Before Onyxis I

“They compliment each other in so many ways. And yet each could cause the other’s destruction so easily. It’s a very thin line they must carefully walk every moment they’re together.”

“Must you always state the obvious like such an annoying ass Gosi?”

“Hesandra, just explain to me why you’re so willing to let them walk right into something they have no chance of coming out of alive.”

“There is nothing else. There is nobody else. This is the only way. Unless you have some brilliant fucking plan that I’m unaware of, shut up about why I’m ‘letting it happen’ and help me for once!”

Hesandra’s Burden

I walk into the library and there’s dust and cobwebs covering every surface. “What the hell have they been doing while I was gone?”

I stick my head out the door and yell, “Felice, get your ass in here!”

Felice comes in scowling–a look she seems to reserve for whenever I’m around. “What do you want Hesandra?”

“Clean this shit up, we have guests.”

She sneers, “Clean it yourself, I have training.”

She walks out of the room before I have a chance to say anything…or give her a good throat punch.

“Ballsy little bitch aren’t we?” I yell after her. Her laugh echoes back to me.

Arryn enters giggling, “You didn’t expect her to be meak forever after training with me did you?”

“I didn’t expect you to turn her into an insolent asshole, that’s for sure.”

She shrugs, “She’s more handy in a fight this way. Plus, I had to do something about her mousy ass attitude, or I woulda killed the little wench.”

“Yeah, well, now you can help me clean this mess up.”

She rolls her eyes at me. At me! What the fuck happened to these two over the past month?!

“You do know they can’t actually see anything in this room, right? Or us? So, why does it matter if it’s clean or not?”

“Just shut the fuck up and help me.”

…….

I swear on Lucifer I’m going to end up killing Arryn and Felice one of these days……….Ok, maybe not, but I like to think about it sometimes. Really helps to ease my tension. Anyway, I figured since neither of the so-called “authors” (Yeah right!) of this deserted blog were going to pay it any attention whatsoever for almost 6 months, I’d just jump in and do a little something of my own. If they don’t like it, I really don’t give a shit.

So, I’ve been off with Gosi, trying to keep his ass alive. Why he even bothers to do shit without me I’ll never understand…

…Speak of the devil–not literally, but he’s close.

“Good evening beautiful,” he kisses my cheek as his fingertip trails my jawline.

Instant goosebumps. Fucker.

“I’m busy Gosi.”

“So lovely…yet such a bitch. I only came to tell you that your little witch is doing remarkably well. I don’t know what Arryn put her through while we were gone, but whatever it was made her a little beast.”

“Is that a fact?”

He nods and plops on the chaise lounge in the center of the room.

“Felice, Arryn!”

Gosi snaps his finger and a drink appears in his hand as one appears in front of me. I roll my eyes at him, but smile. He’s the only one in this world that can make me do that still and I hate him for it.

The idiots saunter into the room. Yeah, there’s definitely something off around here.

“How’d it go while we were away?” I ask Arryn.

Felice pipes up, “Obviously it went well, or you would’ve been contacted.”

Gosi chuckles and sips his whiskey. “Quite the tongue she has these days.”

My temper is already at the breaking point and Arryn must sense it because she steps in front of Felice. “Everything was fine Hesa, honestly. She’s doing really well. We’ve been practicing almost 20 hours a day. At first it was draining her like crazy, but over the past couple of weeks she’s been handling it better.”

I sit back and take a sip of whiskey, letting the burn run through me before I speak. “Let me see.”

Felice grins and before I know it, my breath is coming out in frosty puffs and the entire room is covered in a thin layer of ice. Not frost, but ice. Even Arryn has a thin layer all over her body and her eyes shimmer as she grins with pride. Damn, now I’m going to have to admit Felice is doing well.

“Not bad, could be better.”

Felice laughs and pushes Arryn out of her way, “Really Hesa? Gimme a break. That’s unheard of for someone at my stage and you know it, so do me a favor and get the bug out of your ass for five minutes.”

Again, Arryn blocks her from me.

“Get the little bitch out of my sight or I swear I will end her.”

Arryn turns toward Felice, “C’mon before you get us both killed.”

Felice giggles but willingly leaves the room with Arryn just a few steps behind her.

Gosi grins at me and winks, “Told you she’s a little beast.”

“Sweet Lucifer, Gosi, she keeps going like this and I’m not sure what will be able to stop her.”

