Monday, March 30, 2009

Public responses to criticisms I've gotten lately.

Being up several hours before dawn was even a consideration, I wanted to spend some time working on Dream Weaver while everyone still slept and the world was still quiet. Things didn't work out that way, though. My brain got a little scrambledy while I was catching up on email over tea and cinnamon toast.

It wasn't too long ago that I got some rather hate-filled emails and comments on my blogs. At first, I thought everything was from one person, but after several weeks of consideration, I'm not so sure. A large portion of the hatred and anger aimed at me does seem to be the work of the same person, but there are certain messages that... well, they seem too logical and coherent and far less abusive to be from the woman I originally thought they were from. And that's had me thinking; maybe some of these issues need to be addressed by me.

One theme that several of the more coherent/less abusive communications had was that I'm a fraud. A phony. A fake. Why? Well, because the writer(s) had ferreted out that Rubi Jayne is not my given, married, or legal name. This was "discovered" after "alot of investigation".

I have... two... primary reactions to this topic. (1) "Why the hell is someone investigating me so bloody thoroughly??" and (2) "Well, duh, never said it was."

The first reaction is a defensive instinct that stems from having had bad experiences with people I've met on the internet who were more than just a little bat-shit crazy and who ended up with my home address and way too much information about/access to my kid. (Which, you know, also explains a fair amount of the "why do I use a pseudonym" question.)

The second reaction is, well, from the more smart-ass side of my personality. I mean, did these people read ANY of my Rubi Jayne bios/blurbs at all? My twitter bio reads:
I write erotica (maybe even a bit of erotic romance) under the name Rubi Jayne when I'm not doing mom things. Sometimes even when I am.
My bio/blurb most everywhere else reads:
Rubi Jayne is the provocative secret identity of a quiet wife and mother that writes steamy sex-filled stories. In the true nature of secret identities she has been honing her skills in private for almost a decade while pretending to plan the weekly menu or balance the household budget.

The woman sometimes known as Rubi Jayne lives in Florida with her husband, child, and two cats. She enjoys making chain maille, taking pictures, doing jigsaw puzzles, and confusing people when she's not writing or cleaning up after her family. She's also convinced that if she weren't married, she would be a secret agent having all sorts of exotic adventures and wild sex all over the world.
Gee, ya think somebody might be using a pseudonym?

Unlike a lot of writers that use pseudonyms for whatever reason they have, I'm admitting it right up front. In fact, I admit that I use two. I write erotic romance, romance, and pure erotica under Rubi Jayne. Anything associated with the Rubi Jayne persona/name is some shade of pink. I write fantasy, action/thrillers, and young adult under another name. Anything associated with that name is some shade of blue. It makes it simple for my daughter: anything that's pink, she isn't allowed to read until she's 18; anything in blue, she's allowed to read now. It also makes it easy to step away from more adult genres when I need to.

I take precautions to guard my real identity, and probably will for at least another six years. After that, who knows. And in case you're wondering "why six years?", that's when my child turns eighteen.

Another theme that was present focused on my lack of regular updating, whether it be on twitter or on my blogs.

Ok, so I suck at blogging. I've blogged about how much I suck at blogging. Truth is, I just don't have a lot to say that anyone would want to hear/read. I'm not an expert on writing. I'm not an expert on socializing. I'm not an expert on anything. I don't maintain my personal life blog any better than I do my writing blogs. I mean, really, who wants to see my weekly menu or read about how my cat puked in my husband's shoe or anything else from my very normal, very mundane life?

As for twitter, well, I take days off. If I'm not at my computer, chances are I'm not going to be updating too much, if at all. If I'm deeply engrossed in what I'm writing, my twitter feed will be very quiet. Then there are times when I just have nothing to say and enjoy watching what everyone else is doing/saying. Or maybe I'm engaged in one of my other interests.

