Dear Stranger…

Since I delayed in the post allow me to set it up in the proper time frame. This past weekend after my husband got out of work I decided to surprise him with getting his Father’s Day present a day early which involved going to Target. Now, I should mention we rarely shop at Target for several reasons that aren’t important for this post, but the machine was there so, despite my husband’s protests of me dragging him to a store, we went. Needless to say after we got his present- which was a French Press coffee maker- his tone drastically changed and we browsed the aisles a bit and ended up with a few more things before checking out. While we waited, I heard a few children a couple of checkouts over go into the usual childlike wonder at my current hair color which caused me to smile and I turned my attention munchkin where he sat in the cart looking at the stuff we had bought. After we leave and are home a few my husband turns to me, noting a few looks I had overlooked while I was talking to munchkin about the things in the cart. I look perplexed for a moment, so he reminds me we are far from normal- we’re both in our mid-twenties with  a three year old, and in my case- which has been confirmed by an insane amount of strangers- I look younger. The biggest guilty party of the depth of dislike and unwelcome he described, though was the hair, mine being the blue it is and his falling to about mid-back. Now- looks and some glares are no strange thing to me since going outta the box in regards to my hair, but given that my husband took it on himself to silently tell the guilty party here that her glare wasn’t welcome drove it to a new level since it showed that it was enough to bother him, and he gives about ten thousand less cares about what other people think and actually encourages me to do the same. And while I usually try to simply ignore things, this incident as well as a few others prompted this response:

Dear stranger,

You know me. I’m the one that sticks out like a sore thumb in a crowd if only due to one fact of my appearance- my hair. I’m the one that you just spent the entire wait in line giving a death stare to and sending silent messages that generally boil down to unwelcome before moving onto my husband. You don’t know me though, just as I don’t know you- not the true me or you anyway. Since you will never give me the chance to tell you- why don’t I do it now. Yes, my hair is blue- it might not be to your tastes, but it is to mine. There is no reason for you to make me feel unwelcome, or try to because of that fact. I don’t make you feel unwelcome, or at least try not to because your hair is a shade of my natural color, brown and I happen to dislike that color on me.  Besides taste, there is another reason my hair is blue and that is because very recently I managed to overcome my self-esteem issues and start doing things for me and not what the popular opinion wants. I dyed my hair since high school at various times, but because of this was always too afraid to try the wild colors. This re-found ability enables me to brush off most of the stares, but doesn’t make me immune to them by any means and especially not the harsh ones like you gave today. But that stare will never allow you to know this about me because of simply closing your mind due to appearances.

You will also never know though we look young, my husband and I have been together for 7 and a 1/2 years, almost been married a whole year and have been through hell and back, even more than some- as we joke, we’re only waiting for the richer part of the marriage vows. I’m trying to keep in mind that you would never know this without asking or really taking in the rings on my left hand, but I wonder if the wrinkled nose, like something that smelled rotten was underneath it, was really needed. Chances are it wasn’t.

Yes, everyone at some point does the judging stare in various degrees, the only thing separating one from another is the intention of the stare. They can range from simply taking in and casting silent judgements to trying to drive away as you were. It only partly worked, it was enough to make us feel unwelcome but not enough to make us simply drop everything and go away. We all have our own preferences painted by our own internal styles or what is shown out there in the world (ex. Media coverage or reality tv shows), but it doesn’t make driving away based on that any more right or any less hurtful. So, next time you see someone who might not look like everyone else, who has something about them that might stand out whether it’s hair or something- think twice about what message that stare might deliver because even the toughest people can crack and you might not know their whole story.

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Note: I wrote this with the thought that for good or bad or right or wrong, we all cast judgements, you only need to go the nearest high school to really see it. The main thing is being on the receiving end of the judgements like the one my husband and I experienced and what that cuts off because such a judgement is cast and if people should be judged that way for things like blue hair. If you comment keep comments along these lines and not how right or wrong or anything like that such judgements are, all that is, is a can of worms and leads to just comments being combed since I don’t think anyone will agree anytime soon on it sadly.

