🎆 Is this book a firework? 🎇 A sparkler? 🫠 Or a lit fart? 🎆Bia Bella Book-Hoarder #7

Hello blog followers! Hello anyone else on WordPress who might’ve randomly plopped onto this site! 

It’s that special time again where I do my special way of reviewing a book. Today I’m going to talk about THE DIVINE: UNLOCKING THE MAGICAL CREATOR WITHIN by Joseph Sale and whether the book is a firework(4 to 5 stars), a sparkler(3 stars), or a lit fart(1 to 2 stars). Joseph Sale is known for his weird and wild, but often shockingly macabre fiction novels that involve far-fetched monsters, different dimensions, a colorful mix of insane people and untrustworthy deities, and hallucinogenic prose. (The Illuminad series is my fav!) THE DIVINE is his first non fiction book. 

I got to ask Jo about this, but for some odd reason, this book wasn’t on Goodreads. So I had to get the blurb from Amazon. 

*** 

THE DIVINE: UNLOCKING THE MAGICAL CREATOR WITHIN 

by: Joseph Sale 

  • Unlock your true creative potential with occult secrets…

    If you are a writer suffering from burn out, struggling to improve your craft, wondering why no one rates your books, or why none of the online courses seem to work, then this book will help you solve the riddle. The necessary change to unlock your true potential is not external but internal, and Joseph Sale is here to show you how to make that change.

Joseph Sale has been an author for over a decade and published more than 30 books, including the acclaimed novel Dark Hilarity, the epic poem Virtue’s End, as well as ghost-written best-selling autobiographies and non-fiction books. As an editor, his clients have been nominated for the Bram Stoker and Splatterpunk Awards, been finalists in the National Indie Excellence and Eric Hoffer Awards, and even submitted to the Pulitzers.

However, on the 29th September, 2020, Sale had a mystical experience in Glastonbury that changed everything. At a moment of profound despair, burn out, and hopelessness, an angel appeared to him, pierced him with the spear of archangel Michael, and gave him new purpose.

Now, Joseph Sale is on a quest to manifest the beautiful and divine in the world, and wants to show other creators, editors, and writers how to do just that. The Divine is an enchiridion that aims to unlock the blockages that stop writers from channelling true divine inspiration. It also includes some of Sale’s most acclaimed non-fiction essays and never-before-printed material on the 5-Act Structure.

Get ready to open your mind and heart to a divine revelation and unlock the true power of your inner magical self.

Praise for the author

“One of the most stirring books on the art of writing I’ve read.”

—Christa Wojciechowski, author of OBLIVION BLACK and Founder of WRITER’S MASTERMIND


“Sale has taught me a lot as an editor and the main thing I’ve gleaned from his brilliance is pacing and story structure.”

—Ross Jeffery, Bram Stoker Award Nominated Author of TOME and ONLY THE STAINS REMAIN

“Theory and practice are often poles apart in writing advice, but not in Joe Sale’s approach to writing. In short, he will set you free to create and craft your best story. I know this because he helped me do the same.”

—Dan Soule, author of WITCHOPPER, SAVAGE, and THE ASH

“I approached Joe Sale to assist with editing and formatting my first three books. He gave me a high-quality impartial service, assisting with advice and direction on all manner of writing styles, formatting, cover design and general lay-out. I cannot thank him enough for his assistance and direction. I would highly recommend any new authors contact this man – you will not regret it!”

—M. S. Morgan, author of WHAT DO THEY REALLY KNOW? and NOT OF DEFENCE SIGNIFICANCE?

“Joseph Sale helped rewire my whole novel-writing mindset. When we started working together, my first novel was a mess of clunky sentences, melodramatic characters, and more commas and adverbs than there are stars in the galaxy. Thanks to his support and encouragement, his helpful and informative writing advice, and his knit-picky editing that sometimes tested my sanity, I can write a story and make it into a good book too.”

—Bia Bella Baker, author of the HECCTROSSIPY series

*** 

Ah gese. At the time I gave him that quote of praise, I didn’t think I would end up having my book temporarily pulled out of Amazon. I hope that my quote being up there isn’t an embarrassment, because what if it looks like I’m a fake author name with a false series title. There is a real Bia Bella Baker. She wrote this blog post. And I am the author of the HECCTROSSIPY series. The books are just still hanging out in my computer.  

So anyhow, before I get to the review, let me tell you a little about life with the infamous dark fantasy/horror writer. 

I know the author personally. He’s my editor and a good friend, and has gradually wiggled his way into pretty much becoming a part of my family. Okay, that’s not really how it went down. My sisters and I kind of passed him along among us. First, he and Christa met on Twitter, and they eventually got to helping one another with each other’s books.. Then she set me up to work with him on my series. (It WILL exist!) Then she and I had recommended him to Gina, who has an up-coming children’s book. Gina, the aspiring proof reader, helped Jo with one of his books. He even got acquainted with my brother-in-law, Gina’s husband, Carlos. So we three sisters have a warm and fuzzy, writerly book nerd relationship with him. He’ll grace us with his presence almost every Monday, showing up to our Writers’ Mastermind Zoom meetings. 

We also have a weird, sort of psychic, sort of telepathy thing going on with him. I forgot if Jo said it or Christa, but one of them said something about how anyone who works with him will experience some form of psychicish activity. If that’s so, I wonder if the same goes for his friends and family members, and anyone else who associates with him. I had my share of spooky little incidents throughout the five years I’ve known him. I told him one time in an email, “You creep me out sometimes.” 

He was amused. 

For example, there was this one weekend when he crossed my mind, but as he did, I got this strongly negative feeling. It was like a very unhappy, down-in-the-dumps kind of feeling. By this point in our relationship, I’d had several moments of psychic with him, so I knew the sudden unhappy feeling wasn’t me developing a mood disorder out of nowhere. I just knew that something had gone wrong for him on that particular day. 

During the writing group meeting, the following Monday, he told us about how badly his weekend went. He and his friends had lost a bunch of good footage from a movie project they were working on. Not only was it accidentally deleted for good, due to some stupid technical mishap, the scenes they did couldn’t be redone, because they mixed in a lot of improvising with the script. He was so pissed off and beside himself over this. 

On another spooky occasion, I had a very vivid dream, one night, that Jo wrote a book where the story involved a labyrinth. When I told him about my dream, the next day, even he got spooked. He said that he woke up that morning, thinking about a new story idea that involved a labyrinth, and wrote the word labyrinth on a piece of paper. 

My favorite psychic incident—and I think this one is by far the creepiest—is when my sub conscience knew what Jo looks like, even though I never saw him in my waking life. 

Being that I’m blind, it would make sense for me to ask people what they look like, but I don’t. Maybe it’s a prudy, neurotic hang-up, but openly asking someone to describe their physical appearance for me would feel like I’m invading their personal space. The only time I’ll ask about someone’s appearance is if other people are talking about it, or if the person themself is talking about their hair or the shape of their nose and things like that. Otherwise, it would feel as inappropriately too personal as if you, the sighted person, were on a video call with a purely platonic friend or a co worker, and you ask them to describe what they smell like. I met Jo over the phone, which is totally not the place for a woman to ask a man what he looks like. 

Jo started making appearances in my weird dreams in 2018, shortly after we started working together. He appeared as tall and fare skinned with kind of a high forehead. His eyes were brown, but not like a chocolate or honey shade of brown. I saw it as a more soft shade. His hair was a color that, at the time, I wasn’t sure how to identify. It looked somewhere between a lighter brown and a darker blond. I didn’t give these dream appearances a second thought, assuming this was just the dream-made-up version of him. That my visually thinking, vividly imaginative writer brain was just fabricating an image to go with the young British male voice. 

A little more than a year goes by, and I’m having coffee one morning while Christa, who was visiting from Panama, was doing stuff on her computer. She got a Facebook notification that it was Jo’s and his wife, Michelle’s birthday. She remarked how cute their pictures are and what a cute couple they are, because not only do they have the same birthday, they have the same coloring. Always being the curious type, I asked what colors they are. She said that they both have fare skin and dirty blond hair. The dream image of Jo with the fare skin and in-between hair color flashed into my mind, and I nearly dropped my coffee. However, the creepiness of psychically knowing what he looks like had disappointingly toned down when it seemed my subconscious got his eye color wrong. More time went by, and it was March of 2020. The Writers’ Mastermind was born into the social media world, and all we new members had a group picture taken with all our cute little heads in the Zoom video squares. Christa described all the other members’ faces in the picture. When she got to Jo, she said his eyes are greenish blue. 

Then when I was reading THE DIVINE:UNLOCKING THE MAGICAL CREATOR WITHIN, there was an essay where Jo described his eyes as dull brown orbs. “Your eyes are brown?!” I yelled out loud at the book. Then I immediately had to pee. And speaking of his book, let’s get around to the review. 

