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

 

 

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

 

 

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

Gah, the pressure… #TuesdayThoughts with Doris (@mamaD8)

Hello, lovely peeps, Doris here with just a short post, as I’m literally feeling the pressure.

giphy

Entirely self-inflicted too, but we have our son’s wedding coming up on Saturday, which means I’ll be pretty much out of this writing thing for three days.

I want to have my current WIP finished by Thursday at the latest so that I can relax at the wedding and forget about it. That’s a total of 13 K I have to write in three days.

Doable, yes certainly, even if I do look like this.

giphy-downsized

Oh, the joys! I should add that the kids are off on their school hols (I wrote a sex scene yesterday while listening to my youngest bashing about his bedroom, next door to me, killing baddies – he was Batman).

Not quite the inspiration I needed for this particular scene….

Add to that last minute errands to run, and the general UN peace keeping duties having the kids off entails, and yeah.

Still, I will do it. I must.

I left my heroine ogling a half naked Logan, and well… such a hardship. This is the hunk Logan is based on, Adan Gonzales. I think he works rather well for my bad boy CEO 😉

Logan

What do you think?

 

Logan 1

Right, I best get back to writing and getting them to their HEA.

Stay naughty, folks.

 

D xx

When Writing Strictly by the Rules Ruins A Story by Jules Dixon @JulesofTripleR #Mondayblogs #amwriting

giphy-downsized (39)Writers generally fall into categories. Plotter or pantster (person who doesn’t plan a story and just lets their fingers and brain fly). Marketers who have a plan for release, promotion, and sales and those who just write for the love of writing and if readers buy it they don’t care. Those who study craft methods and those who choose to write off of instinct. Just to name a few ways.

There are reasons for striving to be a better writer by learning some story development techniques. Quicker writing because you learn your own voice and flow of writing. Happier readers because there’s organization and the story can be entertaining. And lastly, if you’re looking for a publisher or agent then being able to write with some standards and general organization principals can make your story stand out or at least make sense.

giphy (86) However…

Yes, Jensen, I think that, too, and thanks for the distraction, but I’m not talking about you. I’m trying to say…

Knowing what GMC (Goal, Motivation, Conflict) and what a 3 Act Structure is (Intro of Conflict, Escalating Action with Increasing Stakes, Crisis and Falling Action or Resolution) or what the “Hero’s Journey‘ is, just to name a few, doesn’t make a great story. Sure, it can help an author to have mechanics down and possibly a place to start but…

The writer still has to use intuition, competence, and their gift to come up with a killer idea and conflict that’s realistic, relatable and grips the reader.

giphy-downsized (40).gifWhen a writer only relies on techniques and craft knowledge then a story can and often does come off stilted, stiff, and dry. It takes more than knowing what good writing consists of to make it good writing.

So how does a writer prevent that from happening?

I see three different ways.

  1. Have a plan. You don’t have to be a true plotter to have an idea of where a story is starting and where it’s going. Then set that aside and write the story and see where it goes. If it starts going off the plan and you like it cause it’s fresh and original and has life, then KEEP GOING! But if you’re struggling, go back and look at those ideas, what did you miss–did you miss a conflict? Did you not set up the motivation and the character doesn’t have anything to lose?
  2. Let someone else read it and then accept what they say with grace and poise. I know, easier said than done. That’s for sure. But if more than one person, or even one person you truly trust says that a story isn’t working and they struggling to connect with the characters, plot, setting, etc, then maybe you overworked the story with revision or excessive planning or maybe characters aren’t developed enough. Maybe all those techniques over came the story.
  3. Learn the techniques, but guess what? Forget them. Yep, just use your gut and write the story as it comes to you. There is something to be said for following your gut as a writer and allowing the characters to lead you, instead of you leading them. If that’s not your style, no problem. Just keep it in mind that it’s okay to go off track once in a while. Sometimes those side journeys can be the best ways to know our characters and story.

So there you have it. Don’t let your story become stale and only based on techniques and only “sound writing principles” (dun, dun, dun) because there is a place and reason for balance between knowledge and innate skill.

Good luck to all writers!

Have a great Monday and week!

❤ Jules

MONDAY MESSAGES

 

 

 

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