So a brief commercial for the news popped up on Global TV a short while ago. There was mention of the prime minister criticizing the new law passed in Afghanistan that severely limits womens' rights.
The newcaster then describes it as a bill that, "would legalize forced sex within marriage."
You know...I'm *pretty* sure we have a word for the phrase "forced sex"...let me think...yeah, yeah we do...
It's called rape.
I find it extremely disappointing that media outlets so often refuse to use the word "rape" when that's what they're fucking talking about. I really feel that this contributes to rape culture. We need to separate the act of sex (which is a good thing) from the act of rape (which is a bad thing). We can better do this by calling "forced sex" or "non-consensual sex" rape because that's what it is.
I've decided to put Curio Killed the Cat on hiatus for a couple of weeks. I have student reports due soon at work, I'm working an extra long shift tomorrow for my boss, and I need to start packing 'cause I'm moving next weekend. I don't want the added stress of scrambling to finish a bunch of chapters too. So I'm thinking no Curio chapter tomorrow due to my work schedule, none the Monday after 'cause I may not have my internet up and running, and none the week after that due to it being Easter weekend (I'll be out of town).
My apologies, but I need to cut out stress right now.
I'm reviewing April's Children of the Apocalypse chapter (shoulda been March's--this is the one that got lost) for posting, so at least you have something to read.
As always, I encourage readers to keep an eye on this blog so that they know what's going on--I try to keep people up to date.
Consider yourself warned...there are important spoilers about Children of the Apocalypse here!
IM Conversation between Skyla and Elaine regarding Children of the Apocalypse characters and plot twists.
Skyla: no, for reals! they all get new love interests
Elaine: Because all their current love interests die horribly?
Skyla: actually, I can't kill any lesbian love interests
Skyla: apparently that's a horrible cliche and I don't' want to Tara anyone
Skyla: I mostly hate Janine's name, so I desperately want her to go away...
Elaine: Curse you, Joss Whedon, for making us unable to kill lesbians anymore!
Elaine: LOL, now that's a reason to kill a character if I ever heard one. ;D
Elaine: Snerk, poor Janine, doomed by her name.
Skyla: yeah, pity I didn't rename her...
Elaine: Maybe she could decide to start going by her middle name?
Skyla: she can rebel--change her name, cut her hair...
Skyla: or turn out to be a runaway like Merri and Janine is a fake name
Elaine: Or maybe she's an evil minion, and it's been just a lie (including her name)! Okay, that would take a lot more planning ability than any character has shown themselves capable of so far, but w/e.
Skyla: she could be working with Thad! and that's not his real name either
Elaine: OMG, Thad's like her secret brother!
Skyla: OMG, yes! that's perfect!
Skyla: and...they're spying on everyone because...
Skyla: Michael ran out on his last Cher show!
Skyla: he owes people money. big time
Elaine: That's right! And the big dance competition is coming up, and it's their only chance to come up with the money, only Janine/Thad enter and are gonna win for EVIL.
Elaine: So only Gen/Michael can win the competition! After like a dance training montage thing.
Skyla: Yeah! And costumes
Skyla: they need to wear sandals so that they can show off their toenails
Elaine: Heels! Open-toed!
Skyla: yeah. omg this totally needs fanart
Skyla: they have to dance to "I Had the Time of My Life" from Dirty Dancing
Elaine: Yes, that would pretty much be the only possible choice of music.
So we all know the story of Skyla accidentally overwriting the file for CotA Chapter 3-3. And how she was supposed to have it done and up by the 15th. And by now we've probably figured out that it's not up yet.
Truthfully, I've been insanely busy. I've been working a lot (promotions are awesome, although they usually come with more responsibility, meaning lots more to do). I just signed the lease agreement for my apartment. I've been spending several hours on my free days to do fundraising for my other job. I was going to spend last weekend getting shit written, but then I changed my plans and went to my mum's early. And while I did get some writing done there, I still have to bulk up the work and fill in some blanks.
But, of course, rather than writing, I spend my time trying to figure WHY I'm avoiding this so much.
It's not just the rewriting aspect. I mean, don't get me wrong--I fucking HATE rewriting shit that I've actually lost. It's happened a few times. Sometimes 'cause I'm stupid and lost the work. Other times, it's 'cause I'm stupid and deleted it (I get VERY self-destructive when I have bad depressive episodes, and do shit like cut my hair, delete files, and throw out things important to me). I had to rewrite the last several chapters of Hunter last year, and several chapters of CotA...
And I bitched, complained, and whined...and it was hard...but I STILL got it done.
But this time, it's different. I've had a few weeks since the incident. I should be good to go.
