🌑🔮✨You loved my reblogs of this hidden gem of an author’s posts. So you’ll love her books even more💗

I had read Clennell Anthony’s first book, The Circle multiple tines. It’s a short but intense love story with beautifully poetic prose, vivid nocturnal scenery, and who doesn’t love a love story about two young people who won’t stand for being controlled by their feuding families.

The second book in the series, The Cursed will be available on Amazon soon. If you’re into witchcraft, family drama, and demon drama, trust me, you’ll get sucked into this Siri’s.

Here’s a little looksy at Clennell’s latest instalment… 

12 More Things That Authors Do That I 🥰Love Or 👿Hate

Hey, people who are reading this! 

It’s time for a second batch of things authors do that I either love or hate. 

As I said in last week’s post—if you’re an author reading this, and you feel that I’m making fun of your way of writing, never mind what my opinions are. Just keep doing what you’re doing and be proud of it. So here goes… 

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1. I HATE WHEN MODERN DAY POETS USE OLD ENGLISH, BIBLICAL SOUNDING WORDS 

Oh, here I go again, picking on the poets. I did quite a bit of that in last week’s post, but don’t get me wrong. I am NOT a poetry hater. I do enjoy poetry. I’m just a lot pickier about it than with books. 

One of the things that further exacerbates this pickiness is that it really irritates me when writers in this day and age use words like, “thine” and “thee” in their poems. I’ve seen this mainly in love poems or poems that have to do with personal growth and nature, and all that soul stuff. I guess they do it because they think it sounds prettier than the modern versions of those words. 

Whenever I see that, I’m like, seriously. What are you, freaking Amish? This is the 21st century!! Pleaseth stoppeth!

2. I LOVE EPILOGUES 

Epilogues are awesome! They’re the ending after the ending. I especially love when they go into how each character’s life turned out years later. They’re also great for patching up lose ends. Sometimes, if well written enough, they could even redeem the offensive abrupt ending. I wish all fiction novels and novellas had an epilogue. 

3. I HATE WHEN STAND-ALONES HAVE ABRUPT ENDINGS 

Some months back, I once reblogged one of my sister’s Let’s Get Published posts which featured an article by our author/editor friend, Joseph Sale. His article talked about the end of the ending. How endings that don’t fully complete the story have been becoming more and more common. **One of these days, dear readers, I’ll learn how to insert internal links in my posts, that lead to any past post I’m talking about.** Anyway, this article made me feel very unsettled about buying more stand-alone novels in the future. I dreaded the thought of having one compelling book blurb after another allure me into buying the books, and then I’d find out too late that I wasted money and irreplaceable hours of my life on a book with a shitty abrupt ending. As much as I love to read, I am an ending nazi. Lazy endings, abrupt endings, endings that leave behind loose ends—They all should be wiped out of existence! The only time an abrupt ending is forgivable, is if the book is in a series where the story continues on in a following book.  

A few years ago, I’d read Somewhere off the Coast of Maine by Anne Hood, and it was my first encounter with the shitty abrupt ending. The dam book didn’t even end, it just stopped all of a sudden. Some of the story arcs were wrapped up in other parts of the novel, but the ending made it seem like the author DNFed her own book. This pissed me off, after I spent $11 on that unfinished jip of a book. An unimaginative ending that’s been done to death would’ve been better than the story just stopping all of a sudden. It was more like a quitting than an ending.

Perdido Street Station by China Mieville is another example of how authors shouldn’t short change their readers. This book was pure genius! Mieville’s trippy but often sick imagination, His world building, and his descriptive prose had me awestruck. I laughed, cried, and got grossed out through hundreds of pages of awesomeness. Then the ending made the book go out like a wet fart. It wasn’t as sudden and abrupt as Anne Hood’s quitting, but it was still a quitting. This book is the first in a series, which got my hopes up. But then I read the blurbs for the other books, and was disappointed to see that book 1’s story wasn’t continued. 

I used to read a fellow blogger’s stories, which she serialized in her posts. Some of these stories would extend to 10 or 20 posts long. I got sucked into them, and thought they had potential to be published as real books. That is, until I got to the ending. All of her endings were quittings. Each story left me disappointed and regretting the time I’d invested in religiously following her story posts. However, I still gave them a chance.

One day, after yet another story came to a quitting, I politely and constructively pointed out to her that her ending didn’t really end the story. She responded by sticking up for her quitting. Saying how there’s no need for a complete ending when nothing ever really ends. 

Jo’s article also pointed out this way of thinking, which empowers the end-of-the-ending trend. When something ends, it’s never an official ending. Not even when it’s someone’s life that ends. After their death comes a funeral, the aftermath of how their death effected others, how those others move Along with their lives, and the cycle of no official ending continues. 

It’s only human nature that, in the back of my mind, I wished that blogger would’ve decided instead to abide to my way of seeing how a story should end. Then after reading Jo’s article, I realized that her abrupt-ending writing style is probably more “with the times”. So her books might do just fine on Amazon. 

Despite the end-of-an-ending trend, I do see quite a lot of book reviewers complain when a book ends too abruptly. So it gives me the hope that this trend will soon die off. Maybe it has already. 

Publishing companies focus so much on how much the beginning of a book should hook readers in. They should put just as much focus into making sure the ending of a book is complete and satisfying. So nobody who bought the book would feel short changed and regret investing their time and money. Or worse, be discouraged from wanting to buy any more books by the author. 

That’s kind of how I feel about Anne Hood and China Mieville. As for that story serializing blogger and her quittings—I still follow her blog. I just stick to reading her cutesy poem posts. 

4. I LOVE WHEN NON FICTION AUTHORS WRITE IN A CASUAL TONE 

Why, oh why, oh why are non fiction books written in dry, flat, scholarly writing styles? Who in the world would really be like, “Ugh, this book sounds too much like a human wrote it. It’s putting me to sleep.”, or, “Man, I love me some collegiate jargon and repetitious conjunctive adverbs.” It amazes me how people can retain any knowledge from dully written books. I sure can’t. 

