Friday, July 6, 2018

I'm off on my second writing holiday for 2018

I'm back on the 27th of July with an update of what I get up to over the next three weeks.

Friday, June 29, 2018

L.J. Diva's 2018 Half Yearly Writing Update

Because we are the last week of June and next week I'm off on my second writing holiday for the year, that means that five full months of blog posts have gone by, and since I first told you all my writing plan for 2018. You can read the full post here.

It's been a full year of work so far, and will only stay busy until the end as I churn through all of my books and get more done for their debut on my publishing label. I'm hoping to have most on the label by December so I can start the year of fresh with next to nothing to do, but, knowing me, I'll just make up more stuff to do for myself. 

So, here's the list I wrote at the beginning of the year but a lot more is coloured in. I'm using the stoplight colour system below, green is for 'done', orange for 'in the process of being done', and red for 'not done yet'.

My writing plan for 2017 so far...

(1) Under Tiara King I have these planned…

- 1.1 - Release the six book series, Poems Of A Musical Flavour, in paperback.

- 1.2 - The paperbacks have been mostly done and need tweaking, which will be done sometime in Feb or March. I had a time limit for March for the 6 pbs, but it might be pushed back to May. 

- 1.3 - All will be released through Amazon and Ingram Sparks which I have joined as a publisher and they will be under my imprint.

- 1.4 - I will also release the omnibus e-book and make e-book #1 permafree in March.

- 1.5 - The omnibus pb will be released in September and I’m doing my own interior and having the cover done professionally. It will be 6x9 size and very thick.

UPDATE - just need final proofs to see how they go, decide which cover to use for the omnibus which actually turned out to be 7x10, two e-book boxed sets will be released in September along with the paperbacks, if not sooner! Not sure if #1 will be permafree, but all are on track for release.

- 2 - Update my two paperbacks, How To Be A Jewel Diva and Closet Confidential.

- 2.2 - I have decided to add style sheets to the pbs in 2018, which will also be given away for free as a download on my style website when people sign up to an email list once I get it done. I will re-release under my own imprint. Deadline is May, but I’m having trouble completing them due to MS Publisher claiming I have no disc space left when trying to add pages to the document. I do have space, and need to fix the problem so I can get it finished. If anyone knows how to fix the problem, let me know.

UPDATE - I’ve updated the interiors to both, made up the style files workbook for both books, will most likely be released in September. I just have to set up an email account for a newsletter and then I can get the interior redone for release.

- 3.1 - I still haven’t got #teenblogger to Ellen DeGeneres yet.

- 3.2 - It’s in the planning and I want to make it as professional as possible and tweak it in the next month or so. It’s important that I make it look good, and important that I try and get it out there even though it’s been two years since I released it.

UPDATE - #teenblogger is nearly finished and I just have to approve the final proof and then buy copies. I’ll have them sent to me, then wrap one up in a pretty box with some goodies that I bought, and send it off to Ellen. I'll take photos and do a blog post.

- 4 - I want to get my jewellery back into its own website so we’ll see. Selling has been on hold for the last two years due to money, time and energy. I'm still looking for wordpress templates that would suit the type of website look I want, but with everything else going on, this won’t happen for some time.

UPDATE - not happening this year.

(2) Under T.K. Wrathbone I have these planned...

- 1.1 - Get three stories written up, typed up, edited and out along with an anthology. Thank God I have already done the e-covers.

- 1.2 - All four will be released in the second half of the year.

- 2.1 - Will get the paperback version of last year's stories done professionally, and it will be out before this year's new stories. 

 - 2.2 - I am also updating the first two Bones pbs and will release them under my imprint during the year.

UPDATE - Bones #3 paperback is being done in July-August along with the #1 and #2 cover updates. I’m way behind on writing this year’s stories.

(3) Under L.J. Diva I have these planned...

- 1.1 - Put the next book, Love Never Dies through two more rounds of editing (one was done on the Australia Day long weekend on the 26/27th of Jan).

- 1.2 - Get the cover finished, and release it in March.

- 1.3 - Then comes the paperback interior and cover for release in September.

- 2.1 - I typed up the last couple of hundred pages of Stefan: The New Generation in January.

- 2.2 - I need to put it through 3-4 rounds of editing.

- 2.3 - Then send it off to my editor across three months because it’s so long it will cost a fortune.

