Saturday, July 04, 2015

Question: publishing on Wattpad and other online forums

I went to the Romantic Times conference in May and one of the hot topics was Wattpad. If you're not familiar, it's a place where you can post any kind of writing you want, from short stories to full, serialized novels, and readers can comment in-line on the things they like or don't as well as on the work in general.

It's a hot topic because A. Some writers have hit it big there and ended up with book deals or a huge self published following, and B. Established authors are using it as a forum to draw in readers by posting things like back list titles, pre-quels and between the books novellas. I've also had a marketing guru tell me that she considers this kind of platform an excellent place to beta-test your work (for self published writers, not those under contract) to see what's connecting with readers and what isn't.

I've paged through several books there and find that the comments are overwhelmingly either positive or at least constructive, and have yet to stumble over any trolls. The readers seem to be excited about offering feedback and having input. The level of interaction is up to the author. Some go as far as posting a section then asking readers what should happen next (many of the writers are posting as they go, rather than writing the whole book first.)

I talked this over with my agent and, considering the lag between my first book and the next--projected as a June-July of next year release--we agreed I might be able to utilize Wattpad and some of the sheaves of short stories and novellas I have stacked in drawers to build and keep an audience during the gap. However...

At the RT Wattpad session, an agent stood up and challenged the presenters, asking what they are doing to protect the authors' work, as one of her clients had a book pirated from the site and published digitally and is now fighting to prove it was hers to begin with. The question I have and I suspect many of your blog readers might echo is, assuming I have weighed the pros and cons and decided this is a suitable platform for a particular story, can I establish proof of ownership by copyrighting the story first, or is that even going to help in a piracy case? Are there any cons to copyrighting, beyond the time and hassle, for someone who is posting a novel they hope will go viral and get them an offer?

This is a really good question, and given I'd just read an article by someone who had her work removed from sale because of a fraudulent copyright violation notice, and had to struggle to prove it was hers to begin with, quite timely.

When you post anything in a public forum like Wattpad you're taking a risk. The only questions are how big a risk, and what's at stake. Those are questions only you can answer.

Most readers search for books by author name. If I go looking for Felix Buttonweezer books, and six hundred people have stolen and republished  his book "Carkooning For Fun and Profit" I'll never know, because I'm searching only for books by Felix Buttonweezer.

There's a risk associated with any kind of on-line publication of your work.  I'm given to understand however that most of the scallywags who are stealing books and republishing them as free downloads have something other than making book sales on their mind. That is, the "free download" is the open cellar door to your otherwise locked up house while you're on vacation. They are introducing viruses onto the computers of the people who download the "free books."

What you really want to check are the terms of service at Wattpad. I believe they take a chunk of your earnings if something you publish there goes on to be picked up and published elsewhere.  That's something you don't want to find out about the hard way.


Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Guess who is number one again?

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

I have come to the conclusion that there is no end to skullduggery. If it isn't yours, leave it the f*** alone. Why so much criminality, so much underhandedness, so much cruelty? Why something for nothing, why such a denial of responsibility in this big blue beautiful world?

I better get off this woe-wagon and wish all of you, wherever you are, a celebration of independence. Here we get undercooked burgers, overcooked hotdogs and lima beans. Freedom never tasted so good.

Happy 4th blues and grays. Just remember that around the world we're all known as Yanks. That's a good thing I think. At least some of us get the day off.

Janet Reid said...

2 commments have been deleted.

Reminder: comments need to be somewhat close to topical. And political speeches/comments are generally deleted. This isn't the place for that discussion.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

If you want to take out my second comment go for it. It was not my intent to start something. The 7:58 delete was mine because of a stupid typo.

french sojourn said...

This has been an incredible week with topics. I'm going to need this weekend to review the posts and comments.

I think my priority is to find critique partners. (Sci-fi) so that's one post to review.

Have a safe weekend, and thanks for this blog yet again.

Cheers to all, Happy 4th. Hank

Unknown said...

Happy 4th neighbours.

I'm so of a conspiracy-theoried mind set, there's no chance I'd put any of my work on-line. I have more to say but my breakfast is ready and my husband gets antsy when I ignore him.

Lisa Bodenheim said...

It is a big scary world out there. Especially when we need to watch our backsides while at the same time trying to get our author kites off the ground and afloat. Good thing to have blogs and pals such as this site to partner with us.

And, off topic, Happy Independence Day everyone. I am off to visit with the parents (my 2 adult children--one in bookstore retail, the other a barista at a coffee shop--work). And then, I'll drive a bit further to make the acquaintance of my sister's new Elkhound puppy. Looking forward to that.

2Ns: Are you sure you're back at work? It seems you've been getting the #1 slot plenty of times since last week!

Kitty said...

...I'd just read an article by someone who had her work removed from sale because of a fraudulent copyright violation notice, and had to struggle to prove it was hers to begin with...

