Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I can breathe now...

I had to wait until I had a moment to breathe before I could spend decent time posting. Things have calmed down a bit. I gave up on the LeFiWriMo project, which helped immensely. The writing frenzy was a good learning experience, however. I learned that I'm writing more in a day than I thought I was. All these years I felt as if I wasn't doing enough, not accomplishing enough in my day-to-day tasks. Now I know that's not the case. Seriously, when you write rough drafts longhand for years, you go by the number of pages you've filled with your increasingly horrible scrawl, rather than word count. Now I know I can type 2000 words a day without much effort at all -- as long as the story itself is flowing clearly. So, I will now be typing all my rough drafts. I know, I know. Welcome to the modern era, lady!

In the meantime, colleague Brian Fatah Steele contacted me, along with several self-published writers he's acquainted with, and asked us to be part of an anthology he's putting together. When he said it was to have a Halloween theme, initially I was intimidated. Brian is a horror writer. I canNOT write horror, so I was relieved when he said my story could be of a different genre. Now I'm intimidated because the results are on the almost-too-long end, and barely of any speculative genre at all (which is a first for me!). Literary Americana with a smidgeon of fantastical happenings. I hope it fits. If not, oh, well. I had a wonderful time writing it, and feel that the story has something to say about small town life, about decency to neighbors. Best of all, my very honest husband loved it. *whew*

So if all goes well, be looking for a new Halloween antho this October. I won't release the details until I have permission.

My verse during busy times:

"Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10

Which is powerfully interpreted as "Stop striving and know that I am God."


Sunday, September 11, 2011

No More, Please!

I'm starting to freak out. Last post I said that my plate was full. Now I think LegendFire's ezine layout person has quit on us. She and I had a very . . . strange . . . disagreement. Or misunderstanding. I'm not sure what it was. Typing private messages back and forth over a period of weeks manages to conceal the body language and tone of voice that would confirm exactly what transpired. She proposed layout changes to make the ezine look more professional. I said great! Send me your ideas. Then, come to find out, she expected me to have the vision for something she proposed. ???

We have four days till Issue 7 is supposed to be released, I sent the content to her three days ago, and I've not heard a word from her. Which isn't odd in itself. There are often many, many days between my PMs to her and her replies, and because of her busy student schedule we've never once gotten the ezine released on its release date,even after we rearranged the release schedule to accomodate. So I could be worrying for nothing. Or I could be putting up with too much crap.

In her last message to me, she said that she would drop the project then. Does that mean she's dropping the project of standardizing and professionalizing the ezine? Or does that mean she's dropping the ezine altogether? I don't know! So now I'm chewing my nails, waiting to see if she sends me a copy of the zine to be checked for final edits or if I have to scramble around and take up yet another project that someone drops.

There's no way I can afford publishing software. Getting to know something like Scribus, which is free, will take time that I do not have. So, yeah, I'm freaking out. If this falls through, I'm tempted yet again to urge the ezine staff to drop the whole thing. I will shout, I KNEW THIS WOULD HAPPEN!!! Two years ago, some member proposed the idea, thinking, "Ah wouldn't it be great if we still received a newsletter every month." I turned around and asked that member (in slightly more PC language), "So you mean to take this project on, huh, b/c I do not have time to hold your hand and do all the unseen things it would involve." The member with the great idea says, "Uh, I didn't mean me." No, really? Yeah, I know exactly who you meant. I considered the matter dropped, until weeks later someone decides, "Hey, this would be a great idea! Not a newsletter though, but a quarterly ezine!"

I hold up my hands and say, "Fine, y'all industrious folks who have time, have at it. I can't take this on too."

Slowly but surely, I inherited one task for the ezine, then another. Every quarter, I have to spend time hunting up members to write articles, which often feels like begging for someone to step up and take action. In the meantime, the member who first proposed the idea is no longer even a member, due to busyness that took them away. No, really? Then our original editor got busy editing in the real world and vanished, so I'm now the ezine editor too. Somewhere in there, we learned that hardly anyone was receiving the bloody thing in their email inboxes, so I had to involve my husband to try to figure out LF's bulk email settings and server issues, just so folks will receive the product of our efforts. It was so bad that some members didn't know we HAD an ezine the first whole year it was out. *shoot me now*

So, after all this B.S. I have the eerie feeling that our layout lady has dropped us. She only ever showed up once a quarter to do the layouts anyway, which means she's probably looking for any excuse at all to sever ties with LF, and I do believe this was her excuse.

Do I take up yet more slack? Or bury the ezine? I just don't know. Looks like I have four days to wait and see what happens. Then, the old red dragon may rear her ugly head.