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The Quarter Percent: Effortless book sales with social audio?

Quarter Percent – Trailer

Can you, as an author, achieve effortless book sales using social audio? Please read this post and learn what I have discovered. But get some popcorn first, because there is drama. 

It has been a year since I published my novel, The Quarter Percent, and if someone had told me to relax because that people would ask to buy it, I would have thrown a tantrum. And yet, since joining social audio nearly eight weeks ago, I have had lots of people tell me they bought my novel. First, in my Clubhouse profile, I mentioned writing my second novel. Then after a number of requests to share a buy link for the first one, I added it to my Twitter bio.

The Quarter Percent, novel by Lily Nicole, cover art
Cara de la Reina

I’m not using social audio to sell books, by the way: the book sales are a side effect of staying active on the platforms. By staying active, I do not mean staring at my phone all day. Instead, I make time for active participation in spaces or rooms on a range of subjects.

Last year, I collaborated with several artists and we produced artwork for The Quarter Percent. We focused on key scenes and events. One of the scenes opens in front of a graffiti mural in the foyer of a refurbished warehouse. Tensions in a friendship, the transfer of power, and a generous gift are overseen by a portrait of King Cordial’s late wife, Queen Cara. The scene, mural, and cover art are called Cara de la Reina or ‘face of the queen’. To write that scene, I did a lot of research into warehouses and architectural design because the description of the interior had an important function. It set up a contrast between the home’s cool, trendy, laid back atmosphere and the next level scheming that would take place there. 

North to South

Based on other research, I knew that a cover with a face was ideal, and I assured my publisher that using the mural art was going to work. A year later, this is my avatar everywhere, and saying so in the first paragraph of my Clubhouse profile has made promotion effortless. When people ask me why I don’t use a selfie, I tell them that I am using social audio for business, and I don’t want to attract the wrong sort of customer. Seeing that I get book sales without doing anything extra, it stays right there.

And now, I will highlight some amusing incidents from last year’s promotional campaign. A book marketer told me he had no idea why I would give away free copies of my novel. He had no idea how that would help with book sales. One colleague suggested that a political assassination to help me get mega downloads. Another said to give up drafting if people did not download the beta version. Later, a young lady clickbaited and free trafficked me to her blog after saying that people would never download the $0.00 promotional Kindle copy without reviews, while agreeing that people would need to read the novel to review it.

A tale in the crypt - storyboard of first scene of last chapter, The Quarter Percent
Ruby Castle’s crypt with a statue of Saint Joan on the left.

On top of that, someone has been earning money from views of my trailer on a dodgy platform. Every marketer I hired to promote the book has denied having merched the trailer. I only found out because the analytics on WordPress finally appeared in February and showed me a cascade of clicks out to my blog. The owners of the platform are not answering emails or taking phone calls so I cannot find out who is doing this.

Amid all of that drama, you will understand why I gave up on promoting my novel altogether. But I am happy that l have stumbled upon an effective way to sell it.

Costmary is talking with her publicist Karen Aoki

Regardless of the obstacles, I enjoyed the creative process from last year, and I will expand on that for my upcoming novel. My first idea was to create art prints and posters. Still researching styles that I want to use, and practising on Procreate. Currently, I am producing instrumental compositions for piano, violin and cello. These will match the mood and themes of the story. My YouTube channel is dry and ashy so I asked a composer friend to help me out. I am hoping to share the music with artists and creators who like listening to music as they work.

About an hour before publishing this post, I talked about the project in a business networking group and I was encouraged by the response. The music will also be my rehabilitation after sacrificing brain cells to ratchet YouTube (for research purposes). 

Happy Wednesday, everyone. Keep creating, and thank you for staying in touch. 

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art women writing

I’m an artist and I’m allowed

3̵̢̡̢̧͕̻̝̝̫͔̠͙͈͙͎̺̙͎̝̣̫͍̰̪͈͙̲̳̩̹̥͍͇̳̲̭̗́̏̾͆̑̌̔̿̏̌̃̂̀̿̏͆̿̅͆͊̒͛͂̄̑̚̚͜͝͠͠͝͠͝͝ͅͅͅͅ ̵̡̨͓̮̍̈́̾́̉̉̂̽̔̀͌̎̂̋͊̈́͑̔̽̓̋͊̃̅͂̕͠͝3̵̢̧̧̧̺̰͉͕̰͔̩̫̪̗̭͇͚̘͈̰͓̬̩̘͓͔̝̪̭͙̫̟͓̮͓̰͇̗̥͍́̀̄̔̈́͒͛̑̊͗̚̕͜ͅ ̴̡̨̢̧̡̥̱̺̯̤̫̠͔̬̭̯̥̮̱̺̹̻̩̠̩̩̯̼̮͇̱̠̬͈̹̘̑̋̀3̶̨̖̦͈͋͛̈̈́́̂̿́̅̆͌͂̐̎̆͋̔͆̚͝ ̷̤̘̖͔͈̤̗̽̾̿̇̀̔̉̀͋̏́̎͂͛̂͌̈́̚I̶̧̢̛̛̤̣̪̞̖̯͔͖̣̞̘͍̘̳̘͈͙͔̱͛͒͆͒́̀̈́̐͗͗́͆̔́̐̈́̇̐̈́̀̑͋̓̈͛̍̏̇͛̇̄̚͜͜͝͠͝͝ ̵̢̡̧̢͓̗̳͍̘̥̮̜̯̺͍̫̤̱̮̻͚͓̠̲̪͕̭͓̤̲͉̻̭̗̼́̏͑͝a̶̠̗̳͚͕̹͖̠͚̪̫̮̹̭͇̟̩͖͋m̶̧̧̛̪̻̖͓̮͙͉̪̲͔̀̓̈̀̽́̈́̿̅̓̄̽͗͂̈́̀̈́̏̓̔̈́̈́̄̇̇̓̆̾̈́̚̕͝͠ ̷̡̡̧̦̙̝̯̝̱͍̱̪͔̣͈͙͙̠̫̠͕͖̩̭̭͙̦̹͈̪͉͇̏̀̽̈́͗̆́̅͝͠a̶̡̨̢̨̯̝͙͎͔̙̤̬̘̬̰͓̗̼͖͚͕̖̬̬͈͚̐̎̆͑̒̈́̇̓̇͗̎̓̽͐̾̐̽̉͐̕̕͠ņ̵̧̧̨̧͍̜̼͖̩̤̖̭̞̪̲͉̼̔̌̀̕̚͝ͅ ̸̨̡̧̛̠̭͖̹͚̬͓̩̭̬̪̜̟̞̬͇̭̯̫̫͙͙͙̰̼͚̻͉̫̥̰̖̻̻̝͎̰̲̟̊͒̎̎͆͆͛͛̈̏̐̆̇̓̅̇͗͒̈̄͒̽͑̈́̀̕͘̚a̶̧͍͖͖͙̝̫̬̩̺̮̭̦̠͔̗̗̥͎͛̈̀̀̚͠r̴̡̢̡̜̳̦͙̰̥̖͖͍̜͎̺̬͓̟̝̻̪̗͍̳͈͉̥̫̪̘̹̟̼̣̔̾ţ̴̧̡̛͈̝̭̮̹̣̭̠͕̝̰̭̙̱͕̱̭̲̞͕̤̭̘̻̼̙̓́̿̉̄͑̊̈́̓̈́̐̍̒͂̔̂̅͘͜͝ḯ̵̢̡̨̢̦̮̮̪̱̹͙̜̳͚̻̜̟͖̪̼̹͖͔̤̫̻̻̘̘̠͚̘̼͕̑͂͗͋̈́͗̾̑͊̿͗̀̾̓̓̉̒̆̀̈́̈́̊̇̄̍͂̄̚͠s̷̢̙̼̤̫̼̗͚͆̿̍͒̇̓̈́̇̄́͗̑͋̏͒̃́̀̏̅̄̎̉͘͠ͅt̷̡̧̧͙͔͓̮̤͕̺̱̹̪̼̜̭̺͖̝̲̫͓̲̫͇̤̖͔͇͛̈́̑̃̀͑̐̊̈͂́͂́̕͝ ̴̡̢͕͕̩̥̳̠̣̭͈͚̰̼̪͕͙̤͕͕͚̥̩̱͓̦̫̼̉̊͒̔͛̀́́̊̀̒̾͂͗̏̌̿̀͛̈́̔̓̾̐̆̓̄͗̇̀̆̊̄̏͘͜͜͠͠ͅͅä̴̧̧̛̬̺͈̬̣̦͙̱̝̮͍̰̘̤̠̼͖͎̳̹̻̟͉̬͇̯̘̱͕̣́͐̾̆̔̇̓́̊̌̊̾̐̀͝ͅn̶̛̛̯̩̫͖̝͔̠̣͒̅̋̍͗͐͋̏́̌͑̍̂͋̈͋͛͂̍͛̒̔̓͊̃̽̀̑̉̔̈́̓̃̏͘̚̚̚͝͠͝ͅd̶̡̨̧̙͖͕͈͎͓͔̙̰̪̺̲̙̟͖̼͓̰̼̳̻͎̙͓̞̭̩̍́̋͐̒͑̐́ ̶̫̹̱̋̀̿Į̷̮͚͆̽̂̈́̿̐̇̂͆̋͐́͌̀͐̐̏͋̑̄̒͆͊͌̀͘̚̚͝͝͝ ̶̩̜͓͙̯̏͌̇͑́̽̎͒̈́̉̔̔͑̐̕̕͠a̷͎̪͐̎̽͒͐̃̓̂͂̐͐̿̀̍̋̍̈̓̄͂̇̓̈́͝͝m̸̡̨̨̢̛̛̩͎̼̦͓̣͖͉̖̝͕̖̳͇͎̩̲͖͔͓̝̗͔̙̤̭̭̘͙̤̯̪͖̮͍͕͗̀͊̅̅͋̍͂͌̀́́̋͆͐́̏̃͂̀͐́͆̀́̐͂̌͂̎͋͂̾͐̕̕͜͝͠͝͠͝ͅͅ ̸̧̡̡̖̥̳̝̦̬̙̗̲̣̓ǎ̷̡̢̛̗̳̙̯̝͉̱̫͓̳̺̤̪̜̠̱̻͍̙̦̝̤͔̊̈́̌̀͆͑̓̀̍̅̽̀͗̈͊̂̄̄͘͘̚ͅͅͅl̷͔̑͗͐̃l̸̛̙̳̫̫̖͇̪̻͓͙̖̤̞̟͈̗̭̥̬̜̳̤̥̣̃̉̈̑̅̈́͆̈́͑̓͐̐̈́̅̈́̀̂̃̏̍̉̊̈́̓̉͊̎͂̑̚̕͜͝͝͠͠͠͝ơ̷̡̡̱͙̥͈̩̫̯͎͎̹̭̭̬̥͚̰͎̪͑̐͗̃̈̃̃̿̀̈̃͂̉͂̄͋̍̂̾͋̄̑͛̑͌̈͊͒̍̕͘͝͠͝͠ẇ̶̨̛̱̳͍̫̰̤̩͈̪̥̖̝̦̘͙̞̣̻͇̘̖̯̮̗̪̤͓̱̮̜͕͍̱̰̳̳̎̌̇̄̀̐̆̊̑͘͠é̷̡̨̨̝̮̗̝̻̦͍͚͕̩̦͓̩͓̺͓̥̙̠̖̟͉̜͕̺͖͔͔̖̘̝̀̎̃̈́͌͆ͅͅd̶̢̧̛̛̛̗̞̮̮͓̮̻̟̗̭̝̰̥̪̙͕͈̬͖̟͇̻̘̏̀̀̽̑̅͋͗̓͊̈́̌̍̃̾͜͠ͅ

