Being A Pirate

This article, written by an Indie Author created a great deal of buzz on forum I belong too…and I felt like I had something to say…though, there it may not be favorable…

It makes sense.  In some ways.  I was broke once too.  I had just given up a great job as a teacher with a well know cosmetology school where I was making serious bank and suddenly, I was trying to make ends meet, working full time at an auto body shop as the front desk girl (don’t ask me why I traded a great job for a lousy one…I couldn’t make it make sense even if I tried).

My life then was this:

-Amazing vintage apartment with hardwood floors and a palatial bedroom, a separate dining room, marbled entry way on the hottest street in Evanston….CHECK (kicker: none of it wasn’t mine, I was subletting to the tune of $1,800 a month while the real owner was off in Texas at medical school)

-Luxuries, like books or music, were memories of better days, things I couldn’t afford.  I would wander into Barnes & Nobel and touch the books, wishing I could buy even one…but one would send me into a spiral of choosing between gas or food or cell phone…I was seriously that poor.

-Gas, even at the lowly price of $2.00 a gallon was stretch.  It made it into my car, of course, but at about $5.00 per visit.

-I lived on frost bitten pizza bagels and the two cheeseburger value meals at McDonalds—one for lunch, one for dinner.  Not the healthiest of choices I’ll admit, but it was better than complete starvation.

-Horrible breakup, broken heart, tears on the pillow and the feeling that I just couldn’t go on…absolutely (I was oh-so melodramatic).

-A television that didn’t work because it was stuck on TiVo that the original tenant forgot to disconnect it or explain how it worked?  Yes, ma’am.

-And yes, I had Limewire downloaded on my computer.

Music helped me survive.  I couldn’t afford it, but I needed it.  Those songs I illegally pirated brought me back to life, one chord at a time.  And yes, the music I loved then became a touchstone for me, and when I (thank you, Jesus) managed to regain hold on my life and finances, I bought the songs–legally, of course–to remind myself of the skin I’d shed.

I guess this is where I merge my mind with the original author…people do need things, little bits and pieces of laughter and entertainment and normalcy, even if they can’t really afford them.

Right now we’re living in the middle (…not the end…) of really tough economic times.  There are men and women, who’ve never done a single thing wrong in their whole lives, out of work, fighting day in and out to put food on the table and gas in the car and doggy paddle the waves of this strange new world.

That’s us.  That’s America.  It’s 2011 and this is where we stand.

As a writer, I kind of think of it as my job to transport someone from the bedroom in their home, or the couch in their living room, or the rickety chair in the doctors office and put them somewhere else.  I know that’s what I depend on other author’s for.  When I read a book, I beg, take me away.  Maybe I want to read something scary, or learn something new, maybe I want a good cry or a hard laugh…whatever it is…that’s what I, as a reader, seek.  And that’s what I, as a writer, look to give in return.

It’s true…I wrote my book to (hopefully…fingers crossed) escape the grind of 7a-5p Monday-Friday and use my creative mind.  But, I didn’t do it to become rich…sure, of course that would be nice (think: Jimmy Fallon saying “but it’s more money“) however, more genuinely, I started writing because I had a story to tell–first for me, second for all of you.  And slowly, all of you became the focus of my intent.

Where I differ from the original posters mind set is right here:

Anything illegal is wrong.  I get that, 110% crystal clear…and my view will never be a universal truth shared by all–as so often opinions aren’t.  I don’t think it’s my place to get involved in pirating my own work.

But, reading is right.  It’s good for everyone to slough the grim of real life and visit another place, even if just for an hour.  I can totally get behind that.

At the end of the day, my feeling is this…

I will never torrent my own book–so if someday you bump into it free on a share site, know it wasn’t me who put it there, and I can’t be sure if you’re getting some “wreak holy havoc” virus instead.  I’m not going to breach contracts and isolate myself from other readers because Amazon, Barnes & Nobel and the like would pull me for breaking “good faith” which would totally go against my original agenda–which is, to make my story available.  However, I’ll never feel cheated if, somehow someday, the books does go beyond pay-to-play.

I was, once upon a time, that girl in the overpriced apartment rationing pizza puffs looking to escape.  I would be a fraud if I took the stance of how dare they.  And really, I wouldn’t feel that that way.

I wrote THE MILESTONE TAPES so that it could be enjoyed…and however you find it, I hope you do just that, enjoy!


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