter to review. I was in the middle of writing that review this morning when I took a moment to read some of your replies on Cheryl's disaster of a FB post/meltdown (https://www.facebook.com/CherylStrayed.Author/posts/964856360206321). Under Melisssa Dennison's reply, I decided to comment. (*Cheryl has since removed the entire thread.)
Cheryl took time out of her busy schedule of Googling herself and looking in the mirror to respond:
"Erin ******, what a life you must have to spend your time on the social media pages of authors you hate. Get a dictionary and look up the definitions of backpacking and hiking. There's a difference. It can be true that you have done lots of hiking without ever having gone backpacking. It can be true that you have some wilderness experience without still having some things to learn. It can be true that you did lots to prepare for a journey and then you find there are some things for which you could not and did not prepare. But of course you don't want to know any of that. You don't know what to do with your sorrow and rage so you come here to share it with me. I wish you blessings on your journey, sister. Go find the beauty. It's there even for you."
That's all the invitation I needed. I replied with this:
"Cheryl, before anything else, it's nice to finally (sorta) meet you, and I genuinely appreciate the fact that you did not immediately "zap" me from your page. Thank you for that, truly. You and I both know that I do not spend all of my time on your FB page-- or maybe you don't know that, but I don't mean anything insulting by saying so. *Because* I do not spend even a minute of my life looking at your FB page, I was unaware of your post until my readers brought it to my attention and I was hesitant to post a comment because of your admission that you immediately delete anyone who disagrees with you (as you've done with many of my readers). I fully expect that this very response will be deleted. Since, inexplicably, comments cannot be broken up into paragraphs, forgive me for what will appear to be a very long run-on paragraph ( FB needs to change its format). Look, Cheryl. I wanted very badly to like your book. I cannot stress that enough. My 76-year-old ex-nun mother suggested your book to me because she thought that I, as an experienced distance-hiker, would love it. I googled your book and it sounded amazing, and as the only radio station I listen to is NPR, I remember listening to an interview you did and goddamnit, I was genuinely *so excited* to read your book, and I mean that. Here's the thing, Cheryl. I was interested in your book because I thought it was going to be about hiking the PCT. I had never heard of you before and, that said, I never thought to myself, "I wonder what it's like to be Cheryl Strayed." I did, however, wonder, "What would it be like to hike the PCT?" I thought your book would answer that question and I was wildly disappointed. The PCT is like a background extra in your book. The book itself is all about you and your feelings and so on and so forth and I was disappointed. I've found many inconsistencies in your book-- and PCT hikers have emailed me with proof that my apprehension about the validity of your claims is solid. What we don't like is that you seem to be lying and you are making a load of money off of your lies. We are also upset about the fact that you continue to encourage people to go do what you claimed to have done with no preparation whatsoever, and for that, you should be ashamed. People are going to get hurt or killed, and that's very irresponsible of you. Finally, and forgive me for saying so, I don't believe you are a very good writer. I am not a writer. I wanted to be a writer, and I even had a journalism scholarship in high school, but it was taken away because I was openly gay and the school board didn't approve of my editorials in the school newspaper about gay rights-- this was back in the nineties when this sort of fuckery was still acceptable. I gave up on writing, Cheryl. I gave up due to this episode in bigotry. I'm no writer. Despite this, I'm still capable of calling bullshit, and I don't believe your story. Your mileage doesn't add up, your stories don't add up and again, your writing leaves much to be desired. I'm not impressed with you. Go ahead and delete this and "zap" me from your page. I don't believe I've been disrespectful; I've simply dared to have an opinion."
Cheryl deleted this comment because she is incapable of responding to criticism and I have now been blocked from commenting further. She also deleted my other comments, but left up her response to my non-existent comments because that's how Cheryl rolls.
Please feel free to bombard her FB page with your thoughts about this.
Once she blocks you from her page, feel free to email her at her fake FB account:
What a coward.
*** 2/6/15 UPDATE ***
Many thanks to Mercer for alerting me to Cheryl's FB post from today (contrary to what anyone might think, I do not look at Strayed's FB page unless someone sends me a link). She posted the equivalent to " :( " and waited for all of her idiot followers to bombard her with concern-- "Why are you sad-face, Cheryl? You're totes the best, we <3 you!"
Here it is:
This is what my friend, Brian, decided to post as a comment on her :(
Can't. Stop. Laughing.