Top Ten Ways to Procrastinate When You Should Be Writing

*Waves* Hi y’all. I’m Lee Brazil, author of m/m romance with Breathless Press, Story Orgy, Pulp Friction and Evernight. I’ve been a professional writer for about three years now. Maybe longer if you count the fact that I started writing in 2010. I didn’t get paid for it then, though. Didn’t actually get my first royalty check until mid-2011. In all that time of writing, I’ve produced a lot of books.

But I’ve also spent a lot of time nto producing anything.

I’ve come to consider myself an expert at procrastinating when I should be writing. I have a variety of stall tactics that I employ on a regular basis. When inspiration isn’t striking… and writer’s block is impending, sometimes it’s easier just to not sit down at the computer and work at all.

So, here are my Top Ten Procrastination techniques, in no particular order, just in case you need to stall for time when you should be producing words on the page.

  1. This works great, especially if you, like me, live in an old house and have to wait for the hot water to heat up. It also comes with a neat little series of side distractions… like suddenly realizing that you really should refold and stack the linens in the closet.
  2. Get the mail. I love this one. I have a post office box in town, so getting the mail can take me a full hour or more. Even better if I bump into an acquaintance who wants to chat about the unusual winter weather we’re having, the incredibly low price of a gallon of gas, and the sad performance of the Denver Broncos in the last game.
  3. Walk the dog. She actually hates this, because she has to stay by my side the whole time when she’d rather be off running in the woods and scaring up the wild turkeys, or chasing down a deer.
  4. Bake something. Like brownies. Or cookies. Muffins are good. Then you have to clean up the kitchen. Maybe even take out the trash… sample the goods.
  5. Read a book. This actually counts as work. SCORE! It’s research… or market sampling if you read in your genre. Necessary, and exemplary even.
  6. Clean your desk. It’s such a mess, how can anyone work in a messy environment?
  7. Check your email. Fifteen times should do it. Just in case something urgent shows up in there.
  8. You need to promote, right? And interact…and look at cute videos of cats and pictures of shirtless guys.
  9. Beware. This one can be very, very time consuming. I’ve gone to Pinterest with the best of intentions and wound up hours later having added dozens of margarita recipes to my Great Margarita Quest Board, when I know darn well I’m only going to try one new one over the weekend.
  10. Text From Dog. Hysterical.

What about you? How do you not write when you should be?

Lee

***

The Ice King 200x300CPA Rafe Montaigne’s day is heading downhill fast and he hasn’t even had a decent cup of coffee yet. What could make it worse? A secretary in a snit.

Elian is efficient, attractive and cold as ice toward his boss, and he has been since Rafe’s ex stopped by the office.

Rafe is a sophisticated player, a businessman who knows how to have fun and he’s not particular about whether his playmates are male or female.

It seems Elian isn’t quite so indiscriminate… What’s a boss to do when his secretary won’t play nice?

Buy: The Ice King

***

I found myself between the pages of books, and that is why I write now. It’s why I taught English and literature for so many years, and it’s why my house contains more pounds of books than furniture.

If I’d had my way, I’d have been a fencer…or a starship captain, or a lawyer, or a detective solving crimes. But instead, I am a writer, and I’ve come to realize that’s the best thing in the world to be, because as a writer, I can be all those things and more.

CONTACT LINKS: FB http://www.facebook.com/lee.brazil

Blog http://leebrazilauthor.blogspot.com/

The Greatest Mysteries are Inside Us

DD Symms Author PicLet’s welcome guest author DD Symms who clues us in on his latest story, a male-male romance that digs into the intense emotions of guilt and anguish that we try to hide in our struggle to cope. Log on to DD’s website, ddsymms.wordpress.com for his upcoming works.

The greatest mysteries lie inside of us. Medicine is not an exact science, opines my wife who is a nurse practitioner. Each person’s body is unique in how it responds to treatment and I’ve decided that who we are and how we respond to the world around us is much more art than science.

If we were formulaic beings then wouldn’t most of us live in very similar type surroundings, have about the same amount of savings and enjoy going to the same places for vacation and eating the same types of food?

We are much more art than science and that’s why so many wonderful stories exist and why we as authors can put our unique spin on stories that have been told over and again throughout history.

It’s this pursuit of personal discovery that led me to write my current story, In His Sights.

Dalton Blake is about to end his commitment to the military and he fears a future that he could face alone. He is engulfed with guilt about not detonating a roadside bomb that killed his best friend and lover. He suffers quietly but the base captain notices and tries to break through Dalton’s personal barriers.

Can Captain Bruce Shafter bring him back to life?