Yes, he’s a friend of mine, and has given me unwavering support through the many trials and tribulations of this pursuit that I can’t yet call a writing career. He has the patience of a saint in a cryogenic freezer with all my demands and needing favors, and the exhausting way I’ve been dwelling on the same books for five freaking years. Forcing him to stay on planet Velva Leena, like an earthling hostage, because I keep re-writing and re-writing and re-writing the series with no signs of moving on to a different story. He’s also been an awesome support to Christa and Gina and the rest of the group. However, despite the raving positives about him, my review isn’t going to be 100% pure solid sugar. 

Forgive me, Jo, but the very beginning of the book was a little rough for me. It wasn’t horrible. It wasn’t bad in the least. It was beautifully written, in fact. Just a bit on the scholarly side. I felt like I was sitting in on a class lecture at some university. And there were so many quotes, oh my goodness, and so much mentioning of Shakespeare. There are quotes and Shakespeare name dropping scattered throughout the book, but I swear, the very beginning had the heaviest sprinkling of it, which—I’m sorry to admit—kind of got on my nerves. On a grander scale, I don’t think this is an actual fault about the book. I’m the only blasphemous Cretan in the writing group who never took a liking to quotes or Shakespeare, but that’s a fun little topic for another post. 

The part I thought was a little rough at least did not drag. Once he got into the story about a spiritual experience he had while vacationing in Glastonbury, I loved the book from then on. What an incredible, inspiring story that was. 

This book teaches about the Five Act Structure, which is something every author should know, and the other teachings are not like anything else I’d read in other books about writing and creativity. This is some intense, deep, and trippy stuff, but not in an airy-fairy, Lah Lah Land sort of way. More so in a way that really makes you want to think, and want to open your mind. I already had an open mind before reading this book. Then while reading, It doubled, tripled, quadrupled its vast openness. He also talked about forms of story telling that I didn’t know exist—And I read a little of everything! Aside from the story about what happened in Glastonbury, I loved the other life experiences and personal anecdotes weaved in with his well written wads of creativity knowledge and wisdom. Well, maybe not wads. This book isn’t too bulky. Maybe more like potent Jell-O shots of creativity knowledge and wisdom. SLAM! SWALLOW! Think… 

My only other regretfully honest negative is that I’m just not into Spencer. The essay on Spencer was the one and only part of the book that I skimmed through. 

So my review was solid sugar after all. Maybe solid sugar with some granules knocked loose. Despite my couple of minor criticisms, this book was exceptionally informative, genuinely original, written with life, beauty, and color, and a must-have for every author and aspiring author. I thoroughly enjoyed it. 

So what’s the verdict?… 

Five stars! BOOM!! It’s a firework! 

All you authors and aspiring authors out there, get a copy for yourself and enjoy drinking in those knowledge and wisdom Jell-O shots. Here is the link. 

Love you all! Post you soon! 

🛸Come And See… 🛸My Novel #3… 🛸W I P

Hi, readers! 

Apologies for my scatter-brainedness. I fully intended for this blog to feature more posts about my Hecctrossipy series—(Yes! It does exist!)—characters. Especially now that I had unpublished the first book to do some additional maintenance on it, before re-releasing it when the second book comes out. I had started a fic-fact story series for this blog as a replacement for putting appendices in my books, but I hadn’t written a single story about vervetts and grungols since back in May when I posted the five-part The Trolly Tracks Are Alive story. 

The whole point of running this blog in the first place was a means of getting out there on social media to build my author platform. And part of this platform building was intended to be having people get to know Artheena and the rest of the Hecctrossipy crew with the hopes of getting them into these alien folk, enough to someday earn book sales. I was taught, in writers’ workshops, that readers want to know the author too. So I threw true story posts in the mix. and the post writing inspirations kept coming. Then I wanted to write listicles. I wanted to write a coffee review series, a series about my synesthesia, a series about my drunken reasons why it’s best to stay sober, and other series ideas I never went through with. I wanted to write about nightmares, and true stories themed according to what month it was. Then I ended up starting a book review series too, and on top of that, there’s re-blogged posts from others, and—bobobobobeebeebeebee—this blog of mine lost its sense of direction and went all over the place. I just wrote wherever the inspiration took me, making it seem like this blog should be called something like, Bia’s Disorderly Life Blibbity-Bla & Her Randomly Twirled In Book Reviews. Seriously, how in the blue hell would anyone be expected to care that I have a YA Sci-Fi series, when I only write about something that has to do with this series, like, maybe two or three times a year? 

After blogging ADD-style for the past few years, I finally have a plan. 

From now on, posts will be put in this cycle. Not exactly on a day-of-the-week or week-of-the-month schedule, but in more of a predictable order. So readers would know what to expect, and so this blog would make more sense. The new post cycle will consist of… 

1. A post or mini series of posts that have something to do with the Hecctrossipy Series: a Fic-Facts and Flashbacks story, a character profile post, a book excerpt etc. 

2. This would be proceeded by a post or mini series that has something to do with real life: a funny memory, a paranormal experience, a listacle, something that went on recently that makes for a blog-worthy story, etc. 

3. Lastly, a Bia Bella Book-Hoarder book review. 

4. Not really fourth in the cycle, but the only thing that will be posted with no particular rhythm is re-blogs. They’ll come whenever the bloggers I re-blog come out with a new post. 

Now that I got a more organized plan, I’ll start this writing rhythm drumming with a post from across the galaxy. I’ve been working on HECCTROSSIPY book 3 The legend of the Land Lives Again. Here is an excerpt of my WIP. This is not chapter 1, but an excerpt from chapter 5. Sorry I’m starting off in a weird place, but excerpts from the chapters before chapter 5 might give away too many spoilers for books 1 and 2. I put a list of notes below the excerpt, in case certain details don’t project clearly enough in your mental movie. 

I should mention that, before the scene in this excerpt happened, Artheena had gotten abducted from her backyard by gravely ill grungols whose sickness had turned the purely herbivore people into blood-thirsty meat eaters, hungry for the flesh of young vervetts. During the abduction, Audry and Artheena’s friend, Karen, had a bout of sanity and locked Artheena in a fermentation box that’s used for making a nutritional supplement for senior aged grungols, as an attempt to keep her safe from the other insane grungols. Karen, who works at the local hospital, is the only one who knows how to unlock the box. However, after locking Artheena inside it, she’d unintentionally fallen asleep too long. The box trapped Artheena’s body heat from when she was panicking and putting up a struggle. The trapped heat intensified, like a preheating oven, and cooked Artheena alive. 

Also, there’s the mention of water bottle muggings in this scene. I know that sounds silly, but it’s a serious issue for grungols with an illness that makes them feel constantly tortured by unrelenting intense hunger and thirst.   

So here goes… 

***      

The moment Karen lifted the heavy hatch door of the morgtoast box, she and Audry were blasted by the heat and an intense smell of aluminum foil, sugar, and freshly cut grass—The smell of a cooked vervett. Both grungols burst into panicked tears. 

“I think we’re too late, Audry!” wept Karen. “We killed her! Oh, I’m so sorry! I’m so sorry!” 

“I’m so sorry, Artheena!” Audry sobbed. “Oh, curse of Jyoseppy!” 

Artheena laid at the back of the sweltering box, her body in the tightly balled up position vervetts often go in when they die in agony. She was on her shell with her head bent toward her chest and her limbs tightly folded around her head and body. Her glistening skin looked bright red and swollen. 

“We have to tell the guardians!” sobbed Audry, as they climbed into the box, shuttering and flinching at how hot the metal floor felt beneath their feet. “I know it was an accident, but her family should know what happened! Oh, Artheena, I’m so sorry!”  

They bent over and grabbed Artheena by the shell with their upper hands, dropping her into their lower hands as they hurriedly lifted her out of the box and placed her on the bearen ground.  Her metal shell felt like a dish that had been left in a fully heated oven, which was terrifying. The ambush, the slaughtering, and cleaning up the aftermath still seemed so surreal in the grungols’ minds, but there was no questioning their reality now.   Artheena had been cooked to death. Audry’s life-long vervett best friend was gone. Artheena was a sweet, kind hearted, fun and lively person who had so much talent, including her gifted abilities, and so much to contribute to her village. Now here she was, a lifeless body that smelled like it was still cooking. 

The grungols stared down at her, their tears instantly evaporating as they fell onto Artheena’s skin. Audry just wanted to end it all with a spear through the heart. This was more so her fault than Karen’s. She was the one who was foolish and careless enough to give in to Jyoseppy’s tempting her to try vervett meat, and then once she started the killing, it instantly caught on and didn’t stop. Artheena and that other girl wouldn’t have been abducted in the first place, if it wasn’t for her. 

“I’m going to the surface and turning myself in to the Guardians.” wept Karen. 

“This wasn’t your fault.” Audry protested. 

“I killed her, Audry! I killed her! I need a yellow collar around my neck right now!” 

“You didn’t kill her. You tried to save her,” Audry touched Artheena’s skin, gasping and pulling her hand away at how hot and tender it felt. “I killed her! I’m the one who started all this evil!” 

“What are you talking about?” Karen argued, her crying driving her into a coughing fit. 

