Raven asks…Confidence? What confidence?

Hi all and welcome to Raven’s rambling and Thursday thoughts on…

A crisis of confidence.

confidence

(that is a lot easier said than done)

I thought long and hard before I wrote this blog, but to be honest, I think it needs to be said.

A thoughtless word (or twenty) can cause a crisis of confidence.

I know this how?

Like this…

Are you sitting comfortably? this is where you nod Then I’ll begin.

Once upon a time, in a land not far away, a respected person in the publishing world told an author that the genre they wrote in didn’t sell. Which is of course their prerogative, and after all, you would think they should know.

Except they told the author this little fact the week before that author had a book out in that genre—with the publishing house that person was associated with.

Nice eh?

Imagine how that made the author feel? Like they were crap? Worthless? A failure?

Especially when it seems said publishing house didn’t tell that to other authors of that genre.

Probably all of those.

How horrible, and how would that author feel to have that in their mind when they went to promo that book?

Believe me, I know it can take a while to get over those sort of emotions, and pull up your big girl/boy boxers and get on with it.

After all if basically you were told that you weren’t going to sell a brand new story, how would that affect you?

We authors have fragile egos at times. Especially when a new release is concerned, so that almost throw away line could have done untold harm, and given said author that crisis of confidence I mentioned.

Whoever said sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never harm me was oh so wrong.

Words can be incredibly harmful, be they meant or careless.

be kind

I’m not naming names because this isn’t a witch hunt. It’s a think before you open your mouth or press send on an email post.

And on that note…

happy whatever,

love Raven x

Pictures courtesy of pinterest

Raven rambles with her Thursday thoughts and asks when is promo too much?

This week Raven’s rambling on how much promo is too much promo.

PrOmO

PROMO

p r o m o

P R O M O 

promo

promoPRomopromoPromOPrrrrrrrrrRoooooommmMMMMMMMMMooooooooprOmO

Why?

Because I was involved in a conversation about how, when someone sees the same person has promo-ed in several groups on FB they immediately roll their eyes and don’t even bother to read the post, whatever it is.

Ditto when the same person posts the same or similar posts often during a day

Someone even said they went as far as to block a person after that had happened several times.

The one thing people couldn’t decide was how many times was too much.

Strangely it seems twitter isn’t so much of an annoyance, because it is seen as a blink and you’ll miss it place. So if someone does post several times you might only see one or two of them.

What do you think? It’s very subjective I know, but in your eyes what stops you reading, a post, or a tweet? What stops you replying to a promo DM or to delete an email?

And what do you think is  enough when you do it?

Hmm, as I said very subjective.

Happy reading (I hope)

love Raven x

Raven says…Put up, shut up, and grow up…

Thursday thoughts and Raven rambles on—again.

This week, I’m calling it…Don’t throw the dummy out. Use it to shut yourself up when necessary.

What am I rambling on about today?

Reviews, reviewers, bloggers and authors reactions.

You’d like to think no reviewer sets out to be deliberately nasty. And I’d say 99.9% of then don’t. Of course there will always be the odd one. Ignore them. don’t moan groan or spit vitriol. Just accept that into every life some shit had to fall. They are your shit. They are also not what this post is all about.

baby crap bag

(okay not exactly the correct pic but I couldn’t resist…

I’m talking about those lovely people who read our books, and then give a good honest and justified review.

We need them.

Don’t give them grief when they are honest and explain what they didn’t like about your book. Listen and take heed. You may choose to differ, but suck it up buttercup. It is their honest opinion. Don’t rail at them, do not ask them not to put the review up and for all that’s holy do not, I repeat not ever ask them to up the rating (number of stars or whatever they use) they gave you.

A screaming woman and books

That’s what I mean by throwing the dummy out.

Chill and have a glass of wine…and chocolate

Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate Bar

LONDON, UK – MAY 6TH 2016: An unopened Dairy Milk chocolate bar manufactured by Cadbury, pictured over a plain white background on 6th May 2016.

Who are you to say they are wrong? Who are you to intimate their views are not acceptable, or les worthy than yours?

Think how you’d feel in their shoes.

They’ve given up their time to read your book. They are trying to be honest and say what they thought.

Accept it. Be gracious. Hold on to the dummy.

knitted baby and dummy

Or next time you have a book out, you might not get a review, and it could be the book that would have made you. If only people could have seen what other people thought.

Happy food for thought…

Raven x

All pics are sourced via pinterest

Raven says…pick five words…go on, any five…

Morning (or whatever) Raven rambling here

The sun is shining on me at the moment so I’ll take it.

