On owning the “Bitch” label.

Happy New Year!

Four days in and I’m already playing Whack-a-Troll on a friend’s behalf. Fun times, yes.

Long story short (tl;dr): A real-life friend of mine who is also a KICK-ASS editor of well-known repute among romance authors, and who edits bestselling books for bestselling authors, got attacked on her Facebook page by a new client (a new author) because he didn’t like the extensive edit he received. So he libeled her on her page.

Ahem.

As you all know me, I didn’t let that shit go unanswered, since it was obvious that the guy was basically trying to intimidate her into giving him a refund. (I should mention the guy’s an attorney.) And since she happens to have some–again–BESTSELLING authors as clients, who happened to be on my friends list…well, let’s just say I drew attention to this situation.

(Quick segue–those of you who’ve been through my Lifestyle 101 classes have heard me give the “law of averages” speech when it comes to dealing with asshats. Is the problem ALLLLL the other people, or the ONE person? Chances are, it’s the ONE person who’s a problem. Especially when their comments were posted in public for the world to see. So, is the problem the editor that BESTSELLING AUTHORS and OTHER EDITORS and READERS are defending as a good and honest editor because the years and extensive body of professional work and reputation stand on their own, or is the problem the unknown newbie author who comes out of nowhere to act like an ass?)

The romance community responded en force to help someone, a very beloved person in addition to being a VERY skilled editor, whom we care deeply about because she IS that fucking good across the board, personally and professionally.

And I got called a bitch by the guy, as if he honestly thought that was going to offend me. Also got accused of being in a “female cabal”–no, I can’t make that shit up.

I’m in a cabal? Really? Man, I didn’t know that! I feel like I got screwed because no one told me I was in a cabal!!! Do I get, like, a Jedi lightsabre or something? Are there at least cookies or a secret handshake or (as a male friend of mine suggested) a secret boob-squeeze code?

Once I’d awakened enough–and had some coffee, and got myself off my iPad and to a real keyboard, and found my fucking glasses–I responded that, hello, one hundred PLUS books into my career, trust me, I’d seen enough of his kind, and his flavor of intimidation, to call it when I see it.

And I have.

SSDD, a new writer thinks they are a far better writer than they are, they get their first REAL developmental edit, and their ego is flushed down the crapper. Then they turn into a raging impotent ass-munching douchenozzle (see, THERE’S how you insult someone) and get all cray-cray. Instead of taking a hard look at their advice, they turn on the editor. I’ve seen this happen amongst men and women, but it was blatantly obvious that here was a man trying to pressure a woman simply because he didn’t like the edit he received.

Hint: If you can’t handle a professional edit, do NOT become a writer. Seriously, because readers will SHRED you to PIECES.

My first set of professional edits on my first novel looked like a clown puked on them. I am not even kidding. And that was after several rounds with experienced critique partners and proofreaders. There were SO many highlights and notes, it was insane. And I’d been writing non-fiction professionally for YEARS, but what I still needed to do was hone my fiction craft. Two totally different beasts. And you know what? Every edit round with every book, it got better and easier, because I learned with each one. I still need editors and proofreaders–because any writer who thinks they don’t is a fucking moron–but fortunately, I’ve reached a level in my fiction career where the process is far less painful than it ever used to be.

That’s what you do as a writer–you LEARN. You GROW. You don’t attack someone because they told you the truth. If you’re paying for an edit, you WANT them to be brutal and vicious and HELP you be a better author. They WANT you to produce a good book and make good sales so you–DUH–use them again, and tell people about them, and when your book hopefully sells well, you refer people to them to help them hone THEIR books.

Duh.

Seriously, just…duh.

What I didn’t do at any time in an editing process, even during times I disagreed with her on a point, was tell my editor oh, how dare you, and libel her. What did I do?

I had a stiff drink, rolled up my sleeves, and got to work.

But I’m a bitch?

How unimaginative.

I mean, were he really a good writer, he would have come up with something more creative. Hell, knuckle-dragging swamp cunt, or pus-filled canker sore. Call me a loud-mouthed Florida Cracker. Although, actually, I am a loud-mouthed Florida Cracker, if you go by the original meaning of the word “cracker” referring to the old cowboys, and not the racist fuck definition. I’m a fifth-plus generation native Floridian, which makes me a “Cracker.” The term came from the “crack” of the whips they used to use to drive the cattle.

Attack my writing. Attack me as a person.

But if you think you’re going to libel a friend just because your little man feel-feelz got hurt because you couldn’t take a cunt-punch in your ego over an EDIT?

Game. Fucking. On.

I absolutely am a bitch. Even my Hubby and my Sir will both agree I am. It’s one of my many charms, and I’ve been told by my friends it’s one of the things they love about me. Brutal honesty with a side order of loyal friend who’ll take a bullet for the people she loves. I will bless your heart with a smile and a grin that will send shivers down your spine. One of my fellow volunteers at the BDSM club I help run jokes that I’m one of the scariest and sweetest sadists he’s ever met. And not just because I have a concealed carry permit.

I PROUDLY wear the label “bitch,” because if that’s the least imaginative label you can think of to call me in retaliation to comments I’ve made to you? You probably deserved the comments in the first place. Especially when it’s a man issuing the label, because there seems to be a growing class of men who will immediately fall back to the “you’re a bitch” position when faced with superior female brains coming at them and poking holes in their helium-filled egos.

Call me fat and tell me my mother dresses me funny. It’ll have that little impact on me.

You know why?

Bitches are strong, baby. We stand up and speak out. We fucking HOWL. You know what? Bitches have TEETH. Bitches have CLAWS.

Bitches fucking BITE. And we run in protective packs to take care of our own when under attack.

You want to insult me by calling me a bitch?

Aw, bless your heart, baby, you don’t understand. I’m a fucking wolf. That means you can’t throw me to them by calling me that–they fucking come when I CALL, because they’re of my fucking PACK. That’s what we DO, we support and love and protect each other.

Calling me a bitch isn’t an insult. It’s a badge of honor.

It’s also a sign you fear me, because you’re a coward and a fool, and cowards and fools fear wolves.

Smart people respect wolves for who and what they are.

#BitchProudandOwningIt


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A Kinkmas Carol (Suncoast Society 41, various, BDSM)

Coming Soon

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8 thoughts on “On owning the “Bitch” label.

  1. Lord, do not go after a writer, unless you are a much better writer! And that editor is also a beautiful writer. I am fortunate to read both their words.

  2. Love this. Thank you. Hope you don’t mind if I borrow your meme! Bitchcraft! Fantastic!

  3. *snort*

    I missed all this, but I get the jist. Never rile the Tymber is what I say 😉

    Mind you, the result is posts like these, which had me laugh so hard the cats went into hiding.
    Bitches unite and all that!

  4. You go bitches! I admire you to the ends of the earth, because I am mostly an introvert and I am the one that would cry (on the inside)…. I have gotten better throughout the years-mainly by being around people like you. I am, however, now and will always be a loyal friend.

  5. You rock! Many would benefit from listening to and practicing WWTD. (What would Tymber do?)

    Take care, keep rocking the keyboards and “BitchOn!”

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