Tag: My brain it bleeds

Sataniasis and masturbosity

Source: https://pixabay.com/photos/herbal-tea-cup-tea-relaxation-4232777/

As you probably know, my physical book is no more. My guess is that someone reported it as inappropriate and Creative Space took it down. It baffles me why an overly sensitive reader would buy it since I clearly state in the description they will detest it, but go figure. Conservative types are usually all over inappropriate material faster than flies gather around a corpse. Perhaps they hope to save the rest of us innocent fools from the clutches of diabolical smut by reading it first. Or perhaps they have a metric system and the appropriate gadgets that measure masturbosity and sataniasis in a book. If the gadget starts singing hosannas, it’s safe to read. If the gadget screeches like a televangelist is having a colonoscopy sans anesthesia in a moving firetruck, toss that book into the fireplace and wash your eyes and hands with bleach. I mean, seriously now? Oh, I just don’t know, and it makes no real difference. The book was no more, period, and Amazon refused to give me the exact details why. Grrr.

Now, much as I wanted to mail to the Amazon KDP headquarters a bomb which would contain hordes of live roaches covered in glitter, I did not. I triple-facepalmed, yelled, fumed, cursed like a sailor, complained to my friends… and pretty much left it at that. It is sad, but one has to choose their battles wisely. So Amazon KDP does not want to re-print my book ever. So what. I’ll find another way, I said to myself.

I started looking for an affordable printing company and found one. I decided I’ll sell my book through my blog. The ebook is still available on Amazon. If someone wants to buy a physical copy, they will be buying it from me. They may as well ask for a signed copy; I won’t charge them extra. 😉 Nowadays everyone has Paypal, and so do I. Paypal protects the buyer if something is lost or not as described. Problem solved… or not.

You see, what I just described is a process. It’s not going to happen tomorrow. I hired a graphic designer to do a makeover of my physical book as soon as she has some time. While waiting for that to happen, it was a good opportunity to check the contents. After the graphic designer is done, I won’t be able to change the file again, so the stories should be in top-notch condition prior to the makeover. I was pretty certain they were in good shape, as I had hired an editor before publishing it. Right?

(Bit of advice here: never, and I mean never, let your guard down when it comes to checking and re-checking before publishing something. You may have hired an editor. You may have hired an entire team of them. I don’t care. Read the damn thing one more time before hitting the publish button. Do it for science. Do it for grandma. Just do it. You will thank me later).

So I re-read the contents, groaned, and decided to unpublish the book in order to make corrections. After three weekends of editing, reading, re-reading, re-editing, rubbing my sore eyes and wishing for death, the book was re-published. It’s much better than before, and it can be found here. If you want to check for yourself what this whole fuss was about and why anyone would go as far as to censor it, be my guest. Reviews have been very good on both Goodreads and Amazon so far, and now the book is even better!

Off to feed the cats. Be good to yourselves and have a lovely weekend!
Courtney Lane-The Seat book cover

The unholy trinity (grammar, syntax and semantics chaos)

 The Sect by Courtney Lane

(1 out of 5 stars; it made me laugh)*

Sometimes I am not happy with self-publishing. This is one of those times. 

As a reader and writer, I’ve noticed an interesting trend. Advertise a book as extreme, dark, disturbing, and you get a lot of readers willing to overlook the fact that same book is simplistic, implausible and littered with mistakes. The Sect is such a book. What should have been a final draft on a PC waiting for an editor to kick the living daylights out of it, is instead a published book, first part of a trilogy. Let’s see.

  • Stereotypical main character.

The rich innocent girl cliché has been used countless times, and it is both unoriginal and unrealistic. Just because someone is rich, it does not mean they live in a protective bubble. On the contrary, rich girls tend to be a lot more jaded than girls of the same age and lower income. Why? Use your common sense. I am also tired of seeing innocent girls being thrown in the shit. Where’s the challenge in that? Why not use someone who’s smart and streetwise, and still gets duped? I’d love to see a writer pulling that one off.

  • Fuck logic because reasons.

The main character’s actions and decisions don’t make sense. Her circumstances don’t make sense either. They just don’t. However they make a convenient basis for the plot, so let’s give her the common sense of a cauliflower. For science!

  • I ate every space after ellipsis because I was hungry.

Three dots are followed by a space if they are in the middle of the sentence.  Otherwise the sentence looks as if it had to urgently hit the brakes and the words kind of clustered together, victims of a tragic typing collision.

  • Change of past tense narration to present in the middle of the book.

Please don’t do that. The Timelords will find you and hurt you.

  • Purple prose, grammar and syntax mayhem.

Dear writers, please don’t use rare and unusual words and expressions if you aren’t certain what they mean of how to use them. Chances are you are using them wrong, and it’s not flattering or constructive (although it can be very funny).

I cherry-picked some examples:

“Since the day after I began living on the street…”

 No. Just no.

“My deferred dreams…”

The  word deferred means postponed. Dreams aren’t something that can be cancelled and rescheduled, like a doctor’s appointment.

“It nearly persuaded me into breaking down.”

