Say what now? #FabulousFriday @AuthorMoira

Happy Friday one and all, and for some the precursor to a long weekend. Here in Canada we get Victoria Day on Monday, A celebration for Queen Victoria’s birthday, who at the time of our (aka: Canada’s) Confederation and establishment of dominion in 1867, was the reigning Canadian monarch. Say that five times fast. Which was, if you’re doing the math, 150 years ago – that’s right, it’s Canada’s 150th birthday this year. Another name for the weekend, quite obviously, is the May Long Weekend. The official demarcation between winter and spring, or the point at which it is now *cough* “safe” *cough* to start dethatching the grass, planting the crops, etc., and for the truly die hard, dedicated lunatics out there – the first camping trip of the year. For those of us who are authors, and not lunatics of the camping variety, we’ll be writing. Which in an extremely roundabout way segues into my post for today.

WRITING IS NOT A REAL JOB

Yup, you read that right. And sadly there are people out there who actually believe this type of malarkey. What I’m hoping to do, if I should manage to avoid a full blown rant, is to dispel this rumor once and for all. But let’s start at the top and work our way down shall we?

JOB: 1. an assignment at which one regularly works for pay (Related Words: business, employ, employment, occupation, profession, career, livelihood, living, etc.); 2. a piece of work that needs to be done regularly (Related Words:  endeavor, enterprise, undertaking, responsibility, etc.); 3. a specific task with which a person or group are charged; 4. the action for which a person or thing is specially fitted or used or for which a thing exists (Related Words:  niche, calling, occupation, pursuit, vocation, duty, mission, etc.); etc… taken from Merriam-Webster online thesaurus and abbreviated as needed for this posting.

We as authors endeavor to undertake the profession of writing. Do we hope to make it a career? Abso-fucking-lutely. For the majority of us though this isn’t going to happen. But it’s a calling, a pursuit that we have to take part in, a vocation and a calling that speaks to our very souls. It is our duty, not only to ourselves but our very spirit, to take on the mission we were always destined to pursue. But I’m getting ahead of myself here, so let’s take it from the word go. Like anyone our day begins by getting out of bed.

From there it’s a variety of the following, but in the end we have as much (sometimes less, sometimes more) to do as the average non-writer type person to get done in a day. And then we still have to get in our time/word counts.

  1. Rise & Shine – or the variant of Groan & Grumble, Moan & Creak, Bitch & Bargain, etc.
  2. Freshen Up – otherwise known as beating down the bedhead, de-furring the tongue, and so forth
  3. Fuel For The Day – usually trying to slurp down a too hot coffee/tea too fast, burn the tongue/roof of mouth, and curse mornings; occasionally there might be a spare 2 seconds for something to eat
  4. Out The Door – this could involve kids, or just yourself and/or significant other, usually in a rush because despite all best laid plans you’re somehow behind schedule, not for the first time that year naturally
  5. Day Job – most authors have this beast of burden to contend with in one form or another unless they are lucky, or have sold extremely well to support themselves
  6. After Job/School Activities – folks with kids know there’s sometimes too many things to try to cram into one afternoon/evening, and yet somehow everything is always planned for the same night (sports games/finals, dance class/recitals, band practice/recitals, etc)
  7. Evening Relaxation – ensuring kids get watered and fed, usually a meal is crammed in there, homework (theirs or yours), etc
  8. Writing – now, unlike those who are lucky to have the daylight hours to write in while the house is partly or fully empty of small demanding beings, those of us with the Day Job get only a set number of minutes to hours to write in a night
  9. Inevitable Crash – bedtime, aka: when the muse really starts coming up with ideas but you’re too exhausted to care/write them down because you’ll remember in the morning, even though you won’t/don’t

Now, as mentioned there are variations on this, but the above is the gist of things of the “average” day for an author. Not only do we contend with everything non-writers do, we still have our actual career, our writing, to try and get time for in every single day. But it’s not JUST writing. For newbies and those who haven’t hit it “big”, we also have all the stuff some lucky authors have assistants for. Things like marketing, research, arranging for trips, conventions, etc. Which is 100% separate for the hundreds of daily tasks we still see to by ourselves, or at least oversee (grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning, bill paying, household fixes, etc, etc, etc.)

