For me, these questions usually arise after recognising that something has gone very wrong or when I have done something completely nonsensical. The latest such example came when I had a manuscript returned by an editor and couldn’t believe all the mistakes I’d made.
Why is it so much easier to proof someone else’s work? I spend a good proportion of my time writing, editing and proofreading for others and I manage that perfectly successfully. In addition, I tend to find it quite easy to spot typos and mistakes in newspapers, books and even shop signage. In fact, I found so many typos in a true crime book I once read that I wrote to the publisher to offer my services as a proof reader. They politely declined, which I maintain they did out of embarrassment. Much like I do on getting back a manuscript I wrote and finding it littered with mistakes.
It makes me wonder whether the affliction of word-blindness actually exists. If so, I definitely have it. Does anyone know a doctor that specialises in the condition? I need a prescription.
When reading the work of someone else—especially when looking at it for the first time—it is easy to spot little mistakes. However, when it comes to one of my own manuscripts, I can get it back and look at it with barely fresh eyes only to see that I’d committed a whole range of extraordinary crimes against the English language. Or maybe it’s just easier to judge others to a harsher extent than we do ourselves.
For someone who has written many articles and several manuscripts of a variety of lengths, I should do better and, yet, I don’t. For all my efforts, I can’t see that changing, so all I can say is: editors—brace yourselves!
I have been going through old file cabinets this week. After twenty years of professional writing, I have plenty of file cabinets, and they are all full to the brim. In fact, I was going through those cabinets to create more room!
But what I intended to be a short cleaning session turned into two days, and now I have various stacks of paper all over my desk. And my writing life has found a whole new batch of stories just begging to be written.
For several years I would put aside manuscripts that just didn't have that "vibe" or that "oomph" I was trying to achieve. I might get halfway through a very good story, but then something went wrong. A character went a little nuts. A plot went off the rails. Real life intervened and the story on the page faded from my priorities. Those manuscripts sat on my hard drive for a while, and then I printed them out (because even in this digital age, I am still a paper and pen kind of girl), and into the file cabinet they went.
At some point I let one of the most important rules of writing slip my mind: Get it down on paper, and then give it six months in a drawer. When you come back to it, your eyes are fresh and you see things you didn't see before.
In the case of some of these manuscripts, six months was long gone. Six years was more like it!
But the wait paid off, because now I am looking at the story of Boyd, the town bad-boy, and his very unlikely love interest. I'm reading the first 100 pages of the story of Amber, who lost a husband too young and is now trying to move forward into something new. I am getting into the tale of Maddie and Robert, who both have secrets that the rest of the world might not understand...
And suddenly, my writing future is once again full of characters that need a voice.
It's a good lesson to learn. Put away that manuscript that you've been stuck on and start on something new. Then come back to it a year from now and let the characters reach out to you. You'll find that over time, they have become more complex, more fun and hotter than they were the last time you saw them.
I try to go to bed early, which is tough because I'm a night owl, but Monday doesn't care at all. She taunts me as I toss and turn through the night, unable to sleep as I think about all the things I need to accomplish when it's time to get up. I'm quite certain I hear Monday cackling gleefully as I open one eye to check the clock, hoping for just a few more moments of sleep before the day begins.
I find this to be one of my greatest personal challenges. You see, I am not a morning person. It takes me a minute or two to get it together. If you're a morning person, I'm guessing you can't relate to the fact that I prefer not to talk before I've had at least one cup of coffee. Unfortunately, my kids aren't having that. Uh uh...they demand immediate answers to their questions that begin the very instant they see me out of bed. *Sigh*
What's a woman to do?
Sadly, I have no real answers. If you're like me, you just try to make the best of each morning...especially Monday mornings. I worship the coffee bean. I like to pour it tall. I like to add a grande amount of creamer in a venti effort to jumpstart my day. Sometimes it works and sometimes...well, sometimes, I wish I could just pull the covers over my head and sleep the entire day away.
Man, do I miss those rare moments in college. Yeah, those were the days. :-)
So, tell me are you a morning person like my husband? Can you jump out of bed with a whistle and a grin ready to tell jokes and sing with the birdies outside your window? Or are you more like me...cautiously waiting for the morning hours to give way to mid-afternoon when your coffee intake has finally brought you up to the speed of life?
Either way, I hope it's a good Monday for you and a great week!
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose….”
In one of the most iconic romances of all time, Shakespeare penned a couple of the most recognized and widely-quoted lines for his doomed heroine Juliet to utter to her Romeo: "What's in a name? That which we call a rose/By any other name would smell as sweet." When I decided to submit my first erotic romance to a publisher, my most difficult task turned out to be choosing a pseudonym. Whether I would choose a pen name was never a question: I both wanted and needed to keep my writing world and my other worlds from colliding. Oh, not just for the usual “I’m writing sex scenes and my day job runs conservative, oh my…!” No, I enjoy slipping into this other persona at odd hours – sometimes hours on end -- when I immerse myself into the worlds I create for all these characters crowding to get out of my head and into print. Leaving one Claire at the door when I sit down at my computer and morph into Maria-Claire Payne is no different than switching hats among my varied roles during the usual life experiences that make up each day: mom, teacher, friend, co-worker, mentor, lover….The name “Maria-Claire Payne” defines a role that’s just as crucial a piece of the “real” me as “mom” defines another critical piece of my “ true identity” – albeit Maria-Claire gets to have all sorts of filthy fun that maybe the off-spring aren’t quite ready to equate with “mom” ;) Besides…isn’t one of the reasons we love reading hot romance is to find a brief respite from reality and move into a fantasy? I love all of my realities…but there are so many variations of roses to experience out there, all of which smell so sweet….Why limit myself to just one? Choosing a pseudonym isn’t hiding my essential self from my readers: it’s laying bare the most critical aspect of me – my writing self – for our mutual pleasure in sharing these people and worlds I create, people and worlds I hope you enjoy as much as I do.
Shakespeare was a smart dude, huh?
Making Love from Payne...because, sometimes...Love Hurts
Available October 24 from Total-E-Bound!
I love love love to dress up, one of the things that I can really get myself into and excited for is a themed party or dress up event of some kind. So of course Halloween is one of my favorite times of year. It can be a wonderful way to relax and escape reality for a night to dress up and be someone else. Can be fun out in public or just around the house or just in the bedroom. The liberties and freedom a costume can give you to act like you never would if it was just you being you, that is what makes it such an exciting prospect.
This is a very basic thing. It will help you get to the place you need to be that lets you know life no matter the bumps in the road is there for all to enjoy.
…increasing the sizzle factor
Chat Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/crenshawcafe
Free Reads Site: http://www.satinnotes.com/
By Lisabet Sarai
My name is Lisabet, and I write smut. Okay, I know that some of my colleagues will demur at my use of that term. It sounds sleazy and socially reprehensible - almost as bad as "porn". As far as the most of the world is concerned, though, anyone who pens sexually explicit fiction gets lumped into the same category: deviant, depraved, dangerous individuals who undermine the moral integrity of the country, corrupt youth, threaten the family, spread disease, increase unemployment, cause halitosis, and make milk sour before its expiration date. We're the Enemy (or one manifestation thereof), responsible for the decline of Western civilization and the national debt, damned and destined for Hell.
We authors of erotic romance like to believe that we're somehow better than the folks who write letters to Hustler, because our books are concerned with more than just sex. We're focused on emotion, connection, relationships and conflicts, love as well as desire. We're as interested in the process as in the consummation. Our work is deeper, more significant and meaningful than garden-variety porn - not to mention much better written. I have news for you. All this may be true, but it doesn't matter.
Our literary aspirations are no protection. We can still lose our jobs if someone discovers our dirty little secret. Our kids can be harassed and abused by their classmates. It's difficult enough growing up these days. Imagine what it would be like to have to deal with the shame of having your parent labeled as a pornographer.
If we write GLBT or BDSM fiction, we're even more at risk. There are horrific but true tales of authors who have been driven out of their communities by narrow-minded neighbors who didn't want "that sort" of people in their town. I personally know several authors whose websites have been closed down because of the "objectionable" content. Sex that goes beyond the straight, vanilla norm is doubly demonized.
Hence the need for pseudonyms and anonymity. I'd love to let more of my friends and family members know about my writing career, but I recognize that I add to the risk of exposure every time I let someone know my real identity. I wish I didn't have to slink around, cover my tracks, or think so carefully about what I reveal in each blog post. I'm proud of my writing. When I have a new release, I'd like to claim it as my own, in my real name. But I force myself to be careful, because I have a lot to lose.