I read Becca Mills' article and thought it must be like someone kidnapping your baby. What a terrible thing to go through. Since her book was a free download, I'm still not sure why that person wanted to claim it as his/her own?

Lisa Bodenheim said...

french sojourn: Janice Hardy, at Fiction University, June 29th blog offers another set-up of yahoo groups. I did it in January and I now have 2 excellent critique partners from that so check it out. Once we found each other, we quit the yahoo group thing to email directly.

french sojourn said...

Lisa, I can't thank you enough.

*puts laptop in valise and heads to train station with a one way ticket to Carkoon. For networking on a ferocious Sharks blog, world, hell universe even."

Lisa Bodenheim said...

oh dear, does that mean I'm heading that way too? aack.

Anonymous said...

I'm having a similar discussion with a friend who has been posting excerpts to be critiqued on a site. Her MC comes up with a horse named Shaunessy (Shaun) and a few weeks later another, very talented writer, comes up with a horse named Shaun. She has three characters named Trevor, Tewkes, and Danya; and the other writer comes up a few weeks later with characters named the named the same. Author A comes up with an Indian with an unusual tattoo and lo and behold, author b has one with the same tattoo.

As we discussed a few days ago with ideas, they can't be copyrighted, but author a is getting frustrated.

I wouldn't post a long work to one of those sites. I might post a Julie story to my blog, but that's about it.

"Happy 4th blues and grays. Just remember that around the world we're all known as Yanks. That's a good thing I think."

Happy Independence Day to those who celebrate it. For all our problems, we are still a remarkable country and no one should be ashamed to admit this has been an exceptional experiment.

As for the yanks thing, there was a group of cowboys performing somewhere across the pond and a comment was made about the yank cowboys. One responded, "Oh, no, ma'am. We're from Texas." As they say, "Texas, it's a whole other country."

Jed Cullan said...

Happy 4th of July, Janet, and to all the readers on the blog.

french sojourn said...


At least this way, we can carpool to Carkoon. Think of the energy we can save. Anyone else?

Anonymous said...

>I believe (Wattpad) take a chunk of your earnings if something you publish >there goes on to be picked up and published elsewhere.

I read through their terms of service and didn't find anything saying that.

I found this:

>C. For clarity, you retain all of your ownership rights in your User Submissions. However, by submitting User Submissions to, you hereby grant a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, display, and perform the User Submissions in connection with the Website. You also hereby grant each user of the Website a non-exclusive license to access your User Submissions through the Website. You understand and agree, however, that may retain, but not display, distribute, or perform, server copies of User Submissions that have been removed or deleted.

But I didn't find anything saying they had any claim to what happens to your stuff in the future.

Elissa M said...

That copyright story from Becca Mills is downright freaky-scary. Something needs to be done to copyright laws to prevent this sort of thing. Apparently once again technology has barged ahead of the law and made a quagmire. This makes me want to have an agent on my side even more than ever. Indie authors are much braver than I.

I hope everyone has a good July 4th, even if it isn't their country's Independence Day. I have a concert to play this morning, and a jam session after the fireworks tonight. I know I'll be having a good time. :)

Janet Reid said...

Delicartoons, I can't find it either. My comment was based on anecdotal evidence: an editor friend of mine acquired something that started out on Wattpad, and the publisher pays them a chunk of the money.

Maybe that was a one-off? Maybe the TOS changed?

I didn't actually go so far as to post a test-story to see if there was another agreement that kicked in when you actually put something up there for people to read.

After roaming around that site, I will say this: invest in a good book cover if you're going to post anything there.

Anonymous said...

Well, looking at those covers was interesting. I saw one named Cowboy's Regret and thought. Umm hmm. I bet. You're fixing to regret heading that steer short with a forty-foot rope because you're about to have him up your butt.

Oh, he regrets the girl. My bad. See, this is why I don't do romance.

french sojourn said...

You might want to skip the cover for "The French Mistake" (Yeah I know that was the song in Blazing Saddles, but it was a country romance movie?)

I just perused the Wattpad should be First impressions for watt-to-read.

wow covers are everything on that site.

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

I found out about Watt Pad's existence a few years ago because a library patron (see what I did there?) told me she found and read the new Evanovich on it when she couldn't wait for her place in the holds list to resolve. She just had to find out what happened next!

The idea of an author's work getting stolen and published by a different individual is one of those hot button things that makes us woodland creatures get woozy and nervous, I think. Especially with just how big the Internet is, one might never know, or it might take a really long time to find out. Ugh.

Anonymous said...


Why do you do this to me? I should know you're a trouble maker. I used to have an Aussie named Hank who was a trouble maker, too.

Theresa said...

I'm all for finding a good CP or two and developing that relationship electronically, but I would feel way too jittery about posting work on a site like this.

Happy 4th, to those of you who celebrate.

Anonymous said...

Ah, the public online. So free. So open. So possibly treacherous.

I'm curious. One thing I've heard about and not been sure of with Wattpad (and possibly other such sites) is whether a book published there is considered 'published' elsewhere?