“You know what happened at that dinner party at my house, on the night the three moons aligned.” Audry sniffled. “You were there. Remember?” Karen’s sickly coughing lead to another fit of sobs at the horrific memory. “If you go to the surface and tell the Guardians about Artheena, Karen, please tell them about what I’d done to Jo Joga of South Section 5,835, and how I’d turned Under-Village 3 into a bunch of murderers because of that sick, disgusting dinner party. I’ll wait here with…” Her voice choked before she could say her best friends name out loud.  

“Whose going to give her to the forest when we’re yellow-collared?” Karen asked between weepy coughs. 

“I don’t want to think about that right now!” Audry sobbed, collapsing beside Artheena’s lifeless body, and going into hysterics. Karen collapsed to the ground too, crying and coughing up rotten stomach fluid. 

Audry’s mind was a wash of many happy memories she and Artheena had shared. She couldn’t believe her best friend was gone so soon and so unexpectedly by a careless accident. Probably the worst accident to die from. She’d known people who had died from losing their footing on uneven forest ground and falling over the edge of a high drop-off, or who had gotten in the path of an on-coming hunting spear, but at least these accidental deaths were mercifully quick. Not even the most evil jyoseppy admirer in the world would’ve deserved to die the way Artheena did. Audry’s heart broke for Artheena’s family too. How were they to get past something so traumatic as getting the news that Artheena had died from being cooked to death by their neighborly grungols? 

The vervett uttered a weak moan. 

“Audry!” Karen exclaimed, sitting up and wiping the back of an upper hand around her slimy snoot. “Audry, she’s alive!” 

Artheena moaned again, and her legs twitched slightly. Both grungols jumped to their feet, embracing in a tight hug and praising Jumellica through tears of joyous relief. 

“Artheena! Artheena, wake up!” They repeated frantically, gently touching her and shaking her by her shell, which had cooled off a little. She was unresponsive. 

“I’ll go get some water,” said Karen, before sprinting away. 

“Sweet Jumellica,” Audry began, sitting beside her vervett friend. “Please let Artheena get through this, so I could get her out of this disgusting, evil place. I don’t want her to ever end up back down here again. Me and Mom and Dad, and all of those who had a bout of strength against Jyoseppy’s vervett killer influence, we all want her to be back home with her family. We want her to reunite with her sister, and make a full recovery before the wedding. We want her to go on and have a normal, happy life, and forget about this terrible virus that made Under-Village 3 go completely insane.” 

Artheena made a whimpering sound as her arms and legs twitched. 

“Artheena, can you hear me?” said Audry, touching the vervett’s burning hot arm. She whimpered again. “Artheena, it’s Audry…” She hesitated on what to say next, knowing that Artheena hated her now. She dreaded the thought of her vervett friend coming to and refusing any help, and then doing something careless, like trying to escape the under-village by running for the nearest trolly tunnel. 

While on their way through the West Section, Audry and Karen had heard the sickly coughs of grungols lurking about inside and behind empty buildings. They themselves were scared, fearing that those grungols might be waiting around for some vervett meat or extra water bottles to steal, and might ambush them at any moment. They didn’t have another vervett with them, but Karen’s fake fur still had Artheena’s scent on it, which would trigger the grungols’ insanity if they caught a whiff of it. There had been water bottle muggings since the virus took over. Some grungols, especially the elderly, would cooperatively hand over their well water to prevent a fight. Other times, the muggings turned violent. They were all mad from the unyielding hunger and thirst. The ambush that happened after the two vervetts’ abduction brought on the hellish truth of how ruthlessly Audry’s own kind would turn on one another, desperate for their symptoms to be relieved, no matter how temporary. Nowhere in the under-village was safe. 

In case Artheena was able to hear her, Audry didn’t want to tell her where she was and what had happened to her. Instead, Audry focussed on the positive experiences in their nine years of friendship. She told Artheena stories about how the two of them and Mell May used to play Lamb Stalker and Moon Code in the back yard at night when they were little. And those few fun times when she and some grungol friends took Artheena out hiking through the forest in the middle of the night. All the while, Artheena twitched and moaned and whimpered as though she was trying hard to wake up. 

Karen came hurrying back, lugging a stack of water barrels in her right arms. A small cave moss fabric bag swung wildly in her lower left hand. 

“Karen! Oh, thank Jumellica.” Audry quickly got to her feet and helped her friend unstack the water and put it on the ground. “You’re back a lot sooner than I expected.” 

“I went to the hospital instead of going all the way to the water store, and then trying to find a place that sold medical supplies that hadn’t been trashed or looted.” They were right in the hospital’s back yard, but safely hidden behind a brick wall that divided the section of medicinal fermentation devices from the rest of the yard.  Since Karen was a doctor, the other hospital staff would’ve had no problem sparing her some medical supplies and water.. 

“What’s in the bag?” Audry asked. 

Karen knelt beside Artheena and put the bag on the ground, taking each item out. “I got a barrel opener, of course, a cup for getting her to drink once she wakes up, a jar of Coxin Dulsinnamite, and scissors for getting off her nightshirt so we could get the oil on her whole body.” 

“Coxin Dulsinnamite?” Audry looked uncertain. “Are you sure that stuff works on vervetts?” 

“It works just as good as lisp leaf gel,” said Karen. “Maybe better. Vervetts just don’t use it, because they hate how it smells.” 

Karen and Audry began piercing open barrels of water and pouring them over Artheena. Her skin eventually turned a shade or two less red. The water made her twitch a lot more, which was a sure sign that she was coming back. 

When the fourth barrel was poured over her, her limbs and neck unfolded and slowly spread out, like she was a blooming flower. Audry and Karen rejoiced to the good entity. Artheena’s moaning and whimpering became a mumble. Another good sign. 

Karen carefully cut away Artheena’s stained and sweat soaked nightshirt. Her tender, heat damaged skin would’ve made the simple act of untying the night shirt and pulling it off excruciatingly painful. Once she was stripped, all eight grungol hands got to work thoroughly rubbing the Coxin Dulsinnamite all over her skin, from the soles of her feet to her tender, reddened scalp. The extremely greasy, clearish yellow-brown condensed root oil stank like a cross between Earth’s cooked shrimp and dirty socks, but it was a highly effective healer of venomous insect bites, allergy rashes, welts, infected cuts, and other injuries or damages to the skin, especially severe burns. Karen gently examined Artheena’s eyes before lotioning her eyelids. They looked swollen at first, which frightened them. Would the heat have done permanent damage to the vervett’s eyesight? To the grungols’ great relief, the swelling wasn’t swelling, but a build-up of thick, milky mucus that Artheena’s eyes had defensively excreted to help keep them cool. When Karen poured water into them, the mucus washed away down the sides of the vervett’s face in gelatinous globs, revealing Artheena’s beautiful, pearly, purple-ringed blue eyes that looked perfectly in tact. It was a miracle. The grungols praised Jumellica, but were careful to not cheer to loud.  

They talked to her as they continued lotioning her skin, telling her all the good things they hoped would happen in her future, once she was back in her village. Artheena’s eyes fluttered open for a split moment, and she opened her mouth as though about to speak. 

*** 

QUICK NOTES 

*Grungol: A furry, lop-eared, nocturnal species of Velva Leenan people. Two legs. Four arms. Flat torso. Hands have Four flat fingers and feet have four flat toes. Dog-like head and face, except for herbivore teeth. 

*Vervett: A diurnal species of Velva Leenan people that are anatomically human-like. Silver or gold turtle-like shell on their backs, which spans from just above their butts to partway up the back of their necks. Vitamins, minerals, and other elements that go unused during vervetts’ everyday digestion form deposits on their shells that look like colorful gemstones. These people have a distinctive natural smell, like a mixture of foil, sugar, and cut grass. 

*Guardian: Velva Leena’s hierarchy race of vervetts. 

Yellow collar: An outstandingly yellow metal collar that is worn by those who committed a serious crime and sentenced to serving time as the Guardians’ slave. 

*Under-village: A village deep below the ground where grungols reside. 

*Lamb Stalker: A game similar to Hide and Seek, except it’s preferably played outdoors where there’s a lot of bushes and trees to hide behind or beneath. Two to four players seek out the lamb, while the player who is the lamb has to sneakingly change hiding places without being seen or heard, except for when the lamb makes a bleating noise to give the seekers a hint where they might be hiding. The seeker who finds the lamb first gets to be the lamb next. 

*Moon Code: A fortune telling game where the three moons are asked questions, and the moons’ frequent shifting and tilting are interpreted to mean certain answers. 

*Jumellica: A faceless, genderless entity in charge of the positive side of Velva Leena’s creation. Similar to Earth’s God. 

*Jyoseppy: A faceless, genderless entity in charge of the negative side of Velva Leena’s creation. Similar to Earth’s Satan. 

*** 

Thanks for reading. I hope you found it enjoyable, in a disturbing sort of way. This is from my rough draft, so this scene will most likely be re-edited and tweaked fifty times over, before book 3 is officially out on Amazon. 

Love you all! Post you soon!   