That’s why I love, love, LOVE non fiction books that are written in a casual way. When the author can teach you something, while expressing their personality by mixing anecdotes and corny puns within the facts. I love to learn and am curious about nearly everything. When educational books are written in a casual, more conversational tone, it makes the subjects they teach seem even more fascinating and easy to delve into. I can retain knowledge better from such books. If it’s a teacher or College professor who shares their written expertise with color and sass and humor, it makes me wish I could take one of their classes. 

I’m currently reading the audio book version of The Big Book of Mars: From Ancient Egypt to The Martian, A Deep-Space Dive into Our Obsession with the Red Planet by Marc Hartzman, which is an awesome read so far, and it’s narrated by the author himself. It’s about how the red planet influenced civilization and pop culture throughout the millennia. The author jumps back and forth through history a little much, but a lot of the history is so crazy and ridiculous, you got to laugh. That, along with his witty little remarks makes me feel like I’m listening to a presentation at some kind of quirky convention for eccentric space nerds. I could almost hear the laughing, shuffling, and coughing among the audience—And yes, I’m learning a lot. 

5. I HATE WHEN MEMOIRS GO LOOP-DEE-LOOP 

What I mean by this is when the memoir is not only out of chronological order, the author keeps jumping back and forth, and running rollercoaster loops through time. Like when they tell a story that happened closer to the present, and then jump back to something that happened in 1992, and then in 2011, and 1996, 2003, 2019, and back to 1992 again. Even if the stories they tell have me sucked in, this writing style drives… me… nuts. I like stories to be in order. 

When a memoir goes all over the place, it reminds me of getting stuck sitting next to one of those people who are telling some rambling story, and they can’t get the order of their story strait. 

“We did some site seeing on Wednesday, and Thursday we spent the day at the mall—Oh, yeah. Before we went site seeing, we went out for chicken and waffles for breakfast.—Oh, no, wait, that was on Friday. Wednesday was when we went out for old fashioned flapjacks. Our vacation technically started on Tuesday, when we arrived. So anyway, on Friday and Saturday…” 

Yes, you know the type. We’ve all been stuck sitting next to one of them on a bus or a plane, or in the dentist office waiting room. Were you also screaming at them, from the inside, to either get their dam story strait or shut up. 

Oh, those loop-dee-loop memoirs. As much as their stories held my attention, I wished they would’ve taken some Riddlin before writing their books. 

6. I LOVE A GOOD CRAZY STRAW PLOT 

I absolutely, positively love a good twisting, twirling plot. One that keeps me guessing and fools me until the end, almost every time. I especially love when there’s sub plots that intermingle with the main plot, which often makes the twists even harder to predict. Add in multiple secondary characters and more than one antagonist, and the mystery becomes one big beautiful brain-fuck. Now that’s good writing. 

7. I HATE HOW AUTHORS ALLOW THEIR AUDIO BOOKS TO BE ABRIDGED 

Do authors have control over this problem? If they don’t, why won’t they fight back? What the hack? It’s butchery! 

It’s almost as much of an insult to a book as an abrupt ending! 

The first time I came across a poor audio book that had been abridged, was back in 2001. It was superstitious by R. L. Stine. I had a paperback copy, which I’d read several chapters of, but eye surgery complications prevented me from finishing it. So I checked out the audio book version from the local library. 

Back in the day, they were called talking books, and they weren’t a big thing like they are now. Mainly read by the blind, like me. They also used to come in the form of these strange ancient artifacts called cassette tapes. 

I used to listen to talking books on cassette all the time, as a kid, from the Daytona Talking Book library for the blind. They never, ever abridged books because, thankfully, they couldn’t. People volunteered to read physical copies of books out loud in the library’s Recording studio. 

So when I started listening to Superstitious on cassette tape, starting from the beginning, I was horrified to notice that whole sentences had been chopped from each chapter. The chapter titles were gone too. So one would have no idea what chapter they were on, if they lost their place after turning off the cassette. “What the hell did they do to this book?!” I wondered. Then once again, Superstitious was DNFed. 

I won’t eat only part of a candy bar for a snack. I don’t bother watching a movie, if I tuned into it more then ten minutes past the beginning. And I most definitely will not read a book with some of the writing snipped out. Even though abridging only eliminates mere sentences and maybe a paragraph here and there, all while still allowing the listener to get the gist of the story—It’s not the author’s complete work! 

Come to find out that talking books were abridged to save space. Why have a book take up ten cassettes when it could be a more compact and convenient four cassette book. seriously? People were bothered by having to listen to more cassettes? And bothered by talking books that took up a mere extra few square inches of space? I guess there was enough book listening folks out there who sweated the small stuff to make talking book editors and producers feel that abridging was necessary. 

Now that talking books on cassette or CD had evolved to digital audio books that only take up invisible space, WHY is this mutilation of books still happening?! According to what I’ve seen while browsing through audio books, the mutilated versions aren’t even cheaper than the true whole ones. So what’s the point??? 

The only thing abridged audio books might be good for, is for kids who hate reading, but are obligated to read a novel as a school assignment. 

8. I LOVE A GOOD HOLY-SHIT TWIST AT THE END 

Like the crazy-straw plot, I can’t get enough of the good old big twist at the end. The bombshell. The whopper. The big jaw dropper. What book fiend doesn’t love that? Sometimes—depending on how the book is written—a simpler plot that ends with the holy-shit twist can make that twist even holy-shittier. 

I love when authors have the gift of making an idiot out of me. When they drop bread crumb hints or slight foreshadowings throughout the book that go right over my head until the shocking end. Then everything adds up in my mind, and I’m like, “Duh! How did I not pick up on that?!” 

The Wife Stalker by Liv Constantine was one of those books that got me. Sure, it’s not the most well-written book, and not all that realistic in some parts. A lot of the dialogue is a little on the basic, generic side too, but I couldn’t help getting sucked into the feud between Piper and Joanna. Guilty pleasure. A lot of reviewers saw the twist coming, but I didn’t. Especially not the twist about Joanna. I realized that there were little hints about her, lightly sprinkled throughout the book that went right over my head. Some of these hints were disguised as plot holes. These hints went right over reviewers heads too, and they stupidly complained about what they thought were plot holes that the editor shouldn’t have overlooked. Or maybe they had zoned out, or were multitasking while reading the book. Both women had a few screws loose, and both were playing victim to the reader, through their narratives. It was weird that only one chapter of the husband’s narrative was thrown in at the end, but readers needed him there to set the record strait because he was the stable, right-minded one out of the three. Not only did that silly little book have me fooled, it kind of creeped me out. The message I got from it was—Parents better be careful how they treat their children, or else they might turn out like Piper and Joanna. 

