Monday, December 30, 2013

Discipline, Dialogue, and Diabetes

This week I've decided I hate the word discipline. It means forcing myself to do something repeatedly even when I don't want to.

This week was also the week that I found out that I have diabetes and had to add a whole lot more discipline to my life.

I lost my insurance last month (I'm working on getting new insurance) and therefore don't have any medication right now. So every day is a struggle, where I starve (I can only eat so many meats and veggies.) Then I poke myself repeatedly and hope to God that my blood sugar is less than 200 this time. (For a frame of reference, if a normal person ate an entire bowl of candy, their blood sugar would still be no higher than 140. When I eat a sandwich with low carb whole wheat bread, my blood sugar might be something like 200.)

I knew I was probably going to get it someday, but I honestly thought it wasn't going to be until I was 40 or older. (I am 27.)

I didn't realize until I got it how embarrassed I was to have it. Even though I know diabetes has more to do with genetics than the way you eat (my mother took care of herself all of her life and still got it), there's a stigma surrounding it. Because if you eat worse you get it sooner, but even if you eat well, you'll eventually get it anyway if you have it in your genes.

I don't want my friends to watch the things I eat or say I must have messed up in some way or I wouldn't be diabetic. I don't want them to analyze my weight and tell me if I had eaten less then this wouldn't have happened to me. I've heard people judge diabetes on multiple occasions. Even Michelle Obama decided to make it a part of her campaign against childhood obesity.

For me, diabetes means a lifetime of discipline. I know a lot about being a diabetic from watching my Mom and the truth is - diabetics eat sweets sometimes. It's pretty much impossible for humans not to mess up their diet on occasion, especially when they are on a diet for the rest of their lives.

In the same way, I must be disciplined as a writer. The difference is, this is fun to me. I mess up sometimes, but try to write every day. There's no such thing as being "done." Even when you finish a book, that glow may last for a few hours or days, but then it's off to start the next story.

I find myself facing the same frustrations in both writing and diabetes. Every day I have to put work into both and stay focused on doing the right thing. I had to get back into exercising because it helps my body process carbs and I also have to make time for writing. Sometimes I mess up and feel guilty afterwards. Sometimes I'm patient and feel like all of this is easy.

If every day, I am patient and work hard to do what I am supposed to, I will be rewarded in the end. It's just hard to see it when you are in the midst of struggling with discipline why this whole thing will be worth it.

I won't see a book right away when I start writing one or know the benefits of why I must keep my blood sugar low while I struggle with it, but the rewards are there. Eventually everyone who has discipline will be rewarded in the end.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Fun With Spam

Whenever you post your e-mail address in any manner online (like when you're an author and post it on your website) you receive interesting e-mails from spammers and especially scammers online.

I've already won and inherited millions upon millions of dollars supposedly. And I've been offered business opportunities and told many times that my accounts at banks I'm not a member of have been compromised. Along with my paypal (even though I don't have a paypal account with that e-mail) and other things have supposedly had security problems.

Sometimes I like to just read these letters and laugh hysterically at the poor grammar. I don't usually mock people's poor grammar, but when it's someone who can barely type English and is obviously trying to get personal information from me or money, it's hilarious!

The latest one I got was about how I supposedly purchased three things from some web-site and "If disturb please click here", I think they meant if this was false, I should click there.

They were offering me: "More Different models and Favorable price for your optional."

And "All in One Package, If Have plan let we know please."

I feel like running around and saying to random people "Let we know please."

But of course, maybe all these feelings are just because it snowed a lot where I live and I've been trapped in the house all day.

Another e-mail recently alerted me that I won the lottery (and yet they can't even tell me my own name) and that sharing that e-mail or any of its contents was strictly prohibited and I'd face consequences. I don't think e-mails can be copyright and I'm pretty sure if they weren't doing something fake and wrong, they wouldn't be afraid of me sharing the e-mail with others. I've been tempted to copy/paste the e-mail on here ever since.

Honestly, I just have a ton of fun sometimes, opening e-mails in my junk folder and reading all the bad grammar out loud to my fiance.

What about you? Do you ever laugh at your spam or scam e-mails?

Friday, December 13, 2013

My Immature Sense Of Humor

One of my weaknesses in writing is humor. I don't know how to be funny. While other writers are light-hearted and witty (people like T.J. Loveless and Janet Evanovich immediately come to mind), I'm sitting here writing serious stuff all the time.