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Out of the Box

This week/weekend has been the busiest I’ve been in a  long time. In a separate post I’ll share some of the moments of the week, but right now what’s on my mind is what took place over this past weekend. First thing is first, which is really odd to me is when I was introduced at the wedding and other family events as my mother in law’s writer daughter promptly followed by the fact I do have books published for sale. Why is this odd you ask? Well, I don’t even introduce myself as an author yet, because I only have a couple books (and right now until revisions are done only one) out and to be honest in some circles of my family/friends  its kinda an odd topic and one that boils down to how much money, if any, are you making? I’ve basically decided to play it safe and if it comes up in conversation fine, but  I won’t initiate because it will either get brushed off or will somehow take a ride to where I don’t want it to, like money, and  sometimes, all the time , it’s simply too hard for me to gush about my own stuff. Never though has that been my introduction by anyone really, so it left me feeling a lot flattered and little bit just bewildered that it happened. I supposed that is the way of things though, despite in my case my writing at times being the thing swept under the rug in the corner until it become that thing we vaguely talk about by some and is absolutely loved by others. Having experienced both this weekend made me realize how that line is actually divided, those that ask about the books and those that ignore their existence because of whatever reason.

Let’s get this out of the way for the second part of this post – I’ve come to LOATHE my natural hair color over the years, which is a golden brown (which I like) during the summer if I’m out in the sun a lot and a really dull brown in the winter. So, since my parents gave me permission to experiment with hair dye I’ve pretty much stayed away from it. My husband and we’ve been together almost 7 1/2 years now has actually never seen my hair entirely natural. Now keep in mind, I don’t change colors too much, I’ve pretty much stayed red, though I did a stint at dark brown and have experimented with dark brown/ black and red highlights etc. and I often go a long time between refreshes unless I’m feeling rather uptight about how much root is showing for some reason.  So fast forward to a few months ago when the husband tried to convince me to go rainbow, I flat out said I’m not that brave, but I’d try a solid odd color, which led to us dying my hair purple. Spurred on by the success of that I decided to branch out even more after letting the purple fade away and go teal, which turned out to be more a turquoise, I point you in the direction of my instagram for a pic of it. Like my books the reactions were polar opposite about it, compliments one day and “what the hell?”/ “That better wash out!” moments the next.  Ignoring the fact that it is blue, and that alone might not to be some people’s tastes- which admittedly I might have hit a vein of on the second day and since most just commented on it being blue and not your typical blonde, brown and red, my honest thought as to why.

Still, I wonder why, since the initial shock wears off after a few, why such things remain when you don’t take the same path as others, and becomes a silly thing to be shoved away or just a sticking point that can’t be gotten over. Maybe its nature more than anything since some hurdles can’t be crossed because distaste for things are so great. It makes me sad though, even knowing that it will never meet everyone’s tastes, that something I do as a form of expression could be met with that much hate that is a wall an can never progress to a point of “hey- I don’t like the color myself, but it looks good on you!”  To me that last part is the key- if people can get that way with any problem there would be so much less just shit out there and what I was trying to say in a very rambling way in the first place. As far as my story, will I still go wild with colors? Like I told them when someone demanded the next time I see them, I have natural hair again- “We’ll see if I feel like it- I make no promises since its pretty much what I feel like.

Okay lovely peeps on a book related front there will be a giveaway posted on the Facebook page and if you have/favor Google Plus, I’ll throw it up on the community I made over there too.  As a heads up it’s easier for non-rafflecopter giveaways to do them there so get on either avenue at some point. The prize for this giveaway? A couple ARC copies of the new version of Vengeance of Segennya! Stay tuned!

