Raven Rantz No.2 & I Haz Planz 29/05

angry smileyIf you’re not familiar with these, let me explain. Like Smut With Brains, Raven Rantz is another of my brands. I use it when I have something to say. Sometimes positive… often not.
I talk about things that frighten me, anger me, amuse me, enliven me, excite me, pleasure me πŸ˜‰ More often than not, these things are excuses for me to swear a lot (excuses I happily and readily accept) but I’m trying to tell you something too.

So… first world problems.
Fuck that phrase. Fuck it all and the snotty, self-righteous people who come out with ‘There’s people starving in Africa,’ or more recently, ‘There’s people dying in Ukraine/Libya/Syria.’

How dare you belittle my problems? Why should they be any less valid than yours? Just because, in the grand scheme of the universe, my problems are small and actually not all that important, doesn’t mean they aren’t important to me.

My sons in Huggies boxes

Because… y’know… you would climb in boxes if you could still fit. :p

Last night I picked up Sprog2 so he could have a go at switching off the bedroom light. His twin brother (Sprog1) went ape-shit and screamed for ten minutes because he didn’t get a chance to do the same. This morning, without thinking, I gave Sprog1 the pink cup for his milk instead of the purple one. He didn’t give a crap, but Sprog2 sobbed until I swapped them over. Because HIS cup is purple and he can’t possibly drink out of a pink cup because that’s not his.
Would anybody call this a ‘first world problem?’ Would any of you shake your heads, cut sideways glances at my two year old sons and tell them; ‘Cheer up. At least you don’t live in Ukraine’? Or would you tell them ‘At least you don’t live in a cardboard box’?

No. You wouldn’t.
Though if you would… please don’t tell me, as I doubt I’ll be able to control my reaction.

Children are the purest, clearest indicator of base human nature. They act in a simple way, because they haven’t yet had the time to learn boundaries, social norms and enforced expectations. They are genuine. And because of this, they’re allowed to enjoy whining about their problems without being made to feel guilty.

Lucky sods.

Earlier this week my laptop broke. If you’re reading this post, it’s because I’ve either fixed it or found a way to get around the problem. But I’ve not been able to work so far this week. All my current work is digital so even if I was working by hand it would be something completely new.
So… I’ve been in a mega shitty mood all week.

Quotes for the repair range from Β£50 all the way up to Β£105 (something like $185 for you guys across the water). I don’t have that money. Everything we have goes on food and bills and we have to be careful even with that.
The Funk Master works, I don’t – unless you count the books I’m working on.
And… before it comes up; I stay home with the boys, thus saving us the expense of childcare. An expense that would have utterly consumed my previous monthly wage. Yes – I’ve worked it out. Believe me. I checked (again and again and again).

So my laptop broke. My first world luxury that allows me not only to work, but to play games, enjoy films and listen to music. Didums.
But, the Universe tells me this is a ‘first world problem’. That I should be grateful I have a roof over my head, food and friends and an awesome family. That I should stop whining and just deal with it.

Well… screw you, Universe!

single finger saltue

Credit: liftarn

I can’t walk the half mile into the city centre with dodging three requests for ‘spare change.’ As if there is such a thing any more. I pass men and women huddled up in doorways against the rain, wearing stinking clothes and tugging grubby fingers through hair so dirty and matted, it resembles a small dead animal.
I turn on the TV (oh! another luxury) and hear nothing but reports of death, flood victims, asylum seekers, job cuts, murders and rapes.
I see that every day. I see it, take it in, and feel it.
So believe me… I know how lucky I am as I sit in my comfortable chair, in a warm coffee shop, drinking a chai latte bought for me by The Funk Master. I’m already thinking of the full roast dinner I’ll cook tonight, though part of me cringes at the thought of spending my last Β£2 (until who knows when) on some green veggies to go with it.
I could have been born in any number of places, in a completely different time. A time where I wasn’t allowed to love a white man. A time or place when my sexuality would get me stoned. A place where my desire to learn, work, read and grow would see me strangled in my sleep.
I’m very, very lucky. I know that full well and I thank the Universe for it every day.
I’m rich. Hell, set against a large portion of the world population I’m considered incredibly wealthy.

But… don’t for a second think that makes my problems any less worthy of my time and attention.
Yes. MY time. You (universal you) don’t care about my problems. Why would you; you have your own. And I’m sure that they consume you in different ways and that you’ve come up with your own methods of dealing with them. But does that make your problems less important than mine? Less valid? Does this difference in any way affect the fact that for you (or me) our problems (big or small) are real and worrying/annoying/frightening/painful/depressing/demoralising, whatever?

No. It doesn’t. Because all problems are relative.

So please; stop trying to make me feel guilty over my ‘first world problem.’ Do that, and I promise not to call you up on the fact that you’re whining over missing your 14 day Caribbean cruise because you had to re-mortgage your six bedroom house after one of your three Lamborghinis got stolen. You know… the one with your brand new ipod in the glove compartment. -_-

Ha /rage.

For ages I wasn’t sure if I should post that or not. Now that I have, I think I’ll just leave it here and let it sit, reminding me of how irrational I can be once a month. πŸ˜‰ You know… when the chocolate runs out.

GOALS! Let’s get back on track. This week has been a slow one. With one thing and another all adding up, I didn’t quite get as much done as I was hoping. But I’m not sure what else I was hoping to do because I achieved everything in my list. o.O
That’s weird, right? Beating myself up because I’ve done everything I wanted to do? Seriously, what the hell?
That’s not a first world problem, that’s a writer-who-doesn’t-cut-herself-enough-slack problem. *sigh*

Last Week

Keep hammering at those Slippers & Chains edits. My target is another five chapters; going through one a day is realistic and gives me space to keep going if I have the time.
Well I did it. Ha! I did it All those beta edits are done and, bar the formatting, the novella is ready to send to Breathless Press. It feels like it’s been a long time coming and I’m so scared right now I could choke.
Part of me wonders if this is why I’ve taken so long to get on with it. Is the idea of potential rejection so much that I can’t handle it?

My guess is that in the past when submitting (myself or Ileandra) we’ve been sending something we didn’t quite have the faith in. So it didn’t matter if nobody took up our words because we could always do better.
This time I know I’ve done everything I can. With my current level of skill and knowledge, Slippers & Chains isn’t going to get any better than it is. I need to learn more and grow more before I can improve it. So this time if it’s not taken up, it’s a much bigger blow.

Ugh. Thinking about it that way makes me want to pack it into a drawer and leave it there forever.
I’m not going to do that. Obviously.
I remember the promise I made to you guys, months ago. It seems like a very long time ago now, that I told you Slippers & Chains would soon be available for you to read in full. I don’t like to break my promises. And there’s no reason why I should.
If Breathless Press don’t want the piece, there are two other small presses I have in mind. If they don’t want it, then I have Little Vamp Press. If it’s good enough for the Meeting Each Other series, it’s good enough for this.

Find the name of that LGBTQ Literary Festival in Notts and book on. It’s in June (I think) so I need to hurry up and remember what it’s called, so I can make sure I have train tickets.
It’s the Bold Strokes literary festival. I met these guys at States of Independence last year and this year actually. They’re lovely, and one of the places I’m considering sending Slippers & Chains to if Breathless, pass on it. I’m not sure it’s exactly the sort of thing they publish – I need to look through more of their catalogue – but there’s no reason not to try. However there is an issues with my ability to visit the festival next week:

I’ve finally got the date for my surgery. I’ve not talked about it much, but I need to have a cyst on one of my ovaries removed before it gets any bigger (WAH!) and that’s happening next Wednesday.
I’m bricking it, I’m afraid, but distracting myself (with varying success) with thoughts of what I want to do with myself in the time I’m laid up and how I can still help run the house. It does mean, however, that I won’t be going to the festival after all; I may well still be in hospital.

