About Me

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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Wild Card, 2006. Winner of "best oral sex scene" - Scarlet Magazine. Amanda's Young Men, 2009. Excerpted in Scarlet Magazine; Juicy Bits. Sarah's Education, 2009. Hit the #1 spots on Amazon.co.uk adult fiction & adult romance best seller lists. Jade Magazine bestowed the best cover art, 2009 award on Sarah's Education. "Get Up, Stand Up!" which appeared in The Cougar Book (Logical-Lust) won me the title 'Story Teller of the Year 2011' at The Erotic Awards, London, UK. Sarah's Education took the #3 spot on a list of the 30 most titillating titles of all time, as reported in English Daily Mail ;Female; Nov. 12, 2012. Debutante, a petite novel for e-publisher Imprint Mischief, (Harper-Collins) pubbed in 2012. I tutor writing students and am a member of the WGC. D.M. Thomas said: Madeline Moore writes great sex without metaphor and that's not easy to do. Kris Saknussemm said: You're a good egg, Madeline Moore. I am a good egg who writes great sex without metaphor! Yippee!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Kind Friends and Family, at Christmas Time, We Want You to Know . . .

...that we, your writer friends or relatives, are grateful for you love and your acceptance.

We know that while you slog it out in public, working hard to earn a buck, we are keeping our own hours, often working in our bathrobes, if we are not still fast asleep in our warm little beds. We know how much that must rankle as you sit in your cars at the break of dawn, waiting for the heater to defrost your already numb extremities. What you might not know is that we work hard, too, often late into the night and sometimes, while you are sick to death of your co-workers and the stupidity of many members of the public sector, we wish we had co-workers. Sometimes we wish we knew how to manoeuvre among the people. Some of us even wish we had an office Christmas party to attend.

You see, sometimes we wish that our work were not quite so solitary.

While you are guaranteed 10 dollars an hour, at minimum, for your labour, we are guaranteed nothing for ours. We must compete with each other for every story we submit in hopes of publication. And if one of our stories is accepted, for an anthology, the pay rate is, quite simply, poor. The most we can hope for is $100.00 and 2 copies of the anthology our stories appear in. More often, these days, the payment is $50.00 with one complementary copy. Did you know that? Likely not, because it isn't a fact we're eager to share.

Your teenager makes more than that for a Saturday shift at a variety store, and it take a lot longer than 7 hours to write a 4,500 word short story that is good enough, first of all, to be chosen from the hundreds of submissions and secondly, to make us proud of our work.

Many writers are divorced. Often, even if our spouses understood what we hoped for and how we felt, their families didn't. Writers are sensitive people and eventually, if treated poorly, will either stop writing and toe the line in order to be accepted or, more likely, get out.

In some cases, the children live with the parent who offers stability and a decent standard of living. In other words, sometimes when we give up our marriages we give up our children, too.

That is a hurt that never fades.

We are so often alone. Our success depends upon our own willingness to put in the time, the many, many hours, it takes to get good at what we do and then keep on producing quality work. But it also depends on the most ethereal, damnably ungraspable things, things like inspiration and ideas. We must find a new way to work an old theme. The muse, if you will, must be courted successfully or, if you won't, then the dawning of 'the idea' must somehow occur and then be properly nursed to fruition. This one needs to simmer or it'll boil away to nothing, while that one must be squeezed like a sponge or it will do nothing but drip, drip, drip in our brains like a leaky faucet, at best, or the Chinese water torture, at worst. All of that happens before our fingers even touch the keys.

To measure the rewards of writing in terms of dollars would be foolish. The name "J.K. Rowling" is bandied about, a lot, by non-writers, as proof of the riches that writers may enjoy. She is 1 person. There are others, of course, but I promise you, the vast majority of writers are not making much money.

Many of us have never had a book launch. So please, if we're guests at your dinner party or Christmas Cookie Bake and produce our new novels and announce, "Hey look, everybody, I have a new book out!" understand that we're not bragging or preening or begging for praise. We're just happy about the outcome of all that work and think you might like to see what we've accomplished. That's all. You might even recall that we heartily congratulated you on your latest promotion, completed renovation, or new baby. It's the same thing. Honest.

If we give you a copy of that new book please read it. Then tell us this: "I really enjoyed your novel." If the prose is wooden or the story thin, believe me, we'll hear about it. But please don't make us hear about it from you.