☮️☮️I apologize if my choice of words in the original title to this post had offended anyone. The content of this post has nothing at all to do with actual abortion.☮️☮️☮️

One thing about being a writer is, dam, could it turn you into a neurotic basketcase. 

Hi, y’all. Neurotic basketcase here. 

There was a time, so innocent and pure—okay, and maybe a little on the delusions of grander side—when I used to believe everything I wrote was destined for greatness. I used to think that writing a novel meant to just kick back and relax, and transcribe the vividly detailed mental movie within my brain into text form. Then, BAH-BAM, it’s a book. I had completed the first incarnation of HECCTROSSIPY 1, in autumn of 2017, and like a child, I expected the magic to happen. 

Eventually, the shrill, blaring alarm of the ugly-truth clock radio woke me up to reality. Between 2017 and 2020, that one book had gone through a few reincarnations, re-editings, and a couple rejections from traditional publishers. Then in October of 2020, it was published and available on Amazon at last. 

My publisher, The Writing Collective, sent me my first book sale royalties the following December, which was $11 and change. My book got three reviews with a total of a 4.3 star rating. Then in April of 2021, I had done my first give-away promo and earned seven downloads. Nothing wrong with starting off small, but certain issues made the neuroticisms creep in like the silent formation of tumor growths. 

My first review of the three was a 3 star. The person was someone I’d never met who received an ARC. Her big complaint was all my alien planet fact info dumping. I began my book with an introduction to the planet, intending for it to be like a travel guide to get readers acquainted with the world before they get into the alien teen drama. A few months later, one of my writing group members had gotten the book, and then constructively and honestly admitted that she DNFed it. She couldn’t get past the introduction info dump. Time kept passing by since Jo from The Writing Collective had sent out ARCs. He sent them to more than a dozen people, but that first reviewer was the only one who wrote a review. My sister, Christa, also sent an ARC to a former member of our group, but she never posted a review either. It got me thinking, Oh no, did all those people not even want to bother reading it, because of that info dumpy introduction? Six months after my first royalty payment, it was time for my second one. My royalties dropped down to $6 and change. 

So as Beevis and Butthead would do, if something sucks, change it. I had all the info dumpy planet fact stuff that nobody liked removed from the beginning of the book and shoved in the back as part of the Appendix. In June of 2021, the original version of my book was removed from Amazon, and a second edition was released. The following December, my third royalty payment came, and it dropped down to $5 and change. 

As the second book in my series was coming closer to its big launch, my proof reading sister, Gina, good old Jo, and myself talked about re-releasing the first book at the same time the second book gets released. Before book 1’s re-release, Gina wanted to give it another quick proof read, and I thought that I only needed to make a few minor tweaks. Then June of this year came and went, and I made ZERO royalties. 

The book business is not for those who can’t take rejection. Not for pessimistic thinkers or bad sports, and I especially would advise people with self esteem problems to not jump into pursuing a writing career. perfect your self esteem while you perfect your writing craft., before putting your finished product out on the market. Pursuing a writing career can hurt and make you feel like a complete failure whose writing will never amount to anything beyond a few friends and family members buying copies of your books. You got to be thick skinned and optimistic and keep going. Never let your doubts and disappointments and insecurities get to you, which of course, is a lot easier said than done. It’s hard to not feel insecure as a writer when my royalties dropped down to nothing. I couldn’t help wondering, OH MY GOD! Do people think my writing sucks THAT BADLY??? 

I took a crazy risk and aborted my own baby. HECCTROSSIPY  book 1  The Legend of the Land has been removed from Amazon. I had Jo unpublished it, but not because I’m giving up on it. It’ll come back, reincarnated as book 2’s fraternal twin. Aside from a new cover and some minor tweaking, I had planned to give the new and improved third edition a brand spanking new prologue. I even posted excerpts of the new prologue on this blog. (Thanks to all who’d read them! I love you like chocolate mousse!) My insecurity tumor convinced me that maybe moving the intro to the back of the book didn’t eliminate enough of what bores readers. Maybe my original prologue was boring to readers too and was a culprit to my deceased book sales. So I darkened the prologue and got some pretty positive reactions. Not surprisingly, last time I checked, the excerpt with the most dark and disturbing details got the most likes. Still, I was not sure about this prologue. It was juicier, but my insecurity tumor made me wonder if it was still too long and info dumpy for readers’ liking. 

Through the past five years of learning how to write a novel and make it readable too, it’s been drilled into my mind that readers want instant action or something gripping to happen right from the start. And that today’s readers don’t have the patience or the attention span for slow beginnings that start with things like an info dumpy back story, or an author’s descriptiveness with setting up the scene. However, my dear, sweet prologue was a darling that I didn’t want to murder, because it’s a crucial part of the whole series storyline, and there’s some valuable little bread crumbs and hidden Easter eggs embedded in it. So I sent the prologue as a whole to Jo for him to be the better judge of it, and I told Christa about it and asked for her opinion.  

Sure enough, they told me things I dreaded to hear. Jo said that my rewrite was TWO THOUSAND WORDS LONGER than the original version, and Christa advised me to whittle it way down. As a whole, it was something over 9,000 words. I think around 9,610 words. Christa said that a prologue should be no longer than 2,500 words. I was like, yikes. My prologue was as long as it was, because it went over things that happened within a span of fifteen years. Reducing it to 2,500 words wouldn’t be whittling it down. It would be dumbing it down. I know that I need to keep working on trying not to let my writing get too overly descriptive and info dumpy, and full of too many details that may not be important to the plot, or to readers, but I have limits on how much I’m willing to reduce and simplify my story. Then a whole new idea was conceived in my brain. 

I went ahead and murdered my darling prologue, but now it’s precious soul will reincarnate into a book 0.5! A prequel novella on Mell May’s story, which I’ll release at the same time as book 3. In prologue form, the story was all like, “This happened to Mell May when she was a baby. Then this and that happened when she was four.” When it gets reborn into a novella, I’ll have more wiggle room to do more showing than telling, because I won’t have to condense it so much. I could make Dox and Sudra and Maxlink and Sapone have speaking parts, and get deeper inside Moca’s mentally disturbed head, and have lots of fun bringing the story more to life. HECCTROSSIPY 3 won’t be out until God-knows-when, but I had already written it back in 2017. It used to be the butt end of the first incarnation of book 1. So I already know that the shit hits the fan for sweet little Mell May, and the memory of why her first adopted parents disappeared finally comes back to her. I’ll shorten the flashback in book 3, and save the full, clear detailed version of it for book 0.5. I think this will be better for the third book anyway. I hadn’t looked at my draft for it in a few years, but if I could recall, her flashback was written kind of clunkily anyway, because it comes to her during a breakfast table conversation that leads to a big fight. As for the now un-prologued book 1, I did a little of what my 3-star reviewer thought I should’ve done from the start, taking out some of the frontal info dump and weaving it into the actual story. 

Now I look forward to the future for book 1 and for the new baby book 0.5, but not in a child-like, magical thinking sort of way, of course. So to all you other authors out there who are struggling to make your books take off, and you feel like you’re going nowhere, keep doing what you do and be proud of it. The book business can be a real flame wielding, death lazar spitting shit beast, but your will to carry on with writing and publishing your books is the All-mighty Mega Battle Toilet. So PUSH THAT TOILET HANDLE DOWN, MY FRIENDS! FFFLLLUUUSSSHHH

Love you all! Post you soon! 

Come write with me in the Writers Mastermind!

👾My Writing Experiment Mutated!!👾

Hey, bloggers and blog readers! How is your weekend so far? Hey, other writers! How’s your writing struggles so far? Let me tell you about mine. I wonder how many of you other writers have brains that do unruly, crazy shit like this. 

In a previous post, I talked about my failed attempt at a blog series called Velva-pedia, which featured facts about the fictional planet in my sci fi drama book series. (Well, not quite a series yet. Right now there’s still only one book available. Book 2 is ready to undergo the last stage of preparation before publication, but my editor and proof reader are swamped with other projects at the moment.) Anyway, after I decided to no longer include an Appendices in my books after book 1, I thought it was a cool idea to blog about one fact or one fact category at a time to get readers on WordPress acquainted with the uniquely complex but pre-industrial world of Velva Leena. A world where indoor light fixtures and swimming pools are living organisms, about a third of the person population has some form of a psychic ability, and the people have a hive mentality, unlike us humans who are hardwired to be tribal. (Please bare with me, those who’d already read that post where I talked about this little marketing mishap learning experience. I know I’m being repetitious at the moment, but there’s an update to this story.) Anyhow, I hoped this blog series would attract interest towards my first book. Two posts in, I realized that the posts barely attracted interest themselves. So of course, they weren’t going to help improve book sales. It was time to try a new way to win you WordPress readers over, as a sci fi author. So I came up with the idea of taking those flat facts and including them in short story chronicles. 

Now here’s the update. 

