You Tell Him, Girl!

My husband emailed me the following jokes last week. Even though I’m more of a dry humor, sarcasm type of girl, I thought these were cute. Would love to track down the original source to give credit, but you know how email chains are. The source gets lost along the way. Nevertheless, they’re still funny. The perfect beginning for another glorious week.

1
He said to me, “I don’t know why you wear a bra. You’ve got nothing to put in it”. I said to him, “You wear pants don’t you?”

2
He said to me, “Shall we try swapping positions tonight?” I said to him, “That’s a good idea – you stand by the stove & sink while I sit on the sofa and do nothing but fart
.”

3
He said to me, “What have you been doing with all the grocery money I gave you?” I said to him
, “Turn sideways and look in the mirror!

4
He said to me, “Why don’t women blink during foreplay?” I said to him, “They don’t have time.”


5
He said to me, “How many men does it take to change a roll of toilet paper?” I said to him, “I don’t know. It has never happened.


6

He said to me, “Why is it difficult to find men who are sensitive, caring and good-looking?” I said to him, “They already have boyfriends.”


7
He said to me, “What do you call a woman who knows where her husband is every night?” I said to him, “A widow.


8
He said to me, “Why are married women heavier than single women?” I said to him, “Single women come home, see what’s in the fridge and go to bed
. Married women come home, see what’s in bed and go to the fridge.”

If you are the author of this or know the author, let me know and I will update this post. Or remove. Whichever floats your boat. Thanks.

A Writer With A Charitable Heart.

Next up on my pre-The Day The Sun Stopped Shining Blog Tour author interview list is author/poet Kim Koning.

Let’s just dig right in, shall we?

1. Since most writers never achieve their dream of having a full-time writing career, what is your best advice to authors on how to make it happen?

Kim: I think the most important advice for going full-time writing is planning for it. This is not something I just up and decided to do. I planned ahead, put away savings in a nest egg bank account. You also have to have a strong support system, whether this be family or friends or both. For me, this is something that I had been working, planning and saving towards for a quite a few years already. When the time comes that you decide to take that big step, you will know. Signs will just show up confirming this decision. This is what happened for me. It is the best decision I ever took. I am now happier and more fulfilled than I ever was trying to squeeze in time to write.

You also need to treat your full-time writing like a proper job. You have to show up for it every day. For me, I also put a plan of attack into motion and scheduled a writing projects plan. Also, make sure you get out into the real world and away from your writing at least once a week. It is very tempting for us writerly types to lock ourselves away at the back of a writing cave and get lost in out created worlds. But don’t shut yourself off from the social world. There is nothing stopping you sometimes other than yourself.

You can go full-time writing with the right amount of planning, determination, decisiveness and discipline.

Dicey: Good advice, Kim. I know some people have been hit hard in this economy and may not be able to save right now. But that’s where all the other things you mentioned will help. Having a plan and support system and being determined and disciplined during the difficult times will make way for a full-time writing career once times improve.

2. Your short story Ring of Fire is included in a charity anthology Tales For Canterbury where all profits are donated to the Red Cross Earthquake Appeal. How did you get involved with this project, and what has it been like to share your art AND give back to the community?

Kim: Well, a writing buddy of mine alerted me to this anthology. I contacted one of the editors and then the ball started rolling.

This project was particularly special to me for two major reasons. One, it was my first published short story included in an amazing line up of authors. Two, 100% of all proceeds were going to Christchurch for the RedCross Earthquake appeal. This was incredibly important for me to be part of as not that long ago Christchurch had been my home. There is something particularly special about that city and the way the whole country rallied behind Christchurch in the aftermath of two major earthquakes just goes to show that I am one of many who feel that way about Christchurch.

In times of crisis, one feels so helpless but still you want to reach out and help in any small way you can. This anthology gave me the perfect way to reach out and help. Writing is what I do and to be able to write a story that will shine with hope and be read by people who need hope, there is no greater reward than that. I was honoured to be included in this anthology and I am pleased that a story I created helped even in a tiny way by being part of such a fantastic anthology.

