Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Insecure Writer's Support Group: Please Pray

Hey all. I can't believe we're past half way through the year already. But today's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's time for my IWSG post.

For those of you unfamiliar with the idea, IWSG is a monthly bloghop where a lot of writers share their insecurities and encouragements. Which in the end makes everyone involved feel better. Don't believe me? Join up and see.



You know... I'm starting to think 2014 is going to go down in my history is THE SUCKIEST YEAR EVER.

So why am I telling you this?

Well 1) because I need prayers, people, and this will be the shortest route to get a wide exposure. 2) because it actually does have to do with my big insecurity this month. So please bear with me.

As you may know, I spent four months this year grappling with my former publisher with regards to my rights to my War of Six Crowns books. So by end of April/Early May, it's all over. And I finally get back into the groove where I can write and edit and just generally focus on getting stuff done.

But just when I think everything's okay again, suddenly it isn't.

See, my family business (in which I own a substantial share) is in the agricultural industry. The natural progression given the success we had for two years was to buy a farm.

We basically purchased on a delayed agreement, which means we pay rent on the farm for a few months. At which point we either give the farm up or buy it. The lovely thing is that we got the farm, which is valued and priced so we can get a loan on it.

The less than wonderful thing: We got the farm just as business dried up, thanks to European sanctions on our main export. But that was fine. Our records were good enough that we could still get financing, and income by producing and exporting products that are lower-risk, high income and sanction free. We were in the process of doing both. Things still looked good. (Well, except for the crap with my publisher.)

But last week, a new bomb dropped.

After hearing vague rumors, it has now been confirmed that our government is actively looking into passing a law, taking 50% of land owned by farmers and redistributing it to impoverished communities.

Let me say that again, before anyone has an "awe that's so sweet" sort of reaction.


Our government. 

Is considering to disregard basic property rights. (Of the variety: "I bought something and therefore it is mine.")

To give HALF of property OWNED by people. 

To other people who can't and won't be paying a cent for any of it. 

Which means that people might lose half their farms and the production of those farms when they are barely keeping head above water as it is. (No. We don't get subsidized to farm. And no, seems like we won't be in future, either.)

It means that people who have mortgages on farms they purchased, will have to pay full mortgages on half farms. I.E. $2mil when he/she only has $1mil of farm left. And which means they will have to do so on half their projected production levels.

Which in short, means that no one in his right mind will buy a farm now. (We also stopped the purchase until we can see what the law will really be in the end.) But it also means no one's investing in agricultural businesses either. Farm or no farm.

And certainly no one will contract us in long term exporting arrangements now because no one knows what the output will be.

Which means that yes. My business is grinding to a complete halt.

Which means that, yes, this is probably as insecure as you're ever going to see me. Because right now, as I'm writing this, everything I've worked for (including my plans to publish) are teetering on the brink of evaporation.

Because everything me and my family earned in our business went into the farm. And now everything we might earn has to go into keeping ourselves and the people we employ afloat. Which I still admit puts us in a much better place than a lot of other people. We are still solvent and functioning. But if this law is passed...

The ramifications of this is absolutely staggering.  And that's just on our farm. I'm not even getting into what this law will do to the economy as a whole.

Which means that yeah. I'm terrified. I'm worried.

I still stand firm in the belief that God hasn't and won't desert us. But sometimes standing firm is taking so much out of me that I can barely concentrate on anything else. 

So yes. Please pray for my country. For my farm. For the people on my farm. For my family and for me. Because right now, everyone of us needs every intercession every one of you can make. 

91 comments:

  1. I will pray! That is just insane. And socialism at its worst. Don't give up hope, Misha.

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  2. The same thing happened in Brazil--and they called that progress! I am sick and tired of politicians giving away things that don't even belong to them.

    I'm so sorry, Misha. The policy stinks. It's abominable and immoral. If they want to help the impoverished, find them work, not handouts at the expense of those who worked their asses off to earn their property.

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    1. I agree with you. What's actually going to happen now is more people will lose their jobs because it will be cheaper for farmers to become capital intensive than to give half their fricking farms away.

      And then foreign investors will withdraw because there will be no guarantee that similar redistributions won't happen in other industries. No one will start businesses. Because who's going to work to buy assets when half can be given to people who didn't? (And yes, I know some people CAN'T. But what foundation will the economy stand on when the government devalues everything by at least half, if not completely?)

