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Four Weeks of Smut Writer

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Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and to Write from my Inner Gutter

I can’t believe it’s been four weeks since I started my second attempt at adopting my Smut Writer persona. Honestly, I had given up on myself about it. Not sure why. Insecurity? Eh, it’s most likely the #1 reason.

But, despite that insecurity, I’ve done it. I pushed myself and now I’m proud to say I’ve published four shorts stories. It’s a wonderful feeling to say I’ve done something I’ve dreamed about for years.

Full disclosure: I did have one of my stories published before, but it was so long ago now. And that was before Smut Writer. It needed a little razzle-dazzle, so I fixed it up and released it.

I’m not going to lie, it’s been a challenge. I didn’t know a lot of the self-publishing information when I got started. If you’re looking to unleash your inner-Smut Writer, here are a few things I learned in my travels.

Getting Revved Up

Reddit can be a dumpster fire depending on where you’re looking. Luckily, there are still some great spaces. R/eroticauthors is ESSENTIAL READING. Their FAQ alone should be your holy grail for getting your erotica or romance writing grove on. I haven’t posted there yet (I’m shy…), but the community seems very kind.

The Write Stuff: Self-Editing Edition

Since I’m doing this for fun instead of profit (though I did manage to make a few dimes off of my free books), I’ve been trying my best to self-edit. Allegedly, erotica readers are a little more forgiving.

I’ve tried a few of the editing programs available out there. Here how I feel about them:

Autocrit: Gave the free trial a shot. It had a lot of stats and the interface wasn’t too hard to use. The monthly cost isn’t horrible if you’re really planning to dive into writing. The turn off for me was that you had to ask to end your trial. Like chatting with someone to ask. That’s not cool.

Grammarly: It’s fine for a free app. I didn’t like it for my actual story writing. However, for blogging it’s been essential.

Hemmingway: This one was good. You can’t do a whole lot at once on the web version, but the app makes it easy to find your writing’s flaws.

Prowritingaid: End the end, I went with this one. The toolbar in MS Word and the ease of use won me over. Definitely worth the $20 a month, for sure.

Pixabay, I Choose You!

Turns out, creating the covers for my stories is my favorite part of the process. I can’t claim to have any real talent. However, seeing the story in “lights,” even due to my own creation, made my work feel real.

Pixabay is the place to find good pics (though I wouldn’t kick Morguefile out of bed). I haven’t not found the right pics to do the job so far. Paired with GIMP, the best free image editor ever (IMO), you can easily come up with a cover. Extra bonus, get yourself some free for commercial use fonts at Just make it look like something you’d want to pick up to read yourself!

Smashy-Smashy vs The ‘Zon KDP

So far I’ve released stories on both Smashwords and Amazon KDP. Both are great platforms. However, if I had to pick between the two, it would be the ‘Zon. Smashwords is good, but getting your story properly uploaded is a chore. Hell, you have to upload it as a .doc file instead of .docx. How dare you? Also, it takes a lot of tinkering to get the file perfect for Premium status on Smashwords.

The biggest bonus in Smashwords (sidenote: I almost wrote Smashmouth EVERY TIME) is posting your story happens quicker.

‘Zon’s biggest bonus is enrolling in Kindle Direct. Money for page reads on Kindle Unlimited? Sign me up!

Despite my bias, I will be going between the two platforms for the three series of stories I’m working on: Knightcrest and Lady of the Wood on Smashy; Her Majesty’s Courtesan on KDP.

Click here for all my recent short story releases!

Burnout is a BEAST

Big lesson I’ve learned: pace yourself. Writing is a marathon, not a race. The push to get a new story out every week has given me drive, but also wiped my brain. Happy I gave it a shot, though. Sit back and enjoy the scenery. Let that story you’re working on blossom with time. No rush required.

I’m going to give a every two-week story drop a shot. I feel like that will be more manageable for a lady with a day job. Next up will be Delighted Bite: Tales from Knightcrest II.

Erica Beale, Smut Writer

It has been great to feel so productive. Four stories and still going strong. I’m glad I gave me a chance. Nothing may ever come of it, but at least I did it. Be sure to check back soon for more of my sweet sensual goodies, cuz a girl is in the mood.

I Sold Myself!

