You Write WHAT?

Come and join me HERE today and find out some of the reactions I’ve encountered when I’ve told someone what I write!

See you there!


I’m blogging over at Four Strong Women all week. Today’s rant is about snobbery. Come and share your views with me HERE!


Manners and Courtesy

Today I’m having a bit of a rant HERE. Please feel free to drop by and let me know what gets your goat!


Let me be Grumpy in Peace!

As I’ve aged, I’ve found I’m being ruder to people on the telephone. You know the people I mean—telemarketers. I now understand why some old people are beyond grouchy. They’ve had enough of people asking them for something, bugging them when they just want a bit of peace, and generally being in demand. I mean, those old folks have had years and years of it.

Eff knows what I’m going to be like by the time I’m their age. I’m starting to get bad now.

Take ten minutes ago as an example. I’m waiting on an important call, and the phone rings. Whey hey, excellent. I can get this call out of the way and return to a book cover that’s been giving me fits all morning.

Except it wasn’t the call I was expecting. It was some guy from my internet provider trying to get me to “switch” to their company. After he gave his spiel he then said, “Do you know what the best thing is about this, Mrs Ellis?”

I said, “NO, but I’m sure you’re going to tell me…”

“Yes, Mrs Ellis. The best thing is—”

“The best thing is,” I said, wanting the ability to stretch my hand down the phone line and strangle the mofo, “I’m already with your company with the deal you’re offering.”

“Oh, are you, Mrs Ellis?”

“I am, sir, and I’m really busy so I need to go.”

“Right, Mrs Ellis, let me just tell you—”

“I’m busy.”

“Let me just say—“

“Let me just say—again—I’m busy.”

“Is there a time I can call you back when you’re less busy?”

“Yes, there is.”

“And when would that be?”

“When I’m asleep. I’m busy all the time, so take your chances.”

“Right on, Mrs Ellis. We can discuss—”

“The fact that I’m already with your company, with the deal you’re still trying to tell me about even though I’ve told you once I’m with your bloody company and have that very deal.”

“Yes, Mrs Ellis. That’s right!”

“Oh my God. Right. I’m going to be rude. Please bugger off. Thank you. Byeeeeeeeeeeee!”

Yes, I really said that.

Now, let me grow into a grumpy old bastard in peace, will ya?

Weekly News

In town yesterday, it was very clear the British school summer holiday had begun. The main street was full of those small humans called children. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love kids, have five of my own, just don’t much like the stages where they’re ‘into’ everything and ‘getting in the way’. Poor little sods—I realise that’s the way we develop, but when they’re all racing around outside the shops, screeching and screaming, their mothers getting more irate by the minute, I bless the fact that mine are well past that stage. I’ve done all that, been there and got several T-shirts in several different ‘stages’, and wouldn’t want to go through it again. In short, I’ve turned into a grumpy old cow.

In the freezer store, a woman, her husband, and seven kids that I counted, decided to do their shopping in a straight line ACROSS every aisle. So, they blocked the way and had a few frustrated shoppers waiting for them to move, me included. Brits are a polite bunch—most of them anyway—and no one asked them to budge over for ages, until one woman, her child crying in her pushchair because, let’s face it, she was bored shitless, pushed ahead of us all and loudly exclaimed, “Excuse me!”

One person from that family moved, the gap created barely enough for anyone to get through, let alone a shopping trolley/cart. In the end, after several people tsked and barged through, another family member moved out of the way, with, I might add, a look of disgust as though they had every right to hog the damn aisle.

Yeah, I know it’s hardly something to whinge about when there are far more important things going on in the world, but shit, I’ve just whinged anyway.

The visit to town made me want to scream, say stuff like, “Shitfuckwankerandbugger!” and return home as quickly as possible. Except it was hot. Hell, yeah. Let’s moan about the weather now. When it’s cold, that’s wrong, and when it’s hot, that’s wrong too. But it was muggy, the air thick, and by the time I got home I felt the need for a bath.