“You seem a little too excited about that.”

“Not at all. I think it’s better for Arryn if Felice is as strong as possible.”

For the first time, Gosi looks worried. And why not? Arryn’s like a daughter to him, and he has every right to worry. “You mean because of Onyxis?”

“Obviously. What the hell else would scare the shit out of me?”

He walks over to me and turns my chair toward him. Kneeling in front of me he takes my head in his hands. “We will find a way Hesa, I swear to you. She will not drown in darkness.”

I can only stare into his eyes and for the first time in my very long life hope that he’s right, because I don’t see any way to save her from this fate she’s bound to. Hard-ass bitch I may be–courtesy of the evil bastard in front of me–but Arryn is like my baby, my little sister, my closest friend. There’s only one person in this world that knows me better and right now I have to believe he’s right. I have to save her.

And I have no idea how…

How Many Stories?

Forgive me, this may be a bit more rambling than what you want to endure. I’ve decided to just type whatever comes into my head for this post. My apologies if the thoughts I put down don’t quite flow together as well as they should.

I’m working on a few different stories at the moment. First, we have Jazelle, Bryce, and Ethan–Erotica. I don’t think I’ve said much about them here…which is odd considering how much I’ve written about them. Second, we have Arryn, Imir, Felice, and Elijah–Erotic Fantasy. They are my top obsession at the moment. Third, we have Hesandra and Gosi (and sometimes Imir)–Erotic Fantasy. This group I just play around with, jot down plot notes, dialogue, whatever comes to mind. Point is, I work on all three of them every week, without fail.

There’s only three?!

That’s odd for me. I would normally have something like five or six, maybe more, going all at the same time. Even so, it still feels crowded inside my head. There’s so much I want to do with all of them that they keep my mind occupied 24/7.

A lot of writers can’t have more than one story going at a time. That’s happened to me before once or twice, where I felt like I had to focus my attention on just one story. More than one can be too much of a distraction sometimes. We feel like working on Story A and B–or A, B, C, D, and E–would cause Story A to not be as good as it could/should be. Each writer has their own preference, it works for some and doesn’t work for others.

I fall under the other category; I’m one of those that likes to work on multiple stories at once. I know quite a few writers that feel the same way. We’re doing edits on this one, in the middle of writing those two, making notes on another idea, completely rewriting yet another one. The list goes on and on. Odd behavior, I know, but it happens.

So, where she would we draw the line? I mean, I’ve had a max of three story ideas spawn from writing Story A–never more than that.  At some point we have to stop creating new things so we can work on the existing stories right?

I’m curious if other writers experience this same thing, only worse. I imagine a spiderweb or a tree branch when I think about this. Ideas growing out of little bits of information here and there in Story A, branching off and becoming something completely new. Maybe it’s related to Story A in some way or maybe it’s not.

I firmly believe this is a good thing. How could I think otherwise? The biggest appeal for me is knowing that if I’m stuck on Story A, I can take my mind off it by working on something else. Sometimes I leave it for a few hours, sometimes for a few weeks. I’ve tried doing other things like reading, listening to music, etc., but they never quite work for me. The best remedy for me is to work on Story B or C or D…you get my point.

A Character’s Voice: Hesandra

Last month there was a post in which Arryn had free reign around here for a day and I was thinking I should let Hesandra loose this time. (This may become a recurring theme.) Truth be told, I’m a little nervous. I hope I don’t regret this later.

If I do, live and learn.

P.S. Strong language ahead.

♥ ~ Audra ~

Audra says jump and I’m supposed to ask how high? Under normal circumstances, I’d tell her to fuck off.  I’ll indulge her this time. Hope this bitch doesn’t get any ideas in her head that I’ll be doing this often. I’d really hate to sick Gosi on her.

Actually, I lied, I’d LOVE to sick Gosi on her…….But, this isn’t about Audra. As much as she’d like me to wax poetic about her mad writing skillz, it’s not gonna happen. Kick rocks bitch, this is my show.

A little about me: Name is Hesandra, I’m a Reborn, a Dark Arts witch (this time around), forever in a love/hate relationship with the nastiest vampire in existence, Gosi (he’s killed me three times already–more on that later), and the sweetest girl you’ll ever meet.

Ok, so that last part is a load of shit. I’m not sweet; I creep into the territory of somewhat decent once in a while, but not often. It’s just the way I am. You don’t like it? I don’t really give a fuck.