And you know what's really great? If your writer relative or friend has recently published a new book, buy it. When she asks if you'd like a copy of her latest, tell her "It's on order," or "I already have one, thank you." I think you'll find the pure gratitude she expresses, however haltingly, (because some writers don't speak as well as they write) will be worth the money. And if someone asks you, "Who do you read?" and your author friend is there, try giving a variation of this answer, which I once heard my good friend say. "I'm a fan of Madeline Moore."

My heart sang.

Please don't see this as a list of complaints. It's not meant to be that at all. Writers are among the most privileged of people. We are people whose job is to do that which we most love to do. We are,whether we are willing to admit it or not, artists. We too have had lousy jobs and we know they suck. Many of us have turned down good jobs, too, jobs that didn't suck in the least, because we knew that we wouldn't be happy for long, though the job was interesting, the co-workers intelligent, and the opportunity for advancement great. In fact I suppose I'm not talking about a job at all, I'm talking about a career. But, in truth, we had no choice. We have to write.

When we come to your house to hang out with you and your friends,some of us are far too loud or excited or oblivious. That's because we spend most of our time alone and being with others turns us on. Or we're in a corner, not speaking, not listening, possibly with an expression of fear or idiotic blankness on our faces. Be patient. We're not really boors or morons. Most of us are hypersensitive and many of us are probably somewhat agoraphobic, so it's hard to be with a gang but we're there because we really, really wanted to try and the more obvious it becomes that we're failing the more desperate our flailing attempts become.

We don't have "a face to meet the people that we meet". We don't own corporate masks. There's just this, the naked, stunned face of a writer out of her element. Forgive us. If you love us, keep loving us. We're sorry if our behaviour is unacceptable or just plain stupid or, on the other side of the coin, seemingly arrogant or painfully intellectual. We really just wanted, if only for a few hours, to be 'one of the gang'. Even if we never say so, we are really, really sorry we failed.

So, on behalf of writers everywhere, during this season of generosity and forgiveness, we ask that you believe this, dear friends and family:
We need you. We love you.

We thank you.

xoxo Madeline Moore

27 comments:

Shanna Germain said...

Love this -- it rings so true to my experience as well, both good and bad. A beautifully written, thoughtful piece about gratitude, desire, joy and work. Thank you for sharing.

Janine Ashbless said...

Oh fucking hell, I love this. You are brilliant! Thank you Madeline!

Ashley R Lister said...

100% agree. Merry Christmas :-)

Erobintica said...

"But, in truth, we had no choice. We have to write."

That says it all right there. This was lovely. Thanks.

Madeline Moore said...

Yay! Thanks, guys. I hoped I wasn't taking too great a liberty in using the *royal* we.

It's good to have writer friends.
We get each other. Thanks again, you four early birds.

Jeremy Edwards said...

It definitely rings true—not necessarily in the sense of matching up with my own personality and my own experiences, but in that I know a lot of people who I think would identify strongly with what you eloquently describe here. And, of course, it rings true as true can be in terms of the passion, candor, and sincerity that so obviously inform the piece.

Kay said...

Honey you are so near the mark with my life (I have 2 part time jobs just to make ends meet), and I'm sure you're spot on with many others.
I have been blessed with a book launch- but it was 2 years after my book came out, and only due to my own hard work with marketing, and the help of my friends at Sh! in London.
But -as has been mentioned- what choice do we have- we have to write- if we didn't we'd all explode.

Merry Christmas xx

Jolie du Pre said...

Well done! I'm sharing this on Facebook. Non-fiction is where I make most of my money. Making good money in fiction is hard to do, indeed.

Madeline Moore said...

I think you folks might be saving my life - or at least, my Christmas.

I didn't want it to be a 'writer's whine', I wanted it to
tell the people we love how it is.
Thank you for your responses.

Jeremy, Kay, Jolie - You're wonderful. I know we're all busy and sometimes 'blogging' is the last thing we want to get caught up in. Thank you for taking the time to comment on mine.

Kate Pearce said...

So true in so many ways.

I went to help out at my kids class last week and I had nothing in common with all the other mums when they started chatting, LOL They probably thought I was either terribly shy or terribly rude.

Sacchi Green said...

Beautifully put. In spite of the drawbacks, I wish I could be a full time writer.

Madeline Moore said...

I know it well, Kate. I tried, I think, three different mother/kid drop-ins and I didn't fit into any of them. Weird - once in awhile a woman would sit down and tell me the story of her life, her operations, her lousy husband, the whole shebang, and then walk off and never speak to me again.
Hmmm. I do not know what to make of it. Except I did get a laugh out of the moms who did their toddlers' crafts for them so it would turn out perfectly.
Don't know what to make of that, either.

Madeline Moore said...