Across the lawnJPG

(Pic Raven)

It’s one of those ohh grief, what am I going to write times this week. I scratched my head, and hubby wanted to know why the deep sighs.

I’m stuck, I said.

To which he reminded me of something i”d said to him ages ago. ‘You say you don’t get writers block but your characters get arsy so you write something else.’

Then he grinned. ‘So write about something else.’

Not that helpful when I couldn’t think of s topic!

But then I remembered something a few of us did as newbies when we were stuck for a topic. We gave each other 5 or 10 (or however many words) and said write 100, or 200 (or however many 😉 ) words with those words in it.

It’s amazing how such a silly prompt can help. Especially when the mix of words makes you giggle, or be very inventive. It even works if you pick your own mix.

Alternatively ask someone to give you a sentence, and you have to write the next paragraph. Or go to a book at random open it and pick a sentence without reading any of the context.

It’s fun, and if you are having trouble with what you are writing…hopefully it will help.

Rainbows, bananas, needlework, coconuts and lacy-tights anyone?

thumbs up

(pic source, pinterest)

It might make you giggle if nothing else.

Happy writing,

enjoy your words,

love Raven x

Raven on…I have no idea TBH

Hi all, Raven here with her Thursday thoughts…

Living in the UK, this week it has been hard to think of things other than than children not coming home. Mums, dads, friends and relatives lost for ever.

But we have to, because otherwise the baddies win.

I say baddies on purpose because that is how I have to think of those bastards who kill people for whatever reason they think fit.

And now I have to say, terrorists/freedom fighters however you chose to look at them will not win by hatred or killing, but by peace.

I have to believe that or why bother to carry on?

I’ll be honest, the last thing on my mind was writing or blogging. I remember that every day there but the grace of our Gods goes me and mine. We have to carry on..

So, once this ‘not a lot to do with writing and blogging post’ goes up, I’ll make a coffee (it is 3.30 am, yes I am awake), get comfy, open my lap top and add a bit to my WIP.

If it happens to be a WIP where the baddies get eaten by pigs, well who can blame me?

Life is very good at throwing us curve balls, upsetting our ‘lists of what to do’ for the week. It’s easy to let things overwhelm you, and then it’s chaos as you play catch up.

Don’t panic. Just accept that this weeks word count will be down, you won’t get the home made soup prepared (that’s what tins and add a bit of this and that are for) or the mantle piece is dusty.

In the grand scheme of things it will all even out in the end.

And that my friends is it for this week. I’m off to throw a few herbs in tonight’s tin of soup, blow at the dust, and reassure my heroine that the hero won’t leave in the state she’s in for too long.

Take care, hug your loved ones, and happy writing.

Now where did I put that tin opener?

Love

Raven x

Raven rambles on Support and I don’t mean pants or panty hose

(or as thy are known around my neck of the woods… hauldy-in knickers)

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(Souce pinterest)

Hi All,

Raven’s ramblings and Thursday thoughts are all about support this week.

They weren’t going to be, be but it does seem a week for life getting in the way of other stuff. All the quillers have had problems in getting their blogs up, finding time to write what they wanted to and still keep all their balls in the air (so to speak)

That’s where support comes in.

It never ceases to amaze me when authors pick on authors. When anyone picks on anyone to be honest. But authors putting down each other and not helping where help is needed? That’s horrible.

I don’t mean when someone is obviously out for sympathy for no reason. I don’t need to elaborate there, you all know what I’m getting at. That is frankly downright annoying, guaranteed to get people’s backs up, and leave people with little or no sympathy or inclination to support said ‘fake sympathy wanted person’ if she/he ever do need support. The boy who cried wolf syndrome.

I mean the genuine cry for help, I’m stuck, frustrated, been bullied times.

Support please, do not dismiss or be negative.

Now between the the ladies of the Naughty Quills, we have each other’s backs. That’s how it should be. Cheer, high five, rant and commiserate with each others high and lows. Try to help even if it is just with a virtual hug. Be supportive be helpful and don’t be nasty.

Every author knows there are good times and bad times. For all of us.

Let’s all hang together and be supportive. Even when someone is getting what you would like. your turn will come.

But, it’s a two way thing here. If you’re the one up on a high, remember highs can become lows, and you’ll get support…if you gave it in the first place.

