My Life

Struggling with Wattpad and the Return of Fate's Harrow.

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Coffee is life

Yesterday, I sent out the Newsletter, and started on the massive project to restart the zine next year.  If you didn't get your copy, you can read it here and sign up to receive it here.  I have so many irons in the fire, it is a great way to keep from missing something.

Calling all Beta Readers

I also added many of my previously published works to the Beta Readers group for a one last pass before the relaunch of my Scifi/fantasy series, Our Solemn Hour.

  • All 5 Issues of Fate's Harrow
  • All 4 Legends of the Jade Moon Novelettes
  • The full text of Shine Like Thunder

If you want to help with this read through and get early access to drafts of new stories, join the Beta Readers' GroupAs always everyone who helps edit these works will get a shout out in the Acknowledgements and a free ebook version of the final text.

The Return of Fate's Harrow

I know you caught that.  Yes, for the first time in 7 years, my bestselling book Fate's Harrow is coming back!

I am so excited to make this book available again.  I believe all the rights considerations have been taken care of, so I can finally get the book back into print.  If we can keep on schedule, it should be available by December 16th!

Stepping up on Wattpad

Wattpad is an interesting place, and I have dabbled with it from time to time.  I added a bunch of previously unpublished stories there to get your feedback.  Hopefully, I can get my head around the site and community over there.

If you have any advise for me on that, please share.  If you would like to follow me over there, here is my profile.

I am trying to open up

Openness is the secret power of the internet.  I know that is not a shocking statement, but it is something I have struggled with for years.  I am trying to be more open with what I am doing and how I am doing it.

No journey is worth taking if you have to take it alone.  If you want to walk this path with me, Join the Project: Shadow group and follow me on the various social networks.

Is National Novel Writing Month the problem or a symptom

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 It amazes me the clarity a headache can sometimes give you.  My sinuses and I are at war today in this dry autumn air.  As a result, I don't have the level of patience  that I usually would have.

When I got up today, I went over my schedule to organize my workflow for the day.  Since I decided to take part in National Novel Writing Month, high on my list was to hit my word count for the day.  That is not what I wanted to do.

As the resistance mounted against me, I focused my attention on why I didn't want to write.

That was just the thing.  My problem isn't that I don't want to write.  The problem is I want to play in the setting.  I want to explore, frolicking in all the nooks and crannies that the world presents me.  So, in reality, it is not that I don't want to write, it is  yet again the constraints of the novel are working against the kind of story I want to tell.

Over and over, I tell myself that I'm going to break out of the mold of the novel, and time and again I force myself back into it.  It is comfortable, familiar.  I know how to do that, and as such it is the easy way out.

I have to stop taking the easy way out.

So, for me, National Novel Writing Month is both the problem and the symptom.  I'm not writing a novel, so why am I trying to make it fit the format?  I need to refocus, and plan my way forward.  Something different is trying to be born through me.  I just need to get out of its way.

Rejoining the Cult of Done

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  After I decided to reconnect with the things I love,  I went back to my blog to reconnect with my thoughts.

I realize that about two years ago I stopped posting about what it means to me to be a writer and entertainment designer.  In a lot of ways, it's about the same time I started finding it hard to write.

One of the things that I did discover, or should I say rediscovered, was the Cult of Done Manifesto.   I remembered how I felt the first time I read it.  I remembered how inspired I was.

Everything Is a Draft

I remember when I abandoned that principle.  At a certain point when I was writing The Chain, I vowed to myself that I would write the book that I wanted to read.  I didn't realize until today that I set a goal to pursue the Platonic ideal of the book I wanted.

That one unseen goal has paralyzed me ever since.  My drive to write a perfect book has kept me from working on the right book.  So I find myself with what feels like an unending wave of writers block.

Laugh at Perfection

I dabbled around a little bit with the idea of treating the story like it was software development.  The text I write would be the code.  There would be iterations, patches, updates, and development towards fuller and greater versions.  It is an interesting idea,

Perhaps what I need to do is pick up that idea again and see where it leads me.  Since I spent a lot of time tinkering with it, and not doing it, there's a good chance that it holds the key to unlocking my creativity.