So, to those out there that say that writing isn’t a job or a career, that it’s a “cute hobby”, I say unto you – PFFT! I challenge you to step into the shoes of the average author and take our lives for a spin. Like anything out there until you’ve walked a mile in the shoes of the one you are belittling, zip it. You have no more right than anyone else to judge, just like we have no right to judge you in whatever you do. Mutual consideration, understanding, and compassion people. Get over yourself and realize that the first step to a better world is to stop judging that which you have never done and therefore do not know.

By any other name… #FabulousFriday @AuthorMoira

Happy Friday everyone, and also an early happy Mothers Day to everyone. I have to say that this week has been a weird one. Nothing I can put my finger on though. It’s almost like I’ve managed to completely forget something for the entire week. But haven’t got a damn clue what, lol! Oh well, probably doesn’t matter. After all, if it was something truly important I’m pretty sure someone would have said something … right?

Today’s post is probably going to be nearly as odd as my weeks been, so bear with me here. If I tumble into the ditch I promise I’ll pull myself back up eventually – if not, send help! Shakespeare’s quote from Romeo and Juliet started to meander around in my brain while I was doing some casual meandering about social media *cough* watching videos *cough*. “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Most people know the saying, in part or in whole – depending if you were into Shakespeare’s funky English. Unlike some fellow classmates who groaned out loud, I quite enjoyed his word play. The man could turn quite a sentence.

The point here though is that people have all sorts of terms, phrases, or choice words for authors. But it doesn’t really matter – we are still authors. We are professional, or soon to be, wordsmiths. We slay dragons, save people, jump through flames, dash into danger, and a variety of other insanity every single day – with the words we write. While we may not be truly knights in dented armor, superheros, firefighters, cops/feds/etc., we do have ourselves a special skill set. We can take the letters of the English language, jumble them up, shake them viciously, and slap them silly until they turn into words. Words we then arrange, rearrange, and sometimes despair over, until we’ve created sentences. And where one sentence exists more are surely to follow.

Never let anyone take this away from you. Too many authors who have barely begun, or have been writing for years/decades, let the doubts get to them. And while I can’t speak for anyone but myself, this just isn’t right. It can be depressing, it can be lonely, you can and will feel isolated at times, and it will drive you right to the brink of insanity on the best of days, but it’s truly worth it. And that’s something anyone even thinking about stepping onto this cracked, chipped, and with the occasional stone missing path needs to consider. Authors need some level of self-assurance, inner strength, or ego even to take the first steps forward. You, the author, need to believe in who you are, your ability, and the vision you have for what’s to come.

Because without that, you too shall falter. But that doesn’t mean you have to let it stop you. We’ve all stumbled, scuffed a metaphorical knee, or taken a blow. It’s a fact of life. And unless you are living in a bubble, it’ll likely happen again. Something to be aware of especially in the era of instant everything.

Like that rose as long as you are putting words to paper you will be an author. No matter the name you, or those around you choose, it’s a truth that can never be taken away. So, now that my brain is starting to meander off I’ll finish up this post before we really go off the rails. Well, more than I already have that is.

Stay true to who you are, and to the path you have chosen. Stick with the vision you have in place and keep moving forward. Let the naysayers, and opinionated fools fall to the wayside. You’re going to be too damn busy writing to pay them any attention. Or you damn sure better be!

Dreamers Wanted #FabulousFriday @AuthorMoira

OPENINGS AVAILABLE:

For individuals who can let loose the tight coils of reality, to fly beyond the mundane into the wildly fantastical, and who are not afraid to stretch beyond what they know. Experience is not required as everyday is a new learning experience. Bettering oneself is encouraged. Strength of self, and a sense of humor a must. Apply today!

Welcome to Friday one and all. Hope you’ve all had a fabulous week. Personally I cannot wait for the weekend to kick in. Like our fellow Quiller Raven I’ve had a rather painful week, it (quite literally) has been a pain in my ass. Sitting, laying down, walking, and several other movements that I normally do in my everyday subconsciously have had me gritting my teeth. Raven, oh dear sweet Raven, I feel your pain – PS: Feel better soon!

But enough of that yeah? Onto the post!

While the ad at the top of this post isn’t real, it should be. Especially in this day and age. We live in a world that is too serious, too focused on being offended by every breath some stranger never before met takes, and that seems to have a giant stick up it’s rump.

Authors are part of a unique breed. We were either born as, or encouraged as we grew to be dreamers. While many might accuse us that we live with our heads in the clouds, and in some cases this could possibly be true, it’s not that way for everyone. In the heat of the story – sure, absolutely, definitely we’re all wrapped up in what’s happening. But we’re also pretty damn fine multitaskers. After all we have to keep names, places, dates, etc. all straight in our heads while writing, but we can also script notes in our heads while we attend to everyday business. For example many authors have families which means schedules that are insane on a daily basis, they find time for everyone in their lives, and yet still get their writing done. Not that we can’t get days, items, names confused – cause we can.

But authors are a breed, or at least were once upon a time, who didn’t sweat the little things. Unfortunately there seems to be too many cutthroats, too many overly pompous windbags, too many shysters, and too many self-proclaimed best authors flooding the market. People these days seem to view publishing as a get-rich-quick scheme instead of what it is. An expression of the imagination put into words to be shared with family, friends, and strangers near and far.

While I have absolutely nothing against an author making money off their works, we all dream of the day we can do it full time after all, those who are pumping out works faster then I can sneeze three times in a row make me highly suspicious. We need to bring back the dreamers. Bring back the love of the art that is writing a well told, well woven tale that helps the reader escape the harsh realities of our current world. We need to reinvest ourselves, and help others to find the path that is fiction at it’s finest – whatever the genre. Not only is it a relaxing pastime (when things are going great), but it’s also a beneficial one to not just the readers.

An author is an individual who has found a way to zen out in a highly constructive manner. Slipping into another reality for minutes or hours at a go. Pouring out the stresses of the day onto the page, and coming away with something fantastic in the end. And often times a weird twinge, crick or ache from all the strange positions we contort into during the process.

No one said writing couldn’t be a dangerous gig, and if they did – THEY LIED! LOL!

So let’s bring back the dreamers, the visionaries, and all those who can take anything dumped their way with a grain of salt. We need more calming influences in the world, and definitely more wondrous escapes from reality. We only get one shot at this thing called life, why not live it in a fun, amazing, and imaginative manner?

A word to the readers #TuesdayThoughts with Doris (@mamaD8)

Hello, lovely peeps, Doris here. I’m going to aim my post today specifically at the readers. Those lovely folks, who buy our books, cheer us on and generally speaking keep us writing.

Depositphotos_58985283_s-2015

Us authors would be nothing without our readers, and we really do love loyal readers. I know, I love getting e-mails and messages, and I’ll do my utmost to reply in a timely and informative manner, as do most of us I should think.

Now, before I get to the point of this blog post let me say here that this is not aimed at any of my readers. And let me say a great big thank you to all them.

Thank You - Words on Yellow Sticky Notes

Like I said above us authorly types do love our readers. However… we love it less when our readers turn into hecklers.

What do I mean by that? Well, those that take it upon themselves to inform us not only how we should write, but what. The ones that are constantly asking after one character/story and get their knickers somewhat in a twist, when, in their eyes, the author doesn’t deliver.

I get it, you know. You, the reader love a particular series that author writes, so naturally, you can’t wait for the next installment. I stalk my favorite authors as much as the next person eagerly awaiting that next book.