Dicey: Kudos to you! You can always tell what people are made of during times of crises. The fact that you had the spirit of giving rather than selfishness, despair, superiority, or ambivalence says a lot about you.

3. As a YA dystopian writer, please explain what that is and what inspires you to write in this genre?

Kim: Strangely enough, The Ring of Fire was my first foray into writing YA dystopian. I had not thought of it as that. I write paranormal specializing in ghostly tales and suspense. But at the end of the day I write stories that speak to me regardless of their genre. The story came to me in a specific scene and developed from there.

Dystopian fiction is about a controlled or repressed society often built upon the guise of creating a Utopia or a perfect society. However in every dystopian I have read, there is a resilient evidence of hope that shines through in the actions of the hero or heroine. For me that theory resonates with raw honesty.

YA is a natural conducive for dystopian as teens do find themselves living in a controlled environment where all they are trying to do is struggle to find out who they really are and what their place is in the world. I think we all sometimes feel like we are being controlled, either by circumstance, finances, society, work or personal lives so we can all relate to a dystopian world. But more importantly I think we all need hope and the best place to grow hope is where you have to dream of a world that is better. That is what dystopian fiction means for me.

The Ring of Fire published in Tales for Canterbury is a prequel to a full length novel I will be working on in 2012. I also don’t think The Ring of Fire is the only novel I want to do in dystopian fiction. I definitely see myself writing more YA dystopian fiction in the future. There is just something about this genre that just speaks to me.

Here is the link to the Anthology…Remember 100% of all profits go to the RedCross Earthquake Appeal…Buy an ebook or print copy to own stories by the likes of Neil Gaiman and Jay Lake and my debut short story – The Ring of Fire.

Dicey: Thanks for explaining what dystopian is. I can see how it would appeal to YA and adult readers. For some reason, I want to call it disturbia…but that was a 2007 movie with Shia Labeouf. So, never mind. 🙂

Good luck as you write the full length novel. And thanks for the interview.

Beware. The Grim Reaper Has A Novice.

Wow. These indie author interviews have been amazing, if I may say so myself. Hell, I DO say so myself. And we haven’t even started The Day The Sun Stopped Shining Blog Tour yet.

Today, Cecilia Robert is going to razzle and dazzle us with more information about her book The Grim Reaper’s Novice: Soul Collector Series Volume 1.

1. When it comes to writing about the Grim Reaper, death, and collecting souls, do you find yourself depressed or sad while writing these scenes? If so, how do you overcome this, yet still write compelling scenes?

CeCe: Actually, writing the Grim Reaper’s character was fun. I tried to lighten him up a bit by adding a fun part of him so it’s not all depressing and dreary, move away from the sickle carrying Grim. For example: He doesn’t like people calling him Grim, he prefers being called Ernest and has no problem reminding anyone who tends to forget, he enjoys matchmaking. His motto; everyone  needs some love, even the ghosts and djinns. His door is always open to dinner guests.

Writing the death-scenes was not easy for me. For example, there’s a scene on the first chapter when Ana Maria – the MC – goes to collect the soul and has to watch as life fades from the lady she is meant to collect her soul, and her taking her last breath. Man, that wasn’t easy.

Music goes a long way to clear my head and of course chase away the heaviness in my heart. And not the angry kind of music. No. Something danceable and cheerful, of course.

Dicey: The Grim Reaper prefers to be called Ernest and enjoys matchmaking? Ha! That’s different. And probably more appropriate for the YA genre than the vision I have in my head of him.

I know what you mean about death scenes not being easy. There’s a scene in my taboo fiction that I cried while writing and every time I read it. When you think about someone being here one day and gone the next, it can be really sad. Lively music certainly helps.

2. As a writer in the Young Adult genre, what do you mostly want young adults to gain from reading your book?

CeCe: First and foremost, I’d like readers to enjoy reading my book, to have fun. I’d also like readers to know  they can succeed in whatever they put their mind to, and overcome any challenges that come their way. My Mc does make mistakes, and bad decisions. In order to become wise, one needs to learn from their mistakes.

Dicey: Preach!

3. As an assistant nurse, does your experiences in your profession enter in to your writing? For instance, do you see patients die and think about what happens to their souls? Or is there some other way your profession impacts your writing?