I know there are short story markets that say they consider stories posted there and on other such sites as being published already, so they won't consider them.

Is this similar with novels? Does publishing on Wattpad get in the way of novel sales (to agents, editors, or the general public)?

Hey, Hank. E-mail me at bjmuntain at sasktel dot net if you're interested in a critique partner from this blog. I also have a small critique group (online) for science fiction/fantasy (mostly) if you're interested in something like that, too. Drop me a line, for either option. :)

We had our holiday on Wednesday - Canada Day. It was a bit subdued here in Saskatchewan (from what I could tell) due to all the forest fires up north sending a huge cloud of smoke down south to us. Although I understand that many of the evacuees from the fires wound up down here and actually went to our fireworks/celebrations to distract themselves. Since most of the evacuees were women with children, this gave them all a distraction they probably needed.

This weekend: a family picnic out of town, then a party at a writing friend's place. It's going to be a busy day. Once I get off the computer, you probably won't see me until tomorrow morning. (I can hear the sighs of relief now...)

Lisa: PUPPY!!!! Puppies make everything better.


Those terms from Wattpad aren't exceptional. Those are terms they actually need in order to keep something online and let someone read it. Since the purpose of posting something there is to have it online and to have people read it, that's a very important list of terms.

"a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, display, and perform the User Submissions in connection with the Website" = You let us show this on our site.

"grant each user of the Website a non-exclusive license to access your User Submissions through the Website. You understand" = You're going to let other users read it.

" may retain, but not display, distribute, or perform, server copies of User Submissions that have been removed or deleted" = Your stuff is probably in our backups somewhere. We're not going to go through all our backups to erase it. But it won't be shown on our site anymore.

But Wattpad doesn't really appeal to me. It's just so... so public. I'd rather not be criticized in public. At least, right now. If an agent or editor suggested I try it, I might. But on my own? I'm not ready for that yet. It goes back to that comment from the other day: some people just are not comfortable with the 'New Visibility'.

Julie said...

I have a dangle out there in Wattpad that I use for My Own Dubious Purposes (I work, as you all know, for the Evil Geniuses For A Better Tomorrow).

But I have often wondered whether, in the balance of things, it would end up working for or against me should I want to use it, ya know, serious-like. Rather than making it a place for squeegy he-meets-she stories that I throw out into the ether with someone else's fictional name attached. And then changed.

Didn't get to watch Burlington's beautiful fireworks last night as I'm on the wrong end of the hospital, alas. Per Thing One, "I know you're not doing this on purpose, but it seems like every time I have something special come up lately, you're in the hospital." Sigh. Ah, well. But I can see the lake from here, and that's a good thing, and I'm pretty sure I'm in the same wing I was in just about exactly ten years ago when I got diagnosed with this stupid fussernutter, so that's cool.

But in the "Wow, Cool!" news, I've decided to make my laid-back character show his skivvies a little and kill some bad guys, so that'll make for some fun writing. Haven't decided about whether to throw in Henry VIII or his pink dolphins yet.

Thank y'all SO much for the em's and posts/FB's, etc. This is really not-fun-ish. My best friend is up from Boston, too - visiting with my husband and kids.

But... but... BUT! THIS ward has a nifty solarium that has AWESOME wifi, and I can write in it and catch up on a blog! :D YAY!

I'll read up on my Felix Buttonweezer - does he really have Wattpad stuff? Seriously, though, it's interesting, if you "win" NaNo (that's a rabbit-hole right there, and not one I'm jumping into as a NaNo alum), you get Wattpad incentives that have only ever made me more interested in traditional (no offense to whomever might now be offended...) publication.

And then there's CreateSpace. Another indy/small/self pub wonder. Apparently even if you have a great manuscript that might have sold well going the indy/self route, CreateSpace will cause it to self-destruct because their cover materials are so bottom line that they curl and separate early on. I bring this up because Wattpad promotes CreateSpace.

What's a poor (and I mean this literally, financially) writer to do?

Later. I have a date with an IV team.

(Oh, now, Captcha, birthday cakes are just MEAN to someone who gets ice chips... i mean, really...)

french sojourn said...

I'm honored, Aussies are in my opinion the best breed. I had one for 12 years, and to be compared to an Aussie....well I have quite a bit of work till I'm that worthy. Cheers

bjmuntain. Wow thank you so much. I will contact you directly.

Julie said...

Oh, but ladies, I do collect these awesome stories.
Here's one for you.
This guy came into my room yesterday. Total pinup material. Looked like a guy from the World Cup - maybe Italy or Spain's team - not sure. Hair just so, kept there by a little bit of whatever they use... probably in his mid twenties, teeth whiter than Clorox white... and THE perfect Euro accent.

And what did World Cup want from me?

To offer me a bath.



I. Have. Never. Been. Cleaner.


Julie said...