Hopefully, you will join me in this grand experiment.  I'll share my experiences and theories with you, all I ask in return is for your feedback.  I know I don't have to ask for your support.  You've always shown me so much. Let the experiments begin.

I really need to Save The Cat

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 Oh, how time flies.  I want to participate in National Novel Writing Month, but as usual, I lost track of time and have absolutely nothing ready to write.

Faint images flutter around the corners of my mind, but nothing concrete enough to move forward on.  I  need to hunker down and trust the story will form.

No bias.  No preconceived notions.  Just me and a cat that need saving.  If my muse is gentle and kind, then I'll find the story by the first.

If you have any suggestions,  I'm open to hear them.

My new MacBook arrived

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I didn't think it was going to get here till around Halloween, see you can imagine my jubilant surprise when it arrived earlier today.  It took me a little while to get everything moved on to it that I wanted, but now I'm ready to rock.

I don't want to be too much of a Mac fan boy, but it really is a thing of beauty.  It probably has a lot to do with the fact that I waited so long to update my system.  It's  going to take me some time to be used to a machine that does what I want to do when I want it to do it.

As I sit here dictating this post, I am overwhelmed by the many things I wanted to get done, but didn't have the power to do.  I should be able to get a lot more writing done, and a lot faster.  The best part is, I really will be able to work wherever I want to again. 

So now, I need to tap down my excitement, and focus on getting things done. 

Walking the Labyrinth with friends

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Went out last night to see Labyrinth at the Moolah with friends. I love a good midnight show, and it has been a while since Brian and I went out with friends.

There is something so very special about a road trip with friends. Sharing music and trading stories while traveling has to be one of the best experiences life has to offer.

I spend so much time alone working, or shepherding my virtual friendships on Facebook and Google+, that sometimes I forget about the sheer joy of the journey: the power that an meaningful event can have not only on me, but on my relationships.

Trust has been an issue for me for a while, but I feel like I am staring to move past it and make new friends.

Leave it to the glamour of David Bowie to remind me of the power of the road trip to change the way I see the world.

Oh, great and terrible Goblin King, we have walked your labyrinth and grown closer and stronger for it. May you kingdom have no end.

Writing from the Heart

When Ray Bradbury died, I decided to spend a year with his book Zen and the art of writing. A part of that, for me, meant that I would write one short story a week like he suggests. I knew these stories would be personal. I would have to dig deep to find something to write about every week. This week was all too easy.

My beloved Smokey JoeMy dog died on Monday. I've never been much of a dog person. He originally belonged to my mother. When he was diagnosed with epilepsy, I adopted him so that I could make sure that he got his medicine on schedule.

I have a lot of pets in my life. I've had numerous dogs, cats, fish, hermit crabs, and hamsters… But he was different. He was special. I think because he had spells every now and then, and that I would hold him while his poor little body shook, and listen to him cry, as I work to get the medicine in him the doctor recommended, I became more protective of him than any other pet I ever had.

His last couple days were really hard. He started having seizures on Thursday night, and at first, nothing was different. But this time they just didn't stop. The vet told us to keep giving him the medicine, until he got back to normal. Eventually Thursday night, the seizures stopped, and he fell asleep. I won't go into detail about everything that happened those last few days. I will say that I have rarely ever felt that helpless in my life.

So this week when it was time to write a story, I use that as the inspiration. I wrote a story in my new setting about the character losing a beloved pet. Since it's me, it of course became a little bit more complicated. Now, I sincerely don't know what to do with it.

I don't know how long it'll be before I can even edit the story. It is so personal, that I feel like I would be publishing pages from a secret diary if I put it out somewhere. Maybe that's a good thing. Maybe that means I wrote something so honest that if I shared it with the world, the world would see a piece, a part of my soul.

I know that sounds flighty, even airy fairy, but one of the things I've been wanting to do more and more, is find a way to make my fiction more honest.

