Asrai Devin- the Maven of Mischief

Putting the fun back in dysfunctional.

Tag Archives: Facebook

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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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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Blogging …

I know blogging about blogging how boring.

I was just thinking about my process. It’s probably not the best. And if I did better I might get more views. I often write these things up late at night. I’ll be surfing Pinterest or Twitter or my blog feed reader and get ideas. Usually I’ll schedule a bunch of stuff in advance and ignore my blog for the next two weeks.

Eh I’m not here because I’m trying to grow my blog. I like yelling into an echo chamber. My focus is on my fiction. I am not into niche blogging right now. I’d like to be but I don’t have time to read into one niche ’cause all my free time is fiction time.

Anyway, I write these blog posts late at night. And then I hit schedule and I really don’t look at them again. Occasionally I’ll check to see if the formatting is good and I do read comments. But I don’t reread my content.

Yeah …

I should probably save those things into a draft and read it over just once more before it goes live.

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Social media is not for marketing

We see this all over the media and on blogs.

Social Media does not help you sell things.

And I’m kinda like DUH!

Social media is for interacting. For making friends, having conversations, getting feedback, responding to feedback, CONNECTING.

It is not passive. People are not sitting around waiting to be told what they want on social media. They are engaged.

It is not for marketing. Not for small marketing. People who have an established brand like Kim Kardashian or whatever, they can use twitter to sell. For the small and medium sized peeps: very little chance.

You are not going to sell to thousands. Social media moves too fast for that. It’s like a bunch of ADHD people on speed.

If I don’t know you, I really don’t care what you have to say. That’s why spammers don’t get anywhere. I don’t want to read your blog, I don’t want to read your novel, I don’t want to have anything to do with you.

I have a core group of friends on twitter and around the blogs I connect with on a regular basis. I talk to people about Dragon Age and other video games. I have a group of writers. I have my editor on there and I tweet how happy I am with her edits. I realized a few weeks ago a good friend went MIA and I am sad and a bit worried as he had a bit of depression (going to send him off an email). I have far too many hashtag searches.

And I do get tweets from fans. (Okay the best thing about this whole writing gig is I get to say I have fans. Me. Who woulda thunk it?) I get to thank them for reading, talk about characters, and let them know when a new book should be heading their way.

If I wanted a quick way to market, I’d buy an advertisement on Facebook. But I’m not in a hurry. I am sticking around and writing more words everyday. And as I sit at home writing in my room late at night while my family sleeps I realize it’s a lonely business and meeting with people on twitter and Facebook fills the social gap.

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Help me out: sharing with family


When I got my cover for Second Chance Romance I was so freaking excited that I shared it on my personal non-author Facebook profile. Everyone was excited about it. When I saw my aunts this summer they questioned me about this whole self-publishing business: hiring editors and cover artists, and how they could read my book.

That’s all well and fine.

Someone told my grandmother, 82 years old, about my book. She calls me up the day before the 10th anniversary of my 21st birthday. (Had to sneak that in) and congratulates me. And then she asks where she can get my book. Since she can barely operate a digital clock, she doesn’t own a computer. And I plan to do a createspace version but I haven’t yet. I told her I’d bring her a copy when I got one done up, but it would be a while.

A while later I texted my mom and told her about this incident.

Me: So Grandma called and she wants a copy of my book.

Mother Dearest: Oh Shit. What did you tell her?

Me: that I’d get her a copy when I did print, but it would be a while.

[long break while I mention this incident to someone else, who says my Grandma will be proud of me]

Me: Grandma does know I’m a grown woman now.

Mom: you’re right there.

Aside to readers: she has 10 kids, she has had sex. She reads quite a bit. I think she can handle the grown up parts. Not sure about the anal sex and vibrators, but you never know. It’s not strictly smut, it’s a romance with explicit sex.

So, should I share Second Chance Romance with Grandma?

Would you share a novel with explicit sex with your Grandmother?


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Judging is easy

I wanted to write a series of posts about parenting and my views. I’m a pro-attachment parent or maybe better to say responsive parent, we don’t do cry it out and we co-sleep (still) and breastfeed and my baby was rarely set down because he hated being on his back and he wouldn’t sleep without me for five months. And lots of things. And I’m very strongly against spanking.

And I wanted to write this post, and it was kind of a “why you are a horrible person if you spank” type post. Which is an opinion. and I feel that my opinion is the right one and shaming people who don’t agree is okay.

