DSB: Real Life Bits 28/03


Hi everyone! It’s recently (and by recently I mean, for ages) been in my mind that you fine people actually care about me. Not just the highly entertaining (I hope) highjinks of Ileandra and Raven, but me, Leah. That’s wonderfully humbling and I realise that there hasn’t been much of me for quite some time. So I present:

Real Life Bits

I don’t know how often I’ll be doing this, but I figure since you guys are curious and caring and interested, it would be nice to give you a semi-regular update on what’s happening with me. This serves the dual purpose of also allowing both Ileandra and Raven to talk about themselves with no interruptions from yours truly.

Today is an update on my boys . . . because why not? :)

I think it was Ileandra who mentioned that our nursery closed down. That means that the boys have been with me this whole week but for a few interludes where Dave was able to take them on around his work schedule. It hasn’t been like that for a good many months and it’s been a bit of a shock to remember just how draining it can be to entertain a pair of (almost) three year olds for five straight days.

Well . . . I did it. We’ve come out the other side (relatively) unscathed and we’re all still very much adoring of each other. We even had fun in all the Richard III activities scattered throughout the city, which led to this extremely entertaining photo:

Strike a post photo - my boys

This is what happens when you shout ‘Strike a pose!’ …the crowns are just a bonus.

There are some new nurseries on the horizon and we’re looking to start them there following the Easter break. Not that it will be long before they start Foundation One (reception) classes. That’s this September.

I remember so well my posts while pregnant, worrying that they wouldn’t like me, or that I’d be a terrible mother, or that I’d just fall to bits and never manage to repair myself.

Well . . . I won’t deny that it’s been a hard few years, but look at them. Just look at my beautiful, super-intelligent, kind, polite and talented children. I’d say I’ve done okay for myself, right?

DSB Sig

Posted in Da Shared Brain's Posts, Real Life Chatter | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

RS: I Haz Planz 26/03


Week one. No nursery for The Sprogs.

Welp . . . we’re all alive, so I think I’m winning. Let us say no more about it. >.<

Actions Last Weekblank calendar from OpenClipArt

~Complete Kindle Edits for ‘Second Base’ on the original Scrivener file
Further to this morning this process is going much faster than I expected given my reticence to touch the damn novel, but I’m not done. One more week should do it.

~Secure at least two beta readers
I got one . . . darn people with their lives and their busyness. Don’t you know I’m the centre of the universe?! . . . ;-)

Activities For This Week

  1. Complete the rest of the Kindle Edits for ‘Second Base’ on the original Scrivener file
  2. Secure one more beta reader
  3. Stop leaping on the postman every time he arrives asking about the proof for Meeting Each Other: The Full Story.

Thoughts…

goal shooting goals from open clip artI put that last one in as a target because I’m sure the poor man is taking a break to avoid me. We had a new postie yesterday and I just missed him otherwise he would have received the ‘IS IT HERE YET?!’ treatment.

*sigh* Projected delivery was March 27 anyway, so maybe I should just relax.

. . . yeah right.

Better distract myself by having the laptop read more Second Base to me, right? Haha.

Have a good week, smexxy people. x

Raven's Signature In Black

Posted in Goals Posts *haha!*, Raven's Posts, Slippers & Chains | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

RS: Second Base: A WIP Check-in


I talk about this briefly in each goals post I do, but I figured now was as good a time as any to chat to you a bit more about what I’m up to.

Sugar Dust Cover art

Wheeeee!

For those of you who don’t know, ‘Second Base’ is the second book in the ‘Slippers & Chains’ series following the BDSM relationship of Daniel Scotney and Karen Owusu. The first story (‘Sugar Dust’) is out now with Breathless Press and can be found here, here and here.

I should also mention that it’s currently on sale on the Breathless Press website for a very fetching price. Catch now while it’s cheap, yo!

Anyway! ‘Second Base’ picks up a few months after the events of ‘Sugar Dust’ and though it can be read and enjoyed on its own it does hint to events in the earlier book. Daniel is looking to expand his Slave Library and Karen is having trouble after some devastating news from her mother. Chuck in some lovesick best friends and a new submissive, you have the makings of a story that gives you a much deeper look into these characters and how (and why) their relationship works.

So… yey me. I hope.

If you’ve been keeping up with my Facebook then you may have seen a few updates about my editing process including this one:

FB Screenshot 20150325 about text to speech

Hehee! ^_^

So while I’m struggling with this Kindle Edit as you’ll hear tonight, the process is going to get a lot easier. If I can stop laughing.

Have you guys ever done this? Used text to speech to read your novel back to you? I really do recommend you give it a go even if you just want to laugh at how crazy it sounds without proper inflection. Seriously… funny.

Yeah, that’s it. I had another post planned but it didn’t quite come together so you get my childish ramblings instead. *snerk*

Raven's Signature In Black

Posted in Goals Posts *haha!*, Raven's Posts, Slippers & Chains | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

IY: Mah Plans 23/03


Football goal posts from OpenClipArtThis week is going to be hell. -_-

I’m not normally such a pessimist (am I?) but I learned last week that our nursery is closing down. Ha . . . ‘is closing down’, I mean HAS closed down. Today was the last day. It’s done. Gone. Finito. Which means my usual ‘days off’ in which I work while the boys are away, are now going to be filled with boy-time.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my boys, but those two days off prevented me from murderising them horribly. Today has been all about looking for a new place to take them on and finding schools to sign them up to.

Yeah. I know. School. SCHOOL?! That snuck up on me. My boys will start pre-school/reception class THIS September. *dies*

Anyway . . .

Actions Last Week

Complete another x10 chapters of specific ‘Silk Over Razor Blades’ edits, looking at Lenina’s reactions to big plot points, the romantic build between her and Tristen and dialogue of both characters, plus that of Saar, Nick and Ramona (and Verni actually)
Done. In fact the whole lot is done. I reached a point where it just made sense to keep going. Which is good. And I’m glad I did because I found a semi-huge continuity issue which would have bitten me in the arse come ‘Walking The Razor’s Edge’ if I hadn’t fixed it now. So I’m happy. I also utterly removed reference and actions of a set of characters that do nothing for the story. They may pop up later in the trilogy, but since ‘Silk Over Razor Blades’ is about Lenina’s journey to vamp-dom (hehee) there was no need to have them there.

Write 10k words of ‘On A Knife Point.’
No . . . I can’t have. I’m not sure.
No. No, I haven’t. I’m just shy of 40k and though I didn’t record this week’s output it certainly wasn’t anywhere near 10k.
Meh. I used ‘Silk Over Razor Blades’ as an excuse but now I’m wearing thin on those. Now there are fewer things to distract me, I think I’ll find it easier to keep writing. And I keep having little lightbulb moments to fix the problems I was talking about last week and I know I’m having those as a result of working on ‘Silk Over Razor Blades.’ So I’m a happy bunny all over!

Activities For The Week

  • Write 10k words of ‘On A Knife Point.’

Thoughts…

One of this month’s goals is complete but to meet the other I’d need to write something along the lines of 35k in eight days.

I can do it – I’ve done it before – but I’m certainly not going to try. Just . . . noooooo! It would be daft and I’d only muck myself up and get into a tiz about it. When I get to the end of the month I’ll look at the targets again and stretch them out to make them more manageable, rather than trying to do the crazy. Especially without those two days of work in the middle of the week.

On the flip of that, however, I’m in a good place right now. Things are ticking along merrily and I only have a few things to do when it comes to my own projects. It’s just a shame that those things are so big. :p Projects for other people (like Caladria) are going nicely too. In fact, one of us owes you a post about that. I may let DSB do it on Wednesday since that’s when issue #3 releases.

How is the month treating you guys so far? It’s nearly over, are you nearing your goals?new ileandra signature,

Posted in Goals Posts *haha!*, On A Knife Point, Silk Over Razor Blades | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

IY: So What IS It About The ‘Bad Guys’?


nice red vampire lips with blood and teeth, from OpenClipArtSo I watched a bit (by a bit, I mean several episodes) of Buffy and Angel over the weekend. I’m up to season five of Buffy and two of Angel, watching them in the order suggested by this fabulous website (if ever you’re unsure of how best to watch these shows, why not give it a try this way? It’s working pretty well for me so far.) and I’ll warn you now, if you don’t want spoilers you probably shouldn’t keep reading.

warning sign

Credit: yves_guillou

SPOILERS AHEAD!

