Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Burnt Out On Editing

Burn out. It sucks.

Due to my burn out I would totally end this blog post right there but I feel the obligation to explain myself. I am burnt out on editing Waking Up In Bedlam. True story.

I know as a writer I'm supposed to be all "this is the greatest thing ever and every part of this process is so much fun!" and others will say "If you aren't having fun and enjoying it then you aren't a real writer." I call bullshit on both those statements. No one is having fun and enjoying every millisecond of the writing process, some of us can admit when something is sucking and draining us. I don't think it makes me less of a writer to admit that I am burnt out. Note: I said "burnt out" I did not say "quitting" or "giving up", I just think it's healthy to admit out loud that I am burnt out. End of story.

Why am I burnt out? 1) I'm a perfectionist, I want WUIB to be perfect because I am so damn scared of the reviews that will say something along the lines of "You can tell this is self-published by the editing." 2) It's hard to kill the lines or scenes you love, even when it is what is best for the story. 3) Plot Holes. One of my beta readers found some plot holes, one of which requires rewriting an entire chapter. How the hell did I miss that? *shrugs* I have no clue, but it is there plain as day.

So there ya go, that is my bitch/complaint. Editing, I am not a fan of yours. But as much as I don't like editing, it is a process that is necessary. It is a critical step that must be completely thoroughly in order to put out quality work. As much as it might be a drag you have to just pick yourself back up and hit it again. I've been working in 2-3 chapter chunks at a time. That seems to help, I don't get so hung up on it and can work through my blahs as I try to map out that re-do chapter and sort these plot holes out.

Also, on the subject of editing, someone suggested to me the other day, I tried the free version and it was pretty awesome, except for the fact that the free version only let's you do 500 words at a time and gives you very limited tools (by very limited I mean only two). While it was very fun and I think it would be great for me to use in my first draft edits to take some of the burden off of my beta readers/editors there is no way I could afford the price-tag, for the full version it is over $100 and that my friends is just not doable. If I have time I'll do the free version in chunks, although a 60k manuscript would take 120 visits to the site.

Do you enjoy editing? Are you a stickler for grammar already so editing is a breeze for you? Do you use editing software?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Review: Blood Myth By Stacy A. Moran

Blood Myth By Stacey A. Moran

Synopsis: Zakah Sange was born into a world of dark magick, always living in the shadows of his father, the Raka King. He was dangerously sexy and enigmatic; he used power and control to shape himself into a hard and cunning man. Zakah became a warrior, a weapon and the master of his own violence lurking within. 

Sorina Ruzicka was the great granddaughter of the evil god Akhekh. She was born into a legacy of

magickal gifts that she wanted no part of. After years touring as a blues singer she returned home where she only wanted the seclusion of the mountains. A chance meeting with the mysterious club owner forced Sorina into the battle of her life.

Can a willful witch, accept the controlling nature of a demon who demands submission? Trusts will be tested, lines will be crossed and a fate neither of them expected will be played out (Taken from Goodreads)


I won this book in a contest, who doesn't like free books? It was not what I expected, in a good way. Any time I see a title with the word Blood I think vampires, this was not vampires. It has an interesting twist of Egyptian Mythology, which I am a sucker for. The beginning of the book sets up that mythology and though I feel like it was a bit of an information dump it was needed to set up the story.  The first half of the book really focuses on Zak and Sorina's relationship, but let me tell you the sex is HOT. It has a bdsm flair, though not life style accurate, you can tell that wasn't want the author was aiming for. (It is clear and she never claims that it is a life style book. If you like kink you'll love the sex in this book.) 

The characters are fantastic and relatable, you have the strong man and the stubborn woman. The world is in-depth and creative. It's not full of typical genre tropes, but there are enough to make it familiar to the reader. I'm in love with the world and the characters. I can't wait to see more. I finished the book in two sittings, it's short and probably could have finished it in one if I didn't have a child who insists that she must read what mommy reads. The ending of the book? What can I say, I like this girl's style!

The only real complaint I have about the book is the use of foreign words threw me off. I found it jarring as a reader, also took me until I got to the end of the book to realize that there was a glossary for it. So just be aware of that.  I recommend this book for people who love paranormal romance and aren't scared of a little kink with their sex!

4 out of 5 Stars

Heat Rating: scorching
(mild, medium, hot, spicy, scorching) 

Buy It:
Amazon (Ebook is free until Thursday July 25th!!)