Then I was reading my RSS feed and someone wrote a scathing post about people living on the welfare system and they labelled three illnesses or disease that could be faked so that someone could use the welfare system. Bipolar, multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia.

And it really pissed me off, because I know people with these conditions. They don’t want to have them, and they have no choice but to rely on assistance of others, whether government or a partner.

I wrote a really nasty reply and then as I read it over, I deleted it and said “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

It is easy to make judgments of others. And I will sometimes readily admit to judging people who make choices I believe are wrong.

There’s that meme on Facebook that makes me want to gouge my eyes out, but it’s true here.

he Girl you just called fat? She has been starving herself & has lost over 30lbs. The Boy you called stupid, he has a learning disability & studies over 4hrs a night. The Girl you called ugly? She spends hours putting make-up on hoping people will like her. The Boy you just tripped? He is abused enough at home. There’s a lot more to people then you think.

Making fun of or judging any group of people is not nice, it’s not funny and it’s generally just passive-aggressive or in my blog example above, just plain mean. Unless the person is  your close friend, we generally don’t know the true story behind anyone’s life.

And we wonder why bullying is such a problem in school, when so many adults are still doing it!!

What examples do you have of bullying in your life? Do you find yourself in judgement of others? What can we do to bring this to more people’s attention?

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Simplify: Email

My first step of my simplifying and stretching my brain was to deal with my email. I had 77 unread emails in my personal account, 15 in a public account and 300+ in my Facebook/author/other public account.

Part of the problem is I am a sucker for those “sign up for our email list and we’ll send our ‘free’ 1,000 part course on how to blog and make twenty figures every decade.”  And then I leave them in my inbox, unread, marked unread in hopes that the unread status will guilt me into reading them and then the marketing starts and I wonder why I signed up for this list in the first place.

The second part of my massive e-mail collection was Facebook notifications. I belonged to a few groups that were set as notify me every time someone posts. Wana1011, I love everyone, but I the emails were burying me. Combined with all the emails I had skipped over, made for a very stressful email life. I would sometimes go weeks without checking email because it was too stressful.

I logged into my account, unsubscribed from all those email lists I didn’t read, and then I deleted all accompanying emails. The search function is your friend here.

Then I deleted all emails that were more older than 2011, except some files I had sent myself in 2006. really, really. Most of these were Freecycle(TM) related as I founded the group where we lived in 2005 and ran it until we moved last August. Good riddance.

I went into Facebook and went to each group and turned off notifications. On your home page, your groups are in the left frame, click on the group and then there is a little bar underneath the member pictures, one of the options is notifications. You can turn off or on notifications for this group.

I also went to that little arrow menu beside your profile and home link.

So it’s down arrow > Account settings > on the left Notifications and then you can choose what you want to be notified of and how.

That is all I’ve done so far. I kept Flylady notifications, even though I don’t read most of them but it keeps me on track. I don’t feel as bogged down when I check my email now. I feel happy, and I love deleting nonsense messages and making my inbox say 0 messages.

What do you do to simplify your email life? Or do you need to take some of the above steps to simplify?

Also check out the email project (also two, three and five are linked).

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Fifty Shades of Gray is an old school romance!

Okay, so I wrote about Jennifer Armintrout’s HILARIOUS (well formerly hilarious, as she keeps finding the parallels between Christian Gray and general abusive, controlling men the book makes me sadder) blog recaps of Fifty Shades of Grey. And the book is so prevalent, it’s popping up everywhere. EVERY other woman tells me she’s reading it or plans to read it and these are people who have told me “I don’t read romance novels.” ANd I clue them in to the Twilight link and they are like “oh.”

I was searching for other erotic romance to suggest to these people, because erotic romance has been around for ages and tons of it is better than FSoG. But I didn’t want to give them suggestions where there were there are threesomes or werewolves, because the people that are reading it are not those type of people. And I couldn’t think of anything off the top of my head because when I’m writing fiction I stick to reading non-fiction.

I stumbled upon the RT book review forums and found this quote:

I’ve become a very picky reader and I’m always looking for romances that interest me unfortunately I don’t see many romances featuring wealthy über alpha edgy imperfect heroes and average inexperienced shy heroines these days.

Which reminded me of when Sarah Wendall was on Read it or Weep, talking about old school romances and Twilight. She says that the hero was über alpha (and rich powerfyl men) and the heroine was a twenty year old virgin. And he takes over her life, completely absorbs her.