- 2.4 - Then two more rounds of editing and get the cover done.

- 2.5 - Release it in September as an e-book.

- 2.6 - Then comes the paperback interior and cover.

- 3 - Release all four Porn Star Brothers novellas in paperback, along with the deluxe collector’s edition novel, and the novel Forever all in paperback. March is the deadline, but it could be April or May as I need proofs first.

- 4.1 - I want to type up next year’s novella which isn’t due for release until March 2019 so it gives me time to edit and add to it. 

- 4.2 - I also want to try and get the last book in the series written up. That isn’t due until Sep 2019, but I like to be ahead of myself due to outlay costs so I know ahead of time where I can fit it all in.

- 5 - I’d like to try and get some of the short stories for the series written up. I can do the e-book covers myself and I’ve bought the pictures for them, so I will save money doing that. It will just be editing I’ll have to pay for. But who knows, they won’t be due until after the last novel, but I will release them weekly, so they will need to be all done.

- 6.1 - I also want to update my four standalone novels. I updated the interiors last year, changed them to a 6x9 format, and will have the covers re-done for them.

- 6.2 - Then re-release under my imprint in September, December by the latest. They are still available at Amazon in paperback, but, with the new format in 6x9, and with recent changes in CreateSpace, it means the prices can be lowered, so...

- 6.3 - I also have to re-evaluate my pricing strategy.

That means all but three of my books will be moved to my own imprint by the end of the year. The last three can stay under Amazon’s imprint until I remove them or update them. Dream It, Write It, Publish It has a deadline for updating of 2020. Which means, in 2019 I will need to massively update it for a mid-year re-release, hopefully.

UPDATE - Love Never Dies was released which is why it’s green. Stefan is being edited as we speak, so orange, all of the books are being proofed in paperback and will be released in September. Deluca, next year’s book, has been typed up and will be edited over the next writing holiday, and I still haven’t written the novel after that, but hopefully after editing Deluca I will.

Standalone novels have been updated and kept in 8x5 size, I just need new covers and new titles as they’re getting an overhaul.

I’d like to get all of my books over to my imprint by September in case teenblogger is on Ellen.

So far, that’s it for this list. I’ve also copyrighted my books and stories with the US Copyright agency, trademarked some things, dealt with other legal issues, and will now have to get my tax done. Yikes, still so much to do.

Friday, June 22, 2018

One Direction may be long gone, but I've recently found Zarry and fallen down the rabbit hole. God Help Me!

I’m not a massive One Direction fan, but after going down the rabbit hole, I’d like to see Zarry actually happen.

Last Saturday, Sunday and Monday, and even Tuesday night while scheduling this post, I ended up down a rabbit hole on YouTube (you don't have to come with me through this whole, very lengthy post, but watch the videos, they're so cute!), but first, let me explain why.

My next book in the Porn Star Brothers series, due for release in September, is titled Stefan: The New Generation, and focuses on the seven children who make up the next generation in the field of modelling and music that they’ve followed their parents into. In editing this book for release, I realised how the boys of the family could make up their own boy band, and, at the time, I was listening to Niall Horan’s Slow Hands on the radio, that lead me to listening to One Direction again, and finding out a fifth album was released. 

Yep, you can tell I wasn't a fan, I didn’t even know they’d released a cd after Zayn left, and if I did, it clearly wasn’t worth my mind remembering. And for the record, it’s not as good as the previous four, and sounds like the album was just slapped together so they could say they were done with their contracts. But, if you want an older sounding 1D, it's the album for you.

Anyhoo, I started thinking how great some of the 1D songs would be for the boys in the book, and, because I had to write song lyrics for one of the girls, got back into it, hence, I then tracked down 1D lyrics, and in order to get them right, listened to the albums in full.

Normally, I just stick to the songs I like and pass over the rest, but in listening in full, I found other songs I really liked. And because I’ve been listening to them all year, last Saturday night I went in search of their video clips to watch, and found some very interesting things.

1 - There was only a rough 3-4 songs released from each album, which isn’t enough in my opinion. Even if you don’t like One Direction, the songs are actually pretty damn good pop songs, and there should have been at least 5 songs released per album.

2 - While watching the videos, all sorts of other things popped up in the sidebar…

That led me down the rabbit hole.

Fans loved to ship (fan fiction term) the boys, so that resulted in Larry, a Louis Harry combo, and Zarry, a Zayn Harry combo amongst many others. 

