Blast from the Past: Guest Post: How to Avoid the Rejection Blues by Vacen Taylor

October 2019

Wow, this was long ago…

June 2015

Profile of Author Vacen Taylor
photo via VacenTaylor.com
Today I’m delighted to introduce you to VacenTaylor author of the “Starchild Series” who has agreed to a guest post about the rejection blues. Those who have been looking for more or less traditional publishing opportunities already know it and those who have not yet fear it. But there are ways to deal with it and Vacenhas good advice to offer you.
But enough of the introduction. Here is what VacenTaylor has to say:

How to Avoid the Rejection Blues

I’ve never been a great believer in avoiding anything. For me, life has always been about encountering, not avoiding. The rejection blues is no different. The basic principle behind my thoughts about this subject comes from when I was studying counselling. And perhaps, I should rearrange the title of this blog to: “How to Encounter the Rejection Blues and Move Forward”.

Don’t think for a minute I haven’t received a rejection letter. I also don’t want you to think that I haven’t experienced the rejection blues. I have experienced both many times. Yes, I know that feeling of disappointment. The lowering of my head, shoulders slumping and that sinking feeling as my eyes travel over every word of the rejection letter.

Dear Vacen,

Thank you again for the opportunity to consider your manuscript, and for your patience in awaiting our response.

We have given your submission serious attention and even though your work is intriguing, unfortunately we have decided not to pursue it further.

Yours Faithfully,

Blah & Blah.

STOP! Just for a moment. Feel all of that? This is where I tend to do things differently to what others will tell you. They might say, “Don’t worry about it.” Or they might say, “It’s subjective, just get over it.”

I say allow yourself to feel the way you need to. However, we are talking about feelings, not thoughts. These are two different things entirely. If you feel sad then allow yourself some time to feel sad. If you feel angry then allow yourself some time to feel angry. Do not, I repeat, do not dismiss those feelings. Experiencing these feelings is the very best way to allow yourself to pass through the stages of a rejection. It can be much like grief and loss in a way.

In my opinion it is best to concentrate solely on the feelings at this point, not thoughts. Say out loud, “I feel sad.” Or “I feel angry.”

Here’s the tricky part when it comes to thoughts, and they will be hovering. You know the ones I mean. They slide in, the defeatist thoughts, the negativity and the thoughts of worthlessness. My writing sucks. I’ll never be published. I’ll never become a good writer.

This is where a different type of strategy is needed. Commit to your own positive self-talk and affirmations. Sometimes this does require you to listen to what you’re saying to yourself and then change your negative self-talk into positive self-talk. “I believe in what I’m doing.” “I’m becoming a better writer with each day I write.” “Is there anything I can do better to help me become a great writer?”

Decide then and there if you can improve anything. There’s always room for improvement. Remember: even the best writers experience rejection. The difference is they DON’T give up. When you have experienced your feelings and committed to your positive self-talk then you can carry on. Keep writing!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Vacen, thank you very much for taking the time to write this guest post and for this helpful advice.
Bookcover Starchild V Taylor

photo source: Goodreads

Vacen Taylor does know what she is talking about as she just has released the third book in her “Starchild” series which is called “The Healing Stone”. Her advice obviously works!  The “Starchild Series” is a sci-fi series about four children who are linked to the prophecy of the Starchild. Book 1 & 2 describes the beginning of their odyssey and the dangers they have to face. In book three they have to save a friend.
This is what Goodreads says about “Starchild: The Healing Stone”: 
After finding the Silvershade and escaping the attacking forces as the Wilder Forest city was scorched to the ground, Mai, Akra and Kalin must now face the evil that has consumed Long.
When they reach the land of Cruscar and enter the ice city of Algus, the children are confronted with an ice challenge to win an audience with Queen Isolda. A treacherous journey now awaits them if they are to reach the Healing Stone to save Long.
But Piceptus, the underworld king, will not give up his search and he will do anything to bring the pilgrims’ journey to an end. The children grow stronger as they begin to master their powers, but will this be enough to escape this danger and continue on their pilgrimage to fulfil the prophecy?
You can purchase the book here:
You want to know more about Vacen and her work? Please look here:
Vacen’s  Author page
Vacen on Twitter
Vacen on Facebook
image of dark grey cloudy sky and a buddlea in front of it

Of Good News, Coding and Tips for Writers

Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is! Anne Frank

Read more at Brainy Quotes


Hello everybody, how are you doing? I hope life is treating you well and if not remember, you are in my thoughts and prayers!

Happy Good News Tuesday!

For today’s good news I am sharing a video by Great Ormond Street Hospital. Their surgeons have separated conjoined twins in several operations. The BBC mentioned them yesterday and I am just amazed at what is possible today. You can read about it in this article on the BBC webpage.

As far as I understand they are well and hopefully now have the chance for an independent life. Great Ormond Street Hospital has made a video to explain further what they achieved. Please follow the link under the video if it doesn’t play in this post.

video credit: Great Ormond Street Hospital on YouTube

If you are in need for some more good news please head over to JoAnna’s Blog and find some more. Or do you have a post of your own? Then please let me know and I come along.

The Bee Codes (or at least tries to)

It was rather cold overnight here in North Norfolk but warmed up as soon as the sun came out. At 10.49 am we have 19C/66.2F and I already watered our veg, did some weeding and worked on a page project for Free Code Camp to finish the tests for learning HTML & CSS. They say about themselves: “FreeCodeCamp.org is a tiny nonprofit that’s helping millions of people learn to code for free.” and you can support them here on their donation page if you have a little to spent and want to help people like me learning to code and hopefully find a new job at last.

I am supposed to create a tribute page on Code.Pen which is a site where you can play around with code for free. The test description is here if you are interested and my page to Octavia Hill is here.

So far I have the basic set up and the HTML. HTML in coding gives you the content of a page and CSS helps you to present in a good way. That is where I struggle a little. I have read and gone through the chapters and in theory understood what everything stands for but when I am supposed to implement it then my mind goes blank.

And the procrastination automatism kicks in. Mine consists of W3School for reading up stuff, Sololearn which I have as an app on my phone to repeat everything I already know and Grasshopper to get ahead and play around with JavaScript. I didn’t know that Java and JavaScript are different things but the good old “For Dummies” series told me that. Yes, on top of all of that I am reading “Getting a Coding Job for Dummies” by Nikhil Abraham. That book is from the library and from 2015 so I take its information with a grain of salt. 4 years is several lifetimes in tech and coding as far as I can see but at least it should give me the basics. And it mentioned Free Code Camp as a good way to learn so it can’t be that bad 😉 .

