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I'm from South Carolina and it's a football rivalry state.  Here, you're either a Gamecock or a Tiger.  You may not have attended either school, but you're still one or the other. (I attended law school at the University of South Carolina, so it's a legit alma mater for me. And BTW, like Darius Rucker says, our USC was a school before California was a state.) In SC, team loyalty is a matter of tradition, heritage and culture.  Both teams have had good years and bad years, but fans stay loyal.  Clemson has had many more good years and by far holds the edge in the rivalry football game - especially lately - but forget that whole National Championship thing.  You know what matters?  It matters who wins the Carolina-Clemson game.

The Gamecocks have been in a rebuilding period since Steve Spurrier walked away from the team mid-season several years ago.  But they hired Coach Will Muschamp and he's done an amazing job.  It's Year 2 of the Muschamp era and the Gamecocks are #2 in the SEC East - instead of dead last as was predicted pre-season, and they'll end with a winning record and go bowling.  They're 7-3 now, Wofford is ahead which will have the Cocks 8-3 going into the last game of the season -- the "Palmetto Bowl" - the BIG one - the Carolina-Clemson game.  No one outside of the state thinks we can beat Clemson this year, but Gamecock fans believe.  And win or lose, the Gamecocks will proceed with the motto that Muschamp brought -- "So what?  Now what?"

I read a blog  from "The State" newspaper, and it's the first time I'd heard of the motto.  It seems the team has adopted it and the players live it now.  I've just decided to adopt it too.  What better saying to guide your life?  Whether you won or lost, yesterday is in the past. We can't change yesterday.  We can relive it, and allow the mistakes of the past to define the future or we can say, "so what."  If it was, then it was and no amount of self-torture will change it.  It happened.  So what?

The thing we can change is what we'll do today, and how we'll approach tomorrow.  We can choose to recognize that today is ours to conquer and tomorrow is ours to prepare for.  We can wake up saying, "now what?"

On a writing level, this means that I can look at Amazon and see that my books haven't taken off yet.  Kindle Unlimited folks - love y'all - have been reading, but not enough customers have been buying.  I could wallow in that, and cry over that.  I could toss up my hands and stop writing altogether, or I can say, "So What? Now What?" I chose the latter.  I've dropped the price of a few of my books to .99 cents, hoping that it will spur some folks to join a duck lady in the journey over the top of forever.  The books that are currently .99 cents are:  Brotherly Love, Seducing The Billionaire, and Tempting Duty.

Maybe you haven't read one of my books before.  So What?  Now what - you can do is pick up one of my .99 cent specials and give crazy love a try.  And here in Casa de Duck my youngest son and I (the football fans in the family) will await the Carolina-Clemson game, saying So What if Carolina lost last year. It's Now What time!

Somehow, somewhere SOMETHING gave birth to the myth that the far left of the political spectrum is the cool place. If you’re in the middle or on the right, then you’re either stupid or evil. It’s a nonsensical, vapid myth, but the far left has preached it so long that many are as indoctrinated as Scientologists. They don’t associate with or listen to non-lefties. If you’re caught being reasonable, you’ll be disconnected. And that’s the true evil.

Hollywood has long disconnected moderates and conservatives. Actors who dare hold views similar to most Americans hide them to blend in so that they can continue to work. It’s a whopper-sized hypocrisy to profess to be open and giving and yet be closed to listening, sharing or considering other opinions. The rabid left exists in a hyperbaric echo-chamber. Thank God, I thought, that writers are stronger and freer than the actors imprisoned in their own make-believe world.

At least, I believed that until recently. I saw General John Kelly’s amazingly brave appearance at yesterday’s press conference.  A father whose career was sending other young people into harm’s way, who saw too many of them return in caskets, watched his own son choose that path.  Then he got the sad news he’d had to deliver to other parents. Yet, he was courageous enough to speak about his experience to explain why a soldier’s comfort, like a soldier’s world, is very different from the lives and realities of those of us who have never served.  I cried a little as I watched, and listened and I saw how much respect General Kelly has earned on so many levels.