9. I HATE DARK AND DEPRESSING ENDINGS 

I really don’t know what’s worse, the abrupt ending, or the depressing ending. Being one of the judges for the Let’s Get Published short story contest twice, I’ve read more than enough entries with dark endings. Endings where the characters end up dead, or evil wins, or the character fails in life. Yuck! What’s up with that? 

While exploring random blogs on WordPress, I learned from one of them that there is a bad-to-worse style of storyline. I’ve read some classics before that were like that, and wondered how such awful stories ended up getting published. How much would a person hate the world and hate themselves to actually enjoy reading that type of stuff? 

Sure, the doom and gloom ending may be a lot more realistic than happy endings, since our dear world is crawling with negativity. But how many of you book lovers out there would honestly want to curl up with an action packed downer, or a feel-bad romance? 

When I read a book with a dark and depressing ending, it gets me bummed out for the rest of the day, and I end up ruminating about how much I hated how the book ended. Hell, it took me a whole month or two to recover from reading Chief Joseph by Bill Dugan. 

10. I LOVE BIG FAT BOOKS 

500 pages or more! As someone who reads for escapism, there’s no great joy like a huge feast of a book to dig into. Yummy. I consider books that are 200 pages or less to be thin. 

Even better than an extremely obese novel is the blessed book bundle. Digitally, book bundles are like one massive, overweight book giant on steroids! Whether its a bundle of series starters or a series box set, I happily dive into them, like Thanksgiving dinner. Book bundles where each book is over 500 pages—Jackpot! 

11. I HATE ROMANCE STORIES THAT END WITH THE COUPLE NO LONGER TOGETHER 

When it comes to reading romance, I’m a happily-ever-after purest. I hate, hate, HATE those love stories where the romance isn’t the real moral. The type of romance with the tear-jerker, bittersweet ending. Where the real moral of the story is the important life lesson that the relationship taught the main character, or the lost lover. Or how much the lost lover helped the main character learn about themself, and learn how to be strong and see their true self worth, and all that noxiously sweet disappointment. 

I saw the movie versions of Message in a Bottle and Nights in Rodanthe, and hated them both. After that, I don’t think I’d want to be within less than a hundred feet of a Nicolas Sparks novel. “Tis better to love and have lost, than to never have loved at all.” Oh, please. I would rather reincarnate as an asexual nun with no clitoris. My own love life has been nothing but one crappy life lesson after another. I would’ve rather found the right life-long partner, instead of learning and growing spiritually, or whatever I was supposed to get out of it. So the last thing I’d want to read is a book about someone else’s depressing “growing from love” experience. 

I prefer the dreamy, happily ever after kind of romance, as cheesy and unrealistic as they sometimes are. Romances that have the couple’s names as the subtitle are usually my first pick, because it means that the couple will be together at the end. 

The only exception to this personal tabu was Bittersweet by Nevada Bar. This was a lesbian love story that took place in the mid 1800’s, about how two women independently made their way out into the world together. The fascinating descriptions of how rugged and hostile life was during that time, overruled the sad ending. Most stories I’d read that took place in the pioneer days romanticized how life was back then. This book pointed out how unapologetically chauvinistic American culture was, how bad hygiene and poor sanitation was the norm, and how much more insect infested the world was. The romance part was so clean that I didn’t feel any romantic love between the two women. At one point in the book, I thought I might’ve misunderstood their relationship, and thought that maybe they were two spinster friends who were roomates instead. Not feeling the romantic connection made the ending tolerable. I cried more over the execution of their pet coyote, Moss Face.      

12. I LOVE WHEN A BOOK HAS ME ENTERTAINED 

Whether it’s a fast paced thriller, or a relaxed paced classic. Whether an author’s writing style is light and simple, or intense and poetic with lots of vivid detail. Whether a book is mediocre or a work of brilliance. Whether it’s fiction or non fiction, sci fi, new adult, young adult, erotic romance, clean romance, historical fiction, or a horror story anthology. The all-around, most important thing to me, as a reader is, if the book is entertaining! 

I read a little of every genre, and find that most books are entertaining in one way or another. Even the ones where the author does the things that annoy me. I just love books, and love the fact that human brains had evolved enough to have created written languages that grace the world every day with millions of stories and countless wealths of knowledge. 

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PHEW, was this a long post! That concludes the twelve more things that authors do that I love or hate. I hope that you, as a reader, were entertained. 

Love you all! Post you soon! 

P S: I apologize for posting links that didn’t work, last week. Not cool. It seems I might’ve done it in a way that confused the block editor. Let’s give it another try… 

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12 Things That Authors Do I ❤️Love Or 🖤Hate

Hello blog world! 

I’m back after… uh… I forgot how long it’s been. 

Before I get into the main topic of this post, I’m happy to announce that I finished the second novel in my HECCTROSSIPY series! Woohoo! FINALLY! I can’t believe it took me almost two years to write one fricken book! Well, it turned out to be 158,313 words, so maybe that’s a good excuse for taking so long. Now The Will of the Dark Creator is over in England with my author/editor friend, Jo. 

I decided to take a risk, and omit the appendix. The appendix was taking me forever to write, and there were about 20+ Velva Leenan facts I was writing about. Most of the facts were described in vivid detail, or they came with a historical story because I just have to make my fictitious planet sound more realistic. From now on, book 1 The Legend of the Land will be the only book in the series with an appendix. Any facts about the planet will be recycled into a blog series called Velva-pedia. Whenever the beautiful time may come when my series gains fanfare, and fans are curious about learning more about the alien details mentioned in each novel, they could look them up on my blog. 