The plan was to write each story short enough to be one blog post. So I started the first story, which involved factual details about Continent 15 grungols’ under-village trolley system, where the trolley tracks are a living thing. As a mental movie in my head, it played out as a short enough story. It was about a happy memory shared between the two vervetts, Artheena and Mell May, and their grungol friend, Audry, which took place a little over a year before the events of HECCTROSSIPY book 1 The Legend of the Land, and it involved a trolley ride to and from one of Audry’s relative’s birthnight party. 

Like the old saying goes, “A picture says a thousand words.” If it’s multiple pictures within a mental movie, sheesh! When I started transcribing my inner cinema into text, the words kept on multiplying like invasive little critters. One page turned into two, and then ten pages, and I’m still not finished with the trolley story. By the time I get to the ending, it’ll be an infinity too long, according to blog post standards. 

Dammit, why can’t I just keep my writing light, easy, and snappy? Why can’t I just get strait to the point, and begin the story with Artheena, Mell May, and Audry waiting for a trolley? Nooooooooo, that’s not how my brain wants to operate. The instant I start writing, all these added vivid details about the mental movie reveal themselves. Then I had to write about things like, why Mell May and Artheena were so eager to see their nocturnal BFF that night, and the fact that they had to sneak out of the house because it was a school night. And why Audry was off of school and able to attend this party. I couldn’t let the process of catching a trolley be like catching one on Earth and leave the details to the readers’ imagination. Instead, I ended up writing about what it’s like to be at an underground trolley stop on this different planet. What the place looks like and smells like, the simplified but very alien ticket system, how the two vervett girls were greeted by the jolly grungol trolley driver, and the list of vivid details goes on. So my little blog series project idea mutated, big time

I wish I had the talent for writing fast paced stories because that’s what sells, but I couldn’t write fast paced if the fate of my soul depended on it. So it’s time to change my blog series idea, yet again. 

I’m still going to write pre-hecctrossipy stories based on facts from book 1’s Appendix and Appendices removed from other books that are still in the making, but the stories will be divided into parts. At the beginning of a second part and any more parts that follow, I’ll give a brief, non vividly detailed recap on what happened previously. I don’t know how to link a present post with past ones yet. Sorry. The parts of these stories might not always be posted consecutively. I might take breaks from the story and write posts about other stuff in between. So you’ll need that recap to refresh your memory. 

I struggled to come up with a title for this series. At first, it was going to be called, Story-pedia. Then I thought of just simply calling it The Velva Leenan Chronicles, or Living with the Aliens—And the more I thought, the more lame the titles got. It took since around quarter till 4:00 this morning, but I think I have a title. It may be pretty awful too, but in a goofy, play-on-words sort of way. Because I was inspired to write these stories when I decided to discontinue my books’ appendices, I now dub the series, Once Upon an Appendix Removal. Now that’s a title that screams, “Huh???… What the…?” 

So, without further ado, coming up is my new-and-improved blog series debut… 

Come write with me in the Writers Mastermind!

Ten Things Bloggers Do That I 🍫Love Or 💩Hate

Happy Good Friday and happy Easter, blog followers and random readers! 

This post has nothing to do with either Christian holiday, but what the hell, I went and published it anyway. Welcome to another one of my fun little posts where I either praise or bash other people’s works of creativity. Last time I’d done an I love/I hate  post, it was about other authors’ writing. Now I’m going to talk about other bloggers’ blogging. Here are ten things that bloggers do that I love or hate. 

If you feel that I’m bashing your way of blogging, never mind what my opinions are. Just keep doing what you do and be proud of it. Any opinion of mine is just one among countless other opinions expressed by—How many millions of WordPress readers? 

So here goes… 

*** 

1. I HATE WHEN BLOGGERS MAKE ME HAVE TO TAP TO CONTINUE READING MORE THAN ONCE 

The “Read More” link is annoying enough. It’s extra annoying, for example, when I have to first tap to continue reading a reblogged post. Then when it takes me to the original post, the original post’s blogger makes me have to tap to read more of their article. There were a few times when I’d tap to continue reading on one of these original posts, and the article would only go on for so many hundreds of words until I’d have to tap to continue reading again. Ridiculous! Then I’m like, “Can’t I just freaking read your post already?! I DO have an attention span! Sheesh!” 

I especially hate when a blogger shares an article or a recipe or something, that isn’t from WordPress, and tapping to continue reading doesn’t take me directly to what they were sharing, but takes me instead to one of those messy websites where the thing I want to read gets lost among a clutter of social media links, advertisements, and links to related publications. I’ve had it where I’d find what I wanted to continue to read, tap on it, and then I’d get the same crap where I’d have to tap to continue reading every so many hundreds of words. I wish bloggers who like to share stuff from website disaster areas, could just cut and paste them onto their blog and give the website and the author the credit, or something. 

I heard something about how making readers have to click or tap to continue reading is good for a blogger’s or website owner’s gain of web traffic. Whatever. It’s fucking annoying! 

2. I LOVE BLOG SERIES’ 

When bloggers create a series, it makes their posts more fun to read. If I’m really into one of these series, it gives me that old, child-like enthusiasm whenever the next installment comes into my WordPress notifications. Like how I used to feel as a kid, when a new episode of one of my favorite cartoons or sitcoms was about to come on. 

3. I HATE HAVING TO TAP TO CONTINUE READING ALL TOGETHER 

Why does that bother me so much? Because I use voiceover. With reblogs, of course, having to tap to continue is expected. It’s when the link comes up when I’m not expecting it that makes it a big irritant. Then when it takes me to the full post, I have to blindly swipe around the screen until I find where the hell I’d left off. Maybe this isn’t as annoying to sighted people? I imagine those with functioning eyes could tap to continue reading, and then skim over the page within seconds, to find where they’d left off. 

When I first got into WordPress, I read people’s posts by email only. The “Read More” link seemed to be way more prevalent in emailed posts than posts on the WordPress reader. Before learning how to use the Reader, I had unfollowed blogs because of their use of the “Read More” link. They’d put that thing in the most annoying places. For example, like, three-quarters of their article would be in the email. Then I’d have to tap “Read More’ to open the full post and swipe/finger grope through web crap plus the first three-quarters of the post that I’d already read, just to read some pittly number of remaining words. One of the “Read More” loving bloggers I used to get emails from liked to post mostly short poems. After a while, I thought—Why am I bothering with going through this ridiculous extra tapping and swiping, just to read ten more words of a stupid poem? Then if it was on a day when my internet was slow, UGH

Thankfully, I converted to using the WordPress Reader. Sure, you have to tap open the excerpt to get the full post, but you get the full post for the most part. There is no 100% escape from having to tap to continue reading, which made me lose my trust in guest bloggers. One of the blogs I follow often features guest posts. Most of the time, the guests will have their full article available, but then there were those few times where I got really into a guest post and fifteen pages in—“Read More. One-hundred-and-thirty-nine more words.” AAAHHH!! 

So whenever that blogger, or any other blog, features a guest post, I do the anal retentive thing and swipe down and skim through the WHOLE article first to see whether or not if it ends where I have to tap to continue reading. If it does, I don’t bother reading the article, and just tap to continue reading first, and get right to the full post. Instead of reading the beginning 8,000 words, and then lose my dam place looking for the remaining 53. 

4. I LOVE WHEN BLOGGERS INCLUDE LINKS TO PREVIOUS SERIES POSTS 

Love this feature! I wish I knew how to do it, especially for when I start posting my Story-pedia posts. I don’t go on WordPress as often as I intend to, so I miss out on a lot. When missing out on posts in a series, it’s great to be able to go back and back and back until I find the part of the series where I left off. Then I could get fully caught up. This linking is the best when it comes to series posts that are chapter installments of a story. Then it’s like having a whole free book! 

5. I HATE OVERLY THOROUGH BOOK REVIEWS 

Most book bloggers write book reviews that are nicely informative, but entertaining to read. But some book review posts, ayayay. I hate when bloggers kick it up a nerd notch and pretty much dissect the book, writing several reviews within their review. Reviewing the book’s plot, the protagonist, the antagonist, the flow of the plot, the theme of the story, how well the author executed it, and so on. Then it becomes more like a droning Harvard student book report about the latest Young Adult demon-elf shape-shifter and cowboy-vampire romance. 

There was this book blog I followed at one time where books were reviewed by reviewers from New York and LA. Ooo, goodness! Not only were most of the book reviews painfully thorough, the reviewers had that douche bag, lofty writing style. If anyone who hated books read one of that blog’s posts, they would REALLY hate books. 

6. I LOVE CASUALLY WRITTEN BOOK REVIEWS 

That’s one of my guilty pleasure addictions. I love when book bloggers express their plain and simple opinions on what they liked or didn’t like about a book. They could be pretty funny sometimes, when they point out details about a book that bugged them. Like if the characters have awful names, or when parts of a story are terribly unrealistic and why. 

These types of posts are fun to read, and they make me kick it up a nerd notch. After reading them, I love to look up the books on GoodReads, and read its reviews to see how many people agree or disagree with the book bloggers. 