Fiction is the arts of the well-crafted lie. The more honest that lie, the more likely a reader will be able to believe it long enough to enjoy the story. I don't find a lot of honesty in fantasy books. I don't find a lots of honesty in science fiction. And why should we? These are the genre of the imagination. But if that imagination isn't rooted in something so true you can feel it in your bones, then why should anyone bother to read, to love it, or let it infiltrate their dreams?

I suppose, that is the quest I am currently on. I am trying to find the meeting place between my imagination and my truth. There has to be a bridge somewhere that will allow me to bring these two things together in a pure and honest way. I feel like I did that with The Chain, and I know I did that with my new short. Once, I grow the courage to not only tell these stories, but to share them and live them, I will at least have done something meaningful with my life.

I wish you all luck on finding something that gives you as much meaning and purpose as my writing gives me. I would love to know what that is for you. Why don't you leave your purpose or what you find meaning in within the comments below. Thank you ahead of time for your continued inspiration.

I want to start podcasting again

I really miss podcasting. I miss talking to you guys every day, and getting to hear back from you. I miss the conversation, and everything that we shared back when I was doing the podcast daily. But things haven't worked out exactly the way I wanted them to.

What went wrong?

When I was podcasting a lot, I didn't have time to write nearly as much as I wanted to. I had so many book ideas, but no time really to work on any of them. So it became an issue. I was serving two masters: podcasting and writing. And you know what they say about serving two masters.

So in the end, I had to give one up. It became an easy choice, because Brian didn't have as much time as he used to join me around the table to do fandom today. So, we cutback. We only did shows when he had the time to come to the studio and record. And well, as you can see, that's not a lot of time. So, we gave up podcast.

That's a lot of so's. And that's the way it went down. I did get a new novel written, The Chain, which will be coming out in August. And I'm very proud of it. But I still miss recording the show. I miss talking to you guys. And I need to find a way to get back to podcast.

Where do you go?

The problem that I have now is not having a cohost. Granted, I would love for Brian to join me on the shows, but now the problem is with hosting. The service I was using to post the podcast, now has a file size restriction that keeps me from doing it. Where should I go?

I looked at sound cloud, but that just would be way too expensive. I like the features. But the cost is way too high.

I am considering Libsyn, since I know a lot of people use it, and I haven't really heard that many complaints. It is not too expensive. It does pose a problem. They offer apps. They offer a full-fledged android app. Which I guess I should be happy about, but I don't own an android device. I don't know anyone who has an android device. Their iOS support is weak and broken.

I know I really don't need to have an app. I think I know that. The problem is, I really want to have one. I have designed one. Drawn out all the screens. Thought an awful lot about it. But I can't write Objective-C. I tried to learn it, but my brain doesn't seem to work that way.

What do you want?

So what do you guys want? There's little point in me recording something just to hear my own voice. I want it to be something that you guys enjoy too. I would love to bring back Fandom Today. And I might do that. I'm curious to know what you guys would like to see and hear from me. I have thought about doing some YouTube videos. But they wouldn't be overly produced. It would just be me with either a WebCam or my iPhone or iPad just talking a little bit about whatever's on my mind. You know, like the old-school video blogs. Let me know what you think. I need to get back on the horse.

Monday Wordlist: Beyond the Wall of Sleep

Zen and the Art of Writing is to make a list of nouns, start writing a prose poem inspired by the word or words that catch your eye, and see where it goes.

Bradbury used lists of nouns.  I thought it would be more interesting to get these lists from another work that I I love.  So I chose Beyond the Wall of Sleep by H P Lovecraft.  It is a story that inspired a lot of my writing.

I tossed the story into WordSift, and here is the list that popped out:

body brain certain come cosmic day decadent dr dream ethereal eye face family form head high hour indeed institution joe know language life light like lip little man manner mental message mind mountain night own perhaps said saw seemed slater sleep space thing thought time two upon waking way year

These are the most common words in the story.  The ones in bold are the ones that caught my eye.

cosmic decadent dream ethereal eye

The words for me clumped a bit and made the image clearer and more interesting.

cosmic decadent, dream, ethereal eye

That is a good seed for a story.  I know what I am going to write this week.  What are you working on?