Friday, July 19, 2013

Dealing with the negative while remaining professional

Not only is my SPE post two days late, it is also coming to you from my iPad since we are in the middle of a thunder and lightening storm. Some days it's harder than others to get things to work out the way you want them, but what makes a crap day even worse is the realization that not everyone is going to be happy for your successes in life.

What is even harder than dealing with haters is having to stay professional at all times. Many times I've wanted to let loose with a Facebook rant about this, that or the other thing, but I for the most part hold my tongue and especially on my "Author Page", I do not rant or bitch about things big or small. I censor myself on my author page to keep the drama at bay. I want to look professional, I want my author page to look professional. There are many times I say "I want to post this" but then I think about how it will look and it gets deleted and a lot of the time +Alexandra Webb also reminds me to vent to her instead of in public. It's hard when we want to defend ourselves, but it's worth not looking like a fool who just wants drama. This harkens back to my post about branding, I am my brand. So yes, my personal Facebook page might contain a rant about my husband, or posts about my crapass mailman, but you won't find me bashing reviewers or bitching about how I can tell by my sales who of my friends hasn't purchased my books (yes, that is a real rant I've seen on Facebook) on either my author page or my personal page, it's just not done. You keep it professional.

Some things do hurt too deep. Some people know exactly how to rip our hearts out and show them to us. What do you do when need to vent, need to scream and cry and be angry because someone close to you bashed your latest work? Or when a reviewer gives you a 1 star drive by review with no comments? Or when someone calls your work unoriginal? You find a friend you can vent to and you vent in private, not in public. You pick yourself up, rub some dirt on it, and move the fuck on. O.o oh yes, I'm pulling out the curse words now.

Did you hear how self-published authors are lazy hacks? Have you heard that they shouldn't even be in the publishing business if they can't get a contract? How about the fact that its not fair that others paid their dues slinging words for a newspaper or working as an editor for 40 years before they started writing? Or what about the fact that self-publishing is cop-out? Self-published authors don't care about putting out quality work? Etc, etc... The list of bullshit comments that can get you down goes on and on. Haters, man. They are everywhere.

1) vent, rant and rage. In private, that is what email, inboxes, Skype, text messages, and voxer is for.

2) Pick yourself up

3) Rub some dirt on it


Lather, rinse and repeat as needed. 

Look, the honest truth is this: like i said earlier, not everyone is going to be happy for your successes. Whether it's a friend who doesn't support you, an entire family that doesn't understand you, or an entire community that is against how you choose to do things. Everyone is going to have an opinion and not all of them will be good. It hurts when we aren't supported, it hurts when we feel alone. We are creatures who need support and praise. It makes us feel good, reminds us to keep going. Everyone loves a compliment.

In this digital world of anonymity it's easy for others to hide behind a computer scene and hurt you but this is your dream, they can't take it from you unless you let them. You just have to focus, lean on the friends who support you and distance yourself from those who bring you down. Reach out to others. Ask for help, sing the praises of fellow authors, make new friends, work to be the good in this industry because honestly there is way too much elitist bullshit around here and things need to change. Just because something was done a certain way for "x" amount of years doesn't mean that change is bad, change is very, very good. It keeps things from growing stagnant. It's refreshing.

So be professional, be kind, be supportive... But remember that being those things doesn't  mean you have to put up with people or groups or family who put you down or don't support you. They can only affect you if you let them, and yes, it's hard to not let it get you down. That is what wine, chocolate, a nice warm bath, and good books are for; to lift your spirits when the douchebags get you down. Then after a nice glass of wine, or some silky smooth chocolate, or a nice long soak in the tub, or after a couple of chapters of a good book you can get back to your goal. Writing. Because in the end for writers, artists, and creators,  the only thing that fill us up, makes us feel whole (besides our loved ones) is working on our craft, honing our skills, and sharing our work with whomever wishes to see it.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Writing World

Too many irons in the fire is a phrase that I'm hearing more and more often by my surrounding authors and aspiring authors. One of the blogs I write for was put on hiatus because everyone ended up being too busy to keep up with regular posts. I'm a person who likes to be busy, so when something new and exciting was dropped on my plate, I thought, no problem! Tonight will be my fourth night in a row staying up until midnight to meet minimum expectations for my projects under Alexandra and my projects under my actual name. As I sip my coffee, I can't help but think, 'this is the life of an author.'