̸̰̳͎̰̫̳͖̫̺̤͂̄̇͌̈́͂̂͑̏̋͆̈͐̄̐̈́͑̆͐̃̈̕͝ͅc̸̡̨̧̘̪̘̥̭͕̤̻̜͇̤̬͈͓͕͍̝͐̇̀̉̎͂͑͐̀̋͗̍͆͛͆̓̈́̈́̒̈́͐͊̋̈́̏̇̚̚͘̚͠͠͝r̶̛̲̰͙̺͈̦̻̘̝̘̀̿͜͜͜ā̷̡̛̛̛̛̛̞̻̩͇̱̳̦͎̖͚̭̱̩̲̮͈͙̜̯͓̱̾̀̿͋̏̌̒͌̿̑̊̂̄̂͊͒͊̾̀̓̅͛̀͑͒̚̚͜͝͝z̷̡̛̬͈͉̩͈̯̦̣͖̣͉͍̲͉̠̩̗͎͊͑̑͒́́̀̀̀̆͌͗̽̌̓̏̾̚̕͝͠͠į̵̛̗̙͔̭̰̮̣̠̙̫̬̭̳͚͉̞͖̤̫̓͂͂̀̐̊̅͑̑̋̊̓́̀̄̓̃̒̂̋̃̏͆̎̃͊̔̉͌̏͘̕̕͜͜͠͝͠n̸̛̼̟̺̖͈̎͗̄̂̓̊́͌͂͆́̀̂̀̀͛̏̔̕͘͝ę̸̨̨̱̝̲̥̣̩̫͇̟̪̗̳̣̟̞̞̠͓͓͉̻̼̹̮̺͉̟̤͔̺͍͔̼̣̞̟̠̽̍̔̌̓̅̈́̔̊̿͗̑͗́̀̐͂̿̆̀̑͂͘̚͜͠͠͝ͅs̵̨̨̢̧̢͈͍̫͎̯͎̦̟̲̜̗̪̯̳̘̞̺̲̣͓͓̻̣̤̟̖̘̟͔̫̎̾͂̿́s̸̨̢̧̛̛͕̜̖̦̥̖̦̬̤̲̰̦̞̤̺̖̯͕̱̦͔̤̭͙̺͓̩̪̖̥͇̞̘͎̼̠̞̏̃͒̎̈́̈́̃͆͐̈́̏̎͜ͅͅͅ ̷̧̣̭̬͈̻͚̣̭̜̠̯͍̭̠̺̫̣̘̪̈͌̈́̅̒̿̈́̿̍̚̚͜ l̴̡̛͕͙̗̜̺̲͎̮͑̋̽́͛̓͊̍͒̄̀͌̊͗͐̓̀̒̎́͐͑̑̎̓̇̆̈́̏͐͘͘͘̕͜e̷̢̺͓͔͇̦̦̾͌̀̓̏̍́̈̃̌̃͒̈̌̾̍͑̅̋͂̀̉̕̚͜͝͝͝v̸̛̟̠̱͓̪̟̙̑́́̏͒̎́͆̿̀̾͂̏̈̔̃͗̕ẹ̸̢̪͕̲̖̜̙̳̪̱̙̯̙̳͓̥̱̩͚̈́̋̉̊͂̑͊̓̓͂̋̔̎̔͑͑͌̂̈́̐̓̔͊̐̇͘͠͠ͅͅļ̴̛̟̱̦̤̞̙̜̹͖̘͉͖̞͈̘̹̮̟̼͈̒̎̓́̀̎́̓͑̓̾̎͒̏̈́͌̌̍͛͌̔͗͒́͛́̍̆́̐̾̚͘͝ͅͅ ̸̢̢̢̡̫͔͓̻̱̙͇͙̜̺̙̘͔͗̂̃͋͛͑̿̈́̈́͌͠<b r≯̢̤̹̫̖̪̲͎̱̱͔͆͛̇͑̊̌͂͂̍̕̚͝t̷̛͎̝̗̜̪͚͉̝̲̲͊̀̾̈͂͑͐̀̈́́̅̈́͝͝ô̴̧̨̡̧̰̭̬͚̺̤̹̹̫͔̖̞̖̳͖̟̦̒̓́́̄̑̚͜ ̷͈͓̝̲̲̼̠͆̎̅̒̽̔̆͐̀̃͊̒͂̋̿̈́̓̈̇͒̐͋̽̒̈́͗̄̅̆̃̕̕̚͜͠͝͝t̵̤̭̘̀̽͒̈̒̌̑̈́̎́̆́̓̕͝͠ḩ̴̢͈̣̤̱̟̠̓̊̇̍́͐͗͜͝͝ȩ̸̨̛̜̱̣͇̥̫͚̲͓̭̗͈͉͍̭̲̗̰̬̠̲͕͈̞͎͚̯̖͖̓͌̎̎͆̊͑̀̒̍̒̌̏͌̇̓̅̓̽̈̿̊͐̅̉̐͑̐͆̌̂͒͗̂͌̊͘̚̚̚͝͠͝ ̶̮̃̓͂́́̃̽͋̏̽̇́̎̌͌̈́̆̃͐̉́̂̄̑͑̇̅͠ḿ̴͚̩̣̤̜̯̮̣̠̙̖̹͇̲̓̑͛͒̎̀̇͌͑̀͊͆̉̊̎̏́̅̎̄́̿͆͜͜͝͠͝a̸͈͇͚͈̞̩̭̙͔͈̘̻͖̠͙͎̻̼̱̝̻͉̺̭͇̳̫͚̐̐͒̊̽̈͋̏̉̇̽͛͗̓͊̍͑̔̓͆͋͋̿̉̃͂͂̈́̀̂̍̏̏̚ͅx̴͔̥̞͉̦͇̞̮͕̹̯̗̤̠̿̂́͊̂͑͆̈͑̌̔̿͐͋̃̀̑́̀̆́̅̽͌͑̅͒͌̚̕͜͝͠͠ͅͅ ̶̱̝̳̂̓͂̐̔̓̆̀̇̐͌̚̚͝t̸̡̡̟̙͉̜̖̘̹͍̤̪͚̰̟̫̣̜̩͈͙̳͕͍͇͉̣̺͎̦̫̬̟͉̝̙̠͍̖̫͚̱̉̉́͒͛̚̚ͅṟ̷̨͙͙͓̜̞̥̫͎̗̺͔̰͚̼̦͉͍̈́͜͜͜ͅą̸̡̛̟̻͕̮͇̹͉̺͂̒͐̏̀̓͊̈́̃͑͑́̌̀̃̅̽̒̅̉́̃́͒̈̽̀̂͗́̌̂́̀̑̌̌̍̀̕͠͠͠s̴̡̛̳̙̣̠̰͙̱̱̮͖͈̲̟̤͉̱̩̼̮͕̠̺̈̓͒̍͊̀͊͂̾̈́͑̓̃̄̽͒̓̂̀͛̇̿̒͆͒́̔́̚̚͘̚͜͜͠͝ͅh̸̢̨̡̛̖̗̫̫̞͍̣̭̬̠̝̘̯͖̖̤̯̬̪̥̣̱͈̺̝͖̥̭̥̝̭͇̎͆̏̌́̏̓̊̄͒̃͊͌͒̓̃͛̎͊̋̎̎͂́̏͆̈́̋̏͂̔͐̈́͗̿̓͂̀̌̕̕͠ ̵̧̢̣͈̱̻͎̻̤͚̣̥̜̰̳̯̻̤̘̺̪͈̻̙̏̾͂̂̽̈́̆̋̆͊͋̾̇̂̀̊͌̌̆̿̏̊̐̊͒̄̈́̉̍̑̊̆̉̓̒̋̕͘͜͝͝͝͝͝͠y̸̧̤̠̣͖̋̀̎͐̔̐͜͠ọ̵̡̧̣͚͔̗̭̯͙̱̼̩̹͉̬͍̼͖̪͚͍̗͓̟̰͙̯̹̭̋̚u̷̢͕̣͔̳͔̤͍̥̞̦̱̗̗͕̫͚͔̞͙̥̫̤̳̣̙͇̭͕͖͛̔́̅̓͋̾̆̂͐͛̂̎́̀̓̊̍̒̔̚͜͜͜͝͠ͅr̵̻̭̰͋͑̂͋̾̉́̚ͅ j̸̨͉̦́̑̕u̸̡̢̨̡̡̻̞̼̟̬̖̮̟̜̣͉̳̣̫̣̠̞͕̟̦͓̳͕͎̮̺̗̮̜̹̬̒͆͐̿̒͊̓̐́̎͗̈́̽̅̈̑̃͐̈́̈́̀́̅̾̃́̅̀̎͂̚͜͝͝͝͝n̸̢̨̨̢̨̡̨͈̜̟̝͉͖͚̹͍͉̟͉̫̬̭̙̞̰͎̙̯̲̜̩͚̰͍̭̝̥͙̘̤̳̮̥̎̓̐̈́͊͐̽́̕̚k̷̢͕̰̲͇̩̜̰̻͖̠̗͗͌̃̉̒͌͂͗̈̔̚͝ ̶̧̼̥͔̭̮͈͖͓̥̫̞̳̫̰̳̈͊̑̓̃͆́͊̆̎̾́͋̒̍̈́̐͒̓̈́̓́̒̋̈́͑͑̆͛͆̑͒̓̒̆͜͜͠͝͝͝ḋ̷̡̡̡̢̨̖̭̙̲̤͎̟͙̞̹̯̱̗̹̲̞̲̤͇̤̘̺͙̹̭̤̮̟̝̯̞͒̒̇̔̌͛̍́̔̉̐̾́̈͑̓̑̔̀͒̓̀̿̑̓̂̆̒̎͐̅̀̀̚̕͘̕̕̕͜͠͝ͅȩ̴̢̧̡̢̧̩̟͎̞̖̥̜̞̜̜̥̣͎̖̮̮̞͚͚̹̪̤̯̻̰̳̞͈̠̪͚̫͌̆̃̈́̏̓͆̇͂̐̏́̐̓̈́́͊́̀͌͘̕͝͝ͅͅp̵̛̻̗̂̓̑̉͆̒̏̽̆͊̾́̔̈́̾͌̍̎̃͒̕̕a̶̧̨̡̢̧͍̰̦̭̬̠͔̩̣̬̟̺̟̞̪̙̗̠͕̭̗̟̫̱̰̫͙͐͘r̷̟̙̦̯̈́́̌͑͛͐͂̐̋͑͊͗͐̀̀̋̂̃̇̇̆̉͒̐̐̊̈́̍̀̋͝ţ̷̡̛̠̰̝͚̭̹̰̫̮̭̌̃̋̌̄͛̑́̈́͛̉̈́̒̔̍̈̄̕͝͝͠m̸̢̧̢̧̛̲͚̼̯͕̩͇͓͓̣͙̯̬̳̙̬̙̔͋̈́̾̓̎̍̈́̅͗̊̍̈́͌̐̾̇̓̅̐͛͌͐̔̒͘̚͝͠͝ͅȇ̴̢̨̠̬̗̠̗̗̘͍͈̲̹̫͇̲͇̹̦͙͍͖̖͚͓̠̜̗̦͚̙̙͍̣̭̐̾̆̎͗̊̐̍͒̓͊̑̎̍͋̐̐̾̀̽͆̊͘̚̕͜ͅņ̴̨̨̛̦̤̼͙̘̮̹̼̗͓͉̞̫̺̗̺̲͔̦̣̠̱̦͓̣͔̪͉̱͓̦̮̝̺͖́̽͊̍̄̓͛̓̾̿̎̒̽͘͘͠ͅẗ̷̛̘̮̟̫̱̞̣͍̬̼͆̆̎͛͗̆̒̀̈͋̌̏̋͆̈͐̌̿̔̃̃̉̽̍͌̊̇̈́̚̚͘̚͠͝͠ͅ