I’m glad I made this decision too because keeping the appendix would most likely tip the word count scale into the 200,000’s. Jo changed his pricing to so many hundreds of pounds per so many thousand words. Including the appendix would’ve made the editing process cost as much as a new car, or some good quality bling, or maybe even a blinged up new car. Oof, it would’ve taken me ten years to pay my parents back. 

So anyway, enough about my writing for now. It’s time to talk about the stuff other writers do. Here are twelve things that authors do that I love or hate. If you’re an author reading this, and you feel that I’m making fun of your way of writing, never mind what my opinions are. Just keep doing what you do, and be proud of it. My opinions are just a fraction of a fraction of one percent among countless other opinions by our world’s billions of people. So here goes. 

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1. I HATE WHEN AUTHORS USE TOO MUCH SOPHISTICATED LANGUAGE 

Using a fifty-cent word or an obscure word makes any kind of author sound smart, and adds a cool flare of sophistication to a fictional story—But only if such words are used sparingly. Maybe one or two lofty words per chapter. If there’s lofty words on every page, the author writes like a total douche. To me, it just screams out, “Oooo, look how highly intellectual I am! I only write for those who are at as high of a level of intellect as I!” 

A couple of the worst books I’d read with this fault were an Encyclopedia of authors and a book I had gotten one Christmas called Heavens to Betsy, which was all about the origins of our quirky figures of speech. I had an Encyclopedia of rock’n roll which was an awesome read about bands, singers, and musicians through the decades. So I was stoked when a family friend gave me an Encyclopedia of all different authors through the centuries. 

Then I started to read it, and couldn’t make it further than the first couple of pages of the “A” section. Ugh, the authors’ bios were ruined by lofty writing that was more flowery than a funeral parlor. I could hear the haughty, high society accent in my mind as I was struggling to absorb such an elaborate atrocity of the written English language. 

My sister, Christa, had read Heavens to Betsy from front to back, and enjoyed it. For me, the writing was so loaded with words people normally don’t use, I had to look up words in the dictionary, like every other page. This took away from what the book was teaching, and it wore on my patience. So I DNFed it too. 

2. I LOVE WHEN AUTHORS INCLUDE LOTS OF SENSORY DESCRIPTION IN THEIR STORIES 

Absolutely love this. I love to know about what the air smells like, the looks and the sounds of nearby birds, how itchy and uncomfortable the character’s uniform feels, what the character is experiencing while enjoying a favorite food, and so on. Sure, these types of details can slow the action way down, and they often have no importance to the plot, but I love the way they make me feel like I’m really there in the story, experiencing everything the character is experiencing. Sensory details could make even the most outlandish characters who live in the most fantastical fantasy worlds feel real. When reading for escapism, it’s so fun and freeing to get sucked into a book where I feel like I’m living in someone else’s world. 

3. I HATE WHEN AUTHORS USE TOO MANY METAPHORS AND SIMILES 

You got to love those metaphors and similes. They add personality and pizzazz to writing. Even the overused cliche ones. Try writing a story without them, and it won’t be long before you realize that your story would make a book about the history of paper towel dispensers seem like a compelling read. However, like with lofty words, metaphors and similes work best when they’re used sparingly—in my opinion. 

When every other tree or cloud or character’s facial feature or architectural detail of a building is described with a metaphor or a simile, it gets annoying. It makes me want to scream, “AAALLL RRRIIIGGGHHHTTT! I get it! You’re poetic, sheesh

While reading, what goes on in a story plays out in my mind as a mental movie. The metaphoric images also come into view. Too many of them get in the way and become a distraction because my brain has to sift through the added image clutter to keep up with what’s going on in the story. .  

And yeah, also like with the overuse of lofty words, the overuse of metaphors and similes makes an author sound like a douche. 

4. I LOVE WHEN A LOCATION IS A BIG PART OF A STORY 

It wasn’t written in my cards to live the globe trotting lifestyle I used to daydream about when I was young. So when authors include vivid details about a real location their story takes place in, it makes up for my disappointing amount of places I’ve been to. 

I love details about streets and architecture and natural scenery, details about historical sites and tourist attractions, the food and culture and dialect of the location, and whatever other detail that makes me feel like I’m really there experiencing it all. I don’t have any particular location preferences. Whether the story takes place in a wealthy neighborhood in Paris, a poverty stricken village in Ecuador, a middle class Chicago suburb, or an indigenous village deep in an African jungle, I’m happy to get sucked into knowing about what it’s like to live there and be among the scenery and the culture. Including the places I’ve been to already. I never grew out of my inner three-year-old curiosity about the world, and want to explore it all. Books with life-like location details are like amazing teleportation devices that help satisfy my wanderlust. 

5. I HATE TOO MANY ANALOGIES 

I don’t mind analogies, but I could do without them. They kind of annoy me sometimes, because they make me feel dumb. Most of the ones I’d came across referred to sports figures, historical figures, mythology, and stuff that has to do with Shakespeare—things I never took much interest in. So I often don’t see the connection to how the analogy relates to what’s going on in the story unless it’s something obvious. Like comparing a character’s appearance and angry expression to some war leader from whatever historical battle. 

If an author uses analogies generously—oh boy, what a headache the reading experience becomes. Like with too many metaphors and similes, too many analogies distract me away from the story, because my brain wants to try to wrap around each extra bit of info about mythological characters or quotes from famous movies or fifteenth century scholars and whatnot. This makes the story harder to follow, and I often have to pause my phone’s voiceover and read pages over again, which is also annoying. 

And once again, there’s the douche factor. Too many analogies make it sound like the author is flaunting how knowledgeable they are. How highly intellectual. Big, sloshing, vinegar stank’n, fifty gallon douche! 

6. I LOVE WHEN A STORY INCLUDES DETAILS ABOUT A CHARACTER’S JOB OR PASSIONATE HOBBIE 

I love to learn. It’s that inner three-year-old. Since I lost my vision 20 years ago, that three-year-old became a bottomless pit of starvation for wishing to know what it’s like to participate in things I would never be able to experience completely as a blind person. So I love, love, love it when the characters in a book take me on the inside of what it’s like to work in a law firm, or be a fighter pilot or a bee keeper or a deep sea cave diver, and the list goes on. I especially love when their hobby or workplace details come with additional educational facts. Not only do I get to experience a lot of what I have to miss out on through the characters, it’s awesome to know what they know, which makes the experience more life-like and fulfilling. 

