Now it’s personal

I have been thinking lately.  A lot.  Oh boy, how much I’ve been thinking.  I envy some characters in novels, the ease with which they scribble their pensive anxieties and mental whisperings into the pages of a welcoming and non-judgmental diary.  I find myself at a roadblock instead of a mere writer’s block this time…one where my very self seems torn in many directions and I simply don’t know how to disentangle my thoughts, my worries, and my emotions.  Music brings out the very best in me sometimes…I listen to beautiful and haunting melodies fondly remembered in the past and the present, and I feel that romantic and ideal in me softly awakened.  At least in those moments, I’m sure of who I am, of what I am.  But music can only last for as long as it’s played or hummed or sung (or as long as the Wifi connection holds out wherever I am).  And then I’m back to my brain’s worn-out ramblings.

Of course, if you were to ask what is bothering me exactly, it would be a number of things.  One of which is writing itself.  You see, I want to start my novel-writing.  Recently, I paid a trip to FanFiction.net, a site recommended to me long ago by a friend.  The result: me pouring over a veritable million stories posted there…me looking awestruck, red in the face, and ashamed of myself.  Here are talented writers spontaneously posting stories (willy-nilly based on essential ideas and characters not belonging to them) for fun!  Some of them are excellent…and at the end of it all, I hear the same thought echoing in my head: I claim to be a writer?  How can I claim to love writing, when I’m finding it so difficult to begin on something I have so many ideas and warm enthusiasm for?  I browsed along the website and found myself drooping.  Because I have zero experience in fiction writing, except if you count one short story I wrote as a teenager.  I got myself a helpful guide to crafting good novels, but I can’t bear to open it because it makes writing fiction so analytical and tiresome.  I find myself wondering if all there is to writing a novel, besides using good grammar and punctuation and formatting, is using your ideas, wielding your imagination, and developing a story…a simple process that becomes complex as you dive farther and farther into what and who you want your characters to be, what your points are, what the purpose of the story itself is.  Every author has a point lodged somewhere in his/her work, no matter what the critics say.  And I agree that good writing is very hard to accomplish.  I’m not worried about competition or others being better than me, because all writers have talent and differentiating between authors is like trying to name all plants by their Latin names and comparing their practical uses.  You can’t choose or compare or criticize without making it personal.

Anyway, I hope that once I really start, once I find the courage to start somewhere with my story, my retelling, that ideas and the will to go on with the project will spill out of me, will overflow.  That I will be able to do this.  That I will prove to myself that I can do this.  I keep saying how writing is merely expressing your thoughts and feelings in words on paper.  Now I need to try.  The trying will hurt at first, the willpower I need to continue will be evasive.  But I have to try.  I’ve just never been a very courageous person.  “Courage is something you find everyday,” said Nim’s father in Nim’s Island.  But the question is, where do you find it?

I think…I believe my “roadblock” is my own mind, which keeps finding obstacles, i.e. excuses, barring me from creating the door to my “storyworld.”  The first of many, hopefully.  I have the passion, the imagination, and the grammar to do it.  I love reading and writing, which is critical.  Now I’ve got to summon enough courage and willpower, two qualities I’m always at a loss to procure, to just start.  My worries are concentrated on how I’ll pull through.  Perhaps I’m frightened that once I begin, I won’t be able to stop?  I only know that I’ve been working as a professional writer for 3 years.  And it’s time.  Beyond time to put my foot down and ignore warnings, reminders, and pitiful excuses.  I have the strength to survive.  I have the will to go on.  Surely I can find some belief in my own abilities that will help me to pursue what I want most?

Natalie Gorna

So long, Examiner.com

First off, according to the Constitution of the United States, I have freedom of speech, which my blog entitles me to.  This translates that I have the right to say whatever I want on it.  Second of all, I have been told by numerous people, authors included, that the way you run the Examiner is outrageous and your payment system is illegal, not to mention highly suspect.  Payment?  $30 per month is your idea of PAYMENT?  Even beggars earn more.  Stating the truth on my blog is nothing in comparison to what you and your staff have done.  Still, I was never disrespectful with the Examiner staff and always handled my complaints in a professional manner despite hostility I met on your end for requesting issues to be fixed. If it is in my power to take this up on a legal level, I definitely will.  Third of all, contrary to your accusation, I’ve noticed that I’ve brought 1500 views a month to a site that receives only 30 views in comparison.  So my Examiner reports state.  I’ve brought famous authors, writers, and a vast literary audience to the Examiner, for which I’ve received no support, appreciation, or correct compensation from the Examiner.  I had no idea you and the Examiner staff were censoring me for the financial scraps you’ve been throwing at me for hours and hours of hard work.  It is I and hundreds of other Examiners who are disgusted with the outright robbery and extortion the Examiner is getting away with.

Behold my official reply to Examiner.com.  Okay, you’re confused with where this is coming from?  Let’s backtrack to yesterday.

It seems my post, Is this goodbye?, reached the ears of the Examiner.  (On a side note, since when have they been reading my blog or care about my opinion?  They keep on underpaying their writers without a second thought and they have some really pathetic writers on the site…does the word “discrimination” ring a bell, anyone?) 

And…you guessed correctly!  They couldn’t handle the truth being slapped right in front of their faces.  So this was their response: good-bye.  Oh no, they didn’t deny my denouncements or prove I was wrong.  They had the nerve to claim that they had paid me fairly (?) and that I was the one being a nuisance.  They also had the nerve to say that my content was of little value to the site and that I had brought nothing to the site.  All those viewers, authors, friends, colleagues…I had 1500 view per month for both of my titles, for crying out loud!  The Fresno branch of the Examiner, for example, was only getting on average 30 views per day.  Hah.  I worked fricking hard for them and they dare to tell me now that I did nothing?  I’ll be seeing them again, they can bet on that.  One day… 

Oh, and by the way, oh mighty Examiner?  Stop telling all those poor prospective writers that you pay the Examiners!  Because you pay next-to-nothing, basically.  It’s a lousy pretense, this lie about payment.

Ahem.  The gist of the matter is that I’m no longer writing for Examiner.com.  Period.  And to be honest, I had already decided to quit before they threw all this in my face, so…what do I care?  They can go to hell.  Where they rightly belong.  They just threw the gauntlet at me when I’d already left the room.  They just made complete fools of themselves.  My content, my reviews, they all still belong to me.  I care less about those pageviews they cheated me of.  And that meager beggar’s pay they claim is legitimate.  Guess what, Examiner.com?  Since I was an independent contractor and not your employee, you legally cannot fire me!  I already resigned before you emailed me.  And I’m proud of that blog entry you hate.  It’s the truth, launched right at a bunch of liars and thieves.  So there.  The Examiner will get what’s coming to it.  Sooner or later.

Natalie Gorna

Today’s my 1 year anniversary!

Yes, today is the very day my first book review/article was published on the Examiner.  Today is the day that I became the Fresno Literature Examiner.  And now, one year and 158 book reviews later, I am still writing as strongly and persistently as ever.  🙂  In addition, I acquired an additional topic in my Fresno Movie Examiner title, writing movie reviews since the end of September 2010.  Here’s my celebratory video in honor of my one-year anniversary as an Examiner writer!

Natalie Gorna