It also mentioned that if you learn by yourself you get stuck and it would be a good thing to join a community to get some support. Coding seems to be a community thing anyway. Coders help each other when they get stuck with what they created or help each other to test out their code. I like that but at the same time I am a little well really very insecure and I just don’t like to ask. So here is a lesson for me to learn 🙂 .

Yes, I have already joined the Free Code Camp forum and read several posts but haven’t said or asked anything yet. Don’t want to waste anyone’s time. I think I might just have to get over myself. I keep you updated.

Have you ever tried to learn something by yourself? How did it go?

And what else?

And what else will I be up to today? I usually walk the dog a second time around lunchtime but she is a little reluctant lately. There are tons of squirrels where I walk her and she just stands there and watches before trying to jump at them. You can imagine that I am not too keen so I try to coax her into walking along. It wasn’t a problem until a couple of days ago. She just ran ahead to the next squirrel tree. But now she just stands there and looks at me and her eyes say: “Yes, go on, try me!!!! You’re not gonna win MUM!” LOL.

So today I will either walk her somewhere else which usually makes her run mad with sniffing out the new area or I just do some training at home in the garden. I feel a bit guilty driving to other places to walk her because I consider myself a rebel for life and using the good old petrol car should be out of bounds for me. However, it’s a little C1 that doesn’t use much and the wellbeing of our dog is important, isn’t it? So I tell myself 😉 at least.

Besides that, I might keep on renovating our bathroom. It’s tiny and pink and I hate, hate, hate pink. So I started to scrape off the color on the wall in March I think. Haven’t gotten far because it is a rather unthankful job. But I told the best husband (Jeremy Clarkson voice) in the world that he doesn’t need to do anything so I am stuck with it.

I also need to do the shopping and get some more dog food. And cook. And then there are so many cool blogs to read which I have neglected a lot lately.

Here are some of the bloggers I visit:

Karen Deanna Joyce

JoAnna

And for my German-speaking readers:

DGHDE

Well, I won’t be bored, will I?

Originally I wanted to write a poem for you guys too but my concentration is down in the dumps now. I need another coffee or something to eat so I send you over to Carol Anne where I have posted a poem of the day already.

This just leaves today’s blast from the past from 2015:

Tips For Writers by John Matthews (A Blast from the Past)

Today I am honoured to have a guest post John Matthews who has kindly agreed for a guest post on writing tips for self-published authors:

Three Key Tips For Writers

If you’re a self-published author or are now diligently working on your first book, then read these three important tips for writers. Competition is fierce to become successful and achieve your sales goals. You need to establish your brand as a writer one step at a time and get credibility. It is important to be proactive, work efficiently, and have a lot of patience with the self-publishing world.

  • Create the best content possible. The tougher the competition is, the more important it is to produce a top notch manuscript. Read other best-selling authors in your genre to get ideas of which writing styles work. Learn from their successes and improve your writing technique. The best writing methods have held true for decades and as new authors, we all have a ton of learning to do. Once you think your manuscript is finished, get a few close friends to read it and give honest feedback. Use any constructive criticism positively. Tweak your manuscript as you see fit until you are really ecstatic about your final product. Finally, get it edited and proofread by other friends and a professional. Make sure that book is squeaky clean when you are ready to publish it.
 
  • Pitch to book review blogs. Find lists of blogs that do book reviews for self-published authors. Make sure that their reading preference includes your genre. Read about the bloggers first and take a look at their social network profiles. Take a look also at other book reviews that have been posted on their blog. If it looks like a good fit for your book, send a courteous and professional email. First have a close look at the submission guidelines on each blog so you can meet their specific requirements. Remember that you are only sending a request for a book review and that anyone has the right to politely decline it. Book reviewers are very busy and usually get more submissions than they can keep up with. Here is a helpful list of ten great book review blogs.
 
  • Organize your marketing efforts. There are a lot of options for self-published author marketing. What’s important is to manage your time and money effectively. Know what your budget is and try to do as much of the work yourself as you can to keep things low cost or free. Find websites and blogs for self-published books that have forums and accept guest posts. Write high quality articles for submission on these sites and participate in forum discussions in your genre. You have to have time to keep writing your next book, so don’t allot more than half of your working time to marketing. Maintain a list of all blogs and other websites you are working with. Get into a daily routine for your marketing efforts and be efficient. Patience is key and remember that everything you write is important for establishing your brand as a writer.

Using these three key tips for writers should help you in your writing career. As is always the case with self-published authors, patience is the key. Establishing yourself will take time and perseverance, but if you succeed the payoff will be well worth it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thank you very much John for your tips on self-publishing!

If you want to know more about John please look here:

John Mathews is a tenured University Professor of English and living in Rome, Italy. Immersed in a long and somewhat stressful career, he feels the desire to break out of the mold and delve into macabre thriller fiction novels which focus on the dark side of human nature. He writes captivating thriller and suspense fiction books with the goal of pulling the reader into the plot through the minds of unforgettable characters. Complete with great suspense, plot twists, and shocking scenes, his stories will keep you guessing until the very end.

(Taken from John’s Amazon Author Page)


You’ve managed to read the whole post? Blimey, I am impressed and thank you very much for staying with me for so long. Want a cup of coffee? Tea? Cocoa? A cookie? You certainly deserve all of it. LOL.

Take care my dears and don’t forget:

love & rage my friends love & rage

All you need is a library and a garden (but this is more about gardening)

Image of a river in a valley with woods around it. White writing saying: If you have a garden and a library, you have everythng you need. Marcus Tullius Cicero
Cicero on Brainy Quotes

Hello out there, how are you doing? I hope you are doing fine and are not bothered by any extreme weather event. My thoughts and prayers go out to the good people of New Orleans and the surrounding areas. Please stay safe!!!!

I am doing fine overall besides my usual self-critical attitude. Just wrote a little about it over at Therapy Bits so I won’t go into this here.

I have shared the above quote by Cicero several times on my social media but I just feel this to be so so true that it makes its way into my blog too.

I am grateful because we have both. We have a huge garden with a big veggie patch and enough space for the dog to run. And our front room is filled with two bookshelves full of books. Of course, we also have a kindle with a “take-away” library. Aren’t we lucky?