While I’m at it, I’ll have another moan. Workmen are due at my house again today. Not only does it mean I had to get up early and tidy up (snarl), it means going most of the day (again—they were here before replacing old fires) without electricity while they change the old fuse boxes for new, fix a smoke alarm, seal my bathroom light fixtures because apparently mine aren’t condensation proof, and put a ‘shaver light’ on the bathroom wall.

I don’t do ‘others’ in my house. I feel violated and ‘nosed at’. Uncomfortable in my own space. I used to be the kind of person who had every effer come round, but now? Sod that for a laugh. Like I said, I’m turning into a grumpy old cow.

Moo on ya!

We finished season five of 24—which, in my opinion, is the best so far. You know, the one with the nerve gas that had me thinking of myself as a terrorist as I sprayed those pesky darn flies last week with bug killer—and started season six. Six isn’t so exciting. The vice president is getting in my nellies—hey, seems everything is in this post!—as he did when he starred in Deadwood. The plot has the same pattern—one thing going on until the halfway point, then it switches. And just when I thought we’d got rid of the dreaded Audrey, who also got on my nellies in previous seasons, she comes back. Fucknghellsbellsshebugsme. But, there is hope. I’m loving Maurice, the Brit bald head. His dry sense of humour is cool. Hey, can you believe I actually LIKED something here? Shit. Maybe I’m not such a grumpy cow after all…

Fight, the novel I co-authored with Jaime Samms, is out very soon. I should have a release date coming because the final pdf is good to go. I can’t wait for this one to go live and see how readers take it. Much excitement!

I haven’t written much the past few days. The kids being off for summer has messed with my mojo. I’m used to being alone. I suspect I’ll just get used to them being home then they’ll go back, but that first day of solitude will be heaven. I love my kids, obviously, but all of them in the house at once is…different. Tests my patience.

So, my current novel is only about 2K longer. I last wrote on Saturday, doing my part in a revision on another co-author. The book has been subbed, and we wait, biting our nails, hoping the book is what the publisher wants. I’ve toyed with writing a Quickie but didn’t. Basically just pissed about the past few days online and in the house. I do need to write at some point, because when I don’t I get quiet, lost in my head, which is good sometimes but at others it really isn’t. If you’re a deep thinker, you’ll know what I mean.

Anyway, I’d best be off before the workmen arrive and my Internet goes off along with the electric. Good job my Nat’s coming for the day, or I’d be bored shitless. Last time the workmen were here I sat in the garden all day and wrote in my notebook. Got a big chunk down too. And got cramp in my hand.

Oh my Lord! I’ve done nothing but moan today. Honestly, I need a slap! Feel free to have a moan in comments. It’ll make me feel less alone in my moany state. LOL. Byeee!




Explaining Myself, Being Used & a Little Angst

Rant ahead. A big fat dollop of WHINGE.

There are a couple of things I want to get off my rather small chest—God, I’ve always wished I had bigger boobs—and then it’s off to the writing cave for me.

Firstly, I’d like to explain a bit about myself and why I no longer chat on groups or via email. I gave myself a goal on New Year’s Eve, and come hell or high water I’m going to achieve it. I told myself to give a big push to my writing career this year, and then if it didn’t work out or get any better, I’d bugger off and do something else with my life. One year to write, to concentrate solely on what I wanted for a change. I rarely speak to anyone these days. Recently I joined a group of like-minded authors but saw that those sparkly emails were veering me off course, so I’ve decided to step away and go back to doing what I’m meant to be doing—writing.

I do get emails and I do respond eventually, though unfortunately they arrive at a time when I’m very busy and I can only manage the barest of replies. I know if I write full-blown responses I would spend all day nattering to my pals, so I say what I have to say then go back into my cave. I’ve heard a few things this year, things said about me, things that aren’t me at all. I could have retaliated, spoken up about it, but if people choose to believe those things then they didn’t know me in the first place. I’ve turned snobby since getting with EC, apparently, but that isn’t the case. I started this cocoon-myself gig a little while before I got into EC; it’s just unfortunate it looks the way it does. I’m selfish in not giving more of myself, explaining what I’m doing and why. Making my decisions without consulting others. Not giving people the ins and outs of the cat’s arsehole. Righty ho. Funny, but I thought this was my life. Christ, who knew I had to consult with others first before doing anything?

I can’t allow these types of things to affect me because I know I’m still the same person, I know why I’m doing what I’m doing, and I explained to close friends what was going to happen. Most have been understanding, leaving me be to write and get through this year, and I really appreciate their support in that. Just because you’re friends, doesn’t mean you have to stay in touch 24/7. I have a pal I haven’t seen for years. She emails maybe once a year, and we pick up right where we left off, no hard feelings. Life gets in the way, life sends us in different directions, but it doesn’t mean we don’t think about one another during the wordless times.

What I’m trying to say is that although some people might find my silence odd, mean, rude, whatever, there is a driving force inside me to do something with my life other than waking up, getting the kids to school, moaning about my existence and pottering about the house until a family member arrives home. I have ambition, a hard-driving, cruel ambition at the moment, but it doesn’t make me a bad person, a different person to who I was, it’s just another side of me coming out, something I’ve always been afraid to embrace due to fear of failure or being told I’ll never make much of myself. If people are offended by the ‘new’ me, that’s a shame, but the driving force is my kids. Without letting too much of my personal life out, let’s just say I want to give them special memories. Yes, at the moment Mum sits at the computer, has done for several years and isn’t giving any special memories at all, and like my middle son said the other weekend: I can’t believe you just sit there all day and write. Doesn’t it get boring?

Well, I’m sitting here all day writing to make a better life for us. You don’t get something for nothing, and if hard work is what it takes, if going silent is what it takes, then I’m going to do it. Family comes first, and if that isn’t understood or liked, that’s just a little tough. No one else is living our life, no one else understands what a difference I could make, because they are not in our shoes. Instead of griping about things like I have in the past, I’m doing something about it, and if it doesn’t work, then I know I tried.

The second thing bugging me is being taken the piss out of in most aspects of my life. People just expect me to do things because it’s me, I’ve always done it, always been there. Good old Em, she’ll do it. I’m a kind-hearted person—those who don’t know me well, and those reading this post and seeing the angst could possibly disagree, but shit, even the nicest people have to let off steam every so often. I help out a lot of people. I don’t tell everyone, I don’t shout about what I do because I do these things behind the scenes. If I work for someone I work my arse off. If I tell someone I’ll crit their book, I crit it. If I say I’ll make someone a cover or website, I make it. If I leave a company I work my notice. If I sign a contract stating that if I give and work a month’s notice I’ll be paid, I expect to be paid. It’s just a damn shame the employer has disregarded that contract now I’m of no use to her. That’s how I feel. I’m of no use, have been used, and d’you know what? I’m sick to death of it. When I edited numerous books and created over 75 book covers, I expect to be paid my royalties. From now on, no more Mrs Nice Girl in that regard. No more allowing myself to have people walk all over me. If I don’t want to do something, I won’t. I feel suffocated by responsibilities that aren’t mine. People wanting a piece of me when I have my own shit to deal with. Pushed to do something because it’s expected or no one else will do it. If I offer to do something, though, that’s entirely different, but if I’m asked outright to do this or that and I can’t or just plain don’t want to, I won’t now. I’ve said this before, but this time I mean it. I’m done.

The bottom line is, this is my life. I am doing what I have to in order to survive. If people don’t understand that, that’s just tough. I will not deviate from the course I set myself, and if it means losing friends and acquaintances, then so be it. It will just serve to show me that I don’t have the kind of friendship with some folks where you can go months without talking then pick it up again later. If I’ve explained already what I’m doing and why, I don’t feel the need to keep explaining.

My kids are my priority.

With all that said, I’ll keep blogging when I have time—if any bugger wants to read my posts now after this pissy rant—and I will pop onto Facebook when I have time, but for the most part I’m silent. Off to try my hand at giving my family the life they deserve.

Yer Book’s Crap!

I get frustrated by the affiliate book sites where they have ‘poor’ ratings, but not for the reason you might think. It doesn’t upset me when people rate my books as poor—not in the sense that I think everyone hates me and I should give up writing—because there’s no feedback or reason to help me fix whatever made the book ‘poor’ in future works. I’m a level-headed woman. I realise not everyone is going to like my books, but to know why would be a major bonus. That someone took the time to rate them at all is brilliant—not everyone who buys them does that, do they?—so if there was a place they could write their thoughts, I think that would help me and readers. If one person’s ‘bug’ is another’s, then it saves a reader wasting money on buying something with their ‘bug’ in it. I’m all for people having an enjoyable read and I don’t like the thought of money being wasted when they could have bought something more to their satisfaction.

What to do? I doubt the affiliate sites will change their structure.

I’m also the kind of person who doesn’t get offended by constructive criticism. Other eyes on your work are a must because all writers know they miss things in their own work, being too close to it, having read it too many times. It would be cool if more people expressed their feelings in places like Goodreads, though recently I saw someone did and an author took exception. I can understand being prickly about a negative review, but isn’t it better to know how a reader feels? Providing they’re not being nasty for the sake of it, that is. That happens sometimes, and it’s obvious when it does what the reviewer is doing. Snark is the new way to go apparently, and that’s fine if that’s what floats the reviewer’s boat and brings readers to their sites, but not every author is able to shrug off spite and move on. Some feel the need to retaliate, to defend themselves, and then it turns into something ugly. I prefer to remain silent on any bad reviews I have received. I take the information in, have a look at the book in question to see whether I can improve in the future, and move on with that new knowledge firmly in place.

You know, we must be a crazy bunch. We spend time writing our babies and unleash them on the world in the hopes they will be well-received. We risk ridicule, hate, spite, bad sales, people saying things about us in a personal manner that shouldn’t even come into it, yet still we write and begin the process again with each new book.

Gluttons for punishment or just doing what we love?

How do you feel about negative feedback? How does it affect you? Do you use it for the good and to your advantage or do you get swallowed up by self-doubt?

I remember my first bad review years ago. I felt sorry for the reader having wasted an hour or so of her time reading my crappy book—well, from her review, it sounded like she would dearly love to call it a bunch of crap—but she did list everything that bugged her, and I took her information and made sure I didn’t repeat the same ‘mistakes’ again. After browsing the affiliate sites this morning, I see certain books of mine are considered ‘poor’, so I know there are still things I need to fix, but without written feedback I have no idea what they are.


Sick to Death!

We all cope with life in the best way we know how with the circumstances we’ve been given. There are horrendous things occurring for others, yet, because we are not in that situation, we can’t comprehend what those others are going through. What is a big problem to one person may not be to another. If you take personalities into consideration too, one person may be able to cope with things better than another in one respect, but in another, if the situations are reversed, those people may crumble or, conversely, find strength that wasn’t present before.

I’m the kind of person that copes and copes and copes, until one day, a small event will happen, and I crumble. Can’t take anymore. Everything else that has happened, where I’ve coped and kept a level head, then comes crashing into my mind, making that one small thing that tipped me over the edge insignificant. There are pros and cons to holding it all inside, and one of the cons is the aforementioned, where meltdown occurs and you no longer want to grip the baton or jump over the hurdles a second longer.

With parenthood, there isn’t really the option of saying, “D’you know what? This parenting lark is actually too hard for me, and I don’t want to run that race anymore.” You have to keep going, find new ways to cope with whatever stressful situation the fruit of your loins has thrown at you. So, what happens when, whatever you do, that piece of fruit keeps pushing the boundaries?

Obviously, parenthood doesn’t come with a manual, and if it did, and I’d read it, I’d have seriously wondered why mankind still reproduces. We’re all aware that our wonderful children morph into some alien in their teens and do things we wouldn’t have thought they would. We’ve done it ourselves, thought things about the household rules and wished we lived somewhere else, railed that life isn’t fair, blah-blah-blah, so we have some insight into our children’s minds when we get to this point in theirs. However, we’re on the other side of the coin now, classed as the enemy, and we can’t possibly understand how they feel. Oh, we do understand, but we also understand that as responsible parents, some decisions made or rules laid down are for the good of everyone in the home.