̷̨̡̛̮̖̘̤͍̰̻̬͔̰̖̤̣̹͍̣̗͙̙͔̤͙̥͙̗̟̮̜̹̝͉͓̻͍̞̫͈̼̻͉̐́͆̍͑̒̐̍̂̓̿̔̒͋̓̀̏́̔̓̽͒̿̑͑̑͛̓̓̈̈́̈̿̅̌̽̚̚̚̚͜͝͝ͅf̸̨̧̧̨͙̩̲̩̰̱̳͚̩̻̟͚̬̥̤͓͚̤̥̹͙̳͉̞͉̩̘̠͚̜̠̩̪͕̹͑̂͛̐̔̈́̈́̔̅͋͐́͐̀̽̍͑͂̀̇͑̿͗̔̈́̈́̅̏̓̈́̒͑͗͘͘̚̚̕̕͝͠͝ì̷̢̧̢̢̧̛͙̥̫̪̯̖͎̫̙̙̙̪̦͎̤̜͎͉̝̩̞̙̺̦͔̬̮̣̠̯̻̗̫̾͗̏̅̈́̍̉̽̔̇̚̕̚͜͜͜͝ṙ̶̢̨͖̻̅͒̔̈́͌͛͌͒̎̚͠e̴̛̲̓̌̌̓̓̑̅̎̋̿̎̐͛͋̈͑̑͌̾̒̿͂̈́̊̈͛̊̑̌̒̔̽̚̚̕͘͝͝͝͠͠ ̵̧̛̛͉͍̳̗͙͈̘͈͙̺̱͙͖̼̹̜̩̭͎͕̖̟̙̩̽͊̑͑̂̃̅̈́̈́́̿͆̈́̈́̀́̎͊̃́̅̄̌͌̈́͒̓̓̈͆̍͊̕̚͠͝͠͝ͅͅͅt̶̛̳̣̪͖͉̓͛̾͊̇͆̈̿̅̍̔̅̓̈́͠ȟ̶̢̢̛͕͍͖̩͖̹͙̙̦̜̰̮͕̤̰̼̦͍̯̹͈̠̹̔͑̈́̆͂̔͐̾͐̑̒͆̑̋͐͆͑̐͂͌͑͑̾̇̕͝o̵̢͎̲̱̗̫͉̐̈́͊̅̉̆͂̊̓͂̀̍́̈́͆̆̈́̀̀͐͂̈́̆̐͊͑̏̿͛̐͌̉̐͌̌̈́̇͋̈́͒̕͝͝͝s̸̡̧̨̧̝͉̥̖̝̥̩͓̺͖̖͎̄̆͑̃̔͐̓͒̿́͑́̒̂́̐́̑͒̐̄̑̋̓́̈́͌́̚͘͝͠e̴̡͙̙͇̹̞͚̯̼̖̻̻̩̳͔͔̣̺͓͓̝̺͙͉͍̘̊̓́̂͊́̅̅̈́͑͗̈́͒͑́̋́̽̈́̔̓͐̒͂͛̆̂̇͗͑͘̕͘͜͜͜͠͝͠͝ ̸̡̓͌͝͝g̵̨̢̧̡̡̡̛͕̗͈̣̙͕̻̥̱̺̭̫̣̟͎̳̞͓̳̤̹̖̠͍̮̖͔̗̼̞̉̑̀́͐̐̈́̏̀̀̇̆̉͘̚͝l̸̘̖̘͉̮̪̬͎͎͌̆͐̆͊́̏̉͆̂̓͒̍̀̏̌̾̀̑̔͊̽̀̏̈́́͂̆͛̈͘͘͜ȉ̶̡̨̛̝̭͈̘̩̺͚͓̠̤̖̼̳̄͛̔̒̆̀̀́̔̑͒̽̎̌͆̃̐̀̀̿͛͘͜͝͝t̸̢̨̨̡̨̛̮̺͚̤̲͉̩̟̳͙̱̲̰͙̖̲̗̾͗͗̍̏͌̏͐̊̓͆̾̈́̊͗̅͒̈̆͐̌͂̂͆͘͘͠͝ͅͅc̵̢̡̛̛̩͎̘͈͖͖͖̲̦̫̟̖͎̤̜̮̲͔̺̭̗̻͍̼̘͇̙̣̳̱͖̊͂̋͐́̊̒̂̊̋̀̇͐̄͛͒́̓͂̔̐̕͜͝ḧ̶̢̢̨̧͙͇̥̬̫̙̭͈͉̘͖̦͉̱͔͚͚͖̜͈̣̯͇̺͇́̈́́͛̈́͆͆̓̅̈̽̅̄̈́͑̉͋̀̊͑͋͊̉́͑̓͐͑͘͘͜͠͠͠e̶̱̓̃̊̈́͗́̈́́̔͋͒͒̿̈̆͒̒̃͒̊̑̅̈́̇̈́͒̓͊̂͆̿̚s̴̢̢̢͈̜̰̠̲̠̹͙͓̥̻͕͎̳̝͍̪͎̹̻̞͕̀̄͒̓̈́̊̒̃̐̓̈̎͒́̏̆̎̅̆͐̔̂́̇̓̓̈́͑̓̌̔̅̚̕͘͝͠͝͠ͅ ̸̨̢̨̧̢̻͓̮̝̲͚̪͓̜̦̲̞̬̙̪̳͈͉̼͉͈̩̙̤͎̠͉̣̽̈̽̕t̶̠͍̼͚͖͓̹̹̣͖͇͇͇̘̱̝͇̫̘̼̘̜̅̋͊̐̓͐̋̈́͒͑̕̚͘͘͜͜͠ͅh̷̢̢̢̡̻͉͉͎͎͔̗̩̯͙͕̠̩̭͖̩̼͖͙͎̰̻̺̼̦̟͇̣͖̖̞͉͙̣͇̝̞̫͍̔̇̀͆̑̽͊͛̃͗͛͆͊́͂̊̒̆̽̽̓͑̎̍́̊̚̕̚͘e̷̢̡̡̢̧͙̹͙̞̩͈̟̤̖͕̗͓̙̠̻̙̲̫̙͔͓̦̟̼̺̰̗͈̺̩͗͗͐́̐́̔̃͗͐̈́̽͋͒̏̉̈́̄͝ņ̴̛̜̼͈̝̘̬̦̲͔͙̭͖̜͓̖̥̣̣̘̳͕͕̮̝͇̺͕͓̟͇̪͓̺̥͈̊̎̐̂̇̎͒̄͐͐̌́̇̈́̾͛̏͜ ̸̡̢̧̪̹̠̪̙͇͉̠̱͙̼̻̪̹͈̲̳͇̤̘̜̫̳̬̼͖̜̺̯͇̭̟̔́̐̽͒̓̑̎̉̃̇̓̄̓̋̈̽̉̈́͊̋̓̚̕̚͘ͅë̵̢̢̡̻̣͙̖͔̪̗̦̦̤̞̦̘̘̺̝̥͓͚͙̤̳̣̮̺̞̹͎̱͎̝̘̬́͗͌̅̌̐̒͛̋͆̀̓̏̂̔͑́͑̓̂́̔̿̆̇̌̔̆̄͛̍̇̅͂̀̋̊̔́͜͜͠ą̴̣̣͚͙̰̱̫̘̫̰͔̯͔͕̬̙͙̞̠̞͕̠̱̠͍̹͚̦̱̥̜̮̘͕͂̋͊͋̑̐̈́͘͜͜ͅt̷̨̧̡̛͍̬̖̖̯͖̯̗̼͚̜̩̣͕̝̳̱̫̳͈̻̲̪͈͉̫̥̻̐̆̈̂̆̍̽̉͌͐̈́̾͋̅̔͛̈́̿̆́̈́̊̌̀̑̊͑̏̍́̈́̽̚͘̚͜ͅ ̷̡̧̡̨̨̛̟̣͔͔̠̯͎̹̠̜̟̯̯͕̹͕̪͓̫̗̻̖̗̫̤̼̼̟̞̝̺̤̫̲̓͌̓͋̂̌́̈́̒͆̌͌́͜͠w̵̛̼̯̞͙̹̒̈̍́̍̎̐͗̓̀͆͒̽̍̽͂͗̄̅̇́̆̉̓͒̂͋̉̀̄̉͒̅͂̚̕͘͘͝h̸̛̛̘̘̫̃̈́͛̈́͑͆̄͂̐̊͗̌̈́́͊̓̊̇̊̏̑͑͂̚̚̕ͅă̷̧̨̨̢̛̞̩̱̗̟̞͚̩̭͙̱̻͎͈̻͓͓̩͇̭̘̖͈̜̤̬̒̍̑̽͛̄͋̄̀̿͋̎̾̊͛̒̃͌͛̉̄̿̾̑̏̃̇͛̑̅͋̍͑͂̑̃̚͘͜͜͠ͅţ̵̢̨̦̺͓͚͚̱̯͖̮̫̰͈͔͚̲͉͓̻̠̞̞̜͙̬̖͓̝͔͔̠̽̽̇͒͒̓̽̍͌̊̆͜ ̵̧̛̱̞͍̥̜͚͙̼̜͎͈̟͕̙͓̤̘̰̭̑̀̒͌̐̏̈́̇̉̄̿̑̑̅̍̂̉̂̀̊̿̕͘͠͝ͅͅ ỳ̷̡̡̨̺͍̻̪̱͎̫͉͎̺̰͔̥̻̠̥̼̪͍̗̽̓̈́̉̀̆͒̓̈́̒̕͜ͅͅͅͅo̸̡̢̡̭̘̬̪̙̘̝̼͙̺̳̬̠̝̻͙̜̟̱͉̥͖̮̣̞̹̖͘ų̶̨̢̧̧̛̯̻̘̥̠̗̜͉̬̞̻͈̥̠̥̗͚̩̬͔̝͈̳͍͓͖͈͖̖̺̦̽̈́̓̾̆͂͂̓̕͘͜ͅ ̶̨̧̨̝̤̳̤̠̮̜̥͓̜̱͉̩̪̠͎̥̬͔̺̘̱̻̖͚̹̩̭̠͇͇͖͖͔̜̹͕̀̅͜͜ͅl̴̨̢̢̪̜̙̥̙̱̫͚̪͕͙̩̪͍̲͍̱͖͇͕͙̉̋̕͜͜͠i̶̢̡̡̲̤̬̩̣͍̫͉̰̝̙̘͖̖̱̝̠̮͉̬̮̱̝̅̓ķ̶̛̮̖̝̜̰̭͎̥͇͗̈́̈́̏̐̄̔̏̑͐̔̔̒̀̈͗̌̈̏͆̄̓̿̌̈́͂͋͒̈͆͒̉̊̒̒̕̕͘̕͝͝͠͠ȇ̵̡̡̢̧̝̭̗̪̲̻̘̬̞̥̭̲̲̟͈͖̙̰̰͛̒̔̾̈́̔̽̽͐͊̑ͅ ̶͚̩̗̬̖̻͌̉̽̀̃̂́̓̃̏̂̾̽̾͐͋̎̅̀̑̓́̐́̈́̈́̈̓̿̔͗̈͊͗̚̚͝͠͠͝͝͠