A Year with Ray Bradbury

Zen and the Art of Writing for the first time, and saw him saying the same thing.  I wasn't alone.  Here was another person who felt the burden to write, not just the drive or interest.

"I have learned, on my journeys, that if I let a day go by without writing, I grow uneasy.  Two days and I am in tremor.  Three and I suspect lunacy.  Four and I might as well be a hog, suffering the flux in a wallow.  An hour's writing is tonic.  I'm on my feet, running in circles, and yelling for a clean pair of spats (Zen and the Art of Writing)."

Wow, I am not alone.  He goes on to compare himself to a landmine that he jumps out of bed and steps on it, then spend the day putting the pieces back together after the explosion.  He invites us to jump, and I am going to.

It is time to step on a landmine.

Practicing Zen and the Art of Writing

I have decided to spend a year with Ray Bradbury, writing every day with the goal of finishing a short story a week.  I am going to use the principles and exercises in the book to perfect my craft, and hopefully pay homage to Ray Bradbury in the process.

I will chronicle my process here with the tag Zen and the Art of Writing, and I will post the stories that come out of the process.

I invite you to join me in the journey.  I will start Monday, June 11th to make my first short.  I will spend the weekend rereading Zen and the Art of Writing, maybe get a couple lists ready.

Are you in?  Writing for no less than 1 hour a day with the goal of finishing 1 short story a week.

Writing, NaNoWriMo, and Copyright Crazy?

"Work continues on my writing project, which despite my best effort looks like I am going to be writing it in November, so maybe I should turn it into a NaNoWriMo project. Marathon writing is fun, but at any rate it looks like I will have a new book out next year.

It has engendered a new debate in me about about how much to share about my creative process. As usual, I have a lot of inspirations feeding into this project, and I feel like they will be obscured in the final version so that the story and its elements are uniquely mine, but with some of the more recent copyright claims going around, I am seriously waiting for someone to claim a right to inspiration.

You might think that I am being overly cautious about this, but after the recent Rhianna S&M case, I don't think that is too far fetched. I might share them, just because that is my instinct, but I'm curious to see how it will all play out.

The Wand and Weaver mini-series is in editing, so hopefully you will all get to see it soon. If you are interested in beta-reading it, let me know. I am really looking for notes on the stories. I like them, but they are very different from the kind of stories I already write."

The grand disruptors...

"The grand disruptors..."

Jeff Jarvis just called Steve Jobs that on the TWiT network, and it is a great word, a powerful word. Someone like Jobs was a disruptor, and that is the message of the moment. We need to ask ourselves are we disrupting the status quo or are we moving down the stream with the rest of the herd.

Steve Jobs didn't invent anything. He was not the first to bring most of the products to market but we will remember him because he made them better. He focused on what on what people needed and wanted, and made products that people would want to use.

He is role model for us all, and though no one will ever replace him, we have to pick up the slack. The genius has left the room and we have a lot of learning to do."

The loss of one of us diminishes us all, ...

"The loss of one of us diminishes us all, and when a luminary like Steve Jobs passes the whole world dims.

Some will remember him as a founder of Apple, or the founder of Pixar, or as a business man without equal. I will remember him as a Dreamer who allowed himself to think that nothing was impossible, and who had the strength to prove himself right.

I hope we all will be able to learn from his life, and embrace the greater vision to make our world more magical and revolutionary, and to always strive for one more thing."

Open Letter to the CW I read that you are...

Open Letter to the CW

 

I read that you are going to Reboot Beauty and the Beast: (CW To Reboot 1980s ‘Beauty And The Beast’ – Deadline.com)

DON"T! DO NOT DO THIS!

If you knew or understood what story arcs, characterization, or mood where in fiction, I would not be so adamantly against this. This show had 2 unrecastable actors in the lead roles, and was a story of longing and unrequited love that your tween audience will not be able to understand.

If You Must

If you are committed to doing this,

  • Please watch the original.
  • Cast Ron Perlman to play father as an homage to the original and to give some gravitas to the series
  • Hire writers who understand subtlety, nuance, and longing.

