🔥🔥How Misfortune Lit A Fire Beneath My Slap-Happy Ass🔥🔥

I’m only 42, but for whatever reason, my legs and feet have been starting to act like that of my 89-year-old grandma. Mom said that they’ve been looking puffy for the past several months. Then within the past few weeks, I’ve noticed that the swelling has gone down to my feet. It fluctuates, but sometimes they’re swollen to the point where the tops and sides of them have bulges that feel disfiguring. When I squeeze the bulges, it kind of feels like there’s play dough under my skin. The strangest and most concerning symptom happened this month too. There were a couple of times when my legs were bright red. I didn’t feel any pain or any heat from inflammation, and I didn’t see the redness because my color vision is going to shit. So it didn’t seem like anything was wrong. It was mom who pointed out this symptom, and we were both quite shocked and disturbed about it.

I’ve had issues with ankle swelling since I was 25, but didn’t pay much attention to it. It was just a result of being overweight and consuming too much sodium, like the typical American. But it’s not like I was ever 500 pounds and loading up on bacon, potato chips, and Campbell’s soup every day. The swelling would either go away, or go down enough to where it wasn’t noticeable. I never had any problems with blood pressure, and according to various examinations I’ve had that related to other minor health concerns, my veins and vital organs are perfect. So 17 years went by without a worry about the swelling. 

Even when it looked bad, I just chose to not be concerned. Man, do I hate diet programs, or lifestyle changes, or whatever you want to call it. How about, the floodgates of Hell. That’s a better name for it. I’ve been overweight for a good majority of my life, and had tried numerous programs to correct this. Aside from the trusty old self starvation, throwing up on purpose, and a program that involved $100 a bottle weight loss pills, the more sensible and traditional diet and exercise plans didn’t do much. They were 95% work, frustration, and torment, and 5% reward. I eventually decided, do I want to be happy? Or do I want to nearly kill myself in order to be 5 or 10 pounds less chubby, and up the antie of torment to keep those pounds off.  

The last weight loss program I was on was a little harsh, but it worked wonders. No meat, dairy, grain, or junk food of any kind, and alcoholic beverages were drunken very sparingly. Just tons upon tons of fruits and veggies, proteins from beans, nuts, seeds, and things made of soy, and carbs from root vegetables. It was the purest form of veganism. I lost 30 or so pounds. My mood had improved, and so did my sense of focus and concentration. This success also came with a vitamin B deficiency that made me get sores around my mouth, like a crack whore. 

Fuck no, I didn’t do this to be healthier and extend longevity. I just wanted a slimmer figure to look hot in front of the camera, while doing interviews and photo shoots to promote my book. 

To be health conscious is to be aware that no matter how healthy your eating habits and lifestyle are, you’re always doing something wrong. You know how it is. Health researchers would discover that this and that vegetable promotes longevity and has one of the highest concentrations of vitamin K and coenzyme Q-10. Then a few years later, those same vegetables should be avoided, because researchers have found traces of rocket fuel and other harmful chemicals in them. Remember when wheat was good for you? Now it’s become the devil’s crop… Fat is bad and should be the most limited thing in your diet… No, no, fat is actually good for you. It’s carbs that are the enemy!… No, wait, some carbs are good, like brown rice. It has more fiber and nutrition than white rice, because it’s less processed… Brown rice isn’t that much more high in fiber and vitamins than white rice, unless you get this certain specific brand of organic brown rice that’s triple the price and not available at normal grocery stores… Oh, yeah, and just about every food, clothing fabric, electronic device, and every other product sold in stores among human civilization might cause cancer, or is endangering your health in some other way. And don’t get me started on the comings and goings of exercise fads. Ugh! Reading health articles and listening to the experts on TV and social media is more like putting yourself in the line of fire amidst an infinite argument. It’s as bad as politics. Every new diet and exercise plan is the way and the light to ideal healthy living, and the old way of doing things is all wrong. 