7. I HATE OUT-OF-PLACE METAPHORS 

What I mean by that is metaphors that don’t match with the mood of what’s going on in a scene, or the atmosphere of the surroundings. Beautifully poetic metaphors go good with romance. Quirky metaphors go good with quirky and comical characters. Gross metaphors enhance the dark mood of parts of a story that involve crime investigation. 

It annoys me when metaphoric descriptions are randomly thrown in where they’re not necessary. For example, if there’s a heart warming Christmas family reunion scene in a story, and everybody is happy catching up with one another and delighting in the holiday festivities. Then the author randomly points out how a newly arriving cousin’s red hair plumes out like the fires of an apocalyptic nuclear holocaust. Or if characters are renovating an old house, and the black tile floors were speckled with plaster, resembling constellations in a clear winter sky. Ugh. When an author likes to do this frequently, it sounds like they’re stroking themselves over how artistically they see the world. 

8. I LOVE WHEN A MAIN CHARACTER IS FLAWED  

We all love those likable main characters. The nice ones who are smarter and act more mature than the characters around them. The kind of main characters you’re rooting for when the plot leads them into tough situations and emotionally trying dilemmas. All the while, they courageously get past it all, and come out with a role model positive attitude, setting an inspirational example for readers. If they are thin, healthy, and attractive too, that’s a plus. 

Likable main characters are cool and all,, but for me, it’s refreshing when a book’s main character isn’t such a nice looking, inspirational hero. It makes them more like a real life imperfect human than just a fictional story character. I love when they aren’t thin or physically fit. Or if they have a medical problem, like a bummed knee, diabetes, eczema issues, or have disfiguring scars from surviving cancer. I love when they don’t mind dressing like a shmuck,. Or they drive a hand-me-down car, and live in a house that’s in desperate need of a makeover. 

Most of all, I love when their personality and behavioral flaws come out. When they have their moments of being a selfish asshole, an adulterer, a manipulator, an idiot, or a petulant brat. Or when they make huge mistakes, like  acting obnoxious at a wedding, hurting other character’s feelings, being politically self righteous at an important dinner party, taking out anger and frustration on others who had nothing to do with the reasons for it—and the list of negatives that make a main character unlikeable could go on for an infinity. 

I don’t mind when a character complains about whatever tough situation they’re going through. Or if they feel sorry for themself and have a negative attitude. According to book reviews I’d read, readers don’t like it when a character behaves like this. It’s seen as being “too winy” Oh, whatever. Wining and complaining and feeling sorry for one’s self is normal human behavior. If you’ve always managed to keep up a positive attitude, no matter what life throws at you, you must be some other humanoid species who wasn’t really born on this planet. 

The best thing about flawed main characters is when they learn and grow from their faults and mistakes throughout the storyline. They stop wining and find a way to pull through. They apologize and make amends with those they’d hurt or offended. They grow likable, in a more realistic sense, which I find to be more of an  inspirational example than the role model character who’s likable from the beginning.      

9. I HATE STORIES THAT ARE TOLD IN ABSTRACT FORM  

Maybe I’m a cretin who doesn’t appreciate true art, or something, but I won’t bother giving any of my time to stories that aren’t told literally. I don’t want to have to try to see past the schizophrenic sounding word jumble, and find my own interpretation of what it all means. I don’t want to have to crack some enigmatic code. 

That’s why I’m not all that nuts about poetry. I only like poems that have a clear message or tell a complete and comprehensible story. If I come across a poem that sounds something like this… 

A lion, a demon, and a warlord 

dancing and thrashing upon a red overcast of apathy 

seas part and crumble beneath the heft of a trillion sorrows 

Then there is I 

Myself, my solitude 

standing amidst a throbbing pool of bile green indignity  

I’m like, hell nah, shoot me. 

Some people don’t mind not fully understanding the meaning of a story or poem they read. If the writing and imagery sounds beautiful and deep, they could still enjoy it. My sister, Christa, is one of them. Go figure. Of course she has a more refined taste in literature than me, if she enjoyed that froo-froo Heaven’s to Betsy book. 

When we were judges for the first Let’s Get Published short story contest a couple years ago, someone entered a poem. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what the hell I was reading. Was it about a night of passionate love making? Was it about trying happy mushrooms for the first time? Was it about eating an egg McMuffin beneath the light of a dismal moon? So of course that entry got a “no” from me. 

When I asked Christa if she had any idea what that poem was about, she couldn’t help me. She had no clue either, but she didn’t care because the language in it was so beautiful. 

Ugh, no thanks. I’d rather understand what I read as I’m reading it. 

10. I LOVE WHEN AN AUTHOR HAS THE GIFT OF MAKING THEIR CHARACTERS FREAKISHLY LIFE-LIKE 

This is a brilliant talent that could make even a mediocre book unputdownable. I try hard to master this skill in my own series. Wooow! What a high it is when someone says that my book has strong characters. 

I love when characters are so three dimensional that they feel like real people I know. And while seeing their world through their eyes, especially if the story is written in first person, I love it when I feel like I can be them. To understand what it’s like to have their personality type, their likes and dislikes, and how they think. 

Characters that are this life-like are the ones I miss when a book or series ends. They’ll cross my mind, years after I read their books. If this happens at a time when I had too much sugar, I start imagining how that character is doing now, and what they’ve been up to lately.  

11. I HATE WHEN AUTHORS LEAVE THINGS UP TO THE READER 

My God, does this piss me off! Open endings, stories with semi complete details to what happened and why, stories with gaps that are meant for the reader to fill in. To me, this is a worse offense than stories that aren’t told literally. At least with the abstract story, the entire thing is a question. Understanding the gist of a story, but getting left with questions that I have to answer myself is a total jip. GRRRR, I hate getting teased like that. 

