I owe y’all a blog. Okay, several, but I gotta start somewhere. As usual, it’s long at 2,400 words. I’m sorry this has taken me forever to write. I was indisposed, and waiting for a final reply to the last e-mail I sent to RWA [which I got yesterday]. I didn’t like the answer—but we’ll get to that question and answer later. First, an update on me. [My favorite subject!]
I have a new, ongoing health issue that came just shy of puttin’ me in the hospital. [I refused to go.] I’m not gonna get into that. It isn’t going to kill me. Yes, it set me back quite a bit. Enuf said. [And I'm not lookin' for sympathy—I'm fine.] On to more updates.
As to technology: My computer is working great at present. Internet still goes out, but usually only for short periods. The phone is another issue. [Beastly!] But, as of late Friday, I do have a useable home phone—which is really my business phone. [There is a God, and apparently, He still loves me.] Here’s the story on that…
My old home phone—which was really my business phone—worked fine. But my hubby [he's such a sweet man] decided we’d save truckloads of Franklins by switching from Verizon to Vonage [and we all know how reliable my Internet is]. Even though I figured the home phone—which was really my business phone—wouldn’t work well, I said I’d try it.
What a frustration! Every other syllable y’all spoke got cut out, so it sounded like I was listening to someone speaking German. Of course, y’all could hear me crystal clear, so you kept babbling in unrecognizable, clipped speech.
I told my hubby [he’s such a sweet man], it wasn’t gonna work. He suggested I get a new cell phone. I was using a Trac Phone cell—which was never my business phone—as I rarely used it. It was cheaper to buy minutes than to pay monthly, but not if I was gonna use a cell as a business phone.
The cell I bought to replace my home phone—which was really my business phone—never really worked. I couldn’t make calls from home—which is where I do business—as the cell kept bleeping out and hanging up on everyone. So, I started every conversation by informing the other person of the disconnect rule: that whoever made the initial call was the person who’d call back, otherwise, we’d both call back, and both get a busy signal.
Inevitably, the new cell phone—which I was supposed to be using as my business phone—would disconnect. Of course, I had no idea I was prattling to dead air, as I didn’t get a dial tone. After a few minutes, I’d ask for a response, and realize no one was listening, but I had no idea just when my cell hung up on the person. I’d call the person back and attempt to figure out the last thing they heard, and by the time I did that, the phone’d hang up on ‘em again. Then I’d haveta call back, then it’d hang up, then finally I ‘d give up and not call back. [I'm sorry, Cindy—I do luvs ya!]
I’m so behind on pitching, it’s ridiculous. [The bad ridiculous.] Like I’m gonna call editors, pitch like there’s no tomorrow, then realize I was pitching to a phantom editor. Great for building a solid, professional working relationship. [Yes I can be professional!]
I told my hubby [he's such a sweet man?] it was back to Verizon, or back to him bein’ a bachelor. [Trust me; that wasn't a gamble.]
Verizon said we’d have a phone in 24 hours. [Isn't that, like, a finite number?] After 48 hours, we found out there was a problem with the line, and they had to send a man over. It took Verizon until last Friday to accomplish that. [And it took God how many days to create the earth, the heavens, and us?] And do I have the same old home phone number—which was really my business phone number—that I put on all my submissions—the one every editor I know has? Of course not! There’s some kind of problem with that too. But Verizon assured me it’s only temporary.
So, I have a temporary new home phone number—which is really my business phone number—but someday, I’ll have my old home phone number again—which was really my business phone number. As to the cell: I’ll be reverting back to the old cell phone number—which I never used as my business phone number—as soon as the new cell phone—which I was supposed to use as my business phone—expires on the 11th.
Now I just need to learn my new home phone number—which will be my new business phone number [temporarily]—and remember my old cell phone number—which I never used as a business phone number— permanently. [Confused much? You should be, cuz I am.]
