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.