I CAN’T TALK ABOUT THESE SHOWS WITHOUT GIVING SPOILERS SO PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEASE, IF YOU’RE DOING THE BUFFY/ANGEL THING AND DON’T WANT SPOILERS, SKIP THE SECTION BETWEEN THE TWO PARAGRAPHS OF BOLD TEXT.

There. Duty done.

Buffy’s mum is getting recovering from her brain tumour op leaving Buffy free to stop worrying for a tiny bit. Except Spike, being Spike, takes her to the den where Riley is getting himself bit for kicks. Now . . . I found Riley boring and a bit 2D until this season. Finally (!) he started to call Buffy out on her me-me-me attitude and make plain that he’s worth more. I finally (!) started to like him because flaws like going to that den for his jollies really appealed to me.

Spike, I’ve always loved. Getting a bit of the background on how Drusilla found him and what he was like before she sank her teeth was wonderful and I hated Buffy all the more for pulling out that ‘You’re beneath me’ line. I really wanted to smack her in the mouth.

But Spike isn’t the sort of character who needs my protection. Hell, I should be running like hell in the other direction if he ever showed up because he’d eat me sure as smile at me. Well . . . maybe not with that chip in his head but you know what I mean. So why do I fancy the pants off him?

And Angel? He left Darla and Drusilla in a room with all the top brass lawyers in Wulfram and Hart, knowing full well it would be a blood bath. I LOVED that. I don’t know what happened yet (next episode tonight!) but I know it’s not going to be pretty. And, when Cordy, Gunn and Wesley called him out on that, he fired them all! He’s going dark and I love-love-love-love (!!!) Angelus. I could debate, all day, whether or not he and Angel are the same person, but that’s not what this is about. Angelus is FAR more interesting than Angel. Because he’s ‘bad.’

SPOILERS COMPLETE. ;-)

. . . then I look at ‘Silk Over Razor Blades’ and ‘On A Knife Point.’ There’s one character I can’t name (certainly don’t want to give you spoilers for these stories!) but this person is awful. Truly terrible and I adore writing about them. I love the manipulative agenda of this character and the way everyone around them is sucked in, whether they want it or not. Strength doesn’t matter: this character just has a skill for moulding people around them into anything they want and playing them like a lute. What I love most, however, is watching the transition from blind, selfish wrong-doing, to wrong-doing with a higher purpose to selfless do-gooding (is that a phrase?) with a hint of bad on the side.

girl in purple asking questionsThis character is my absolute favourite. Even over several others that you might expect I like more. So what gives?

What is it about the villian that we love so much? Or is it that we love to hate? What is it about the Jokers, the Steerpikes, the Dr Evils, the Loki’s of the fantasy/book/film world that we love so much? Why do we root for them?

Well . . . I haven’t done a series for a while, so I’m going to spend some time talking about this. I’m going to break down why these ‘bad guys’ are so appealing to me as a writer, reader and consumer of movies.

Stay tuned folks. This should be fun!

new ileandra signature,

Posted in Ileandra's Posts | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

RS: I Haz Planz 19/03


Another week down. Funny, this month seems to be going a lot faster than the last one and I really don’t understand why. Being busy supposedly shifts time along at a fast clip, but I’m not the one who has been wicked busy. Hmm.

Anyway . . .

Actions Last Weekblank calendar from OpenClipArt

~Kindle Read ‘Second Base’ and make notes on what still needs to be fiddled
Yep. Well, the reading part is done. I didn’t actually make notes except in my head – derp! – so it may take me longer than I was hoping to complete the Kindle Edits. Ah well. I’ll get started and see what happens.

Activities For This Week

  1. Complete Kindle Edits for ‘Second Base’ on the original Scrivener file
  2. Secure at least two beta readers

Thoughts…

goal shooting goals from open clip artI’ve been doing what Ileandra all over the Christmas break. I’ve been watching the letter box waiting for my proof of ‘Meeting Each Other: The Full Story’ to pop through. I can’t help it. I really (really) want to hold that book in my hands and feel the end of a saga that started two years ago when I sat on the sofa and said ‘what if?’

