For your Hugo Consideration (Best Dramatic Presentation: Short)

Tony-winner Daveed Diggs (from Hamilton and the hip hop group clipping.) is a science fiction fan. He’s a fan of Afrofuturism, having studied works by N.K. Jemisin, Octavia Butler, and Samuel R, Delaney. After he left Hamilton he began work on a concept album called Splendor and Misery.

Splendor & Misery is an Afrofuturist, dystopian concept album that follows the survivor of a slave uprising on an interstellar cargo ship. As he struggles alone and lost, the AI on the ship falls in love with him.

Many of the songs have Diggs’ signature rapid fire lyrics, and I found it helpful to read the discussion at Genius.com to catch all of the lyrics and find some of the more obscure literary references. And there you can learn about the baffling coded track “Interlude 02”:

Foxtrot, Uniform, Whiskey, Romeo
Whiskey, Charlie, Oscar, X-Ray
Echo, India, Uniform
[Beep]
Delta, Lima, Quebec, Foxtrot
Echo, India, Quebec, India
Foxtrot, Uniform, Whiskey, Romeo
Whiskey, Charlie, Oscar, X-Ray
Echo, India, Uniform
[Beep]
Delta, Lima

The key to decoding this is hidden elsewhere on the album.

It’s an amazing experience to listen to, and I haven’t grown tired of it yet. So if you have any slot open on your Hugo ballot for Best Dramatic Presentation: Short, I fully think this is worthy of a nomination.

Books to read! And Six Wakes press!

Today is the launch day for The Stars Are Legion by Kameron Hurley and Idle Ingredients by Matt Wallace. You should run and get both now.

I’m not endorsing them because they’re talented, which they are, or because they’re my friends, which they also are. But I’m bringing them up because I thought you might want some books to read after Six Wakes and Bookburners.

Kameron and I both wrote very female-heavy space opera books, and they’re coming out close to each other. So if you like Six Wakes you will probably like The Stars Are Legion.

And Matt’s Sin Du Jour novella series (of which Idle Ingredients is #4)  is like The Shambling Guides with catering, so if you like my stuff, you will like Matt’s. Start with Envy of Angels if you’re new to the series.

So really, reader, I’m doing this for you.

You’re welcome!


New press about Six Wakes I just had to share! This is from the Barnes and Noble blog:

Lafferty fearlessly follows the moral, ethical, and practical implications of this questionably idyllic future. How does quasi-immortality change what it means to be human? If our bodies are disposable, are we then our minds? And what if that mind is just a copy? It’s all very much grounded in the juicy mystery elements, but there are larger ideas behind it all.

And a part I particularly appreciate about the character of Dr. Joanna Glass:

[Joanna] raises questions about notions of perfection, and makes a powerfully rare, if understated, anti-ableist statement.

This was important to me, because even though the hacking that would “fix” Joanna’s genetically abnormal legs is illegal, it would be pretty easy for someone with her wealth and privilege to have it done. She chooses not to.

Venom out of costume: actress Teal Sherer

I was inspired, in part, by the character of Venom in Felicia Day’s gaming series “The Guild.” A horrible nihilist in the rival guild, she has a rare moment of frank, non-antagonistic vulnerability when she wonders aloud why she can’t have a wheelchair in the game like she has in real life, because she wants her avatar to fully represent her. (Pedantic Vork tries to explain how the ADA hasn’t really reached dungeons so it would be hard for her to move around, and then her character kills his.)

Also the the main character in John Scalzi’s Lock In, Chris, makes the same statement as people take sides in a debate about whether their “locked in” status should be cured. The locked in community has created a unique and rich alternate online lifestyle, and they would have to give that up if they were cured.

Those two stories had me thinking about pop culture’s usual view of disability, especially concerning science fiction and its desire to “fix” everything with futuristic technology. So I tried to address it in this book.



(Affiliate Link)

Adulting Hardcore [Artist’s Way, Overwatch]

I’ve started the Artist’s Way again- specifically the Finding Water, the Art of Perseverance book.

I have a weird relationship with The Artist’s Way. I’ve found it very useful. But it’s hard to read as an atheist; Cameron does her best to accommodate everyone, sometimes calling it God, sometimes the Universe. Essentially when you open yourself up to being creative, then God (or the Universe) sends you opportunities and gifts and stuff.