I logged onto Twitter (@quackingalone) and saw that #JohnKelly was trending.  I wandered over and was shocked to see the rabid left there having a contest to see who could do the best job at denigrating a man brave enough to share his personal tragedy, and courageous enough to admit that he’d had to personally lead other American heroes to their deaths. Who could watch and not be moved as he shared his own tragedy to explain a soldier’s comfort to America?  I posted this Tweet:  “#GeneralJohnKelly – today you proved that patriot doesn’t mean pushover and that courage takes many forms. #JohnKelly”

Yesterday I logged onto my Twitter account to see that I’d been unfollowed by a huge number of OTHER AUTHORS.  So, I learned that I was, sadly, wrong. Like actors, those authors take the money of mainstream America, but they disconnect anyone who has another view, who sees another reality. These writers want you to enter the worlds they create, to fall in love or laugh or cry while their characters do – but they don’t want mainstreamers to know that secretly, they’re laughing at us and looking down at us. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be secret any longer. Anyone can check out an author on Twitter BEFORE clicking the buy button.

If you’re a reader who is tired of being shown that you matter less and are less deserving of respect because you don’t drink the left-handed Kool-Aid, then maybe you should vote with your wallet.  Before you buy a book, log onto the writer’s Twitter account and see who he or she follows. Does it include people with views similar to yours? A writer should be following a wide, expansive and diverse community of folks.  It should include people across the political spectrum. The group should be defined by who is interesting, not by who is a rabid leftie. If you don’t see people in that group who believe like you do, then you should reconsider that purchase.

Those who believe that everyone is entitled to respect shouldn’t tolerate disrespect and condescension from people we give our money to. Don’t support anyone who wants to sell you something but would never listen to you or consider your thoughts.  If we don’t use the power of the purse to insist that freedom is as grounded in listening and sharing as it is in talking and pontificating, we’ll lose it forever. Our soldiers, sailors and marines and especially our Gold Star families who’ve paid the ultimate price deserve better. Freedom isn’t free and respect is a two-way street.  Check before you buy.

I've been AWOL here, and apologize for that. I've been given the glorious freedom to work from home for my law practice, and I find that I work a lot more hours. That's good for the office bottom line, but bad for my non-legal scribbling. Did anyone miss me? (Don't answer that.) When I've found time to write, I've been plugging away at Vlad's story, from my Forever Series that starts with "A Faerie Fated Forever." It's meant that the blog has been neglected though -- which isn't good. Can someone add a couple more hours in a day?

Because I do try to keep up with literary happenings, a recent piece in the Guardian caught my eye. It's writing tips from acclaimed novelist/creative writing instructor, Colum McCann, titled, "So You Want To Be A Writer? Essential Tips for Aspiring Novelists. Likely, it caught my attention because one of his first tips is that "there are no rules. Or, if there are any rules, they are only there to be broken. Embrace these contradictions."  I'm a rule-breaker from way back, so I settled in for a read.

McCann says "to hell" with grammar, formality, plot and structure - but only after you've learned them so well that you can walk through your work "with your eyes closed."  He points out that the great ones will make their own rules, only to break them  and unmake them.

He says that a writer's first line should "reach in and twist your heart backward," and it should be active, "plunging your reader into something urgent."  And what should that first line be about?  What kind of book should you write?   ...continue reading "Writing Rules Are Made To Be Broken"

CBS News posted a piece discussing why romance generates derision along with sales. Romance is 30% of the overall literary market and is a Billion - with a "B"- dollar a year industry, largely created by women for women. And the women in this piece do a great job of explaining why. CBS talked with all these folks: Professor by day/ Romance writer by night Mary Bly (Eloisa James), Sarah Wendell (Smart Bitches) and Romance best-seller Beverly Jenkins. Their comments are experienced and astute.

My favorite is Mary Bly's note at the end - I've long maintained that the whole portrayal of "ripped bodices" and romance novels as demeaning women is wrong. They're all about female empowerment. In every romance, by the time the HEA arrives, the woman is in charge.

Check out this video as it's well worth your time.