I think I can understand why such an infuriating writing style is so popular. Perhaps the author doesn’t want to pigeonhole the story into being just their story with only their way of seeing things. They want it to have the freedom to be everybody else’s story too, and be seen in many perspectives. Sounds deep and trippy. 

Screw that! 

Sometimes I can tolerate when the semi complete details make it obvious enough what happened. Otherwise, the whole “leaving it up to the reader” thing annoys me to no end. 

Worse than that, I came across writers who admitted to not even knowing what they’d written about. They just let the words take over, publish whatever nonsense comes to mind, and leave everything up to the reader to figure out.

Maybe I should piss out 50K words into my computer about camels and finger painting and Eskimo orgies, and call it a book. Then I’ll leave it up to the readers to figure out its meaning. I’ll call the book Bingo, but spell the word backwards for an extra flare of mystique. Ognib. Who knows. Readers might find deep spiritual meaning and life changing answers to resolving the world’s political conflict within my prose about all the hot and heavy, nose rubbing Eskimo action.  

12. I’M A SUCKER FOR A SERIES 

A sucker, a sap, a chump. Nothing allures me to blow money, like a book series. It doesn’t matter the genre. Romance, YA fantasy, sci-fi, a series about serial killer Christmas elves, I’m one for all. Especially if it’s one of those series where the storylines continue with each book. I don’t even have to like the first book that much to want to buy the next one. The first book could have a lame and predictable plot with cliche characters and cheezo dialogue. Just simply knowing that the story continues in following books triggers a reaction in my brain that screams, “MUST FINISH THE WHOLE STORY!” Then I end up going to Apple Books and buying as many books in the series as my monthly budget would allow. Then I’d binge read them. 

When authors offer the first book in their series as a free download, I jump right into that trap with wholehearted book nerd enthusiasm. Then my money is theirs for the taking. A series where the books are cheap is impossible to resist. 

I can’t even pass off a series of stand-alones, due to my fear of missing out. A lot of stand-alones aren’t exactly complete stand-alones. Their characters often interconnect. Heaven forbid if I just buy the fifth stand-alone, and the main character of that book briefly mentions something that happened to the main character in book 4. But I didn’t get the full scoop on what happened because I didn’t buy book 4. No! No! No! 

It’s an addiction, and I LOVE when authors enable it. 

*** 

To all the authors that do those things I love, keep up the good work! It’s a gift to the world, and you’ll keep me reading until my brain gets too old to function. And to all the authors that do the things I hate, keep up the good work! Your writing is also a gift to the world! Like I said at the beginning of this post, never mind what my opinions are. Just keep doing what you do and be proud of it. 

Love you all! Post you soon! 

Come write with me in the Writers Mastermind!

Check out my book on Amazon!

📚I had one book published, another is on its way… but I’m not really an author.📚

Hi, strangers. 

I haven’t written any full-length original material in almost three months. Thankfully, my modest little blog has been doing all right living off of re-blogs of my sweet sister’s Let’s Get Published posts. The post about fellow Writers’ Mastermind member, Sarah, has been gaining popularity lately. Thank you all for blessing it with Likes. Can’t wait until her book is available on Amazon! 

Last thing I wrote about was trying a bunch of flavored coffees. There’s more of those coffee adventures to blog about. Such as trying spicy taco coffee, jalapeño coconut coffee, coffee that’s deliberately left to rot a little, before it’s roasted, coffee that tastes like lemony tea, and so on. But as for now, I’m going to be writing about the humbling reality of being a writer. 

After the first version of HECCTROSSIPY  book 1  The Legend of the Land was released in October of 2020, I felt like a real author. Whenever people asked me what I do, I proudly told them, “I’m an author.”, and made it sound like it was what I did for a living. I was more than happy to explain about my YA sci fi & fantasy series as a way of proudly promoting it. Then after an extensively longer-than-planned blogging hiatus, and some disappointing realizations about my level of capability, I humbly surrender to the fact that I’m a writer and not really an author. 

 Writing books is what I’m good at. I LOVE what I do, and I’ll write them until the end of my time, but I absolutely suck at turning what I do into a professional career as an author. 

Pursuing and then maintaining a writing career is like an amazing circus act, juggling writing books, marketing your books, staying consistent on social media, staying consistent with writing your author newsletter, and remembering to regularly change up your author website to keep it interesting. Then there’s those other recommended writerly tasks to help get your name more out there, like blog tours, becoming a guest on pod casts, and writing stories to submit them to magazines and contests. I know some people who are pros at this. Being a mighty task juggling author who can also put out a few books a year is second nature to them because they could do it all, while also juggling their busy, active lives outside of their writing careers. It’s only human nature to envy such talent when I don’t have it, but more power to them. How are they so freaking super?! I can’t imagine myself being able to do what they do, without becoming a sluggish, brain-dead zombi who’s on the verge of dying of exhaustion by 7:00 PM every night.

I have such a raging case of synesthesia, it feels very much like a neurological disability. The only way I could be productive and get things done is to solely focus on doing one task at a time, and keeping my daily agenda extremely simple, all while avoiding as much outside stimulation as possible. The more things I’m involved with, the more my mingled sensory perception gets stimulated, which sends my thoughts and imaginings flying off the handle. This makes my sense of focus and concentration frustratingly brittle, and slows my productivity wwwaaayyy down. If I had a regular day job, a husband and kids and such, I wouldn’t even bother with writing. So the production demanding, multi media demanding juggling act of an author is not for unitaskers like me.    

A lot of authors have a hard time with marketing their book. So do I, but my problem is that I’m blind, and the art of good marketing is visual, visual, visual. Through the years of reading blog posts on blogging and book marketing tips, and studying writing courses, it’s been thoroughly drilled into my head that authors need to keep their websites colorful and catching to the eye. Blog posts should include pictures, different font colors, and other eye catching effects to draw attention. Even social media posts should include images like giffs and funny memes to add personality to your posts when building up your author brand, and the list of visually effective tips goes on. I thought that was bad enough. Then one day, I read a newsletter from an author I follow, and she pretty much said that everything I’d been taught about how to market my books is irrelevant. According to her, promoting your books by doing videos on Tick Tock is the way of book marketing, but not videos of you just talking about your book. Her article talked about making tick-Tock videos with catchy graphics and special effects and that sort of stuff. She even included a link to another author’s Tick-Tock video that went viral, and catapulted her book into becoming a best seller, after it had spent three years unknown by the public. Reading that newsletter, I couldn’t help thinking, “Boy, am I screwed.” The book business was not designed with the blind in mind. (Ha, ha, that sounded Dr. Sues-ish.) 