(I should clarify that he showed me how it worked and gave me towels and shampoo and stuff, but it doesn't make as nice a story that way... ;) )

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

Julie: Yeah, NaNo wins nowadays come with like, Watt Pad and Book Baby rewards/incentives. I don't really know what Book Baby is, perhaps because I really don't want to self publish my novels. I've occasionally thought about doing the "free proof copy" on Amazon thing with a NaNo win but...write a first draft in November and have it nice enough that I'd follow through with a proof of it by June (when the coupons used to expire, dunno if they still do)? I'm not terribly comfortable with that timeline and again, don't want to self publish my novels. So to me, any kind of proof I'd get from Amazon at that stage would be a jumped-up version of printing a book out in my living room (I'm using my "I statements" here, I really really don't want to offend anybody who thinks these are great deals and who really does want to self publish their novels. I'm just speaking from my own wants, not because I think any less of self publishing done right.)

Also on the NaNo front, I broke 6k words this morning.

Colin Smith said...

I've heard of Wattpad but I've yet to explore it. I can see how it could be used to build a following and to get some critiques on your writing. My policy with posting stuff online is this: Never post anything you aren't prepared to give away. Hence all the short stories and flash fiction on my blog are free for people to download, copy, and distribute. I ask that people respect my authorship and don't plagiarize. But if they do, oh well. I wasn't planning on making money from them anyway. I think I would adopt the same policy with Wattpad. Anything I might post up there would be purely to help me develop my writing chops via constructive feedback, or to build a fan-base for whatever published work I might have at some point, hopefully.

Someone once asked me if they have July 4th in the UK. My answer? "Of course! Right after July 3rd, and right before July 5th." What else would I say? :)

A very happy July 4th to all my fellow Americans (I'm a naturalized citizen). Despite its faults, and as much affection as I have for my native land, I wouldn't live anywhere else.

Jenz said...

Colin, why don't you try selling those stories instead of posting them for free? You probably won't make much money, but you'll get wider readership and a publishing credit.

Julie said...

Oh, sheesh, is it Camp NaNo time already?
I need Lucy.
Like Lucy Van der Pelt from Peanuts. I'm so frustrated. I have a nickel. Who's gonna be Lucy today?

It's okay. It's okay. It's okay.....

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

bjmuntain, hey I've got a sci fi piece which needs other than my eyes and their short-sighted POV. Next week, (drum-roll), I'll email, (if I don't forget). I've been doing a lot of that lately. My head is just so full of S***, ah stuff.

Laura said...

I agree with Colin, I wouldn't put anything on Wattpad that I wouldn't want to give away free forever. That said, I am looking into it for one of my projects because I think the community -- and it is a wild community, one of voracious readers and potentially rabid fans -- would be the perfect audience for it. Besides, I kinda want to be part of that -- voracious reading is my kind of fun!

If any good stories come out of it, I will share. Learn from my mistakes, that's my motto.

Oh, and Julia, speaking of good stories, I think your bath story wins the "make lemonade" award! Sending you warm, healing wishes.


Colin Smith said...

Jenz: If I recall correctly, there are only a couple of short stories on the blog that I wrote for the blog. These days, any short stories I write are with a view to publication or contests, not as freebies. And most of the flash fiction stories I posted were either for blog features (Flash Fiction Friday, or the A-to-Z Challenge), or for contests (e.g., Janet's), and never intended as remunerative projects. From what I understand, there aren't many publishers willing to take on a flash fiction compilation from a first-time writer, so I'm not too concerned about publishing them. Though, if a publisher wanted to make a book out of my A-to-Z stories, I'd seriously consider removing them from the blog. But I'd need to be approached--I'm not actively looking for such an opportunity, since I'm not sure they exist.

Anonymous said...

Because it's the Fourth, I'll share some favorite recipes. They're all easy and kid tested and approved.

Southern Blackberry Cobbler I add almond extract to my dough and cinnamon to the sugar for sprinkling.

Rodeo Cake

Jailhouse Ice Cream

1 3 oz sq Unsweetened chocolate
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. flour
1/8 tsp salt
2 c. milk
2 eggs beaten
4 c. heavy cream
2 T. vanilla

Melt chocolate in large heavy pan. Add sugar, flour, salt, and milk: mix well. Stir in eggs and 3 cups of the cream. Cook over low heat until mixture thickens, stirring often. Whip remaining 1 cup of cream; stir whipped cream and vanilla into chocolate. Freeze in ice cream freezer or freezer compartment.

french sojourn said...


My wife will be in heaven, she loves real American recipes ever since we've lived in France. Thanks for these.

Colin: Happy 4th man. I was trying my damnedest to write something funny and witty, it fell flatter that a bad souffle'.

Cheers and I'm outta here.

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

Julia: Yup, Camp NaNoWriMo time already (I skipped April this year)! The good thing is, even at this "late" date you can participate and set your own word count goal. So unlike me, you don't have to reach for 50k (I'm reaching beyon that, but leaving my website goal at 50k because if you aim low you can't fail!)

