Asrai Devin- the Maven of Mischief

Putting the fun back in dysfunctional.

Category Archives: what if Wednesday

Enough, I am enough, you are enough. We can stop.

I’ve gotten myself into this frenzy of saving people from “wrong” choices.

It started with Yahoo Answers and it escalated to several Facebook groups.

People post something like

“My 18 month old is biting. Spanking and time outs aren’t working.”

And then I get annoyed, because spanking and time outs aren’t teaching tools. And I get anxiety about this person getting MY RIGHT answer and taking my advice.

I am making myself insane.

Also, I’ve taken to really being annoyed about the lack of tolerance shown by so many people in my personal non-writer Facebook. “God wants you to say Merry Christmas” and “Saying Happy Holidays is turning your back on Jesus.”

Tis the season for intolerance.

So, here is my plan. Block Yahoo Answers. Leave these crazy mom communities which seem so often to thrive on drama and infighting and the whole “mommy wars” thing and regain the energy I’m losing toward worrying about things that are not in my control. I will give up my good fight to someone else who has more energy and time than me.

What things are you losing energy to? Could you let go of some of those things and regain that energy?



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Christmas help?

Okay I need some help. I really don’t want more things for Christmas. So I’m thinking of asking my peeps to give to charity in my name.

Now Plan Canada has specific gifts you can buy. You can buy books for schools, newborn baby care, school supplies all the up to water for an entire village or a primary school. There’s tons of stuff. So I’m leaning toward this strongly. check the website, it’s totally cool. Wish with each gift you could see the family or school or village that received the item that was gifted. But, I know, it costs them money which could go to something else.

The other thing I’m consider is Kiva, or another form of microlending. If you google “problem with microloans” you can find out the downsides to microfunding and if it’s really making a difference.

In terms of making a difference on a large scale, I’m not sure.

What do you think is a better way to give your money away? A targeted donation like Plan Canada, a microloan like Kiva or something entirely different?



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What if’s and writing

I was thinking about What Ifs and writing from last week.

Writing is about examining the what ifs. We see a situation and add a what if … spin and come up with an original idea.

Or we find a character we love and throw her into a situation and ask what does she need to grow and change, and what force would be the one to force her outside her comfort zone.

I read once that Tori Amos wrote “Jackie’s Strength” to examine her fears about getting married and what it would be like if she just disappeared.

It’s part of why I wrote Colors of the Rain. I once went to visit a boy who I thought was the love of my life.  He turned out to be terrified once he had gotten what he wanted, me to love him and sleep with him, and I spent two weeks in hell with him. I imagined while I was wandering around some town in South Dakota, can’t recall the name, anyway, I imagined just disappearing. What would it be like? And that question haunted me for years. Until I wrote that story, then it went away.

What ideas do you have that you’d like to explore? Would you, could you explore them through writing, through photography or another form of art?

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All the what ifs in the world

My WIP is a big What If … book. I have a thing for “soul mates” who have been separated by time and their own misconceptions (see: Second Chance Romance) who get back together later.

And then I was surfing Facebook and came across a friend from university (I only attended one year and then dropped out) who I had a huge crush on but he was dating someone else and I sorta dated his friend (this was part of why I dropped out). And I think, I think, he liked me as well, but y’know it was what it was, and we never got together.

My mind was wandering like, what if we had dated. Not in a, I wish it were so, kind of way, but in a, what might have happened differently.

Possibly the same things that actually did happen, because I had a lot of issues that I didn’t deal well with. We might have ended in just as a big a train wreck and I would have dropped out and moved home anyway.

Do you ever indulge in the “What if ….” thinking/daydreaming?


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Wanna live longer?

I was playing with my phone a few days ago, it’s an Android HTC, I think, and I was installing apps. I installed the Kijiji app and the Ikea App. And then the TED talks app.

In case you’ve been under a rock, TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design. According to Wikipedia, TED conferences started in 1984 in California. They’ve grown and are held all over now. The main events are called TED, but any city can host one called a Tedx. And no one is allowed to be paid to speak at a Tedx conference, and all speeches must be allowed to be free streamed on the TED website.

Since 2006, all TED speeches have been available for free on the

Anyway, I was flipping through the TED app and I came across the title “The Game that will can give you 10 extra years of your life” by Jane McGonigal. Since I love anything that says gaming is good, I clicked watched. While I half watched my 10 year old playing a video game and my husband playing a different game on the computer, we listened to to Ms. McGonigal, a game designer, tell us about her experience with games. She suffered a major head trauma and she didn’t heal as we assume concussions normal heal. About 1 in 3 concussion victims end up with suicide ideation.

Instead of just falling into a depression over the pain, or listening to her brain, Jane decided to make her life into a game. She would “collect power-ups” for doing anything that would heal her brain. And in a couple days of playing the game with her sister, her depression started to lift. She started sharing her game with other people on her blog and people started playing their own game and started telling her about their own amazing transformations.

She started calling the game superbetter, which you can play on the website 

My daughter and I both joined. ‘Cause who doesn’t want 10 extra years of life, and some fun. IF anyone has joined in the past or joins after reading this let me know and we can join up and be allies. :)


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Imagining … kisses

I keep imagining …

wearing a garter belt, thigh high stockings

long fingers stroking the soft skin exposed just above the stockings

gentle teasing fingers, touching

soft kisses, long kisses, wet kisses, seeking tongue, nipping teeth, soft lips,

kiss by mikelawrey stock.xchng

gentle murmurs with romance “so beautiful”, “so sexy”, “can’t wait to touch, to taste, to see”

beach vacation, warm sands, hot nights, revealing clothing

of love, of lovers, of first times and next times and every time,

of young love, mature love,

uncontrolled lust and falling, falling, falling for you.

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Get excited about your life

This is the culmination of a few things. First, my latest crush obsession with Eddie Redmayne . Second, trying to figure out my next novel, which I’ve started and crashed about three different times. Third, subsequent daydreaming linked to said crush and writing attempts. Fourth, (I keep adding on) my best friend is in the middle of falling in love. She and her boyfriend as just disgustingly cute about it all!! And last, a post by fellow WANA classmate/friend Kristy K. James, Why Can’t Life be Like a A Love Song?

I was having a lovely daydream the other day about a life different from my own. A life where the mundane things weren’t so mundane, where I was just excited about things and my partner.

And then I started thinking about my husband. I don’t want a new partner. I want him, we have future plans together, which is going to be legendary. But, in the meanwhile, we have to live day to day life and it can get boring and we get entrenched in the exhaustion of two kids, jobs, bills, and the constant threat of clutter taking over our lives. (My husband is perfect for me. I’m keeping him).

But the mundane crap is really a drag.

So it hit me. Why not feel excited about the mundane things? Why not do things for him and be happy I’m making him happy, instead of feeling a bit resentful? Why not be more present with him and with our kids? Why not feel more sexy? Why not put on a bit of an effort for him? Why not feel excited when I see him?

Some people might consider it fake or false to force excitement. You can call it fake it til you make it. I don’t think it is false. After a decade, I can’t expect to feel spontaneous excitement and flooding in my lady bits when he walks in the room like when we were first together. Doesn’t mean it would be false to dwell on it and get excited about him.

A lot of people had the wrong idea about how love should feel. I know I had wrong ideas.

I thought for ages it be as Kristy K James says:

Am I way off base here, or are the feelings expressed in this song the samefeelings that most every adult in the world wants to feel? The newness of love? The uncertainty? The hope? The knowledge that this is the one?

Maybe it’s not the wrong idea of how we should feel, but the idea that we should feel that day in and day out without putting out any effort ourselves.

So, bring up the excitement in your life with what you have. Put out an effort to make the people around you feel the way you want to feel, don’t wait for them to make you happy.


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Letting it Go

My personal philosophy is to just let things go. There are few things I get worked up about. Not throwing stuff away ranks high on my list of things to get worked up about. It can be a big issue in my relationship. My husband would just rather throw stuff out. I’d rather donate it, give it to someone or sell it.

This has been my philosophy when it comes to publishing as well.

Right now I have a review for my book Love Can’t Wait on Amazon KDP that says the book is horribly edited. It says words are missing, the book needs to be spell checked. I panicked because this book was professionally edited. I formatted it and I’ve looked at it (not on a Kindle because I do not have one) on my tablet. It looks fine to me.

When I read the review I panicked. I opened the file and ran a spell check. I was going to comment back, because I think it’s a formatting issue. I don’t know. I decided to just let it go. I don’t know if it’s the right or wrong thing to do. The other review is positive. If there were several comments on the formatting problem, I’d reformat and re upload. (If anyone has read the book and notices similar problems please comment here or email at asrai.rd@

I also noticed that despite my price being changed EVERYWHERE my book, Complications Over Coffee, is sold to 2.99, Amazon has it discounted to 2.99. Annoying? yes. Worth my time to email them? Maybe. Worth their time? Not likely. I checked ALL my others sales channels, it’s 2.99. I don’t know where else it’s discounted. I’ll watch it for right now, if it doesn’t go up, I’ll ask where their data is coming from.

The last thing I’m forced to let go but is really irritating me is Smashwords distribution lag. Any book that’s distributed already goes up fairly quickly. But my last two releases Love Can’t Wait and When Love Knocks claim to have been distributed the last three weeks. They are not up on Barnes and Noble, Apple (Apple doesn’t have Second Chance Romance either) or Sony. The latter two aren’t a big deal, I don’t sell much on either. But I sell a lot of books on B&N this delay is costing me tons of sales. TONS and therefore Smashwords is losing out as well. I have people waiting for it.