You can’t be persuaded into breaking down. First of all, we persuade someone to agree to something, and convince someone to do something. Also, if breaking down was a matter of choice, then it would not happen. I think what the writer wanted to communicate here is that the heroine, upon seeing her worried mother, almost gave in and reappeared.

“With his shirt tucked into his slacks, the imprint of his wallet was easily found.”

An imprint is what happens when you press a hard object onto something soft. It does not stick out, it goes in. This sentence means that the guy had a wallet made from titanium and it had left an impression on his butt. I’m also not sure how such a large butt dimple can be possibly misplaced or lost, in order to be found. I think what the writer is trying to say here is that the outline of this guy’s wallet was readily visible. 

“His dark brown eyes were trained to the window.”

Train: to point or aim, used with “on” or “at”. It usually refers to a camera, gun, etc. So much better to say his eyes were focused on the window, isn’t it? Ditch the impressive verb and you can both communicate what you want to say and be correct. Unless this guy shoots laser beams out of his eyes and I just didn’t get it.

“I took in the storefronts, some closed, some were on the brink of opening.”

On the brink: point or state very close to something unknown, dangerous or exciting. Unless the storefronts belonged to science labs, brothels and drug dens, I don’t see any reason for the expression “on the brink” here.

“You need to be taught a lesson on who among us is the omnipotent one.”

Um, the Lord Almighty if you are Christian? Or Allah if you are not? Or chocolate if you are me?

“I shook my head with a viscous motion.”

Ye gods! This one made my eyes pop out. The only way you can make a viscous (thick and sticky) motion is if you aren’t a human being, but a piece of liver sliding down a wall. Or an amoeba. Or an offspring between a human and the Old ones. Why not write “a hibiscus motion”? It’s prettier and just as nonsensical a choice. I mean, why not. Hibiscus motion. I like it.

Editing, guys. Proper, merciless editing. I can’t stress this enough. I really can’t.

Did Not Finish at 21% Come on, blame me for it.  

You can find the Sect here.

*My star rating and what it means: 
 
Zero stars: Why me?!?  I do come across books that aren’t really books, but brain damage in disguise. For reasons you can all understand, I won’t be publishing reviews on them. I tend to become enraged and say things I later on regret.
One star: Meh… I didn’t like it and won’t be keeping it. It might be the book, or it might be me. I’ll try to clarify in my review.
Two stars: Average/ Okay. Either the kind of light/ undemanding book you read and don’t remember in a month, or suffering from flaws that prevented it from realising its potential.
Three stars: Better than average. Good moments, memorable characters and/ or plot, maybe good sense of humour… Not to die for, but not feeling like you wasted your time and money either.
Four stars: Wow, that was good! Definitely keeping it and checking to see what else I can buy from the same writer.
Five stars: Oh. My. Goodness. The kind of book you buy as a gift to all your friends, praise to random strangers on the bus, and re-read until the pages fall out and the corners are no longer corners, but round.

 

fifty shades of grey book

Fifty Shades of (Mental) Pain

I know, I know, it is an old book. It is also one that belongs to the Did-Not-Finish (And- Would- Rather- Eat- Sauteed- Pickled- Moths- Topped- With-Lanolin- Cream- Than- Continue) Category. So.

Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James.  
(0 out of 5 stars)*

 

I gave the Fifty shades of Grey a go though I was certain I would not like it. And I didn’t. It is badly written and extremely repetitive. The male protagonist is repulsive and needs psychiatric help. The female protagonist is a two-dimensional Mary Sue straight out of a 50s movie who can’t tell abuse from interest. The way BDSM is presented is extremely wrong and dangerous. The only person of colour is portrayed as a potential rapist. The plot is pretty much the same as that of any other insipid romance novel, only worse. The only explanation I have for its success is that people enjoy reading easy books that do not challenge them. Women in particular love the idea of saving the bad boy from his own self, because we have been taught that this is what we are born to do. Unfortunately, no-one can be saved, and books like this one glorify abusive relationships, psycho stalkers, and female passivity and victimisation. If you want to read a BDSM fantasy, there is much better erotica free on the net.

 

*My star rating and what it means: 
 
Zero stars: Why me?!?  I do come across books that aren’t really books, but brain damage in disguise. For reasons you can all understand, I won’t be publishing reviews on them. I tend to become enraged and say things I later on regret.
One star: Meh… I didn’t like it and won’t be keeping it. It might be the book, or it might be me. I’ll try to clarify in my review.
Two stars: Average/ Okay. Either the kind of light/ undemanding book you read and don’t remember in a month, or suffering from flaws that prevented it from realising its potential.
Three stars: Better than average. Good moments, memorable characters and/ or plot, maybe good sense of humour… Not to die for, but not feeling like you wasted your time and money either.
Four stars: Wow, that was good! Definitely keeping it and checking to see what else I can buy from the same writer.
Five stars: Oh. My. Goodness. The kind of book you buy as a gift to all your friends, praise to random strangers on the bus, and re-read until the pages fall out and the corners are no longer corners, but round.