Eric & Brian

P.S.

Your original programming would have better ratings if you did not ostracize a segment of your audience.  For better or worse if you do go forward with the show I probably will never see it due to your stand against cable-cutters and your continued efforts to make watching your shows as difficult as possible... Thank You?  I think...

Ok, has Netflix just lost its mind?

"Ok, has Netflix just lost its mind?

Netflix is rebranding its 12-year-old movies-by-mail service as Qwikster and adding video games to its catalog, Reed Hastings, the company's CEO, announced Sunday night. The Web-streaming portion will continue to be called Netflix, he wrote on the company's blog.

After the separation, people who subscribe to both services will have to log into two separate websites, Netflix.com and Qwikster.com, to manage their movie queues and account information...  (via cnn)

I was one of the few who didn't freak out about the new pricing structure Netflix introduced. As a person who works online, I understand the need to make money on those endeavors, but now seeing that they are spinning off part of their service I am not sure I understand it at all anymore.

Why split off the DVD part of their service? 

The only thing I can think right now is that Netflix has decided it is their mission to kill physical media. 

This feels so premature. After the studios pulled out or instituted stalling tactics on streaming rentals my Netflix streaming dropped.  After all If their streaming offering was better, I could see how this is a good move, but right now... ugh.  To compensate I had plans to keep both.  Renting DVD's for those few things I wanted to see right away and that was not available for streaming.  For the rest I would just wait for it to show up on streaming or never bother watching. 

I was fine paying a little more to have both physical DVD rental and streaming rental in one convient place.  The convience of managing my ratings and que was one of the biggest draws to Netflix.  Like most we live a busy life with our time divided and enough inconviences that no one wants to pay for another one.  On top of that the extra step is one I know I will forget to take...

Then that name: Qwikster.

Really? That sounds like something Randal from Clerks thought up one morning after recovering from a heavy night of binge drinking and salsa shark attacks. Time to cancel the DVDs?

Video game rentals sweeten the deal, but I haven't turned my 360 on in about 6 months.  In addition to that I tried a seperate Video game rental service but the inconvience added an extra step that I did forget to take.

And then their subscribers drop and stock drops.  Not a suprise here.  They claim they made the split and price changes for 4 reasons:

(1) to create a dedicated DVD rental division that takes pride in great execution and maximizes the opportunity for disc rental over the coming decade;
(2) to enable us to improve our global streaming service even more rapidly, because it is not meshed with a domestic DVD business;
(3) to enable us, with the growth in revenue, to license more streaming content and thereby improve our streaming service even more;
(4) to remain very price aggressive, with $7.99 per month for unlimited streaming of a huge library of TV shows and movies, and $7.99 per month for unlimited DVD rentals, 1 out at-a-time.  (via  Online Video News

  1. Didn't they already have a great rental division that had pride?
  2. A big improvement to streaming would be providing a service in which I could manage both my streaming videos and my rental videos.  By the way wouldn't the extra cost help to pay for them to make streaming improvements?
  3. Wouldn't it be easier to streamline costs when both divisions are under one roof verses two seperate companies?
  4. Sadly they forgot about and now are loosing the convience and service of one que one rating place.

 

After 48 hours of waking angst

After 48 hours of waking angst, I figured a lot of things out. I have struggled a lot over the last couple weeks with my own muse and the need to make more money from the site.

I don't want to be all about money, and I don't think I am now, but it costs us more to run the site, and we have to cover the difference.

I think I have direction now. We have reorganized dashPunk, and I have a story to write.

The balance I found started with forgetting about money, and asking what I missed reading most, and starting to move forward.

Sorry to be enigmatic, but I figured out a lot of things and I don't want to overshare.

Nerves, Horror, and Revealing Secrets

I am trying to calm my nerves at the moment. I am extremely arachnophobic, going back to an infected spider bite when I was a child. A giant, jumping spider just hopped onto my chest, then arm, then off into the shadowy recesses behind my chair. I screamed like a little kid, and ran out of the room.