To reconcile this with my own beliefs (or lack thereof) I see it as opening yourself up to creativity just makes you open your damn eyes and look around you. Opportunities are there all the time, but usually we don’t think they’re for us, like the delivery person standing on your stoop with a bouquet of flowers. “Sorry, you must be at the wrong house.” Or you don’t even see something as an opportunity. But doing the Artist’s Way helps you look around and maybe just try something you wouldn’t have otherwise.

Julia Cameron either is brilliant or she is knows a good thing to milk: all of her programs have the same basic principle: write 3 pages of longhand every morning. Go on an “artist’s date” alone during the week. She’s also included walking in the program by now, but I don’t think it was part of the first one. But they all focus on a different part of the artist’s life, usually in memoir form.

Finding Water came to me right when I needed it. It’s a meditation for artists who have a career but may be feeling a slump, or imposter syndrome, and how to get your focus back. I picked the book up last year when I was feeling some particular professional jealousy, and read the first chapter. It was just what I needed. (note I said least year; I didn’t start doing the program hardcore until recently. Honestly I hate morning pages. So I do them, drop them, pick them back up.)

I’m starting week 3 now, and I’ll report back in later to say how i’m doing.

I started playing Overwatch (PS4). It was hard for me to warm to because I a) am not good at shooters and b) hate playing online games with strangers. But I should have trusted Blizzard. The only game design they’ve ever done that I’ve disliked is Hearthstone. (I just don’t get it. It’s a card game when I’ve played better card games on other apps. What am I missing? Anyway. I digress.) Overwatch is designed with four kinds of characters: offense (high damage), tanks (high defense), defense (neutralize the other team), and support (healing, buffing.) The vastly different characters offer a style of play that works for different people.

Junkrat, totally not the Evil Midnight Bomber or the Joker.

“You’ll never prove a thing, copper, I’m just a part time electrician…bad is good, baby! Down with government!”

I find myself liking the support characters (Mercy the valkyrie and Zenyatta the robot monk) and the occasional defense characters (Junkrat the Evil Midnight Bomber What Bombs at Midnight and Mei the climatologist). When I play offense I just turn into a smear on the ground, and I have never enjoyed tanks.

What Blizzard has done so brilliantly is take an idea from Splatoon and take it a step farther. To keep people (teen boys) from frothing all over the game with homophobic and sexist slurs, they don’t have a chat function on the console. There isn’t an obvious way to choose a team, although my daughter says it’s possible.* You can do vocal team chat, but since you can’t choose a team you could be playing with people all over the world. The options to communicate with people are signaling in game things like Hello and I need healing. There isn’t a gay slur among them.

You can unlock other things to say. (I unlocked Zenyatta’s saying “I dreamt I was a butterfly,” which I love) You can unlock things to spray on the wall. I am of course unlocking all sorts of awesome skins and sprays and sayings for people I don’t play at all, but I figure the more I play, the more shit I will unlock.

When we got Overwatch, my daughter started playing on my account (long story, misunderstanding, let’s move on) and pushed my level up. I feel like I should apologize to people because it says I’m level 16, but I promise i’m not playing like a level 16 player. So if you see mightymur out there flailing about, blame my kid.

Yeah. All her fault that I’m not good at this game. Totally…

Anyway. I love it. Despite my moans of despair when we are against a team of fucking sniper campers who destroy me the moment I respawn, I actually am having fun. It’s what I needed after last week’s stress of book launches** and turn in.

And so he says to me, you want to be a bad guy? and I say Yeah Baby! I want to be bad! I says Churchill space ponies I’m making gravy without the lumps! Ah ha ha ha ha haaaaa!!!!!


* This is not an official review. I’m just saying this from what I’ve experienced playing the PS4 version. You may indeed be able to do these things, but I choose not to.
** The books are still getting great reviews. I got a very flattering email from someone Friday night – I won’t say who, cause I don’t have their permission, but goddamn, did it make my weekend.

2016: Reading

screen-shot-2016-12-31-at-1-41-35-pm

For the record, I took this screen shot before the year was up. So I still have time to win…

Yesterday I was looking for pictures of myself I’d posted in this blog. Aside from the fact that it was very hard to find any, it meant that I read several old blog posts. I got to the end of year 2015 post on reading and was astonished. I’d forgotten that I’d made a pledge to read as many of the books that I already owned (aka from my existing To Be Read pile). I’d reduced my Audible subscriptions to 1 credit a month. I had a Plan.

After a few months of buying more Audible credits so I could get more audiobooks, I finally turned my subscription back where it was.I didn’t just fail at this. I completely forgot I’d created the goal in the first place. That’s impressive.