Happy Mother’s Day

I’ve spent a wonderful, warm day with my two men and a picnic with my side of the family and got treated to some girly things. It’s hard to think this my third official Mother’s Day though it’s the fourth I’ve celebrated. When I was pregnant with munchkin, my husband insisted we celebrate since he could see how I needed it since it was my second Mother’s Day without my own mother and here I was pregnant and on the verge of motherhood myself.

mom

My mom and one of my Aunt’s foster children taken in the 80’s. (She became a master dodger of photos later so not many are around).

So to all the mom’s out there, whether yours is still here or has moved on, Happy Mother’s Day!

 

Deep Sunday Thoughts

Okay I confess- some of this will be repeats from previous posts where they were touched on in some detail or very little. This is my current mood though based on what just happened and made it dawn on me once more. The set up- I was sitting with my son on my lap watching a few music videos and a couple behind the scenes ones as well while we cuddled before bed. He was entranced though for a couple of the behind the scenes one I was more interested in what was being said- following your dream and being afraid to fail. The constants we put on ourselves that actually prevent us from following those dreams and I realized that’s what I had been suffering from for years now and still haven’t been able to shed it. ( Link to the video that partly sparked this post here, by the way if you haven’t I highly encourage you to check out her music as well.) While chancy indie publishing and being an indie author has never been at its best point to try to get into because of the attention it now has as well as credibility.

So I completely realized how right she was in this video- as we grow older we do put constraints on our dreams. Instead of seeing limitless potential we see hurdles upon hurdles and practicalities. Yes- some would call this realism and I would agree that some realism is necessary but you hear every day of people working jobs they HATE to get by only. And by hate I mean barely tolerate with sanity, several steps above and beyond what I consider baseline of simply impatient for the day to be over like I was during my summer job at a local amusement park back in high school. Anyway- I watched my son stare fascinated at the images on the screen, whether he fully understood what was said it caused me to think back to my mindset when I first started this journey- to show him dreams- even impossible seeming ones -can be possible.

Growing up I had a pretty lose outlook on what was possible for me from others in my life. At the same time- they urge me to get a solid job, one with a secure future- or you know, those ones that chances are you HATE or are ranked a bit below that point on the scale of job love. Who cares if you enjoy it, they say- it pays the bills and that’s all that matters liking it will either grow or just never come. As for me I had a drastically different view, what is a job if you don’t like it? I went in phases- I wanted to be a doctor.. .then actor except I have horrible shyness and stage fright- then author – and eventually professor as my college years progressed and the author thing became a distant memory. Then I discovered that I could actually accomplish that dream and figured why not try. Best to finally give it a go then not, of course this thing that I thought was going to be a somewhat laid back affair now carries a piece of my soul, hopes and dreams. It no longer is seen as a secondary thing, but a focus though I still go to school. Still, the same people wonder how much money I’m making from books, how much this and that is going into this. In other words- how much is being wasted on such a chancy thing?

I try to tactfully dodge the questions- since I’m starting to be honest the answers will just add fuel to the fire. I’m still finding my footing, tweaking my strategy and approaches- the windfall- if any is fall off into the future. But sitting here tonight I wonder why I ever stopped those years ago when I was spurred on to seek publishing the first time. I refocused my view because to be frank a few weeks ago I had one of those great moments authors have at times that I was about to throw in the towel and quit. I realized it was the same voices- the ones that tell you to go the realistic to constrained route in life that caused the silence, the abandonment of the dream for that time period. I was looking at colleges, trying to find a steady job- I couldn’t balance both I felt and still go to high school. And when I say trying to find  a steady- not seasonal job I mean really under a lot of pressure to do so though I was never really successful. Conversations turned to “What do you want to do after you’re done with school?” Anything less than certain was met with the usual grimace and quickly flying suggestions of alternatives that were much safer. This followed to the – why don’t you just work and not go to school suggestion. So I lived by the mantra for years of safety over dream- now that isn’t to say I have no love for being a professor or my major and that all they are is that safe option- on the contrary I do. It was one of those majors and ideas that take hold in the “discovery time” of early college years when you test the waters and discover new fields.