Part of Bee's and Andy's garden: Shed in the back, a bush in the middle, front vegetable patc with several still small courgette plants.
This is just one half of our veggie patch and yes I know, we are guilty of plastic pollution too with our bird scaring tactics 😉

Yesterday I wrote about the fact that I try to do a gratitude journal where I write down ten things I am grateful for every day. I have to admit that it is usually the same things:

  1. our home
  2. our garden
  3. our family
  4. our friends
  5. enough food
  6. enough fresh water
  7. the ability to learn for free on the internet
  8. my blog
  9. our laptop
  10. lots of time to do the things I love

It’s the basics in my opinion but I believe if we are not grateful for the basics then we do not appreciate them enough and we might very soon experience that food and fresh water is in short supply. What is it that you are grateful for today?

As we are short of money I have learned to appreciate that through all this challenging time we have enough to eat and that we can make do with what’s available. That is a skill I am actually quite proud of. God bless my grandmother who taught me this by example.

She is the one I am thinking a lot of lately and the little quirky things she did that I did not understand when I was young. Like re-using freezer bags many many times. She cleaned them in the dish washing water and then hanged them up over the tabs when she was done. Something that comes in very handy in a time when plastics pollute the ocean.

video credit: Seeker via YouTube

I have to admit that I am not as good as she was with being frugal but I am getting there. And re-using freezer bags is certainly one thing I am starting to do.

She was also a great veg grower. My granddad always dreamed of having a farm but granny was a town girl and felt a proper farm would be too much for her to handle. So they compromised with having a huge allotment all of their life.

I now wish I would have asked her to teach me how to pickle vegetables for winter use. Our freezer isn’t too big so freezing everything isn’t an option. Many of our veg like the huge white radishes or carrots can stay in the ground but runner beans come en masse and I would love to keep some for winter. So I am going to learn how to do that via good old YouTube. I’ll keep you updated. Is there anything you wish you would have learned from your parents or grandparents?

Remember my “fairy garden“?

Image of flowerbed in middle of garden. It is rather overgrown with orange nasturtium, blue borage and other plants. A Buddleia bush and wooden fence is in back.
This sits right in the middle of the dog running area

It is rather overgrown at the moment because we have a “green house amosphere” here in North Norfolk: it is often very humid and warm. Today especially: We already had 16c/60.8F when I walked Sherky in the morning just after 7am and we both came home rather shattered.

But it had rained just before we left which was good because I didn’t need to water the plants so much. We only water our veg and what we just planted. The rest has to get on with the rain its getting to save as much water as possible. I also experiment with mulching around the plants to keep the moisture in the ground. Well, I am not a person who potters around in the garden all the time. But I use the mornings to weed a little and do bits and bobs all around. That is why our garden looks a little wild 🙂 in parts.

Image of flowerbed in front of wooden fence: Orange and red poppies with strawberries underneath and a tayberry bush and honeysuckle in the back
The bee flower bed which somehow turned into a poppy oasis with tayberries and strawberries

I like to give all sorts of creepy crawlies a home though and they like it wild. I can’t remember if I posted about the wood I left in the fairy garden for a creepy crawly hotel. Haven’t checked it yet. There is also a bowl with water thats all mucky now. Need to clean it soon and put fresh water in it.

I somehow got lost in talking about our garden and lost my train of thought. Well, maybe you want to know what will be on our table later in the year?

I mentioned the courgettes in one of the above images. This year I build some lovely but rather wonky tipis over them so they can grow upwards rather than using up all the growing space on the veg patch. The greenery you saw to the right side is two rows of chard and two rows of… I think they are called Welsh Onions. They are like spring onions and we cut both chard and onions down for them to regrow. I also sowed some more on the other side of the apple tree with two rows of radishes.

Image of veg patch with two rows of radish seedlings, some parsley, corriander and chives.
We have to protect the seedlings from the birds who seem to love young radish plants.

I have planned to grow more radishes because we really love them and some carrots too. Not sure yet where exactly I am going to put them. As I said I love it wild 🙂 . I am rather proud of the parsnips we grew earlier this year. They definitely need some weeding and thinning out.

Image of two rows of parsnips with mustard growing inbeetween. Lawn to the right and rambling rose in back.
We grow mustard as green manure and later mulch inbetween our veg
image of two bean tipis surrounded by parsnips, seeded parsley and a rambling rose
We let the parsley go to seed on the left to keep some for more growing. The one I showed in an image before was a bought one I put out.

And then there are the beans. I love beans even though they can be a pain to prepare and get off the plants. One seeded out on the other side of the apple tree so it got a single bamboo stick to grow up on. I feed them with nettle and comfrey soup practically daily as well as the courgette and the apple cucumber. Do you know them?

They look like little green apples and taste rather intestingly. I think they come from Italy but do just fine around here.

So, one last update on my garden projects for today. This is the front of our house and garden:

Front of Bee's and Andy's garden with red and yellow poppy, nasturtium and lots of wild plants growing.
Our front flowerbed towards the street which is at an angle.

It is not as colourfull yet as I had planned. This part used to be fully overgrown with brambles and other fast growing plants. I cleaned it in spring and planted some daffodil-, crocus and other bulbs and hope it will be a little colourful next spring. Then I moved some valerian and mint over from the back. Unfortunately, I didn’t recognise the valerian in my last weeding spree and ripped it out again. You can’t see the mint but I hope it will give the bees some lovely flowers later on. And then again lots of poppies and nasturtium. I had sowed out a wild flower meadow mix but didn’t take into consideration how much at an angle this part is. So those seeds washed away. Just the red poppies stayed on.

And I tried some sunflower seeds but they didn’t make it either. Shame 😦 . My hope is that the poppies and nasturtium self-seed and that we get a wild but colorful front next year. So, that’s the rundown on my gardening projects for today.

a little plot of land

precious gift

custodian for creepy crawlies

I mentioned it before that I try to incorporate old posts into this new version of my blog (may god (however she or he looks like) grant me the preserverance to stay with it 😉 ). That is why you get a climpse back to February 2015 when James Mayfield was so kind to offer a guest post:

This post is a re-blog from February 2015:

Today I am honoured to have James Mayfield as my guest blogger about motivation:


~ “But” is an argument for our limitations and when we argue for our limitations we get to keep them”

Les Brown




Most people desire success in their lives. We wish to leave our mark on the world and be remembered for achieving something. Some chase riches, others power, while some simply want to feel happy and be respected by others through creating something amazing.


But it’s not always enough just to want something. For it to actually happen, we must focus our efforts and develop the right mentality. Yet, most people have no idea how to do just that.