Which brings me to something else that was brought up to me recently: the amount of time I spend writing, or rather, the amount of time I don't spend writing or "networking" on the internet. It seems that my taking weekends and various days/nights "off" to spend with my only child and husband (and, on occasion, extended members of my family)... offends... some people. Or maybe it's just that I'm open about it. I don't know. Anyway, the predominant line of thinking, from what I've gathered and been told, is that I'm not a "real writer" because I choose to spend some days not writing or editing and, in fact, don't think about writing at all. I'll "never be successful" because I'm not "interacting with [my] fans" on a daily basis. ( o.O I have fans? Really?!) I really have to bite my tongue on this one because what I want to say isn't polite. In fact, it's downright rude. But then, a little voice in the back of my head reminds me, so is telling me that I'm not a real writer and will never be successful because I put my family ahead of my writing.

Yes, I complain about my family eating up a lot of my writing time, but they're still in the process of learning that mom (that's me) needs personal time and time to do things she wants. I have dedicated and devoted my life to them for years. I gave up a promising career when my child was born so I could stay at home to raise her. I took temporary jobs whenever finances dictated and I happily gave them up once things stabilized, for the good of my family. I have, for more than a decade, neglected my advanced education... MY life... so that I could focus on taking care of my family. It was a choice that I made, and I have no regrets.

I know there are women out there that manage to hold jobs, take care of family, and have a personal social life all at the same time. I'm happy for them. I really am. More power to them. I'm not one of them. Me? I'm not Wonder Woman. First of all, I'm not that skinny. Secondly, I don't have those kick ass bullet-reflecting bracelets or that ever-so-cool Lasso of Truth. But in all seriousness, I'm not one of those women that wants to "have it all". Except for my constant computer usage and love of heavy metal music, I'm not so much a "modern woman". Oh, and AC. I love my air conditioner. And my freezer. And my jeans. But anyway, I made a choice to focus my full energy and attention on my family for a time. That's a choice I made, based on beliefs and values that I have, and because I (and my husband) believed it was the best thing for our family. Living in America, I have that freedom. I don't expect anyone else to understand, and I certainly don't judge anyone else for making the choices they've made.

It's only been in the last few years that my family has needed me less than they did before and, as my daughter grows older, I expect to have more time on my hands. It makes sense to me, then, that I start gradually doing more "me" things. I'm in the process of registering for college. I wander out once in a while and do whatever. And I write. But when my child is here and wants my company and/or attention, I still give it. Because pretty soon, my now-12-year-old daughter isn't going to want to curl up on the couch with me to cuddle and watch a movie. Before too much longer my baby will be exerting massive amounts of independence and asking to borrow my car. It won't be long at all before she's graduated high school and is moving out to be on her own. And the way I see it, these days are precious and I'll have time to spare in spades once she's moved out and no longer leaving messes all over my home.

But that's me.

So, yeah, guess what? Weekends? Chances are pretty high that you're not going to find me on the internet much. In fact, I can almost guarantee that three weekends out the month I won't be seen at all, with the exception of a few random thoughts I happen to remember to send to Twitter from my cell phone... if... IF... I happen to have my cell phone with me because, let's face it, I've stopped carrying my cell phone 24/7. Too many people have the number and think they can use it day and night to demand my near-constant attention no matter what I may be doing or who I'm with. Also? Trust me to be a bit snarlish if I get online after spending the day playing with my child and find an email complaining about how much time I'm NOT on the internet on the weekends and some weeknights. And believe me when I say that my child's orchestra competition/concert is more important to me than being online so that you can whine at me via the instant messaging service of your choice about how frustrated you are because you "only" wrote 5k words... per day... every day... for the last three weeks... and then have you criticize me and call me a "slacker" for "only" eking out 1,000 words for the entire month.

Yes, I AM a writer and, yes, I DO want to be published, but I don't have to do it by anyone's timetable but my own. And, right now, there are more important things to me than seeing anything I've written get published.

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I wrote the above very early yesterday morning and let it sit for, well, a full day and night. I got a little ranty towards the end (text messages before 9am on Sunday wanting to know why I'm not online already and if I'm ever going to bother showing up this weekend tend to piss me off, especially when we have had the same bloody conversation nearly every blessed Saturday and Sunday for months) and wanted to give myself some time to change my mind about what I'd said before I actually posted anything.

Turns out, I didn't want to change my mind.

Turns out, everything I said needs to be said... and I can only pray that I don't have to repeat myself for at least a year, because responding to the same issues and answering the same questions over and over and over and over again... from the exact same people? Not my idea of fun.

