Tag Archives: Blog

New blog

I am changing the focus of Coming Alive, but didn’t want to lose my writer’s blog.

I know Kirsten Lamb says more than one blog is unnecessary, but when I reveal the new focus of Coming Alive, it will make sense. But I have to get my house ready to put on the market so it will take me some time.

Meanwhile writing, bitching about writing and author promotion is now at, which is here.

Writing Asrai

https://writingasrai.wordpress.com/

It should have been asraidevin.wordpress.com but someone used and deleted it and wordpress has a stupid if you delete no one else can ever have it rule.

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Having Fun Instead

The writing/publishing world is abuzz about the best way to publish. And by best, they usually mean, what will make you the most money, how you will get the most people to buy your book.

There have also been some discussions in self/indie publishing about pricing. Is 99 cents too low? Unprofessional? Does it attract the wrong type of customer? Are readers who buy 99 cent books just hoarding them? Is it a good way to build a fan base? Do 99 cent books lack quality of story? What about editing?

I believed it for a while. I read the blog posts. I followed the industry closely. I questioned my own plans.

And it came to me recently.

 

I am not having fun with writing anymore.

I’m worried about my sales ranking and making money and if I need to hire an editor or cover artist and if I should raise my prices. I  worried about writing the next book in the Up in Flames series. I worried about whether the whole contemporary romance thing was even worth it because paranormal is HOT now. Historical does fairly well. Contemporary is a lukewarm market unless you sign with Harlequin.

The point of this for me was to write my ideas. To have fun making up stories. To dream up these fantasy lovers who are flawed men, who sweep women off their feet. These fantasies we dreamt about in high school.

I am not doing that anymore.

I’m having ideas that I’m playing with. As I’m working on them, I feel pressured to market and produce. I’m worried about what people are going to think of my writing (okay, I’ve always been worried about that. I used to keep at my stuff hidden from my family. IT’s still easier to share with total strangers than my mother.)

I want to have fun.

For the next while, anyway, I’m going to have fun with writing and reading. I’m going to read free and 99 cent reads from Smashwords and review them. (Though, to be honest, I’m worried about having to give bad reviews, but any review is better than none). I’m going to break all the rules. In fact, I’m going to write new ones.

The FUN Code (more like guidelines?)

#1 No Self-Promotion. No linking to myself.

Caveat to #1. To inform people of this project I have to tell them about it. But it’s project promotion so others can read my promotion of others. And I’m hoping other authors will give up on promotion and money made being the end all of success. I want other authors to measure how much fun they are having writing, like the good old days. Besides, most of us aren’t selling that many copies anyway. We might as well give up and have fun.

#2. No writing stuff that isn’t fun. I can even abandon projects in the middle of working on them if I don’t feel the flow.

#3. Read for fun. Review what I read. Promote what the good, and maybe some bad. Write e-mails with details to the bad and ugly telling them where things have gone wrong. Especially regarding blurbs. I read a lot of bad blurbs lately.

#4 Unsubscribe and delete all industry blogs. For me this is Konrath’s blog, Jane Friedman‘s blog, Publetariat, Ditchwalk, and anything related to productivity (urgh! I am at the point of loathing productivity blogs. I don’t need another tip on how to get more done. Give me tips for getting more FUN) and anything related to writing that isn’t about how AWESOME it is to make shit up.

Caveat for #4. If you want to go hard-core, unfollow those bloggers on Twitter and unlike them on Facebook.

#5. Wasting time is not a crime punishable by beating myself up. Making mistakes is encouraged.

#6. Reach out to other authors and share insights, info on their work and encouragement.

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Blogs, e-reader and rss

Using calibre, I put most of the blogs I read onto my Kobo.

My dead Kobo. The battery gave out in the middle of the night and there is nothing when I plug it in. So … dead. Wait for my shipitback package.

So I had to figure out which blogs I would miss and stick tem in my RSS reader.

And I realize I need to pare down the number of blogs I read and add some author blogs.

I’m guessing most people have too many blogs on their feed reader. I love new blogs so feel free to share your favorites with me in the comments.

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File names

A while ago I downloaded a bunch of free books from places like freeonlinenovels and obooko and feedbooks. OIh yeah, Smashwords too.They came in various formats: pdf, epub, rtf.

Then they sat on my hard drive while i caught up on my blogs. (Calibre is lovely in that it allows me to turn rss into epubs).

I used calibre the other day to transfer all the files into epub. Kobo reads pdfs or epubs. Pdfs are fixed width format which makes reading them on a small screen difficult. Calibre (I should really pay for how much i use this beautiful program) can convert any file into epub. Not all files transfer well.

Now I have all these lovely files on my Kobo for reading.

The problem?

Some of the files I downloaded are downloaded as what the author saved the file as.

I have one file entitled this: Save_Me_Needs_Revising.

Doesn’t inspire me to start reading it. It’ll be at the bottom of the pile.