Wait, that didn’t come out right…

So, I know “I sold myself” is a bold statement. If you were worrying times are tough and I had to start up my side hustle as Hover Divine, fear not. What I mean to say is I sold one of my novelettes. For money!

I’m particularly proud/pleased at this event because I was giving myself away for FREE!

…I’m starting to think maybe I’m working on too much smut. I can’t get my head out of the gutter on this post.

Anyway, some awesome Smutter bought Bait for $0.99. I still have it set to Pay What you Want. I figured no one would bother giving money when they can have it for free.

I’m not getting much off of it. My cut is $0.53, but, shit, better than the 0 I expected.

Definitely feeling good about me!

The wait is nearly over

My next project is ready to go. I’ve submitted Decontamination to Amazon this evening. I didn’t realize it can take up to 3 days for release. No worries, though. KDP intrigues me since you can enroll it for Kindle Unlimited and get money off of people reading for free. It’s like the best of both worlds.

Suffice to say I’ve been enjoying the whole self-publishing thing. I’m glad work had to cut their hours for this month, giving me the opportunity to make this happen. Work goes back to normal next month, so I probably won’t be able to release a weekly story. Maybe every 2 weeks would work a bit better. I tend to go a little brain dead after a full day of work.

What’s next?

Coming up on the horizon is Her Majesty’s Courtesan. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be an ongoing series. I’ll be rotating between Tales from Knightcrest, Lady of the Wood, and HMC. That’s the plan going forward, anyway.

Check at the blog for updates, or give me a subscribe. Until next time!

My Sidetracked Life

By Source, Fair use, Link

Or: Mass Effect 2 is a Heinous Dark Goddess

A game sidetracked me from my plan. It’s a problem.

I had every intention of publishing a new story every Tuesday. At least for this month while I’m furloughed one day a week. It seemed like the perfect time. And until now, it worked out nicely.

Then ME2 went on sale in the Microsoft Store.

Shit.

Though, to be honest, I gave ME1 a try and gave it a pass. I thought it would be the perfect game for me. Hell, it’s basically Dragon Age in space.

I’m so fucking nice, I can barely stand myself

But, I couldn’t get into it. I tried. More than once, even. I’d figured maybe the series wasn’t for me.

A few months ago someone on my FB friends list said that I should skip it and just head on to two. Well, he’s not just someone. He’s kind of my brother-in-law/married to my little sister from another family. Cool guy. Very smart and talented.

You see how I get sidetracked? This is how shit goes wrong.

Anyway, since the game was a steal (and ME3, mind you), I decided to give it a whirl.

Goodbye, fucking life.

Yeah, the game sucked me in. A girl has a universe to save. No time for writing.

This is not the attitude I should have.

But there it is.

Seriously, I’m grumbling, but the game is great. Loads better than the first one. That game had more clunkiness than I’m ready to deal with. I’m sad that I’m just jumping on board the train so I missed out on all the fun.

And Garrus. Yes, my wonderful Turian love god, have your way with me. Any day. Any hour. Just stop calibrating the ship’s guns, sweet love, and join me…

Sidetracked, again.

Anyway, as I mentioned in my last post, I’m in the process of editing Decontamination. I could probably get that baby out by the end of the week if I avoid the Effect for at least working hours tomorrow.

WISH ME LUCK.

I need it.

Loving Me, Loving You

Christmas…some year.

Happy Loving Day 2020!

Loving Day is an annual celebration held on June 12, the anniversary of the 1967 United States Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia which struck down all anti-miscegenation lawsremaining in sixteen U.S. states

To imagine there was a time where my husband and I couldn’t legally be married in the United States. I wish I could say our country was still on the path of growth. I dunno, maybe it is? It seems like people are starting to listen to each other. And hopefully, listening will lead to better days.

Sometimes I feel like my erotic stories, which often involve mixed-race couples, are my way of trying to push for change. The story I’m working on now, Decontamination, deals with one character’s constant oppression due to the fact he is a human-alien hybrid.

Working cover

If that sounds familiar to you, it’s because I had the story published before. I’m zhuzhing it up a bit and re-releasing it into the wilds of Amazon. Smashwords is my jam, but I want to see how KDP works. Maybe I could make a dollar off of it! You never know.

But, anyway, I’m grateful to the Lovings for going the distance and making it possible for couples like me and Nate to live happily. I look forward to the day where no one feels like they aren’t able to love those they do!