CeCe: In this story, I’d say the experience as an assistant nurse does play a part in my writing. I have been in a room when a patient takes their last breath, and I have to say it is the hardest situation to be in, to see the life fade from someone who moments ago was smiling at you, or chatting with you. Yes, the thought has once occurred to me. Where do souls go when someone dies? I seriously have no idea, but I can only hope someplace good.

So, yes, my profession does play a part in this story. It does help in creating believable scenes, I’d say.

Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Dicey. It’s been fun.

Dicey: I hope our souls go to a good place too, CeCe. If I see Hitler there, I’ll know I went to the wrong place.

Thank YOU for sharing your work with me and giving a unique perspective on The Grim Reaper Ernest.

Blood, Corpses, and HELL.

I have another creative mind to share with you today. In the spirit of showing love to indie authors, and in support of our upcoming The Day the Sun Stopped Shining Blog Tour, I present the following interview with Georgina Kamsika, author of The Sulphur Diaries (UK).

Without further ado…

1. Since your story involves blood and hell, how would you feel if a reader said they found it too scary or too gory to read? Would you be flattered, pleased, insulted, upset, etc.? Why?

Georgina: One of my earliest memories is of watching an old Dracula film. I loved it, I loved being scared and enjoyed watching and reading scarier things as I grew older. However I know a lot of people don’t really go for horror or being scared, so if it’s too scary for some people, I can live with that. I think knowing that my writing has affected someone, be it good or bad, is enough.

Dicey: Know what you mean about that old Dracula film. The older ones were pretty scary. There are dozens of them now. Apparently, lots of people love to be scared out of their minds.

Mine was–can you believe it–Fright Night (1985). When I was young and it was four o’clock in the morning, and it was dark and I was alone. *shudders* But I was fascinated. Now, I’m pleased when someone mentions my vampire novel is too gory.

2. Did you model Detective Inspector after anyone in particular? If so, who and why? If not, how did you prepare for this character?

Georgina: I try not to model my characters after any one person, mainly because I like to steal bits and pieces I overhear and turn them into a person. Visually I imagined DI Mehta to be very pretty, like the Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai, but with a stern and serious personality, partly because she is a woman of colour in a very male-dominated profession. Preparation-wise, I did some research into the social services in the UK, and how the police interact with them. It was interesting to learn more about how our detectives work, it’s not all CSI Miami here.

Dicey: Ah. I enjoy literature that feature women of color in something other than stereotypical urban fiction.

3. Your story involves a village that is over a gateway to hell. How would you describe your vision of hell in detail?

Georgina: I’m actually writing about Hell now, in my sequel ‘Pandemonium’. While the first novel, set in England, is all about British myths and legends, my vision of Hell has allowed me to draw from wider sources. I spent some time researching Hell, or limbo, across many religions and cultures. There’s some surprising similarities and quite a few differences, so it’s been fun trying to mesh them together into a consistent place. It’s not a nice place, that’s for sure, but it’s also not the prevalent Christian idea of damned souls burning in flames.

Thanks for the chance to answer these questions. I liked them, they made me think about why I’d done those things.

Dicey: Pandemonium is a cool title. With your vision of hell as “not a nice place” but “not the prevalent Christian idea of damned souls burning in flames”, you’ve piqued my interest. I always find theories and speculations on hell intriguing, especially because of my own religious background. I work out my imaginations in fiction as well.

And, thank YOU, Georgina. It’s been a pleasure.

See you on the tour.

Warlocks, Wizards, Occult Powers and…WWII?

I love networking with indie authors, mainly because we believe in supporting each other. And because we have the common goal of sharing our art with the world without a large publisher’s budget.

One such networking event is The Day the Sun Stopped Shining Blog Tour, which I mentioned here. It officially begins Dec. 26th, but I’m getting a head-start by featuring author interviews.

Today, Alesha Escobar and I are discussing how she mixed paranormal elements with historical ones in her novel The Tower’s Alchemist: The Gray Tower Trilogy Book #1. You can check out her blog here.

