Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa…(a CHANGING FACES Update)

with 4 comments

Folks, before I get into this update, I want to tell you a story.

Years ago and far away — Nebraska, to be exact — I was at a holiday party. I was drinking a little, and as I almost never drink, I wasn’t aware of how dumb I sounded nor how hurtful I was being. Worse yet, because of this one moment of stupidity on my part, I blew an important job interview as the person I was mouthing off to was the interviewer’s sister…and I set back progress in my life by years thereby.

I’m not proud of this.

At the time, I didn’t realize what I was doing. It took me months to figure out that the person I’d talked to was the interviewer’s sister at this party, and I never did apologize to her, or to the interviewer himself, partly because I didn’t know I should.

This time, I know better.

How does that get into the CHANGING FACES update, you ask? Well, it’s simple…recently, on Facebook, someone had asked me what was going on with regards to CHANGING FACES. I turned in my copy — technically a draft, though in actuality an extensive revision that took me over a year to complete — just before Thanksgiving. I had hoped at the time that I could still maybe get CF out by the end of the year, but I knew that because of the amount of time it took me to get this done, the chances weren’t good.

Then I got the news that most likely, CF will be out in February of 2017. Which actually makes sense in a wide number of ways, but at the time — I was sick, though again, that’s no excuse whatsoever — I was thinking, “Oh, my God/dess, I’ve missed the 2016 window completely. Damn it!”

But I didn’t say that on Facebook.

Instead, what I expressed was merely my frustration. Not the cause of it, especially the cause being myself, because I thought folks on my page knew this.

That was my first error, as I’ve known for a long time to never assume anything.

Worse yet, my publisher saw this, and was hurt by this, as she’d done nothing wrong whatsoever. I like my publisher, Lida Quillen of Twilight Times Books, and consider her a friend. There’s no way in the world I’d ever want to hurt her feelings, especially considering how patient she was in waiting for me to turn in something that she could work with.

This was my second error.

But unlike my younger self, I take responsibility for the things I do and say that are wrong and hurtful, or at least woefully incomplete.

So, here’s the rest of the story.

Over the past year-plus, as I fought to keep from losing my home, as I fought to help my former house-mate, I struggled with CHANGING FACES. Every time I thought I had an epiphany, I’d get set back the next week or month with some other crises. And every time I made headway, I’d end up having yet another road block.

During this time, Lida was both encouraging and sympathetic. She didn’t have to be either of these things. But she was, which I truly appreciated.

Why did I say little about this at the time, and nothing at all about how encouraging Lida was the entire time? Because I didn’t want to dwell on the major problems I was trying to get past in this forum. I wanted to talk about something encouraging, uplifting, or at least something that was in the news that other people could relate to.

That, too, was an error.

I apologize for all of that. I know I’m better than that.

I’ve been very fortunate in my friends, and that includes my publisher, Lida Quillen. I am sorry to have not explained myself better and even more sorry I popped off during a moment of weakness. (That I further compounded my error by getting a friend of mine, doing his best to give sympathy, in trouble as well only gives me greater pain. And yes, I’ve already apologized to him, too, but that’s yet another story…and I hope that one doesn’t have to be explained in public.)

I can’t take that back now. But I can at least let you all know that Lida helped me enormously over the past difficult, challenging, and often intensely frustrating year.

So, the reason CHANGING FACES will be out in 2017 is because of me. No one else.

Now back to our regularly scheduled blogging, already in progress…

Written by Barb Caffrey

December 13, 2016 at 11:50 am

4 Responses

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  1. Barb, we all make mistakes and the two most important things are to make amends and learn from them. I know it’s easier said than done and trust me, I’ve made quite a few in my years as an author. Misunderstandings happen all the time but especially on social media. People can’t tell if you’re joking, being sarcastic or just venting. I’m glad you apologized to your publisher and your friend.

    I’m also glad to hear that things are progressing with Changing faces. You had a HUGE rewrite to do and you should be proud of your achievement instead of beating yourself up. Timing is everything, especially in this industry. 🙂

    Take care and the next time you feel like venting on social media, ask yourself, “Would “insert name” take offense to this rant? If so, I’d avoid doing it. Email instead.

    N. N. Light

    December 13, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    • Good idea, Mrs. N. 🙂 (Say hi to Mr. N., too, OK?)

      I’m glad that my rewrite is done. I just feel bad that in a moment of weakness, I let myself and my publisher and my friend down. I expect better of myself; I demand better of myself, than that.

      And yes, I was venting, but I made that cardinal mistake: “Never assume, ’cause it makes an ass out of you and me.” I assumed that the people who follow me at FB knew that I was mad at me, no one else, and was careless thereby.

      All I can do now is try to mitigate the damage and hope that my publisher, and my friend, will forgive me.

      Writing this was like stripping naked in the middle of the public square, but it had to be done…:sigh:

      Barb Caffrey

      December 13, 2016 at 12:44 pm

  2. ((Hugs)) I figured you were just venting, and didn’t think too much of it.


    December 13, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    • I was, but my publisher didn’t see it that way. And I forgot the maxim that anything you say on social media is like shouting in the middle of Main Street…that shout may seem mild to some, or a call to arms by others. 😦

      *hugs* back.

      Barb Caffrey

      December 13, 2016 at 1:12 pm

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