Other Loving Lovers?

Who else out there is celebrating Loving Day? I’d love to hear some stories. The crazier the better, if you ask me! Comment or send me a message. I’m all ears. Well, I guess eyes, considering…

In case you’re curious, my husband and I met on a Transformers website many moons ago. I was so girly he suspected I was a boy. Nope! All lady all the time. We got married in 2006 and are still going strong today.

Decluttering My Brain Space

A Written Attempt at Regaining Personal Sanity

It’s been weeks since the last time I felt “OK.” I wouldn’t say I’m doing terrible or close to breaking down, but I haven’t been “OK.” Too much has been going on. My focus is zapped. My happiness has tanked.

The always required Cat Tax

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had spurts of happiness. Ultimately, my life isn’t bad. I’m still working (from home even!). My husband and I get along well so we’re actually enjoy being trapped with each other. Home is a haven where I can routinely have fun and explore creative pursuits. I have two cats to keep me entertained when they’re not trying to trip me down the stairs. I have a good life. I am very lucky.

Yet, things are weighing heavily on me. I mean, I’m aware that it’s doing that to everyone right now, but I haven’t really expressed my personal feelings. Well, to Nate, but otherwise I typically keep my thoughts guarded. Nothing like a good old defense mechanism.

But, this morning, as I toil through work, I thought to myself “you have a blog! GET. TO. WRITING.” Now I’m here. The more I think about it, I realize how much easier it is to organize a fictional tale than it is to organize my actual thoughts and feelings.

It won’t stop me from trying.

Venting into the Chaos

I want to start off by saying, I like people. All kinds of people. I like learning about different cultures. I try to see the best in everyone, even if no one else wants to.

Is that cliche as hell? Yeah, probably. Who doesn’t, right? Everyone says that shit.

Anyway, recently, I find myself not liking people as much, even the ones I love. Ugly is being flung around. I’m not a fan. No one has room to enlighten themselves. They’re right and that’s it. They don’t want to listen. I know it’s always been that way, but it’s getting to me.

Is it so hard to try to learn from each other’s experiences? Isn’t it worthwhile making a point without cutting someone else down? Even if you don’t agree with someone, it’s not hard to be civil. If we can’t do that, how in the hell is anything supposed to change? How are we supposed to grow as a society?

Just take the moment to be kind. Yeah, not everyone deserves your kindness for sure, but show them a better way. It doesn’t cost you anything. They’re not going to remember the points (valid or otherwise) if you start the conversation by treating them like shit. There’s nothing to gain there.

Was now the Write Time?

I think I picked a really bad time to start writing. There’s too much going on and I highly doubt many will be interested in dark erotica fictions of any sort.

It’s unfair really. I FINALLY have the time now that our office is furloughed one day a week. I’ve put in some writing work. By the time I put this up, I would have self-published two stories on Smashwords (Bait and Awakening) and I’m working on the next thing.

Honestly, I don’t expect it to amount to anything. I’m more doing it for my own peace of mind, really. The books are free, so I’m not even looking for a profit.

The real problem is I feel super silly for doing it NOW. I should be something important. Or I feel like I should be, anyway.

Call Center Blues

I’m starting to suck at my job. I really am. My quality has gone down. Some patients get it, which is great. Some patients have forgotten we’re real people on the other end of the phone. And they seem to have forgotten our worlds have been turned upside down.

Healthcare is a beast. Please be kind to those in the field. We have a lot going on. Call center staff is on the front line, too, even if you don’t see us. A lot of responsibility has been doled out to us. We want to work with you, so please don’t work against us.

We can only do the best we can.

And it sucks when you make us cry. Yeah, that happened to me today. 10/10 would not recommend.

The end of thought

These are the things that really bother me at the moment. I just needed to get them out of my head so I can focus on my next story. The weight has been barely tolerable and I’d prefer not to break completely under the pressure. And even if no one sees this, at least it’s outside my headspace. But, if you are reading, thank you, friend. Until the next time we meet!

Bait

A Short Story

Officer Mark Kipper had no idea things that bump in the night were real. After recruitment by Knightcrest’s Department of Supernatural Affairs, he discovers a new level of crimes and misdemeanors. When one particular case sends the agency into a panic, Kip offers himself as bait to help lure out a forgotten evil.