Many of the files don’t have title pages. Not pictures but the title of the book and the author name and website at least.Additonally I would add a version ie if you submit your file to Smashwords it says Smashwords version. Obooko gets a different title page.

My mission for the next week is to change my files to Title_AuthorName. That way no matter how the book is downloaded it has my name on it. And I shall also be adding a title page that has where the book was procured from and the title.

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And then there were three or none

Okay, well that’s the three versions of Corey that came before the official version. Which I’m working on. Don’t rush me!

The last one I abandoned because I didn’t feel it was going anywhere. There was no drive for me to get to the next scene. If I wasn’t feeling it, the reader wouldn’t either.

I outlined a second one with Mac Black moving to Calgary to live with Doug because she has detached retina and needed care. But after I wrote the outline I didn’t care for the conflict stuff again. Garbage.

So, that’s the tour.

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Corey with Mac: Three

This one was a second attempt where Corey lives with Doug Black. Mac is Mackenzie Black, Doug’s sister. Great inherent conflict right there. What guy wants his friend who sleeps around to be near his sister?

Mackenzie Black considered herself classy. Even so she was excited her brother was coming to visit. She was a little annoyed he was bringing a friend with him, but the guy, Corey something, didn’t have a family to spend Thanksgiving with. And Doug, being the big-hearted guy that he was, couldn’t let his room mate and team mate return alone to Calgary.

She was just thankful that the schedule worked out so she could see her brother for the holiday. It wasn’t likely to happen again and since she spent most of her time working and he spent his time playing a game it would be a while before they got together again.

Her parents were picking up Doug and what’s-his-face at the airport. She was at her parent’s house watching the turkey and setting the table. And also checking out the window every few minutes to see if they’d arrived.

Mac looked at the clock again. They wouldn’t be here for at least twenty minutes, probably longer. Who knew with traffic from the airport on Thanksgiving weekend. She’d have to navigate back in a couple of days with them, but that was another story.

Mac turned on the television and sat down. It wasn’t long before she heard the car pull into the driveway and she jumped up. Feeling like a kid on Christmas morning she opened the door, even though it was damn cold out, even for October.

She ran outside. Her brother was already out of the car with arms open. She jumped into them and hugged him tight. “My favorite brother,” she chortled.

“In the flesh.” They hugged for a moment and then he set her down. She hopped back and forth on the cold cement driveway.

“How was your trip?”

“You forgot your shoes,” a voice said from the other side of the car. She shivered, not from the voice, it was the cold. And the lack of shoes.

The face in front of the voice was fucking beautiful. She’d seen him on television, but that did him no justice compared to the potency of meeting him in person. Doug warned her to stay away, that he was a skeevy player who picked up one night stands all over the place.

Mac wasn’t sure what that meant. But now that he was standing here in the driveway, smiling and oozing sex appeal, it meant that she had a mission. To jump the guy without anyone in the house knowing what was going on.

Doug was overprotective over her, even though he was 20 months younger. And getting away from his death glare wasn’t going to be easy. She wondered how afraid Corey was of Doug.

She’d have to do a little convincing. If what Doug said about the man was half-true, it shouldn’t be too hard. And few men could resist her smile. Or her ask.

Doug kept his arm around Mac as he spoke. “Mac this is my buddy Corey. Corky this is my little sister Mackenzie.”

“Nice to meet you,” Mac said.

Corey came around the car and offered his hand. Mac grasped it and shook. Nice warm with callouses. She shivered again. “So, I’m not wearing any shoes. So I’ll talk to you inside.”

“Thanks for the help with our bags,” Doug called.

“Big strong boys like you, you’ll be fine,” Mac replied. She glanced at Corey and he winked.

Maybe convincing him wouldn’t be difficult at all.

Mac winked back and then made sure to wiggle her hips in super slow motion as she went inside. Just in case her smile wasn’t enough.

* * *

Corey pulled his gaze away from Doug Black’s older sister’s ass as she sashayed it up the steps to her parent’s house. She did that on purpose.

Instead of watching the enticing little sway, he looked at the sway’s brother. Who would kick his ass if he so much as caught Corey looking at her the wrong way. Doug had made that clear before they had even left Calgary.

Corey would just have to make sure he didn’t get caught. He caught a grin before Doug saw him. “Come on, it’s cold out, grab your bags and get your ass inside the house.”

Corey came around the car and grabbed his bag from the trunk. Doug elbowed him in the side. “Stop drooling over my sister.”

Corey bit back the reply that his sister was deliberating baiting him. “Right.” He also stifled a snort. Too bad he didn’t have a sister as a point of reference, so he could pretend Mackenzie Black was related to him.

Of course, if he had a sister, he would be spending the holidays with her instead of with his team mate. No point in dwelling on useless thoughts. He shook it off and followed Doug inside the house.

He took his shoes off and placed them on the neat rack beside the door. “Doug, come to the kitchen please,” Mrs. Black called.

Doug dropped his bag. He looked at Corey for a moment. “Mac, show Corey our rooms.” Corey’s gaze flew to Mackenzie’s, who was standing to the side of the entry way. Doug looked pointedly at him once more and then went to the kitchen.