Today is the third day of the third month of the third year of the reign of the Emperor Reiwa. 3-3-3 is an auspicious day and as it was all over the news, I thought I would publish a post on this occasion for readers who love numerology.

3̴̡̧̧̢̡̡̢̨̢̢̨̢̡̢̢̢̢̡̢̨͈̬̳̦̮̗̺̞̜͕̥̲̪̟͔̮͓̼̙̩̬̬̦̭̙̠̻̬̹̱̟̘̻̪̤̻̦͈̺͍̰̪̖̱̪͎͍͙̙̼̘̤͖̦͓̱̘͕͙̗͎͚̩͙͖̳̘͔̠̳͕͉̠͇̺̥͓̹̜̺̖͈͔̥̟̫͖̣̱̣̘͈̹͉͖͓̘̗͖̙͓̹̞͉̱̳̩̥̰͚̱̖̬͚̱̦̘̱̦̘̰͍̮͚̠͓̩̻͎̗̫͎̲̱̹͉̪͈̝̙̈́́̆̀͛̓̽̎͐̈́͑͋͜͜͜͜͜͝͝ͅͅͅͅ-̵̧̨̛͈̪̟̳͇̳̮̺̺̝̳̞͍̟̼̲͉̲̬̙̖̗͍̜̙̝̝̤͋̅̍͗̎̋̉̀̏͐̑̇̑̂̎͂̋̒̂̔̈́̈́͆͗̑̓̇̔̈́̂͂̇̀͑̉̓̃́̿͑̈́̔̇̾͐̐̈́̍̃͒̇̍͂̄̒̋͊̂͌̃̑͒̾̅͆͊͒̒͒̑̅̀̈̄̾̅̒͂͛̐̒̋̾͗̿͆͒̈͋̋̀́͛́̕͘͘̚̚̚̕̚̚̚͜͜͝͝͝͝͝͝ͅͅ3̵̧̡̨̧̲̲̜͓̘͎͍͎̗̯̻̯̜͎̰͚͔̜̩̥͖͈̰͚̒̀͋͗̿̅̈́͌̎͊́̋̏͋͑͂̄̆̓̌͛̀̉́̽̔̉̈́͐̋̎͊̓́̓̇͑̃̀̆̌̊͂̆̅͐̓̂͆̒̇͆̐̾͊̏̔̋͌̂͐̈̐̔̍̅̕̕͘̚̕̕̚͜͝͝͝-̸̢̡̡̨̨̨̡̛̫͔͕̘̺̯̣̣͕͇̤͈̰̜͚̣͎͎̙̭̦̬̣͈̫̝͇̟͚̭̟͇̳̺̮̜̗̗̣̝͎̖͚̭̙̦̩̗̰̼̬̮̞̗̲̲̟͈̣̮͖͕̘̰̰̰̼̬̮̠̱͓̖͎͔̫̜͓̯̮̖̗͚͍̩̟͉̘̹̠̤̟̦̤̳̻̝͔̜̱̲̠̥̼̼͓͉̣͈͇̯̱̬̳̮̬̻̖̓͛̉͊̎ͅͅͅͅͅͅ3̵̡̨̡̧̡̡̢̛̝̝̟͙̥͙̣͕̜̬̺̝̼̝̘̪̘̬̭̼̲̹̣̭̱̠̟̰͖̲̲̲̱͎̩̰̹̝̮̯̱̘̩͖̭̟̣̞͖͚͕̱͕̣̘̺͎͈͕̹͍͈̠͉̭̙̜̼̟͉͔̙͕̼̗̲̝̳͎͖̤͎̙̟̦̯̟̬̮̪͔̼̯̠̣̞͇͙͕̤͚̘̼̬͇̫̬̫̯̮̂̾̾̾͒̀̎̀̿̔͒̈́͑̋͒̑̄̀̾͛͊̓̇̂̑̃̍̑̂͛̈́̈́͐̒̃̒́́̾͗̾̾̾̉͋̅̂̾͛̈͐̓̓̓̽̾͑͋̾̉̎̒̒̉͛̉͗̋͐̀̀̍̌̾̓̐͒̾͋͐̽̊͐̑͑́͆͘͘̕͘̕͘̕̕̚̕͘͘͜͜͜͜͜͜͜͜͜͜͝͠͠͝͠͝͝ͅͅͅͅͅͅͅͅ

Fun story. When His Imperial Majesty was Crown Prince (kou-taishi-denka) I was in the same banquet hall with him and that now disgraced CEO who was smuggled out of Tokyo into Beirut in a double bass case. I was, however, introduced to his brother and sister-in-law when I was an undergraduate. The mother of the future Emperor tripped and almost fell on top of me.

Gold decorating flakes stamped on black paper

We were warned before the meeting not to touch them but had she fallen, she would’ve dinged her face very badly. Much to my relief, she caught her balance.

Oh yes, those were the days when people would ask me why in the holy muck was I studying a language with a writing system that looked like algebra and calculus got handsy with each other at a bar.

Perhaps I should stop being rebellious because I’m a grown-up now. But I feel inspired when someone tells me I can’t do something that’s lawful, perfectly doable and really fun to do. My ancestors martyred themselves to get shackles taken off and I am supposed to do what now? Be boring and bored. I cannot do it.


Ȉ̵̡̢͔̦̝̻̼͙̤͍̘̺͖̣͗͋͐̋̽̌̅̆͐̄͝͠͝ͅ ̴̗͇̙̥̞̠̒͛̑̽́̆̔̂̓̀͆̂͛̕͘͠ą̸̡̖̺͍̜͔͖̤͔̣̱̤̫̈̾̀̓͐́͆̇̅͐̓ͅm̸̛̰̦̱̤̪̐̀̅͑̋͊̇̌̓̎͆̚ ̵̪̖͖̲̬͆̒͒̎̌̀̊ͅͅa̸͉͊̀̇͛̃͋̓̌͐̌̒̈̅͝͝ņ̶̼͎̘̂̄̈́͑̈́͆͐̍̈́̈͐̄̔̕͘ͅ ̶̱̳̜̣̻͕͇͙̺͈͋͌̾͑̈̏̿̾͗̏͊͌͒ã̸̩̙̥͙̬̼̦͖̹̬͖̙͍̋̎͊̉͜͝͠r̸̨̛͕͉̙̠̖̗̖̦̠̓̂̂̐̔̒̈́̍̒̈͌̎̕͝t̸̢̹͔̣̪̲͕̩̟̘̬̠̫̃̄̑̂͛̒̄́̎̐͘͘͜͜͝͝ͅï̴̪͔̼͔͉͈̺̬͎̪̈́̑̊̇͂̆́̋͊̍̓̈́͌̈s̸̡̡̨̝̹̜̞̹̩͒͂̄̌̃̂͊̇͒̈́͒̈̾̈́̚͘ͅţ̸̢̱̠̤̹͕̬̑̅̈́̓̋̇͝ ̵̡̧͖̪͉̝̤̣̩̱͙͙̦̬̯͙̽̐̐͑́͊̀̓̄͘ạ̵̧̨̛͖͎͙̩̪̼͔̈͐̍̆̀̍̋̅̐̈́̌͛̓̂n̶̢͆̈́̃̔ḑ̶̡̙̭͕̩̥̮̻͚͈͎̃̔͜ ̷̨̨̡̢̙̀̂̚I̸̢̘̰̰̮̜̬͓̗͎̼̙̟̦̹̍̇̇̎̔̈͑̋̓͋͝ ̵̣̣͚̪̦̗͕̪͛̆ã̶̧̮͈̙͓̫͔͙̼͓̥͍͐͒̐͌̓͗̎̄̑̅̽͆͝m̸̡̘̥̬̺̙̝͎͎͖͚͎͕̳̩̟̍̋͠ ̴̻͊̓̍͛a̵̬͎͕̠̒̊ḽ̴̹͙͖̖̩̰̙̳̞̗̌̊̒̽̕l̷̲͎̦̣̰̣̥̯͆o̷̜̿͐̓͐͒̓͒͋̚w̵̹̖̩̣͚̫͖͋̂̂́͊̈́͂͑͑͒́̐͂̃͝͝e̵̢̧̹̭̱͇͉̦͖̺͕̹̦̔̇̓̎͊̾͌̓́ḑ̵̙̪̖͚͔̀͛̈̒̀̒͗̊̾̈́̋͜͝͝ ̷̨̡͍̹̫̞̣̥̹̣̙̾̍͊̾͂̊͗̍̇͋̋̑͝͝ͅc̷̱̻͐̎ṟ̵̲̹̗͖̞̰̭̭̦̦͓̍͌̚͜ͅͅą̵̨̯̣͈͇̱̋̈͑̅̆̓̂́z̴̛͔̱͎̞̟͇̜͚̱̼̫̈̓̂͝i̶̳͕̤̮͖̥̜̰̹̯̼̊n̶͔͎̜͐̊́̾̈́͐̅̚̚͜e̶̡̨̬͖͍̪̟̮̜̝̩̘̖̘͋̋̋͂͛̽̈́̾͘̕ş̴̰̮̪͉͔͗͂͛̾́̀͊͠s̴̨͔̲͉̳̩̼͎͕̲̦̺̤͎̲̬͗̓̍̒̾̀̈̇̚̚̕ ̸̡̺̤̣̟͔̝̝͍̹͇̬̞̣̍̒́l̶̛̛͙̮̩̳̊͌̋͊͑̂͂̃̽͠e̴̢͔̫͍̤̫̝͈̫̓͑̓̑̿͌͝v̶̨̞͎̼̪͚̄̽̒͂̋͐̿͠è̴̛̙̕l̴̹̩͍̹̅̋̐̐͘ ̷̢̧̨͎̤͈͙̘͈̥͖̥̻̊͑̎̔́̋́́̅̌̕͜t̶̡̪̝̝̙̜̗̾͗̐̆̀̊̀͒o̶̡̡̞̯̟̱̟͙̺̼̮͎͎̹͕͛̑̾̊̈́̈́̋ ̸̨̣͓̫͔̦͎̑̃͋̒̀͛̊ͅţ̸̡̢͈̩̹͎̤̇̀̎͌͠h̵̜͈͈͕̥̅̍͐̈́̊̽̆̑̽̅͂͝e̷̢̲͚͎͚̔͑͒́͗͒̄́͆͒̏ ̸̹͊̉̃m̴̢̞͚̥͍͎̙͇͎͎̹͔̊̄̀̾͗̋̊̾͋̈́͘͠a̶̡̡̨̪̗͔̺̞͖̅̒̇͆̈̈́͂́́͒̈́̔͛͘̕ẍ̸̻̙̭̻́͂̒

I will, however, wish you a lovely day. I have sent positive thoughts and prayers across the seas for your happiness, peace and tranquility on this auspicious occasion.