To be honest, I was dragging my feet on this one even before I lost the chapter. Part Three of CotA contains all the major plot/character things I've been planning since day one. THIS is what I've been excited for. I could sit and write the final five chapters today because I know this part of the story SO well.
And I'm thinking part of my brain just doesn't want to go there.
The problem, as far as I can see it, is probably twofold. 1. I've been waiting so long to get here that I'll be sad when its over, so maybe I'm now putting it off. This is a strong possibility. 2. I know where it's going, and I know it's a direction that isn't going to win me any popularity contests with readers. This is an even stronger possibility.
I'm thinking it's a combination of things.
I've never been someone who's ruled by what readers think. I feel it's important to stay in touch with readers and to ensure I have a sense of how they're responding to things. It keeps me grounded. However, I'm not going to change anything vital because it pisses people off.
I think by the time we're into Part Four, everyone's going to be really on board with the events of Part Three. It's all necessary. But...we still have to get through Part Three first. And I don't think it's going to go over well.
And so, I'm dragging my feet.
Want to know how much I'm dragging 'em? I randomly started pulling out old stories to read to procrastinate, and I actually like my awful NaNo novel from a few years ago, Mournful Blade. Yes, the (other) bane of my existence. I glancing through it and actually thinking, "Damn...I can work with this. This has awesomeness!"
And MB was baaaaad so I know I've lost touch with reality and should really go back to CotA.
I don't really know how to tell you this, but I'm in love with your cat. I think I realized it last year when you peed your pants at the mental hospital and I saw you sit on my illegitimate child in Ghana. I'm sure you're middle-class enough to understand that I'm allergic to your earlobes. I'm returning your Hannah Montana underwear to you, but I'll keep your collection of butterflies as a memory. You should also know that I will always remember the pep talks and you should get that embarrassing rash checked.
- Dye my roots.
- Answer sane-sounding author inquiries.
- Answer insane sounding author inquiries.
- Write Monday's Curio Killed the Cat chapter.
- Read slush.
- Play Kung-Fu Panda to regain some sanity.
- Work on an art piece I have a concept for (called Wild).
- Spend quality time with boyfriend.
Okay, so it's more like I *nearly* have finished Monday's chapter. A couple more paragraphs, and I'm there.
And I'm about fifty/fifty on the answering of author inquiries, be it insane ones or not. Here's a tip for anyone sending something my way: having the work you're submitting COMPLETE and not "finnished in a week" is a good idea (typo intentional there). Also, when we ask for a cover letter, blurb, and synopsis...we really do mean that we'd like a cover letter, blurb, and synopsis. Finally, it's important to make a good first impression. Using "im" for "I'm" in your cover letter or inquiry is NOT a good thing. (And here's some of the general stupidity that I deal with quite often.)
You'll note that blogging wasn't on my list this weekend, so...I should probably say goodnight now. I think I should have added "make smores" to my list...
I pulled out the chapter to beat into shape today and saved it in a file type that I could use on my friend's version of Word. Turns out I saved over the real file. I've lost a nearly 5000 word chapter.
Add to this the fact that I currently work around 12 - 14 hours every day...and you hopefully understand why I didn't have time to rewrite it--and when I'm not sure when I'll be able to get to it. Why do I work 12 -14 hours a day? Why, so that I can earn an income that's still at the poverty level and continue to write free stuff that I'll never see any money for. Of course.
Anyways, I was really upset and stressed out about it. And then I got great advice from fellow author Elaine Corvidae. To paraphrase, she said fuck it--I am to tell you guys that this is the situation, and I'll have the chapter up next month. It's better that I take some time and do it right than stress out over the rewrite and rush myself.
Now, I'll do you one better--I'll promise to get it to you by the fifteenth of the month. AND I'll have chapter four up, as usual, on the first of the next month.
So while you're all mad at me and looking for something to read, please head over to Elaine Corvidae's site for some Sci-Fi free serials and Judy Bagshaw's site for a soap opera serial. Or...um...gosh, you could head over to my books page and purchase something of mine...
I'll leave you with a video from the awesome Repo! The Genetic Opera, which I just watched during dinner.
I've been on medication for just over a month now. It's a temporary solution to a rather permanent problem the Dr. thinks I have.
And it has made me into an absolute fucking basket case.
There are side effects to all drugs. I knew that going in. And for this particular problem, I'll keep my mouth shut and do anything the Dr. tells me to, but...this has just been too much. I'm in extreme pain off and on--to the point where I can't get out of bed sometimes. I'm an emotional wreck--bursting into tears all the time. I mean, I'm used to mood swings (I'm bi-polar) and extreme depression, and I can handle those things. I've worked hard to have strategies and support in place so that I can deal without medication.