Then along came bouts of lobster legs and play dough feet. OK, OK, body, I’ll start caring about my weight again and getting plenty of exercise. (pain in the ass) 

Yeah, there’s no denying it. I’m fat, but nowhere near being 500 pounds. And I sit too much, but hey, writing novels requires a lot of sitting. However, could these new symptoms have to do with the care-free eating, novel writing lifestyle? The thought of going on another dam program was dreadful enough, but then I did some internet research about my symptoms. 

There were quite a few health problems that matched my symptoms, but it was easy to narrow them down. I’m not taking steroids, or any other prescription drugs that could cause swelling. I don’t have high blood pressure. I don’t have any leg pain, and it doesn’t hurt to walk or move around. So it’s not a circulatory issue, or blood clots. During the two bouts of lobster legs, there was no pain and tenderness, and they didn’t feel hot. So it’s not cellulitis or Thrombosis. I don’t think it’s a liver malfunction either, because don’t liver problems also make the skin turn yellow? And I haven’t gotten laid in two years, so I’m most definitely not pregnant. 

The possible answer is narrowed down to a problem with the lymphatic system, which I already have, the beginning stage of kidney disease, or the beginning stage of heart disease. The latter two gave me an unsettling chill. My 89-year-old grandma’s feet and legs are swollen, and they sometimes turn bright red too. She has both heart and kidney diseases. 

Maybe this was stupid, but I brushed these concerns aside for the month, because of the holiday season. Making sure all the Christmas shopping was done and baking lots of cookies from scratch were at the top of the priority list. Who the hell wants to deal with doctors’ appointments, or being health conscious during the holidays? How depressing. 

Then it was over. 

On the morning after Christmas, thoughts of my internet research popped into my head, bringing me back to my crappy reality. While washing up in the shower later on, my feet felt disfigured and play doughy again, reminding me that this issue wasn’t going to go away on its own. 

The possible beginning stages of heart disease? The possible beginning stages of kidney disease? It didn’t make sense. I had a physical and got my blood work done at the beginning of the year, and everything was fine, except for being overweight and having a little too much LDL cholesterol. How would a heart or kidney problem kick in within such a short amount of time. If that was actually the case, the only thing that might make some sort of sense is, maybe the Pfizer vaccine was a little rough on the organs. I got both Pfizer shots in April, and the booster shot in the beginning of this month. 

I hang on to the belief that this is only a lymphatic issue, which could be corrected with treatments like, a strict diet and exercise regimen (Yikes!), compression socks, Epsom salt baths, and lymphatic drainage massages. Still, just the very thought of the possibility of having something wrong with my heart or kidneys that could trim some years off my life makes me realize how much I want this dream of a writing career to happen. How deeply, how passionately, and how seriously I want it, and so do all the characters. Not only the characters in the Hecctrossipy and Dark Admiration series’, but also the many casts of characters among my future book backlist. They’re demanding, louder than ever, for me to tell their stories to the world, and stop being so goddam slow at it. Stop dawdling and letting my mind wander too much while writing. Stop letting myself get distracted by things that aren’t important, like browsing on-line stores and reading other authors’ book reviews on Goodreads. Stop taking for granted that I have plenty of years to finish the Velva Leena saga, because you just never know. No more letting my blindness and nearly psychotic level of synesthesia be a setback to building my author brand. 

In a previous blog post, I was too accepting of my situation. Too “Oh well, lah-dee-dah” about the idea of being a writer and not an actual author. Deep down, that post was part bullshit. I kind of wanted to allow my disabilities to be an author brand building setback, because it’s easier that way. I didn’t want to keep wrestling with my brittle sense of focus and concentration from having a disruptive, overworking sensory perception. I didn’t want to deal with the hassle of having to search far and wide for a virtual assistant who isn’t too expensive, and who’s not all intimidated and uncomfortable about working with a blind author who uses voiceover technology. Yes, the more I let novel writing take over my life, the better the story comes out, but I just didn’t want to try harder to make mental room for concentrating on the other important tasks of an author. 

Like how I chose to relax and enjoy food and accept my stubbornly bulky body, I wanted to be just as care-free about writing. I didn’t want to worry about anything else but creating compelling and imaginative stories. Secretly, I was willing to accept my novel writing as a very pricy hobby. It felt liberating to let go of all hard-to-reach dreams, and just write for the joy of writing. Secretly, I felt that as long as I had enough funding to pay my editor, I would feel perfectly content writing my life away, whether if anybody buys the books or not. 