Categories
art creative writing fiction opinion poem poetry women writing

Ascension / Bring me higher

Image with handwritten runic script overlay. Page from Tokyo Fashion Edge Volume 35, 2019.
Garnet – Love
Runic transcription of poem - Ascension/Bring me higher
Runic transcription
Runic script of poem on magazine page. Image from Tokyo Fashion Edge.
Bring me higher – Runic transcription
Ascension - English
Ascension / Bring me higher
Image with handwritten runic script overlay. Page from Tokyo Fashion Edge Volume 35, 2019.
Runic transcription – Opening stanzas
Image with handwritten English cursive script overlay. Page from Tokyo Fashion Edge Volume 35, 2019.
Citrine – Abundance
Image with handwritten English script overlay. Page from Tokyo Fashion Edge Volume 35, 2019.
Quartz – Purity


Presented with love and gratitude. Poem “Ascension/Bring me higher” was written by me. Big ups to my homey, the 9th century poet, Cynewulf. My poem is inspired by his awesome work, Christ II. Images are from Tokyo Fashion Edge Magazine Volume 35, September 2019, with an overlay of handwritten runic and English scripts in watercolour. Have a healing week ahead.

Categories
about me fiction women writing

Motion picture, baby

The Quarter Percent by Lily Nicole is available on Amazon. Trailer created by Ateeb Khan.

The Quarter Percent - novel by Lily Nicole
Cover art by Emanuel Malu.

Blurb B
It is summer, 2030. Truth is the weapon, and profit is the territory. Behind the screens, Marvin Stone is a wealthy recluse who uses powerful, cutting-edge technology to rewrite the rules of the game. As the rules change, Augustine Santa Clara, a former social media star, struggles to adjust. On the Continent, the popular and charismatic King Cordial of Vale works covertly to undermine his rivals. His youngest daughter, Costmary, is in his cross-hairs. Rue, his older daughter, takes on an exciting new challenge. Gala is the King’s firstborn. When she is named Princess Regent, she forges new ties and unveils her master plan.

Categories
about me opinion

Sunday at the coffee shop

Some tumblers and reusable cups at a local Starbucks.
The top shelf of my “office”


This afternoon, I had the brilliant idea of attempting to upgrade my account. However, WordPress wouldn’t let me enter my postcode on their PayPal payment page. I switched keyboards twice and used the number pad. They were kind enough to ask why I was cancelling my order.

Why do I keep doing this to myself?

Dessert - strawberry mousse in a glass display case
Designer mousse – I ordered extra whipped cream instead

I see what the matter is with the new block editor. It literally depends on the time of day. At 11.00, 13.00 and 16.00, I couldn’t use the backspace key or CTRL + X to delete images or blocks of text. It’s 19.01 or two hours before this post goes live. Now, I can do all of those things. But the earlier function of accessing arrows on the left side of the block to move text around, has gone.

Social distancing notice in a Starbucks coffee shop.
Table top – a fifteen-minute visit turned into a two-hour battle

At first, I thought the editor was not iPhone friendly, but typing on a desktop is equally frustrating. It’s not that the block editor lacks functionality, it is that the removal of user control means that poorly rendered backend code can really ruin your day. I wanted to switch out the following two photos. It was impossible on my phone. When I got home, I found a tutorial online and was able to do that.

Screen capture of the block settings feature for images.
A “killer” app

Again, the block editor is rubbish on my phone. I uploaded medium-sized images but they were huge when I viewed them on my laptop screen. Searching through the side bar and finding the image resize tool was exhausting. I like to edit HTML because if there are any issues, I can always look at the code and fix it there. I’m not being stubborn. Look at this:

Some html code from the new block editor. Screen capture.
Okay …

Pretty straightforward. But the block editor returned an error message when I tweaked the code. I needed to do this to embed images from the Google Photos app. The app doesn’t give me a .jpg link so I used a different app to create an embed string. I could not embed that into this block editor. My workaround was to upload photos into the media library in WordPress. It will get full fast, so this workaround is not sustainable. Not that I could pay for extra space even if I wanted to.

Have a great Sunday.

Categories
fiction women

Tear up that cheque

Rue et Cassidy

Cassidy looked at the cheque. It was written in the amount of ten million euros. The recipient’s name was Asparagus Saints, LLC. She looked at Rue with her mouth open. With a puzzled laugh and flutter of her eyelids, she asked, “Why are you giving this to me?”

“I think you mean to ask why I am not offering it to you through a representative,” said Rue. Her calm voice disguised her irritation. Cassidy’s tone was informal and they were not close friends.

“Well …” Cassidy said, while rolling her eyes.

“Let’s get some things sorted. You could take that cheque to a journalist and repeat everything we spoke about here,” said Rue. “However, as soon as someone rings my attorney for a comment, you will be thrown in jail for extortion, blackmail and money laundering.”

“What?!”

“The person who wrote that cheque runs the Kiev underworld. I asked him for ten million euros, and he gave it to me no questions asked. Do you have any friends like that?” It was a rhetorical question, but the princess waited for a response.

“No, Ma’am,” responded Cassidy, feeling put in her place.

“I also asked him to register that business in your name and open an account for you at a bank in Niue.”

“I didn’t ask for this,” said Cassidy.

“Your endgame was to spend the Count’s money,” responded the princess, referring to her first ex-husband. “House, car, boat, plane, diamonds, clothes, bags, shoes, skin, hair, nails, boob job, lip fillers, vitamin drips. This is more than you would get in a divorce. Doesn’t refusing this cheque make you a liar?”

“No!”

Image by Sebastian Coman via Unsplash

“Really? Do you love him?”

“Yes.”

“Yes? I handed you a cheque for ten million euros, threatened to have you locked up, and there you are, still holding it.”

“I’m trying to understand what this is all about.”

“I believe you’re hesitating because you think you can cash that cheque and keep sleeping with my ex-husband,” said Rue. “You are an entry-level backstabber. If you had any real gold-digging skills, Karl would have married you already.”

“I’m not a gold-digger, or a grifter, if this is what you’re trying to prove,” said the woman.

“Did you earn that money?” Rue looked at the cheque, looked at Cassidy’s face and leaned her head to one side. She felt she was exercising a great deal of self-restraint.

“Of course not,” replied Cassidy.

“You’re holding a piece of paper representing an amount you haven’t earned. If you loved that man, you would have torn it up and stomped out of here.”

Cassidy calmly put the cheque on the table, hooked her arm through the handle of her purse and stood up. With a curtsy, she said, “Your Royal Highness, if I may be excused.” Her voice was trembling.

“You may not,” said the princess, smiling. She leaned back in the sofa and looked up at the Cassidy. “Sit down.”

Cassidy obeyed. Tears were welling up in her eyes. She asked, “What do you want from me?”

Image by Rod Long via Unsplash

“I believe that in spite of your low aspirations, and uncouth behaviour, you think that you’re ambitious. However, you have misunderstood people’s opinions of you. You think they respect you for spending Karl’s money. But they think you are a sex worker. You would know how not to act like one if you had a good mentor.”

“Ma’am? Are you offering to mentor me?”

“That would be inappropriate, not to mention unpleasant, given how thick you are. Put the cheque in your purse. Accept it as a generous payout from a concerned third party. Consider that you would get nothing after the inevitable demise of your opportunistic coupling.” Rue inhaled deeply and glared at Cassidy with a glacial glare. 

Cassidy picked up the cheque and neatly tucked it into her wallet, which she had retrieved from her purse. Rue continued, “Now, I’m going to introduce you to a stylist.” She turned her head towards the doorway behind her and called out. “Harlowe?”

A petite, curvy woman with ankle-length, rose pink dreadlocks entered the living room from an adjoining room. She was wearing a white dress that looked like an apron over a blue silk jumpsuit. There were thong sandals on her feet. The straps were bejewelled.

Picking up a pen and notepad from the table, Rue scribbled something on a page, tore it off, and handed it to Cassidy. “When Miss Harlowe is finished with you, arrive at that address, on that date, at nineteen o’clock, sharp. No plus ones, thank you.”

“Ma’am,” said Cassidy. Now intrigued as well as confused, she curtsied to Rue again and followed Harlowe into the adjoining room. She didn’t hear when the princess exited the suite.

(o^  ^o)

Hello everyone and thank you for reading. This is a rough draft of a scene in my novel, The Quarter Percent. Context is everything, I suppose.

Categories
fiction writing

She says, “i is for iWitch”

Macbeth 06

Witch 2 (cackling)
By the twerking of my humps, something wicked this way clomps.

Enter Macbeth and Lady Macbeth

Lady Macbeth
I heard that. Go and tickle a newt’s fig.

Macbeth (clearing his throat)
Thank you … for seeing us this evening. The Lady and I are planning to adopt a baby.

Lady Macbeth
We want to know if the child we choose can continue our legacy for the world to inherit.

Witch 1 (looking into a large crystal ball)
Soon is the hour and six is the time. Tunes ring out of an apple fashioned from glass.

Witch 2 is waving two selenite wands

Witch 3 (eyes closed and waving a burning sage stick)
Twin sons arise on his tempestuous hearth. Their boisterous beginnings lose speed at the seventh hour, when dark scripts spew from his Amazon’s plate.

