unabridged

Is it worth admitting you made a mistake and trying to fix it?

Marilyn

Have you ever noticed most people are far quicker to criticize than to praise? I know it’s probably human nature, I even do it myself sometimes without wanting to, but since I was subjected to this treatment more than the average person, I learned not to be so quick to judge.

I became a writer six years ago, and like in any other job, I learned along the way. Even Nora Roberts and Stephen King have bad books. Nicholas Sparks admitted he will never publish his first two novels, because they were not as good as his later work. Unlike him, I published nearly everything I wrote. I don’t know if that’s unfortunate or not, because I learned everything I know about writing from actually making all the mistakes in the business. Sometimes I made them more than once, just to be sure I learned my lesson.  😒 But some readers don’t understand that one can become a better writer only with time and practice. Writers are human, like any other people, and no book is perfect. I’ve managed to revise most of mine, and among them is Unabridged, a romantic comedy that was a bestseller at the time of its release in 2015. Back then, the first edition received mixed reviews, and while it got a lot of five-stars, there were plenty of one-star ratings and comments from readers. Some of them were mean for the sake of meanness, but others raised valid points, which in the end helped me make Unabridged a better book.

This year I have finally managed to rewrite it with the help of my great editor, Susanne Matthews, and republished the new edition with a new cover to match.

I was happy about my accomplishment, and naïve enough to talk about it in one of the author groups I am part of. To my surprise, one of the members asked me in a somewhat harsh tone why I had published Unabridged in the first place if I thought it wasn’t that good. Her question took me by surprise, especially since this is an author of average romance with terrible cheap-looking covers (see, I have a mean streak too, but I try to keep it tamed! 😜 ). Anyway, I answered frankly, the way I always do, and told her I published the book because at the time I was proud of my accomplishment, I wanted to share it with the world, and yes, I needed to make money from my writing—because the damn bills won’t pay themselves, no matter how much I sweet talk them. What shocked me the most though was that no one in that group thought of saying a nice word about the fact that I admitted my mistakes, and that I cared so much about what readers thought I decided to rewrite my book.

Some of the reviewers said Unabridged was mean and judgmental, yet here I was, in the real world, among real people, on trial for admitting and fixing a mistake I made. WTH? I certainly did not expect any medals, but I hardly expected to be judged for being less than perfect.

In the end, this was a good lesson regarding the way people think. And although I have read several terrible books lately, some of them from my favorite authors, I decided not to leave any bad reviews. Because I know that writing a book, even a bad one, is a tremendous effort, and I’m in no position to cut off wings I haven’t built. Life is too full of drama as it is, and I agree with Marilyn Monroe: imperfection is beauty. Who wants to be perfect? It must be boring as hell.

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The weekend humor pill

Happy Saturday everyone! Thanks to my dear friend and fellow author Susan Tarr, who sent me this literary gem, I started my day rolling on the floor with laughter, and this is something I want to share with you all.

FIFTY SHADES OF GREY – A husband’s point of view by Pam Ayres

The missus bought a Paperback,devil girl
Down Shepton Mallet way,
I had a look inside her bag;
T’was “Fifty Shades of Grey”.
Well I just left her to it,
And at ten I went to bed.
An hour later she appeared;
The sight filled me with dread…
In her left she held a rope;
And in her right a whip!
She threw them down upon the floor,
And then began to strip.
Well fifty years or so ago;
I might have had a peek;
But Mabel hasn’t weathered well;
She’s eighty four next week!!
Watching Mabel bump and grind;
Could not have been much grimmer.
And things then went from bad to worse;
She toppled off her Zimmer!
She struggled back upon her feet;
A couple minutes later;
She put her teeth back in and said
I am a dominater !!
Now if you knew our Mabel,
You’d see just why I spluttered,
I’d spent two months in traction
For the last complaint I’d uttered.
She stood there nude and naked
Bent forward just a bit
I went to hold her, sensual like                                   
And stood on her left tit!
Mabel screamed, her teeth shot out;                          
My god what had I done!?lol

She moaned and groaned then shouted out:
“Step on the other one”!!
Well readers, I can’t tell no more;
About what occurred that day.
Suffice to say my jet black hair,
Turned fifty shades of grey.