Mia has a project that has a deadline of September 13th. That's not a deadline she set, but I can't tell you what the project is. The advantage of self published projects is that you set your own deadlines. You can keep your readers waiting, which I don't recommend, or you can pick a release date, when you're comfortable, to get everyone excited about it. There are authors I know who have been promising a release (without a specific date) for a few months. You can check on their Facebook page, and two months ago they give the same excuses and explanation this month. If you go down this path you have to claim your title. You are an author now. There is stress. There is times you don't want to work, when you need to.

Stress is a killer, but you must find away to work with it instead of against it. If you need to step back, take a nap, take a bath, take a walk, but then get back to work. Don't forget that writing is only part of the job. As my other-self, I have events coming up that I have to prepare for. A book signing at a local store and a convention. Despite the fact that I'm going to be exhausted, I have to be able to participate in the book signing, talk to the people there and appear professional. (They better have coffee!) The convention is a four day commitment that I know I won't get much work done while I'm there, so I have to prepare for it. That means planning deadlines and goals around that. More stress since my newest deadline is November 13th, that means during NaNoWriMo (which is a whole other beast) and a few weeks after the convention. I have to time things just right. Stress, but excitement all the same.

I sit back and look at my WIP list and sigh, I'm scared some of it's not going to get done. I'm scared some of it is going to bomb, and I'm scared I might burn myself out. I have three projects under Alexandra right now, not including the upcoming NaNo: In Black and White Edits, a post apocalyptic story, and Redemption, which I can give more details on later. I won't even get into the WIPs as the other me. I'm not complaining. I asked for this life. I have worked for this dream to become a reality. I'll take everything as it comes. What is important is that you don't let the stress and the fear control you. You are bigger than it, you can over come it. Remember that you have great support and people who are taking this journey with you. You'll find them in some of the most unsuspected places. Chin up and dream big.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Review: Mistress Lexie

Mistress Lexie (My Reason to Cheat) by Lacey Silks

Lexie has attended six conferences in the past month, watching James present. When she’s called up to the stage to help out, it occurs to her James has noticed her as well. Unable to hide her feelings for the stud, Lexie gives in to each hidden touch he’s able to make while presenting. And when the curtains go down and lights go off, both take advantage of the little privacy they have.

First off, this book is listed on the Amazon Marketplace as Mistress Lexie (My Reasonn To Cheat). The misspelling is the first thing that caught my eye about this book. Hopefully at some point Ms. Silks will be able to fix this typo since we all know that something like misspelled titles can turn off readers from purchasing a book.

Mistress Lexie is one of five short, interconnected stories in the "My Reason to Cheat" series.

This is a super short story, it took me less than ten minutes to read. It focuses on Lexie who is cheating, or at least at the beginning of the story, fantasizing about cheating on her husband with a man she has been (for lack of a better word) stalking for an undetermined number of months. I say undetermined because continutity is very vague here. In the synopsis it says one month, at the beginning of the story it says two months and towards the end it states six month.

I'm not the kind of reader who cares about book length, but the shortness of this read really does hinder it. With the story consisting of the affair we are given no reason to care about Lexie. She comes off as cold from the lack of  explanation on her "reason to cheat", in fact we aren't ever really given her "reason to cheat". We are left to form our own assumptions, the only reason given is that her sex life with her husband is bland. Being a married person it would seem to me that just opening your mouth and saying, "Let's spice things up tonight, honey." would be easier and safer than stalking a man, cheating on your husband and having unprotected sex. Bottom line is this: Cheating is a delicate subject matter and it helps if the readers care enough about the characters to condone their unfaithfulness. In this story I didn't care enough because there wasn't enough to care about.

Morality aside, because I am not a stickler for morals, the sex scene was graphic and interesting. The setting for the scene is definitely unique and the descriptions were vivid. This is an extremely adult read and I wouldn't recommend it for readers who 1) are under 18, in fact it specifically says: Contains mature content intended for ADULT AUDIENCE ONLY. 2) cannot get past the idea of adultery as the main plot point and 3) if you are at all squeamish or offended by the use of the "C" word in erotica, because it is used in this story.

If you are still on board and want a quick read that is steamy, then dive right into Mistress Lexie.

3 out of 5 Stars
Heat Rating: Hot
(mild, medium, hot, spicy, scorching)