7. I HATE WHEN BLOGGERS GET OVERLY PRODUCTIVE WITH POSTING 

Posting once a day is enough, in my opinion. When a blog I follow posts more than once a day, I get sick of them sometimes, and I’m like, oh… it’s you again, when another one of their posts is in my notifications, after they’d already posted two or three times that day. Sometimes I’ll even swipe past them to see who else in my notifications wrote new stuff to read. However, posting two, three, four, or five times a day is not the thing I actually hate, and I’ll still read those multi-posters’ stuff when I start to miss them, in a weird, attatched-to-a-total-stranger sort of way. It’s those bloggers that post two, three, four, five times an hour that get on my last nerve. I’ve seen some blogs where a new post is crapped out every few minutes! 

Why, oh why, oh why do bloggers do this?! Machine gun posting, I call it. If it’s a professional blog machine gun posting, it’s just asinine. If some regular person blogger does it, it looks like a desperate demand for attention. 

This type of blogger can very quickly become an irritant, whether you get their posts by email, or through the WordPress reader. They’ll over-clutter your Inbox in minutes, and leave little to no room in your Reader for other people’s posts. If you follow one of them, they’ll become THE ONLY blog you’ll be following. 

There was this one time I followed a magazine’s blog via email, and every time I opened my Inbox—pop-pop-pop-pop-pop-pop-pop-pop-post. I was like, what the hell is this? A daily magazine, or a daily tome? Who has time to read all this stuff?! Someone with no sleep cycle, no life, and state of the art cyborg eyes?! Stop! STOP! My inbox is bursting at the seams! I think my email alert tone is about to lose its voice! 

Needless to say, I unfollowed that blog a couple days later. 

So to all you machine gun posters—Please stop. Slow down. Chill. Take a few deep breaths, and keep away from clicking that Publish button for more than a few minutes. It’s good to always have new material to post, but you don’t have to force-feed it to people. 

8. I LOVE WHEN BLOGGERS POST LESS OFTEN 

Less is more. When those I follow post as little as once or twice a week, or once or twice a month, I’m like, “Oh, goodie! It’s so-and-so.” Then I’ll read their post before anyone else’s. Like the cheesy old saying goes, absence makes the heart grow fonder. 

9. I HATE WHEN BLOG POSTS ABRUPTLY CUT OFF IN AN ODD PLACE THAT IS OBVIOUSLY NOT THE ENDING 

Thankfully, I’ve only seen this rarely. Still, what the…? For example, I’ve seen blogs where the post just ends in the middle of directions to a recipe, or in the middle of a list of some sort. I’ve seen articles that just end in a place that’s obviously not the conclusion. Like that blogger’s Publish button got possessed by a poltergeist and published their blog when they weren’t finished typing it. 

One of the bloggers I follow has a second blog that tries to rock the incomplete look. At first, I thought it was a glitch that caused this, and maybe he wasn’t aware of it. So I let him know. How about, he told me that he knew his posts looked incomplete. It was because of the theme he chose for that blog. Dude! Why? Why would you intentionally put out posts that cut off at weird places? Could there be some kind of visual appeal to his theme that I was missing out on? Why would ANYBODY choose such a blog theme??? Esthetically beautiful or not, too me, it just looks bad. It looks like the blog posts had been pirated! 

10. I LOVE WHEN BLOGGERS NEVER MAKE ME HAVE TO TAP TO CONTINUE READING 

I love when bloggers never make me have to tap to continue reading. 

*** 

And that concludes my list of favorite things and faux pas’ about other’s blogs. Like I said before, if you feel that I’m bashing your way of blogging, never mind what my opinions are. Just keep doing what you do and be proud of it. Some of those who I follow are culprits of one or two of the negatives I listed, but I follow them and read their stuff anyway. 

Happy Easter weekend, everyone! And if you don’t celebrate Easter, happy family outing weekend, or catching-up-on-house-work weekend, or binge-watching-Netflicks weekend, or whatever the hell you’ve got planned! Remember, chocolate bunnies and marshmallow Peeps aren’t good for your teeth, or your heart, or your blood sugar, but at least they’re good for your taste buds. 

Love you all! Post you soon! 

Come write with me in the Writers Mastermind!

🍳🥚 Bass-Ackwards Marketing! Oh, no! 🍳🥚

A few months ago, I decided to not include an appendix to anymore of the books in my HECCTROSSIPY series and my future DARK ADMIRATION series, and post facts about planet Velva Leena on this here blog. I called these posts Velva-pedia. My plan was to share facts about that world to try to get people interested in what life is like there, with the hope that they would click on the link to my book to get the full Velva Leena travel experience. 

I’ve only published two Velva-pedia posts, but those two were enough to make me realize that my little marketing idea was a stink bomb. Readers didn’t take to those posts like they do with my true story posts. I talked to my writing group about this, and come to find out, I had it all backwards. 

If your series takes place in a heavily detailed world—enough to where you could write whole bestiaries, travel guides, and pages and pages of all different other types of facts—you need to build enough of a fanfare first. It’s hardcore fans who appreciate that type of extra info about your world. Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter have hardcore fans who love to know those additional personal details about the characters in their favorite worlds, and further facts about the native plants and animals, and historical chronology of the land, village, or planet. Casual readers, and especially those who are not familiar with your book’s great big fantastical world, most likely won’t be drawn in by strait facts about it. It’s no different than the infamous info dump. 

AAAH! When will I ever learn! 

I feel like I’m the only odd-ball who enjoys info dumps. They’re not all that pulse pounding and page turning, but for me, they often make the story feel more real. That’s why I made the stupid mistake of beginning my first novel with an info dump, the first time it was published. I thought it was a good idea to get readers familiar with the planet before they jump into the alien drama. Wrong! You don’t draw people in by overloading them with strait facts. They’re just not fun and entertaining. The book has been re-released since then, with the info dump moved to the back with the rest of the Appendices fact dumpage. Then here I go again with the Velva-pedia posts, attempting to lure readers in with info. (Seriously, barely-selling author.)

I realized too that those posts were not that fun and engaging. They didn’t have the drama and the flare of comedy that my true story posts have. So this leads to a new idea. 

I’m going to incorporate each fact into a short story involving the characters from my book series. Such as Artheena, Mell May, Audry, and Leeandro Paul. These stories won’t be in any of the books, but extra snippets of the characters’ personal lives. Some may take place in the past, during the characters’ childhoods, or further back when their parents were kids themselves. I’m hoping this will add more warmth and personality to whatever details about the planet are featured in each story, and it would be more relaxing and entertaining to read. Rather than a nerdily written educational article.      If the unearthly details aren’t the big attention getters, I hope that getting to know the characters more personally will be. Short stories over strait facts also means there’ll be flares of comedy and drama. Just writing about this new idea is getting my brain twirling with the extra stories my alien pals would like to share with you. 

Maybe I’m sounding a tad desperate, but that’s book marketing for you. It’s all about doing what you can to get your book noticed among the chaotic tsunamis of books that get released every second. 

And while we’re on the subject of books, I was looking back on my published blog posts and found one where I asked you all for feedback for what I had came up with so far for book 2’s blurb. I can’t believe that post was from all the way back in June!! Nearly a year ago! Oh, my freaking God! And book 2 STILL hasn’t come out yet. I swear, the second book truly does exist and it’s on its way. After my author/editor/super-human friend, Jo, got done editing the book by my birthday, I went over the edits. Then the holidays came, so I didn’t want to bother anyone about beta reading until January. I gave my beta readers until March to get the job done, because it’s such a gargantuan novel. This month, I’ve been fixing things that beta readers found confusing or unnecessary. I’ve been tweaking this and snipping off that, and ironing and stitching any overlooked holes in the story I could find. I promised myself that the draft WILL be ready to send to Jo to make a proof copy, BY APRIL. During the time my Mom and sister proof read it, I’ll have the final draft of the blurb done, and Jo will have the awesome cover ready. Then, fingers crossed, HECCTROSSIPY  book 2  The Will of the Dark Creator will be available on Amazon this summer. 

The writing business isn’t glamorous. Nor is it an instant ticket to fame and financial security, like it’s so annoyingly often portrayed on TV and even in books themselves. However, it’s worth every hard marketing lesson, every depressingly meager royalty payment, the frustration, the discouragement, the begrudging envy towards authors who seem to have the magical ability to shoot best-sellers out of their asses, the brain strain, the widening secretary butt, and the on-going frustration with myself over never being completely satisfied with my work and always wanting to re-edit it. It’s all worth it, for the love of the characters and their stories. 

More stories coming your way! Ones that take place on a planet across our galaxy, or on our own beautiful blue beloved, pollution stankin’ Earth! 

Love you all! Post you soon! 

Come write with me in the Writers Mastermind!

🧠The Brain Drain–A writer’s first venture into The Artist’s Way, and how I almost became a quitter.

My writing group, Writers’ Mastermind, Has started the creativity enhancement program designed by author Julia Cameron, called The Artist’s Way. The program is really a twelve week course, but do to most group members’ busy schedules, our wonderful admin decided we would stretch the program out over the course of the next twelve months. Great idea. I’d taken a peak at all the end-of-chapter assignments, and there’s quite a lot of them. More than the modern day person would want to cram into their schedule each week. 