Romance - the "Rodney Dangerfield" of Genres

My original Facebook page will be fading away soon.... and I have a brand new Facebook page to share.  But first, of course, I have a story. (Otherwise, this would be a really short blog post!) My story begins a couple of months ago, when I decided to do a "boost" or Facebook ad campaign to promote one of my Olivia Outlaw Books.  I did the post, clicked to boost it, it started boosting and then - the boost was rejected.

A few days ago, I decided to try again, because I've run FB ads before and found them a great way to promote books for a reasonable cost.  Again, it got rejected and this time I got messages about "explicit content" and violating FB ad policies.

Seriously?

Well, okay, perhaps Facebook has hangups about Male/Male Romance and I was trying to publicize one of my Olivia Outlaw books.  So, I tried again, with three - count 'em THREE- of the books from my Mary Anne Graham "Forever" series.  Nada. The same result.  I beat my head against the brick wall, and grabbed my computer guy hubby and slammed his face against it for a while.  More nada and managed to royally perturb computer guy hubby who recalled anew his wife's technical stupidity.

While hubby cooked breakfast - yum- I had a "light bulb" moment.  Maybe I needed to do a full reboot.  After all, my original Facebook was created before FB had some of the tools to help authors create pages.  So, I slogged off to create an AUTHOR page.  Added each book series to PHOTOS and plan to give each book/series its own FB page.  (It'll take a while, people, I'm on the last book in my Seducing the Guardian Series and hope to publish soon).

For now, though, I have a brand new author page and am running a promo of my "shop now" button which connects to my list of books on this blog.  If you've wandered over here from that shop now button/promo - HI!  *waves*

Be sure to check out the new FB page and give it a like while you're there!!

 

 

I write contemporary and historical romance as myself, "Mary Anne Graham" and I write erotic romance as "Olivia Outlaw." I don't write erotica, although some people make a bundle of cash writing that genre. Why don't I write it? Isn't it essentially the same as erotic romance? I don't write erotica because it is not romance and if it's not romance, then I don't write it.

Both erotic romance and erotica include explicit sex. Neither genre will attract the shy and retiring. The difference lies in what role sex plays in the story. In erotic romance, sex moves the story. Sex between the lead characters changes them and changes the course of their lives in some fundamental fashion. Erotica, however, is all about the sex. Erotica requires no relationship and no happy ending. It requires only hot sex.

Don't get me wrong, writing hot sex is fun, and I write it in romance and erotic romance, but I write it to tell the character's stories. I can only read and write romance where character is king. Whenever my bank account motivates me to consider writing sex for the sake of sex (erotica), something - thankfully - stops me. This time it was a story about making money writing erotica for Kindle.

Perhaps the Broadly story was intended to have the opposite result, and for some folks, it might.  Read it for yourself and decide.  This is the paragraph that stopped me cold:

So much volume requires variety. Johnson is a gay man, but like Sethline, he writes stories with all kinds of gender configurations. "It's not really that different," he said. "The niche matters more than the gender. I find it hard to write ABDL [adult baby diaper love] erotica, whether gay or straight, because it seems so silly and pointless—I can't even pretend to think diapers are sexy. But most other hetero erotica is easy as pie, even if I have to pretend I have a vagina."

The stop sign for me: "Adult baby diaper love?"  That is a thing?  For a crazy duck lady who pens erotic love scenes in all of her writing, I am, perhaps, a bit TOO sheltered.  I blame that on my writing.  It's kept me from all of the meandering around the internet that would inform me of such fetishes.  I consider that a good thing. There are fetishes I'm happy to never discover.  "Adult baby diaper love" would have been one of them, but sadly, I've now seen those words.  Writing in a genre that people will read because of "diaper love" is not ever going to be something I can do.

I find it sad that men and women feel financially obligated to write under a pen name that disguises their genre.  Unfortunately, I know that sometimes occurs in romance, where men say they can't sell unless they write under female pen names. To all quacking readers, I say - buy a book because of the story, not because of the author's gender.  In time, I hope, that readers won't spend a second considering whether they want to read a romance or erotic romance written by a man instead of a woman.  It should be a non-issue.