As to Underdog Press: I’ve met with the author, and we’ve negotiated. Underdog will be putting out her book. She gave up some, and I did as well. I’m not an epilogue kinda gal, but that’s the way it goes. It’s still a great book. Since I wasn’t able to pull the Romantic Times ad, you’ll see the cover in their December issue. Since the ad is coming out, but the book won’t be out as scheduled, Underdog will take pre-orders thru the Web site for any interest the ad generates. The book trailer is on the site if ya wanna take a peek. www.underdogpress.com.
As to me: I love acting. [I bet you never guessed.] I’m indulging myself in that. No, I’m not giving up my wonderful career—and all the perks that go along with it—and moving to Hollyweird. I created a new persona for myself, like an alter ego [as if I need another ego]. You see, this is the real me. I use words like “dude,” “nasty,” [the good nasty and the bad nasty], etc. That isn’t an act.
Some of you know I love fashion, and I love design. My doctor told me I need to do something with my hands [other than talking]. So, I’m going to design handbags again. [It's been a looong time.] But what about the persona? Oh, I opened an ebay store, and I’m “The Style Sensei.” [Partial nod to my client, the Hollywood Sensei, for the name. I had the word 'Style,' and y'all know how I love alliteration. That was the only S-word I could think of that fit.] The Style Sensei would never refer to you as y’all, and wouldn’t dream of using the word nasty. She’d use heinous, or marv!, depending. We do have one word in common, [Beastly!], but that’s it. I actually haveta think when I write in her voice. [It should be obvious I don't think when I write in my voice.]
The Style Sensei will also share tips about how to dress, how to accessorize, and beauty tips for makeup.
The ebay store is under my company name: Four Gals Designs [4galsdesigns.com.—If you go to my Web site, make sure you don't forget the word "Designs," otherwise, you'll be directed to a porn site.] and is currently selling other designers’ bags, like Coach, GUESS, and Juicy Couture, but at reduced prices. Everything there is in style [or The Style Sensei wouldn't be listing it], as The Style Sensei’d never allow a woman to tote a heinous handbag! I only have one of the bags I personally designed in the store right now, but will be adding a few shortly. [And I haven't forgotten about your handbag, dearest Robin.—Not that Robin! As if!] To go to the store, log into www.ebay.com. Next to the search box click Advanced. Scroll way down until you see Search by Seller. Plug in thestylesensei. It takes you to what I sell. On the top of that page to the right of my name, you’ll see a red icon. Click on that and you’re at my store. It sounds complicated, but it isn’t. If anyone knows a simpler way, clue me in.
Also, I have an extensive antique/vintage costume jewelry collection. Some I keep for personal use, some I use to embellish my handbags, and some I’ll sell from the ebay store. I’ll also be designing a few pieces of jewelry with bits and pieces of things. [I think I can put my editing pen in my mouth and hold my soldering iron….] Some of the bits are partial pieces of vintage jewelry, and some aren’t [like the inner workings of a pocketwatch, for example.] That, along with agenting, writing Paula Jones’ biography, Underdog, and training my patient, beyond-belief Assistant Agent—Wendy—[y'know, I bet she can fly] will keep me plenty busy, which is how I like it. Busy, but diversified.
As to RWA, I haveta tell y’all something, or ya might get mad at me. [Currently, I need all the friends I have left.] I’m gonna go into more detail on the next blog. But here’s the ending. I waited weeks for a decision. No response. I e-mailed RWA to ask if they had any idea how long a decision would take. No response. Then I sent the letter I posted to the blog. Bingo!—response. They stated the writer told them weeks ago that the situation had been resolved to the writer’s satisfaction.
Huh? But, uhm, nobody asked me. I’m a member too, right? —They let me sit for weeks, wondering if they were gonna kick me out, and never bothered to tell me of this resolution, nor check with me to see if I thought the situation was resolved? I told them in my letter of defense, the matter was resolved before they even notified me of the complaint! So, I asked them what their idea of “resolved” was.