I loved dealing with this question and I feel this is my most satisfying work of fiction to date, even though it is a short read. I liked sitting at my desk, gazing out my study windows during the infrequent quiet times I have and clicking on YouTube or Pandora for musical accompaniment. One of my favorite songs that fits well with the theme of this story is Celine Dion’s Loved Me Back to Life.

I feel that’s what we all need. Someone to love us back to life when the struggles threaten to overwhelm us, and it’s even better when that someone understands that we are works of art even when we are pieces of work.

In His Sights 200x300EXCERPT

“Dalton.”

Shafter again. Dalton made his way to the edge of the parking lot, away from the streetlamps and the angle of the headlights beaming in and out of the bar’s parking lot, gravel crunching beneath the cars’ tires. “Go back in and fuck with someone else’s mind.” This sure as hell was no way to get another guy in bed. Maybe Shafter was an emotionally sick and twisted pickup artist.

“Talk to me.”

“Why the hell should I?” Dalton wiped his eyes.

“Because you need to.” Shafter’s voice was calm.

Dalton hated losing control of his emotions. That was for his college years and the giddy boy-in-love moments in the stupid frat house. Those days had vanished and his future was as bleak as the Mojave Desert in August. Finally, he composed himself and leaned against the tailgate of a pickup. He felt like a con man on the run and Shafter the good guy lawman unwavering in his quest for justice. Why fight?

Buy: In His Sights

Excerpt: Haunted by the Past by Pelaam

HauntedbythePast_200x300Blurb: Jared didn’t believe in ghosts or love, until he moved into his new house and found both.

Finding a house that suits him, Jared makes the move to reclaim his independence. However, he doesn’t expect to find himself both attracted to and concerned for the almost-reclusive gardener, Evander.

Jared believes Evander is hiding an eating disorder. But the appearance of old photographs and love letters in the house cause him to wonder about the stoic man. As their friendship becomes more, he wants to help and uncover the secrets he knows Evander is hiding. Each of them are haunted by something, and it’s not the house.

When a ghost from Jared’s past appears, they must fight for their own happiness, even if it means exposing themselves and the truth.

Buy: Haunted by the Past

Excerpt:

A couple of hours later, Jared returned. Hands on his hips, he glared at the thick, muddy mess on his boots. No matter, the hose is right there. I’ll switch on the tap, rinse the worst of the mess off, and carry them into the house to clean properly. Blindly, Jared reached around the corner with one hand as he crouched down to snag a hold of the hose with the other.

With a surprised grunt, he fell back onto his butt. His hand hadn’t come into contact with cold metal but cool flesh. He stared up at the man who stepped into view. His dark hair was pulled back into a pony tail, and from this angle the man looked like he towered over six feet.

For someone who worked outdoors, his skin was remarkably fair, and the expanse of pale, smooth skin temporarily robbed Jared of his wits. His eyes seemed determined to focus on either caramel colored nipples or the ‘v’ lines disappearing into well-worn denim. The man stared down at him, and Jared wondered what kind of impression he was making sitting open-mouthed in a mud puddle.

“I…you startled me.” Great opening line. Real smooth, Jared.

“I was about to clean the equipment. You were out.”

The stranger’s voice was soft, his expression morose, and he tilted his head as if Jared’s appearance was a shock to him too. His eyes were a shade of gray Jared had never seen before, and they reflected concern and intelligence.

“Ah, yes, I did go out, but I wandered off the track, got stuck in mud, and since my boots were covered in the stuff, I decided to come back. When I saw the hose, I thought I’d rinse them off before going back into the house.”

“Oh. Well. I can wait if you want.”

Jared blinked. That’s it? He isn’t even going to help me?  “Um, could you help me up?” Considering he’d spent the best part of the last six months not wanting anyone to look twice at him, he couldn’t understand why it was suddenly so important that this man did.

“I guess so.” The man held out his hand and pulled Jared upright with an ease his slender frame belied.

Now standing up, the difference in their height diminished rapidly. In fact, they stood almost shoulder to shoulder, the stranger was maybe an inch or so taller than Jared’s modest five foot ten inches. “I’m Jared, the new tenant here. Obviously, you’re the gardener, but I wasn’t told your name.”

“Evander. My name’s Evander.”

Neither man released the hand of the other. Jared wasn’t sure he wanted to be the first to let go, but Evander seemed to realize he still held Jared’s hand and released him. He took a couple of steps back.

“I have other things to do. You can use the hose.”

Buy: Haunted by the Past

Pelaam lives in clean, green New Zealand. She is a multi-published author of gay male romance and erotica across time and space. When not writing, she indulges in her other passions of cookery and wine appreciation. She can be found on Facebook, and a full list of her published works are on Lazy Beagle Entertainment.

