Okay. I always hate those posts that whine about why someone hasn’t blogged….or written….or showered……
But I do need to update everyone (all six of you) who might want to know why it’s been pretty quiet in this corner of the internet.
The Evil Day Job
This has been my nemesis. Just to recap: I took this job five years ago as extra income filling in for the secretary who had worked there twenty-five years. She taught me very little except how much she hated her job. All I wanted to do was write. But the Redneck, in one of the rare areas he’s been a first class asshole, has viewed my writing for the last six years as a “hobby” at best and a nuisance at worst. So, when the secretary retired and the job came up, he insisted, manipulated and bitched until I took it full time. Since then, the job has gotten as shitty as any job could get. The boss that hired me full time was awesome, but the job itself was a pain in the ass. Fine. Learn the fucking job. Do my best. I can do that. About the time I thought I had my shit together, my boss ended up in the ICU with heart problems and three months later was gone on sick leave never to return. That’s when life got really interesting. They hired an agent (that they’d let go only two months earlier) who is a great guy and good at his job. But they didn’t replace my boss. At least, not a boss that worked here. They farmed out the office to this guy in Rhonert Park who is….well….weird. Not weird in a good way. Weird in the way that I never know what the fuck he’s going to get pissy about and whether our interactions will be awkward, warm or fucking off the chart annoying. Then, in September, they cut my hours. That blindside was one of the reasons my new boss will never have my trust. Ever. The cut hours didn’t bug me as much as getting NO heads up whatsoever. I was a deer in the headlights on that one. So, new boss=asshole. Job=frustrating. I won’t even talk about the memo obsessed bullshit that seems to go on every day. If you want to know how it feels to work in my job, watch the scene in Office Space where three bosses all ask him about his TPO report. Then, add in the joy of guys calling up to bitch about the lack of work out there and you’ve pretty much got the picture. In short, I really find my job stressful and it gets in the way of the one thing I’d really like to focus on. WRITING.
Which is next on my shit list.
The advent of self-publishing and the insanity of the economy has combined to do the one thing I can’t afford. It eroded my self-confidence. I’m as oversensitive as the next writer and I found myself staring down the barrel of the old “What the fuck do I do” conundrum. I abandoned books that were too hard for me or dragged me out of my comfort zone. I refused to accept plot bunnies that didn’t fit into the box I was starting to store my writing in. I’ve NEVER been an author to take the easy route….until last year. So, when the new year began, I made a goal to tackle the tough work, nose to the grindstone, and head out of the marketing bullshit that just confused me. Write the book. Write the fucking book. Sounds easy. And it is. Unless, of course, it isn’t. But I haven’t stopped. I may be going slowly, but I’m not going to stop. As a result (and because one of my author friends loves to torment me) I’ve got a bite on my historical (totally out of my comfort zone) werewolf (WAY out of my comfort zone) who may actually see the light of day. I focused on my BDSM contemporaries which have always been more difficult for me to write. It’s been slow, but better than spinning helplessly and taking the easy way out. Four releases (all erotic science fiction) last year and another one coming from Ellora’s Cave this month on January 27th means I’m still getting the job done.
This part of my life sucks time away from the writing but also makes the EDJ tolerable. I’m no more organized than when I started and have even less understanding of the paperwork. But I haven’t changed my mind. It’s still the one way that I can give back, be a part of the community and change the world…or at least my corner of it. I’ve defied several Scouting traditions mainly because I believe there are things that don’t make sense. Boy Scouts is its own worst enemy, choosing to exclude rather than include. I don’t think every girl should join Boy Scouts. Just like I don’t think every kid with autism should join Boy Scouts. Or, shit, every BOY should join Boy Scouts. I think Scouts is for a certain kind of kid. Some kids are going to love learning about the flag, about pocket knives and about being a good citizen. Some kids won’t. Why can’t we treat Scouting like football? Everyone can join, but not everyone should. And kids decide football isn’t for them every year. So, I have two girls in my pack. Why? Because both of them are girls who want the skills Boy Scouts offer. Girl Scouts does NOT emphasize the outdoors or basic skills required to be a Scout. I know because I was a Girl Scout and I hated it. I wanted to be a Boy Scout. I wanted to learn to tie knots, set up a tent, cook over a fire. Girl Scouts, or at least the Troop I was in, seemed more about horses and rainbows. And that’s great for most girls. Anyway, I’m probably going to get booted out of Scouting for my attitude and I’m sure many folks think I should. But Boy Scouts wasn’t created to exclude or make a private club for elitist heterosexual boys. It was created because the skills normally taught to boys was being lost because an entire generation of young men had been killed in war. Baden-Powell was trying to address an issue of HIS day. I’m trying to address an issue in mine. Just as fathers were absent in Baden-Powell’s day, fathers are absent due to divorce and other social pressures. The United States is the only country that has Scouting that excludes girls. I hope it won’t last much longer. The twelve core values of Scouting–honest, perseverance, citizenship, compassion, resourcefulness, respect, responsibility, positive attitude, health and fitness, cooperation, courage and faith–are human qualities. Human. Not just male. Not just heterosexual. Human. Maybe we should add one more: Tolerance. But that said, I’m hoping we can fly under the radar. The two girls we have are there (God willing) until they turn 14 and can enter into a Crew in Boy Scouts. We’ll see how that goes. As you can see, I have a lot of passion for it and sometimes it all keeps me working my ass off and not writing. I wouldn’t have it any other way, though.
The Redneck, Unemployment and winter
At Christmas, the Redneck got laid off and had to apply for unemployment. It took a month to get paid. Meanwhile, the finances went to hell. We have hope he’ll go back to work, but meanwhile he’s home….all the time….I go to work to get some peace and quiet. The rain is keeping him out of work. We’ll see what happens.
Looking over this, I realize it sounds pretty depressing, but actually, it’s been pretty awesome. For every frustration there’s been some fantastic stuff too. Well, except for the EDJ. There’s nothing redeemable about that.
I think I take everything one day, one event at a time. And now the Redneck is demanding my attention. So, I’ll be back soon. I hope.