Flash Fiction: The Non-Flash Fiction Post: aka Why I Write

There are so many ways that I can answer the question of why I write. Many of them start with ‘because’.

Because if I didn’t my mind would explode.

There were a few years that the only thing I wrote were a few blog posts now and then. I wasn’t working. Finding a job was difficult. People were difficult. Yet, I didn’t write.  I can’t give you a reason as to why I wasn’t writing. I should have been writing my ass off, to be honest. Unfortunately, that time was wasted and is gone. It’s one regret that I’ll never get back that time. I put it aside the best I can and force myself to write. A blog post. A tweet. A work-related social media post. A scene. Anything. I write as much as I can now. Even if it’s just me being whiny and bitchy and don’t want to whine and bitch to someone’s face, I’ll write.

Because I work a day job that doesn’t pay me enough to entertain myself.

Even if I could afford cable or satellite, I wouldn’t pay for it. There isn’t enough time in the day to watch 500 channels of anything. I have Netflix and I have Hulu Plus. There are occasions I think about cancelling HP, but I don’t because there are shows I do enjoy that I can’t watch due to conflicts with another show. I enjoy binge-watching shows that I have watched over the years and catching the plot points, twists, secret-reveals, and so forth. I will put a tv show on in the background as I write because I like having sound. Sometimes music just doesn’t cut it.

Because I love to read and sometimes I can’t stand what I’m reading.

There are times that I get really excited about a book that has had amazing reviews and people are talking about it and  I’m like.. Okay, I’ll spend my money on it. Then I open the book and before I finish the first chapter I hate everything about the characters. Or the writing is terrible. Or something that was purported as an exciting read is just whiny/bitchy drama-filled nonsense. I get enough nonsense in my day-to-day life. Yes, while books are supposed to be dramatic, I can only take so much Whiiiine (and I’m all out of cheese). I try to fight my way through the book. Sometimes the book wins and changes my mind, other times I just can’t do it and if I still hate it at the halfway point, I give up.

Because the voices in my head won’t shut up.

Pssst. Did you hear that? The voice screaming inside begging you to write this one little thing down? Just one, it won’t hurt to write just one little phrase down. When you give in to the voice a little of that exploding-head feeling diminishes a little. Then you do it again. And again. Even if you aren’t writing to be published, if it’s just to relieve the pressure that is causing you to feel like you might pick up an axe and go all Lizzie Borden, it’s a plus. There are people who run, there are people who meditate, and there are people who write. (People who do all three are overachievers and I think they need to quit showing off.)

Because writing is a way to interpret the world around me.

Hi, I’m a Pisces born on the Cusp of Aries, with Libra Rising and on top of all that I’m an emotional sponge who’s an introvert stuck in CubeLand 6.5 hours a day and covering a reception area the other 1.5 hours. I rely a lot on my gut. (If you watch NCIS, yes, like Gibbs.) I try not to ignore it and every single time I have HELL HAS RAINED DOWN UPON ME. Unfortunately, since I’m just a peon, I tend to have to ignore my gut more often than not during the day. I have walls that I build up each and every morning as I get ready to leave the house and then I try to take them down when I leave so that I can write. With all the things I hear and deal with throughout the day, it’s a wonder we haven’t nuked ourselves already.

I honestly don’t understand complicated people, who have to complicate situations, in order to make themselves feel important. . . especially when they are already (technically) important because of their position or role. Writing is a way for me to give my own interpretation. I can use situations or comments in a story and give it another outcome (for better or for worse).

Because writing is adventurous, heartbreaking, gut-wrenching work and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

When you write, you’re showing a different facet of yourself with each character, each setting, each word choice. You’re showing the world ‘this is me, but this is also me, and yeah, that flower I took 500 words to describe because I felt like it even though it’ll probably be cut later, yeah, that’s also me’ and that’s all there is to it.  Every time a character is punched, the writer feels the hit. Every time a character falls in love, their heart is broken when it doesn’t work out. Every single time a character falls down a cliff,  hitting every rock on the way down, and splashes into the ocean to have their arm ripped off by a shark, it’s the author saying ‘this is how I felt about this’ even if what’s written has absolutely nothing to do with the reality of the situation.