Sacchi, I'm happy I still managed to make 'full time writer' sound like a good thing. Thanks for your comment.

Sylvie Branch said...

beautifully expressed!
okay, i am officially following you...and linking this to my facebook as a sort of "explanation" to my friends... :)

Madeline Moore said...

Right on, Sylvie! Glad I could be of service. Mad

Mary Tyler said...

Great blog Madeline - you did very eloquently parlay your experience into an uplifting commentary for your fellow writers and an eye-opener for those brutish people who judge you for not being like them!

Madeline Moore said...

Nicely said, Mare. I knew I could count on my sister to pop in and offer support. So, I DO have friends and family who get me. Hallelujah and Amen.

Kimberly Crawley said...

This is a wonderful article, thank you, Madeline.

I know my dad and your 'friend' Michael Crawley was under appreciated by my mother.

I'm now kind of half freelance creative person, like you, my dad, and your friend Laurie Clayton, and half one of those working (as an employee) stiffs who are guaranteed $10.00/hour bare minimum.

I wish my better half appreciated my professional blogging and web design more, but he appreciates my work as an employed tech support agent, instead.

You, Laurie, Michael and Felix appreciate what I do, and I appreciate what you do.

You article was tremendously eloquent, and needed to be written.

Thank you for speaking for the essential starving artist class!

Regards,

Kim

Madeline Moore said...

You're a sweetheart, Kim. I know your creative work is the work that feeds your soul and the joe job is the one that your man appreciates. It's tough. I suppose for the money-minded it makes no sense at all to put hours and days into something that will pay very little, if at all.

Of course, there is always that gold ring! We never know who might, for example, be a blogger one day and a blogcritic the next and then, ta da. Blog Critics Writer of the Day, n'est pas?

Congrats Kiminy!
xoxo Mad

demi said...

you can substitute the word musician for writer in there too. The one thing i'm glad of is that when i am creating, it is often with other people and in the moment, whereas a writer is alone and there's no sound - maybe the tea kettle or the clicking keys or a radio.
today was brutal - an audition, ran out of gas and walked 2.5 miles in old rain with my last 5 bucks, got hypothermia (mild),made it to teach lessons for 3 hours- glad though!
you're the best!

Anonymous said...

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Thanks for the nice blog. It was very useful for me. Keep sharing such ideas in the future as well. This was actually what I was looking for, and I am glad to came here! Thanks for sharing the such information with us.

Madeline Moore said...

My little sis Demi came to give her two cents worth! Not that she has two cents to spare. Oh dear Demi, walking in the rain for miles? Yikes. I guess I could make a joke about "at least you didn't have your drum kit with you" but I won't. I know it's ridiculous, trying to make ends meet as you make your name in the biz, but you're on your way. I believe you're gonna get there, little sister.

Mama Turnbull said...

I was just introduced to your name today via Polly's FB page. So I clicked on to read this blog. Great Take!

It's rare that I'll have the mental space/desire to read a long blog--well, what's deemed 'long' to me, written by an author I'm not familiar with. I'd take one glance at its jumbo size and pass. Charge it to ADHD, idk. LoL...

So glad I hunkered down and said to myself, 'well, let me just read the first couple of sentences...' then that turned into to reading it in its entirety.

The honesty is startling yet healing.

I was much more outgoing, a social butterfly, till I began to write; now it only seems like I'm feigning the old me. It's a strange sensation when I'm in most social settings now [social awkward]-one I thought that only "I" felt.

Thanks M.M. Pol, I'll thank you on your FB thread. :-)

Light & Love,

Mama T.

Madeline Moore said...

I'm delighted that Polly (and Jolie) have recommended the blog on their fb pages. I felt I was taking a big risk by putting down in words some of the sacrifices that writers make to keep writing.
It's a tremendous relief to me to know that not only is it not being taken as a silly whine by a self-indulgent artiste, but that it has helped a number of people who have taken the time to read an admittedly long (and unadorned) post.
I did edit it!
Thank you Mama Turnbull.
And thank you, anonymous, too.

Tabitha Rayne Erotica said...

What a wonderful, touching and true blog! I am so grateful to read it! x

Danielle said...

i know i m just one of many..but truly..i love this post too...:-)

Madeline Moore said...

Thanks to Tabitha and Danielle. The responses to my post have been truly healing. I give my heartfelt thanks to all the people who took the time to come to my blog, read it, and offer their kindness and support. There is a good, strong community of writers on the world wide web, and I am one of them. I won't forget this and when and if I can do the same for another shell-shocked author, I absolutely will.
xoxo Mad