Bromance was very strong in the One Direction air.

But bizarrely, after watching countless videos (I started watching YouTube around 7:30 Saturday night and went to bed at 4:45 the next morning, and on Sunday I started up again that afternoon into night, then Monday...and Tuesday...) I can actually see what these vloggers are saying.

Here’s my disclaimer: I am not a body language expert or psychiatrist, but I have read a lot of books, and listened to a lot of experts, anyone can pick up on body language that’s obvious, and the body language between Zayn and Harry was so bleedin’ obvious you’d have to be blind to not see it.

I’m not a directioner my any means. I love their songs, thought they were pretty cute, and think it’s insanely weird that Liam ended up with Cheryl Cole years after she voted for him on the show. What I’m having an opinion on is the information I read and videos I saw.

I came across a few channels devoted to Zarry, watched countless videos, and with all of the body language books I’ve read, I have to say, much of what these vloggers think could possibly be true.

But let’s discuss one thing first. Many mediums/clairvoyants believe in ‘soul connections’ not soulmates. 

Generally, soulmates are those we end up romantically involved with, our ‘other half’ so to speak. Many people do not marry or end up in a relationship with their soul mates, as most don’t seem to find them, but many do end up in good relationships that last. Others have soul connections. It may be the best friend you’ve had since primary or high school that you still have 30 years later, it could be a sibling, parent, or child that you get along well with, it could be a mentor, or teacher. Soul connections are those people who come into our lives and brighten our world, make us better, make us richer for the experience. Not everyone stays with their soul mate, or connection. We pass through each other’s life at the time we are usually needed, for how long we are needed for. It’s not always forever.

In Zayn and Harry’s case, IF IT ACTUALLY HAPPENED, I’d say it was definitely a soul connection, and even though only the two of them (plus the other boys) would know if the relationship became intimately sexual, they could also have been soulmates, passing through each other’s lives like two ships in the night. Just like their matching tattoos.

The vloggers offered a lot of evidence that yes, could be passed over as insignificant. Eye rolls during particular conversations such as Zayn talking about his engagement to Perrie from Little Mix, shifting in their chairs, moving closer, moving away from each other, etc. But they also did a lot of things similar.

1 - They keep getting matching tattoos

2 - They keep wear similar clothing styles and the same jewellery

3 - Harry would always get Zayn water and food on stage and not the others

4 - Harry and Zayn would sit or stand side by side a lot, hell, one video I saw, Zayn moved Louis aside to be by Harry’s side.

5 - They would always be touching in some way. Except when Harry got angry at Zayn for being engaged to Perrie and backed off, then they re-kindled, then when Zayn was leaving he backed off again.

Now, yes, groups always have their arms around each other. Whether it be the Spice Girls, N’Sync, New Kids on The Block, at some stage boy bands have always thrown an arm around a shoulder, tousled another’s hair, kissed another’s cheek.

But…Zayn and Harry were particularly affectionate. To the point it would definitely be considered intimate, as only partners, or lovers, would touch. A slow rub of the back, a pat of the backside, nuzzling each other pretending to talk in the other’s ear (nicknamed kisspering instead of whispering), giggling like they’re in love, arms around each other like they were glued to together. During one meet and greet with fans that I saw, they barely let go of each other to hug the fans before their arms were automatically going back around the other.

I agree with the vloggers that this is a sign of intimacy between two people. They would gaze lovingly and adoringly at the other, make sure their fingers brushed a hand or arm, would rest hands on each other’s shoulders, leg, or arm more so than they would with the others. 

During one concert, Harry was given a candy thong, or G-string to put on. Who’s the person he went to? Zayn. And who ate Harry’s thong? Zayn. Didn’t hesitate whatsoever to take a bite of Harry's crotch.

They were always touching in some way, in a way the others didn’t, a way that only couples, lovers, boyfriends/girlfriends would do. Glancing, gazing, staring adoringly into each other’s eyes or face. In fact, in some interviews, their eyes never left each other’s. Watch the footage below.

There are several shots that stick out to me in all of the videos I watched, and there were many. 

One is at the American Music Awards in 2014, below, but there are three pieces in this video to watch. On the red carpet, they stand so close they’re touching without actually touching, watch the hands, that’s at 1:35. 