Brian is hunting for it now, and I am sitting in my office still shaking.  I know, I am a coward, right?

Irrational Fear

I hate that irrational fear can grip my very being and shake me to my very core. It is embarrassing, and beyond the limits of how someone my age should react.

Fear is a powerful motivator. It unfortunately drives politics, and fascinates me.  Sex and fear are two of the most irrational factors that tend to motivate people.  They are hard to control because they are not rational.  Reason is little to no help, only a healthy dose of willpower has a chance to rein in these powers.

This is something special to be thinking about today on the anniversary of 9/11.

Remembering that evil day

I remember how I felt that day.  I sat safely on my couch in Oakland, Ca, rocking back and forth watching the smoke billow out of the tower.  I felt like a sword was swinging at the Gordian knot that held our nation together.

I remember sitting on the cold concrete outside my appartment, desparately trying to keep my candle lit for the memorial.  I sat in my appartment listening to the Kiss' song, "We are One" on repeat.

I hoped this moment of unity would pull the nation together.  Entropy is a powerful thing, and eventually it all fell apart.

Fear and Horror

I think that is why I occasionally dip my toes into horror writing. I have written a lot of disaster fiction since then.  If you look at them carefully, then you will notice that most of them are about everything falling apart.

I suppose it is a way for me to explore those deep resources of horror and terror that reside just out of view.  My own unresolved issues, and those I see in others.  Shine Like Thunder is really close to me on these issues.

In some ways, I might want to be careful with the horror tales I share. It is possible I am sharing things that are too personal.

Can a writer be to personal?

I am not talking about sharing private information.  At its best, writing is about sharing aspects of our psyche personified.  I have scrapped several stories because I felt they were too close to home to share.  Maybe that was a mistake.

Maybe I should open up, and just let these stories out.

Peace upon them

I know this has been one of my most rambling posts, but somehow, I think it works this year.

Peace be upon the blessed dead of 9/11, and the families whose wounds will never heal.

BTW

The Spider turned out to be a grasshopper.  My bad.

Understanding Everything Remix

This is an awesome series on the topic of Remix titled Everything is a Remix by Kirby Ferguson.  It will show you how there is nothing new under the sun.  Watch the series below.

Everything is a Remix Part 1

Everything is a Remix Part 1 from Kirby Ferguson on Vimeo.

Everything is a Remix Part 2

Everything is a Remix Part 2 from Kirby Ferguson on Vimeo.

Everything is a Remix Part 3

Everything is a Remix Part 3 from Kirby Ferguson on Vimeo.

Staying on Track

I love how life works out sometimes.  This week as you know we are working on some projects (like Dragons of Night), that are scary and innovative.  Life sometimes has a way of nudging you on.

This is my actual fortune cookie this week, and yes that is my first gen iPad in an Apple cover.  I like is so what's the deal?

Not only is my fortune cookie encouraging, but +Felicia Day shared Simple Daily Habits to Ignite Your Passion from zen habits on Google+.  Truer words have never been spoken.

I spent a good chunk of time last night on Google+ last night talk with people who kept encouraging me.  I am truly humbled my all your support. 

My point is: Find your Bliss.  Follow your Bliss.  The world is waiting for you.

Do Goths Have To Work Harder Than Norms To Get Respect In The Workplace?

Do goth or alternative lifestyle employees have to work harder than the norms?

I am a gloom cookie, a mistress of the dark, a "goth" as the norms call us. I wear black clothes, color my hair, and sport elaborate makeup. I’ve worked for employers that don’t care what I wear and ones that have dress codes that make me alter or tone down my look, but at the core I am still me and I will be me whether they like it or not. Those of us who live alternative lives… whether you be a goth, lolita, punk, gay, or have an uncommon religion, are different. We see things differently. We process things differently and have different answers to mainstream questions. Some of us hide or disguise our differences so that we can have a simpler life, but in the end, we are different and you have to be a pretty good magician to hide it at all times, even in the workplace.