And from an author’s point of view, it’s awesome to know that readers are so loving a series that they can’t wait for the next one.

However, and there is always a but in these things, it is never, ever okay to turn on said author and give him/her grief because he/she has chosen to write something else instead.

I use the term chosen tongue in cheek here, because most authors, myself certainly included in that, cannot write to order. We are slaves to our muses, and unless said muse wants you to write a particular story it’s just not going to get written. Trust me on this, we don’t chose to jump between series and leave you readers hanging.

So, next time, you find yourself tempted to voice your frustration about how long it takes an author to write, to finish that series, or, indeed, any other gripe that takes your fancy, remember us authors are only human.

We have lives, families, issues that we may not share with you, struggles that have nothing to do with writing, yet impact on it anyway.

By all means ask, just do so nicely, and know, we’ll try our best to deliver.

Do stay naughty, folks.

 

D xx

 

 

Mood & ‘tude #SensualSunday @AuthorMoira

Good morning one and all, it’s that time again. To turn your clocks ahead (oops! needed to edit this) one hour if you are among the unlucky stuck with Daylight Savings. An outdated, and in my opinion, useless practice that maybe made sense at one point, but seems to be nothing more than a major pain in the derriere now. If they wanted to make it less painful, they should actually put it in the middle of a Monday – at least in Spring – who wouldn’t mind losing an hour off their Monday?

All right, enough moping, onto the post.

MOOD:  1 A temporary state of mind or feeling; 1.1 The atmosphere or pervading tone of something ~ Oxford online dictionary

ATTITUDE:  1 A settled way of thinking or feeling about something; 1.1 A position of the body indicating a particular mental state; 2 Truculent or uncooperative behavior ~ Oxford online dictionary

We authors are always trying to paint a certain mood with our stories. Whether it’s making the reader laugh, cry, or sit on the edge of their seats with tension, our goal is to create something the reader can’t help but get swept up into. Easy to do? Hell to the no it’s not! But every now and again the planets and stars align.

Then there is attitude, easy enough to portray with your characters actions and words, but there is a fine line of going too far or not far enough. No author wants a wishy-washy character who’s boring or dull, but you also don’t want a character that everyone is disgusted by or straight up hates. Unless they are the bad guy/gal in the story or the character to be reformed, then go for it. Make them reviled for every metaphorical breath they take. Have your readers hoping, and rooting for their demise.

Now there is the combination. Getting the right mood that works with the attitude’s you’re bringing to the scene, and vice versa. If one part is off it creates a disjointed scene that interrupts the entire flow to the story you’re telling. Learning to blend them in the right proportions does take time, and also takes listening to your beta readers and editors. They will help you to navigate these treacherous waters, and keep everything on the straight and narrow.

What may help you best is visualization of the scene. Put yourself into the mindset of the character, in that scene, and go from there. Not easy, but with time you’ll train your brain to do it and it’ll come faster, and easier with each story you write. This includes every character from your mains, to your antagonist, to the next door neighbor, to the individual at their “favorite” coffee house taking orders. The better you can picture them the better you can write them and create the realism that will help your readers view them as “real”.

So visualize the mood of your scene, get your character’s attitude geared up, and write. While there will be tweaks to be made – there always are – go with whatever you/they are feeling in that moment. You never know what might come about, or what you may create. Get your feels on folks.

XO Moira Callahan

It’s not easy, but stick to it #SensualSunday @AuthorMoira

Sensual-Sunday

Hello, and welcome to another #SensualSunday post. In today’s world, especially of late, distractions are easy to come by. For author’s this can be perilous since we naturally have inquisitive minds always looking for that next “something” to spark our muse and therefore our next story. It’s a slippery slope though, and one you will need to train yourself to avoid.

Sounds good, and simple enough, but how do we do it?

It’s definitely not simple, but there are a number of things you can do to help with the squirrel-on-red-bull syndrome. Below are some suggestions, by no means are they hard and fast rules, use them or parts as they work for you. Or merely use them as a launching point to figure out what would be best for the individual you are.