I don't even know if I can be witty in my writing because the truth is, I'm scared to be. I've always had a sense of humor that was different than the people I know in real life. Until I met my fiance, who thinks that most of the jokes I crack are hilarious, I just assumed that I was too socially awkward to be funny. When people told me that they liked people that were witty, I always used to laugh in my head and go,"That's so not me!"

Sometimes I show people funny videos I've seen online. It doesn't really surprise me anymore when they roll their eyes or look bored. And there have been many times that I've cracked a joke and been met by shocked faces. Because in real life, I'm generally a shy person, so when I make a joke, most of the time people are surprised that I'm even speaking.

I think one of the worst instances of this was at my cousin's wedding shower a few years ago. We made fake wedding dresses out of toilet paper as a competition. I don't like taking competition seriously, so my team decided to be ridiculous. I was the model for the team, so they had to put the clothing on me. We stapled paper plates to the chest of my t-shirt, wrapped toilet paper around my skirt, and I grabbed a wine bottle. When it was my turn to "walk down the runway", I slurred my speech and acted like the drunkest bride ever. I thought it was hilarious, but I could tell my cousin thought it was kind of weird.

Then we were given sheets of paper where we were supposed to fill in the blanks with advice for the bride. I was a virgin at the time (although things have changed) with an immature sense of humor, so I thought saying something sexual would be funny and shocking. All of them said "Never-" and "Always-" with a few other words. There was a question that said "When you are married, never let your best friend ________" and I immediately thought "When you are married, never let your best friend have a threesome with you and your husband" because I've met several guys that I've heard say they wanted to do this very thing.

Then I found out we had to read the advice out loud and I thought no one was going to take it seriously because I had been acting ridiculous the whole night. Instead, all their mouths dropped open and they stared at me in shock.

One of my Aunt's said to my mother. "I think she's lying to you about still being a virgin!"

My Mom said she was so embarrassed and she says some pretty humiliating things on occasion. That's when I knew that I had done something really stupid.

It's moments like those that have made me think. "Wow. I'm really not funny at all." And makes me terrified to write anything silly. Because I'm scared people won't laugh.

It's why for months, I've been laughing at the fact that the ASIN number of my Pandora's Mistake book has the word "Boob" in it, but I haven't told anyone but my fiance. (The ASIN number is B00BRQINMI.)

I love stand-up comedy and have gone to a comedy club with my fiance several times within the last six months. What I fail to realize is that not everyone thinks those comedians are funny. In fact, it varies from crowd to crowd. Some nights they are met with silence, others they are met with laughter. People get offended by them, people agree with them. It's what happens when you try to be funny.

And there's nothing wrong with that. People may think that me laughing about the ASIN number of Pandora's Mistake is immature, but who cares?

Writers write to let go. To get stories off their mind. We want to express feelings, desires, and struggles through our writing. It's not about caring about what people will think, it's about art.

And whenever I get too scared about what people will think or whether my books will sell, it makes it impossible to write. It's why I'm too scared to write something witty or funny. But I should just let go.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Read Tuesday - The Black Friday Of Books!

Welcome RLL, a paranormal author, who has helped organize a great event for today (along with founder Chris McMullen), where readers can get books for cheaper prices than normal! Read the interesting questions I and other authors have answered in support of read Tuesday and find out more information about the event below!


In support of READ TUESDAY, I'm answering my questions on other people's blogs. Writers chatting to each other on writing. Tedious or devious? Let’s have twenty questions, and find out. I've given different answers to the questions here:

1. Fire rages in your house. Everyone is safe, but you. You decide to smash through the window, shielding your face with a book. What is the book?

I decided the book would be nearest the window. If I scramble over a cupboard with my right hand reaching for the window, my left hand would go to a bookshelf containing...THE GREAT FIRE OF LONDON in 1666, by Walter George Bell.

2. Asleep in your rebuilt house, you dream of meeting a dead author. But not in a creepy stalkerish way, so you shoo Mr Poe out of the kitchen. Instead, you sit down and have cake with which dead author?

