Time Management is a lot more difficult than keeping a sub in line.

Just a brief note today. The life of an author, especially a part-time one, is full of learning experiences. In another incarnation, I am starting out as a proof-reader. This is wonderful, and a great opportunity for the other me. However, trying to keep so many things in one aging brain isn’t always easy. I want to give full attention to each thing in my life, which seems to require about five more hours in my day.

 

In my past life, I was a Social Worker, and a Public School Teacher. Believe it or not! In both of those professions, it is implied that you can keep up with your completely impossible work-load by having BETTER TIME MANAGEMENT. In fact, my so-called superiors would waste more of my time sending me to workshops to learn this skill. I learned a lot from many of the trainings that I went to over the course of my professional life, but time management was not one of them. These trainers use catch-phrases like “Work smarter, not harder” to disguise the fact that they’ve got nothing to teach you. Either you will learn to magically do five hours work in an hour, or you will never sleep. This certainly was my solution. I rarely got enough sleep on either of those jobs.

 

However, what I am trying to do right now is for ME. MY work, MY life. So making a schedule, and a to-do list, and setting up reminders for things, which used to seem like time-wasters, now make sense. They do not, however, manufacture more hours. So again, I am sleeping less, but I feel better about it, because I chose to do it.

 

I still wish I could beat time into submission instead.  

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Learning Experiences Come In All Shapes and Sizes.

I have learned many fun and interesting things on FetLife this week, including the fact that Dom/mes who care about their subs’ wants and needs actually exist. This was not my experience, so it was a refreshing outlook to explore. Outside of FetLife I learned that  I, like my main character, Madeline, am not quite human till after the coffee is in my hands, or at least somewhere on my person.

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However, the most important thing I learned this week was not on FetLife. I had my first real beta read. I don’t mean where my friend reads my work and gives me strokes about how awesome I am. I mean the kind where the reader, in this case my dear friend and writing guru, S. A, tells me what’s good and what sucks about my story.

LOL. I knew I wasn’t perfect, so don’t think that my bubble was burst by hearing that every word wasn’t golden. I was aware it wasn’t quite up to the quality of Switch It ON, which was on fire, if I do say so myself. Humility doesn’t become me. I was pretty sure it was awesome before I let anyone see it. On the new one, though, I knew I had gone off the rails somewhere, I just wasn’t quite sure where.

Switch It UP has been the very devil to write. Admittedly, it is a more ambitious story, because I wanted to tell you, my readers, about my beloved Jase, star of my dreams and my personal “most beautiful thing”. (Thank you, Ian Astbury!) Since these stories are written in the first person and not from his point of view, how was I going to do that? Madeline, my main character, tells you in breathless detail what she thinks of him, but how to let him tell you about himself? I think I have come up with a way to do just that, and I think if you liked Switch It ON, you’ll really enjoy it. Easy, though, it has not been.

Neither was hearing the truth about my creation. I hated to hear that part of one scene had devolved into middle school behavior, although this was perfectly obvious when pointed out. More difficult, though,was to hear was that I had not portrayed my main character in the light I envisioned, and that she was coming off as a good bit crazier than initially intended. Madeline is the character with whom I identify most strongly, thanks in part to writing in her voice. Perhaps I needed my medication adjusted, and not her.

Well, perhaps, but my point in telling you all of this is to show how I pulled up my big girl panties and took the information. I took it calmly and well, I think. Because it was true. Pretty much every word. Are my solutions going to be exactly what she suggested? Nope. Is this going to be a better damn book because of it? You betcha.

The above photo was not credited or watermarked where I found it. If is yours, please let me credit you!

Switch, analyze thyself!

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So, I’d meant to do one of these every week. On my Facebook page, I am doing little shares called “Stuff I Learned While Researching on FetLife”, and I thought I would sort of sum up what new ideas I had contemplated over the week. This author thing, though, is time consuming and confusing! So I’m a little late with this.

I find it more clear every day that the relationships I was personally involved in through BDSM would probably be considered abusive by outside observers, and even by me. The more I read about what responsible Dom/mes should and should not do, the more I am sure I am lucky to be alive and as mentally intact as I am. My former Master of 7 years was so far in the Fetish Closet as to not be able to find a way out, and he kept me there, too. The end result was my leaving the scene pretty much entirely, and him entering a sexless, if loving, relationship with someone else.

As I learn more about “community” and what it means to be a part of one, I am touched by the caring and consideration that I see. THIS is what I went in looking for, THIS is what I ended up writing about in a totally fantasy-based way, only to discover that my fantasies are many people’s realities. FetLife is an amazing place and it’s difficult to feel alone or outcast there. It makes me wonder if there is a real place for me in the actual community, outside of cyberspace.

Community is going to be a very large part of Switch It OFF, the third book I have planned in The Switch Stories series. So stay tuned!