Create a schedule, and stick to it. This can be tough on occasion because we all know that real life likes to throw us a curve ball here and there to keep us on our toes. But making a schedule can actually have an added bonus, showing you where you might be a little lax. For example if you have allotted X number of hours a week to writing, but find that during the work week that time ends up being shaved due to one thing or another, adjust your schedule. This is particularly important if you are not a single individual living by themselves where you have additional flexibility to your schedule. If you are married, have kids, etc. you have to take into account their schedules, and all the extracurricular items that could throw a wrench into your well laid plans. Your first draft of your schedule will likely be much like a first draft of your newest WIP. It has holes that need to be filled, things to be rearranged for better flow, and tweaks made to make it efficient. Don’t give up, just be ready to adjust with life.

Get off social media. This is a biggie. Social media is a huge time suck that, while you might be able to now converse with a giraffe in their native tongue, it isn’t getting that book Social Media Web Signswritten now is it? Yes, as an author you do need social media to get out word about your latest release, stay in touch with readers, and also chat with other authors, along with making contact with folks who may be in a field/specialty you need some advice on for realism in your story. But keep on task, don’t allow yourself to be sucked into the vortex that is memes, cat vids, and latest so-called shocking and breaking news from sketchy sites that are “reporting” on things you want to happen but realistically know likely are not.

Lay down the law at home. This is a toughie, unless of course you’re single and live on your own dancing to your own piper. But it needs to be done. You support your family every way that you can, so they in turn should be supporting your career as an author. If this means they leave you be for an hour each night to do your writing, then it has to happen. Yes, there will be exceptions to this, but you also need to remain firm in your resolve that you want to progress in your career and that means occasionally locking yourself away for some writing time. There is also the other side of this coin, the family that finds your “career” as an author amusing, and assume it’s a passing faze. Yup, there are folks out there that truly think it’s “cute” when you proclaim yourself to be an author, usually at the point where you say the words “romance” or “erotic” or both. These folks don’t get it, may never, but it doesn’t mean you let them bulldoze you. Stay firm, do what needs to be done, and make the time to write just as important as little Timmy’s soccer game, or little Donny’s recital.

Make a plan for your writing time. Now that you have that hour block each and every night, you need to know what you are doing with it. Some days you won’t be in the mood to write, other’s may see your muse off doing whatever muses do when they aren’t screaming ideas at us at full volume with a brass band keeping beat. Doesn’t mean you Business plan for 2017can’t be furthering your career. Some nights it may mean doing upkeep on your much neglected website, others you might need to interact with readers, and then there will be times where you look at your current work and figure out if you’ve missed something that might be throwing your muse off and thus stumping you. There’s always tomorrow to get that wench back in line, and working hard to further your story.

Keep notes. While pantsers, and plotters, and everything in between have their own opinions on this I do recommend keeping at least some basic notes. Things like character appearance, important locations in your story, and anything that might be vital to the next book if you’re writing a series. It’s much easier to take a look through some scribbling’s than it is to search back through your last story to find out what color your second least important character’s eyes were. Something you may not have even mentioned, and would have put into your notes thus allowing you to develop him/her however you see fit in the next book in the series. Another plus to notes is where you’ve left off. If you’re the type of author who has two, three, or twenty WIP’s going on at once leaving yourself a quick note as to where you stopped in the story will assist you when you come back to it. A quick glance at the notes, a read through of the last paragraph’s and you should be able to transition back into whatever world you’re working on. Something helpful if you have stories in different genres, and times.

There you have it, a few things that might help you find a better way for you to keep on writing. Like I mentioned these are merely some tips, and maybe not for you, but maybe something above struck a chord and you found it useful. That’s our goal here on Naughty Quill’s, to not only help guide new authors through the confusion but also just maybe give a long time author another way to do something. We never stay the same, even in our writing, we are growing constantly which means that what may have worked in the past might not work where we are now in our careers. Don’t panic. Growth and change are good, ninety-nine percent of the time.