Not anymore. 

The mere possibility of having endangered health really lit a fire under my lackadaisical ass. HELL YEAH, do I want this. I want to get out there on social media, and stay out there consistently. No more once or twice a month Facebook interactions. Or fleeting Twitter participation spells, every other year. Or the ever-so-sporadic, catching up on followed blogs. I want to connect with other authors and readers, especially ones who are also into Sci fi and Fantasy. I want to be more involved with supporting other writers, reading their work and giving them one-on-one feedback or posting reviews on their books. I want to do book review-for-a-book-review exchanges. I want to dive headfirst into the tedious, head-grinding, unkind, goddam visual, visual, visual cyber traffic congested shit-storm of book marketing! Woooow!

Yeah, I’m blind with a severe sensitivity to sensory stimuli, but people like me aren’t helpless. There are so many resources out there for helping people with disabilities make their way out into the digital world: apps, accessibility technology support groups, online accessibility tutorials. My author/blogger friend, Clennell Anthony, is a member of a group for blind writers called Behind Our Eyes. (Yo, I’m having déjà vu here. Didn’t I mention this stuff in some other blog post?) Well, NOW it’s time to quit yammering about this stuff and actually get out there and put it to good use. It’s time to put longer, more diligent hours and effort into pushing against the odds and making this writing career happen, ONCE AND FOR ALL! Just in case time might be more valuable than it used to be. Hecctrossipy and Dark Admiration WILL happen! People WILL know who Artheena is, and Leeandro Paul and Mell May and Audry, and the rest of the Velva Leenan cast! 

Phew! Now I’m pumped. 

How about your health? Have you ever had a health scare that was a major wake-up call? It’s OK if you leave uncomfortably graphic details in the Comments section. TRIGGER WARNING: The Comment section below may contain graphic content that may not be suitable for some viewers. 

Speaking of health, I heard that coffee enemas have fantastic health and energy boosting benefits. Afterward, do they make your farts smell like mountain grown deliciousness? 

Love you all! Post you soon! 

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Check out my book on Amazon!

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… 

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… 

🥸 Deception Flower 🥸

Leeandro Paul, the villain in my HECCTROSSIPY series, has a passion for writing and performing music, and a fascination with deception flowers. Despite his talent, sex appeal, and the way he treats his fans like they’re all his friends, there’s a hidden agenda behind all that party-guy friendliness. 

The deception flower is a species of butterfly that lives deep in the tropical forests of Continent 15. They have bright yellow wings, and look like the typical, colorful tropical butterfly, but it’s their cocoons that make them different than the rest. The cocoons, which they build on wild cacti, look convincingly like the same feathery, fuzzy purple flowers that the species’ of cacti grow. When the butterflies break free, the cocoons instantly dissolve into microscopic crumbs, making it appear that the purple flowers magically turned into a bursting cloud of yellow butterflies. 

To witness this phenomenal show of nature is rare among vervetts, grungols, and Guardians, because these butterflies usually break out of their cocoons a little after sunrise. A time when most grungols have gone to bed, and most vervetts and Guardians would find it too early to be hunting and gathering in the forest. 

Leeandro Paul had written a song about the deception flower, which became a popular hit in Music clubs and concert halls all over Continent 15—But was he really singing about butterflies? Here is the song, which is featured in HECCTROSSIPy  book 2  The Will of the Dark Creator

*** 

I never gave my heart to a flower before 

But you make the exception 

creation of pure beauty 

Beautiful deception” 

“So gentle, and so sweet, like a soft hatchling bird 

And as brilliant as a jewel, 

Creation of illusion 

Everyone is a fool” 

“They will only see your spread of lies 

As a bright burst of harmless butterflies 

Creation of two faces 

A creature in disguise…” 

“Even genius minds could fall for your trickery 

Eyes are just a seeing tool 

My favorite deception flower 

Everyone is a fool… 

Everyone is a fool…”

PART ☠️☠️☠️☠️ of… 🧀💩 Skeevids! Eeeeew! 💩🧀

It’s the conclusion! The fourth and final excerpt of chapter 24. I know this was an odd place in the book to post rough draft samples, so I hope you’re not totally lost. If you kind of are, and you’d rather start at chapter 1, you’re welcome to be a beta reader. Even though this is the second book, there are recaps on things that went on in book 1. So you’ll have enough of an idea of what previously happened, to be able to follow the second installment. I will announce when The Will of the Dark Creator is ready for beta reading. Anyhow, here’s the rest of this grotesque chapter. 

