Struggle. Since I last wrote here or updated any of my social media accounts I have gone through so much struggle. I’ve lost a loved one. Had to resign from my job and leave my students. Been let down over and over again by the system. Realized that there isn’t a single soul except myself that I can rely on. Suicidal depression brought on by lifelong disadvantages. Poverty. Anger. Abuse.
When have I had time write anything, focusing on what I love? Stories. Creating worlds and crafting. How can I focus on what I love when struggling to survive? How can I feel like my stories matter when my life is valued by no one?
So here I’m updating for the sake of updating.
After the editing of the first four chapters of The Scholar’s Apprentice: Secret of the Valor Lexicon, I had to end my contract and my relationship with my editor.
SB, my editor, tried to have a personal relationship with me but refused to check her race privilege and class privilege. This woman, this so-called professional, would actually rather end our friendship than check her privilege. She suggested we have a professional relationship only.
Which I refused.
I’m not going to give her my money and help her “build her empire”, as she put it, because that means supporting her ignorance and unwillingness to listen and face her issues. I’m not going to support the unprofessional habits she exhibited, such asking me the title and length of my book instead of looking for herself AFTER I submitted it to her. Or claiming she was was ready to do edits on the third and fourth chapters but not actually doing them until days later AFTER I paid her.
I gave her the chance to work on it with me and salvage our relationship. She refused.
In our private conversations, SB claimed she wanted to challenge herself, to stop being fake and dishonest. Well, she failed. Facing your privilege, how you participate in oppressing others and doing something about it is the most genuine way you can challenge yourself as a multiply privileged person. She couldn’t do that. Instead SB made the situation about her hurt feelings. Instead she chose to protect her privilege. She failed me, and that hurt. More importantly though, she failed herself.
Besides. She told me that in her opinion I don’t really need an editor anyway because I check my work well enough on my own. I’ve thought that for a long time but always preferred to have a second set of eyes on my work to make sure it’s as good as it can be. However, I am confident now that I don’t need her or anyone else trying to make a buck off me when it comes to my work. And someone who is unwilling to check their privilege can never be called my friend.
This November during NaNoWriMo, as my main work in progress, I started writing My Dearest Darling.
My Dearest Darling is a fantasy romance that takes place in a winter wonderland with a dash of sultry heat and sand from Ancient Egypt.
Here’s the 411:
In the small town of Black Santa where it’s winter all year around, Daniel Snow is looking for love and instead finds a furry friend who turns out to be more than she seems. Daniel soon learns his cat is out to wreck his love life. After Darling’s latest fiasco during his at-home dinner date, he gets ready give the beautiful gold and black tortoiseshell a stern dressing down where he’s locked her in his bedroom to keep her out of trouble…only to discover that Darling is also in fact a very beautiful woman.
The holiday seasons really fills me with holiday energy and I have to at least try to complete a winter themed story every year
I DONE IT AGAIN, FOLKS! ^__^
I did National Novel Writing Month again this year. Albeit, with a lower word count than my ambitious behind normally strives for. The only thing I need to do now is stop involuntarily counting words in my head whenever I write something. (Takes a few weeks sometimes.)
Jukepop is gone, all its content reportedly deleted. The Taker was published there and Oracle and Infinity Second were serialized there. What a headache it gives me to think about all the place I’ll have to go around and correct that link for my novels. Its really made me reconsider how I’m offering my work to readers. Its not like I was doing as well as I’d like there anyway (in terms of numbers and followers, if that even really matters). And its makes me thankful that I started a Wattpad account, no matter how trendy it is and even if I’m rethinking offering my work on platforms like this and Jukepop. Supposedly, the makers of Jukepop are creating a new platform called Scroll. -__- Before I get into that I need to be sure its what I want to do.
I’m now exclusively serializing Oracle and Infinity Second on Wattpad (Lulu for Path of the Righteous in print and Smashwords for my published digital works).
Focusing on my current career path has taken me away from writing and craft work for a second. I also do not live in a safe or healthy environment which also wreaks havoc on my ability to write.
It’s not that I don’t want to write. Nothing should hold me back from letting all these stories out of my head. Sometimes I have a spell of not writing for a while, which is normal. And I keep telling myself it’s okay. But I know somewhere inside that the reason I can’t do the writing I love is because of where I am physically and financially and where it puts me in my own head and emotionally.
Besides, no reader wants to hear that an author can’t deliver.
Two people in my life, more privileged than I in opportunities and background, have openly admitted that the problems they face in life are a direct result of choices they’ve made. In my case, that isn’t true. So I find myself barred from the worlds in my head that desire manifestation through the written word as I clean up messes that were made before I ever even born or thought of. Inherited messes that have made me stronger and yet somehow also weakened me and continue to stunt my growth. It’s personal, it’s me. And more than half of it isn’t my fault yet I find myself on damage control on my own life.
Can’t write. Can’t stop thinking about writing. It feels toxic. It hurts. Holding all this stuff inside my head on eternal pause. Worrying that something will slip away forever and I’ll never get it back.
Honestly, I’m between a rock and a harder rock.
This morning when my body woke me up at 6am with a painful, unexplainable adrenaline surge as it has done for the past couple months regardless of how much sleep I’ve gotten prior to the waking, I did write. I added to the next chapter of Infinity Second.
It felt good. Writing.
And I hope it doesn’t go away.
While reading this romance book (that wasn’t that good, by the way), the author mentioned Book Funnel. So I looked it up.
Book Funnel describes itself as a service that digitally
“delivers books to your readers without hassle. No matter what device your readers have, we’ll make sure they get their book”.
Sounds useful…maybe. I feel like the description was kind of vague until you get to a point where you need the service the company offers, so I wouldn’t know. Anyway, this post isn’t so much about Book Funnel as it is about what the author was using Book Funnel for.
This author wrote a book, which I read, then offered the sequel to the book…BUT only if the reader joins her mailing list. I’ve seen this tactic before many times, with other writers, advice people give writers for building their readership, and even on website to get supposedly free crochet patterns.
And it has never made me very comfortable.
A book is not free unless it’s free. I’ll say the same thing I said about that Jeff Goins webinar/scam: If you’re asking for a reader’s information, including their email, in exchange for a book then it isn’t free. You are getting information from the reader in exchange for your novel.
It is one thing for readers to sign up to your mailing list–that is a voluntary act. It is wholly another thing to offer readers your book for free…BUT only if they sign up to join your mailing list. And it feels a bit cheap and like cheating. If you have a con readers, it isn’t worth it.
As difficult as it has been for me to easily attract a readership, I honestly refuse to behave like Rumpelstiltskin.
Image from Inquisitr
Writing isn’t free for me. As much as I love writing, it takes a lot of time, energy, effort, and willpower to write my novels and THEN try to find ways to get them to readers. But when an author tells a reader the book is for free it should really, truly, honestly be FREE. No strings attached. That’s what I believe.