So, we've established that my writing road map will not include a stop at erotica.  Where does my map take me next?  I'm presently writing the last in my Olivia Outlaw  "duty" series.  I hope to have it finished and published within the next couple of months, and hopefully sooner.  Once it's done, I'm definitely going back to do a "Mary Anne Graham" romance.  It'll either be Vlad's story from my Forever Series, or a "the rest of the story" contemporary romance.  I started Vlad's tale and am debating my direction.

As many of you know, "A Fairy Fated Forever"- the first in that series, is a "the rest of the story" book which tells my version of what happens after the events in the famous Fairy Flag of the Clan MacLeod legend.  I have another one of those things doing a duck dance around my brain.  Duck Dancing is damned tough to ignore.

Still, Vlad may be able to overcome the dancing duck.  We'll see where that goes after I finish the last Olivia Outlaw "duty" book.  I'd welcome any of your thoughts, of course.  The one thing I can say with absolute confidence is that I will NOT be writing in any genre where diapered adults inspire readers to say anything other than_ "ICK!!"

 

I just started Book 3 of the story of Adam & Evan (My "Seducing The Guardian" Olivia Outlaw Series). This one - at least so far - is titled: "Enticing Duty." I finished Book Two and published it almost 10 days ago, but Book Three lurked in the barely begun stage for days. Why? Because starting a book is hard. It wouldn't be nearly as hard if I were a planner.

See, writers of fiction are commonly divided into two species: planners and pantsers. Planners will have a full outline of a book completed before they write the first word. I admire them greatly and can only imagine how organized their lives must be. I bet they have neat underwear drawers and matched socks - if such thinks actually exist. (They seem more like unicorns to me!) Other writers are "pantsers" and they just set down and start typing. These folks are reckless daredevils who will make a dish out of tofu and turnips because it's what they have - and then serve it to their husbands for dinner. There's another category of writers that people don't talk about. These are the insane folks keep a stuffed duck named Woodrow beside their laptop. Yes, you guessed it - I'm in that group. We won't start a book until our characters start telling us their story.

What should we call the writers like me? (Okay, okay - hush out their in the peanut gallery. I will NOT put those words in my blog.) I think the best category would be: Writers directed by the voices in their heads. Because these folks - me, myself and I included - can not write until our characters are good and darned ready to reveal their tales. Sometimes, they do it in drips and drops. Other times, they talk so fast that my fingers can't keep up. But either way, if I get ahead of them or ignore them, the story won't flow. If I misunderstand and take a slightly wrong turn, sometimes the characters sulk and won't talk to me for a while. (Vlad, from my "Forever" - Mary Anne Graham - series has been sulking lately. I think I understand the overall arc of his story, but I got the angle wrong in the beginning. Soon, he'll forgive me and talk to me again, and I can make some progress on that one).

Adam of Seducing the Guardian hasn't been sulking. He and I both knew where part 3 of his story would start because he mentioned it at the end of part 2. Well, we knew the emotional direction and general tone of part 3, but only Adam knew what happened to make Evan re-appear in such a dramatic fashion. Today, Adam finally decided to share --- and we're off, finally beginning. It'll be a while yet before we get to the other hard part - the ending. Just yet, I don't even know if Book 3 will end Adam and Evan's story or if they may have another book to go.

Endings are hard for a lot of reasons. It's like the day before the last day of a vacation you've really enjoyed. Just the thought that it ends the next day can send you off to book another day or two - that you probably don't need and can't afford. But those extra days are easier than facing the end, aren't they? But when you get to the end, you start on the beginning of your journey home. You know what happens then, right? You're anxious to get home. You remember that you love your home and your life and you can't wait to get back to it. That's the moment, the emotional space, that the whole trip has been about.