My situation revolves around the Xbox. Marvellous invention as inventions go, but I wonder if Microsoft are aware of the hassles their product causes for many households. If they do, I doubt they even care. And it isn’t just Xboxes. We can lump Play Station and all the others in with it too. With the latest technology of interactive games, headsets, making friends with people across the world, these games console creators have unleashed a demon into the lives of every parent whose child owns one of the damn things.

Let’s list the chaos they can cause:

Children staying up late into the night, hooked not only on the game they’re playing, but speaking with friends in different time zones. When your child is meant to be sleeping, someone else’s child has just woken up and logged on…

Noise levels. With the headsets firmly glued to young ears, they don’t realise how loud they’re speaking. When other family members are trying valiantly to sleep, others are keeping them awake with one-sided conversations that, I’m sure, my next door neighbour doesn’t want to be kept awake hearing either.

Language. Your sweet-mouthed child turns into a foul-mouthed brat, swearing, picking up strange words that don’t even exist, and they use them then in everyday life, which is highly annoying at best and makes them look total dickheads at worst.

Character change. Your child becomes more alien than they would have if they didn’t own an interactive games console. They’re tired from staying up late. Their school work suffers. The rest of the family suffers from bad moods, fatigue, and generally not feeling their usual self.

All because of one child doing what THEY want, regardless of other people’s feelings.

Well, I have three boys, each with an Xbox. The two oldest bought their own with birthday/Christmas money. I’m well aware that, if I said they could no longer play their games until God-knows-when o’clock, they’d tell me I can’t take their Xboxes away because I didn’t buy them. That, in itself, is rude behaviour, but we won’t even go there. What I CAN do is remove the TV they need to play it on. What I CAN do is remove internet access.

After a year, yes, a year of asking them nicely to be quiet at night, we’d had enough. I made the decision to remove internet access to their consoles on work/school nights and kept it on all of Friday and Saturday nights. My three boys share a bedroom. It isn’t fair for the oldest two to stay awake on their consoles when the youngest lad, who is 12, needs his sleep. I also didn’t feel the middle lad, who is 14, needed to be staying up all night either. His behaviour deteriorated at school. He was being rude, acting up etc. What the nearly eighteen year old does is largely his own business, but NOT when it affects the other children or us. I most certainly do NOT feel it is right that the noise level in their room at night affects my youngest, who is 7, and whose room is beside theirs. I don’t feel my husband should be kept awake all night when he has to get up for work at 5:30. I don’t feel my neighbour, whose bedroom is beside the boys’, should be kept awake either.

With that said, the two oldest boys somehow feel that my turning off the internet access is cruel. They don’t seem to ‘get’ that their game-playing affects so many people. All they care about is playing it. Typical for their age, I know, but when our parental decisions are questioned periodically, when the children had a year of being asked not to be loud, I rather thought even the dumbest of people wouldn’t have to ask, yet again, why they can’t have internet access. It’s simple: YOU’RE TOO DAMN NOISY AND SELFISH TO HAVE THE INTERNET ACCESS BACK! If kids can’t respect others in the house by doing as they’re asked, then parents won’t respect their wishes of wanting the access back. If they then go downstairs and switch the router back on when they THINK everyone is asleep, then really, do they think that is going to make their parents let them have it back, or will the parents go the other way and prevent the kids using the access AT ALL?

Now, most people know what I’m going to say next. Yes, their wireless connection has now been blocked overnight, regardless of whether the router is switched on or off. I will no longer tolerate my parental rules being flouted, or have children continually telling me how things are going to be. And, much as I hate to say this, I am the parent, they are the children, and those are the rules. If they don’t like those rules, tough. That is how it is going to be, and if they’d done as we’d asked over a year ago and just been QUIET and RESPECTFUL, none of this would have happened.