Last winter though I remembered those stories, since Vengeance and another idea I’m developing for a future series are both written originally back then. I remembered the far flung dreams and the voices urging me to publish, that it was good enough to make it. So I dared to take a look with fresh eyes and shove the other voices that said it was a waste of time and wouldn’t go anywhere- to just continue on the secure path aside and decided to go for it. To be honest while I want my son to have a secure future I don’t want him to do something he hates for it, I don’t’ want him to abandon a dream because it is hard and most of all I don’t want him to lose that world of wide possibilities we seem to completely lose as adults. Some harshness and realism will happen, it is par the course, you want to have that backup plan but I don’t ever want him to feel he has to wonder what if. What better way than to prove that it can be done taking a rode you have to literally pave yourself? Sure its not the easiest route- at the same time is querying agents and publishers any easier at times? You trade waiting for work – yeah there are pros and cons to each version of publishing- that’s a whole other post though, but really is it any easier on the nerves wondering if that latest promo effort paid off or if you would get a favorable response from someone who would represent you and your ideas? I also do it for myself- to fulfill a dream from days gone by that I thought I’d left behind forever but have a chance still to fulfill. I do it to also, and some may think this petty, to prove those nay-saying voices wrong. To prove that you can make a sustainable living of an amount doing this job, a job I love and fulfill a dream that may or may not be worth it in others eyes. In a way I’ve already accomplished the first part of the reasoning, I have a few books out with more being worked on- I have shown it is possible but its not done.

So in this insane stream of consciousness I began on a Sunday night and am now finishing in the early dawn hours Monday I do have a point. The point is to not give up on those dreams- seek out and remember those that encourage them, ignore the rest though those voices will be the loudest at times. Most of all, pass that belief down to the next generation if you have kids or someone of similar age in your life like nieces or nephews. Like I said some realism is going to happen, these dreams are hard work no matter what route you take, and sometimes things prevent them from being fulfilled right now. Don’t give the line of them being not worth it because of it and push into  the realm of  never instead of maybe. Encourage smartness but not lack of worth. Maybe then we can all keep looking at the world through the eyes of a child somewhat again and believe in not just the limitless potential of others but our own.

Endings, Careers and Growth

Sunday marked the final day of my undergraduate career coursework wise, I still have to take the test to actually continue with graduation but most of the work is behind me at this point. Its a bittersweet time really, its taken me a bit longer than most to finish this program and while I’m not leaving the halls of academia behind quite yet (my current day job plan needs a Master’s to do) it is a change. One- graduate to undergraduate is a whole different beastie, whole different expectations and whole different game. This is partly why I’m about to enter a fury of sorts of writing to get as much of my current ideas done as possible- so a couple more books in the Birthright Secrets and another possible series I’ve been pondering will hopefully get a book. They won’t all be released at the same time by any means but the tales will be mostly in shape I hope. Now I could be completely overthinking it- and really probably am- still I’d like to get as much done as possible while I have less obligations all around. The extreme plus side of this goal is that Darkness’s Fury is a lot farther than I thought overall which helps out a ton.

Okay I’m digressing a bit on a real tangent there- anyway- back to the point. It’s really odd to think that, that point of my life is done even odder if I do say than when I got married. That was school my reality for over 6 years (and this is actually more if you include my time at my local community college), sure being married was huge but honestly I left the ideas of dating others and living that life behind years and years before I got married, back when I realized my relationship wasn’t as temporary as the ones I had been in during high school and would be going the distance I wanted. Graduate school after all is really the advanced work, the work that is supposed to say I know what I’m talking about because I want to be here and go on and advance my education. Its gonna suck when I find out I don’t know as much as I thought I did. (I kid here of course but hasn’t that thought crossed everyone’s mind at some point?) At the same time there’s only so much you can do to prepare and if you knew it all what would be the point, right? As scary as it is you seek out these experiences to grow as a person, to grow intellectually- to just grow, for better or worse. While it is somewhat odd to think about leaving behind familiar routines and classes what you gain can be so much more.