Otherwise, you’re on plums. (or hauldy -in knickers)

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(Source [pinterest)

happy everything,

bloke

(he doesn’t need em.. but I thought I’d add him anyway (source pinterest)

love Raven x

 

 

Raven rambles about a tree—or a flowering glory of riotous blossom?

Or some such thing…

It’s been several days of glorious sunshine this week. Not very conducive to sitting indoors and writing but not doubt it will change soon.

Across the lawnJPG.JPG

After all, I’m usually looking out of my study window where it is sunny, raining, and blowing a gale. (slight exaggeration there, but often very windy.) The bamboo at the edge of the lawn (which I must make a note of, needs cutting—the lawn not the bamboo) is frequently almost bent double, and puddles cover the patio. One solitary bird is on the bird table. The rest have sensibly taken shelter.

Thinking of that, it reminds me how much we need description in our books to set a scene.

This is bugging me at the moment, as some publishers like a straight forward story, with few embellishments.

I’m the other way. I love all the bits filled in, the other people who have brought the hero and heroine to the point where they are getting interested (or not) with each other. I invest in their lives. Every bit of it.

Well okay I don’t need to know how long they clean their teeth for, how they prefer to cook salmon, or clean their shoes, but their overall lives? Yes please.

I’m not talking adverbs, weak verbs or 100 words when 10 would do. (well unless it’s so I don’t have to put ‘ten’ on the end of ‘got’. Then three hundred words are okay.)

flowing treeI

’m talking setting the scene.

Describing the tree. Decorating it.

It is all personal preference. Well let’s be honest what in writing and reading isn’t? But even the two people, no sub plot likers need a bit of context. A bit of who where why and how sort of stuff.

As for me, give me a glorious mass of blossom not just a tree any time.

Happy reading,

love Raven x

Raven’s (short) ramblings on ‘just say no’

Hi all, Raven’s ramblings and Thursday thoughts on prioritising.

And learning how to say no.

You would think that would be easy eh? Two letters joined together to make a very important word. N-o. NO. No. Not even not a scooby, not on your Nellie, or no chance. Just no.

Rejection. Serious mature woman in formalwear saying no to you while stretching out a paper

There are twenty four hours in a day. It might sound a lot. Some times it really, really isn’t.

Contrary to what some believe, or achieve, we should spend around a quarter to a third of those asleep. Then there’s all those other things that somehow come under the heading of *insert you name* jobs to do. Be it full time employment outwith the home, children, the housework, cooking, gardening, or yeah the dreaded ironing. Whatever. All things to be done within those twenty four hours of a day. Plus if you have a significant other, spending time with each other so you actually remember what he/she/they look like.

Along with this, we write.We squeeze it in. Write when and where we can. Even if writing is your full time job, and your only responsibility is yourself, you still need to eat. to wear clean clothes, upset the dust bunnies on occasion, and heaven help it, and whisper it quietly, take a day off.

To get all this done, you prioritise.

Not always in the same way. One day it could be the doctors or the dentist, or the dreaded supermarket shop. Another, writing 5k and sitting in your pj’s. Whatever you deem is most important at that time.

On those days, you’ll have to be firm, and learn to say no to other ‘suggestions’.

It’s a fact that as writers we can be selfish. Writing can consume us. Anything to do with it, and we are jumpy, twitchy people until it is sorted, be it an arsy hero who won’t do as you want, or edits to be back days before you get them sort of thing. And if you are anything like me, you feel you should drop everything (except your knickers, there’s no time for hanky panky) and do whatever it is, and sod ironing, hubby, dinner or whatever.

You have to learn to say no. No, I can’t sort my arsy hero, those edits, your m/s immediately. I have to prioritise. Tonight, I promised child #3 we would go swimming. I am not going to renege. I haven’t seen my S.O. for a week they have been away. Tonight is our time. Today I am meeting a friend, we haven’t seen each other for six months. Or whatever. I will do what ever else is needed in order of importance.

It’s not easy. Believe me it isn’t. But deep down, if you know what is the right thing to do, then do it.

Prioritise, and just say no. It gets easier the more you say it.

Politely. Explain why you can’t do whatever it is. An extra school run, shift at work, beta read in two hours, or yeah the edits.

Depositphotos_93966502_s-2015

And on that note, as I spent last evening chatting to my Dh, whom I see little enough of as it is and ignoring the need to be back by Thursday edits, which I got in the early hours of yesterday I’m off to make coffee and attend to the edits.

They are my priority for today.

The ‘no can do’ note is on the ironing, the vacuum cleaner and the ring the plumber/joiner/man in the moon for me note.