I got a digital copy of the 25th anniversary edition of The Artist’s Way. The book is a little dated, because she mentions things like record stores and books on tape. And does Five & Dime even still exist? However, being dated doesn’t make the helpful words of positive wisdom and tips on how to improve your creativity any less relevant. I read the Forward, the Introduction, and the first chapter, and they were all very inspiring. 

One of the main topics she talked about in the first chapter was getting in the habit of doing a little thing called morning pages. You find an empty notebook for this exercise, and treat it kind of like a diary by not letting anyone read it. Don’t even let yourself read it until later on in the course when reading back on what you’d written is part of an assignment. Cameron says to wake up a half hour earlier than when you usually start your day, and write three pages of whatever, in longhand. It doesn’t matter what it is. As long as your hand can keep up with transcribing all that your brain craps out, write it down. It’s not exactly a daily journal, but it could be if daily journaling thoughts are what pop in your head before anything else. 

Don’t put conscientious thought into what you write either. If it comes out like a bunch of A D D sounding disconnected thoughts, if it’s a boring list of the day’s mundane tasks, if it’s a bunch of winy, repetitious rambling, don’t pay any mind. Just keep going. What comes out on paper comes out on paper. Even if you go on and on about how you don’t know what to write, and you hate mornings, and this assignment is stupid. This exercise is for boosting your creative brain power. Not for practicing writing skills. So as you write your morning pages, DO NOT read back at what you’d written, and start fixing punctuation and spelling mistakes and stuff. 

Morning pages are to help clear your head at the beginning of your day, so your mind could make room for new ideas and creative inspirations. Cameron also calls it, “the brain drain”. 

The book mentioned people she knew who she had gotten into the morning pages habit. Not only had they learned to clear their heads of excessive useless thoughts for better creative focus, their minds became more easily cleansed of worries, anxieties, rumination’s, and other mental blockages of concentration, allowing their creativity to flow more quickly and easily. New ideas unexpectedly came out onto the morning pages. The author herself even experienced this. One morning while doing her morning pages, a story idea just popped out on its own. Then her morning pages blossomed into the rough draft of a manuscript. 

I admit, I came close to skipping out on this part of the course and just doing the assignments featured at the end of each chapter. It just wasn’t working out at first. 

Waking up a half hour earlier was the first problem. I mean, who wants to do that? Good thing I get up early anyway, but alarm clocks make me anxious. Scheduling things in time slots make me anxious. Scheduling to-dos within big, hours’ long windows of time is okay, but only during the day. 

One thing that sucks about being middle aged is both falling asleep and staying asleep takes patience. So nightly sleep needs a bigger, more relaxing time window. I go to bed at 10:00, and the iphone alarm clock was originally set for 6:30. Eight-and-a-half hours was plenty of time to gather up a full night’s rest after waiting about an hour to fall asleep at the beginning of the night, and then struggling to fall back asleep after each time I got up to pee. Even though I would always wake up a half hour or an hour before the alarm went off, setting it ahead to 6:00 shortened the time window and made me anxious. If I got up to pee later than 4:30, it was impossible to relax and fall back asleep, just knowing that the alarm was going to go off a half hour earlier. Not looking at the clock and not knowing exactly how much time is left makes me even more anxious. The unsettling anticipation of being interrupted at any moment kicks in. Then came the anxious, rambling thoughts, which kept me even more wide awake. Maybe I should just get up now and start the morning pages. No, if I get up now, that would only leave me with a few hours of sleep, and what if it catches up with me later on when I’m trying to work on book 3. I hate when I’m trying to write and can’t stop yawning. And I end up taking a nap like an old lady, which leads to only getting a few hundred words done, and not getting enough writing done in a day feels like shit. I hope I don’t take a year-and-a-half to write this book, like with book 2. Sleep, stupid body, sleep dammet. Seriously?! It’s 5:35? I’ve been laying here for an hour already? Why, God, why! 

Then there was the worry that adding another to-do in my daily schedule might take too much time away from my precious book 3. Every day, there’s reading, writing, and social media to do. Now I also have health shit to keep up with. Then top it all off by adding time for morning pages? In the past, I’d learned the hard way that the less additional things there are to tackle during the day, the better my mind could concentrate on the next adventure on Planet Velva Leena. So I thought doing the morning pages might be more of a hinderance than being anything helpful. 

Last of all, I can’t write longhand. There’s barely much vision left in the old, disfigured, ocular orb. I thought of typing the morning pages into a Pages doc on my Mac Book, but was iffy about that idea. Even though this isn’t really a journal, it’s still a lot like one. I didn’t trust myself with writing entries. In the past, every time I tried starting some kind of daily journal on the computer, I’d have too much fun writing the entries. Then hours would unintentionally fly by, and it wouldn’t be long before journal writing took up too much of the day, leaving not enough time for real writing. 

I thought of writing the morning pages in braille. I have three junky old braillers to write with and tons of unused braille paper. However, the clickety-clacking of their keys is so loud, the sound carries through the whole house. I didn’t want to give my parents such a rude awakening at 6:00 in the morning. 

So I decided to dictate the morning pages into my phone’s Notes app. Anyone who uses voiceover and doesn’t have a Bluetooth keyboard would know that typing three pages on a touch screen manually would be mental. You have to one-finger double-tap each and every character and space. What I liked about the Notes app was that any type of journaling could be easy to organize, making each daily entry a new note which the app already adds the date for you. 

Doing the morning pages this way worked out great for two mornings. 

Dictating is quicker and easier than typing, but I’m a writer, not a talker. Telling the phone my thoughts felt weird and uncomfortable. The writing process was also slowed down because voiceover reads back every single thing you dictate. Then there was the issue with the way sound carries through the house. It’s not just my loud-ass braillers. The house’s interior walls might as well be hologram projections that only appear to look solid. I hated the thought of my parents hearing me talking to my phone in gibberish, first thing in the morning. Kind of embarrassing. 

My last resort was to just give the computer a chance. Wow, did it work so much better than I’d expected. Since this is not a regular journal, and the key is to write without putting conscientious thought into what you’re going to say and how you want to say it and caring about whether it makes sense, the thoughts came spilling out effortlessly. 

Yeah, the change from dictating to typing temporarily gave it a new feel, which threw my concentration off at first. I began writing about how I don’t know what to write. Then the first few disconnected thoughts came. Once I released them into the text, I was able to let the mind relax, and release all thoughts like relieving a full bladder. I’m an extremely slow typer when conscientiously thinking about what I’m writing, but take that restriction away, and my hands went crazy dancing all over the keyboard, like a couple of epileptic spiders.  

I set two morning alarms, limiting myself to one hour of brain draining. For the past few days since switching this exercise to the computer, I’ve been typing more than the scheduled hour, but only by twenty or thirty minutes. This quazi-journaling didn’t turn out to be a time management garbage disposal like I’d thought it would. Amazingly, each session of morning pages really does induce a strange but calming feeling of mental relief. It’s like the brain really needs to get all that excess thought cloggage out. Like a cerebral detox. It’s pretty awesome. I would recommend this mental exercise for anyone and everyone. Not just those who are, or who aspire to be creative. 

So far, adding morning pages into the daily routine hasn’t put a damper on my book 3 WIP. Maybe it’s been helping with my writing. 

The way morning pages calms my mind helps calm my mood. I no longer get so anxious if I wake up less than two hours before the alarm goes off. Sometimes I can fall back asleep, but if I can’t, knowing that my morning starts with a mental exercise that helps put my anxiety-prone mind at rest puts the insomniac side of my mind at rest too. If sleep doesn’t return before 5:30, I just get up and start the thought dumping and not worry about whether or not if I’ll get tired later on. When this happened, so far, I hadn’t needed a nap yet. It seems that helping calm the mind early in the day helps prevent mental and physical tiredness at an inconvenient time. Or maybe this one effect is more on the psychosomatic side, and I feel more awake and alert all day, because this winter cold front has been making my room get freezing-ass-cold. 

This part of the morning routine just started a few days ago. So no unexpected ideas or inspirations came popping out yet, but it’ll be interesting to see what happens after doing the daily brain drain for another month. 

…And that concludes my first inner adventure into the magical world of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way

Love you all! Post you soon!                 

Come write with me in the Writers Mastermind!

🔥🔥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! 

Come write with me in the Writers Mastermind!

🎈🎈🌮Aliens In The Nude

Am I the only odd-ball who doesn’t feel like writing a holiday related post??? 

I have a really annoying habit of thinking way, way ahead of things. The second book in my YA Sci fi & Fantasy series isn’t going to be out for another few months, and I just started working on the third book. Yet I’m already mentally planning how the storylines in all three Hecctrossipy books will be combined together and adapted into a movie. Yeah, I know, ridiculous. 