XO Moira Callahan

bare female body with red bow

Be careful with that shtick #SensualSunday @AuthorMoira

Sensual-Sunday

It’s Sunday folks, which means it’s time for Moira to post. Hope you’ve all had a great week. It’s been an interesting one I have to admit, not always in a good way but at least it provides plenty of fodder for my writing.

Before I get started on this weeks post, a huge shout out to our newest member Jules Dixon who will be taking over our Friday posting slot as Michelle Roth steps aside to focus on her writing, and all things she needs to. We’re thrilled to have Jules joining us and can’t wait to see what she might have to share.

This week I need to be straight with you authors. Lay off the gimmicks already! While it’s one thing to use a shtick (Yiddish for gimmick) in your promo, it’s another to constantly be using it in your writing. There is a huge difference between plotline, and a gimmick. I think some of you may need to learn the difference, and quickly.

3d cartoon laughing, 3d renderingNow, I’m NOT saying you should not have characters with unique “special traits, interests, or activities”, that isn’t what this is about. What I want to discuss is the same, running gag line in some series. Once is a belly laugh, twice is a chuckle, three times gets old and earns an eye roll. Don’t even get me started on when I see it in four or more books in the same series.

A plotline is one thing, and if your series has a continuous plotline from book one to forty, great! This provides a continuity between each unique book in the series tying them all together. There are authors out there that are MASTERS of this, making each book a stand-alone while still melding each from the series tightly together. This is a good thing.

But a running shtick gets old, and fast. Have a gimmick between two of your characters during their story, go for it, it provides a little side humor and shows a deeper bond between them especially when it’s in fun, and done properly. When it runs for a series, and every single character – can you say “boring”? Readers will spot it nearly as fast as they will that glaring spelling mistake in your first paragraph, and they WILL call you on it. Don’t keep doing the same thing time and again. Tried and true is okay, but it won’t bring in new readers, and it won’t keep the ones you have in the long haul. So drop the shtick, and grow your skills. In the end you’ll thank yourself for doing it, and your readers will too.

XO Moira Callahan

Hombre Fuerte

Not my monkeys, not my circus #SensualSunday @AuthorMoira

Sensual-Sunday

Moira here welcoming you to another #SensualSunday post. The title from today’s post happens to be a (day job) coworkers favorite saying. Not entirely sure where it originated from, but it’s been circling about in my brain nearly constantly for quite a while. Roughly since the US Presidential election really got into the swing of things.

Now, this is NOT a political posting, especially since I am Canadian and really can’t say anything on the American political situation. But it brought up other points that are actually valid for today’s post, and actually relate to being an author. Mainly the fact that folks really do need to keep their two cents to themselves unless they are knowledgeable about the situation and/or subject at hand.

Piss off written on a memoToo many people these days are giving into knee jerk reactions on social media. Particularly authors. This is when you post something without taking a moment to think it through, and consider whether you should actually post it. Not saying that if you have something to say that you shouldn’t give voice to it, on your own page (see Raven’s post from Thursday for more on the subject), but could you possibly think before (re)acting? I realize this might be a stretch for some folks, and yes we all can get tied up in the heat of the moment, but you are a damn author. You are a (minor or major) public figure, a role model to some, inspiration to others, so when you speak out of turn and potentially without correct information/facts, think of who it hurts.

YOU! Your good name, your brand, your hard work up to that point, and your legacy — all those stories you’ve written. It doesn’t matter what the subject might be, there will always be cause and effect.

Your readers see you picking a verbal battle for no reason, throwing out insults or who knows what, and wonder when you turned into such a witch. Your fans, followers, and (formerly) potential readers are being shown a side that colors you in a terrible light. This will stick with them for days, weeks, and years to come. For you that is lost revenue. Don’t think it isn’t. Because no matter how eloquently you apologize, no matter how you beg, plead and grovel, they’ve already moved on. They have blacklisted you from their TBR piles, most likely for life.

