Today the Dragon Wins

"Today the Dragon Wins" offers information from Fantasy Author and Professional Editor Sandy Lender. You'll also find dragons, wizards, sorcerers, and other fantasy elements necessary for a fabulous story, if you know where to look...

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Sandy Lender is the editor of an international trade publication and the author of the fantasy novels Choices Meant for Gods and Choices Meant for Kings, available from ArcheBooks Publishing, and the series-supporting chapbook, What Choices We Made.

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Friday, March 21, 2008

How to Get Arrested With Your Writing
Or…The Dragon vents with acrid smoke

Regular visitors to Today the Dragon Wins should know by now that I can get fussy at times. I've been dealing with some anger-inducing issues for…oh…21 months? And those issues seem to be compounding rather than abating at the moment. Rar.

The good news is I've kept my sense of humor (or so I believe).

The bad news is I've used that sense of humor to imply a creditor is a member of the Mafia in a letter I mailed yesterday. ***insert maniacal giggling here***

You see, when I was "downsized" back in the summer of 2006, the idiot (and that term of endearment is supposed to be evidence of my sense of humor; I could use a horrid, naughty word to describe him if I didn't have the "amusement" factor turned on in my brain) I was married to decided that was excellent timing for a trip to Poland where he could sit on a mountain for the better part of a month thinking deep Catholic thoughts. This meant our financial situation became less-than-stellar. My attempts to "thin" our budget were thwarted in a few areas (namely the DISH Network subscription) upon his return to our country because he found it prudent to use his retirement account to renew the subscription so he could continue watching Battlestar Galactica (which I will admit right here and now to enjoying, if I hadn't been working at a bar on most Friday nights to make money for utilities at that time) and baseball (which I will also admit to enjoying).

Now, he did not find it prudent to use his retirement account to contribute to the mortgage payments; that's what my retirement account was for. But that's a diatribe for another day. My point today leans toward the DISH Network situation.

I tried on more than one occasion to cancel the subscription. He managed to arrest that. Fine. Some people need television to deal with stress, and, because he wasn't looking for employment, but was applying to schools around the country to continue his can-sitting, he had a great deal of stress.

When he fled the state May 31, 2007, he informed me that he'd "paid up" the DISH bill and "closed" a few other things (again, we can save those for another rant if they ever apply to writing). Fabulous. I wished to cancel the DISH bill. I got the run-around when I called in. Bizarre. "Is the account current or not?" The answer was "no". By then, I'd been employed for four months, thank God, so I paid some $90+ bill and asked them to shut it down. When I was still able to watch television when I turned it on about a week or two later, I figured I had paid the thing forward. So I called back. "Is this account canceled or not?" The answer was something akin to "it's not current." I replied that it had to be.

Fast forward because this is where writing comes in. I now live in an apartment because that house is in foreclosure (my retirement account went a little "dry" while trying to make those mortgage payments during my unemployment from Ave Maria Family-Oriented University). Some creditor has now tracked me down demanding $75.67. Why? Obviously the $90+ I paid (twice, if I remember it all right) back in the summer of 2007 wasn't enough. They want more. Their letter reads: "By this time, you must realize that you are delinquent."

Criminy. So my letter to them reads:
By this time, I must realize that you are members of the Mafia and I am not the member of the Lender household who owes anything to Dish Network. But to get you to leave ME alone and stop hounding ME for the rest of my natural life, I am paying the paltry $75.67 because it is worth it to have peace in my life.
You should be ashamed of yourselves.
May you all be hounded in a similar fashion,
Sandy Lender

Freaks. Now, I am very proud of myself for not including swear words, because I've heard of people getting fined for vulgarity. But I'm very pissed off. How dare these people hound ME when I paid them—repeatedly—for services I tried—repeatedly—to terminate? How can companies get away with that kind of activity? I realize one unit of my household kept cutting me off at the pass, thus I am probably responsible for this bill, no matter how it was incurred, but it still pisses me off. I even shipped back their receiver and remote in their fancy little UPS box…

So what do you think? Am I going to get a knock on my door from Sheriff John Brown? Bwuahahahaha. You know, I've probably got the Broward County folks coming after me for the confused-toll-road incident around 1 a.m. Sunday, the DISH Network goons coming after me for venting my frustrations…who else can I get on my tail? With any luck, I'll be serving a prison sentence before the year's out and I won't be able to pay Idiot-Boy his pretty little alimony payment so he can sit on his can reading law text books and playing computer war games for fun. Bwuahahahaha.

Here's where I have my ethical dilemma about what I've written. This is Good Friday. I'm supposed to a nice, forgiving, compassionate, caring child of God today. Now, yes, I wrote and mailed the letter yesterday. But, still…Have I become so angry and jaded that I can't forgive members of the Mafia for hounding me for something the 7-year-old moron I was married to got me into? If you stop and think about it, $75 is not so big a deal in the grand scheme of things. I'm about to watch a $300,000 house (it was never worth that) go up for auction and bring in about $150,000 (if I'm lucky). And because an underhanded mortgage broker helped my underhanded soon-to-be-ex get his name off the mortgage, guess who's stuck with that noise. All ya'll know what that means for my financial future.

Maybe I'm just so sick and tired of the constant stress of 21 months of spiraling toward insanity, foreclosure, bankruptcy and divorce that I'm ready to lash out at whoever's causing the stress on a given day. If that's the case, I need to practice journaling, as I suggest often on this site, rather than sending spiteful little diatribes to creditors who are just doing their jobs. (Even if I think those jobs are just beneath used-car-salesman on the totem pole of jobs-that-suck-your-very-soul-out-of-your-very-aura.)

Almanzo Wilder used to tell Laura Ingalls, the rich man gets his ice in the summer and the poor man gets his in the winter. My winter is almost here…gimme an ice pick, Baby.
***maniacal giggling goes here***

"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."
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