Of course, the year was a shit fire, and I find comfort in buying books. And I like to support my friends. And publishers often send me ARCs from people I interview. So the books kept coming in.

I don’t know if I can try to make the same attempt this year. Too many good books are coming out, such as The Stars Are Legion by Kameron Hurley, Seven Surrenders by Ada Palmer, The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin. I think I will, however, start keeping track on Goodreads of books I already own as opposed to books I purchased. Or I could totally cheat and just preorder all of the above today. That could work…

If you don’t know, I track my reading on Goodreads, but I neither engage with any of the flame wars there, nor do I often review books. I know several authors review books professionally, but I don’t find it something I want to do. I don’t want to harm a friend’s sales, but I don’t want to just throw around 5 star reviews either. So I just mark that I read it. (I may be more honest with books outside my field, such as nonfiction or graphic novels.)

This year I nearly made my goal of 80 books read. I re-read some of them, which didn’t make Goodreads’ official tally of books read, since you can’t list that you read a book on different dates (you can make a separate shelf for rereads, but the official Goodreads number comes from the date you read the book. If you mark a book as read but don’t give it a date, then it doesn’t go into the tally.)

Favorite books? Nah. I know how shitty I feel when I’m left off a blog post of “Best Books/Podcasts of the year!” so I try not to make my own. If you want to see what I read, check out my Goodreads shelves.

STORIUM, News, and Skyrim tales

The amazing storytelling site I’ve been involved with, Storium, has launched an awesome interactive demo to help new players. It’s free and doesn’t require a signup. You literally have nothing to lose except for 5 minutes of your time. Check it out!


Library Journal just gave Six Wakes and Bookburners some love as well! And Six Wakes got a star! (You DO know that you can really help a book out by pre-ordering, right? Get Bookburners here. Get Six Wakes here.


We’ve gotten the new shiny Skyrim with mod support and better graphics and we’re all playing it with great glee. It helped to kill things during the month when we saw our nation crumble in a dumpster fire.

There are still interesting bugs with a game so intricate. The latest one I encountered had my adopted son begging for a present when I got home. I had a shirt for him, so I gave it to him. He was then immediately naked (with undies, natch) and ran around playing in the rain. Then he went to sit under a tree. In the rain. With no clothes on.

I followed him and tried to talk to him, but “get your damn clothes back on, you fool child” was nowhere in the dialogue tree. So I decided it was my housecarl’s problem and went on adventuring. (I just discovered others have noticed this bug.)

Then there was the time I was being chased by a wolf, ran into a bear, and then a dragon landed on all of us. But that’s another tale.

Peeking out of the burrow

I recently was looking for news on someone and I went to their blog. There was nothing on there but occasional podcasts. Then I realized that, uh, my own blog is just like that. I haven’t posted anything new in a very long time. I also have been very quiet on Twitter.

Part of the reason why I haven’t posted is depression over the election. I haven’t posted anything regarding that because I have nothing new to say about it that 2.6+ million people haven’t already said. I’m despondent and afraid.

But life goes on. I have to get out of my burrow and keep going and keep creating. So first, a rather lengthy update on me:

Books and other Fictiony things!
Six Wakes and Bookburners (affiliate links) come out next month! Six Wakes received a STARRED REVIEW OMG from Publishers Weekly.

This space-based locked-room murder mystery explores complex technological and moral issues in a way that’s certain to earn it a spot on award ballots.

Bookburners also got some Publishers Weekly love.

The action jumps around the globe, with side trips to other dimensions, while the writing briskly slides between vividly horrific and flippantly camp.

(You can probably guess who wrote the “flippantly camp” episodes.)

And my short story will appear in Star Wars Insider on December 27! “Voices of the Empire” was teased on Del Rey’s facebook page today!

art by Jason Chan!

art by Jason Chan!

Travel and other travely things!
We recently got back from a big time weekend in New York City for Jim’s birthday where we were hardcore tourists: Empire State Building, ice skating, shopping, restaurants, and the crowning event, seeing Hamilton! I can safely say that if anyone was worried the actors replacing the original cast would be sub-par, there is nothing to worry about. It’s still an amazing show that had us both laughing and crying. It was a thrill to see a handful of original cast members like Okieriete Onaodowan and Jasmine Cephas Jones (not to mention Thayne Jasperson from the ensemble).

