Is this good-bye?

Unfortunately for me…the Examiner is staffed by a bunch of sniveling cheats.  And that being said, today is the day I found out that my monthly pay from the Examiner, cir. $35, is going to be cut by more than 50%.  It all started with last week’s upgrades and changes to the site.

Retrospect: the Examiner not only has cheated on me by paying me (approximately) 65/100 of a cent per pageview, it has also paid me only $1 per “locally relevant” article.  And since I focus on doing book and movie reviews, I usually would insert information about where to find the material I was reviewing on a local level.  Somehow, they refuse to accept that anymore.  They are taking away that “$1 per article” solidity from me.  Instead, they want now to force me to write what THEY want me to write.  And I cannot—will not—accept that.

So…in light of how I’ll be paid around $10 a month for pageviews alone, I’m thinking that…I should stop.  2 years and 3 months and 590 reviews (in total) later, I stand on the edge of the writing precipice.  What should I do now?  Of course, I’m devastated how the Examiner, the “lying cheating snake in the grass,” has turned on me like this out of the blue.  I tortured out-of-city, out-of-state, and out-of-country readers enough with that final line at the end of all my reviews, book or movie.  I alone found the courage to contact authors directly about my reviews of their novels and accept their feedback.  I attracted the majority of publicity to my webpages.  And I have slaved, virtually or not, for 2 years at this writing.  This fruitless, dedicated, objective occupation that has caused me more pain than bliss.  And now what?

I cry when I’m angry.  Yes, just like Bella in the Twilight series.  It took me a while to figure out, but it’s a fact now.  I’m very angry about this conclusion.  Every week for…years, I published 6 articles/reviews.   For the first time, I have to come to terms with the fact that my main source of income is gone and I must decide if I want to keep writing for free.  Because ten dollars is like beggars’ cash.  Not worth spit.  Not worth my hourly toil and my outside reading.  And I don’t know what to do now that I’ve lost the discipline I gained in this weekly task and my determination to succeed.  I won the battles over payment many times, but I’ve definitely lost the war now.  And the worst part of losing is…I no longer feel like writing anymore… 😦

Natalie Gorna

Now we’re on track

I’ve been meticulously scanning over my past blog entries, some of which are irritably short and more like from a military logbook than a personal journal of thought.  I’ve also noticed that I’ve stopped mentioning any of my current writing projects or reads thanks to the very psychotic Goodreads.  This needs to be rectified immediately.  Now.  Here.  After all, I’m way overdue for an up-close and personal entry.  Let’s get up-to-date!

Brief Examiner.com update (we don’t want to give them more attention than they deserve, now do we?): More changes to the site have been implemented.  The Examiner seems to never get enough of changes.  My review quota is now 330 book reviews and 212 movie reviews in total.

According to Goodreads, I read approximately 30 books in 2011, all of varying length.  I finally finished the Twilight series, the Harry Potter series…I read many classics and young adult books…I also took adult fiction seriously for the first time.  Island by Jane Rogers was an ear-bleeding challenge that was worth it in the end.  I fell in love (or close to it) with Rebecca Cantrell’s Hannah Vogel series after reading the author’s dream casting of her main characters (especially Michael Fassbender as the enigmatic Lars), which in turn led me to reading volume #3 (A Game of Lies) right after volume #1 (A Trace of Smoke).  Now all I have to do is read volume #2 (A Night of Long Knives) and I’ll be prepared for volume #4 (A City of Broken Glass), which comes out this July.  However, now I’m set on reading some recommended books, one of which is Dodie Smith’s I Capture the Castle (thank you Bookshop Talk and Romola Garai!).  I have big plans for my reading list, because several new series are on it.  The order in which I will read them is, thanks again to Goodreads, the only unpredictable thing left.  Signing up for a delightful site called NetGalley is one of the few benefits of my book reviews for the Examiner.  For once, I just may be able to review e-book ARCs before the books are released to the public.  Hopefully.

Next.

My last blog entry outlined some of my troubles that have recurred in 2012 already.  Now I’m going to add to the list.  It seems that despite previous warnings, the Fresno Police Department and its Gestapo members will not desist in their constant harrassment of me and my mom.  They won’t leave us in peace.  Why, last Sunday (Jan. 29) at 11:30 p.m., we were bothered yet again by another swaggering and rude Nazi in uniform who tried to interrogate us out of turn and threaten us.  The same “procedure” repeated a few days later at night (Feb. 2 at 10:30 p.m.) and during broad daylight.  Yes, broad daylight.  This all makes me wonder if living in Europe during World War II was as terrifying and dangerous as living in Fresno now.  After all, during those times the world was in a state of war, but now we’re supposedly in a state of PEACE.  Yeah right.

Back to the drawing board from my reality check-list: what am I watching these days?  Well, I got to watch series 4 of the British TV show Merlin at the same time as the British, and since October 2011, I’ve been faithfully following season 1 of Once Upon a Time, an American TV show that is creative, original, and very appreciative of fairy tales.  I like them.  All too much.  Conclusion: I’m attached to Merlin, Once Upon a Time…and Colin Morgan.  Ahem.

Anyway…the horror of being in my shoes and the glaring lack of change for the better in my life is only adding more loads to my heavy bundle of pessimism.  Or couldn’t you tell?  Congratulations, loyal reader.  Together, we’re now on top of the events in my life so far in 2012.

Natalie Gorna

More updates

Let’s state the most recent changes first:

1) I completely remodeled “My short biography” page.  Meaning that I re-wrote it and re-designed the concept of a biography on my own terms.  🙂  So happy probing…

2) Examiner.com “upgraded” the PubTool…AGAIN.  You know how they say that upgrades are supposed to make technical procedures easier?  Well, most of the time…they don’t.  And this is one of those times…

I think that’s it for changes so far.  Otherwise…I’m thinking about a new topic to write about here.  Meanwhile, enjoy my try at sardonic humor on my bio.

Natalie Gorna