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  3. No, that's not "sweet" at all and I'll be keeping you in my prayers, Misha.

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  4. Sending up lots of prayers! Urgh, you've had such a crazy year and now this?! All your trials have GOT to be heading toward something great. They've just got to be. Hang in there.

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    1. Hahaha yeah. At least I can't say 2014 had split personalities. Both halves are set to suck. ;-)

      I agree with you though. There IS a plan. This IS a test. It's just a matter of hanging in there until the blessings come back.

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  5. That property thing is ridiculous but I think the whole world is heading in that direction. There are a good many in the U.S. government that would like to do the same thing. Sometimes regulations make me want to just give up and start collecting government doles and just watching TV all day..

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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    1. That's the most aggravating thing. I have student debts despite having a 4.0 average at school. Because of policy in my country.

      My family and I had to make out business work without funding (until we showed a sizable profit) because of policy.

      We've had to put all of our savings into the farm because the grant we could have gotten months ago are taking unnecessarily long to be investigated for allocation (which I now suspect is because the powers that be knew about this damned "law").

      So no. NONE of this actually HELPS anyone. Just makes everyone poorer so the poor people feel a bit better.

      Instead of helping the poor to move forward too.

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  6. I'm so sorry to hear this. :( I hope this year starts looking up for you soon!

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  7. Prayers! Socialism is wonderful. On paper. Unfortunately, I think unless Jesus himself came down and made Himself king of the world, it will never work. Sorry to hear this.

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    1. Yeah I agree with you. I don't think full-on capitalism is the answer either. But there are ways to redistribute wealth without cutting the economy down at its knees.

      And really, farming in South Africa isn't redistributing wealth. Especially not if every time a piece of land is sold, its value gets halved.

      The idea itself is frankly ridiculous. So much so I didn't even believe it was on the table until I heard the news.

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  8. This is terrible. And there are other horrible ramifications that we likely don't even see yet. Something like that could actually bring an entire country to its knees. Why invest in property (any property) if the government can come in and just take it away? Like Arlee said, I think that they would like to do this all over the world and not just in your country. There is something called Agenda 21 created by the United Nations and agreed to by everyone. If you look it up on YouTube it will shock you. I do believe this is the direction we are heading and all of our political leaders have agreed to it, but it is NOT good for the people. Some of it seems just unfathomable to life as we know it now. But, if enough countries are successful at property theft, it will move us that much closer to full implementation.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOERWe0qX68

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  9. I should have said that I will be praying for you. Of course I will!!!

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    1. Thanks Robin. Will check out the vid as soon as it buffers. >_<

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  10. Absolute Stupidity... The policy as it stands simply does not make economic sense. Is it even constitutional !? Aai Misha! My thoughts are with you...

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    1. I agree with you. I don't think it's constitutional. And yes, this will screw the entire economy over.

      I mean, we depend on foreign direct investment and share investment in order to maintain currency stability (which helps to curb inflation). What the hell do they think investors will do if their money can suddenly just be taken and used for something else that has nothing to do with profit?

      I don't even want to think of what the banking sector in general is saying right now.

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    2. SA is being run by a group of myopic political elite who think of clinging to power first and foremost and South Africa second. And then the government has the audacity to claim they are creating an environment for fostering economic growth ...

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    3. Yeah. I just hope they discover when they do the research that just saying something doesn't make it true.

      And then I hope they freaking take asset splitting off the table.

      Because sure, we might get economic growth if this law is passed. But jobless growth. Because everyone in his mother is going to start automatizing.

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  11. That's horrible. I'm a small business owner too (in healthcare) , and times have been hard for us too. I know how stressful this must be for you. Not only personally, but also creatively. I hope things turn around soon.

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    1. Yeah the times are hard all round. :-(

      Hope things go better for you too.

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  12. Oh my gosh, Misha. I have no words. I will be praying for sure! BIG HUGS!!!!

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  13. That is awful! May all the prayers be answered for you.

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  14. Praying for you, your family, your farm, and your country.

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  15. Misha, I can't imagine dealing with that. I grew up in a farming family (MUCH smaller scale than what you all have, but it was also my grandparent's only means of making money and eating), and the idea of someone taking our family farm--for any reason--turns my stomach. Farming is work born of sacrifice, both in getting it started and keeping it going. Just so many factors out of your control impact your ability to produce, but if it's in your blood, you can't NOT do it. To think someone could sign their name to a piece of paper and instantly wipe half of your effort and belongings away is terrible.

    Definitely sending prayers your way!

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    1. That's so true. People think it's easy to farm because the people who do it, love it. But really, it's not about the ease. It's about people having it in their blood to farm, and being passionate about it.

      And yeah... this is really a bitter pill to swallow.

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  16. Misha, you have my thoughts, prayers, and sympathies. I cannot believe that they would choose farmers of all the groups to "redistribute." I understand that poverty is a huge burden on any nation, but if they are so upset, they should *BUY THE LAND* they want to distribute. Good luck and keep us posted!

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    1. See the problem is that they used to buy the land, but it worked out too expensive for the state. (Land is high value in my country, because there's not a LOT of farming land to go around.)

      But what they're talking about will devalue the land completely, because if no one's willing to buy land, products etc, it's simply not worth anything.

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  17. That sounds crazy! I'm so sorry that this is happening to you. You have my prayers.

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  18. I'm so terribly sorry to read this. I can't even comprehend the idea that they would just step in and take your livelihood, but I know I shouldn't be surprised by anything governments might do. I will keep you in my thoughts and hope this nightmare does not happen. Take care!

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    1. Yeah that's the scary thing. Knowing that this isn't feasible, but not quite being sure about whether they'll care.

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  19. Socialism at its best. It's funny how the world shunned these ideas only 60 years ago--because they destroyed economies, freedoms, and people--and suddenly the world is all on board. HELLO PEOPLE. Have you taken a look at Russia recently? (Sending prayers.)

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    1. Yeah, it's like people never learn from history.

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  20. By All that is Holy. That is a load of Cee Are A Pea.

    Sounds like a variation of The Little Red Hen folktale. When the hen asked for help to grow and care for her crop of wheat, the other animals blew her off. But they were there wanting their share of her food (profits) after the work was done.
    The world does not owe a living to those who chose not to participate. *grumbling*

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    1. I agree with you. Thing is, I am sympathetic to the people too, in a sense. Many don't participate because they literally don't have the funds to do so.

      So if the law turns out to be about sharing profits, (Say ten percent of net profits into a worker's fund) I'm all for it, because it will probably benefit the economy all round.

      But to undermine property laws...

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  21. I am so sorry Misha. As a fellow South African, I can tell you I understand what you are going through. I can no longer work in agriculture (after completing a 3 year degree), because the job market and economy are so unstable. Everything is just so unfair. I will pray for you and your family.

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    1. Yeah that's the scary thing for me too. My mother and I started off our business because there just wasn't work to be had for me. (Really, get an education to get a good job is a myth here.)

      So yeah, I'm hoping things ease up again soon, because if my business can't handle the strain, I don't really have anywhere else to go.

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  22. I'm so sorry to hear that. I will pray. I truly hope things work out for you and your family.

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  23. That is in-freaking-sane!! Is the country run by lunatics? A heartfelt prayer was just sent up, and more to come. Just this morning I was in a discussion about how the Lord takes even our trials and uses them for the good---I pray that the trials turn to good for you and your family and your country very, very soon.

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  24. Sending you positive energy. That sort of thing would make me crazy. I hate not being able to plan ahead. I hope they decide not to, because the idea will create a lot of chaos.

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    1. Oh yeah it will. I honestly don't know how the economy would stay standing.

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  25. The thing that really gets me is why did they choose farm land to redistribute? Like if you wanted to steal from the rich and give to the poor, why wouldn't you choose corporations? At least here, farmers don't make much money, so that's almost like stealing from the poor to give to the poor which makes no sense...

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    1. Hahaha yeah it's what the farmers keep saying. Half the value of all farmland is in debt. Basically, most farmers work to break even and live of cash flow.

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  26. I hope things get better for you! It really has been a sucky year.

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    1. Thanks Laura.

      The upside is that I think we can only go up from here. ;-)

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  27. Father, in Jesus name we bring Misha and her family and her country to you. Give her the faith, strength, and peace she needs to keep going at this time. "Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning." --Psalm 30:5 <3

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  28. That is horrible. I hope/pray that law doesn't pass. Seems the South African government shouldn't have the right to take land like that. What a tumultuous year you're having. Glad you got the rights thing to your books settled though. Hang in there, and HUGS!

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  29. Giving away YOUR property? That is so wrong. You worked hard for it.

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    1. Yeah. I just hope this law doesn't pass in the current form.

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  30. Sorry to hear this...it's terrible and makes no sense.

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  31. Ugh Misha that just really blows. I can't believe they can do that. Doube ugh. And how do they expect these other people to take care of the land if they have no money?
    I'll be praying for you my friend. I really hope it all works out.

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    1. Right. And someone has to farm because we need food...

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    2. They want to set up a fund, they say. Thing is, I don't think they have a concept of what this will cost the economy. :-/

      And yeah, if the farms stop producing food, food prices rise, which raises inflation.

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  32. I'm so sorry, Misha. What's happening to you is so unfair; it's also really scary when something is beyond your control but it affects you in such a big way. I hope that it works out, and I have to say I admire you for running a farm, because that's a tough job. I grew up in the Midwest, and I remember hearing the farmers talk about the struggles they faced; it takes a certain kind of strength (which you obviously have) to handle those struggles.

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    1. Awe thanks. Lucky for me, my whole family's in it. Mother, her brother, me and my brother, so it makes things easier.

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  33. Oh my goodness. I can't even imagine what you are going through. Yes, you have my prayers.
    Hug,
    Lyn

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  34. Aagh! How can any sane government do that? It sounds so wrong. This is a really shitty turn of events, Misha, my thoughts are with you.

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    1. Thanks Ian. Just hoping and praying that this gets turned around into something that benefits everyone.

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  35. I'm worried too... about LOTS of other things too...
    Misha, we are going to be in a load of trouble with this.
    I dread to think of the economy...

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    1. Me too. I just hope they don't go through with this.

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  36. Wow. This is like an Atlas Shrugged scenario. Taking something from someone who worked hard for it is still stealing, even if the idea is to help someone less fortunate. Why don't they take half of the mansions and fancy cars from the rich and redistribute those? Oy. I'm praying for you,. girl. Things will get better.

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  37. Wow. That is really awful. Not that it in any way makes it okay, but don't they at least have to pay you for it? (It seems that's usually the case when the government pulls this crap. We've had some imminent domain stuff in our area lately, too.) The whole idea is so upsetting. It's ridiculous, and messed up, and won't accomplish what they think it will anyway. :-P
    Best of luck to you! Keep us updated!

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  38. Wait ... they're doing WHAT? That's ... wow, the words I'm thinking are not polite in the least. I really hope they don't go through with it.

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  39. Ai yi yi! That is awful! I'll definitely be praying for you!

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  40. What a terrible situation. Thinking of you and your family.

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  41. Didn't another African country (?Rhodesia maybe?) do something similar, took the land away from the white farmers and gave it to the black community? Only, unless you're a farmer (my dad's family was), running a farm is incomprehensible and the whole idea just imploded? Can't believe another government would attempt it. Apart from the obvious that it's just plain wrong!!! Sending prayers to you xx
    Suzanne @ Suzannes-Tribe
    xx

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  42. Giving farm land to people who probably don't know how to use it is just stupid. Here's a thought. IF people get part of your land, help them learn how to farm it — let the give you a management contract! Well, maybe.

    Blessings and Bear hugs!

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  43. This was an eyeopener for me.
    Government is getting too big everywhere.

    Praying for you, Misha. :(

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  44. Oh wow, I missed this post before, but glad I found it! What an awful thing the government is doing! Sending prayers and hugs your way. I hope everything works out okay.

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  45. I pray for you Misha, not your country. I really dislike communists and all that land sharing is very communist like.

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  46. That is a horrid Idea! I may offend some people, but the point of working hard and saving is so you and your family can be successful...not be successful so you can give away half of your stuff to someone who hasn't made those same good choices. Some people might say my attitude is easy to have because I have worked hard and made good investments and choices, but let me tell you where I started in life. My mother was 17 and pregnant. She and my father got married, but we lived with people for a long time. We lived in a home with no indoor plumbing...then there was the divorce...and the move to another country and a remarriage...no the grass wasn't greener. Books were my escape from my life. It was not a happy life. When I chose to borrow money to go to college and to work hard and to graduate and marry someone with similar values we have become successful. It infuriates me when people want to share the (your) wealth. Why would anyone work hard to be successful if they were just going to be forced to give it away. (Sharon climbs down off her soap box.) You and your country will be in my prayers.

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