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EricaBeale.com

Intimate with Intimacy: The HS Victim’s Nightmare

https://pixabay.com/photos/passion-lust-pair-hands-5120121/

Anyone with Hidradenitis Suppurativa will tell you how hard it is to get behind getting busy with someone new. It’s a damned nightmare. There’s always this fear in the back of your mind that your partner will take one look at your bump-n-lumps and run screaming for the hills. It’s not a good feeling.

Hubby and I started off with an online relationship. We lived on entirely different coasts. Luckily, with that distance between us, I could manipulate the narrative about my body. If I showed him anything, it was by picture or video. Super easy to hide the places I hated. My armpits, under my breasts, and my groin were all a war-zone back then, so I kept them well hidden at all times.

I was excited to see him in person for the first time. But I was also scared out of my mind. I told him I had a skin problem but glossed over how bad it really was. Thankfully, he is a very understanding person and we had no problems in the bedroom.

Even with him being understanding, I still freak out occasionally, but I think it’s an understandable feeling. I feel gross way more often than I feel sexy. Sometimes it puts me off sex, especially when the HS is really flaring up. It’s the absolute worst.

I’ve been with the same person for over 16 years, so I haven’t had to worry about the “someone new” aspect of HS for many moons. However, if I had to (like if Sweet Hot Thor comes a-knocking) this is the advice I’d give myself.

Only date someone who makes you feel comfortable.

One of the most important things in any relationship is to find someone you can be your truest self with. If you can’t, then it might just be time to move on.

Make sure you tell them about your condition before you hit the bedroom.

Having someone reaching down your pants is not when you want to drop the HS bomb. Way before you get to that stage, be open and honest about your condition. Hey, as uncool as HS is, there is no shame in it. It’s not something you can control and it’s a part of who you are. You may hate it, but you’re going to have to own it. Control the narrative before it controls you!

Don’t be afraid to give them research material

There are plenty of resources out there explaining hidradenitis suppurativa. Get together with your lover and show them what it’s all about. Understanding is key. Plus, this way your special person can get an idea of what they could possibly do to help you. My husband has been instrumental to me dealing with HS.

Take your time. There’s no rush!

Hey, only do things you’re ready for. If you’re in a relationship where someone is trying to push it too quickly,  stand up for yourself. If that person can’t wait, well, they can go find someone else. You’re worth the time and if they don’t get that, then they can move the hell on.

Remember you’re a hot piece of ass no matter what condition you have

Yeah, that’s right. I’m talking to you. You are amazing and there is something about you that is more brilliant than the sun. HS is a small part of your life. The rest of you is what’s important. Don’t let HS hold you back!

You Won’t Go Through This Alone!

Don’t be afraid to tell your loved one about this aspect of your life. Yes, it sucks. There are miserable days sometimes that make you feel like the least sexy thing in the world. Just remember, while it may affect your life, HS is just a very obnoxious hurdle. Find someone who will go on the journey with you. And if your person doesn’t want to go with you, it’s time to pack up and leave them behind. You deserve only the best.

Until next time, my friend. Keep your Mind in the Gutter!

Hidradenitis Suppurativa

A Pain in my Ass…LITERALLY

My Constant Companion

I have the vaguest of memories about the first time I realized something was wrong. I was nine years old. I had always been tall and fat, enough so that my fellow classmates made fun of me for it. But, unfortunately, I also started puberty. Imagine being fat and developing. Not the best time I’d ever had.

Not long after puberty started, I developed a large bump on the side of my groin. It hurt like hell. I remember my mom wanting me to walk to a store with her and I cried because the area hurt so badly I couldn’t walk. She heard nothing of it, of course, and dragged me out anyway.

Eventually, that one drained out and I felt better. Mom didn’t take me to a doctor or anything (not that doctors back then knew anything about hidradenitis back then). I was lucky it cleared up on it’s own.