I can somewhat hear this now- but don’t you consider yourself an author? Why got for a degree program that’s so advanced but does nothing for your actual writing? (I say this is wondered since its no little secret that my field of study is in the political science realm and not English or some other related area.) Yes I consider myself an author, yes it actually was my first career choice back from those hazy days (from this perspective anyway) of sitting in the classes of my senior year of high school and writing in my notebooks because I was done with work or bored or both and in turn getting them stolen so others could read the next installment of the story. At the same time, who says you can have one thing going on and writing takes a long time, and in some cases a lot of books unless your name is *insert famous fast rising author here* to get a career going enough where you can solidly pay some bills and even then it might only be a bill or two you can meet to start. As much as I love telling stories, and the idea of doing that for a living, I also love the idea of making people think intelligently about the world they live in and passing on that knowledge I’ve gained. This stems from my own personal frustration of everyone and their brother in the age of the internet suddenly becoming experts in their views and sprouting every article like its the truth because it backs their own beliefs but refusing to see the other side what so ever. Yes I know- this has happened for years but its about a thousand more times pronounced with the age we live in.

Sorry- off soapbox and anyway… I’m of the camp  you never have to fully devote yourself to one path in the sense you can’t explore options and make sure you have an idea of where to go when everything falls apart. Having these actually makes the experiences you go out and seek a lot less scary- hell without it honestly I wouldn’t have started pursuing writing as a career option at all really. It goes against every piece of career advice given, at the same time was the one piece my mother gave me before she passed only about acting at the time. “You can do anything you want- just make sure you have that safety net to fall back on. But still do it and you’ll be great.” The net might be a long way away from you now- whether you’re  like me and looking at the next stage of schooling along with a newish, still somewhat risky career but still don’t be afraid to fall in it. The biggest regret for most is that they never took that chance at that ending stage of whatever phase of their life they were in.

Sad, Sad States…

I used to browse for hours and hours in the sci-fi /fantasy section of my local Barnes and Noble- while not the biggest section in the world it definitely seemed to have a good area, covering about 2/3 of the back wall in the main part of the store with about the same free standing shelves about equal to the wall space covered by the books. Included in this partly was a tiny nook that held both like TV book adaptions and tabletop RPG rule books for DnD and Warhammer among others. Have the authors that have shaped my own stories in some way were discovered in this section. So for part nostalgia, part I haven’t been in a actual brick and mortal book store in a while I decide while we were out and about today after a few appointments and Chinese lunch to go over and take a peek after my husband asked if there were anywhere else I’d like to go while we were in the area. We’ll not touch on how somewhat bad of an idea it is to take a three year old to a bookstore and expect him to behave long enough for you to browse the shelves at least in the slightest right now because I think everyone can see how this turns out.

Anyway, we walk back and I notice that the store has been rearranged even from what it was last time I was in, now the fantasy/sci-fi section was a fraction of what it was then. The YA books that had the fantasy subgenre were shoved in among the free standing shelves with their own label as though to fill it out more or marketing gimmick and the entire section were tucked behind the romance section. Regardless of my beloved books being shoved into a corner, the same corner that used to just be a continuation of the section in the store, I start looking as my son takes it all in, squealing with excitement and running hands down the shelves he could reach (I will note for my previous statement he was rather well behaved overall). Most of the section was filled with rather the bigger names in fantasy and sci-fi and what there was that stood out seemed to be vampire centric novels mainly – seriously are we done with this crazy yet? I’m tired of vampires really, I’ve been tired of it like two years ago at least. Needless to say I didn’t get anything this time around, couldn’t take  nearly as much time as I wanted to look around but left with a somewhat sadness that the section had shrunk so much. As I drove home my husband commented he was sorry I didn’t get a chance to look as much as he knew I would have liked.

“It’s fine,” I tell him. “To be honest the selection wasn’t that appealing to me anyway. I’m rather picky when it comes to books remember?”