Along with my “I’m an author.” confidence, back in 2020, I felt even more confident when I actually managed to get the knack of a juggling act. I wasn’t exactly making my presence shine on social media, while writing newsletters and short story submissions while cranking out a new novel every few months, but it was enough of a juggling act to feel proud of. I spent the first week of every month just writing blog posts that were released every weekend. Weekdays for the rest of the three weeks were reserved for working on my second book, and all weekends were for interacting on all my social media outlets. However, this juggling act didn’t last. It was slowing down my WIP to a tedious drag, to the point where writing book 2 felt tedious and not so enjoyable. The one week of blog writing, three weeks of book writing, one week of blog writing, three weeks of book writing had kind of a herky-jerky, stop/start/stop/start/stop/start effect on my brain which made it harder to stay focussed. 

So I tried a different way of juggling, assuming that maybe taking a week off of novel writing duty every month was too big of a time gap. I ditched the week day/weekend block schedule, and tried doing a day solely focussed on writing, a day solely focussed on social media, a day solely focussed on writing, a day solely focussed on social media, and so on, without it mattering what day of the week it was. After enough writing days added up to completing another chapter, I spent the following writing day composing and publishing a blog post. The blog posts became much less consistent, but consistent enough for me to still feel on top of things. I really liked this way of task juggling. It made each day fullfillingly busy and productive, and it made the social media experience more of a fun indulgence, instead of an annoying, author platform building obligation. 

Unfortunately, it didn’t take long to realize that this way of juggling was slowing down my WIP even more, which I didn’t think could be possible since I dedicated a whole day, every other day to it. Increasing my time on social media was the culprit. Dedicating every other day to it machine gunned my brain and neurology with imagined mental movie news clips of information, the colors and tactile vibes of people’s live journaling, the elaborate zoo of colorful creatures made of the names of people and places, book titles, and word prompts, and other trippy things that get conjured up in my isolated world that send my imagination and ruminating thoughts tiradeing like catastrophic weather. This was far more of a disruption to my focus and concentration than when I just spent weekends hanging out on social media, and it greatly impaired my ability to transcribe what was going on in the hHecctrossipy 2 mental movie into the right words. Trying to finish my book was getting as tedious as trying to shuffle across the United States with my legs bound together. (sigh) So I had to change my juggling act, yet again. I didn’t know my brain would be that stubborn about not liking to be lead in multiple directions. 

Throughout the next several months after my debut novel was published, I would go on to changing my author’s juggling act a few more times. My brain may be stubborn, but so am I, and I didn’t want to back down. I also got involved with other things an author should get into, like beta reading total strangers’ books and joining a couple other writing groups.     Maybe all this changing things around was making my blogging and time on social media even less consistent, but I felt that at least I was putting myself out there. 

Meanwhile, man, was I having the hardest time getting my second novel written. I kept re-writing chapters, and revising the book from the beginning, but no matter how much I tweaked and toiled, something just felt lacking. I know this sounds schizophrenic, but I can taste my writing. When It’s just right, it has a salty, fattening, stimulating taste that kind of reminds me of a flavorful salty snack, or a canned food that’s a guilty pleasure. My WIP had a taste that kind of reminded me of bland cereal and plain scrambled eggs with no salt. 

Then an aspiring author who I had been beta reading for was more than happy to return the favor. His hectic life only would allow him to beta read my book one chapter at a time, like how I had been beta reading his. This was fine with me because I was only a little over halfway done with the novel. I had been having the hardest time getting past a certain point of events in the story. I gave the first chapter its fiftieth or so revision, before sending it to him. This inspired me to read all that I had finished as a whole, to see how it sounded when it all came together as a novel. 

I was horrified over how many boring parts it had. There were all-over-the-place dialogues that seemed to drag on for miles, over-explanations of possibilities to solving mysteries, and parts of telling that sounded more like dull rambling. Ugh! Blah, blah, blehhh! I was worried that I lost my edge and my feel for planet Velva Leena. It sounded like a book written by a person who was either bored with her story, or who wasn’t completely sure where it was going, or who was more concerned about bulking up her daily word count. All of those things were true. 

After more than half a year went by since my first novel came out into the world, and after more than a whole year went by since I started working on the second installment, I decided to drop the juggling act all together, and devote a majority of my time, focus, and concentration to righting all the wrongs of book 2, and finishing the dam thing, once and for all. I worked on book 2 with nothing else on the daily agenda aside from meal times, shower time, bed time, the twice-a-week conference calls with the Mastermind group, the occasional short chapter to beta read, and weekend visits with nannie at her nursing home. I didn’t even make time for getting some exercise.

Once I solely focussed on book 2, the struggle ended miraculously! It was amazing. Without social media and writing blog posts to worry about, I was able to get fully submerged into the story. The characters became more alive than ever, and the situations they go through felt like I was living through them too. I was able to really feel the story, and fell devotedly in love with it. I woke up every morning in a positive mood, because I looked forward to another long day spent being one with the joys, pains, and adventures of Artheena, Mell May, Leeandro Paul, and the rest of the cast of characters who live on a planet that’s hundreds of light years away, but feels like a second home to me. Best of all, the right words to transcribe the mental movie came out more cooperatively, and I was getting chapter after chapter done at a much faster pace. Book 2 was tasting better each day. I realized that putting working on my book in a time slot among other mind and sensory stimulating authors’ to-dos had a detrimental effect on my writing. It reminded me of when I wrote the very first rough draft of Hecctrossipy, back in 2017. Sure, it wasn’t nearly as good as today’s version, but I finished a full length novel in six or seven months. During those months, I didn’t blog or write anything else, and was hardly ever on Facebook. 