I feel like only then will I be free to do something new. Not that I haven’t been doing other stuff, but this has been all consuming from an indie perspective.

Guess I’ll just have to keep hammering at ‘Second Base’ to keep me distracted.

Yeah . . . that seems like a smart thing to do. ;-)

Raven's Signature In Black

Posted in Goals Posts *haha!*, Raven's Posts, Slippers & Chains | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

RS: Open Letter To #TheSprogs


Boys,

You’ll be at nursery in a couple of hours. In your own sweet way you know I’m working and that it’s important for me to have this time away from you. It’s not because I don’t love you, it’s because I do, very much, and I want to be the best person I can for you.

Those hours while you’re at nursery aren’t spent lolling around and watching TV. I might (force myself to) have lunch and watch a show while I’m at it, but what I’m doing is securing a future for you and for me.

It’s a long payoff, this writing gig. For all the work I’m doing now, I’m unlikely to see much (if any) return for months. Maybe even years. I’m working in good faith that my effort, persistence and (hopefully) skill with pay enough to put food in all our mouths, keep a roof over our heads and clothes on our backs.

You don’t get that now. But you will.

People do what I’m doing in many different ways. They choose to do it through working in offices or supermarkets, with other children, or with animals. I chose to do it with made up stories that I’m not going to let you read for very, many years.

That’s what I want to talk about today. The fact that all this work is going on and you’re not going to be able to see it. Not for a while anyway. I want you to know that even though I’m hiding it from you, it’s not because I’m ashamed of it. And there will be people in your lives who feel I should be. That you should be. But I’m not ashamed. I’m hiding these stories from you because you’re not ready for them yet. You’re young and the biggest thing in the world for you right now is having the spoon with the little piggy on the bottom to eat your cereal. Or the one with the ceramic handle Or the one with no adornment all, but it is super shiny because I only bought it last week. Basically you ain’t ready.

But when you are, I will give you the stories if you ask. You’ll be embarrassed (probably) but nowhere near as much as I will be. I’ll tell you that now and ask you to remember the fact. But I won’t hide from you. Not only because I’m not ashamed, but because I feel you should be able to ask me anything you want and expect a clear, honest and respectful answer, even if that answer is ‘I’m not going to tell you right now; I feel you’re currently too young to understand.’

Sex isn’t something to be hidden away, or shoved under the carpet or reserved for ‘other people.’ It is a fun, natural and necessary thing that I just so happen to enjoy writing about. One of the reasons I enjoy writing about it so much is because I see it as my chance to enlighten and educate. Despite all the sex, my stories are about people and, whether you like it or not, you’ll encounter lots and lots of those as you get older.

There will be lots of things around you that teach you things or show you things before I can. Other books, other people, TV, film and music. I hope that when you’re old enough to be truly influenced by these things that you’ll remember that I have opinions on them too, opinions that I thought enough of, that I chose to scribble them down in story form to share with the world. I hope you’ll see that as something you can then ask me about, or, if you don’t want to ask to my face, will go and find yourself. It won’t be difficult. Hell, but the time you’re old enough enough to understand this, we might all have chips in our brains that allow us to purchase ebooks with an eye blink.

I feel somewhat like I’ve drifted back and forth from point to point, not really focusing on any one thing. For a blog post I’d usually nip that in the bud and start over, but for this letter, that’s okay. Because that’s how we talk. We dart from one thought to the next all the time, singing nursery rhymes one moment, to asking for chocolate the next. Somehow, I wonder if that will even make this easier for you to understand.

But if you don’t bother reading the rest of this letter, if you skip right down to the this last paragraph with a case of TL:DR, then take this thought away with you. Mummy isn’t ashamed of what she does or what she writes about. Nor should you be. Anything you want to ask or know, I will tell you if I believe you are mature enough to cope. If I don’t tell you, I will explain why but you can always, always ask.

Yeah. That’s it. ^_^

Raven's Signature In Black

Posted in Raven's Posts, Real Life Chatter | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment