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.

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

Raven rambles on readin’, ‘ritin’, rediting and ‘rithmetic,

Anyone else old enough to remember the three ‘r’s?

Hi all, Raven here with her Thursday thoughts on those ‘r’s. Yes I know, that up there is six… if you ignore the grammar, but hey it got your attention.

It really is short thoughts this week. I’m off to a very special wedding this weekend, and know that’s going to be four days of no writing.  Oh I’ll have my lap top with me (Have Mac will travel as my Dh says, and rolls his eyes) but it’s very unlikely any M/s will be opened. And I’m itching to redit ( red pen, go over, beta, call it what you will) Doris’ latest. She’s at the same wedding, so at least she won’t be muttering ‘where is it’. Well she might but…

Anyway, I also have guests coming today, so thats most of another day with no writing. No reading either—and no rediting.A screaming woman and books

ARGH….How will I cope? I get twitchy when I don’t at least look at what I’m writing, rediting or reading. Daft maybe but I like that continuity. I might not add any words or say ‘er what on earth does this mean’. I might not have a chance to put a smiley face on redits, or swoon as I read about a soppy heroine, But I need to have that little bit of connection somehow. Sometimes it’s only a bullet point on a scrap of paper, or a bit reminder outlined in felt tip, but it is there.

Which leaves me to mention the arithmetic.

I used to be adamant I would write ‘x’ amount of words a week. Get annoyed with myself if I didn’t. After all if I didn’t set a stupid total, of course I could do it, right? Just adjust it accordingly, and no worries. Easy.

Well, no not always. Life has a habit of throwing a spanner in the works. Toothache, headache, burst pipe. (Yeah don’t talk about that one to me this week) Cows on your rain sodden lawn, unexpected visitors and therefore unexpected supermarket shop… need I go on? And those lack of words added up, and I muttered and worried. Not ideal.

There is an easy solution.

Don’t sweat it.

giphy (57)

Just accept it, swear if you must. Eat chocolate, drink coffee/tea/wine/gin/.

Tomorrow, next week, is another day. Those words will get typed. You’ll find that if you don’t worry, (Yeah, be happy) you’ll discover that actually, you’ve done well. Really well.

Words are flowing. your work is growing.

(and that’s it for rhyming… I’m no poet)

The moral of this ramble is…. That life doesn’t always go to plan. But the words in your head will become words on paper or on lap top. And will grow, and add up.

Don't worry, be happy

Don’t worry, be happy

(Images pinterest)

So enjoy it.

Love  Raven x

Raven’s Thursday thoughts on bleeping-minded muses…

Raven rambles…On muses

Or should that be a-musing-we-will-go?

Whichever, this is a blog post about the will of the muse.

The bloody mindedness of my muse to be precise.

Or how not to ignore your muse. It has a stronger will than you do. And listen to it because it knows best.

super duper

(Source, pinterest)

This last month or two my muse has been incredibly obstinate. It seems it thinks that writing hot is not for me any more. Or at least not for the moment. That was a bit problematic to say the least, as I was half way through writing the last book in my Kera Faire, Death Isle series.

I begged it shook its head. I pleased it turned its back. I cried, it relented enough to let me finish the story. I think in a hot as hades, all holds barred, got to get flustered and jump your partner way. Thankfully.

And then.

Nada. Zilch. B all.

I tell you it got me worried. How could I write if I could only do half a job?

Well to be honest, the answer is…easily.

My muse whispered in my ear. So you can’t write hot anymore? Then don’t. Write warm or sweet or wrap around velvet chocolate. Gorgeous men. Feisty heroines. Toe curling drama or laugh out loud instances that make you want to cringe. The lead up, the anticipation, and of course the happy ever after.

Hint, tease, think about things. Leave a little to to your reader’s imagination.

Do something different.

Any enjoy it.

So I did, and I am.

Now, I’ve told my muse, never say never, and I won’t. But for now? i’m enjoying what I’m writing. And that’s the main point. If you write what you do not enjoy, it will show in your work.

And as Bob Marley sang…

every little thing alright Marley

(Source, pinterest)

Happy writing,

love Raven x

Raven rants on… well read it and see

The other day, I heard two women who should know better chatting. They were talking about the body shape of someone else, and not to put too fine a point on it, their talk verged on the offensive.

Seriously it was as if their speech had been taken over by teenage boys and gutter talk, locker room trash, spewed out of their mouths.

Horrible.

Totally unacceptable.

Unacceptable Unwelcome Hand Cut Word Split Concept

(Source deposit photos)

They stereotyped someone in such a way, I felt sick.

If women talk about each other like that, what hope have we got?