Confronting the attractive demoness fueled by sex and seduction turns into a frenzied fight of life or death. Can Kip combat the desire mounting inside of him long enough to escape the clutches of a powerful, ancient being?

Download now at Smashwords!

Cost: Pay what you want (but mostly FOR FREE)

Where Have I Been…?

Time to get back in that saddle

I’ll admit it’s been some time since I’ve posted on my blog. Sometimes life just kind of gets in the way. What can you do? Here’s a brief rundown of what’s been going on over the last few months.

Me, before I became livid
  1. I managed to beat NaNoWriMo for 2019. That shit was awesome. The pride I felt at finishing 50,000 words in a single month on a story I’ve been dreaming on for years…Yeah, that was a rush. Unfortunately, I kind of lost steam with the holidays rolling in.
  2. I had surgery in January. It was supposed to be life-changing (in a good way), but as it turned out, the doctor didn’t pay attention to my needs at the consultation and wound up giving me the wrong surgery. I’m still mad.
  3. Later that month, and the day before my birthday, my grandma died. Her loss hit me hard. I couldn’t focus on my writing for a long time.
  4. The corona. I haven’t gotten it so far. I’m hoping things stay that way. Unfortunately, I take an immunosuppressant, so I spend a lot of time anxious.
  5. I was lucky enough to have a job that didn’t really get affected, but there have been a lot of changes, so it’s been way more challenging (and stressful).

It’s been a lot to deal with. I find myself in the dumps more often than not, which really sucks. Adding all the shit that’s going on in the US has made the feeling worse. It’s not fun breaking down in tears to your husband because you’re frustrated about the world. He took it in stride! Still, I feel bad about it.

Anyway, I’ve decided to try blogging again as a way of maybe offsetting the frustrations. Now that I’ll be furloughed one day a week for June, I have more opportunities to drown myself in writing. Plus, I’m feeling bolder (just a bit), so I’m branching out.

The plan now is to release one of my novelettes on Smashwords. Bait due to release on 6/2. It’s been quite a ride trying to figure out how to pull this off. Lurking on r/eroticauthors has been essential reading! Do I expect anything to come out of self-publishing an erotic story? Not at all. But the fact that I’m taking the risk is EVERYTHING.

So, if you want a fun dark urban fantasy story to read, Bait will be available soon. You set the price (or none at all). I’m doing this for personal enjoyment and entertainment. Also, Smut Writer on Facebook still gets several likes a day, though I haven’t done anything with it. It’s weird, but fun. I guess now is a good time to be naughty? We’ll see!

The Blog-Breaker

She who breaks the blog, remakes the blog

I broke my old blog. I am Blog-Breaker.

This is what I get for not paying attention.

I’ve been with Godaddy for years for my hosting. I know I probably should have switched a long time ago, but I had a nice cozy set up going and I was hesitant to change.

That’s the root of my problem this time.

Apparently, I had been grandfathered (I suppose that’s the right word) into their old hosting set up. The PHP was so old and crusty nothing really worked. When WordPress updated, it killed my original blog.

*sigh*

I reverted back to an old version of WP, thinking that would fix the problem. Keep in mind, I didn’t even know they had updated hosting with c-Panel. Yep, sad, I know.

Going back to old WordPress didn’t help. The old version of my blog was dead. How little I knew her!

I was at least able to back up what I had. Haha, just kidding. Shit was so broken I couldn’t do that. Of course I didn’t find that out until after I changed hosts (yes, still with Godaddy). My backups were completely empty. By that time, my old hosting was gone so I couldn’t do something smart like FTPing my files to my computer from before.

So here I am. Clean slate. Rebuilding. Giving my blog some vitality or some such. Just in time for NaNoWriMo.

This is still a work-in-progress. I’ll be uploading some stories I have hanging around in The Cloud and posting my adventure with The Last Fae, my project for Nano and the rest of 2019. My goal is to have it done by the end of the year. I have it all mapped out so maybe…

….maybe.

Check back soon and often for more fun with your favorite resident Smut Writer! If you have your own NaNo story in the works (and you need encouragement in the journey), let me know in the comments. Link yo’ shit, friend!

Quick update:

I published a couple of shorts on Smashwords. I’ve had a lot of fun with it. When you have time, check out my stuff.

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