Chasing Payments

Alki Beach

I am overdue on a blog post again. Whoops! It has been a somewhat distracting few weeks. On the enjoyable side, we went to the Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire. It was fun, but I have begun to feel as though my younger self enjoyed the Ren Faires much more than I do. They’re just a little same ol’ same ol’ I suppose. A few new acts, but the same inaccurate jousts etc.

Which is why I was so glad that my editor at Renaissance Magazine said yes to my pitch about doing an article on Camlann Medieval Village. I went there last week and had a ball. It’s a re-creation of life in 14th century England and they do an amazing job. They had a fighter practice where we got to see them use a variety of weapons and they talked about actual techniques used by knights. We got to see a guy making arrows. It was all very educational, but also fun. Plus, we got to have a true medieval lunch at the local inn. It made me want to play some Dragon Age. I felt like I could be walking into a tavern in Skyrim, it looked that good. I haven’t gotten to writing the article yet- that’s this weekend’s job, but when I do, I shall be sure to post some pictures. Seriously, if you’re in the Seattle area, this place is not to be missed.

Another place I got to check out for the first time is Alki Beach in West Seattle. I never really go further South than downtown, but since I had some business down in Federal Way, we decided to check out the two-mile stretch of beach and it was fun. It was a pretty stroll, with views of downtown, and it was fun people watching.

As far as the writing goes, I’ve been pretty frustrated lately. Not with the fiction work, I still love that. I am starting to get back into round three of rewrites of the novel. Still wondering what to do about Shatterer of Worlds. But the other writing has become unfulfilling and tiresome. I guess I have several problems with the writing right now. Everyone always ooh’s and ahh’s over my magazine work, but it’s that work that can be the most frustrating. Most of the magazines I write for don’t pay until publication, which means I could be left waiting 6-9 months for a payment. This is unacceptable for writers. How many other occupations have that issue?

What’s more, I currently have two clients who are being less than communicative. Celtic Life was a magazine that I knew was going to be trouble before I even booked the job. They don’t work with contracts. Thankfully, I got terms in writing. Terms which said they pay on publication. I did the work in May, publication was June 25th. July 24th I contacted them asking about payment. They said cheques have been issued, I should see it shortly. August 4th, I tried again. No reply. I tried to call August 5th, nobody answered and no voicemail. August 6th I sent an invoice with a late fee. They replied, said cheque was mailed on the 24th. After confirming the address was correct- at least they did that much- they said they resent the cheque August 9th. August 17th, I sent a note requesting payment via PayPal since neither cheque had shown up. No reply until August 21st which was a one line email asking if it arrived. I said it hadn’t and August 22nd sent a payment reminder via PayPal. Still no word. I telephoned Canada Post in Halifax, the town where Celtic Life operates, and am told it should only take 5-6 days to get from Halifax to Seattle. When I told them how long I had been waiting, the guy couldn’t think of any reason why neither cheque had shown up yet. He did suggest they make payment using Xpresspost USA with signature. I did attempt to call Celtic Life again, and same thing, the phone rang and rang with no answer. So eventually I left a very frustrated email with this editor after I failed to get them on the phone yet again.

It’s been frustrating. Add to that, Travel Generation, another company that has been unresponsive. I’ve sent multiple emails asking how payment works. Nothing. I’m told how much I will get paid. I’m told who to invoice. But when is a mystery. It’s like they don’t appreciate the time that I waste having to follow up with them. My first article was published 26th July. My second, was published this week. To be fair, I would never have sent them a second article if I knew that getting this information would be like pulling teeth. I have invoiced them yet again, letting them know that if payment is not rendered within 30 days of publication it is considered late and subject to a late fee. Still no response. I haven’t even told anyone I am writing for this website because I don’t promote articles that I haven’t been paid for.

Now, normally, I would never name names about companies I am having problems with. This isn’t my style. But I’m tired of being ignored. These companies expect a ridiculous amount of work from writers but then don’t bother paying? Or pay late? Between these two clients, I am owed over $500 and this is unacceptable. Not to mention unprofessional. Add to the fact that I really feel like I need to concentrate on my acting career. That’s my love. That and writing fiction. The other writing is supposed to pay the bills and right now, they’re not. And I’m frustrated.

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