Sweet nightmares… 

***  

Artheena moved like lightning. First sprinting through the South Section, and then doing high leaps over West Section streets and from roof top to roof top to get to the Household Cleaning Supplies store more quickly. The store only sold the same few types of items, so she was able to get what she needed and get out, in a little over an Earth minute. Then she sprinted and leapt home at such a speed, she barely felt the rain drops touch her skin. 

The house was freshened up a little bit, by the time Artheena came home. Willberry was no longer screaming, which meant that his bath was over. Artheena heard him still in the bathroom, sobbing and talking to dad in a winy voice. 

As she headed for the cleaning supply closet to restock it, she found mom in the kitchen, busily scrubbing Willberry’s vomit and skeevid juice soiled bed clothes in a wooden washtub full of pickly green, soapy water. “Breakfast is going to be light, this morning,” said mom. “Just spring grain porridge and roasted dried beans, since our oven isn’t going to be available.” 

As long as the swimming pool stayed solidified during the rainy weather, they had to continue doing their laundry the hard way, and use the oven as a drier. 

“That’s fine.” said Artheena, not having much of an appetite, despite how active her morning was. 

“I changed Willberry’s sheet and pillow case,” said mom. “I’m going to need you to do me a favor, and spread a good amount of toilet leaf litter over his bed, so it doesn’t get any more soaked. The poor guy puked up just about half an ocean this morning. I tried my best to scrub the mess out of his bed and his carpet, but unfortunately, the carpet is probably going to get filthy again, if he has more huge accidents.” 

Artheena quickly finished putting away the new cleaning supplies, and hurried into the bathroom. Her stomach turned at the sight of poor Willberry. He was lying naked on a shallow mound of towels on the floor. Without his nightshirt, she could see the full extent of his skeevids. Bulges and clusters of the infected bumps took over his body, leaving only a small number of spots where his skin was clear. In other places on his skin that had no bumps, Artheena saw translucent gray and dark gray circles on them—the sign of more skeevids to come. The other tennis ball sized skeevid had popped while Artheena was away, leaving both knees with a large gray crater in them. The crater over his left knee had three darker gray circles within it. 

“Artheena, get me out of here,” Willberry wined through pitiful sobs. “Dad won’t stop cleaning the tub, and it’s making my stomach feel barfy.” 

Dad had emptied Willberry’s bath water, and was now busily wiping down the inside of the tub with a handful of mange fruit wedges, and removing stray pulp with a wiping leaf. Artheena remembered how the strong citrus smell of mange fruit made her nauseous, when she had skeevids. 

“I just came in here to get the toilet litter,” she said, giving her brother a sympathetic look. “Mommy says to put some on your bed, in case you have another accident.” 

“Dad, stop it,” Willberry pleaded. “I’m going to throw up again.” 

“That’s what all those towels are for,” said dad, calmly. “If you’re going to get sick again, they’ll catch it.” 

Willberry gagged loudly, and his eyes began to water. Artheena got out of there with the bag of toilet leaf litter, before a stream of vomit shot across the bathroom floor. 

His bed and carpet were still wet from when mom cleaned them, but at least his room smelled like housewashing soap and mange fruit, instead of puke and skeevid juice. She scooped heaping mounds of the absorbent litter onto his bed, and carefully spread it out in an even layer. Then it was time to get out a coping shroud, and put it over the litter. The boxes of shrouds had been unloaded from the wheel burrow, and stacked up outside of Willberry’s door. Artheena cringed, and her stomach turned again, as a cloud of powdered herb smell wafted from the shroud once she began unfolding it. The smell was like a mixture of dead leaves, metallic minerals, and a weird sweet smell that reminded her of ripe plums and ink twigs. She had forgotten the smell until now. More traumatic memories flashed through her mind, as she carefully laid out the unfolded shroud. “Why do we even use these things? Bleck,” she said to herself, brushing away herb powder that got on her hands. “They don’t do anything at all.” 