A little history lesson: The Reborn are a handful of people with the ability to be reborn into any form we wish when we die. We have a limited number of times–five–we can choose the form. The sixth life we live is chosen by some higher power we know shit about and it’s permanent. You die the sixth time, you’re fucked.

I was originally born a mortal girl–won’t EVER make that fucked up choice again. I met Gosi when I was a teenager. As I said, I was only a mortal, but because of being a Reborn I had a sort of sixth sense for supernatural beings. I knew right away he was a vampire–a nasty one. I could tell you horror stories, but it would take a while–he’s over two thousand years old and I’ve known him nearly as long. Suffice it to say, he let me live–knowing what he was–until I came after him. Once he realized I meant to kill him, he made quick work of me.

So, I came back as a werewolf. I knew he’d fucking HATE IT, and I was right.–As a Reborn, he has the ability to sense me when I make my choice. That shit pisses me off like you wouldn’t fucking believe.–Gosi has a deep loathing for werewolves that the majority of vampires do not. My pack helped to protect me for a while, but when Gosi wants something that badly, he gets it. He killed me again. Why? Easy, he hated the choice I made and refused to let me live like that. Frankly, I was relieved. Being a werewolf has its perks, but it’s barely a step up from being a mortal. Fuck. That.

I came back as a mortal and vampire-to-be. Gosi turned me when I was twenty-three.–He first came to me when I was a small child and watched over me until my change. Reborns are hunted by many supernatural beings trying to steal our ability to reincarnate. It’s happened before and I’m sure the shit will happen again.–I managed to keep myself alive for over three centuries before Gosi killed me that time. We had the best fucking time ever! We wreaked havoc all over the world for three hundred fifteen years, causing death and chaos everywhere we went. That time, he offed me because we were under attack and both of us weren’t going to get out alive. He ripped my heart of of my chest and snapped my head right off my neck. No coming back from that kind of death as a vamp.

My third, and most recent, choice was a Dark Arts witch. This has been my longest life and I’m sure the only reason he hasn’t tried to kill me yet is due to the choice I made. He loves the smell of a witch, the taste of our blood.–Oh yes, he feeds off me….quite often.–I’m convinced his bitch ass was waiting for me to make this particular choice. I could have chosen to be a White Arts witch, but they are far too goody-goody for my tastes. I’m much happier being able to do whatever the fuck I want and not worrying about the consequences. Even if he wanted to kill me, he couldn’t. Dark Arts witches are extremely powerful and, like vamps and a few other supernatural beings, we get stronger the longer we live. 

I’m now five hundred and sixty-eight years old as a witch. I was able to cast a spell that keeps me from aging a long time ago.–Haha, bitches!–Love little perks like that, they’re so handy. Right now Gosi and I are in one of our love to hate each other stages.–We go through different phases quite often. We’re immortal, forever means a lot more to us than it does to a mortal couple.–I’m in it for the sex, plain and simple. In this particular phase, we have the hottest, craziest sex. I recommend having a vamp sink his/her teeth into you when you orgasm. For the love of all that is unholy, I swear to you it’s the best orgasm you’re ever going to have in your life.

You’re probably sitting there going, “Oh my god, you dumb bitch. Why haven’t you killed him yet?” Back off asshole, it’s not like I haven’t tried. Let me say this again, HE’S OVER TWO THOUSAND YEARS OLD. Have you ever tried to kill a vamp that old? The shit isn’t easy, I’ll tell you that. There is a way to do it, I just haven’t found it yet. And while I will miss the wild, totally fucking HOT and crazy sex we have, I’ll gladly kill him when I finally figure it out. He’s only on his second choice so I have no qualms about ending his too long existence. I’ve gone after him more times than I can count. The fact that he’s only killed me a few times means I’m doing something right, so back the fuck off.

For those of you that know Arryn, I taught the little witch everything she knows. She’s not a Reborn, but she is a kick ass Dark Arts witch. Gosi knows better than to fuck with her. Not only because of her power, but because he’d have to deal with me after that. He rather enjoys being attached to his dick, so he leaves her alone. He wouldn’t ever admit it, but he would take care of her if I needed him to. He may be a beast, but there are a few beings in his long life that have wormed their way into his rotten heart.

That’s enough, I have shit to do.

You’re Turning Me Off

Disclaimer: Strong language and adult content to follow. Consider yourself warned.

