My avatar's name is Ava Donja of Silk and Stone.
The other me writes general market romance. I play World of Warcraft. This is where I make two parts of my life merge in sensual fantasy romance novellas.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Classy Schmassy

In my rl I strive for my writing to be classy. Yes, it's sexually explicit but always in context with the story and never for gratuitous reasons.

Not so much with this. It's quite freeing, really. This alter ego sets my very repressed rl personality a little more free to go crazy. Add in the fantasy world and everything becomes possible (in my fantasy world, elves can hold their breath for a really long time).

Yes, the sex still works into the story, but there is a little more than you would expect, but not quite erotic romance. The character's sexual encounters all lend toward character building and story. But I'm throwing in side characters with sexy side stories just to throw the readers a bone (pun intended).

For example, my current project is about a Mage and Warlock. He has the ability to summon a demonic minion. She has the ability to cast a glamour to reproduce herself. Both the minions and the clones are under the control, or linked, to the main characters. While the main characters are becoming aroused by verbal sparing and displays of magic, the minion and the clones channel their master's arousal in a much more basic way. It's sexy, but doesn't draw away from the development of my Mage and Warlock. I don't even think it's a cheap trick, because it helps them both realize things about themselves that will lead to their eventual happy ending.

So, I've released the need to be classy, but I have not released my ethics in regard to storytelling. I look forward to opinions on this. In Mind, Body, and Spirit did the sun elf orgy  enhance the story? Or just add titillation? I hope for both, but I'm not objective.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Things NOT to do While Trying to Raid

I haven't done a World of Warcraft related post for a while. I've been to caught up in getting Mind, Body, and Spirit out there and getting my next project ready.

I have recently been leveling my horde belf hunter. Too much in-guild drama for my regular alliance toons, so I'm taking a break on that front. By the time I play them again, I'm sure my gear will be obsolete (it probably already is, at least on my shammy).

Anyhoo, I was playing a bit ago and some Real ID friends asked if I wanted to join them in the raid finder. Besides feeling all warm and fuzzy for being included, I realized there was no good way to be in a raid while making tacos (what I was doing during flight paths between elders -- they were delicious, btw).

Hence, the inspiration for this blog. The following things are all from personal experience.

Things NOT to do while trying to raid:
  1. Eat a carne asada burrito.
  2. Color your hair. You have a specific time frame before you have to wash out the chemical solution and your party may not appreciate you needing to take a shower break mid boss.
  3. Get a back massage. Distracting.
  4. Watch Blue Mountain State. SERIOUSLY distracting. Also not a good idea to have a full bladder whilst watching this show.
  5. Smoke a cigar. Even a girly cigar. I can't heal and smoke at the same time. And I hate having to relight the damn thing for every puff.
  6. Be drunk. I used to think this made raiding more fun. It does -- for me. The rest of the party get really annoyed. Not-drunk me is a much better healer/dps, though not nearly as entertaining on Vent.
  7. Have a meaningful conversation with a sensitive family member. They will sense you are distracted and feel insulted. Worse, you may shout something like, "Die, ass hat!" into the phone. Not good. Sorry Mom.
  8. Write. Do not try to write. I have had Word open and alt/tabbed between screens thinking to multi-task. It is a fail on both ends. Not worth it.
Hmmmm... That's only eight. Any list worth taking seriously needs to have 10. What am I missing?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Porn is NOT an Instruction Manual

I was telling a friend about my blog post about how guys should read romance in order to learn from it. She busted up laughing and proceeded to tell me about some ex-boyfriends and her friend's ex-boyfriends that learned all they needed from porn.

Edited for your innocence.
That means they thought shooting their load (I almost said 'ejaculated' but it sounded so clinical) all over the woman's chest was hot. They also thought switching positions multiple times was a good way to establish the rhythm necessary to give their cooperative woman pleasure. I bet they even turned their head to the side slightly when going down just so the imaginary camera could get a good shot.

Seriously guys, pornos are made for you, for your fantasy. Women, if you want them to get something out of the experience, need a little more finesse and a little less showmanship. Romance novels always talk about the 'responsive lover,' the man who reads the woman's physical queues and acts accordingly. Do this. And don't tell me that they're hard to read. The one time something when near the back door, my physical queue was to tense up my whole body, clamp everything shut, and yell, "Hell no!." It was pretty obvious. Likewise, I will even verbally encourage certain acts or move the hand to the right place.  When the woman says, "Yes, that's perfect. Don't stop," that means keep doing what you're doing.

Don't be too insecure to ask if things are going well. If she's into it, she's more likely to want it to happen again later. If she's exhausted from your porno inspired acrobatics she might not ever initiate.

And, if you want to read a short but sexy romance novel just to find out what it's all about, check out Mind, Body, and Spirit at

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Formatting is a Bitch

So I uploaded my manuscript to Amazon a few days back. Everything was awesome until it came to preview the document. There was general funkiness at a few places where there were short dialogue paragraphs. What did I do wrong?

I searched and read through threads in forums and found out this is common. I turned on my formating to view where paragraphs breaks happened, where indenting was autoformat and where it was tabbed. Everything good? Nope. Reading more advice I saved it as a Pdf. Big mistake. More reading, saved as Html. Indent problem was fixed, but the font was changed and really was not friendly on the eyes and there were issues with spacing between the copyright info and such.