Review: In Your Eyes (The Mates Series Book 3) by Cardeno C.

in your eyesReviewed by Sandra Scholes

Synopsis: Born to rule, Sam Goodwin is the perfect leader for the Yafenack pack as he has studied shifter laws, made sure his body is up to the challenges from his pack he will soon meet, but talking to the ones he will lead is something he has never been used to, but someone is around to help him – Korben Keller, the son of another pack’s Alpha. Korben is the one who makes him feel emotion instead of a blank slate. When a war rages between both their fathers, Sam and Korben come together again, but this time they both have to help each other from the way they feel if they are to hope to have a loving relationship.

Review: As it’s true that opposites attract, it can also be difficult in Cardeno C’s world of wolf shifters. Sam isn’t the perfect friend to have, he has no social graces and knows nothing of having friends until he meets Korben. Korben is the total opposite in every way and completes him. As they have met early on in their lives, they have had a chance to get to know each other unlike some potential pairings. I found it interesting that finding a mate is quite hard for heterosexual shifters, but for gay shifters it is even harder, and the failure of a shifter to notice when they are liked by a potential mate can be catastrophic if ignored. Korben is one of the nicest men Sam could have ever met, but his cruel father causes problems in their “what could have been a relationship” that make Sam feel as though he hates Korben. Thankfully this is only at the start, but when they meet again, they have to really work on their relationship or it might get to a serious meltdown.

Good Bits:

  • Strong characters
  • You are pulled in different ways as far as the characters are concerned
  • Finding a true mate is harder than you think
  • Sam and Korben are cute – ‘enough said!

Summary: Readers might have read a lot of shifter novels as there are plenty of writers out there who focus on the lives of these interesting men, but Cardeno C has the knack of being able to tell her stories from the heart like no one else can. She puts her characters before her readers, naked and unashamed of who they are,even if they are shy or lacking in some other areas. Sex scenes are abundant in all these novels, but they are well done, intimate, sexy and smoulder like they are supposed to if they are to move the story along. Cardeno uses the conflict between the main two characters to get a rise out of the reader, to make them wonder what will happen next, and book three of the series has done this and so much more.

[Rating:4]

Buy: In Your Eyes (The Mates Series Book 3)

Why M/M?

Apparition 200x300Hi! My name is Iyana and I live in Jakarta, a city famous for its traffic jams, a lot of cars and motorcycles, and people selling stuff on the roads. I love cats and right now I have five, Larva, Nyil, Cil, Betsy, and Horus.

If you want to know more about me, here are my links:

Blog
Facebook
Twitter

I write short stories and so far what I have published are m/m stories. Why m/m, you ask? Because I’m a girl and I adore men and I love reading about boys kissing boys. Nah. Just kiddin’. 😉 Or maybe it’s true? Well, perhaps at first. But the more I write m/m stories, the more I realize this is the least I can do to support my LGBT friends. In my country especially, LGBT life is practically non-existent and people who support them often have a hard time too. A colleague of mine stopped reading a female author’s work after this friend found out that the writer also wrote m/m stories. Some so-called religious groups have often forcefully stopped LGBT events on behalf of their religions. And I thought religions forbid violent acts.

I would also like to show my support to one of my friends. I think it’s not a secret anymore for his closest friends about his preference but I don’t think his family knows about it. It’s totally not my business, but I just want him to be happy.

I like writing m/m and from doing it I get to know a lot of guys through the Net that later become my friends. We talk about things we both love, writing, sharing our favorites, exchange information, and encourage each other for our work. They are some of the sweetest people I’ve ever known and I feel blessed to have known them. I just wish someday I could meet them in real life.

What about you? Do you read/write m/m stories? What do you like about them?

Blurb:

Separated by more than 600 miles, Zach and Drew were forced to keep in touch through phone, email, and Skype. However, as Drew showered for one of their “dates”, he wasn’t alone. Then he found out that Zach’s car crashed, leaving him in a coma. Who then came to Drew when he showered? Would he have a chance to be with Zach again?

Excerpt

The man went on his way and Drew went to the shower. He’d planned his night alone with Zach on Skype. He couldn’t think of anything better than that when his boyfriend was away. Sometimes cam sex could be better than the real thing. Well, by ten percent or less. And Drew loved to make sure he’d cleaned up when he was meeting Zach. Even in cyberspace.

Drew stripped and turned on the water, checking the temperature. Perfect. He stepped in and let the water run down his hair and his eyes. He rubbed himself down, and had another jet of water wash his body. Drew thought of the times Zach joined him in the shower.

And suddenly he felt it. Zach patted Drew’s backside and draped both arms around his damp, naked midriff. Drew sucked in a breath. What’s going on? He froze, but promptly dismissed what weird thoughts coming to his mind. He missed Zach so much, that was all. Drew moaned and pressed back.

Find Iyana Jenna on Amazon