So far as putting my writing online, it's not like I haven't. But I do kind of fit into the "if I'm putting it on my blog, it's something I"m giving away" mentality. I've participated in Chuck Wendig's thousand word flash prompts, and of course the contests here on this blog. I've considered serializing a steampunk novel on my blog, written specifically for the blog (the first "chapter" came from a Wendig prompt) but haven't taken that anywhere yet.

Happily, only one of those stories is one I regret having put on my blog (It's here, if y'all are interested. And if linking to is is okay. If not, I'll delete this comment.). On reread, I'm VERY happy with it, enough so that I'd've liked to have submitted it somewhere and gotten crazy things like payment. I mean, I guess I can sub it someplace that takes reprints, those markets do exist, but I probably won't. Maybe one day when I'm agented and famous I can put it in a collection.

Dena Pawling said...

I post interesting and/or funny TRUE court scenes on my blog. Some of them [modified] are also used in my WIP, altho I format them differently for the blog. My hope is that blog readers who enjoy my stories will be enticed to buy my book. I'm at least a year away from finding out if that's true, but I like to think it is.

I do have a Wattpad account, but all I've done with it is browse what's there. I've never posted anything of my own. I like Colin's philosophy but I modify it slightly. I'd never post anything on Wattpad that I would want to later sell, but I do use modified stories from my blog in my WIP.

Julie said...

So I suppose I'm starting another MS, as I didn't realize Camp NaNo was starting now.
So off I go.
The time will come when I actually find NO excuse at ALL um.... not?... to write a query for one of the MS's that I've already written. That day will come.

I rather suspect that day will be someday during the WD conference next month. I like to consider that "Julie's Rump-Kicked Day" (or some less-bloggable equivalent that I can say in my own head but perhaps not in company).

I think that on that day, I'll enter that particular seminar with a name tag that says "Peon Fish" on it. Or maybe just go for gold and have it called "Squirt."

Anyway, anyone who's gonna be there and wants to catch up for drinks (Virgin ones in my case, but still good chat...), send me a buzz!

And, no, I won't be putting the MS on Wattpad. I find it wather... weird, fwankwy.

I've decided that the next chapter to the Nonfiction Book That I'm Not Quite Ready To Write Yet (you know, THAT book) will be entitled, "Is Something Wrong With Your Ears? Or What's Between Them?"

Because I keep having variants on this conversation.

"How's the pain?"
"About the same as it has been. Last night was bad."
"Yes, I see you were throwing up. How's your appetite?"
Puzzled look.
More Puzzled look. Shaking head. "I don't have any appetite."
"Set to start some clear diet today? We were thinking of weaning you off of the IV fluids."
"I can't EAT! Taking pills hurts!"
"Right, then we'll give it a shot then. Nice talking with you, Ms. Hoover."

Doctor so and so whom I really respected when he taught fourth year public health gets up and leaves me gaping. Memories of conversation with PCP as she says chipperly, "You just have to stand up for yourself and these things won't happen!" go rolling through my mind like a deranged 35mm film.

AAAANyway, have a happy Independence Day.

Back to my serious side - I really do have one - I am so very grateful for those of you and your families who / that put your lives on the line daily for people you don't even know, just to make sure that we can have the freedoms we enjoy every day. The freedom to choose to be good people who help others; the freedom to be not so good people; and everywhere in between. But no matter who we are, we have the ability to pray as we want, to say what we want (pretty much), to vote as we want, to make and buy what we want... and there's no other country out there that can say those things to the same extent that ours can. So thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you and your families for the enormous sacrifices you make daily, and for afterwards - we don't forget. <3

J & Family

Why not some nice cheesecake while we're at it? A few baconburgers? Pizza on the top?
Someone come turn up my IV...

Anonymous said...


I hate you're going through this. I was in the hospital last year for two weeks when my kidneys crashed. The doctors and nurses were so sweet. We'd get one system up and another would start crashing, so they'd bring another specialist in. My veins are horrible so they'd blow and the nurses would cry because it's so hard to get another IV going.

I hated telling them when it happened. Poor things.

I really hated leaving Oklahoma because of the wonderful medical teams there.

I hate, hate, hate you're going through this. Even with great staff and great facilities, it drives a person insane and you're going through much more serious stuff than I was. I continue to pray.


Craig F said...

The big question is if you feel the risk is worth the possible gain. Sure the game is rigged but you can't win if you don't bet. The question is on how big of a bet you will make.

I have a short story that I have been searching for a home for. I have come across several things that might suit my purpose.

That purpose is stuff to put in the housekeeping section of a query. Money from the short story is no big deal. It needs to be either a publishing credit or part of a marketing plan. Both would be better.

Wattpad is not a publishing credit because it isn't juried. It might be a great marketing plan though.

The other thing that caught my attention is a thing called Short Story America. If any of you have heard about it please share. It seems like the greatest idea that never quite happened but it would be a publishing credit.