Now that hopefully you’ve all laughed as hard as I did, I want to make my own contribution to this hilarious post and add an excerpt from my Romantic Comedy called Unabridged. Angelina Jameson, editor at a magazine named Unabridged, receives a letter from someone named Zorro Kalashnikov. And when she reads the letter…

Unabridged FinalThe Unabridged headquarters were in full activity. I briefly opened the door to Blade’s office to blow him a kiss, and found him almost buried in paperwork. I waved hastily and withdrew, but not before I heard him shout, “Chicken!”

I widened my steps to quickly put distance between me and his office, with its monstrous stacks of papers and things to be seen to. I had my own stuff to cope with. A smaller pile of papers waited on my own desk. I eyed them grimacing when I plopped down in my chair. Mail was always an unpredictable Pandora’s Box. I often found love letters, marriage proposals, indecent suggestions, and on one unfortunately memorable occasion, I received a high resolution picture of the smallest and most shrunken penis I’d ever seen. It’s not that I’ve seen a lot, but that one—which incidentally belonged to a guy from Pakistan—was indeed a terrible sight.

With that less than encouraging thought in mind, I started sorting out the envelopes, placing them in categories. One of them was postmarked New Zealand. That caught my attention and aroused my curiosity, so I opened it to find a two page letter signed by a certain Zorro Kalashnikov.

Raising one eyebrow, I reclined against Gym’s backrest and started reading the printed sheets.

Dear Miss Jameson,

First, allow me to congratulate you on your article called ‘Billionaires, BDSM and Blah-blah-blah’. I read every edition of your magazine online, and I enjoy it tremendously. Along with the new look of ‘Unabridged’, last Saturday’s edition was like a breath of fresh air. I have been following your weekly column for the past two years and I was actually wondering if you would ever approach the subject of the pseudo-literary phenomenon involving BDSM and kinky billionaires. Personally, I only managed to digest twenty pages of the trendiest book on this subject, because after that I got the impression I was reading only insignificant variations on the same flavorless text. However, the little reading proved to be enough for me to form a pretty clear idea regarding the rest.

Even though it might seem paradoxical, the way-too-explicit insistency of the sex scenes drove me to the assumption that in fact, with all that lusty abundance, the author proved an acute lack of imagination. Following this line of reasoning, I reached the conclusion that, in creating the artificial main male character, the author in question had as a model a real person. This urged me to start an ample research to identify the mysterious specimen who ignited the author’s inspiration.

I won’t bore you with the detailed recounting of my investigation, but will only lay out the interesting elements I found out with this occasion. Unlike the fascinating and charismatic protagonist of said monument of verbosity, the original model was neither too young, nor well schooled, not even good looking, and by no means a billionaire. He was an illiterate, jobless porter, rendered stupid with drink, with no specific address and who frequented a sordid honky-tonk where he earned some extra money by exposing his cock—a truly impressive tool, which adequately tickled and stimulated, reached fifteen inches in length and five inches in diameter.

A chuckle escaped my lips at this point, but I muffled my laughter and went on with this extremely interesting read.

Since the result of those measurements was confirmed by several independent sources from the subject’s entourage, it wasn’t necessary to personally check their accuracy. The same sources also informed me that, a good while back, our porter was visited several times in that honky-tonk by an enigmatic lady armed with a voice recorder. Seeing as the meetings took place in a private corner, I couldn’t obtain any pertinent information regarding the discussions between the two. Also, the visitor’s identity remained unknown. But a faithful client of the joint provided me with the lady’s description, after I bought him several glasses of some foul-looking brandy. I quote: ‘Twas a fancy-looking broad, mate. She came here with a limo and a driver, and she was kinda like pudgy-looking, and only by her gear you could tell she ain’t a man.’

I abstain from making any speculations regarding the lady’s identity. I am more than pleased to have cleared up the mystery.

Zorro Kalashnikov

P.S: I leave to your judgment the differentiation between truthful and credible.

By this time, I was hooting with laughter and tears of mirth had formed at the corners of my eyes. I was still in this hilarious state when Blade came into my office a few moments later. He stared at me in puzzled amusement.

“What’s so funny?”

“Take a look at what the mailman brought in,” I said still laughing and handed him the overly-comical letter, holding my aching stomach with one hand. “We should offer this guy a job.”

~Excerpt from Unabridged~

Have a great weekend everyone, and if you’ve enjoyed this post, please share and reblog. ❤