I shouldn't have to justify how much I did or didn't write and why to anyone except my agent, my editor, and my publisher. And I'm just not good enough for that. Yet. Since I have none of those people in my life right now, the only one that really needs to be concerned with the amount I write is, well, me. And, really? That's fine with me. For now. I'm still learning to write and someday, when I'm ready, I'll have those three people in my life and I'll be more focused on daily word/page count. And I will be published.

Someday.

When I'm ready.

Love and bondage,
Rubi Jayne <3<3

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Adventures in Parenting #12,452

So, with the child home from school today and doing that hibernating vampire thing she does, I decided to brave the perils of her room to check on her around noon. Nearing her coffi...er... bed, I reached out to feel her forehead for abnormal heat radiation when her eye popped open. Just the one eye. It's a little creepy when she does that, kind of like when the neurotic white feline sleeps with her eyes open. Keeping in mind that the child stayed home from school sick, I bit back my shriek of surprise and whispered, "How do you feel?"

"Like a princess," my little gothling murmured, still not entirely awake.

"Like... a princess?" Not entirely sure I understood her correctly and my concerns about high-grade fevers and brains boiling to the point of damage tripling, I pressed for clarification. "How so?" I tentatively touched her flushed forehead and exhaled a sigh of relief when my fingers didn't burst into flames.

"'cause my hair is down and my back hurts."

And people wonder why my brain is always melting. "And... that's like a princess... how?"

"'cause my hair is never down and..." Apparently at a loss for words she started writhing around and making hand gestures, the two most prominent being her forefinger and thumb held apart and her hand jerking around in the air.

My concerns about boiled brain-induced seizures surged. Taking a deep calming breath, I stretch my brain to its not quite furthest limits and grasped. "It feels like you have a pea under your mattress?"

"Yeah. Like that."

"Uh huh. Or maybe because you've been in bed for thirteen..." I paused and recalculated. "...almost fourteen hours?"

She pushed away her blanket and half-rolled away from me to pull a stuffed cat out from under the small of her back. She rolled to her back again and stretched, all the while looking at the stuffed feline like she'd never seen it before.

I bit the inside of my lower lip. She doesn't always appreciate it when I laugh at her. "Or maybe you were just lying on a cat..."

"Maybe." She stretched again and tossed the poor stuffed animal to the side. "Is it lunch time yet? I'm hungry."

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Love and bondage,
Rubi Jayne <3<3

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

snippet #001

Sometimes I scare myself.

The prompt was "sultry, steamy night in New Orleans".

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"Do you think anyone will find the body?"

It took a few seconds for Jazzy's question to sink into Mac's brain. He looked down at Jazzy and wondered for the briefest moment what in the hell could be wrong with her. A tremor raced up his spine and he grunted, no longer caring, and closing his eyes again.

He thrust harder and faster into Jazzy's hot wet snatch, every panted breath he took making him drunker on the heady scent of Night Scented Jessamine that grew practically everywhere, with underlying traces of crawfish and tasso cooking somewhere nearby. Grooving strains of piano and trumpets drifted on the night air and filled his soul like nothing else ever did.

Except maybe killing.

Mac shifted above Jazzy and wrapped one hand around her throat, delighted by the gasp she made. He pressed harder, listening to her strained panting and squeals of protest. Jazzy thrashed beneath him and sweat beaded down his spine, his hips moving faster.

Getting close, he opened eyes to watch Jazzy. Her eyes bulged and the pale moonlight glowed against her face turning the deepest shade of red. She gurgled and clawed at his shoulder and arm... and he came. Hard.

Mac lingered in the bliss of his orgasm for what seemed like forever, his hand still wrapped around Jazzy's throat. Finally he rolled off her to sit on the edge of the bed, reaching for the cigarettes on the nightstand. Twangy notes from a fiddle danced on a breeze, making his toes tap on the bare wood floor.

He glanced over his shoulder at the corpse of his most recent victim and his cell phone rang.

"Yeah?" Mac struck a match and brought the flame to the end of his cigarette. "Naw, no plans. Just another sultry, steamy night in New Orleans."

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Love and bondage,
Rubi Jayne <3