This is Fifty Shades of Grey. It is a 1970’s romance novel!! Christian is the alpha male who controls every aspect of Ana, his woman. And she has her sexual awakening through  him, because before him she’s never had a sexual feeling in her life, which was an aspect of the older romances, because women were not seen as sexual beings and the readers didn’t like a woman in charge of her own sexuality.

Here is Sarah Wendall (of Smart Bitches, Trashy Novels) on Read it or Weep:

Characters names have changed. What women want in a romance novel has not. Only now, it’s becoming cool to admit that you are reading romance in public. On Facebook. Everywhere.

And I’m glad that erotic romance is getting good publicity. I just … wish it were with my books.LOL Just kidding.

The best thing was this quote, which actually started my whole thinking about the damned book.

A third [reviewer]: “I bought the book after so many people at work were raving about it. I certainly know more about my co-workers now.”

Oh, yes, this has brought us all closer together. Thank you Fifty Shades of Gray.

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Relationship tips from stories

I was writing the post on “Who’s your hero?” and it occurred to me there some tips to learned from a good romance character.

1. Stop trying to fix who they are. We picked our partners because we loved who they were, so many people want to change their partners. We just all need to start accepting people as they are. I’m going to try to do that more.

2. More hot sex. To heck with everything, get down and get dirty with your partner. Do what feels good to them. Then some of what feels good to you. And be open to trying something new.  Repeat until you can’t stand the pleasure.

3. My favorite line in all the Release from the Chains stories is when Bran says ” never apologize for who you are or what you want.” No one should make us feel bad about what we are or what we want. Stop apologizing, and don’t don’t don’t tame your dreams down for someone.

4. Be willing to make an effort. I love angst and drama in fiction, I don’t like it as much in real life, but it`s always there. We always have to make an effort and do some work to have anything worth having. Don’t let our partners forget they are special to us. Make an effort to do something special for them, something they like even if you aren’t fond of it or have never tried it.

5. Seduction. My muse likes smut. And it`s nature that we want to rub against each other. Embrace it and enjoy that part of yourself. Make some noise and throw your whole self into the act.

What has your favorite story taught you about life?

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#Row80 Checkin

I haven’t done a check-in for ROW for so long I couldn’t even recall when the dates where going up or down.

I have been struggling with getting an idea past the planning stage. I start planning it and it looks good, I’m excited about my characters and the premise. Then I get to the plot and I realize I have no idea how to get from point A, beginning of the book, to Point B, my perceived end of the book. Just  wholesale, no ideas for decent conflict or knowledge about how the narrative will work. I suppose I could just fudge everything, but that makes for really bad books.

Anyway, well, here is the State of Asrai’s writing career.

Did my edits on When Love Knocks, finally have a title and I owe my best friend and beta reader 0.1% of royalties for this book or something. at least a nice gift certificate for a massage or a night out. SOMETHING. I hate titles.

Anyway, I nearly threw up when I opened the edits. But then it turned out they were wonderful and I am happier with the book than before. And Now I’m chomping at the bit to get Second Chance Romance edited.  After the next paycheck comes in probably. We’ll see. I want the story to remain the same, but the typos and bad spelling, grammar and missing commas to be fixed.

I brainstormed on promotion vs. writing the next book. And the general consensus is: write the next book.

Happy birthday to my Husband. Love you sweetheart. The best thing was we ate out Friday night because we never know if he’ll be home for supper or not, and my fortune cookie read “This evening will bring romance” or something like that. It’s a good thing when a fortune cookie tells you about your romantic prospects. (He doesn’t read this blog so he won’t get the message anyway).

We went to my cousin’s wedding dance, which was supposed to start at 8 PM. We got there at 8:30 and they were still doing speeches. We found my brother (my dad had to leave because he forget his pain pills at home, he had back surgery at Christmas) and found out they had the wedding ceremony almost 1.5 hours late because the bride got lost (well actually her limo couldn’t get to where it needed to be so they had to around). That needs to be in a novel somewhere. The groom freaking out because the bride hasn’t arrived, did she get cold feet? Someone can steal it if they want, I have no wedding scenes planned … yet. But I want a thank you!

And last but not least, I think I finally have another round of Amy and Scott planned out. Originally Amy was Mac and Scott was Corey Porter. I wrote the entire novel only to toss it, thankfully, Corey’s story, Complications over Coffee, is better for it. But I have written Amy’s story three more times since then, and it never turns out the way I want it to. I think I figured it all out. Again. Try it once more.

Okay, hope everyone out there had a good week, month, few months.

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