Holidays
Fiona and I decided not to do the traditional Advent Calendar video podcast, what with travel for us and homework for her. She’s doing great in high school, though, we are typical crazy proud parents.

We are staying home for Christmas, and I continue to watch made for TV holiday movies so that you don’t have to. I’ll be reviewing them on the site, so long as I can continue to stay above ground close to my burrow.

What else?
Fiona got her braces off. She was pissed off that she needed to re-learn how to play the trumpet again.

Mothership Zeta has decided to go on hiatus and our last magazine before the break will be next month.

In November I remembered how tiring audiobook recording was when I narrated Six Wakes. But it’s done!

I participated in NaNoWriMo last month, and even though I didn’t win, I got farther than I ever had before. I ended at 45000 words, and although some might say “oh, so close!” I still feel pretty damn good about it. With two days left and more narration to do (see above) I knew I wouldn’t make the 7000 words I needed to win. So I ended up at 45K and satisfied.

I quit drinking soda. I’m pretty pissed that I haven’t seen any benefit from it. I hate it when they say “this is so bad for you” and then when you cut it out, nothing happens. Probably something good is going on inside but I can’t tell any difference.

And that’s the news with me. I think I hit most of the important points.

The Hot Doctor subgenre of movie love triangles

(Spoilers for Bridget Jones’s Baby below.)

I wrote about the Hot Doctor a few years ago before my blog shat itself and died, so I’m going to update this theory.

Take a single woman. Usually over 35, mature, having made some mistakes, but now she’s independent. A career woman. Then she encounters two men. One man is any combination of this list: older, unpleasant, ugly, bad with money, downright verbally abusive, withdrawn, unemployed, no sense of humor, initially uninterested in her. The other man (the Hot Doctor) is any combination of this list: gorgeous, younger, wealthy, funny, devoted, with an amazing job, friendly, charming.

Now before someone gets mad at me, I don’t judge someone based on looks or wealth status, I’m just saying that when writers build these guys, they sometimes slap an unattractive face or low economic status on a very unpleasant person. And I’m not talking about the awesome plain looking guy that women ignore until they see “what was in right front of me the whole time.”

The Hot Doctor shows himself to be utterly wonderful and dotes entirely on the heroine. And she ALWAYS chooses the first guy at the end.

Something’s Gotta Give: Diane Keaton falls for Jack Nicholson for reasons I wasn’t really clear on. She chose him over Keanu Reeves. KEANU.

Keanu.

Hot Doctor.

In Sex and the City, Miranda dates cute bartender Steve on and off but he can’t handle her economic status being so different from (read: higher) his. So she finds a Hot Doctor. Enough like her that neither are intimidated, but different enough to make their relationship interesting.

Hot Doctor.

Hot Doctor.

Aside #1- in looking for images for this post, I ran across an article on Cosmo that agreed wholeheartedly with me regarding the Hot Doctor and Miranda. VALIDATION.

Aside #2- Jack Nicholson comes back again in As Good As It Gets which doesn’t have a hot doctor, but does have a woman falling for unpleasant, misogynistic Jack for no fucking apparent reason. If it had a Hot Doctor, he would have been dumped.

Recently I saw Bridget Jones’s Baby, which was a solid, fine romcom. I enjoyed it. But it pulled a Hot Doctor: Patrick Dempsey is a wealthy, charismatic American who is a relationship expert and, according to his successful pairing website, a 96% ideal partner for Bridget. (Mr. Darcy is 8% compatible.) Bridget sleeps with them one week apart and becomes pregnant, unable to figure out who the father is. The movie is about her trying to deal with both of them as the pregnancy progresses.

Hot Doctor-type. He is comfortable and having fun in birthing class, while Firth looks like he is nauseated.

Hot Doctor-type. He is comfortable and having fun in birthing class, while Darcy looks like he is nauseated.

This could have been solved early on with an amniocentesis but she freaks out at the size of the needle and refuses. Now I’ve never had one, and I don’t have a needle phobia, so it’s easy for me to say this, but if there was a social disaster happening with two men waiting to hear about how their impending fatherhood, I’d do the needle thing.

Throughout all this Darcy is uncomfortable and standoffish, and Bridget does list all the things that had been wrong in their relationship when they tried to be together. Patrick Dempsey is funny, charming, and supportive, and hot as hell.* But at the end, she chooses Darcy, and they marry. (He also ends up being the father to the kid, but Bridget does choose him before they know for sure.)