“What was that look for?”

“He’s worried about your virtue.”

Mackenzie laughed and took a step toward Corey. He took a step back. The dance continued until Corey was against the shoe rack. Mackenzie laughed again, this time very close to him. “I’m just trying to get my brother’s bag.”

“Oh. Right.” She kept her smile and gaze on him while she picked up the bag. Kissing her in the foyer of her parents house when her brother might return any minute was a bad idea. Really bad.

“Come on,” she said, glancing over her shoulder. “I’ll show you where I’ll be sleeping.” And they were walking.

She did say where she was sleeping right? Was that an invitation? Either she was really hot for him or she was an evil temptress.

Past the kitchen, Doug gave him a warning look. Corey shook his head. Around a corner and down a hallway, and then down some stairs. Mackenzie dropped Doug’s bag in front of a door and then moved to invade Corey’s personal space. “So Doug is staying in his old room down here.”

Corey’s heart was in this throat. Mackenzie was just a little below eye level. Corey reached for her and brushed her hair from her face and then rested the back of his hand rest on her cheek. She put her hand on his upper arm and stretched up to him.

Corey looked at her hips for a moment. He was going to hell. Or at least Doug was going to beat the crap out of him. And then he brushed his lips across her glossy, pouty smile.

She wrapped an arm around his neck and pulled him deeper, her mouth opening and her tongue slipping into his mouth. She tasted like coffee and cherry lip gloss. He felt his dick start to go hard and he pulled away. Slamming his head into the wall in the process.

She looked at him with a frown.

“Sorry, Mackenzie. My body was about to react in ways that I wouldn’t be able to hide from your family.”

She grinned and pulled him down for a second quick kiss.

“I really don’t want to sleep on the floor of your brother’s room,” Corey added.

She licked her bottom lip really slowly and then sashayed herself back up the stairs.

He followed that round ass back to the main floor and to the back of the house. She opened a door and pushed him inside. “This is where you will sleep.”

“My room is two doors down. There’s a bathroom between us.”

Corey raised an eyebrow. “Where do your parents sleep?”

“Upstairs.” She pointed towards the stairs at the end of the hall. “Doug and I have an older brother and sister.”

“Where are they?”

“Pete is a lawyer in New York and far too busy for the likes of us. And Sam is with her in-laws for this holiday.” Corey sat down on the bed inside the room. Mackenzie leaned against the door jamb. “And you?”

“I have no family,” he said, standing up and brushing past her. That was not something he was going to talk about. “Where’s the bathroom? I need to powder my nose before supper.” Before Mac could reply Corey disappeared down the hall.

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Corey version 2

I wrote there were two previous versions of Corey. I found a third. Here is number two with his agent, Rachel. I’m only putting one scene up here. The rest you can read at: mediafire in pdf or epub

She was being sent to Calgary. It was like being 12 and being sent to your room, Rachel Taylor reflected as she looked out her office window. It was even her father who was sending her. She wanted to run away like a rebellious teenager. Instead, she was 33 years old, and she would face her duties. She would do her job. She was damned good at her job.

She was being sent because of her very public breakup with Washington Stars star pitcher, Patrick Barber. The tabloids broke a three months ago with the story. Pat on a beach in Florida, he was there for a few days for games and she had to work, with his 20-year-old girlfriend. The newest superstar model, Ophelia Morgens. Only he’d forgotten to let Rachel know that they had broken up first.

So much for his proclaimed maturity. There was only three years age difference between them.

Thinking about it now, made her want to scream, throw things and generally have a tantrum. Rachel sank down at her desk, glad her father had left. He might regret sending her to Calgary to deal with things there, instead he might send her on vacation as he suggested when the news first broke. Or worse, to a mental retreat, aka psych ward.

She smiled at the thought. If things got worse she might consider checking herself in.

She lifted her head and opened the file on her desk. Corey Porter, one of her newest clients. One of the few her father was foisting on her from Calgary. She didn’t know why one of the agents at the office there couldn’t take on the clients. Hal Taylor insisted that they were too important to hand to just anyone.

So, here she was, shuffling her responsibility around at home in New York. And jumping on a plane to Calgary, Alberta. She cringed at the thought. It sounded like cold and winter, even in the middle of summer.

Corey Porter. Hockey player. Kind of a jackass in public. A womanizer. Perfect, just the kind of guy she would have been hoping to avoid. But, she’d be working with him closely. Hopefully convincing him to change his attitude and his reputation. His contract was coming up and it wouldn’t help him with a poor reputation.

She did the math quickly, he was 29. Great, so not the age to change his attitude, especially not as a sports figure. Those types never changed.

This was going to be a pain in the ass. And a lot of work for her. She put her head back down on the desk. He was no Sean Avery nightmare, but this wasn’t a dream job.

When she lifted her head she found herself staring at his handsome mug shot. It was like his eyes were staring right into her. He was far too good-looking. And he knew it. Another strike against him.

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