1. In writing about wizards/warlocks and occult powers, how much of your own religious views entered in to your writing?

Alesha: Now that’s an interesting question. I mix in a little bit of mythology, philosophy and spirituality from my background as a Catholic and a lover of the Classics. I approach it from the question of “What would this all look like if magic was out in the open during this time?” In the story, people trained by the Gray Tower see magic as a natural ability that some humans are born with, while the Church would explain it as remnants of preternatural abilities lost after the Fall of Man. One of my characters is a sword-wielding priest who believes his magic is a gift from God–he clashes at times with my protagonist, Isabella.

Dicey: I get it. Mythology + Philosophy + Spirituality = More interesting, relatable concept.

2. Since your book is based in an alternate WWII era, did you find the paranormal or historical elements more difficult to research and write for your characters?

Alesha: The historical element was a bit tricky in the sense that I wanted to give a grounded and rich feel to the environment of the story without alienating my reader. For example, just the slang and language used sixty years ago–a bit different from now, but I have some of that slipped in so that the dialogue and inner-monologue of my protagonist is authentic yet flavorful. There was also the issue of balancing historical fact with creative liberty. Hopefully the WWII experts won’t whack me for certain things, but it was one hell of a ride imagining what it would be like for wizards to have a showdown with Nazis and their occult forces.

Dicey: Very brave. I imagine you spent lots of time researching the WWII era in order to keep it “authentic yet flavorful”. To strike a balance between pleasing the experts and entertaining readers. Hats off!

3. If you could have been a wizard during WWII, what one power would you have used to defeat Hitler?

Alesha: Isabella is an alchemist–I think I’d want to have her ability. Alchemy is all about harnessing the powers of nature and creating certain balances–I would definitely see defeating Hitler as restoring balance to the world!

Dicey: Restoring balance, indeed. And I’m glad you explained what an alchemist is. Think I need that power around my household where my kids pay no bills but have completely taken over.

Thanks for the interview, Alesha!

More interviews to come.

What Happens After The Day The Sun Stops Shining?

Kneeling down, I closed my eyes and tried to focus on the God I’d always believed in. As a human. And now as a vampire. But it was no use. The time had come. The time to atone for my sins. To face my maker. To give an account for what I’d done with my life…and afterlife.

It didn’t look good since I’d traded my soul for “immortality”. For the chance to exist without my illness. The illness that made me weak. Helpless. Vulnerable. Oh, yeah. I’d given it all up to be free of narcolepsy.

Too bad turning hadn’t cured me.

And too bad, I was about to be punished for it all.

I had no idea when my number would be called. When I’d stand alone before the all-supreme being and finally be cast in the lake of fire along with my boss, Franco. And that motherfucking maistre vampire of mine, Maximilian.

At least there was some justice in that.

But still.

I was scared shitless. Because my time was coming.

It was now dark as smut. No sun. No warmth. No chance of either returning. Although I could see fine in the dark and my body temperature was not affected, it was still scary. For one, my lover–the insane one with several faces–would be judged as well. But which face would be judged? We had no way of knowing. And I loved him so much, it pained me to think he may end up in the same place as me. Because of me.

Damn.

I did love him.

And it was too late to tell him. Them.

Aaron, Remi…I love you.

~Sleepy Willow~

=========================================================

This is a little goody I wrote for fans of my novel Sleepy Willow’s Bonded Soul: The Narcoleptic Vampire Series and to announce my participation in the The Day the Sun Stopped Shining Blog Tour.

Fellow author and blog participant, Kim Koning, explained the tour:

There will be giveaways, interviews, contests…

Do you write or read dystopian, fantasy, paranormal, horror or science fiction?

Follow this tour…sign up if you are a writer…

Don’t miss out…it might be your last chance…before the sun stops shining…

End of the year? End of daylight? End of the sun?

Let us tell you what might happen after The Sun Stops Shining…

So, keep your eyes peeled for upcoming blog posts where I feature other indie authors particpating in the tour. There will be interviews, guest posts, and excerpts. Stay tuned.

If you dare.

Writing Sex Scenes Part II.