I’m usually soft-hearted. Too soft-hearted, I know that. My children don’t have to do any chores. They basically have a life where they can do what they want without having to help out around the home or do anything at all except behave in a nice manner. It seems that is too difficult. It seems I’m asking too much. Years ago, I never thought I would be a parent that said: If you don’t like the rules—stupidly lax as they are— then you’ll have to find somewhere to live where you DO like them. Now, though, this is slowly becoming something I am more and more likely to say once the kids hit eighteen. I’m sick to death of pandering, walking on egg shells, having children be outright rude and grunting responses, or, even uglier, ignoring us. I’m well aware of going through the phase of not wanting to speak to your parents, but outright rudeness isn’t on. Plus, when this behaviour is going on amid the other things in life that your children aren’t privy to, when you’re trying to keep everything running smoothly when inside you want to cry or scream or whatever, it really does piss me off. But of course, I forgot. It doesn’t matter what is going on. Nothing matters except what the child wants. News for you, kids… On your bloody bike if you think that’s how it is. I have far more important issues to deal with than your whinging.

I read somewhere that the reason children go through their teens and act as they do is so it’s easier for a parent to let them go when they decide to leave home. I can see the logic in that.

I’m tired of repeating myself. Tired of explaining the same thing time and again.

I’ve now been pushed, and pushing me isn’t cool. Okay, I’m soft-hearted, but you’d better be ready when I blow, because when I do, it isn’t pretty.

The bottom line is, and I hate to say this because isn’t this what most parents say? My house. My rules. Like it or lump it, makes no odds to me. But the rules remain, and they will get tighter if this behaviour continues. As in, the TVs will be the next thing to go.

Any other parents out there going through this crap?



Hair Disasters

Bad hair days are one thing, but hair disasters are another. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve dyed my hair only for it to turn out yellow, green, or pink—the results of trying to change my hair from brown to blonde. Or the time I chose dark brown only for it to go black, which I quite liked but it didn’t suit my skin tone.

Ummm... Bless you, lad.

Debra Staples of SynergEbooks once had lovely long hair down to her waist and visited the hairdressers to have it permed. Off she went, sat in the chair, and had 17 inches cut off before the perm. The hairdresser used a strong perm lotion, and she ended up looking like THIS!

GASP! I think I’d have cried, asked for it to be fixed, and, failing that, asked for my money back. Poor Debra!

This poor guy! What a perm! What a disaster!

My sister, Wendy, had a perm that rendered her a microphone head. I’ve done that myself too. She’s also dyed it and it turned out canary yellow. Me too! My cousin, Sarah, had her hair go pink! My sis and I always eff about with our hair, and mine is currently recovering from going from brown to blonde then back to brown, and the split ends (some have been cut out) are still there. Wax is my friend at this time, as is Frizz-Ease, though take note that when using both products, using hair straighteners tends to make unsightly white bits on your hair like you have dandruff, or worse, nits! Oh, the pain of home hairdressing!

EC author Sherri L King once had blue hair and decided it needed to go. She put black over the top and ended up with ‘a muddy blue-black that was very gross’. I shouldn’t laugh, but I found her description really funny, and as I said on Facebook, that kind of colour is just like pond sludge. Needless to say, a hairdresser fixed her mistake.

Which brings me to the whole home-hairdressing thing. Why do we do it? Because it’s too damn expensive to have your hair coloured at a salon, that’s why! I enquired at one of my haircuts, how much I would be charged to go from brown to blonde. £90. I bartered him down to £60, but I still didn’t go back and have it done. £60 against £2.89 for a home dye? I chose the cheaper option, only it didn’t turn out that cheap. I ended up buying £35 worth of different blondes to get the colour I wanted, really pleased with it, only to wake the next day with orange-yellow-tinged hair. I stuck with it for a few days, then bought a red-based dye to get rid of it, and now I’m back to square one. Brunette.

One day I’ll maybe get my hair done professionally, but for now I’ll stick to el cheapo brunette and battle the split ends. The worst hair disaster imaginable for me would be to have it go so wrong I had no alternative but to have it shaved off. Oh, my Lord! I’d seriously have to buy a wig. For those of you who need advice, I found this cool site. NIGHTMARE HAIR.

You a tad pissed off, mate?

Don’t Shun. Embrace.

I read a blog post yesterday about a woman growing up with a gay father. She inspired me to write my own views on homosexuality. Basically, I don’t care what people do in the bedroom. It’s their business, and I’m of the opinion that we’re here in this life to be happy. I’ve had this discussion with Hubby and my kids, and they all know if they’re gay, it isn’t a problem. Why? Because so long as they find love, with whatever gender, and they are happy, I don’t care. Isn’t that what we’re meant to want for our kids? Happiness?

I’ve heard stories of people frightened to tell their parents, scared of what people would think, folks being bullied, and once, a hairdresser felt the need to tell me he was gay because he’d had some ‘funny looks’ and ‘bad attitude’ from women in the past because a gay man was cutting their hair. Pardon? This guy was lovely, and he told me a little about himself. He’d been in a bad relationship for seven years then finally found the right man for him, and because this man was so right for him, he fretted that he’d die young and have his happiness taken away. This brought tears to my eyes, because when he told the tale, it wasn’t about two men, it was about a man in love.

What really bothers me about families ostracising a member who has come out is: Does them being gay erase everything that went before, then? The funny things they did as a kid? The cuddles the child wanted before bed? The love you had for them, the need to protect and nurture them? Why, when they find out their son or daughter loves person of the same sex, does it make things different? I can’t get my head around that. My kids are my kids and always will be, no matter what they do. I’ve told them that too. They can tell me anything, and we’ll work it out. I also think about the children growing up who know they are gay and hide it—or feel they have to hide it. The torment they must go through, God, I can’t imagine, and if they’ve been brought up in a household where the parents are anti-gay, that must be even worse. Imagine knowing you’re gay and hearing, “Any of my kids end up gay, well, they can eff off! Don’t want them in my house.”

What do you do? You can’t hide who you are, or if you can, it’s got to be a bloody miserable existence, and you know that when you come out, that’s it. You’re ostracised from every person you’ve loved all your life. How utterly sad.

I know some people find it odd that I write gay fiction. Why would I want to do that? Am I a pervert? No. The answer is simple. I’m trying to show two characters who are in love, or find love, to try and make everything okay. That last bit sounds silly, because only those who want to read gay fiction will, so my efforts in showing people through my books that gay is okay, well, it’s hardly going to work if people won’t entertain it. But, it makes me feel like I’m maybe making a difference. Someone somewhere might pick up one of my books and it may well change their perspective. If I only change one person’s outlook, it will have been worth it. I’m not into forcing people to read m/m if they don’t want to, but it doesn’t make me a weirdo for writing it.

All I can say is, if you’ve found out someone is gay and it changes the way you feel about them, ask yourself why. You liked them well enough before, didn’t you? And, being blunt here, why has your friendship changed just because they share their sexual organs with someone of the same gender? Christ, it doesn’t matter, surely.

I’m not going to rant on any further. Just know that through writing gay fiction, I have made some fantastic gay/bi friends, all of whom are kind, considerate, compassionate, funny, wonderful people, and I’m glad to have met them, glad to have them in my life. If people shun those who are gay, that’s a shame, because you’ll be missing out on having some beautiful people in your life.

Please…Just Leave me Alone!

I feel like a rabid dog with the urge to bite…

After yesterday’s writing stint, today sees me going back in and spreading out the info dump. Sometimes, when the plot is intricate, I like to write everything from the past in one go so all the information is down. The next day, or later down the road, I go back to the info dump and copy and paste bits into other parts of the book, therefore escaping too much backstory at once. I have a scene that needs writing at the start of chapter two, and I wasn’t in the mood for that yesterday but am today. I usually write [SO AND SO NEEDS TO DO THIS HERE] when a scene isn’t calling to me, and just as luck would have it, I want to write that scene but the headache from hell, plus the kids talking to me, means I’m stopping and starting, gritting my teeth and answering them so they don’t feel Mother is too busy for them, and generally wondering whether I’ll get anything written today. Hence this procrastinating blog post. Funny how no one is talking to me now, eh? Funny how, when I finish this and flick back to my manuscript, someone will want something or have a terribly important thing to say that needs saying NOW!

