(I Also Write Children's Books!)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Fat (Rodney Dangerfield Edition)

I have held many jobs in my time. My career path has been bizarre and wandering. I have never gotten less respect than I do as a writer, and since I'm feeling 'bemused' rather than 'angry' about that right now, I'mma gonna write about it.

When I say 'respect' I don't mean personally, like 'You're no good at this'. I mean professionally. I got more professional courtesy in my time working fast food than I have as a writer.

This comes to mind because recently I was approached for a writing job. A friend of mine and seven of his friends are making a game, and my friend (who I will call Tiny) asked me if I'd be interested in doing the writing. Hey, a relaxing side project. Sure, sounded like fun. Then a couple of weeks ago I found out that no, they're serious, and they offered me money. 500e is not huge in the scheme of things, but it means they're serious. So I got seriously to work, and after checking every step along the way if they liked the ideas, I was told to scrap everything because I had misunderstood the project. So I got into contact with the project lead, who seems to have not actually gotten any of my messages or had any of hers passed to me. I'm not sure, because when I ask her questions she lectures me about writing instead of answering them. And now she hasn't answered my email in a week. I'm hoping THAT is just the holidays, but damn.

That project still may work out, it may just be communications problems, but I'm less than hopeful because it's not exactly new.

See, early in the year I got contacted by an animation studio. Honest to Celestia animation studio in India, established and at least moderately successful - I checked. They wanted to produce a cartoon for the American market, and needed a writer. They professed to love every idea I gave them. Then they got slow answering my emails. I was told the marketing department wanted to develop a certain character idea. I thew a pitch at them. They told me they liked it and wanted more development. I threw a more developed version at them. It's been about six months, and they never answered my email. The person I know personally in the company told me that they weren't upset with me, but to forget about them until and unless they got back to me. Probably marketing canceled the whole project - that's really common in animation. But damn, the professional discourtesy in being unwilling to tell me, right?

Or I could go back to when I tried to submit for freelance to Klasky-Csupo, carefully following their submission instructions and providing the proper waivers, only to be told that they no longer accepted submissions. See, they'd changed their policy to only working with a set of preapproved agents, but they hadn't bothered to change the phone line that explained how to submit. PROFESSIONAL COURTESY.

And the 'Next issue!' magazine debacle...

Whew! That was fun to get off my chest. Am I just unlucky, or do all writers get treated like they're expendable?

The Skinny

I have been chastised for hardly ever writing anything in this blog. It is a good point. I've never been good at keeping a diary, I curl up and hide from the world when I get really stressed (Celestia damn, was I stressed these last few months), and how often do I have something deeply meaningful to say?

Apparently that last is the problem. I'm a deranged misanthrope, but I'm an entertaining deranged misanthrope. It seems I should just blog about whatever's on my mind. I don't know if I can keep up with even that, but we'll see.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Flop Flop Flop

I finished writing Quite Contrary! Since then, I've spent my time lying around, gasping like a dying fish. I started out heavily emotionally invested in the book, and by the end it consumed me, all the more so because I was battling intensely stressful life circumstances that tried to stamp out my creativity entirely.

It will take awhile for me to recover enough to write anything new, although with me I have no idea if 'awhile' is 'a week' or 'a month'. Ideas are starting to pop in my head, so the process of recovery is processing. I threw myself so deeply into the book that I have to do other projects before I can proofread it. I've gotten some beta reviews, and I can barely look at the criticism. I'm just too wrapped up in the book, still!

I'm going to have to learn to shoulder it. Reactions to the book have told me that this is not going to be a universal pleaser. This is, finally, the 'pushing the edge of what people can handle' book. It needs trimming and strengthening, but I'm going to go ahead with it anyway. Unlike Wild Children, this looks like it will be a 'some people love it, some people hate it' book, and the most important factor is how each reader reacts to Mary herself differently.

Meanwhile, I have lots of detritus to clear up from a couple of months of steadily growing insanity. I have to update my blogs. I have to join Google+. I have to learn to use twitter to advertise without being an ass about it. I have to see friends and relatives I abandoned. And my current 'project', making a paperback version of Wild Children. That's actually going pretty well.