Linda G. Hill

Life in progress


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Qualification – #AtoZChallenge

Qualification, schmolification. I can drive that rocket! Jus’ let me behind the wheel.

When I finished writing my first novel in 2004, I was hesitant to call myself a novelist. The way I saw it, the only thing that qualified me was the fact that I’d written 50,000 on the same subject. That something had a beginning, a middle, and an end; it had characters and settings and a climax. But it wasn’t ready to be published, and that’s what I thought qualified a person to be a novelist.

Then I wrote another book in 2006, and I started warming up to the idea that maybe I was a novelist, even though nothing had seen print. But still, I hadn’t taken any writing courses. I didn’t know if what I’d written was any good.

It would take almost a decade before I took a writing course, just to find out that I actually already knew what I was doing, for the most part. By then I’d started yet another novel and I was well on my way to calling myself a novelist.

And now… I’m still on the fence. None of my novels have seen print yet. Not one of the five I’ve finished, nor the three I’ve begun writing. But that tells me something. I see a pattern here. Do you?

I can’t stop writing novels. It’s how I pass my time. It’s part of who I am. I’m miserable when I’m not writing something. It’s not an urge, it’s a compulsion.  And the more I think about it, the more I believe that that is what qualifies me to be a novelist. I’m a novelist because writing them is in my blood.

So the next time someone asks me if I’m a writer, I’ll say yes, in fact, I’m a novelist. I write novels. They may be good, they may be bad, they may be unpublishable, but that’s okay. Because I do it for me. I do it because I don’t have a choice.

***
Whether or not I’m a qualified novelist, I’m definitely a qualified novelettist!  I have an A to Z Challenge-inspired novelette called “All Good Stories,” available for only 99¢ on Kindle and Kobo. It’s a romantic comedy about two best friends who belong together – Xavier knows it, but Jupiter has her eye on another guy: a shady character named Bob.

“A delightful read!!” ~ Cheryl Lynn Roberts, 4 stars, Amazon Canada review

“A short funny tale of two friends” ~ Ritu, 4 stars, Amazon UK review

“Quirky and charming.” ~ Bobby Underwood, #11 top reviewers on Goodreads – 5 stars

Click the picture to find it on Kindle, or get it on Kobo here: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/all-good-stories

 

 

 


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Occupancy – #AtoZChallenge

In the head of an author, multiple inhabitancy is par for the course.

Strangely enough, I didn’t have imaginary friends when I was a kid. I just made up stories in my head. Occasionally I wrote them down, but mostly I told them to myself over and over again, perfecting them–editing them, I suppose you could say–until I was ready to move on to the next story.

The characters of my tales inevitably took up residence in my head. Even now, when I go for a walk I’ll often see the world through the eyes of my characters. Sometimes another of my characters will walk beside me. I wonder if someone with extrasensory vision could see my characters with me, like an aura or a ghost.

This photo was not manipulated in any way – this is exactly how my camera captured the scene

P.S. I’m so sorry I haven’t been around to respond to comments for the last few days. I’ll do my best to catch up tomorrow. Hope everyone is well. 🙂

***
O look! You can buy my A to Z Challenge-inspired novelette, “All Good Stories”! It’s a romantic comedy about two best friends who belong together – Xavier knows it, but Jupiter has her eye on another guy: a shady character named Bob.

“A delightful read!!” ~ Cheryl Lynn Roberts, 4 stars, Amazon Canada review

“A short funny tale of two friends” ~ Ritu, 4 stars, Amazon UK review

“Quirky and charming.” ~ Bobby Underwood, #11 top reviewers on Goodreads – 5 stars

Click the picture to find it on Kindle, or get it on Kobo here: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/all-good-stories


28 Comments

Horny – #AtoZChallenge

The difference between erotica and pornography is not love. It is word choice.

Yes, my thesaurus stuck me with the word “horny” for the letter H. I cheated on the letter G – I couldn’t cheat twice in a row.

Yet I’ve found something to talk about on the subject, and it’s something I’ve been thinking about writing on for a week or so anyway. I’ve come across the question a few times in the last few months: “What is the difference between erotica and porn?” The answers given on the various platforms have ranged from porn is dirty and erotica isn’t, to erotica is when you have a real relationship and porn is just for one night stands. Neither of these is correct, nor is it true that erotica only includes clean words, though word choice has a lot to do with it.

The short scene I’ve included below is one I wrote about three years ago. It is erotica, it is a bit messy, there are no swear words, and there is no sex. I think I may have linked to it a couple of years ago (it was on another site), so you might be familiar with it if you’ve been following me for a long time.

Enjoy.

“If you want to be a healthy young woman, you need to eat more fruit,” he said as he placed on the kitchen table before me a peach and a bowl of blueberries.

When our relationship was new, he explained that he wanted to wait until at least the third month before we slept together. He enjoyed the anticipation, he told me on our first date. The concept was new to me, but so far I had to agree. Now, as the second month was becoming the third, we both felt the tension of our abstinence.