What happens to most people is that they develop the argument of “but”.


“I want to be a successful writer… but… what if I can’t write? What if I fail? Maybe I should just give up.”


“I need to market my book… but… what if I just waste my money and it doesn’t work? What if nobody likes it? Maybe it’s better to not even try.”


Every time you make an argument for “but”, you are validating your own limitations. And those limitations will strangle your potential.


“Most people fail in life not because they aim too high and miss, but because they aim too low and hit. Shoot for the moon, because even if you miss, you’ll land in the stars.


~ Les Brown


You need to have big dreams and the courage to step forward even if success isn’t guaranteed. Because that is the only way to have real success.


But you also need to work on your goals the right way. Realizing your own potential is invigorating but you still need to put in the work. And the key here is to be consistent and to start with the small things. Dream big, but start small.


“Sometimes it ain’t about being the most talented. Sometimes it ain’t about being the smartest. Sometimes it’s not even about working the hardest. Sometimes it’s about consistency! Consistency!”


~ Eric Thomas


You don’t succeed suddenly because of one single action taken in a moment of inspiration. The blueprint for success isn’t realized in huge chunks, but rather in tiny pieces that are put together day after day.


You don’t become a successful writer by trying to finish your book in a day or concentrating all your efforts on a single day of marketing. No, you succeed by doing small things every day to the best of your ability and then seeing it all add up in the near future.


“Success is the sum of small efforts – repeated day in and day out.”


~ Robert Collier


You have to have faith in yourself. You have to believe in the fact that the small pieces of daily effort will indeed come together to form something greater down the line. Learn to visualize the finished puzzle even when you’re still only looking for the corner pieces. You can see the end result in your mind, can you not? Believe in it. Know that it will become reality as long as you keep working on it.


Can you still experience failure despite giving what you thought was your best effort? Of-course. But don’t be afraid of setbacks if they happen. Failing at something is a part of life. You learn from it. It’s all about your mentality, about how you see it.


“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
~ Thomas A. Edison


By experiencing setbacks, we learn to succeed more effectively in the future. And the success will feel better for it.


Always believe in yourself and in your dreams. The world will be a better place for everyone if you make your dreams a reality.


I hope you guys now feel more motivated to chase your dreams and put in the daily work needed to achieve them. I know first hand how fleeting motivation can be and how hard it can be to resist depression when faced with setbacks. But never give up!


For a collection of great motivational videos, check out my YouTube playlist.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Thank you so much James for your tips on motivation!

You can find out more about James Mayfield here:

Author Page
Twitter

I have put up some of my photos for purchasing via Dreamstime and it would be great if you could advertise a little for me on your social media.


You can find my profile here (its an affiliate link btw)

Bee Halton on Dreamstime


Thanks so much!


Please visit these great bloggers & authors:

Ritu: https://butismileanyway.com/

Linda: https://lindaghill.com/ & https://lindaghillfiction.com/

And for my German readers:

Villebooks: https://villebooks.wordpress.com/


That’s it for today. Rather a lot. I am impressed if you made it down to the end ;-). Have a great day!

Love & Rage my dears Love & Rage

Guest Post: “Fact vs Fiction” by Tamara Ferguson

Portrait of Author Tamara Ferguson

This was first published on my old blog in February 2015

FACT VERSUS FICTION

Writing Contemporary Romance
Just howimportant is it to stick to the facts when inventing the background for your story?
This question never really came up for me until I submitted Tales of the Dragonfly Book II: In Flight for a Wisconsin Romance Writers contest back in 2013.  Overall, the rough draft had scored fairly well in the Chicago Fire & Ice RWA Contest a few months before.
 
Since time is an issue in my life, it’s difficult for me to participate in workshops, even when they’re online.  These RWA contests have proved to be some of my most valuable learning tools when it comes to assessing my writing.  I try to take advice from my judges and work it into my manuscripts as I revise and edit.
 
I’d like to think I’ve conquered the majority of my problems I’ve had with my POV and fondness for adjectives.  But a couple of unrelated comments from the judges from a Wisconsin really threw me!
 
In Flight takes place in the lovely growing resort town of Crystal Rock, Wisconsin.  Loosely resembling the small town in Northwest Wisconsin where my family cabin was once located, this setting is purely fictional, and larger than life.
 
Since I created a fictitious town as well as The Dragonfly Pointe Inn, I thought—why not invent fictitious transportation?  After all, with the emphasis I put on the enchantment of Dragonfly Pointe, there’s a slight element of fantasy running through all of my stories, anyway.
 
Coincidentally, it was kind of a family joke that there was no other means of reaching our cabin other than to drive, since the final leg of our journey, until

recent years, had always been along a narrow two lane highway.   

 
Well—when scoring my manuscript, two out three judges drew attention to the fact that there was no train running through that region of the country at the time period in which my story takes place.  One of them even went so far as to research the railroad and bus schedules.
 
Okay—when developing my characters, I do agree that it’s essential to get the facts straight when it comes to creating their background.  In fact, I’d give it a 10/10 for its importance.
Examples:
In the novella I’m currently writing—Two Hearts Surrendered—the hero of my story will be one of the pilots responsible for dropping bombs used to contain terrorists in Iraq.  And he’ll return to his hometown physically and emotionally scarred.  I won’t go into too much detail about the war—after all, it is a romance.   But I’ll validate facts like the branch of the service he served in, as well as the actual timing of the attacks to coordinate with my character’s homecoming.  I’ll even research the design and color of his uniform, since he’ll come home on leave to attend a wedding.  These details are important to make your characters believable.
But, did I go back and rewrite my prologue for In Flight, and eliminate the train, just because two Wisconsin judges told me to stick to the truth—even though one of these judges actually subtracted points from my score sheet? My answer is no.  Don’t be intimidated into thinking that the advice from those who critique your work is an absolute.
 
But do go back and analytically evaluate their suggestions before you make any final decisions to ignore them.  If five out six judges point out problems with your sentence structuring or POV, then you know you have a definite problem and need to fix it. But when it comes to advice that’s not related to your writing, itself?  You need to think carefully.
 
First, I considered my target audience.  My Tales of the Dragonfly is romantic suspense, and meant to appeal primarily to women—but within a broad age group.  Would my readers really care that there wasn’t a train running through Wisconsin when they’re reading my story?
 