I’m not sure what that means for me as a blogger, but it does me that relaxing will be forced on me, whether I want it or not. I’m not sure how they’ll have to open me up since I have caesarian scar tissue in the area they’ll want to be working on. I’m hoping for key hole surgery, but I’m not holding my breath. -_-

Either way, Ileandra or I will let you know how it goes, but it does mean that goals will be a little light on the ground going forward.


This Week

  1. Make the necessary preparations to send Slippers & Chains to Breathless Press.
  2. Send Slippers & Chains to Breathless Press.
  3. RELAX!

That’s it for now. Have a good week, enjoy the sun (if we get any) across the weekend and I’ll (hopefully) be with you this time next week.

On Saturday, as it’s the 5th one of the month, we have a guest post lined up from the awesome David Gilchrist. I’m sure he’ll look after you. πŸ™‚

Yep. That’s it. Enjoy your evening.

Raven's Signature In Black

About Raven ShadowHawk

I take great pleasure in writing erotica and am merely one side of the proverbial coin. My other half, 'Ileandra Young' writes fantasy and the occasional comedy piece. My six-part series 'Meeting Each Other' is available in full, through Amazon and Smashwords while my debut novella 'Sugar Dust' is now re-released (!) available through Amazon via Little Vamp Press.
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5 Responses to Raven Rantz No.2 & I Haz Planz 29/05

  1. Hope all goes well in the hospital. I wouldn’t know because lucky me, I’ve never been for anything more than X-rays.

    I’m guessing that Breathless Press turned you down before (I may have read about that and forgotten, also) and if so, don’t worry about it. It’s not an unrecoverable error that will make you click repeatedly and stop working. πŸ˜‰

    As long as you realise what your limits are, and how far you can push them, and what you need to reach the standard you want for your readers, you’re by no means stuck. Trying and failing can give you new information to feed back into the process. For example, you can tell beta readers to look at something specifically the next time you send them a story to read!

    Have a lovely weekend.


    • Thanks for the goodluck wishes, hon.

      Actually I haven’t submitted to Breathless before. They did an open critiqute session back in February and I sent them the opening of Slippers & Chains. I was invited to send in the rest once it’s done which is why I’ve pushed so hard to get it didn’t; I didn’t want them to forget about me. πŸ˜‰

      So far, so good… I’m VERY pleased with the story and I hope they will be too. From what I can tell, there’s nothing quite like it on their roster yet, so maybe it will be something new they’re hoping for. Maybe.

      Trying and failing is something I don’t feel I’ve done enough of in my life. Yes I do a lot of things, but I do self-sabotage and I’ve not done nearly as much as I could have done because of fear/panic/whatever.

      I’m hoping this experience will teach me more about what holes there are in my knowledge/experience and help me fill them. If that’s with a(nother) rejection, fair enough. If it’s an acceptance, then there’s a hell of a lot of work that follows that, so I need to be ready. Either way; whatever I learn I’ll plough into the next project… and the next and the next and the next.

      The learning never stops. πŸ™‚


  2. Also, I have to say I’m not wild about the formatting guidelines for Breathless Press. Good grief, doc or rtf format? Why would I want to introduce a whole bunch of hidden formatting -back- into my work, not to mention add back a whole stage that I got rid of in the first place? πŸ˜›

    Anyway, I hope it works out for you.


    • Heh, I know. It’s weird, because I used to work in Word all the time. Now I’ll have to compile the file from Scrivener to do all the things they want me to do.
      But I’m sure it’s all for a reason. I just need to make sure I read and re-read those guides to make sure I get it right!

      I’ll keep you posted. πŸ˜‰


  3. Pingback: The Maniacal Art of Self Sabotage | Writing: A Conversation Without Interruptions

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