So, more searches and more advice. I pat my head and rubbed my tummy (yes, I have that skill). I said the alphabet backwards from W to C and then lit some red candles in the western window of my home. Eventually I turned everything over to my hunk of male love because I was going crazy. 47 attempts later it is in reasonable shape. He ended up having rewrite html code, something outside of my scope of skill and interest.

I could have just left it as it was, but it takes away from the professionalism from the read. With the lack of controls in self publishing, it is uber important to me to do this right. This is the start of my name branding and I don't want it to suck because of formatting (if it sucks because it's a bad story, that's another problem). I've read ebooks that had bizarre formatting and use of italics that tore me out of the moment. I don't want that to happen to my readers.

Click on the my book cover link at the top of the page and check out my formatting to give your opinion. How important is the formatting to you?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Romance Novels as Love Making Manuals

It's been said that women should not read romance because it gives them unrealistic expectations. I disagree.

Main stream media paints the picture of the woman as the seductress luring in the defenseless male. The burden of sexiness is placed on the woman, the man just grateful to have someone paying attention to his penis besides himself. This is all male fantasy.

Reality is that most women don't think about sex that often. For a woman to be turned on it's more complicated -- and that's not because of unrealistic expectations, it's because our minds are busy. For a man to get aroused there must be oxygen in the atmosphere.

If it is reasonable for a man to pick up a woman or initiate sex by grabbing her boob, then, yes, romance novels give us unrealistic expectations. I can tell you from experience that it's not a turn on when the man goes straight from a kiss to a crotch grab. Neither is, "Hey, wanna do it?" in anyway going to make me horny. And the man wants the woman to be horny, doesn't he?

In a romance novel it is all about the seduction, the anticipation. Sure, the man's perfect body is great too, but really it's the mental arousal that gets the body in gear.  If the woman is in a sexual frame of mind, she will be more than just a willing partner who's really thinking about cleaning the bathroom. If she's into it rather than just cooperating, you'll find she initiates it herself more often.

My recommendation? Men should read romance novels. Ladies, if you read something you find particularly hot, share it with your guy. AND guys, don't mock it. If it turns her on, it's worth your time. You may not have known that she loved the idea of being in front of a mirror or in an open window. Maybe you didn't realize that little nips on the ear lobe were sensual. You won't know unless you are part of the same world she is. If she reads romance, obviously she likes it. It's true, the sex scene isn't just a paragraph, it's ten pages -- but that alone should tell you something.

I don't think women have unrealistic expectations, I think men should step up. Use the romance novel as a how-to manual. Probably too much information, but after my man read (in effort to help me edit) Mind, Body, and Spirit, some awesomeness happened that still makes me smile.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Alcoholism, Crazy Hot Sex, and Dopamine

Hello random strangers. My name is Avadonja and I am an alcoholic. No, I'm not joking. I've been sober for five months and it was the best decision of my life. And, no surprise to anyone dealing with addiction, the hardest.

The first month was the worst. I would go to AA meetings and sit there crying. I got all sorts of phone numbers that I knew I'd never call, but it was nice to know other people felt as crappy as I did. Misery + company, you know the cliche.

One of the big problems was redefining my life. Everything I did involved a glass of wine or a gin and tonic, margarita (on the rocks, no salt), so co, or whatever. Writing was the hardest of all. Under the influence of glass after glass of wine I was crazy prolific. The buzz loosened me up, made me less inhibited (I'm super uptight, I'm sure you've heard the coal/diamonds adage). My writing was really messy with a lot of repeated words, but it flowed. Stopping drinking stopped my writing. Cold.

Now I had lost two things I loved. I had my month long pity party, got my chip, then never went back to AA. I think what had changed was that I was identifying myself as an alcoholic and not a writer.

I actually wrote Mind, Body, and Spirit as a challenge to myself. To see if I could write sober. More specifically, to see if I could write sex scenes sober (I've mentioned I'm uptight, right?). Good news = I'm still a writer. The writing flowed. I knew the characters and where I wanted the story to go and it went there. The sexual content was super hot and I wrote unabashedly. I felt awesome. Successful. I was proud of my work again.

I have since learned that part of the difficulty in giving up something like drinking is that we view the drink as an award. It comes with a chemical high from our bodies, not counting whatever the alcohol itself provides. That little burst of dopamine that comes with sipping that glass of old vine zin is our brain's version of a kudos. Same happens with infatuation - just thinking of that special someone makes you slightly buzzed. Some people are addicted to new relationships, always chasing that infatuation high. I was/am addicted to alcohol. I love that I also get that happy-buzz from writing. Addiction to writing - I think I  can handle that.

I still struggle, but it's the specific beverages I miss more than the getting my drink on. I also miss the camaraderie that comes with drinking. In regard to World of Warcraft, my dps has improved substantially but Vent is much less interesting when I'm sober. :)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Haven't been playing much. I really like the new content (and the new gear - screw transmogrification), but there has been guild drama and it really sucks the soul out of the game.

I have been writing. Mind, Body, and Spirit has a cover and has gone through edits and is about to go live. Feels good. It looks awesome on my Kindle. Control is well underway with only rl standing between me and project completion.

This year my resolution is to write a minimum of four novellas and self publish. Marketing will be my challenge, but I'm excited about it instead of being daunted by it.

What do you have planned for this year?