On Vacation!

That’s right faithful readers, the Naughty Quillers are taking a three week vacation – virtually speaking. With the end of summer approaching, and for some of us the return to school for the little ones nearing, we decided to take a well deserved break. We’ve been going at this strong for over a year now, I think we deserve one don’t you?

But we will be back!

We’re going to enjoy these last days of the summer months before everything gets back into the swing of things. We shall return to action on September 4, 2017. So don’t go too far y’all, and mark the date on the calendar. We shall see you then, rested and bushy tailed – at least that’s the plan.

The Naughty Quillers (Doris, Jules, Kacey, Moira & Raven)

Fly little bird, fly! #FabulousFriday @AuthorMoira

Well I totally forgot it was Friday. Had zero clue until I was heading out of work for the day and everyone was saying “have a good weekend”. To which I stared blankly at them with a big old question mark hovering over my head. Thankfully someone took mercy and reminded me it was Friday. Color me shocked! Short weeks are great because you don’t have to go to work as often, but good lawd do they mess up your internal calendar. That’s my story and I’m damn well sticking to it.

Today’s post, slightly delayed though it is, is about new authors trying new things. We all know the saying “write what you know” well by this point, but there is more to an authors life than that. We should also try new things from time to time.

The main reason folks tell you to “write what you know” is so that you become comfortable, and find a routine of writing that works for you. If you’re writing “what you know” then you are in a comfort zone for your topic of choice for your WIP. But eventually you will discover you’ve done it so often that you are now in a rut so damn deep you’re not sure if you’ll ever get out. Like the one scene in Twister where they were being chased by the tornado and couldn’t quite get the truck out of the ditch.

On one hand it’s great advice for the newbie’s out there, learn your rhythm, find your happy place, and once you have a pattern to work with, stretch out your wings. Not only will this help you grow as an author instead of writing the same old, same old to death, but it will also keep sparking your muse. Because without that psychotic schizophrenic bitch throwing curve balls and wild cards, writing can become dull. Repetitive. Boring.

I’m not saying to pull a 180 and go right off the deep end, that might be going too far unless you truly feel prepared for that. I’m suggesting maybe a different genre, or add on a sub-genre to your current pursuits to add something fresh to the mix. And then build on that. Eventually you could be doing that 180 from where you were to start, no one’s saying you have to or that you shouldn’t. But go at your own pace, in your own time, and with what feels most comfortable to you. After all, you’re the only one that knows what’s going on in your head, what your muse is thinking, and what sparks that creative juice to start flowing.

So write what you know until you’re ready to head into the unknown.

word…four letters…words…any number of letters…almost…words…what words?

Raven here, rambling on words.

So dear readers (if there are any), it’s four twenty seven am (to be precise) and I have been staring at this blank word doc for…let me see, forty three minutes…approximately.

Give or take.

Wondering what words of wisdom I might have to impart today.

mini thesaurus

(Source, pinterest)

The answer I have finally come up with?

I don’t.

Have an answer or words of wisdom.

I’m worded out.

Now a few years ago this would have freaked me big time.

The OMG have I writers block, will I ever write again, what will I do wailings.

Now?

It doesn’t.

I do not have writers block. Luckily I never have. What I do have is a need to do other things and not worry that I’m not getting the words on paper. The paper and the words are waiting for when it’s their turn to play. I need to sit in the sun (well if we had any) drink Mojito’s (luckily the mint plant is flourishing) catch up on my reading (the kindle is complaining I’ve neglected it) chat to hubby (who for once is in this country) and savour how lucky I am.

I’ve finished edits, got a book out, plotted another two, and am having a fascinating time researching old architecture. And I’ve learned how to pick up a dropped stitch in knitting. Mind you, the way I knit gives any watcher the giggles but hey ho, it’s al part of my take a step back ad smell the roses routine.

Meanwhile I have a non-writing friend visiting. She’s reading my stories, telling me what she does and doesn’t like, and I’m bouncing ideas off her.

Plus going for walks in the beautiful forest around where I live, visiting coffee shops, and drinking wine.