“Yeah, but still.”

“I actually wanted to go because I like the store and missed looking at physical books and, in a self-centered way, see if my book was there by a fluke- so I at least accomplished that.”

“You don’t have anything with them though, right?”

“So long as there’s demand my books can appear anywhere really.” I sigh, “That section really made me sad though.”

“Why’s that?”

“Because it was so tiny- a lot smaller from what it used to be. I wonder what happened.”

“Must not have been selling that well,” he shrugs in his seat.

“Maybe, always seemed full back in the old days when I used to be there quite a lot. Even the last time was pretty crowded.”

Its sad to see a that section tucked away like a forgotten toy with no one really beside me and my husband son browsing the shelves, shrunk to a fraction of it’s former sizes. I look at it from two different angles understandably-as an author who writes fantasy- how successful with a shrinking section would a book signing, going with the thought of not too many sales, be in my city- what are the chances I’d see my name with the others on the shelves?  As a reader I’m sad because if I want a physical book in a reasonable distance, we don’t have too many small book shops around my area, there is less variety that I can get immediately and have that whole experience. I’m thinking the last one actually makes me sadder.

Memory Lane

Endings and beginnings… this is a long lasting trend on this blog I swear especially this past year. Chapters open and close throughout life but I’ve never had so many happen so close together. As I’ve said I also blame launching a new a career as partly responsible for the attention to it too. Yesterday was a busy one, and quite different from the day I had of Friday. Coming off Kakri’s release it was quite a somber experience in sharp contrast to the excitement and nervousness of releasing a new thing into the world, helping someone move from a house that held so, so many memories for me. I stood in the yard briefly several times looking out over the snowy landscape, the piles of plowed snow were almost in the same positions as my youth and watched my son clamber over the obstacle laughing as my sister’s dog bounded ahead of him. I remembered building what I saw as the most impressive snow fort, carving out with care the pile of snow, complete with fortifications and sledding escape only to have to redo at least part of it every time the plow came through again. I looked at the house next door, empty now and remembered the late summer nights with music over there and the children that played with us long after the sun went down. I walked to through the front yard, looking at the apple trees that occasionally dot the yard and the places where the old flower beds slept under the snow. The flower beds that used to be the pride and joy of this house, only shortly followed by the huge vegetable garden in the back. My husband is busy helping move the larger items with my father in law  while the owner of this house offers advice and says what order stuff is going out in. He doesn’t bother me as I walk out back, he knows I need the moments with the memories. Here in the back yard new memories assault me, bonfires at night, the forts that were never fully constructed but made ample use of fall leaves as they fell to at least blueprint where the other five million solid walls should have been. There was only about one physical wall, maybe a semi-solid cone of branches and sticks if we were lucky, but we were ambitious and dreamed big.

Eventually I did make my way back and finally helped move and pack up things into boxes. My son runs from partial cleared room to partially cleared room, bribing his aunt, grandpas and others for crackers and other goodies while he waits somewhat patiently for us to finish what we need to. We still have another day out there but this will probably be his last trip since moving things around with a toddler in tow is rather difficult and even his really good patience for being so young was tried at the end of the day. I steal a moment or two with him, telling him stories of the snow forts, bonfires and times with friends while the others discuss the garage. I tell him of raiding the blackberry and raspberry bushes that dot the yard and how good it tasted, I tell him of the times his father and I spent out here. Our stories are somewhat cut short as I ‘m called back to moving duty but I’m glad I got the chance to share at least sometime in this place with him as well.