Because I can.

I write because I have the ability to put words to paper, or text to screen, or paint to wall. Writing is a way of life just like other creative pursuits. It’s a way to leave your mark on the world. Maybe writing isn’t your thing, but it’s mine. It’s my dream and I own my dream. And yeah, sometimes I struggle putting the words down, but that’s part of the journey. What’s your dream? 

Chuck Wendig posts a Flash Fiction Challenge (every Friday) at terribleminds.com.

What Dreams May Teach Us

Dreams are a gateway to another universe deep inside yourself. They allow you to answer questions that have been nagging you for weeks, be with people who don’t even notice you, or tell off your superiors from work when you’ve had enough. Dreams can enliven us or frighten us by becoming nightmares. They can also be a gold mine for ideas to use in your writing. Sometimes, you’ll find diamonds.

Take advantage of these precious gems and use them, embellish them, encourage yourself to dream when you go to bed. Not just to dream, but also to remember them. Then, write them down or dictate them (Evernote has dictation and audio recording abilities) so that you can utilize them to their fullest potential. Don’t stop there, though. Take time to go for a walk and let your mind wander into a daydream.

Daydreaming is a great way to work out plot issues, character personalities, and more. You can do this anywhere at any time (just not driving, or other dangerous actitivities, of course). Standing in line waiting? Best time to daydream, ever. If you’re having issues with a character, stick them in that line in your place. Would they cross their arms and tap their foot impatiently? Scrolling Twitter on their phone? Maybe chatting with a friend and arranging plans for later that night? These are ways to get to know your characters when you can’t sit down to write about them. Of course, you’ll want to take notes.

In between projects for a few minutes or waiting on an answer at work? What would the character do? Make a personal call or send texts? Scroll Facebook? Listen to the words and phrases that come out of the mouths of your coworkers. It’s like hitting oil during the boom. Some of the things that come out of their mouths may annoy or entertain you, but what about your characters? Would they chime in or scoff at everything?

And don’t worry, as long as you take notes, weaving these little things into your story shouldn’t be too difficult and can always be revised. It’s those little things, like being annoyed at someone slurping their coffee or snapping their gum, that will make your characters become realistic. Give them pet peeves and give them flaws. Do they always have to have the last word? Be right? Get huffy if proven incorrect? Give them flaws that may annoy people but perhaps they learn from as well later on in the story. Perhaps an impatient character learns to enjoy the sweet sensation of sitting on a beach, watching the waves roll in. Someone that has a shattered heart may learn to trust and eventually love again.

One of my favorite quotes about how to write is about chasing your protagonist up a tree and then throwing rocks at them. You don’t help them, you make it harder for them to get out until they’re falling and then, perhaps they get a parachute, but does it open or does it fail?

If you’re not the type to outline beforehand, that’s fine, neither am I. I write down a bare bones rough draft. A conversation, a setting, some feelings. Once I get to the end of the rough draft, then I go through and add a layer of, no, not flesh, but muscle and ligaments, organs, fat, and then flesh. This would be over a period of time, several revisions later. What do you do when you get blocked?

You write something else. Anything else. You could write about your day, your feelings, your thoughts. Write down whatever travels through your mind. Daydream while walking in the park. (Yes, I do keep going back to that and here in a moment I’ll be going to the park with my laptop to write.)

Some people use writing prompts to get them by. While I don’t have issues with writing prompts, they irritate me more than anything. Especially if they don’t make any sense at all, such as from a random generator. Don’t get me wrong, though. Writing prompts may trigger your muse to wake up and say HEY! so take time and listen.