Still, here at the Hot Spot, I can be myself. My name is Lisabet and I write erotic stories that will make you yearn and sweat. I write about men loving men, women loving women, ménage, group sex, fetishes, bondage and discipline. I'm fascinated by the many facets of desire and by the way sex shapes our lives, our perceptions, our very selves. The mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of sex interest me more than purely physical, but in practice, those distinctions are pretty meaningless. I write smut, graphic stories that don't pull punches or hide behind euphemisms.
Want a sample? Check out some of the free stories on my website. You'll find everything from playful exhibitionism to raw futuristic orgies, wistful ghost tales to romantic BDSM. I have several free stories available on the Total-E-Bound website as well. (Of course, I'd love it if you actually buy some of my books...but you don't have to in order to get a feeling for my writing.)
My next release will be a paranormal Lust Bite entitled Hot Spell, due out on November 14th. You can read an excerpt here.
My name is Lisabet. I want to turn you on and I'm not ashamed to admit it. I'm a proud member of Smutmongers Anonymous.
What about you?
Two guys, a girl and an office sex bet.
Caroline hates working at Forbes and Richardson until she walks in on Matt and Connor kissing passionately against the photocopier. They admit they enjoy being watched and invite her to be the voyeur to their exhibitionism.
Watching leads to participation as the three of them agree on a bet that makes the working day all the more fun and definitely sexier. How brave is Caroline? What risks is she willing to take to get her ultimate prize –a threesome with the two hottest execs in the company.
Here's a little introduction to the three main characters in the story.
Caroline is a young lady who's between jobs. She's working at a temp agency and is moved from office to office, the latest one at Forbes and Richardson would be the worst yet with her main duties being that of a general dogsbody. Except Caroline has met two hunky guys and has an unusual bet with them which makes each work day a lot easier to bear.
Tall, dark and handsome Matt is professional, dominant and very cool and collected. He is The instigator of the bet and the guy in charge.
Connor is Matt's submissive boyfriend who enjoys being watched, spanked and is instantly attracted to Caroline. He might not be the one in charge but he is the one who makes things happen.
Don't forget to check out the free (and very hot) kissing scene on Erotic Whispers and I'll see you again next month with more Blisse news!
So, instead of going on about what I'm working on or what new book I've dreamed up to create, I'm going to share a little of the vacation my husband and I just came back from. A very good friend of ours was working in Peace River, that's in northern Alberta for anyone not familiar with the geography of the place. This fellow follows the work, which has made it difficult on his wife and family, but since the mill closed down a couple of years ago, it became necessary. He'd taken his wife's small car, figuring to save on gas. He was supposed to be up their for only a couple of weeks. Then he'd be on his way home again.
As luck would have it, he wound up with a permanent job a little further north and east. For this one, he needed his truck. Problem being, how to get truck up there and car back to wife? Solution, US!
Hubby and I offered to drive his truck up to Peace River, as his wife really didn't want to do the long drive alone, and she's also not much of a driver type. We offered to do the switch, and make it into a kind of vacation. They paid the gas bill, we paid the rest. It worked out beautifully for all of us.
We took 2 days to get to Peace River, and what a hellish long drive it was. As many of you know, I live on Vancouver Island. Just getting off the island takes time.
The trip up was just hours of driving and not much else. Once we'd switched vehicles, we got to settle back and do some tourist stuff. And take pictures!
These were taken in Jasper Nation Park
And that's about it. Of course, I've got hundreds more, but jeeze, I don't want to bore you. Besides, hubby takes better pictures. Sigh! I hope you enjoyed a peak into the beautiful interior of BC.
I'm bad. I love covers. I love to look at what everyone else is doing and just admire the sensuality of them. Here at TEB we are lucky to have the best art department. I've never been let down and look forward to the visit from the cover faery almost as much as Christmas. I'm sure there are those who say, you shouldn't buy based on cover alone. They might be right, but for me, if the cover doesn't grab me...I have a short attention span. I'll keep moving. If it grabs me, I'm likely to find a new to me author and a great read. Here's some I found on the TEB site that, yeah, all on my TBR list.
This one for me is all about the color. I couldn't look away from this one. Just based on the cover I want to know more about the book. Plus a nice set of man abs are always appealing.
It's simple, pretty and I love how the scarves are so fluid looking.
It's simple. A guy, hot chest, nice abs... snags me right away to read more. I love when this happens because then I find new to me authors and books I didn't realize I'd enjoy because I hadn't seen them yet.