Another bloody-murder scream echoed through the house, as Burjiss carried Willberry back to his room. He was wrapped up in a towel, which was already starting to turn gray. Artheena cringed, hearing the muffled pops of more skeevids bursting beneath it. 

“It stinks really bad in here!” Willberry yelled. “What did you do to my room mom?!” 

“She cleaned it up for you!” said Burjiss, raising his voice over a crying meltdown. 

“Why?!” Willberry screamed. “I don’t want it cleaned!” 

“Your room was filthy, and sick children need to be in clean rooms!” said dad. Tabatha came hurrying into the room to help them. 

“I don’t want you cleaning my room ever again, mom! I don’t like clean smell anymore!” yelled the little vervett, sounding bratty. However, none of them reprimanded him for this. They all empathized with his pain and sensitivities, especially Artheena. 

“It smells just fine in here!” she sternly argued over his crying. “It only smells bad to you, because your tummy is so sensitive! Now it’s time to get back in bed, and try to get some rest!” 

“I want to go to bed in Mell May’s room!” he argued, in a howling wine. 

“No!” said Tabatha. “Mell May’s room will make your stomach sensitive too, and that won’t be any good!” 

“I want to go to Mell May’s room! I… want… to… go… to MELL MAY’S ROOM!” he kept screaming, as Burjiss, Tabatha, and Artheena gently unraveled the towel from him, and laid him on the herb powdered paper. Then they carefully folded the shroud over his whole body and around his head, leaving only his face uncovered. “I WANT TO GO TO MELL MAY’S ROOM! MELL MAY’S ROOM!” His voice rose to such a scary sounding, screechy pitch, he no longer sounded like a person, but like some kind of raging monster. And there was a crazy, murderous look in his crying eyes. He was angry because he wasn’t getting his way and couldn’t fight back, but his pain and suffering amplified this anger to a level that had them all a little frightened. “GET THIS THING OFF ME! IT’S PRICKLING ME! IT’S PRICKLING ME!” He kicked and beat against the inside of the shroud, as his rage turned to panic. 

“Don’t freak out! It’s not prickling you!” Tabatha could barely shout loud enough over another screaming fit. “The shroud has medicine in it that’s good for you, and will help you heal!” 

His screaming rose to such a volume, the sound vibrated through the wet carpet and jabbed through Artheena’s ears. She couldn’t believe that such a deafening sound could come from a small child. 

Then there was a sudden loud, gurgling rumble from Willberry’s bed, accompanied by an intense, putrid smell that was worse than the smell of vomit and skeevid juice. Willberry had worked himself up into having a diarrhea accident. Burjiss, Tabatha, and Artheena exchanged anguished looks. They were going to have to remove him from the coping shroud, give him another bath, replace the soiled shroud and any soiled toilet litter, and then try to calm him down while getting him back in bed, all over again. Artheena remembered crying and screaming a lot, when she had skeevids, but she wasn’t even half as loud and temperamental as her brother. 

“Please, Jumellica, help us keep our sanity.” said dad, his barely audible words sounding weak and powerless under Willberry’s screaming, reminding Artheena of how strongly the dark side was rising against Jumellica’s admirers. 

*** 

Thank you so much for reading. I hope your stomach is doing OK. Despite the nastiness, I hope you enjoyed these excerpts. If you did, it would be awesome to have you express that with a like or a comment. If you didn’t enjoy them, those comments are welcomed too. Part of being a writer is getting to know readers’ likes and dislikes. 

I don’t know when I’ll be back on Earth full-time, where I can spend more time catching up on those of you I follow, and writing more original posts,, but I’ll get back as soon as I can. 

Love you all! Post you in a while! Another space taxi is on its way to take me back to planet Velva Leena.