My answer was no.  In fact, out of all the critiques and reviews of my book, not one single person seems to have noticed it.  And then there’s that one remaining judge from Wisconsin, who gave me my highest score, and mentioned nothing about it at all.
 
Secondly, I considered the train as I’d used it in the prologue of my story.
Example 1:
Murphy had his nose back in his paper when he suddenly became aware of another presence rising up from the very rear of the deserted passenger car.  Odd, Murphy frowned, with a confused shake of his head.  He was slipping.  He could’ve sworn he was the only one left in the car.  Of medium height, the individual held his head down as he quietly shuffled by, seeming purposely to conceal himself. 
Example 2:
Suddenly, a calculated movement from further down the station platform snapped Murphy’s eyes back through the window.  Hovering only a few yards behind the woman, the stranger in the hooded sweatshirt stealthily pulled out from the shadows of the dimly lit stationhouse.
Impulsively attempting to draw the woman’s attention, Murphy knocked on the window of the train.  Apparently aware of the knocking, tauntingly challenging Murphy, the stranger in the sweatshirt met his gaze through the window with a shattering, bleak hollow stare.  Helplessly, Murphy watched while the woman entered the stationhouse, the shadowy figure in the sweatshirt following closely behind. 
Would I have been able to substitute this train with a plane or an automobile?
This time I answered with an emphatic no.  This change would’ve impacted my entire novel.  How would I have been able to build this degree of tension on a plane or in a crowded airport?  And would the villain of my story have even been noticed? 
 
Expert though the person or persons critiquing your work may be, you need to remember, when it comes to advising you about conceptual details, it’s largely their opinion.
 
It’s important to stick to the truth when at all possible–I’d give it a 7/10.

 

But, as a writer, the first thing you should do is eliminate your self-doubt.  The key to believable and effective writing is to always be true to yourself.  This is what makes your story unique.
 
Thank you very much, Tamara, for this brilliant guest post. I enjoyed it very much!

Guestpost: Josie Tucker Goes Home Again, But I Never Have! ! by EM Kaplan

photo credit: EM Kaplan

March 2019

I am re-posting a great guest post by EM Kaplan from October 2014. She is the author of the funny Josie Tucker Crime series and if you haven’t read any of her books yet please check her out. You find the links at the end of this post. She has also been a guest on this blog recently when she answered the Proust Questionnaire.

October 2014

Today I am happy to welcome EM Kaplan again to “The Bee Writes…” with her guest post:

“Josie Tucker Goes Home Again, But I never have!!”

“In The Bride Wore Dead—which is the first time readers met my amateur detective—Josie Tucker goes back to her home state of Arizona to find out why a bride has died on her honeymoon. Snarky and slightly tomboyish, Josie’s return to her hometown sparks all kinds of memories of her misspent youth. As she unearths clues, like a desert explorer gingerly lifting rocks to seek out snakes and scorpions, she takes us on a slice-of-life tour of Tucson culture as she knows it: classic cars, tamales, small-town nepotism, and adoptive families that are tied more tightly together than ones bound by blood.! !

Every time a friend or family member tells me they’ve read The Bride Wore Dead, I wait for the inevitable: “I can’t stop picturing you as Josie” or “She sounds just like you.” I can’t help but smile—she’s not me. For one thing, she’s twenty years younger than I am. All kidding aside, she’s way less confined by social norms than I am. She’s my id; I’m the ego. More importantly, she has gone home again; I never have.! !

“Write about what you know” is maybe the oldest writing axiom there is. Caveman sitting with a pot of paint staring at the dusty cave wall told stories of great hunts. Cave paintings are a record of what they knew, possibly embellished. Did Gronk really take down that buffalo by himself? Who cares? Good story. ! !

Think about it if you’re stuck when you’re trying to write. What do you know? I’m not talking about facts or statistics. I’m talking about experiences. The memories of Tucson I gathered from my upbringing are more fresh in my mind than the actual experience of walking around the Old Pueblo. This phenomenon is the home that Thomas Wolfe was talking about when he said you couldn’t go back. The home in your mind exists only in your mind; you can’t visit it unless you look inward. The things that you know are always a kind of home in your mind, whether it be populated by unicorns and ogres or great Aunt Ruth on your father’s side.! !

What do I know? I have cities and people in my mind that are based on reality. Conversations flit in and out like whispered shades and shadows. My father is still alive. Time stands still long enough for me to capture it in words to make it permanent, indelible in ink or pixels on an e-reader.

And if I can transport a reader there with me, my job is done.”

photo credit: EM Kaplan

Thanks very much, Emily for taking the time to let us know a little more about your take on writing and your experiences with writing “Josie Tucker”.

If you want to know more about Emily please have a look here:

EM’s Author Page
EM on Twitter
EM on Facebook
EM on Amazon
EM on Barnes & Nobles

Persevere if you want to be a writer by Storm M. Grayson ©

This post was first published on my old blog in January 2018

black and white photo of Storm M. Grayson, blonde shoulder length hair, round face with sunglasses on. She is wearing a checkered shirt and sits on a chair. There is a glass in front of her.

Today I am very happy to have Storm M. Grayson on “The Bee Writes…” who gives us tips on how to become a successful writer and introduces us to “The Writer’s Newsletter” and “The Young Writer’s Newsletter“. So with no further ado over to Storm:

Thank you, Bee for asking me to contribute, I hope my piece will be helpful to those starting out.

Writing isn’t as easy as it sounds. Putting one word after another, in theory, is a doddle, but when it needs to make sense and appeal to the reader it is another thing entirely.

Publishing books, short stories or poetry takes time, thought and patience. When deciding to take that big step into the unknown you will find a wealth of information in the form of self-help books, courses and advice from fellow writers. As in life, everyone has their own way of doing things and what may work for one person may be a disaster to another.

It is pretty well guaranteed that you will fail miserably in the beginning, but nobody ever learns anything from getting it right first time other than how to accept praise gratefully. Failing will set you up for the rejection letters that agents and publishers are so well practiced at sending out.

Enough of the gloom and doom of being the next big thing in writing. Nearly every writer will tell you about false starts and thoughts of giving it up to be a school dinner lady or plumber. Perseverance is the word to remember here. If you like what you write and enjoy doing it whether it is making up stories or writing letters to the local press, then keep on doing it, practice makes perfect. My mother who published 16 books and wrote columns for many publications sharpened her skills on letters of complaint to the local paper and advertising.

the bottom of a dog on a bed. It's head is hidden in a white bed sheet.

copyright: Storm M Grayson

In the beginning, take baby steps, but have in mind that best seller, make up a picture of your best-selling book and pin it to the wall to remind you why you decided to be a writer and make a plan.