Julia: I hope you have an advocate of some sort watching over you. I would not let one of my friends into a hospital without one. The apathy of hospital workers scares me. Best to you.

Happy fourth gang.

Anonymous said...

I'm looking at entering some stories in these this summer.

The pay isn't great on all of them, but it's a publishing credit. Just read carefully what rights you're selling.

I like writing short stories. Sometimes you just have to do the best you can and put yourself out there. Success comes in cans, failure comes in can't.

Amy Schaefer said...

Julie, we haven't had ice cream on the island for about four months now. I'm going to try your Jailhouse Ice Cream and report back. By which I mean, I'll make it for my family. Yes, absolutely, I'll share, really I will.

Happy 4th, neighbours to the... well, not the south at the moment. East-northeast. (But you still get a "u" in neighbours. I can't help it.)

Julie said...

'ALLO, all!
I'm still in this most excellent of solaria (OOO, fancy word!) / family rooms here at the end of the hallway, attached to Henrietta, my IV pump. Henrietta is a cantankerous old beast, and she likes to be heard from, so every once in a while, she just beep-beep-beeps her little old self into insanity for a while. And I let her go and say "there there" until I can't take it any more, and then I push "Pause, Restart," and she's all better.

I'm now sitting surrounded by my friends Laptop, Keyboard, Mouse, Book of Books (where all my ideas get jotted and fixed), Earbuds, iPhone, and three strawed Attempts To Make Me Drink. One of them was my daughter's (Thing 1) attempt to pass Mountain Dew off as Ginger Ale, LOL. We had a talk about Mountain Dew. My son (Thing 2) said, "Mommy, that stuff looks like Pee Soda with Ice!" I replied, "You sure are a nine-year-old-boy!"

I've named my nurse Conan the Barbarian, and the staff are getting to know me. I'm settling in. It's going to be One Of Those Stays. To Wit - I feel crummy, but at least people are trying and the docs are living up to my expectations (that is - not to listen to a durn thing I say - which is why it's the book I'll write when I'm ready).

Right now, a massive storm is rolling over Lake Champlain. Huge blasts of lightning, great rolls of thunder - it's gorgeous, and if it weren't for the knife in my gut, it could almost be a week's vaca in Vermont. Almost.

I SOOOO appreciate the support.

@Julie - I wish I could eat that cobbler & Ice cream, but since I can't, I linked to it on my FB page. Maybe you'll get some new readers. And natch I linked to Great White. Again.

World Cup asked if I wanted a shower again today. I was soooorely tempted. But I figured that someone else ought to have the chance. So what did he do? He said, "It's completely vooooluntaaaareeeeeey...." and winked. Boy, is this kid good. But I just laughed and went back to sleep because I sort of felt like sail canvas that had been used for too many races. If you know what I mean. Maybe tomorrow.

One thing about this whole Wattpad thing is this - it has caused me to reflect upon the driffle that I have posted on there. Maybe this is the perfect time to add to it. The only thing is that I really am not committed to it at all, and isn't that like adding to someone's gambling addiction? Like "oooo, yes, she posted again, maybe she'll post again tomorrow?" When the reality is that writing that stuff - well, truthfully, I have to be in metabolic acidosis and with pancreatitis and on serious meds to consider it. But better that than my serious manuscripts, right?

But didn't Hemingway write something about writing drunk and editing sober? Same thing, right?

Well, fellow Sharkbites, THANK YOU again so much for the prayers and thoughts. I can't tell you how very much they mean - OH, WAIT! ONE OTHER THING! - They fixed the hole in Gracie's ceiling on Thursday! Isn't that cool? So now we have an un-collapsed roof! :) Now, if I can just get my kidneys back on line, and, you know, the other stuff.... :)

Love you guys.
Thank you.

(Right, Captcha. I'm gonna be drinking tons of wine.)

Anonymous said...

Julie, that writing drunk and edit sober is attributed to him, but his actual quote about drinking and writing is: "Have you ever heard of anyone who drank while he worked? You’re thinking of Faulkner. He does sometimes – and I can tell right in the middle of a page when he’s had his first one." Not saying Hemingway didn't drink, he certainly did, but he didn't think he could drink and write well.

My cowboy son used to live on Mountain Dews. Forget the coffee, bring on the Mountain Dew.

Julie said...

@Craig - DIDN'T mean to leave you out! Must've been the Mountain Dew. Sheesh! That's strong stuff, I tell you wot!

On advocacy.

There's a few answers to that that I'll give in my usual curt and warmly concise (Internally Inconsistent? NAILED IT!) style.

Hope I'm not shockingly spiritual if I just put this right out there. I do have an advocate. It's God. I put this whole deal in his hands a couple-few decades ago and haven't looked back. He lets me take the wheel whenever I want to, and every time I do, I drive off the road; hit a skunk, moose, and land mine in rapid succession; reaffirm my terror of driving on the interstates in snow and my fear of trucks on the road; and then end up throwing the wheel back up to God in panic just before the truck hits me. Generally He then pats me on the head, reassures me that everything is okay and always was, and calm down, and would I like to listen to a different station, and do I need a bathroom break or something to eat or maybe some Cheetos?