Witch 1 (still peering into the crystal ball)
Gently, he coaxes the spirits and they chant to heighten his mood.

Macbeth (smiling broadly)
He is a fierce warrior who controls spirits effortlessly! How many of the spirits are at his command?

Witch 1 (still looking into a large crystal ball)
Their names scroll seamlessly without end.

Witch 2 (casting nine large runic tiles on the floor)
The runes show me an icy cube, a public enemy, the number one, and a young boy who says, “never broken again”. And … this rune says, “Future”. This spirit becomes flesh, and sires numerous offspring among unwed women.

Lady Macbeth (shudders and shrieks)
An abomination! What else do you see in there?! Won’t the people turn on him for using dark magic?

Witch 1
Through his glass apple, people of many nations ask for direction. Then, they all sweetly obey Sir’s will.

Witch 3
So you may, at peace, be still.

(w -__-)w

She says, “i is for iWitch” (edited).  Photo credit: Lady Macbeth and the Three Witches by Garry Knight via Flickr. Originally published on September 8, 2015. 

~ Keep calm and Happy Halloween ~

Categories
about me fiction

I am talking about books

Julie is a lifesaver. She asked me to answer some questions about my reading habits yesterday afternoon. Her timing was excellent because I tanked a ranty post. Some of you are sick so I would rather cheer you up. I have some options: (a) read this post (b) listen to the music (c) type any off topic comment. Or do all three.

I had to keep my eyes closed for most of the day because of a migraine, so I’m squinting and prepping this. And now, a word from our sponsor. Art of War, performed by Vanessa Mae, courtesy Ionna Pianissimo via YouTube.

(I am) talking about Books
The Q’s & A’s

You have 20,000 books on your iPad. How do you decide what to read next? That is impossible. I have tried to download every work from every classical French poet and novelist but there aren’t that many texts available. I regularly meet for after work tea with a colleague who needs her French poetry fix, so I need to have the works in digital format. Twangent allez tu? (I just made that up).

You’re halfway through a book and not loving it. Do you quit or commit? Toss.

The end of the year is around the corner and you are far from finishing your GoodReads challenge. Do you quit or commit? Why does everything have homework? You know there are textbooks for married couples, so they can get a degree in how to be married? I’ve even read about a girl who has a breakup plan and a two month evaluation clause in her relationship contract with her boyfriend. (I’m not introducing you.)

Painting of Queen Victoria in full regaliaQueen Victoria. Image courtesy article on Victoria’s Scottish secrety,
via The Daily Beast.  Her biography, A Personal History, was a very good read.

The covers of a series you love DO. NOT. MATCH. I usually cover my books. I prefer to read the book rather than judge it by the cover.

Everyone and their mother loves a book you really don’t like. Who do you bond with over shared feelings? My subscribers, who are very smart about hating on stuff and are more eloquent ranters. I once used my Amazon account for sharing feelings. However, no one cared that the autobiography of the Arab princess was fake.

You’re reading a book and you’re about to start crying in public. How do you deal? Cry. I like the runny eyeshadow look. I like to mix colours just in case. (Reliq Minerals aubergine and mud pie). Also, I would be completely invisible under sunglasses the size of my face.

Helena Bonham Carter via Vlad Rodriguez @ Pinterest

A sequel of a book you loved just came out, but you’ve forgotten a lot. Will you re-read the book? Highly unlikely I’ll read a sequel of anything. Unless Alexandre Dumas writes a spicy follow up to The Count of Monte Cristo on his secret blog. I know what you’re driving at and no, I did not make it past chapter six of 50SOG.

You don’t want ANYONE borrowing your books. How do you politely tell people “no”? I don’t mind lending my books out. Many people ask to have my books, so I sign and gift them over. If someone finds my taste in books intriguing, I take that as a compliment. One exception is a Verdi (Requiem) libretto, which is an early edition. It’s stashed away safely somewhere. (I have no idea where it is).

You’ve picked up and put down five different books in the past month. How do you get over the reading slump? I don’t have a slump because I’m a voracious reader.

There are so many new books coming out that you are dying to read! How many do you actually buy? Everything I want to read is so old, I can download them free from the iBook store.

After you’ve bought a new book, how long does it sit on your shelf until you actually read it? You mean, how long do books sit in the box until I stumble over it, while cleaning, only to realise that I bought a box of books and forgot to open the box?

** FIN **

Categories
poetry

Jagged ends (18 + only)

I might use florid language and possess a vivid imagination but I am bashful when it comes to all matters romantic. I grew up hearing soca music on the radio. Those people do not mess around. I mean, when a song tells you to “Ride the big truck” or “Come dig it,” just imagine the lyrical carnage involved. I also did not dare go outdoors during Carnival weekend.


Jamaica Carnival revellers. Photo credit: Lahwego

I cannot write erotica, so I appreciate poets like English Delicacy, who’s agreed to let me share excerpts from her work with you. I understand the point of romantic gestures, like poetry, but I am practical to a fault, so please make me a table or shovel snow. I don’t know how I would manage a traditional wedding ceremony because slowly walking an aisle while holding a bouquet of flowers is a cannot do. Also, never do this:

 
Public proposal. Mortifying. Photo credit: Getty Images via the BBC.

Romantic poetry is fascinating even though I’m pathologically squeamish. However, what I find is that I get completely put off at the end of some poems. They all start out with promise. From Kiss (Redux),

Stubble grazes skin, soft lips clustered
Background fades into itself, time stops
Held tight, strong, unyielding touch

In the middle, most poems subtly invite readers to follow along in their imagination. From Natural Feel,

How you talk, and how I listen.
The way that your voice glides over me,
Winding and flowing around us,
Binding us like a charm.

Great so far, and I feel that most poets know what to do with their hands. However, after this point, quite a few poems get jagged. I wrote the following lines to illustrate how endings sometimes sound to me:

He slips swell dagger out of sheath
And belts her roughly underneath
Then with fell and merciless wrath
Chris jams lancet…
up Anastaath

Exactly. It is scary and quite sudden. If someone writes me a poem that ends like a scene from the 50SOG film, I’ll switch into battle mode. And the only reason I’d entertain him after, is to see if he’ll say that again to my face.

 Milla Jovovich in Resident Evil : Retribution
via UniFrance.

My preferred ending for a poem resembles a luxurious helping of chocolate powder over a generous mound of whipped mascarpone. That way, when I’m having my tiramisu, I’ll take a few extra seconds to lick my spoon. At the end, I should be Distracted:

Can’t keep my mind on anything.
Ain’t it grand?

Enjoy more spoon licking poetry at English Delicacy’s blog.

Categories
fiction poetry

Leaving Melancholia

Bingo! A failed attempt, first time ever
Is it a great night if it hadn’t put you in melancholia?
No alternative in your mind
Guess I was delusional but we see
Vodka wasn’t helpful in childhood
Tequila ain’t into you, boss
Scotch really made me smile, at last
Not feeling egotistical
I am too lazy to evolve
But let me know a good reason
Still need some solid part of you to hate

Categories
People

Notes 5/3

There are no rules for blogging and I bear this in mind when visiting blogs. Even though I understand and respect this difference, I need to get something off my chest, so please bear with me. Basically, these notes highlight some things bloggers do to lose readers and alienate supporters.

After printing, reading and rereading (as well as completing an abstract painting inspired by) a lengthy fiction story, the author has not responded to my comment. It’s still sitting there on his blog. I had to defend myself the last time someone got on my case about no feedback. As you can imagine, this is a really frustrating situation to be in. I can’t win, no matter what I do.

One aspect of hygiene I’d hinted at was that at times, authors and supporters might feel that a reader’s attention is romantically motivated.


If I visit a blog, do I want to make out with the author and do stuff, provided they’re over the age of 21, even though we’ve never met in person, have never spent any quality time together and I only know them as aliases? Go ahead, ask me.

But let me comment on the sense making of having a public blog, with tags that are visible in reader, leaving the comments open and like buttons active, expecting people to read, being proud of our work and mislabeling support. If someone supports us, there is no need to rush down what I call the fantasy rabbit hole.

The blogs affected by fantasy rabbit activity have a comparatively low subscriber count; low support per post compared to other bloggers with the same subscriber count; and limited variety in reader interactions. In other words, it is natural that bloggers will avoid hostility. Common sense, you say.


Prude close up
… support from “bras” (as opposed to “bros”) from Prude.

But don’t take my word for it, please experience Interview with Demandire yourself while getting ready for work on a Saturday morning.  What is gained, in actual fact? Approval: One like per him, per post, if he remembers.

Here’s one more way to chase readers from a blog with interesting content, decrease peer support and reduce interactivity. Once, a blogger warned me about his wife because I typed xo at the end of a comment. Misunderstandings are common, but that was taking it a bit too far. I did NOT want to sloppy wet x and o him while moaning.

Another example? I read posts before and after publishing and imagine what readers might think I am saying. Otherwise, if I don’t know what I said, when responding to a comment, I might sound like Tarzan:

Tarzan 2

To me, every reader’s eyeball on my Gravatar is a 25 carat conflict free pink diamond, offered with no strings attached. Continued support is the polished stone, set in white gold.