 

A Penny for your Thoughts: Finding Time for Writing

It’s easier than you think you find the time to write. I don’t recommend writing during a meeting at work or during class. These are things that are important to your livelihood. Don’t jeopardize your wellbeing.

Recently, I went to an appointment with my daughter and had an hour of time. Instead of sitting there waiting and watching the little tv, I pulled up a new note on my phone and started typing away. Even though it’s a little slower than typing on a full keyboard, I did get quite a few paragraphs written. It’s a first draft that I’m working on, so it may end up completely cut or reworked, but the goal was to write. I made my goal. I didn’t think word count or page count either. My goal was simply to write that day.

If you are starting out it’s easy to get bogged down with the entire process. Page or word count. Needing a plot of idea. Needing character sheets detailing the littlest of tidbits. Forget all of it for now.

My ideas come to me in a flash. My drunken muse wakes up and trips over something which then causes an idea to spark and sets a fire in my brain. It could just be something small like seeing a woman scrubbing blood from her hands furiously. Where did the blood come from? That looks like a gas station restroom or some other kind of run down public place. Is she frightened? If so, is someone chasing her?

This is how I work. With the Supervisor Sexcapades it started with someone saying something that sparked the conflagration. I wrote down several ideas, with help, and then went from there. Listen to the people around you. What are they saying? Can you tell how they are feeling on the surface? Write down what they appear to be feeling and then find out what they are hiding beneath those emotions.

Right now, I’m writing at work. No, I shouldn’t be, however, our systems are down and my work is all digital. I dislike sitting and doing nothing, unless that’s the goal. It made me think I should do a blog post about how to find time to write. Appointments are a great way.

Appointments can be for the doctor, getting an oil change, and so forth. If you’re going on a trip and taking a bus, plane, or train? Great writing time. If someone else is driving for a road trip of some kind and they aren’t much for conversation, and you can handle staring at a screen while riding. Bonus!

If you’re walking at the park, you can always dictate to software capable of taking vocal notes, such as Evernote. I haven’t tested the dictation feature all that much because I utilize my OneDrive so much that I’d have to copy the text from Evernote to OneDrive and … I think I’ll just wait for Microsoft to catch up at this point (I’m used to it).

Other times you can write: Do you go out and eat alone? Write while you’re waiting for your food to arrive. Observing people in public places is a great way to find a quirk for your characters. Maybe another customer keeps repeating the same kind of buzz word (like Dr. Sheldon Cooper’s Bazinga) and you can use that in your story.

There are always times that we are waiting for something or someone. Even if it is just five minutes (because there’s always that one person who can’t be on time for a meeting), if you have a note taking app on your phone, you have time to write. You don’t have to write complete details and descriptions either. You can write down the idea, then just note where the characters are so you know to include the setting later.

Don’t forget your lunch break. I try to write on every lunch break. It doesn’t always pan out but I would rather get down fifty words than a big fat zero for the day. Remember, your first draft may end up being bare bones, but the goal is to get from the beginning to the end. Once you do that you can go back and fix everything that went wrong. Currently I’m writing for a submission call and I can’t decide if this is before or after the next installment for the Supervisor Sexcapades. It’s a big difference though, so I need to decide. However, I can write around that scene and simply add it in once I’m done with the bare bones draft.

If you look at your day differently, you’ll realize there are all kinds of time for writing.

Pen Names and Coworkers

One of the reasons that I have a few pen names (4 total, to be honest) is because I don’t want people I know in real life, such as coworkers, former classmates, and some family members, to see that I write smut.

Unfortunately, once you tell someone “I write smut.” it gets around. Especially at work.

It soon became a little joke. There are three people I work with that know one or more names I write under. Whether they have read anything or not, I don’t know. I’m okay with either way. Today, I was talking with a couple of coworkers about some stuff and mentioned, jokingly, that I write smut. Now one of those coworkers are bound and determined to find out my pen name. Yes, my fault, but no, I won’t be telling them what it is and, even if they were to find me by chance, I’d say nope, sorry, wrong person.