There are several sayings associated with writing one is write what you know, and I always add to this don’t write what you think you know, it’s a bit like telling a fib and then forgetting what you fibbed about in the first place. The other is, everyone has a book in them! Do they? I am not so sure.

If you are going to be a writer, here are a few things I think you should remember: Don’t ramble, so many books these days in order to keep the word count up are heavily padded, most readers prefer to read the plot and associated happenings, not the fact that Uncle Bertie fell up the front door steps in 1932. Employ a proper editor that comes well recommended it is money well spent.

Don’t ask all and sundry family members to read it and tell you what they think, you will never get an honest opinion as they wouldn’t want to upset you. Unless you have a mother like mine who is overcritical and can burst your bubble in 10 seconds flat.

As a when I can find time writer it has taken me a good many years to settle into my own writing niche. With occasional published articles and short stories, eighteen months ago I founded The Writers Newsletter. I had a spell rescuing another writer’s newsletter previously and it was a great success and I thoroughly enjoyed it, it came to a premature end due to matters beyond my control and all but disappeared. So, after some thought, I decided to do my own and I love it.

It is published monthly online and is worldwide, the stats have now gone completely out of control and it is viewed

two beige dogs that look like greyhounds running on a green meadow without flowers

In a Hurry. copyright: Storm M. Grayson

around a thousand times a day. The idea is for it to be a platform for writers and readers of all genres to contribute and read stories, articles and poetry. We also publish festival lists, competition lists and links from research sites to associations. Over the months we have grown and now have book promotions, author interviews and a recent news page. One other feature I am proud of is the good works item where we promote a good works/charity supported by books or writing. We have big plans for 2018 so watch this space.

In the January of 2017, I founded The Young Writers Newsletter, this is for anyone 18 and under and for children’s authors and young adult authors. It runs on the same lines as the adult version and has been well received. I have recently taken on someone of 18 to help edit and produce it so I am expecting great things in the months to come.
As a writer, it is always good to take time out and do something completely different. Mine is walking the dog and photography. I purchased my first proper camera 8 years ago and have produced greeting cards, calendars and accept commissions for Flowers and Gardens and Show dogs and Horses. I am extremely observant which bodes well as a writer and photographer and can be combined quite successfully.

Thank you Storm for those brilliant tips and for taking the time to write a post for “The Bee Writes…”

Here you can find links both to “The Writer’s Newsletter” and “The Young Writer’s Newsletter”. They are great so please sign up and get your writing boost too:

The Writer’s Newsletter

The Writer’s Newsletter on Facebook

The Young Writers Newsletter

The Young Writer’s Newsletter on Facebook

 

What is PTSD and What can we do About it? ~ Guest Post by Anna Kucirkova

Anna Kucirkova

Today I welcome Anna Kucirkova to “The Bee Writes…” who gives us a detailed insight into what PTSD is and what it means to live with it:

“Our society still faces a huge battle in understanding mental illnesses, even now with all of our advances in technology. In America alone, 43.8 million people suffer from a mental illness every year.

The most common mental illnesses are clinical depression, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, dementia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.Most people have heard of these disorders, if not suffer from one of them or know someone who does.

However, there is another type of mental illness that anyone is susceptible to at any time. We have no control over when and if we develop it, and it can completely change our lives and the lives of the people around us.

We’re talking about post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Many of us only have a vague understanding of what PTSD is, how it happens and how it affects people. When we think of PTSD we typically think of the soldier who has just returned home and can’t re-adjust to civilian life.

However, PTSD can be caused by many things and affect absolutely anyone, not just soldiers in extreme situations. Let’s take a deeper look at what PTSD is, what causes it, and what we can do to treat it and prevent it.

What Is PTSD?

So what exactly is PTSD? Put simply, it’s an anxiety disorder that occurs after witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event. If you have PTSD or think you have PTSD, you’re not alone. PTSD affects 14 million adults every single year.

Many of us experience or witness traumatic events and feel the effects immediately afterward. We’re overtaken by fear and the “fight or flight” response, and these reactions are natural and keep us safe.

For most people these effects fade away with self-care and time, but sometimes the effects can linger over a long period of time and even get worse. If this is happening to you, you might have PTSD.

What Causes PTSD?

As mentioned earlier, PTSD is caused by traumatic events. There isn’t a definitive list of things that will definitely cause PTSD, or a “main” cause of PTSD, because each person reacts to traumatic events differently.

What causes PTSD for one person may not have an effect on another. However, there are certain events that heavily influence the chances of someone developing PTSD, such as:

  • Experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening situation.
  • Surviving a violent act such as domestic violence, rape, sexual abuse, physical and/or verbal abuse or physical assault.
  • Surviving a car accident, natural disaster, or terrorist attack.
  • Being exposed to war.
  • Dealing with the sudden and unexpected death of a close friend or relative.
  • Helping victims during traumatic events.
  • Being neglected as a child or being physically or sexually abused as a child.

Any one can experience any of these things during their lifetime, and experiencing them can lead to the development of PTSD. Anything that has a significantly negative impact on our lives can cause PTSD.

Even simple, mundane things that people most deal with every day can affect someone so powerfully that it causes them to develop the disorder.

Something like a bad break up could send someone far enough over the edge that they develop PTSD develop the symptoms of PTSD. It all depends on the individual and how they respond to the negative event.

What Are The Symptoms of PTSD?

PTSD has numerous symptoms, all of which can have a lasting impact on your life. Sometimes you may develop the symptoms immediately following the traumatic event, other times the symptoms might lay dormant for months or even years.

The symptoms can cause serious problems at work and in relationships, and can even make getting through daily life a struggle. Typically, PTSD symptoms are broken down into four groups:

● Intrusive memories
● Avoidance
● Negative changes in thinking and mood
● Changes in physical and emotional reactions.

The symptoms someone experiences can change over time, and they will differ from person to person.

Intrusive Memories

Having intrusive memories is when memories of the traumatic event intrude into your mind consume your thoughts. You might have recurring, unwanted memories of the event, flashbacks and nightmares of the event, or even physical and emotional reactions to things that remind you of the event.

Avoidance

Avoidance is just that, trying to avoid anything and everything that reminds you of the event or that forces you to talk about it.