Riddle me this – what the fuck is going on with epub/self-pub stories these days? With the majority of my recent acquisitions, the writing has turned me off within a few pages and left me worrying about the current, and future, standards for these publishing venues.

You don’t have to tell me it’s my decision to read these stories, I know that. It doesn’t mean I have to like the way they’re written. Sometimes, I can’t stop myself from reading them; oddly, I’m compelled by the horror of it all. I want to see how many times an author can make me roll my eyes or go, “Gimme a fuckin’ break!”. (I’ve actually kept track of this on a few different books ‘cus I’m weird like that.)

Nor does it mean that this practice of publishing shit and calling it a finished story should be acceptable. Frankly, I feel it gives writers who work hard a bad name. We  should all be held to the same standards, regardless of how our stories are published.

Thousands of people want to write a story. A large number of them shouldn’t be writing. If you want to write a story for the love of it and/or because you hope that somebody else will love it as well, the end result will reflect that. The impression I’m getting from epubbed/self-pubbed books these days, is that their authors are trying to be the next big thing and are writing anything that comes into their heads. That’s not bad, BUT they publish the story without sending it to a beta or two, without any editing being done (or not enough editing), and then wonder why they get no sales and/or bad reviews. (That’s when I have to refrain from using shouty caps and saying, “Um, because you’re an asshat that doesn’t realize their shit sucks.”)

It’s not a big mystery people. You need to put time and effort into the story so it can be as good as possible. Then you need to send it out, let people trash the shit out of it, and then rework it to make it even better than it was before.

When we do revisions, we learn from the mistakes we made the first (or fiftieth) time. If you’re publishing without doing revisions, and thinking that you have written the best novel in the world and legions of fans will be falling at your feet and begging you to write more, you’re sadly mistaken. Mark my words, you will suffer from it. Don’t turn around and get all butthurt because people are giving you bad reviews. Writers need to be able to take criticism and learn from it where they can. If you’re not willing to do this, you’re never going to be a good writer.

That’s where–I hope–I can be of some assistance.

I’ve included some tips for writers who are considering publication of their work. Take the advice or don’t, it’s your choice.

Please note: Nobody wants to listen to (or read) your whiny ass complaining when you’re confused about why your story isn’t doing as well as you thought. When you don’t put the work into it that you should, that’s what happens.

Oh, and some of the following are probably going to be a personal preference of mine. Feel free to ignore everything I have to say if you wish to do so, I won’t be offended.

Good writing this does not make:

Scenario 1: Person A telling Person B “No”, Person B persists……. and then Person A is all “Give it to me baby!” a millisecond after saying no.

Scenario 2: Person A continuing to come toward/touch/penetrate Person B after they’ve said no…….repeatedly.

You see where I’m going with this? Characters playing hard to get are sexy. It builds anticipation and all that jazz, right? Right. What I don’t get is the complete 180 in no time at all. It’s even worse when there’s inner dialogue from a character about how he/she doesn’t want anything to happen; there’s not a single hint of attraction to the other person.

If the scene is written as a type of fearful excitement, I can understand. Person A is kind of nervous and worried, but at the same time ready to rip Person B’s clothes off. That’s what I want to read. Not something that makes me feel like Person A is being forced into an act or one where said person changes their mind for no apparent reason and in less time than it takes for a hummingbird to flap its wings. You expect me to swallow that and just move right along with the story? It’s not gonna happen.

Scenario 3: “Oh my stars and garters! I just met the sexiest man/woman alive and I’m totally in love with him/her and I’m going to die if I can’t be with him/her!”

Excuse me, I’m going to need you to move off the rug so you don’t ruin it with the love juices oozing from every orifice in your body. Please and thanks. Maybe I’m jaded, but shit like that doesn’t happen and it doesn’t appeal to me. Instant physical attraction, a strong need/desire to be around somebody and get to know them, even get downright dirty with them, these things I understand. I don’t get the whole “love at first sight” concept and I don’t enjoy it in my books.

Scenario 4: Perfect body (god-like good looks on a man OR woman), with a huge dick, and the best lover in the world where every single touch brings out an orgasm in the recipient.