Oh, the joys of being a writing mother…

And how is it they know which Word document is my book? Okay, the fonts are different, but I’m wondering if I adopt a different pose when writing a book—you know, shoulders hunched, immense concentration on the face, eyes glazed… Or maybe I’m just imagining it and they just happen to speak at the wrong time.

It’s difficult, because I want to get my daily word count down and out of the way some days. You know the times, when you’d rather be doing something else really but if you don’t get today’s words down they’ll bug you all day until you do. Or you want to write, but you’re tired and keep getting interrupted. I could just say, “Oh, bugger off will you?” and at times I do, when they’ve bugged me quite enough and really need to go off and play by themselves, but there’s always that thing in my mind where I want to listen to them just in case there’s a nugget of information there that gives me a heads-up into how they’re feeling or whether something is bothering them.

Today, though, is just a waffle day, where they’re talking about everything and nothing and, to be honest, just…annoying me. Yes, the headache is a big part of my irritation, being tired is another, and wanting to write in silence (my usual preference) is another still, but the kids are still off school on Easter break, and I won’t get my silent time back until April 19th. And here I am, still typing away on this blog post, and no one has spoken to me. I’m going to do a test. Going to flick to my manuscript and see how long it takes for one of them to ask me something. Here goes…

4 minutes later. “Mum, can I have a cinnamon bun?”

30 seconds later. “The buns have all gone.”

Let’s try again…

6 minutes. “The buns have all gone.”

“Yes, you said. Never mind…”

And so this will continue for much of the day, I feel. I’ll just write in between interruptions and keep plodding on until I finish the info dump switches and reach my 3K goal. If they’re still in the mood to try and prevent me from writing, I’ll maybe tell them if they’re bored they’re quite welcome to tidy their rooms. Yes, that’ll work.

If you’re writing today, I wish you uninterrupted wonderment!


Today has been one of those days. Already. Kind of like when you wish you could rewind the first couple of hours, wake up in bed once more and start again. It doesn’t help that I’m tired. We started—and finished—the first season of Dexter very quickly, so staying up later on weeknights to watch ‘just one more’ has taken its toll. I’ve also been working on my Ellora’s edits and editing a book for my friend. I love it when books are gripping, but, like Sally Royer-Derr’s that I read the other week—or was it last week? Dunno—I tend to want to do nothing else but read that bloody book. Okay, so I did a bit of housework and the food shopping yesterday, but other than that, I’ve parked my arse at the computer and stayed there.

So, back to this crazy day. Bear in mind it’s only 9:20 a.m., and an hour ago I was ready to scream. I don’t usually get myself worked up like this, but every so often, the fates conspire against me, the angst fairy takes over my personality, and I want to flip. First, the weather is crappy—cold wind and horrible rain, so my umbrella kept flipping up, which, incidentally, bugs the hell out of me even on a good day—and it seemed we just couldn’t get out of the bloody house to do the school run. Then I realised Smallest hadn’t put on her glasses. Sod going back for them, she can have a day without, I said to my very irritated self. Then Smallest said, “Have you got the pound for non-uniform day?”

Well, we’re half way to school at this point, and quite frankly, no, I didn’t have the sodding non-school-uniform-day pound, and no, I most definitely WASN’T going back to get it. Not with the wind attacking me and my brolly, my temper at breaking point, and and and…

I dropped Smallest off, and Jennifer, one of the other mothers, very kindly lent me the pound. I left the classroom with over-zealous in-and-out breaths, with a neighbour looking at me with wide eyes because, yep, she knows that look I had on my face.

So, I was invited round for a cuppa with three other mothers, and I wasn’t sure whether to go. I mean, I have that book to read, I have more housework to do, and a couple of other excuses that would prevent me going, but d’you know what? I’m going to go round there now. It’s the last day before the Easter break, and I could do with the laugh—especially with 4 kids off school until 19th April, which will sorely test my nerves.

So I’m off. Sod the computer! Sod the things I *should* be doing. I’m going to do something I rarely do. Stop and smell the roses.