Sunday, July 25, 2010

Paying for Ish You want…Paying for Ish You didn’t do by Jeanie and Jayha

Please note that this blog was first posted on the 28 June 2010 at The Long and Short of It Whipped Cream Guest Blog:

Paying for Ish You want…Paying for Ish You didn’t do by Jeanie and Jayha

Things you need to know before you read this blog:
North Carolina (NC) is on Eastern Standard Time (EST); New Zealand (NZ) is on New Zealand Standard Time (NZST).
Depending upon where we are in the Daylight Savings Time cycle, New Zealand is 16-18 hours ahead of North Carolina meaning today in North Carolina is yesterday in New Zealand

6:30 am Wednesday in North Carolina/10:30 pm Thursday evening in New Zealand
Jayha clocks out at work and rushes home to get Mr. Jayha so she can take him to work. They have one vehicle that they share.

7:22 am Wednesday in NC/11:22 pm Thursday evening in NZ
Rrring. Rrring.

Stirred from sleep, Jayha attempts to ignore that ringing sound. Well, actually, it’s not a ringing sound but the theme song from Warner Brothers’ Pinky and the Brain. It’s fitting being that Jayha has grandiose plans for her and the universe involving a religious official, a treaty, a line of demarcation, and a benevolent despot.

Rrring. Rrring.

Realizing that that noise is the phone and that it probably won’t stop ringing anytime soon, a sleepy Jayha picks it up and croaks out a greeting. “I’m up. I’m up.”

“No, you’re not,” the New Zealand accented voice belonging to The Jeanie disagrees…albeit with great respect because Jayha’s the momma.

“Am too,” Jayha says. She is awake…now…kinda…sorta even though her eyes are closed.

“Mmm hmm,” The Jeanie says all disapproving-like. “Where are you? I rang the house and you’re not there.”

“Parking lot,” Jayha says as she stretches in the driver’s seat of her SUV trying to ignore the fact that she feels like she spent the night engaged in “Fight Club” and the fact that her stomach is trying to claw its way out of her body. Momentarily distracted by thirst, she considers her options for the official drink of the Empire—sweet iced tea. Every restaurant in all of North Carolina has iced tea but only Bojangles has Jayha’s favorite seasoned fries. Yum. Bojangles it is.

“Momma, are you listening to me?” Jeanie asked.

“Yep,” Jayha answers.

“What’d I say?”

“You said: “What’d I say?” Jayha says in an attempt to cute her way out of answering.

“How was work?”

“Work was like that line in Napoleon Dynamite—but since I don’t want a intellectual property right violation, I’ll simply say, that it freaking sucks every night I go there,” Jayha says as she turns into the drive-thru.
7:36 am EST Wednesday/11:36 pm Thursday New Zealand time

Jayha orders her fries, slams a 32 ounce sweet tea and starts in on her reserve cup. Jeanie is telling off Jayha. Jayha deflects the telling off with a question: “When am I going to get some grandbabies?”

“Da h*ll?” Jeanie asks.
7:48 am EST Wednesday in NC/11:48pm Thursday in NZ
Jayha walks in the door of her house, makes a beeline for her laptop, and fires it up. “Okay, home bambina. Hang up, I’ll call you from my landline.”

One minute later.
Jayha scans the email with the part of the book The Jeanie worked on yesterday while Jayha was at work. Jeanie has been on a writing roll and has pumped out over a chapter in text.

“Wow, that kicks all kind of literary a*s,” Jayha says before she and Jeanie launch into a discussion on the direction of the book and outline what each other needs to do today in order to stay on track for the book to be finished.

“’Kay, night. I’m going to bed now because I have to get up early for work, but I’ll call and wake you up so you won’t be late for class.”

“You don’t have to do that,” Jayha begins.

“La la la la la” [Jeanie ignoring her momma sound]

“Fine. Night.”

8:09 am EST Wednesday in NC/12:09 am Friday in NZ
Jayha’s alarm clock goes off. Jayha finds it and throws it across the room. Jayha’s phone rings. It’s Mr. Jayha calling to wake her up for class. Jayha mumbles that she’s up. This time, she’s lying through her teeth. Jayha hasn’t even rolled over. Jayha’s landline rings again. “I’m up!” she screams.

“No, you’re not,” Jeanie says tiredly as she’s set her alarm for an hour later to wake her momma up from the nap Jayha will take in her car in the school parking lot in between class.”
The Jeanie doesn’t like her momma sleeping in the parking lot. Obviously, it’s cold in winter and hot in summer and depending on where her momma parks it could be unsafe.

