Books · Reading · Writing

Revisiting the Swearing Question

Five years ago I wrote a post about how I always avoid profanities in fiction, declaring my stance against including swear words and sex scenes in my books. To begin with, let me just say I’m still fixed upon the non-inclusion of sex (except maybe in fade-to-black-situations), but recently I’ve found myself budging when it comes to swearing.

When before I didn’t think they have any merit, I realise now that there are some situations that call for the occasional f-bomb. When before I thought I could find squeaky clean alternatives, I instead found myself struggling with authenticity. Try as I could to make things work without resorting to profanity, it just wasn’t working this time.

(Credit: Uncommon Goods)

I’m working on a book (currently) titled “Mail Order Thief”, and my main character is as cynical and rude and angry as they come. When I set out to write him, to draw the outlines of his character, I tried to wash his mouth with soap but he spat it out and snapped at me. He was not amused, not in the slightest, that I was trying to drown out his voice just so I wouldn’t bruise my ideals. Continue reading “Revisiting the Swearing Question”


On Writing Short Stories with Devin Berglund

Today I’m giving the floor to my friend and fellow blogger, Devin Berglund, who will be talking about short stories and the proper way to go about them! Do read on and check out her website!

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Kurotsubaki little red riding hood_book
Photo Credit : Ramona Forcella – Flickr

Do you want to write a short story?

Did I just hear you say, yes?


I am so excited. This is going to be an exciting time for you.

There are three important parts of your short story.

  1. Character
  2. Conflict
  3. Setting

Usually, writers only focus on one character while writing short stories, because it is hard for readers to follow switches between character’s point of views. It can get tricky.

Continue reading “On Writing Short Stories with Devin Berglund”

Reading · Writing

How often do you google yourself?

Some people shy away from that question, usually because they do not want others to think they have an ego; after all, the practice itself is called ego surfing, or even vanity searching, because of the assumption that you have to be vain to search for yourself online, but it’s actually really important, especially if you’re an author or an artist and have published copyrighted content.

Personally, I google myself on a weekly basis. I search for my name, my aliases, my published novels, my to-be published novels and even the fanfiction stories I wrote many years ago. I’m not ashamed to admit it. My work is important to me, and I want to make sure that nobody is abusing it or using it for their own personal gain at my personal expense. Plus, occasionally you may come across something nice that you hadn’t been aware of before… a little mention here, a little compliment there, a review you never noticed… it’s all pretty interesting.

Results may vary.
Results may vary.

Continue reading “How often do you google yourself?”

Reading · Writing

Choose your own adventure. Or lack of it.

haunted house

You’d heard your coworkers gossiping about it at lunch break, apparently something’s happened down at the old manor next to the graveyard. You’ve seen that manor before, it always gave you the creeps, but at the same time you wished you could go exploring. Your significant other never seemed interested, and your friends always liked to do something a bit more “light-hearted”, so all you ever did was stand before the wrought iron gates and wonder what was hidden behind those boarded up windows.

“Linda told me she heard voices.”


“Yeah. Apparently someone was making a lot of ruckus last night. Of course she didn’t stop to investigate, she’d have to be out of her mind to do that. Personally I think something’s fishy’s going on. That house is creepy, but there’s never been any voices!”

Do you 2) ignore what they say, or 3) decide to go to the house?

(This is in response to the Weekly Writing Challenge. I thought I’d have a little fun with it. Make sure to click the number that corresponds to your choice!)

Reading · Writing

Shop Girl

I used to come and watch you for a few hours each day. I would press my face against the shop’s display window and stare at your extravagant beauty. You modeled there, but I knew for a fact that you weren’t one of those dumb, painted mannequins; no, you were alive and radiant.

I let my eyes soak up your lush exquisiteness, your smooth skin… oh, how I longed to touch and caress you. How I longed to march straight into that shop and run my hands all over you. But I knew I couldn’t. Why, you ask? Because if I ever did hold you, I wouldn’t be able to let go.