HECCTROSSIPY  book 2  The Will of the Dark Creator is much closer to being ready to be sent to my editor. The story part is complete, at least, but I’m still working on the Appendix. My beta reader had bought the first book and read it. While beta reading the first sixteen chapters of book 2, he admitted to enjoying it more than book 1. Yeah, must be that salty snack/canned food effect. However, as happy as getting a good book completed makes me, doing what works for me won’t do shit for making book sales. It’s a catch 22 situation. I can’t make any book sales if I don’t put enough time and energy into marketing my book, and working on building up my author platform. But I wouldn’t be selling books either, if I don’t put enough time and energy into writing books and perfecting them to the fullest. I especially wouldn’t be selling any books if I took nearly forever to craft a bland-cereal-and-unsalted-scrambled-eggs novel.  

Maybe it’s inspirational, maybe it’s sad, but I still hang on to the hope that I could someday master the juggling act, like other authors. Of course I still want to build an author brand. As for now, I choose just mastering the act of writing novels. The professional part isn’t there, and it might not be for quite some time, but that’s all right. As long as I have my dark cave of a room to write in, loud enough white noise or brown noise to tune out distractions, a functional computer, enough money saved up to pay my editor, a vivid imagination, and no husband, kids, or day job to tend to, it’s all good. Being a writer is my true life purpose.

With three more books to come out with, in the Hecctrossipy series, and its spin-off trilogy, Dark Admiration, Artheena and company have a lot more places to go, people to meet, and life challenges to overcome. So do the characters among the many other books in my ever extending backlist. 

I’ll try my luck at getting my series out there, by going to those sites where authors meet up to read one another’s books and exchange book reviews. Reading books is not that overstimulating. I’ll also try my luck at finding a reasonably priced virtual assistant I could dump the visual, visual, visual marketing workload on, and who’s not uncomfortable about working with a blind person who has less than amazing computer skills. When the second book comes out, I want to do another give-away promotion, like I did in April. So people could download The Legend of the Land for free, and get all caught up on what went on before they buy a copy of The Will of the Dark Creator. Two fat novels for the price of one. Hmmmm, or maybe I’ll do a promotion where, for a whole week, if you buy the second book, you get the first book for free. Is that a little bribe-ish? 

I had recently re-released HECCTROSSIPY book 1  The Legend of the Land as a second edition. It’s the exact same story, but the bulk of facts about planet Velva Leena—which was once the Introduction—had been moved to the back of the book and became part of the Appendix. It’s a well-known fact that people just don’t like info dumps, no matter how interesting or vividly imaginative they may be. And it’s practically a writing tabu to begin your book with an info dump. I feel more optimistic now, that this change will help the first book win readers over, and get them into the series. Then who knows, maybe it could lead to more book sales. As for this moment in my non-career, I’m building my author platform with prayers for a miraculous strike of good luck. 

After toiling over this blog post for a good part of the past three days, it’s time for this unitasker to end it, and go back to writing book 2’s Appendix, and finish the dam thing ONCE AND FOR ALL. 

Love you all! Post you…… 

… sometime… 

Meet Sara Cristia H.J.—Storyteller and Freelance Writer

My second novel’s rough draft is FINISHED!!🎆🎆🎆🎆🎆🎆🎆🎆🎆🎆 Wow, is it going to be GRRRrrrRREAT🐯 to get back to writing blog posts! Thank you, sis, for letting me continuously reblog your posts to keep my blog putt-putt-putt-putt-putting along. Now the time has come once again, to meet another outstanding author from the Writers’ Mastermind. She’s been a member of our group for about a year, and shows up at write-in meetings that sometimes run during crazy hours, according to her time zone, which is seven hours ahead of Eastern Standard time. That’s how dedicated she is.

Meet Sara Cristia H.J., a storyteller and freelance writer who was born in Venezuela and now lives in Lebanon.

Meet Sara Cristia H.J.—Storyteller and Freelance Writer

“There are” Grammatical Expletives Weakening Your Writing—Just Publishing Advice

ALERT‼️ ALERT‼️ To all you writers, you might be botching up what could be your next best seller, and not even know it.

Grammatical expletives are not dirty words, but they can be equally offensive. Grammatical expletives are empty words that take up valuable space and…

“There are” Grammatical Expletives Weakening Your Writing—Just Publishing Advice

Meet Christie Adams—Blogger, Podcaster, Coach, and Author

Hey, faithful followers🤗 I’m tardy again with this reblog. The closer I’m getting to finishing my second novel, the more I have tunnel vision. Here is another super author to look up on Amazon for your next Reading binge. I mean super literally. This woman is something beyond human. A being Who gets all her energy from the infinite stars in the universe, and the universe’s all-mighty Space lightning. Don’t believe me? Read this post and you’ll Believe in super beings too! I also must add that I attended one of her time management lectures, and very much enjoyed it.

Christie Adams is a storyteller, blogger, podcaster and videographer who writes short stories, children’s books, mysteries, thrillers, YA novels, and…

Meet Christie Adams—Blogger, Podcaster, Coach, and Author

Delight your readers with this storytelling trick—Using “The Prestige” by Joseph Sale

Hello blogging family💖 Here is an amazing article from my editor, Jo, who is also a brilliant author, and an all-around hell of a great guy. This is especially good to know if you’re an author who is writing a series.

“The Prestige” is the third act of any magician’s trick, in which what they previously destroyed, returns – to the delight and adulation of the crowd.

Delight your readers with this storytelling trick—Using “The Prestige” by Joseph Sale

Christa Wojciechowski visits Boomers on Books

Praise to Christa Wojciechowski–psychological suspenseAuthor, writing Group leader, blogger, Digital marketer, doting dog mommy, and my dear and loving oldest sister–for conquering her fear of public speaking. Here is her interview for all the world to see, hosted by one of the warmest and personable interviewers I’ve came across in cyberspace. Enjoy…

Christa Wojciechowski, dark fiction author and founder of the Writers Mastermind, talks to Boomers on Books with Vince Stevenson.

Christa Wojciechowski visits Boomers on Books