Not today. Today i’m going to ‘just say no’.

(Except, not to coffee. I never say no to coffee. Or chocolate. Or wine. But they are necessities really. The first two to get through the prioritising, the later to celebrate it.)

Happy reading, writing, and prioritising,

love Raven x

(all images, source pinterest)

 

Raven’s ramblings and Thursday thoughts on…No pain no gain?

Morning all. Raven’s ramblings on Thursday again.

This isn’t actually a ‘how to’ post, so feel free to ignore me and go and have a cup of coffee instead.

But if you wonder what the growing old disgracefully, bus pass toting, granny is going on about this time…read on.

This week; on the subject of pain and how it clouds everything.
feel better

(pic, source pinterest)

Oh boy does it.

I guess some of you know that by now I’ve had a slipped disc, which pressed on a nerve this last couple of weeks and it knocked me for six. I’ve been a miserable, snivelling, gibbering wreck for much too long. So much for doing as I tell my heroines and pulling up my big girl panties and getting on with it.

Ha, I couldn’t even bend down to put those panties on some days. (TMI sorry…)

I found it hard to concentrate on anything at the beginning. To stand, sit, lie move…anything made me do a silent—and not so silent—scream.

Sheesh.

But after a couple of days, I decided I could wallow, or learn something from how bloody helpless and uncomfortable I felt.

As wallowing wasn’t actually that comfortable, I decided on the latter and made notes. Some, on scraps of paper made little sense. That was the incredibly med-fuelled me. But gradually, as I eased off on the meds, and looked at the world through less of a fuzz, I accepted that my pain had in some ways been my gain.

I’ve had fibro for years but its not that bad, so this was an eye opener of how lots of people feel all of the time. And boy it sucks. The last time I think I had such intense pain was giving birth.

So you might wonder, what’s this got to do with writing?

Rather a lot.

One of the things we are told is to use life experience when it is possible. After al if you’re describing how someone feels… be it in labour, yes, with a slipped disc or incredibly happy on their wedding day, if you’ve experienced it, you have that extra edge.

notebook and pens

Now before you start throwing things, I know we can’t always use life experiences. Hell I’ve not met a shifter (I don’t think) or danced with a vampire, (ditto). Sky-dived or made love in the bushes on Lamma Island. Or indeed lived in Regency times. Although I have lived in a regency house or two.

Those never experienced things? That’s where a good imagination and excellent research facilities come in.

But if I have a heroine in pain you’ll know where the descriptions came from!

 

Happy, (and hopefully pain-free) reading,

 

Love Raven x

Raven’s Thursday thoughts on prices

Raven rambles on prices…

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(source pinterest)

Not just coffee, (anything goes there I guess), or chocolate (ditto) but books.

Yeah I know. Stop rolling your eyes and muttering things like ‘oh lordy she’s on her soap box again’ and getting out the doll to stick pins in. I’ve got enough pain in my body at the moment. I couldn’t cope with any more.

I’m chatting—honestly just chatting, not pontificating, ranting or lecturing—about book prices today, because I’ve seen a lot of shall we say unhappy readers who can’t fathom why some books, especially paperbacks cost so much. There’s been a fair few grumbles about ‘greedy authors’ as well.

We—those of us who have had paperbacks out—know that boy we do not make very much there. Nor do publishers. So much has to be done to get that book to you so you can hold and stroke it. I’ll share something with you here. For one of my paperbacks that in the UK was £5.99 I got 2p a copy. That’s right two pence. About two and a half cents. Per book. And that is correct. The publisher gets a bit more, after they have paid the distributor, but the publisher also has to pay for al the other things that need doing. Like covers, formatting and printing. Not to forget paying those who do all those jobs, plus the editor(s), who we need. (Oh boy do we)

However, it’s hard for some people to grasp that. That is author grit your teeth time. All you can do it explain and if pushed, politely suggest that the person who is aggrieved contact the publisher (sorry EP).

With eBooks you also have in the UK, VAT (value added tax) in the price as well.

And the upshot of this med-fuelled post?

You can’t please all of the people all of the time. Me? If it’s a choice between a book and a coffee in (insert posh coffee establishment of your choice) I’ll go for the book, every time.

Others might not.

But whatever the outcome, in general, books of any description are priced as they have to be. Sometimes a deal is on…Great for the reader, not so much for anyone else.

See, we do aim to please when we can.

And on that statement, I’m off to hunt out some more meds, and no doubt fall asleep. Be gently with me please.

 

Raven x