Life is good. If it means I don’t have a book out soon well, I reckon the next book will be all the better for it. The last thing I want is for my stories to be so similar you, as a reader know that on page ten the H/h will do x, and on page 27, y and page 124, z, etcetera. Of that (as I read in a book once) I’m writing so much of the same old, same old, I forget which hero it is, use the wrong name and no one, including the editor picked up on it. Seriously. This happened. I noticed and was er you what? It threw me. I later discovered that name used (more than once, I thought a new bloke had been introduced…he hadn’t) was the hero from the author’s previous book. And the story was so similar it was no wonder!

Not good.

I have no intention of being that person.

(and although these blogs aren’t self book promo, if any of you eve see me doing that, tell me.)

It is now five fourteen am.

I’m off back to sleep I hope. Mind you with two cups of coffee and ahem a biscuit or ten devoured since I woke up…I might need a trip to the loo and an indigestion tablet first.

But I need to share this…

coddywomple

(source pinterest)

Happy whatever,

 

Love Raven x

 

PS On a positive note what a fantastic sunrise.

Life… #TuesdayThoughts with Doris (@mamaD8)

Happy Tuesday, lovely peeps. Well, I tell you life is never dull, is it? The week started off with something of a bang.

giphy-downsized.gif

Our youngest had a nasty allergic reaction over the weekend, the second in three days, so I thought it was wise to take him to the doctors. We are, of course, none the wiser, as to what he is suddenly reacting to, only that he is definitely reacting to something.

So antihistamine follows us wherever we go, just in case… fun, not. Neither is the talk of EpiPens and rushing him off to A&E if need be. Worst case scenario, that, obviously, but still. Not what you want to hear.

Add to that that I was up at the crack of dawn to take one of our daughters to said hospital to have the metal plate taken out of her collarbone (you may or may not remember she broke it over a year ago, falling out of a tree!) and… yeah… life…

Not all that conducive to meeting your writing goals. However, I’m pleased to report that I did manage to finish that story I was banging on about last time.

*phew*

It remains to be seen if the powers that be like it, of course.

I didn’t finish the other story I was writing. My muse, god bless her, decided to take me down the rabbit hole and to write something else entirely.

This one is MMF, interracial, and BDSM to boot.

 

Then again with these two hunks for inspiration… can’t say I blame her.

 

Josh and Dawson

 

My heroine is one lucky lady… just saying…

 

*smirks*

So, there you have it. One rambling post from me. To be honest, I’m struggling with keeping up my Naughty Quills commitment of posting every Tuesday so I might have to rethink that at some point. But not today. I have some very hot sex to write.

Do stay naughty, folks,

 

D x

 

 

Terminal velocity #FabulousFriday @AuthorMoira

Happy Friday one and all, you’ve made it through another week. Today will be a short post (in theory), since I have much to accomplish before I depart for the long weekend for some family time.

Pretty much everyone on the planet knows what “terminal velocity” is. For those unfamiliar it is basically the maximum rate a falling body will reach. An easy example most folks can visualize is a sky diver leaping from a plane, and plummeting to earth. The diver will pick up speed until (and there’s math involved here) they can’t go any faster in their current chosen position. Basically the end result, if they don’t pull their chute, is – well – I think we all know.

There are days where I feel like I’m in free-fall as an author. It’s not exactly a reassuring sensation, but it can have a few advantages. I’m someone who works best under deadline. As a naturally born semi-procrastinator (not always though I should mention), I do well in the time crunch. Unfortunately I don’t always have control over my “time”, the main reason being my Evil Day Job. Yes, I probably could go find another job, somewhere. But it’s not a forgone conclusion that I could find one that would allow me more “me” time. These days it’s better to have a job that sucks time than to be unemployed, believe you me. But that’s beside the point.

Everyone has “time sucks”, it seems to be a naturally occurring phenomenon that crops up the instant you become an author. It’s not obvious at first, but eventually you start to spot the pattern. The biggest ones, social media and drama. Oh the drama. And it’s usually on social media! Vicious, seemingly never ending cycle.