Here's my latest work and a cover I honestly love! There's lots going on in the cover, but it's pretty. The sensuality shows the three. The eyes grab you in this work. Like, hmm...what's he thinking about...who is she looking at.
Three is their magic number. Now they’ve got to decide if the magic is worth saving.
Razrs Edge packed stadiums, fuelled by the inner turmoil and passion of the three founding members. The lights aren’t as bright and the crowds cheer a little less now that the threesome has parted ways.
It’s time to bring the magic back.
Parkur’s not convinced the split is for good. They were meant to be three. But can he write the music to convince Juniper and Jacoby to give him a second chance? Juniper and Jacoby want the triad intact. Is the love they shared as three enough to erase the destruction in their collective past?
Contains two heroes hell bent on making sweet music with the woman of their dreams, the rediscovery of passion between three people, hot manlove and ménage action, a little spanking, some toy play, and some bondage...oh yes...
Get your own copy right here!
What are some of your favorite covers? Why? Let me know. I'd love to chatter about it. :-)
It's October, and over here in the UK it's finally getting cold, so I'm working on generating some heat. In my recent writing I've been working on slower build-ups to sex scenes.
Surprisingly, it isn't something I've had to deal with much. A lot of my scenes have either been highly choreographed (the ménage scenes immediately leap to mind) or highly passionate, which means a much faster pace. Often in my head they burst out of their clothes like Superman.
However, passionate as the scenes I'm writing are, they need atmosphere. Two are brand new relationships and need to move tentatively; one is with a married couple whose desire for each other is more of a constant than a sudden flash. And one involves a partner who, under normal circumstances, I wouldn't particularly be attracted to, so to make it erotic I need to work a lot harder.
I'm actually enjoying it. This is the first chance I've had to write tortuous teasing, kisses and touches that show a deep knowledge of their partner's pleasure zones, a slow burn of excitement building to a crescendo. And it contrasts nicely with the horrible cold weather outside, with the gusts of wind that make my window rattle just when I'm trying to focus.
If I keep this up, I could be in for a hot winter!
My husband and I are on our way to go camping. I recently discovered that “camping” is a distinctly American pastime and only a select few other cultures regularly pack up loads of gear and head out to the woods for a relaxing time away from home. I have to admit, I was never a big fan of camping when I was younger or when my kids were little, but now, I rather enjoy it.
In truth, I prefer camping lite. We own a pop-up camper (for those of you unfamiliar with the term, it’s a hard sided camper with canvas sides and a hard top which easily “pops up”). This way, I can enjoy a campfire but sleep on a double bed, eat breakfast at a real table and, assuming we are staying somewhere with electric hook ups, enjoy the comforts of air condition or an electric blanket depending upon the weather. I still have to walk a bit to use the flush toilets and shower house, AND I squeal like a girl if I see a grand daddy long legs on the wall, but I can deal with some primitive conditions in order to enjoy the overall benefits of the experience.
I’m particularly excited about this little 4 day get away since we will be staying at Giant City in Southern Illinois; a state park filled with beautiful foliage, ancient hiking trails and a lodge which serves local wines and a can’t be beat fried chicken dinner! We had hoped that friends would be joining us, but since that didn’t work out, I’m guessing we’ll enjoy enough privacy to have some red hot outdoors monkey sex! Yay!!! Call me primitive, but there’s just something about bending over, holding onto the rough bark of an ancient oak and
screaming out my pleasure with only the birds and other fauna as witnesses that makes my blood heat and juices flow!
Also, Southern Illinois now boasts many local wineries, so in the afternoons we will be visiting a number of these fine establishments, partaking of their splendid offerings and enjoying the blissful strains of live music. Actually, I loved this area so much that I set my next book, Discovering Pleasure, in this region. The book is scheduled to be released sometime in January, but in the meantime, I hope you visit some of links below and see for yourself what Southern Illinois has to offer.
The rivalry between Caroline Kildaire and Hilary Swift is as infamous in London legal circles as their rumoured affair. And while a professional partnership would make them unbeatable, attempts to work together always turn to personal warfare.
With only forty-eight hours to coax a temporary truce, young facilitator Adam Bloom surrenders to their sexually-charged tension. He's risking it all to be the lucky man in the middle, hoping he doesn't get caught in the crossfire first.
If there's one thing the hot-tempered lawyers can agree on, it's that Adam's a tempting reward for cooperation. But in bending over for peace, he's sparked their next battle: who gets to the top.