And the other boys knew, the looks on their faces when someone sat on Harry’s lap in the auditorium, Louis and Niall’s faces, priceless. That’s at 2:39. 

Then Zayn gazes at Harry, it looks like he’s drowning in his eyes, unless he was high on something, that’s at 3:28 and so freakin’ obvious you could drown yourself. He completely forgot where he was, and was too busy needing to be rescued, but you can tell he catches himself and looks away. And damn, he's got gorgeous eyes. They always get dreamy when he looks at Harry, that's how you can tell. Hell, just look at the screenshot of the video below, their eyes are on each other, the other three are looking at the interviewer.

The next is Zayn stroking a cardboard cut-out of Harry’s face - that’s at :37 seconds in the next video, but watch the rest of it, they’re so freakin’ cute together. No one strokes a cardboard cut-out of someone unless they’re romantically involved. I mean freakin' seriously!!!

Another is a shot of Harry kissing Zayn’s cheek. The way Zayn reacts is that of a lover receiving a kiss, not a band mate receiving a kiss. He bites his lip and dreamily closes his eyes. Blissful, happy lovers eyes. It’s at 1:45 in the next video.

In The Best Song ever film clip, Zayn and Harry are sitting together on the couch, then, when they’re dressed up, Zayn is the secretary, dressed as a woman, and it had to be Harry who was dancing with him, of course it had to be obvious, and the line Harry sings is - “said I had a dirty mouth’, to which Zayn, in drag, sings, ‘I got a dirty mouth’, and Harry sings, “but she kissed me like she meant it.” These two dance like a couple, act like a couple, and if you didn’t know any better, you’d think they were a couple without being told. That’s in the video below at 1:54. Also, during the film clip, Zayn's bending over to place a tray on the table, Harry's very happily perving at his backside. A backside he possibly knew well.

There’s also a scene of them sitting down on stage, but the way Zayn puts his hand on Harry’s head is the sign of a lover, not a band mate, it’s too intimate. It’s at 2:33. And at 5:47, there are scenes from the listening party from their first album and you see them hug rather intimately. Just look at the video still below, his eyes don't leave Harry's face.

There’s even a pic floating around in cyber space of a naked Harry staring out their hotel window. Zayn tweeted it with the caption, “enjoying my view” before deleting. The internet went nuts. It’s in the next video at 3:54 along with a bunch of touching.

Some said it was their way of finding their way through first love and life. They were thrust, literally, onto the world’s stage at 16, 17 years of age, both looked like they were 10, and all of a sudden they’re a group of five boys, having never lived apart from family, or on their own, and now they had each other and each other was it. Zayn and Harry even shared rooms and beds, so, it started young.

And no, I’m not saying anything sexual did happen, I don’t know that for a fact, BUT, and it’s a very big but, the intimacy these two shared was blatant for all to see. And I would bet you that if you put a variety of interview footage in front of a body language expert and asked them to give you an idea of what was going on with the boys, they would say the same thing. That Zayn and Harry had an intimate bond they didn’t have with the others, and the others didn’t have with them or each other.

What I also didn’t realise, is that the boys helped write the songs on the albums, especially their fourth album, Four, which is actually pretty damn good. They had all been writing, and Zayn had been writing with NaughtyBoy for a year, but his songs were rejected by the record company, and the other boys’ songs were allowed on. This apparently sent Zayn on his eating disorder spiral, to which Harry made sure he ate and drank on stage, and always stood, or sat protectively by in interviews. The way they would gaze at each other is a little weird to watch, and was noticeable during certain songs when they sang certain lyrics. It looks like they’re singing to each other. The body language is obvious; they were singing the parts only lovers would sing to each other. 

One vlogger theorised that Zayn and Harry planned on leaving the band together, but when Zayn left and didn’t come back, Harry was pissed off with him and a rift was caused. However, Harry made little gestures that led fans to think he was paying homage to Zayn, such as tying his hair back the same way on March 25, the day it was “officially” announced Zayn had left. Harry would sing most of Zayn’s parts in their songs, and wouldn’t sing the word ‘weigh’ in the song, Little Things, because Zayn had his eating disorder. 

Fans have come up with so much in depth discussion into these things that it's quite clear to see. It was so blatantly in your face I seriously doubt you could come up with another boy band in history that was as touchy feely as 1D were, especially these two.

Since they’ve all gone their separate ways, fans also have theorised on song lyrics. They have the timing set up for when each song was written, picked out certain lyrics from certain songs, it could only be for each other, they claim. All of that could be true. Because when a guy is singing about you being with a girl, then it’s generally an ex-boyfriend he’s singing about (or an ex-girlfriend who’s turned gay, I suppose), otherwise he’d be singing about you (ex-girlfriend) being with a boy. Know what I mean? Think back over George Michael and Wham songs, you’ll get it.

The Zayn and Harry story continued with each one’s new song/album (which I'd completely forgotten about but am now getting from my local library to have a listen), what the songs meant, who they’re about, who they dated at the time, BFFs Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid (possible lesbians), who broke up when, who lives down the road from each other, who’s visited the same place at the same time or after each other, why haven’t they called each other, who’s following Zayn and Harry and not the others. They even post “cryptic” photos and captions on Instagram and Twitter, either on specific days relevant to the other, or after the other has posted. Fans notice every little detail about how it’s the same place, the same imagery, or the same meaning.

Seriously, it’s like the 1D Detective Agency going on. The fans have dug up so much information and linked up timelines and what was said at which time, it’s ridiculous. Hell, they even mentioned how Zayn and Harry have never said they were straight. And, of course, radio/TV presenters had to try for the gay angle at every turn.

At the end of the day, after watching all of the videos I did, I can’t help but think how cute they were. Such young boys growing up in the spotlight, trying to find their way through this weird new life they had together, and these two just happened to gravitate to each other like moths to flames.

They helped each other through, fist bumped when they needed support, looked to each other for acknowledgement that it was okay to say what they said, or do what they did. 

Whether or not this was all true (it’s really purely speculation) and/or they get together down the track is on them. Whatever each one is searching for, they are still learning about life and all that comes with it. Whether that’s being straight or gay, with others or each other, is down to them. Personally, and weirdly, I hope they get together, (yep, I got sucked in bad down that rabbit hole) if not to resolve any ill will at the way their relationship ended, but to see if there’s still something there.

Fans claim there is. Harry sings certain songs in his shows they claim could only be for, or about, Zayn. They mirror each other’s lyrics in the songs they write, have their matching tattoos, and wear each other’s jewellery. One vlogger asked why Harry would put himself through the emotional turmoil every night when singing those songs, and all I can say to that is, maybe his soul is addicted to the songs it needs until it’s finished dealing with what it needs to deal with. And if that’s his love for Zayn, then that’s what will happen. He will stop singing them when his soul is done dealing with it.

Or, in the absence of that, he could just go to Zayn and tell him how he feels and the two can finally be together.

One commenter suggested Zayn was only dating/getting engaged to fulfil his religious duties. Zayn is Muslim, half Pakistani half British, and for them being gay is a sin. So is he running from it? He lives across the other side of the planet, fifteen minutes down the road from Harry, in L.A. and New York, has been engaged. And dated well known girls just like Harry. 

Is it all a cover up for their true feelings? There's nothing wrong with dating girls if you truly like them, but if your heart belongs to someone else...then what's the point? Think with your head, feel with your heart, love with your soul. If you two boys are meant to be, then damn well be!

Many a celebrity male dated women to cover up being gay, just look back at old Hollywood.

Isn’t he far enough away from his family that he can finally be who he wants? He seems to have gone that way with his music, his looks, he’s always done what he wanted with fashion, and I wonder what his family and religion thinks of him covering himself in tattoos, or the way he lives.

I even watched a video of him and Gigi and why they broke up/was their romance fake, and while I have no idea about their relationship, I’d say it was a cover up for his real sexual identity, like with Perrie, as so many celebrity showmances are. 

If he did run to get away from his life and family, it’s the perfect time for him and Harry to get together, living just down the road from each other. Unless they've planned a certain age or date to announce it to the world, like on their 30th birthdays or something. And while their relationship status is no one’s business, I just needed to get it out of my head, because not only did I think it was funny watching all of the interviews and moments, but actually really incredibly sweet. 

They were just two boys, finding their way through one hell of a life. Together.

I'm adding an edit on 24/06/2018 because I just thought of this.

Robbie Williams left Take That in 1995 after five years together, they broke up in 1996. Zayn left One direction in 2015 after five years together, they broke up in 2016.


Take That eventually reunited, so there's hope for One Direction after all.

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