Worse yet, they’ve shared your diatribe/rant with others. You know the saying that there’s no better publicity than word of mouth? That goes double for bad publicity. Think about it. Good deeds in the news — buried behind the splashy stuff. Bad deeds/fuck-ups in the news — FULL FRONT PAGE COLOR SPREAD. Don’t end up the front page, it’s not dangerous loveworth it for two seconds of a smack down on someone you don’t know beyond social media. The average is, for every person that reads good/bad news they tell ten people, who tell ten people, who tell ten people…see where I’m going here? On social media you can multiply that effect into the hundreds with a single post.

Do the right thing, the grown up thing, and just don’t. I know, it can be tough some days when folks are spouting off about shit for no more reason than to gain fifteen seconds of fame, but you do not need to lower yourself to their levels. You’re an author — make them a villain in your next book and murder them viciously. Oh, and don’t forget to give them props for the inspiration. Be deliciously evil like that.

Remember:  Sometime’s these are not your monkeys, which means this isn’t your circus either. So why would you butt in where you haven’t been invited?

XO Moira Callahan

Attractive Young Bare Muscular Man after Taking Shower

The last mad dash #SensualSunday @AuthorMoira

Sensual-Sunday

Moira here welcoming you back to a mildly chilly #SensualSunday. ‘Tis the week before Christmas, and all through the house not a creature is stirring, but utter chaos is definitely the name of the game. With work all this coming week, the company party, final gifts to pick up and wrap, and then traveling to see family for the holidays, there’s little time to do much of anything even breathe. Oh the joy of the holidays.

Like Kacey mentioned in her post yesterday, trying to find time to write is a definite challenge with all the items on the to do list. But I find that it’s a helpful stress reliever, Woman dealing with stressespecially at this time of year. Yes we all have familial and other obligations penned in on the calendar, but if you have a few minutes it’s the best time to sit down and let your characters take you away. I find it to be a similar reliever like reading, my mind clears of all the “must do’s” and slips into another world. Even if it’s only ten minutes, give yourself that break. Allow the stresses, and stressors to fall away for a few. The clarity, and fresh energy such a break brings is fabulous.

After all, not only is this time a year a strain on the old bank account, but all the pressure to be places, and get things done before the big day puts a huge amount of stress on your body and mind. Any time you can shake loose to relax is time well spent. You’ll thank yourself for it once the hub-bub all dies down. You’ll find that you probably won’t be nearly as tired as you have been in years past.

Which means, you’ll have more energy to get back to the writing while everyone else is still in their food coma’s. Ahhh, peace and quiet (except for that one relative that snores like a chain saw) to do what you love, write.

That’s all I have for you today, just a mere reminder to take your moments when you can. I myself will be looking for a few today as well between running around the slightly warmer town to grab some last minute items.

XO Moira Callahan

Lovers in the shadow

My opinion is my story #SensualSunday @AuthorMoira

Sensual-Sunday

Moira here welcoming you to another #SensualSunday posting. I want to get right down to it, and get this post rolling. So buckle up, keep your arms and legs inside the ride, and remember not to attempt standing until the ride has come to a full and complete stop.

First off, this post was inspired by something an author friend on FB shared by an author friend of their own. I do not know the original poster, have never spoken to the original poster, but it resonated with me. This post is not directed at any one individual, group or otherwise, it is what it is. An opinion. Mine. And it just might offend some folks. Such is life.

OPINION: 1) a view, judgment, or appraisal formed in the mind about a particular matter; 2a) belief stronger than impression and less strong than positive knowledge; 2b) a generally held view Merriam-Webster online dictionary

FeedbackEvery single person on the planet has an opinion. About pretty much everything. Yes, some folks will fall in line with a stronger personalities views because they aren’t the sort to make waves by stating their own opinion. But that does not mean they do not have one. We are after all human. Which means we come with this fantastic thing called free will. It permits us to each form, and hold our own thoughts about anything, and everything in the world around us. It’s only when we speak out about them in person, or on social media in all it’s forums that we then have to deal with other’s opinions.