Negative Changes In Thinking And Mood

The traumatic experience can change who you are as a person, making you think negatively and act negatively. Some common changes are negative thoughts about yourself, other people, or the world, hopelessness about the future, not being able to remember important aspects of the traumatic event, and memory problems in general.

You may also start having trouble maintaining close relationships and start feeling detached from family and friends. Things you once loved may not be important to you anymore. Simply being happy and positive can become extremely difficult, and you may become emotionally numb.

Changes In Physical And Emotional Reactions

Also called arousal symptoms, these symptoms completely change the way you react to things around us. People suffering from PTSD can be easily startled and be always on guard, expecting something bad to happen. They may also develop self-destructive behavior, such as drinking and having a disregard for the law.

Trouble sleeping and trouble concentrating can become the norm. People with PTSD often become very irritable and have angry outbursts or aggressive behavior when they normally wouldn’t. And most of the time, they will feel overwhelming guilt or shame about the traumatic event.

How Does PTSD Affect Daily Life?

As you’ve probably assumed, having PTSD can greatly affect your day to day life. Doing simple things like grocery shopping or going to a ballgame with friends can become extremely challenging tasks for someone with PTSD.

You also have to deal with your PTSD “triggers” every day. You might wake up feeling fine, but then something happens to you that triggers your PTSD and causes your symptoms to return.

Some triggers are obvious, like the sound of car backfiring resembling the sound of a gun. Others are not so obvious. Maybe you were robbed and assaulted during a thunderstorm, so now every time you’re in a thunderstorm or here a report of a thunderstorm your PTSD could be triggered.

There are several things that can be PTSD triggers, such as:

● Certain people
● Thoughts and feelings
● Specific objects
● Certain smells
● Places
● TV shows, news reports, or movies
● Sounds
● Tastes
● Situations
● Anniversaries
● Certain keywords

There’s no timetable to gauge how long PTSD will last. To be diagnosed with PTSD, you have to have symptoms for at least a month, so it can last anywhere from a few months to many years. The median duration of PTSD is between 3-5 years, but those numbers will vary greatly case by case.

Preventing and Treating PTSD

After a traumatic event, most people will have some symptoms similar to PTSD. Anger, fear, depression and anxiety are all common reactions to trauma. It’s important to do something right away to keep your symptoms from developing into the long lasting effects of PTSD.

Getting help and support immediately will go a long way in preventing the development of PTSD. Reach out to friends and family members. Don’t keep anything pent up inside of you. Consider seeing a counselor or arranging a therapy session. Some people reach out to their faith communities.

There’s no guarantee this will prevent you from developing PTSD, but it will certainly help you recover from the traumatic event.

The good news is that PTSD can be treated with success. Your memories will never go away, but you can manage the way you react to them and help remove some of the triggers. Treatment and support are critical to your recovery, so it’s important to seek help as soon as possible.

Here are a few of the treatments available for PTSD.

Psychotherapy

Facing your trauma can be very difficult, but doing it with a mental health expert can help you get better. There are different types of therapy experts use for treatment.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helps you change the thought patterns that keep you from recovering from the traumatic event.

Exposure Therapy helps you confront the memories and situations that cause your distress.
Cognitive Processing Therapy helps you process your emotions and challenge your thinking patterns about the event.

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy identifies current life situations that trigger PTSD symptoms.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing connects you to a therapist who will wave a hand or baton in front of you while think about the trauma. You follow the movements with your eyes. This helps your brain process your memories and reduce your negative feelings about the memories.

Couples Counseling and Family Therapy helps couples and family members understand each other.
Medicine

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs are used to treat PTSD. They can help reduce anxiety, depression, and a variety of other symptoms that accompany PTSD. Sedatives are used to help with sleep issues, and anti-anxiety medicine can also be helpful.

Support Groups

Lead by a mental health professional, a group of between 4-12 people suffering from PTSD will get together and discuss what they’re dealing with, how they’re handling it, what works, and so on. Talking to other people that are experiencing the same difficulties as you is a great step to recovery. It’s good to know you’re not alone.

Self-Care

There are a number of things you can do on your own to treat your PTSD. Figure out what works for you and add them to your daily routine.

  • Connect with friends and family
  • Relax
  • Exercise
  • Get enough rest
  • Keep a journal
  • Refrain from using drugs and alcohol
  • Help others and volunteer
  • Limit TV

If you think you’re suffering from PTSD, it’s very important to seek help right away. Even if you aren’t sure, seeing a doctor to at least rule it out could be one of the most important things you do. If PTSD is left untreated, it can lead to very severe consequences.

Many people turn to drugs or alcohol to help deal with their anxiety, but this only makes things worse for those with PTSD. They can also suffer from long term anger issues, which can lead to worse things like spousal or child abuse.

Because of the anger issues and many of the other symptoms, many people with untreated PTSD end up alone. Many of their symptoms make them difficult to deal with and be around, so the people in their lives start to disappear.

The last, and perhaps worse consequence of untreated PTSD, is severe depression. Because they are experiencing the traumatic event repeatedly, most people suffering from untreated PTSD will become severely depressed. This often times leads to suicidal thoughts and actions while going through a PTSD episode.

Learn more about depression counselors.

Conclusion

Even today, mental illnesses like PTSD still plague our society. However, our understanding of PTSD continues to grow, and we’re more effective now than we’ve ever been at diagnosing it and treating it. Mental illnesses used to carry a negative stigma with them, but that is beginning to diminish.

If you believe that you or someone you know is suffering from PTSD, get help right away. There are several highly successful treatments available that can be started right away. If left untreated, PTSD can lead to some very extreme consequences.

You deserve better.

Thanks, Anna, for this insightful article!

 

This article is written by Anna Kucirkova and has previously appeared on Careersinpsychology.org

 


Fellow Bloggers writing about PTSD:

My Life with PTSD & Bi-Polar: PTSD Symptoms

 

Let’s Talk About… Candi Silk

As promised here is more from the wonderful Candi Silk. At last, I have read one of her books and I have to say I enjoyed it thoroughly. An exquisite story of a woman discovering her sexuality and finding a more than exciting adventure in the wake of it. “Night Rogue” is certainly worth reading and enjoying.

Thrill Driven is Candi’s latest erotica. It is a continuation of Marla as she further explores her sexuality with two women and a man. A four-day weekend of “play” is waiting for them, and with Candi Silk’s naughty writing pen there’s no telling how steamy and “thrilling” things will get. Reckless, uninhibited, and wild for sure!