So that's my first advocate - and my best - and why I came on here begging for thoughts and prayers... because, at least for me, it works.

Along the same lines is friendship, pure and simple. Now, my friends don't come in banging on the docs' doors; they don't make sure I get the nicest nurses. But you guys are there; when I'm down in the dumps because my creatinine took a hit or because I was up sick all night and rounds took forever and I really need sleep but can't get it... you're there, whether here or FB or home in Milton or wherever, I have a group of people who make me feel like this will end and I exist outside this madness. It matters enormously. Right now, I'm on a chronic ward - folks who come in for long bouts. All of us are people like me, who come in for long stays or short stays often. Ask any one of us - if you don't have someone somewhere who "gets" what you're going through, someone on the other end of the keyboard who's there basically just to say "Wow, that stinks," or "That's hilarious!" - either one, depending on the situation - if you don't have a way to do that... you don't make it. Either physically or psychologically, one way or another, you don't make it. (con't).

JUICE! Now that, I can handle!

Julie said...

@CraigCo.... and anyone else out there on the other end of the keyboard, as it were.

With friends who can support you, who know you well enough to know why it gets to you more than it would other people that Dr. Doesn't-Take-The-Time-To-Realize-That-Patients-Are-People dropped his little "this could be pancreatic cancer goodbye" speech in about thirty seconds at your bedside, with those friends - you stand a chance of not going utterly berserk. And then - you can...

C) Be your own advocate. And that is what I am. Some people do better with a spouse or parent or child doing this for them. And, frankly, when I came in on Weds, I was incoherent, so Brian did it for me. But that doesn't happen very often. Usually, with faith, friends, and family behind me, I have enough of a foundation to speak for myself. This time has been hard, so I've needed to draw a little more. Education matters as well - knowing yourself and about what your strengths are and what's wrong with you (physically, not mentally ;) ).

And for what it's worth, I will always - like always do whatever I can for friends who need help - because, frankly, we are all here together.

D) And finally, there's Brian, my rock. When things are really bad, he'll do what needs doing. This has happened a couple of times - he's needed to call The Powers That Be to make sure things were being dealt with. One time, a doc - who really was excellent - perforated my duodenum during a procedure. I got peritonitis (the complication you can get if you don't treat appendicitis). And they lost my IV. I'm what they call a "Hard Stick," meaning that it's tough to get IV's on me. So they couldn't get antibiotics into me. It was after hours. My temp went from 101 to 105, and I had no pain medications, for EIGHT HOURS. It was agonizing. Brian ended up calling the hospital administrator on call because it was literally a life-threatening situation, and they didn't want to bother the ICU team. Well, I was headed for the ICU one way or another if they didn't get that IV in. So Brian was my advocate in that situation. He's stepped in like that a few times - but only when I've asked him to.

Everyone chooses their advocacy path, I think.

For me... Faith, Family, and Friends - are everything. And anything else comes so far after those things as almost not to matter. Y'all fall into the "friends" category, and I'm so incredibly grateful for the privilege that is you.


OK, Captcha. Are you trying to see if I'm paying attention? All food except for one poor, lonely tree frog? I want to take that tree frog home now.

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

Julia, it seems like I know too many people whose organs are in revolt. A friend just had to have her gall bladder out, a writing group acquaintance had a heart attack, another friend's been on dialysis for a couple of years'd be nice if science could catch up and start making us rugged replacement parts, y'know?

Mountain Dew, I'm not much of a fan of (some of the variant flavors of it are tasty), I'm much more into Pepsi and the occasional ginger beer or Shirley Temple soda (Saranac makes this latter). And I just found out today that my favorite rum company, Kraken, makes a black ginger beer (uses blackstrap molasses, I guess) but doesn't appear to sell it in New York State. Have to send some of my NJ folks on a crusade for it for if/when they visit....

I don't know about Hemingway aphorisms, but Stephen King says write with the door closed, edit with the door open (paraphrased). Depending, I edit the first couple of times with the door closed too. There's a point at which I have to open it, though, and browbeat somebody into reading my work before I send it away to be summarily rejected (or nicely and personally rejected, in some cases).

Julie said...

OH, OH, OH....
About the pancreatic cancer thing - YES, that really did happen.
This GI doc, knowing full well that I was an MD, knowing full well that I was training in his bloody facility, came into my room after carrying out a procedure that left me in post-procedure pancreatitis. He said "...yada yada blah blah blah and a 6 millimeter IPMN that we'll need to follow. Good night." And left, with his slightly embarrassed looking fellow trailing him.

I always have a laptop with me.

Madly searching... "IPMN and Pancreas...."
Without going into details, it is a tumor that may or may not be cancerous. This.... person... had come into my room at about 8:30 at night and dropped this into my lap with no intention of helping me through it. Indeed, no intention of either defining it or explaining how it might or might not impact my life.