My Perspective on Bullying

I’ve seen this a lot over the past few days where authors have shut down entire parts of their social networks because of cyber bullying and just overwhelming harassment. It’s ridiculous that these authors have had to come this far and take this step to avoid these people, for ANYONE to have to do these steps. And I know bullying happens on both sides, sometimes I’ve heard of authors harassing reviewers for not leaving that high star review or just leaving a lower rating and no review as soon as its posted. These by far are no isolated incidents, its becoming out of control and just needs to stop. Whatever happened to the if you can’t say anything nice philosophy? Have we really gone that far out that it doesn’t apply anymore? I don’t think so but this behavior has become so much the norm that it’s hard to see it otherwise. Its easy to forget there are other people sitting behind these screens we type on, and that, like you, they have feelings. Somehow the distance means that anything can and will be said- and I highly doubt at least a good portion of the comments in question would be said face to face. This last part is key to me in this whole issue, why say it if  you wouldn’t if you were in person? I’ve found both authors, bloggers and people that I don’t like but I don’t go out of my way to make their lives hell. There’s nothing to gain except for wasted energy, I just move on and be polite if I see them or have  discussion around them. I’ve also been among the ranking of leaving ratings with no reviews- I’m no pro reviewer by any means, if you can’t say stuff nice about a book then don’t say anything at all is my philosophy and is totally understandable. Hell, I’ve even got a two star review for one of my first reviews for Vengeance on Goodreads, overall the review was positive but there were points for that two star review. They e-mailed me in private to explain their reasoning, I thanked them and moved on. There’s always room to improve and as an author you learn fast that you may as well embrace- you’ll never please everyone.

I’ve also seen a rallying cry in some areas for people to defend one another, and while I wholly agree that we should come together to stand against this type of behavior, to show that it is not all right to do this it is very, very hard to defend someone in the act beyond reporting which happens in the background. Sometimes you’re not there right as the event happens, sometimes there is the fear that backlash can come on you tenfold. And the last is the very, very real fear, in particular it happened in the early online days and with this now seems to be having a resurgence that’s noticeable and highly vocal. I remember defending friends in chat rooms and having myself get bashed in the process of trying to do it. I haven’t gone into chat rooms since that time. There is no easy answer in the act of defending people actively and vocally. Showing support like I’ve seen happen for these authors in the past few days is a good start though. It shows how tight knit of a community, bloggers and authors alike, indie/self publishing is in my opinion, its the exact reaction needed. Nothing over the top, no charge in with guns blazing slinging their own hateful comments back at the offenders, but just hey- we stand with you, we’ll help you spread the word because you had to take these actions. With such a support group network its hard for bullies to find the reaction they want/ need- there are plenty of shoulders out there, mine included that victims can tell their stories to. I would also be remiss to also mention the obvious means to the victims of these acts, blocking and of course reporting along with possibly screenshots just in case proof is needed and deleting their comments, I  know in some cases they will just use dummy accounts but shut down does wonders at times with enough of it. If you do see a comment that crosses the line, do the same block, report even if it is not directed at you.

I’ve been fortunate overall to avoid this situation but still this keeps happening and sometimes it seems like its getting worse and worse. We do need a more united front on it- much like bullying in schools or general cyber-bullying now have. It does need awareness. At the same time people need to take the stance of even though its not happening to me- its still a problem. Closing your eyes doesn’t make it go away and doesn’t lessen its importance because you’re not directly involved. Some day it could be you at the victim end of things. I watched a video not too long ago about YouTube trolls and how to deal with them from  a convention panel and someone mentioned people who did that were jealous of the success of those they trolled so they had to put them down and do that. I think no matter what medium you create on this applies, often these people do pop up because there is something they are jealous of since often you hear of them harassing the most successful, or the coolest ideas, or those who have made it in some fashion in their field. They want to put you down and make you feel low about what you do in order to make themselves feel better or just get people to stop doing what they’re doing. Don’t stop- you’re not alone even if it is just people doing the same as you, blocking and reporting you’re not alone.

Maybe one day we can get back to the whole- if you can’t say anything nice stage but not yet sadly. We need to remember that behind these bright screens and flat type script we are people with the same emotions. Medium doesn’t change that and as such sometimes words are the sharpest knives people can wield. Okay I’ve meandered through this in my own rambling way long enough. The short version: Enough is enough, add your voice to those against these actions and act against them in your own tactful way, key word tactful. Don’t go slinging their own stuff right back at them in the same way though you might want to.