I even went to look at you when I went out with my girlfriend. I know that was totally out of line, but I couldn’t help it; you were so beautiful. I had many rows with my girl about you, I would tell her that she was more important, but she wouldn’t buy it – I can’t blame her, because I had been lying then. In the end, she finally made me choose between you and her. I was thrown out of the apartment within the next minute. Continue reading “Shop Girl”


Sorry – you didn’t make the cut.

weasley twins 2
The best kind of twins.

My most recent bout of  Writer’s Block lasted more than three months. It’s nothing compared to my five-year Block, but it was still frustrating. I felt stuck and didn’t know how to move forwards or backwards from a specific point in Penny for Your Dreams. For the first time since forever, I was actually editing  and rewriting before completing my first draft. I rewrote one particular scene five or six times in hopes of striking an appropriate chord with my novel. Ultimately the solution turned out to be rather simple.

I was incorporating what I’d hopped would be Weasley twins incarnates into my novel. I liked them. I wanted to give them a lot of spotlight. I really wanted other people to like them. However, I ended up realising I could never produce characters that measure up to the Weasley twins.  Not only that, I can’t even write twins without making them sound cliché or cheesy. So I did the next best thing and got rid of them. Well… more or less. Continue reading “Sorry – you didn’t make the cut.”

Reading · Writing

What’s your genre?

This is a sort of a defining question, isn’t it? Much like a nosy person asking another about their type. Do you like them hot and sizzling like a summer Romance? Or do you like them dark and broody like a sinister Mystery? Or maybe you prefer the thrilling company of an Adventure, or the wit of a Comedy, or even the fun derived from a good old-fashioned Chick Lit.

Your choice in genre indirectly affects the way you appear to others. There are many people who tend to draw assumptions from the kind of genre you read or write. If you write fantasy, you must be out of sync with reality. If you write horror novels, you must have a mean streak. If you write erotica, you must be a perverted human being. If you write sci-fi, you must be a nerd… and so on. But what if someone wrote for more than one genre? Does that make them unstable? Continue reading “What’s your genre?”

Reading · Writing

It all comes down to the story.

The old man sits there, all tweed and spectacles and proper. He has a musty smell about him and a papery quality to his skin; he looks like he might tear if you manhandle him. He rubs his arm, upsetting his smoking jacket, revealing words tattooed across his forearm just under the sleeve. He looks at the youngster across from him, and a crinkly smile touches his lips.

The youngster, in turn, regards him coolly and with a little bit of disdain. With his immaculate black suit, his smooth skin, his modern, metallic scent, he feels far superior. He too has tattoos, a series of binary numbers visible just above the stiff neck of his dress shirt. Continue reading “It all comes down to the story.”

General · Writing

A little self-promotion never hurt anyone.

Self published authors are usually pretty much on their own when it comes to promoting their work, so when the opportunity comes along, naturally we will snag it! 😉 I’ve been lucky recently to have some people interested in me and my work, and they certainly do deserve a mention here.

First there’s Carrie Slager, who not only gave Puppet Parade a lovely 4.5 star review, but also took the time to interview me and host a giveaway on her site! If you would like to win one of two free copies of the book, do head over to Carrie’s site and answer the question I posted there. The two most creative answers will win!

Continue reading “A little self-promotion never hurt anyone.”

General · Writing

I’ll kill you in my book!

Don’t cross a writer. If you make them angry enough, they might just include you in their book and give you a horrible death or put you in nasty circumstances that will haunt your nightmares… or something like that, haha.

Have you heard someone say that before? I remember reading something similar the other day, and it made me chuckle for a moment before I realised that, hey, it could happen. Many people pour elements of their own lives in the books they write, so what’s to stop them from incorporating a person they know into their stories and just giving them a gruesome death?

Continue reading “I’ll kill you in my book!”