So I ended up crying as quietly as I could at the window at the end of the hallway for 45 minutes until my nurse noticed I wasn't in my bed. They were working me up for leukemia at the time, so I was on the cancer ward anyway, which was a good thing, because she was very experienced with MDs like this. So she came and I told her about the conversation and she went and looked it up and came back and we talked and I felt much better. And then she talked with the GI doc and she came back and talked with me some more and I was able to sleep. But honestly, he left me with a diagnosis that I will have to worry about for the rest of my life - and he did it in 10 seconds or less.

Sometimes your advocates are the nurses, and actually, it's USUALLY the nurses - because they know that the docs often have no idea at all how to deal with people.

So that's that.

Sun's setting in a very huge, very pale pink and blue cloud over Lake Champlain.

Goodnight, my friends. Be good to yourselves.

Julie said...

@Julie - AAAAAh! Wasn't sure 'bout that! It's funny, you know who else is quite famously misquoted allll over the place? Winston Churchill! I'll have to look some up tomorrow. It's so pretty here... maybe I'll post some pix to my Pic thingy and link to it. :)


Julie said...

@Anyone else who wants a view of pretty skies over VT this time of July - although for some reason the iPhone mutes the scene a little... the pink really was a lot pinker...

Here's the view from the solarium. :)
(I also took a pic of Henrietta, my IV pole companion. I take her wherever I go. :) )

My View from Sheperdson 4 Solarium at Fletcher Allen

Anonymous said...


I know it's hard not to worry, but you have to keep a positive attitude.

As they say, worry is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but it doesn't get you anywhere. I'm not impressed with your horse apple doctor. Wish you were in Tulsa, OK.

"Well, we don't know what caused the blindness, but we're calling in one of the best neurologists around to do a biopsy."

"Hello, Dr. Massi."

Hello, Mrs. Weathers. What kind of food do you like?"

"Oh, I'm kind of partial to a good chicken fried steak."

"Really? Me too. Have you tried the steaks at Mama Rosa's? They're great. I think we need to figure out what's putting your lights out so you can see your steak though, don't you? We're going to take a section of vein out from the side of your head, but I'll try not to mess up your hair any more than I have to."

All the doctors there were like that. Absolute dolls. And they were great.

My mother is dealing with a doctor like your yahoo. It makes me so irritated. He gets her all stirred up and then I have to research and find out exactly what's going on because he won't talk to her.

Miserable that you are in the hospital again.


Anonymous said...

Julia, sorry to hear you're in hospital again :/ My mum was always in and out of 'em. They never smell any better, do they?

On topic of the post- this comes just as I heard about the Jennifer Fallon kerfuffle. One of her beta readers decided it was good to sell her latest book to a pirating site. It was a beta copy, sure, and not the latest one, but what kind of person does that? I know writing life comes with its dangers and pitfalls, but not being able to trust beta readers (from Wattpad or otherwise)just really sucks. What's a writer to do?

It's one of the reasons I never went Wattpad.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Aw Julia, so sorry to what what's going on in your gut and in the hollow hole of that doctor's head. Sometimes our bodies just screw us up and then, sometimes they get it right.
Here's a side note.
Something weird just happened. I have the TV on and am watching an investigative ID thing. A mattress commercial came on. As I typed the words "our bodies", at the exact same moment the woman selling mattresses said, "our bodies".
This happens to me all the time. I even wrote a blog post about it years ago. Don't know if it means anything but I don't believe in coincidences, I believe in messages.
Am praying hard for you. Up by Lake Champlain, you are in God's country.

Julie said...

@Carolynn, Thank you! I love it up here. :)
Captcha - if you put corned beef between hamburger buns, does it count as a hamburger?

They should change it to "Gotcha."

french sojourn said...


A quick shout out from France. Keep your chin up and know you got the whole shark infested room thinking about you. I had a hernia operation done over here in France. It's a strange thing being in an operating theater and they all speak a foreign language. But it turned out O.K., got a nice six inch scar, that looks as though they used a bread knife. C'est la vie"

I wish I could send you a can of Moxie (Not that you of all people need Moxie, mind you) but it has a taste like Dr. Pepper mixed with Robitussin. I loved the Pea taste comment on Mountain Dew.

Thinking of you and hoping it gets better. Thanks for the updates, just know we want to hear more as well.

Cheers Hank. *lifts a can of Agum's what they have here...Ooooof!*

Patricia Harvey said...

Good post. Got nothing to add, except thanks for the insights. I'll keep this info on the back burner, something to whip out when I'm biting fingernails over finding a publisher.

Anonymous said...

Sorry I've been offline since my last message.

Hank: I will e-mail you soon.

Hi JulieH! So glad you're able to join us again! I'm hoping and praying for you and a quick recovery.

2Ns - I look forward to seeing it!

JulieH: When God offers you Cheetos... I'm impressed. Take care of yourself.