Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Help Edith

UPDATE:  Edith had her surgery today and is home and doing well.  I couldn't get the tumor biopsied, but the vet said it looked like a cyst, which is very good news.  I cant thank those who donated enough--I promise to pay it forward as soon as I can.

This is Edith. She's a shy little cat who sometimes even runs from me, though I raised her from a baby.  When strange people come over she watches warily from the top of the stairs.

She is always running and jumping. She zips from the bedroom upstairs down to the kitchen and then jumps up onto a seven-foot high bookcase. She'll do this all day, late into the night. The patter of her little feet are a constant in the house. And she talks. She talks all day long. I have no idea what she thinks she has to talk about.

She's my skittish little black squirrel, and we think she has breast cancer.  The exact words on the paperwork are "mammary gland tumor" and she needs to have what is essentially a kitty mastectomy.

This is the cost breakdown for the surgery:

sedation: $65
mastectomy: $180 to $220
pain meds: $19
hazardous disposal fees: $3.50

This is bare minimum. I can't afford blood work or even a biopsy to find out if the tumor is cancerous. We're just going to remove it and hope nothing else grows. She is showing no signs of illness even though the tumor is getting bigger, so I have my fingers crossed that nothing more will come of it.

The people who are going to see this know me as Rosie or Leigh, and they know I've been working to make it on my own with my writing and several online stores.  They also know that I've only been partially successful.

I don't really want to ask for your money. I don't handle accepting charity well, especially as a person who has chosen not to have a regular job. I feel like I have no right to ask for help.  I have set up a GoFundMe, but I'd really rather you help by buying something--anything from one of my stores. But I can't really say no to donations if you really want to give...I'm almost out of money and currently looking into getting a job. But I don't want you to worry--she is going to have the surgery regardless, and if I fall behind on paying the gas bill, so be it.

The GoFundMe is set up to offer two rewards: ebooks and a cat necklace. You can choose any ebook from the Leigh Wilder Smashwords catalog, or from Rosalyn Coleman. Hell, pick two if you want.  It's mostly erotica, but most of the Leigh Wilder books have a bit more substance, and a few are classified as romance, not porn.  You can also just buy books directly from me through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords. Check out my Etsy and eBay to see if there's anything you like. (Don't be afraid to make me an offer on eBay, hell, even Etsy. I'll probably say yes.)

I've lost two cats in the last few years, Pixie and George, to age-related diseases.  Edith is only 7 and I want to give her as full and long a life as I can.

So thank you.


Thursday, October 22, 2015

NaNoWriMo Prep Time!

It's that time of the year again.  National Novel Writing Month!  I've been doing Nanowrimo since 2003. I haven't always won, but I have managed to win every year since 2011.  It's gonna be a rough year this year--I've been suffering from writer's block since last Nanowrimo. But I am determined not to fail.

Here is a list of tools for helping you get through the Nano, and me too:

Official Site
The Nanowrimo site has a ton of tools and support. Log on daily to succeed.

Write or Die 2
Use the free online app or the paid download.  Uses negative reinforcement (obnoxious noises) to keep you writing.  Set a word count or time limit as your goal.

Written? Kitten!
The same as Write or Die only with positive reinforcement. Gives you a picture of a cute cat every 200 words. (The word count meter is broken--while it says you can have a picture every 100 words it lies--the kittens only show every 200 words.)

Combines word processing with brainstorming and organization tools. Has a free 30-day trial and they usually give a discount to purchase for Nano participants.

Google Drive
If your computer is prone to losing your unsaved work on Word (I know mine is) you might want to write in a Google Doc instead. Saves every keystroke. Never pray for a salvaged temp file again. Also has a calendar and spreadsheet for recording and organizing.

Life after Nano:

See my earlier post, "Editing for Indies" for free online editing apps.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

New Release: The Book Witch

I have finished a new project. It's the end times: I hope you've made your peace with your maker.  Anyway!

"The Book Witch" is the first story in a new contemporary fantasy series set in a fictional neighborhood in Columbus, Ohio, where pretty much anything can and will happen.  We've got talking cats, magic bookstores, demons in the attic and more.

Bookstore clerk Kat has one magic power--she can hear, smell, and taste books. She puts her skill to work in The Book Witch, finding just the right books for her customers, and sometimes she even finds the one book in the world that completes them--their favorite book. 

When she meets Owen and touches his hand, he smells like paper and ink. She tastes cinnamon and pecans. She has never found her favorite book--but she knew it would taste and smell and feel just like him.

Her magical synesthesia has never reacted to a person before, and she knows immediately that he's something special to her. But Own doesn't believe in magic. At least, not yet.

Contemporary fantasy romance. This is a 12,000-word novelette.

Also, in case anyone has missed it, I released a story under my Rosalyn Coleman name a few weeks ago too.  It's M/M/M/M regency erotica: Three Rakes and a Secretary.  

Mr. Felix Carlisle lives a quiet life as an assistant secretary for a duke...until he meets the Duke's son. The Marquess of Drakewell is handsome, masculine, and instantly attracted to the slightly built, effeminate Felix. Felix is quickly whisked away to the country home of the Earl of Ashart where he learns that he is going to be the party's entertainment. Drakewell is compelling, Ashart kind and beautiful. Felix is even willing to do favors for the repugnant Lord Moore in exchange for their attentions. 

For the first time in his life Felix feels wanted, but it isn't enough and circumstances soon test his willpower. How much can he put up with from this party of rakes? Will any of them give him what he really wants? 

This is a 18+ erotica novella. It contains m/m/m/m sex, one instance of dubcon & light bondge. 
15,000 words.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Editing for Indies

As an indie living on a negative income, hiring an editor isn’t in the cards. Fortunately we have this glorious thing called technology, and a copy-editor is only a few lines of code away.  This is a rundown of a few of the editing programs I use to tighten and polish my writing.  All of these programs are free in their online form.

I'm not advocating these as replacements to editors--they will make mistakes. They are just machines after all. But these are great for turning out a tighter, corrected draft, and then someone wont have to spend hours circling all your adverbs.

The purpose of the Hemingway Editor is to tighten your prose and eliminate superfluous words and sentences. Simplification is its goal. There is also a desktop version available for $9.99
--Targets hard-to-read sentences and phrases
--Locates adverbs and lets you know if you have too many
--Locates passive voice and lets you know if you use it too often
--Analyzes reading level of your work
--Lets you edit in the window

My favorite part about this one is the fact that you can edit the text right in the window, and its great for simplifying one’s work.  It isn’t great for fine editing though because there’s a lot of grammar related stuff that gets left out in this editing process.

From Dr. Wicked, creator of Write or Die, boon to NaNoWriMo participants everywhere, comes editMinion. This is an online only editor and can only handle small chunks of text at a time (By small chunks I mean a few thousand words--will function a chapter at a time, but not the whole novel.)  It has some ‘just for fun’ stuff like “random writing quote” and a breakdown of latin/greek/germanic words. Covers a multitude of sins.  It hunts down:

--Weak words
--Over-used words
--Passive voice
--Preposition endings

It does not let you know how many is too many, which is probably it’s weakness. Other weaknesses include an inability to edit within the analysis, meaning you have to stick it up side by side with your word processing program, & your eyeballs feel like they’re watching a game of Pong.  Still, is a great editor if you don’t want to be overwhelmed, because the next one is uber overwhelming.

This is the most complex and thorough of the editors.  It’s crazy how much you can do with the free version of this editor.  It’s so big it has a users manual.

--Overused words
--Writing style check (adverbs, passive sentences, repeated phrases)
--Analyzes sentence length & paragraph length
--Cliches, redundancies, vague wording
--Grammar check w/ suggestions on how to change/fix
--TONS more

The downside to this one is that you again, cannot edit your analyzed text.  You also have to register to use it, which isn't the end of the world, but annoying. It throws a lot of stuff at you at once. The paid version of this program has even MORE stuff, including the ability to edit within the program, BUT the paid version is a subscription starting at $35 a year.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Amazon, Kindle Unlimited, and Why You Should Buy From Smashwords

Amazon has never been friendly to its indie writers.  Their policy of 35% royalties for any book under $2.99 has been annoying from day one.  Many of us, especially erotica writers, write short stories. Readers don't want to pay $2.99 (the point when royalties jump to 70%) for a 5,000 word short.

And then came Kindle Unlimited, where you got a portion of a pooled fund for every borrow.  This was great--after a few months it leveled out to about $1.30 per borrow. Enough for an indie to make a decent living. Now, it wasn't a perfect system. The author got $1.30 if the reader read a 5 page short story, or a 500 page novel. We also weren't allowed to sell our books anywhere else, effectively creating a monopoly.

On July 1 the payout scale changed from per-borrow to a per-page-read system.  We knew there would be some money loss, but we thought it would still be fair. After all, you should get more money when readers read more.

Except, as it turned out, the projected rate is 1/2 a CENT per page read.  A 200 page novel would only earn a dollar and only IF the reader read from beginning to end.

Most of my stories are between 12 and 120 pages.  So I would be making SIX CENTS on a short story. Only 60 cents on a novella.  I'm not a big seller. These numbers turn my sales into next to nothing.

I don't have a day job right now.  Kindle Unlimited was buying my food.

So I have made the decision to pull over 30 stories under four pen names from the Kindle Unlimited program.  Hundreds of other indie authors are doing the same.  (If you are an indie and you want to pull your work, here is the customer support link.)

What now?

I hated leaving Smashwords when Amazon rolled out the Kindle Unlimited program last year, and here's why--Smashwords has always respected the indie artist.

Royalties on Smashwords start at about 53% on a $0.99 cent story and are at 74% on a $2.99 story. And that percentage goes up as the price rises.  Smashwords doesn't censor your work.  You can use the word 'virgin' in your titles.  You can write about step-siblings getting it on without fear.

Smashwords isn't just a store. It's also a distributor.  Publishing through them automatically puts your books into Barnes & Noble, the Apple and Sony stores, Kobo, and more.  You have the option of offering your book to libraries for free.  

The only problem, the only problem, is the fact that Amazon controls almost all of the ebook market--an estimated 65%. So we signed up for Kindle Unlimited. We had to. We gotta eat.

Support indie writers.  Support companies who care about them.  Between now and July 9, all of my titles, no matter what the length, are either $0.99 or FREE through Smashwords.  Even the novellas. Even the new stuff.

You can buy my books here:

Leigh Wilder (Paranormal, Fantasy, Romantica & Erotica M/M, M/F, F/F)

Rosalyn Coleman (Contemporary BDSM/Fetish, Historical M/M, M/F, F/F)

Dominic Rod (M/M Contemporary Erotica, including M/M Incest)

Celestia Dew (Weird Fantasy Erotica--you know, tentacles and shit. mostly M/F)

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Create or Die

I will not be content in my place.

I used to work at a "Popular Sub Shop". Not just any "Popular Sub Shop" but the dirtiest, most poorly-run "Popular Sub Shop" known to man. It was filthy. Every employee there did bare minimum, including me, because after 4 years at the dump I had stopped caring.

I am 32 years old. I have a degree.  The store was not where I belonged, except I have problems. I'm extremely introverted.  I don't do well with customers. Or under stress. Or on a phone. I don't do well with anything.  I'm one of those smart people that are too weird to get a real job.

No one taught me how to get a real job. I come from a low-income background and I never had the social tools to learn how to work in an office.  I never learned a marketable skill.  My skills are cooking, cleaning, and writing fiction. Office work is a mystery to me, but I suspect I wouldn't like it any more than I liked making food.

I've been making food for people who don't respect me for 16 years.  The manual labor isn't what bothers me. There is pleasure in creation, even if it is a sandwich or a pizza.  There is pleasure in taking something broken or dirty and making it right again.  But this is a country that doesn't respect those who do manual labor.  We're not good enough, not driven enough, lazy, stupid, weak.

This is how my boss felt about me. And he would let me know, in little ways. Offhand comments. His general attitude of not caring.  (He doesn't give benefits, sick days, vacation days, holiday pay; we never even got a 'Happy Birthday' or a 'Merry Christmas' from him.)

I worked an extra shift last week.  I was sad. I'm usually sad.  The last 3 shifts I worked I was crying thru the whole thing. I was too old, too smart to be there. I was worth more and selling myself so short. Every customer was a mountain to overcome.

Someone complained about me. She called me rude. I remember the customer. It was the end of the night and I was trying not to burst into tears on her like I had the last 3 customers, attempting not to drip into the food while I made their sandwiches in front of them.

I tried to explain my malaise. I tried to tell my boss how unfulfilling the job was. How I struggled. He told me to be content in my place.  He called me weird..  He told me I needed to try harder at being normal because no one respected people who have outbursts.

Try harder.
Be content in my place.
Because he doesn't respect me.

My place is not in his restaurant.  After 5 hours' contemplation I walked out. I locked the door and went home.

For the last 6 months I have been too depressed to write.  You've only seen one new story from me this year (Angel in a Cage), and a handful of lesser stories from my other pen names. (With charming titles like Sex!Zombie and Taken Hard by His Gay Roommate. Okay, the Black Masquerade is pretty damn good actually...)

I want to create. It's all I've ever wanted to do. And I've made great progress here, sharing my writing with the world, but it's not enough.  I can't go back to food service.  My fiance and I talked about it.  I have some money in savings, his job is secure for now, and we decided I should have a go at living the indie life.  I have 3 months to prove I can make a reasonable amount of money without a 'real' job.

Welcome to Day 3 of my Create or Die Summer Tour, or, "let me sell you all the things because I am reckless and crazy."

I'm not begging. I don't want your charity.  I want your business.

I make more money on Kindle Select borrows than on my single under $2.99 titles (most of my titles).  If you have Kindle Select, now is a great time to catch up on my backlist.  If you don't have Kindle Select, it's a pretty good deal and you should get it and catch up on my backlist.  CLICK HERE.  (Note: I only get paid if the borrower reads at least 20% of each title. Read the books. You'll like them.)

Update:  I have pulled all of my stories from the KDP/KU program. CLICK HERE for more info. You can still read me on Amazon or Smashwords.

If you're a new reader, CLICK HERE for links to free books to get to know me.

I have an Etsy store.  I sell handmade jewelry sourced from natural and antique/vintage materials and I also sell vintage junk.  CLICK HERE to buy my shit on Etsy.  I'm also set up on Ebay. If you want to keep abreast on the cool (or lame) shit I'm selling, follow me on Twitter, Pintrest, and Tumblr.  A blog, Rosie Lea's Curio Cabinet is also up and running as a main hub.

If you don't want to buy any of my stuff but you still wanna help, all of the Amazon links on my site are Associates links. That means if you go to amazon thru my site I'll get 6% of the sales price, regardless of what you end up buying. Go forth and buy ridiculously expensive things!

If you've read my work in the past but never left a review, please do so!  Reviews sell books. I need to sell books.

Thank you everyone for your kind words and support these last few days.  It's been keeping me going.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Birthday Freebies

Normally I plan this birthday shit a few days in advance, but I lost my cat George to diabetes a few days ago and my heart just hasn't been in...anything.  You can never imagine a more perfect cat. Ever. I don't have friends...she was kind of it.  I have another cat but she's a loner type and while there is affection there, I'm not sure one could call it love.  I loved this cat.

Last picture I have of her. This was one of her favorite spots.

Anyway, here's some free shit I've scrounged up for you.  Normally this would be fancier with pictures and whatnot, but I 

Addicted to the Bite (Limited time only!)

Fairy Lights (Limited time only!)