Now, Jayha’s really up and feels like sh*t for having her bambina have to get up an hour into her sleep to call her to wake her tired a*s up.

8:29 am EST Wednesday in NC/12:29 am Friday morning NZ
Jayha cranks up her SUV, puts it in gear and drops the hammer all the way to class. When she arrives on campus she drives around for ten minutes not able to find a parking space despite paying $500.00 fee for parking.

9:00 am-9:50 am EST Wednesday in NC/1:00 am-1:50 am Friday morning in NZ
Jayha’s first clas, which she’s five minutes late to, which is like on time for Jayha. The whole campus is a hotspot and most classes students log on to their laptops and take notes. In between taking notes, Jayha responds to email dealing with their books and their boards. To stay awake she sucks back her iced tea.

After class, Jayha stays put. Her next class is in the same room. She lays her head down on her laptop and sleeps for eight minutes.

2:00 pm EST Wednesday in NC/6:00 am Friday morning in NZ
Jayha is on her way home. One of the inner posse (in another time zone) talks her all the way there so she won’t fall asleep. She loves those chicks.

Jeanie’s alarm goes off. Jeanie cusses it out, throws it across the room. Jayha calls Jeanie. “Rise and shine, bambina!” she says all perky because that’s what momma’s do to their children.

“Aghr, sunlight!” Jeanie roars.

“You can’t even see it. You have black out film on your windows, your blinds are down; your curtains are over your blinds.” Jayha says.

“Light can still get in. You don’t know,” Jeanie says.

“Burglars would have an easier time of getting into Ft. Knox than light getting into your room. The only light that could possibly get into your room would occur if God walked into your room and said: “Let there be light.”

“Wow, over the line, Momma.”

“What’s over the line is you thinking light is going to get into your room.”

“Yeah, but I know it’s out there…lurking just waiting to get me.”

“Wow, get up chica so you can get to work. I wrote ten pages in between class. I sent them to you already. I’ve got to do some errands, go pick your daddy up, get some grub and do some homework before I can crawl my tired a*s into bed. I’ll call you tonight at your lunch break.”

“Okay. Love you bye,” Jeanie says.
8:00 pm EST Wednesday in NC/12:00 pm Friday afternoon in NZ
Jayha calls Jeanie during her lunch break. Jeanie works on the book during her lunch. They discuss the progress of the book and swap notes and decide what has to be done tomorrow. Jeanie wishes Jayha “good night;” Jayha wishes Jeanie a good afternoon, bids her to not cuss anyone out at work, make sure she walks out with colleagues when her shift is over; and drive carefully.

8:40 pm EST Wednesday in NC/12:40 pm Friday afternoon in NZ
Jayha finally goes to bed; the Jeanie is back at her desk.

10:00 pm EST Wednesday night/2:00pm Friday morning New Zealand time
Jayha gets in her car and cusses all the way to work (she takes forty minutes of unpaid leave every day the front part of her shift so she can grab enough sleep to work with). Jeanie is at work, working on notes, etc. for the story in between calls.

Four months later:
Jeanie and Jayha share an internet toast of iced tea as their book that they’ve spent six months working on is finally out.

“Yay, us! Jeanie says.”

“Damn skippy,” Jayha says back.

A day later
Some a**hole puts the book on a pirate website. The book is downloaded over two thousand times. Jeanie and Jayha don’t even sell 100 copies of the book.

“You okay, momma?”

Sigh. “Yeah, all good? You, bambina?”

“Yeah. Do you want to write anymore of the series, momma or just let it go?” Jeanie asks. “That’s a lot of time and resources to throw at a book to get so little return.”

“Don’t know, Jeanie. Right now, I’m not feeling it. Like you said, that’s a lot to put into a book just to have someone take it all away. I don’t know if my heart’s really in it.”

“But what about the books we already wrote?”

“They’re going to have to sit there for a minute. Maybe we can offer them in print. Maybe we won’t offer them at all,” Jayha says with a touch of regret.

Jeanie looks at the email she just received: “Oh, my goodness! I love this book! When’s the next one coming out?” a reader asks.

Jeanie clicks on her other window and reads the book request on a pirate website: “I love these authors. Looking for any of their books.”

Jeanie looks at the list of their titles that have already been illegally uploaded on the pirate website. Clicking on the other window, she responds to the reader: “I don’t know…maybe never.”

“I’ve got to go, chica. I’ve got class,” her momma says.

“But you didn’t even get a nap,” Jeanie protests.

“Doesn’t matter. Someone’s got to make the doughnuts.”

Jeanie can hear the fatigue in her momma’s voice. She worries about her working all night knowing how bad her momma hurts. She worried about her driving sixty miles to college knowing how tired her momma is. She keeps quiet knowing her momma has to do what she has to do. She needs a better education if she wants to get a better job where she doesn’t have to work nights…standing eight hours on concrete. Sighing, she sets her clock. “I’ll call you to make sure you’re up,” she says.

“You don’t have to,” Jayha begins. Jayha stops knowing Jeanie is going to call her anyway. Jayha worries about Jeanie knowing she works long hours at her full time job and taking care of her family obligations. She worries as Jeanie’s sleep is always interrupted…by requests of others and obligations. She feels guilty because she is one of those obligations. If she didn’t go to school, she could get more sleep and Jeanie wouldn’t have to wake up in the middle of the night to call and wake her up and to talk her to school and back home. Jeanie needs to sleep. Maybe then she’d have time to play more but alas, Jeanie’s always writing. They’re both always writing…always. She looks around at the sea of paper on her table…post-it notes, backs of envelopes, backs of receipts that represent the births of many books. She loves these stories…wants to tell these stories. Sighing, she clicks the link to the pirate website and copies and pastes the link into the letter of her and Jeanie’s takedown request. They write so many, they’ve got a pre-printed form for them. All they have to do is change the date and insert the link because part of Jeanie’s routine is searching these pirated websites out; part of Jayha’s routine is writing these letters…always searching and writing…wondering how readers who gush about how much they love them not only steal from them and other authors but preemptively steal from them every day.

“I’m getting at the man,” one reader said.

“Me and Jeanie aren’t “the man.” We’re just two chicks writing stories we love trying to make it.”

‘I’m only trying to pay some bills,’ Jayha thinks as she sends a payment to the cover artist…and another payment to the editor…and another payment to the proofreader…and another payment to the website guy.

Half a world away, Jeanie thinks, ‘I’m only trying to get money to pay bills…and to get back home to my momma.’

Somewhere, a pirate posts another link to one of their books prompting a thank you from a reader…and more take down requests that Jeanie and Jayha will have to tend to tomorrow.

It feels like the blues when you see evidence of people stealing from you. It’s not just the words that get pirated…it’s everything: your time, your energy, your talent, the editing, the cover art, the formatting, your love…everything that goes into creating a book. It feels like the blues when you see evidence that they know they’re stealing and don’t care.

-Jeanie and Jayha

Addendum: Though this blog originally posted on 28 June 2010, we are reprinting it because it is especially valid considering the guest author interview that appears next. Madison Hayes is one of our favorite authors. Read her interview, then read the note on her webpage, and understand the consequences of piracy.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

When Two isn’t Enough...repost

this entry is reposted from the 17 May guest blog at

Picture this: a roomy front porch on a massive log cabin sitting on 25 acres. Situated on the North Carolina side of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the landscape is dominated by various hues of green and dotted by the bright oranges, yellows and deep reds of the towering lilies and roses that surround the porch. A Carolina blue sky laced with white cotton candy clouds and warmed by a lemon ice cream sun hovers above. The silence is broken only by the sound of the shimmering stream gurgling a happy song. It’s nothing short of beautiful, which is why Jeanie and Jayha are lounging on the front porch. Jayha is sipping the nectar of the gods (sweet iced tea) and Jeanie is drinking an ice cold Coca-Cola™ as they enjoy the warm day that is about to come to a close and allow night to have its turn. [Yeah, we know neither of us has that kind of money but this is our fantasy and our blog for today so just go with it].

“How was your day, Momma?”
“All good, Bambina,” Jayha answered with a sigh.
The sigh might’ve been quiet, but Jeanie heard it just the same. “Why the sigh, Momma?”
Sinking deeper into her seat, Jayha took a long pull of her tea before answering. “I was reading a lot today.”
“Which is normal for a writer,” Jeanie said in an attempt to insert some humor into the conversation.
Of course, Jayha simply smiled indulgently at Jeanie. “Uh huh, but it just felt like I was stuck in a bad version of “Groundhog Day” reading the same thing over and over again…almost like I could auto-populate the stories. It was pages and pages of the same damn thing just different characters, different places, different authors.”
“I know what you mean, Momma.”
“It’s like the industry got together and handed out a book of storylines that they expect every book to fall into. The secretary and her boss, the city girl and the country boy, the older man and the young girl. The only thing that seems to change is small tweaks here and there.”
“You don’t like the tweaks?” Jeanie asked.
“Depends. The tweaks make it interesting but it’s not the tweaks that bother me so much as the relentlessness with which the industry pursues the hot new storyline. And what bothers me more than that is that elusive “Keeper of the Storyline” who snuffs out deviations that haven’t been pre-approved in order to be true to what LA and NY have certified as “hot.”
“What storylines specifically are getting you all hot up under the collar?”
Jayha took her time answering. “It seems that the industry is suddenly being flooded with stories involving women and multiple partners.”
Having also noticed the increase in ménage and ‘group’ stories in the industry, Jeanie nodded.
“I wonder if women are really into that kind of thing or if someone decided that that’s what women are into?”
“It’s mostly just fantasy,” Jeanie said.
“True but whose fantasy is it? Do women really want more than one man in their bed at once?”
“Good point, one man is usually messy enough,” Jeanie said tongue-in-cheek.
“Tell it,” Jayha laughed as she took another sip of tea.
“Although there is something to be said for two men who are all about pleasuring one woman…” Jeanie continued.
“Or three men,” Jayha said as she lapsed into a smile.
Jeanie knew that smile. She bet her momma had retreated to her warm, safe place where three men stood to do her bidding. Jeanie bet every man was dressed in a medley of ninja and highlander gear…as they flitted around her industrial-size kitchen and cooked and baked.
“Stop it, Momma” Jeanie said with a grin.
Jayha gave her a faux innocent look complete with fluttering eyelashes.
Jeanie rolled her eyes, “Momma, I know what you’re doing.”
“You do not.”
“Yes I do,” Jeanie sing-songed teasingly. “I’m betting there is some cooking going on by some ninjas and highlanders.”
“Oh, you hush. It’s not my fault that the kilt-wearing, ninja chefs want to defend my honor and cook for me 24/7,” Jayha said with a toss of her shoulder length Senegalese twists.
“Your ‘honor’? Did you actually say your ‘honor’?” Jeanie laughed loudly.
“Would someone like some restriction?” Jayha threatened.
“Only if I get to play with two dudes that talk to me about how they’re going to drink Coca-Cola off of me,” Jeanie said smartly.
Jayha shook her head. “You and your Coca-Cola fetish.”
Jeanie laughed again, “Yeah, and you and your ninja/highlander chef fetish.”
“As far as fetishes go, it’s a good fetish to have. Still, I wonder how many is too many?” Jayha wondered.
“I thought you had a harem of ninja/highlander chefs?” Jeanie asked with a raised eyebrow.
“Ninja/highlander/cowboy chefs,” Jayha corrected. “And I do…but I only want them for their cooking prowess.”
“So if five dudes wearing kilts, cowboy hats and Tims wearing swords rocked your world with their food you wouldn’t be inclined to ‘reward’ them?” Jeanie asked with waggle of her eyebrows.
“Of course I’d reward them…but not all at once. Plus, if they’re feeding me like they should, I’d only have time to rock two of their worlds at the most before the ‘Itis’ set in.”
“I agree five is like three too many,” Jeanie said.
“In bed but not anywhere else. I could totally handle five guys catering to my every whim. You know one to hold my sweet tea, another two to fan me with palm leaves. One to hold my plate of cheesecake, and another to sit at my feet and fawn over my greatness.”
“You’re a demanding something,” Jeanie said “although the other three could stand around and take notes on how to please me.”
“Yes, but being that I went to Shara’s School of Benevolent Despoting, I now know how to be benevolent. As such, I’d allow them to reward themselves by giving me a full body massage so I could be in peak condition to flip back and forth between all of the ESPN channels and the NFL network.”
“Oh, that’s mighty nice of you,” Jeanie said.
“I know, right? Of course, this is all hypothetical being that in real life I can see Mr. Me getting a little pissy about that kind of thing.”
“A ‘little’ pissy?” Jeanie asked.
“Yeah, a ‘little.’ You know how men are. Still, it would be nice to have those five men in my kitchen seducing me with their big…tempting…dishes,” Jayha sighed.
Jeanie shook her head in wonder as she heard her Momma’s wistful words. Five men in bed was three too many. And though they joked, she couldn’t help but wonder right along with her momma if that many partners at once was the secret fantasy of women…or was it simply the perverted dream of some faceless man/woman in a penthouse who loved money as much as he/she hated women.

—Jeanie and Jayha

Sunday, March 21, 2010

We're Open!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What better way to celebrate Mardi Gras than to open our doors? We're officially open offering blazing reads for customers and accepting submissions from authors. So come one, come all (bring some friends) and visit Beautiful Trouble Publishing.