Hell’s bells we should support, not denigrate each other. If we talk in such a derogatory way about our fellow women (or indeed if men do the same about men) how can we expect the opposite sex not to do the same?

Many years ago I read a book where a woman fluttered her eyelashes at her ex lover, and said to another woman, who had a responsible job, “Ohh I’m much too frivolous for things like that.”

Quick as a flash the second woman spoke up. “You shouldn’t describe yourself as frivolous. It means paltry or without worth. People do tend to take you at your own assessment of yourself.”

(Today, frivolous probably has a slightly different meaning, but you get my drift.)

My point is, if you say something negative about your own body, you’d be bloody annoyed if it was taken as gospel. We all have our bad hair, hate my boobs day. We all know when we need to adjust our body weight if possible.

But…

There’s that word again.

To think it is okay to do it about someone else is even worse. We are much more than our bodies.

But…To be wanted for your imperfections isn’t right, is it? Those woman saying someone was…well I’m not going to say it, but take my word it was shitty, is so not on.

We should be wanted in spite of our imperfections. Loved for who we are not because of what we are.

I’m happy to say, that a third woman leaned over and blasted those first two women. Told them they were the disgusting ones.

That we should work together for what is right, and how would they like it if a bloke only wanted their boobs or ass and nothing else?

“Oh,” she added in a voice dripping with saccharine. “If I ever see a piece in the paper saying two women, one with buck teeth and one with saggy boobs, were arrested for libel or slander, I’ll know who it was.”

The point of this rant?

A book title I saw, that to me, is offensive to a large number of women.

Rant over,

love Raven x

PS Is this related to writing? Yes I think it is. Just my pov, mind you. 

Raven’s Thursday thoughts on…Away and chilling

Hi From a newly chilled out Raven…

This was me the last couple of weeks. Away, in glorious Majorca, and then Devon, and doing very little. And I needed every one of those chill out hours. Time just to spend with my other half.

pool pollenca

We both needed the rest. The chance to catch our breaths and catch up with each other. (or as I once said, realise the strange man who had just got into bed with me, was my husband, now home.)

This sprang to mind…

gone fishing

We hadn’t, but you get the idea.

Never feel guilty for reconnecting with your loved ones.

You’ll get back to writing with renewed vigour. and in my case lots of ideas for settings and so on… I mean with views like these…

Shaldon viewJPG

me port sollerand yeah, this is this weeks very short and sweet post from me. I’m now playing catch up and really enjoying it.

Take care and happy chilling,

love Raven x

Raven’s ramblings are short, but maybe not all sweet this week.

Why?

Read on to get my Thursday thoughts…

sweets

(I thought we might as well have something sweet, pic source pinterest)

Hi all, Raven’s on the rampage a teensy weansy bit today. Not a rant, not really, just a quick nudge to some people who, I think, do not think before they type, talk or tweet.

Now as I often say, you might be scratching your heads, or nodding sagely and muttering that, Raven really has lost the plot this week, and go and make yourselves a coffee. But It’s not that I’ve lost the plot, more that we all need to think, really think, before we commit our thoughts to print and let them be remembered and regurgitated (love that word) to come back and haunt us for ever more.

In some ways this is a follow on from Doris fantastic post on Tuesday, about the grammar police, in other ways not so.

I will be the first person to hold my hand up and say my typing is mediocre at the best. (the first time I typed that sentence it came up as hod my had) I have a habit of missing or transposing letters, so I could easily type fro, for for, or frog, from when I mean form and so on. It’s one of the reasons I share my typo of the day. When I catch them, they can be funny. But it’s also true to say some get missed.

For some reason, social media posts, when I try to write them are minuscule on my lap top and phone and I hold my hands up I often miss those pesky errors at first. Luckily though, I frequently see them as soon as the post is up, and correct them. I’m not alone in this. You ask around and the number of people who say they had a vice that was soft, instead of a voice, or you r’e not you’re will be quite a lot.

Someone described this as fumble fingers the other day (It’s know by my friends as RavenFingers) and I was ‘yes that’s it’. A common affliction. Anyone who types, writes and tweets knows this.

Don’t worry, just try to catch them. And when you see someone’s fumble fingers, remember that could be you.

This is a RFSA (Raven, friendly service announcement) Think before you snark, next time it could be you…

And on a different note… Evidently my hero had a noise for sniffing out such things. Sadly I left the story there so although, I know (well I think I do)  he has a nose for sniffing out such things, I have no blooming idea what such things are. Maybe next week’s post better be on making notes!

Correct spelling reminder note on a notice board

Happy reading writing and RavenFingers,

love Raven x

 

 

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