At this point, I ask myself: What would a professional do?

Categories
fiction

Infrared (B of B)

Marta
Bend your knees. Move your head slowly. Yes, got it. Do not move for 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Lock!

Jemmes
Ready or not, Hobgoblin. Time to sell it.

Hex 
Uhhm… I can’t get money out of the machine.

Jemmes
Burgess, you have one minute to rendezvous with the busker.

Hex
I can use a pin? My hair is down today, but let me see if I can find one in my …

Jemmes
We have him for five minutes but let’s not bank on him, so to speak.

Hex
… What card?

Marta
We’re in, in and in. Nesting code for surveillance loop.

Jemmes
I told you the infrared sensors would be the way in. We just needed to beam it some candy.

Burgess
Hiya, it’s cold out, eh?

Hex
He asked me if I needed a card but I already had my Victoria’s Secret one…

Busker
Yeah, waiting for a friend, ya know.

Burgess
You look like you could use a shower and a hot meal. Tell you what, why don’t I … give you my last forty dollars and you can see to it?

Hex
Wait… Hulloooo! That’s Burgie, my date. He’s giving the poor fellow some money. It’s …

Marta
Nice work, Hobgoblin. We’re all set. Wrap it up.

Hex
so … if it’s alright, can I hang up already?

Busker
Thanks, man. That’s solid love, man. Peace.

Burgess
Don’t mention it, brother.

Jemmes
Fantastic display, everyone. We now wait six hours to sell the decoy. In the meantime, gather on the fifth floor to prep for phase two.

Categories
fiction

Mathilda’s Corner (A of B)

Mr
Bay Bee Gott Bank call centre. How can I help you?

Hex
Uhhm… I can’t get money out of the machine.

Mr
I’m not seeing any transaction information here. Did you enter your PIN correctly?

Hex
I can use a pin? My hair is down today, but let me see if I can find one in my …

Mr
Ma’am a P I N is a passcode. Did you enter it?

Hex
No.

Mr
Was your card grabbed?

Hex
No… What card?

Mr
Your ATM card. Did you insert it into the slot?

Hex
OMG… When I opened my account, the banker guy said I could get money from an ATM whenever I want.

Mr
Did you get a card for the ATM, ma’am?

Hex
He asked me if I needed a card but I already had my Victoria’s Secret one. So I said it’s okay.

Mr
Have you ever used an ATM to withdraw cash before?

Hex
No.

Mr
Do you have a PIN for your Victoria’s Secret credit card, Ma’am?

Hex
No, I just give it to the counter people. But I need come cash right now because this guy outside my building asked me for some change for coffee. I don’t jingle so he said I should get some from the machine.

Mr
I see. You will need …

Hex
Wait… Hulloooo! That’s Burgie, my date. He’s giving the poor fellow some money. It’s …so … if it’s alright, can I hang up already?

Mr
Yes, Ma’am. You should…

Categories
People

Notes 4/3

This is an update to Art of the Force, specifically about the entitled behaviour I called out.

I understand that some bloggers desire engagement in the comments section of their posts. I say again, it is best to ask for a comment. A cordial invitation at the end of a post will do. Coercive tactics and name-calling are not the way to build up a community of supporters.

And now I will explain why I don’t like to comment on other people’s blogs. I will tell you why I have abandoned comments after writing them. I sometimes write fiction, but when before accusing people of inappropriate behaviour, I will search for evidence first. In that spirit, I spent Friday night and Saturday afternoon testing two assumptions:

(a) Bloggers want me to comment on their posts.
(b) Bloggers acknowledge my comments.

I tested these assumptions with posts tagged art, beauty, life, love, poetry, romance and women. All posts had been published within thirty minutes of the start of the exercise. Excluded from my assumption were posts published by subscribers to this blog.

Here is what happened. All forty (40) of my comments went to moderation immediately. This is an issue with Akismet, and not the content of my comments. This means that only subscribers who were aware of this issue would be able to check their “Pending” folders for stray comments. I received only ten responses within 30 minutes. Responses included “x liked your comment”. After that, three more responses came in after two hours. Forty eight hours later, I am still waiting for 27 further responses.

One beauty blogger, in her post, specifically asked for questions so she could do a later blog answering those questions. I wrote three questions for a total of eight from other readers. She “liked” my comment but this alone satisfies my definition of a “response”. Of the 40 bloggers, two bloggers received compliments about their sense of humour; only one acknowledged and responded with a comment. Both had published their posts within minutes of each other.

This is how I felt. That was a horrible experience, and I understand why bloggers are so hesitant to post comments on other bloggers’ blogs. Some posts are scheduled; comments go to moderation and are cleared or approved. I felt that I had wasted my time. However, I felt somewhat vindicated because I had proven my point from the few responses I received.

Bloggers, add value to your brand by offering some quality interaction around your product. It’s not necessary to use the Queen’s English or talk much. We have control over what happens on our blogs. I have turned off like buttons to encourage comments; I have turned off comments whenever I felt that none was necessary.

There was a time when I wished someone would say something. Now, readers do. I warmly welcome longer comments and take them as a compliment, as affirmation that I’ve written something worthy of a response.

After I’ve used the Force and readers start joining the discussion, should I get super annoyed because they’re, like, writing comments on my bloaaaaag and I can’t deal with that? Attitude is everything. If you go to a book launch and the writer speaks to you in a “yeah, yeah, this is all about me… buy my book… I’m too busy, yeah” tone of voice, how would you feel about it.

Of course, you would. Because behaviour like that is ridiculous.

Categories
People

Art of the Force

I often wondered why people slap at the hand that reaches out in friendship and compassion. Why cordial relationships turn into bitter rivalries. People often complain that their prayers aren’t being answered. Why, they ask, does God (or other Deity) not pour out His bountiful blessings?

We are experts at asking. We are not gracious receivers. We say no to the gifts presented to us because we don’t understand the math behind the magic.

I see people receiving exactly what they ask for. They feel hungry and right then, someone will offer some bread. They say dismissively, “That’s nice of you but I don’t like Wonder Bread.” Then in the same breath they say, “I’m starving.” I’m sure someone’s rejected your kind offering before, and you felt bad about it.

ヽ(*≧ω≦)ノ

I felt bad yesterday evening. A subscriber asked me if I was reading his posts because I have liked them. Apparently, he was also entitled to comments. Entitlement gets us nowhere. I wished he had asked me for a comment instead of accusing me and others of defacing his blog with our Gravatars.

There’s an artist on WordPress whose work I greatly admire and covet, but who has told me hates me and everything I stand for. Every time I show appreciation for his new set of paintings, he sends a kind email to thank me. He is professional. He does not accuse me of abusive behaviour.

The person from yesterday has subscribed to my blog but does not support me. He has “sometimes” read posts. I read all of his and appreciated his work. I now thank him for his complaint because I will now only make time for subscribers who appreciate me.

This blogger is not discussing a UN Security Council report or parliamentary transcripts from New Zealand (lunch break hobbies, don’t ask). He is not publishing a calculus workbook. It’s prose fiction.

And how up myself would I have to be to write detailed critiques without an invitation? Many of my subscribers have actual problems. Like stroke recovery, empty nests, depression, cancer, fibromyalgia, affairs, divorce, bad romances and the loss of loved ones. They ask for support when they need it.

Hours before I got blasted for reading a blog without leaving a comment, a lovely young woman from Indonesia submitted a comment on S/M. I had read her review of the 50SOG film and wanted her to add a positive appraisal of (the film) to the discussion here. I asked her to please read my post and write a comment. It took two days before she finally agreed, and then I had to persuade her to not worry about the level of analysis in other comments. I value her contrary opinion. I might watch the film now. Her compassionate viewpoint is changing my mind.

The process is simple: Ask. (Wait.) Receive. Thank.

A few months ago someone published a photo looking really similar to my rig, which I’d published days earlier. My comment answered the author’s question, “What is art?”  I also explained the similarities in our posts. I was greeted with, “How did you find us because …” I got an eyeful of words. I thought, “Did you not just ask a question? What is wrong with you?!”

We are not gracious receivers and because of that, we punish people who are trying to be nice.

ヽ(*≧ω≦)ノ

Back to my first point…

Wonder bread. Occasionally, a person will take the bread and grind it underfoot. You could say that such a person is ungrateful. I wouldn’t worry about name-calling. Instead, think about how many gifts you might have turned away yourself and try to pay extra attention next time. Your sworn enemy could be His Ambassador. Your arch rival’s hiccup gave you a two point advantage. Warmly thank the person. You needed the win this time.

One of the reasons I have a strict GOYA policy (I’ll explain on March 30) is this. The genius mathematician upstairs doesn’t care that you want a pastrami sandwich on whole wheat bread with the ends cut off, coconut oil spread instead of butter, black cheddar thinly sliced, dill pickles and a dollop of sour cream, served by a tall redhead in a tight shirt.

He hears you yelling at the top of your lungs, “Please give me something to eat RIGHT NOW.”

Let’s play a game, Jedi Knights. Pay closer attention next time you use the Force and answer these questions from Björk’s song, All is Full of Love:

  • Are you receiving?
  • Is your phone on the hook?
  • Are your doors all shut?