(Unless they find this blog… to which they’d see this post… uhm, heeeey.)

So, the moral of the story (see, I do teach you something on occasion) is that if you do not want anyone to know you write smut, do not tell anyone you write smut. Even if you think the one person you told wouldn’t say anything (whether you asked them not to say anything or whether you didn’t), don’t expect it not to be mentioned when joking around with a new coworker and it gets blurted out.

I didn’t have an issue with a handful of people knowing that I write smut. It’s a great joke and it’s hilarious to see the look on someone’s face when they learn that about me.

In all honestly, I don’t mind that people know I’m a writer. However, it would be preferable if they didn’t know what I write. I’m not ashamed, it’s just not really work-friendly discussion if you ask me. Anyway, just so you know in case you decide to jump on the erotica bandwagon (punishment bench? stripper pole?) you might want to zip your lips, unless you want the entire company to eventually learn you write smut.

 

Excerpt: Caught Supervisor

*** Please note: This excerpt is NSFW and NSFChildren. If you are 18+, please feel free to continue. ***

Continue reading

When Procrastination Isn’t Procrastination

SmuttyWorksLogo2-FlatThere are many things a writer does, especially if they are indie/self-published, that could technically be considered under the procrastination label. Even when it really isn’t procrastination and can be considered part of the working process. This includes promoting your work, creating covers for the book, and being creative in relation to the work you’re doing.

I jokingly put “Writer of SmuttyWorks™” in my Twitter profile. After a short while, I went on a vast internet search. It turns out that no one has utilized such a great trademark previously in that way. So, being the prolific creative I try my hardest to be, I went so far as to create a logo of sorts that will start appearing in my erotic stories. 

I couldn’t help myself. I had to do something creative that was related to writing that wasn’t actually writing or revising. It didn’t take long and it was definitely a fun project looking for sexy, erotic fonts to play with. I do love it. I can’t help myself, yes it’s somewhat trashy looking, but what the hell? I’m writing SMUT, so it should be a bit trashy. 

This is for those of you out there who absolutely can’t stare at another page of writing, regardless of what it is that you’re working on. You can take a break. Just don’t make it a permanent vacation! Take a walk with a sketch pad or buy a canvas and some paint and brushes. Do something else that is creative. Maybe you don’t like that book cover you created and it’s keeping you up at night. Redesign it. Just don’t take forever to do it. Make it quick. A couple of hours, three at the most. Don’t allow it to tie you down because it isn’t perfect. Sometimes doing something else fun that is also creative can get those juices flowing again and drench you with … inspiration.

Now go… be free! Do something fun and wild and not-illegal!

 

Entering the Editing Stage

I’m thrilled to finally be able to say that Caught Supervisor has survived the first draft! Technically, I should probably refer to it as First Revision, because the First Draft certainly wasn’t as long as it is now. I’ve gone above and beyond the last two installments of the series and dove headfirst into getting to know a few of the characters a little better. You’ll also meet a new person, find out some secrets, and be the inside person on some blackmail.

25,208 words are the current final count. This may change as I start the Rewriting process. So far, I don’t think anything is going to be cut. It’s definitely going to be tightened up in the second draft. I’m truly hoping that you’ll take the time to divulge in each and every delicious word. If you want to catch up on the first two stories, they are both available at Amazon.com for .99 cents each.  Bad Supervisor | Lucky Supervisor – Already own them? Please take a moment to post a review on Amazon. You can go to my Author Page as well!

You can read them using a Kindle, the Kindle Cloud Reader (online in your browser), or you can download the Kindle App for smart phones, tablets, and laptop/desktop free from their website. Don’t limit yourself to just one place, either! You can have a copy sent to each place and it will sync through your internet connection.

Soon, I’ll post an excerpt of Caught Supervisor. Keep your eyes peeled for the sensually charged post.

