One of the perils of freelance writing is that by the time the editors (well-meaning, I'm sure) are done bending your words to their needs, you may no longer recognize what you wrote; you may not even wish to have your name attached to the transmogrified piece of crap (which, admittedly, may not have been so great in the first place), and to make things worse, you get paid peanuts for it. Sigh. Although I try, cultivating a stance of gratitude -- for getting published, for bylines, for getting paid at all -- sometimes feels disgustingly close to martyrdom, which was never my cup of tea. Let them do what they want with my body and soul? No effing way. And yet, more often than not, I relent. I don't even know whether I can choose otherwise. This hack is now accepting suggestions for a nom de guerre. This could be fun. And yes, this is war.