That doesn’t make us wrong, or right. It merely makes us human.

Now this does not include the uniformed individuals who are out spouting rhetoric in all it’s forms. Whether from their pastor, a strong leader they admire, or from someone more intimately close to them (brother, sister, father, mother, lover, friend). I truly believe that if you have done your research, you have looked at both sides, and have formed an opinion based on all that then it’s a perfectly valid opinion. Is it right? Maybe, maybe not. That is not the question. We all have the right to speak to our personal opinions on everything as long as it is properly informed. Those who speak out without any real knowledge, or actual proof are the real danger to society as a whole. Because they are usually the ones who know just what to say, in just the right way to create a group dynamic full of sheeple. Or another term for this – cult.

But I’m getting off topic here, so here’s me wrenching things back in line.

As an author we all have our opinions. We write them every single day into our stories, our worlds, our characters. I for example detest liver and brussels sprouts. D-E-T-E-S-T them. This personal opinion is based on having had them for a meal on more than one occasion during one of my mother’s “phases”. I grew up in a home that you ate what was served or you made your own, or went hungry. That simple. It was the parent’s rule, and Brussels sproutsone I could live with. The point here is, that every single one of my characters will hate these two items, along with a few other food choices that I have negative connotations with. Same thing with certain types of music that I personally cannot stand, various types of movies, and so forth. Because it’s my personal opinion it affects the characters and worlds I create. But my readers still read my works because those little, trivial items are not really that big in the grand old scheme of things.

Yet if I were to post on social media, or my blog even that I had a hate on for liver and brussels sprouts I can GUARANTEE there would be at least a few individuals who would pipe up to take on the defense of that poor liver, or share a “divine” recipe for brussels sprouts. As is their right to do, because that happens to be their opinion. And I would never even think to trample another persons opinion. Now if those same individuals got into name calling, or flat out trying to verbally spear me for my opinion – well they would be gone from my social media in a hot New York minute. Because while I am more than willing to hear other’s opinions, and even hold lively debate, when someone goes on the attack it’s no longer about opinions. It’s about them believing they are right over everyone else, and if you don’t agree, then you are wrong. End of story.

Which, when I see an author talking about how a reader basically told said author to “keep your opinion to yourself” – on the authors own page I should mention – it gets my fur up, so to speak. Our pages on FB, our feeds on Twitter, our blogs on our sites are pieces of who we are. It’s where we can be ourselves, talk normal things if that’s what we want, and to interact with our followers and readers. Which means to have a reader, a follower, a supporter of said authors works tell the author to basically stuff their opinion where the sun don’t shine, something needs to be said. The author in question who unknowingly spawned the inspiration for this post has already replied to the unwanted, uneducated, and unwarranted attack on them. But the word must be spread that this is not alright, in any way, in any form, at any time.

Broken heart on slate backgroundWe are authors. We have been molded into who we are by our experiences through our lives to this point. We will continue to be changed by whatever the future holds. We will not be silenced by the uninformed, uneducated, and misguided attempts by anyone who doesn’t agree with us. We are authors, and we have the same right to voice our opinions as everyone else does. Do we need to take a greater care in how we may phrase it? Sure, none of us wants to alienate every person on our boards/sites. Do we deserved to be muzzled because someone thinks we should be? Hell to the fucking no! We are authors, we are human, we are flawed, we are growing, we are learning, we are who we are. But if you don’t like my opinion, or anyone else’s why read our books? Because every single story we right holds that same opinion within it’s pages. More elegantly scripted than the usual posting on social media sure, that’s why we have editor’s after all, but it is still OUR PERSONAL VIEW OF THE WORLD AS WE SEE IT.

We are authors, and we have the same right as you to speak about what hurts, touches, molds us into who we are. We are authors, hear us roar.

XO Moira Callahan

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