The movie tries to make Dempsey unfitting for her only twice: he lies to Darcy that he has a better chance of being the father (he says they didn’t use a condom, while Bridget’s super-old vegan condom broke with Darcy), and then he gets all American New Agey when she’s in labor, telling her to “breathe through the pain.” She punches him in the nose, and Darcy dryly tells him to breathe through the pain. (Admittedly, that was an awesome line.)

This kind of storytelling is common as hell, and I wonder if it’s Hollywood sending women frequent messages that we should settle. These stories don’t do enough to make the hot doctor-types look bad, and they don’t do enough to make the Other Guy look good (Steve in Sex and the City is the possible exception to this but the Hot Doctor was still better suited to be with Miranda.) I just get confused because these kinds of stories are supposed to be our wish fulfillments, but they dangle the Hot Doctor in front of us and then whip him away and replace him with Jack Nicholson because of Movie Reasons. It’s ridiculous.

 

Called it. Entitlement, ahoy.

Harry_Potter_and_the_Cursed_Child_Special_Rehearsal_Edition_Book_CoverI was walking with Ursula by B&N the other day (who the hell am I kidding, we were playing Pokemon Go) and there was a HUGE ad in the window for the upcoming Harry Potter script. Curious, I looked closer. Yep, it said ‘script.’

“I wonder how many fans will freak the fuck out when they buy this script and find out it’s a script,” I said.

Ursula said probably a lot of them, considering how they reacted when she wrote a book for adults that very obviously didn’t say “Harry Potter” anywhere on the book (except for maybe “Rowling’s other works include Harry Potter” – I don’t know, I didn’t read it.)

Well, we called it. The Telegraph reports today: ‘Rowling, you owe your fans a BOOK!’: Harry Potter fans outraged that Cursed Child script is, in fact, a script. 

I’m not the biggest Harry Potter fan. I mean, I enjoyed the books; I read them all. They weren’t the best thing ever; the writing was sometimes weak and full of plot holes (TriWizard Cup, anyone?) that showed the magical world was in fact a hell of a lot more complicated than the muggle world and no one in their right mind would want to live there (nearly every method of travel – broom, floo powder, portkeys – sounds horrible), but Rowling had the knack for creating a world you wanted to fall into. Her imagination is masterful, and her ability to plot (aside from holes) was great. You could see a lot of the plot coming early in the first books, if you paid attention.*

I liked all the books. But I’m not a huge fan.

I was satisfied with seven books. And I knew this book was a script and usually don’t read those for fun. So I decided to pass on it for now.

Now, if I’m not the biggest Harry Potter fan in the world, and I knew this was a script, then how can people who obsess about Harry Potter miss that a play was announced? Did they catch the news that there was ridiculous fussing about Hermione cast as a black woman? That this new publication was a script?

The title of the article is something that enrages me. Rowling owing her fans something. Nothing about the book was hidden. Her name is larger than the other two writers, but it’s not hiding the fact that there are other writers. It says “Script” on the top of the cover. The book clearly says, “Here is a Harry Potter story written by Rowling and friends, in script form. Pay $18 if you want it.”

That’s what she owes you. If you pay your $18, then she owes you a script that she and a few other people wrote. Because that’s what she promised. But what the entitled fans read is: here is a Harry Potter story written by Rowling and friends, in script form. Pay $18 if you want it.”

I really think that if your fragile life could be ruined by the release of a book that is something you don’t expect, you should probably research stuff before you buy.

Movie-Ghostbusters-2016-2Incidentally, along the same lines, if you think a movie could ruin your childhood, then DON’T SEE IT. (coughGhostbusterscough)**

*Yeah, I got in trouble with a listener who was furious with me for saying that Ron + Hermione was an obvious match from the beginning.

** Ghostbusters was awesome. I’ll write about that later.

Just Announced: Netflix acquires rights to THE SHAMBLING GUIDES

Illustrated by Jamie McKelvie

I’ve talked a lot in podcasts about the frustration of having to sit on news, and boy howdy, I’ve been sitting on this one a long time. But it was announced yesterday: Netflix has purchased the option for The Shambling Guide to NYC and Ghost Train to New Orleans!

The Tracking Board had the exclusive and Tor.com did a great post about it this morning. [EDIT- it appeared on BoingBoing this afternoon! Thanks, Cory Doctorow!]

A few FAQs:

  • Does this mean the series will continue?
    Orbit did not wish to continue the series, but I may write some follow-up novellas and self publish them.
  • When will we get to see it?
    This is a movie option, which means Netflix has the rights to make a movie of the story if they so choose. It’s no guarantee that a movie will be made. That said, we had to hold onto the information for a very long time so it’s possible that this announcement means they’re moving forward now. I’ve heard nothing either way, and I’m trying not to get my hopes up; that way lies madness and obsession.
  • Will it be a movie or a TV show like OITNB?
    They indicate they want to make it a movie, but they have the rights to change their minds and make it a TV show if they decide to go that way.
  • daveed 1Are you involved with the writing/casting/key gripping/best boying?
    Alas, no. But if they want to put Daveed Diggs in the movie as Arthur, I wouldn’t say no.

Regardless, I’m so grateful I can finally talk about this! Be ready for the next podcast!
image006

Beyoncé Was Right: Madeline Ashby Guest Blog

Madeline Ashby is one of those people who is so damn smart she kind of intimidates me. Luckily she’s very kind and awesome, so I’m delighted to feature her on a guest blog to talk about an aspect of the writer’s life that many find difficult to navigate: money. Watch for an upcoming interview with Madeline on Ditch Diggers, and hear her previous interview on ISBW #316. And THEN get her new book from Tor, Company Town.


Company Town

Company Town

Beyoncé Was Right
When I asked if I could write up a blog post in support of my new novel Company Town, our dear hostess asked for a guestblog about the business of writing. So I thought I would tell you all a juicy story about a time that I didn’t get paid, and how I resolved the situation.

First, some background: I’m a science fiction writer and a futurist. What that means is that I write science fiction prototypes for clients who want to know how humans will use their products, platforms, or technologies. Or, alternatively, I write stories about the future of a given thing: like a world without antibiotics, or urban warfare in a smart city, or disaster management, or what have you. It was on the strength of this career that I was asked to write for a publication that was expanding its subject area, and adding a technology vertical to its existing masthead.

Right away, something seemed off. I had to fight for a byline, despite already having my own bylines elsewhere. And, as so often happens, that first impression was dead on. My pitches went ignored. My content management software license took forever to appear. When it did, it was bloatware that crashed my computer — but the editors knew the developers, so there was no other alternative. One simple 350-word assignment was turned back nine separate times, with nine different contradictory edits. After a week without answering any of my emails, they fired me.

Then, for months, they refused to pay me.

Now, I have been very lucky in my career, to work with wonderful clients who value my work. I am truly privileged in that regard. I’ve been invited to board rooms and hard lofts, by startups and industry leaders. With my clients I’ve collated sticky notes, appeared at day zero events, and even taken part in group meditation sessions, and I’ve had great fun doing it. And then I’ve gotten paid. Promptly. So this was a new situation for me. I asked other freelancers how they had handled similar issues, and they told me I should probably wait at least three months before seriously raising the issue.

So, I waited. And waited. And waited. And then I raised the issue with one of my contacts at the company. I raised it again. And again. And again. When emails didn’t work, I called. Week in, week out, I called. When it was clear that my calls weren’t providing the proper motivation, I realized I had to get creative.

With that in mind, I called the publisher’s main office. I explained my situation as plainly and politely as possible. The young woman on the other end of the line was very pleasant, and very sympathetic, and had no idea how to help. “Do you have a payroll department?” I asked.

“Not really,” she said. “We all just get paid by Mr. ______.”

“Mr. ______?”

“Yeah. I think so. It’s his name on the checks, anyway.”

“….Can you spell that for me, please? Thanks so much.”

Mr. ______ turned out to be very accomodating, once I found him on LinkedIn. I explained the situation, and named the people I had dealt with, and the fact that I hadn’t been paid for months. The next day, my money arrived.

Best Revenge

What is the moral of this story? First, trust your instincts. The gig was never a good fit for me, and I should have bailed earlier to save myself the stress and to give myself the opportunity move on to something better. Second, you can always go another level higher on the food chain to resolve a problem. Anyone who’s ever worked a service job knows this — “Let me find my manager,” is the most magic phrase there is, aside from “Let me buy you a drink.” Third, and most basic, don’t talk to editors or administratives about missing money. It’s literally not their department. That’s a job for finance, or accounting, or payroll. They’re the ones who process checks. Your editor doesn’t know where your check is. Your editor will ask someone in payroll. So, save yourself and your editor some hassle and ask payroll. That will help preserve your relationship with the editor and it’ll get you your money faster. When in doubt, trust in the wisdom of Beyoncé: Always stay gracious; the best revenge is your paper.