 

Birthright Secrets- In a Nutshell

Allow me to set this up, and I suppose I should say possible spoilers?

I hate blurbing sometimes, I hate it. Takes me three or four times to maybe, maybe get it right and even then tweaking is necessary usually. I can never get the language to sound as good as others do and so the whole thing seems like trash. The same sometimes goes for the whole on the spot- oh you’re writing a book? What’s it about? -that sometimes people pop on you randomly when its mentioned in conversation or they are genuinely interested. Suddenly your brain freezes and though you’re proud of what you wrote you don’t want to sound like a bambling idiot about it either. The same sometimes goes for self-promo posts which was what I was just doing  and spawned this…

Birthright Secrets is an epic fantasy series that follows the hired blade, Liz, a woman who has spent most of her life living according to as much of an old code of honor as she could while living in a world that was constantly twisting it. Living on the edges of society Liz starts working for a man, Lord Durj who become the only family she has known along with his sister Cat and mutual family Terra. She also finds a bit of romance in the form of Kellin, though her duty to Durj often causes her problems there sometimes. One night changes all this and Liz finds her code torn apart, betrayed and fleeing for her life with Cat and Terra. Liz wants answers though and she doesn’t care how she has to get them but instead finds herself at the center of something she couldn’t imagine in her wildest dreams. Yet it all seems to rest on her answer to one question, the correct answer is one that she doesn’t need since she’s got enough on her plate making sure she can finish this job and working through her rebuilding romance and throw more responsibility on her than she has ever wanted….

Okay, so that mainly focused on Vengeance but its far from done! Sadly though, you gotta wait until after Kakri’s out for the next part. Also let me say the last part that is annoying about blurbs of any kind, (hence my warning in the beginning) spoilers! There’s so much more I could have added but I didn’t want to risk it. So what did you think? Intrigued?  Let me know in the comments.

Good Morning Sunshine

*Edit- so I started this post a few days ago- luckily the weather is still holding up despite a mini-blizzard yesterday morning so it still applies, well except for the temperature since its back flirting with freezing.

I can’t tell you how great it has been to see the sun the past few days- given how this winter’s been I’ve been thinking we’re in the middle of  a heat wave. We were coming out of the store last night after we picked up a few last things for dinner and the first thing I noticed once again in awe was that it wasn’t A) Snowing and B) Way too freaking cold for anyone with sanity to be out. As I told him when picking years to start school from a kid’s stand point my son couldn’t have done better, playing fondly the old woman who goes: “Back in my day we had to practically beg for a snow day!”

It was true  we never, NEVER had snow days and keep in mind I’m only talking almost 8 years ago- and with that typed god, I feel old. What made us most mad about this arrangement is that a lot of us were considered country, meaning last on any plowing lists so while half the county got to lounge around and sleep in  we’re still trudging up to buses and from parking lots to make it to school. What made my line even better though was the one my husband followed up with: “When I was in school we had to walk both ways in snow… uphill…” and there’s more but I won’t directly put it. Ever see that ventriloquist, Jeff Dunham? That line his puppet Walter says about the walking to school back in his day- yeah basically that.

Seriously, can we have spring yet? I will be so happy if we can get through the rest of winter with only mild snows and maybe a few days below freezing and not in the mid teens if not lower. I swear at this rate I’m going to have snow piles in my yard until June if not later. If that’s the case the hubby’s hopes of a decent garden this year might be dashed, that or I’ll be having a jungle in my house as he finds a way to still have one.  At the very least  it seems to have flow by since it seems like just yesterday we were still in the thick of the holidays. A small thing I suppose overall but it counts.

*Stares at the term paper looming next week* I suppose I should get started on this a bit more but oh I don’t want to. I much prefer the realm of being a procrastinator and it s very much my natural habitat but I have other writing due at the same time so even getting a mild start works out better for me.