I don’t have to tell you that the “norm” perception of us is bad. Apparently we are evil, devil worshiping, spell casting, curse making, sexually perverse, murderous fiends who will stop at nothing to “turn” them     (fill in the blank- goth, gay, evil)   . God forbid you fall into two or three of these different alternative categories. To them, a gay male, goth, pagan, has one intent: To corrupt their way of life and turn their sons into flaming voodoo priests! I’m not going to tackle how we change that impression in this post… that is so much bigger than ourselves. However, given that the impression of the general public is this, do we have to work harder in the workplace to prove our usefulness? To earn respect, do we have to be better, faster, and sharper than the “norms”?

I think we do. Because not only do they think we are “weird”, they also believe that we spend our work hours thinking “weird” things. It doesn’t matter that your cube mate is obsessed with her pet tabby cat and has pictures of the feline plastering her side of the cube wearing sweater sets. No, that is an acceptable hobby. Yet if we mention just once about a concert, book, or a movie we like, they instantly place us in the antagonist position. I can hear the conversations by the water cooler. “Omg… she said she just LOVES the Saw movies. What do you think her house looks like? Do you think she has meat hooks and table saws? Do you think she’s going to kill us all?”

Something that goes along with their perception of us is that we are lazy or try to get out of work. You know, because we need time to plot our destruction of their lives. Do you feel like, as a goth in the workplace, you are treated unfairly or held to a higher standard? Or perhaps judged more harshly because of your outward appearance or special interests? Do you find that you have to work harder for respect when your “norm” co-worker is constantly late and plays Farmville on Facebook all day but earns kudos easily? Do you think the way you dress or things you enjoy on your off-time hinder you from getting raises, promotions, or special incentives?

I once worked for a company where I was the token goth. I was the person they liked to put on the forefront to show others how diverse they were, but even known as the diversity proof, the stereotypes didn’t end. The fact is, unless you are willing to abandon your look or personality completely, you will be discriminated against. Until our general populace starts to really accept people’s differences in truth- not just in word, we will have to continue to wear down the prejudices that plague people of our kind.

I've worked with people who thought my dress code had something to do with my religion and they were shocked when I handed out holiday candy. Hum... do all Catholics wear pink? Not really... so why would all people who wear black be Satanists? It's a color people! Just saying. A lot of these stereotypes are not even logical.

I've been blamed for bad business deals because I like the number thirteen and good friends (or not so good friends it turns out) have accused me of putting curses on them. I'm sorry, but I don't have time to plot against you. If I had the ability to cast voodoo magic, I would definitely use that power to improve MY situation in life... not bring yours down. Here's an interesting thought: If the majority of norm public doesn't believe magic or spell casting is real, why do they assume we can wield it against them?

I've worked for good people too. Ones that understood or at least try to allow for my way of life, but these are not common. Why? What's going to happen if you get close to a goth? I have to admit, there is a slim chance of getting black eyeliner on you, but beyond that, we are good people. Sure, there are the bad apples, just like any set of people, but for the most part we are kind, imaginative, interesting people and you are missing out on some terrific friendships.

I pride myself on being good at my job. No matter what the task is, I take time management and execution very seriously. I am a perfectionist and list maker and I rarely slack off. I work hard and I expect to be treated kindly and respected by my co-workers and managers. For these reasons, I have been able to earn respect at several companies by showing what I can do, but it wasn't easy. If I was the cookie cutter worker, would I have more opportunity for advancement sooner? Who knows. It feels like it. Being a goth in the workplace almost feels like being on probation from day one. Guilty until proven innocent.

Because we are constantly trying to break down the stereotypes and work harder to prove we are not flakes or idiots, do alternative lifestyle people in the mainstream workforce have more stress in their lives? Do you find yourself getting sick more than others do or feeling exhausted at keeping up the charade? How long is the life expectancy of a goth in the modern office? I bet that’s one they haven’t tested! Why? Because we may melt in the light of day?

I’ve been very sarcastic in this post, but I really want to know. I’m interested in your view on this subject. How do you feel you are discriminated against in your office? How have you dealt with the hurdles you’ve faced? If you are not a goth, and are scared to get to know us, why? What fears can we break down for you? What makes you so scared?