For a writer, the moments after the end are about the next beginning. And I'll love it. I will love my new characters or revisiting someone from a past story who needs his or her tale told. But to get there, I have to end this story - and endings are emotionally draining and just hard. Just as a character has to tell you where to put him to start, he must tell you where to put him at the end. Since my books tending to have big, over the top, emotional rock-'em, sock-'em endings, it means I'm going to have to let my hero go to the end of his rope and past it, to the point where the knot he's tied is starting to unravel. Of course, then comes the good part, the happier ever after part. It's why I write, just like that "I can't wait to get back home" feeling is why I take a vacation. None of that makes endings easier.

Right now Adam and Evan's new tale is past the starting line and the end is nowhere in sight. It's the sweet spot of writing and - if I do it right and don't let the story I want to tell get in the way of the story my characters want told - then it'll be the sweet spot for my readers too.

Once upon a time, the Royals ruled the Publishing Kingdom.  They employed Agents to deal directly with the Creator Minions who produced the books that built the castle, for the Minions were heathen beasts, unworthy of the Royals consideration.  The trained Agents brought the Royals only that which the Royals deemed worthy - manuscripts that met traditional guidelines of acceptability.  Stability was vital to the Kingdom.

The Royals dwelt in their Castle and grew rich from the hard-earned coins of Captive Citizens who could buy only the books printed by the Royals.  The Citizen Readers did not protest their captivity, for they lived in ignorance of their state.  The choices they had were all they knew, and they knew nothing of the multitude of rejected work that could have enlarged their world, showing them the world outside the Kingdom walls.  And then came The Change.

Portable tablets appeared, bringing them communication and entertainment of their choosing, consumable when and where and how they chose. And enterprising groups of Citizens formed businesses and went amongst the rejected Creator Citizens, urging them to publish their work without Royal approval and distribute it to the Citizen Readers through the businesses giving the tablets all the choices the Citizens were coming to expect and adore.

At first the Royals scoffed.  The Creator Citizens work was not screened and pruned by the Agents.  Work that violated every traditional rule was soon released in frantic freedom.  But it meant nothing, the Royals knew, for the Citizens wanted only that which came from the Royals.  And for a time, that remained true.  But the enterprising Business and Creator Citizens produced their independent work without the burden of paying for the Castle, so they priced it within the means of the Reader Citizens.

Soon, the Royals had to release their books for the tablets, because the Reader Citizens demanded that their libraries be as portable as their music and their videos. For a time, the Business Citizens only allowed the Royals to publish on the tablets if the Royals priced their work within the means of the Reader Citizens.  This threw open the gates of the world to the Reader Citizens, but the dangerous winds of equality began to blow, shaking and finally shattering the Castle walls.

And the Royals saw that this was not good.  Along with their Castle, they were losing dominion over the Kingdom. Order must be restored. The Creator Citizens must be brought back to heel, trained again to beg for the scraps tossed to them from the Castle.  And the Reader Citizens must be dragged back inside the Kingdom gates, allowed to think and experience only that approved by the Royals. But how could a freed populace be enslaved again?

The Royals must begin by battling the Tablet rebels.  Business Citizens that supplied books to the rebels were issued a new edict - allow the Royals to price their work as they chose or lose the right to publish all Royal-approved work.  This edict terrified the Business Citizens, for amongst the Reader Citizens were many addicted to the work of Royally-approved Creators and if they lost access to their work then they risked losing the coins of the addicted Citizen Readers.  The trembling Business Citizens bowed to the Royals and accepted the edict.

All across the Tablets, the prices of Royally-approved work rose and rose and rose. The Royals knew that soon, the Reader Citizens would realize they were paying more for the convenience of having books on their Tablets than they'd paid for buying the books in traditional form.  Surely they would then return to buying traditional books, and the revolution would die.

Today, the Publishing Kingdom stands at the point of decision.  Are the Royals right? Will Reader Citizens pick up their chains and shackle themselves, returning to the slavery  of selecting from only the few books they are allowed to consider?

The Royals scheme to re-build their Castle could be destroyed by Business Citizens named Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble and Apple, if those Business Citizens were brave enough and bold enough to refuse to carry Royal work priced above a reasonable value.  The Royals believe that Businesses are too cowed to refuse to carry their work and that Readers do not value their freedom or their independence.

What do I believe?  I believe that there is enough AMAZING independent work to feed the appetite of every reader.  I also believe that if the revolution continues, the still-enslaved Royal authors will break their chains, and release their work independently.

I believe that free thought and free expression are important enough and powerful enough to overcome any scheme the Royals may concoct.

Editor's Note:  My new project is writing for "Constant Content."  I wrote this and submitted it, but it was rejected as "newsy" or "dated" content.  Well, my blog is the PERFECT place for this content!  Y'all will have to let me know how it goes -- I won't be watching Grey's, but I have been watching, with great interest, the FRANTIC promo for the upcoming season.........

*****

McDreamy died. Did ABC’s Thursday night lineup die with him?

McDreamy was the nickname of a doctor on Grey’s Anatomy, a TV show on ABC. Shonda Rhimes created it and then she created Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder. The trio forms ABC’s blockbuster Thursday night prime time lineup. McDreamy, Dr. Derek Shepherd, was the romantic lead on the show, opposite Dr. Meredith Grey, the female lead, played by Patrick Dempsey and Ellen Pompeo. After a feud that made headlines, Derek Shepherd died on the April 23rd episode. 67% of the show’s fans say the show died with him, according to a poll cited by The Daily Gazette.

TV actors get written off and their characters die, but McDreamy is different. On March 27, 2005, the first scene of Grey’s showed the morning after between two strangers who hooked up the night before at a bar. Those strangers were Derek and Meredith, famously known as MerDer.  Their romance launched and anchored the show until Dempsey’s character met an undignified end. McDreamy backed across a highway and grabbed his cell phone. A speeding semi struck his car.

Fans took it as a betrayal by Rhimes. Loyal viewers followed the romance through his divorce, her drowning, explosions, gunshots, separations, and reconciliations. After the couple, at long last, wed in a sticky note ceremony, Rhimes promised a happily ever after. She kept the promise until trouble developed. Rumors of Dempsey having an affair with an intern followed his separation from his wife. Other gossip claimed Dempsey’s behavior on set had alienated everyone. Rhimes kept him out of many episodes last Season after sending Dr. Shepherd to Washington. She brought him back long enough to kill him.

Fans protested Derek being killed instead of sent back to Washington or to Zurich where Cristina (played by the departed Sandra Oh) runs a high tech medical clinic and lab. The manner of death disturbed them since the traffic accident was a swipe at Dempsey whose involvement in auto racing is well known. Fans denounced the lack of a real memorial. Former colleagues not attending Derek’s funeral diminished his death in the eyes of viewers. Fans concluded that Rhimes showed little regard for McDreamy and less regard for them. 67% of them vowed not to watch again.

Vanity Fair quoted Rhimes calling McDreamy “incredibly important” and an example of what “young women should demand from modern love.”  But Rhimes emphasized that “the carousel never stops turning.”  Fans didn’t find it a fitting memorial, but it sufficed for Rhimes until polls showed that the carousel stopped for many viewers. ABC President Paul Lee said that Rhimes decided Dempsey’s death “was the way to go.” The Season premiere approaches with the network laying blame at her door, so Rhimes developed a two-pronged strategy: rewriting history and paying late tribute.

Although Dempsey’s contract, like Pompeo’s, extended through the upcoming Season, Rhimes ended Dempsey’s run early. In the Entertainment Weekly exclusive posted the evening of the death episode, April 23rd, Dempsey said he was “surprised” at how the story unfolded and didn’t find out he’d be written out and killed off until February or March. In a piece posted August 7th, The Daily Gazette quotes Rhimes that Dempsey wanted to leave after 11 seasons so, “For God’s sake, let the man go.”

Rhimes eulogizes McDreamy on the Season 11 DVD set for release on August 18th. E News spoke with Rhimes who said the choice came down to death or leaving Meredith “high and dry.”  If Derek left, Rhimes said, it meant that “the love was not true, the thing we had said for 11 years was a lie, and McDreamy was not McDreamy.”  Rhimes did not discuss the mutual contract terms designed to allow McDreamy and Meredith to leave together.

According to the poll, 67% of former viewers will not watch Meredith’s solo journey.  That number has execs casting blame and the show runner writing a new script. Time will tell whether Ms. Rhimes’ fans continue to “Thank God It’s Thursday” or turn to another channel. All 3 of Rhimes’ shows – Grey’s, Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder – premiere on ABC on September 24th.

 

Do you KU?

If you do, whether as a reader or a writer, then I bet you've heard of the best thing since dark roast coffee - KENP.  It stands for Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count and it's the way Amazon now measures page reads by Kindle Unlimited Subscribers. Beginning July 1st, writers with books enrolled in Amazon's Kindle Unlimited program will not be paid per borrow, they'll be paid per page read, meaning, per page as pages are counted by Amazon. It's created a whole new obsession for writers.

Beginning in the wee hours of July 1st, KU authors were huddled over their keyboards with their screen locked on the Amazon KDP reports page, clicking one key, just one key.  Y'all know what that was, right?  Refresh... refresh... refresh.

Yes, my creditors and I are most interested in seeing those page reads rack up.  We don't know what the Zon will pay per page. It will be a rolling target like the old pay per borrow system.  But what we do know is that our payout will be based on pages read. So, like I said, the goons... err, bill collectors... and I have a very vested interest in seeing those KENP numbers rise.  But I've got a secret that I keep from the goons. I'm gonna share it with you, but you've got to promise not to tell them, okay?

I'm really most excited by the new KENP system because now I can see that readers are READING my books.  It's why I write, after all.  I can tell my stories to myself in my head where I see them play out on my inner movie screen.  And after I get to the happy ending of one tale, I can begin to tell myself another. I think we all do that, to some extent, don't we?  Perhaps not, and it's uniquely a "writer's thing." I wouldn't know for sure, having only ever lived in my head. But I choose to believe that many people create stories for their own inner consumption.  What makes a writer is that some of the inner tale tellers aren't satisfied unless they share their stories with other people.

I'm one of those people driven by a rather terrifying need to share my stories. And it is terrifying.  Although the wee, small sane part of me knows that not everyone shares my devotion to over-the-top love stories that are bigger than life, the bad reviews (all writers get them) used to hurt a lot.  The only way to survive the process, for me, has been to stop reading reviews altogether. Oh, I'm not perfect, so once in a while I'll take a quick, quick glance at the top two or three reviews on my "Mary Anne Graham" and "Olivia Outlaw" author central pages at Amazon, but by and large, I've learned not to do that.

KENP gives me the carrot without the stick. I can check and see the pages read adding up and feel a bright, shiny, inner glow.  And I can do it without dreading the people too sane to enjoy a crazy duck lady's stories.  It's all the good with none of the bad and there are very, very few things in life like that.  The only problem with KENP is that it's addictive - surely getting that wild rush from seeing that readers are reading my stories beats any drug ever manufactured legally or illegally. So yes, I admit it --  I'm Kookoo for KENP.

As addictions go, it's not a bad one to have.  This one makes me some money and gives me some happiness.  There's only one thing that would make KENP even better and that's seeing the numbers rise higher, and higher and higher.  It would let me know that more and more and more people are reading my work.

If you're a Kindle Unlimited (KU) subscriber - and really, everyone should be - then here's your new mission --- READ.  Yes, read more.  Read a lot.  Read every page ever written by Mary Anne Graham and Olivia Outlaw.  And once you have, then you Tweet and Facebook and blog about how everyone else should do the same.

It's time for KU subscribers to realize what VERY IMPORTANT PEOPLE they are and to understand that they need to cease doing all the things limiting their reading.  I mean, if you're a Big Enough VIP to be a KU Subscriber then you have more important things to do than go to work, go to school, study, cook meals, clean your house or do laundry.

If you're a KU Subscriber then you're a READER and readers should be READING.  Just print off a copy of this blog post and give it to your boss, your spouse, your kids, your boyfriend or girlfriend or your professor.  They'll understand that you're a reader who has found his or her destiny.

And I only have one thing left to say to you.  Why are you still here?  Go - read, read... and then, read some more.