“I’m gonna make you a star!”

It’s the run up to NaNoWriMo (give me a minute to stamp the panic back down, I’m really not ready) and I’m trying to crash through the rest of my pre-November to-do list. I could write a few thousand words about how well it’s going (or I can give you two, it’s not) but you’re probably more interested in things that might mean something to you.

So. In the attempt to finish all the things, I’ve been watching a lot of non-fictional Netflix the last week or so. It doesn’t require me to actually pay attention, and when I’m in the midst of editing or file creation that’s sort of helpful. I fall down a hole with Netflix though, almost as badly as I do with Wikipedia. Case in point, the other night I started off with some creepy freaking show about a dude who kept his daughter locked in a dungeon in the basement and made her have his babies for like twenty years. Yeah. Ick.

From that I went to watching a bio-pick about John Denver. If that’d been intentional it would have worked, right? Because some sweetness and light (even with a sad ending) can help chill you out after watching something horrible. But no, I wasn’t intentionally making the night less weird. Apparently weird is my drug.

I told you all that, because I heard something really amazing in the middle of that John Denver show, and I’d like to share it with you.

“You can’t make someone a star. Nobody holds a gun to your head and says ‘listen to this record.’ All I can do is bring the people to the artist and let them shine, let them be who they are.”

–Jerry Weintraub

I hear a lot, in the online communities about how so and so got that major deal because they know somebody, or so and so knows the way to become a multi-platform best-selling author and all you have to do is be exactly like them.

I like Jerry’s advice better. The man has had a multi-decade spanning career in music and movies, organizing giant concerts and fostering talent in a lot of different ways. And up there, he’s basically telling you to be yourself. Shine. There’s nobody exactly like you, and that’s the best advantage you’ve got.


Keep an eye on our social media in the next few weeks. We’ve got a whole lot of fun stuff coming down the pipes!

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The Importance of Fun

So it’s October, and I have a thing to pimp, and I was looking for a way to do that that wasn’t just “I HAVE THING, LOOK AT THING!” and somewhere in the midst of that I got to thinking about NaNoWriMo, and about how much that license to suck has helped my writing.

Sit back, we’re going to talk about something huge and important: Fun.

A few months ago, Kate, the Minion, and I came up with this grand idea. See, we’re trying to launch a new romance line, and driving traffic to a website that’s not really a website yet is a bit like building a baseball field in the middle of three acres of corn. Just because James Earl Jones said the people would come doesn’t mean anybody with sense believes that’s going to happen.

And lo, Romancing the Rainbow was born. One story for every color of the rainbow. The most ridiculous, off the wall, out in left-field (hehe, more fields) erotica/erotic romance/romance stories the first seven people we could lay our hooks into could come up with.

You have no clue how many times I had to tell people ‘no, it’s okay, I really do want ridiculous.’ We’re authors, and sometimes we get serious about our craft. Sometimes we get so serious about craft it becomes craft and it’s about on level with an actor talking about process and rational minded human beings begin to twitch with the urge to strangle you.

And this is what NaNoWriMo gives you. It’s not just about permission to suck alleviating the pressure of creating the next Great American Novel. It’s about fun. It’s about permission to run whooping through the halls of your creativity–to steal a phrase.

It’s a semi-naughty story about a butter churn, or pan-dimensional space cats, or–in this week’s release–woad-stink girl and a fairy princess.

So get out there and belt up for Nano, come up with the craziest, most ridiculous story you can think of. Give yourself permission to be that kid in elementary school art who never followed the directions.

And if you’re looking for something to read, you should totally go check out Romancing the Rainbow. We’re down to Violet, and the only hint you’re getting is that it releases just before Halloween…

A thin, thin, line

There is a line. A line we draw and say “thus far and no further.” That line is different for everyone.

Today, someone in my life drew that line and left an abusive relationship. I will not reveal more than that for their own safety.

So, for today’s post we are going to 1) signal boost where to get help. 2) discuss abusive behaviors. 3) rage, rage against abuse and give you ways to help.

Where to get help:

    For Women:

US: call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE).
UK: call Women’s Aid at 0808 2000 247.
Australia: call 1800RESPECT at 1800 737 732.
Worldwide: visit International Directory of Domestic Violence Agencies for a global list of helplines and crisis centers.

    For Men:

U.S. and Canada: The Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men & Women
UK: ManKind Initiative
Australia: One in Three Campaign

Abusive Behaviors:

Domestic abuse often escalates from threats and verbal abuse to violence. And while physical injury may be the most obvious danger, the emotional and psychological consequences of domestic abuse are also severe. Emotionally abusive relationships can destroy your self-worth, lead to anxiety and depression, and make you feel helpless and alone. No one should have to endure this kind of pain—and your first step to breaking free is recognizing that your situation is abusive. Once you acknowledge the reality of the abusive situation, then you can get the help you need.

Help Guide.Org

A quick checklist from the National Domestic Violence Hotline:
Look over the following questions. Think about how you are being treated and
how you treat your partner. Remember, when one person scares, hurts or
continually puts down the other person, it’s abuse.
Does your partner…
…

  • Embarrass you with bad names and put-downs?

 

…

  • Look at you or act in ways that scare you?

 

…

  • Control what you do, who you see or talk to, or where you go?

 

…

  • Stop you from seeing or talking to friends or family?

 

…

  • Take your money or Social Security, make you ask for money or refuse to
    give you money?

 

…

  • Make all the decisions?

 

…

  • Tell you you’re a bad parent or threaten to take away or hurt your children?

 

…

  • Act like the abuse is no big deal, it’s your fault, or even deny doing it?

 

…

  • Destroy your property or threaten to kill your pets?

 

…

  • Intimidate you with guns, knives or other weapons?

 

…

  • Shove you, slap you or hit you?

 

…

  • Force you to drop charges?

 

…

  • Threaten to commit suicide?

 

…

  • Threaten to kill you?

 

If you checked even one of these, you may be in an abusive relationship. If you
need help, call the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance
Abuse Services’ “Safeline” at 1-800-522-7233 or the National Domestic
Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

How you can help RIGHT NOW:

  1. Signal boost. Share the information in this post. Link to it. Copy it. Post it on your own blog. Facebook it. Tweet about it.
  2. Donate to your local women’s shelter.
  3. Volunteer at your local shelter.
  4. Donate to one of the organizations in the first section
  5. Send this post to someone who needs the checklist.
  6. Look around your home and consider if you have the ability to shelter a friend or a friend of a friend who’s escaping a situation. Think about what you would do. Make sure there’s a plan and maybe lay in an extra toothbrush and sundries, just in case.

It is my sincerest hope that you will never need this information. But if you do? Here is it. And here’s a virtual hug from me to you. You are heard. You are believed.