I’ve already made mental notes of what parts of the story to keep, and what parts would be either tweaked or edited out. (Stop wracking your brains, honey, you’re a million miles away from getting a movie deal. Out-sourced employees make more money than your book sales.) I envision the movie to include lots of breath taking tropical scenery, the scenic beauty of the grungols’ underground civilization, and scenes that show a lot of the characters’ rustic and pre-industrial, but very alien way of village and under-village life. Only the most visually stimulating, action packed, and emotionally intense parts of the story will be allowed in this movie, and there’ll be some macabre scenes in the mix too. 

There’s only one problem with making this dream movie come true. (Aside from the fact that there’s no movie deal.) Velva Leenans aren’t modest about their bodies. Being that there was never any strict religions on this planet, they have no concept of shame or indecency being associated with nudity. 

Earthling movie goers won’t be offended by seeing naked grungols. This nocturnal race, who look like two legged, four armed puppy people, are covered in thick, wiry fur that hides their no-no spots. Their fur is dirt-proof, which allows them to actively burrow to and from their under-village at night without it being any hindrance to their hygiene. It also protects them from surface elements, like wind and wet winter humidity. So grungols never saw a point in waring clothes. Clothes would also get in the way and be an annoyance, while they’re traveling through the ground. 

Naked vervetts, on the other hand, are a different story. Aside from the turtle-like, jeweled half shell on their backs, their bodies are anatomically similar to humans. They even have the same types of skin color as us. On Continent 15, the tropical paradise where the story takes place, the vervett men and women have some sexy tight bods. Even the old people. 

Their sexy tight bods are a result of the Velva Leenan pre-industrial way of life. No conveniences like cars, or even horse drawn wagons exist. If someone needs to turn in a library book, or pick up some groceries, or if they’d rather go out to eat instead of cooking, they travel to those places on foot. Many of which would be a torturously exerting journey, according to us humans who have inferior strength and stamina. Many vervetts raise their own domestic crops and animals, and hunt and fish for their own meat. All of their everyday tasks in their homes or places of work are either done manually, or by machinery that is mostly powered by muscle. 

Vervetts also eat much healthier than us. Things like processed foods and chemical additives don’t exist. All foods are home grown or fresh from the wilderness, and all recipes are made from scratch. Even their junk food is wholesome and nutritious. 

Vervetts aren’t nudists all the way. They do ware clothes for the most part, but clothes are more of a personal preference than a necessity. These people had evolved from warm blooded but turtle-like aquatic animals that existed millions of Velva Leenan years ago. These ancient ancestors’ shells covered up the whole back of their torsos—from midway up the back of the neck to below the butt—and the front of their torsos were protected by leathery  armor plating. Eons after evolving into a race of people, their instinctive preference to keep their chests, abdomens, and bottoms fully covered still echoes within their subconscious psyche. 

All the books in this series have clean language, and non descriptive love scenes that are at a PG13 level. But they also have scenes that include naked vervetts, especially book 2. But 99% of these nude scenes have nothing to do with anything sexual. Still, I could picture Earthling movie goers—mainly parents and Extreme Christians—getting all bent out of shape, claiming that the movie version of the Hecctrossipy series is way too inappropriate for its targeted young audience. Knowing how people are, and how anti-female America and most of the world’s other cultures are, the naked vervett women would most likely be the bigger public offense. 

Not only do vervett women have a much lengthier pregnancy than women on our planet, its common for them to have twins. So their hips further accentuate their busts and their slimmer-than-human waists. To Continent Fifteeners, this is how normal, healthy vervett women are supposed to look. To human eyes, their figures might make them look too sexy and pornographic for viewers under 18. Young adolescent boys might be inclined to see the Hecctrossipy movie, just so they could see some naked, half-shelled alien babes, which is something that would ruffle the feathers of many moms. My apologies in advance. The vervett women featured in the story are just trying to get through their trials and tribulations, with no deliberate intentions toward giving Horney perv male Earthlings a woodro. 

Here are some examples of vervett nudity that might make humans get their panties in a wad. (No sexual pun intended.) 

In one of the chapters in the up-coming book 2, my main character, Artheena, and her dad came into the kitchen and took off all their wet clothes, and then stood naked together in front of the open oven. 

They were searching for a missing child, and got caught in a deadly summer storm which drenched them in freezing cold rain. They came in through the back door, which opened to the kitchen, and the oven was right there. Artheena and her dad had just barely escaped death, and needed to get warmed up as quickly as possible. Still, humans might see this as creepy and icky, and feel that father and daughter should’ve went to their separate bedrooms and changed into dry clothes first, before warming up in front of the oven. 

While Artheena and dad were thawing out, mom assisted a young woman named Olzenbeth who was the missing child’s grown niece, and who had joined dad and Artheena on the search. While trudging the storm, Olzenbeth had gotten wrapped up in clingy vines that ooze sticky sap. After mom cut and unraveled all the vines, she removed Olzenbeth’s sap soaked clothes. I could see people finding this kitchen scene disturbing, because all this stripping went on while Artheena’s five-year-old brother was in the room. Even more cringe-worthy to some people, As Olzenbeth was getting stripped, little Willberry was watching and laughing. But he wasn’t laughing because he could see her hiney. Everyone in the room, including Olzenbeth, thought it was funny how, when mom pealed off Olzenbeth’s sappy clothes, it gave her a shorts and shirt tattoo. 

Nothing sick and perverted was going on here. This is just how things are in a world where there’s no moral hang-ups about nudity. 

The kitchen scene is a highly emotional one. The village is going through a crisis. One vervett had already mysteriously disappeared, and his remains were found the previous night, in a place that made no sense. Then Olzenbeth’s kid uncle mysteriously disappeared before the storm started picking up, and she and the others couldn’t find him. They eventually had no better choice but to get back in the house, or die. Velva Leenan summer storms are like Earth’s hurricanes with roid-rage. There was nothing more they could do about the missing child, but have faith in their good entity that he was able to call on a grungol to bring him down to the under-village where he would be out of harmful weather’s way. So nobody in that kitchen was giving Artheena’s, dad’s, and Olzenbeth’s nakedness a second thought. Still, I could picture Hollywood directors either editing the kitchen scene out completely, or altering it to meet humans’ moral standards. Artheena and dad would either be fully clothed, or have blankets wrapped around them, and mom would take Olzenbeth into the bathroom to get her out of the clinging vines and sap soaked clothes. 

In another part of my up-coming book 2, Mell May was supposed to have been staying at another family’s house for a while. Then Artheena’s grungol friend, Audry, found Mell May wandering around in the forest, in the middle of the night, with no memory of who she is. The Mell May crisis drama carries on for another few chapters. Why was she living in the forest all by herself, and for how long? What happened that was so traumatic, it gave her amnesia? Did somebody try to kill her, and dumped her deep in the forest? Should they take her to the hospital? Will Artheena’s gifted abilities help them find answers to what happened? Artheena brought Mell May home, and tried to reunite her with her family, which she sadly had no memory of. Through this whole drama, Mell May was in the nude. She had been living among wild animals for some unknown amount of days. Animals don’t ware clothes, so in her erased mind, she didn’t know any different. Audry, being a grungol, of course had no spare clothes for Mell May to borrow, when she found her. A few chapters after Mell May was found, Artheena finally gave her a comfortable nightshirt to put on, before tucking her into bed. 

Later on, Artheena showed Mell May a picture of their old celebrity crush, Leeandro Paul, with the hope that it would help make some of her memory come back. 

In the picture, Leeandro Paul was giving the picturizer a seductive smile, while posing nude on a beach. Artheena had to bribe another fan of his for that picture. That fan, to humans’ possible disapproval, was a twelve-year-old girl. “A child possessing pornography?!” Earthlings might think. However, in a world with no moral hang-ups about nudity, nobody ever thought of inventing the bathing suit. Every vervett goes about naked when their swimming and sun bathing on one of Continent 15’s sunny coastal beaches. To Leeandro Paul’s young female fans, and to those fans’ parents, a picture like the one Artheena had would be no different than a picture of him posing in swimming trunks. Maybe in the movie version, the picture would show him in a pose with his legs crossed, so no one would see his extra terrestrial boinker. 

When the first three Hecctrossipy books are adapted into a movie, I hope to keep the naked vervett scenes. Not to sexually promote my characters, or encourage interplanetary perversion. But to keep the movie version as authentically alien as the books. If us humans really did get acquainted with another race of intelligent beings from another planet, it’s very possible that there would be things about these beings’ lifestyle, beliefs, and culture that would make us uncomfortable. Heck, how many times throughout the history of the human race has one culture been uncomfortable or offended by another culture’s way of life? Probably no less than a few million times. 

Vervetts are physically and temper-mentally humanish, but not 100%. I would hate to humanize them even more, by making them shy and self conscious about the healthy bodies their good entity gave them. 

Maybe Hollywood directors would agree to keep the scenes with naked vervetts, but just show the men from the waist up, and the women, no lower than the tippy top of their cleavage crack. Heaven forbid if anyone sees their space nipples. 

Whatever the case, I won’t be giving the movie rights to Disney. 

Love you all! Post you soon! 

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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. 

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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! 

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