The hell you say. Be realistic please. I’m bored with the image of a perfect body on a man or woman in any story, but especially Erotica and Romance. Yeah, yeah, god-like good looks sell because it’s the fantasy of every man/woman out there. Whatever. Personally, the “perfect” body image gives me the beginnings of The Ew…..trust me, it’s not good (The Ew is worse than the Ick Factor). Never an awkward moment during sexual encounters, both people getting off at the same time with the most amazing orgasm they’ve ever had in their lives……every time they have sex. Shoot me now please. It’s possible to create a story where people have sex/sexual interactions, and don’t have simultaneous mind-blowing orgasms. Crazy concept, I know.

Scenario 5: A line of dialogue, then a new paragraph with the same person doing an action, followed by more dialogue within that paragraph by said person.

Example–

“Hey, what’s up,” Hilbert says as he walks in the room.

He plants his flat ass on my couch. “This is the bullshit I’m talking about. Is this really the proper way to write dialogue in a story?”

I shake my head in shame, “No, Hilbert, it’s not.

What–who–why, all I want to know is why.–Nevermind the shitty writing for a moment, you get the point.–I’m begging people to stop writing like this or I swear I’ll start burning books on the lawn. Easy rule to learn and follow boys and girls: A new paragraph in dialogue indicates another speaker.

Scenario 6: We’ve met, gone through –insert tragedy/comedy/whatever– together (or nothing at all), and now we’re going to live happily ever after and our children will be perfect and there will be sunshine and rainbows every day. I’m never going to want to stab him in the eye for not putting his dirty clothes in a basket and he’s never going to want to choke me because I snore too loud.

My ass. Unless you’re writing a fairy tale, this type of ending just doesn’t work for me (even then, I still don’t like it). Happy for now? That’s acceptable. Happily ever after when the characters haven’t spent more than a couple of nights together–if that–and are now going to live in bliss and never have a problem with anything the other one does? Unacceptable. Why? Because it’s not realistic. People aren’t perfect and even if you get along famously, you’re going to have some bumps in the road during your relationship.A bit of realism in stories is a good thing, regardless of genre.

**Note: the following is vital information that you must have and use for the sake of the sanity of your future readers**

Scenario 7: Referring to a character’s genitalia as “down there” or something equally juvenile.

*bangs head against wall* This one, obviously, is geared more toward Erotica and Romance stories. I’ll say it again because it bears repeating: for the sake of our sanity, please pay attention to and follow this piece of advice. Phrases like the one above make me think of teenage girls giggling behind their hands when they say the words penis or vagina. This is not cool people, not cool at all.–It sure as hell isn’t sexy.–If I wanted to read an erotic story written by a teenager, I would have gone looking for one. Oddly enough, and call me crazy for this, that’s not what I want. I want an erotic story written by an adult that doesn’t say “down there”, and instead says something at least resembling the word vagina. Hell, I’d be happier with a cheesy euphemism that’s been used a million times by bodice-ripping writers the world over. Example– “his throbbing member penetrates her love tunnel” and not “he plunges into her down there”.

There are exceptions to every rule up there (I suppose…….maybe), but please at least consider the fact that because you choose to publish in a non-traditional way, that doesn’t mean the story has to be trash. There are self-pubbed/e-pubbed writers out there that take the time to do everything necessary to create a good novel. They care deeply about what they’re doing. If you’re throwing some words together in hopes of being the “next big thing”, the fans you could’ve had will be nonexistent because your work won’t be of the quality it needs to attract readers.

Am I operating under the delusion that I’m a top-notch novelist? No. Do I think I don’t need to improve? Hell no. (You see how wordy this damn post is? -around 1900 words give or take- I know at least 10 people right off the top of my head that could say the same thing with a far lower word count. *stands up from chair* My name is Audra, I’m long-winded and use craptastic punctuation and grammar when I write.) Do I think you should listen to everything I say because, if you don’t, you won’t ever be published? Not a chance. You may or may not benefit from what I’ve said here, that’s up to you.

I know I need to work on several areas of my craft, and I’m ok with that. It takes a lot of work to be a successful writer and I’m more than willing to put in the time. I learn something new every day in regards to writing. I take what advice and lessons I feel are best for me and I apply them to my craft from that moment on. At least, I try to. Sometimes I forget things or fall back into old habits, but I take the time to fix the mistakes before I deem the work finished.

So tell me, darling followers (even though I don’t technically know you, you are darling to me), what’s your opinion on self-pubbed/epubbed work? How do you feel about writers who aren’t willing to perfect their craft?