Sadly, although we are (for the vast majority) adults in the author community, we still cannot avoid drama. It comes in all shapes, sizes, and from any and all fronts. Getting sucked into drama is a fantastic way to feel yourself free-falling, and eventually reaching your own personal terminal velocity. It’s pretty much the point where you say “fuck this shit!” and ___________ fill in the blank. Some authors call it quits, others change everything about their author lives around, some cut out bad influences (aka: the shit disturbers, otherwise known as the promoters of drama), and still others blow their gaskets. Usually in a rather, here’s that word again, dramatic fashion.

While sitting at your desk writing, or surfing the Net won’t have you reaching terminal velocity physically, that doesn’t mean you can’t reach it mentally. We all have our limits. Limits about how much bullshit we’re willing to put up with, how many lies we’re willing to see perpetrated online, how much bad mouthing we’re willing to have pop into our feeds, and how much favoritism we’re willing to put up with – especially when it happens constantly, and with the same individual(s). We all have a hard line in the proverbial sand that when it’s crossed, all we can see is red.

The only thing we can really control is ourselves, and our reactions to what pushes our buttons. No one needs drama in their lives, unless you happen to be an actor or drama major. How you deal with everything that will filter through your feeds, emails, and lives is up to you. The only advice I will give is these two pieces:  Always take a step back, and evaluate the pros and cons before making a potentially life altering decision. And don’t let anyone, no matter who they are, tell you that you’re not making the right choice for you. Only you know you – which means you are the only one who can decide what does, and doesn’t work for you.

Raven ponders on The Circle of Life

Or…

Hi All, Raven here, and today I’m reminding myself of something I think it’s easy to forget. What goes around comes around…

In Animal Farm, George Orwell wrote, all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

It’s a fact. We might not like it, in fact, I’d say generally do not like it, (unless you’re the favoured one) but it happens.

Now you have choices here.

Ignore it, seethe over it, accept it or query it.

Which you do is up to you.

However remember this quote as well.

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

We as humans are all individuals. What some people accept, love, like, others dislike hate and rail at.

It’s up to us to think about something and decide what our own response will be.

We also need to accept that our response might not be to everyone’s liking. That it might not be interpreted the way it was intended.

However, the gist of this blog is this.

Be it as one person, a group, a professional or whatever. It behoves us to be professional. But that doesn’t mean to say, we shouldn’t query something that we perceive as strange. Something we want to be explained.

It also behoves the person we are querying to give a straightforward and honest answer.

In all things there are positive and negatives. There has to be, we are human with human failings.

And believe me I know it’s hell on wheels to have to admit you were in the wrong. However sometimes a simple explanation as to why, or even yes I’m sorry that was silly helps.

Or shock horror, that’s the best for me, you, them, and how it is going to be.

Favouritism eh?

Sadly yeah.

Now, before you say, ‘hey but favouritism sucks, that’s not fair’, no it isn’t but as I always say to my kids, ‘nope it’s raining, and into every life a little rain must fall. How else do we get the flowers’.

flowers in rain

Plus, what goes up must come down. I’ve been there, done that and got several t-shirts to show for it.

The circle of life, remember?

lion king cirvcle of ife

Stay strong,

tree circle of life.jpg

All pics source, pinterest

Love Raven x

Write and Love It. #WickedWednesday @KaceyHammell

 

Happy Wednesday all!!15c7a289e1b6baeb1369704b70107b28--being-a-writer-i-am-a-writer

Hope you are writing up a storm. Short and sweet this week.

Remember you are a writer, the one whose imagination takes flight and creates moving, gripping and wonderful stories.

Don’t let the craziness of this business, the money or the people who think they are better than you, ever stop you from doing what you love.

Write on!

💜💜💜

Kacey xxoo

When is the time to walk away? #TuesdayThoughts with Doris (@mamaD8)

Hello, lovely peeps, Doris here. As the title says I’m pondering when enough really is enough and you throw in the towel, walk away, hit the high road… whatever you want to call it.

giphy-downsized (1).gif

I’m talking publishers, of course.

When you realize that for whatever reason, you and that particular publishing house are just not a right fit anymore.

I’ve talked about not all publishers being created equal on the Quills before here.

Suppose, however, that a publisher you’ve been previously happy with, is just… well insert a reason of your choice here.

What do you do, when on the face of it everything is fine? You sell reasonably well, they pay on time etc, so no red flags as such, and yet, there are small things that niggle. Those small things get persistently more annoying. Not so much of a niggle, but a giant thorn in your side which you simply can’t ignore anymore?

Well, you have a choice to make. Do you carry on ignoring your concerns, especially when you see other authors voicing said concerns to the publisher in question, and they get shot down, or do you stop subbing to that publisher.

The easy answer is, of course, if you’re not happy, stop submitting to them. What, if you have series to finish, however. Typically, any publisher has first refusal on any sequels, so then what do you do?

It’s a dilemma, for sure, and there are no easy answers. Only incredibly hard choices. No author likes to leave their readers hanging, knowing they’re eagerly waiting for more stories in a series. However, that may just have to happen, or at the very least wait out the contract terms until you can get your rights back and sub the series elsewhere.

Sometimes you can re-name characters and fit them into a series elsewhere, or, start a spin off series of sorts. Either way it’s a mess, not to mention that sinking feeling at leaving something behind that was once a good thing.

Then there is the whole, not trying to commit professional suicide thing. The publishing world is small and you don’t want to be known as the author who always complains, etc.

However, your concerns, no matter how small or big, are worth listening to, and when your publisher is not willing to do that… it really only leaves you one option.

Pack your bags and leave onto pastures new.

Another very good reason to never put all of your eggs into the proverbial basket, because you never know what the future holds.

Whatever you decide to do, do it in a professional manner, however. Especially, as this whole thing is so subjective. What really bothers you, might not even register on another author’s radar. If you find your concerns echoed, however, by several authors in the same house… well, you have your answer.

There you have it, me at my most philosophical self.

Do stay naughty, folks.

D xxx

 

Pet Peeves Perhaps: Authors and Readers Top Ten by Jules Dixon @JulesofTripleR #amwriting #Mondayblogs

Pet Peeves Perhaps: Authors and Readers Top Ten by Jules Dixon

Writing romance comes with inherent risks. You’re not going to please every reader and almost every reader has something or many things that they dislike in romance stories.

So I took a poll (unscientific and mostly for $hits and giggles—which I had a lot of them) of some of my author and reader friends and asked them “What pet peeves do you have in romance stories?” If they needed clarification I offered some general ones to get them rolling and roll with it they did. Wow, never knew some of the things they’d think up.

giphy-downsized (41)

This is a list of the top ten by mention.