You want to read it? You are lucky as today is the publishing date and you can find it here:

Candi’s Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Candi-Silk/e/B00I9CFB6E
Candi’s Amazon Author Page UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B00I9CFB6E
You are not sure about reading an erotic story? Then feel free to sign up for her page which gives you the joy of a free book of hers to have a little peek in.
 
But now enough of seducing you into reading exciting books: here are some more questions for Candi Silk:
 
“Candi, you have found a new fan for your books but what do your fans mean to you? 
 

Everything, because the loyal reader is the other half of that great conversation between the author and the reader. Those two are an inseparable entity. While the author owns the story, the dance of romance hasn’t happened until the reader owns the reading experience. And that’s the “perfect dance of romance” between an author and a reader.

 

I have to admit I had a few prejudices about reading an erotic story. One being that it has not a lot of plot. What is your response to those that say erotica is not serious writing and has no plot? 
 

Excellent question, Bee. First a quick answer: Erotica is as serious as sex. Sex is how we all got here on this planet. That sounds pretty serious to me. Now, let’s take a look at a little background. The word “erotic” originated back in the middle 1600s and it means ~ tending to arouse sexual love or desire. This could be applied to erotic art, writing, clothing, or even a wedding setting. Notice the word erotic is “feeling” centered. We’re talking about feelings or desires that are experienced by the human being, as we currently understand human psychology.

And those primal feelings have been around as far back as we can trace human history. So the fact that those feelings exist is not breaking news. The term erotica originated around 1800 and it applies generally to literary or artistic works having an erotic theme or quality. Today we include the writing and media professions as we attempt to categorize erotica. We know those feelings are within the realm of the human experience, and we know those feelings can be acted upon and become observable behaviors.

What writers, artists, musicians, filmmakers, photographers, and others have tried to capture within their craft is that broad spectrum of erotic feelings, desires, wants, needs, impulses, and some would even say appetites. Erotica is a serious effort to capture the sexual feelings of the human experience. So, where’s the plot in all this? In media or literary work plot means the main story. To get closer to the answer, let’s ask a few more questions:

Where’s the plot in watching an hour-long, food-channel TV show while someone cooks a pot of broccoli? Or where’s the plot in watching an hour-long, home-improvement show while someone paints a bedroom pink? Where’s the plot in watching three hours of football on Sunday night? Where’s the plot in veering off the road to your favorite ice cream parlor, and impulsively devouring a fully-loaded banana split ten minutes before supper?

Should these four “happenings” be considered odd, non-serious, fetishes, neuroses, psychoses, appetites, bad, good, or what? One could argue that the food channel leads to gluttony, home improvement leads to materialism, football leads to a combination of things, banana splits lead to poor health, encourages poor self-control, etc.

Each of the above events involve feelings and the human being seeking to fulfill some kind of desire, want, need, appetite, or something else that’s above my pay grade to explain. All of the above are tightly-focused main events, without a lot of beginning or ending. In today’s busy world many people want to get to the center of things. Take Sunday Night Football.

Most patrons want the main event, the game. They want the narrow niche of the central happening. They don’t want or need the six days of pre and post-game information. However, there are some sports aficionadoes that want all the before and after details. So how does this apply to erotica? In real life, erotica interactions can be fuelled by fast-moving emotions taking place in a matter of moments, as they push boundaries, shoving behaviors into the unknown and sometimes hard-to-explain arenas.

Erotica is often fuelled by intense, passionate, hungry desires driven by urgency. It can be impulsive, taking place in the bedroom, the backseat of a car, the dark corner of a bar, a neighbor’s house or almost any location. So the 250 pages of prologue, a hand-holding stroll, porch-swing cuddling, and sipping iced tea are history; the plot, the main event is about to take place. Erotica writings answer the very real interests of today’s readers.

Some readers prefer short, intensely passionate character interactions. Other readers prefer a lengthier, escalating emotional experience, along with other story elements developed more fully. Take any short erotica writing, add 250 pages to the front and 50 pages to the back of the story and we’re probably talking a full-length romance/erotic-romance story. There are no rigid demarcations regarding length or content that a book has to fulfill to be classified as erotica.

Bookstores and libraries can mechanically categorize or shelve writings and books, but readers have the last word in deciding exactly what is erotic, entertaining, and pleasing to them. Erotica is a leading genre among readers, particularly women; they are comfortable reading a variety of intense passionate themes regardless of the length. And I think it’s safe to say, when story characters are in the midst of passionate sexual feelings no one is asking, Where’s the plot? In erotica the intimate sexual interaction IS the plot. That is the main event! There is no agreement regarding the merits of reading preferences in today’s market place. However, I think it’s important to respect the diversity among writers and readers. There’s enough creativity in the marketplace for each one of us to celebrate and enjoy!

I certainly agree with that!

There are people though who object to any erotic art in general. They assume it is a bad influence. That leads to the question is erotica a bad influence? Let’s balance the question by putting it this way: Is erotica a bad or good influence? 
Now I can answer the question honestly. Virtually everything on the planet could be considered an influence or stimuli of some kind or other, maybe. Certainly there is some kind of interaction that takes place between humanity and its environment. But I tend to believe that regardless of the stimuli or the environment, the individual has the ultimate power to make choices and decisions. All fiction is make-believe. The content of fiction is an imaginary way of presenting a story, although the story could have some factual elements, e.g., the setting could be the real Washington, D.C. or London, England. Or everything about the story could be completely imaginary, like a happening in the year 3,093. Fiction consists of a variety of stories for enjoyment and entertainment for the reader. Fiction is not a textbook or instructional manual for the reader to go racing into the dark of night and do everything the characters in a book did. Dr. Zhivago by Boris Pasternak is a classic work of historical fiction that includes some very real points in Russian history woven with fictional romance. A wonderful story. But would a reader try to imitate the behavior of the characters in the story? Or would a reader be influenced to carry out some of the horrific deeds of Dean Koontz’s thrilling characters? So back to the question; is erotica a good or bad influence? In the most clinical way, I think of all fiction, including erotica, as FYI; it’s an imaginary story. Enjoy it as entertainment, and move on to the next good book. Each of us is responsible for our beliefs and values; that’s a fact not fiction.
Now that is more than true!

Thank you so much for this second interview. It is always a joy to have you in my little bee hive. 

Thank you again, Bee, for your gracious invite to your blog.”

Candi Silk is a very social person and if you want to join her please feel free to do so here:
Candi’s WordPress: http://candisilk.com/