I’ve only completed two novels–that’s the disclaimer. Readers have commented on how much they love the sex scenes in my books–that’s my validation. That’s what qualifies me to give tips. I don’t purport to be an expert. I don’t pretend these will work for everyone. I’m sure others write better scenes…or ones more suitable to particular tastes. But I have had some experience with it. And since I’m still a lowly indie author, I’ll actually take the time to share my techniques with you.

WARNING: This is another post for the grown and sexy. Do NOT read further if discussions about sex offend you…and you happened to have missed the title.

Last week, Thomas Bryant and I discussed writing sex scenes. It was short. It was funny. And it was a good intro to today’s tips for writing sex scenes. You can read it here.

After said post, fellow indie author, Alesha Escobar, had this to say: “Okay, I confess I’m still a wimp when it comes to this. If I’m feeling awkward, it’s going to come across in the scene–then I just look like a dork. I know I’m supposed to stay away from purple prose and laughable metaphors. So any advice? :-)

Thomas Bryant’s advice: “I did mention a bottle of wine, didn’t I, Alesha?”

I agree with Thomas. Wine does help.

Here are some other tips for writing sex scenes:

1. Enjoy sex. Enjoy talking about it. Enjoy watching it. Enjoy reading it. Enjoy writing it.

Why? Because…

a. If you enjoy sex and make it a daily part of your discussions, thoughts, and lifestyle, that passion will translate on paper.

b. If you don’t enjoy it, you’ll hurry through a scene. You’ll have a bunch of words with no depth. You’ll just be going through the motions and so will your characters.

c. The more you enjoy sexy situations, the more you will write them. The more you write sex scenes, the better you get at sex writing sex scenes. 🙂

Downside: you may go overboard. I have been told by one reader to tone DOWN the sex a bit. So, take my tips with a grain of salt. Decide how important your sex scenes are to your story and prepare accordingly. My characters are sexy, wild, daring, and risky. So sex is pretty integral. I keep the characters in mind, not readers. My target audience will love the characters AND the sex scenes.

Which leads me to…

2. Forget everybody else. If you’re thinking about what your mommy, preacher, children or whomever are going to think, you won’t be able to let your characters go in order to do what they want to do. You’re writing fiction. Later for whoever doesn’t get that.

3. Get in a sexy mind frame before you start writing a scene. If you’re doing #1, this will be easy. And this is where Bryant’s suggestion of wine helps. I like to create a sexy atmosphere. Visualize what my characters are going to do. Then describe it as if I am in the moment with them. Freaky? Maybe. But it works.

4. Read lots of sex scenes. Figure out who writes the ones you enjoy the most. Figure out why. Learn from that author.

I’ve read LOTS of books. Discovered I liked books with sex in them the most (which is why YA is not my favorite genre). Disliked the overly sappy ones. Disliked the solely erotic ones. Enjoyed a good plot with good sex scenes the best. Once I started reading J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood, I was ruined for other authors. I discovered I liked the choppy style. The fast-paced, raunchy way of describing the acts. And that’s where I adopted my style from. It’s uniquely mine, but highly influenced by hers.

Find your influence. Roll with it.

5. Don’t be awkward. Be fun. Be sexy.

How?

Remember that sex is a natural part of life. As far as I know, we all come with genitalia and the urge to use them for more than bodily functions. In fact, with nearly seven billion people in the world, it’s obvious there’s a lot of sex going on. It should be celebrated. Revered.

Don’t feel embarrassed. Don’t feel shy. Keep in mind you’re writing about something everybody does…or wish they did. It’s what people do behind closed doors. And that’s where they’re going to read your books with YOUR sex scenes.

6. Write the scenes as your characters would experience them. You’re just the narrator. They are the participants. My character, Joanne, in Shameful does some bad stuff…but none of that is as bad as what my character, Willow, does in Sleepy Willow’s Bonded Soul. Why? Because Willow’s a vampire based in fantasy and Joanne’s a wife and mother based in reality. Willow and Joanne both have sex, but their experiences are very different because of who they are.

These are tips from the top of my head. I’ll do a Part III when I think of more. If you’re an author with a tip to share, by all means–leave a comment.