  1. 1. Body parts described like foods. Eyes like milk chocolate. Skin like sweet cream. Tongue like bubble gum. And ew on that last one. I know John Mayer got away with it in his song, but when reading it all I can see is a tongue blowing up to a baseball-size bubble and POP!
  2. Describing a penis as any of the following: love stick, hot and throbbing (I think hot by itself is good to go, but add the throbbing and apparently not good), hard like granite (I guess that might hurt a woman in the end or elsewhere), some were even opposed to penis and erection—too clinical? So, when describing what’s good? Most agreed that hard cock was acceptable and had a sexy vibe. They said “dick” was a close second, but kind of gave a vibe of the guy being a jerk attached to said body part.
  3. And ladies… if we’re going to give the guys a go at the “oh, hell no”…it’s only fair we explore the female anatomy. So…flower, secret garden, softness (which again I’ve used and went—huh?), slippery love canal (gag), and moist desire. Which brings me to…giphy-downsized (43)
  4. That word…I almost can’t type it… moist. Yes, that one. I know it’s been said before, but this word holds great dislike for me. I think it’s the way people’s mouths shape when they say it, but even reading it I get the heebie-jeebies. So…the “M-Word” is out.
  5. Flesh or fleshy—apparently this word is a no-go for some. I’ve used it before and had no idea. I think “fleshy drop of her earlobe” is kind of sexy, but again, goes to show you how preferences can be wide ranging.
  6. And then we come (pun intended) to those terms about orgasms. Now, let’s get something clear. Come is the verb, action, and feeling. Cum is the stuff that comes of the coming. Does that clear things up a little? But no matter what, apparently, there are things readers and authors are opposed to when the act actually happens. One said they don’t like it be “earth moving or volcanic”. I can see this. I mean, love mine, but I’ve never felt like Vesuvius is happening. And for a guy, one author said she asked her hubby and read him some lines she was working with, he says he thinks it’s different for every guy (which other websites back up– Male-Orgasm-Feels-Like or Men-About-Coming-Inside-Woman ) but in general, the moment is short and intense, not some drawn out movie montage of their time together, but more like a Polaroid picture. And in that last link, this line made me giggle: “Feels like victory.” How cute is that? And a little weird. Men. And I would agree with my friends, having the BIG MOMENT happen together is a little unrealistic, but this is fiction, people. (Seriously the research for this post…so great.)                                         giphy (87)
  7. Insta-love. Yep, there is definitely a subset of readers who HATE this trope. I’m not saying never write it—I write a lot of very quick happening love in short stories, but usually, the people knew each other for a while before. But apparently, this can be polarizing, just FYI.
  8. Something I’ve approached here on Naughty Quills before—alpha holes. More than a few of them said it’s something they cannot wrap their brains around. Why would any woman put up with that bull$hit? If we wouldn’t allow it in real life, why do we want to read about women being treated like that? Respect yourself and respect your reader. Alpha-holes-by-Jules-Dixon
  9. Describing the sounds of making love with some words. Slurping…no. Sloppy…no. Wheezing. <–not sure what author used that, but please God, no. Sloshing…no. Lots of “S” words came from my friends, I guess a good rule is to avoid those or use them abundantly and make a statement.
  10. Taboos came up quite frequently, too. Incest. Rape. Sex acts that cross a line that most of society finds icky (for lack of a better word). To each his own and I won’t gross you out with the details, but let’s just say one was in the news lately. Basically, they reiterated what most publishers say that they won’t accept as well. There are reasons publishers have those rules, too.

giphy-downsized (42)But when all is said and done, knowing what people don’t like doesn’t always mean authors should stay away from those words, phrases, and topics. It is your story, write as you wish, just be prepared to face the music when the readers start singing a different tune.

 

That research was entertaining.

I’m sure my friends missed some that you can think of. Any others to add?

Have a great Monday and week!

❤ Jules

MONDAY MESSAGES

 

 

Beyond the screen #FabulousFriday @AuthorMoira

Well we made it folks, another Friday has rolled around. This week has been up, down, and sideways in more ways than one – and that’s all I’m saying about that. Today’s post will be short though, since the brain isn’t wholly focused on the task at hand – apologies.

In life everyone has priorities. Some are awesome, some are okay, and others are just plain whacked. As authors we always think that writing should be our top priority. And, to a degree, that would be correct. But we also need to remember to stop and smell the roses from time to time. Not only is it a way to recharge the batteries, but it can help keep the voices in our heads in check.

Big or little, anything can work, and it all depends on you. Everyone is unique, what works for one may not work for another. Find what recharges you the best, and keep to it. Yes, you may need to evolve the technique over time, after all we all change as the years pass by. The biggest, and best (or so the parents on NQ assure me) is family time. It doesn’t matter what they do together, the whole point is to be – you’ve got it – together.

So take a walk, enjoy a film, get out camping if you’re the sort who enjoys unknown creatures trying to invade your tent (ick!), or whatever floats your boat and gets you charged back to 100%. Your mission this weekend, and you don’t have the choice to not accept it, is to step back and smell those roses, petunias, lavender, lilacs, daisies, or whatever your choice might be. Relax, recharge, and refresh body and mind.