“I don’t have a Kindle…”

techblather-flat“I can’t buy your book because I don’t own a Kindle.”

You would not believe how often I hear this. And, while I don’t personally go out to actual people and say “Hey, buy my smutty stories!” I do let people online know that I write smutty stories. Some people even tell me they like them, which is always nice. (Note: While I love that you tell me you like my writing, reviews are always better.)

Then, there are the people that really surprise me and say that they don’t own a Kindle, therefore they can’t read my stories. Well, that’s not true, friend. You can read my stories and many other Kindle books as well. If you have an Amazon account, you also have a Read.Amazon.Com cloud drive. So, you can read Kindle books you purchase there.

Also, Amazon LIKES customers. They want people to buy their stuff. So they are going to give you free things in order to be able to buy books and read them. Such as the Kindle App for your phone, tablet, or laptop/desktop. 

I promise, I’m not a spokesperson for Amazon, but hell, with the way I pitch their apps and cloud, you think I’d get paid for this. Honestly, I should contact them. (And yes, I know there are so many people against The Machine Amazon, but I go where I can and do what I can.)

If someone tells you they can’t read your Kindle books… feel free to refer them to this post. Have a great day!

No More Excuses

Are you forgetting ideas because you had an epiphany while driving? Are you falling asleep in bed and the ideas are flooding you and you’ll tell yourself you remember them in the morning, but then when the morning comes, poof, no ideas? First, if you haven’t seen it yet, run over to TED.com and watch this: Elizabeth Gilbert: Success, Failure, and the Drive to Keep Creating. This TED Talk is absolutely amazing and I wish I had seen it when it was first added to their library.

I absolutely loved how she explains how her ideas come to other artists and herself. I can completely relate. Someone says something and the next thing they know is I’m staring off into space frozen as all these ideas are flowing through me. I also relate to losing ideas because you’re totally in the middle of something else and can’t write them down. In today’s technical age we don’t have that issue so much. Almost everyone has a smart phone and if you do not have a smart phone, and you’re a writer, and you aren’t carrying a notebook, then losing those ideas is 100% completely on you.

If you have a smart phone, then I recommend that you download Evernote. I also use OneNote from Microsoft, too, however, Evernote takes dictation. If you are driving, at the beach without a notebook (what writer goes to the beach without a notebook and pen?) or unable to stop what you are doing, you can take 10 seconds to open Evernote and have it take dictation.

I recommend having a headset of some kind. I use a simple pair of earbuds that come with a microphone that has a button I can use to quietly dictate to Evernote my thoughts. If you haven’t learned how to speak to a smart phone in a way that it can take dictation, I recommend practicing.

I’ve also finally stopped procrastinating and started listening to Writing Excuses, a podcast by a group of authors that is short and funny and full of unending amazing advice. There’s only so many episodes available through iTunes and my Windows Phone Podcast app, so I started looking online for the entire list of episodes. They also take questions from listeners and the questions are amazingly helpful because sometimes they will either be something you were pondering on or something you didn’t even think to ask.

So, things to do: Create an Evernote account (they have a free version) if you haven’t already and practice with their handy dandy dictation taking. Listen to Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED Talk, and check out the Writing Excuses Podcast, which is totally awesome.

 

Smutty Inspiration

Sometimes, you need a lick in the nether regions to get the muse all worked up.

If you’re having some issues writing a sex scene, whether it be the kind that starts out with a soft, loving kiss and fades to black, or a detailed group orgy, sometimes you have difficulty figuring out the which person is going to “insert tab A into slot B”. But worse than that, you may need some help visualizing which position they should be in when doing the whole naked tango.

While it’s great to have a partner to grab a hold of and say ‘let’s try this!’ it doesn’t always work that way. Unless you have mirrors on your walls and/or ceiling, it’s kind of hard to watch yourself having intercourse. Even if you have a camera poised… it’s not going to capture it the way you want to see it and I doubt you really want to ask a friend or two to get footage of you getting all down and dirty with your partner.

However, it will get you all those spine-tingling feelings and you can use those in the story to describe what your characters are feeling. If you don’t have someone to grab and drag to the room of your choice, there’s always free pr0n. Just make sure that you’re virus scanner is up to date and fully armed (because, you know, we don’t need any STDs up in here, up in here).

I also like visiting sites that sell toys and equipment. You can read the reviews on the products and find out what people enjoyed about them. I will warn you though, some people go seriously above and beyond with their reviews. It’s like they need to write down every detail of what occurred while they were strapped into the device of their torment and pleasure. So, beware. You’ll either be tilting your head wondering why on earth they thought they needed to include all the dirty details, tantalizingly amused, or you’ll want to use a variation of it in a story.

What do you do in order to get your muse all worked up and panting?

Figuring Things Out: KDP Related

techblather-flatI finally got it right!

And that is extremely exciting for me. When previewing the files I uploaded to Amazon’s Kindle Digital Publishing I was heartbroken to see that images weren’t working. I like putting an image of the next cover at the end with a short description of what might happen. Even though the images were broken, I’ve left them up. It’s been a thorn in my side for a while but finally my searching has led me to answers.

Even after following one set of instructions “save your file in this format, zip it this way, then upload it” didn’t quite work. Something still wasn’t working. I started searching for answers again yesterday and stumbled upon this thread over in the community forums detailing what I was doing wrong.

I turns out that I was copying and pasting my images (though I do believe I did try the insert picture detailed in these instructions and still had issues). However, when I did use the insert picture instead, I may not have saved it as a webpage, filtered file. 

Anyway, if you’ve been having issues with images not appearing in your final kindle file, look at the instructions and see if there is a step you’re missing. It definitely helped me out. Now I just hope that the copies already out there will update. (I’m still waiting for a cover update on both of the Supervisor stories and those have been uploaded repeatedly but my copies have not updated in any of my kindle apps….)

Have you figured out some tips or tricks working with KDP (or other digital publishing sites)? Please feel free to share in the comments!

What I Do

What I’m doing when I’m not here….

I have a full time job in the real world and, let me tell you, I would rather be writing. Not that I dislike my job. I do like my job, but it isn’t writing. I do like most of the people I work with. Some of them make the day go fantastic and others drag it down like a 100 pound anchor on a tiny sailboat. Both types however are great fodder for writing. Totally had someone take your project and turn it upside down? Write a short story where they get something in their world turned inside out.

In fact, it was someone I worked with that gave me the idea for the Supervisor Sexcapades. My mind exploded as I was leaving their office to go back to work when they said “I’m such a bad supervisor.”. I literally froze there, halfway out the door, holding the door handle as several story ideas shuffle through. Of course, then they had to ask what I was doing… and since I considered them a friend (and trustworthy) I told them the idea as it was still coming out of the fog.

If I didn’t have to go out of the house for work, I wouldn’t get these opportunities as much to use for writing fodder. Need a small character that makes a big fuss? Use that person who you always hear throwing a hissy fit about something. You know who I’m talking about. Every workplace has at least one. Want someone to put them in their place? Perhaps one of your more prominent characters use an argument as a way of distraction to get from one place to another.

Research… Writing smut can make research a fun thing to do, but there’s only certain times you can really research something that would be a) totally inappropriate during work hours and b) totally inappropriate to do around children, even adult-aged children. This includes reading (which I can do when she’s around because it’s on the laptop and she doesn’t wander around behind me), sometimes looking up videos to see if a position would work or how it would look. If you plan to write any type of BDSM then you’ll need to know what certain things look like (if you don’t own or have used them) and how they are meant to be used. 

This could mean going out and finding a safe environment to practice these things, watching videos which may, or may not, help, or find people that are willing to share their experience. They may even offer to critique the scenes or story and offer insight. 

Other things include … it’s SPRING! The mountains of snow outside the house have finally vanished and the front steps have been revealed once again. While I haven’t completely taken advantage of this, I have started doing more stuff around the house.

I‘m also writing at a personal blog now and then. And when I’m not cooking, cleaning, or running errands, I’m working on Caught Supervisor. The last two short stories may have only been a little over 5,000 words each, but (including words with strikethrough) I’m over 17,000 words on this one. And I haven’t “cut” anything really. I love using strikethrough! Yes, it pads the word count, but it also helps you keep everything. I write first drafts using Word to get them all out and then I’ll transfer it over to Scrivener on the rewrite. I like using Word for my first draft (yes, it’s considered weird, I’m sure, since I have an awesome copy of Scrivener). I don’t worry about anything there, I just write as quickly as possible. 

Back to working on that short story I go… hi ho, hi ho

Dread Happens

Yesterday after creating the author page for M. J. Spencer at Amazon, I started looking for some plugins. I noticed that there isn’t a keyword entry bar on my wordpress and while tags are great and “in”, I don’t really use them. I like using keywords that will be inserted into the meta data of the entry for search engines to find. (Do tags do that on wordpress? I honestly didn’t think to look into it, but I will.)

Okay, so I took a moment and couldn’t find anything that states using tag clouds enters keywords into the meta data.

Back to the dread. On my lunch yesterday I decided I really wanted to be able to put keywords into my entries that would show up in my headers, and then bring the blog up when people were searching for those words. Google may have tossed out keywords as a proper way of finding something, but other search engines haven’t. Cue my search for plugins.

I look over this plugin that has all these wonderful SEO oriented type details and is fully-loaded. After going through the tutorial, it recommended that I change my post path from the page-number type to the title being the post pathname. I complied. The next thing I know I’m receiving 403 Forbidden Errors all over the place to the point where I can no longer access the blog.

I post on WordPress.Org’s support forums. This was around 1-2pm yesterday. I still have not received a reply from my first or second post (put up three hours after the first post) about the issue. I opened a ticket on my hosting site hoping that they could figure it out. While working on some actual work I get paid to do since my lunch was technically over, I continued searching as to what the issue could be.

Even though according to the WordPress installation it was updated to the latest version, the My Installs on my control panel let me upgrade it anyway. For a few moments I had access to the site again. I had tried deleting the plugin from the file manager earlier and that hadn’t helped either. After a short while though, I lost access again. It was not turning out well.

Stupidly, I had replied to the ticket I opened with my host during the few moments it was working, to go ahead and close the ticket. As soon as I received the reply that they were closing the ticket, I replied again asking them to keep it open, that the same error had started up again.

After I got home and settled in for the evening, I decide to go with a Live Chat. I can’t stand having something down, it drives me bonkers. After waiting for what felt forever, I got on with a Live Chat person and they started checking things over. They determined that the plugin had changed my htaccess information, causing the 403 Forbidden error. That didn’t surprise me. I won’t be installing that plugin again ever. I understand that it had to make changes but why would it do something that causes me to no longer have access to the site? At all? That didn’t make any sense whatsoever to me. I was sorely disappointed even more when, according to the plugin creator’s website, they discarded any emails asking for help with their free plugins. If that’s the case, then don’t make them free.

My advice: Extensive research into anything you want to change or improve before downloading/installing anything. I’d have been pretty pissed if a free plugin had brought down this site and lost me money. Luckily, things aren’t all that lucrative yet. But what if they had been? Yeah, you just can’t take that kind of risk. Research, Research, Research!

Everything is back up and running, though, and that’s all that matters.

Author Page Alert

Author Page Created!

Yes, I am extremely excited. I took some time today to finally create myself an author page over at Amazon. It’s for the name on the Supervisor Sexcapade Saga, however, not Mischa Eliot. That one will come later once I have started publishing stuff under that name. You can find the author page for M. J. Spencer here. I hope that you’ll take a moment to stop in and see what I put up for a bio. The photo I uploaded for it is the same one I use for Twitter (convenience).

Please feel free to stop in there and say hello and if you have read one of the sizzling short stories I posted what you thought about it. No worries, I’m still working on the third one. It’s already twice as long as Bad and Lucky Supervisor. I am delving into Breanna’s naughty background and how she got where she is today.

It’s a fun ride, I hope you’ll join me!

 

 

187,027

The title of this post is the number of words that I have written since I first signed up for my 750words.com account. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are many, many moons that went by that I didn’t write. What drives me batty is that the number of words there could be the equivalent of 2 – 5 novels, depending on genre and length.

There are also many years that I went without really writing more than a blog post. Don’t get me wrong, writing blog posts can be hard work. Unless it’s a personal blog and you aren’t looking to gain an audience or readership or other forms of publication.

There are also many years that I simply went without writing. I did a lot of reading in that time to keep my sanity. (Did you know that most writers probably aren’t mentally balanced? Keyword: probably.)

I believe, for most people, having some form of artistic hobby is an absolute need. You must have some form of artistic outlet, whether it be something like writing or painting, or something a bit more extreme like … I don’t know, carving sculptures of the monsters in the shadows of your mind from giant blocks of concrete.

I know that I haven’t been posting much here, but I have been working a lot offline. I had someone in the AkroNaNo group turn the PDF version of Writer’s Digest NaNoWriMo’s character sheet into a Word document. I was then able to copy and paste it into Scrivener. While it is nowhere near as pretty as the paper version (removing some table design elements takes away the pretty) it is definitely preferable.

I’ve also been working on the third installment of the Supervisor Sexcapades saga: Caught Supervisor. I haven’t even begun the editing process. It’s already twice as long as the other two. My goal is to lengthen it while giving more background on the characters. The first two are basically porn… But hey, I haven’t had any complaints.

I also know that I do not promote myself as much as I should. Mainly because right now it doesn’t feel good to do so with so little out there. The two short stories are just that, short stories. Very little background. Lots of naughty going on. I’d like the next installment to be just as naughty with more going on with the individual characters.

There is also a novel in the works. My mind tends to explode with an idea and I have to start writing. I have to start jotting down notes. I have to start doing some form of basic research. I create bare-minimum character profiles (name, age, description, profession, goal, secret) and then write scenes about them doing something mundane. I actually wrote a scene about a woman throwing out mail. The  mail wasn’t hers, which became a source of conflict. The conflict wasn’t included in the scene about her though because it was only about her. Throwing a piece of mail out was a benefit to herself. Yeah, she’s a selfish bitch. The point of that scene was getting to know the character and her reason for throwing out something that didn’t belong to her.

It’s the only way I seem to get to know my characters. I can play pantser all I like, but where I really feel better about writing is when I know where it’s going. Writing a short scene about a character helps me get to know them. It just helps. I’ve tried interviewing… it just doesn’t feel all that awesome to me.

There are so many facets to characters, just like there are to people. Your coworker next to you who’s been in a horrible mood all day? She may have just found out her husband is cheating. Your sister who is all excited about something you think is worthless? Maybe that’s all she has going for her right now in life and you don’t know about all the bad because you didn’t ask. The cousin who showed up out of the blue that owed you fifty bucks from ten years ago? Pays you back with interest and then buys you a beer, but there’s something he’s not telling you. Do you ask what it is? Do you walk away after the beer? These are the things I write out. What is motivating your character to cross the room and kiss that guy she’s been locking eyes with all night? Obviously, getting to kiss the hot guy is the motivation. However, what happens if he’s dead on the ground by the time she works her way over there, stabbed, in a pool of his own blood? Will she be next? Will she be a detective or rookie right out of police academy or Quantico?

Want to be a writer? You’ve got to do the work.