He told me also that he wished to take care of me. Feeding me seemed a little extreme, but I decided to go along with it for the time being. To see where he was going with it. He hadn’t lead me astray yet, after all.

He turned his chair around and straddled it, sitting at the end of the table, to my right.

“Are you hungry?” He raised an eyebrow and I took in his smile, the roughness of his five o’clock shadow, his lean body all the way down to his belt, below which I could only imagine.

“Famished.” I clasped my hands together in my lap, not wanting to look down but hoping my shirt was unbuttoned enough at the collar to tempt him with a little cleavage.

He picked up a single small blueberry from the bowl and held it to my lips. I opened my mouth but he didn’t let go of the fruit. Instead he twirled it between his thumb and forefinger.

“I want to put it on your tongue,” he said. “Don’t bite it.”

I allowed him to place it in my mouth.

“Press it against your palate with your tongue … move it around … resist the temptation to eat it.”

I moved the little nub of fruit around inside my mouth as I was instructed. It was firm and round and I couldn’t … I shifted it with my tongue to my molars and gently closed them until the blueberry exploded in a tiny burst of bitterness.

I blushed. “Sorry,” I said.

“We’ll try again,” he said, patiently. The one he brought to my lips next was larger. Softer. I knew it would be sweeter and more difficult to resist. The skin of it was wrinkled and on my tongue it felt malleable. This time when I pressed it against the roof of my mouth it gushed, yielding easily to the pressure.

“You really are hungry, aren’t you?” He smiled at me and shifted in his chair to ease his discomfort. “Let’s try the peach then, shall we?”

He held it out to me and I took it. It smelled as ripe and luscious as it looked.

“Bite it,” he commanded, his eyes half-lidded. “Open wide and …”

My teeth penetrated the delicate skin of the fruit, and the juice cascaded past my lips in a great wash of fluid. I tilted my head back to guzzle as much of it as I could, but some of it dribbled down my chin as the flesh of the peach made contact with my tongue. I took as much down my throat as I could handle; the excess dripped from the edge of my lower lip. I felt it drop and then trickle down between my breasts and I moaned.

Licking his own lips in sympathy, or perhaps it was lust, he stared at me, hard.

“Do you want some?” I asked him.

“Yes,” he whispered hoarsely.

***

If you’d like to read some more of my fiction, please check out my A to Z Challenge-inspired novelette “All Good Stories.” It’s a romantic comedy about two best friends who belong together – Xavier knows it, but Jupiter has her eye on another guy: a shady character named Bob. There’s even a touch of erotica in it.

“A short funny tale of two friends” ~ Ritu, 4 stars, Amazon UK review

“Quirky and charming.” ~ Bobby Underwood, #11 top reviewers on Goodreads – 5 stars

Click the picture to find it on Kindle, or get it on Kobo here: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/all-good-stories

 


26 Comments

#SoCS – (S)ham

I’ve been called incongruent, in so many words. And it’s true. I’m a bit of a sham. (See what I did there with the word “ham”? Feel free to play around with my prompt words as you wish.) Back on topic: how am I a sham?

Thing is, what you see of me here on my blog is the real me. You could probably recognize me in a crowd just by the way I speak and how I conduct myself, simply because you know me from here. But aside from my more comedic pieces of writing, I am not what I write, fiction-wise.

I tend toward the dark and twisted. Why? I have no idea, other than the fact that the human psyche and what we’re capable of truly fascinates me. I explore minds like one might venture into a house of horror at a fair: with no idea of what I’m getting into, but thrilled and scared of what I might find.

My upcoming novel is in line with this theme. And I have to promote it. But how, when I have all this happy going on?

I have two choices. To start all over again with an author blog, and with it, all the work that goes into gaining a following. This will be on top of my plan to start a professional site for my new editing business. OR (going back to the fiction thing)  I can revamp my fiction blog, make a separate section for the lighthearted stuff, and make it all dark and gloomy, like my new book. Gloomy, but entertaining! Of course.

Or, here’s a crazy idea — write my darker stuff under a pseudonym.

I dunno. I have a hard time figuring out whether or not people could conceive of the idea that I can be me — as you see me here and know me — and still think of me as a Gothic paranormal romance/horror writer? I’m probably over-thinking it all. GAH! Stream of consciousness writing can go two ways: it can help us sort things out or help us tangle them up.

What do you think? Should I even change this blog into something darker? I’m thinking no. I need to be me somewhere.

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This tangled mess of a post is brought to you by Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Click the following link and see how you, too, can join in the madness: https://lindaghill.com/2017/02/17/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-feb-1817/


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One-Liner Wednesday – To Pooh a Villain

I often come up with a line for something I’m writing — a novel, a story, a blog post — when I’m not near my computer, so I jot it down on my phone. However, my phone has this predictive text thing that remembers what I’ve written, and I don’t want it to remember any questionable words: you never know when you’re going to text someone the wrong thing by accident.

On this particular occasion, I wanted to write down a line that’s perfect for the villain of the novel I’m writing. With the change of a couple of letters, I was able to give my phone a good word to remember and still remember my badass villain’s line:

screenshot_2017-02-07-21-48-41

Being right gets me honey.

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If you would like to participate, feel free to use the “One-Liner Wednesday” title in your post, and if you do,
you can ping back here to help your blog get more exposure. To execute a ping back, just copy the URL in the address bar on this post, and paste it somewhere in the body of your post. Your link will show up in the comments below. Please ensure that the One-Liner Wednesday you’re pinging back to is this week’s! Otherwise, no one will likely see it but me.

NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, like Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

As with Stream of Consciousness Saturday (SoCS), if you see a ping back from someone else in my comment section, click and have a read. It’s bound to be short and sweet.

Unlike SoCS, this is not a prompt so there’s no need to stick to the same “theme.”

The rules that I’ve made for myself (but don’t always follow) for “One-Liner Wednesday” are:

1. Make it one sentence.

2. Try to make it either funny or inspirational.

3. Use our unique tag #1linerWeds.

4. Add our very cool badge to your post for extra exposure!

5. Have fun!

#1linerWeds badge by nearlywes.com

#1linerWeds badge by nearlywes.com


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Just Jot It Jan 24 – Elusive

“Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word.” ~ Stephen King

I used to agree with this wholeheartedly. I still do agree with the gist of it; if it’s not a word you regularly use in your everyday vocabulary, then you’re writing outside of your own voice. And your authorial voice is, arguably, the one thing people read you for. You as opposed to the thousands of other authors who write in the same genre, the same tropes over and over again.

But now? Now that I can’t remember my kids’ names half the time and I often get stuck on a word I know I know, but I just can’t spit it out? The thesaurus has become my favourite book. Can’t come up with that word I use all the time that means “thingamajig”? Look it up in the thesaurus and there it is. It’s a “doohickey”!

Sorry, Mr. King, but I can’t live without my thesaurus. And no, it’s not the wrong word. It’s just the word that went for a stroll. The one I can’t find. You know, the “elusive” one. Yeah, that’s the word.

compromise

Thanks to Evelyn of Eclectic Evelyn for today’s prompt word, “elusive.” You can find her latest post here: http://www.eclecticevelyn.com/welcome-snapchat-wordlesswednesday/

And an enormous thank you to Judy, the hostess with the mostess for the last few days. I can’t express how much I’ve appreciated her help. You can find Judy’s elusive post here: http://www.edwinasepisodes.com/jujojan-january-24th-elusive/ Let’s have a big round of applause for Judy!! 😀

And finally, here’s the daily post with today’s Just Jot It January prompt. Click and join in! https://lindaghill.com/2017/01/23/jusjojan-daily-prompt-jan-24th-elusive/


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#SoCS, Just Jot It Jan 14 – People

People are funny. Particularly around authors. Most will give you a blank stare if you tell them you’re a writer… I wonder often if they’re just thinking, “what do I say now? And will it end up in a book?” This is why I don’t tell people I’m a writer unless they ask.

But there was one day, a couple of months ago, when I was sitting by the water on my favourite waterfront trail and a woman came along and started talking to me. She told me she was there to write her novel… as if she expected me to be flabbergasted that I was talking to a real writer. We ended up chatting about Amazon and Createspace for the following half an hour, though she couldn’t help herself from occasionally giving me the odd advice on how to write, edit, and publish. No matter how many times I said, “yeah, I know.”

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Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I was sitting in a restaurant, minding my own business, proofreading my own manuscript. It’s printed out in a spiral-bound book and I’ve been working through it with a red pen. The waitress stopped to give me my tea, as waitresses do, and she asked me if I’m a teacher. I said no, I’m a writer. She reacted the way the lady down on the waterfront expected me to.

“You’re writing a book? What kind? Can we buy it at the bookstore? Do you have a card or anything?”

*makes note to get cards or bookmarks printed*

Needless to say I got better-than-average service that evening.

I keep having to remind myself that though many people think they can write a book, not everyone actually does it. I’m surrounded here on WordPress by so many talented people, so many authors and people who know authors, that it has become normal for me. And yet I remember the first time my blog was followed by a “real author” and I was flabbergasted, even though I had already written three novels myself. Because he was published, and I wasn’t.

I love people. People are who populate my novels. I write novels about people, not about events. I don’t write plots – I write about things that happen to people and how those people react, and that builds my plots.

I really need to write more.

Potato.

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This post is brought to you by Stream of Consciousness Saturday and Just Jot It January. The prompt for this week is the letter “p,” with the challenge to start and end the post with a “P” word… thus the potato. Click the following link to join in and read all the other awesome posts! https://lindaghill.com/2017/01/13/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-and-jusjojan-jan-1417/