But that wasn’t the only one. More came. Over and over again. On my groin. Under my arms. Under my breasts. And they hurt. And they smelled sometimes. I cried so many times over these areas. Why did I have to have this? What even was it?

It wasn’t until I was twenty-one that I got an answer.

Putting a Name to it

When I was twenty-one, I enrolled at a trade school to become a medical assistant. Part of that process included getting clearance from a doctor. My mom wasn’t big on doctors, so I never had a family doctor I went to regularly. Luckily the school had a partnership with local docs for cheap physicals with local doctors around the city. I made an appointment with one not far from my home.

Sick with nervousness, I went. I didn’t want to show off my underarms, which had become riddled with oozing holes and lumps. I thought for sure the doc would take a look and deny I was fit for duty. The doctor did look and finally gave me something I desperately needed: a name for what I had.

Hidradenitis suppratia. He didn’t really explain what it was, but having that much was practically a miracle. After he cleared me for school, I rushed home to jump on the internet to find out what in the ever actual loving f**k it was.

What is Hidradenitis Suppurativa, anyway?

Back then there wasn’t a whole lot of information. Still, what little I found gave me some peace of mind.

The explanation from Mayo Cliic:

Hidradenitis suppurativa (hi-drad-uh-NIE-tis sup-yoo-ruh-TIE-vuh) is a condition that causes small, painful lumps to form under the skin. The lumps usually develop in areas where your skin rubs together, such as the armpits, groin, buttocks and breasts. The lumps heal slowly, recur, and can lead to tunnels under the skin and scarring.

Mayo’s HS Page

Yeah, it’s about as sexy as it sounds. I can say with 100% confidence, that it’s the absolute f***ing worst. Keep in mind, HS usually strikes areas where your skin rubs together. Arm pits, under boob, between the legs/thighs, ass crack. God, in the ass crack has been the absolute worst experience.

It has three different stages, aka Hurley stages. I’ve made a handy infographic about it below, but let me give you the Erica listing:

  • Hurley’s stage 1: Bad
  • Hurley’s stage 2: Terrible
  • Hurley’s stage 3: F***********K

I’ll bet you can guess which stage I’m in. I always thought it was bad, but it just got worse over time.

Finding a cure

Right now there isn’t a cure for HS. There are things you can do on your own and therapeutic methods you can receive through a doctor. I’m pretty sure I’ve been on all of them at this point.

Stuff You Can Try at Home

(Of course, seek out a physician’s advice first!)

Elimination Diet

For some, HS could be triggered by certain foods. Many have removed dairy, sugar, bread and nightshade veggies from their diets. In some cases, it does help. Take one of these out and see if that makes your flares slow down

Tea Tree Oil

A clean scented oil that soothes. I suggest mixing it with something like coconut oil before applying to your skin. It can be harsh.

Vick’s Vapo Rub

I know this sounds crazy, but it does help. Not only does it soothe, but many find it helps bring the affected lump to a head so it will burst and drain.

Dietary Supplements

Tumeric is a natural anti-inflammatory. You can either make a paste with it and put it on the affected area, use it in food or tea, or take it in capsule form. Zinc has also been known to help out as well.

Hibiclens

Oh, Hibiclens! Where would I be without you? It’s an Antibacterial and Antimicrobial skin cleanser. It keeps the bacteria on the skin from forming. I use it daily on my areas. It’s a bit watery, so you probably want to invest in getting the foaming pump version. I bought it once, then refilled it with regular bottles of the cleaner.

Again, please (PLEASE) speak to a doctor before starting any treatment! I want you to feel better AND be safe.

Treatments Doctors Could Suggest

Antibiotics

Your doctor will probably start you off with a regimen of low-dose antibiotics. Usually clindamycin or maybe something stronger like doxycycline. Just remember to take them on a full stomach (ask me how I know).

Biologics

From WebMD: Biologic drugs are human-made proteins that are designed to zero in on parts of the immune system that trigger inflammation. Medications such as Humira and Remicade fall under this.

Surgery

Every doctor I’ve had surgery with says they treat HS like cancer and remove it all (aka excision). Sometimes these can be large areas of the body. Healing can take a long time and can be grueling, but It will definitely bring relief once it’s all said and done. Unfortunately, the HS could return where you’ve had surgery.

Places to find help

HS is a wild ride and sometimes it can feel like the loneliest journey. You’re not alone, though. You can always hit me up and I’ll be happy to chat. Also, here are some places you can go to either find information or support. These sites are pretty active and can provide a lot of guidance.

Moving forward

Whew, that was a lot. I hope it helps! I will be doing an ongoing series in regard to my life with HS. Talking about it is therapeutic for me. Plus, maybe someone out there will see they’re not alone in dealing with this outrageous disease. As I said, it’s a pain in the ass, literally.

Keep your mind in the gutter. Until next time.

Here I Go Again on my Blog

That’s Right, I’m Back!

I know, I know…

I’ve been away a lot longer than I wanted to be. But, it’s not totally my fault, per se. There are three big reasons why I haven’t been around for the last few months:

  1. I got a promotion at work, so I was busier than normal
  2. I’ve been in a lot of pain thanks to a chronic condition I have (more on that later, though)
  3. Between these two things, my creativity and my energy have been totally wiped out

To be honest, I just couldn’t do it. Hell, I couldn’t do much of anything at all. Luckily, after being on medical leave and getting treatment, I’m feeling a little more like myself and I’ve been wanting to get back into some things I’d lost interest in temporarily. So, here I am, asking for forgiveness for being away so long. I’m back now. Hopefully for good! Unfortunately, I get flares from time to time, so it might not last as long as I like. Right now, though, I have a few weeks’ worths of content in my brain that I’m now working on.

Living with Hidradenitis Supprativa

I’ve dealt with this damn condition since I was nine years old. I didn’t know what it was until I was twenty-one, however. It’s a pain in the ass (lately, this is quite literal). A lot of people have never heard of it, including I doctor I saw recently for pain. I’m not mad at him. It’s rarely talked about.

My plan is to help change that. I want to start a series centered around understanding and living with HS. I’ve had a lot of experience in that area, plus it’s easier to point at my blog and say “This is what I’m going through” instead of having to explain over and over again.

Check back soon. The first post is already brewing.

If you need support right now for HS, check out the HS Foundation. It’s a great resource for information and help!

My Next Novel

The Last Fae needs a lot of editing, and so does its sequel, A Demon in her Skin (I love that title!). But, I need a break from that particular world. Lately, I’ve been really into another old story of mine. The tentative title is A Prince and his Dragon. It’s about a prince who is magically tied to a dragon trapped in human form. He has to go on the run from his kingdom after his family is betrayed by a foreign country. The bond between them is intensely sexual, though they both have mates and absolutely must resist. I’ll tell you more about it soon. I promise!

Your Smut Writer Plays Games

A girl needs something to get her going. I’ve always been a fan of games. Admittedly, I lean more towards things like Stardew Valley and House Flipper. But, a smut writer needs more! I’m perusing Steam to find free/cheap erotic games to play. I’m going to be Live streaming on Twitch on Fridays at 9 PM EST. I’ll also post videos to my two Youtube Channels: Erica B Writes Smut for a kind of review situation and Smut Writer Plays Games for the raw streams. They’ll be updated as I can.

Um….it’s not all going to be smut. I will also play whatever game strikes my fancy. House Flipper has become and addiction, and somehow the catalyst for getting me back into my creativity. Here’s a video for one of my oldest flips:

I’ve come a long way since then. I’ll update newer ones soon.

I’ll update my blog when I drop a video. Here’s my planned schedule as of right now:

  • Mondays for blog posts
  • Tuesdays for Erica B Writes Smut videos
  • Friday streaming on Twitch
  • Sunday uploading the raw streams to SW Plays Games

Of course, I may post things in between. Don’t forget to subscribe to keep up to date!

That’s where I’ve been and here is where I’m going. I’m going to keep moving forward as best I can. I hope you’ll take this journey with me.

Until next time!

Getting Grammarous

Back in my day…

Okay, so it’s officially time to get with The Plan. Today we’re going with #11: Share the first piece you ever wrote – talk about how you’ve grown as a writer and what you’ve learned from it. Well, Getting Grammarous was one of the first articles I wrote on my original blog back in the day. Pour one out for More Bang…

The most important thing I learned from this is the words themselves. I had a very sketchy understanding of some of the latter words. I blame high school. I didn’t have an English teacher for most of my freshman year. I’m doing okay now. Luckily, I was blessed to have an amazing teacher for senior year. I got a lotta writing growth out of his class.

Another thing I learned is I’m not confident enough to post this kind of content. Just looking at it makes me wonder if I went the right way with the words. You have to teach what you know, but also be willing to learn from your mistakes.

Anyway, on with the show, lol.

A Flashback to More Bang

Getting Grammarous, EDBeale Style

Image by Kollakolla from Pixabay

There are a lot of blogs/websites devoted to helping people with grammar.  This is my take on the common errors and with some (hopefully!) insightful and memorable examples–E.D.B. style, aka dirty (I can’t help it; I write erotic fiction…) >:D.


The Triple T’s: To, Too, and Two

These dirty bastards have been giving people troubles for a long time.

To:  While it has a couple of other uses, it often goes along with “heading somewhere.” 

Ex: Let’s go to the store so we can buy a dirty movie.

Too:  Its used to say “also” or to indicate “very” or “excessive.”

Ex: Your sister can join us, too.

Two: It’s the number.

Ex: Sure, I’ve taken on two men at once before.  It was awesome!


The Difference in “Its”

Personally, I think these two are easy to mistake.

It’s:  This one is the contraction for “it is.”

Ex:  It’s so hard!

Its: This one is a possessive pronoun like yours, his, hers, etc.

Ex: I found one of my nipple tassels, but I can’t find its twin.


Affect vs. Effect

This is another one of those butt-kickers.

Affect: This one is to have an influence on.

Ex: Baby, you know how sexy black dress affects me.  I won’t be able to concentrate!

Effect:  Usually you’ll see this one as a result of something.

Ex: The Viagra had a positive effect on my husband’s libido.


Your and his cousin You’re

Well, maybe they’re more like step-siblings…

Your:  It’s one of those pesky possessive pronouns (ooh, baby, alliteration!)

Ex: I love how your body feels against mine.

You’re:  It’s the contraction for “you are.”

Ex: You’re the only one that I need.


Taking it Further/Farther

This is one that took me a long time to realize, personally.

Further:  When it comes to the amount of time, you use this one.  It’s also used for “additionally” and “degree of.”

Ex:  My date and I took it further than I planned, but that’s okay.  He’s hot!

Farther:  This one refers to distance.

Ex: Your house is farther away than mine, so let’s just go to mine. I can’t wait anymore!


Well, Good!

You’d think they’d be interchangeable.  Who would have thought that they were completely different?!

Well:  This one is normally an adverb for description. As an adjective, well means “healthy.”

Ex: (Adverb) Oh, baby, you know my body so well. *tremble with pleasure*

(Adjective) After that romp in the sack last night, you’re looking well.

Good: Good is an adjective. 

Ex: You taste good. >:D


Ugh…Lay vs. Lie

These are the worst of the worst, mostly because of their tenses. 

Lay:  This means to put something down.  More importantly, it has to be done to something else.

Ex: Lay your hands on my body.

Lie: This means to recline.

Ex: Lie on the bed with me so I can hold you.

Now, why are these so evil?  Well, the past tense of lay is “laid,” while the past of lie is “lay.” And that’s why people from other countries think English is hard to master…Ugh…

So, “Lay your hands on my body” would become “You laid your hands on my body.”  “Lie on the bed with me so I can hold you” becomes “Last night, you lay in bed with me so I could hold you.”


There are more words out there that are so similar yet so completely different.  With any luck, these will not be among them for you any longer! 

Oy…Words can be Rough

I’m seriously hoping I’m not losing face on my grammar knowledge. It’s been a LONG TIME since school. I just turned 41 recently, you know. I barely remember yesterday most days.

Check back soon for the insanity that is me!

The Valentine’s Day Post

Obligitory Toast to Love

It’s Valentine’s Day! I’m sure you knew that already, though. You know your resident Smut Writer had to do a little Quickie for you to celebrate the day. It’s a bit broken off a story I never finished. It’s about a woman whose lover is dead. The lover asked his friend to take his place as the tradition of their people.

Did I mention the two dudes are dragons in human form and the main woman doesn’t know?

Anyway, I hope you enjoy it as always.

Other than that, I’m not sure what I’ll be doing today, especially since I’m writing this post in advance. I mean, other than working my day job. Mondays are the absolute worst.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t really give me a lot to talk about from my real life. That’s when I thought, I could always present my top 5 favorite romance movies I watch when I want to be swept off my feet for a couple of hours. If that’s not Valentine’s Day in the time of Covid, I don’t know what is.

My Top 5 Fav Romance Films

5. In Your Eyes (2014)

Now I’ve only watched this one once and it was a long time ago. I randomly came across it on Netflix one bored night long after Nate fell asleep.

From IMDb: Two seemingly unconnected souls from different corners of the United States make a telepathic bond that allows them to see, hear and feel the other’s experiences, creating a bond that apparently can’t be broken.

It gave me warm fuzzies. The only disappointing thing is it’s written by Joss Whedon, and he’s on the outs with everyone right now. Still, a lot of people worked hard on the film, so that shouldn’t stop someone from enjoying it. I mean, one asshole is just one asshole. Besides, the movie graced this world with a wonderful song by Twinbed called Trouble I’m In. Great song for writing a saucy, romantic sexy scene.

4. I Origins (2014)

I’m a sucker for past life stuff. Love it. I’m not sure how I’ve never written my own story about it.

From IMDb: A molecular biologist and his laboratory partner uncover evidence that may fundamentally change society as we know it.

The synopsis doesn’t really do it justice. It’s about finding a profound connection to someone, losing that love, and despite moving on, how those feelings can haunt you. Especially when the disconnect was sudden and you never really made peace with it. This one made me cry at the end.

3. Equals (2015)

This movie is beautifully sad with a great atmospheric soundtrack.

From IMDb: In an emotionless utopia, two people fall in love when they regain their feelings from a mysterious disease, causing tensions between them and their society.

Between this movie and The Great, Nicholas Hoult is one of my favorite Hollywood dudes. This was another movie I accidentally stumbled across late one night (it’s a pattern for me). He and Kristen Stewart really sold me on the forbidden romance thing. You could feel the anxiousness, frustration, and passion when they’re together. Good film to get you in the mood to write something a little depressing, but with twinges of hope.

2. Legend (1985)

I honestly don’t know if I’d really consider this a romance. It’s a fantasy film with romance, which is good enough for me.

From IMDb: A young man must stop the Lord of Darkness from destroying daylight and marrying the woman he loves.

So, this might be a problem, but Tim Curry was hot as Darkness. I don’t know what to tell you. I could be broken, but that’s ok. No shame. And let us not forget about the wonder that is Tangerine Dream’s soundtrack. I’ve written many scenes to Jack and Lily’s Theme. If I had to pick a favorite movie from childhood, this would be it.

1. Pride and Prejudice (2005)

Yes, I know the BBC mini-series is superior, but…I can’t help myself. I love this version to pieces.

From IMDB: Sparks fly when spirited Elizabeth Bennet meets single, rich, and proud Mr. Darcy. But Mr. Darcy reluctantly finds himself falling in love with a woman beneath his class. Can each overcome their own pride and prejudice?

I don’t even have any words. It was wonderful. I’ve watched it more times than I can count now. I will say that I would take either Colin Firth’s or Matthew MacFadyen’s Mr. Darcy ANY DAY. Too hot. Too, too hot.

Get Some of that VD Lovin Feeling

There are plenty of wonderful romances out there. Maybe you’re in the middle of your own. And, hey, if you are, tell me about it! I can always use inspiration. But, if you don’t have (or want) a romance of your own, I hope you’ll pop on one of these movies and it gives you the same amount of warm fuzzies as it does me.

Until later, hugs and kisses (and some other stuff, too)

I Have a PLAN!

I Guess we can Call it a Plan…

I’ve been trying to come up with some ideas of things to blog about. I mean, I can talk and talk, but I should give making some sense a chance once in a while, amirite? While Googling around the Internets, I came across an intriguing blog post on Mixtus Media. It’s 100 NEW Blog Topics for Fiction Writers.

Now that sounds like something a girl can work with!

I’m not sure I’ll get to the whole 100, but as long as I try, I’ll have some content to pump out. More importantly, It will be a load of fun.

So many good ideas…I barely know where to start. I’m legit excited about it. Especially since I’m trying to write a few blog posts in advance on the weekends to keep me up to date for some time.

A Little Something to Get Started

15. Share the best writing advice you’ve ever gotten.

I’m going to have to say, the best piece of advice I’ve gotten is to JUST WRITE. Don’t stop. Just keep going. If a section of your story has you stuck, skip it and go to another part that will flow. The rest will come in time. And your first draft is just your first draft. It isn’t meant to be a masterpiece.

Also, write what you’re into. Write a book you’d like to read yourself if you weren’t the one writing it. Someone out there will enjoy it just as much as you do.

Just don’t worry. Make it fun. It should be a good time. Will it stress you out sometimes? HELL YES. But that’s okay. All writers go through THE STRUGGLE. You’re in good company.

Going Forward from Here

Right now, I’m dropping a post at least Mondays at 10:00 AM, EST. I hope you stop by then and find out a little more about what I’m working on!

In the meantime, catch a bit of my ongoing work, The Last Fae, here. It’s a little bit I particularly enjoyed writing that I hope you have fun with, too!

Until next time.

A Bit of E.D.Beale History

Old Blog Stuff Getting a Second Go

Image by anncapictures from Pixabay

I mentioned before I’ve been blogging off-and-on for YEARS now. A lot of it has been forgotten. Some things I almost want to bring back. I used to do this thing where I’d write a Letter to a Hot Guy on Sundays that part of me wouldn’t mind bringing back.

Anyway, while poking around on my OneDrive, I found an archive of some of my old works. I think I’ll post one of those every so often.

And Today is THE DAY

Let me start off by saying I’m a huge Star Trek geek. My one and only tattoo (so far) is of the Starfleet insignia on my upper back. It was part of my whole “might as well have a mid-life crisis” phase. It looks great, though I’m told I overspent on it. Ah well. In these hard times, I’m okay with dishing out a little extra while I have it. People gotta eat.

Anyway, I was beyond excited for the 2009 Star Trek when it came out.

Told you, been blogging for a minute, now. Still, having fun when I do it, so why the hell not?

After the movie, this happened. Remember, this is 2009 Erica, not 2022 Erica. There is Star Trek fanny fiction included. Please forgive the errors!

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5

Took a Pic; Felt Cute

…That’s it. Just felt cute

The Most Me I’ve Ever Been

Okay, for the sake of my SEO, I guess I’ll need to write something to go along with this. Can’t promise you it will be great.

So last year, my birthday (which was yesterday, btw) was at the beginning of Covid. Or maybe I should say the beginning of it becoming REALLY BAD.

It was the BIG 40. I had wanted to throw a crazy 80s themed party. I’m not sure why I’m so fixated on the 80s. The 90s were my teen years. You’d think I’d go for that. But not this chick. She’s all hair bands and old-school hip-hop.

Entertaining Yourself

I made the best of it as I could. Had some good food. Drank a bit. After a few, I decided that I could still be 80s-tastic. I threw on some make-up in the style of those times and took a few pics.

They turned out pretty great. At least I think so. It was a hit with my friends, so it wasn’t so bad.

Same Shit, Different Year

This year I hit the same wall. Covid is still a thing and, despite being vaxxed, I’m not all for going out in a crowd right now. Any plans I wanted to make, I decided I could do them at a later date when things calm down a bit.

I’m not going to say I’m not bummed out about it. I am. But, luckily, Nate made the day great for me. He made me tacos, gave me booze, fed me cake, and let me control the TV for almost the whole day. It was nice and relaxing.

Only one thing was missing: Cute Pics.

I didn’t have the energy for it yesterday, but today I got dolled up and did a mini-photo shoot. The pics turned out really nice. I think. If nothing else, I’m thinking I don’t look like I’m in my 40s in these pics. NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT, AMIRITE?

The pic at the beginning was me having the last little bit of birthday cake. I had to replenish myself! Oddly, I’m most proud of that one!

Take THAT SEO! I made it past 300 Words…I think….

Anyway, I’ve been piddling around with some ideas of stories. In a few days, I’m planning to post an excerpt from The Last Fae, so be on the lookout. Other than that, I’ve started tinkering with a new story idea. I hear reverse harems are a big thing in erotica right now, which has caused a certain spark in my brain. I ran it past a friend of mine and she thinks I should go for it. I very well might! More to come on that in the near future as well. Check back soon, friend!

Here’s to Year 41

In Which a Smut Writer Grows Older

IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!! </Grandmaster> | Image by Kacumen from Pixabay

Today is my 41st birthday. I know what you’re thinking: girlfriend looks good for her age! Well, thank you so much. I’m pleased you think so.

At any rate, as my birthday approached, I realized something was missing. You know, other than that big Powerball payout I didn’t win. I will not lie. I’m still pretty bitter about it. I had plans for that money!

In the last few days, I’ve started planning for my next moves. During that time, I wound up having to take a peek at this poor, neglected blog. I decided the old girl needed more security, so I got to that (CloudFlare is pretty awesome and I knew nothing about it!). And then…in the doing, I thought I broke my blog.

Boy was I pissed with myself.

Luckily, it was just a delay of some sort, and everything was right as rain. After breathing a huge sigh of relief, I read my blog out of gratitude to the Internet Overlords Above.

I thought to myself, this stuff isn’t so bad. In fact, I found it funny and charming, if I do say so myself. Then I thought, why in the world did I stop blogging.

Lack of time? Exhaustion? Laziness? Lack of ideas? If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say it’s all three.

But, you know, I really miss this side of my life. I enjoy writing, even if no one else is reading. It gives me a sense of purpose I can’t say I have during most of the day. More than anything, this is what I want to be doing. Just writing this little blurb is filling me with life and light.

My birthday will be a new beginning

I only got a quite few on my list of 40 Things to Do While I’m 40 done. The biggest one is I actually finished The Last Fae. It’s done. Still in need of edits. But it’s done.

For 41, there are only two things I want to do: blog and vlog. Little things that will make a big impact on my creative spirit and I desperately need it. I can’t say I’ll stick to a schedule, but my goal for right now is once a week. I’m ready to live what I think would be my best life. And it doesn’t matter if I’m the only one reading it! Hey, I’m people, too!

So check back every now and again. I have some stories to tell you.

(BTW: I’m working on a Quickie I’m going to call “Birthday Stuff.” It might be up later today!)

UPDATE: Birthday Stuff is LIVE

Four Weeks of Smut Writer

btfmdn

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.

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