Am I still a recognized agent? Yeah, they aren’t kickin’ me out. BUT, that complaint stays in “my file” for 7 flippin’ years! [Who are these guys, the J. Edgar Hoover Organization?]
I have more than one problem with this situation. If RWA believed my argument, and let me stay in, then why would they let a baseless complaint that I took care of, remain in my file for 7 years? Or, if they didn’t believe my argument and believed the Former Client From Hell [no longer my client; still from Hell], why weren’t they kicking me out? If I did everything she said I did, they shoulda booted me but-quick. Either way, it’s nasty, dudes. [The bad nasty.]
So, Saturday I open the mailbox. Guess what was there? A bill from RWA to renew my yearly membership. [The irony.] Now, lemme think about this…. When I became an agent, they switched my membership status, segregating me. They banned me from posting on or reading the loops, and their reason was they had to allow writers to talk about me behind my back. They banned me from running for office. They banned me from voting. Oh, and they keep a file on me. Sheesh, I’m fortunate they still send me the Romance Writers Report. But of course, they didn’t ban me from paying the membership fees, even though they took away all my rights. Y’know, I think I should start a file for them! [Hmm.]
Which leads me back to the question I was waitin’ for RWA to answer: If I don’t renew my membership, so I’d no longer be a member or have a recognized agency, what would happen to my file? I’m assuming they’d toss it, right? Nope. They keep that sucker open for anyone to look at for 7 years, whether I’m a member or not.
Am I flamin’ mad? [Does a locomotive spit steam?] But wait—hold the coal. At least they show those who make a request my answer to the complaint. Small consolation. And, since RWA has that info available [BTW, they didn't ask me if I wanted my e-mails put in my file], they can’t complain if I post the same info on my blog, now can they? [Sigh and NAH!]
I hate being spiteful. It goes against my naturally angelic personality. I know, I’m not really explaining what happened, but I will. Just don’t want a War and Peace blog post. [No, smarty, this isn't War and Peace--it's more like Twilight: Breaking Dawn.]
This is a hurtful subject for me, especially the way the FCFH laid it out. She not only outright lied, but she also used half-truths [and since part of it is true….], and she falsified the timeline to make it look as if I had motive. [Beastly!] My defense letter explains in detail, but other than to shove it into the infamous file, RWA didn’t give a hoot. Ha, more irony! I stated to the FCFH that RWA wouldn’t appreciate being used as leverage in a blackmail attempt. [They didn't give a hoot about that either.]
You woulda thought I’d learned after the fiasco with ACFW, that it isn’t the intent of large organizations to help their members. They’re more concerned with exerting control. I’ve come to think of all large organizations as Socialist. They know what’s best for the members, who are sheep who need leadin’. [Y'know, like the lamb to the slaughter.] And the lambs dutifully vote yea on the bylaws. Why? Because everyone else does, and they don’t realize the implications of what they’re voting into “law.” It’ll be a cold day in the place my former client came from before I join another organization.
When I fell into the ACFW fiasco, I spoke to an attorney. No, not my hubby. [He's such a sweet man.] I found a loophole I could use to go after Her Grace and the ACFW Cronies. [I'm great at stuff like that.] It’d cost me some bucks, but I didn’t care. I wanted to make them miserable, even if for a day–even an hour. Instead, I let it go and attempted to get past it for my own good. Surprise! It didn’t help me, and I still haven’t moved past it, because I know they think they got the better of me.
I’m. Not. Letting. This. One. Go. Stay tuned for more unabashed excitement from Kelly Gottuso Mortimer, the: fired-up, can’t-hold-her-down, Sea Biscuit of humans, female Rocky Balboa, Jesus-lovin’ Zionist, X-Treme Literary Agent—who will remain Diabolically Diligent, Maniacally Moral, and Defiantly Different—so help me God.
Well, I gotta go now and write that check to RWA, so I can retain all the benefits of being a member. And if you believe that, I have a nice piece of land to sell ya right on the beautiful shore of the Salton Sea….
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