Graham Greene. He'd build a story around the purchase of the cake. Brothers, one Communist and one Fascist, walk into the same shop to purchase a cake for their mother. The Fascist is for sharing, but the Communist wants it all. Greene leaves some readers bemused.

3. Would you name six essential items for writers? If, you know, cornered and threatened with torture.

The correct answer to this question is NO. I can use that ploy but the once.

4. Who’d win in a fight between Count Dracula and Frankenstein’s monster? If, you know, you were writing that scene.


5. It’s the end of a long and tiring day. You are still writing a scene. Do you see it through to the end, even though matchsticks prop your eyelids open, or do you sleep on it and return, refreshed, to slay that literary dragon another day?

I decide to write half-asleep and no one notices the difference. This may worry other writers, but I quickly adapt to the changing situation - increasing my output.

6. You must introduce a plot-twist. Evil twin or luggage mix-up?

Twin dinosaurs attack the airport baggage carousel, speeding the sorting process. Who saw that one coming?

7. Let’s say you write a bunch of books featuring an amazing recurring villain. At the end of your latest story you have definitely absitively posolutely killed off the villain for all time and then some. Did you pepper your narrative with clues hinting at the chance of a villainous return in the next book?

Twenty villains are lined up to take that cad's place.

8. You are at sea in a lifeboat, with the barest chance of surviving the raging storm. There’s one opportunity to save a character, drifting by this scene. Do you save the idealistic hero or the tragic villain?

I save Margaret Brown - because she's looking sinkable. She says I can call her Maggie. I mistakenly name her Molly. Could be the start of something.

9. It’s time to kill a much-loved character – that pesky plot intrudes. Do you just type it up, heartlessly, or are there any strange rituals to be performed before the deed is done?

I have standing stones shipped in.

10. Embarrassing typo time. I’m always typing thongs instead of things. One day, that’ll land me in trouble. Care to share any wildly embarrassing typing anecdotes? If, you know, the wrong word suddenly made something so much funnier. (My last crime against typing lay in omitting the u from Superman.)

Bizarrely, I killed a gunman in one sentence only for him to leap into the fight a mere paragraph later.

11. I’ve fallen out of my chair laughing at all sorts of thongs I’ve typed. Have you?

The answer carries a Beyond Adult rating. If you laugh after reading, you are too immature to be let near the statement.

12. You take a classic literary work and update it by throwing in rocket ships. Dare you name that story? Pride and Prejudice on Mars. That kind of thing.

Sleeping Beauty: A Princess of Mars. That feels like an answer someone gave. I'll try another. Goldilocks and the Three Clones.

13. Seen the movie. Read the book. And your preference was for?

Pepper in soup.

14. Occupational hazard of being a writer. Has a book ever fallen on your head? This may occasionally happen to non-writers, it must be said.

Several books rebounded from my head - the writing was THAT bad.

15. Did you ever read a series of books out of sequence?

I've stored books on shelves out of sequence and occasionally the wrong way up.

16. You encounter a story just as you are writing the same type of tale. Do you abandon your work, or keep going with the other one to ensure there won’t be endless similarities?

I could answer this question. It's just that I've answered it several times now, and I see a danger of writing the same type of answer. I think I'll have to abandon the work. Though I could check my previous answers to ensure there won't be endless similarities.

17. Have you ever stumbled across a Much-Loved Children’s Classic™ that you’ve never heard of?

Ice cream and jelly. There had to be a time in life when I'd never heard of it.

18. You build a secret passage into your story. Where?

Between the raindrops.

19. Facing the prospect of writing erotica, you decide on a racy pen-name. And that would be…

Lucy Lastic.

20. On a train a fan praises your work, mistaking you for another author. What happens next?

I warn the fan to keep hefting coal or the boiler-pressure will drop.

For E.B. Black's answers to my questions, visit REPORT FROM A FUGITIVE.

Here's a blog post on READ TUESDAY.


Featured in the READ TUESDAY sale on December the 10th, 2013 - Neon Gods Brought Down by Swords and WITCHES. Both will be free on the day.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Blog Ring Of Power

Be sure to visit the Blog Ring Of Power on paranormal author Terri Bruce's web-site, where you can learn about a lot of authors and win lots of prices almost every day of this month, including a chance to win a copy of Medusa's Desire! It's very exciting!

Today's the first day of it, so don't miss out!

There will be posts on all the following blogs for it: