Testing…Testing…A Gen-Xer Tries to Figure Out How to Shut That Shit Down

Hi. This isn’t a real post, but a a placeholder to find out whether or not I correctly blocked the comment section. I’ve avoided my WordPress for “reasons”, the biggest of which is that I had no idea how to shut off comments. Because it seems I am an offender to more people than I knew could be offended. Because I saw a video of a girl who’d been internet bullied, posted it, and then written only one of the similar experiences I’d had. Yep. The post I put up that got me so thoroughly lambasted was one I wrote defending an author who was so bullied (we’re talking not about “I hate your book,” but “you’re an ugly….etc, etc.”) that she was ready to quit writing. And she found a new genre, which is awesome, but I’m not sure how much of that was based on her internet crucifiction. I got 1600 hits on that one post, simply for putting STGRB as a searchword. I cut and pasted samples of some of the ugliest, nastiest “reviews” I could find on GoodReads and Amazon, including one for my book.

When I normally post, there are VERY few reads/comments. Like, three all year. This post had over 1600. The blog readers had no interest in my writing, but wanted a punching bag.

Yep, I posted that something over a year ago, and got the internet beat-down. Readers twisted my words into something stupid and ugly. When I foolishly wrote a follow-up in my post, and when I responded in my own defense to the nastiness, I was beaten further. “Don’t engage with trolls” is advice I now take to heart. I couldn’t take the abuse. So, like many women who have been abused,  something in me felt familiar/horrible. The mob stirred up old things. (Trying to avoid the word “tr*****d here.)  I’ve been quiet…and doing my best not to wind up those who would easily be internet-enraged.

My “WordPress updates” have been meek.

I shut my mouth.

Capped my pen, as it were.

Which is the one of the reasons folks go trolling.

To silence others.

Long story short, I took the post down, because there are better things for me to do than hit “delete” to hundreds of hate-mails in my professional (vs. personal) gmail inbox. There were some that were positive and understood my point. But there were so many happy to join an internet beat-down, that I couldn’t deal. I stopped reading them, but they glutted my inbox.

I’ve missed writing on my WordPress site. Since I come from a different generation (X, specifically) and because my brain works differently than some folks, I couldn’t find/follow ( what to some people would be) simple directions as far as how to shut off comments. Tonight, I’m PRETTY sure I did. So I get to write freely on my blog, without fearing the comment box.

And it’s pretty sad to me that I’d been posting for a couple years as an independent author, a single mom, a lady who keeps on trucking despite dealing with a disability, poverty, and trying to keep her head above water. That somehow the wrong “buzzwords” was what made folks click on my page. Seriously doubt anyone read my other posts.

So.

For those of you who –like me– have no idea how to do this social media stuff? Keep writing, anyway. Google “How to shut down the comment section on WordPress,” and then do your thing.

PLEASE try to comment on this post. If you succeed, it means that I need to go back to the WP help page to fix something. If I get no comments, then I’ve figured out a bit more about social networking, how to combat abuse, and how to get my voice back. Go, me.

Kisses,

vka

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FINDING LILY: Book II of the Lily Chronicles Teaser

Since I have a green light for the sequel to REACHING LILY (though am still *cough* waiting on paperwork *cough*), and since I’m 35 pages in, and if I dump a lot of creative energy into blogging I won’t want to get my word count up there…I’m going to be pretty quiet for awhile. Tomorrow night I’ll be doing some big promo push, because I’ve found –looking at amazon numbers– that most women buy my books after last call on Saturday night. (Huh. ‘Magine that!) So I will post some “Hi, I’m Dorian Holder and want to do dirty things to you” or “Hi, we are two well-hung angels and have come to ravish you, you nun-servant-girl-timetraveler” or what have you about once a week.

Also-also, I made an imaginary cover. I like doing that. It makes me feel all official.

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But this will be my last long and chatty post until I have my actual first draft done, which is about 250-300 pages in the future, so I figured, “Hey, why not post the prologue?”

Here it is, from me to you, dear Readers. Since it isn’t totally dirty, I’ll probably post somethin’ nastier in a couple weeks 😉

Kisses,

vka

EXCERPT FROM “FINDING LILY: BOOK II OF THE LILY CHRONICLES”

                                                          Prologue: Weathering the Storm

Ow. My head smacks hard against the cold window, jarring me back to the present. The one in which our plane is wobbling? Yes, that present. My eyes (which are apparently glasz, according to my once-upon-a-not-boyfriend), pop open, and I take it all in. The sky is gray, and Virgin Airline flight 169 is no longer just a big bird soaring above the clouds. We are in the thick of something dreadful. It so makes sense my plane’s going to crash when I finally almost escape from Dorian Holder’s enormous, far-reaching grasp.

Yikes.

Hey, what happened to Mr and Mrs Green, the lovey-dovey newlyweds who were annoying me so much with their joy and fondling when I first boarded? I would appreciate any company, right now. They must’ve gotten bumped up to first class, while I was busy ruminating. How’d I miss that? Hope their complimentary champagne just spilled all over their laps on this last lurch. Holy hell.

“Ladies and gentlemen.” The pilot’s voice is supposed to reassure us, I know, but there’s enough of a quaver in his tone to make me even more concerned, especially now that the plane has started to quake in earnest.

Also, the intercom is crackling more than it ought to be.

Like I know, though. This is, after all, my first plane ride.

Why am I so calm, then? Obviously, if we’re going down, I’m not going to heaven. Which would make Dorian right, as usual.

         You can’t get away, Lily.

Also, I wasn’t paying close attention when the flight attendant went over the emergency procedures. Would they go through them again? That interpretive dance with the entrances, exits, et al? What if I couldn’t figure out how to put on my oxygen mask, or if I got the only flotation device that wouldn’t expand?

Que sera, sera.

Perhaps “disappearing” would be a relief, a blessing in disguise. Everything comes to an end.

Oh, well. It was a good run. Things got interesting in my final month of life. That’s what they’ll say at my eulogy. “She was generally a mousy little thing, never known to rock the boat. But things got interesting in Lily Dewitt’s final month of life…”

Our plane bucks in agreement with my grim fantasies. Rather than screams and panic, there is a stillness among us humble passengers as we await our collective fate.

You don’t fuck with the gods, and you sure as hell don’t distract the Virgin flight staff when they try to keep you soothed.

“We’re experiencing some turbulence,” Captain Peterson explains, stating the obvious. “Please do not panic. You’re in good hands, people.”

How comforting.

Never heard that one before.

My stomach drops, and I suck in my breath as we start losing altitude. No, I’m not trained in the comings-and-goings of all things airplane, but I’ve seen enough movies.

Time freezes when you look death in the eye.

Time also froze if you stared into Dorian Holder’s dangerous eyes. Dorian, like the jaws of death—or the gods with whom we should never argue—is also capable of freezing time.

How a night could last for days, how days could last for minutes, how waiting on him could last for years is still a concept I will never grasp. That first night with him lasted forever. Like the spider wrapping a fly, Dorian Holder was all winding circle after winding circle, his grip, his invisible thread wrapping, cocooning, squeezing the very life out of me. I squirmed and buzzed in his web, praying that he would not suck me dry.

How can one pray when one is the prey?

All I wanted was to fly away, I swear.

But I am still trapped.

The plane steadies itself, and once again my stomach drops while our altitude rises.

“Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your patience,” says Captain Peterson, sounding more relieved than I feel. “We’re back on track. Please lean back and enjoy the rest of your trip. Our attendants are coming around with complimentary beverages and snacks.”

I lean back, awaiting sustenance.