I wrote Smashwords an email, but they say they have a backlog for service help. They are hiring more staff it says, but expect to wait 2 weeks to hear from them. I told them I didn’t expect to hear back, but that I wanted my frustration noted. I’ve heard of people waiting 4 months for distribution. Frustrating. Especially if you are a non-US resident, Barnes and Noble won’t let you in without Smashwords.

I love all that Smashwords has done and I’m not going to abandon them during these growing pains.

All of this reminds me that I need to write a letter to the editor of my local paper telling him that I’m thankful he doesn’t get to make the laws on abortion. (I’m very pro-choice and if that alienates you- GOOD. One woman, one brain, one choice what to do with it.).

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What I really want


I always think I want to help  people. I want to give them advice and guide them to their right path.

That sounds nice, but what I really want is to tell people what to do and have them listen. Because, I think I know better than other people.

It’s probably not true, but it seems that way when I hang out on Yahoo Answers. I’ve written about it before, I hang out on the newborn board and the Toddler/Preschool Section. Stay away from Pregnancy where every third question is literally “Am I pregnant?” And then the details that follow are either a bunch of vague symptoms or some teen who had sex three days ago and is freaking out because they didn’t use protection, or started taking the pill three days ago or didn’t actually have sex. Every fifth question is asking which of two optional dates/men knocked up the particular asker.

There used to be a person answering under the name “K” who is my favorite person on Yahoo Answers. She just flat out says “you’re an idiot, if you bothered informing yourself you’d know this, this and this.” She’s kind of disappeared again and I feel the need to take her place a little, plus the repetitive questions are wearing.

“My son hits people. We spank, put him in time and throw his toys away as a consequences. He’s getting worse, what should we do?”

Well, smarty pants, hitting your child for hitting is you getting revenge. All punishment only brings attention the wrong he’s done. You don’t teach him what to do next time.  (I could rant on this stuff all, check out for the best advice in this regard).

It’s like you having a job and your boss stands next to you and watches you work. Every hour or so, your boss hits you over the head and says “You’re doing that wrong, go stand in the corner for five minutes.” Your five minutes is up, you return to work, you don’t know what to do since your boss wandered off. But he returns and hits you over the head again and says “you’re doing that wrong, go stand in the corner again.”

You have to teach your child how to express himself. And you have to listen to your child’s needs.

//End of answer

It amazes me how many people believe their children are trying to manipulate them via tantrums and crying.

And the thing I’ve learned most about people via yahoo answers, is that they are not willing to inform themselves. At least a quarter of the questions could be answered by people themselves by learning how to properly use a search engine.

It’s probably better that I can’t see if people take my advice or not. I’d probably jump down their throats if they choose something else. I don’t even check best answer (unless I win the contest and give the best answer).


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Stats junkie (TMI editioN)



So, I wrote about 50 Shades and caning versus Canning and it got me a gazillion hits. And 3 comments. So thanks for that. But those page views and site hits are starting to dwindle and I’m feeling like I need a infusion of stats. I am no longer happy with 10 page views a day, I want a hundred.

I could write about all the 50 Shades of Gray “copy cats” or follow-ups being served for the masses. I feel sorry for author’s who get promoted as “if you loved FSOG, you’ll love this as well”.

I could write about the women who attempted to have FSOG lingerie parties, but received a cease and desist letter from James. But you could Google it yourself and boggle over a woman who published Fan fic telling people they can’t use her idea either. (Besides, I didn’t think titles could be copyrighted. At least in the US it cannot, but it can be trademarked, but FSOG has not yet? If they are pursuing it, does that mean it can’t be used by someone else?)

I think if could get those topless photos of Kate Middleton that would garner me a few hits, but they were destroyed I’d believe and Ii I was going to post photos of naked anyone, I would want the model to give consent. And the only person I’d be willing to ask is myself and I really have no qualms about it except my husband’s objections. I’m still nursing so half the population of the small city we live in has seen them in the past year. He’s always pulling them out for me to show off or unlatching and running away before I can pull up my shirt.

What do you think would “asrai topless” gain me more hits? I’ll add it to my tags and let you know if it does.

I’ve been looking on Amazon at some books I’d like to own for reference and every time I’m still shocked by Kindle prices being significantly higher than the paperback. It pisses me off actually and some of the time I’m tempted to not buy any copy of the book. I know it’s like not seeing a movie because of something the actor did in real life. No one is going to feel me not buying it, other people will and my silent protest, means NOTHING to anyone.

And the last thing? DO you have a belly bulge? That lower belly pooch. It may be from tight hip flexors are. and according to Pinterest, there is an easy way to combat the issue.

From ovulation to menstrual bleeding, my hips shift to a bad place, they feel “out” of place and my entire body suffers. My family suffers, I am crabby and whiny (oh I whine A LOT). Right now my neck is sore on the right side and my shoulder is on the left (I did the above exercise but it made my shoulder hurt).

And last, but very not least, happy birthday to my favorite 10 year old.

If you have any ideas for how I can feed my need for hits, other than writing useful content, let me know in the comments.


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