Humbled by Smut

Last month I wrote a blog about certain types of books, ones that I tend to call Kindle Porn, and how I felt they were a bit of an easy sell out writing essentially dirty books for a quick buck.  I mean, what was the appeal?

Well, I quickly turned myself around and decided to try a few before letting my judgmental nature on the topic define my entire approach to the subject.

I had asked, “What do people see in these books?”  Often I imagined they were full of raunchy sex scenes and little plot or character development.

Well, I was wrong.  I added several billionaire bad boy, reverse harem, and general erotic romance novels to my Goodreads list and read over a dozen this month.  Overall, I was impressed with the depth many authors go to in this genre, and I don’t mean that metaphorically.

Many of the novels were well-written, just the right amount of naughty, and contained actual stories with characters you can relate to.  Sure, every now and then I would shake my head and laugh at how ridiculous a line was, or at how quickly the two main characters hooked up, but overall I was intrigued throughout the majority of the books I read.

Now, as for an answer to the question I had asked, “What do people see in these books?”  The answer became clear, instant gratification.  A small amount of written pleasure, enough to either make you blush or make you laugh, was easily obtained.  And there was no risk in reading either.  There was no putting yourself out there for rejection, or taking any chances yourself–you could read the silly pick up lines, roll your eyes, read about a few tricks of flexibility in the bedroom, and go about your own day without having to change course.

So, I take back my judgmental commentary.  I spoke abruptly.  Not every genre is for every reader, or writer for that matter.  Having taken the time to give the genre, and some of its more quirky sub categories, a chance, I feel a sense of understanding finally.

A Resolution of Sorts

While I think we should always try to be our best selves and, that if we feel a need for change then it is best to start now rather than later, I feel the need to set myself a resolution of sorts; a deadline is required.

I have spent the better part of my writing career on an epic fantasy piece that I have outlined and fledged out into this magnificent world; yet, it is woefully incomplete as all I have drafted for it are scenes that jump about the series and are not in sequence.

What else has been accomplished?  The same for other works–outlines, random scenes, and movies in my head.  Something needs to be completed.

That is what I will set out to do this year.  With two small children, and a need for a daytime job, that will likely take the better part of the year.  But, it must be done!  Something must be finished!

Now, this is not a goal for me to publish by December 31, 2018.  It is merely a completion goal for a first draft.


What is your major writing goal this year?

Reviews and Reading

With two small boys under the age of two, one can imagine how busy my home life has become.  It is almost impossible to steal an hour here or there to actually write anything more than a quite note in my iPhone for a plot bunny that hit me when my toddler was scaling the furniture.  Yet, while feeding my newborn I have found plenty of time to either scroll endlessly through Facebook or to read.  And reading seems like the best option.

I signed up to be a reviewer for an Advanced Review Copy website.  I receive free copies of eBooks in exchange for an honest review on Amazon.  There are a plethora of genres to sign up for, and if chosen I have six or so days to read an review the book.  So far I have only completed one review, and it was lackluster, my response sparse and to the point.

But, I am looking forward to this opportunity to see what the market looks like.  It will be good to actually read and experience the mind of another for a time.  To aid me in this goal I also signed up for Goodreads (you can find my profile here).

This is not a New Year’s Resolution by any means, but I definitely want to read more.  Reading can only inspire and push me to write, and that is the ultimate goal.


Welcome to 2018.

Judgy McJudgerson

I am not currently published, and I probably have no place judging others who are due to that fact.  But I noticed a pattern with the sponsored ads in my social media feeds over the past couple days that really struck a cord with me.  They were kindle books, some free, some inexpensive.  That’s all well and good–I love me some cheap reading material–but what bothered me were the story lines and synopses.  Some of them are absolutely ludicrous!  Here are a few paraphrased examples:

  • Billionaire Bad Boy Teaches Innocent Virgin About BDSM
  • Werewolves/Shifters/Vampires/ETC Control Naive Woman/Forces Her to Mate
  • Best Friend/Brother’s Friend/Friend’s Father/Step-Brother Needs Her Pregnant
  • She Wanted Him, He Wanted Her, She Was a Confused Virgin
  • She Gets Kidnapped, Falls in Love, Impregnated–The Story of Stockholm Syndrome

I have nothing against a decent romance novel, or against BDSM stories (yes, I read and have seen 50 Shades and didn’t hate it), but good grief, what is this crap?

Sure, this is all someone’s cup of tea, and to each his own, right?  But honestly, it makes some of us authors who are toiling day in and day out over outlines, plot holes, maps, research, grammar, editing, and the likes on pieces several years in the making look like chumps for taking so long.  Why don’t we all just sell out by writing some contrite smut?

Writing culture is changing, and that is largely due to reader culture.  Readers want something quick and dirty a lot more than they used to.  But please, can’t we make it a bit classier, people?


And I want to add a note: I did download a bunch of these stories to read at a later date, and possibly will update this post, or add a continuum post in response.  But for now, the synopses make me cringe!

Nanowrimo 2017

National Novel Writing Month is quickly approaching, and so is my literary anxiety.  There were no nerves until the week prior–because that’s how it works.  You take it all in stride and think, “I’ve got this,” until suddenly it is time to prepare and BAM, you’re staring at a blank outline or a WIP that has seen more hours than it deserves.

I settled on the WIP.

It’s a story about a girl, a princess, who is torn away from her homeland and forced to marry a man she doesn’t know for the sake of saving her people.  The kicker?  It is a salacious relationship that, much to her surprise, becomes not just intimate but advantageous in a massive set of wars to come.  Political craziness, traveling, culture, adventures…there is a lot to be had in this story.

I just have to finish it.

Here goes!

Story Dice For The Uninspired

Listen, nothing is worse for a writer than not knowing what to write.  Am I right?  So, in an uninspired moment, a fellow writer suggested I roll the multicolored, multi-themed story dice for inspiration.  Here are some of the plot lines I came up with.  Feel free to use any and all that inspire you.


A viking, on a quest through the mountains, came across an all seeing witch.  She bade him to push his way through the rocky hills, crossing rivers and lands of poisonous fruits, to find what mysterious object had fallen from the sky.

Two dramatic young men were fools in the King’s palace.  They played music and performed stunts.  One day, however, a stunt went awry, leading to the accidental discovery of a new scientific breakthrough.

In a temple far away from the grassland village existed an amulet said to control the directions of the Earth’s rotation.  Mathematicians, scientists, and fact-finders sought the device in order to control the Earth.  It would take a simple pair of buddies seeking a different treasure entirely to stumble upon it, freeing it from hiding.

A pizza delivery boy knocked at the door of the apartment that had ordered a large pepperoni with extra cheese.  There was no answer.  Upon opening the door and setting the food on the counter, he knocked over a vial, which immediately sent him into a deep sleep.  When he woke a man explained to him that his shadow was now a living entity, able to be controlled by the boy, and that he and his new super shadow were needed to save the world from poison, fire, and banana pepper pizzas.


Good luck!


32,500, that is the number of words I put to paper, or computer, in January 2017!  I didn’t count e-mails, work, or notes to self about which groceries to buy, but only solid writing for any one of my numerous works in progress.  Not bad, huh?

Dedication is huge.  Writing is not just a job, it isn’t only a hobby either.  It needs to be a passion if there is going to be something big coming out of it, otherwise the product could turn out to be lesser.  My WIP may not be in best seller condition, but the goal is to get it out and worry about the perfection later.

I am having fun.  Someday I hope to share this work so readers can have fun with it too.

32,500 in January, with snow, a baby, a job, a household…not bad at all, not bad.

Keep writing,


No More Excuses

The time to write is NOW!  Really, it was yesterday, but I made too many excuses.  Here are some simple solutions to the everlasting problem of finding time to write when you are a busy person.



I work three, sometimes four, days a week.  They are long shifts, usually really early in the morning, and they can be particularly draining both physically and mentally.  What better reason is there to write?  Pull yourself away from the stress of complicated returns and credit promotions and write on your lunch break!  If I spent just 15 minutes of the hour lunch I get writing then I could produce a solid 500-1,000 words.  Not bad at all!



I will be the first to admit that I used my pregnancy and newborn child as a huge excuse to not write these past two years.  While, obviously, it was extremely tiring being pregnant and then being a new mother, I could have made more strides toward my writing too.  If you are not going to nap when the baby naps, and chores are caught up, write for a bit!  If I took just one half hour of my 9 month old’s nap and dedicated it to writing then I could potentially accomplish around 2,500-3,000 words.  Not to mention just after putting him to bed!  If I don’t immediately turn the TV on to relax and instead wrote for 20 minutes, BAM!  Another 2,000 words.



Look, laundry and dishes wash themselves after you load them.  Then the cycles last 1-3 hours each.  Use that time to write a scene or two!  Another 2,000-6,000 words!


I am not saying to neglect your family, job, or housework–not in the slightest.  I merely suggest not using them as an excuse not to write.  If your goal is to publish someday, like mine is, then do not put your passion for writing aside so easily.  There is time to write.  I can accomplish nearly 10,000 words a day by finding these moments to write amidst my regular duties.

You may find that you are too tired, and obviously you need to take care of yourself first.  If your child is happy and healthy, your house is clean, and you paid the bills, and you are still not too tired, that’s the perfect time to write.  Sneak away, ask for some me time, and start typing.


Good luck, and thank you,

Heather Ellen Yamauchi

An Event for Writers Everywhere

Writers sell themselves short.  It is a fact of the business.  We are often underpaid, overworked, and underappreciated.  Now what?  Well, we strive to sell books, do we not?  But what happens when we are self-published, selling e-books, or just plain offering up deals and discounts and free materials?  Then we are likely not making any money.  Why sell ourselves short?  We work too hard, and put too much of our very souls into our work to not get a living out of what we are trying to gift to the world.

An event will be taking place, virtually.  The event, Our Books Are Not Free, will be hosted February 11-15 on Facebook, by author, Rose Montague of, to celebrate authors and their desire to sell books.  Join us for stimulating conversation and discussions, panels, and interviews by authors from all across the globe.  And please, buy some books!  Support authors!

Please click the following link and select “going” to join in on the action!

Our Books Are Not Free Facebook Event Page


And as always, thank you,

Heather Ellen Yamauchi of Hobbitual Literature

Enter Generic New Year Resolution Here

Essentially, a new year means a new you, right?  At least, that is what our culture expects of us here in America.  I, while finding much inspiration and motivation already this year, do not believe in creating standards and goals too hard to achieve so early on in a year.  Why set yourself up for failure, albeit, unknowingly, because who knows what may happen throughout the year?  I find my motivation, my passion, and gain some insight into what I can accomplish first then set some goals afterwards.  Here is what I have discovered thus far in 2017.

First off, my 9 month old is thriving and actually allowing me to get some writing done.  That in and of itself is an accomplishment in parenting and the writing world.  Motivation!

Secondly, I am finding that with that writing I may not be achieving high word counts, but I am liking the direction the words are taking my work in progress.  Passion!

That passion is leading to new ideas and generating a sense of confidence in my writing.  Inspiration!

On top of it all, a writing friend that I have known for a while now has, somewhat unknowingly, pushed me deeper into the writing world than I have been previously, and that is a great feeling.  Fellow writer, Jennifer Zamboni of, has opened my eyes to networking as a writer to find inspiration and resources that I didn’t even know existed!  Thanks, Jen!  More on those branches in future posts, surely.

So back to those goals I was talking about.  I may not state a definitive goal of 1,000 words a day, or finish a book by the end of the year, but I will hope for progress.  Steady progress is enough for me.

In closing, welcome to 2017, writers and readers.  I hope to be putting more work out there soon, and hopefully finishing some really great projects in the coming year.

Thank you, as always,

Heather Ellen Yamauchi of Hobbitual Literature

Progress and the Future

I have been otherwise engaged with a new baby, new house, returning to work, and an interesting attempt at finding a delightful balance in life that I have been neglecting this blog.  The Facebook fan page has seen action, as I post and share several times a day, but this blog has seen busier days.  Not only am I sorry to any readers, but I am sorry to myself.  It was always my intention to keep up with this page, as I mean for it to become a crucial part of my writing career.  That being said, going forward I hope to be more interactive and social on the blog and not just on the Facebook page.  Content should be readily available on both mediums.

Here is what is going on in my literary neck of the woods.

First, I have been eagerly preparing for my second year as a municipal liaison in Maine for National Novel Writing Month.  November is just around the corner so my preparations have already started.  Beyond having several write-ins on the calendar, I am planning a few goodies for the writers attending.  More to come on that front!

Next, spontaneous drafting has been occurring on several works in progress, and I must say that I am inspired and impressed.  It is always a great feeling to scribble even just a thought down, let alone nearly the 1,000 words I managed tonight.  Talk about a success!  Much of this success I credit to my husband who has graciously offered to care for our 4.5 month old on Wednesday evenings so I can attend extra writing group gatherings for some literature and adult time.  Thanks, babe!

Lastly, a good friend of mine is working on launching and promoting her own business and website.  Check out Pulsifer Publishing for all of your publishing needs.  She is constantly adding services, information, and resources.  Bookmark her and stay tuned for updates!

As always, thank you for your dedication to my literary journey, and best of luck on your own.  Happy reading.  Happy writing.


**Heather Ellen Yamauchi**

Thankfulness #8

Thankfulness #8: Restaurant

A delayed post here.

What restaurant am I thankful for?

Friendly’s…I am thankful for Friendly’s.  Now, I know they are not the best now, nor was I particularly fond of them before, but when I was younger this was a family tradition.  My mother would take my brother and I to Friendly’s for lunch sometimes.  My brother would always get a red Shirley Temple and grilled cheese, I got an orange soda and quesadillas, Mom got a diet coke and a chicken wrap with extra honey mustard.  It was our tradition and family traditions are important to me.

Checking In

The past year has been a blur.  So much has happened, and so many things have changed.  This post is meant to bring readers up to speed on what is new in my life, personally and professionally.

I am now a mother and a home-owner.  My husband and I had a son in April and bought a house in May.  These two huge, life-altering events have kept us incredibly busy, and blissfully happy.

Maps for a major epic that has been in the works since 2013 are in various stages of edit for my own benefit.  Having functional maps for fantasy pieces aids me in my writing.  That being said, I hope to spend more time fleshing out this epic because it has the highest word count of any piece I have started.

CampNano for April was skipped this year due to labor and a newborn, and CampNano for July will likely be forgone as I start back at my “real” job tomorrow.  BUT, Nano for November is still on and preparations are under way!

This blog’s connection page on Facebook is thriving!  I post many articles, links, images, and ideas from other writers, authors, editors, and advice sites to aid myself and other writers.  Many readers comment, like, and share, and the page is up to 200 likes.  Please like and share!  There are some real bits of gold on there!


Thanks for reading!

Thankfulness #10

Thankfulness #10: Time of day

If I had actually answered this back in November when I had meant to then I would have said nighttime, because I love staying up late watching movies, playing video games, or chatting with my husband.  Now that I have a 2 month old who tends to be colicky, I prefer mid-afternoon.  Nights tend to be alright now that he is getting older and waking less frequently, but the afternoons are most fun because he is awake and alert, and interested in learning and loving.

Thankfulness #7

Thankfulness #7: Scent

The bread aisle.  This is weird, I know.  It should be something like our favorite laundry detergent, my favorite flower, or my husband’s cologne.  First of all, laundry smells great clean, sunflowers are not the most aromatic flower, and my husband rarely uses cologne, and even uses the same shampoos I do.  So I choose the bread aisle.  Something about the smell of all those loaves of bread, the bagels, the english muffins…it’s just YUM.  As long as that aisle isn’t shared with baby supplies.  One grocery store I have used in the past put white bread near baby powder and the combination is not appealing.  Call me crazy, but bread smells are great.

Thankfulness #6

Thankfulness #6: Pair of Shoes

I find it a bit petty to feel thankful for shoes, as there are much more important things to life.  But, I must say that I do have shoes, and plenty of them, and I am grateful for that because there are millions who don’t own even one pair.

The pair I would have to say I am most thankful for are my gray memory foam sketchers.  I have always loved boots and flats, sandals and sport sneakers.  However, I have never been able to last long enough in any of them to really live life, and to work hard.  With the sketchers I have I can work a 40 hour work week on cement floors, I can walk the malls without having foot aches, and I can hike a mountain comfortably.  I am experiencing more of life and avoiding pains that normally would have left me sitting out on adventures.

Thankfulness #5

Thankfulness #5: Place

The place I am most thankful for is my home.  It may be a tiny one bedroom apartment that is not even close to big enough for my husband, myself, and our zoo of animals, but it warm and is a roof over our heads.  We are extremely fortunate to be able to afford a place to live, one with heat, lights, running hot water, and luxuries like cable and internet.  For this I count my blessings and have made the best of the small space.  It is home.  It is our home, and for now it is enough for us.

Thankfulness #4

Thankfulness #4: Favorite snack

Can I say chocolate?  I feel like that answer is cheating because I cannot chose any one snack, but would prefer one if it had chocolate.  Ice cream, cookies, candies, cakes…I am making myself hungry.  I HAVE COCOA PUFFS FOR BREAKFAST!

***This blog post has been interrupted for imminent feeding purposes.  We are sorry for the inconvenience.***

Thankfulness #3

Thankfulness #3: Cozy place

Is it weird to say bed is the coziest place for me right now?  I am thankful to have a lovely bed to relax in while pregnant.  It is soft, and cushy, and sinkable.  I can write from bed, watch my netflix marathons, read, play Skyrim, and hold my family (as the cats have claimed it as their coziest place too).  I am thankful to have these luxuries in life.