But this is totally unnatural and scares the hell out of me.
I know part of it is burnout creeping in. More and more keeps getting tacked onto my "to do" list. I asked for it, I know, and I'm not complaining about my choices. But when you're dealing with writers every day...it gets fucking exhaustive. Many, many are fine. They ask reasonable questions at reasonable times. But I have to deal with a slew of others who ask the most batshit crazy things AFTER I've already told them the fucking answer. And now I'm worried that all the nice ones are going to think I'm talking about them here, but guys, I swear I'm not. I just need to rant. I'm sick, what's supposed to make me better is making me worse, and I feel like I'm going insane.
I briefly considered taking the day off of work because I'm afraid at my other job (tutoring) I'm going to randomly burst into tears around the poor kids I work with, but I just found out my boss isn't in today, so I'm the only one who can unlock the door and let them in. So...yeah.
Dr. appointment next week. I want to be off this crap and she can find another way to fix me. I can't deal with this.
So I thought I'd write about what my day is like to better explain why the hell you guys don't have a new chapter of Curio Killed the Cat yet.
7:30 - 8 Wake up. Say hi to boyfriend. Start answering email.
8:30 Have breakfast while continuing to answer email.
8:45 Brush my teeth.
8:50 Continue working on the computer. Here's some stuff that I do:
- Schedule books for Munania well into 2010, speak with authors about it, get yelled at by authors, yell back, etc.
- Create cover art. I usually have a few to do a month.
- Check on the status of the next several books in the queue. Send out "To Do" lists.
- Log slush. Distribute to readers. Read slush. (We usually have at least a few hundred to go through at a time.) Send rejection letters.
- Read in house submissions and discuss acceptance or suggestions for changes.
- Get an angry email about something someone asked me about two days ago that I haven't replied to yet. Bite my tongue and reply nicely.
- Discuss schedule, book, and publishing stuff with the company owner and art director. We're constantly talking about promo opportunities, stuff that needs to get done, etc.
- Read the news.
- Apologize to the boyfriend for being a workaholic. And then discuss with him work stuff (because he's doing website design and maintenance for us).
- See what information people were supposed to send me, and then chase them down.
- Send books for review. Try to find new reviewers as well.
- Occasionally, do edits for my own work when my editor contacts me.
- Say, "No, I can't do that right now--I'll do it next week" when I get a new assignment. And then I do the thing I was asked to do last week but didn't have time for.
This usually continues on until nearly 2 pm. At some point, I take a total of an half an hour or so to have lunch, and then get cleaned up for work. My other work, that is. Also, I feed and take out the dog.
2:00 Walk to the office.
2:30 Arrive at the office. Bitch about the cold. Then I do lesson prepping, answering phones, helping other tutors, etc.
7:00 Walk home.
7:30 Arrive home. Bitch about the cold. Help finish making dinner. Eat dinner while catching up on email. Usually the world has imploded in my absence and I have to save everyone.
9:00 Watch Lost on Wed., The Office on Thurs., and Dollhouse on Fri. Try to not let myself work.
10:00 Work on the computer. Usually I'm up late talking to the art director at this point. There may or may not be alcohol involved.
12:00 Bed time.
1:30 - 2:00 When I actually fall asleep. I'm an insomniac, plus I think I have restless leg syndrome. I don't sleep very well.
And I do all this to make a poverty-level income.
I'm trying really hard to get writing in, but the past few weeks have been nuts. But I promise, promise you'll get a chapter this week, and the regular one next Monday.
So I did some writing at my mum's. Got another chunk of April's CotA chapter done, more or less finished next Monday's Curio Killed the Cat chapter and started the next, as well as some other stuff. Transferred it from the Alphasmart, cleared out the old files, saved, and was ready to do some editing...
Or so I thought.
Turns out I saved over Monday's Curio chapter. I'm left with the crappy 500 words I had before I left.
I've had this happen before. I've lost files. I've intentionally deleted them all and destroyed backup disks during a total mental/emotional breakdown. I've had my ex refuse to give back my old computer long enough to let me retrieve needed files. So I've had to Rewrite before.
It's not the same as an edit rewrite. It's awful, especially if you have no memory, like me. Trying to remember some of the great lines, or, like, trying to remember what the hell happened...
Guys, this Cuiro chapter had another love letter by Alastair to Liam. It was comic gold!
And now it is gone. And I weep. I could probably put out a chapter in a couple of hours, but the wounds from losing it are too fresh...it would be painful to continue right now.
So you'll probably get it late on Monday.
At least I still have the chapter after that one complete...
Yes, my roots have apparently always been blonde. Please, go ahead and mock me.